©2010 Robin A.F. Olson
Moonpie (left) and Yodel (right) were born to different mothers, obviously on different dates since Moonie is quite a bit older than Yodel.
That said, I can't get over how much the two look alike!
and they both came from HCCAC in Georgia!
A few days ago there were 16 cats in my home. Adoptions were just non-existant. My first litter of kittens in our Kitten Associates program were STILL not all adopted and they'd been here since early AUGUST. I had to turn down MANY potential adopters for one reason or another. I kept waiting. I tried to have faith it would work out. I decided if I never got an application on Yodel, I wouldn't mind it so much. I've been promising myself one more cat-a long haired tuxedo, one of these days. It wasn't the perfect time, but so what?
©2010 Robin A.F Olson. Candy Corn.
Then reality set in. I would be INSANE to keep ANY more cats at this point. My cats are pooping and peeing all over the house. They're furious. There are too many fosters cats running lose. Pattycake and Moonpie can't find an adopter. They're just too big. I can't confine them to a small bathroom. It was driving them mad. Yodel and Honey B. can't be in their old room because The Halloween Express of four kittens are a bit sniffly. The two groups can't be combined.
©2010 Robin A.F Olson. Candy Corn actin' sassy.
I was just about to pack my bags and run off when a curious thing happened...I got a promising application. I did a Vet check. It was not great. They had taken great care of their dog, but the cat hadn't been vetted since 2008. I was about to write them, off, but I realized I needed to ask why, first. Turns out the adopter had traveled to Europe for business for a long period of time and had asked his father to care for his cat while he was gone. Dad fell in love with the cat and the son felt guilty taking his cat back. This answered the question as to why no Vet reference for the cat.
©2010 Robin A.F Olson. Skittles. Really! I can tell them apart.
We had a good chat. He was VERY interested in feeding his cats a raw diet! He also talked about letting his cats outside, but after a few minutes he realized it was not necessary and he assured me no cat he adopted would be going outside. Yes, he could be giving me lip service, but I felt he was being honest.
©2010 Robin A.F Olson. Three little maniacs all in a row (Skittles is probably crawling up my leg, so he missed being in the shot).
His girlfriend liked Patty and Moonpie and wanted to meet them. They have no animals currently and hope to have a few cats and a dog, eventually. I jumped at the chance to have them meet the crazy cow cats, but he also said he was very interested in the orange tabby cats-Skittles and Candy Corn. I knew Patty and Moonie didn't stand a chance against the 12-week old kittens.
©2010 Robin A.F Olson. Treat.
Yesterday, the couple came over to meet the kitties. They both told me about how they'd had cats for most of their lives. I really had a good feeling about them. They were great with Moonie and Patty but the two cats were "off" and didn't show that well.
Then I opened the door to the foster room and the entire Halloween Express ran towards us. The second the couple entered the room, they were covered with kittens who were purring, pawing for attention, standing on their hind legs and patting one of them on the nose. They wanted to be held, touched, loved. Not one of them was shy. Who wouldn't fall in love with these happy-go-lucky kittens?
©2010 Robin A.F Olson. Trick.
I tried to remind them that any of these kittens would need more attention and care. That Patty and Moonie were ready to go and these kittens still needed more shots (eventually), more de-worming and were still a tiny bit sniffly! They just looked at the kittens and nodded. Whatever I said was going right through them. They were smitten.
I realized it would be wise to give them some time to talk, so I left them with the kittens and went to visit Patty and Moonie. I told them they weren't going to be adopted, but that it was going to be okay. They sat on my bed and looked up at me. It made my heart melt.
As I stood to leave the room, the door opened to the foster room. The couple came out and I asked if they had made a decision. They had. Which two did you want? I figured they would say the orange tabbies, but they surprised me.
They said they would take them ALL.
I blurted out; “You're shittin' me!” before I could stop myself. And they said they couldn't imagine being able to chose two of the four and that they were all too lovely and they had the room for four and wanted to give them all a home.
I just stood there with my mouth open.
©2010 Robin A.F Olson. The happy family before they leave for their new home.
