We managed to find an empty, littered table. The fall chill is upon us but that doesn’t halt our enjoyment from these over-priced sundaes California Adventure has to offer. It’s only my second time hanging out with Sadie so there’s a ton of stories we’re sharing.
Sadie Wood, who I’ve come to call Hawkins as a consequence of my reference-humor, is like most Disney-obsessed girls — she’s young, pretty and owns rose-gold Minnie ears. However, the similarities end there. Hawkins isn’t a fanatic. She doesn’t have a Disney-themed Instagram account (like this author), she isn’t taking selfies every ten feet (again, like this author) and she doesn’t talk much about herself. In fact, I was supplying most of the conversation up until we sat down to enjoy our ice-creams, which were servings that should’ve been shared.
”I saved a cat the other day that was in the middle of the street,” she said as she took the first spoonful. My first thought was, there’s no way she’s gonna finish that whole ice-cream, but I registered what she said and then I thought, Oh, typical white girl, stopping traffic to pick up a cat. She confirmed my thought because I had said it out loud. I knew by her laugh she didn’t take offense, most of the day went like that where she let my friend and I know she wasn’t offended by laughing. My friend left a little earlier so it was just Sadie and I.
As a journalist, being nosy is a good characteristic to have and usually I’ll do everything I can to get the full scoop but once I paused to let her tell the story, it just all poured out. In between the story she’d take spoonfuls and interrupt herself to show me pictures of the cat. “I pulled over, I could tell the cars behind hated me; I picked up the cat and rushed him to the vet.”
Simon was an itty-bitty, little thing weighing under a pound (the name was too obvious of a choice for her without an explanation). Sadie took him to animal shelters, which were full due to days prior being Fourth of July. Animals get scared of the fireworks and apparently runaway to hide. Apart from the shelters being at capacity, the staff informed her that the kitten was too young to receive vaccinations and they would have to euthanize him. Simon, like most strays, came with illnesses including worms and upper respiratory problems.
After a trip to the VCA (a veterinary hospital) for de-wormanization, a pit-stop at a Petco for kitten formula and about $200 less in her bank account, Simon went home with Hawkins where she’d have to help him poop. I gave her a funny look and she explained: Constant wiping their butts with a damp cloth and massaging their tummies. Every two hours she’d have to rub his eyes with ointment; his eyes would secrete boogies because of his respiratory issues.
That went on for two weeks and she tried to find Simon a permanent home. I asked her why she didn’t just keep Simon. Sadie’s dog was not cat-friendly. Oh, also Sadie and her dad were allergic to cats which would cause the skin on their hands to peel. But Hawkins wasn’t going to give Simon over to just anyone.
An acquaintance contacted her about interest in Simon but Hawkins knew this acquaintance too well. Sadie went on a tangent story to give some context. To make a long tangent short, the acquaintance was homeless-ish, living paycheck-to-paycheck, missing bills and had a shitty boyfriend. Need she explain more?
Hawkins however got in contact with a friend of a friend, Gabby, who was also interested in Simon. Gabby already had a cat that they rescued and were looking for another. Sadie thought it was perfect. But the acquaintance didn’t think so.
”She said to me, ‘I was under the impression that I was going to get the cat and I’m disappointed.’” If that statement alone doesn’t paint the kind of person the acquaintance was then maybe this next part might. Hawkins said shortly afterwards the acquaintance started text messaging her statistics of stray kittens. An example of one of the texts was that the mortality chance for stray kittens was 86%. “She basically told me I was going to kill the cat.”
Gabby adopted Simon and introduced him to his new brother, James. Hawkins receives a photo update from Gabby every week. The last quarter of her ice-cream was neglected off to the side as she showed me photo after photo. Her eyes got glossy and one can’t help but smile along.
I reached out to Gabby about Simon. She adopted James a couple weeks earlier and thought Simon would be “the perfect little brother.” When asked about Simon’s adjustment to his new home Gabby said, “He was surprisingly really comfortable,” being careful with him and not putting him in open spaces.
As Sadie’s story of how she saved a cat was coming to a close, I realized how precious this story was. I’m sure it happens all the time. A quick Google search showed about 6.5 animals go into shelters annually nationwide. I found it amazing that Sadie didn’t leave Simon at the shelter because he would’ve been euthanized. As soon as I could I began writing this post hoping to share Sadie and Simon’s amazing story and to spread some unnoticed cuteness to the world.
Sadie and I ate as much as we could of our ice-cream before giving up. “So I got a fish.” Sadie showed me a video of a beta fish making a bubble nest. The fish lives in a five-gallon tank full of white pebbles, live plants, a cave and today the 12 moss ballls she ordered arrived. I asked what she named him. “Walt, after Walt Disney,” as a tribute to a secret she will soon share.