Our Christmas Cat Rescue

Our Christmas Cat Rescue

by Elisa Black-Taylor

Abby and her kittens and Gizzy

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Abby and her kittens and Gizzy

Abby and her kittens and Gizzy Abby on the Pet Thermal Pad Laura holding Gizzy Lucky is another computer genius

Our Christmas euthanasia list cat rescue, which took place last Wednesday, has been an uphill battle. Click on this link to our first cat rescue.

The arrangements began on Monday when a friend on Facebook offered to sponsor Gizzy after I left a note that I could rescue her. I then contacted Andrea, who is over the urgent listings and told her I'd also like to rescue Abby and her kittens if they could be sponsored. Andrea emailed me back that she would find a sponsor for them as well. So pickup was arranged for Wednesday morning as they would have their spay/neuter on Tuesday. Gizzy was already fixed so she was the only one who wouldn't be coming home in pain.

My daughter and I arrived at the Greenville County Animal Shelter in Greenville, SC at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday morning. I'd been "spiritually moved" over the weekend by photos of Gizzy, Abby and her kittens who were on their euthanasia cat list. Something inside of me tells me which cats I need to rescue.

Gizzy was the first to come out as the shelter worker had no trouble locating her. Abby and her kittens were nowhere to be found. The worker asked me if I'd like to come into the cage area and search for her.

That was a near impossible task for me. You see, any time I make eye contact with a cat I can read it's thoughts and want to take it home. There were five rooms in back. Each room was filled with cages of cats, all vying for my attention in a desperate plea to go home with me.

I'd already planned to take home four cats that day. Gizzy (a 3 year old DSH), Abby, a two year old Maine Coon, and Abby's two kittens, age 3 months. I'm so sorry I couldn't rescue everyone.

Still no Abby. And I would have recognized her instantly as she's a beautiful black and white Maine Coon. One of the workers I deal directly with, Andrea, arrived and informed me Abby was at the outside facility they use to do the spay/neuter and would arrive on the next transport.

So my daughter and I waited in the lobby with Gizzy. We asked if she could come out of her carrier. We were given permission, so out she came in all her black, orange and white glory. She's a beautiful cat with HUGE eyes and an attitude. From the moment I laid eyes on her online euthanasia photo I felt she had been verbally abused. Her paperwork profile listed her as "timid." I'd even emailed Andrea with a message for Gizzy. I asked her to tell the cat she was coming to a home where she wouldn't be yelled at. I confess, I can be a little strange when it comes to communicating with cats.

Gizzy doesn't like my other cats yet, but we're working on it. She sleeps on Laura's bed and has her own bowls and litter box. The sounds coming out of that cat prompted me to ask my Facebook friends the female name for Satan. One suggested Jezebel. So I changed the spelling and now her "attitude" nickname is Jezebelle. I'd continue to call her Jezzy except she answers to Gizzy. We bring her to the living room on supervised daily visits. Overall, she's really a sweet cat. She was surrendered by a couple in the process of getting a divorce. So sad.

Now back to Abby. We were expecting her to come in through the back entrance and it was a surprise when a man brought her in rather quickly through the front door. He explained to Andrea that Abby's solid gray kitten had died earlier that morning after being spayed. It turns out they were all very sick with an upper respiratory infection. None of them should not have undergone surgery. The little girl just wasn't strong enough to survive it.

I don't blame the shelter as they are overwhelmed with cats. I blame the vet who did the surgery. I think he should have heard the head and chest congestion and stopped the procedure before it ever started. It hurts to know Abby needlessly lost her daughter.

We named her son Lucky because he's lucky to be alive. Abby and Lucky both were put on Clavamox for the infection. They were quarantined off for several days once I got them home so they wouldn't infect my other cats. Abby chose my small bathroom for her infirmary. We have a small bathroom heater, a humidifier, litter box and food and water bowl in there. I also gave her the Pet Thermal Cat Pad, which came the day we brought her home. Click here for some more information on the pad.

Now we don't know whether she's antisocial, feeling rotten or just doesn't want to leave the thermal pad. Probably a combination of all three. She doesn't want to be held for more than a few minutes. Lucky is the lap cat. We'll deal with socializing Abby once she's feeling better.

The vet put Abby on a stronger antibiotic today. And Lucky's dosage of Clavamox has been increased. Both are on their way to recovery. It just takes time.

Lucky is much better and comes to lay in my lap. He's a wonderful kitten. He plays with my other kittens. Why can't people socialize as well as cats? I prefer cats to people these days.

Abby and her family were turned in as strays. I find that hard to believe. My best guess is she was simply unwanted. Another "throw away" cat by people who don't deserve cats in the first place.

I'm still enjoying my role as a rescuer. Although I can only save a few, it gives me a sense of peace that I'm no longer just sitting back looking at photos of "rainbow bridge" cats.

