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I work at the American Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia where there are dozens of feral and stray cats. All of them are well fed as the locals and many Americans alike feed the cats every day. One day I was making my rounds when I heard a pathetic little meow. I turned around and there was Yoda. He was about three weeks old, maybe four. He was losing his hair and his left hind leg was so weak he walked with a pronounced limp. I gave him some food while keeping the other cats at a distance and he gobbled it up within seconds. It was evident that he was abandoned by his mother (or she was killed), and he was too weak to fend off the other cats during feeding time.

I already had three cats....so I fed him some more and walked back to my office. That entire afternoon I could not stop thinking about the little runt. I knew that if I did not intervene he would not survive the weekend. So...I grabbed a box and found him...took him home and gave him three baths. The picture is after his first bath. He was all eyes and ears so I named him Yoda. He was sequestered in our bathroom for three weeks until he regained his strength and was checked out by the vet. Within those three weeks, his limp disappeared and his hair started to grow back.

8 months later Yoda is a gorgeous ginger cat who acts like he owns the place. He is a real character and you would never know he was a feral until it is feeding time. Those first few weeks of his life left a mark on his mind as Yoda still eats as if it is going to be his last meal. What he doesn't seem to realize is he will never have to worry about being abandoned ever again. Yoda the strong has prevailed and he is a constant reminder every day why rescuing feral/stray cats is so rewarding.

Nathalie R.
Jakarta, Indonesia

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