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ASPCA Happy Tails: A Very Special “Special Needs” Cat

Tuesday, March 4, 2014 - 10:00am
Small grey cat wearing glasses

In celebration of the ASPCA’s new collaboration with Lil BUB, we’re dedicating this week’s Happy Tail to another special needs cat, Ella. Ella was adopted from the ASPCA in 2012, and was soon after diagnosed with terminal cancer. Despite the challenges of her illness, her adopter, Stephen B., has nothing but love for this sweet older cat. Here is their Happy Tail.

Stephen met Ella on his very first trip to the ASPCA. Drawn in by her glowing green eyes, he says, “When we found out that Ella had lived her entire life in shelters and never had a real home before, there was really no chance of saying no to her.” After Ella’s adoption, Stephen discovered tumors on her stomach and learned that she had terminal cancer. “My first reaction was to be glad that we had given her a real home for the last months of her life, or however long she had left,” recalls Stephen.

As time went on, their relationship strengthened. Stephen says, “She is very much my cat, and I’m very much her human.” In fact, he put together a “Bucket List” for Ella after receiving her diagnosis! “One of the things I really wanted to do was try taking her outside on a leash. She likes to sit on my window and look outside, so I thought she should have a chance to actually feel the grass beneath her paws.”

Grey cat with green eyes sitting outside on the grass

Four months after her first outdoor excursion, Stephen sent an exciting update: New X-rays show that Ella’s cancer has subsided, and her three-month prognosis has been updated to at least a few years. Whether it was the grass, Stephen’s love, or simply a miracle, we’ll never know, but we are so happy that this feisty feline will be around for a long time to come.

Stephen says, “Ella is probably the smartest decision I’ve made in my adult life. Cats with medical conditions deserve love just as much as the rest of them, and they’re so, so ready to give it.”

Watch Stephen and Ella’s story, including her first foray into the outdoors, in this beautiful video by our friends at The Sidekick Series.

Sleeping cat curled up on bed

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Connie Sheeder

Bless you big time for giving this cat a chance at life outside a shelter.

Kitty Mommy

Stephen, I am so happy to hear that Ella's condition has improved. You are a wonderful daddy, and I wish nothing but love, peace and happiness for you both. I'm sure you are going to make a lifetime of memories together. Thank you for giving your heart to Ella and not only giving her a loving home, but a new lease on life. :)

Beth

The Lord will richly bless you, Stephen. Hug Ella for me & my 4 felines.

Barb

What a beautiful story and video of beautiful Ella and you Stephen. You are a God sent to rescue this beautiful little lady. I hope you have many wonderful years together. Bless you both. This brings tears of joy to my eyes.

Diane

Ella's green eyes would be a magnet for me also! Love the Bucket List idea! How wonderful for Ella and for you, Stephen, that you found each other. Keep enjoying your time together!

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