Rosalie had just opened her store for the day when she saw a cat lying very still on the sidewalk. Though Rosalie barely recognized her, she realized it was the cat from the corner newsstand that had closed down. She remembered the Siamese-mix as being lively and talkative, greeting everybody from atop her stack of magazines. Now she was frail and thin, except for her belly, which was unusually red and swollen. A number of months had passed since the newsstand had been boarded up, and Rosalie guessed that this little cat was just left behind. She didn’t know how to live on the streets; she didn’t even venture off the only block that she was familiar with.
Rosalie was frightened for her and called the Society. “May I please bring her to you for help? I can close my store and be there in 30 minutes.”
Becky, at three years old, was emaciated, weighing only a few ounces over four pounds. She was anemic, full of parasites, and her soft-blue eyes were almost closed shut with infection. Fleas covered her once soft coat, and her chest had open wounds from top to bottom. We initially suspected ulcerated mammary gland tumors, but X-rays indicated that she did not have breast cancer. She was covered with multiple bite wounds that had become infected. It was impossible to tell what might have attacked her. Because her heart looked enlarged on the X-rays, we did an echocardiogram. It showed that she had congenital heart disease.
Becky was spayed and her sores were surgically treated. She was de-wormed, her eyes were treated with antibiotic ointment, and she will need daily heart medicine. Her recovery was slow, but we built her up with acupuncture and nutritional supplements. She gradually started to put on weight and soon started to groom herself again.
Mrs. T had recently lost her nineteen-year-old Siamese and stopped by our adoption center to fill out an application. Becky caught her eye, even though she was still recovering and not yet ready to be adopted. When they met, Becky began to “chat” non-stop, like she probably did in her newsstand days. Mrs. T said that Becky obviously has a lot to say and that she was a very good listener. “I understand that I have to wait a little while and that her heart condition may not give her a long life, but I want to take care of her for whatever time she has left.”
When Mrs. T called two months later to tell us that Becky was up to six pounds, we heard that familiar meow in the background. “That was Becky,” Mrs. T said laughing, “She still has a lot to say!”