Monday, June 11, 2018

The Skinny Kitty Cat Story

Our Facebook friends already know this story, but we wanted to share it here as well. I posted this on Friday there:
We've all heard the "crazy old cat woman" stories, and this morning Roger and I met one. We were out for our usual 7:00 am neighborhood walk, when we noticed the saddest skinniest little cat on a driveway. It looked so bedraggled and forlorn. I went over to it to pet it. I could feel all of its bones. It had unbelievable crap in its eyes. It made me feel so bad, we walked home fast, went to the market and bought two cans of cat food. We drove back to the house to find the cat, when the front door opened and the crazy old cat lady came out. Oh yes, she has many strays she feeds. There were empty food bowls strewn about the yard. I went into her back yard and several cats ran away, but the skinny black one came over to me. I opened a can of food and fed it. Roger stayed out front talking to the cat lady. Yes, she feeds them, but definitely not enough. We're going to bring her a bag of kibble every week, and I'm fighting the urge to go and get that skinny black kitty cat and bring it home.
It received a lot of good, kind, supportive, and thoughtful comments. One was from a woman we know locally who recommended that we contact someone she knew who does cat rescues around our neighborhood. She gave me her contact info; I messaged her and so began a day of communication. She was out trapping cats, dealing with kittens, and all kinds of other kitty cat issues. Her work is full of kindness and support. She helps people get strays neutered/spayed; she connects people who find cats in need of medical support; she delivers food. She couldn't get over to the skinny cat's house on Friday, so we promised we would head over there on Saturday, bring more food and find out a little more details of what was going on with the cats.

Skinny cat eating the kibble we had just brought over
On Saturday, we learned that the old cat woman has five cats, one is hers and four are strays. She feeds them all as best as she can. She knows nothing of their histories, whether they need to be neutered or spayed, if they've had their shots, etc. She was very grateful for the food we had delivered.

We reported that information to the helpful cat lady. She made it over to the old woman's house on Sunday morning. She wrote me this note. I changed the name to initials so as to keep the old woman's identity private:
Hi Robin, I went by to see CB and the cats. I spent some time with them. The cats that I saw are all elderly. I think they are too old for spay, neuter. CB says she hasn’t ever had kittens, which tells me they are most likely fixed. They seek shelter under her house, so that makes me feel better. I think they could benefit from good cat food, and CB was grateful to you for donating food to her cats. I agree, she’s a bit limited by finances and energy (she’s in her 80’s.) The old black guy on her porch is a lovely cat, he’s just very old, which is why his appearance is a little alarming. I looked at him carefully, and his eyes are goopy, but his nose is clear, which is a good sign. Rehoming him would be too traumatizing to him at this age. 
I have to say I was so relieved that the skinny black kitty cat is really too old to be rehomed. I was still fighting the urge to go and get him Sunday morning. He really is very sweet. I posted this follow-up on Facebook:
I would like to hope for every crazy old cat lady there's a good and kind cat person who goes around neighborhoods trying to make life easier for old strays and kittens. The latest update on the kitty cat saga is that the skinny cat we saw last week is very old and would not benefit from rehoming. His eyes are goopy but his nose is clear (doesn't that sound like song lyrics?), which is good sign. The good cat lady spoke with the old woman who was appreciative of the kibble we dropped off yesterday morning. We will continue to supply food weekly. We are relieved and our hearts are lightened by this news. Friends, if you see an animal in distress please help when you can and find those with hearts so big they do the real heavy lifting.
We went to the store after getting the update and bought 12 cans of food and another bag of kibble. We will help on a regular basis. I'm not a big fan of outdoor cats and strays, but college towns often have issues like this when students leave and people move on and let their kitty cats stay behind. It's not their fault. So, we help as best we can. And, that's our skinny kitty cat story.

30 comments:

  1. The cat lady doesn't sound as whacky as I originally thought. 5 cats is not so bad (I've had 4 at a time!). You and Roger are so kind, so thoughtful to help these critters out. I wish there were more people like you in this world.

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    1. Tara-- Well, we have walked past her house many times over the past four years, and her blinds are always drawn. We were told by a real estate agent it was a "grow house." Another black kitty cat we befriended two years ago there died in the backyard. Now that I think of it though, it probably was also quite old and ready to cast off its mortal coil. If there were more people like us, the world would indeed be much crazier than it already is. LOL!

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  2. It's very kind of you to help out in this way, not many people would. We have a very good, well-organised charity in this area. I just Googled their site - they have 75 (!) cats at the moment, as well as dogs, chickens and even sheep looking for new homes.

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    1. John-- It's good to try and help, but I also wonder if we are encouraging her to take on even more. I love that people take care of the animals that have been abandoned. It's a kindness that we all need to see.

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  3. You did the right thing taking over some cat food it will help her out and the cats as well.
    Don't let them in my garden though as my sheltie nail one the other night and there was a right fight, it got away from him chasing it down the garden but clearing a six foot fence. I doubt it will be back after loosing one of its 9 lives. Dog keeps an eye out for it now

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    1. Bill-- Interesting story about your sheltie and the cat having a fight in your yard. Yes, I'm sure that kitty cat learned its lesson.

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  4. Thank you for this story where each person involved lends a hand. Does what they can. Community spirit. The skinny kitty does look fragile. Your donation will certainly improve his quality of life.

