It has been six long years since Chilliwack resident Christina Bartha saw her cat Goose.
The orange and white tabby had been the family pet since 2002, but went missing in October, 2010, when the family moved to a new home.
Bartha said Goose always came with them when they moved, although he would sometimes make his way back to their old house. Luckily her mother-in-law lived nearby and would see Goose and call the family to come get him. “She saw him a couple times and gave him food but after several months she hadn’t seen him,” said Bartha.
They searched for a year to try and find him. “We thought old age got him,” said Bartha, “or an older gal who loves cats because he is so affectionate and sweet, loving, [with a] great sense of humor personality. Really friendly and a true survivor.”
But after a year, they thought he wasn’t coming back.
Then, last week, Chilliwack resident Sue Kilfoyle posted on a Chilliwack Facebook group about a cat her daughter had found. Her “daughter saw the skin and bones cat and tried to give it food and water, but it was so critically malnourished, dehydrated,” said Bartha. “Goose was essentially dying now at 15 years of age.”
Kilfoyle took Goose to the vet and thanks to the tattoo in his ear, they were able to track down Bartha.
She said Goose was really skinny when they brought him to the vet. He was “dehydrated, malnourished, head fallen down, eyes sunken in, like a sausage essentially, when you [picked] him up by the stomach, his legs would hang on one side and his head on the other,” said Bartha, adding he was “critically ill.”
Goose was so sick that the first vet told Bartha he should be put down. But she wanted a second opinion.
They took the sickly cat to Cheam View Veterinary Hospital where the doctors and nurses were able to save him. Many in the community also contributed to Goose’s care through a GoFundMe campaign.
“I felt like we were given a second chance to reunite that I didn’t want to lose hope so I did everything I could to help Goose recover and pull through,” said Bartha.
Goose is now 15 years old. He is responding well to antibiotics and is on stomach pills to ease digestion and other medications to ease his recovery. He stayed in the hospital for three days and came home last Wednesday. “Every day is slow and steady as he continues to eat and drink, but in the meantime he is resting with lots of ‘cat naps’,” said Bartha.
“He still has the most endearing personality, so caring and loving, [so] nice and affectionate. [He’s] real survivor to us as he showed us in the hospital he was going to pull through.”
Goose will now live out his final days with the family he started his life with.
“I often think three miracles took place, in that one, he was found and brought back to us, second, that generous people had it on their hearts to offer financial support towards Goose’s vet treatment, and third, with the opportunity Goose was given he chose to fight and pull through, being the survivor at heart that he is,” said Bartha.
“A miracle happened as a result of faithful and supportive people in Chilliwack that cared just enough to make a difference in a cat’s life; enough to give it a second chance. One day when Goose is ready to pass, he will go with dignity, respect, and joy because of the gift he was offered today.”
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