Cat shot in Dubai, shipped to Toronto, finds new family but needs help getting home


Update:  2-6-19

A sweet special needs cat named Molly traveled across the world to what her rescuer was told would be her forever home, only to end up in a shelter after two short months.

She survived being shot in Dubai, was later flown 14 hours to Toronto, and then left at a shelter after her adoptive family decided she didn't fit in.

To make matters worse, Molly has FeLV, which is highly contagious to other cats, but not to other species, like dogs or humans.

She's been waiting in the shelter for months, hoping to find a forever home.

But now, the beautiful 2-year-old with unique black-and-white markings, has found just that, but her new family needs a little help to make the trip to the shelter and back.  You can donate to their Go Fund Me account here.

Lake Stevens woman Annie Stewart found out about Molly after KIRO 7 wrote and then posted the story on the station's Facebook page. That's when Annie saw the story on a friend's page.

"I saw Molly’s picture on the news story and immediately fell in love with how beautiful she is!  I read her story and felt that she was something special," she said.

Annie began emailing Molly's rescuer from Dubai, Nastasija Fustaino, thinking Nastasija had probably already been bombarded with emails, but it wouldn't hurt to ask about the cat.

"After talking about Molly with her and learning how sweet she really is and how much she’d been through, the space in my heart grew much bigger for her," Annie told KIRO 7. "I had to convince my husband that we needed a cat again and he agreed to it," she laughed.

Annie and her husband have a 3-1/2-year-old daughter who also loves animals and is very excited about getting a new friend. Molly loved cuddling two young children while she was in a foster home.

The family also has two dogs. After speaking with Molly's previous and current caretakers, Annie has a plan to properly introduce them to Molly and give them ample time to adjust to one another.

Annie plans on flying to Toronto to get Molly from the shelter, but needs about $1,800 for travel and adoption expenses before she can make the trip. As of Wednesday morning, she only needed $340.  Donate here.

Any extra funds collected will be donated to Molly's shelter.

Original story, 1-19-19.

Molly’s story started out in Dubai, where she was a street cat. She first met her rescuer, Nastasija Fustaino, in 2017, who was helping other street cats in dire need, as Dubai does not have no-kill shelters.

Molly came to Nastasija’s garden, where she would run up to greet her with a happy meow whenever she came home. Nastasija got to know Molly as a sweet and loving cat and took her to a veterinarian to be spayed and microchipped in June 2018 so she could adopt her.

That’s when the vet told her Molly had been shot with a pellet gun. Nastasija was told Molly might not survive, as the pellet was deep, but luckily, Molly pulled through surgery and was vaccinated and spayed.

On a return visit to the vet for ringworm, Molly became gravely ill, and almost died.

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That’s when a blood test showed that she tested positive for FIV, feline immunodeficiency virus, and FeLV, feline leukemia virus.

Because FeLV is highly contagious to other cats, Molly could no longer live outdoors or with Nastasija’s other cats, and once she recovered, went to a loving foster home, where she cuddled with two young children and followed her human mom around the house. She also liked to be carried around like a baby.

But Molly still needed a permanent home, and now, with her diagnosis, the challenge of finding a home that would keep Molly forever was even bigger.

Cats with FeLV should be kept indoors, can live with other cats that also have the virus, or live with other species, such as dogs, rabbits and of course, humans. There is also a vaccination against FeLV for healthy cats. For more information, ask your veterinarian if your healthy cat can safely live with a cat carrying FeLV.  The virus infects cats only. Read more about FeLV at this link.

But with the help of a friend and social media, Molly found a home in Toronto. The veterinarian said she might not survive the 14-hour flight, but she was fine and was taken into a home with a dog. Nastasija had told Molly’s rescuer that Molly had a traumatic past, would need to be introduced slowly, and may be fearful of the dog at first.

But after two short months, Nastasija learned the woman surrendered Molly to a shelter, where she remains.  Molly is not showing signs of illness, is loved by the shelter staff, and is still hoping to find a loving family, Nastasija said.

While some people equate FeLV as a death sentence, having the virus does not mean a cat is automatically sick and dying with no quality of life, according to Best Friends Animal Society. While some may die within a few years of diagnosis, others can remain healthy for years after their diagnosis until the virus becomes active. And regardless of the length of time they may live, cats with FeLV can live happy and loving lives.

Nastasija has a special place in her heart for Molly, and has reached out via Instagram (@mollythefortunate), in hopes of finding Molly a home.  Read more about Molly's story at

If you have a home for Molly, preferably in the Toronto area, or want to know more, please email Nastasija Fustaino at