Thelma, a 22-year-old healthy cat, went to “death row” at a pound when her humans were either unable or unwilling to pay for euthanasia at a veterinarian. Her humans dumped her for a likely “free death” at the shelter.
It’s hard to imagine doing this to a pet you’ve had for many years. Especially so, considering that Thelma’s initial health check showed she was “in great shape for a cat her age without medical issues past a UTI,” as rescuers shared.
Palliative Care for Senior Cats
Fortunately, the rescuers from Brisbane on the east coast of Australia saved her with help from caring people on social media. They have a palliative care program for senior cats so she can live out the remainder of her days comfortably and receive veterinary care.
“…We had been given a couple of hours to place a save, or she was to meet her fate at the end of a green needle,” Best Friends Felines explained.
When Thelma arrived, they saw she was skinny and had matted fur with bald patches, but she was so sweet.
“..But oh my heart, what a smoochy sweet lady she is,” they said.
Thelma Didn’t Deserve to Die in a Scary Shelter
Some people questioned why rescuers would care for Thelma when she was unlikely to find someone to adopt her at her advanced age. So, they explained why they arranged the senior cat’s transportation to their rescue.
“We had a few people say to us, ‘Why would you take a cat in at that age as you as you will never adopt her out?'” Best Friends Felines shared. “Simply put, Thelma needed us, dumped and no longer wanted; she didn’t deserve to die in a scary pound. We run a palliative care program for cats like Thelma, and we truly have a soft spot for seniors, so we sorted transport to us.”
She Was Safe and Grateful for It
As rescuers see every day with pets saved from a shelter, Thelma showed them she was grateful.
“Thelma settled into care beautifully. You could tell she was grateful to be safe and have the comforts of a loving home,” they said.
Once settled in, the rescue addressed her health issues. Like many older cats, she had dental issues that caused pain when she ate and thyroid issues requiring transdermal thyroid cream. If her diseased teeth weren’t extracted, the pain would continue.
At her advanced age, she may not have survived the surgery. It was a big risk, but ultimately, they didn’t want her to live in pain. So, she would have the diseased teeth extracted when she was stronger.
Thelma’s Golden Years with a Teddy Bear
In the meantime, she enjoyed chasing the sun rays to “warm her old bones,” and playing with boxes like any cat.
“Cardboard boxes are still intriguing and she gets that faraway look, remembering when she could tear bits off with her teeth – but they also make a wonderful item to scratch and rub against. She is continuing to gain some much needed weight, and her fur is looking better by the week,” her fosterer shared.
As she recovered, her funny purrsonality emerged, and she got the zoomies again. She slept with a teddy bear in the sunshine and got around with help from pet stairs.
“Her favourite trick is to sneak up behind people, yell at them and see them jump! If she was a Golden Girl, she’d be Sophia – she is sassy!”
Despite her teeth, she had the appetite of two cats, and her hair grew back in.
She Survived Surgery
The rescuers were anxious on the day Thelma had surgery, awaiting news if she had made it. Then, the call finally came, and cheers erupted.
“Thursday, when this surgery was scheduled, we waited tensely to hear from our vet team and then the call came – Thelma had made it through the surgery, and cheers went up all round!”
She would need to recover over weeks, and the rescuers would do all they could to help her gain a healthy weight. She needed tube feeding until she was comfortable eating again and wore a cone to keep her from pulling it out. The expenses were high, topping over $1k, but with help from Good Samaritans, they gave her what she needed.
Thelma’s retirement will be spent with people who love her instead of being discarded. She’ll live out the rest of her days with her fosterer with a “full belly and comfy bed.” She was surrendered to the pound but “has fallen on her feet” on a soft blanket in the sun rays.
“It doesn’t matter breed, health status, friendly/ timid, or in this case, age, BFFs goal is to help animals in need. We do not just focus on the easy to adopt out ones or the ones that will cost less in vet work. And, bottom line: she deserved better than to die in the pound surrounded by strangers in such a scary environment. They all do. Welcome to BFF safety forever, Thelma. xx”