Terra Hall and her husband Ed Felix were at Parque Kennedy, a park in Lima, Peru, looking for a little orange cat that they'd seen a few days prior but couldn't find him. Just when they were about to head home, Terra said, "let's do one more lap."
That's when the couple came across a 3-month-old calico kitten in a little case with two other kitties found by a local rescue.
"There are dozens and dozens of cats there. The public often brings them food and a couple organizations provide basic vet care for the kittens and then tries to find them homes," Terra told Love Meow.
The tiny calico was very sick and could barely move. "She's the one I wanted. I knew no one else would probably take her because she would need medical care, which is quite expensive there."
Given the situation with animal rescue in Peru, the couple believed that the kitten would have a better chance if they offered to take her. So they adopted her and named the kitty Chifa Chop Suey.
"She had never ridden in a taxi, been to a vet or had a bath. We did all that to the poor girl over the span of an hour. She also smelled awful because of her upper respiratory infection. It smelled like pure putrid disgustingness."
Chifa was lethargic, very afraid, and just trying to survive. After a trip to the vet and a much-needed bath, she was still very weak but managed to muster enough strength to climb on Ed's shoulder as if to say "you are my human now."
First night home, their dog Junot welcomed the little feline friend into their warm abode.
"Within the month, she transformed into a hyper, destructive, very sassy cat, while also being incredibly affectionate," Terra told Love Meow.
Chifa came out of her shell and her personality began to shine through.
"We taught her how to play fetch and she loved spending hours watching people on the street from our sixth floor apartment. She was also quite the 'watch dog'."
The beautiful calico girl made a full recovery. "When we moved back to the US two years ago, there was no question about her coming with us."
"Chifa has the most personality of any cat I've ever had. I think part of that is because the first few months of her life were difficult. The other part is that I worked from home for the first year of her life, so she had endless attention," Terra told Love Meow.
"My husband, who swears he is totally, absolutely, definitely Not a cat person!"
Ed cuddling with ChifaTerra Hall
One year after the rescue, Chifa's fur blossomed.
"Her hair didn't get really long until a year after we had her. I adore long haired cats, so it was a wonderful surprise."
When the couple brought home kittens to foster, Chifa would spend a lot of time with one of the fur babies. Just a few days after they met, the two became inseparable friends.
Her name is Noodle, and she never left her foster home and her best buddy Chifa.
"Now, there's no doubt in her mind that we are her people. She still perches on us, often when we sleep. I guess she is a watch dog after all."
Two years after the rescue.. look at her now!
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