Written by Brenda Groeneveld – CatzRus Foster Mom
Professional photography by Strike a Pose Photography
You always thought that the legend of Zorro was about a sword-wielding, swashbuckling hero. In our story, however, the hero is a dedicated cat rescuer, and the man behind the furry mask is the most incredible little kitten.
On the 28th of December 2019, a small black-and-white kitten was spotted at the roadwork camp just off Zambezi Drive. A volunteer from “Be Wise Sterilise” went to rescue the little scrap of fluff. His masked face and feisty nature earned him the name “Zorro”. At the time, Zorro was about 10 weeks old.
It soon became clear that little Zorro was in trouble. He was limping badly on his right hind leg and was going to need special care. “Be Wise Sterilise” focuses mainly on trapping and sterilising feral cats, and so a sister rescue group was called in. CatzRus is a rescue, foster and rehoming organisation that could offer Zorro the medical attention and foster care he was going to need.
On the 30th of December, x-rays revealed that Zorro’s right hind femur was broken. It had healed badly, and amputation was the best option. As a tripod cat he’d be able to enjoy the fullest life possible, free from pain and the danger of even more serious injury.
We stand in awe at the wonderful team of vets who help us care for our rescue cats and kittens. Zorro’s leg was removed at the hip joint. Within a week, he was tearing around his new foster home with pain-free energy and enthusiasm. Coincidentally, Zorro’s foster brothers were named after the three musketeers, and Zorro outshone them all in his boisterous energy and determination to enjoy every moment that life offers him.
He can jump onto furniture, climb trees, and run down the stairs faster than any other kitten his foster home has seen! Zorro’s surgery was done at the minimum possible cost to CatzRus, but for a charity group it’s still a very large chunk out of our rescue budget. We’re all unpaid volunteers who rescue between 250 and 300 cats and kittens each year. Although our adoption fee helps to cover basic care, all additional veterinary care for illness or injury must come out of donations or fundraising.
We’re so grateful to our vets, our volunteers and our generous donors. When we think of what Zorro must have been through and the pure joy that pours out of him now, it makes all our rescue efforts worthwhile.
And the biggest “thank you” of all goes to Zorro. Your joy, your trust, your resilience and your unquenchable spirit are such an inspiration. Your ever-ready purr warms any heart and brightens every day. We’re so privileged to have helped you on your journey! We wish we could help every cat that comes across our path. Unfortunately, resources are limited and the need is great. But if every person does just a little bit, we make a huge difference. Please do what you can. Sterilise. Adopt. Foster. Donate.
Zorro’s story had its happy adoption ending. By mid-February he was microchipped, received his second set of inoculations, and moved in with his forever family.
The adoption phase of fostering is a bittersweet time for kitten foster parents. Many people ask us how we can let go of the little ones that we’ve loved and cared for during their vulnerable weeks. The answer is that we wouldn’t have been able to help Zorro if we hadn’t let go of the 53 previous kittens that our family has loved and cared for over the past five years since we started volunteering for CatzRus. We would rather our hearts break just a little bit than theirs. We get to launch them into their happy futures! And then help the next one.
Receiving happy updates from families who’ve adopted our foster kittens is one of our greatest joys. We’re looking forward to receiving updates from Zorro’s family, Chris Williamson and his fiancée, Charlene Hobbis. There are already beautiful threads in Zorro’s adoption. He’ll be getting a three-legged big sister who was adopted from CatzRus eight years ago. Her name is Lil Princess Bunny, and she has her own Facebook page! She was the “face-of-CatzRus” on the adoption posters many years ago. The very same lady who found Zorro at the roadwork site was instrumental in that adoption eight years ago. We’re all delighted to be part of the “happily ever after” in this happy tale of Zorro.
Charlene Hobbis and Chris Williamson, Zorro’s new owners, share…
We were looking for another kitty to join us in our home. Chris contacted CatzRus on Facebook. We said that we’d be interested in adopting a three-legged kitty, but they didn’t have any, and they suggested we contact Brenda Groeneveld. Brenda invited us to go and meet Zorro.
The time arrived for us to visit Zorro at his foster home. We were delighted to meet Zorro, who was busy playing. He stopped playing for a moment to come and say hi. Chris and I were already in love with him, and we asked whether they’d consider letting our family adopt him, to which they said yes, but there are rules that foster parents must follow.
Having previously adopted two of our cats from CatzRus (Bunny and Charlie, who happened to be Bunny’s sibling, but that’s a story for another day), we were told by Brenda that our adoption application had been accepted, and we could fetch Zorro in two weeks’ time.
Prior to fetching Zorro, we made sure the perimeter of our property was in proper order, arranged his meals, arranged his very own bed, washed all the kitty toys from the jolly box and bought a few new toys and added an extension to the kitty ladder.
The big day arrived; there was much excitement as we were given this little black-and-white three-legged rocket. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw how fast he tackled the stairs and at how tame, loveable, handsome and sweet he is. This is thanks to Theo and Brenda, who watched over him, loved and took care of him after his amputation.
Zorro has settled in well. He knows where his food bowl, drinking fountain and mum’s bed are! Zorro is like a breath of fresh air; my house is covered in toys, and Zorro is curious, playable and so sweet, and he follows Charlene everywhere she goes. We’re very grateful to have been chosen as Zorro’s forever family.