When Bernardo and I arrived in NY from Brazil, less than a year ago, we didn’t think it was a good idea to get our own pet until we settled into our new lives. So we went to KittyKind to learn more about fostering.
We met Miriam at the Petco Adoption Center and she asked us if we were up for a challenge… We were! She told us about Opal, a brown tabby that had been at a vet for 3 months. She had had a mammary tumor removed and was severely diabetic. She needed two insulin shots every day, so at that point she was not adoptable. I met Emily at the vet, where they showed me how to give her insulin shots and educated me on feline diabetes.
We were Opal’s foster parents for about 20 minutes. After that, the apartment became hers and it felt like she was fostering us. She seemed so happy to be out and about! She was rescued from the streets and probably never knew a home, toys, a bed. We spoiled her with cardboard boxes and soft beds, catnip toys and paper balls, a permanent place on the sofa.
Being in a safe, stress-free environment did wonders for her health and soon her blood sugar started to decrease. When I went to Brazil for a few weeks she stayed at the home of a loving couple, also KittyKind volunteers, and during her wonderful time there her diabetes completely reversed–she was even taken off the insulin. We couldn’t believe it! In three months she went from off-the-charts diabetes to total remission.
This meant she was adoptable and ready to find a forever home. Unfortunately, in one of her follow-up visits to the vet another mammary tumor was found, likely developed from the cancer she had when she was found. The chances of her getting better with surgery and chemotherapy were very slim. We were all devastated but agreed to focus on providing her the best possible life for as long as she is with us.
Thankfully, she has been doing great. She shows no signs of discomfort at all, has a wonderful appetite and is as playful and energetic as a kitten. She wakes us up by licking our cheeks, and when we’re on the sofa she sits on the back cushion and licks our heads–apparently we’re always in need of grooming. Having her around is an absolute joy!
Even though we are heartbroken and know it’s not going to be easy, we hope for a smooth ride. We feel truly honored to have the chance to be the ones who provide probably the best life sweet Opal has known. It’s a privilege to be a part of her days–and doesn’t matter what happens from now on, we would do it all over again in a heartbeat.
We want to thank KittyKind not only for this enriching (if difficult) time, but for the support we are receiving. Your calls, e-mails and care make us feel even more confident that we are doing the right thing by watching over this sweet little girl.
Any & Bernardo