CAT FANCY's Against All Odds Rescue Contest Finalists
Meet the runners-up in the contest to find the most heartwarming, compelling cat rescue stories.
I was renting an apartment in a small condo complex. One day, a calico stray appeared with a kitten whom I named Angel. I called the mother Mama Calico. I put traps out to catch them and get them spayed. Mama Calico went in, but Angel didn't. I started taming Angel outside by massaging her with a small stick. Soon I was able to pet her. I wanted to find a home for her.
I got a letter from the president of the condo board stating that I must stop feeding the cats. A resident had complained that the food was attracting wildlife. My landlady called and said she would evict me if I didn't stop. I hid the food dishes behind the bushes.
I decided to buy a condo a few blocks away. I found a foster home for Mama Calico, but I had to go back each day and feed Angel. I fed Angel just off the sidewalk on the property of the building next door. A resident in the building began to harass me and said if I didn't stop leaving cat food on the property he would call the police. On that day I was able to Angel into the carrier and she became my fourth beloved indoor cat.
Driving home in December, the headlights lit up a sleek silhouette dashing across the road. I stopped and followed the paw tracks in the snow to the perfect place for a rescue trap.
When I returned, the trap was closed. I saw a flash of gray. The wild animal inside ran back and forth, banging his head at each end of the metal cage. He did not meow. This was no ordinary cat!
The shelter couldn't take such a creature. He was feral with a beautiful gray-and-white coat. I named him Little Bear. For weeks, he lived under the bed in the spare room. Each day, I reached into his safety zone to feed him by hand. He ate fast, looked at me in absolute terror and scurried back to solitude.
The day after Christmas, he emerged with his tail up. He wanted to play! He quickly turned into the best cat ever.
Proudly, I say that I have “trapped a bear.”
Our cat was rescued on a cold and rainy October night. We found her up in the rafters of an old barn. She barely had her eyes open, and she fit in my hand. When I got her home, I wrapped her in a warm towel and warmed up some kitten formula. I got a small syringe and got the formula down her and she slept next to me in a shoebox. I checked on her every two hours. She made it through the night, so for the next two weeks I gave her 24-hour care. She went everywhere I did. As she grew stronger, I increased her formula and kept her clean. When she started moving around, I showed her the litterbox, and there were no problems at all. She developed a personality between a lamb and a wild cat, but we love her dearly. She is princess of the house.
Coral Springs, Fla.
Davie was found in a hoarder's house. This house was filled with hundreds of cats and dogs. The conditions were extremely bad. Humane officials and hazmat units were called in to clean out the house and to decide the fate of the animals. Most of the animals were sick and had to be euthanized. A local news channel broadcast the horrible scene: Inside the house, cages were piled one on top of the other as high as the ceiling.
Rescue units were called to take some of the animals. After the house was emptied, sterilizing bombs were set off. Sometime later, a rescue worker went back to the house. She was surprised to see movement under a carpet. When she lifted the carpet she found Davie. He was thin, pale and dirty, but he was still alive. He was neutered and given months of veterinary care until he was finally released for adoption. He stayed at a shelter for six months before I walked through the door. When I picked him up, he purred and rubbed on my shoulder. I knew he would be my cat forever.
My story of Lucky Mancat comes from my husband who rescued the cat while on a stakeout. He was standing behind a tree watching a house for drug activity, when a little tabby kitten came up to him and jumped on his shoulder. My husband reached up, bent down and set the kitten back on the ground. Once again, the kitten jumped up on his shoulder, this time meowing at him. My husband petted him a little then bent down to set him on the ground again. He tried motioning him away, but the kitten was intent on staying with him. There were no other kittens or a mother cat around. My husband had no idea where this kitten could have come from. In a few minutes, the kitten jumped back up on his shoulder and as my husband bent down to put the kitten back on the ground, a bullet went flying by him. Had he not been putting the kitten back on the ground, he would have been injured, possibly even fatally. After the drug bust, my husband went back to the area where the kitten was and brought him home with him. Lucky Mancat has had a home with us since that day.
