“Bailey has a forever home! Thank you to everyone who played a part in saving him. I am in tears and hoping his first mom is smiling down from heaven.”
Back in February I included a photo of two orange and white cats huddled in a cage. The precious companions of an elderly woman who was hospitalized and later died, they were left in the home, then taken to a shelter. Traumatized and fearful, they failed their “temperament test” and were to be euthanized if the owner didn’t reclaim them. But the shelter works with rescuers who will claim such cats and they were rescued and taken to a foster home. Now, after months of patient affection and introductions to living in the foster family’s home, Bailey was adopted to a new forever home.
A foster home for a companion animal isn’t just a place for them to sleep, quite often it’s a place for them to heal physically and emotionally at the hands of a gifted and understanding human. Bailey and Baxter had a lot of healing to do, and the whole emotional story of the woman who died leaving these two young cats not thinking they’d end up dying in a shelter tore at all our hearts in rescue. A happy ending needs to be shared. Here is their original story, below.
Your Mission, Should You Choose to Accept It
These two orange cats are only two of far too many who find themselves homeless after an elderly owner dies either without leaving instructions, or thinking their children will take care of their pets as they did themselves. Sometimes this does happen, but sadly many pets find themselves in the situation of these two orange guys, left in the home until it’s to be sold, then dropped off at a shelter or tossed out in the street after they’ve been traumatized by all the changes and often frightened or in poor physical health, acting hostile to people and condemned to death just because they are frightened.
I received an e-mail from a trusted friend (ironically I know her as a dog rescuer) that began, “I got a phone call from a nurse at a local hospital…”
A member of the family of a patient who died asked her if she knew anyone who could take in 2 cats, two and three years old, who their owner “loved dearly”. They took them to one of the shelters, but the shelter informed them the cats would have to be euthanized the next day if they didn’t come get them (as it turns out it was because they had been exhibiting “feral behavior”, which means no one could handle them for an exam). It seemed the family was here from out of town.
She went on to describe the cats: “Baxter is 2 years old, neutered and up to date on his shots…he is an orange & white tabby. Bailey is 3 years old, neutered and up to date on his shots and is all white with a tabby tail. They are very sweet cats and love each other alot so they would hope they can find a home together.”
A person in our rescue group called the number for the son for more information. The man’s mother had died a month before and he fed and watered the cats in her house, which was being cleaned out. He took the kitties to the Animal Rescue League where he was called to reclaim due to “feral behavior”. Many shelters will decide to euthanize a cat if a team of people can’t safely handle it during an intake exam, which might also mean the cat would be difficult to adopt. The Animal Rescue League, instead of readily euthanizing the cat, has a “reclaim fee” and will call the person who surrendered it, tell them the situation and give them an opportunity to reclaim the cat, in this case both cats.
The son believed the cats were simply accustomed to one person, his mother, who had raised them from kittens, and that they were really only frightened. He also had a newborn child and felt he was out of possibilities.
A member of our rescue group who I’ve featured also offered to foster these two, ease their fears and hopefully get them to a trusting point where either she can find a home for them or they can return to the shelter for another chance.
After some tense moments of losing track of the son and the cats and the fear they were in danger, the cats were taken from ARL and are now in their foster home.
Their rescuer described them as wary to frightened. “The orange guy wants to eat me. The other white/orange does let me touch him although he is scared,” she said. I’m sure in her capable hands they’ll come to trust new humans. And so they did, or at least Bailey did; Baxter is still coming around.
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An update on another rescue
On the evening of July 4 an urgent message came into the rescue group about a cat with kittens seen inside a “slimy wet gross mildew infested” abandoned building.
The cat and her kittens were successfully rescued and fostered. All were spayed or neutered and received their veterinary care, the kittens found homes while momcat, Taco/Rita/Margarita had a bit of an attitude. She was adopted by a family with a barn who takes excellent care of their barn cats and is currently living happily ever after. Her new family sent a photo to the person they’d adopted from.
Much better than repeatedly having babies in a “slimy wet gross mildew infested” abandoned building, scrounging for food and dodging cars. Thanks to everyone who worked on a very interesting rescue, tracking down the building owner, getting inside the building, capturing the kittens, then the mom—read about Margarita here.
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I was requested to transport a cat who’d been fostered from Lawrenceville in Pittsburgh off to his appointment to be vetted and head to Petco and find his forever home.
It just so happened that I was in that part of town—which is across the city from me and I’m rarely there—and with enough time to take a half hour or so in the middle of the day to help a kitty to a better place. My pleasure!
I don’t want the kudos, I want you to go and do this if you get the chance. Help save a life!
The people who arrange these things are amazing. One person in particular will be very much missed as he leaves town for a better job and more opportunities across the country. I’m sure the cats in San Francisco will appreciate you!
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Speaking of gray kitties and shelters…
Good thing I didn’t visit the Five’s Aunt Amby with this kitty—seems she’s developed a fondness for gray and white kitties! Con-cat-ulations on adopting the 1,000th animal from the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society at the end of July! She’d seen him posted and saw he was at a PetSmart, then at another PetSmart, then back at the shelter because he wasn’t feeling well, tracked him down and scooped him up. He’s currently finding his place in the household, mentored by, among others, Angus and Donal, two other fine sons of Mimi, brothers to Lucy, and half-siblings to the Fantastic Four.
Right now in Pittsburgh, the WPHS has been experiencing very high surrender numbers and is currently housing over 300 cats and kittens in the North Shore facility alone. In addition, the Animal Rescue League is closed to surrenders and adoptions of cats as they quarantine after an outbreak of feline distemper until the end of the month.
With WPHS above capacity, if you can, ADOPT, FOSTER or VOLUNTEER.
Browse some rescued cats and kittens!
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