Gypsy and Noah: Alumni of FieldHaven
By Joy Smith, Executive Director
Each time we place a cat or kitten into a new home our wish for a long, comfy life goes with them. We have heard from many of our alumni adopters over the years and cherish each story we get. Every photo is looked at with loving and thankful eyes, but the stories and photos of Gypsy and Noah are among the most precious of all, as their story was the start of FieldHaven and all it is today.
In July 2003, before the concept of trap, neuter, return (TNR) was widespread, sisters Joy Smith and Jann Flanagan heard about a ranch that had several feral cats with kittens. They trapped them and, once the kittens were weaned, the mamas were spayed and returned to the Hutchinson Ranch where they were originally found. The kittens were socialized and soon ready for adoption.
Looking for a kitten, Terri and Howard Parker came to a little makeshift “booth” set up in Beerman’s Plaza at the Lincoln Farmer’s market and fell in love with one of these kittens – a little waif who was named Laurel. Gently petting and swooning over her as she sat in the palm of Howard’s hand, they fell in love. Laurel, soon named Gypsy, had purred her way right into Terri and Howard’s life and hearts. Even better, they returned several weeks later to adopt Noah, one of the other kittens up for adoption.
Throughout the last fifteen years, Terri and Howard have stayed in touch, and it was with great sadness that we learned Gypsy had passed away earlier this year, close to her 15th birthday. As sad as this was to hear, it brought us full circle back to the beginning of FieldHaven. Her story, after all, is exactly why we pour so much of our hearts, souls and energy into saving these deserving, beautiful little beings.
It is hard to imagine that FieldHaven might not exist if not for Gypsy, Noah, and all those kittens saved back in 2003. Instead of being kittens who perished in a feral colony, they lived long and wonderful lives filled with love. How fitting it is that Gypsy’s birth was the inspiration for FieldHaven and her passing to the Rainbow Bridge occurred as we celebrated our 15th anniversary.
And Noah? He is still loved and cherished by Terri and Howard. As Terri wrote recently, “Noah is a character and, at this rate, he may be with us for your 20th anniversary!”
We sure hope so.
FieldHaven staff and volunteers love hearing from our “alumni.” Every story and photo reinforces why we do what we do. Do you have an alumni story? Please share it on our Facebook Alumni page.