They asked me to hold the cats until Monday, when I'll have finished treating them for ear mites (which they don't have but Dr Larry found ONE dead mite in Skittle's ear so we're being careful). I'll bring them to their new home tomorrow. I barely can tell these kittens apart! They've been here just over ONE WEEK and they're ALL ADOPTED!!
I just can't believe it! The Halloween Express zoomed in the door and right back out! Amazing! And to think...they were a few minutes away from being EUTHANIZED for their sniffles! I shudder to imagine...
I've adopted out a mama (Huggy Mama) and her two offspring together, but that was it. I've never adopted four kittens to one family before, but they've both had over 8 cats so I think it will be all right.
We sat down and did the paperwork. My head was spinning. If these kittens were gone in a day, then it would take a big load off me. I started to see a light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe I would have time to get some work done? Maybe I'd STOP flying off the handle every two seconds? Okay, maybe a pig would fly out of my butt, too...hey, I tried.
But an hour later, the adoptions continued. More kitties found a home...part two coming soon!
Last week, I learned a painful lesson. I waited a few hours too long to say, “YES” to rescuing some kittens from Henry County Care & Control. By the time I called, they had been euthanized. Some of them started to show signs of upper respiratory-something we could have easily managed in foster care, but the rules of the shelter are not forgiving.
I cried a lot that day and the images of those kittens are etched in my heart, forever. Though guilt weighs heavily upon me, it does not stop my need to try again.
Over the weekend, I found out about the kittens you see, below. There are two sets of two-really one litter of four in two cages. Each one sweeter than the last. I knew it would be tricky for me to take them since my fosters haven't all be adopted yet, but I was set on doing just that. I started the work trying to put all the puzzle pieces together. Could Maria foster? Yes. Could Bobby transport them to the Vet and get them from HCCAC for me? Yes. How much would this cost? I need to do a fundraiser.
©2010 Henry Care & Control.
Then, another rescue group in New York stepped up to offer to take two of the kittens-the cute lynx point/siamese mixes. Another group said they would take the other two. Fundraising didn't need to be done, but they didn't have a foster home or a way to get the kittens out of HCCAC. So I contacted Betsy at HCCAC and told her about my weird plan. My group pulls the cats, they get funded by another, they get transported to New York and ultimately get fostered and homed by another group! It's nutty, but who cares? Will I miss having them here, YES, but...they will be alive. That's what counts.
Crazy little details sorted. Directions, confirmations and approvals given, I made the call yesterday morning to confirm rescuing the kittens. My heart was racing. I hoped I hadn't waited too long (again). Betsy was out and they asked me to leave a message. I started to panic. I gave them the ID numbers of the kittens and said that I would be happy to take them and to NOT PUT THEM DOWN. I waited.
©2010 Henry Care & Control.
I waited an hour. I didn't want to be a pest. I hate to be annoying, but I was freaking out! I emailed Betsy. I waited. I finally called HCCAC again and she was still out so I asked if there was someone else I could speak with and a gentleman got on the phone and told me they cats were still "available" and that not to worry. Betsy would call back.
©2010 Henry Care & Control.
So. I worried.
A little while later my phone rang. It was Gerri Yoder, the Director at Henry County Care & Control. She told me that Betsy had contacted her and asked her to call me! That not-to-worry, the kittens were safe and they would hold them until we could pick them up the next day. She gave me her direct phone number at the shelter AND her cellphone number. I never have to worry that I can't reach someone who can help me help the kittens.
I stopped worrying. As soon as I started to relax, Gerri told me it was a good thing the kittens were getting a rescue. They had starting to sneeze-showing signs of getting URIs. Then, it hit me. If I had waited another second, they would have been put down. It was by a whisker that these kittens were saved. I wanted to throw up.
A little over an hour ago, these little babies were not only busted out and rescued, but they have already been to the vet and are on their way to Maria's house to be fostered for the next two weeks. They are just six weeks old.
©2010 Henry Care & Control.
Two have the sniffles, but nothing too bad just now. Bed rest and good food will help them feel better soon. They are out, just in the nick of time...and now they have their whole lives ahead of them, instead of few hours left to live.
©2010 Henry Care & Control.
