Savannah's Paw Tracks

Autobiography of a Former Shelter Cat

Archive for the category “paw it forward”

Create a Happy Tail Ending for Starlight

HIYA!!   SAVANNAH HERE!!!

I know it is kitten season across most of the USA and for sure it is right here where I live in Northern California’s San Francisco bay area. So it makes it real hard for this darling three year old cat Mom L recently pulled from the established cat colony she is helping manage, care for and feed. This little girl is so petite, and incredibly friendly which is what drew Mom L to her as soon as she first noticed her in the colony.

Likely the kitty was abandoned at the city park where this colony resides and she was trying to make a place for herself with the colony. Mom L noticed her first because she was so little, then because she was friendly and finally because she was having to tussle with some of the bigger cats to get her place at the meal table.

So Mom L picked her up and plopped her in a carrier and off she went to Contra Costa Animal Services where she received her name “Starlight”. PURRFECT!! Don’t ya think??

She managed the car ride and carrier pretty good.

Mom L has been workin’ with Starlight but the best part is all the support Starlight is gettin’ from the dedicated cat volunteers at my former shelter home. Yes, that’s right. I spent about two months at this very same shelter before I was transferred to a not for profit rescue with a free roaming cat shelter…but enough of me.

This is about Starlight! Check out the wonderful promotion video Miss Mary, a volunteer, created for Starlight and she posted it on a Face Book page Smart Paws Pet Resources for Contra Costa shelter animals.

This is the delightful little photo story Miss Mary created for Starlight and it can be viewed on her Pet Harbor page here.

“That feels great. Can’t wait to join a new family & have people to love.”

“Is that someone coming to meet me? I hope I find a family soon!”

“I adore cheek scratches, treats, and friendly conversation with my pals.”

“I’m a connoisseur of the head scratch, and this one gets an A+!”

“I’m Starlight…

Starlight… star bright, first star I see tonight…”

“…I wish I may, I wish I might, have this wish I wish tonight (my own family!)”

 

Starlight had lots to tell Mom L when Mom L visited her for the first time at the shelter.

I must say they have been super nice here

Starlight has a growing fan club at the shelter and no one can believe that she is still waiting for her true family to find her.  Why just check out how cute her little dainty paws are!! She is very small, weighing only about six pounds.

Mom L can’t pull many more friendly adult cats from the established colony ‘cuz it is kitten season. Most people going to the shelter are looking for kittens so they overlook a precious adult like Starlight.

Will you, my readers, help me help Starlight get the work out that she is ready to meet her new family? Please share this blog post on every social media network you like to take a paw to. I’ll give you my best paw pats if you will let me know in comments if you are willing to help me with this Paw It Forward project…let’s create a Happy Tail Ending for Starlight, ok?

PAW PATS, SAVANNAH

 

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Returned—”What did I do wrong?”

HIYA!!  SAVANNAH HERE!!!

Oh My Cat!  Do I have a tail tale for you that you are gonna just luvluvluv—no ending just yet—but progress!!

I haven’t given you all the whole story about my latest Paw It Forward Project. You have had some glimpses but I didn’t wanna say too much until I was sure Mom L had some stories to share that will lift your hearts.

You know that I have been directing Mom L in her work with the community cat colony that is close our home, right? I have shared some other stories from this very same colony, like Strider’s tale, but there are so many tails tales to share from our ongoing “Move the Friendlies Home” work with this colony.

Right now I wanna make sure you hear about sweet Koko. When Mom L first started working with the feeders of this community cat colony so close to us that Mom L can walk there—I never knew there would so many “friendly cats” we were gonna be able to help.

Right now, I wanna  share about one of the three first cats Mom L and Dad P caught up in their rescue net way back in January of 2018. Koko was a really new member to the colony, he had only been showing up for about three weeks. But Mom L saw that “he” needed a little snip-snip if he was gonna hang out. So Dad P scooped him up in their first capture of friendly cats in hopes of getting him not only neutered, but also to have his badly infected eye treated.

Well, Koko, who always did figure eights around the feeders’ legs when he was being fed, turned out to need  his right eye enucleated. It could not be saved. So Koko recovered from that surgery, but he was extremely shy after.

Nonetheless, as a resident of the Contra Costa Animal Services shelter, he was soon made available to adoption and indeed he was quickly adopted.

But, sadly, Koko was returned after two months with his adopter. He was shy and  they were working twelve hours a day and had no time to spend with him at night. NOT THEIR FAULT! Simply a case of the adopters not having the experience with a kitty who has just lost an eye on top of being dumped only weeks prior to that surgery by his former caretakers. Koko was a throw away, damaged kitty who the adopter thought they could manage. Not so.

Long story short—Koko was thankfully returned to animal services just last week.

But Koko thought maybe there was something wrong with him. Thankfully, Miss Sue, who volunteers at animal services, found a place where Koko can recover and find his forever family. Pet Food Express is a fabulous pet product retailer who always gives back to the bay area community. Their store in a larger city in the East Bay had space for Koko and Mom L and Dad P took him there yesterday, Saturday, April 21, 2018. He is the only resident in this facility but will soon have others joining him I am pretty sure!

Mom L visited Koko today, Sunday,  and check out what she could do with him after only twenty minutes of her singin’ her stoopy made up songs!

Ahhh…now that is nice!

And then Koko really “cut loose” for him!! He purred and let Mom L touch his TUMMY!!

