Sapphire and I came into each other’s lives after traumatic events.
Sapphire had been severely injured. She was on an individual’s property limping around dragging her back right leg. A relative visited the individual and saw Sapphire and asked the person about the kitty. The individual said she was going to let “nature take its course.” The relative contacted Happy Jack Cats, Inc. (HJC), asking if it would take Sapphire and help her. HJC agreed, knowing that it would immediately incur medical costs in order to help Sapphire. However, HJC couldn’t turn away and let Sapphire continue to suffer. The relative drove an hour to transport Sapphire into HJC’s care. HJC immediately took Sapphire to the vet. The vet determined that Sapphire had been caught in a snare for approximately two weeks. Her back right leg was hyperextended. Instead of her leg bending in its natural direction (like an elbow), it was bent in the opposite direction and sticking up; frozen in that position. She also had an open wound on her leg where the snare had been. The joint was beyond repair and Sapphire was suffering; thus, amputation was required. HJC supporters donated to Sapphire’s medical fund to help cover the cost of her surgery and other medical care. Sapphire went to a HJC foster home to recover from surgery. Sapphire was estimated to be about six months old. Sapphire came into HJC’s care at the beginning of January 2020.
In November 2019, my husband and I had to say goodbye to our fourteen year old kitty, Finnska. The loss of Finnska was very hard for me. I don’t have children and I never felt my biological clock tick for one. However, one year I very much wanted a kitten. I always say my biological clock ticked for a kitten. Finnska was that kitten. For about a year and a half before my husband and I said goodbye to Finnska, I was providing her with daily medical care. I gave her a pill daily, insulin shots twice a day, blood glucose checks every few weeks, and took her to the vet every couple of months. When we lost Finnska, my daily routine drastically changed and I greatly felt her absence. The house felt so empty without her and I missed my little black bean (she was a petite female black cat). She required a lot of care in the end and I felt a little lost not having to take care of her.
Time passed and Sapphire was recovering and my grief was becoming less raw. Sapphire’s foster, whom I knew, texted me to say I should come see the kitty she was fostering. I ignored this text for three or four weeks. I was still grieving and I didn’t want to visit with other kitties. Then one Saturday I decided it might be nice to go visit some kittens. They are so silly and sweet. I wasn’t interested in adopting a kitten. I am at a stage in life where I enjoy older kitties. Therefore, I wasn’t worried that I would want to adopt the foster kitten. I walked into the foster’s cat room and everything changed. Sapphire wasn’t a small kitten, she was older. Plus, she was what I would choose for the next kitty I adopted: black, female, and petite. I have a fondness for black cats. She had blue eyes and the fact that she was missing a leg made her more endearing. She was sweet but she also had some spunkiest to her. To say the least, I was smitten. However, I didn’t want to rush into anything and I didn’t want to adopt Sapphire because she reminded me of Finnska. Plus, I wasn’t sure I was ready to adopt another kitten just yet. I visited Sapphire for the next four weekends and on that fourth weekend, my husband I adopted her. I decided I just couldn’t walk away; I needed her in my life.
Sapphire came to live with me and my husband in February 2020. We named her Sapphire. I wanted her to have a name that didn’t always refer to her missing leg and that reflected the beautiful cat she is. She also has bluish-green eyes. Therefore, she became Sapphire; a beautiful gem. The first few nights after adopting her, she slept next to me under the covers. I would pet her periodically and she would purr. We were bonding. I think she was looking to me for security and I was looking to her for comfort. Sapphire continued to recover from her surgery and her personality blossomed. She is a sweet little kitty but a little bit feisty. Sometimes I wonder how such a big personality fits into such a small body. She loves to play! She would play all the time if I would continue to play with her. One of her favorite things to do is to run as fast as she can down the front hallway. It is so funny. We call her dart ball. She jumps at the da Bird and does front rolls. She is silly. She is also an avid bird watcher. We have a bird feeder outside the window by her cat tree. She jumps on the cat tree, flattens her ears, and click at the birds. Sometimes she will jump at the birds and try and get them. She thinks she is a ferocious hunter. She is also sweet. She trills when she talks to me and has a high girly meow. She will stretch out really long to get pets when I first see her. When I hold her, I put her missing leg side against my chest and support her back end in my hand. She is still petite and her back end fits into my hand. She will give me kisses and purr. She is soft and beautiful. When she is done cuddling, she will give my husband and me love bites to tell us she is ready to play. She is so full of life. Sapphire doesn’t get into kitty balls (where cats tuck their legs under them). She prefers to lay on her amputation side and put her back leg to the side and her front legs in front of her. A very regal pose in my opinion.
Sapphire doesn’t let the missing leg stop her. Like I said, we call her dart ball because she runs all over the place. We have a cat tree specifically for her that isn’t too high, in case she falls, smaller scratching posts, and other furniture she can jump onto. We also have higher areas that the other cats can access and she can’t when the older cats want to get away from her high energy. My husband and I don’t think of Sapphire as being impaired. We see her as just being her. Her thump, thump gate when she walks and her phantom ear scratches with her missing leg are endearing. We see her for all that she is, not for what she is missing, and meet her needs as we would any other fur baby.
Sapphire is very happy and she fills the house with much joy. She has a love of life and her silly antics are infectious. She is safe (indoor only) and well taken care of; she will never want for anything. She is very much loved and a part of the family. My husband and I made a commitment to her when we adopted her: she is part of the family forever no matter what happens, what comes, or what we have to do she will always be with us and taken care of. We are her forever home and we take that commitment seriously.
My husband and I adopted Sapphire a year ago this February. Sapphire recently went in for her annual vaccinations and physical to the vet who performed her amputation. I thought he might enjoy seeing how well the kitty he saved was doing. It felt like bringing Sapphire’s story full circle.
Sapphire’s story has a happy ending thanks to Happy Jack Cats’s, its kind-hearted supporters, the vet, and my husband and me. Sapphire is happy, healthy, safe, well cared for, very much loved, and in her forever home. She is a little ball of happiness. She is our little sweet pea.
Sapphire and I came into each other’s lives when we needed each other. She needed a safe, loving, forever home (which my husband and I could provide) and I needed help working through my grief (I needed to focus on caring for her and my ability to give her a home gave meaning to Finnska’s passing). I sometimes think about what if all the pieces hadn’t come together and “nature had taken its course.” If Happy Jack Cats, Inc., hadn’t graciously treated her and accepted her into its foster care and I hadn’t adopted her, her story would be so different. It would have been a tragedy; the loss of such a beautiful little soul. Luckily, Sapphire’s story has a happy ending: she lives happily ever after (with people who love and adore her).