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November 8, 2018 Some of us choose the animals in our lives and some of us, if we’re lucky, have animals choose us. That’s what happened to Natasha Brenner, a Morris Animal Foundation donor and animal advocate, when Thursday came into her life. He ran up to her door on a Thursday and moved into her house and heart.

Natasha named her new-found friend Thursday in homage to the character Friday from Daniel Defoe’s book Robinson Crusoe. He also is one of the many reasons Natasha supports Morris Animal Foundation.

Morris Animal Foundation has been advancing the health and well-being of animals for more than 70 years, with more than 2,600 studies funded to date. But, as Natasha would agree, there is still so much more we can do to help animals around the world – including animals like Thursday.

“His sudden appearance reminded me of when Robinson Crusoe meets Friday – how they were unable to first communicate. But I knew Thursday had a lot to say,” Natasha said. “Animals have a different language, but they do communicate to us when they are happy or in distress and we need to listen to them.”

As he was an indoor/outdoor cat, the first item of business was to get Thursday neutered. But the day of the appointment, Thursday was nowhere to be found. He showed up a few days later, staggering up the driveway after a run-in with a car.

“We immediately rushed him to the vet’s office,” Natasha said. “He had a dislocated hip and concussion. We weren’t sure if he was going make it.”

Thursday did survive (and was neutered) and lived many more happy, healthy years with Natasha and her husband as a beloved family member. Until one day, when Thursday was diagnosed with cancer. It was difficult, but Natasha also cherishes those last days and memories with Thursday.

“The sweetest thing I remember is, when Thursday began to get ill with cancer, he would come up to me when I was sitting on the couch,” said Natasha. “He’d put one leg on one shoulder and one leg on the other shoulder and his face would be pressed against mine. It’s those special moments in time that I always will cherish.”

Though Thursday died many years ago, Natasha continues to fill her life with animals, from Sacha, her 18-year-old cat adopted with his brother Jack (also lost to cancer), to her work as an animal advocate. Natasha is a voice for animals that have no voice of their own, a lesson inspired by Thursday, who always made himself heard.

Like Natasha, this holiday season, you can help all animals have longer, healthier lives with your gift to Morris Animal Foundation. You’ll help us fund more life-saving animal health studies so that our cats, dogs and horses, and the wildlife that share our planet, can all have more time. And now through December 31, your gift can be matched dollar for dollar, up to $100,000, thanks to several generous donors.