A human mama would probably say to her child: Have your earmuffs? Check. Have both your mittens? Check. What about your scarf? Check. How about your boots? Check. We want anyone outside to be warm and safe.

Not so the case with animals at times. It was January 8, 2014–oh my, it was so bitter cold. We had one winter storm after another. Coralie was outside. She found her way to a lady’s back porch. That’s all the further she could go. This lady found her laying on her side, stiff, covered in ice and snow. At first she thought the cat had passed away, then a breath was taken. She whisked her inside and wrapped her in towels that were warmed in the dryer. Coralie was 1 and 1/2 years old. We gave her the birthday of 6/12/12.

The next day, Coralie was brought to Friends of Felines Rescue Center in Defiance, OH. Many parts of her were frostbitten. Her ears, her tail, many toes on all four feet, her rear ankles and her chin. Such a sad thing to see, but Coralie was purring. We began the journey to help her.

After much discussion with our vet, her treatments were started. All of her frostbit areas were slathered in special creams to enhance healing. Pain meds were given. She endured all of this like a sweet cat. She was a good patient even for her daily soaks to her back legs and front feet. We tried so hard to save all these areas. And she fought the battle with us–such a wonderful cat.

Her first surgery was to remove her ear flaps that had turned black and many of her toes had to be removed. But we were so happy that some of the front toes could be saved. Her tail too turned black and could not be saved. She was left with a tail stub though!

Then we continued treatments on those rear legs, desperately trying to save them. But it was not to be. They simply wouldn’t heal. They were causing great pain and a fix was not possible. Her first rear leg was removed, shortly after that her second rear leg was removed. Now we had a cat with a short-tail, short ears, toes missing, and no rear legs. What were we to do? As always, we let the cats decide.

And Coralie decided to live! She’s a spunky girl. She decided she loves life and was going to go on living! She is a survivor and is very happy.

She is a permanent resident of FFRC–as she has a few potty issues that would not make for a good adoption. But, no matter, she is rather like the queen of FFRC. We feel her ears are cute, her chin healed just fine, and her stubby tails waves and wiggles like any other cat tail! And she can go wherever she wants, whenever she wants to! Coralie has complete freedom in the entire Rescue Center. She tends to think of herself as the cat who needs to teach those whippersnapper kittens some manners!

Watching her play with catnip toys always brings a smile to the volunteers. Every morning after breakfast she loves to go into the towel cabinet for a nap. She has it all figured out—go to the cabinet, stare at it and then stare at the volunteer that is helping. We always get the message! She simply needs a bottom boost and in she goes! To get out, she just pushes the door open.
Coralie has also mastered the “blink blink” trick! Those gorgeous huge eyes of hers….she knows all she has to do is the blink and we crumble–extra pets and another treat!

She has been pure joy to us. Coralie has taught us that a handicap doesn’t have to be viewed as a problem. She carries on in life with a glad heart and with a purpose—to love, to keep those kittens in line, and to accept love from all of us. If Coralie could pass on a bit of advice, it would be to protect those outside pets–be sure they have a warm place to be safe in and good food and clean water.

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