Welcome to life outside death row, babies. Welcome! Oh and we have a few more kitties to welcome, too. When you rescue four, you just can't stop there, can you? Heck no!
Why am I so angry?
©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Bobbi at Connie's house a few weeks ago.
Bobbi got returned to AID last week. That's really tragic and I'm VERY disappointed in her temporary adopter. They assured us they would GO SLOWY introducing Bobbi to their other cat, but they just couldn't manage it. They couldn't deal with Bobbi hissing-which is normal or the fact that Bobbi went after their other cat. Bobbi has only been in FIVE other temporary homes-each with many cats-over the past MONTH. Do you THINK that MAYBE she needed a few WEEKS to just get her bearings and TRUST in her surroundings? NO. You didn't wait or give her a chance. Like her family before, you gave up on her, too. Not great, but not the end of the world.
This is it. Sit DOWN in your CHAIR. Stop driving or whatever you are doing...
I got an email from Connie tonight. Bobbi has been doing great back at the shelter. Not fighting with the other cats. Getting along fine...then tonight...
I WANT TO HIT SOMETHING! NO. I WWANT TO HIT SOMEONE! NO! I WANT TO HIT THAT VET! I WANT TO PUNCH OUT WHOEVER TOSSED BOBBI TO THE CURB AND LET HER STARVE!!! I AM SO ANGRY!!!!!!!!!!!!! All I can do is type exclamation marks!!!!!
Did I go to sleep, then wake up in a parallel universe full of asshats? I mean, really? WHAT IS GOING ON IN THIS WORLD WHERE THIS MADE SENSE TO SOMEONE? Did the moron who owned Bobbi hold a GUN to the VET'S head and MAKE him declaw the cat? That is the ONLY explanation that makes any sense to me!
I think my head is going to explode.
Meanwhile, Miss Bobbi is going to be SPAYED very very soon-on our dime. No problem. Worth every penny.
As for the Vet...all I have to say is Karma is a BITCH.
Three years ago I trapped three feral cats. I thought I was trapping only one, but to my surprise, I ended up catching three! I thought they must all be related, and maybe in some ways they were. Clearly one female was older than a second female. They were always seen together- they had to be Mother and Daughter. I named them, Bronte and Madison. A third cat, I named Buddy, was a big, gray Tom who'd been in plenty of fights in his day. He was ragged and rough, with devilish golden eyes, yet he was far from fractious, just as the other two. I think they'd known human contact at some point in their lives, but over time those memories had been replaced with their primal, wilder urges.
I detailed the story of my first trapping experience, capturing Buddy, Bronte and Madison HERE.
Fast forward a few years...
You know that Buddy showed up injured a few weeks ago and since then we've tried a few different methods to trap him. Thankfully, Karlyn is a super-trapper and builds her own traps. This was what eventually did the trick, not only trapping Buddy, but Bronte, as well. Since neither of them had been to the Vet for years, I decided they could both get their shots updated and have a checkup and we'd finally be able to help Buddy with his leg injury.
©2010 Robin A.F. Olson Bronte and Buddy (rear) in Super-Karlyn's trap.
There was a bit of a problem.
It wasn't Buddy.
Recently, when I saw this cat, he was a big gray Tom with lovely golden eyes, but his ears weren't ragged and he had a sweet look to his face. He looked more like a lover and less like a fighter. I started to wonder if Buddy had long since left us and been replaced by a Buddyganger; a feral cat-double!
©2010 Robin A.F. Olson Who are you, mystery cat?
Even after we trapped him, it just didn't look like the same tough guy I once knew. That left me feeling both sad and curious. When had Buddy left us and who was this cat? Where did he belong? He couldn't be a neighbors cat, could he? It would be a lousy neighbor if they ignored their injured cat for weeks on end—also, this boy really WAS a LOVER. He was still INTACT!
So our dear friend, Buddy is gone. What his fate was, we will never know. I don't even want to guess as my home abuts a State Forest. My neighbors are wild animals. 'nuff said.
©2010 Robin A.F. Olson Our new feral, Austen. What a face! Look at that BIG TOM head!
And who is this new cat? He's in need of a name. Since we have Bronte, already, how about Austen-in honor of Jane Austen, author of our perennial favorite 5-hour-mini-series-version-only, the one staring Colin “Hottie Pants” Firth, “Pride & Prejudice!”
