No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Momservation: “Can we keep it?” is the last question a mother ever wants to hear.

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So how’s your week going?

I get to put down a perfectly sweet, lovable kitty tomorrow. Thanks for asking.

It’s a heartbreaker, but that’s what we get for trying to do the right thing by saving an abandoned kitty struggling to live on the banks of a creek.

When it let my daughter easily scoop her up and carry her to the noisy soccer game going on at Cherry Island, I suspected this kitty wasn’t just a feral cat.

When the emaciated, less than a year old female kitty let me pull a fox tail out of its oozing eye, I knew it was grateful for help.

When Hubby, who adamantly said at the beginning of the game, “Tell her to put that thing back, we’re not bringing home a stray cat!” saw just how pathetic the poor kitty looked and how happy it had been in my daughter’s arms for over an hour, he agreed to let her come home. The stipulation being we’d find her another home.

I called every cat rescue group in Sacramento. No one would take her, being already overloaded. I even called groups in the Bay Area, willing to drive an hour to save her.

In the meantime we nursed her back to health with food and love, trying not to name the extremely affectionate kitty who just wants to be held, so we wouldn’t get too attached.

I emailed and called everyone I could think of, trying to put the hard sell on my cat lover friends. I posted her on Facebook. Nobody could take her. Everyone kept joking I should just keep her, being the cat lover.

But I am allergic, already suffering through eight years of itchy eyes, scratchy throat and eternal stuffed nose with my previous cat I just couldn’t give up.

Plus, Miss Kitty (who we ended up naming after we kept calling her Kitty), doesn’t like our dog, Darby the yellow Lab, – going into fight mode, most likely a side effect of having to defend herself at the creek.

Finally, I convinced a wonderfully compassionate lady at Happy Tails Cat Sanctuary, Jodie, to make an exception so we wouldn’t have to surrender Miss Kitty to the pound where she would most likely be destroyed due to overcrowding.

All I had to do was get her tested for Feline Leukemia and if she was negative, they would try to find a foster home for Miss Kitty.

She tested positive.

I couldn’t find a home for a healthy kitty, how was I going to find one for a diseased kitty?

But I had to try for this beautiful kitty, a purring ball of affection, that lights up every time a person walks into the room to see her, so happy to have a safe sanctuary.

A cat with Feline Leukemia can still live a long and healthy life as long as it is an indoor cat and only cat. The disease is not transferable to other animals or humans.

I posted on Craig’s List for a special needs kitty. I posted flyers at PetSmart, vets and grocery stores hoping for that one right person to save her.

No one has called.

I called the SPCA, hoping there could be a chance for a special needs adoption. But they will euthanize her because of her disease.

We just can’t keep Miss Kitty as much as we love her. We already have a special needs dog ($3,000 in surgeries so far) who’s terrified of the five pound kitty that wants to scratch her face off. Turns out my daughter, whose room Miss Kitty has been staying in, is allergic too.

So we feel we’ve done everything we could do to help save Miss Kitty’s life, trying to find comfort in knowing she will die peacefully rather than suffering a slow death on the creek banks.

Tomorrow is the day we settled on so it doesn’t get harder the more we all become attached.

If this is a good deed, I almost wish we had never found her.


  1. Kristian J Petersen says:

    Your reward will be in heaven, your deeds do not go by without notice. We took in a stray so I would not have been able to help Miss Kitty even had I noticed on time. I believe our Kitty Kitty Bang Bang appreciates the fine home we provide for her and your acts in faith will not go unnoticed by the almighty in the end.

    • kellimwheeler says:

      Thanks, Kristian. I needed that hand out to hold me steady as I stumbled in my faith. I know it my heart you’re right – but it still hurts.

      BTW, LOVE the name Kitty Kitty Bang Bang!

      Enjoy the journey,

  2. Sarah says:

    You have gone above and beyond to save this kitty – at least you have been able to provide Miss Kitty a loving home for a little while. I know how hard it is to do what you are doing after going through it myself just last week. It’s the going in peace and painfree that helps alleviate my guilt.

    • kellimwheeler says:

      Thanks Sarah for you kind and helpful encouragement. I’m so sorry you had to experience this last week – probably with a kitty you had long loved. Trying to remind ourselves its done out of a place of love seems to help. May time heal your heart and mine.

  3. T (@ToscaSac) says:

    We had three rescue cats one year that we had to drop off at the local…emergency shelter.

    Two were cute kittens but one was a grown, brooding, anti social, foul smelling, all black cat with talons for claws who you did not want to get on the wrong side of.

    A mom friend sent out an SOS asking if anyone could take her after a friend of hers had left town with two house cats left behind. I assumed we were getting a healthy, homeless, fur ball.

    She arrived with thick matted fur and an odor to match her temper. It was so bad I washed her thinking it was something caught in her coat. Turned out to probably be a tooth issue but we did not get to check in the short time she was with us.

    It pained me to drop her off and it was around October 31st of all the dates on the calendar. I knew she might be in danger of fools on the one hand or just not a great candidate to try and get adopted especially in a short amount of time.

    Too bad we live too far from the crazy cat lady with the sanctuary of 700 plus kitties. I live in a rental place or I might be a cat Mamma to at least a dozen myself.

    • kellimwheeler says:

      Thanks for the support. It’s nice that your compassion extended to the hard-life kitty – like a person probably shaped by its bad experiences. I think we are all just one step away from being crazy cat ladies… 😉

    • kellimwheeler says:

      Thanks, Lisa. I posted Miss Kitty’s picture on there earlier asking for help, but now maybe that the stakes are higher the perfect special needs kitty mom will come forward…

  4. Ginny says:

    Kell- I read your blog and your essays because they make me pause to reflect on the joys and pains of life. I have found that the more you stick your neck out to experience life, build friendships and save cats, the more joy and the more pain that you get. Thanks for being a model of a life lived deeply and being a reminder to others of making life count.

    • kellimwheeler says:

      Thanks, Ginny – now you’re making me cry all over again. 😉 I appreciate you taking the time to share your kind thoughts and your supportive words have hit their mark. I long ago promised my sister who passed away that I would live life to the fullest with the scars to prove it. Thanks for reminding me that I’m keeping that promise.

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