On Wednesday, February 8 the Homeless Cat Management Team and Pittsburgh CAT assisted another hoarding case in which 23 cats and 1 dog were seized from unfit living conditions, crawling with cockroaches and infested with parasites; children were also involved. Our volunteers answered the call to rescue the animals and transport and set them up at our clinic. The dog was fostered with one of our volunteers, given a thorough grooming by a foster who is also a groomer and looks and feels great.
The kittens are likely from three different litters, but with four unspayed females and two intact males in the house there would likely have been four more litters in this house by May with an average of four kittens each, and by summer and autumn this year there would have likely been another generation born from those original mothers and even litters of kittens from these kittens born this spring and of age to reproduce by summer—cats can reproduce as young as four months, especially in the height of the season. This is how a couple of unaltered cats becomes a horror story. Spaying and neutering the first few cats would have stopped the entire process. We are glad we could stop it at this point while the cats are still relatively healthy and social, though underweight and infested with parasites.
The oldest litter, above, five boys about 12 weeks, became ill shortly after coming to us and are at this point are fighting for their lives through fevers and diarrhea and a lack of appetite and weight loss and dehydration that goes with a viral infection. They might be doing better if they had had more nutrition and better care before the virus took hold. They are staying with a foster who is a veterinary technician giving them a lot of supportive care through fluids, syringe feeding, medications, and clean ups. She sleeps next to their cage and takes them to work, concerned to leave them alone for too long. If we hadn’t rescued them the day we did, they may all have died of the effects of this virus.
I was happy to help on Wednesday to search the house for any cats who were possibly still on the premises and document evidence related to their living conditions, and then on February 9 to photograph each of the kittens and cats to document their condition as they were examined by our vet and vet tech at our clinic. I was really pleased to get the darling photo of one of the kittens having her tiny heart and lungs checked with a big kitty stethoscope and knew it would be a great photo for a graphic about this rescue, which I also designed.
And just so you can get to know these cats and kittens, here is a gallery of all 23. We decided to use letters to identify them when we did their initial exams and here and there you’ll see a letter written inside their ear. At the bottom of each photo is the letter and their sex and description. They are all beautiful, even the adults!
Help HCMT and Pittsburgh C.A.T. care for these cats
These cats are now our full responsibility and we will care for them with proper veterinary care, loving foster homes, and help each of them find loving forever adoptive homes. Without our intervention when the police arrived, their fate would be uncertain; cats taken in hoarding situations are sometimes taken to shelters, sometimes rounded up and euthanized. As a non-profit organization that runs on donations, HCMT/PittsburghCAT is seeking both monetary donations and donations from our wish list to provide that care for these cats.
- You can visit http://www.homelesscat.org/donate-to-hcmt.html for multiple ways to donate.
- Paypal to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Our Amazon wishlist for these cats can be found at http://amzn.to/2ltPdNy.
And no matter the political climate, it’s always a good time to contact your representatives and let them know that laws regarding animal cruelty, neglect and abandonment don’t prevent things like this from happening and don’t adequately punish people when they are charged. Please add your voice against animal cruelty.
Other ways you can help
Our latest t-shirt booster!
Choose your favorite style/color and show your support for Pittsburgh CAT and rescue! Funds raised will help us with vet bills and supplies for our fosters. We are able to raise hundreds of dollars with each t-shirt fundraiser! https://www.booster.com/pittsburgh-cat-2017
Amazon Wish Lists
Many rescuers pay out of pocket for veterinary care and food but the costs of raising even the average litter of four healthy kittens is more than many people have, and many rescues have greater needs. Pittsburgh CAT has a number of wish lists that include foods for feeding neo-natal kittens like KMR, and other lists that include the best kitten foods, adult cat foods, food and materials for feral cats, and preferred toys and litter.
Pittsburgh CAT Wish List: http://www.amazon.com/registry/wishlist/2IUQ0FQOL2I51
2015 Foster Cat/Kitten Wish List: http://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/1A1HUNQ7J3DL/ref=cm_wl_rlist_go_v?
Winter Kitten Wish List! http://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/3CZ6IYCKS2A7N/ref=cm_wl_rlist_go_v?
Fall Wishlist for Fosters/Ferals! http://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/2TD3TQBOEMT1E/ref=cm_wl_rlist_go_v?
Food For Foster Kittens: http://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/OJQIYGC91289/ref=cm_wl_rlist_go_v?
Our Groups Foster Kittens! http://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/1D226142CCGZX/ref=cm_wl_rlist_go_v?
Can’t adopt? Foster! Can’t foster? Donate or volunteer.
There are so many ways you can help cats who need homes and care. You may not have room to adopt another cat, but can foster a cat or kitten for a few weeks. If not that, you can volunteer at a shelter or with a rescue, or donate. You do this because you love your cat, and by doing so you help all cats. No matter which of these actions you take, you help to save a life, and make life better for all cats.
- Adopt one of the cats I’ve posted here, or from any shelter or rescue near you, or from Petfinder, to open up a space for another cat to be rescued and fostered.
- Offer to foster cats or kittens for a shelter or rescue near you.
- Volunteer at a shelter or rescue.
- Find a group of volunteers who work with homeless cats and help them with their efforts.
- Donate to a shelter or rescue near you.
If you can foster kittens or adults cats to help prepare them for a forever home, please run to your nearest shelter and find a cat who needs you! Anyone can help with this effort at any level, even if all you do is donate to a shelter or rescue so they can help to pay for the food or medications needed for their foster, or the spay/neuter/veterinary care during a clinic.
Need to know more? Read Fostering for Your Shelter and Fostering Saves Lives
All images and text used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission, although links to your site are more than welcome and are shared. Please ask if you are interested in using and image or story in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of an image or a product including it, check my animal and nature website Portraits of Animals to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.
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Weekly schedule of features:
Sunday: Essays, Pet Loss, Poetry, The Artist’s Life
Monday: Adoptable Cats, TNR & Shelters
Tuesday: Rescue Stories
Wednesday: Commissioned Portrait or Featured Artwork
Thursday: New Merchandise
Friday: Book Review, Health and Welfare, Advocacy
Saturday: Your Backyard Wildlife Habitat, Living Green With Pets, Creating With Cats
And sometimes, I just throw my hands in the air and have fun!