About a year ago, after unsuccessful attempts to adopt a kitten, at local shelters in her home town, Sarah and her family headed to Benzonia for Christmas with her grandparents, John and Barb Hanmer. Sarah was feeling sad, the only thing on her wish list for Christmas, was a kitten. When they arrived in Benzie County, Grandma asked what Sarah learning in 4H and how all she wanted for Christmas was a kitten.
Grandma said let’s try the Benzie County Shelter. Being Christmas the hours were limited, but Grandma made a few calls and next thing they knew on Christmas Eve, Doreen and Ed Carter met Sarah and her family at the shelter to look at the three kittens available. All three kittens were let out to play, two went in the corner to roll around and play, but Lizzy (this was her name at the shelter) slowly walked over to Sarah, who sat on the floor, and Lizzy crawled up on Sarah’s lap, and that was the beginning of “Sarah and Lizzy”. When people ask Sarah why did you pick Lizzy she reply’s “I didn’t pick her, she picked me”.
Christmas morning proved to be the best Christmas a kitten and little girl could ever ask for. Complete with a custom made cat tree and bed made by Grandma and Grandpa and enough toys and treats to last a year. After a 5 hour drive back to home, they were inseparable. Sarah took Lizzy to the Vet, asked the vet questions, the vet took extra time to explain everything to Sarah and even let her look under the microscope at ear mite and listen to Lizzy’s heart. Lizzy became a vet favorite as she always arrived in her pink rhinestone jacket (spoiled).
July 21, 2012, the big day Sarah and Lizzy had spent months preparing for. It was the Cook County 4 H Fair Cat show. This was both Lizzy and Sarah’s first Cat show, but you would have never known it. Lizzy stood on the table tall and proud and charmed the judges when it was her turn to be judged, and waited calmly and attentively as Sarah completed her 15 minute interview with the judge about her knowledge of cats. All of their hard work paid off, Lizzy won a Blue Ribbon, Class Champion for the 9-11 Year old division, and Overall Grand Champion. Sarah said it was the second happiest day of her life.
Lizzy, once an abandoned kitten, left out in the cold, now a spoiled, 4 H Grand Champion that lives with three dogs. Thank you Animal Welfare and Benzie County Animal Shelter for giving Lizzy the chance to find a good home and prove that domestic shelter cats can be Champions just like any other cat.
Sarah is 9 years old and a fourth grader at Kolmar Elementary in Oak Lawn, IL, daughter of Joyce (Hanmer) and Larry Betz.