Since this spring I’ve been following news about Iris, a Russian Blue kitten who was found nearly dead on a Pennsylvania doorstep. Today, I’m happy to report that the story that began as a tragedy has a happy ending.
The website Life With Cats reported on Iris’s story in April of this year. A family in Schuykill County, Penn., found the sweet kitten on their back porch, lost and alone and suffering from a horribly infected wound in her genital area. The family rushed the cat to the Hillside SPCA, a no-kill shelter in the nearby town of Pottsville, where veterinarians determined that she had been the victim of a sexual assault — and not from another cat.
Far away in Michigan, Joyce Yoho saw the story of the brutally abused cat. Yoho couldn’t ignore Iris’s plight, so she shared the kitten’s story on her Facebook page. Animal advocate Suszan Rogers took notice and decided she had to do something to help. With Rogers’s assistance, the story “got legs,” and donations, moral support and prayers began pouring in from all around the world.
Life With Cats also continued to share Iris’s journey of recovery with its own readers. To everyone’s surprise, the kitten was playing and exploring enthusiastically a mere three weeks after she arrived at the SPCA. She won the hearts of all who took care of her; her grievous violation at the hands of a human being had not robbed her of her friendliness and trust.
After the worst of her problems were taken care of, Iris was transferred to a foster home, where her caretakers continued to treat and clean her wounds. Although she had no problem using the litterbox, Iris did still have some issues with bladder control.
As the months went on, the spunky cat gradually healed from the wounds that had left her unable to urinate and defecate without extreme pain.
While Iris was recovering in her foster home, the Hillside SPCA was searching for the perfect family to adopt her. After lots of interviewing and research, they chose a couple named Lisa and Andy, who have a great deal of experience working with special-needs pets. In fact, the couple has made it their mission to adopt only animals with special needs.
Lisa and Andy report that Iris still has a tendency to “leak” when she’s excited, startled or scared. But they don’t see it as a major issue. As Lisa said, “We have hardwood floors that wipe up easy.” They hope that as Iris’s muscles continue to get stronger, the problem will resolve itself.
Unfortunately, the criminal who abused Iris has not been found or charged. But Iris now has a safe and loving forever home in which she can continue healing from the emotional and physical trauma she endured at the hands of a depraved and sick individual.
“How very touching to think that a little grey kitty who appeared out of nowhere, and in dire need, could touch the hearts of so many, so deeply, both at home and across continents,” said SPCA spokeswoman Sylvia Nabholz. “Wow, it is absolutely awesome! The outpouring was beyond what we ever expected.”