Once upon a time...
As in every fairytale, the story started with a kind of "once upon a time".
Early August 2016, as I was taking my horse back to her field, I heard a kitten moewing. Coming back from the field, I went to check if one of the young kittens of the farm was stuck somewhere. Far down, laying on the floor between large hay bales, I spotted a tiny kitten. I climbed and managed to reach it. I discover a tiny tiny baby of no more than a few weeks, her eyes barely open who was trying to find a way up. Her mum must have dropped her as she moved her kittens from one place to the other. Having no idea where the mum was and as I had to wrap her in my clothes to take her out of there, my smell was all over her and the mum would have rejected her anyway. There was no option: I couldn't leave this poor little thing alone.
The little princess
So I took her with me. I knew that being so small, there was a chance she didn't make it. But she seemed strong and still very lively so it was really worth trying. Armed with kitten bottle and milk, I started to feed her. I remembered that afternoon very well: Spart, Nyx and Mufasa were watching me, leaking the lips, clearly very interested in this strange little mouse in my arms...
Marc was all too happy to learn that he got a new "daughter"(!), as he had never too fond of cats by the past...
But Milwyn - she told us her name - survived, she was eating every two hours (!) for the first weeks and got stronger and stronger; she adapted so quickly and so well to our family that she indeed was meant to be part of it: Sparta and Nyx adopted her in less than a month, and it took Mufasa a bit longer... for a 16 year-old deaf and blind Jack Russell, it was quite something to have anything new on his territory, not to mention... a CAT! We had to be really careful that he didn't have her as a snack... As she got less clumpsy and able to climb away fast, we relaxed a bit. And one day, as she had grown bigger, we found them smelling each other... and about a week later, she was sleeping in Mufasa's basket! Since then they are best friends.
Milwyn, the abandoned kitten had turned into a family Wild Little Princess.
Never home alone
On her first week with us, we were going away for a few days. So she came along, traveling for the first time in our Toyota "motor home" Land Cruiser. Knowing nothing else than us, she wanted to be part of any move or trip. So she was always coming along for any short trip to the shops, the stables, work, etc. Very quickly she made it clear that she wasn't meant to be in a cage and that she was far better on the seat... Growing up, she came a bit less for short drives as she enjoys her garden more. But she's always ready whenever we start preparing the Land Cruiser for a longer trip. At one year old, she already traveled to many places in Switzerland, France, Italy, Germany and Slovenia!
Evil and wickednessLast July a terrible event hit us hard: our little cat Milwyn, wo just turned one year old, was nearly shot dead in the middle of the night as we were camping in the Alps. I talked about it in details on my Facebook page. So to make a long story short, she was severly injured by an illegal shot, miraculously survived and had to be amputed at 4am on a Sunday morning... Marc and I were really badly shaken. First the total shock, surprise, bewilderment. Then the total misunderstanding, the anger, the desire of revenge and justice. How could somebody do such an atrocious act of violence in such an apparently peaceful country? In the middle of nowhere? At 1 or 2am?
I remember that during the one hour and a half drive down to the city where the vet was, I prayed and kept on asking for help from the Universe to let her live. And she survived. This simple fact quickly overcome any desire of revenge or feeling of hatred. This guy was not worth it. And it wouldn't help us recover from what had happened.
It took Milwyn one month to fully recover. One month only!! And she was like before except on three legs. We watched her letting her body recover. First she slept a lot, ate little and tried to find safe and comfy places to rest. She wanted to be close from us especially at night. Then she slowly starting being more active, playing with her kitten toys and letting us provide all the necessay care without complaining. She very quickly learnt how to move around on three legs and after 10 days, when watching her running, you simply couldn't tell. We waited until she was able to climb the exposed wooden beams in the house before letting her wander outside again. We took her for walks on the leash so she could get stronger and still enjoy the outdoors, either at home or when we were traveling. On her first day out, she was shy and quickly came back inside. And for a while she didn't leave the garden. But slowly, little by little she became more confident.
We bought her a special harness that fits better on her three-legged body. We also gave her time to recover and never pushed her to do something she wasn't ready for. And she showed us that she knew perfectly when she was and that we should simply trust her. Now, she runs, plays with her dog- and cat-friends as before and there no way you could tell she's diminshed in any ways. She doesn't see herself as such. She isn't. She's as strong, playful, and lively as before her accident. I'd say she's even closer from us, trusts us more than ever and still enjoys traveling.
In October 2017, as we were on a short break in the South of France with the whole tribe, Milwyn - who since her accident 3 months earlier would rather stay inside the car or only comes along when on the leash - decided one morning to wander out and took a one-hour walk on her own in the nearby field. When she came back, we could feel how happy and proud she was.
This chapter is over. It is time to write a new one now!