Tabitha came to HHPR as the result of a tragedy: a recent apartment fire in which her owner sadly perished. In the midst of their rescue efforts, the town fire department came across Tabitha, who was clearly in grave danger, hiding under a chair in the apartment. A firefighter scooped her up and got her quickly to safety, where she was attended by other rescue personnel on the scene.


Tabitha aka Smokey

After the fire, the town called upon Halfway Home — would we be able to take in one very scared, injured cat until appropriate arrangements could be made with the victim’s family? Of course, there wasn’t a moment’s hesitation. Norma gladly took her in and sent her for immediate medical attention at Presque Isle Animal Hospital, where Dr. Nick Pesut examined her badly burned feet and her very sore throat. Not knowing her name at the time, she was called Smokey. In addition to those more serious injuries, poor Tabitha had lost her eyebrows and most of her whiskers, and she’d suffered smaller burns to her body. After three days of intensive care at PIAH, though, Smokey was able to return to HHPR to continue her recovery.

Although she made slow progress, she was in good hands. She was not very interested in food because of her sore throat, so Norma and the volunteers helped her eat — kitten formula and water via a syringe. Her paws were still uncomfortable, making it hard to walk. But those were tended as well, with liberal doses of antibiotic shampoos/creams/spray and acupuncture, which really helped with pain relief. In the meantime, “Smokey” Tabitha endured it all with grace.

Unfortunately, the family of the victim was not in a position to bring Tabitha home with them, so they made the difficult decision to allow HHPR to continue her care and, ultimately, place her with a new family.

See Tabitha in her new home.

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