Iris Needs Her Friends Again: A Meaningful Appeal

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Iris needs her friends again, with their circle of love, support and understanding. She is happy and enjoying life in her forever home  but internal scarring from the hideous abuse she endured means yet more treatment ahead. Petmom Lisa asks Iris’s supporters for their good thoughts and prayers, and reminds us of the meaning of Iris’ cause, as  Hillside SPCA requests donations on Iris’s behalf.

In the past we have danced around what happened to Iris, in deference to readers’ delicate sensibilities.  This time we will be somewhat more blunt in sharing what her petmom Lisa Konkus and her rescue family at Hillside SPCA have to say on the matter.

We won’t retell the story of Iris and the loving community she gathered and inspired; anyone interested can visit our previous stories via the link at the bottom of this post. In short, Iris was discovered on a back porch earlier this year as a six months old kitten who had recently been sexually violated, and was taken to Hillside SPCA in Pottsville, PA for care.

One woman was haunted by what had happened to the innocent beauty and cried out to her friends and contacts on Facebook. A sensitive animal advocate heard that cry and picked up Iris’ cause and before long an international network of love, prayer, community and financial support was gathered ’round the injured cat and her loving caregivers. Many of Iris’ supporters also knew the physical and psychic trauma of abuse, and Iris’s healing journey transferred to hope and healing for many traumatized humans.

Of all the statements echoed by Iris’s most dedicated supporters one struck us as perhaps the most meaningful element of the story. We heard many times, from many people, that as harsh as Iris’s violation was, and as hurtful to even contemplate, formerly abused women found  hope and strength deep within themselves as they became participants in Iris’s cause.

Iris’ closest people and friends all feel strongly about the importance of her case as it highlights the issue of sexual abuse, and those who become abusers. As we all know by now, abusers are sometimes motivated to act out what has been done to them and they often progress in their victimization from small animals, to children and in some cases to adults, depending on their individual fixations and proclivities. As for violent abuse in general, cats seem to be a prime target, and training tool, based on their availability and vulnerability.

For this reason, along with the pure desire to help an endearing little creature who humanity owes it to, this fresh appeal for love, prayer, fellowship, concern, support, and donations from those willing and able to give, has special meaning.

We have finally introduced this element to the story of Iris and the community around her at the request of people very close to her, including petmom Lisa Konkus. I was initially reluctant to continue posting about Iris after she got her fairy tale ending with her loving family and forever home and did not want to violate her family’s privacy by further broadcasting her continuing saga. Lisa wanted the story told, and feels strongly that something good can and should come out of the terrible wrong done to her beautiful cat, as the issue of  this most personal and traumatic violation is highlighted.

Iris’s current medical situation traces back to shortly before July 20. Iris had been on a three week treatment for a UTI and was doing great. After finishing one of her antibiotics she began to have trouble controlling her bladder and a vet appointment was scheduled to look into the matter. Lisa was concerned about the continuing leakage trouble as well as the effects from repeated use of medications

On August 8 Iris went to the Veterinary Referral Center in Malvern, PA, with petparents Lisa and Andy, along with Iris’ “godmother” Sylvia from Hillside. By this time she was not only leaking, but tinkling all over the place. Additionally, that morning she threw up her food. Her spirit, mood and energy level were all good, though, as she ran around and played with the family’s other kitties and beagle.

Lisa had by this time become very worried  for the sweet cat who had come so far in healing, both medically and psychically. Iris’s injuries were not merely physical.  Those around her had diligently focused love and gentle care to restore Iris’s sense of trust of humans and of the world.

Here follow excerpts from Lisa’s journal entries on what the doctors found, her response, and the possible course of action:

August 8

Today we saw Dr. Bagshaw; she had 3 other doctors called in to evaluate Iris also.  They all said they NEVER saw such horrific damage done to an animal EVER!!!  This made me immediately cry and shake, and provoked a feeling of rage and revenge that I have NEVER felt before in my life.

The scar tissue that formed around the female part of Iris from the internal damage that was forced upon her, has almost covered her opening that her urine is not able to pass through the urethra properly.  Iris will go through a series of tests in 2 weeks to get a better idea if reconstructive surgery is an option to her female area.   It is possible that the surgery could damage things more, or not even help.  Only the tests will give us the answers.  Iris is happy to be home and relaxing comfortably.

Today  I cried more tears of pain for Iris , and felt an emtional rage of wanting revenge upon her attackers as my body trembled in shock.  The doctors said there was probably more than 1 person involved to inflict this much damage.   One to  hold her, while the other sexually assaulted her.  WHY????  This was a six month old defenseless kitten.