©2010 Robin A.F. Olson Poor Bronte! She was so scared she cried. I wanted to pet her and tell her it was going to be okay, but I realized that would only make her feel worse. Poor baby!
Luckily for Austen, upon exam there was no sign of injury. Austen must have had soft tissue damage or a thorn that he worked out of his paw. Whatever it was, there was no old or new break and he had full function of his limb. His shots were updated and he was tested for FIV/FeLuk (neg/neg). Sadly for Austen, he is not a LOVER any more. I had him neutered-even if he IS someone's cat. Tough! (I really doubt he's someone's cat, though!). So no more yeowling in the yard, no more stench of cat spray, just a nice de-balled kitty with a very forlorn look on his face. At least he won't be fighting any longer or making little Austen's.
Bronte, poor dear, cried in her trap. I felt so bad for her. She just needed her shots. She got scared and peed in the car on the way back from the Vet. I can't get the smell out of my nose. Hope I didn't pee up there, too, in some freak accident I didn't notice. Whew...yikes!
While the cats were gone, I cleaned out their room in the screen porch. I set out a fresh bowl of water and lots of food. When we put the traps down, I got two photos-one of each of them. Austen, shot out of his cage like a rocket after I moved out of his way. Bronte was much more cautious. She went to the opening of the trap and reached out one paw towards the floor, but did not touch it. It was if she was testing to see if the trap would close on her if she tried to get out. She held her paw an inch over the floor for a long, few seconds. Then, carefully touched the floor. Nothing happened. And then she was gone, like a ghost, without a trace.
I hope they return as soon as they find a way to forgive me or their bellies get empty, whichever comes first.
This was Bobbi a month ago. Stuck in a cage on death row, covered with fleas and being declawed, had no way to even scratch herself. Because she was such a sweet baby, the Kennel Master, Robin, urged our friend Betsy to get the word out on this kitty before it was too late. Fortunately, Animals in Distress in Wilton, CT offered to take her once I could arrange for her vetting and quarantine in Georgia and once our friends, Izzy & Mark could transport her north.
©2010 Henry Co. Care & Control.
Bobbi arrived two weeks ago and has been enjoying the quiet life in our friend, Connie's home. Soon, Bobbi will be moved over to the Shelter, where she will live until she's adopted. There's never a risk of her being euthanized due to space issues, but...adoptions are down— the lowest point anyone can remember. We simply MUST get together to get the word out for Bobbi, once again.
©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Bobbi, safe and sound and doing just great in foster care!
This gorgeous creature is safe, but she STILL needs a forever home—ideally somewhere in Connecticut, but if we found a great home, I know we could arrange transport.
©2010 Robin A.F. Olson.
Bobbi's only 1-2 years old. She's very mellow and sweet. She has impeccable litter box manners and loves to sleep right next to you or even on your pillow, if you don't mind! She is declawed-ALL FOUR PAWS, is NEGATIVE for FIV/Feline Leukemia, is up to date on her shots.
©2010 Robin A.F. Olson.
Bobbi would be a great companion to pretty much any one or any family. We think she gets along with other cats, but won't know for certain until she's at the shelter.
©2010 Robin A.F. Olson.
Because she was badly infested with fleas, she still is a bit itchy and has some scabs which we feel should resolve. In the meantime, please give her a scratch if you meet her! She really likes that.
©2010 Robin A.F. Olson.
And don't forget, Bobbi is a true Manx! With a very cute butt, if I do say so, myself! She also has adorable black spots on her back foot, just like my boy, Spencer!
Animals in Distress also has 12 OTHER kitties who have been waiting months and months to find a Forever Home. They have some very lovely cats at their shelter, even a Siamese! If you can adopt one of these babies, you'd really be helping them to help MORE kitties! Spread the word!
Last year I fostered four kittens. One of them was fractious. He bit the Director, then when I got him he ended up biting me, twice. I wrote about this kitten's journey, being in foster care and the tug of war over whether or not I would be able to socialize him before he was neutered, ear-tipped and released to the woods. While his brother and sisters played, I got into an argument with the Director about this cat's future. While I won the battle, I lost the war. We never truly got along after that. For this one cat, named Tweetie, I took a big chance. I was either going to be stuck with him forever as an unadoptable cat or I was going to have to find a way to reach his heart and help him learn that humans are ok.
