Where Every Cat Matters and Every Cat has a Story
Friends of Felines Rescue Center, Defiance, OH 43512

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Can a cat inspire a person?  Non cat people might laugh at the notion.  But cat people know the truth.  Cat’s can inspire us.  They show us how to love, how to forgive and how to always move forward.  If we allow ourselves, we can learn so much from them; often by every step they take.

If there is ever a movie made called Every Cat Matters, it would have many stars, and we know them well.  We see them every day on cam.  There is Asha, who reminds us each day that if we don’t give up on them, they won’t give up on themselves.  There is Farrah, who reminds us that a little help can bring out the most loving and loyal friend ever.  There is, of course Bella, the queen; with every scoot she takes she reminds us we can do anything we want, we just need to figure out how.  There are so many cats to remind us that Every Cat Matters.

 And then there is the cat that reminds us that every step taken is a lesson in love.

Cutie was born July 2, 2006.  Three weeks later, volunteer Martha M. found her and brought her to FFRC. She had a cuterebra on the top of her head.  A cuterebra is a large fly, which infest the skin of small animals.  The female lays eggs on grass, when an animal rubs on it, the eggs become attached.   Then the larva hatch and migrate thru the skin, nose or mouth.  It burrows under the skin when it grows.  The larva form a breathing hole.  Most lava are found on the head and neck of cats.  Sometimes the larva will migrate abnormally and end up traveling through to the brain which can result in nervous system abnormalities.

Well, that’s the “uncomfortable” details.  That was the condition she came in at just three weeks of age.  Most other places would have given up on her.  But FFRC does not give up if the cat can be helped.  And Cutie could be helped.  The cuterebra was removed and the next step was to start treating the little kitten, like a little kitten.

 It was apparent from the beginning that the damage had already been done, but it was not anything that a cat with determination couldn’t deal with.  Her walk is different from most other cats.  She tends to “list” to the left.  Some days her “listing” is more pronounced than others.  But she is not in any pain when she walks.  It may take her a little longer to get from point A to point B, but don’t pity her.  She doesn’t pity herself; if she did she would just lay down and not move.  But move she does.  In fact sometimes she runs as fast as any cat.  And when she runs, she runs straight.

Cutie is a lap cat.  She can “sense” a lap a mile away.  And she’ll come over to anyone willing to let her climb up.  She just loves to be petted.  It is simply her most favorite thing.  But she does not like to be picked up.  It’s a little scary for her.  It may be that she gets confused or doesn’t feel in control when being held.  But if you let her come to you and offer your lap, you will have a friend and you simply must pet her.

Cutie is not only a friend to people, but she is a part-time surrogate momma and full-time spa specialist to the kittens, especially the motherless ones.  It’s almost like she knows which ones need “special” attention.  She will lick and bathe them for hours.  If your heart doesn’t melt when seeing her in action, so gentle, so loving, well then your heart is frozen.  She has done this for years; every kitten season and beyond.

Sometimes things bother Cutie, and she starts a licking episode where she can quickly remove her own hair on her legs and tummy. After treatment, her hair grows back again. Maybe it's her way of getting a new hair-do!

Cutie doesn’t fight; she gets along with all the cats.  She is a favorite of all the volunteers and so many of the webcammers.  Every Tuesday, when volunteer Dorothy comes, one of the first cats she always looks for is Cutie.  And Cutie seems to know when Dorothy is in the Center, and always seeks her out.

Volunteer Gregg has also always loved Cutie.  She allows him to pick her up.  She will follow him around when he’s there.  A while ago, Gregg officially “adopted” Cutie.  But because of her problems and challenges, Cutie stays at FFRC.  This is her home furever. We get to watch her, smile at her be reminded by her inspiration that Every Cat Matters.