Category: cat stories

Utah Couple Drops $15k To Save Beloved Cat

There are so many stories about people surrendering their cats to shelters, abandoning them when they move house and generally treating them like disposable creatures that it’s refreshing to read about people who wouldn’t part with their cats unless someone pried them from their cold, dead hands.

The story of a Utah couple who didn’t balk at a massive vet bill to save their cat’s life isn’t just uplifting because of the cat’s amazing recovery, but also because of their commitment to the little guy.

Golden Gibson and Lianna Warden adopted Lilou two years ago. His kittenhood sounds a lot like Bud’s: He was the runtiest of his litter and the last to be adopted out, yet he’s got a huge personality and he’s well-loved by his humans.

Warden describes him as “the cutest, happiest soul.”

Unfortunately, three weeks ago Lilou was hit by a car. Gibson and Warden didn’t know what happened to their cat until they got a call from a veterinarian telling them a Good Samaritan brought the badly-injured Lilou in.

Things looked grim: Lilou suffered multiple fractures of the skull and jaw, his hip was shattered, and he had dozens of lesser injuries. The veterinarian, Dr. Jennifer Alterman, told Gibson and Warden she wasn’t sure if Lilou would live, or if he’d be able to walk again.

The couple told Alterman to do all she could anyway, and paid the initial $5,000 for the cat’s care, despite Gibson losing his job due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Since then the bill has climbed to $15,000, and Lilou’s not done: He will need “multiple surgeries and intensive home care” to continue his recovery, the veterinarian said.

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When Lilou came to at the veterinary hospital and saw Gibson beside him, Gibson put his hand nearby — careful not to touch Lilou’s broken body — and the badly injured cat reached out, touching Gibson’s hand with his paw.

After several surgeries at the veterinary hospital, Lilou went home with his people, but he’s still got many more vet visits to go, local CBS affiliate KUTV reported. Gibson and Warden have to feed him through a tube, which takes about 45 minutes per meal, and they have to administer timed dosages of antibiotics, painkillers and anti-nausea medication.

“We sleep in shifts,” Warden said. “It’s kind of like having a newborn.”

Asked why she believes Lilou has been able to pull through such serious injuries, Warden said it’s because he loves his family, and knows they love him.

“I believe in my heart of hearts that it’s the love we’ve been giving him,” she said.

Their veterinarian agrees.

“This is a pretty rare case,” Alterman said, “in terms of that kind of commitment from an owner.”

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Lilou’s recovery has also surprised Alterman.

“It’s pretty incredible to see,” she said, “considering I thought this cat was never going to be able to walk again.”

Three weeks later he was back for an appointment “walking around like he owned the place,” Alterman said. “He was like a totally different cat and I’m totally falling in love with him.”

As for Warden and Gibson, they say they’re overcome with gratitude for kind-hearted cat lovers who donated more than $6,000 to help cover Lilou’s veterinary bills, and the still-anonymous Good Samaritan who brought the ailing cat to the veterinary hospital.

“We would love to be able to find that person and show them how well [Lilou’s] doing,” Warden said, “and have them be part of this story, because they are a huge part of it.”

Note: Because we know the images might be upsetting to some of our readers, we did not include photos of Lilou after the accident and during recovery. You can help contribute to Lilou’s medical bills by visiting Lilou’s Lifesavers on Facebook, or the GoFundMe page.

Cat Is ‘Rehomed,’ Escapes and Walks 40 Miles Back To His People

I have a lot of questions and feelings about this story. Oh, the feels!

First of all, why did this UK couple, Neil and Leasa Payne, decide to rehome their three-year-old orange tabby named Garfield? The story doesn’t give a reason, saying only that they decided to “give” the cat to “new owners” on June 20 after their kids moved out.

If the cat was for their kids, why didn’t one of them take the little guy? And if he was a family pet, who just gives away a cat they’ve had for three years?

Garfield understandably didn’t like what was happening and left his would-be new home to travel 40 miles — over seven weeks — from North London to Bedfordshire.

That’s a serious hike over dangerous territory for cats, with lots of traffic and potential hazards from humans and other animals alike. Garfield wouldn’t have made it if he wasn’t resourceful, finding food and water during the long journey.