©2009 Robin A.F. Olson. Arrival day. Tweetie (top left), Angel (center), Twitter (right), Fluffy (front left).
I wrote about this crazy journey in “The Tweetie Chronicles.” Little did I know that this little cat would make such a huge impact on my life. As I was working with him and he began to trust me. One day I noticed he looked just like “The Internet's Most Famous Cat, Sockington!” and decided to Tweet about it. If you read the Chronicles, you'll see in detail how Socks' Fans, “Socks Army” rallied around Tweetie and urged Sockington to do the right thing and acknowledge that Tweetie was his secret son. It was all fun and games, until I was contacted by Socks' Mom, “Food Lady” and his dad, “Fatty,” who I call, Mr. Scott.
©2009 Robin A.F. Olson. Tweetie while still in “Feral Rehab,” but bearing a shocking resemblance to Sockington.
Food Lady came to visit Tweetie. Her tender heart urged her to help. Since her other cats, PennyCat and Sockington were also rescued from dire situations, it just felt right to help another cat in need. The visit went better than I could have dreamed. Tweetie went right up to Food Lady and sat on her lap, purring. He looked up at her and perhaps, in that moment, his future was locked into place.
A few days later, Sam and I drove Tweetie to Boston for a “trial” adoption. That was ONE YEAR ago TODAY.
Tweetie's trial is long over. He's now a cherished member of the family. A few days ago I got an email from Food Lady, updating me on how Tweetie's been doing. Here's some of what she had to say:
©2010 Food Lady. Tweetie (right), plots his next bum attack on Sockington (left).
“He's still a real snugglebug. He tends to follow me around the house (although having said that, I'm not sure where he is at the moment). He can't jump as well or as elegantly as Socks (those long legs, you know) so Socks will hop atop the bookcase or dresser, causing Tweetie to get very vocally upset. :)
©2010 Food Lady. “His newest discovery is that he can be *under* the blanket as well as on top of it. So he'll quite often root around until he can get his head under the blanket. So one of the shots is of that. In one of them, he's got half a shakymouse toy in his mouth. He adores boxes of all kinds - I think they remind him of the crate at your house.”
He's got a thing for brushes - I now have to hide away my makeup brushes and the big poofy wool duster, because he runs off with them in his mouth. :)”
Food Lady also told me that Tweetie eats everyone's food so he has to be fed in a separate room! Oops! He also likes to sneak up on Socks and bite him in the bum! Tweetie and Socks are quite close, even if Tweetie is a pain in the butt-literally.
©2010 Food Lady. Tweetie with Baron Von Shakeymouse
What lies ahead for our former foster? We really don't know anything more than Tweetie has grown up into a big, sweet, playful kitty. Will he ever be as famous as his dad? Probably not. Does it matter? Not to him, surely.
So without further adieu, put on your party hat and get out the nose makers! Not only can we celebrate the adoption of a cat who beat the odds, but we can take delight in the fact that Tweetie's life in the glow of the nearby limelight suits him just fine.
In fact, it was meant to be.
©2010 Food Lady (goofy type by Robin).
©2010Food Lady. Tweetie all grown up. The spitting image of his Pop, Socks.
Another chapter in the Tweetie Chronicles draws to a close. Along with the big smile on my face and the proud feeling I have about Tweetie's success, I'm enjoying the new nickname “Tweetie” gave me in honor of this special day. You may now call me, “Nice Robin Lady.”
I have NO idea how I got enough votes in the Best Cause Related Blog category since I didn't vote for myself, nor did I ask anyone to vote for me in this category! So it brings a question to mind...who is out there who believes so much in what I do that they would put me alongside other folks who focus on a Cause?
What's even more curious to me...you guys are right! I'm glad you know me better than I know myself. Heck, YEAH, I'm all about the CAUSE. This isn't a blog just about my cats or fun cat products or the latest cat news, though I DO include those things here on Covered in Cat Hair. Where my heart has led me, is to reaching out and helping as many cats as I can, regardless of where they are located or how old or young they might be.
