Our Christmas Cat Rescue
by Elisa Black-Taylor
Abby and her kittens and Gizzy
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.