This story comes from Elizabeth, thank you so much for sharing. It’s always wonderful to see what can be done.
“I first heard about J.R., Goldie, Mama Calico, Abby, and Marisol when a person from the congregation where I am an intern minister told me that they were going to be euthanized. It was a Sunday in January, and they were scheduled to be caught on Thursday and taken to a shelter where they would be put to sleep. A woman from our congregation had left town rather quickly and not managed to make arrangements for her five cats to come with her or to find a new home for them. They were left outside about October, after many years of human companionship, and by January it was bitterly cold out and friends of the woman who abandoned them didn’t know what else to do with them but to take them to a shelter (where they most certainly would have been put to sleep due to their serious health care needs).
Because they were so scared and traumatized, they came across as somewhat feral, although we later found out that all were as sweet as can be. Mama Calico was at least 12, and her two sons, J.R. and Goldie, were not much younger. It turns out that Marisol had been abused as a kitten, and was thus very aggressive – she scratched and bit when you tried to touch her, and growled if you even got close. Only Abby was considered very adoptable – although at six, she was already getting older than many people will consider.
It took a week and a half to catch all five – they were scared, cold, and, as it turns out, also very sick. Goldie had frostbite, and Goldie, J.R. and Abby all had infected gums and needed teeth pulled. They all had fleas and earmites, matted hair, weak immune systems, and poor Goldie was allergic to fleas and so he also had scabs and sores all over him.
Through the generous help of members of the Unitarian Universalist organization for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (www.uua.org/ufeta/) who I emailed, some other generous folks who heard about the kitties through my blog (www.elizabethslittleblog.com), and two shelters in the Greater Boston area (Second Chance Shelter http://www.petfinder.com/shelters/MA77.html and Animal Umbrella http://www.animalumbrella.org/) we raised over $700 to get the kitties all the shots, tests, and treatment that they needed (deeply discounted care was offered by Animed Pet Hospital, Dedham, MA). We discovered that Mama Calico, J.R. and Goldie were very attached to each other and yowled and cried if they were separated very long, so we hoped against hope that we could find all three over age 10 cats a home together, along with a home for Marisol who, even though she clearly had a very good heart, was somewhat of an attack cat.
The first night we had Goldie, before we were able to catch Mama Calico and J.R., he was so upset all night that I eventually went in and slept on the floor next to him in order to comfort him. As soon as we brought Mama Calico and J.R. the next day (we were extra motivated to catch them after Goldie was soooo upset) Goldie immediately licked them, purred, and was as happy as could be to have his family back.
After just a month and a half, all five cats have loving homes – and Mama Calico, J.R., and Goldie have one together! A kind couple decided that they had the patience and love to work with Marisol to try to deal with some of her aggression and anger issues, and a young college student looking for a chill, well-adjusted cat gave Abby a home.
It took lots of love, lots of generosity, and lots of patience to find homes for these sweeties, but we did it – and couldn’t have done it without so many organizations and individuals coming together to help them. Some people, even well-meaning animal lovers, initially suggested that the most humane thing to do would be to put them to sleep, and I’m so glad we decided to be patient and have hope because it paid off. Three families have lovely companion animals and five kitties have many happy years ahead of them.”