From Discarded to Adopted

Friends For Life

"One rainy day in March, I saw what appeared to be a gray bag in the road. When I drove by, I realized it wasn't a bag at all. It was a crouched gray cat. He was panting and in shock, and there was blood on the pavement."

That day, Nina stopped her car and took the badly injured cat to a vet. 

Turns out, Monty was well-fed and had already been neutered, but did not have a collar or microchip. The vet stabilized him, wired his jaw and put in a feeding tube. 

Monty’s face looked like the end of a Rocky movie. He was swollen, the bridge of his nose nearly even with his cheeks. But when we would pet him, he purred. It was a gurgly, rattling struggle of a purr but it was a purr. Even when his face and jaw had to be throbbing with pain, he’d lift his head to look toward us and lean his face into our hands.

In the months to follow, Monty found a foster home with Carolyn and Kay, while neighbors came together to care for the recovering cat. 

Have you ever tube fed an animal? Let us tell you – it is not for sissies. It takes a particular kind of commitment to stay with intensive care like this. Life obligations go on. Things come up. You get tired. But this care must remain a constant. And Monty's team stayed on task. In May, vet removed the wire from Monty's jaw. Everybody cheered when he started eating on his own. 

One thing the medical team couldn't repair: the accident left Monty blind. He would have to learn to rely on his touch and hearing to move around. He would have to memorize the environment to move around confidently. And so he did. His caretakers watched as, over time, he begun moving around — able to find path between his sleeping and feeding areas. "Last night and this morning he walked from sleeping area to the towel on the floor in the adjacent feeding room. This morning he even found the food dish on his own! It's progress."

July 20th: Monty arrives at Friends For Life

Another big change. With medical wounds healed, Monty arrived at our shelter — ready to find his forever home. 

Despite the change of surroundings, his hearty appetite has not diminished one bit. Nina sent the below photo to her neighbors: "At the moment, he is in the area for cats who have special dietary needs and/or those who need a little time to get settled in. As you can see, he has a spacious two-story condo. His next door neighbor, Little Princess, is quite vocal and I think he is glad for the company. Amazingly, he seemed quite at ease with the many changes and ate all of his lunch and had some solid preening afterwards."

August 20th: Monty is adopted!

"Never hope more than you work, " is our favorite Rita Mae Brown line and Team Monty would make her proud! We are over the moon to report that Monty has found his forever home! We were hopeful when he got a "sleepover " (a practice unique to FFL in which adopters are allowed to take a potential new family member home for a "sleepover" to learn about how they will live together.)

Not all sleepovers result in adoptions and that is exactly the point. Learning what is not a fit for someone is very valuable information and allows us to create great matches. Even if they do not result in permanent adoptions, sleepovers help us learn about our animals away from a shelter environment and all that becomes information we can pass on to a new family. It's a pretty cool win/win process.

But it was hard not to get a little excited when Monty got the tap for a sleepover. Then, as it just continued to go well, we got even more excited!

Monty's adopter says he is adjusting very well and has even met her other cat, Reese. "She seems to be quite accepting that he is going to be here now. I think her biggest challenge is that she's more curious about him and wants to interact with him but he doesn't react when she hisses or growls a little. I think she's expecting to have words and then move on and be friends but he is not taking the bait and is just content to have another feline around!"

This has been a long road.

Not only was Monty saved in the process but the chain of events set in motion by Nina's act of kindness that day and by all the subsequent acts, has enriched all our lives. This rescue connected a group of people who have become treasured friends through the experience. Monty has joined the legion of FFL alums who have shattered that glass ceiling of "adoptable" and helped us all to think more broadly of what we can do together. Thank you to all of you who donated to FFL for Team Monty, shared his story and hoped right along with us.

There is noting quite so sweet as betting on the long shot and winning, right?

Labor  (of Love) Day Weekend update:

This just in from Nina and Carolyn:

Howdy Team Monty! Carolyn and I got to see Monty in his new digs! He has made himself quite at home. He was very chatty and came out to greet us. I am sure he was telling us all about his new adventures and that he was ready to eat. That boy continues to have a fantastic appetite. I have seen Monty in a variety of settings - street, vet clinic, Carolyn and Kay's home, FFL. He always makes the best of it and lets us know what he needs.

It is no different at his new home. He really seems more grown up and independent and at ease. I know a big part is probably that much of the hard part of healing is behind him. We think it is also the care given by Brittney, his new mama. She had a blind cat before and seems very confident that Monty will figure it out. We saw him when he was at his lowest and needing the pampering and intense nurturing. He has entered a new phase - confident independence. Of course, this is just our interpretation. Here are some of the specifics of the wonderful changes we saw:

  • Carolyn saw him find his water bowl after having a full meal. A big deal!
  • He has a scratching post and we saw him using it. Very exciting!
  • He seems to enjoy the challenge of the chunky food and really working his chops to polish it off. Of course, he devours the smooth pate style equally as enthusiastically.
  • He wanted to play with the wand toy but did not do his usual seeking out of the lap. He walked up onto the towel and groomed himself and played but he did not venture near my legs. Even placing him on my lap, which I used to do early on, did not elicit the usual melting into the legs. He clearly is feeling more independent and confident. I guess we are now on his turf.
  • I can tell he enjoys listening to Reese play with her toys. Reese is adorable and very playful and energetic.
  • His spacious room (the commode) is right off the kitchen and living room. He is truly in the thick of it and it seems to give him his fill in stimulation and enjoyment.
  • Because it is a large apartment complex, there are also other noises in the hallway and smell and sounds. All things he appears to enjoy and enrich his environment.
  • He ventured farther on his own than I normally see him go.
  • He did lift up his paw to ask for a treat or possibly just more head pets. It was adorable!

I think he has just the perfect mama and home for him and he will continue to come into his own. Our boy is a tenacious survivor who definitely has a will and always finds his way. I continue to be so proud of him and grateful to y'all for helping make this all possible!  

"We are all Friends for Life"

Just when you think this story cannot possibly get does. 

I cannot stop kvelling about our boy...forgive the continuous emails. I forgot to tell y'all about the cutest addition to Monty's wardrobe - a collar complete with a tiny bell and an ID tag with his name and number on one side and the other side that says "Please call my mom. I am blind." Does that not make your heart sing? This is a picture of Monty's mom late cat, Ray Charles, who was also blind, and obviously a beloved member of the family. I cannot believe what an incredible job Friends for Life did in finding just the right mom for our boy but how could they not with all y'alls well wishes and support. My heart is very full with gratitude and peace at his happy beginning in his fur-ever home with his sister, Reese, and the very best mom for Monty. I am going to end this string of emails with a quote from Bebe that I wholeheartedly second: "We are all Friends for Life!"