We took one look at his sweet face, and immediately knew we had to save him and his sisters. I asked our good friends at Forever Home Feline Ranch in Springfield, IL if they could take him in, and they said yes! Hurray! We gave the shelter the good news, and picked Lestat and his sisters, Callie and Smokey up soon after. His other sister, Bella, was adopted.
|The first picture we saw of Lestat. This was his intake photo. What a doll!|
A couple hours after they were dropped off there, I rushed over to meet our new rescue kitties. I just knew they were going to be great cats!
When I got there, Lestat was nowhere to be found. I knew he was a big boy, and it's not like there was anywhere to hide in an empty condo, so I started to get very worried. But after a little deeper search, and opening all the cabinets, I found this...
|Oh hai! You found me.|
That was him in that cabinet. He wanted to come out, I could just tell -- he was just really scared and not sure where he was or what was going on. A day or two later, he was out and about and I was holding him and loving on him like he deserved.
|Me and Lestat having some snuggle time at the condo.|
I went to visit as much as I could, and while I love all the kitties we help, Lestat immediately found a special place in my heart. And it wasn't just me! My dad thought about adopting him himself and everyone in our transport group fell madly in love with our big boy, too.
|Lestat relaxing in his bed at the condo.|
Along the way, the drivers kept careful tabs on everyone and we noticed Lestat was a little bit stressed out. He was always a drooler when he got excited (he was drooling when he first got to the condo, but then stopped once he knew he was safe and comfortable), and a few drivers said he was drooling a lot on the road. We had Spirit Essences, which is great for stress, so we made sure to put some in his cage to calm him. Kitties a little stressed on the road is a pretty normal thing.
|Lestat on the road!|
We also had the idea to put him and his sister Callie in the same carrier, since they had cuddled together so much in the condo. He might feel better with her around! Once we did that, he did seem to relax, and we felt better about that.
|Lestat zenned out with his other sister, Smokey, earlier in the condo.|
Our first drivers of the day said he seemed much better, was not as fussy and more relaxed. He was snoozing with another driver (and snoring loud, she said!). We thought he was calmed down from the day before and in for a better day today.
|Did I mention what a BIG boy he was? This is me holding him at the condo!|
He was gone.
How or why it happened, we'll never know. But I am so completely heartbroken and sad and crushed and overwhelmed by this. We talked to our vet. Lestat got a full and thorough checkup before he left. His heart seemed fine and he was only a little sick -- nothing stopping him from traveling. He was just so easily stressed out, and I think that something happened to do with that. Even though he seemed better.
|Comfy Lestat. The cute face I'll always remember.|
He was in his carrier with his sister, Callie, when he passed and I am grateful for that. I'm glad he wasn't alone. I wish he was still here with me or at the condo. I miss his face and his little meow.
|Getting a little drink at the faucet in the condo last week.|
But I don't want to think about what he might have had. These are the things I KNOW he had:
--An adorably sweet face
--Cute crossed eyes
--The tiniest chirp of a meow for a big boy
--Soft, cuddly fur
--A love for being held
--A penchant for cabinets
--Something for drinking water out of the bathroom sink
--A bunch of amazing people who loved him despite never meeting him
|Prowling around the condo. Wasn't he a majestic boy?|
I supposed the odds are, as with any rescue effort, that something will happen to some of them along the way. You do your best and know that every one saved is a miracle. I am holding on to that.
The other 13 cats on this transport are going to live the dream we had for Lestat, and for all of them. They will find wonderful homes and live happy lives and be safe and loved. And all of us will always love Lestat. He'll live happily in all our hearts forever.
|Thank you to Cutehead Dana K. for this beautiful graphic. She was also one of his drivers.|
I know he will be one of the kitties waiting for me at the Bridge when it's my time to go. Let's carry beautiful Lestat in our hearts and keep on helping as many kitties as we can. Thanks, everyone, for all your help always.
And an extra special thanks to all of the Caboodle Caravan's drivers this weekend for getting them all to Illinois and keeping an extra eye on our man.
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