Mrs. Turtles Turns 24!


©Annmarie Collette/Sheepish Grin Pet Photography

It has been seventeen years since Mrs. Turtles became a three-legged cat. I remember vividly, being in the veterinarian’s office, listening to the doctor say, “If it were me, I would put her down given her prognosis.” The doctor determined she had two broken legs after being hit by a car, as well as severe nerve damage and fractured legs. Just by chance, another doctor peeked in and said there would be a small chance her nerves would heal and she may regain use of her legs.


17-year-old Sunny is Mrs. Turtles’ best friend; these senior gal pals spend a lot of time together. ©Annmarie Collette/Sheepish Grin Pet Photography

It was her sheer determination to beat the odds. She began a long and arduous recovery. We had to wait six to eight weeks to see if she would get feeling in her legs. I prepped her recovery room over at the David Sheldon White Resource Center, where she had a beautiful garden to view the butterflies and birds. Most importantly, she needed to stay still so her fractured bones would heal. There were no temptations for her other than to choose to sleep on a fluffy, fluffy pillow, with plenty of her treats.

I have never been a fan of placing an animal in a cage, shutting the door and saying “I will see you twice a day to change your food and water.” We made every possible effort to provide her healing time with as much wellbeing as possible. I would sit with her for an hour at a time, holding back tears, looking at her limp legs not moving. One, two, three weeks passed and she could feel nothing when I slightly pinched her legs. I massaged her legs and spine, noticing she couldn’t stand to have her tail be touched. It dawned on me this was because her nerves were coming back to her tail.

Debra White With Freedom

Debra White with Freedom ©Annmarie Collette/Sheepish Grin Pet Photography

Eight long weeks went by. Finally, while pinching her leg, she retracted it, getting feeling back in one of her legs. With much relief and the biggest kiss she would ever have, I scooped her up and off she went to the doctor. While it was determined she did have feeling in one leg, it was clear she would not gain feeling in the other.

Mrs. Turtles celebrated her birthday on May 5 and is now a 24-year-old, feisty cat that knows no limitations. She is able to climb, jump and scamper to her beautiful hearts content. I wrote this story because Mrs. Turtles has proven to be our patrons most visited cat at Winslow Farm. As I write this, she is perched on a shelf above my wood burning stove upside down laying in comfort!

Winslow Farm Animal Awareness is a non-profit charitable organization devoted to the rescue and care of abandoned and mistreated animals. Established in 1996 by Debra White in Norton, MA, Winslow Farm exists for one purpose: to provide love and care to the many animals without a home or for those that have been abused and/or neglected by their previous owners. For more information about donating or visiting the sanctuary, which is home to over 100 animals and offers group tours and special events, see or call 508-285-6451.

Find local Animal Services Practitioners in the Alternative Health Directory for New England