Sapphire’s a Gem!

She’s not an Olympian, exactly. But Sapphire does boast the guts and glory typical of gold medalists. Similarly, her back story is a testament to the teamwork of many who worked hard to reach a common goal. And the best may be yet to come.


It all began earlier this year when Sapphire, a domestic shorthair with enormous, striking eyes that earned her bejeweled name, was spotted on a front lawn. That she was heavily pregnant made her discovery that much more urgent for the caring strangers who stumbled upon her.

Said strangers did their best to locate her home. Plus they took her to a vet and kept her while they searched, but they ultimately couldn’t keep her. Knowing she was pregnant and about to deliver, they reached out to find her a foster.

Annex Cat Rescue answered the call, and Sapphire delivered six beautiful, healthy kittens which she nursed for 10 weeks until they could be placed in foster homes. Young Sapphire – still kittenish herself and the curious cat personified – was spayed and poised to begin her new life.

Then came a big, unforeseen hurdle and Sapphire’s story took on the gravitas worthy of the Olympian comparison. On the cusp of Victoria Day weekend, the cat stopped eating, began vomiting and having diarrhea.

Concerned foster mom Kathy McDonald took her to Beaches Animal Hospital where she was diagnosed with intussusception, a rare condition in which a part of the intestine folds into another section of intestine; think of how the parts of a collapsible telescope slide into one another. Sapphire underwent emergency surgery May 16.

Dr. Joanna Coote, a vet at Beaches and, fortuitously, at the Toronto Humane Society, raised the concern that Sapphire would need another surgery. In fact she needed two: both were carried out at the THS which stepped in to fill the void initially created by the holiday weekend.

The THS and its staff went beyond the call, caring for Sapphire even though her condition was vexingly uncommon, and doing extensive research to chart the best possible aftercare.

Sapphire returned the favour. Even now, Kathy notes, THS personnel, from vets to techs to volunteers, ask after her. “She really touched their hearts.” Stoic Sapphire, who successfully underwent the surgeries only to emerge healthier than anyone could have reasonably dreamed, is ready for her forever home, where she is all but guaranteed to bring heaps of joy.

“She plays, and runs, nonstop. She’s very young; I’m guessing about a year now,” says Kathy, adding that Sapphire – who enjoys frolicking with her foster cat roommate – has a thing for mounting bannisters. “I’m not sure how she balances there,” Kathy chuckles, “but she sure likes to play”.

“And even though her condition has left her with loose stool, she never misses the litter box!”

All of which just goes to show that there are such things as happy endings even when there’s drama along the way. Sapphire is romping, purring proof.

Donations to Sapphire’s ongoing care would be much appreciated, or if you’re interested in giving Sapphire a forever home, see her profile here.  You can see all of our available cats on our Adoption page, and it’s a great time to adopt with our Adoption Price Promo going on now until the end of September.

By Kimberly Hughes

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