August 4th, 2023
By Savannah Verdon, Development and Engagement Coordinator II
Keeping the broken kitchen window open wasn’t ideal for Monica, but it wasn’t all that bad either – it let in a breeze, a little more sunshine, and the newest member of the family.
“Charlie means the world to me. I never knew a small furry baby would mean this much to me. She is the one that brings me joy. In 2021, the kitchen window was broken and we left it open most of the time. As I was eating breakfast, Charlie jumped in. I was surprised but decided to let her in and pet her. I assumed she’d leave right after I fed her.
Well, Charlie never left. My parents came over and Charlie sat on their laps like she knew who they were. Prior to her appearance, we had lost our guinea pig who we loved so much and it destroyed us when he had passed away. We have a theory that he reincarcerated as Charlie. Since Charlie never left, I did not have the heart to kick her out. I decided to keep her, do my research on how to own a cat, and these past two years she has brought so much laughter and smiles to us.”
This serendipitous meeting between one confident cat and one grieving family gave each of them the love that they needed, so much so that they were working with a therapist to register Charlie as an emotional support animal for Monica’s mother, who suffered from depression and anxiety. Monica later learned that Charlie was a young neighborhood stray that her neighbors were trying in vain to keep away. The open window was her chance at finding someone to cherish her and keep her close to their heart and home. She took a big risk with that little leap into the unknown, but in the end Charlie found what she was looking for.
Since Monica was learning to be a cat mom as she went, she was fastidious about Charlie’s care lest she miss something she had never considered. She brought Charlie in for her yearly check-up, expecting everything to be well with her baby – but all was not well with Charlie. The veterinarian noticed that the inside of her right cheek was turning a shade somewhere between red and purple, emanating from a small bump that could potentially be an oral tumor. Not only would the tumor have to be surgically removed, but Charlie would need to have a tooth extracted too.
Monica was disheartened to see the high cost she was quoted for Charlie’s surgery. As a graduate student working part-time as a research assistant, it was far outside her budget. And while the whole family loved Charlie, there was only so much they could chip in not having significant income themselves. Fortunately, she was approved for a line of credit that brought paying for the surgery closer to her reach. All she needed was that last little bit of help, so she applied for a RedRover Relief Urgent Care grant, sharing in her application, “She changed my life for the better and I hope I can give her this needed treatment. I am not done making memories with my baby.”
Once her application had been approved, the surgery could be scheduled. Charlie was being treated with anti-inflammatory medication up to that point, but they could only do so much to ease her discomfort. Monica’s mind was calm now that she knew Charlie would get the treatment she needed, and everyone was looking forward to having their beloved trespasser home and healthy. Soon, she was back where she belonged.
Monica’s gratitude – for the help she received and for a successful surgery – was immense:
“Charlie’s surgery went great. The first few days were rough, she wasn’t herself. Her face was swollen and all she wanted to do was be in her room (my room) hiding. However, she is back to normal. I am so glad Charlie was able to receive the surgery. Her doctor said that she also had really bad cavities and the bacteria could have spread if we waited. Charlie’s surgery would have not happened this quickly if it wasn’t for RedRover. I want to thank all the donors for assisting Charlie and I. We appreciate it!”
Compassionate people like you bring hope to families just like Monica and Charlie’s when they need it most. Thank you for committing to our lifesaving mission and making these Happy Tails possible! ♥️