Name : Linda Mathews

Story : My name is Sox...or Cici, or Lennox, or Mittens. My closest hooman says I might have even more names she doesn't know about. (I do. πŸ˜‰) My story started about 7 years ago when, as a kitten, the new family who'd adopted and microchipped me decided not to take me with them when they moved and gave me to the neighbor across the street. The lady there named me Lennox & I lived happily there for a couple years. But my 2nd mom had 3 dogs already so when her adult son moved back home with his 5 dogs, I basically decided to move on. I love dogs and am not afraid of them but 8 was just too much for me. I've always been a free spirit and so I started to roam. Eventually a nice little girl, who lived about 7 houses away from my old house, begged her mom if she could keep me. Her mom sort of agreed but I had to stay mostly outside. That was fine with me though. The little girl named me CiCi. Her family had a VERY BIG white dog named Oscar. Oscar and I are really good buddies. The little girl would come out early every morning before school and give me my own whole can of wet food! And then she'd come home & play with me every afternoon! I'm also very friendly so I would always pet the hoomans who walked by the house and so a lot of them came to know me well. I'll just say it: I'm kind of a big deal around here. One of the ladies who walked by every day started feeding some strays down the street, so of course I joined in. Who am I to pass up a free meal?! Eventually, I followed her home aftwrward and she even let me inside. She named me Sox. I met her husband who doesnt like cats, but of course fell for ME immediately, her 100-pound doggo Jude, and her 16 yr old daughter-who of course positively SWOONED over my debonair and sophisticated charm....and their evil ninja kitty, Lennon. Jude and I became fast friends. This was the LIFE. Due to my need to roam (and evil ninja kitty, Lennon's, need to always be TRYIN me, ) I never wanted to stay inside long though, so I'd get my cuddles and my treats and be on my way. I was a pretty chill guy, (who wouldnt be with aTHAT life) and I never made a fuss or had drama with any other furbabies, pet or stray. Live & let live, man.. That's my motto. You can see why everyone I met fell in love. I already had a pretty sweet life when one day while I was meandering back to the little girls house where I actually lived, I met a super sweet college girl who also just couldn't resist my cuteness. She named me Mittens and also let me inside when I wanted. So pretty soon I was getting 3 squares a day, from 3 homes, plus treats, as much lovies as I wanted, and air-conditioning when I was in the mood. I was definitely living my BEST LIFE. But now I have to tell you the unhappy part of my tale, and the reason I'm entering this contest... because it could save my life. A few months ago, I suddenly started losing weight and then gaining it back a week or so later. I'd get really skinny, then the hoomans might feed me a little more, and then I'd be back to normal in no time....for a while. Jude's hooman noticed it and asked my little girl hooman and her mom about it; she thought they were my official hoomans since I was always at their house. I would roam for a few hours, but I always went back to them. I would run "home" fast as the wind when I saw their car pulling in. I spent the night on their porch. My little girl hooman is still my favorite. But when Jude's hooman told them about my weight, my little girl hooman's mom dismissed it and said I had "always done that." (Lost and regained weight.) She told Jude's hooman how she'd taken me to the vet a year before and how "they ran all the tests" and said I was really healthy. So Jude's hooman decided not to worry, especially since her family had just lost THEIR only feline fubaby on Valentines Day and they were still really hurting. For a long time after they lost Lennon, Jude's hooman and his sissy would pick me up more often, and hold me tighter and longer than usual. Sometimes, they would cry into my fur whike i purred away to comfort them. Often I'd see Jude's hooman look at me funny, like she was worried, but she just kept giving me extra yummy wet food and treats if/when I visited. After all, I wasn't acting sick...and no one else was worried at all, so I think she assumed she was over-analyzing me. But then in April, suddenly I just stopped gaining the weight back. I just kept getting skinnier and skinnier. In May, Jude's