Gemma is a gorgeous tabby kitten who is just about a year old. She was picked up by my friend, Frank, yesterday morning. He had noticed her and her kitten in the lot behind my husband's warehouse and noted that Momma cat had a badly injured paw.
Being that Frank's got a heart the size of Texas when it comes to furballs, he set traps to catch Mom and baby to get them checked by the Camden County Animal Shelter. He was successful in catching them, but Momma cat's prognosis was very, very poor.
Frank took Gemma to another vet who was willing to take on her case. She'd been viciously attacked and was likely trying to defend her kitten against a wild animal. While she was able to spare her kitten, it looks like she lost her arm in the process.
As a result, the 2nd vet told Frank that he'd either have to amputate her arm or put her to sleep on account of the infection that was caused by multiple bites.
This poor, sweet mama had sacrificed herself to save her helpless little kitten.
Frank, unable to afford surgery and not sure if euthanasia was the best recourse, took Gemma to me. Right now, she's in my bathroom. Being Sunday, there are no vets open to take her. I've tried to make her as comfortable as possible, but the wounds are just too much. She's become incredibly weak due to the infection and pain.
It breaks my heart, but at this juncture, I certainly don't have $2,500 to spend amputating her paw. However, I'd like to make a plea to all my readers out there.
First, please say some prayers for Gemma and all those lost, hungry and hurting strays that have no homes. These, too, are God's creatures and He loves them, too.
Secondly, please spay / neuter your pets. Please.
Third, if you can spare a dollar or two, please consider donating to Gemma's fund. I'm not sure, exactly, how to set one up yet (I'm looking into it), but if you would like to help cover Gemma's expenses up to date ($180) and the cost of her surgery, Frank and I would be so appreciative. She's a really sweet girl who deserves a second chance - especially after heroically protecting the little life she'd been given charge over.
Some of her wounds are pictured below. I tried making that smaller so those of you who aren't the best with blood aren't too offended...
Like I said, she's a surprisingly sweet little girl for being both feral and in incredible amounts of pain. It's what led me to her name. St. Gemma bore the stigmata and bore those Wounds with patience and love. This little Gemma seems to be made of the same stuff.
Truth is, however, is that little Gemma is not long for this world unless we are able to do something to save her. That would require immediate amputation, and the funds to procure that amputation.
Please considering donating today. I've got a PayPal account (firstname.lastname@example.org), but I'm not entirely sure how to set it up so you guys can see I'm not putting donations into my "Gina wants Ice Cream every night for a year" fund. I promise, however, that any funds noted as "For Gemma" will not be used for anything BUT Gemma's expenses.
In my 4 years doing this, my husband and I have been able to rescue and place 70 kittens/cats. Gemma makes 71. I don't want her to be the first one we lose. She's too beautiful a creature. So pray for a miracle, please, specifically asking her namesake to pull a few ropes.
Special thanks to Frank for going out of his way on the weekend (and for paying out of pocket!) to see this Momma cat get help. We need more people like you in the world!
Also, for those of you looking for a happy bit of news after reading this, you'll be thrilled to know Frank adopted Gemma's kitten. Originally, he named the kitten "Han Solo." After the vet gave Han the once-over, Frank realized the kitten was a girl, so he renamed her "Hope Solo." And as you can see from this picture, she couldn't be happier with her new daddy:
Let's give Hope a chance to grow up with her Mommy!
UPDATE: I'm currently trying to get Gemma set up on PetChance.com so folks feel more confident that I'm not funding my obsession for Cherry Garcia.
Also, thanks to S. Weller for being the very first donation! You are wonderful!!!
UPDATE #2: I am heartbroken to report that Gemma has passed away. After being checked again by the vet, it was decided that her infection had spread too much and she was too weak for surgery. Thus, the only humane thing to do was put the darling to sleep. Frank was there with her and consented to carry this heartbreak, himself.
Thank you to all who donated. Donations totaled $115. Total cost of Gemma's visits and medications was $180. The vet who euthanized Gemma did not charge us (BLESS HER!). Thus, Frank and I only had to put forth a manageable $32.50 each.
THANK YOU. Thank you for helping us help Gemma cross the Rainbow Bridge. While we wish we could have seen her live a long and healthy life on earth, we are comforted to know she's pain-free and being cuddled by Christ.
You're all in my prayers. Christian or not, each one of you who prayed, shared or donated proved you have a deep and universal love that I am humbled by and grateful for. So again, thank you and bless you for your generosity.
P.S. - Hope Solo is doing great! She is adjusting nicely and is quite the balm for Frank's heart right now!
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