Finding Sabrina: a Woman Overcomes Homelessness and Reunites With Her Missing Cat

Rebuilding her life after losing her home was a triumph for Camila. In searching for her cat Sabrina, Camila also found her way back to her love of a lifetime.

Camila + Sabrina

When Camila became homeless, she knew that one day she would find her cat Sabrina again. Years later, under brighter circumstances, Camila went on the search to find her lost love so they could rebuild their lives together.

"I began my frantic search for Sabrina by making calls and visiting several animal shelters, and after two weeks I learned that a cat matching Sabrina’s description was dropped off at the South Suburban Humane Society. "

I’ve had to face a lot of challenges in my life. The biggest of those was being homeless, which I eventually overcame (and it helped me be stronger and wiser); still, there was a very important ingredient missing in my life and that was my cat, Sabrina. She is a beautiful black, orange, and white Calico cat now 8 years old. When I adopted Sabrina, she was just a kitten, abandoned with her siblings at the doorstep of a veterinarian’s office.

Sabrina was a great comfort to me throughout the years when my now-deceased ex-husband inflicted psychological and physical abuse. When his abuse escalated and the court’s order of protection expired, I had to flee with only the clothes on my back, forcing me to stay at several domestic violence shelters where I could not bring my Sabrina.

It took me more than four years to rebuild my life, and then I received the terrible news that my ex-husband was deceased. I began my frantic search for Sabrina by making calls and visiting several animal shelters, and after two weeks I learned that a cat matching Sabrina’s description was dropped off at the South Suburban Humane Society. My heart raced as I grabbed my car keys and made the 20-mile trip, praying the entire time that the cat they had was my Sabrina.

I was greeted by compassionate staff members, I told them my tearful and emotional story. I was then escorted to a room to identify her. There were about 15 cats gathered on the floor and one very scared white cat curled on top of the sink. I couldn’t quite make out her coloring because she was curled up and I had to stand by the door. It was not until I called out her name from across the room that she slowly lifted her head stood up and stretched. I then saw her black and orange coloring and knew it was my Sabrina.

She turned her head toward me and let out a faint meow as if asking me, “What took you so long?” Tears were streaming down my face I told her out loud, “It’s Mommy, I am so sorry, but you are safe now, I’ve come to take you home.” Before I could hold her in my arms again I had to readopt Sabrina, and the anticipation was agonizing. I was finally able to hold her, and she kept pushing her head under my chin while I stroked her fur. I don’t remember how long I held Sabrina; I only remember how difficult it was for me to put her in her carrier for the long trip home.

Sabrina was very malnourished when I found her and she was very scared, but since then she has gained weight and is coming around to trusting family and friends. The important thing is that she feels safe and hopefully knows that I will never be forced to abandon her again.

Each year, Petco Love Stories invites adopters to share how their pets have changed their lives to give the organizations that they’ve adopted from the chance to receive grant awards. This story by Camila won South Suburban Humane Society in Chicago Heights, Illinois a 2021 Love Stories award.