By Savannah Verdon, RedRover Development and Engagement Coordinator

When her friend mentioned offhand that her cat was pregnant and she was giving away the kittens, Maria lit up like she had just won the lottery – and in a way, she had. She had been wanting to adopt a cat for years, and now she had the perfect opportunity to celebrate her five-year anniversary with her fiancée by welcoming a little fuzzball into their family. 

Several weeks later, the friend’s cat gave birth to just one kitten. Maria named the little piebald tabby cat Bella, for she was beautiful in every way. Maria and her fiancée do not have children, so Bella and their two dogs, Henry and Freyja, were their little family. For seven months, they watched Bella grow and explore as she became the most cuddly, loving, and playful cat. Her happiness became their biggest priority. 


And Bella was happy, which is why Maria noticed right away when her sweet kitten didn’t seem like herself. At first, Bella was simply not interested in eating her food, though she was still acting normally. But a couple days later she started vomiting profusely, and she stopped using her litter box. Maria took Bella to the emergency veterinarian and paid hundreds of dollars for x-rays, blood samples, an IV drip, and medication to treat what they thought was gastritis. But when they returned home, Bella still had no interest in eating her food. 

Bella with her big brother, Henry

Finally, Maria took Bella to her regular veterinarian who suspected Bella had an intestinal blockage, which would explain why she wouldn’t eat and couldn’t use her litter box. The veterinarian tried two enemas to help Bella pass the blockage, but they were unsuccessful. Bella’s last remaining option was surgery to remove the intestinal blockage – without it, she could go into potentially fatal septic shock.

Maria and her fiancée had exhausted all of their savings and their line of CareCredit just getting Bella’s diagnosis and limited treatment. They would need help to afford her surgery, but they weren’t having much luck finding any.

“We just want to give our little girl a fighting chance. I have already asked our family and friends and either no one is able to help us, or they think a pet is just an animal and not family like we think of her.”

RedRover understands that pets are family, so when Maria applied for a RedRover Relief Urgent Care grant to help cover the cost of Bella’s surgery, we were ready to say yes and help bring this family from crisis to care. 

Because of supporters like you, we are able to help hundreds of families like Maria and Bella every year, giving these sweet animals the second chances they deserve and ensuring their families can stay together. After a successful surgery, Bella is back home with Maria, her fiancée, and their two dogs, ready to continue growing into the beautiful, happy cat she is sure to be. 

“I wanted to thank you again for helping us in such a tight spot. Bella is back to her normal, lovable self playing with our two pups and constantly cuddling with her big brother, Henry. The doctors did an amazing job and her scar has healed beautifully, and her fur is growing back from where they shaved her. I couldn’t be more grateful. Thank you.”

We are grateful for Happy Tails like these – thank you for making our lifesaving work possible!

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