Earlier this year, an extremely underweight and scared Siamese cat was found on the streets of Kingston, Ontario, battling to survive.
When a Good Samaritan, worried about the cat’s welfare, caught the stray cat, it was evident that months of life on the streets had taken their toll.
Fortunately, there was a location nearby whose main aim was to aid animals in need: Happy Tails Farm Sanctuary, owned by Carla Reilly Moore and her husband, and home to so many animals that have managed to overcome their painful and neglectful pasts.
Sapphire, the newly named cat, had more than just anxiety to overcome: she had crusty, inflamed eyes and a peculiar limp. The cat had no microchip and a damaged pelvis, which was revealed at the clinic.
“We don’t know if it was a car or if she was kicked,” Moore told The Dodo at the time. “She’s been suffering by herself for two weeks, alone in the streets, without any pain treatment.”
Moore had a lot on her plate. She had just given birth to a baby girl, Mary, in May, on top of her normal duties caring for all the rescued animals at the sanctuary. But there was no doubt about it: Sapphire was the family’s newest addition.
And the transformation from terrified street cat to adoring member of the family proved to be anything but simple.
“While we are not a domestic animal rescue, we primarily focus on farmed animals,” Moore said to The Dodo. “But for some reason, when we got a call about Sapphire, we brought her in right away, no questions asked. I found myself nodding before I knew what I was doing!”
Sapphire was afraid at first when Moore took her home from the vet. For 24 hours, she hid under the bed. Then, all of a sudden, she arrived — and she was eager to snuggle.
“She climbed up on our bed, a little clumsily owing to her pelvis, and went directly to my husband,” Moore explained. “She pampered my husband and then me for the following few days as tiny Mary lay with us on the bed.”
While Sapphire was connecting with Carla, Carla was frequently caring for Mary, cradling and feeding her. Sapphire, on the other hand, included herself. Indeed, the cat appeared to be growing increasingly interested in the tiny newborn infant.
“Mary, like us, has a soft spot for animals. Mary not only lives on a farm animal sanctuary, but she was also born at home under the care of midwives “Moore elaborated. “It’s quite natural for her to be surrounded by four-legged buddies at all times. However, something extremely unique developed between Sapphire and Mary.”
Sapphire would first sit beside Mary and make herself at home. “She’d keep her distance but keep a close eye on her,” Moore explained.
However, she began to draw closer and closer. “Sapphire seemed to start defending the infant very soon, which we noted. When the dog passed by, she would jump up and run up to Mary. It happened over and over again “Moore said.
“Sapphire would run and stand beside the baby, with an erect posture.”
Sapphire then began cuddling up quite close to Mary.
“We’ve never seen a cat accomplish anything like this before,” Moore added. “Their friendship became stronger and stronger. It was very incredible!”
Sapphire needed to be touching Mary every time she curled up for a sleep.
“She simply couldn’t get near enough to her,” Moore explained. “She then began to wrap her arms around the infant. She’d press her face into Mary’s neck.”
When Sapphire is unable to find Mary, she shouts out to her and goes in search of her.
Mary, who has had Sapphire cuddling up to her since she was a month old, is starting to obviously return Sapphire’s love now that she is four months old.
“Mary is now able to reach out and very gently pet Sapphire, and Sapphire, in turn, rubs up against Mary and cuddles,” Moore explained. “Mary, who is just 4 months old, recognizes ‘Kitten’ and stares directly at her when you ask where the kitty is. She extends her hand and touches her… It’s as though these guys have known each other their entire lives.”
Moore and her family interact with their rescued farm animals on a daily basis, but she never anticipated such a strong attachment to form between these two individuals so rapidly.
“This is an actual love tale. It transcends time, species, and may even defy logic “Moore stated. “Some may argue that this kitten needed us, that she was drawn to us because we could help her… But we claim that we needed her. We didn’t realize we needed her but we really did.”