ISF Grantee ZenaWhether spelled with an X or a Z, Zena is truly a warrior's name. There aren't many creatures who can match the bravery shown by our feline heroine, Zena, who was forced to deal with a terrible blow. She had likely been struck by a car, subsequently abandoned and left scared on the side of the road. Her injuries were severe as she had a badly broken leg, with a compound fracture and her stomach had herniated into her chest. When a stomach is herniated, it means the internal organs have shifted up into the chest cavity. Her pain was unimaginable.

It is suspected Zena had been living this way on the streets for nearly a month before anyone found her. Then one day, a warm-hearted volunteer from the wonderful rescue group, A Pathway to Hope (APH), spotted Zena and immediately stopped and came to her aide. She took Zena to the rescue center and they wasted no time in assessing what needed to be done. The vet determined Zena would need to undergo two major surgeries. Her tibia bone was protruding and her body had already started to heal around the acute break. This meant it was impossible to repair and she would need to have the leg amputated. She also needed a second surgery to move the herniated organs back into place. Additionally, Zena was going to require twenty-four-hour hospitalization.

ISF Grantee ZenaOf course, these necessary surgeries and hospitalizations are quite costly so APH reached out to the Ian Somerhalder Foundation for assistance with some of the costs. We were thrilled to help through our ISF Emergency Medical Care Grant for Animals Program. We are able to provide this crucial service through the continuous generous donations from supporters like you. Zena had her surgeries and APH told ISF, “Her surgeon was happily surprised at how quickly she healed”. When Zena was released from the hospital, she went to her foster home to recuperate. Likely having never lived in a home before, she was shy and quiet for awhile, not sure how to act in this new setting. However, APH added, “Slowly over the next few months, Zena healed, got happier and more comfortable in her foster home. She got a little bolder in meeting her foster feline sisters and she got a little more comfortable every day letting her foster mom pet and love her.”  In fact, “When she returned home to her foster home, she quickly showed her indomitable spirit as she learned to navigate life on three legs and began to trust the loving people that had rescued her from the streets and certain death”.

Since Zena has now healed, where will be her furever home? After letting her into their home and their hearts during her recovery, Zena's foster family decided they could not let her go and have decided to adopt her. It was with them she learned to trust humans and learned what love is and they feel she bonded as part of their family during this time. Zena's wonderful success shows the enormous power of love, perseverance, and strength. APH summed up Zena's incredible story with this comment, “We as a rescue, we learn and learn with each of these situations that first of all, there are terrible people out there who don't care for animals and believe they are disposable. And we also learn that there are amazing people out there like Ian Somerhalder and all the people who work for this foundation, and the people who stop and rescue an injured cat on the street, and the many other people in rescue that know what the right thing to do is and will go the extra mile to help animals need.” 

ISF Grantee Zena

Written by Brandy D. Anderson

Edited by Bob Stone

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