Back in the summer, our Meow Mail program sponsored Gretel, a sweet cat cruelly sprayed in the face with chemicals trying to protect her brother.
She bravely took the brunt of her injury so her brother, Hansel, didn’t have to.
Thankfully, the two of them were rescued when A good Samaritan took the cats to a local shelter that contacted Sarah Richardson, rescue coordinator for Community Cats of Central Arkansas.
They were shy and understandably frightened at first, but all their fears melted away when they realized they were safe and loved.
They were so happy to be together, spoiled with treats, toys, and wet food.
Over the next several months, Sarah worked diligently to get sweet Gretel back in good health.
After many vet visits and extensive testing, Gretel was diagnosed with a type of skin cancer, very likely from the chemicals that were sprayed on her.
To make matters worse, it was spreading rapidly and needed urgent treatment.
Sarah didn’t decline any treatment options; she took Gretel to several specialists to determine the best path forward.
“The donations were used to try an extremely expensive and aggressive type of chemotherapy,” said Sarah. “We were willing to do whatever it took to save her.”
Despite their best efforts, Gretel lost the battle with cancer and passed away unexpectedly a few weeks ago.
“We were all heartbroken,” said Sarah. “After all she’d been through, we desperately wanted her to start a new chapter of life, happy and healthy.”
Even though the chemo and medical treatments were costly, Sarah doesn’t have any regrets about fighting for Gretel’s life.
“She was absolutely worth it,” said Sarah. “Even though she passed away, the treatment bought her precious time with her brother and humans that were kind to her.”
Were it not for her medical treatment, she would have passed away much sooner and not experienced all the beautiful moments that showed her a different side of humans.
She crossed the rainbow bridge with something special: knowing what it means to love and be loved.
In the months after she was rescued, Gretel enjoyed the love and security she never had on the streets.
Towards the end, the side effects of her medicine made her need sweaters and clothes to stay warm and prevent her from licking her fur.
Not only was she a great sport about it, but she really seemed to enjoy playing dress up!
She was showered with love and attention from Sarah and her family, curling up on their laps to be pet and enjoying all the wet food her heart desired.
“Each day, she sat on the windowsill soaking up the sunshine,” said Sarah. “It was her favorite thing to do. And she did it until the very end.”
Gretel was so happy to spend each day with her brother, Hansel, by her side.
She’d sacrificed herself to protect him and took great comfort in having him by her side.
The two were incredibly bonded. Sarah worried about how Hansel would behave when Gretel passed away.
Fortunately, Hansel had become friends with another foster kitten named Chance while Gretel was in and out for vet appointments and treatment.
Chance was recovering from his own surgery when he met Hansel.
Hansel stayed by Chance’s side during his recovery and the two ended up becoming very bonded.
Hansel was confused when Gretel passed away.
He’d meow around the house looking for her and wondering when she’d return to the windowsill.
Despite how difficult losing Gretel was, he took comfort in having Chance around to lift his spirits.
“I’m so grateful Hansel bonded with Chance,” said Sarah. “It’s the best way to honor Gretel’s passing. She wanted Hansel to be safe and protected. Chance is doing just that.”
Both Chance and Hansel are neutered, fully vetted, and will be adopted out together as a bonded pair.
Thank you so much for donating towards Gretel’s recovery journey.
Your love and support for her gave Sarah the ability to afford something very precious: time.
Time gave her the experience of true, unconditional love– something every cat should experience before passing away.
Though we wish Gretel was still with us, she lives through our memories and has a special place in our hearts.
Your donation gave Gretel a fighting chance and allowed her to experience true unconditional love before she crossed the rainbow bridge.
A Voice for the Voiceless
Donations benefit Community Cats of Central Arkansas, a small 501(c)3 non-profit that rescues and rehabilitates cats that are victims of cruelty, neglect, and abandonment in a rural part of Arkansas with high animal cruelty rates and limited resources.
If you’re not already, we hope you consider becoming a monthly donor to our Meow Mail program to help future rescue cats & kittens live happily ever after!
See more of their incredible rescue cases by following Sarah Richardson, rescue coordinator for Community Cats of Central AR, on Instagram and Facebook.