It was a cold and rainy November day. I was teaching in a small north central Nebraska high school and had gone to my car during lunch for some books. As I approached the car, I heard loud, terrified meows coming from the street. Thinking that a kitten had been injured, I looked around but quickly realized that the cries were coming from the car next to mine.
Just then, the owner of the car, who was substituting at our school, came walking down the street. I explained that there was a kitten in or under her car. At first, she didn't believe me, but then she too heard the crying. We look under the hood. No kitten. We searched in the wheel wells, but they were sealed. The substitute suggested asking the shop teacher to see if his students could get under the car for a look. They agreed, but fearing it would be too dangerous to start the car, they pushed it around to the shop where they put it on the hoist. After the car was raised, one of the sophomore boys got under the car and there, clinging to the undercarriage, was a terrified and thoroughly soaked 6-week-old kitten.
The substitute brought him to my classroom. A said I would adopt him. The substitute named him Mascot – as our school mascot is The Wildcats.
He had survived an 18-mile ride under a car. Today, he is a healthy, happy cat who last summer entered his first cat show.
I found my beloved Mitzie cowering in the corner of a communal cage in a small shelter. From a distance, she was a non-descript, small, gray cat. To my amazement, she had been there for 13 months. I applaud any shelter that cares for an animal that long. She cried and cried and finally picked her way out of her temporary box carrier. She immediately went under the passenger seat. I talked to her all the way home, wondering what the strange clawing sound was. Once home, I nervously reached under the seat. She was kneading.
Mitzie loves attention. She could set a world record for the greatest number of continuous hours being petted. I guess she's making up for all the lost time she had to wait in the shelter.
The first time I saw Momma, I was feeding three strays in our neighborhood when she came over to me scared, very thin and extremely hungry. I fed her every day, then she would disappear into a hole under the building across the street. I followed her one day, sat down on the sidewalk and peered into the hole. Up toward me came a small, furry paw. A kitten! She was hiding her kitten in there. I had to think fast on how to get the kitten out of there. My neighbor helped me rescue not one kitten, but four! The second I was handed the first kitten, I knew they were coming home with me. Momma's three daughters and her son found wonderful homes. I adopted Momma and the other three neighborhood strays.
I found a beautiful three-legged calico cat at work. She was about 2 years old and pregnant. I trapped her and took her home with me.
Her leg kept bleeding, so I took her to the vet that night and was told the rest of the leg would have to be amputated the next morning. The flesh around the wound was turning gray. Eventually, it would have turned to gangrene, and she would have died.
They let me take her home the next afternoon because she was angry and wouldn't cooperate with them. They put inside stitches in her leg, hoping she wouldn't pull them out. She wouldn't take any pain medication that I gave her in her food. She was in great pain but somehow made it through. What a tough cat!
She has been recuperating at home now. Her fur has grown back, and she is doing great. She loves my other cat and follows him around. She also follows me around from room to room, but I have yet to pet her. But, I am happy she is doing well and is safe from the world outside. What a blessing she has been for us.
“She's too feral.” The humane shelter employee removed her protective gloves. “And the kittens probably are, too.”
I stared. “You mean you won't take them?”
“If we did, we'd have to euthanize them.”
I hefted the crate holding a frightened feral cat and her kittens and trudged back to the car. Was this really the only option for these precious lives?
I thought back to the days before when my life intersected with these feline ones. My family and I were aware that there was a feral cat in our area but were surprised by the appearance of five kittens under our deck. When we saw they were ill, we knew we had to act.
Miraculously, we were able to catch the entire feline family, but local shelters were full or wouldn't take feral cats. I was afraid the rejection from the last shelter was a dead end, but with the help of our local veterinary clinic, the kittens were fostered and adopted. The mother now shares her life with me indoors where she cuddles on my lap and won't go out on our porch if the temperature is below 50.
Too “feral”? Not a chance.
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CAT FANCY's Against All Odds Rescue Contest Finalists