This is not our typical Monday morning blog post, but Kim is part of CatCentric’s volunteer group, this story JUST climaxed a few days ago and it has such a heart-warming conclusion, I wanted to share it with all of you. In her own words, here is Kim St. Pierre’s tale of a Sailor Boy who finally made it home.
For as long as I have been rescuing, there is one thing, one lesson the cats continue to teach me. It’s something everyone should remember and strive for; never give up – never surrender to things that seem impossible or too difficult.
One example that will stick with me forever is the story of my Sailor Boy.
I should start from the beginning. In July of 2013, someone abandoned a kitten at an apartment building in a very busy area locally known as “the 5 corners”. I received messages and calls about a small beige baby who appeared to be injured and was being picked on by not only an alpha male but kids as well. The manager, however, was slipping food under the outer door to the storage room of the building, an old wooden door that had rotted away in the bottom corner, hoping to keep him alive.
After just a day or two, I was lucky enough to trap this little one. I was shocked at how young he was; a tiny buff colored little bundle of fur. He was scared, hissing and grumbling. I could see a mark about the size of dime on his left front leg, and his leg was swollen. He must have been in such pain and so scared. I brought him straight to the vet where we found two half-healed puncture wounds from a bite, most likely from a snake. I was horrified. And I knew that if this tiny little kitten was going to be this strong and fight, I would do all I could to help him.
He turned out to be a very sweet and strong willed little guy and I named him Sailor Boy.
After months of rehab, he finally learned to use his front leg so well, you would be VERY hard pressed to see that he couldn’t flex his toes, use his claws, or bend the wrist. He did have feeling, but nerve damage left him without the ability to walk normally or properly defend himself. Therefore, whoever adopted him would have to 1000% guarantee that he was an indoor only.
Just as he was ready for adoption, a friend of mine saw his picture on Facebook. Tyler and his girlfriend immediately contacted me about him. I had zero hesitation adopting him to them as they already had two of my other rescue kittens. Sailor fit right in, even though their tuxi girl, Mensa, tried to protest another boy in the family.
When Tyler moved into his own apartment, he took Sailor Boy and Butler with him. Things were going great until one day, his roommate didn’t close the apartment door. Sailor Boy, being only two and a typical curious teenage kitty, went exploring and managed to get out of the apartment building. When Tyler discovered one of his boys missing, his was horrified. He immediately contacted me……we searched, we looked everywhere. What scared us the most was that he couldn’t defend himself properly, or climb trees; he was a strong boy, but the area he lived in backed onto a greenbelt, with a deep, cold water stream and wolves.
For months there were sightings; calls would come in, I would catch a glimpse, Tyler would see him……….one thing we never did was give up trying or stop looking. Eight months of hoping, wishing, trying. Eight months of freezing weather, hurricane storms, wolf attacks and sightings in the area. Then, on March 15, just a few days before I was going to have to leave town for a bit, I decided to call Tyler again one more time. Before I could pick up the phone, however, HE contacted ME………Sailor was just feet away from him in the parking lot!! I couldn’t believe it!
It was as if I knew he would come home…..I immediately jumped into my truck; which was frozen from a freeze the night before. I threw everything I could think of in the back; a net, gloves, trap, bait, kennel, towels…… I drove all the way there looking through a small clearing on the windshield I managed to scrape with a “baby on board” sign. I was so excited my heart was in my throat.
As I pulled up, I made sure I went through the lower entrance, knowing that it was the quietest way to approach without startling Sailor. I parked as far away from the open parking area as I could, jumped out, grabbed my net, and ran…… As I came around the end of the last car I froze. There was Tyler, kneeling down, talking softly to Sailor. Another friend of Tyler’s was about 20 feet away, behind Sailor and also leaning down with a bag of treats. Sailor slowly approached Tyler, cautious. Tyler stayed calm, but I think I was holding my breath the entire time. I didn’t move a muscle, not wanting to startle Sailor. Sailor came right up to Tyler, ate a few treats, allowed a few soft touches; Tyler put down more treats and as Sailor leaned down, Tyler slowly and carefully reached his hand over Sailor and grabbed him!!!! OMC SAILOR WAS CAUGHT!!! I ran over saying scruff him!!! Scruff him!!! I didn’t want Sailor to squirm away…..when I got up to Tyler, I scruffed Sailor and Tyler held him tight. Being frightened and probably picking up on our excitement, Sailor bit Tyler. Tyler did not let go though. We walked back to my truck, as I was attempting to find the keys with my one free hand; figures my keys were in my right pocket (zipped shut) and it was my left hand that was free!
I finally got the back of the truck open and got Sailor kenneled. It was then that we both started jumping for joy…..literally. With tears in our eyes, Tyler, his girlfriend, and I immediately took Sailor up to the vet for a complete checkup. Turns out there was not a single thing wrong with him…..no fleas, no bite wounds, no ear mites, not even dirt in his coat. After vaccinations and deworming, we brought Sailor home and made him comfortable in a spare room. We didn’t want to just bring him into the house and let him “free”, as we weren’t sure how he or Butler would react. It had been 8 months since they had seen each other; 8 months of a cat with a “different way of walking” living alone on the street; 8 months of Butler living in the apartment with no other cats.
Not long after Tyler had him home, Sailor and Butler were sniffing each other calmly under the door of the spare room, so Tyler opened the door and let Sailor wander around. After only a few minor hisses, it was like Sailor had never left.
What I would like to tell people is, no matter what, never give up hope. Never stop trying……never give up on your dream or pushing yourself through the hard times. The biggest lesson Sailor has taught me is always believe. Miracles happen; Sailor is proof of that. He never gave up, always kept his hope, and he never lost his spirit.
Welcome home, Sailor Boy!