I saw her by the barn, nosing around my horse Clifford’s rubber feed pan. I didn’t realize it at the time, but she was eating the leftover grain that had dropped into the grass. She was a tiny thing with patches of white and grey and tan. I called to her and she shot off into the cornfield. Safe within the pillars of corn stems, she cried a loud, raspy mew, answering my pleas of “kitty, kitty.” But her ragged cries grew fainter, telling me she was moving away from me, deeper into the field. Her call was so plaintive, I sensed she wanted to approach, but was just too scared.
I didn’t think I would ever see her again. But the next day, I looked out the bathroom window and she was padding around on the lawn under the bird feeder, eating seeds and bits of suet. I took a handful of my cat’s dry food and went outside, walking softly, hoping she would not run from me. But she did, dodging under the porch.
I tossed the kibble into the grass under the bird feeder and went back to watch from inside. Moments later she came back out, climbing up on the edge of my flower garden, looking around carefully. She went to the edge of the little goldfish pond and drank deeply, part of her head concealed by the leaf of a water lily. Then she turned and returned to scavenging under the bird feeder. When she found the kibble, my heart broke a little. She attacked it with the savage desperation of a starving animal.
I put more food in a small steel bowl and walked outside, rattling it invitingly and calling to her. She made a half-hearted attempt to run away, but cornered herself between the deck and dog fence. She turned back and allowed me to approach her. As I put the bowl down, she dove in.
She seemed happy to be caught, and she ate everything I fed her. But she was too wasted to bounce back. She weighed under 2 lbs. – about half the normal body weight for an 8-9 week old kitten. She spent 2 days at MSU, fighting for her life.
Luckily, through the efforts of a devoted veterinarian and staff, and a social media community who cared enough to donate the hundreds of dollars to help her, Moxie survived.
It took a month of nursing care to bring her back to normal weight for her age. Her story will go on to promote the adoption of homeless kittens and cats; encouraging the inclusion of two or more cats to live in a home together, and to incite cat owners to keep their feline friends safe indoors. But Moxie will also stand as an example of how a community can band together to save a life, and how when things seem at their worst, to never give up, because there is good in the world, and someone cares.
Moxie is a new ambassador for the Foundation for Animals in Therapy and Education (FATE), a 501c3 nonprofit.
On Wednesday Sept 28, Moxie earned her FATE wings at only 11 weeks of age, when she served as ambassador at a senior center in Highland, Michigan. Along with her buddy, Este the Chihuahua, our board member Judy Long and her puppy Reba, Moxie engaged in meet and greet with some hundred or so people for 3 hours. While we handed out brochures and talked about the transformation of rescue animals to therapy animals, Moxie, played with her feather toys and consumed two jars of chicken baby food. She finally grew tired and fell asleep using Este as her pillow.
Thanks, Moxie, for being the very best poster child. In finding your way to us, you may have sealed your FATE.
As we get rolling with our programs, we are in dire need of sponsors. Moxie’s bill at MSU was well over $1500 and is still not paid off. But there will be other expenses too. Gas, food, and support as we launch new and ambitious programs to match homeless pets with people who need them.
Artist, author, bad karaoke singer. Woodsy ragamuffin. Mom of a horse named Clifford who plays fetch and paints with watercolors. He visits libraries and schools with me, to promote literacy and making the world a better place. Yes, he is house trained, no, he doesn't live in my house! I have written three books about Clifford. But my newest book, THE NORTH SIDE OF DOWN, is co-written by my awesome sister Amanda, who has Down syndrome. Her unexpected one-liner wisecracks can always make me laugh. If you make me laugh, you've made my day!
A blog full of stories, photos and drawings about all Wild life and nature living or surrounding Portuguesa's farmstead. / Um blog cheio de historias, fotografias e desenhos mostrando a vida selvagem e a natureza que vive e rodeia a Quinta da Portuguesa.