AuSABLE FORKS — After her cat, Buddie, was cruelly shot, Vickie Trombley made a promise to God.
If he recovered, she would help other animals.
About six years ago, the black feline was shot in the right front leg, and the bullet pierced through and also hit his left front leg.
“He was shot by a .22 rifle, and the bones in his two front legs were completely shattered, and there was nothing but skin,” Trombley said.
Buddie managed to crawl back home, and she rushed him to the veterinarian’s office.
“I don’t think anyone can picture the panic and terror that I felt at seeing Buddie.”
Trombley believes her cat was able to drag himself back to her in his pain because of the love and bond they have for each other.
She said the vet wanted to amputate the right leg, but she did not want to do so without giving Buddie a chance.
“We spent weeks trying to figure out what to do and come up with a plan,” she said. “I couldn’t picture life without him.”
At one point, Trombley lost all hope. It was at that time that she made her promise.
“If anyone understood and knew how much this cat means to me, it’s God,” she said.
After several weeks of worrying and taking care of Buddie, Trombley said, the cat’s shattered bones started to heal miraculously.
Today, Buddie is fine and runs and plays on all four legs.
“I believe it was God,” Trombley said. “It was a miracle; it’s my miracle cat.”
Trombley was very inspired by how bravely Buddie endured his pain, and indeed, she kept her promise.
Every year since the incident, she has filled Easter baskets with stuffed animals, candy and items such as gift cards to local restaurants and raffled them off.
The baskets are put on display at places where chances are sold, including Stewart’s Shops, Lowe’s, Pizza Palace and Tractor Supply. The winning tickets are drawn publicly this year at the M&M diner in AuSable Forks.
The 2013 raffle brought in $1,600, and Trombley donated $800 each to the North Country SPCA in Westport and the Adirondack Humane Society animal shelter in Plattsburgh.
“The baskets are successful because so many people make it possible, the wonderful business establishments that allow us to display and set up the raffle, those who provide gift certificates and the people who buy the raffle tickets,” she said.
Trombley and her husband, George, have also established the Buddie Cat Fund. Also in the cat’s honor, they set aside some of their own money to help people who have an animal emergency.
“The money is not a gift, and they can borrow from it,” Mrs. Trombley said. “When it’s paid back, the money returned becomes available again for anyone else to use for their pet’s needs.”
She has also received donations from family, friends and others who know of her dedication to the health and well-being of cats and dogs.
“There are a lot of people out there who want to help animals,” she said. “If the community didn’t support what we do, it wouldn’t happen.”