Rocket – In Memory


The Wildcat Sanctuary known for rescuing lions and tigers has stepped-up to help Rocket, a 4-pound domestic tabby cat who has suffered with breathing issues for over a year.

At first glance a cat that whistles may seem endearing. But Rocket was sadly injured by a dog at 3 months of age causing damage to her eye and skull. She is now over a year old, so she has suffered with this injury for quite some time.

Founder Tammy Thies said, “The damage is making it very difficult for her to breathe and eat. She breathes through her mouth, so breathing while eating or drinking is very difficult for her.

She is a very sweet cat that purrs all the time and unfortunately, breathing while purring is even more difficult.”

Rocket is being examined by the Sanctuary’s veterinarian. She will receive radiographs and will most likely need a CT scan and surgery to make her more comfortable.

“We may be a big cat sanctuary, but we love cats of all sizes.  When we heard about Rocket, we knew we just had to help. Our goal is to help her breathe more comfortably so she can live a long and healthy life she deserves.”


October 30, 2021 – In Memory

This little girl was with us less than a week, but we loved her as if she’d been with us for decades.  Sometimes life is not measured by how much time you have on earth, but instead measured by how many hearts you touch.  This was true for Rocket who touched all of us.

Rocket was the runt of the litter and only about 1/3 of the size of her siblings.

Yet, her family loved her the same.  She enjoyed being loved on by the kids and was an active kitten.

Her breathing issues began after being injured by a family dog.  And as she grew, her breathing became worse.

She was loved, but the family knew they couldn’t provide the medical care Rocket deserved.  We truly hoped we could.  But Rocket’s breathing was so compromised that even modern medicine couldn’t find a fix.

Our staff cared and loved her around the clock. All of the specialists and vet techs were rooting for her.  We know you were as well.

Our hearts broke when we couldn’t correct the problem.   But we knew it was time to help her breathe freely for the first time in a long time.  We had to help her pass on.

I’ve cried more than I have in a long time.  I cried for our staff who cared so deeply.  I cried for the years Rocket didn’t have.  I was focusing on the loss I was feeling. My love for her. Missing her. Feeling I should have saved her.

Then a very special person told me she didn’t regret our decision to take her one bit.  She gave me another perspective.

To honor her. To feel blessed that we got a week with her.  To be thankful for what she taught us.  To feel peace knowing Rocket felt all of our love. To feel comfort knowing that we gave her peace.

Rocket, you truly were special.  If love could have saved you, you’d be with us right now. Breathe freely and know how much you were loved.

October 28, 2021 Update

Ms. Rocket ate a full meal last night!  Her appetite is back, and she is enjoying dry food over her gourmet wet.

The good news right now is that Rocket’s breathing is close to normal when she is not overexerting herself.  To see if inflammation made her condition worse, she is receiving anti-inflammatory medication for the next few days per the specialist’s recommendation.

She is not in any discomfort or distress and receiving a lot of love from our staff.  If that changes, we will do what is best for her.

She is a very sweet and calm girl. Even yesterday at the vet, she would need her blanket, purr and allow the vet techs to hold and snuggle her.

We know her prognosis is guarded but do have one more specialist that is offering to see her and evaluate her in hopes that she is a candidate for a specific surgery.

The evaluation isn’t invasive or painful.  We are planning to take her there mid next week if she remains as comfortable as she is right now.

She is our little medical mystery, and we are taking it day by day.  We appreciate all the love and support you have shown her.

Video at:

October 27, 2021 Update

Rocket spent the day at the AERC (Animal Emergency & Referral Center) for consultation, which included CT Scan.
Her diagnosis is not what we had hoped. Rocket’s respiratory signs show concern this may be a functional abnormality (laryngeal paralysis) due to previous trauma or inflammation.
We are giving anti-inflammatory steroid medications and appetite stimulants to see if this helps but have to prepared that this may not improve her condition.
She is comfortable right now, but we know her condition can deteriorate quickly so will watch her closely and make decisions in her best interest – always! She is a sweet heart.
Thank you for being there for Rocket.