When I started this blog over four years ago, it was supposed to be a vehicle for my book project, entitled: Covered in Cat Hair: Mostly True Stories of a Life Spent with Cats. I imagined an Editor at a major publishing house would “discover” me and offer me a book contract since I have lots of great stories written. I'd sit in my office, surrounded by annoying cats and write, write, write, then look forward to going to the local bookstore to see the finished product on the shelf.
Yet here I sit, surrounded by annoying cats, writing, not published, other than a few little things here and there, but making connections to many people across the Country, who, like me, want to make a difference in saving cats (and dogs!) lives, but maybe aren't so perfect at how they go about it. They just want to do something, anything, but more than donating to a charity, then not seeing the results of that donation. They are willing to take a risk, get their hands dirty, be willing to not know the outcome will be a happy ending, but do it anyway.
Slowly, but surely, you all have found me, as I have found you. Many of us have worked together creating some amazing rescues-whether it was with our $5 donation or by offering to foster cats for weeks at a time. Whatever you did, you were wiling to dive in and trust that we could do it-then all of a sudden we DID. We DID IT and we keep doing it.
For every life we save, we can turn to each other and say “THANK YOU for taking part in this wonderful and bittersweet challenge to save every cat and kitten we can and rejoice in the human bond we are making with each other.”
So, whoever voted for my Blog, in a category I did not expect, I thank you most sincerely for seeing in me, what I did not see in myself and for encouraging my efforts and making them seem so very worthwhile at the moment I'm about to embark on a bigger journey and form my own Non-Profit Organization!
You guys are the BEST! Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!
We're doing the Happy Dance here at CiCH HQ!
If you like what we're doing and believe in helping all animals find safe harbor, loving homes and be freed from Kill Shelters, then please vote for us!
As many of you know, we're about to embark on a big, new program that will be part of our new non-profit rescue organization called Kitten Associates. We're going to be able to not only rescue some kittens-as many as our foster network allows and we can afford, but we're also going to be helping the small shelters and rescue groups, who can't afford to build a website or don't have the savvy to benefit from using online marketing. How we help, will be announced soon, but it's going to be great and will allow us to impact the lives of SO MANY dogs and cats in need. We're really excited about our plans and can't wait to share them with you in detail.
In the meantime,
Also, two of our good friends, Ingrid King of The Conscious Cat and Janiss Garza of Sparkle the Designer Cat were nominated for Best Cat Blog. I can't say which one to vote for because they are both terrific, but vote for one of those two!
Voting ends on August 20th, so vote soon! Thank you!
I visited with Carole and Connie last night at Animals in Distress, a small, local no-kill cat shelter. They have 3 rooms that are open so the cats there can freely walk around. There are cat trees aplenty and big windows to look out of. There are cages for the newcomers and for poor Gizmo, a big red tabby sweetheart. He has to be locked up at night-for his own safety. Poor Gizmo gets picked on by another cat and the staff make sure he is safe by keeping him in a very large cage overnight. This kitty is a big love monster with a sweet temperament. He wouldn't hurt a fly. He's on his own, now that his brother got adopted. This boy needs a good home, where he doesn't have to worry about being attacked.
Here's Gizmo's Petfinder Page
One of the cats at A.I.D. will not be getting adopted. Her name is Samantha, a big white kitty with tabby patches on her back and face. She sits serenely in a cat bed overlooking the room. She has a brain tumor and has to be medicated every other day. Her life may not be long, but she is not considered adoptable and the staff love her too much to let her go.
There are other kitties there who are too feral or too old to be placed in a home. They're the lucky ones. No harm will come to them. They are safe for as long as they live. I met other cats like Blondie and Norman and Norman's best buddy, Gatsby. You can see them all HERE.
But there was one cat who stole my heart. His name? Marshmellow.
©2010 Robin AF Olson. How cute is this tuxy boy?!
Marshy is a love bug, too. He loves to be HELD. He has a soft purr. His green eyes are stunning. His silly markings make you smile. I held him for a long time, even though his claws were, a bit long and the fabric of my shirt was a bit too thin. He likes to just sit quietly and hang out with the other cats. He doesn't seem to be a trouble maker, but has an impish quality about him. I am completely smitten with him.
