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Austin Pets Alive! | #BecauseOfYou: Ethel, Mieke, and a Year of…

3 min read
Dec 11, 2018

Meike is an Austin Pets Alive! volunteer who fell in love with a courageous senior cat called Ethel this year. And while Ethel’s story starts out on a sad note, as Meike says, “…it ends on a happy one and is too good a story to keep to myself.”

Ethel arrived at APA! after being found on the side of the road dragging her back legs. Meike recalls, “When I first saw her in the main cattery at APA!, she was covered in caked-on flea feces and had matted fur. Her diminutive frame propped up by her front legs, she stared out of her enclosure, looking bewildered. She had the most beautiful eyes, each a different color. Scared as she may have been, she was safe. From the looks of things, she was in a more caring environment than she’d been in a long time.”

Due to what appeared to be multiple spinal traumas, Ethel’s spine was in bad shape, resulting in her paraparesis, as well as a need to have her bladder expressed. Her legs would become stiff and needed mobilization. In addition to the care the APA! Clinic was providing Ethel, Meike also wanted to do her part. She began coming to the cattery to work on mobilization exercises with Ethel and even earned Ethel’s trust enough to bathe her.

As Meike worked with her, Ethel began to show signs of improvement. She started to try to bear weight on her own and even walking with Meike supporting her. Ethel soon moved into one of the group enclosures where she was able to gain even more freedom.

Meike went away for a few weeks, and during that time the Mansfield Dam flood warning resulted in an emergency plea for fosters to get as many APA! animals into foster homes as possible. Meagann and Robbie responded to the plea for fosters and temporarily brought Ethel into their home, or so they thought. Already having special needs cats at home, it wasn’t long before Meagann and Robbie decided that Ethel wasn’t just there as a temporary foster, but instead would become a permanent part of their family.

When Meike returned from her trip, she was delighted to find out that Ethel had found her forever home, and even more delighted when Meagann and Robbie agreed to bring Ethel over to see Meike! “Ethel had really come into her own. That feisty character of hers was no longer hidden from view. Seeing her – meeting Meagann and Robbie – was a moving experience,” says Meike. “This cat whom I’d grown to love so much hadn’t just found a home but the best home we could ever have wished for. Her adoptive family, who have decided to name her Ellie, clearly love her immensely.”

Ethel, now Ellie, is just one of the over 10,000 animals that Austin Pets Alive! saved this year. Because of you, and people like Meike, Meagann, Robbie, we had an unprecedented year for our lifesaving programs and we look forward to another unprecedented year in 2019.

Donate today to give even more animals like Ethel the chance at life, love and a forever family – and thanks to a generous gift from our APA! Board of Directors your donation will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $25,000!

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