Second Chance: Sophia’s Christmas Story

Second Chance Humane Society’s Animal Resource Center and Thrift Shops have been servicing San Miguel, Ouray & Montrose Counties for over 25 years. Call the Second Chance Helpline at 626-2273 to report a lost pet, learn about adopting a homeless pet, or about Spay/Neuter, Volunteer, Feral Cat, or other services. View shelter pets and services online:


My hair was matted all over and pulling on my skin. My teeth were rotting and my entire mouth was in constant pain. Half my ear was missing. My eyes were blurry and weren’t really focusing well. When I was stressed they got worse, and, I was always stressed. People had never really been kind to me. I was miserable and wanted nothing to do with anyone. That has all changed. For this last Pet Column of 2019, Holiday Edition, I get to share my story.

My name is Sophia. I am a homeless cat at Second Chance Humane Society in Ridgway. Second Chance truly saved my life and I know that I have so many people to thank for that: staff, volunteers, and all the donors and supporters. Without all of you, I would not be writing this story today.

I was rescued by Second Chance over a year-and-a-half ago. I really did not want to be “rescued” as I didn’t have much to live for. I was middle-aged and feeling too beaten down to bounce back. But the staff and volunteers weren’t about to let me give up.

The first thing they did was give me a comfortable and cozy room with places I could perch in up high and hide. That made me feel safer than I had in a long time. Then they shaved my hair mats off and removed all my rotted teeth. I felt better than I had in years and I could walk and eat without pain.

So I thought, “well as long as they leave me alone I’ll be ok.” But they didn’t. They kept trying to be nice and feed me tuna and touch me. I made it very clear I wanted nothing to do with them. They didn’t give up. They were persistent little gnats always reminding me that life held more.

Slowly I began to accept what they were offering, because I actually began to like the attention. I began to like connecting to others and feeling human touch on my body. It was actually calming and filled the big empty places inside of me with warmth.

One time a woman came into the big room I was living in with other cats at the Shelter. She had been visiting with me regularly and I was growing fond of her gentle voice and her loving nature. I decided to let her brush me. I hated to admit it, but that felt good. And I wanted more. I wanted more attention and affection even though it was all still scary. But I had . an awesome purr machine inside me that just wanted so badly to be used. So I started to use it.

So now here I am. My slightly cross-eyed, one-and-half-eared, with some teeth self. A self that now loves people. I have come a long way down the road to spending the rest of my life waiting for a new family. I know my true path is to make a home and life. I know that family will see me as a gift, same as I will see them.

The holiday season is about love and giving and connection. So that is my holiday wish – for a family of my own to give my story the happiest ending of all.

Warm holiday wishes to all and thank you for being part of my story of hope.

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