I started this awhile back and it ended up being significantly longer than I had anticipated. I decided it would be best to break it down into parts, hopefully not too many…but this little fur ball has quite an amazing story of love, courage, determination and survival!

Part 1
I have been going through my external hard drive, doing some much needed cleaning, sorting and organizing. Many of the files are off to cyber trash, a few are pending…then there’s those that are absolutely priceless and bring back a rush of memories, the good, the bad and the ugly.
I have 2 cats I love to pieces. (most of the time) Both are Persians, both were strays. Oliver is the newest addition and has been part of the family for about 2 1/2 years. He is big, grey, has the most adorable face ever and loves to be the center of attention. I’ve had my little girl for about 9 1/2 years. She is black, petite, shy, a little on the clumsy side and will win her heart over in the bat of an eye. Her name is…Filthy. I have tried unsuccessfully over the years to rename her, but she is and always will be, Filthy.
While cleaning out my hard drive, I was reminded of exactly how Filthy McNasty got her name. And had I known then what I know now, her name would have been “Filthy Clumsy Was Kidnapped Almost Killed 3 Times McNasty”

Don’t judge…there’s a story behind it.

One evening my kids opened the front door, promptly shutting it again.
“Somethings on our porch.”
“Someone or something?”
“Something, something nasty.”
I opened the door long enough to get a glimpse and slammed it shut.
“What do you think it is?” my kids asked
“I don’t know, but it moved, do not go out there!”
We waited a few minutes and quickly peaked again, it was dark outside but I could tell it had it’s tail…back…or some sort of appendage towards me.
“It probably has rabies, huh mom?”
“I don’t know…”
“Bet it’s a dirty old skunk or raccoon full of diseases.”
“I don’t know…”
We looked again a few minutes later. I’m pretty sure by then my kids had their hockey sticks in hand and helmets secured. As I opened the door, ‘it’ turned around and looked at us with these big, round, gold eyes, my heart melted. “It’s a cat you guys! Disarm yourselves at once!”
As fast as my heart melted, it disappeared into the night. For the next week or so, this little black ball of fur would invade our porch every night, but as soon as we opened the door, it was gone. The kids had started putting out food and water for it and it had started spending more and more time visiting, eventually allowing us near it.
“Touch it.”
“No, you touch it.”
I finally interjected,
“I will touch it!”
As I went to pet it, I let out a scream. There was what appeared to be a worm nestled in it’s array of knots. “Boys, do you want to try and get that out?” I asked as if it would be a privilege. As they both disappeared into the house I started thinking they may have been on to something, that hockey gear was sounding pretty good right about now. After much debate, we got an old pair of tongs and went to work. Much to our delight that ‘worm’ turned out to be a Chow Mein Noodle, probably one of the many souvenirs it had gathered while dumpster diving. This was the closest we had ever to get to it and it was then one of my kids looked at me and said, “it’s filthy” in which my other son replied, “it’s nasty!” Filthy McNasty now had a name.

Filthy had taken up full time residency on our porch. It had been a few months since she first appeared and it didn’t look like she was going anywhere soon. Her sweet demeanor had made her somewhat of a celebrity within the neighborhood. As much as I’d grown to “love” her, I already had a cat, a turtle, 2 kids and I was dealing with some pretty serious health issues. The last thing I wanted or needed to do was take on anymore responsibilities or financial burdens.
We continued to give her food and water and in return she now allowed us to scratch her head…which is truly the only part of her we were brave enough to touch. Filthy McNasty was as content as could be residing on the “bed” she had made on the porch, but she deserved more. I tried in vain to find someone I knew and trusted that would be able to give her the home and love she needed, that…wasn’t working out so well. One night I was sitting on the porch watching her “play” and without warning, she jumped in my lap. I freaked out, again wishing I was outfitted in my kids hockey gear. As guilty as I feel about it now, I quickly booted her back down. If she can harbor Chow Mein noodles in those knots, what else is in there? Through that brief encounter I did realize something very important, Filthy McNasty had been de-clawed. My search for a home went into overdrive. How long could she survive without being able to defend herself? How had she made it this long?

That same week I returned home on a very cold night and found her on the porch whimpering. She was cold, wet and shivering. Someone had drenched her with a hose. I grabbed a few old beach towels, wrapped her up like a baby and held her close to me. Before I knew it, she was purring and falling asleep. Every so often she would show her gratitude by licking my hand. I held her for a few hours…not wanting to ever let go. So innocent, so alone and treated with such cruelty. It had been almost 7 months since she had found us and her persistence was paying off. It was clear, she just wanted someone to love her.

I called the groomers first thing the following morning to make her an appointment. I explained the situation to them briefly and made them aware her hair was severely knotted. I went out the following morning with a new little kennel, gathered Filthy from her bed on the porch and off we went. At this point we had all grown fond of her and were excited to make her a part of the family. The groomers however took one look at her and my excitement quickly turned to concern. “…we have never seen anything this bad…probably can’t do anything to help her…call your vet, she will probably have to be put under to remove the mats…” Tears welled up in my eyes quickly, after inspecting her a little closer and seeing how calm she was, they decided the would at least try. I might have even hugged them…or kissed them…or both. When I arrived back a few hours later to pick her up, I must have looked at her a dozen times and had no idea it was Filthy, Filthy McNasty. She was sooo clean, sooo tiny…sooo Chow Mein Noodle free!!! The groomers were in awe of how she let them work their magic. Just like she had done with me, she showed her gratitude by occasionally licking their hands. Feeling clean, content and loved, she curled up in a ball on my lap and we started our drive HOME!
Coming into the house, I now faced  the task of introducing Rex to his new adopted sister. I did not anticipate this to go over well as he pretty much ruled the house, it was, however as if they were and had always been the best of friends. She explored every inch of the house prancing around like the little princess she had become…until the boys got home. I would like to think it was laughter of joy and delight to see Filthy’s “new look,” she didn’t see it that way and we spent the next 15 minutes coaxing her out from under the bed.

Sometime within the next month, we woke up to find our little princess staggering, she could not take more than two steps without falling…clearly, Filthy was very sick.

…continue part 2