It was a fateful day in Zanzibar, Tanzania when a young man discovered something that caught him off guard– a small, sick kitten hiding under a delivery truck.
Little did he know, this kitten would change his life forever.
Keep reading to find out how a chance encounter led to an incredible journey and beautiful bond!
A Shocking Discovery
Michael had recently left New York to work with his family abroad in Zanzibar, Tanzania.
He entered the office one morning thinking it’d be a normal day at work, but this wasn’t the case.
“I looked outside and saw a little kitten hiding under one of our delivery trucks,” said Michael.
Upon taking a closer look, Michael realized the kitten was in critical condition.
“She was roughly 3-4 weeks old and could fit into the palm of my hand,” said Michael. “She was covered in dirt and fleas and had a big bald spot on her forehead.”
The kitten, later named Meatball, was barely old enough to eat solid food, much less survive on her own.
“We didn’t know much about cats or what to do,” said Michael. “But we didn’t want her to die.”
The chances of a kitten as young as Meatball surviving in critical condition were slim, but Michael was determined to do everything in his power to help her thrive.
Helpful Hands, Hopeful Hearts
After giving her some food and water, Michael and his brother took Meatball home where she’d receive a much needed bath.
“The bath revealed she was even skinnier than we thought,” said Michael. “We noticed the lens of her left eye was scratched and she still has a scar from that to this day.”
They placed Meatball in a cardboard box and waited with fingers crossed, hoping she’d make it through the night.
Fortunately, little Meatball was alive and well the next morning!
The Road to Recovery
Michael’s girlfriend, Manon, was visiting at the time and was happy to provide round-the-clock care for Meatball while Michael and his brother were at work.
Manon was the one who named the kitten “Meatball” because of how tiny and cute she looked curled into a little ball.
Whether it was intentional or not, Michael, Manon, and Meatball all have names that start with “m”.
Meatball’s name fit perfectly with their “m” name theme.
They soon got in touch with a vet who treated Meatball for her infection and parasites.
Meatball was quarantined to the box while she recovered.
After a couple days, she was jumping out of the box and ready to explore!
She was bursting with energy and her feisty, playful personality started to shine through.
Michael and his brother originally intended on putting Meatball up for adoption once she was back in good health.
However, Manon had other ideas.
Meatball’s 9,000 Mile Journey
Manon had grown quite fond of Meatball after spending plenty of 1-on-1 time with her while the boys were at the office.
After everything Meatball had been through, it wasn’t fair to leave her behind.
Meatball’s fate was sealed: she’d be moving to the United States with Michael and Manon.
They waited until she was old enough to be spayed and fully vetted in order to travel by plane.
Meatball earned her kitty passport and the three of them hopped on a plane, landing all the way in Texas where they’d start their next chapter of life!
A True African Wild Cat
It’s been over 2 years since Meatball was rescued and she’s happier and healthier than ever.
“She has a lot of energy…maybe even too much energy,” said Michael. “She wakes me up at 6am on the dot every morning so she can eat breakfast and play.”
From the moment Meatball started to recover as a kitten, she was begging to go outside again.
Meatball enjoys being pampered in her comfy Texas home, but she can’t abandon her African wild cat roots.
Micahel and Manon honor Meatball’s adventurous spirit by taking her outside for supervised outdoor time.
Residents of their apartment complex have become quite smitten with Meatball, often posting pictures of her in their community forum.
Meatball wears a safety release collar and AirTag (for tracking) to make her outdoor adventures a little safer.
Queen Meatball, Her Royal Highness
Queen Meatball is very demanding and persistent when it comes to getting what she wants.
Her loyal human servants go to great lengths to meet her needs and keep her satisfied.
“If she doesn’t get enough time outdoors, she’ll start running around the apartment complex, yelling and knocking things down,” said Michael.
Queen Meatball has made it very clear that this is her world and we’re all just living in it.
In exchange for meeting her every whim, Meatball offers cuddles, company, and moral support.
She’ll often purr softly by Michael’s side while he studies.
Nothing is more motivating than Queen Meatball’s exceptionally cute presence.
Meatball definitely picks favorites. She’s quite selective about who she’ll allow close to her.
However, she’s easily persuaded into making new friends with a little treat.
Happily Ever After
After a long day of running around the house or exploring their gated community, Meatball likes to kick back and relax.
“She’s very cuddly and likes to sleep with us at night,” said Michael. “It’s her happy place.”
Meatball may have started her journey as a sick, hungry kitten in Zanzibar, but now she’s living a life of luxury as a spoiled, pampered kitty in Texas.
This sweet girl hit the rescue cat jackpot!
She’ll never have to worry about being sick or hungry ever again.
However, her journey is far from over.
Meatball can look forward to a lifetime of being showered with love and attention by her forever family!