“Got Milk” is entirely too cute! She’s looking for a home, and I don’t see how anyone could resist her.
She’s really lucky too. She’s one of 29 kittens and cats trapped and rescued at a colony of cats who just happened to be reproducing in someone’s back yard. And thanks to Amy Tadija, who stepped in and trapped all of them, they are all spayed and neutered and vaccinated, seven will be socialized for adoption and a caretaker will be feeding and looking after the rest. Tinkerbell, below, is up for adoption too. In this case the “R” in TNR could stand for “rehome” just as much as “return”.
Unfortunately, she only discovered the “Hickory Road” colony when she saw two cats on the road, a mother and kitten, who’d been hit by cars. She took them off the road to the homeowner and discovered there were over 20 more there. The woman had been feeding stray and feral cats, but not spaying and neutering, crueler than not feeding at all because of the stress of overpopulation and constantly reproducing reduces immunity and leaves them susceptible to illnesses and there are soon way too many cats to care for.
Amy immediately began trapping cats, a few here and there and also in groups—15 in one day—until all were trapped and spayed or neutered and vaccinated. Four kittens would be socialized and put up for adoption, and during the process of handling the older cats pre- and post-surgery she assessed their relative socialization and found that three adults were socialized as well and would be rehomed. Twenty-one cats would return to their original spot because they are truly ferals.
But that only adds up to 28 cats. One cat was lost, a friendly and stunning long-haired tortie girl Amy named Jasmine who was ill and lived only a few days past her rescue. The range of symptoms—high fever, dehydration, breathing difficulty, fluid around her lungs—could have been a number of serious illnesses but often there is never time enough to diagnose before the kitten loses her battle.
There were equally painful losses at nearly every other colony trapping recently as well. Kittens like Jasmine, who steal your heart and then are lost unexpectedly because of the conditions in which they were living, illustrate why spaying and neutering is absolutely necessary, within a colony or outside of it.
But Jasmine’s equally beautiful mother, who is as yet unnamed, is up for adoption. Sweet, affectionate, she must have been someone’s pet who escaped or was discarded when she began reproducing. She reminds me of Charm, and deserves an equally excellent home.
Not only did Amy take care of this colony in just a few weeks, but she’s been trapping cats all over for the past few months—she counts over 100 cats in the past 3.5 months, colonies of 22, 15, 23, 12, 3 and this colony of 29, and she’s planning on another 30 before the end of the year. She has a few people who foster for her but she does a good bit of it herself so there is also time spent on trapping and transporting cats to Fix Ur Cat where surgeries are done, and pre- and post-surgery care and holding, socializing, networking for adoptions, reviewing adoption applications, and getting cats to homes. Amy is an attorney and occasionally has to focus on her job; she mentioned she has a trial in February so she’s trying to get as many cats taken care of before then as she possibly can so kittens just aren’t born to die in freezing weather or to form new colonies next year.
Part of her success is working with Dr. Kellie Frame of Fix Ur Pet, a low-cost clinic that opened up near Amy’s home. Working with Dr. Frame she is able to get 15 spay/neuter surgeries for the day she has the time to trap rather than waiting for a clinic day or trying to get that many appointments at another clinic that can handle feral cats and kittens.
Amy is trying to get a group together in Washington County that will help with the mass trapping when colonies like this are found and help with transporting and caring for trapped cats pre- and post-surgery.
But for now, Amy is going tonight to leave a note on a lady’s door. She saw a few cats on her porch and in her yard while trapping for the Hickory Road colony. Sometimes it never seems to end, but single-handedly she has prevented the birth of hundreds of kittens and made life better for those she’s helped so far.
You’ve read about Amy before in An Unfortunate Situation, Fortunate Rescues and Rescued Seven-year-old Eddie Says, “No More Kittens!”.
Donate to Fix Ur Pet to help cover surgery and veterinary costs
Fix Ur Pet began as a part-time clinic providing low-cost neutering services to all pets, but soon became a full-time, full-service clinic providing affordable services to all pets. They are also a 501(c)3 non-profit so donations to the clinic on behalf of Amy or others who are caring for colonies are tax-deductible; ask for details when you donate.
Amy has been paying out of pocket for all these surgeries as well as other veterinary care the cats and kittens need. Attorney or not, that adds up, and she isn’t slowing down. She is helping lots of cats so a donation to Fix Ur Pet in her name will help her continue what she’s doing.
And if you do donate, I will be happy to extend the offer of a gift certificate for 25% off anything in my Etsy shop in return for your generosity. Let me know you’ve donated and I’ll confirm with Amy and Fix Ur Pet.
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
Browse some rescued cats and kittens—browse here or visit PittsburghCAT!
All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop 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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© 2015 | www.TheCreativeCat.net | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski
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!