Woman Thought Cat Didn’t Have Much Time Left But Hoped Her Love Would Heal Her

Written by: Julie Hunt
| Published on June 3, 2024

Malia vividly remembers the first night she brought Mabel home. Mabel, despite smelling badly, melted in Malia’s arms after she bathed her using wet wipes. The cat was too frail and stressed out to give her a full bath. It seemed like the first time in a long while that Mabel felt genuinely cared for, and Malia cherishes that memory. This marks the beginning of Mabel’s story and her incredible journey with her mom. Malia, affiliated with a rescue organization in Las Vegas, was contacted by a sister shelter about a 12-year-old blind, underweight cat needing a home.

Excited, Malia agreed to take her, feeling she was the perfect addition. Upon arrival, Malia was taken aback by Mabel’s condition, describing her as a frail “little alien.” Mabel suffered from stomatitis, recurrent ear infections, oral growths, was blind due to untreated glaucoma, and battled chronic food allergies. The initial weeks were precarious; Malia thought Mabel was merely a hospice case and focused primarily on building trust and enhancing her quality of life.

Respecting Mabel’s boundaries, Malia let her initiate contact and spent much time sitting with her. Malia would bring a book or her dinner into Mabel’s room because Mabel was anxious about eating alone. This routine of shared meals became a comforting ritual for both. Caring for such a fragile animal was challenging but rewarding. Malia describes these animals as gifts to the world.

Now 15, Mabel has surpassed expectations to thrive beyond her hospice prognosis. Over three years later, she is healthier than ever and living a full life with Malia in San Francisco. Mabel enjoys various adventures, from “smell tours” at Fisherman’s Wharf to visits to the beach and parks. Malia practices consent-based care with Mabel, ensuring all interactions, like wearing a harness, are initiated by Mabel showing interest. Mabel has adapted well to memorizing spaces and is proactive in seeking help when confused or lost. If uncomfortable while out, Mabel finds safety by climbing onto Malia’s shoulder.

Malia deeply admires Mabel, considering her one of her greatest life teachers, learning daily from her wisdom and resilience. Despite her small size, Mabel has a significant presence and demands respect– traits that Malia respects immensely. Their bond is profound, with Malia believing that their meeting and mutual care were destined. Mabel has shown immense tenacity and spirit, qualities that make her not just a beloved pet but a true companion in life.

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