Maybe It Was Meant to Be?

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©2012 Maria S. Our first glimpse of Willow-stuck up in a tree.

Almost a year has passed since our-Maria rescued a stray kitty out of a maple tree. We didn't know her story, only that she was probably dumped and a pit bull saw her and chased her up the tree. Maria had quite the time getting her down, but from the very first moments, we knew that Willow was going to be a special kitty. (read more about Willow's rescue HERE).

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©2012 Maria S. (inset) and ©2013 Robin A.F. Olson. Willow's transformation.

From day one, Willow was very sick with some sort of upper respiratory tract infection. She was thin. Her coat was ragged, but Willow was very easy-going and friendly. In fact, Maria soon realized she could put a harness on Willow and take her for walks and even jokingly put a baby doll dress on her. Willow was fine with whatever came her way.

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©2013 Robin A.F. Olson. Willow enjoying the sunshine…

We tried many rounds of antibiotics to cure Willow's sneezes and runny eyes. They worked for a time, but she would get sick again and again. We tried 60 days of doxycycline, only for it to return. Willow had been in our program for over six months with no real idea of what was ailing her. I finally decided to try to test her for Bartonella this bast January.

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©2013 Robin A.F. Olson. …and the view of the woods.

Due to a mixup, I never found out that the test was a STRONG POSITIVE until MARCH! Once we knew, we began treatment and she got better right away.

Of course, I couldn't easily put Willow up for adoption if she was sick, but between cycles of her illness it seemed she was fine so I processed LOTS of applications and even went on a few home visits, but NOTHING EVER PANNED OUT.

 

I wonder if on some cosmic level I had to figure out what was truly ailing Willow before she could find her forever home because I was baffled at how many adoptions on her fell through.

 

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©2013 Robin A.F. Olson. A tender moment with Fred.

I got an application from a gentleman named, Matthew. He's young and married and has a nice home north of here. I did a Vet check and it panned out. He was very sweet when he talked about his cats and I really liked him.

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©2013 Robin A.F. Olson. Willow has tortie-patterned paws-you can just see it here.

 

We were about to do the adoption when I found out about Willow having Bartonella.

I knew that telling an adopter about a cat being sick could have them give up on her. Many folks will just think they're getting a terminally sick cat and move on to another rescue. I worried that Matthew would not want Willow but he just asked me if it was contagious and I said no. I didn't hear from him for a day or two and finally he wrote that if I could medicate Willow and keep her here, that he would be happy to adopt her after her medication was done-which would be another month.

 

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©2012 Maria S. (inset). ©2013 Robin A.F. Olson. On the way to her new home, Willow's journey is almost complete.

Willow is such a sweet cat. She's become the mother-figure to all the other fosters. They adore her and cling to her and she calmly reassures them as she grooms them. I didn't mind having her for awhile longer.

The day finally arrived to bring Willow to Matthew. I was very sad because Willow is a "top 10" sort of cat. She simply had no unwanted habits, she was always friendly to everyone and affectionate. She was silly and seemed to always be happy and she is so very lovely to look at-with her crazy, undefinable patterning and colors. I loved her dearly and definitely would be missing her a great deal-and I worried that Fred & Barney would, too.

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©2013 Robin A.F. Olson. Back seat driver!

We got Willow packed up. I had all sorts of toys, food, a scratcher, catnip, a cat bed-everything I could think of to get Willow off on a good start. I even brought extra toys for her two new kitty friends. She didn't want to be in her cat carrier, so I let her out. She panted a bit, out of fear and excitement, but eventually she just sat on top of her cat carrier and watched the world go by. What a GREAT cat!

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©2013 Robin A.F. Olson. Willow is so cool she can even travel in the car in style.

We got Willow settled and she immediately started to PLAY in her new room! She didn't hide or run off. She rubbed her face on the furnishings, marking her new space with her scent. She went over to Matthew to get some pets. She seemed completely cheerful, as ever. Meanwhile, Roo, one of her new friends, was sitting outside the door, wondering what was going on.

 

I'd gone over how to do cat to cat introductions with Matthew and we started right away. I opened the door so Roo could see Willow and vice versa. They saw each other, but there was no negative reaction of any kind. A good sign-but I closed the door while things were still good and Willow resumed playing.

 

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©2013 Matthew R. Willow, in her new home eats while her new sister, Roo, eats on the other side of the door.

I didn't want to leave Willow, but as it always goes, I have to do it. I have to do it so I can help more cats. I gave her a kiss on the “M” on her forehead, her silky soft fur brushed my lips. I told her I loved her one last time. With a heavy heart I went home wishing she could have stayed with us. I crossed my fingers and said a silent prayer that I hoped I'd made a good choice for Willow and that she would have a lifetime of happiness with her new family.

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©2013 Robin A.F. Olson. Our last moments with Willow before it was time to head to her new home.

 

The thing is, how could I not adopt Willow to Matthew? He's an Arborist, after all!

 

Comments

willow

great story, i hope she has a lifetime of joy and love in her new home  :) 

Willow

My Maine Coon boy, Jagger, has that same "M." Isn't it adorable. She's a pretty lady. I hope she has a great time in her new home.

Willow

Robin, I just adore happy stories like this! And what a beautiful girl she is - I'm so glad you were able to determine and treat her problem, thus opening the way for a great placement. Bless you, my dear, for the incredible work you do. I know letting her go was very difficult, and I cried as I read of your kissing the "M" on her forehead. But, as you said, you have to do it so you can help more cats. 

The next time I visit my family in Stratford and Bridgeport, I'm coming to see you!!!

YAY

So happy to hear Willow's been adopted - and it sounds like the PERFECT match for her.  I wish her a long and happy life with her new family - feline and human alike.

Willow

How wonderful you managed to figure out what was wrong--so many cats with not-so-common illnesses linger and can't be adopted, or only to special homes. I love homes like Matthew, it always made me cry tears of joy to find a home like his for a special kitty--a home that would really appreciate her. Here's looking to more happy endings!

RE: WILLOW

Sounds like a perfect match, Robin, and though I empathize with you, I'm sure you'll share the joy at Willow finding such a loving, permanent home!  (And yes, an arborist should be a good choice! especially an arborist whose family already includes beloved cats.) :)  May Willow have a long, happy, healthy and loved life!  (One of our family probably has this ailment as well; she was probably born with it, being the daughter of a semi-feral mom and born outdoors; nothing moves her snuffles, but she's 13, according to my calculations, and going strong!)

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