When 7-month-old Ruth and 2-year-old Idgie were abandoned by a gated community outside of Geneva, Florida, there was no chance they’d be able to survive alone.
When they were discovered, Ruth, the tiny black-and-white kitten, had two paralyzed back legs. Idgie, the chubby Dachshund, was covered in ants which had gathered while she’d stood guard over her tiny friend.
It was unclear what had happened to Ruth’s back limbs. “We think it may have been something she was born with,” Diane Gagliano, program coordinator for the Seminole County Animal Services, told NBC2.
“It was a really strange situation— both of them were found in fairly good shape, not filthy or malnourished, so it seems as though they probably had a home at some point.”
“But on the flip side, no one came and claimed them, and how could the cat get very far without the owner knowing?”
The two animals were adopted by Jacqueline Borum, who runs the Hollywood Houndz Boutique and Spa. When Borum met the two animals, their bond was clear— and she named them Idgie and Ruth after the characters in Fried Green Tomatoes who also shared a remarkable friendship.
“Their story from the beginning to end is something right out of a Disney movie,” she said.
Idgie and Ruth spent a lot of time at Borum’s shop, where the two became local celebrities. When the Orlando Sentinel caught wind of their story, the animals went absolutely viral!
Seeing the dog and kitten interact is absolutely heartwarming. Idgie seems to know Ruth is special and is there to protect her until the end. “When Idgie gets a new toy, she always takes it over to the cat, Ruth, and they pretty much share everything.”
“Their admiration for each other has only grown stronger over these last few years. There’s no doubt Idgie would have laid down her life to protect her BFF. Thank God she will never have to!”
Even years after being adopted, Idigie would act as Ruth’s bodyguard to the world. Any time anyone approached her, she would check them out to make sure they were okay.
“Ruth has a handicap and so Idgie senses Ruth’s vulnerability,” Borum noted.
“I think Idgie would give her own life for this cat.”
After adopting Idgie and Ruth, Borum was inspired to start Project Paws, a nonprofit organization that helps shelters cover veterinary costs. Ruthie and Idgie are, of course, the mascots.
“They are and will continue to crusade for the other animals in desperate need of help,” Borum told The Dodo.
Sadly, Ruth’s days were numbered and the kitty was diagnosed with an auto-immune disorder that attacked her red blood cells. Ruth eventually made her crossing over the Rainbow Bridge— and her best friend Idgie was right by her side, supporting and comforting her until the end.
Upon Ruth’s death, Borum shared a message to Facebook, saying:
“Thank you world, for embracing this dynamic dup that not only beat the odds but conquered by being a beacon of light for other animals in desperate need through Project Paws.”
“Their friendship has so much to teach us as humans about love, selflessness, loyalty, and the ability to look beyond our differences.”
Hear their inspirational story below!
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