Lucky tortoiseshell kitten gets chance at a happy life

rescued tortoiseshell cat NomNom

Every rescue story is special, because every rescue saves a life. Some rescue stories, usually the ones involving disasters or tragedies, are reported by the big media outlets. But for every sensational rescue, there are hundreds of quiet rescues that happen every day. One such story came to me last week from Sue, who heard about me and my love for tortoiseshell cats from Caren Gittleman, who writes Cat Chat With Caren and Cody.

One cold Sunday in February, Sue and her 11-year-old son were headed to church. They took a side road with lots of fields and brush along the way. Sue just happened to glance to her left, and thought she saw a kitten hobbling by the roadside. She knew she had to turn around and check. That split decision changed Sue’s and her son’s lives.

The little tortoiseshell kitten Sue had seen out of the corner of her eye was still in the same spot. Sue carefully pulled off the road. She told her son to open the van’s door very slowly, so as not to startle the little cat, and to not reach for her right away, so she wouldn’t run off. Sue shouldn’t have worried.  “That little angel hobbled up to my son and yowled louder than Adele can belt out a mournful tune!” Her son carefully picked up the kitten, and held her gently until they returned home.

Says Sue, “I never took the time to think: what am I gonna do with another cat,or, this cat could be sick and hurt and I don’t have any money to treat it.” Sue only thought of two things, especially as it became obvious that the emaciated kitten was injured: get her food… and get her help.

The first was easier than the latter. The little tortie devoured the can of food Sue gave her so fast that she literally seemed to say “nom nom” while she inhaled it. And just like that, the kitten got her name: NomNom.

For the next two days, NomNom took up residence in Sue’s son’s room. But Sue knew she needed to get her to a vet.

That vet was Ann Arbor Cat Clinic. NomNom’s xrays showed two broken back legs and a detached femoral head. Thanks to the clinic’s adoption program and generous contributions from clients and others, NomNom got the surgery she needed, and is recovering well. She still has a long way to go to heal from her injuries, and is not currently available for adoption. To follow her progress, visit the Ann Arbor Cat Clinic website.

Thanks to a good Samaritan, and a veterinary clinic with a caring staff with big hearts, NomNom will have a chance at a happy life.

Photo of NomNom ©Cindy Cook, used with permission

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24 Comments on Lucky tortoiseshell kitten gets chance at a happy life

  1. Ingrid
    March 28, 2012 at 2:11 pm (7 years ago)

    I removed parts of the original story after I was contacted by the adoption coordinator at Ann Arbor Cat Clinic. There were some inaccuracies in what was relayed to me, but the good news is that NomNom is doing well. You can follow NomNom’s progress here: http://annarborcatclinic.com/2012/03/nom-nom-week-3/

    I’ve closed this post to comments. I realize that there are two sides to every story, and with a story like this, emotions inevitably run high. What matters is that thanks to Sue’s kindness, and thanks to the care and dedication of the doctors and staff at Ann Arbor Cat Clinic, a little tortoiseshell kitten now has a chance at a happy life.

    • Ingrid
      March 28, 2012 at 1:39 pm (7 years ago)

      What a wonderful rescue video – thanks for sharing.

