Simone's story (at least the part I know) begins the day before Thanksgiving, 1996. I was leaving for work and found her sitting by my car. When I approached she didn't run away like the local free-roaming cats, and she didn't look familiar. She was obviously an old cat. I picked her up and was shocked to find she was nothing but a skeleton. I don't think she weighed even 2 lbs. She was obviously weak and distressed. I brought her in and tried to feed her but she wouldn't or couldn't eat. I even tried some cream but all she would take was a little water. I was late for work so set her up on the porch with a box heated with gallon jugs of hot water and some food.
I cooked a holiday turkey the next day then went looking for Simone, I found her in the neighbor's yard, just lying there. I picked her up and brought her back to my porch. I chopped up some turkey very fine and offered her some, she wouldn't eat till I started stroking her, when I stopped, she stopped. She ate but only a tablespoon or so. There was a severe cold snap due and I decided she had to move inside but had to be isolated as I have another cat, dogs and birds so she was set up with all the necessities in our bathroom, the only room available.
Her appetite increased daily and she started putting on weight though it was still hard getting her to eat. She would spend most of her time sleeping and only occasionally tried to meow, which was pitiful as she made no noise. I wanted to take her to a vet right away but due to our financial situation I had to compromise and just do the best I could.....until a few weeks later. One morning I went into the bathroom and found Simone (she was named by my husband) drooling and unable to close her mouth. We had no choice now and took her immediately to the vet. It was a loose tooth, out of socket, that was causing the trouble. The vet removed the tooth and put Simone on antibiotics. Simone really picked up, began eating everything in sight and put on a lot of weight.
After the course of antibiotics she started slowly going down hill again, her appetite was still good but she appeared to be in some pain and slept most of the day. It was now right after Christmas and because of the holiday, medical bills and car repairs I was totally broke. Simone dearly needed vet care and I didn't know what to do.
One evening I logged on to the internet and visited an old stomping ground AcmePet. On the dog bulletin board I found several postings about a story that made the national news involving a dog here in Ohio that had obviously been dumped. Several people on the board were saying how they would love to adopt this poor dog. I decided to post Simone's story, saying how even though she wasn't famous she had a sad story and deserved a good home. It was just 40 seconds later that I received a reply! It was from a woman named Cynthia who lived just an hour away! She offered to pay Simone's vet bills!!! Needless to say I was thrilled and we began emailing back and forth. A vet appointment was set and Simone was back on antibiotics in preperation to have ALL her teeth removed as they were terribly rotted and she had several abcesses. She also had severe tapeworms but all the usual tests for cat diseases came back negative. After a week on the antibiotics she went in for teeth removal and spaying.
Simone's progress was kept posted on the bb and Cynthia received offers to help pay the bills. And a woman in Iowa offered to adopt her. This woman, Jes, had a sister (Jen) who's husband worked for United airlines so Jen was able to fly for free. After a lot of planning, preparation and emailing a plan was set for Simone to fly to her new home.
The date was set with only a day and a half notice. I knew this was a great story and contacted some media, but due to the time frame it wasn't going to be easy. The Columbus Dispatch was very interested, they asked that pictures be taken so they could get to the story later in the week.
I had never met Cynthia and only talked to her a couple of times on the phone so was looking forward to meeting her. Jen's plane landed on time and we all had a great time getting acquainted. We headed to the front desk to have Simone checked in and Cynthia related Simone's story to a very interested check-in clerk. The woman was enthralled and said it was a story worthy of national attention. This wonderful lady also decided to help out, she waived the 50.00 pet fee! This fired up Cynthia who headed over to the phones, and with less than an hour before departure, contacted a local t.v. station, they were very enthusiastic and said they were sending a camera man right over. The time quickly ticked away and we had to send Jen and Simone off. We were quite disappointed and so was the camera man as we met him coming up the hall!! Oh, well.
I'm writing this March 8th, 1997, right after getting home from the airport. Don't know yet about the newspaper story but I will update this as soon as I hear. I hope you'll come back and visit in a couple of weeks to hear the end, I hate to leave you dangling!!
Simone is so different now, she really has a new lease on life, I don't think she wanted to keep living at first. One of my most moving moments came just recently. She played with some yarn, really got into it. She had shown no signs of wanting to play before! It was wonderful!
BTW, Simone found her voice not too long ago, and loves to use it, especially when her food dish is empty.
(Here's some info I forgot to include. On a recent vet visit Simone weighed in at 5 1/2 lbs, and since she is AT LEAST twice her original weight I estimated it at about 2 lbs. She is a very small built cat, maybe from poor nutrition growing up. The vet thinks she is around 10 yrs old, maybe as much as 14!)
Well, it's been long in coming but I was recently in touch with Jes. She sent an email to say that Simone is doing great. She's rather sassy and runs the house. Going so far as to push Jes's dog away from her bowl to steal food! She ignores Jes's other pets, 2 ferrets and a parrot. She sleeps in bed with Jes and is quite insistent when it's cuddle time, never taking no for an answer. Seems she lives like a queen and after her previous 8 lives I'd say no one deserves it more. Maybe someday soon I'll have a picture or two of Simone in her new home to share with you.
To Simone I say, "We sure miss you here but we wish you a wonderful life!".