In the world of feline companions, we often come across special needs cats, each with their unique story. However, not every one of them is a special needs cat even though it may look so.
Take this adorable feline for an example. When Emily Blythe was volunteering at the Lake County Animal Shelter in Florida, she met a female tabby cat with healed facial injuries.
At that time, the poor cat had just arrived at the rescue center, desperately looking for a forever home. For Emily, it was love at first sight, and she knew she had to take this remarkable cat under her wing. She said:
“I volunteered to take her in and the rest is history.”
The shelter staff named the new kitty Petunia, and as days passed, they learned more about her past.
She, along with her kittens, had been rescued by a kind-hearted soul and brought to the shelter.
Initial vet examinations led to the discovery that Petunia’s facial injuries were not due to a birth defect, as they had initially suspected, but rather the result of a horrifying incident. Emily revealed the grim truth:
“She was shot by her owners when she was a kitten because they thought she was a rat. Petunia lost a good proportion of her left puppet lip area and her nostril.”
Sadly, the details about the incident and subsequent treatments remained a mystery. What we do know is that Petunia survived and had a couple of litters of kittens until she and her furry babies were rescued and came into Emily’s hands.
However, that incident damaged her permanently, leaving her with numerous health issues, including breathing issues and facial sensitivity.
When Emily first saw Petunia, she decided to foster her and make her feel loved and comfortable. But, over time, their bond became so strong that they simply couldn’t part.
Eventually, Emily decided to officially adopt Petunia, offering her a loving forever home she so rightfully deserved.
After a year, everything was better than expected. To everyone’s surprise, Petunia didn’t have any major medical challenges. Emily explained why she was so worried:
“We have to be careful health-wise because of her breathing issues. She is prone to upper respiratory infections. Eating can be a challenge as she eats with her right side only.”
Besides these potential issues, Petunia was also sensitive around her chin, so her family always avoided petting that part of her face.
Despite her potential issues and unique appearance, Petunia was just like any other cat who visited the vet twice a year preventively, to make sure she was in good health.
While her unique appearance usually led some to misconceptions, Petunia was, in fact, an incredibly affectionate and friendly feline. Emily said:
“She is very loving. She likes to snuggle and rub her face against yours, so much so that you can smell her breath.”
Besides being a cuddle bug, Petunia loved to relax and take a nap in the coziest place in the room. Emily said:
“She loves to sleep in my son’s bean bag chair. You can find her there at all times of the day.”
Emily adopted Petunia, but she never stopped fostering other cats and kittens. However, Petunia didn’t really like adult foster cats coming to her home, but she tolerated young foster kittens.
It was almost as if she understood their need for help, much like she once did. Emily was amazed by her feline friend, saying:
“We call Petunia – and animals like her – perfectly imperfect. The animals that come into the shelter every day that are passed over – too young, too old, mother cats, the scarred ones, the sick and injured. Petunia and other animals have so much love to give, but are often overlooked.”
Despite her terrible, painful past, and thanks to Emily, Petunia found happiness in life and a family who loved her so much!
Unfortunately, after years of living in a lovely home, she crossed the Rainbow Bridge. She got a serious infection that she just couldn’t fight off. Although that broke Emily’s heart, she was determined never to forget such a great cat. She said:
“Petunia, you made my life wonderful!”
Share Petunia’s inspiring journey to remind others that love can heal even the deepest scars and that every pet, regardless of their past, has immeasurable love to give.