  2. Amy
    March 28, 2012 at 11:37 am (7 years ago)

    NomNom’s story reminds me of my kitten, Enid. OK, she’s actually not a kitten anymore, but she retains a very kittenish demeanor. I found Enid on Craig’s List when she was only 10 weeks old. Her owners had posted a very disturbing picture of her with her eye popped out of its after she’d been attacked by their dog. The owners were looking for help to finance the surgery she needed to remove the eye. I responded that if they took her to my vet that day, I would pay for the surgery. They did take her, but upon examination, it was discovered that she had faired far worse in the attack than was first thought. Her skull was cracked. Her sinus cavity was crushed. One ear drum was ruptured, and she needed a tooth removed in addition to the eye. On top of all that, she had four types of parasites and was severly emaciated. The vets called me. They advised me that Enid (then called Candy) might not make it through the surgery. If she did, there was a good chance that she would have brain damage and be completely blind. I wanted to help these people who wanted to help their cat, but I knew that Enid couldn’t go back to life on their farm if she recovered. She would need to be an indoor cat and might need special medical care that they clearly couldn’t afford. I asked if I could have her. They agreed, cried and left her at the vet, where she went into emergency surgery. Enid’s surgery went well, but the vets cautioned me that she was still in danger of seizures and significant surgery. I went to meet my new kitten that evening, and as soon as I saw her, I knew she was a fighter. She snuggled into the crook of my arm, purring and kneading my sweater. Enid’s recovery was so swift that I was allowed to take her home the next day. For a week, she stayed in a kennel for her safety, but she made it clear that she was ready to be a part of the household, and when I finally granted her her freedom, she charged out of the kennel and changed my life with her love and antics. In no time, her stitches were out and her fur had grown back in. It took a little longer for her to win over my Maine coon, Merton, who had been happy to be an only cat, but now they play together every day, and he bathes her face when he thinks I’m not looking. Enid is still afraid of dogs and some men, but she suffered no lasting physical ailments. She has full sight in her remaining eye and no evidence of brain damage. Every evening, when we play fetch with her favorite toys, I am so grateful to the people who gave her up so that she could live in a safe environment. I never met them, and I don’t even know their names, but they gave me the gift of happiness wrapped up in the shape of a kitten.

    • Ingrid
      March 28, 2012 at 1:38 pm (7 years ago)

      What an incredible story, Amy, and what a testament not only to Enid’s spirit, but also to your generous heart!

  3. Kalynnda Rivermoon
    March 28, 2012 at 11:28 am (7 years ago)

    Wow, that’s a wonderful story. I’m so glad that Sue saw NomNom, and had the heart to save her.

    I have to share my tortie rescue story. Last October, my spouse and I were supposed to stay in a cabin about an hour from home. We were heading to the nearest city after unpacking, because we forgot the pillows. As I was driving on the highway, a tortie kitty ran across the road right in front of us. There was a sickening ‘thump’ sound. We turned around and headed back, expecting the worst.

    The little tortie was alive, but not moving much. We wrapped her in a blanket and headed to the nearest town (15 minutes away). It was Sunday at 6 PM. I was hoping we could find a vet willing to come in to let her go (we assumed she was seriously injured). When I pulled into a convenience story to ask for a phone book, she came out of her stupor and bounced around the back seat.

    Realizing she was not on death’s doorstep, we drove her an hour south to the emergency vets. Amazingly, she had only a minor concussion and a cut lip. They kept her overnight, and we picked her up the next day. (Needless to say, with all this, we never did sleep over in the cabin.)

    We named her Ghost, because we only saw her on the webcam. She’d hide whenever we came in the room, or huddle in the corner of the bookshelf. We despaired of taming her, and searched for a barn cat situation that would work. She was very scared, but not at all aggressive. After 3 weeks, she was well enough to get spayed. (We tried at 1 week, but she was running a fever. Probably the shock allowed any infection she had lingering to take hold.)

    After the spay, we brought her home and put her in a large cage in the computer room. That was the right thing to do. With more exposure to us (and the other cats), she started to be less scared. She loved to be scratched. That was the turning point. It took another month to get her over her fears. Now she is completely integrated into our household.

    Ghost is an amazing cat. She is extremely affectionate and loves to climb onto your chest. I can’t imagine life without her.

    Thank you Universe for putting her in our path, and keeping her from being seriously injured.

    • Ingrid
      March 28, 2012 at 1:37 pm (7 years ago)

      What a wonderful story, Kalynnda. Talk about meant to be!

  4. Chris Davis
    March 28, 2012 at 10:05 am (7 years ago)

    Such a beautiful story! Surely NomNom, Sue, her son and the folks at the clinic were all meant to come together to create this little miracle. Hope NomNom will be home with Sue very soon.

    • Ingrid
      March 28, 2012 at 1:35 pm (7 years ago)

      Isn’t it a wonderful story, Chris?

  5. Bernadette
    March 28, 2012 at 8:53 am (7 years ago)

    It was simply meant to be. I love a happy ending!