Neil Payne told the UK’s Daily Star he came home one day and was “gobsmacked” when he found Garfield sitting on the front doorstep.

“It’s unbelievable. He was staring at me, crying,” Payne said. “I didn’t think it was him at first. Leasa came to the door and called his name and he jumped up on her.”

Yeah, dude: Garfield was crying because he couldn’t believe you gave him away!

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Garfield and the Paynes.

Payne told the newspaper he’s “going to give [Garfield] a second chance.”

“We can’t get rid of him now — he has proven that this is his forever home,” he said.

Garfield’s return is even more impressive since the Paynes claim he’s been an indoor-only cat. Not only did the brave feline have to make some serious adjustments to survive on the street, he must have some exceptional senses to make his way back over entirely unfamiliar territory.

The ginger furball’s story is yet more proof that cats have strong emotions and genuinely bond with their people, despite the persistent stereotype of feline aloofness and indifference to humans.

There are clearly details missing from this story, and I hope there were mitigating circumstances. If this incredible cat, who risked life and limb to get back to his humans, is stuck for the rest of his life with people who don’t appreciate him, that’s a shame.

I hope Garfield does indeed have a warm and comfortable forever home, and I hope the Paynes give him the love and affection he obviously wants and deserves. Good job, little dude.

 

Girlfriend Says ‘Me or the Cat,’ Guy Chooses Cat

A distressed Redditor says his girlfriend of seven months gave him an ultimatum: Get rid of his cat, or the relationship is over.

He chose the cat.

If only he’d seen the warning signs earlier.

“She is an outspoken vegan, and she made it clear at the start of our relationship that it was important to her that any potential had similar cruelty-free values,” the Redditor wrote. “Me, already being a pescatarian, had little difficulty transitioning to a fully plant based diet. My GF was proud of me for going cruelty free and everything seemed well.”

With her boyfriend converted, the pair “became ‘the vegan couple’ on our college campus.” Retch.

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Mittens the cat. Credit: imgur

However, Ms. Vegan wasn’t done creating the Perfect Boyfriend:

Fast forward through all the quarantine stuff… My gf and I have spent a lot of time together during this pandemic and we’ve started talking about taking our relationship to the next level. We began seriously looking at either buying a new apartment together or having one of us move in with the other.

However, after a lot of talking and planning, my GF sat me down and dropped a bomb shell on me. She said that with this next phase of the relationship, she did not see a future with me unless I was willing to give away Mittens. She said that she believed owning a cat is unconscionable for vegans, because they hunt mice and eat meat, and because the very act of owning a pet is a violation of vegan principles.

If you’re reading this and thinking that’s strange logic, you’re not the only one: The guy’s girlfriend wanted him to dump a well-loved animal because the cat eats meat and might hunt mice. (It’s not clear from the post whether the cat has access to the outdoors.)

But that’s not all!

I was stunned. I told her that I was absolutely not willing to give up Mittens, and she had no choice but to eat meat so I was reducing harm as much as possible by buying reputable brands of cat food. Plenty of vegans own cats and think along those same lines. My gf got mad and said “how much flesh does your cat eat? How many animals died to make all that food? Would you be okay with that being human flesh?”

I got mad and told my GF that I would have really appreciated her telling me about her cat opinions before we got serious. She went on and on about cats killing animals. I ended the conversation there. I was so angry that I left my gfs apartment. And I snuggled with Mittens when I got home! Although the mood soured a bit when my GF sent me a link to a Reddit thread advocating for the extinction of domestic cats. Sigh

I don’t think the Redditor’s vegan (ex)-girlfriend has really thought her position through.

Cats have been living with humans for thousands of years. The process of domestication results in genetic changes that make cats more friendly, sociable and curious than their wild forebears, at the expense of traits — like aggressiveness and cautiousness — that would help keep them alive in the wild. It’s nature’s trade-off, and it happens in every domesticated species.

In other words, domestic cats don’t have a “natural habitat.” They don’t have a home in the wild, and they belong under the care and protection of good humans.

We domesticated them, so it’s our responsibility to care for them.