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    1. AM-- Yes, we all need to offer a hand whenever we can. I've been thinking about gathering some of my mom's shoes and clothes left behind and bringing it all to a homeless shelter. So many lives need improving. Sigh.

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  5. so glad you could help out, and everyone involved is doing something for the little guys that depend upon people.

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    1. Barbara-- Yes, their lives really do depend upon people. It's good to help however we can.

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  6. Well, that sounds like a pretty good situation, actually. If the cats are all old she must be taking pretty good care of them, and your food donations will no doubt be incredibly helpful and ensure they get the best possible nutrition.

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    1. Steve-- I think she's been letting strays stay in her yard for years. She does the best she can, but it really is quite a task. I'm glad we can help in some small way.

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  7. That's a wonderful story! Kindness and compassion always make a good tale. Locally, we have a shelter that does TNR (trap, neuter, release) and which provides assistance to anyone who needs help in feeding or vetting their animals. In the short time I was on Facebook doing southern dog rescue, I encountered SpayNation in Lafayette LA. At the time, you could donate money to support individual people who needed help caring for strays they took in. It was very clear that the poorest people have the biggest hearts. Can you imagine how much better our government would be if it were run by people who spent years not knowing whether they could make rent or buy groceries?
    Thank you so much helping that wonderful old woman help those cats.

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    1. CCorax-- It's reassuring in so many ways that there are people everywhere doing this kind of work. It's humane in every way. And I love your follow-up comment about who started that SpayNation/Wild Cat Foundation.

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  8. I meant also to note that SpayNation/Wild Cat Foundation was started by the wife of the drummer in the wonderful Cajun band, Beausoleil.

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  9. Many older people could use a help with their pets -- financial and also with care. Here in Nova Scotia, there is an organization that started up near Lunenburg --it's called ElderDog. There are now about 9 of what they call "pawds" -- groups that help elderly people with their dogs. They do everything from bringing home sacks of dog food from stores, to walking dogs, or caring for them if the person has to go to the hospital for a stay, or they will take a dog to the vet. In this way, the elderly can continue having their pets for as long as possible. If and when the time comes that the person goes to a senior's facility, or dies, the group rehomes the dogs if possible -- many of the dogs are pretty elderly. Anyhow, you don't think of this too much when you're younger, but at xmas, I had dinner with an 82 year old woman who had a cute little dog. She had broken her hip in the autumn and the biggest fear for her was that there was no one to walk the dog or feed it -- luckily, some neighbours volunteered. She said she found bringing home a sack of dog food almost impossible -- big sacks are usually far more economical than small ones -- and stuff like that. We don't have a "pawd" in our town, but when I get caught up on more things here, I'm interested in starting one as I can see the need. Just because someone is elderly, it doesn't mean that they stop wanting to have a pet and for many, their pets are their only friends. You're doing a good thing to help out the cat lady. I'm sure she is doing her best, but she may not have much money, energy, and strength.

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    1. Bev-- I'm so glad that there are people everywhere who help with this kind of stuff. It's heartening to know that elderly can keep their beloved pets for as long as possible. Small gestures make such beautiful big waves.

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  10. I have a skinny black kitty cat story, but at the other end of the life spectrum. I would probably be known as the whacky kitty lady, since we have 11 cats (and an elderly dog). My skinny black kitty is a new addition to our home who was obviously taken away from mama cat too early. (she weighed 1 pound when we brought her home.) Therefore, we have been feeding her kitten milk replacer and gratefully watching as she fattens up day by day and becomes more active.
    Pets of all ages bring joy and hope to us as humans...no matter OUR ages!
    Thank you for being observant and compassionate!!

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    1. Cathy!!! We love that you are a compassionate whacky kitty cat lady. The woman we called to come and look at the cats has 15 cats of her own. That skinny black kitten has found her way into a beautiful heart. Thank you for your compassion too, friend.

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  11. I meant to sign my name on the last comment!!!
    Cathy McDonald

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  12. You are a brightness in a darkening world.

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    1. isabelita-- Thank you for such kind words.

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  13. Cats. ...... Damn cats. The little bastids work their way into your heart and the next thing you know you've got 9 of them and 3 having litters in the master bedroom closets. Yeah, cats. Worthless clumps of fur we can't live without.

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    1. MrMacrum-- You made me laugh. Thank you for that.

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  14. You have a soft heart, kind of like us. I dread the sight of a stray cat or dog, because it means we have to do something about them or they end up living with us, and we don't need any more. Fortunately, we also have some of those good and kind people who go around helping strays.

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    1. Mark-- I thought of you and Leah when I saw that skinny kitty cat. It's hard to look away and do nothing when a living thing is in distress. It's a good thing there are kind hearts everywhere.

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  15. I love this and the happy-ish ending you brought to the story. I am a cat person and although we don't have any cats right now, we have regular feline visitors on our patio. The local authorities and cat charities take good care of any strays and wild cats, so our visitors are just well fed neighbours, coming for a chat.

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    1. Sabine-- I love knowing that you have regular feline visitors on your patio. Our neighbor's little doggie and kitty cat come to visit here as well. We enjoy their company, and then they go home!

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  16. Helping out with food is a great idea!

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    1. Colette-- We walked over this morning and found him in his usual spot on the driveway. Someone had been there before us because there were bits of wet food still left in the bowl. We added some kibble. We've named him Harold!

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