We all know about the 12 Days of Christmas—the famous holiday carol about a lucky recipient receiving a series of gifts from their loved one. Although gifts can be a nice gesture, most can agree that the true joy of Christmas is being able to spend time at home surrounded by friends and family. Pets are entitled to the same comforts during the holidays, but unfortunately for the thousands of abandoned pets across the country, this isn’t always the case.
There are those pets who are lucky enough to receive the gift of love during the holidays—including those who may have not been ever able to experience this luxury before. In light of the season of giving, we’re offering 12 heartwarming pet adoption stories. These once-abandoned pets finally found their forever homes and are able to spend this Christmas surrounded by the best gift of all—love.
jme Thomas wasn’t expecting to see a third kitten pop her head out of the transport crate that was shipped to the Motley Zoo Animal Rescue in Redmond, WA.
Thomas, the Executive Director of the volunteer-run animal rescue, only anticipated a mom and two kittens in the crate from an out-of-state, high-kill shelter. The Motley Zoo Animal Rescue team saves abandoned animals, makes sure they are healthy, and provides basic training to help them become more adoptable. In this case, Thomas had 30 cats transferred from a shelter where they were set to be euthanized.
When Thomas caught a glimpse of the little kitten, she quickly noticed how small and scrawny she was. “She was one-third the size, and didn’t even appear to be related [to the other cats]. She had one eye that was completely white, and both were pretty buggy,” Thomas says. The most peculiar thing about this cat was that she had no documentation on her. “The other cats had paperwork, health certificates and vaccines, but this little kitten just popped her head out of the crate as though she had never existed before,” she says.
Based on the kitten’s condition, Thomas was sure she was not going to make it. The team was shocked the “bat-like creature” even made the trip at all. They theorized that perhaps she was put into the crate at the last minute, “to hopefully survive, or at least die in the arms of a loving foster family,” she says.
Thomas sympathized with the kitten, and brought her home to nurse her. She didn’t expect the kitten to make it through the night, but to her surprise, the cat began to thrive.
Thomas could not let the unique kitty go. The rescue cat was named “Refugee” after the Tom Petty song; a moniker that rightly represented her journey and subsequent recovery. “Refugee is a tough little thing,” Thomas says. She attributes Refugee’s swift recuperation to “around-the-clock care (every two hours) of bottle feeding, lots of snuggling and, honestly, a tough will to live!”
The team was so inspired by Refugee’s story that they created her own Facebook page to encourage others to rescue and foster. Since the page’s creation, Refugee’s pet story has developed some devoted fans, one of which ending up adopting another foster cat that was under Thomas’ care.
It’s been 5 months since the cat adoption, and Thomas says that Refugee is “super healthy and strong.”
See the next adoption story: Rescue Dog Featured on National TV