80: Mondo’s Miracle

80: Mondo’s Miracle

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Cat Did What?

Mondo’s Miracle

The power of love to change bodies is legendary, built into folklore, common sense, and everyday experience…. Throughout history, “tender loving care” has uniformly been recognized as a valuable element in healing.

~Larry Dossey

Mondo had been severely beaten and abused. His face was covered with blistered, red skin instead of fur. His paw pads were thin and scarred with burns. Mondo was unrecognizable as the shorthaired, black cat he had once been. After being delivered to a local animal shelter by a concerned citizen, Mondo was out of luck again. The shelter could not provide the medical care he urgently needed. Instead, Mondo sat alone, shaking, facing the back corner of his cage with his head buried deep in his front legs. He jumped every time he heard footsteps approaching.

A shelter volunteer knew that Mondo needed help quickly. She used the power of social media to connect with hundreds of rescue organizations, hoping that one might have space and funding to help Mondo before it was too late. Her last e-mail plea was sent directly to me. Our rescue had helped special needs animals from their shelter in the past.

Although we did not have the funding, I had an open space in my home for a new foster feline. Working as an all-volunteer group with no paid staff, we hoped that the community would pull together once again to help with Mondo’s mounting medical bills. And miraculously, they did. Mondo was out of the shelter, away from his abusers and living in his own private bedroom in my home while he recovered physically and emotionally.

Mondo’s recovery didn’t happen overnight. It took weeks for him to begin to trust me. I was thrilled the first time he purred. He was learning that the touch of a human could be gentle, the food and water in the bowls could be depended on, and the people who surrounded him were there to protect, not harm him. What a vastly different universe Mondo experienced as he eased into life in my home.

As Mondo purred and began to confidently raise his tail high, I opened the door to his private room and allowed him to meet my two dogs. He loved them instantly. I had feared that he would run and hide, but he trotted towards them and rubbed their muzzles with his wounded head, followed by flopping on the floor, paws in the air. He had certainly made an emotional recovery!

The veterinarian warned us that Mondo’s physical wounds might never heal. Although we are never concerned about aesthetics, we worried about what chance he would have for adoption. Being a shorthaired black cat already gave Mondo the worst chance of being adopted due to the superstition about black cats. Add to that his scarred, red, furless face and he was facing tough odds. But at least he was safe. And after four months, Mondo began to grow hair again on his face. Soon he looked like a typical black cat and a family agreed to adopt him.

On adoption day, I shared Mondo’s journey of rescue and rehabilitation with his adopter, Rita, and her family. They were shocked. Rita’s eyes welled up as she looked at the photos of Mondo before he healed. She promised to love Mondo and provide him with a safe and caring home for the duration of his life. I had no doubt that Mondo was in good hands. As I turned to leave Rita’s house that afternoon, I watched cheerfully as Mondo bounced from couch to couch like a small child on Christmas morning.

Mondo’s journey is one of courage, trust and love. His story shows the impact that human kindness and compassion can have. We do indeed have the power to make miracles happen for these trusting, loving companions.

~Stacey Ritz

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