INTERVIEW BY Imogen Pickering
When Sonia came across a plea on Facebook to help an unwell stray kitten found on the street in Corfu, she made it her mission to bring her back to Jersey and give her a loving home.
“It all began when I was scrolling through my Facebook feed one day and I saw something that caught my eye – a picture of a little white kitten, with ginger ears and tail, that was dirty, riddled with fleas and didn’t look healthy at all. A lady called Beverley had posted the picture as a cry for help whilst she was on holiday in Corfu. She had explained that she would see this kitten in the same spot every day, sitting by a rusty drain, with many people walking past without batting an eyelid. She had to do something, so she phoned some nearby animal shelters and vets to see if one would help, but as strays are so common in Corfu and are often ignored, she got nowhere. Beverley went on to explain that she had finally found a small charity based animal shelter called The Ark, who had agreed to help this kitten, as long as it was promised a home. Those words, along with the picture, were enough to make that light turn green – I acted straight away and offered to give the kitten a loving home.
At first, it was surreal and I wondered many times if it was going to be possible, with there being quite some distance between Corfu and Jersey. I started to speak with Beverley straight away, and she told me that she’d bought a pet carrier to go and get the kitten (who was very willing), before taking her to The Ark to begin her treatment. I soon contacted The Ark myself, explaining who I was and discussed every single detail involved – from health checks, jabs, transport and updates. I was soon asked to choose a name in order to identify her, so the first name I thought of was Lucky (for obvious reasons).
Lucky had to stay at The Ark for six weeks. During those six weeks, I had regular updates on her wellbeing – she was seen by the vets on 2 occasions for her health checks and had all the relevant jabs needed before travelling. The Ark kindly sorted out a passport for her, as well as having her microchipped. By this time, Beverley had suggested I set up a fundraising page explaining Lucky’s story to help cover the costs of her time spent at The Ark and her travel costs. To my amazement, we managed to raise the amount we needed in just 2 days! I was absolutely astounded at the generosity and kindness of all these people that wanted to help bring Lucky over to a new life in Jersey.
The day came that it was time for her to say goodbye to The Ark and start her journey to a new life with us. I was so excited I couldn’t contain myself – I even tracked her plane journeys! I was so nervous and excited to meet this friendly sweet little girl and introduce her to our lives. We went to the airport to meet Lucky and as soon as I saw her I felt so incredibly relieved that she’d made it safe and sound and couldn’t stop giving her attention! It was love at first sight when she saw us – she was instantly playing and purring and demanding cuddles, almost as if she was thanking us. From that moment on, Lucky has been, and still is, an absolute delight. I don’t think there is ever a moment when she isn’t purring! I’m really proud of what I’ve done to give Lucky the life she deserves. It breaks my heart knowing that the start of her life wasn’t great, but it makes me smile to see the way she is now. She’s an absolute diamond and brings us so much joy and laughter. If only all of the strays were as lucky as Lucky.”
Age: 1 approx
Day job: Sleeping, jumping around the house, catching anything that moves, eating
Special skills: Melting people’s hearts and making insects disappear in seconds!
Pet hates: Slipping into my
Favourite food: Any food!
I had been known to eat
doughnuts in Corfu!
Human look alike: Hermione Granger (after taking the
Happiest when: Getting attention
or on someone’s lap!
Sonia Da Silva
Day job: Sales Assistant at Leonidas Chocolates
Special skills: Creativity, knowing a lot about cats, making people laugh
Pet hates: Queue jumpers
Favourite food: Cheeseburger
Animal look alike: Cat
Happiest when: It’s the weekend, being around cats, family and friends, being indoors when it’s raining heavily