THE SCRATCHING POST
Issue #37, by Barbara Stanley, firstname.lastname@example.org
Home 2 Cats, P. O. Box 752671, Memphis, TN 38175-2671
Looking For a Few Good Homes
Home 2 Cats has 6 adorable, active and loving kittens in need of homes. They have been wormed, tested and vaccinated. Home 2 Cats will also cover their spaying/neutering as age permits. If you have room in your life for unconditional love please give us a call.
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The adoption process usually goes fairly smoothly, but it’s impossible to predict how some of these fur balls will behave, even when you think you know the cat’s personality inside and out.
Last August I was returning home from the animal clinic feeling pretty low as tears streamed down my cheeks. I had just held Dexter, one of our beloved sanctuary cats, for the last time. As I passed a church, I looked up to see their sign, which stated, "As one door closes, another one opens". I had an inexplicable feeling in my heart that the message was directed to me.
The day prior I had received a call from a fellow rescuer, Leah, about a cat that was under a house. The elderly owner had fallen and broken her hip last April. Family members had moved her to Missouri so she could live with them and they could properly care for her. Due to family circumstances they could not take her cat, Precious, with them.
Precious was extremely shy and had access from inside of the house to a small basement, which then gave her access to the space under the house. Family members and rescue groups had been trying to trap her without success since April. In fact, no one had even physically seen Precious since that time.
Leah indicated that Larry and I were pretty much the last resort. The house needed to be fumigated and put on the market. It seemed Precious had held up the process for 4 months. Since no one had seen her during that time (although some of the food had been eaten) there was the possibility that she had gotten out. Precious was also considered handicapped as one of her front legs sported a stump instead of a paw.
Between her extreme shyness and handicap as well as her propensity to sometimes go "outside the box," Precious was going to be hard if not impossible to place in a welcoming as well as suitable home. That left few doable choices for Precious. Since Home 2 Cats is a sanctuary, we were to be her only chance but like most organizations, we were full. However, we did commit to lend our help to the rescue efforts.
Leah said she had access to the house as the family had left her a key, as she herself had been trying to trap Precious for the previous two weeks. We set up a time to rendezvous for our joint rescue effort.
Reading the sign at the church that day, I immediately thought that the door that had closed was to Dexter’s life and the one that was opening was to Precious’ life. I was still dwelling on this in my mind when I looked up and the car ahead of me had a bumper sticker that read, ‘Miracles Happen’. At that moment, I knew without a doubt we would find Precious and also knew that we would not let anything happen to her, despite the fact that we were full.
Later as we were loading the car with our rescue equipment and I was about to tell Larry about the church sign, bumper sticker and how I felt about Precious’ future, Larry stopped, looked at me, and firmly stated he wasn’t going to rescue Precious and let anything happen to her. Relief swept through my body and at that moment, I knew she would be coming home with us.
We met Leah at the house and after surveying the situation we made several trips from the car to the inside of the house with the necessary gear to organize and complete this mission of the heart. We realized immediately that Larry was going to have to draw on his military boot camp training and belly crawl under every inch of the house with a net and flashlight. (I’m sure when he first learned this technique he was a few pounds lighter, which might have made the maneuvering easier—but that’s another story!)
After about 20 minutes, Larry finally spotted the elusive black and white fur ball. Precious then showed Larry her Olympic track sprint maneuvers as she scurried at a much faster pace than his. It was immediately obvious that her sprinting out ranked his belly crawl. Precious may have had a stump for one of her legs but trust me that cat could move just fine and maneuver any hurdles in her path.
Leah and I retreated from the basement area to the main floor of the house with hopes that Precious might run from Larry and come topside. We then could close the basement door, confining her to the interior of the house.
Another 20 minutes passed as Larry and Precious continued to challenge and out- maneuver each other with their athletic abilities. Finally, Larry called for us as he had Precious in the net. To this day, Larry can’t explain how he was able to get Precious in the net, as there was not
enough space under the house to raise the net over Precious in addition to the problem that he wasn’t even able to get close to her as she did her sprints from one area to the other. But somehow, our miracle happened. He then placed the net containing one furious fur ball inside a pillowcase and then inch-by-inch belly crawled out.
When Larry emerged, he was drenched from the heat and dehydrated. He and I immediately went to an empty room and transferred Precious (who I might add was not showing us her most ‘precious’ side at this time) from the net to a carrier. We accomplished this without any injuries to Precious or us.
With Precious safe and secure, my attention was now focused on Larry. I told him there was water in the car and we headed for the door. Larry set the carrier containing Precious on the floor in the living room and Leah began carrying some of the rescue equipment outside. As Larry hydrated himself, we all gave a sigh of relief as we sat on the front porch to regain our composure.
