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Not on My Watch: The Best Thing

The best thing that ever happened to Will, a year old run-of-the-mill white and brown tabby, was that he was hit by a car. If that fateful moment had passed uneventfully, the car swerved or Will's timing had been a bit better, not only would we have no story, Will probably would have died.

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It's ironic that Will would have died not being struck, but by being a free roaming, homeless cat. He'd already slimmed down to seven pounds. At the rate he was going, if no one stepped in to help him, Will might not have survived the winter.

But The Fates were kind, by striking him down on Willard Street (Will’s namesake) in Greenville, South Carolina early in the morning of November 4th. Perhaps someone racing to get to work hit Will, stopped and saved him at that moment or someone saw him in distress and took him to Greenville County Animal Care Services. We just don't know. What we do know is Will met a lady named Andrea who works at GCACS.

Though GCACS could not help Will be medically treated, for budget or whatever reason, Andrea was determined to find someone who could. She did not want to have to euthanized such a friendly cat. She sent out an email that found its' way to me. I'm not even sure how she knew my address. I can't even find her original email.

Nevertheless, I took a breath and thought about what I could do. I am 900? miles away? The only people I know in Greenville, SC are...wait..a VET and a good friend to cats named Jenna!

Though some of you may know what happened next, I need to acknowledge these people-Dr. Anderson, of Cat Clinic of Greenville, SC, drove to GCACS to rescue Will, then gave him a physical exam and determined that he had an injury to his right eye and to his palette. Being in a sorry state, Will got cleaned up and was given all the tests and shots he needed, all the while, Will was “making muffins” and purring. Will didn't care if he was injured, he just wanted to love and be loved.

Our friend, Jenna made numerous trips to visit Will and update us on his progress, as Will began to heal. She was Will's voice and it was Jenna who contacted Dr. Anderson and arranged for Will to receive care in the first place.

Without these ladies, we know what would have happened.

Fate stepped in again. This time one of our dear readers, Clare, offered to adopt Will, never once meeting him—completely trusting that everyone's comments about how sweet Will was were true. Through seemingly endless emails back and forth, I arranged transport and Jenna got Will, along with two kittens to the drop off spot so the transport could get them to CT.

Will, Pip and Purrsimmon arrived on Saturday. Sam was kind enough to pick them up since I was still at the Cat Writers' Conference. Seemingly unscathed by the long journey, the moment Will arrived, he was relaxed, purring and ready for some cuddling. He never hid, hissed or complained. He is easy going and laid back and oh so cute!

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When I met Will, I could tell he was “all that and then some.” He liked to be held. He didn't mind the kittens using his tail as a toy. He even groomed, napped and played with the little girls. They looked to him as a surrogate mother.

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I didn't have much time to get to know Will; just a few hours. In that time, I too, was captivated by his sweet nature. While I looked forward to Clare and her daughters coming, it was mixed with some sadness. It also hit me-here's another cat who would have so easily be euthanized because he needed medical care and was in a place that could not provide it to him. How can that be? I can't understand that anyone would put money over life like that. It's tragic.

How could you say, “No” to this face???

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At 5pm, on November 22nd, a giant pickup truck pulled into the driveway. Three slight, English ladies came running to my door. One of them was Clare, though I didn't get a look at her because she was already hugging me hard, on the verge of tears. Rescuing Will was more than just adopting any old cat. This was the first time Clare felt like she stuck her neck out and got deeply involved (instead of making a donation or helping socialize our shy kittens) when an animal needed help. It was also the first time Clare ever adopted a stray!

All of Clare's cats are purebred Burmese.

Before you pass judgement-and you shouldn't, you should know that Clare wanted cats who are known for being friendly. It was an honest, good-hearted decision to adopt purebreds and those cats need homes, too, but something had changed in Clare. She saw stories of the heartbreaking life shelter cats endure. Instead of looking away, so looked. She allowed herself to feel so bad that she couldn't sit still until she took action. She didn't need or want another cat, but she DID need to say; “Not on My Watch!” and she DID need to do something about it.

