One brisk Montana spring morning, it was business as usual for Miss Kitty, a dilute calico cat with sparkling emerald eyes. Her mom gave her a fresh bowl of food along with some gentle strokes behind her ears. After whispering how much
she loved her, her mom went out to run some errands.
As the front door closed, Miss Kitty’s idyllic life was
about to be shattered forever. Something snapped in
her mom’s boyfriend. No one saw what he did, but
Miss Kitty’s injuries suggested that he beat the sweet
cat mercilessly. And then he was gone. Miss Kitty’s
mom immediately called the authorities. The animal
control division of the Helena Police Department
whisked the cat to safety right away.
Arriving at the Apex Animal
Hospital, Miss Kitty began her
healing process under the care
of the best medical experts.
To help with special needs and
costly veterinary cases, animal
control partners with Lewis and
Clark Humane Society, a nearby
nonprofit animal welfare organization dedicated to providing
shelter and advocacy for animals
on the path to their forever
home. Miss Kitty’s owner signed
her over to LCHS so they could
get her on the mend and find
her a safe and loving home.
Katie Axline, LCHS cat adoption coordinator, was shocked
when she learned about Miss
Kitty’s plight. “We don’t see
many cases like Miss Kitty’s,”
she said. “You wonder if there
were any warning signs or if
anything could have been done
to prevent this from happening.” As Katie pondered how and why something so devastating could happen to a companion animal in their
community, there was a more pressing situation at hand:
Would Miss Kitty be too traumatized to transition into
another loving home?
Katie was pleasantly surprised. “I was absolutely amazed
the first time I met Miss Kitty; she was the sweetest cat
despite the horror that she endured,” she said. “She had
never met me before, yet she was happy to see me, even
moving closer to greet me, giving me a look of uncondi-
tional love despite what she has gone through.”
The veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and LCHS
staff all give her the much needed care and attention she
requires as she awaits her femoral head ostectomy hip
surgery. Miss Kitty’s operation will take a part of the head
section of femur bone out and alleviate pain in her hip. The
folks at LCHS are also setting up a GoFundMe drive to help
offset the cost of the expensive procedure. But, for Miss
Kitty, money is no object. They want to ensure she gets the
best possible care and has a beautiful life.
Miss Kitty soaks up all the attention at the clinic. She
loves having her head and chin scratched, a full body massage, and turning into a cuddle puddle. While Miss Kitty is
affectionate, she can be demanding, too. “You can’t give her
just a few seconds of attention; she wants all of your love
all of the time!” Katie said.
The litany of Miss Kitty’s admirers will keep up their routine of visits — with their cooing, oohing, and ahhing, gentle touches, and encouragement for the months to come.
The surgery’s recovery time could take a while, but there’s
no limit to the amount of resources or love Miss Kitty will
receive to see her back to a perfect picture of health.
Even though Miss Kitty has endured heinous abuse,
thanks to teamwork and an indefatigable spirit, her
future has a bright outcome: The staff at Apex Animal
Hospital has decided to adopt her. She will certainly
Denise LeBeau is an award-winning essayist, writer,
editor, and self-professed poet laureate of the pet set.
For the last seven years, she’s been a full-time writer for
an animal welfare organization. She shares her home
in Hampton Bays, New York, with two rescued Siamese
cats, Flipper and Slayer, and two rescued moocher
mutts, Parker and Zephyrella. Connect with her on Facebook.