Lil Miss Luckyduck

by Mary Fariss
(High Point , NC)

I was working as Cat Rescue Volunteer in February of 2007 during a very cold Michigan winter.

It was only 5 degrees outside when I got a very disturbing call from a concerned animal lover who stated that one of her neighbors had a mama cat and 3 kittens who was being kept on a cold concrete,non-heated,glass enclosed porch with no sign of food or water or bedding to sustain them.

She also stated that this mama cat had delivered 2 prior litters on that porch and that all the kittens had eventually starved and died. She didn't want to see it happen again and wanted my help to save this poor mama kitty and her 3 surving kittens.

I knew this was an emergency so my daughter (who was also a rescue volunteer and myself),set out to do what we could to save these cats in obvious distress.

Upon arriving at the house where the cats was being kept, I could see from the driveway that the cats was literally trying to climb the glass windows to get out.

As I approached the porch and looked in, I was appauled at the sight before me. These poor cats was living in a small glass enclosed porch about 4X4 in size.
There was no water bowls,no food bowls and no bedding of anykind to keep them warm. There was a small litter box on the porch with feces in it that was so old it had formed into a solid mass.

The cats was not looking very good.
They had matted eyes,crusty noses and scruffed coats and all very thin and un-kept looking.
The minute the cats saw us looking in the window, they began to cry and claw at the window as if to beg for us to please take them out.
I knew we had to help these suffering animals but wasn't sure if the owner was going to cooperate.

I knocked on the door and was greeted by a woman and her 17 year old daughter.I explained to them I was a animal rescue volunteer and that we had gotton a call from concerned neighbors regarding the cats and that I was there to offer my assistance if she would allow it.

She immediatly told me that she didn't need my help and the cats was her way of starting a rescue of her own.
I told her that rescue involved meeting the needs of a animal and eliminating any life thretning situations that apply at the time be it medical needs, proper food and housing or spay and neuter services.
I explained to her that from my observations, the cats was in dire need of all the above and time was critical.
She proceeded to tell me to get off her property and leave her cats alone. There are laws governing removal of animals from someones property but I was determined to not leave there until I had her surrender those cats to me or to animal control if that is what had to be done.
I took a firm approach and told her that she could surrrender them to me and allow me to get medical attention for them and find them forever homes or I would be forced to call the authorities to have her cited for animal abuse, it was her choice. She immediatly told me to "get
them and go".
As I was getting her signature of surrender, my daughter was crating them and loading them in our van as fast as she could before this lady changed her mind.

We took the cats to our home to check them out and determine their immediate needs. I felt so sorry for them.
The mama cat was a beautiful black and white tuxedo cat and very young. Not much more than a year or 2 old.
She weighed a tiny 4 pounds.
She and all 3 kittens has severe upper respiratory infections and crusty eyes and matted fur.
They was very thin and shivering and starving.
I noticed that the mama cat had severe blood filled eyes.
I wasnt sure she could see at all.
I wrapped her in a warm blanket and whispered to her
"I vow to you that you will never live this kind of life again as long as you live".
The next 2 days was full of Dr. visits and during that time we lost one of the kittens. The vet said it had endured malnutrition for so long, it was not strong enough to survive.

We later found out that the mama cat had feline herpes of the eyes and had suffered probably since her birth with it for her eyes to have gotton this bad. It wasnt certain we would ever see her eyes get much better but we started a swift treatment anyway to try.
We was able to get the 2 kittens adopted to loving, forever homes and once the mama kitty got spayed it was time to place her up for adoption.

I found I could not part with her. She had left her paw prints on my heart from day one. We had bonded.
I had made her a faithful promise to never allow her to live the life that she had been rescued from ever again and how could I keep that promise unless I kept her myself?
I had to make sure she never lived outside again.
I had to know she was never cold, sick or hungry again.
I had to know she would be loved as it was obvious that she had never known that before.

So, she came to live with me and she was named "Lil Miss Luckyduck". The name "LUCKY" was because I felt she was lucky to have been rescued that cold Michigan morning and we added the "DUCK" part because she eventually gained weight and developed a cute lil pot belly that looked like a little fat duck.
That was 2 years ago and Lil Miss Luckyduck is still my faithful feline companion and guess what?
We have been able to bring her feline herpes under control and she has the most beautiful yellow eyes I have ever seen.
Every night as she curls up next to me on my bed, I pull her close to me and whisper to her" See,I kept my promise" and she starts to purr as we both fall asleep.

comment by kate
what a fantastic story that had me in tears and then smiles.

I don't think i will ver understand animal cruelty or what poseses some people to treat animals this way. Perhaps there is no understanding.
All I say is thank good ness that there are other people prepared to save them
bless you

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