There's just something about animals. Since I was a little girl, I have loved being in the company of animals more often than the company of humans. Animals don't judge, hate, belittle, or have jealousy over you. They simply are, be and love. They understand, forgive and trust over and over again.
Sabrina came into my life a little over a year and a half ago. I was cat sitting for some neighbors down the street. Their two cats kept looking out the window, distracted by something. There, on the stone ledge of the patio, sat a cat. Of course, my heart melted. I grabbed some food and went out to meet her. She meowed, but was cautious not to come to close to me. I talked to her and she told me her name was Sabrina. ;)
When my neighbors returned, I said, "Y'all are going to kill me, but I've been feeding a cat outside and she said her name is Sabrina." To my surprise, they already knew her and had been giving her some food. They said they would keep feeding her and...call her Sabrina.
One day, while visiting my dear friend across the street, Michelle Miller aka, Captain, I noticed a cat rolling around in the other neighbor's yard. I thought it was odd. I looked to the house next door and noticed their boy with some type of gun. While I could not "prove, say for sure, without a shadow of a doubt, say he shot the gun," in my gut, I knew he must have shot at the cat. Little did I know at the time it was Sabrina and he had shot her eye, blinding her.
I'm not a parent, but if I were, I would teach my children to honor and love all of God's creatures, not torture them. Children who love animals grow up to be more caring, responsible and awesome adults. There are studies, tests and lots of literature to back me up. Just say'in.
I digress. So, a few weeks go by and I'm asked to cat sit for the neighbors again. This time, in addition to Sabrina's eye being full of blood, she is obviously pregnant. I tell my neighbors she is pregnant and they reply, "No, she's just fat because we have been feeding her." Several weeks later in October, David finds three little kittens under the chair of their side porch. Ummmm...she was pregant!
The neighbors tell me they love Sabrina and want to keep feeding her as their "outdoor" cat. They start feeding her and the kittens on their enclosed back porch. This is October and winter is coming. Captain gives the neighbors several items to give the kittens and Sabrina extra shelter and warmth to make it through one of the coldest winters we have had in years.
I tell the neighbors, "If you want to keep Sabrina, we need to get her spade and then get the kittens spade. It can become a major 'feral cat situation' if you let it go. All you have to do is capture them all on your back porch. It should be easy as you've been letting them sleep and eat there already. Captain and I will pay for all their food, litter boxes and vet bills. All you have to do is house them." Captain can't have cats as her mom is allergic and I can't have cats as they eat bunnies. The neighbors agree and say they will capture them all in the porch.
Time goes by and they don't capture them on the porch. Instead they capture the kittens in a crate and tell me they are taking them to live on a farm. (I found out just three weeks ago that it was a lie. They took them to the forest and dumped them out. My heart broke.)
By this time, it's March and Sabrina is pregnant again. I tell the neighbors, she is pregnant again, but they don't seem to care. Then, Captain calls to tell me Sabrina is in her yard eating birds. That's odd I thought. She hasn't done that. Well little did I know, the neighbors decided to stop feeding her. They shut off their back porch so she had no shelter. Sabrina found a vacant house in our neighborhood and had six, yes six kittens there.
The neighbor called me one day this past April and said, "Shell, come down here I'm holding a kitten. Sabrina had brought the six kittens to the neighbors house as if to plead with them, "Please, feed us. You fed me all this time and now I have six babies." I held one of those precious babies and again said to the neighbor, "Do you want to keep Sabrina? Captain and I will help with everything. All you have to do is capture her and the babies on your back porch. We will feed them, take care of litter boxes and play with the babies so they can be adopted easily and not become feral cats. We can get Sabrina spayed when she is done nursing them." For a second time, the neighbors agreed. I kept calling the neighbors and asking if they had caught them. "Not yet," they replied. So I waited as it wasn't my house, yard or property.
