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About 13 years ago, a woman named Rosalie in the small town if Onset, Massachusetts, began feeding a neighborhood feral cat and her two sisters. There wasn’t a no-kill shelter in the area so, with the help of an animal control officer, they captured all three cats and spayed and released them.

Rosalie continued to feed them and provide shelter in the colder months in a storage area under her house. Over the years, one sister stopped coming around and then a second. Rosalie had an older dog who became sick, but she continued to do the best she could on a fixed budget for the remaining sister (never knowing if the other sisters were killed or rescued).

A few years after her long-time dog companion passed away, Rosalie, figuring the last cat sibling was getting older too, managed to coax her into the house - mostly to protect her from nightly predators and sometimes below 30-degree weather. She named the cat “Stray”.

One day, Rosalie noticed that Stray had eaten very little. After this continued for three consecutive days, she risked being scratched by looking in Stray’s mouth and saw a very badly abscessed tooth. So, she began searching for an emergency animal hospital - dreading the cost because of what she had paid for her dog in its final years. After many phone calls and reaching out to other pet owners, Rosalie finally found one that had an animal dentist.

After the examination, the vet was able to give her a few pain pills so Stray would be able to eat. The original estimate for the needed dental work was $2,000 (£1,660). Knowing that Rosalie could not afford the fee, the vet office called around and was able to find a non-emergency feline dentist that believed she could do most of what needed to be done for about $800 (£660).

That was still too much for Rosalie’s limited income and, although she had fed and sheltered the cat for over 13 years, she was feeling guilt and sadness at the possibility of having to put Stray down or give her to the one shelter which said they would take care of the cost - but Rosalie would have to give up Stray.

Thanks to the generosity of Network for Animals’ supporters, we were able to fund the entire cost of Stray’s emergency surgery through our Little Acts of Kindness program. This means that Rosalie and the once feral cat - now called Stray” - can remain together in their latter years. Stray will always have a warm, loving home, and Rosalie will have the companionship she longed for after her beloved dog died. Thank you, NFA supporters, for making this beautiful happy ending possible!

We rely solely on your generosity to help animals in urgent need every day. Please donate now and help us give more animals a life free of suffering.

P.S: As every cat lover knows, ‘Stray’ cats are notoriously hard to photograph! These snaps are the best Stray would allow us to capture!

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