|Birth: ||Jan. 1, 1991|
|Death: ||Oct. 18, 2003|
"Way down deep, we're all motivated by the same urges. Cats have the courage to live by them." ~ Jim Davis, Creator of the cartoon cat, Garfield
Missy's Story of Courage and Survival
On St Patrick's Day, March 17, 1997 our airlifted "Hedge Cat" Tigger was born on the beautiful island of Singapore, a paradise for humans, but literal hell then for cats and dogs. Over 400,000 cats alone were on their streets, a country not much larger than Chicago, Illinois. Her mother, Missy, was a street cat who fought for survival and eventually overcame the highest odds by escaping from there through the care and concern of an American expatriate.
At the time, the expat and her then fiance - now husband - were living in Singapore, a place where feeding stray cats and dogs was punishable by high fines and jail time. If you were an expatriate, it could mean both, PLUS losing your Singapore visa. Regardless, she continued feeding seventeen cats and kittens who were living in the hedges close to her Singaporean hotel and started a web page pleading for help on the internet. In the meantime, all but four of the original seventeen cats and kittens were killed by the Singaporean government or disappeared to fates unknown.
One cat was befriended by a local woman, who owned a shop in the area where the cats and kittens were living. The little cat was so hungry that she marched herself into the shop, which sold mostly baked goods, and meowed piteously for food. Much to the expat's dismay, however, when the construction crews came in to make way for the new tourist development, the shop owner moved away, abandoning the little cat.
A tiny group of five women - the expat, an attorney in DC, a Malaysian woman, Jeannie Dailey of PetRescue in Debary, Florida, and myself - managed to raise $5,000 on the net through our web sites to send these remaining four cats and kittens to the United States to safety.
The attorney adopted KitKat and Craig and I eventually adopted Tigger - both kittens of a beautiful Tortoiseshell named Missy, the abandoned cat. Tortoiseshell describes a coat coloring found almost exclusively in female cats. Cats of this color are mottled, with patches of orange or cream and chocolate, black or blue. The cats' brindled coats have relatively small or no white markings. They are nicknamed Torties.
KitKat was the only survivor of Missy's previous litter; Tigger the only survivor of her last litter. Juluis was next adopted by a woman on the West Coast, and though Craig and I wanted to adopt Missy because she was an older cat, guesstimated about seven years old, it wasn't meant to be. Missy tested positive for FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus, sometimes called Feline AIDS). We had five healthy cats and knew we couldn't bring this sweet little girl into our home.
Jeannie stepped in and took Missy into her sanctuary in Florida, where she and her husband, Ron, have an FIV colony. Xrays showed that Missy also had several poorly healed broken bones.
For six years, our special little girl was loved, cared for, and pampered by these wonderful people. She finally had a soft bed, plenty of good food and toys, and regular vet care. No more neglect, pain, abuse, and hunger. She was deeply loved and cherished. We sponsored Missy through PetRescue's sponsorship program for needy pets all of those six years.
In mid-October 2003 I received a devastating email and later a long heart-breaking phone call from Jeannie. Our precious Missy had started losing weight earlier that month. The Daileys rushed her to the vet to find that Missy had heart complications. On October 18, our lovely little Missy went to the Bridge - she literally died of a "broken heart," leaving behind a trail of broken human hearts grieving terribly for her. She was roughly twelve years old, but that tough little heart of hers that had carried her through so many travails in her life finally gave out. She left the same way she lived - purring quietly and without fuss - as usual, not wanting to cause any bother.
Her sweet memory lives on in the hearts of the Daileys and me. ❤
The following is a children's story about Missy's life in Singapore written by the American expat:
A Childrens' Story by Jana Faucher
Copyright © Janalee Faucher, reprinted with permission.
This is a true story about a little girl named Missy, who once lived in Singapore.
Missy had no dad, and her mum was very poor. They had nothing, not food and not even a place to live. When Missy was very small, her mum was caught stealing food, and she was taken away to jail. Missy was left all alone, scared and hungry. She hoped and prayed that a kind stranger would help her, but people walked right past her. They were too busy laughing and playing and eating to notice little Missy at all.
