Saturday, February 6, 2016
My Cat Rescues
You have a cat....oh, you have multiple cats? So do I! I have 6 in my home to be exact. Tigger, Precious, Roby, and the babies....Panda, Oreo and Houdini. If you would have told me twenty years ago that I would have six cats roaming around my home (and yes, they are all indoor cats), I would have said you're crazy. Well who is the crazy one now?! Looks like it just might be me!
So how did we get here? Over the course of my life, we have always had cats. Once I married and moved into my own place, I got my first cat and then we added a second, and a third a short time after that. The most I ever had at a time was four, But that was only for a short time as my first two originals got older and have since passed. But without going too far back into my cat history, we got Tigger in 2010 after a friend of a friend was going to throw him out onto the street. They were moving and couldn't take him with them. So my friends daughter took him in, but they couldn't keep him, so he came home with me. Tigger is almost 7 yrs old.
In 2012, we added Precious to our home. I truly believe fate brought Precious to us. I had just lost one of my oldest cats, Siesta. She was found by my Aunt and Mom at my parents cabin. It was a cold, damp night. They had decided on a whim to stay an extra night, and that night, Precious showed up at their door. They didn't know what they were going to do with her. They fed her some chicken and then she went on her way. But about 20 minutes later, she showed back up again. They gave her a warm blanket to curl up into, on the porch outside. She just wasn't having it. She jumped up onto the table that was on the porch and pressed her face against the window. That was it. My mom opened the door and let her in. She went straight to my moms bed and slept there all night with my mom and Aunt. The next morning, my mom asked me if I wanted a cat. She offered to help me out with all the preliminary vet costs and spaying, to which I responded, "Bring her home". Upon arrival and after a vet check, we learned that Precious was barely a baby herself and had already had a litter of kittens. But the vet assured us that she was done nursing and hadn't nursed in a while. Precious is now about 4 years old.
In early April of 2014, our local SPCA was having a free adoption event one weekend and my daughter asked if we could rescue another cat. She was looking for a little younger one, more so a kitten, but something she could call her own. We walked into a satellite adoption center in our local mall and the first cat she spotted was our Roby. He was the one she wanted right from first sight. He was about 6 months or so. Not only was he nuzzling into her neck, but as you can see, he is black. Black dogs and cats are the most overlooked animals at adoption shelters. She wanted him for that very reason. Roby is about 1 1/2 years old.
Then, this happened......
This little fluffykins is Oreo. My son lovingly referred to her as "the grouch". She was the one that always hissed. It took her a little while to get used to our love and gentle touch. She was such a little fluff ball. She is still quite fluffy now. Of course, while socializing, my son was loving her up too. We kept saying how on earth are we going to take in three more cats? But how could we not take them in at this point? We were raising them. We were all they knew now.
Oreo, Panda & Houdini (R-L)
Before you start questioning my spay and neuter comments from past posts and such.....here is their story. All of the 3 cats talked about above are indeed spayed and neutered. These babies don't belong to any of them. These three were part of a rescue mission "fail" if you will, or maybe some might refer to as a "foster fail". It's when you decide to foster a rescue animal, and then you end up adopting and giving it their furever home.
One day, in early August of 2014, my mom and dad came home from somewhere to see this patch of fluff laying by the shade of a bush next to their spa room, which is built off of their garage. Before my mom pulled into the garage, my dad got out to investigate, and three kittens popped up, and ran under the spa room, the little fluffy kitten on the left here hissing at him before she scooted under. My mom was upset and worried. Upset that these kittens were living under her spa room in the hottest part of the summer. She was worried about where the mom might be. She was worried that someone may have just abandoned them. She was worried that if something wasn't done, they would end up growing up, wandering off not fixed and then coming back to have more babies. That just wouldn't have been good.
The month went on and for a little while, we let nature take its course. Mom did put some food out for the momma, but we decided that we needed to come up with some kind of game plan for these babies. Over time, we figured out there were five kittens total, and a momma. Near the end of August, we decided we would capture all of them, socialize the kittens and momma so that we could take them into a cat rescue.
So. my dad set out with a trap made out of a recycle bin, a stick and string. Not the way I would have preferred he catch them, but it was the best he came up with as we really didn't have any kind of another trap. So these were the three he caught. It became a traumatic experience for mom and I because we felt like we were breaking up a family, but deep down, we knew it had to be done. A few days later, my mom noticed that cat food wasn't being eaten anymore. We determined that momma moved her other two babies elsewhere. So now here we were, foster parents to these three little babies.
My two kids and I, we would each take one. We spent a lot of time at my mom's house socializing these little guys. This one is Panda. My daughter and her had a bond right from the beginning, as you can see. She wanted her right away. So in the beginning, I had thought that maybe we could take at least one, and find homes for the other two. It all became a thought process as to how we were going to handle this situation.
Shortly after we caught these three babies, a story broke out in the news that one of the shelters just took in a massive amount of neglected cats and kittens from a hoarder case. From that moment on, we realized we might not be able to get them in to a rescue like we previously thought.
This handsome little guy is Houdini. My dad had a homemade cage for them to stay in the garage. No matter what they did, he would escape every night and my dad would find him out and about in the garage. He is my mischievous one, without a doubt. As I sit here typing this out right now, he keeps jumping up and rubbing right under my nose, blocking my computer screen. He is over a year old now, but he is the biggest baby and he is all mine.
How could you not just fall in total LOVE with these little faces?! As my daughter was growing closer to Panda, I was falling more in love with Houdini. So now, we were leaning towards taking two. I wasn't quite sure how we were going to do that, but we still had a little time to figure things out.
September rolled around, and they continued to live caged in my moms garage, coming out several times a day to play in the patio and have interaction with my parents, and then us when we went over. Then they would go back into their cage to eat, and use their litter box, which let me say they were using from the first day my mom and dad caught them and put them in the homemade cage. As September rolled on, we started to get some unusually cold nights that year. My mom called me one night and asked me "So what are we going to do? These nights are getting colder." I told her to bring them over and we would figure it out.
Little did we know, in November, we would get pounded with 7 feet of snow in a matter of a couple of days. The picture on the left is them all curled up on a cold winter November day as the snow piled up outside. It was then that I was so happy to have these little babies in my life. We may not have been able to save all of them like we wanted to, even though we did try our best, but we saved three. In December of 2014, they were all spayed (2 black and white females) and neutered (orange male). I don't regret my decision taking them in for one minute and I would do it all again in a heartbeat. We have a full house with 6 cats, but I wouldn't trade any of them in for the world!!