In April, the neighbors told me they would be leaving the end of August and could I watch their cats and Sabrina while they were gone. Mind you, they leave for over a month each time and NEVER call to check on their house cats. David and Captain take care of my bunnies while I'm gone and give me an update twice a day because they know I can't handle not knowing how they are doing. This time, I think the neighbors were trying to hide the fact that they had stopped feeding Sabrina again. If it weren't for Captain just happening to stop and talk to them, we would have never found out the truth.
The truth was that Sabrina was pregnant yet again. Her last litter was born in April. I also found out the neighbors stopped feeding her and the six kittens again, calling it "tough love." They said to me, "Oh they'll be fine running around the neighborhood." I wanted to scream! Sabrina and the six kittens were living under the abandon house. I said to them, "I'm going to make it my mission to catch Sabrina and take her to be spade while you are gone. Do you have a problem with that?" They said, "No."
I was on vacation with David and Captain took care of the bunnies and feeding the cats down the street. She also opened the porch back up and started to leave food for Sabrina and the kittens. She only saw Sabrina a few times and she didn't look good. Probably because she was pregnant and starving.
Upon my return from vacation, Captain and I captured Sabrina in the neighbor's porch only to have her escape through a hole in the screen. It was five days until I saw her again. I was on my morning walk and stopped at the neighbors to check if the food was gone. I heard a huge commotion with birds in the back yard, it was Sabrina. I said, "God, please help me." Sabrina followed me into the porch. I barricaded the hole in the screen and ran like a crazy woman to my house to get the bunnies "to go box". I threw a pack of tuna in it and Sabrina was so hungry she went in. I slammed the door and brought her to my house. I thanked God a million times on my walk home.
I went to Pet Smart and spent $150 on cat gear. This was this past Thursday and my plan was to keep her on my porch until Monday morning when I would take her to get spade at a mobile vet clinic. I felt sick about the babies in her belly as I don't believe in killing things, but Captain and I still had six other kittens in an abandoned house we needed to tend to.
A good friend came to see Sabrina on Friday night and he agreed to adopt her and give her a wonderful "inside" forever home. I was so grateful. I believe Sabrina must have been someone's pet who was turned out. She is precious, loves to be pet, purrs like crazy, never scratches, bites and uses a litter box like a house kitty, not a wild kitty. She is amazing.
Sabrina was fine for a few days on my porch, but Sunday morning she kept meowing and meowing and it sounded different. I thought she was just upset from being in the crate for days. She started to rub a spot off her nose trying to get out of the crate. It was breaking my heart and I couldn't take it anymore. David had to work the weekend and I called him at work to say, "I need to bring her in our bathroom. I have to take her tomorrow, so it will be ok and then it will only be a week for her to recover from surgery and go to her forever home." While he wasn't very happy about it, he agreed.
Captain is working with volunteers to humanely capture, spay and foster the other six kittens who are still under the abandon house. It is our mission to take care of these babies since we couldn't save Sabrina's first three.
My goal is to find forever "inside" homes for these four. I hold them every day and tell them they are loved. I want them to have homes where they are spoiled, loved and doted on. I want them to have parents that are as crazy about them as I am about the bunnies. I won't give them to just anyone. They deserve the best and I know in my heart the best people will find their way to me and them.
If Sabrina were a vegetarian, I would keep her. I love her soooooooo very much. However, I am truly and incredibly grateful that she is going to a beautiful home. A home in which she truly deserves after everything she has been through. Maybe though...I could teach a kitten to be sweet to bunnies. Children are born into this world as innocent beings. Until they are taught to hate, there is only love and kindness towards all things.
"We can't help everyone, but everyone can help someone." - Ronald Reagan
Life doesn't always work out in the "perfect plan" we have for things, but somehow, someway, it always works out. Besides, the best fairy tales always have a happy ending. ;)
Light, love and hugs to you,
Michelle, the Bunnies, Captain, Sabrina and the Cuddle Puddle