by Julie Myers
Feral Paws Rescue Group in Fresno will be sharing some of their animal rescue adventures with us now every month. Check out KRL’s article about Feral Paws to learn more about them. Julie Myers is a foster fur-parent for FPRG.
It doesn’t always work out happily for cats in the shelter system, but Zoe not only found a loving home once, but twice. Zoe was initially adopted from the SPCA by a little girl named Ashley. Ashley’s gentle, nurturing nature soothed the shy and nervous Zoe, who was just a kitten at the time. It didn’t take long for the two of them to become the best of friends. Zoe was always by Ashley’s side and Ashley called Zoe her special baby; the bond between them was incredibly strong. As Ashley and Zoe both grew up together, Zoe grew fat and content, knowing she had the perfect love of a beautiful human being.
But as years went by and Ashley reached adulthood, tragedy struck. Ashley became very ill, and by the time the doctors figured out what was wrong with her, it was too late. Ashley was diagnosed with terminal cancer and passed away on October 21, 2015, at the young age of 24. Through the horrendous breakdown of Ashley’s health, Zoe never left her side, staying in bed with her and comforting her to the very end. Cancer ravaged Ashley’s body, but it could never take away her loving, compassionate spirit. She grew increasingly concerned for her animals’ futures, including Zoe’s. As the end approached, Ashley took her mother’s and father’s hands and made them promise to give them loving homes. “Please don’t send them back to SPCA,” she pleaded.
Naturally, Ashley’s parents honored their daughter’s dying wish and strove to keep all her animals. But unfortunately, all the medical bills accumulated from Ashley’s illness caused an insurmountable financial burden and they lost their home. Ashley’s parents moved in with their only surviving child, but the many dogs that were already part of the household proved very problematic for Zoe. With a broken heart, Ashley’s mother reached out to Feral Paws Rescue, begging for help. “I made a promise to my daughter that Zoe would be taken care of,” she said tearfully. “I can’t let her down.” Zoe’s story and all the heartache and loss this family had gone through deeply moved Paula Hunsaker, CEO of Feral Paws Rescue Group. She took in Zoe, promising Ashley’s mother that Zoe would have a loving home. Paula then contacted a friend of Feral Paws Rescue, Julie, and explained the situation. “After so much loss, Zoe is really depressed and needs to be fostered by someone special. You’re the only one I would trust with this task. I know you’ll be patient and loving with her.”
Julie took Zoe in, but it was a tough adjustment for Zoe. Used to a quiet household in which she was one of only two cats, Zoe now was part of a household that had five cats, one rabbit, and a very active toddler! Needless to say, Zoe spent her first week in hiding, urinating outside her litter box due to the stress of her new household. Julie spent many nights up with Zoe, singing to her, talking to her, attempting to comfort her. Ashley’s mother even came over for many visits with Zoe, letting her know that she will always be loved and never forgotten.
Zoe proved to be a tough nut to crack, but eventually Julie won her over. Then something unexpected happened; Zoe won Julie over too, and Julie officially adopted Zoe! Zoe and Julie developed a special bond and closeness that both cat and human alike cherished. Zoe’s favorite thing is to cuddle up with Julie on her pillow and “make muffins” in her hair while purring in her ear. Through this whole ordeal, Julie, and Ashley’s mother, Terry, have also developed a lovely friendship, with Terry coming over regularly to visit both Zoe and Julie. Everyone involved knows that Ashley’s spirit has been watching out for everyone, guiding everyone and everything into its proper place. Ashley’s beloved cat Zoe now knows love again.
Feral Paws Rescue Group has a Cat Adoption Event on Saturday, September 17 from 11 to 4 p.m at Tractor Supply Company, 1630 Herndon Ave, Clovis CA 93611. Learn more on their website.