Missy was so hungry that she bravely went into a shop that sold bread and biscuits. Missy looked at the shopkeeper with big hungry eyes, and prayed that she would be kind. The shopkeeper said, "Oh you poor little girl!" and she took Missy to her flat above her shop. "You may live with me and I will be your new mum," the shopkeeper said.
In the shop, Missy had food every day and a soft place to sleep. Everyone who knew Missy praised her. "Missy is such a good girl," they said. "She is so loving to her mum, and so friendly and kind." Missy began to forget about the days when she had been so hungry and scared.
And then one day Missy's new mum put all her belongings into a removal van ... all her belongings except for Missy. The van drove off and Missy waited and waited. Surely her mum wouldn't forget her? Surely her mum loved her and would not leave her all alone? Mums do not leave their children, do they? But her mum had done exactly that. Missy's mum never came back.
A construction crew tore down the shops, and Missy had no home at all now. She slept on the muddy ground. Ants crawled on her, and bugs bit her soft skin.
Every day, she searched for something to eat. Some days she could only find a mouthful of rice or a bite of chicken. Some days there was no food at all, and her tummy hurt so much that she cried. Sometimes when she begged for food, people were cruel to her. They hit her with sticks, and threw rocks at her. One man kicked her very hard, and broke her bones. She could not go to a doctor, because she had no money, so she lay very still for many days while it mended, hungry and hurt and crying with pain.
Years went by, and every day was the same as the one before it. Missy thought it would always be this way, and she was almost right. But one night a woman who was visiting in Singapore saw Missy begging for food and she was filled with sadness for this poor little girl. She asked everyone she knew, "Can you please, please help Missy?" And one person said, "Send her to me and I will give her a home forever and ever." So the woman put Missy on a plane to America.
Today, Missy lives in a home with a loving mum. There is money for a doctor when she is sick, and there is food every day. There are toys and playmates and a soft bed to sleep on, and there is love and kindness always. Missy's mum promises her every day, "I will never leave you." Missy believes her. She knows that she is safe at last. She knows that this mum truly loves her.
Missy is a cat, a little cat who grew up in Singapore. Missy is no different from the cats that you see every day in Singapore, the sad little cats who live in constant hunger and fear, the cats who search every day for food and kindness and maybe, maybe, a loving mum or dad.
Missy is a real cat, and this is her true story. I know because I am the person who sent her home.
Copyright © 1997 Janalee Faucher
All rights reserved.
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JoJo Stallings Dog (1967 - 1983)*
Cuddles Stallings Bachman Cat (1984 - 2000)*
Kaitong Chang Stallings Bachman Cat (1984 - 1998)*
Danielle Stallings Bachman Cat (1985 - 2005)*
Spook Stallings Bachman Cat (1987 - 2000)*
Missy Hedge Cat (1991 - 2003)
Samson Bachman Cat (1992 - 2002)*
Sylvester Bachman Cat (1992 - 2008)*
Autumn Bachman Stallings Cat (1994 - 2009)*
Lucky Jax Stallings Bachman Cat (1994 - 2005)*
Goblin Bachman Cat (1995 - 2009)*
JacquiLee Bachman Cat (1995 - 2002)*
Tigger Bachman Cat (1997 - 2005)*
Midnight Bachman Cat (1998 - 2009)*
RedBoy Bachman Cat (1999 - 2000)*
Penny Bachman Dog (1999 - 2011)*
Smut Bachman Cat (2000 - 2001)*
Breeze Bachman Cat (2000 - 2011)*
Spic Bachman Cat (2000 - 2012)*
Susie The Cat (2000 - 2002)*
Princess Bachman Dog (2000 - 2008)*
Puglena Bachman Dog (2001 - 2014)*
Rebel Bachman Cat (2004 - 2004)*
Skeeter Bachman Cat (2004 - 2004)*
Cheerio Bachman Cat (2005 - 2014)*
Sputnik Bachman Cat (2006 - 2015)*
Li'l Craigster The Squirrel (2013 - 2013)*
Cremated, Ashes given to family or friend.
Specifically: Ashes given to Ron and Jeannie Dailey of Petrescue.com.
Created by: sniksnak
Record added: Sep 15, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 97139459