hooman looked at me funny again and this time decided to pick me up and felt my back and sides. She was obvoously horrified when she realized she could feel every tiny bone in my spine, ribs, and especially my hips now. So she went back to the little girl's mom and this time she told her I was DEFINITELY sick and asked if she would take me back to see her vet. The mom said again that I couldn't be sick, because I'd been to the vet a year ago and they said I was healthy. She said I had "always been a skinny cat." But Jude's hooman knew something was wrong and if little girl hooman's mom wouldnt take me, then she decided she would have to do it herself. Jude's hooman asked if the little girls mom could help with money if SHE took me to her pets' vet. Thats when little girls mom told Jude's hooman that I wasn't REALLY THEIR cat, that she just let her daughter feed me sometimes, and that she couldn't help with anything financially. Jude's hooman also asked the other neighbors who fed me, but no one could help. Not able to watxh me suffer, she took me anyway and put it on her credit card. I heard her tell the lady at the vet she wasnt sure if the card would go thru bc she had almost maxxed it out on her personal medical bills. We were both glad she took me though when they weighed me; I barely weighed 7 lbs, less than half of what I'd weighed one year before when she 1st met me! You see, I've always been a tall gray, full bodied drink of milk. I wish you could see the pictures Jude's hooman took of me back then. I was just plain GOOD looking. Rich gray color, beautiful white chest and feet, and my ADORABLE white face triangle. If ypu doubt me, just look at how many hoomans I had wrapped around my little paw! (....while I was healthy anyway.) Well, that nice dr took one look at me, felt my body and neck, and said it was my thyroid. It would require expensive testing to confirm and then daily medication: forever. LIKE FOR-EVER. I could see Jude's hooman was heartbroken and scared. You see, she is dealing with health problems herself and isn't working right now. So she had spent everything she had left to bring me to the dr and to keep feeding me and four other homeless cats. Probably my worst symptoms (besides my weight loss of course) is that I'm ALWAYS HUNGRY-like legitimately STARVING- and thirsty, so Jude's hooman had bought extra wet and dry food, and she gives me twice the normal amount. But I have constant painful diarrhea. My body just wont absorb any food. So, after the bad news, she went BACK to all the other ppl who had loved me before and asked again. Still no one helped. She was confused and worried and started wrecking her brain constantly looking for a solution. Like I said earlier, I'm kind of a big deal. But Jude's hooman keeps saying things are really expensive right now and thats why none of my other hoomans could help. Out if ideas, Judes hooman finally reached out to her friend Maria, who lives in Kentucky. Well- if you ask me, Maria is my guardian angel. As soon as she heard my story, and saw my before and after pictures, she offered to pay for my blood test AND my 1st month of medicine! Great, right? Yes! ....and no. It turns out that the same medicine I need daily to keep from wasting away also has some pretty nasty side effects and dangers. I've been on the medicine for about a week now, and I have a swollen belly, decreased appetite, and skin lesions. Now I need another test to make sure my liver and kidneys arent getting hurt by the medicine. Jude's hooman was once again out if ideas when that sweet vet called us woth great news! There is a one-time treatment called "I-131 Radioactive Iodine Treatment" that will actually CURE my thyroid problem...forever! Jude's hooman was skeptical but she looked it up and it's been studied, tested, and proven! No more needing 2 ppl to hold me down to take my pill. No more dangerous side effects or risk to my other organs! So whats the catch? It costs $1,500 and must be done by a specialist. πŸ˜” Jude's hooman just doesn't have that kind of money. According to that vet, I'll either have to be given the medication (~$350/ year) every day and keep being tested for kidney and liver damage every few months ($130 per test or ~$510/yr), or get the lifesaving but expensive one-time treatment cure($1,500.) When she asked what would happen if I don't get either one, the vet tech said that, no matter how much I eat or drink, I will slowly (& painfully) lose more and more weight -until I die....from either starvation or dehydration. Jude's hooman swore she wouldn't let that happen, despite the fact that I won't stay inside and I don't come by her house every day, she has worked hard to give me my pill every day. πŸ˜” She has alslo been saving every penny she can but now SHE has to have a $6,000 unplanned surgery, so she just can't afford the treatment to cure me. So far shes saved $90. Little girls mom gave her $20. Sometimes it seems like now that I'm sick and a bit scraggly, I'm just not as important to my other hoomans anymore. That's why I decided to enter my adorable mug in this contest. I even agreed to wear that hideous bow Jude's hooman put on me. If I win, the proceeds will go toward my cure. And I will donate the other half to a rescue that helps kitties like myself. Please, please pick me. Jude E Mathews Jude E. Mathews (Collie/GSD Mix.) I has so many personality quirks...and even more nicknames! Sissy, who thinks shes the boss of me just bc shes 16 now, calls me "Scooby Dooby Jude," Daddy calls me "My Judeyy Boy," and of course "Heyyy Juuuude 🎢" And Mama, (my favorite, everybody knows it) must think I'm descended from God, because even though she calls me "JuJu" sometimes, most the time she calls me "Jesus, JUDE!" Mama says "theres never a dull moment at Mathews Manor with our (not so) little Beasty." But it's my beginning I want to tell you about... πŸ˜” When I was barely 2 days old, my biological mom's owner, an unlicensed breeder who we'll call Bob, put me and my 5 brothers and sisters in an Amazon box, sealed the box with packing tape, and put us in his dumpster. I don't know why we weren't good enough to sell like he'd done with Mama's 2 previous litters. Whatever he didn't like about us, I guess he thought he could just make us "go away," if he hid us in a box at the bottom of a dumpster. We were too young to make any noises really so Bob thought no one would ever know. But, somehow, God sent us a guardian angel: 12 hours later in the middle of the cold mid-February night, a good samaritan, whom only God could've sent, was taking a walk with her boyfriend when she thought she heard something. She mustve had a feeling or something bc she just jumped right in that gross dumpster and she actually FOUND us! Even more miraculously, our good samaritan turned out to be an off duty VET TECH! She immediately got us some help and bottle fed us through the night. We were starving. Sadly, we had lost one of my brothers to the hunger and exposure before our angel could find us. She took us straight to work with her the next morning at Baytree Animal Hospital, along with the box we were found in, and they called the police for help. You see, my biological mom's not-so-smart owner, Bob, who'd rather have had us suffocate or freeze to death than rehome us or take us to a rescue or shelter, left his name and address on the Amazon box! So the nice policemans went to Bob's house and took Mama away from that mean owner! The vets offoce called my adopted Mom for help since she worked at an animal rescue. She came right away and when she saw us reunited with our biological mom, who ljust kept on cleaning and nuzzling us. The nice vet, whos still my doctor now, said our real Mom, who Mama named Sadie, was only a year and a half old. Everyone qround us was shocked and disgusted that Bob had bred Mama so much. So of course Mama didn't think twice before bringing me, my real mom, and my four remaining siblings home to nurture and foster until we were weaned. Mama said she made herself a promise that day: that no matter what she had to do, she would make absolutely SURE each one of us would have the BEST LIFE POSSIBLE from then on. It wasn't easy. My real mama was pretty aggressive & protective of anyone coming near us again after what that mean old Bob had put us through. My new Mama, Daddy, and Sissy gave us all Beatles-themed names: Sadie (Mama,) Jude (me!) Rigby, Mimi, Penny, and Abbey! And Mama kept her promise: the day we became available for adoption, LCAS opened at noon, and every single one of us was adopted within ONE hour. (Except me, of course! I was already back at home with Mama, Daddy, and Sissy!) Mama started a special group for each of the families who adopted Mom and my brother and sisters and they still talk regularly and share details about all of us. Each of us weighs between 85 and 100 pounds now and we're living our BEST LIFE. πŸ’™



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