All summer long we’ve been seeing kittens kittens kittens everywhere, but don’t forget those old cats who end up on the street. They may not be as cute and cuddly as kittens, in fact they are often ill and injured, sometimes with frightening wounds and missing fur, mysterious infections, and may not even be ambulatory, but they remember the days when a human loved them and they had a home, and they are ready to go home again.
If they are rescued, it’s usually by a person who’s known older cats and completely falls in love with them wherever they are found. This person also understands that bringing this cat back to perfect health is typically not possible and the attempt may be expensive and time-consuming, but once you’ve looked in those old cat eyes, how can you say no?
Support these rescuers
Rather than cats for adoption as a feature this week, I’m featuring three such old cats to thank the rescuers for going out of their ways to take these cats in when they’ve also spent a good bit of the summer nursing orphaned kittens, and taken the time and effort to get them comfortable and give them affection and an immense amount of care, usually out of their own pockets. I also want to give you an incentive to help these people with the expenses they have borne for these cats and others they’ve rescued. If you’ll give $25.00 to support the care of any of the three cats described here I’ll send you any digital print in my Etsy shop up to a $25.00 value and that includes a few that are already framed. Larger donations could result in larger gifts. Details are below. For now, read about the cats in question.
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“Driving home tonight I encountered a cat laying in the street. I stopped and a man told me that the cat is a stray and that there are several more in his area. They are all skinny and flea infested with various levels of hair loss. One of the cats has a bad wound on his neck, likely from fighting. I saw that cat tonight. He is clearly an older guy that’s been on the streets for a long time. He’s my weakness. An orange and white guy. They told me he’s been around for at least 10 years. My heart is broken…”
That was at the beginning of August. Melanie did her best to avoid rescuing Tommy—she already had a “wobbly kitten” and her elderly neighbors’ house had been put up for sale and their cats put outside by their children, cats she had had spayed and neutered for the elderly man a few years before, plus a number of other rescues and a house full of cats and dogs. One of her cats had swallowed plastic and needed emergency treatment and surgery. But in just a few weeks he came home with her. He was in such poor shape and tested FIV+ that at his first vet visit she was advised he would probably die soon enough, and to have him put to sleep. She did not. Instead she fed him and cleaned him up; affectionate from the very beginning they bonded and she was committed to letting him live as long as he wanted.
“The level of affection that Tommy gives is above and beyond any I’ve received in my life. He fell asleep in my arms tonight purring so loudly. He kept looking up at me and giving me nose kisses and gently putting his paws on my face. I think he appreciates the help he’s receiving…”
She took him to another veterinarian and found Tommy had a heart murmur that wasn’t too serious, feline acne, an overall skin condition, intestinal parasites and possibly coccidia, but he’d put on a full pound in the short time since he’d been rescued. Originally she’d thought he was about 10, but the veterinarian guessed that Tommy was closer to 5 to 7 years old. And all through his exam, “Tommy was his usual self, purring, kneading, rolling all over the place and letting us scratch him everywhere. He’s such a happy cat no matter what’s going on.”
Through September and October Tommy has continued to thrive and heal, and put on weight. He’s also proved he’s well-acquainted with catnip and is, as Melanie describes him, a “mean drunk”.
Melanie also has another younger rescue named Oliver from the same area for whom she is actively looking for a home. Among her other feline and canine residents she’d been caring for her beagle, Cocoa, who had transitional cell carcinoma, and recently lost her to the disease.
And this is also the same Melanie who in 2011 and 2012 cared for a woman who had been a long-time rescuer but was succumbing to brain cancer. Melanie took care of Dorothy in her remaining months, and cared for and rehomed her remaining cats and dogs, who had been the hardest to find homes for, after Dorothy went to hospice. You can read about this in Dorothy’s Pets: A Final Wish, and follow up in Dorothy’s Pets.
A donation to help Melanie with the costs of all this is not a tax-deductible amount since she is not a non-profit, but it’s a reward for all she’s done and will go toward paying down her expenses as well as help with new cats we know she’s going to rescue. She lives west of Pittsburgh and has been rescuing for years, and whenever possible works with the rescue groups to take in overflow kittens and other cats pulled from the street. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Above is not what Finn looked like when he was first rescued, but it’s what he looked like a few weeks after being taken in off the street weighing only 5 lb. 12 oz. and flea ridden.