Reading the excuses people give for surrendering animals makes me physically sick. I've seen "too needy," "too active" and "too much responsibility" to name a few. They should have thought of that beforehand. Others claim the animals are strays or they have too many animals already. And the shelters keep filling up. And the killing continues because there aren't enough homes for all of the unwanted.

At least I can sleep at night knowing I'm doing all I can to help. Some nights I don't sleep alone. My little angels come into the bedroom to curl up with me. I believe it's their way of saying "thank you for saving my life."

In closing, I have a question for the readers here. Do you believe an animal KNOWS that you saved it's life when you rescued it? I don't think I'm alone in believing they do.


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Dec 25, 2010
Great thing
by: Leah (England)

Its a great thing you're doing Eliza those poor poor cats I hate that they are throw away cats to some people.

I also believe that animals not just cats know when they've been rescued.

Hugs and tickles to all your furries.

Dec 22, 2010
Abby and Gizzy
by: Michael

Abby is very pretty, a very attractive female looking cat and Gizzy is arresting, a striking appearance.

I am sure that cats know they are being helped. They understand the support. My lady cat asks me to come to her and stroke her. She asks for the friendship etc. On this basis they understand being "rescued" but I don't think they see it as a rescue just as an adult cat coming to them to care for them.

Michael Avatar

Dec 21, 2010
by: Elisa

Abby is feeling better today. The new antibiotic is gram negative and gram positive, but I have to watch her for seizures on it. Lucky is staying in my lap. And last night I had all 3 boy kittens in my lap either sleeping or looking up at me. They're so sweet. Lucky has fit right in with them. And Mandy is the biggest mess of all of them. She wants things her way all the time. I do believe they know we rescued them. Even Gizzy is coming out of her shell.

Ruth, I know what you mean. I'd hate to think what would go thru my cats heads if something happened and I didn't make it home to them.

Dec 21, 2010
I believe they know
by: Gail (Boston, MA USA)

Elisa, I agree with Ruth (great story about Monty, Ruth!) - they know they're being rescued.

When I got Sadie, I was her 4th human. She picked me (at age 5) and showed me every single day how much she loved and appreciated our bond.

Abby was adopted from our shelter but was returned 9.5 months later when her human fell deathly ill. That makes me Abby's 3rd human from the time she was born. She picked me by smacking my head while I cleaned cages just below hers at the shelter, one week to the day after my precious Sadie died. I truly believe Sadie sent her to me since I was so distraught at having lost Sadie at age 17.

Your Abby looks very similar to mine. Don't worry about her not being a lap cat and fussing that you cannot pick her up. My Abby was like that too and still is, to a point. I think it may be inherent to the Maine Coon stand-offish cattitude, LOL! Over time, Abby has allowed me to pick her up (over my shoulder like a baby when I 1st get home at night) and stroke her fur a few moments. I put her down before she fusses; otherwise, she'll start squirming and meowing in my ear to get down but she never scratches.

She's pretty vocal and jumps on the bed each morning for kisses when the alarm goes off. She also jumps on the bed at night to watch TV for a bit. She's like a kitty alarm clock.

Your work as a rescuer is wonderful! You have a huge heart. Believe me, your fur babies know how much you care. Bless you.

Dec 21, 2010
Monty knows
by: Ruth (Monty's Mom)

Monty knows I saved his life if for no other reason that now he is warm and well fed and before he wasn't. Well, I caught him in summer, so he never knew winter outside on his own-- but he does go out in winter and he doesn't like it. Surely, he knows if I hadn't come along he would have had to survive winter out there. When something frightens him outside he runs right to me. (This doesn't happen much anymore.) When he gets cold he stands on my feet or meows loudly. He relies on me as the one who feeds him and protects him, cleans up after him and keeps him warm. Does this mean he consistently shows his gratitude? No. He is still a cat and must be who he is. "Not now, Mom, I'm busy" he seems to say as he wriggles out of my grasp when I want to pick him up and hug him. I have to fend him off to get to eat my breakfast even though he has a full belly. If Mom's eating it it must be good, and he should have some. He'll pounce on my head when I want to sleep in, but ignore me when I am wide awake and would like some company. He prefers my husband's lap to mine even though Jeff rarely feeds him and never scoops his litter. He'll insist on playing outside in the rain, but if he gets into something sticky and needs a bath it's as if the world is going to end and it's my fault. He doesn't sometimes really want to go outside or in the basement but just wants to know he can, so I have to open and close doors as he goes in and out and in and out. But through all that he is just being a cat.
I'm the center of Monty's universe though he'll never admit it to me. Last year driving home from up north in a blizzard I really was afraid I wasn't going to make it home alive because the roads were so bad. I thought more of Monty than Jeff as my car went sliding out of control almost smacking into the back of a truck. My husband could remarry. I was widowed. I did it. But for Monty it would be really bad. He'd survive, of course, but he'd never know why I didn't come back. He knows I saved his life, but it's more than just that. He's bonded with me and expects that I will always be there for him. God willing, I plan to be. Rescuing him was just the beginning,.

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