Alexandra the great
Alexandra is a courageous and inspiring human being.
Two special needs cats are better than one
Alexandra adopted Atlas through our partners Norfolk SPCA in the waning days of 2018. The shelter offers fee-waived adoptions for veterans who rescue program eligible dogs and cats through our partnership.
At the time Atlas was just under one year-old and diagnosed with Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), qualifying him as a special needs cat.
FIV can lead to serious illness if a cat does not lead a healthy lifestyle, fails to be monitored regularly, or if minor infections are left untreated.
Nearly one month later Alexandra decided to adopt a feline friend for Atlas so that he would have company while she was at work. While several years apart – Penguin was already six years old at the time – the two cats already shared a bond.
Penguin is FIV-positive, too.
Still, Alexandra was overjoyed to have these special needs cats as family.
“He is a sweet cat and I am happy to have him home with me,” she says about Penguin. “Thank you all for the opportunity to have these sweet babies to come home to. It has been a very positive influence on my life as a service member.”
Life took a dark turn just a few months later, however. Alexandra shares her experience battling major depression – and how her special needs cats made her realize that life is worth living.
This is Alexandra’s story, in her own words.
From Alexandra, with love
I wanted to first thank you for reaching out to check on the three of us.
I would also like to thank you again for the recommendation to Owl Creek Veterinary Hospital in Virginia Beach. They have been so compassionate and diligent during and following every one of my visits, and I could not have asked for a more caring clinic to help with all of my fur family’s medical needs.
Atlas and Penguin have been the most amazing companions I could have welcomed into my home. They also have the funniest personalities.
If you were curious, Penguin is definitely the most talkative one! They have adapted seamlessly to life with me, which I am also grateful for.
From the depths of darkness, there is love
The love I feel for them and they for me has lifted me out of my darkest moments in life.
When I felt I could not possibly face another day, I remembered my purpose of caring for them and keeping them safe.
I was recently hospitalized for about a week recovering from a deep depression that left me with a desire to escape the world. My neighbor had been gracious enough to watch my house and the cats while I was being treated, so I know they were more than cared for.
Despite the reason behind my admission to the hospital, the only times I felt truly sad were fueled by how much I missed Atlas and Penguin.
“They give me purpose and meaning”
The want to be in the comforts of home with these two innocent, loving creatures drove me to engage fully in my own self-healing and gave me the strength I needed to overcome the doubts I had been subdued by.
I was so worried that when I returned home they would ignore me or feel abandoned. But as soon as I stepped through the door of my house, they would not leave my side.
The experience has certainly not been easy, but it has helped me to appreciate those sweet moments that much more.
I am so grateful to have them in my life. They give me purpose and meaning, and I love them both very much.
Thank you to the wonderful staff at Pets for Patriots for helping us, from the bottom of my heart.