THE TWELFTH SAVE OF CHRISTMAS: SPARKIE BEAR
We fostered Sparkie Bear and his step sibling from the time they were about 4 weeks old. Sparkie was a happy-go-lucky Ragdoll mix kitten but showed certain preferences from the start. For example, he was especially attached to his foster mom. When he had a choice of Mom’s lap or Dad’s it was always Mom’s that he chose, and when visitors came to the house, he would either stay close to his foster Mom or head to the back of the house to avoid them.
Sparkie was posted to the Purebreds Plus website, and soon we received an application from a woman who wanted to adopt him but needed to wait to pick him up. Eventually she notified us that she was unable to adopt Sparkie after all due to personal issues. He was now 3 months old.
Sparkie’s photographs went back up on the websites, but in the meantime he had really settled into our home. He was shy around new people, although he would warm up if the stranger let him make the first move. We knew it would take a special adopter to win him over and make us comfortable with the adoption as well.
Over a month’s time, three potential adopters came to meet Sparkie. He would eventually play with them but would not let them pat him or hold him. After each of them left, he gave us an earful, talking away as if to say ” What were you thinking?? Geez…”
When we received the next application, we discussed it and decided that if Sparkie did not take to this person, we would keep him. After all, he was wonderful with the other, new, baby kittens in the house and got along great with the resident cat, Uncle Indy. He would be a good fit, and most of all, we had fallen in love with the big crazy clown. We laughed daily at his antics and would certainly miss him dreadfully if he left.
This adopter, though, really loved her kitties. In 2006 she had lost Elliott, her Himalayan, at almost 18 years old and was so distraught that she cried for months. Five months later she decided she was ready to adopt and brought home Rosie, another Himalayan. Two months after that, she rescued a Ragdoll, Morgan, so Rosie could have company. Rosie and Morgan were about 3 years old and quickly became best friends.
Unfortunately, after battling a variety of ailments for several months over this last year, her poor Morgan was diagnosed with cancer of the larynx and went to the Rainbow Bridge in August. Shocked and heartbroken once again, the adopter cried her eyes out for a few weeks, but through her tears she couldn’t help but notice that Rosie was also very sad and despondent. Rosie missed her buddy, and the spark had left her eyes. So the adopter started kitty shopping, not so much for herself, but for Rosie who was crying and wandering through the house looking for Morgan. Remembering that she had adopted Morgan from Purebreds Plus, she went to our website and saw Sparkie Bear. He was now 5 months old, but still sooooo cute! She thought a younger kitty might be good for Rosie, especially a male since Rosie is, and always will be, queen of the house.
The adopter came to Reno to meet Sparkie, bringing her mother and sister along. Sparkie was cute, playful and adorable all right. More importantly, this adopter’s approach was different from that of Sparkie’s other potential adopters, and he responded to her accordingly. Just as she had made the decision to adopt not because she herself was lonely but because Rosie needed a friend, she was ready to defer to Sparkie, not imposing her attention on him but waiting for him come to her. Sure enough, Sparkie let her pet him, sat next to her, and even followed her around the house. The adopter felt sure he would help Rosie in her grief and that she herself would also love him. Sparkie went to his new home that day.
Six weeks later, little Sparkie has come a long way. He has grown so much that it is hard to think of him as a kitten. He is even bigger than Rosie now and has a gorgeous long tail. He is still a clown. Probably that will never change! He loves to follow his new mom around the house, including into the bathroom to drink from the sink and explore what’s going on in the commode and shower, anywhere where there’s water! He also drags his mouse into the bathroom and waits patiently for her to finish so they can play! Chasing up and down the stairs is another favorite past time of his. When it’s his own idea, he will climb up into her lap, close his eyes and purr purr purr. He’s a real love bug who is wiggling his way into her heart more and more every day.
Best of all, Sparkie has brought the kitten out in Rosie. He loves toys, especially the “mouse on the end of a stick,” which he drags up and down the stairs, making sure to engage Rosie in the game. Rosie now loves this toy too, and if she still remembers Morgan, at least she is comforted by the newcomer. He seems to know just what to do to help Rosie and his adopter. What a special little guy he is and what a wonderful loving forever home he has found.
Rescue is a joy, an adventure, and an inspiration to all of us to put our personal desires aside and look first at the other. As we reflect upon the year that has ended, we collectively rejoice in every life saved, grieve over every life lost, and extend our deep thanks not only to the volunteers who foster, transport cats, update our database and websites, check references, make sure our checkbook balances, and so on, but especially to all of you who keep in touch, comment on our Facebook page, and donate so that we can continue to rescue our feline friends.
You make a difference to every cat and kitten that comes through our rescue. A special heartfelt thank you to each and everyone of you.