If vegans are motivated by ending animal suffering, exterminating an entire species of cat — millions of animals — seems an odd way to go about it. So does advocating the dumping of millions of animals who are damned to short, brutal lives without human care.

Thankfully, the Redditor refused to dump his cat — who he’s had for more than three years — and ended it with Ms. Vegan.

“So, we broke up, obviously,” he wrote in a follow-up post. “I would never, ever give up my cat Mittens. Many users said that this situation was about control, not veganism, and looking back, I do see a pattern of control on my GFs part. I was blind to it I guess.”

 

Istanbul’s Favorite Cat Isn’t Getting Kicked Out Of Her Home

Instabul’s Hagia Sophia has been an Eastern orthodox church, a Catholic cathedral, a mosque, a museum and a home for cats.

Now, after a court in Turkey ruled it was illegal to convert the building into a museum, it will once again become a mosque — and the cats who call it home can stay, Turkey’s government says.

The most famous of those cats is Gli, a European shorthair with striking eyes who has become the building’s most famous resident and perhaps the most famous cat in Turkey, a country knownfor its love of cats.

Tourists come to the ancient house of worship hope to get a glimpse of Gli — or even better, a selfie with her — and she has more than 50,000 followers on Instagram. She was also famously petted by US President Barack Obama when he visited the monument in 2009.

Ibrahim Kalin, spokesman for President Tayyip Erdogan, assured the public that Gli and her feline companions will stay right where they’ve always been.

“That cat has become very famous, and there are others who haven’t become that famous yet,” Kalin told Reuters. “That cat will be there, and all cats are welcome to our mosques.”

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Gli the Cat in her famous home, the Hagia Sophia. Photo credit: https://www.instagram.com/hagiasophiacat/

The Hagia Sophia has perhaps the most interesting history of any place of worship — it was built as a church of the Eastern rite in the Byzantine empire in 537 when the city was called Constantinople, and remained that way for almost a thousand years, with a 57-year interregnum in which it became a Catholic cathedral in the 13th century.

In 1453, the fall of Constantinople marked an end to the Roman empire and Christian rule in the city. It was renamed Istanbul, and the Hagia Sophia became a mosque. The building is unique for blending elements of Christian and Islamic architecture.

The court decision to return it to use as a mosque after it was a museum for most of the 20th century came earlier in July. Prayers are expected to resume in the building today, July 24.

Top image credit Flickr.

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Gli with Umut Bahceci, a tour guide who maintains Gli’s Instagram account. Photo credit: https://www.instagram.com/hagiasophiacat/
Gli the Cat of Hagia Sophia
Gli overseeing her home, which was a museum and has now been declared a mosque. Photo credit: https://www.instagram.com/hagiasophiacat/

World’s Oldest Cat Dies At 31

When Rubble the cat came into the world the radio waves were dominated by The B-52’s Love Shack, Debbie Gibson’s Lost In Your Eyes and De La Soul’s Me Myself and I.

George Herbert Walker Bush was in the White House, America hadn’t yet become a politically polarized wasteland and a gallon of gas cost 97 cents. Ghostbusters and Lethal Weapon both returned to theaters with sequels, the USSR withdrew from its war in Afghanistan and hundreds of thousands filled China’s Tiananmen Square to protest the communist government.

“It was just before my 20th birthday when I got him,” Michele Heritage, Rubble’s human, told the Daily Mail in 2018, for a story marking Rubble’s 30th birthday. “He was part of a litter [from a] cat that my sister’s friend had and I had just left home. I was lonely living on my own so got him in as a kitten.”

Rubble — a Maine Coon who became the world’s oldest cat a few years ago after the death of a 30-plus Texas feline named Scooter — died in May, just short of his 32nd birthday. His death wasn’t reported publicly by Heritage until July 3.

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Heritage, who lives in Exeter, UK, said she’s inconsolable over Rubble’s death, but attributes his longevity to lots of love and affection.

“I have always treated him like a child,” she said. “I don’t have any children and had another cat called Meg, who passed at the age of 25. If you care about something, no matter what it is, it does last.”

At almost 32, Rubble lived the equivalent of about 150 human years. The record for the oldest-ever cat belongs to Creme Puff, who died at 38 years old.

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All photos credited to Michele Heritage.