“Sometimes being a brother is even better than being a superhero.” – Marc Brown
Two solid white brothers sat helpless in the woods using the little strength they had to cry out for help. They longed for their mother, but she was nowhere in sight. The two brothers had apparently been dumped along the side of a quiet country road. They weren’t old enough to eat on their own and they could hardly stand on their tiny legs. Together they could both fit comfortably in the palm of one petite hand, weighing less than 2 pounds together.
While out on a nature walk a family stumbled upon the orphaned kittens (tracked by their loud and endless meows) and carried them back to their house. With plans of leaving on vacation the following day, the family decided to leave the kittens on their back porch with a bowl of cat food and hope for the best. As the family prepared for vacation their handyman (a local university student) stopped by to tend to a few last minute minor house repairs. Of course as soon as their handyman arrived he noticed to two tiny white fluff balls sitting idle on the back porch. When he asked about the orphaned kittens, the family asked if he knew of anyone who could help. It just so happened that the families handyman knew one of the co-founders of a brand new animal welfare organization, Advocates 4 Animals.
Later that day we drove out to rescue the two orphaned kittens. The two brothers looked identical except for the fact that one had lost his voice from meowing for help and the other had a terrible eye infection. Both were covered from head to tail in fleas and both were severely emaciated. They were too young to eat any food on their own and so we began bottle feeding the brothers immediately, hoping that they would draw strength from the burst of nourishment, and hoping that it wasn’t too late.
With two of us on board to care for and foster the orphaned brothers we were invested to their care around the clock. One worked nights, the other worked during the day- and thankfully each of us worked only a few minutes from home, allowing one of us to be with the kittens every two-hours to cover the next feeding shift. We each named one kitten; Marshall and Mr. White. Mr. White permanently lost his voice from his endless pleas for help. He had used every bit of strength he had to shout for his life. And although he would never have a voice, his meow saved both orphaned kittens lives that day. Marshall was the smaller of the two and his eye infection was so severe that he had to be placed on several medications to combat the infection. Within a few weeks the brothers learned to use a small kitten litter box and they began running around, learning to play and doing all of the things that happy, healthy kittens should have the privilege of doing.
Once the brothers were old enough to be neutered we began searching to find them a forever home. We were still in the infancy stage of Advocates 4 Animals and the internet was just catching on throughout the country. Therefore our search for forever homes was done the old fashioned way: solely through word of mouth and through taking the kittens with us to our jobs and to social functions so that people could meet them in person. The brothers had lucked out several times in their young life; once when they were found (after being abandoned), a second time when the families handyman recommended contacting the co-founders of Advocates 4 Animals (a new animal welfare organization at the time) and the brothers were about to find luck a third time as they each searched for adoption. Rather than each being adopted, the brothers were adopted together. They grew up together, learned to play from wrestling with each other, learned to eat cat food (and wean from the bottle) by modeling after one another- they learned about the joys of life together, every step of the way.
It’s been twelve-years since the brothers were rescued by Advocates 4 Animals and Marshall and Mr. White still live together in their forever home. In their later years, both cats suffered from a painful disease called Stomatitis which eventually required both cats to have all of their teeth pulled. Since the treatment and operations, both have made a full and quite miraculous recovery. The brothers bicker at times- as most sibling’s do- but the majority of the time they can be found curled up together on one of their favorite pet beds or sitting in a sunny window, side by side, watching the birds at the backyard feeder. Mr. White never regained his voice, but shows his happiness and content each and every day with endless purring. His brother, Marshall talks (meows!) quite often letting his guardians know when he’s ready for attention or for their next meal. Advocates 4 Animals has helped more than 11,000 homeless animals in need since our start and although it has been well over a decade since the orphaned brothers were rescued, the felines remain a favorite among Advocates 4 Animals memories. The brothers had been abandoned and unable to walk or eat on their own all of those years ago. But now because of the kind hearts and efforts of a few dedicated individuals, the brothers are thriving and living a life they could once only dream of. For all of us who have met the brothers or who know their story, they remind us every day of the importance of speaking up for what you believe in. Without Mr. White’s endless meow’s the brothers would have never been found. The brothers also remind us that if you have even one special bond in life- whether it’s with a brother, a sister, a parent, a friend or a spouse- count yourself as incredibly lucky; one special bond can create a succession of endless miracles.
Interested in supporting Advocates 4 Animals life-saving efforts? Read A4A’s story (aka history) here. You can donate much needed items to A4A from anywhere in the world using our Wish List. Or you can become an A4A Annual Member or a monthly sponsor for a special needs pet. Thank you so much for your kindness and support!