Written by Allan Perrins – Head of Communications, Resource Development & Fundraising, Animal Welfare Society of South Africa
Professional photography by Des Featherstone Photography
Tracey was rescued from Jim se Bos informal settlement on the 23rd of June following a devastating fire that destroyed over 200 homes.
We found this precious little soul with serious burn wounds all over her body cowering under a partially burnt mattress. Despite the extent of her burns, she was one of only a handful of pets fortunate enough to escape the inferno.
Tracey spent all of her time with us in hospital, graduating from critical care to a normal in-patient thanks to her tenacious spirit, the generosity of our donors and a remarkable team effort.
Last month Lawrence Nkotha, our Animal Care Centre Supervisor, had the pleasure of delivering Tracey to her new owner, who met them with open arms, ready to embrace this special girl who’d survived and thrived despite the odds.
After a brief, rather uneventful introduction to her new feline family, Tracey’s owner introduced her to her “posh” living quarters that came fully fitted with brand-new food and water bowls, bedding and limitless cuddles.
The cherry on the cake was when Coco, Tracey’s new owner, unexpectedly gifted us R2,000. This generous gift will be put into our rather aptly named “Pet Rehabilitation Kitty”.
Coco Boggon, Tracey’s new owner, shares…
I saw Tracey’s story on the Cape Town ETC Facebook page, and after watching the video from the Animal Welfare Society, I took a screenshot of the contact details to remind me to talk to my fiancé, Steve.
We adopted a brother and sister from Raise n Rescue a year ago – they are delightful little floofs that bring so much joy to our home. We weren’t against getting another cat(s), but we didn’t want to disrupt Mack’s and Cali’s lives. But when I saw that video, I knew we could give that wee one a good home.
Steve agreed and said to email Lawrence, which I did. The next day, Lawrence replied to say that she already had been booked for adoption. We were glad for her, but sad for us. And that was the end of our story, or so we thought…
Until Lawrence emailed back about a week later and said, “Remember when we last spoke about Tracey? Well, she’s available again.” It must have been fate!
We arranged a collection date and that was that, until COVID… As if the AWS is not busy enough and dealing with enough stress and hardship every day, they had a COVID case and needed to close for a few days to fumigate and deep clean. I kept WhatsApp-pestering poor Lawrence, offering to do an outside car park socially distanced pick-up until he caved and offered to drop Tracey off at our home. Yay! I persuaded my boss to let me leave early that day and went home to wait for her, but not before stopping at the local pet shop where, like a crazy cat lady, I bought her a new bed and loads of toys and treats.
When they arrived, Tracey was in a travel box on a lady’s lap in the front of the AWS bakkie. At first, I didn’t think it was her as she was so tiny. Lawrence brought her in and let her out of the box; she started purring immediately. Our resident floofs weren’t too impressed; Mack hid under the bed and Cali stared at Tracey like she was an alien.
The thing that got to me most was Lawrence’s amazing energy. I’d sensed it from our chats and WhatsApp conversations, but you can tell that he really does love these animals. He was a little teary when he said bye to Tracey. I assured him she’d be well loved and cared for.
When Steve got home, it was overs for him too. Tracey is a heartbreaker, and we knew she was staying from the minute she arrived. We took her introduction and integration with the resident floofs slowly, and after three weeks, they’re playing together and running around the garden. Not best friends yet, but it’s still early days and it’s looking good.
Tracey was sterilised recently and, hopefully, that was the last of her trips to the vet and the stress in her little life.
We’re so so grateful to AWS, and especially Lawrence, for everything they do, BUT particularly for saving our Trace!