Koko even relaxed enough to stretch out.

I apologize for Mom L’s lousy photo skills, but she was lying on her side reaching into a small cubie where Koko was hiding out.

Here are some photos of Koko’s current digs. He is gonna be the hit of the cat adoption parade!!

Please SHARE this post about Koko. He can really use some peeps supporting him getting a great new family. He is starting to feel better about himself, but right now, he still thinks he has done something wrong. Please helps him learn that NO CAT does anything wrong when humans abandon, mistreat and dismiss them.

PAW PATS, SAVANNAH

Compassion for a Senior Feral Cat

HELLO! MOM L HERE!!

I asked Savannah to allow me to tell a story about a senior feral cat I recently met. There is a community cat colony within walking distance of our home. Fortunately, a friend who is a skilled cat trapper has already trapped almost all the cats for spay, neuter. I will tell you more about this colony in another post.

My time with you today is to share the story of a senior feral cat from this colony as I know it. I have only known him for about two months. There are about thirty five cats in this colony which has been in this location for over fifteen years. I walked around one day by myself and I saw a cat on one of the hillsides. I got closer because I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

The black cat on the hill appeared to have no ears! I moved slowly forward to try for a better look and photo. Unfortunately my photos are blurred but you can see that indeed he appeared to have no ears.

And yet what I discovered was that they were collapsed forward and inward. Once the feeder arrived I asked about this black cat, with no name. She said he was about three to four years old in 2006 when they took him to a vet about his ears being damaged. That would make him about fifteen to sixteen years old now. They were told he had cancer, but was otherwise fine. They determined to bring him back to his colony and watch his health. His ears grew worse and worse and yet here he was twelve years later, alive. But was he truly “well”.

I asked if I could trap him to get him to see a Vet at the Community Concern 4 Cats feline clinic for community cats. You see, I was finally able to view his ears up close while he was eating.

The earless black cat is behind the bench so I used the bench to lean over him, and his ears were very raw, torn, infected and yes, bleeding. The tree above the bench is the one I would often find this kitty sleeping in when I arrived to help feed or just visit. I believe that some of the other cats were beginning to sense his weakness and perhaps took advantage of it. He would always greet me with a soft “meow” then come down from his tree bed.

He loved roasted chicken so the feeder brought some on the day I would try to trap him. For some reason that day, none of the other cats arrived for feeding time—except this one. I put the cooked chicken in the set trap and placed it near him. He did not even run. He did love his chicken! He followed that chicken trail right onto the trap trigger plate and I had him!

We kept him in our garage over night for his early morning appointment next day. We knew he was at least twelve to fifteen years old. We gave him food and water but removed the food dish—which was empty—as we knew he needed to fast over night. Interestingly, he meowed to us softly a few times when we would check on him. He never hissed and only growled once when he was trapped—who wouldn’t growl at that!!

I doubt he was ever a totally feral cat as they do not typically “meow  talk” to humans.

I had already talked with the feeders to get their permission to have this senior fellow euthanized if his ears and general health could not be effectively treated. We all agreed on this.

However, talking about euthanizing a senior feral who has never bothered anyone, simply lived his life in his colony with a view, is easier than doing it.

Strider’s view from his hilltop feeding station

I knew he had lived a good long life with feeders and park visitors and maintenance crew who all treat the cats with respect and caring. His view of the Northern California Delta was pretty amazing and free!

Fog coming up the delta from San Francisco bay

Nonetheless, I was wishing I had found him when he was younger—perhaps I could have helped socialize him or at least find what his food allergies were. On and on went my self questioning.

Dad P and I could not take him to the clinic without giving him a name. Because he was wise and had not had a true home, we named him Strider. That is a character in JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. We believe his name suited him very well with his coat of dark shiny black fur that allowed him to blend in with shadows just like the “Strider” in the books.

I was allowed in the exam room, after they sedated him, to join the Vet in her exam. Before the Vet began to go over what she observed about his condition and health, she asked me to keep in mind his “quality of life”.

His ears were the apparently the result of year upon year of likely food allergies, not cancer. This could be temporarily treated but he would be right back in a month —needing to be trapped again and sedated to give him more antibiotics and treatment for his ears, and this would go on month after  month. For those of you who feed large feral colonies, you know it is next to impossible to manage a cat with such a severe food allergy.

And then the Vet informed me that her even greater concern for his quality of life was his mouth. She opened it wide so I could see all the infected gums and teeth that were the worst I have ever seen. And not many left either. The clinic did not have dental cleaning equipment and even if they did, she said he would have to go through multiple sedation procedures and then not likely that all his dental infections would resolve.

She left the decision to me, which I truly appreciated. I was alone with Strider and I stroked his pretty shiny black fur—even having lived outdoors for at least fifteen to sixteen years, his fur was in lovely condition. His feeders fed him well!

And so I stroked Strider, told him I loved him as the Vet and I helped him on his painless way to The Bridge. The loving feeders of this colony miss seeing Strider as do I. But Strider needed us to show compassion for him and his declining lack of quality of life.

I can’t say enough positive thanks to the Vet and staff at the Community Concern 4 Cats clinic. They were kind to me and ever so gentle with Strider. His body will be cremated and his ashes spread at a local kitty cemetery. That seemed a loving place for Strider, don’t you think?

HUG YOUR KITTIES, MOM L

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