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Mystic came to Home for Life® this winter, when her caretaker who lives in Apple Valley reached out on her behalf for help. Mystic lived as part of a colony but was struggling to survive, even with feedings, in the harsh winter conditions. Even with the help of people supporting feral colonies, they have a very hard time during brutal winters like the one of 2017-2018. For the young, old, or those with disabilities or compromised immune systems, the winter conditions are especially brutal and unforgiving. This is the story of one such little cat, who was part of a feral colony in Apple Valley, MN. Thankfully, she had a compassionate person—an angel really—looking out for her, and despite blindness and turning out + for leukemia, she fought to survive. Sanctuaries can help many cats like Mystic who would otherwise suffer cruel deaths through exposure and starvation and who shouldn't be in colonies where they can come into contact with uninfected cats. Read the blogpost here about Home for Life's philosophy re: helping feral cats:

Mystic in the sunand read Mystic's story in the words of her colony caretaker, from an email we received in early April. We scrambled to get her in before that awful storm mid month and so glad we did—when we saw how fragile she was, it seems doubtful she would have survived the last blizzard of the season in the middle of April 2018, which closed down the Twin Cities of Minneapolis/ St Paul, the storm was so severe:


I live in Apple Valley, MN and take care of a clowder of feral cats. I have been working on trapping them and taking them to the St. Paul Humane Society to get them spayed/neutered and then release them. I also try to catch any kittens I can, in the hopes that they can be adopted.

One such kitten, I named Mystic. She is one year old (uncertain of her actual DOB). When she was 4 weeks old, she got an upper respiratory infection that also developed into an eye infection and ended up permanently blind in her right eye. She was the runt of the litter and is still a very small girl. Her siblings have all died, due to illness. I managed to trap her last summer and took her to the AHS to get her spayed. Once she was released, I started working on socializing her. That was a great success! When she sees me, she comes running and when I put the dog out, the two of them will play with each other. I decided that I was going to adopt her, so in October, I took her to the vets and had them examine her and give her, her first round of shots, ear cleaning, and blood tests. Tears streamed down my face when they told me she tested positive for Feline Leukemia. Several months later, on the hopes that the first clinic was wrong, I took her to another clinic and was, once again, told that she tested positive.

I love her dearly and it pains me to have to leave her outside when it's so cold out. She, and the rest of the cats, do have a place that they can go to stay somewhat warm, but I frequently see her up on my neighbor's roof, sitting on top of one of the heat exhaust vents, even when it's raining or snowing.

I don't want her to be in a cage, sitting there all alone, being ignored, until her illness resolves itself. She needs to be around humans, other cats and possibly even dogs. As I mentioned, she's one year old and a beautiful black/blackish-red color, with yellowish-gold eyes. She purrs up a storm, loves to rub up against you and especially loves treats. She responds to her name, Mystic. I gave her that name because of her eye, :-) and she's a brave little girl, who just wants to be loved.

I have plans of moving and when I move, I don't want to leave her behind, for fear that she will not be able to hunt for her own food. She tends to be a little slow moving and a few weeks ago, was sitting out in the middle of the road, at night, and almost got hit by a car. I have always tried to keep her from leaving my yard, but as she gets older, she's going to want to investigate her surroundings, even more. It would break my heart for her to suffer the fate of so many of the feral cats that live around here.

I'm hoping that you will have room for her, and possibly have other positive FeLV cats that she can spend her time with, as well as with some human contact. I can also get copies of her medical records, from last year, and provide them to you, if you wish. I have attached a couple of pictures of Mystic, so you can see what a sweet little girl she is.

I hope to hear from you soon.

Thank you for taking the time to read my email and for helping all of the fur-babies that you do."

Mystic has done so well since coming to Home for Life®, and although Cathy her colony caretaker, feared she would not survive, even after we took her in, Mystic is now at  great weigh, sassy and chubby. She is as sweet as she can be and now that she knows she never has to fear being cold and hungry, it seems she looks for attention and affection more then food.

Home for Life® loves to support compassionate people like Mystic's colony caretaker Cathy, who, unbidden, help preserve and protect these fragile, vulnerable cats, paying for food and vet care out of their own pockets. When they ask for help on behalf of a particularly heartbreaking case, it is always our honor to be able to help them. Such empathy and generosity for other living beings is a rare thing in our self-absorbed world, and it is our privilege to lend a helping hand to people who go out of their way to help sweet and deserving cats like Mystic.


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