On July 5, 2016 Patty Retzloff was driving to her son’s home in West Des Moines, Iowa. “It was just before noon and traffic on the I235 was heavy,” she said. “I remember just buzzing along and a tiny face on the side of the road caught my attention. The fear in that little face as she huddled against the concrete barrier broke my heart.”
Patty said she didn’t even think. She just slammed on the brakes, pulled over and backed up as close as she could to the kitten. “I jumped out and started walking towards the tiny ball of fur when suddenly she noticed me and started running from me and that’s when I saw part of her injuries.” As the kitten ran toward Patty she noticed that the kitten’s back, right leg was “flying straight out from her tiny body.” Patty said she was horrified. “My biggest fear was she would run into the rushing traffic and be killed, so I prayed, ‘Please God don’t let her go into the traffic, let me get to her and help her.'”
Cat Rescue Story: Saving Freeway
Patty said, “I truly believe that God heard me because she stopped running and tried to jump up the concrete wall and that is when I caught her. She was so scared she bit my little finger and after that she turned her head and bit me on my other hand on my thumb. I held her eye level and told her I was not going to hurt her and to relax I was here to help. She did calm down and quit fighting and trying to bite me, it was like she knew, I was going to do everything I could to help her.”
She put the kitten into a pillow case and set her on the car seat. “I didn’t have a carrier with me and I was afraid she would panic again if I just tried to hold her and drive,” Patty shared. “She didn’t make a sound as I desperately tried to get medical attention for her.” She searched for a veterinarian who would be open on a holiday weekend and the only one she found wanted $2,500 up front to begin treating the kitten’s injuries. “I didn’t have that kind of money. I’m on disability. I offered to make payments and they brought me a credit application.”
That was when Patty called Furry Friends, a shelter in West Des Moines. “In fact, that’s where I had gotten two of my own fur babies. Dave answered my call and immediately told me to bring her to them and that he would be sure that she got the help she needed.”
The kitten was evaluated and the professionals at Furry Friends concluded she’d been thrown from a moving car at a high rate of speed and her back leg had lost skin and muscle from her groin to her knee. “They weren’t sure if they could save her leg, but they were going to try” Patty said.
Freeway’s Happy Ending
“I later found out that ‘Freeway’ had lost her leg but gained a wonderful forever home.” She was adopted by the staff member who fostered her while she recovered.
Patty said she wasn’t in a position to adopt at that point. “I was homeless myself at the time, but am forever grateful for the people at Furry Friends who helped me save her life and give her such a beautiful life. Every life matters…God bless those who are willing to step up and help even when you don’t have the money to pay them.”