Hi! My name is Sunshine. I’m usually called Sunny or Sun. My family says I’m probably a Turkish Angora mix; about 3 years old, I guess. I’m not a Ragdoll, but I was adopted from a Ragdoll rescue and I live with adoptive Ragdoll/mix siblings. This is my story about how I was rescued and came to be part of my family in Texas from all the way across the world.
I was born under a broken bed in a run-down villa in Qatar. My mom took care of me. When I was old enough to play, she played with me in the yard during the day when the people who lived there were at work. She would go across the street to a trash bin to get us food. She was a good mom, but life on the street is dangerous. Sadly, she didn’t make it back one day and I was left to fend for myself. Even though I was a cute young kitten, not everyone was nice to me. Someone tied a shoestring around my neck and I couldn’t get it off by myself. At some point, my tail was broken. I was alone and hungry and scared. Fortunately, I saw a lady, Randa, feeding cats on the other side of the road, so I went to her for help and for food. She was so nice! She cut the shoestring off of me and gave me food and even started bringing me food in the villa so that I wouldn’t have to cross the street and risk being hit by a car or abused. The problem was the people that lived in the villa didn’t want me there, so they would pick up the food bowls Randa left for me and throw them away. I showed her where they threw my food bowls when she came back to refill them, and she decided she needed to get me out of there. Randa saved me just in time! Soon after that, the villa was abandoned and chained up. I would have been trapped for sure!
Randa kept me safe and named me Suntan and looked for a good home for me. The following year, she worked with a rescue group in Qatar to get me on a plane to the USA where they said I would have a better chance of finding a good home where I would be a loved and cherished family member. So, in June 2018, I boarded a plane along with another cat and several kittens to make the long trip across the ocean to Texas. I’m not ashamed to admit that I was absolutely petrified.
We landed on the other side of the world and I was picked up by some people I had never met before and they put me in a car. By then I was so tired and thirsty and hungry that all I could do was stare at them in fear and pant. They talked to me softly and made sure I had enough air and gave me fresh water, but I was still so scared. The other adult cat I was with was no help as he was just as scared as I was. They drove me an hour away to Ennis, and I was placed in a bit of a quarantine situation. It was quite comfortable, and I finally had food and more water and a litterbox! There were lots of other cats there. I found out that all of them were also looking for a home like the one my Randa used to talk about finding for me, so at least I wasn’t alone.
I wasn’t in quarantine very long. It turns out I just needed a few things and then I was free to roam the house. I saw the lady that picked me up from the airport several times and she always stopped to talk to me and pet me. I really love being petted! I would even jump down from the top of the refrigerator to get petted sometimes. I noticed that people would come over on the weekends and talk to and pet the other cats and then take them home with them. I really wanted a home, but I didn’t feel like I really fit in at the rescue I now know as Merlin’s Hope Ragdoll Rescue. I was a bit overshadowed by playful young kittens, big floofy Ragdolls and Persians, and handsome tabbies. I’m a bit more exotic with my reddish coloring and big green eyes. From June to late December I watched other cats go to their forever homes but no one seemed interested in me. My rescue mom MeLinda was so good to me, though - talking to me, playing with me, and making sure I was doing okay. I missed Randa, but I was grateful to be far away from the dangers of the streets.
And then one day, my friend who picked me up from the airport came over to take pictures of us for our Petfinder profiles (whatever that is). She loved on me for a bit and then picked me up (she had never done that before) and held me for a while and whispered, “Do you want to come stay with me?” I wasn’t sure exactly what she meant, but I chirped at her and let her take my picture (again), and followed her around. About a week later, she came back with a big gray carrier, grabbed some of my things (my passport, I suppose), and took me on yet another car ride (I really hate those things). Have you ever heard of Christmas? Well, on the car ride my friend, my new foster mom, told me that it was Christmas time and that when we got to her house I was going to get a stocking. A what?!
When we got to my foster house I was put in my VERY OWN ROOM! It was so quiet except for the birds outside. Oh my gosh - I LOVED watching the birds! I could tell there were other cats there, Wash and Cake as I would soon learn are their names, but they were elsewhere in the house. This room was just for me. My foster parents brought me fresh water and food, a stocking with toys in it, a new bed for me to lay in (I was, apparently, their first foster cat), and they pet me and helped me relax for a little bit before leaving me alone for the evening. I could still hear them all night.
After a short while, I started to get used to my room and my foster parents. I even let them clip my claws, but only one paw at a time (let’s not get too carried away). I started to feel more like myself, so I talked a lot more, and I purred a lot to make sure my foster parents knew how grateful I was when they came to sit with me or play with me or bring me food and fresh water. I made lots of little sounds at them. I was so happy just to lay next to them when they're visiting or when we played. I loved playing! I would play with anything and everything. Sometimes when I was alone at night, I would just play with every toy in the room by myself. I also liked it when they would brush me and pet me, and I even liked it when they would pick me up and hold me and pet me for a while. Sometimes I gave them kisses, and sometimes I would love bite them. I’m not sure why, but I didn't actually bite them for real.
After a little while I started to meet the resident cats in the house and we started to get to know each other. Cake hissed at me at first, but we became friends. Like me, Wash was rescued by Merlin’s Hope and stayed there too until my foster parents adopted him 5 years before. Since then Wash and Cake moved several times with their family, but they finally settled down. I was really hoping that after nearly 2 years of looking for this magical “forever home” someone would want me and I would find a family like my foster brother Wash did.
...And then it happened. One day, in the middle of the week on a Wednesday when nothing special at all was happening, my foster parents picked me up and took pictures with me and told me that they decided that they just couldn’t bear to part with me. “You’re home.” HOME. Wash and Cake weren’t my foster siblings anymore and my foster parents weren’t my foster parents anymore. This was my family! My foster parents, my friends who picked me up from the airport so many months ago, adopted me on January 9th just a few weeks after bringing me into their home. My parents decided that they wanted me to have a fresh start, but they felt like my name had been given to me with love and it was important, so they renamed me Sunshine.
Now, I’m one of the resident cats and we have other fosters from Merlin’s Hope. Instead of one little cat bed in my foster room, I can lay on ANYTHING anywhere in the house, and I do. I love laying on the different cat beds and the couch and showing off my belly! I also sing for and talk to my parents when they’re making me dinner. I LOVE Stella and Chewy freeze-dried chicken! My parents say I’ve become a goofy, funny, beautiful girl, but I’m just being me! I mean, OF COURSE I make funny faces at my family - they can be so strange. Haha! Since January we also adopted a dog, Bella. My parents said they always wanted a big fuzzy family - well, here we are! My family shares our pictures on our Facebook page @RescuedFuzzies (Wash, Cake, Sunshine, and Bella). Mom says she hopes my story will help people understand the importance of working with overseas rescues to get kitties like me to safety. My story isn’t the worst, for sure! We’re so grateful to Randa for rescuing me and to MHRR for taking me in and keeping me safe. Thank you for caring!
MHRR is an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) non-profit Ragdoll and Ragdoll-similar (long-hair) breed/mix rescue located in North Texas. They focus on rescuing, rehabilitating, and rehoming cats coming from local shelters, owner surrenders, and overseas partnerships. All MHRR cats are fostered in private homes. Donations can be made via PayPal using the link (https://www.paypal.me/merlinshope). Please follow the MHRR Facebook page for regular updates.
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