Alumni News – Rizzo

Feline Rescue thinks the best way for you to get a feel for the work of the organization and it’s many dedicated volunteers is by letting our adopters (and their cats!) tell their own success stories.

Editor’s Note: Rizzo was my own kitty, adopted from the foster system in 2010. She crossed over the rainbow bridge last week, but I wanted to share her story as a shining example of the tremendous difference that Feline Rescue makes in the lives of cats and the people who adopt them. 


I adopted Rizzo on Sept. 4, 2010, after rescuing and then fostering her for two years. During those two years, the emaciated, sickly little grey kitty that came into Feline Rescue’s foster system blossomed into a beautiful, faithful companion. She was a frightened stray who likely had been abused, so it took a long time to gain her trust. It was six weeks before she finally stopped swatting at me and let me pet her, and four more before she crawled up on to my lap.

Over the next year and nine months, Rizzo and I continued to get to know each other. In all that time, Feline Rescue got just two calls inquiring about her, and neither seemed like the right fit. Eventually, it dawned on me that if an appropriate adopter really did show an interest in her I was not going to be able to let her go! Somehow, despite her dislike of my other cats, the occasional “love bite” or swat when I tried to pet her, and her not infrequent moodiness (her nickname was Crabby Pants), we had developed a very strong bond.


After adopting Rizzo, that bond continued to grow. She slept snuggled up to me every night, laid in the crook of my arm when I watched TV, and even traveled up north with me to visit my family. (She didn’t much like the ride, but she loved being the only cat in the house once she got there!)

Eight months ago, I found a small lump on Rizzo’s belly. It turned out to be a malignant mammary tumor. She had mammary cancer. I was devastated. I immediately had the tumor surgically removed, but it came back several months later, along with at least two others, and they slowly began to grow. She put up such a good fight, with her head up and her eyes bright all through her illness. It was difficult to finally make the decision to let her go, but I knew it was the right thing to do.

This loss has been particularly heartbreaking for me, perhaps because of the special bond Rizzo and I developed during the months-long socialization process. I miss her presence in my home. But at the same time, I feel blessed to have had her in my life for as long as I did — and it is all because of Feline Rescue. The people in this organization care so deeply for each and every cat and kitten that comes through the shelter door or into the foster system or outreach program. And not only does Feline Rescue save cats and kittens that otherwise may never have a chance at a happy, healthy life, it brings years of joy and love to the people who adopt the cats and kitties it rescues.


I simply cannot thank you enough, Feline Rescue, for the wonderful work you do and for giving me the years I had with Rizzo.


(For more details on Rizzo’s unique story, see the Feature Story “Rizzo’s Rescue” on the homepage of the website.)

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