(North Carolina, USA)
Rocky (aka Bella)
Rocky The Cat 5/3/2009
Hello. My name is Rocky and how I got my name will be disclosed in my story
so please read on.
I am a brownish/rust colored tabby and I am about 5 to 6 years old.
I was born in the state of Michigan along about the year of 2003 or 2004.
Currently, I am living in North Carolina, USA with my human mother who provides me a wonderful life.
But my life was not always as it is now. Allow me if you will to take you back to when I was born and tell you the dramatic story of how I became who I am today.
To the best of my recollection, when I was weaned from my mother, I was given a home who I have been told must have taken good care of me at least for a time. As a cat, I have no ability to recall time frames and some older memories of my kitten days have been blocked from my memory which may be a good thing.
I do remember that at some point in my first 2 years of life, I was tossed outside to live alone and take care of myself. I wish I knew why they gave up on me but that is something I guess I will never know. I do remember how hard it was to find food and water and shelter from the cold and rain. Did my previous family not realize that a kitten who has lived with a family who provided all their needs is at a very big disadvantage when they are just thrown outside and expected to make it on their own? Nobody ever taught me the art of hunting my own food as it was always provided in a nice bowl daily.
Once I was outside and living on my own, I survived on eating trash and whatever insects I could find. Water from mud puddles was nasty but the only means of quenching my thirst so I made do the best I could just to survive. Then came the dreaded Michigan winter.
I soon learned that it was not going to be easy to stay warm in this harsh,cold place.
I sought warmth and shelter under cars and in old abandoned sheds and sometimes under a wet bush. I had to go wherever I could to get out of the elements.
As winter came in to a roaring mid point, the temperatures dropped to sometimes below zero and staying warm was impossible.Some humans say that if your a cat, then you can survive the harsh cold because of your fur.They have obviously never tried living outside in zero temperatures for weeks at a time with little food to keep your belly full.
We cats do get cold in fact our paw pads sometimes freeze to the pavement and our paws and ear flaps get frostbitten. Some cats cannot make it and give up and die.
The winter of 2005 was a very bitter winter. It snowed alot and the temperatures was in the single digits or below zero for many days at a time. Food was not easy to find and water was frozen everywhere. No matter where I sought warmth and shelter, I was still cold.
I missed my early life when all this was provided to me but that was gone and I knew I had to rely on myself to survive.
In late November of 2005, it was 5 degrees below zero and had been bitter cold for many days and it was snowing very hard. I was hungry, thirsty and so cold that my tears froze to my face. I tried to be strong and hold on and survive but soon my resistance to the elements got the best of me.It was obvious that I was not going to survive this so as most cats do when they know the end is near, I sought a place to lay down and die.
I felt dying was better than this torture that I was living through and I was too cold to even care anymore. I found a bush that hung low to the groud and there was no wet snow under it so that was the only decent place that I had to go and so I went under it and laid down.
I closed my eyes and prepared to drift off and freeze to death in my sleep.
Just as I was accepting my fate, I heard the clicking of a humans shoes walking close by and I raised my weary head and tried to let out a meow to tell them I was here and needed help.
My meow was so faint due to my condition that I was sure I was not heard. I closed my eyes and laid back down and gave up on hoping that the human heard my faint cry.
All of a sudden I heard someone say "come here kitty" but I was too weak to respond.
Next thing I knew, I was being lifted out from under the bush by a lady. She pulled me close to her and placed my freezing body under her warm coat and hurried me to her garage.
She wrapped me in a big blanket to warm me and I heard her calling her vet saying she had found a cat in very
bad condition and needed to bring it in right away.
At that point I dont remember much because my condition was very poor.
I will let my "human mother" tell you the details from this point.
Notes by Mary:
Upon going to my car to leave for work on that very bitter cold morning in Michigan, I heard a faint cry coming from under a bush close to my car. It was 5 degrees below zero and snowing hard. Upon looking under the bush, I found a beautiful brownish/orange tabby cat who was close to death and freezing.
I hurried him under my coat and into the garage and wrapped him in a big blanket to warm him.
The cat was not very responsive and the cats eyes looked as if they was caterac covered.
I called my veterinarian and told them I was bringing in a cat in very poor condition and to expect me immediatly. I remember thinking in the car that the cat looked like a girl so for some reason I called her "Bella". I kept telling her to hold on and that I was going to do everything I could for her. Bella was not looking very good at all and I was fearful her rescue had come too late to save her.
At the Vet office, they took one look at her and told me that things did not look good for her but they would do what they could to save her. They asked me to leave Bella with them and that they would call me at work with a report when the doctor had examined her closer.
I left for work and my nerves stayed on edge all morning awaiting the news on what the outcome for Bella would be. I tried to be positive but I knew it was possible that she would not make it.
Soon after lunchtime, my phone rang and it was the Vet with his report on Bella.
He proceeded to explain to me that Bella had indeed suffered frost bite and was hypothermic
and in poor condition but that he felt that with some immediate medical intervention she might make it. He even said upon being warmed that she was becoming more responsive.
He also told me that it was obvious that Bella had at one time not so long ago been a well cared for indoor cat as she had no fleas or ear mites and was in most respects a well maintained cat.He suggested that Bella may have been a cat that accidently had gotton out and didnt find its way back home. He then said something that makes me laugh even today.
He said " By the way, I want you to know that Bella is not happy with us here today and would you like to know why)? Of course, I replied.
He said" we have been calling this cat "Bella" all morning but the truth of the matter is that
(BELLA IS A FELLA).
I remember laughing out loud as did the Vet.
I went to visit this cat after work as I fiqured HE needed a proper name and I wanted to see him in his recovery state.
Upon arriving at the Vet office I found him looking alert and wide eyed.
I was thrilled to see him looking this good because that morning things surely didn't look so promising. He was receiving IV fluids and medications and responding well.
I noticed his tail had black rings all around it like a Raccoon.
At that point his name became "Rocky" after the Beatle song called "Rocky Raccoon".
Rocky stayed in the hospital for 3 days and upon arriving back at my home, I knew I had to see if he had a family looking for him.I placed an ad in the paper and signs in the neighborhood but nobody replied to claim him. I already had 3 cats but I simply could not allow this cat to go through anymore rough times as he obviously had been through, so I kept him.
Rocky is now 4 to 5 years old and maybe as old as 6 years old (the vet thinks) and a wonderful addition to my cat family.
I will turn the story back over to Rocky now as it is his story to tell.
I have been in my forever home now for about 3 years and my life is good.
I made it past the near death time and have been a healthy boy ever since.
My human mother is good to me and saved my life and I am forever grateful for her finding me that bitter cold morning in Michigan.
I have never been outside since that day and it is ok with me because I never want to feel the cold on my feet and the pain of hunger in my belly ever again.
I have wonderful food and fresh water always available for me and a nice soft place to lay down and nap whenever I please. (usually on a kitty bed in front of the windows in the kitchen where the sun shines in all day).
I know that there is a God who cares for his animals as he sent my human angel just in time that cold, cold day to save my life.
I am a happy, lucky boy.
(aka, Bella The Fella)