Students of VTChem: Nick Sapienza
"I had no intention of adopting four cats. They were feral cats, that’s why I have four. I adopted them from my front door. I lived in the same apartment complex for my first five years here and when I moved in, I [started] feeding cats. One of them was very fat and one day was no longer as fat and had four little kittens behind her. After a while when she trusted me, she would come up the stairs, meow, and these four kittens would come running up and start eating. It took quite a long time for them to develop trust. I would come home from work and sit outside with them for a couple hours. Each one came around at a different time.
Their names are Thompson, Teller, Snowflake, and Missy. I was allowed to name two of them so they’re named after two scientists, Thompson after JJ Thompson, Teller after Edward Teller. They other two I did not name so they are named Snowflake and Missy. Before my girlfriend came around, Missy was closest to me. She disappeared probably a year and half after they first started coming around. Months and months went by and I thought she maybe got hit by a car or another animal got her or something. One day, it was pouring outside and I open the door and there’s a cat that’s drenched and just limps right into the apartment. I didn’t recognize who it was at first until she sat down and stared at me. Turns out it was Missy. She must have been attacked or bitten, but her leg was all swollen. This started a series of vet visits. I got the leg taken care of, but there were other secondary infections in her chest cavity. There’s an ER at the vet school here and one night she was having a hard time breathing which was honestly really disturbing, so I called them and brought her in. They tell me there’s nothing they can do but that she’ll probably make it through the night. It was likely some sort of infection that they don’t have a good way of curing. They said it was a 30-ish percent chance. That didn’t sit right with me and neither did the $5,000 price tag I was quoted [for the treatment]. I went home, she was fine, but the fluid built up again and we went back and forth maybe three or four more times until the last time I said screw it, let’s do [the treatment] I don’t care what it costs. Because if I cared [about the money], it only would have cost $65 to put her down and would have saved me a lot of money. Turns out she recovered sooner than anyone else thought. We initially named her Missy because she had a terrible attitude and that totally changed after this. After that she’s been very loving. And then my girlfriend came into the picture and now she’s attached to her and follows her around, which I’m okay with." - Nick Sapienza