They heard her cries. They searched throughout the zoo for their favorite resident—one-year-old Musya. She had been acting strangely that day, waddling from space to space with her swollen belly. The staff were anxious. If they didn’t find her on time, maybe something else would. When they eventually got to her, she had some unexpected company. What were they to do now?
Musya wasn’t always a resident of Sadgorod Zoo in Russia. The local attraction was home to tigers, bears, leopards, lizards, camels, reindeer, turtles, monkeys, and lions, but never cats. However, when zoo-keeper Alice was venturing to work on a cold winter’s morning, she noticed a small pile of dirt moving. When she looked closer, she realized it was something else entirely.
Musya fit into Alice’s hand when she found her. The tiny kitten was frozen, and even had icicles stuck to her nose! Alice wasn’t sure if she was going to make it through the night. She stuffed the hairball inside her jacket and went to work. The vets rallied and did everything they could for the little tot. Then, all they could do was wait. But Musya was about to shock them all.
To everyone’s disbelief, Musya made it through the first night, then the second, and then the third. Between shifts, the keepers would come to the staff room to shower her in affection. She was still underweight and weak, but she still managed to get up and run around every day. She quickly became one of the family. Then, they realized how much danger she was truly in.
As Musya became strong, she longed to explore. The window of their staff room was her only experience of the outside world. They wanted to keep her safe. After all, there were wild animals on the other side of the glass. But one day, as Alice opened the door, Musya slipped out. They managed to keep her inside for over a year, only ever leaving for a short walk on a leash. How would she fend for herself? They never expected her to come back like this.
Alice spent two days searching for Musya around the grounds. Every time she passed the crocodile’s enclosure, her stomach clenched. What if she made her way into the wrong pen. What if she wasn’t quick enough? Alice was warned by her colleagues not to expect to see Musya again, but she refused to listen to them. She had faith. And sometimes, all you need is a little bit of faith.