By Angela Henson, Foster Team Coordinator and Adopter
Lupe was brought to us on a cold day in February, in very bad shape, after a kind person heard him crying outside their home. They investigated and found an emaciated cat with his eyes, nose and mouth crusted shut from mucus. He was barely able to breathe, couldn’t see, and certainly couldn’t eat. Instead of taking him to a vet for what seemed like inevitable euthanasia, they brought him to Brother Wolf to see if he could be saved.
Lupe was so weak and malnourished that our staff had to force-feed him for nearly a month. The medical team cleaned and cleared his nostrils every few hours so he could breathe through his nose, and treated his eyes for several weeks. He soon regained his sight!
There were many times during the first few weeks that we weren’t sure he would make it. But we saw his will to survive and knew that as long as he was willing to fight, we would try to help him succeed.
By March, things were looking up for Lupe. He still needed to be force fed, but he was ready to leave the close watch of our medical team and find a foster home. At that point, I didn’t hold my current job as part of Brother Wolf’s foster team, but I was already a foster parent. I saw the plea go out in the daily foster email and my heart immediately settled on him.
I didn’t take him home immediately because I wasn’t comfortable with syringe feeding or home often enough to make sure he was getting all of the nutrition he needed. I kept telling the Foster Manager that I’d take him home once he was eating on his own, but found myself deeply invested in his well-being. I asked about him every day and tracked his progress as he began to eat more and more on his own. I was eager to bring him home, but wanted to do right by him.
Finally, the Medical Manager told me that he had been eating well over the weekend and that he could go to foster that week. A few days later, I brought him home.
As I watched Lupe flourish and continue to heal, I fell more and more in love with him.
Lupe was just skin and bones at first. But as the months went by, he gained much needed weight. In fact, he was eating so much wet and dry food that he started tipping the scales a bit more than I intended!
Lupe’s health has greatly improved over the past two years, but his immune system will always be compromised. He will always have chronic upper respiratory infections, but with daily doses of lysine (an immunity booster) in his food, his symptoms aren’t as dramatic.
During the 11 months I fostered him, not a single person inquired about adopting him — despite uploading stories, videos, and pictures onto his adoption profile. I couldn’t believe this sweet boy was being overlooked.
While he waited, he became a part of my family — including befriending my queen kitty Madison, who notoriously doesn’t like other cats, and they even snuggle with each other now. He plays and wrestles with my dogs. And he even sleeps with me at night.
Last February, I adopted him as an official and permanent member of my family. He is my precious boy and I couldn’t be happier. I have recently discovered that he enjoys walking on a leash! I love being able to watch him prowl around outside, back in his element but safer. He’ll be going on many more walks in the future.
I’m so grateful to the person who brought my boy to Brother Wolf on that cold February day. I recently looked up the location he was found and discovered it is less than 10 minutes from my house! It was meant to be. I hope they see this story and know they brought such happiness to our lives. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to all who didn’t give up on my Lupe. I couldn’t imagine life without him.