Rescue Story: Irina and Isis, Saved From the Flood

black and white cat in cabinet
Irina in her cabinet

Irina and Isis are a couple of rescued kitties I’ve met along the way, working on projects and visiting friends. These two are from a house that reminded me of my own through the years, and may remind many of you of your own houses full of rescued cats and feline-themed stuff!

dilute calico in shelving
Isis in her cubby.

These two come to mind because just last week I remembered the catastrophic flood my town and region suffered when in September 2004 Hurricane Ivan hit Western Pennsylvania causing catastrophic flooding in communities that hadn’t seen any in decades. Many animals were lost or displaced as the floodwaters rose in a matter of hours during the afternoon when people were away at work. In the aftermath many homes were uninhabitable and people needed to find other accommodations, either long-term temporarily or permanently, and many pets were surrendered to shelters when living arrangements didn’t allow a pet.

Irina, above, and Isis, at left, had a period of homelessness as a result. They were surrendered by their person to the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society when a private assistance organization secured long-term housing for her while her home was rebuilt, but didn’t take into account her cats. After the flood, our friends at FosterCat took as many cats surrendered to shelters and simply lost and wandering as they could find foster homes for, and placed Irina and Isis with their current mom, who was fostering for FosterCat at the time.

Quite probably their human felt she couldn’t take them back and they’d be better off in a new home. Many people lived in temporary housing for a year or more depending on the extent of damage and repair to their home and had lost nearly everything; for many people, rebuilding was a painful effort. I fostered a few cats for days or a week or so for friends who needed to resettle whose homes had been damaged badly enough to need to move during repairs, and pulled a few cats off the streets who were obviously lost. I even shuffled a few dogs around, and picked up and delivered lots of donated cat and dog food and litter while my neighbors in affected parts of town got their lives back together.

Their rescuer had heard Irina and Isis’s story and decided they’d been through enough disruption for one lifetime and decided to keep them. This is otherwise known as a “foster failure”, but it’s not a bad test to fail since a kitty gets a home; she also kind of decided she wasn’t any good at fostering.

Lucky for Irina, named for Irina Vorobieva, Olympic Russian figure skater, and Isis, the goddess, of course, they made their way to this mom, who was understanding of their needs. The reason I’ve posted photos that aren’t so focused on the cat is that I wanted to show the environment—a really nice house, full of decorative things, and lots of happy spots left for the cats, Irina in her cabinet, the door always open for her, and Isis in the cubby by the front door where she quietly watches the house.

Irina is a little frightened of her doggy brothers, two harmless little Pomeranians, so she stays in the kitchen, but according to Isis’ mom she’s a bigger cat and somehow intimidating, so the dogs don’t mess with her. Could be that tri-color gene.

Their rescuer’s house was full of so many sweet and pretty things I was almost distracted from the cats to study the quilts and afghans and baskets as well as the wall art and was forming creative ideas I’d have to explore when I got home, and it was almost like walking into my own home at one point before boxes of paperwork and file cabinets of paper took over. But everywhere I looked, there was a spot for a cat.

And doesn’t everyone leave a kitchen cabinet open for a kitty who feels most comfortable there?

And glad times have changed during natural disasters when pets are considered part of the family and rescued and rehomed with them.

. . . . . . .

Read more Rescue Stories.


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Bernadette

From health and welfare to rescue and adoption stories, advocacy and art, The Creative Cat offers both visual and verbal education and entertainment about cats for people who love cats.

From catchy and creative headlines to factual articles and fictional stories, The Creative Cat provides constant entertainment and important information to people who love cats, pets and animals of all species.

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