Thanks to a woman with a heart for animals and the support of compassionate strangers, a tiny cat has gotten a second chance at life.
Jessica Bredbenner was driving west on S.R. 50 Saturday morning and had just gotten through the light at Good Homes Road when she saw a passenger in the truck in front of her throw something out the window.
“At first, I thought they threw a hat or some trash or something … and then I realized it was an animal,” Bredbenner said.
She pulled over and found a 1.38-pound black kitten with green eyes. Before Bredbenner had decided what to do, the kitten jumped into the dash of her car, behind the steering column, where Bredbenner couldn’t reach her.
At 10:01 a.m., Bredbenner posted a call for help to the Facebook group Winter Garden - Rants, Raves, and Reviews. Members immediately started suggesting local veterinarians who were open on Saturdays. By 10:51 a.m., people were pledging donations for the vet bill.
The Winter Garden Fire Department helped Bredbenner take apart her steering column to rescue the kitten, which was then identified as a female. Bredbenner went to Winter Garden Animal Hospital at the suggestion of the Facebook group members, but the vet was overloaded with emergencies and asked her to return Monday.
At home, Bredbenner cares for her kids, two cats, two dogs and her father, who has cancer. But she didn’t want to give up on the discarded kitten.
“I wasn’t expecting to take on another cat,” she said. “I wasn’t financially prepared, with it being Christmas, and I’m a single mom.”
When Bredbenner took the kitten, named Kardashian (as in, car-dash-she-in), to the vet on Monday, she discovered that relative strangers had dropped off and called in $497 toward the vet bill, which covered the exam, shots and medication for parasites. There is even some money leftover to go toward the kitten’s spaying procedure when she gets a little older.
Gracie’s of Winter Garden found out about Kardashian’s story and donated a few cans of food Monday, with promises of entire cases to follow.
Jaylene Rodriguez Garau, who helped Bredbenner throughout the process and went with her to the vet on Monday, posted some photos from the vet visit on the Winter Garden - Rants, Raves, and Reviews page.
“Jessica is so grateful and so am I for the kindness and generosity shown by so many of you who donated, and those who contacted us sending positive thoughts and prayers,” Garau wrote. “For every one person who makes a bad choice, there are so many others who do good.”
Contact Catherine Kerr at [email protected].