4 Cats

Last Friday, November 2nd, I heard you read the story of Penny while I was on my way home from work. I almost had to pull over because my eyes were tearing up so much. I’ve been an animal lover all of my life and have rescued and adopted many, many animals, from white rats to horses. I currrently have seven cats and one dog. I wanted to tell you the story of four of those cats. It began in August of 2005. I was boarding my horse at a stable near my house. That particular day was very hot, the temperature was in the 90’s and very humid. The farm is in a rural part of the county and I often see bags and trash thrown into the ditches. It was about 4:00pm when I arrived to take care of my horse, Trader. As I drove in the driveway, I noticed a bright pink paper bag wadded up and lying in the field by the driveway. I just figured someone had thrown some trash away and didn’t give it another thought. About 20 minutes later the owner of the farm was returning from work and stopped to pick up the “trash” to throw it away. She opened up the bag to see what was in it and was horrified to see four very tiny, dirty kittens. They were soaking with sweat and covered in feces and urine.

She told me she’d noticed the bag at 7:00 that morning when she left for work, so we knew the kittens had been enclosed in this bag in the direct sun for the entire day. We weren’t sure what to do at first. I have the upmost respect for animal shelters and we have a wonderful one right in the area. But these little guys were so young and in such dire straights, I thought a shelter might just do the humane thing and put them to sleep. They were too young to be adopted and would need to be hand raised. Being a softy, I told Dorothy I would take them home and see if I could save them. They were extremely dehydrated and lethargic from lying in the sun all day. The first thing I did when I got them home was to give each of them a bath in the sink to get rid of the feces and urine that was soaked into their coats. They were all in fairly good weight however, so I figured they’d been nursing regularly. After they were cleaned up I tried them with some water, but they were too young to know how to lap it up from a bowl.

I gave them water with an eye dropper. They were very hungry and learned quickly how to lick at the mounds of canned food. For the first few days I would mix the canned food with a lot of water so they would get both food and liquids. After a few days, they learned how to drink from a bowl. The vet said they were only about 3-1/2 to 4 weeks old but amazingly they recovered quickly from their ordeal. Now, I already had four cats and had no intention of keeping them. I figured I would foster them until they were older, about 8 weeks, then take them in to the local animal shelter to be adopted. During the next month though, my heart overrode that decision. First I was going to just keep one. But I could never make up my mind which one to keep. Then I thought I’d keep two of them, so they’d have someone their own age to play with. Ok, six months later I finally admitted to myself that they were all here to stay. The girls, Callie and Torey and their brothers, Shadow and Smoky. They’re playful, affectionate, healthy and most of all, LOVED. I only wish I could have five minutes alone in a room with the unspeakable monster that threw them out to die. After I was finished, they wouldn’t be able to walk out under their own power.

Melissa from OR