Penelope: From Injured and Severely Ill Cat to Healthy Diva With a New Home

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Penelope, the day she came to Stratford Cat Project.

Penelope was a sweet little Persian kitten with a badly damaged eye when she arrived at the Stratford Cat Project rescue in CT, on January 10 of this year. It was obvious that she needed surgery, but the vet advised that the operation wait until she was a bit bigger. Within days, Penelope was acting on her own behalf via photos posted on the rescue’s Facebook page, as she asked friends of the Project and other cat lovers to please donate to Riley’s 2nd Chance Fund to help pay for hers and other cats  medical care and eventual rehoming.

A fundraiser held shortly afterward raised the money to pay for Penelope’s upcoming operation. She had already begun to show a very spunky personality and to keep her foster mom on her toes. A post from January 3o says, “Just wanted to let you know that I’m driving my foster mom my crazy. I’ve decided that I’m going to run out the door every time she opens it. Ran into the snow pile on Friday. What fun. Sadly, my foster mom is using the spray bottle to keep me away from the door. Bummer. But I am having so much fun with all my foster friends and all the wonderful toys I have. Don’t know why I want to run outside. I think it’s because I’m a Nosy Rosy which has become my nickname.” She also let on that she was very well loved, both by her foster mom and by Project volunteers who came to visit her.

Penelope had her surgery on March 29; the vet removed her bad eye and performed her spay surgery. The surgery went well but she ended up with a very bad upper respiratory infection, and stopped eating. Then, a severe setback put Penelope into an oxygen chamber, fighting for her life.

Fighting to live

A high fever accompanied the infection, keeping the little cat in danger. New antibiotics helped, and by April 13, Penelope’s fever broke and she showed signs of improvement; fighting the doctors and beginning to groom herself. Once Penelope was out of danger, the rescue addressed the matter of mounting medical bills and, once again, asked their friends for help.

Foster caregiver Karin wrote.”Penelope came home to my foster care today. She is going to need extensive care for the next 4 to 6 weeks. She needs to have an antibiotic shot every 8 hours and needs to be watched for food and water intake. I got a little overwhelmed with it today. Will take her to Dr. Schatz in the morning to go thru the injection process. I have a real issue with needles so this is going to be hard for me to deal with. But will work it out. Many of you come to my house for cleaning, feeding, socializing etc. Everyone will need to put gloves on when handling her. I’m so happy that she has pulled thru but her road to heal is a long one. Thanks for all your prayers for her. Her emergency and supportive vet care costs have been astronomical.”

Back in danger

The above post by Karin is from March 15. Three days, later, Penelope had taken a serious turn for the worse; x-rays showed the lung infection had worsened and plans were made to have a consulting surgeon advise whether part of her lung would need to be removed.  Penelope was seen by staff at Shorline Emergency Hospital and Norwalk Emergency Referral Center.

As Penelope’s struggle to live continued, TV channel 12 news did a feature and two newspapers published her story, making her a very well known cat with many supporters.

On April 25 she had surgery to remove the infected part of her lungs. The surgeon took about 20% of her lungs, which were abscessed and not functioning. She came home after a few days; followup treatment and analysis of her condition included antibiotics, pain meds, and more x-rays. A May 3 checkup showed a great recovery from the surgery, with Penelope’s lungs and vital signs all looking good. She was discovered to have ringworm where her bad eye had been removed, though; which was treated with ointment. A followup visit on May 10 confirmed that the little cat was doing well and on the mend, with just the ringworm fungus problem remaining.

An unwelcome part of the ringworm treatment.

By the middle of June, Penelope, or Princeess P, as she had become known, was much recovered and looking and feeling good. Her shaved fur had grown back long and fluffy and she became more of a normal cat and less of a recuperating patient.


The photo above was taken at the beginning of July. Six months after coming into the care of  Stratford Cat Project, Penelope had become a healthy and beautiful girl. She also continued to earn her title of Princess P by becoming ever more the diva; feisty and spunky, yet charming.

Penelope was already well known to her eventual adopter, a SCP volunteer, but she would remain in foster care for a while longer.  Meanwhile, she became an effective spokescat for the group that did everything in their power to save her.

SCP is an all volunteer agency, with no shelter and no public funding. In poring over the photo albums on their Facebook page, we have seen that they are tirelessly active in saving homeless and abandoned cats and kittens, caring for them, holding adoption events, and placing them in homes.

When SCP asked for donation to help with what ended up being $15,000 in medical bills for Penelope, they were surprised and touched to find donations coming from all over the US and several other countries.  They say they do not know how Penelope came to be injured and homeless. Their mission was to heal her and find her a home.

You can visit the group’s Stratford Cat Project website or their Stratford Cat Project Facebook Page to learn and see more about what they do.

Lookin’ silly

Princess P became the Stratford Cat Project’s official assistant mascot, appearing on TV, helping to reach out to the community, and helping to raise funds and to get other cats adopted. Her touching and inspiring story, and her adorable ways make her perfectly suited for the job. While Princess P has been adopted, she can easily continue to fulfill her duties for SCP.

Penelope with her new Dad, Tony

Penelope finally went to her forever home, with Tony, on October 20. Tony knew for a while that he wanted to adopt Princess but was concerned about putting her together with his cat Tessa. After a couple of days with both cats together her reported, ” Penelope is one amazing little girl… I enjoyed my three-day weekend watching her blossom as she explored my house and…. she loves doing her 4-room, 45-ft speed runs from one end of house to another…. Rumor correct… Tessa is afraid of her… she hisses at Penelope and then runs away… Tessa has never been agressive to “Sweet P”, so I think that the dynamics will eventually work out!!!” Tony reports that while Tessa hissed at first, she did not swat, which he considered a good sign.  Tony has since found Princess P and Tessa curled up together on the bed, so it looks like the two have become friends.

Over the course of the first nine months of this year, Penelope made a long journey that led her home.

3 thoughts on “Penelope: From Injured and Severely Ill Cat to Healthy Diva With a New Home”

  1. So happy that she has now found her furrrever home with such a loving dad and a new sister too. Hope you continue to recover and can put this bad experience behind you and enjoy the rest of your life.

  2. Thank you for posting Penelope’s amazing story and pix on your website. I am her new “dad” and she is a wonderful cat whose personality is blossoming even more as she explores my home and is getting settled-in with my other cat “”Tessa”. This was a case of “love at first sight” — I fell in love with her from the first day that I saw her at her foster mom’s home….. My biggest concern was how my cat would greet her… Tessa usually greets other cats with a hiss and a swipe…. but she’s been good – just a little hissing — but they’re both on the bed with me all night, so I am glad that it is working out well for “Sweet P”… keep checking the STRATFORD CAT PROJECT facebook page and to follow the wonderful work of this all-volunteer organization… and my “Purrfect Persian” Penelope will be sending in updates and photos as she gets settled in to her “forever home” Thank you again for sharing her story… TONY

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