Rescue kitten Snoopy was a tiny, helpless, 10-day-old bundle found in the middle of a busy road but a decade later when this defenceless little creature crossed the rainbow bridge, she left an important legacy for her adoptive parents.
Somerset West resident and Snoopy’s adoring Dad, Ian Laxton, takes up the story:
“Back in 2009 my wife Sonja and I were driving on the R40, heading to the Ingwelala reserve. The R40 road goes from Nelspruit up past the Kruger Park to Hoedspruit and is always busy with trucks and cars. About 8km outside of Hoedspruit the road went between game reserves on both sides.
“I was driving at about 50km/hour when I looked in the rearview mirror and spotted something small and grey in the road behind me. I had driven right over it but fortunately it was in the centre of the lane and the wheels had missed it. Curious about what this tiny animal could be, I drove back and pulled over. Trucks passed and then Sonja climbed out and went to look. It was a tiny, 10-day-old kitten, its eyes barely open. It couldn’t move.
“Sonja picked it up and it just lay there in her hands. We went to a vet in Hoedspruit but they couldn’t take it, so we got some Kitty Milk and (illegally) took it into Ingwelala for the weekend. When we got home to Joburg four days later we saw that the kitten was lethargic and still – it was basically starving. For days we pushed solid foods into its mouth, bought a toy baby’s bottle and kept it alive. Only just.
“Long story short – Snoopy (yes, that’s what Sonja called her!) grew up to be the most delightful, loving kitty, playful and friendly, a big climber who would go to the top of the tallest tree in the garden and look down at me.
Rescue kitten’s mystery arrival remains unsolved
“We have no idea how she got into the road. She looked like a Russian Blue breed and it’s unlikely that she was born in the bush. Also, she could not have survived out there in a busy, narrow road for more than a few minutes without being run over by something.
“We guess that someone just put her there, in a middle of the R40, 8km out of town, minutes before we arrived.
“We will never know but we were extraordinary lucky to have had 9 precious years with a delightful kitty and she, of course, had 9 happy years in a loving, cat-friendly home.
“Sadly, little Snoopy died of renal failure before she turned 10. It was a tragedy and I still miss her,” says Ian.
Rescue kitten Snoopy taught her adoptive parents an important lesson about cat care which Ian has happily shared with us. Read it below:
Rescue kitten’s important legacy
“We wish we had known more about renal failure and I’m sharing our story so that other cat parents will understand the importance of regular screening for cats over the age of 7. Early intervention and treatment can improve prognosis.