This bewitching little cat is Gidget, a three year old brown tabby tiger spayed, who came to Home for Life when she was just one year old along with her little sister Cally, a tiny tortoiseshell and her mother Stella. Cally and Gidget were born to a feral mother, Stella. Stella, who is black with beautiful huge yellow eyes, is a feral cat who was born with deformed front legs and many extra toes. Somehow this gentle, little "ghost " cat survived outside on her own for three years, including three Wisconsin winters, before being trapped by her rescuers in Wisconsin.
Above: Gidget (right) on the sofa with Stormy, notice the deformed front legs.
Stella raised two feral kittens who were also trapped by the rescuers: Gidget and Cally (adjacent right), who was born with polyps in her ears and throat and extra toes on her legs. Her rescuers thought it might be best to euthanize Cally but their vet wanted to try to save her and at no charge removed the polyps in her throat and extra toes on the legs. Cally recovered well but still was frail with ongoing respiratory problems, and difficulties with balance and hearing. She was small for her age and required warmth and lots of sleep. Cally also required much love and craved attention and cuddling. Because of her health difficulties, Cally never grew very large, and remained the size of an older kitten, and always very frail. Unfortunately, we lost Cally recently due to complications of her birth defects. She was such a fighter, and longed to be like any other cats. We are grateful she had as many quality years and months as possible despite her many health challenges. Home for Life will never seem the same without her sweet face.
Gidget's and Cally's mother, Stella (adjacent left), is quiet and clean, and loves to be outside in our outdoor run. In the winter, she has her favorite spots in the cattery where she loves to nestle on the warmest spots of the heated tile floors. Her front legs are bent almost at right angles at the elbow so she walks almost on the backs of her forearms but is amazingly quick and agile.
Gidget has always been the most confident member of her family and has warmed up to our staff and loves to perch on a cat tree to attract attention. She also has deformed front legs like her mother, and they are shorter than normal with extra toes. We call her left front leg her boxing foot! Gidget is a beautiful brown tabby, and has really come out of her shell since arriving at Home for Life. She was nearly starved to death when rescued, and bears the trauma of the deprivation she suffered. When she first came to us, she couldn't stop eating as if she feared that it would be her last meal. But now, having the confidence that she will be offered regular meals, Gidget has relaxed about meal time and no longer stuffs herself.
When the husband developed stage four liver disease and severe arthritis of the spine, Gidget's rescuers were forced to sell their home and downscale their expenditures. All their lives they had helped care for feral cat colonies and rescued and placed many feral kittens after taming them and providing needed vet care. Now in this life crisis they faced, they needed help: they had six cats including Stella and her daughters Gidget and Cally, but could only take three cats with them to their new home. Despite their best efforts to place Cally and Gidget in new homes, they were unsuccessful and still had the worry of what to do for Stella, who was not adoptable. For years this couple had "paid it forward" by helping homeless cats and now needed help themselves. They needed the peace of mind to know their three disabled cats that they had saved, nurtured and cherished would be safe. Their long time dedication to the welfare of homeless animals deserved consideration, so Home for Life decided to accept Cally, her mom Stella and sister Gidget at Home for Life.
Home for Life gives hope not only to the animals we help but also to the people who help the animals. For these dedicated rescuers who provided love and care for this little cat family, the transition was made easier knowing their precious cats were safe.
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