An Update On Our Nine Death Row Rescues
by Elisa Black-Taylor
Good morning readers. I thought I'd spread a little happy news today and give everyone an update on my nine red-listed euthanasia (death row) rescues. I'll start with the three kittens I rescued at Thanksgiving.
For the original story please click on this link. We did a little name changing on most of the rescues. The tabby named Sweetie Pie became Sammy. He just looks like a Sammy. And my Gidget now answers to MandyLane (named after the road she was found on before being turned into the shelter). Jasper is the only one who kept the first name we gave him.
Those first three rescues have been a constant source of entertainment. Especially Mandy. She follows me from room to room and at night she wants to sleep on my face. If I try to slap her away, she thinks that is a game and slaps back at me. I usually go to sleep cradling her like a child holding a blanket. You should see Mandy at bedtime following the two dogs who sleep in my room. I don't think she realizes how small she is. She's also the welcoming committee for new arrivals. I wish everyone could see the look on her face when she discovers I'm home from work. She's my welcoming committee too.
Jasper is a needy kitten. He doesn't enjoy being left alone and will walk through the house crying until one of us picks him up. He's also growing faster than any of the kittens I've rescued.
And Sammy is the little trouble maker. He's into everything and a little on the destructive side. But every now and then he takes time out of his busy playing to jump in my lap for a nap.
All three of the kittens will carry their small toys from room to room in their mouth. I've never seen a cat do that before.
Abby, Lucky and Gizzy were our second rescue shortly before Christmas. Please click on this link to see that story. Lucky was the only kitten to survive in Abby's litter. A URI (upper respiratory tract infection) killed the other one and Abby and Lucky were on antibiotics when they first came to live with me.
Lucky got his name by being the only survivor. He's super sweet and now spends his days (when he's not playing) sleeping on the dryer with Lola.
Abby finally moved from the bathroom to the living room after about 2 weeks. Now she lays in her own chair in my kitchen and watches the others play. She prefers to play alone when everyone else is napping. I changed her name to Mia after she had been with us a week. I was looking at her one day and the thought just came into my head that she wanted to be called that.
Gizzy (Jezibelle), demon cat with all the scary noises has been the biggest surprise of them all. She finally moved from the bedroom to the living room where she still enjoys an occasional terrorizing prank on the other cats. They mostly ignore her growls and paw swipes at this point. For some reason Gizzy has become attached to me. She actually comes when I call her name and gets in my lap. When I'm typing she lays on the couch beside me. When I'm eating she always has to sample a few bites.
I recently discovered Gizzy had a mate who was turned into the shelter at the same time. The other cat never calmed down enough to be adopted out and was put to sleep. The shelter isn't allowed to re-home a cat they think may bite someone. I don't think many people would have had the patience we've had to wait on Gizzy to calm down. I absolutely LOVE Gizzy.
Mister Tom came next. His shelter name was Chapman because he was found on Chapman Road. But I have a bad memory with names, so Laura changed it to Tom after Tom in the Tom and Jerry cartoon. He's a gentle giant and took up with Laura from day one. He meows at the door for her when she goes next door and he also sleeps with her. He's so laid back personality wise it's easy to forget he's even there. Mister Tom is losing that "hardened" look he had when we first rescued him. He came very close to being euthanized because no one was rescuing him from the euthanasia list.
Next came Scrawny. He was half starved and had pink eye when I first brought him home. His paperwork said he'd been found on the interstate shortly after our blizzard had thawed from an 8 inch snow and ice storm. I changed his name to Casper because the cats wanted nothing to do with him. It was like he was a ghost cat. I think it's really unique to call a black cat by a white cats name. Casper now lives in a box on the kitchen bar. He sleeps on a thermal pet mat and only comes out of the box long enough to eat, drink and go to the litter box. He plays by himself now, much like Mia does. We don't know if he just loves the box or thinks he has to stay in there. He's almost as big as the other kittens because he eats about every three hours. We hold him each day because he is a feral and we want him to be used to and enjoy being held.
And just this week I went to Greenville and rescued Lily. Please click on this link to read her story. She was listed as being declawed on all four paws, but my daughter thinks they are just cut short. I don't know her status on that yet. We're still letting her rest up under Laura's bed. I felt of her paws and it feels like bone and I don't know how a declawed cat should feel. I do know she doesn't make her claws visible, so they may be gone. Hopefully we'll have her eating canned food at the group feeding in a few days.
I believe the secret to my mini sanctuary is we don't pressure a cat to respond to us immediately. We also don't pay extra attention the the new rescue so the cats who have been with us longer don't get jealous. Gizzy was actually playing with Lucky the other day. And Mia took an immediate liking to Sammy yet ignored her own son Lucky. I believe when a new cat walks into my living room and sees other cats laying around happy it takes away a lot of the fear.
The only thing the cats don't like is being put in Laura's bedroom when we eat. We work to put up as many as we can catch. Usually one or two manage to slip by us and get rewarded with tidbits.
We've had a few close calls with escaping cats. Gizzy slipped out one day but came back that evening and that was the first day she was a nice kitty. Maybe she found out the outside world wasn't so great after all. And Mister Tom escaped one afternoon and I had to chase him into the woods before I caught up with him. Mia hid under my bed the same day Gizzy snuck out and we were afraid she had escaped. Cats don't come when they're called like a dog does and I was upset for several hours about her disappearance.
That's pretty much it on how all of the cats are doing. I won't post the photos of how lonely and sick the cats looked before we spoiled them with love. Those photos are on the original articles. Instead, I'll post how happy they all look since we bailed them out of death row.
What's awesome is how easily we can tell who's meowing for us and what the cry means. For those of you with multiple cats, can you tell who is meowing? I'm just curious.