Kittens in the Couch
A rescue story -- by Julie Anderson
The strange call came in on a Saturday. There were kittens in a couch and many feral and semi-tame cats on the property of a retired man in Lincoln who was getting ready to move. He needed help. More than that, the cats needed help. Desperately.
Although FieldHaven was full and the foster homes were also bursting at the seams, the decision was to take on this project. A plan was put immediately into action.
First, the newborn couch kittens arrived. Thin, sickly, and with no mother. They needed urgent care and were whisked away to 2 foster homes with Dawn, one of FieldHaven's medical technicians and another with Charla, a savvy bottle-feeder.
Then some FieldHaven trapping experts got together and brought some older kittens to FieldHaven. They were so weak or hungry that trapping was not even needed. It was determined that their health was too frail to withstand spay/neuter surgery. What they needed was a safe place to get nourishment and regain their health.
Lorraine, Peri and Scout went to further assess the property. The situation was simply heartbreaking. Cats and kittens in various degrees of poor health were scrambling over each other for food. The original caretaker had moved, but some caring neighbors agreed to help FieldHaven volunteers with the feeding until the cats were healthy enough to trap and bring to FieldHaven. Unfortunately, they could not ever be returned to the property as originally hoped. It was in the process of being sold and the new owners had dogs which were not cat friendly.
With more foster homes and FieldHaven's Isolation area acting as a safe room, a total of 38 cats and kittens were removed from the Fruitvale property over a week or more of concentrated trapping.
After spaying/neutering, 16 adults went to the new home of the original caretaker. A home visit was made by Lorraine to ensure the safety of the new property. The owner had taken some of the others on the property he had been able to catch at the time he moved, and appointments were made for spaying and neutering of the rest.
Many of the kittens were shy, and have either been socialized and adopted through FieldHaven's venues or are still in the process of waiting for permanent homes. FieldHaven fosters, Wendy, Susi, and Mark are helping these kitties learn what living in a real home is like. A perfect barn became home to 3 of the semi-tame young adults where they can live free, yet be safe.
Sadly, 2 friendly young adults tested faint positive for Leukemia and are awaiting further testing. Also, faint positive were 2 kittens. They are safe in a foster home, hoping the next testing will show their immune system has fought off the virus.
As sick as these cats were, it is remarkable that only 1 adult had to be euthanized due to illness and 2 of the tiniest kittens could not be saved.
This was a tremendous example of what motivated volunteers can do to remedy a potentially tragic situation. Great medical care by Dr. Roberta Peterson was a huge help. The trapping, fostering, shelter care, transporting, and adopting out is helping this situation turnaround from being a heartbreak to a happy future for most of these sweet kitties.
If you would like to be part of this happy ending, please contact FieldHaven to find out about the kittens and young adults still available for adoption. The leukemia positive cats are in need of foster.
Donations to help cover the cost of their care would also be gratefully accepted. Together, we are saving lives!
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