So she made some room in her life for one more. She took a leap of faith in everyone who knew and loved Will and realized that without even meeting him, she loved him, too.

As Clare and her daughters entered the foster room, Will was at the door, ready to greet them. There were squeals of delight and oooohs and ahhhhhs and “he's so beautiful!” You couldn't even see Will through all the hands petting him and fussing over him.

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Everyone took turns holding Will as they got to know him better. He got belly rubs and hugs, pats and kisses. He glowed. I could tell that Will was home in the arms of these good people. Clare and I got choked up a few times-especially when she promised me that she would NEVER adopt a purebred cat again. From now on she'll only adopt shelter cats.

It's an amazing feeling to look into the eyes of this sweet cat and know his journey and know that the best thing that ever happened to him used to be that he got hit by a car.

Now I'd have to say that the best thing that happened to Will is yet to come.


I LOVE THIS STORY! Love, love, love it!

So happy for Will. So happy for Clare. So happy that you knew someone who could get the ball rolling to help him.

There is nothing better than happy endings. :)

What an amazing story! What a gorgeous kitty! It actually looks like a bright light coming from this guy!
What a sweetie. Thanks so much for finding a wonderful home for Will! I got all choked up reading this and
as I am honored and proud to have helped pay his medical expenses! I feel a bit attached to
him myself. Can I call myself one of Will's Fairy Cat Mothers?
AMAZING JOB ALL! We got Will a home! Yipeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Please add yourself to our group of Fairy Cat Mothers (and Father)!!!!!!! You are most welcome and cherished!!!

Thank you to Jenna, Dr. Anderson, Robin, Sam, Clare and family! Thank you for helping a cat that had no business being unwanted. Please help spread the word about spay/neuter and adoption so that someday, no companion animal will be in Will's position. One by one, we can make it happen!

Thank you to Jenna, Dr. Anderson, Robin, Sam, Clare and family! Thank you for helping a cat that had no business being unwanted. Please help spread the word about spay/neuter and adoption so that someday, no companion animal will be in Will's position. One by one, we can make it happen!

You have indeed made a difference in Will's live, and he will forever remember the kindness and hard work on his behalf. My sisters and I are so happy that Will got the forever home he deserves.

What a WONDERFUL story! Amazing. I love stories about every day people saying, "Not on My Watch!" and doing something about it. If we all do a little bit.....

Thanks for all you do, Robin! And thanks to Clare and everyone who helped Will find his way home. xo.

He is am amazing cat. So handsome, sweet, gentle, loving.

Thank you to everyone who helped give this sweet kitty a start on the happy, love-filled life he deserves.

Happy endings, indeed!!

Lucky lucky Will, and Clare, and you! Love and extra attention makes the world a beautiful place.

I am so glad for Will, that was such a heart wrenching story it had me crying. Its sad that such a drastic event had to happen but so great that so much love has come for Will in the end.

And Robin too, and Clare, and Jenna, and Dr. Anderson and the rest..... Great story - a happy Thanksgiving for ALL!

I am so happy for Will and his new family. He is going to have a fabulous life :) I am all mushy eyed. Your blog is so true. If Will had not been hit by the car he would have died. Even if a Good Samaritan brought him to a shelter uninjured his chances of survival without the help of Andrea would be about 2%. This saga is definitely a win (in so many ways) Clare only adopting shelter cats, a group of people coming together to save one life and one sweet cat who is not a statistic but a happy ending.
THANK-YOU!! to everyone who made this happy ending a reality :):)

On MSN today I read a story about homeless cats. I was so sad so many went to the bridge and never found a furever home. I had tears for them all, I was upset and I still am. Wills story is so wonderful and heart warming I can only hope there will be others who will understand how many cats like Will need a home. ?

From the efforts of a handful of people ... a few bucks from a handful more ... there is more love and happiness in the world today, which will last for many years.

Stories like this are I think about when it is sad and frustrating.

Warm wishes for a joyful holiday to all.

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