Happy Tails – A Rescue Story: Sophie

You may remember our profile on The Zoo Rescue in Southern Alabama, featuring Jennifer and her husband Tony, who rescue cats and dogs in hopes of finding them homes, but with the understanding that they’ll stay forever unless a good home is found.

Here is the story of one of their rescues – Sophie, who came to live with them in September 2015 and has made herself quite at home.

Jennifer shares Sophie’s story

How did Sophie come to live with you?
A friend of mine, Heather, who feeds stray/feral cats in her neighborhood, mentioned she’d been feeding a cat who she felt to be special. She could tell the cat had been in fights and that she seemed older because she moved very slowly and carefully and didn’t jump or play.

Sophie - The Zoo Rescue
She weighed just over 6 lbs when rescued.

Because the cat was so very underweight, she began offering her canned food three times a day. The cat became very dependent on the schedule, often crying when it was time to eat or when she wanted more. The cat started hanging around their porch all day and finally became comfortable with Heather being outside with her, so she decided to name her Sophie.

Heather was finally able to get close to Sophie and realized she’d been declawed. We had talked about Sophie a few times before, but when Heather messaged that she’d been declawed, my heart just dropped.

We were expecting a cold front and so far Sophie hadn’t gone in the carrier they’d placed outside for her. Heather wasn’t able to bring her in (due to several cat and dog rescues of her own), and she was also worried she’d not be accepted or do well at the shelter.

I shared the new information with Tony and without skipping a beat he asked, “When are we going to get her?”

That Saturday, we drove the 2 hours to Heather’s house, prepared to bring Sophie home with us. When we arrived, Heather and her daughter were on the porch with Sophie, hoping to keep her calm. She’d never gone in the carrier or been around anyone else, so we had no idea how it would go.

Tony stood several feet from Sophie and set our carrier down, while I walked over to her. I squatted down and she showed me her tummy. I softly talked to her while petting her belly and heard the sweetest purrs.

Then, all of a sudden she got up and walked toward Tony. She sniffed his feet, walked into our carrier and lay down!

We couldn’t believe it and took it as a sign that it was meant to be!

Sophie - The Zoo RescueWe quickly said our goodbyes and got into the car. As we started home, we realized how bad she really was and didn’t think we should wait until Monday when our vet would be open. She looked so pitiful with hairless toes, mangled ears, goopy eyes/nose, and so very bony. I started calling around and we found a vet who was open and willing to see us. She was malnourished and dehydrated (I can’t imagine how bad she was before she started eating 3 times a day!), ringworm/fungus on her toes, cauliflowered ears and scars from multiple fights, arthritis, and signs of infection in her blood work. But she thankfully didn’t have anything seriously wrong that could endanger our other animals. The vet guessed her age to be between 10 and 13 years old and had lived on her own a long time. He said it’s a miracle she was still alive, especially since she has no claws for defense.

Now several months later, she has gained almost two pounds, moves much faster (she gets a supplement for her arthritis), is learning that our kitties are safe, that there’s plenty of food and water – and that blankets, beds and cuddles are the best.

She has such a sweet spirit, even after all she’s lived through. We’re so blessed to have the chance to know her! We still send updates so that Heather and her family can keep up with Sophie’s progress.

What is your favorite thing about Sophie?
Sophie doesn’t just want to be near you, she has to reach out and touch you. It’s the most precious thing! She is also the world’s best food/water bowl monitor. She wants the bowls to be completely filled and fresh! This girl adores water… in a bowl, in the sink, in the tub, anywhere she can find it! She doesn’t drink water in the normal way, she likes to dip her paw in and lick it off her paw.

Here is Sophie asking for attention, please and thank you!

Sophie - The Zoo RescueDoes Sophie get along with the other cats in the house?
Our other babies love new kitties and get along remarkably well, considering how many we have! Sophie is adjusting, but she likes to growl to announce herself. She will start growling when a cat is several feet away in order to give them the opportunity to move out of her way! She’s very funny!! She is much easier going now than when she first came and is learning to accept them being near her. She still doesn’t love them, but she is learning that they are safe and don’t want to hurt her or steal her food/water.


Sophie is one lucky cat to be rescued by Jennifer and Tony! If you would like to support The Zoo Rescue, you can visit their You Caring page and Amazon Wish ListConnect with them via Facebook at The Zoo – Animal Rescue, Instagram at jenjenszoo, and Catastic at @thezoorescue & @thezoo.

Sophie - The Zoo Rescue

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65 thoughts on “Happy Tails – A Rescue Story: Sophie

  1. Sophie is a very lucky kitty!! She is very pretty, and I’m glad she is adjusting to her new loving home.
    Cats are so resilient. Jewel didn’t have the easiest life, either (though not as hard as Sophie’s!) and she learned to love and trust me even so. I’m so glad that Sophie has you to care for her. <3

    1. We are very fortunate that she adjusted so well especially since we have so many other cats & dogs – it was like she’d always lived here! How wonderful for Jewel! She’s a lucky kitty to have you! <3

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed her story! She really is a special girl & we’re lucky to know her!! <3

  2. So amazing! I’m a rescue myself. So glad there are people out there fighting for not only younger cats but the seniors as well. Great story! 😽🐾

    1. Thank you!! <3 We are just proud to be able to know her! How sweet that your Cody does that too!!

  3. Hi! Just came from the new Blogpaws’ FB group. I instantly fell in love with Sophie. She’s a beautiful girl. I’m sure she’s skittish around the other cats since she was obviously picked on when she lived on the street. Many thanks to the angels who saved her.

    1. She really is a sweetheart & we’re so glad she’s becoming more comfortable with our other kitties. <3

  4. Sophie, every time I see her it just makes me feel better. Knowing she is safe and loved is so heartwarming. Zooites are the best!

    1. Thank you!! <3 She really does have a way of looking at you that makes everything seem alright.

    1. At first I was so worried about her ears but they don’t bother her at all & she even enjoys having them scratched!

  5. I just told my husband this morning that I desperately want to adopt another cat. And my heart cries out to cats like Sophie. As soon as our lives get more stable and our cats get more used to each other (they have only be living together for 6 months) I’ll find myself a cat like her.

  6. I’m so glad that Jennifer was there for Sophie! It was meant to be. Sophie seems like such a wonderful girl. I hope that she has nothing but beautiful days from here on out. It hurts so bad that anyone would declaw a cat and then abandon them to the environment like that. I’m just glad that she is safe and healthy now. :)

  7. What a moving story. People like Jennifer and Tony make such a difference ! God bless them. How people abandon pets is beyond me . So happy Sophie ‘s story had a happy ending.

  8. My elder daughter adopted a cat which had been declawed and abandoned ,from a shelter in Atlanta. It had a glorious 8 years with her.

  9. I am so glad I got to read this post. I am thrilled with Sophie’s progress and also thrilled that she was adopted. I bet she is going to grow into a very sweet, trusting cat with the great and loving care she is receiving.

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