August 11

We heard back about Iris’ bloodwork and the red and white cell counts are perfect.  Kidney levels look good also.

Dr. Bagshaw commented to my husband that they will do everything in their medical power to help Iris.  From observing her they said she is a very happy cat and deserves to have a normal life with normal body functions.  GREAT NEWS!!!!

Iris will have her exploratory exam Tuesday August 23rd.  She will be sedated at that time and a team of surgeons will be ready if she can benifit from any corrective surgery if needed.  We live in a small county so this type of care and facility is amazing to us.  Very impressive!!!  We are blessed!!!!


Iris’s loving friends at Hillside SPCA write:

Regretfully, Sweet Iris, although in appearance a normal, happy kitty, is STILL struggling with urinary and bladder problems caused by the hideous sexual abuse she suffered back in March . Recently examined by specialists at Malvern Vet Referral Clinic, the folks there were astounded because none of them ever saw such horrific damage done to an animal. This brought renewed and new feelings of sadness and rage, above and beyond what was already experienced by Iris’s adoptive family and Hillside’s Sylvia and staff!

The scar tissue that formed around Iris’ vagina from the sexual abuse forced upon her has covered most of the opening, thus not allowing her urine to pass through the urethra properly. This is resulting in leakage, uncontrolled puddling, and urinary tract infections. It is also unknown how much internal damage was done. She needs to go through an extensive series of tests which will determine whether re-constructive surgery will be an option. We are hoping it will be and that surgical risks will be minimal.

Iris has endured so much in her young life; she deserves to live her life free of urinary distress, recurring infections, and the discomfort that comes with them. However, treatment will be costly; testing alone will top $1000 and surgery could be as high as $4,000. Our deepest respect and gratitude go out to everyone who already contributed to help with Iris’ vet bills. We never dreamed her cruelly inflicted damage would take us to the point where such delicate and costly surgery would be needed. But it has. And we want to be able to be here for her.

PLEASE help us help Iris. Any donation, any size, to Joe’s Fund will help us cover the specialized veterinary care Iris needs to regain control of her issues — and her life… the opportunity to live each day without the reminder of the torture she went through. The Hillside and her loving family are going to bat for Iris, will you help us? To donate quickly and securely, visit and make sure to choose ‘JOE’S FUND’ when giving. Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts.


We will let Lisa and Sylvia’s words stand on their own, but ask any who have followed Iris’s journey, or who may have concern for a cat they’ve never heard of,  to at the very least, think good thoughts for this girl who has truly come a long, long way from the frightened, injured young cat who was all alone in the world just months ago. Iris has a good life with the best family she could have and Lisa adopted her knowing that she might be a leaker for the rest of her days. We sincerely wish the best for her treatment and continued recovery.

Index of Iris stories
Hillside SPCA
Hillside SPCA Donations Page

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17 thoughts on “Iris Needs Her Friends Again: A Meaningful Appeal”

  1. So sad. I just rescued a 5 week old kitten and the BS that I heard from the people who were caring for her just makes my blood boil.

  2. people suck when they have their so called attitudes about animals but yet will they let there kids do without ‘HELL NO’

  3. VRC is a GREAT veterinary facility with some of the best vets and techs. She is in good hands. Sending many prayers to her, her owners and to those that will help Iris get through this.

  4. Iris, I love you so much. What happened to you has helped me face my own childhood trauma. Your story grabbed my heart and soul the very first time I read about you. You have been through horrific pain at the hands of a “monster” and I began praying for a miracle for you. Your story has brought together many people who love you and care about you. We all want to help. Your healing is our healing. I was with you at the beginning of the story and I’m staying with you until the end of the story, which is going to have many more miracles. I hope those who can donate money for your tests and surgery, will do that and if they can’t, I am asking that they please say prayers for your healing and share your story with everyone they know. Thank you Hillside, petmom Lisa, and Life With Cats. Love, Joyce and Icy

  5. Can barely afford cat food, or I’d donate. This is very disturbing, but so glad you posted it; people need to know these things, and I’m sure it does so touch human sexual abuse survivors…the evil done is just that, EVIL!

  6. Donated. Now to keep my fingers crossed that the testing turns out well and that surgery will help the sweet girl.

  7. This is the most horrific story I’ve ever read. Poor Iris. Thank God that she is getting expert medical help. I have donated and wish I cold do more. Bless her heart.

  8. donated from England,just read the story of Iris and it sickens me to the stomach to think a “human” could inflict such pain and indignity on a little defenceless animal…….why?My love and prayers go to Iris,she is so brave and beautiful <3

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