February 1st, 2024
By Savannah Verdon, Development and Engagement Coordinator II
Hawkeye had been left behind. Jeanna’s mom and her mom’s fiance called her after they spotted the little guy outside the house, his littermates and mama nowhere to be found. They had been feeding him table scraps until Jeanna could come to catch him. He was so skinny he slipped through the bars of the crate on her first attempt. When she finally caught him, she was shocked to see him covered in ticks with many bald spots on his coat. But he had family again, and as their love for him grew, so too did his beautiful tuxedo coat.
Jeanna and her mom Robin were devastated by the loss of Robin’s fiance to cancer not long after they rescued Hawkeye. Looking into Hawkeye’s bright green eyes and holding him as he purred was their last connection to the man and the home that brought them together. Eleven years had passed since, and Hawkeye was just as comforting and soothing for Jeanne as he was then. He was timid at times but under the right circumstances of her patience and his bravery, he became the uncrowned king of snuggling.
He was also the king of hiding his pain, a natural and rational instinct for cats and a source of frustration for loving cat parents everywhere. Jeanna would never have noticed he was suffering from advanced dental disease if he hadn’t started pawing at his mouth after meals. The trouble he seemed to have eating lately suddenly made sense, so Jeanna scheduled an appointment with their veterinarian for the following morning.
It was hard for her to understand how he could have hidden so much of his pain when the veterinarian informed her that all of his back teeth were in terrible condition and needed to be removed. Her sweet boy had been suffering for so long, but she was relieved to hear that he would be able to keep his front teeth to chew his food. It wouldn’t be pâté all day just yet – and before he could get back to his meow mix, he would need to undergo a costly surgery.
Robin was disabled, and Jeanne worked full-time as her caretaker with hardly any time left for herself, let alone for a job outside the house. They survived on Robin’s disability benefits and food stamps. It hadn’t been like that for them around the time they adopted Hawkeye but they made sure now to find creative ways of stretching their budget and bringing in more money. But yard sales only go so far. As their bills got higher and their income stayed the same, unexpected expenses like his dental surgery were simply out of reach.
Before Jeanna and Hawkeye left the veterinary clinic, he was given steroids to help with the pain and inflammation, although the veterinarian warned that it would only help Hawkeye for a few weeks. He was feeling slightly better, and it gave Jeanna more time to get enough money together to make the surgery happen. It was a friend who told her about the RedRover Relief Urgent Care grant, and after she applied, it was an On-Call Angel waiting in the wings who made Hawkeye’s grant possible.
Jeanna had shared in her application that “[Hawkeye] is a happy cat with a beautiful sleek coat and still quite active. We believe he still has quite a few happy years left ahead of him.” Because of our On-Call Angels and generous animal lovers like you, Hawkeye and Jeanna will be together for the happy years that lay ahead for their family. Two weeks after his dental surgery, he was slowly transitioning back to dry food after being spoiled silly with wet food during his recovery. As far as Hawkeye was concerned, pâté all day was what he deserved. At the very least he would be enjoying his meow mix pain-free, and Jeanna couldn’t be happier.
It is an honor to keep families like Hawkeye, Jeanna, and Robin together in their moment of need, and RedRover couldn’t do that without you. Thank you for inspiring this Happy Tail and so many more just like it!