By Julia Williams
Facebook has done it again. I’m all teary-eyed because of an incredibly heartwarming story I happened upon. I won’t say “by accident” because I believe there are no such things. I’m convinced that everything and everyone has a purpose, and that every pet was put here on earth for a reason. Sometimes we don’t know what that reason is; other times, it’s crystal clear. In the case of a special kitten named Willow, I think her purpose is to help people see that every pet is precious – even those who some might call “imperfect.” Willow’s motto could be summed up as, “Play the hand that life dealt you, but never stop hoping for a miracle.”
Willow’s touching story began with her birth last December. Her back legs were badly deformed, and her people said she was born that way. They didn’t even bother to name her – they just called her “Cripple.” Although her siblings all found homes, no one wanted the tiny kitten with a deformity.
That is, until fate intervened and a kindhearted woman named Wendy answered an ad for a free crippled kitten. Wendy felt an immediate bond with the little kitty. She didn’t see a kitten whose deformed legs made it extremely difficult for her to walk. She saw a sweet, cute and loving soul who deserved a chance to have a wonderful life despite her handicap. Wendy took her home and named her Willow, because “a beautiful girl deserves a beautiful name.” As the days turned to months, Wendy’s love for Willow grew, and she came to see her as “the most perfect angel in all the earth.”
Wendy built steps so Willow could get up on the furniture and look out the window. She helped Willow as best as she could, but unless something was done, Willow’s legs could develop ulcerations that might lead to infection. Not wanting her baby to be in pain, Wendy prayed for a miracle – she hoped that a doctor could fix Willow’s legs.
Wendy created a Facebook page for Willow, so she could share her story and make friends with other kitties and cat-loving humans. And the friends came…hundreds and hundreds of them! Willow’s new friends were so touched by her story that they sent her lots of great gifts, and medical supplies to help with her care. They raised money so Willow could see an orthopedic vet, and were heartbroken when the doctor said he couldn’t fix Willow’s legs. But that only spurred them on, and these new friends raised more money so Willow could get a specially made wheelchair.
Willow started learning a new way to walk and a new way of life. It was then that Wendy realized they had received the miracle she’d been praying for – but it wasn’t the wheelchair, and it wasn’t even about Willow’s legs. It was about all the love that came to Willow from people all around the world. It was about the support of thousands of compassionate pet lovers rallying to help one little kitty have a better life.
One should never underestimate the power of social networking sites like Facebook. I’ve witnessed time and again the miraculous things that happen when pet lovers come together for a cause they believe in. Thanks to her wonderful “mom” and the kindness of strangers, a once nameless kitten now has a joyful life. Willow says she is “a very happy little girl who enjoys her life. It is better to have love than legs.”
Willow has also embraced Facebook, and uses her newfound celebricat status to help other kitties. She posts about kitties that need adopting, or kitties whose human guardians need help with medical bills. There’s even a kitty in Egypt that needs a wheelchair, just like Willow did not so long ago. I’ve no doubt that in the years to come, Willow will pay it forward. She will continue to help those less fortunate pets who need their own miracle, and she’ll inspire other humans to help too.
When I contacted Willow’s Mom for permission to use her photos, I found out she just recently switched to FELIDAE and is very happy with it. “Willow eats the FELIDAE Cat and Kitten Formula, and she loves it,” said Wendy. “I personally think FELIDAE is the best cat food out there, and I want only the best for my Willow! We absolutely love FELIDAE...the ingredient list says it all.”
To learn more about Willow, you can watch her YouTube video, and join her on Facebook.
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