“We are only as blind as we want to be” - Maya Angelou
Broken Promises SW Rescue was conducting a Trap-Neuter-Release (TNR) Program in late December 2016, when they came upon a colony of feral cats. The cat colony was living on the property of Diana McMullen who was caring for them the best she could. All but one cat had been trapped. The remaining cat, now known as Sweetie, was difficult to trap because she was extremely shy and cautious. Once trapped the volunteers noticed this 3-6 month old, domestic long-haired cat’s right eye appeared unhealthy and inflamed. She was sent for her routine spay and it was evident she would need to have her eye further evaluated. Dr. Short at Schumacher Animal Hospital examined Sweetie and reported her eye had ruptured and recommended an enucleation, eye removal surgery, as soon as possible. Broken Promises SW is a small organization and could not afford to pay for medical care beyond the TNR related expenses. In the past, Broken Promises SW had received a Medical Emergency Grant from the Ian Somerhalder Foundation and they decided to reach out once again to ISF for financial assistance. ISF awarded a Grant for Sweetie who was able to undergo the surgery she so desperately needed.
On January 24, 2017 Sweetie had the enucleation surgery. Sweetie now saw the world a bit differently for the first time. She needed to adjust to her environment in a new way. Sweetie truly began to adapt to her new way of life not only by the way she saw it, but also by the way she felt it. According to her rescuers, “This once feral, timid kitten actually became a little friendlier following surgery”. Volunteers said, “She is now a purring little gem of a kitten.” From the day after Sweetie was trapped, Broken Promises SW kept Diana up to date on her progress. Diana knew Sweetie was going to need specialized care. Diana expressed a strong interest in adopting Sweetie once she recovered from her surgery. On February 2nd, 2017 Sweetie’s stitches were removed and she continued to thrive. It became evident Sweetie would not be released to live outside as she displayed significant improvement in her behavior. Volunteers were astonished how Sweetie, “fell over for belly rubs”, and “sought out human attention.” Broken Promises SW whole-heartedly believed Diana was a perfect fit for Sweetie and Diana promised to keep her indoors. Diana officially adopted Sweetie on February 9, 2017.
Broken Promises SW had this to say about their experience with Sweetie, “No kitten is unworthy of allowing them to have a chance. Be it the pain in her eye or her being unsocialized to begin with. Sweetie was not a friendly kitten initially, but with love and patient hands-on TLC, we brought her around and she’s a happy house kitten now.” Broken Promises SW expressed their appreciation to the Ian Somerhalder Foundation for helping with Sweetie.
Sweetie’s amazing recovery teaches us life’s obstacles do not have to be an end, but a new beginning as Sweetie’s blindness enabled her to truly see all the love around her, leading her to a new life never thought to be possible.
Written by Theresa Blangiforti
Edited by Bob Stone