Marshmellow has been waiting for a home for two months. I would so love to bring him home with me!
If you love this big, sweet boy, too, here's his Petfinder Page so you can read more about him.
It was getting late, almost 9pm. Carole and Connie have generously offered to help me with some “things” I will tell you about soon. In return, I will be helping them with a few “things” as well. It's curious. I just met Connie after she contacted me when she read the article about Chester being found. She was very kind and gracious to me and was so happy that Chester was safe and sound. We began chatting once in awhile. Connie asked me if I could help A.I.D. get the word out about their cats needing homes. They're facing very tough times and have had no adopters for awhile now.
Two shelters have moved in to the area. While that is good for the animals, it's bad for this little rescue. They have gotten lost in the shuffle. Volunteers are hard to come by and so are donations. They've been around since 1960-a rare thing in these hard times. They're not sure how much longer they can go on without more help. I promised I would lend a hand, as I can.
We fed the cats, each one getting their own bowl of food. Carole knew just what each cat liked and made sure they got what they wanted. After cleaning up and turning off the lights, it was our time to get going. I said goodnight to the kitties and walked out the front door. There was a loud humming sound coming from an air conditioning unit, but I thought I heard something else.
A cat was crying in the darkness. At first I wasn't sure, but then, yes, it was a cat, indeed. I said something to Connie and Carole, who were busy talking. They stopped, listened, then I saw the cat in the shadow of the Police Department building that was about 20 feet away. Connie let out a shriek and Carole ran to her car, grabbed a can of food and chased after the cat.
Connie was visibly upset. She asked me if the cat was gray and I said yes! She told me that the cat was theirs and his name was Gray. He had gone missing a few weeks ago! He normally NEVER meowed and they had not seen him since the night he escaped! Connie told Carole about Chester. She remarked that Connie should bring me down to the shelter so I could find Gray, too. Guess that worked out well!
Gray, just moments after being rescued.
Carole disappeared for a few minutes while we waited and hoped she would find the cat. I was told he was very friendly, so that was a good sign. Carole came running back, yelling to us to get the building open so she could get more food and a cat carrier! What cat would just go back into a cat carrier after being gone for weeks?
We rushed into the building. Carole grabbed what she needed and ran off. We followed her, but not too closely as we were worried we would scare Gray away. We could hear Carole calling to him. Meanwhile I saw a movement in the parking lot not far from us. It was a big skunk, headed our way. I motioned to Connie. Her eyes grew wide as she realized what was going on. If we made a run for it we might scare off the cat, but if we didn't run, the skunk might get scared and blast us!
Suddenly, it took a sharp turn and went another direction just as we heard the door of a cat carrier slam shut. Gray began vocalizing LOUDLY as Carole came out from behind a building, carrying him in a half run.
Gray gets brushed and fussed over, which he enjoyed between taking bites of food.
Gray's brother sat in the window at the shelter. The screen was open. He could hear his brother yeowl. We couldn't get Gray into the building fast enough. Carole feared he was COVERED with ticks. She wrapped him in a towel and brought him into the kitchen. Connie jumped in and began to pick tiny burrs off his coat. Carole checked him for fleas while they both continued to pick and brush his coat. He was in good shape, other than being far too thin. No sign of ticks or fleas! He nibbled at some kibble and enjoyed all the attention. At one point he laid down on his side and allowed belly rubs. This boy was home and he knew it.
Gray says hello to Marshmellow.
Once Gray was settled in his cage with lots of food and water, we, once again, turned off the lights to let the cats rest until morning. There was a bright yellow sign that said "LOST CAT" with a description and the shelter's number on it. It was hanging on a cork board near the front door. I told Carole she needed to scratch out the word “LOST” and write, “Found.” Tired as she was, she grabbed a pen and edited the poster, a smile forming on her lips.
This kitty is safe once again and in a place where he will be loved and cared for until his new family finds him. Not so different a journey than our dear friend, Chester made, who disappeared on the exact same date as Gray did so many weeks before.