Susan’s Majestic Tale: A Journey from a Pregnant Stray to Feline Royalty

20th Mar, 2024

Written by Harties Feral Cat Rescue Treasurer, Daleen Kotze-Chibesa

Photography by Charisma McCarthy

In November 2023, Harties Feral Cat Rescue Founder Joanne Kontaxopoulos received a call from a concerned resident about a pregnant cat in their estate. Charisma McCarthy couldn’t ignore the plight of the extremely friendly cat and stepped in to feed her in the mornings and evenings. However, her kind-hearted actions faced a challenge – her Yorkie wasn’t particularly thrilled about the new visitor.

Undeterred, Charisma reached out to the estate community through a WhatsApp group, hoping to find the cat's owner. With no one coming forward, she sought assistance from Harties Feral Cat Rescue. To their surprise, it was discovered that the friendly cat wasn’t pregnant, or alone – she had four adorable kittens.

A decision was made to have the entire feline family sterilised and then returned to Charisma’s garden. Little did they know that this decision would lead to an unexpected turn of events.

Fast forward a couple of months, and the once-stray cat, now named Susan, found herself living a royal life with Charisma.

New mom Charisma shares the story of how Susan came into their lives:

Susan’s arrival in our lives was entirely unexpected; we hadn’t set out to adopt another cat. Night after night, our Yorkie, Milla, would bark at a particular spot along the wall surrounding our yard. One evening, my husband noticed a cat perched on the wall, and to our surprise, she didn’t flee upon seeing him. Intrigued, I approached and offered her a bag of soft food, which she eagerly devoured. From that day on, she faithfully returned each evening, patiently awaiting her treats.

It became apparent that Susan was either pregnant or had recently given birth to kittens. After about a week, we introduced her to catnip, and her friendly and affectionate nature only deepened. Before long, we discovered her litter – four adorable kittens. Despite her initial skittishness, Susan began waiting for us at the front door every day.

Determined to do what was best for Susan and her kittens, I posted messages on the estate’s WhatsApp group, enquiring if anybody was looking for a missing cat. Unfortunately, no one came forward. I decided to reach out to Harties Feral Cat Rescue, an organisation known for its dedication to feline welfare. The decision was made to have Susan and her four kittens sterilised and returned to my garden.

In a heartfelt recount, Charisma shared the delightful transformation that had taken place over the past couple of months.

My Yorkie, Milla, who initially wanted nothing to do with Susan, is now lying next to her. She sleeps in the house every night, freely going in and out as she pleases. Sometimes, you’ll find her lounging on my couches during the day. Even my own Persian cat has accepted her presence. Susan’s evenings are filled with rotisserie chicken, and in the mornings she indulges in a sachet of food. Throughout the day, she has the luxury of dry food and water whenever she desires. Her favourite part of the day is having the five little milk licks before bedtime. Once satisfied, she gracefully climbs onto her designated bed for the night.

This heart-warming tale showcases the power of compassion and the unexpected joy that comes from helping those in need. Susan, once a stray, desperate mother cat, trying to survive and look after her four kittens, now enjoys a life of comfort, love, and unlikely friendships. Charisma’s journey from a concerned resident to a caring guardian demonstrates the transformative impact of small acts of kindness and the beautiful connections that can blossom from them. Susan’s majestic tale is a testament to the magic that unfolds when hearts open wide to the needs of the voiceless and vulnerable.

Susan’s kittens are, sadly, quite feral as they didn’t have any human interaction from a young age. They simply don’t want to be house cats, so they couldn’t really be “adopted”, as such. But they haven’t gone far – they’ve found their home in Charisma’s garden, with their own cosy sleeping quarters and, obviously, they’re also spoiled rotten with soft food and other treats.

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