Rescuer Margo reported that a cat had been wandering around near the entrance of a Giant Eagle grocery store in Finleyville, PA. The day after receiving the email she went to the area where he’d been seen and picked him up.
“This cat was clearly someone’s pet at some point, he is neutered and very affectionate. He is now flea infested, probably full of worms, emaciated (weighs less than 6 pounds). Maybe he was lost, but more than likely someone tossed him out and said ‘he’s a cat, he’ll survive on his own’….please let this be an eye opener that it doesn’t work that way. I will do my best to get him healthy and show him the love he deserves (and wants), then find him an awesome home.”
So she did, and put him in the garage in a cage to handle his fleas. A few days later she and a friend were visiting Finn and flea combing him, giving him some love and he was out of his cage. “He was just lounging around with us and walking around (which i was glad to see him stretching his legs) keep in mind this whole time hes so chill just purring away, then he went under my husbands car and casually crawled up under/into the frame of the car…now I can hear him purring away, sound asleep….pretty sure he’s used to sleeping there. So I’ll be sleeping down here just waiting for him to get hungry….”
Another appreciative older rescue cat.
Since then we’ve gotten regular updates of what Finn is doing and how much weight he’s gained. After a number of visits to the veterinarian for tests and vaccinations and flea treatments and therapeutic food he’s really flourishing under her care.
You already know Margo from reading about Leo and Theo, who recently found a good home together, and the rest of the nine kittens she fostered this summer.
And not only did she foster these kittens, but she also maintains a “Cat Shantytown” at her place of work in Finleyville made of sturdy old packing pallets, recently remodeled, at right.
That business, by the way is Cicci Dance Supplies, and Margo makes some of the coolest recital costumes!
A donation to help Margo with the costs of all this is not a tax-deductible amount since she is not a non-profit, but it’s a reward for all she’s done and will go toward paying down her expenses as well as help with new cats we know she’s going to rescue. She lives south of Pittsburgh and has also been rescuing for years, and regularly keeps up with the rescue groups to take in overflow kittens and other cats pulled from the street. Her email is email@example.com.
Trooper is a senior kitty, 10 to 15 years old, that was abused and neglected by his “dad”, an older man apparently with a drinking problem, then left outside to care for himself. People in the neighborhood said that they had seen him for months outside. His fur was tangled, he was very skinny and frail and looked like he had an infected bite wound on his side. A few neighbors had been feeding him and letting him stay on their porches. He was so badly matted that his skin pulled away from being pulled. He was basically the size of a skeleton so covered with fleas you could feel them all over when you petted him.
He is currently in a wonderful foster home and finally feeling what it is to be loved. In this case, Kopy Cat Sanctuary based in Delmont, PA, east of Pittsburgh, stepped up to take him in but they are very small—a donation-based one woman rescue. His vet bills have already taken her fundraiser money for the year and the bills are not even covered with that amount.
You can donate to help cover the costs for Trooper as well as all the other rescues Kopy Kat manages and assists with by visiting their website.
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Donate and choose your gift
This offer is good from Monday, October 21, 2013 through Sunday, October 27, 2013.
Please contact the individual or organization and make your donation of $25.00 or more and note “Donation for (cat’s name) through The Creative Cat” and then email me with your donation amount, your address, and your choice of gift. I will confirm with the individual or organization and send you your gift.
Gifts to choose from
Choose from any digital print in my Etsy shop up to a $25.00 value including a few that are already framed. Larger donations could result in larger gifts. We can discuss.
A friend of Kopy Kat is also sponsoring an auction on Facebook to cover costs. Participating in the auction isn’t part of my offer, but if you’d like to browse what’s available please visit the page on Facebook.
All photos courtesy the kittens’ foster homes.
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.
Next Homeless Cat Management Team Clinic
FastTrack Clinic on October 27
- $30 for feral cats
- BLACK CATS FREE – HAPPY HALLOWEEN!
- Visit the website under CLINIC INFO for other costs and details.
Other spay/neuter and low-cost veterinary options
Please check my Shelters, Assistance, Spay/Neuter page for opportunities in Pittsburgh and beyond.
Browse some rescued cats and kittens!
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 or Fine Art America profile 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.