Saturday, June 15, 2024
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Rescue Story: A Pretty Calico

Dr. Mendenhall with the rescued calico.
Dr. Mendenhall with the rescued calico.

“Thanks to Dr. Lindsay Mendenhall at Chartiers Animal Hospital Ltd for not only scanning this pretty abandoned calico kitty for a chip but also checking her round belly for babies. Apparently she’s just plump. We are on our way to her foster and we’ll be looking for a much better person for her than the one who left her alone in an empty apartment without even an empty bowl.”

On Monday, Patty, the woman who had been the feeder at the Dunbar house, stopped at my house and breathlessly told me her neighbors had moved and left a cat behind in their apartment. It was a calico and had no food or litterbox, and she wasn’t sure what to do but she didn’t want to leave it there.

While I considered who would be the lucky foster, she gave me details.

A while ago those very neighbors had asked her, if anything happened to them, would she take care of their cats? Thinking it was a very strange question to ask she said yes, but what did they mean? Well, like, if they fell off their deck on the second floor, something like that. Pretty strange, for sure.

Then last Friday a moving truck pulled up, packed, and off they went. On Monday she remembered their question and ran over to the apartment. The door was locked but opened with jiggling the knob, and there was the cat, telling her how happy she was to see a human. Patty had brought food but there were no cat food bowls at all. The calico ate two cans and had a good drink. Looking around she saw only a few things left. They had really gone and left the calico, but took the kitten they’d also had.

The kitty was very sweet and purring, affectionate, and after her meal she went to bathe and nap on the bed, but rolled over for belly rubs. Such a nice cat! The people had initially told her the cat was feral, from the outdoors, but then she became friendly. They had the wrong idea of “feral”. They had also told Patty they had had her spayed and chipped.

She talked to the downstairs neighbor and found the building owner did not like cats and would put the cat outside if she found it in the apartment. Apparently a person who was formerly a tenant and still had things in the apartment would come the next day to meet with the owner and close out the apartment. The calico had not belonged to the former tenant, and needed to be out of there before that time.

Patty couldn’t take the cat into her house any more than I could. We agreed she should leave the calico in the apartment overnight but go over first thing and put her in one of the carriers I had left with her. I would find a foster and transport her the next day, after I got her to a vet to scan for a chip and see if we could find out any other information. I was concerned the cat was actually pregnant.

Patty retrieved her in the morning and then later talked to the former tenant. She said the family that had moved had said they couldn’t get the cat in a carrier so they left her, and they were moving to California. Whatever, we weren’t going to pursue them anyway.

I picked up the calico in the afternoon and had called Chartiers Animal Hospital earlier to be sure I could come in without an appointment to have her checked for a chip. We didn’t find one, and I also asked if someone could check her belly to see if she was pregnant. She could be just overweight, but her belly felt taut and full, and if we were expecting kittens I wanted to know. They called in Dr. Mendenhall who squeezed and poked and prodded, then decided to do an ultrasound just to be sure. No sight of any kittens in there. Also no sign of a spay. I thanked her and we set off for her foster’s home.

She is being fostered by Mary Fink, who I’ve mentioned here a few times—she’s the one who brought Basil to me four years ago, and we’ve also worked together on some trapping projects and volunteered at the clinic together. Plus, she loves Mimi.

So we’ll need to take care of her, at least a spay, tests and vaccines. I have a chance to get her into two different shelters where she’ll be safe. Rather than trying to find her a home along with the four Greenbriar kittens during the holiday season is probably more of a challenge than we need!

I am grateful we could help this kitty rather than seeing her end up outside in this cold, eventually having kittens, and I’m grateful to Mary for opening a cage in her home to hold this kitty.

Can you help with her vetting?

If anyone wants to contribute to her vetting I would appreciate the help! A spay with rabies through HCMT is $55, add on the test and vaccines and it’s $90, a pretty good deal for all that. Please comment below or email me at bernadettekazmarski at comcast dot net.

Read more of my stories from decades of rescuing and fostering cats, with a few from other rescuers mixed in Rescue Stories.

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Great Rescues Day Book

Each month features one of my commissioned portraits of a feline or felines and their rescue story along with a kitty quote on the left page, and on the right page the month name with enough lines for all possible dates, with standard holidays and animal-themed observances and events. Great Rescues also includes a mini cat-care book illustrated with my drawings including information on finding strays or orphaned kittens, adopting for the first time or caring for a geriatric cat, a list of household toxins and toxic plants, or helping stray and feral cats and beginning with TNR.

Each book includes also 10 sheets of my “22 Cats” decorative notepaper with a collage of all the portraits in black and white so you can make your own notes or write special notes to friends.

The portraits in this book, collected as a series, won both a Certificate of Excellence and a Muse Medallion in the 2011 Cat Writers’ Association Annual Communication Contest, as well as the 22 Cats Notepaper mentioned below.

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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!




From health and welfare to rescue and adoption stories, advocacy and art, factual articles and fictional stories, "The Creative Cat" offers both visual and verbal education and entertainment about cats for people who love cats, pets and animals of all species.

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