    • Ingrid
      March 28, 2012 at 9:46 am (7 years ago)

      Isn’t it a wonderful story, Bernadette?

  6. Sheila
    March 28, 2012 at 8:45 am (7 years ago)

    I truly believe that things happen for a reason, this loving mom and son gave of the heart and God answered theirs and this precious little creature of the Lord. I sure hope they can bring her home one day soon and the love they already have for each other is apparent! It is meant to be <3 I just want to give kudos also to the ladies and doctors who helped save this little girl ,God bless you and what you do ! Special praise to the writer of Nom Nom's story, Ingrid ,you captured the love and strength and faith of all involved ,thank you for sharing !

    • Ingrid
      March 28, 2012 at 9:45 am (7 years ago)

      Thanks, Sheila. I, too, believe that this was meant to be.

      • Sheila
        March 28, 2012 at 4:31 pm (7 years ago)

        Dear Ingrid,
        Your piece is phenomenal ,caring and compassionate and the kitten just adorable, and alive. I know that whatever the outcome at this point,Sue,Tony and everyone who has read your piece are blessed to know that lil NOM NOM survived ! Thank you and Sue for sharing it with all of us , God bless <3

  7. jill freeland
    March 28, 2012 at 8:59 am (7 years ago)

    sniff sniff… there really is hope in man kind, open your eyes and look around, we should all care about one another, i believe with ALL my heart this includes animals! thank you Sue, and you are Nom’s hero!! God bless you!! and a big fat thank you to AACC for making this happen for this little furry girl. Thank You All

    • Ingrid
      March 28, 2012 at 9:47 am (7 years ago)

      I agree, Jill, Sue is definitely NomNom’s hero.

  8. maru
    March 28, 2012 at 7:45 am (7 years ago)

    All of them got blessed that day.

    • Ingrid
      March 28, 2012 at 9:45 am (7 years ago)

      You are so right, Maru.

  9. sue
    March 28, 2012 at 7:01 am (7 years ago)

    Ingrid,you did this story MORE than justice.God Bless you for sharing Nom’s story! Anyone wishing to follow her progress may go to the AnnArbor Cat Clinic website or their facebook page. It is not a done deal yet that we can adopt Nom,so we are keeping our paws crossed..but we do have a good chance because of the quiet, safe home we can provide..which is what they will want..with the shorter leg she is considered a “needs” kitty now. Well,I must be a “needs’ person..I NEEDS MY NOM NOM…LOL!! Thanks again and I will share this link on my blog,”Rosie Larger than Life” and recommend it on my fb.You just gave this Tortie a beautiful post!!Love,Sue.

    • Ingrid
      March 28, 2012 at 9:44 am (7 years ago)

      Thank you, Sue, and fingers and paws are crossed that NomNom will soon be able to come home with you. There’s no doubt in my mind that you are meant to be together.

      • Caren Gittleman
        March 28, 2012 at 2:56 pm (7 years ago)

        Ingrid THANK YOU for this incredible post! Sue had kept me abreast of everything that was going on from the moment she found little Nom-Nom.

        She afforded me the option of blogging about it , but once I knew this kitten was a tortie, I knew who had to be the person to write this story in a way to do NomNom justice, that person was YOU! Thank you for all that you do for so many of us and for the kitties that you love so dearly.

        Thank you! You have made ALL of us so very happy!

    • Caren Gittleman
      March 28, 2012 at 2:56 pm (7 years ago)

      Sue, I told you!! There is nobody that could have done this story about precious tortie NomNom like Ingrid!
      I would never steer you wrong! 🙂

  10. Marg
    March 28, 2012 at 7:07 am (7 years ago)

    Oh Wow, that is such a great story about NomNom. Sue sure is a special person to pick NomNom up and thanks to that wonderful vet place to do the surgery. We are so glad that she was able to adopt NomNom back. That is one feel good story. Have a great day.

    • Ingrid
      March 28, 2012 at 9:44 am (7 years ago)

      I’m glad you enjoyed NomNom’s story, Marg. We definitely need more feel good stories.