May 16th, 2020
At RedRover, not only are we committed to keeping families together through crisis and giving animals a second chance at the happy, healthy lives they deserve, we believe that sharing uplifting stories and spreading kindness is an important part of creating a better world.
We know that with so much uncertainty in the world today, it can be easy to forget that there is still plenty of compassion and good will. That’s why we are excited to share this Happy Tail from Aeneas the cat and his young “mom,” Sintra.
Growing up, Sintra and her mother often volunteered to care for kittens from the local shelter, as well as rescues that were too tiny or too sick to be adopted just yet. So five years ago, when a neighbor knocked on Sintra’s door with a box full of abandoned kittens, there was no question that she would do what she could to heal them. Of the five kittens, only one survived malnutrition and anemia from a flea infestation. Named for the lone survivor of the Trojan War, Aeneas was a resilient kitten. He kept eating and exploring as he grew healthy and strong. Sintra was there when he first opened his eyes, and it was love at first sight.
From that very first day, Aeneas has slept in Sintra’s room every night for years. When she left her family home to go to college, she took Aeneas and his big brother, Nutmeg, to live with her in an off-campus apartment. She shared with us:
“My family adores him very much, but he is invaluable to me. Nutmeg is almost five years older than Aeneas, but they are like littermates, best friends. We are not conventional, but we are a family.”
Like many cats, particularly males, Aeneas developed urinary crystals over time. Sintra noticed one morning that he had used his litter box nearly 20 times in the span of an hour. Alarmed, she took him to the veterinarian to be evaluated. Not only did he have crystals in his urine, but his urethra was blocked, and his bladder was very distended. The crystals could be managed with a special diet, but without emergency surgery, the blockage would kill him within 48 hours.
When her college campus closed due to COVID-19, Sintra lost one of her jobs as an on-campus independent biochemistry researcher. Even though she was fortunate to begin working double shifts at her other job as a medical scribe in the emergency room, it would be several weeks before she was paid again – and Aeneas needed help now. She put all the money she had into a deposit so he could start treatment, not knowing how she would afford his surgery. If her upcoming paycheck went to the bill, she would not be able to pay her rent or buy groceries.
“We are in an impossible situation now, and any help would be absolutely miraculous.”
Sintra and Aeneas didn’t need a miracle – they had compassionate, generous people like you. With a RedRover Relief Urgent Care grant, Aeneas received the treatment he needed to make a full recovery. Nutmeg missed his brother while Aeneas was recovering in the hospital, but now they are together again and this “unconventional family” is whole.
Help spread kindness by sharing Aeneas’s Happy Tail with your friends and family or consider making a gift to the RedRover Relief program to give more cherished pets like Aeneas a second chance.