This story begins when adorable kitten Ponderosa was rescued by animal control and immediately put into a quarantine area because he was labeled a 'bite' case. One Love Animal Rescue (OLAR) loves to help all animals in need, but they particularly have a soft heart for the overlooked and left behind. They told ISF Ponderosa was in danger of becoming one of the 86% of cats killed because many of the cats are not able to be adopted from the local animal control facility. OLAR wrote ISF even though “area rescues save as many of the highly adoptable cats as possible”, there “are always cats left behind”; and OLAR was determined Ponderosa wouldn't be one of the unlucky ones. “He was so friendly and rubbing his head on the door purring, we just had to save him”, OLAR said before adding, “even with his eye bulging, we knew he'd be a sweetheart”.

It was clear Ponderosa had an eye protruding from his socket but OLAR wasn't sure what was causing the distressing injury or if his eye could be repaired and saved. However, they told ISF they “did know he loved affection, a good head scratching, and would purr up a storm when someone would hold [him].” They went on to note, “a personality like that is a cat lover's dream, and we knew we had to save him”. OLAR brought Ponderosa into their care and immediately took him to the vet so he could start the necessary antibiotics to battle an upper respiratory infection. They also scheduled him to meet with an eye specialist right away. Even the specialist was surprised that such a young kitten would have a health issue normally suffered by older cats. One of the chief concerns was that Ponderosa wasn't able to close his eyelid fully, which was leading to more complications, quickly resulting in an eye ulcer.

It was decided he needed surgery as soon as possible, but they had to wait a week for the antibiotics to work and for his respiratory infection to ease before they could proceed. These procedures and measures always come with a cost and OLAR contacted ISF to see if we could help. When it was time, Ponderosa had an eye enucleation and he recovered well. After he recovered, OLAR remarked, “He's fantastic! He's a total nut and loves to play with his housemates”.

The cat program manager of OLAR began a new, cat-focused rescue while Ponderosa was still in foster care, and thus he was transferred to Tabby Tales Rescue, where he soon found his adoptive home. According to them, Ponderosa found his new forever home when “previous adopters saw Ponderosa's photo on Facebook and submitted an inquiry about him”. It was a perfect fit since his adopters “had also rescued a blind kitten last summer, so they have a soft spot for special needs animals”. Not only did Ponderosa get great adoptive parents, but he luckily found a home with another feline companion, one who also understands the challenge of not having full sight. Tabby Tails Rescue told ISF Ponderosa “is so full of love” and despite the many hurdles and challenges they faced together, they “don't regret a moment”. They added, Ponderosa “brought such joy to the volunteers who fostered him”, and now he continues to bring joy to his adoptive parents.

Written by Brandy Anderson

Edited by Bob Stone