Cat Lady Carrie can tell you all about that first-hand. It's a tale of survival, and a tale of commitment and love.
As a volunteer at the Good Mews Animal Shelter nine years ago, a fellow volunteer introduced Carrie to "the frowziest little mop of black fur. They began to explain how he was the only survivor from his litter. All of them had been attacked by some sort of animal. He had sustained an injury to his back legs but had pulled through his ordeal! My heart melted, of course, and I knew he had to be with me."
Little Gus came to live with Carrie, her feline fella Brian, and Teeny--the one cat they had at the time. Gus turned out to be a special needs cat who faced some extreme challenges, including life and death battles over the years, but the nurturing love and devotion of Carrie and Brian always pulled him through.
"Despite his health issues, Gus grew into the most handsome boy. He had fur like black velvet…thick and so soft, the longest white whiskers you have ever seen and the cutest built-in white bow tie, shirt and shoes. Early on, he even managed to start walking on his back legs. He sort of scuffled around clumsily, but was able to use them nonetheless. He was so full of quirky personality! He would lumber over to the sofa every night and stretch one paw up to let us know that he was ready to be lifted up for a cuddle. He would lie on his back tucked into his dad’s or my armpit enjoying hours of chin scratching purring non-stop. He loved tuna juice and treats. His favorite toys were milk jug tabs and the plastic safety wrap on dip and sour cream containers."
As you can see, Gus's feline family grew over the years.
And it was with great sadness that the whole clan said goodbye to Gus a few weeks ago.
"We still can’t quite grasp the fact that he is gone. Life will never be the same without his happy spirit rumbling and bumbling around in our lives. But we are quite sure that Gus now has angel wings and strong legs and a perfect plumbing system. He is rolling around on endless miles of soft carpeting purring his days away."
"Never underestimate the power of the purr."
Read Carrie's full-length tribute to Gus in her blog post: GUS: The Purring Little Engine That Could but be sure to have a hanky or two handy.
You'll also want to check out Carrie's fun and delightful hand-crafted sculptures, ornaments and cake-toppers in her Etsy Shop: The Snippets. Fifteen percent of her profits go straight to spaying/neutering/rescuing cats in Kentucky!