I'm a survivor though I may not look like one - yet. About 3 weeks ago I was first spotted on a farm looking for food. Life was tough and getting tougher. Something was making my ears itch so badly that I scratched till I was bleeding and still I itched. Food had been scarce for a long time, and many of my teeth were broken so even if I could catch something, I couldn't eat it properly. I found some old rained-on dog food at the farm and I ate it but I was still hungry. I hung around and found that the people there left little bowls of dry food out but I couldn't eat it very well because my teeth were hurting so much and it was hard.
I was desperate so one day I called out to the lady on the deck. She put out some great smelling food only it was in a metal wire box and I was scared to eat it so I went hungry again. The next day she put out fish but I was still too frightened of that box so I went hungry. Then she put out some other food that smelled so good and I was so hungry I went in the box to eat it. And I was trapped. I ate the food and then tried to get out but couldn't. When the sun came up again the lady came out and put a cover over me and I hissed at her. I wanted help but not like this. Another lady came and put me in a car and took me to a terrible place where it smelled like medicine and there were strange people looking at me and trying to poke me with something. I fought as hard as I could but they got me and I fell asleep.
When I woke up I was in a big metal wire box they called a “pen” and it had warm blankets over it and a comfy place for me to rest. I felt awful but there was food and lots of it and water, and a soft dry place to sleep. The new lady comes and puts more food in (she says it has antibiotics in it) and I hide in the corner because I am scared but maybe it isn't too bad if there's food and I feel a little better each day.
The lady who "trapped" me named me Cheddar because she read a book where a cat named Cheddar survived a fire, and she says I'm a survivor even though the doctors thought they couldn't save me as I was too far gone they said. This is me now, but soon I will get strong and well again and be beautiful like in the past.
And maybe one day my teeth won't hurt so much and I will be free and able to hunt again – or maybe I’ll get to have a cozy home indoors with a life of luxury someday. I'll keep hoping.
Update January 2016
Cheddar had a fabulous home where he really came out of his shell and enjoyed life to the fullest. He is a very special kitty who has left us now but with us forever in spirit.
Update December 2011
Cheddar, now renamed Murray, is our success story of the year. He was adopted by a wonderful woman who understands his gentle soul. He is progressing rapidly beyond our greatest hopes. For many months here in the beginning he wouldn't even lift his little head and now he actually comes up to greet his new "mom" and loves cuddling and sleeping with her. The adoption of Cheddar is the most heart-warming event of our year of 2011 and he was adopted on New Year's Eve.
Update November 2011
Cheddar is now very affectionate and loves being held and petted. He is nervous for a few minutes around strangers, but then warms up quickly. He has come a long ways!
Update August 2011
Cheddar has had his dental surgery and is recovering nicely. If approached slowly and gently he now enjoys lots of petting, even including tummy petting. He is making huge advancements!
Update July 2011
Cheddar has recovered from his injuries but is still exhausted from a long time on the ground. He is beginning to gain weight and eats well, although he still awaits his dental surgery. He is not strong enough yet for the required sedation, but we hope he will be up to the surgery in a couple of months. At that time he will need some kind donations so he can go through this last step in his recovery. Cheddar is a nice cat who is beginning to accept petting and trust us more each week.