Salem’s Happily Ever After

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We were contacted recently by Cheryl and Mark Metcalfe, who, like many of us, have been following the story of Russell, the cat who was burned in a North Carolina house fire. Russell has been helped by veterinary staff, the local community and animal lovers worldwide, so he can heal and return to his family, who lost everything in the fire but their beloved and badly burned cat.

The outpouring of love and support for Russell reminds the Metcalfs of the way good people helped their own cat, Salem, formerly Chipotle, whose story made the news when, as a stray or feral kitten, she was rescued from traffic and was provided with  medical care.  The Metcalfs adopted Salem after she was healed from her injuries. Two years later, she is a happy, healthy and beloved cat.

Chipotle, as she was then called in a photo from October, 2011
Chipotle, as she was then called, in a photo from October, 2011

We wrote about Chipotle on October 23, 2011, in Motorists Work Together To Rescue Kitten From Traffic.

Chipotle inspired a group of strangers to work together to rescue her from danger on a busy road that runs beneath an overpass in Wichita, Kansas.

Drivers Gloye Gloudeman and Tim Gleydura spotted the then-5 week old kitten in the roadway and, between them, slowed traffic to clear the way and then made the rescue.

Ms. Gloudman was quoted saying “I saw a black spot on the road and those beady little eyes looking back at me. Those eyeballs just touched my heart.”

When the kitten tried to climb up into the undercarriage of the car stopped behind Mr. Gleydura, he was able to pick her up and place her in a bag he had on hand. The bag was from a restaurant called Chipotle, and that is where the little girl got the  name she would have until her adoption.

Mr. Gleydura noticed during the rescue that Chipotle’s right, front leg was injured. She was taken to Cornerstone Animal Hospital  and the care of Dr. Jennifer Fry, who confirmed that Chipotle’s leg was broken and showed nerve damage,. The vet wrapped the bad leg, waiting to see if it would need to be amputated when Chipotle was stronger.

Dr. Fry said that while Chipotle was likely a feral kitten, she was rescued and brought to the hospital at a young enough age for her to become fully  socialized, so she would be adopted out when healed.

The animal hospital accepted donations from the public to help with Chipotle’s care.



Cheryl and Mark Metcalf  say in their update:

“We have been following the story of Russell, the cat that survived a house fire in North Carolina. His story reminds us of how wonderful and compassionate people can be when it comes to injured animals.

“We adopted a shy little black kitten that had a rough start to her life. In fact, your website had a story about her on October 23, 2011. We wanted to give you a current update regarding her story.

“It’s been over 2 years now and that shy little black kitten has grown up into a beautiful, confident and very loved black cat. Her name is now Salem. She did in fact have to have one of her front legs amputated, but it doesn’t slow her down one bit.  We are grateful to all those wonderful people who donated towards her care and surgery. We also thank our vet clinic, Cornerstone Animal Hospital for taking such great care of her and letting us adopt her. We are lucky to have her in our lives. We also send well wishes and hugs to Russell and his family in North Carolina. He’s making great progress and we will continue to watch his recovery.

“After reading about Russell, it just hit home with us. We look forward to the updates on Russell and thought maybe those who donated to help Chipotle/Salem wonder what happened to her too.”




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