Safe Haven for Strays
by Shirley Hobbs
(Barnes City, Iowa, U.S.A.)
I orignally started with just my 3 cats, then I started to rescue kittens from a nearby dog kennel whose mother's were killed or chased away by either the owner's employees or the dogs when the wondered into the pens.
Some of these kittens later died from some type of infection or were too young to be away from their mother and wouldn't take the formula/milk. I have a very large and soft heart for all God's creatures and my heart would break each time one of them died or killed by people that would run them down on purpose.
My friends call me the Cat Woman because of all the cats that I have and rescued. One of these kittens that I rescued I named Zorro because of his mask and he was black and white. He came from the kennels at a very young age and his mother was killed.
I had a female Tabby/Persian, Little Bear, that only had 2 kittens about the same age. So I put the 4 kitten including Zorro with her and she took them as her own. Unfortunately, the kittens were without their mother's milk too long and all but Zorro died.
He grew up to be my lover boy until he decided it was time to leave me this past February. I will never forget the night he left. He let me know that he wanted out, I thought he would be out for an hour or so and want back in.
I followed him to a huge snow drift and he kept going east until I couldn't see him any more. That time of year we had the longest and worst snow storms in years. I called for him and called but he never came home. Over 60 days later his daughter was born, she is a spitting image of her father Zorro and I named her Little Bear after her great, great, great grandmother
Little Bear, who died of feline lukemia 5/1/08.
I miss my most favorite cats who have died: Precious, Precious #2, Patches #1, Puma #1 & 2, and maybe now Zorro.
Since April 2007 I have lost a total of 29 Cats and Kittens to Poison, killed by neighbor's dogs, pellet guns, and vehicles. The nearest animal shelters either have no room for cats/kittens or they have a rule that cats are kept for only 7 days and then are put down reguardless of their age.
The latter is the reason I will not take any cat or kitten to a shelter. I try and find them a home first. My house is on the outskirts of town on a gravel road, there is a corn field behind my house, and I have a shed behind my house too.
So the 28 cats and kittens that are my wards have a large area to run about and catch field mice. I keep them vaccinated for prevention of upper respiratory infections/colds and are wormed monthly with panacure or pyran-50.
So these people that just toss out your unwanted pets should get a swift kick in the pants or if get caught pay the price. I may have one of your discards right now and they are doing fine.
Comment by Kate
I am shocked that you say the shelters put the cats down after 7 days.
The answer as you know is spaying and neutering and I think in the USA there is also a national scheme for encouraging owners to do this.
Thank goodness for people like you and your kind heart.
Just a not to others who find a kitten and want to look after it. When we talk of milk or formula it is not regular milk as cats are intolerant to lactose in it, instead buy the special cat or kitten milk and feed them that.
Thank you Shirly for sharing your story with us.