Toby (on the couch) and Jesse (Dale’s my lap)

I was sitting outside in the kfar with some friends, enjoying the sun, when I out of the corner of my eye I noticed a small creature dart in front of a dumpster with what looked to be something hanging from it. I looked around and in a nearby bush, saw an incredibly tiny, malnourished kitten with blood on its mouth. The thing hanging from it was the front right paw, which was longer than the rest of its paws and had an open bloody wound so deep that you could see the bone. I was able to catch the kitten, and my friend drove me to the municipal vet. There, they discovered that his paw was dislocated, the bone was shattered, and there were no nerve endings- meaning it was useless and they had to amputate. When I went back to get the kitten after his surgery, I was told that shelters wouldn’t accept him because the other cats would kill him, so with approval from my roommates I housed him. For the first few nights, I slept on the floor so that the kitten, Toby, could cuddle for warmth. He was terrified of me and in incredible pain, so I relied on friends to help me give him his medicine. I created some toys for him out of string and aluminum foil, and would sometimes catch him playing! A couple of weeks later, my friend found a kitten underneath one of the washing machines.

He was terrified and in an incredible amount of pain, so I relied on friends to help give him his medicine. I created toys for him out of string and aluminum foil, and was thrilled when I caught him playing with the toys! A couple of weeks later, my friend found a kitten underneath one of the washing machines and brought him to me. I decided to keep him and raise him and Toby together so that Toby would have a friend. At first, Toby hated the new kitten, Jesse. But within three days, they were inseparable- Jesse also really helped Toby get more comfortable with me, although he was still scared. I put up ads, asked Israeli friends, and posted on websites to advertise them to try to find them a home, but in Israel, very few people want cats are pets. When it came time to come back to the U.S., I organized with El-Al a way to bring them back with me. They were so tiny that they could fit in the smallest sizes carrier together!

Back in the states, I tried finding a home for them as my family had pets of their own, but few people wanted to adopt two kittens together. Toby and Jesse acclimated to my home and bonded with the other animals, so separating all of them seemed like a difficult decision. It has been four years since I first found Jesse and Toby, and they are now part of the family. From Jesse’s favorite pastime of opening doors to Toby’s drooling when he is happy, they seem like completely different animals from the ones that I rescued.