As Leah went to open the security door to enter the house she discovered it was locked. I might add, this is the same security door we had already been in and out of several times without a hitch. But as fate would have it, the special automatic locking ‘security’ feature, which the three of us didn’t know existed, chose this particular moment to begin working properly. There were three mighty surprised and should I say stunned faces on the porch.
The rest of the bad news was that Leah’s keys to the house were in the front wood door, which was behind the locked security door, in addition to Precious, Leah’s cell phone and car keys and Larry’s wallet!
To recap the situation, after four months, Precious was still in need of being ‘rescued’ in addition, the number needing rescue rose to four!
Our saving grace at that moment was my cell phone, which was clipped to my waist. Luckily, the family’s phone number in Missouri was stored in my phone. The family was contacted and the niece in turn contacted her brother who was close to Memphis. The updated plan included the brother locating an extra key and then driving out to the house. Due to his location and the possible location of the key that he was trying to track down, the process was going to take a little time.
It was during this wait, that I realized my impatient rescue partners were turning into hoodlums. I spotted Larry and Leah eyeballing the security door and quietly talking. The two ‘hoods’ were discussing ‘breaking and entering’. They thought they could remove the security door, retrieve the key and then replace the door. It seemed I was the only one in the group that was a ‘by the book person’. I did my best to convince them to be patient and wait for the key, as we didn’t have permission to ‘break and enter’.
Our rescuer eventually arrived accompanied by a friend and of course we were delighted. However, we noticed he was not holding a key but a screwdriver. Unable to locate a spare key he was gong to have to remove the security door for us to access the house. My two ‘criminal’ partners turned and glared at me when they realized we were back to their earlier ‘break and enter’ plan. As they glared at me I tried to explain that at least we now had legal permission!
Precious eventually joined us on the porch glaring at us from the safety of the carrier while we officially introduced ourselves to the family. We were told that Precious had been their Aunt’s last worry and that she asked about her daily. Another call was then made to Missouri and "our rescuer" filled his sister in on the current events. I then heard him say to his sister, "All I can say is that they were sent by God." Larry and I glanced at each other and smiled knowingly.
Precious is sharing a room with a couple of adult cats and some active kittens. She pretends to be annoyed at the group but we can tell it is a big act. She tries to extend this act towards us and she will give a low grumble and then try to wrap her teeth around our hand. (Fast human reflexes are required during this part of her drama.) But then slowly, true to her name, Precious’ soft side emerges as she becomes submissive and lays her head in your hand for chin and head rubs.
We are sharing Precious’ progress and antics with her previous owner and enjoying the long distance friendship. Dexter’s lasting legacy is that a special door opened in our hearts for Precious. We continue to be blessed by our encounters with these needy felines.
Animal and People Recognition
While losing a companion is one of life's greatest sorrows, never having one is to miss out on years of loving companionship.
In Memory Of Animals
In loving memory of Birdie who was feral and we loved it out of him.
He was the sweetest most loving tuxedo kitty.
--Rob & Sidney Nisbet
Our wonderful and feisty tuxedo cat
--Art & Jo-an Larson
Beloved cat of Bill & Rita Vandenburgh
One of our family and a leader of the cat group.
He thought he was a dog and was accepted by our
Dogs as part of their group.
--Bill & Rita Vandenburgh
Beloved dog of Jim & Chris Berney
The best cat ever!
A true survivor and remarkable cat!
My beloved Siamese who I still miss.
Beloved pet and family member of Chris & Amy King
--Richard & Betsy Shaw
In memory of our 14 year old ‘granddog’ whose sweet deposition,
loyalty and unquestionable love to our daughter Laura Jo Taylor
will never be forgotten. Her devotion was ever constant.
Beloved dog of Laura Jo and Neil Taylor.
--Sue & Frank Domian
In Honor Of Animals
In honor of the ‘lovable troublemaker’
Feline Brothers and Sisters
In honor of those less fortunate than us.
--Phoebe & Holle
In Memory Of People
--Ruth Blann Cartledge
--Ruth Blann Cartledge
Ralph Levy Jr.
--Dr. & Mrs. C. W. Cooper
Ralph Levy Jr.
Kind & wonderful animal lover
--Danny & Laura Greer
Ralph Levy Jr.
--Larry & Barbara Stanley
In Honor Of People
Barbara & Larry Stanley
For the hard & loving work they do for cats.
(and the occasional dog!)
--Ruth Blann Cartledge
--Phoebe Cactus & Holle Noel
To provide food, medical care, love and sanctuary for injured, disabled or abused animals.
To educate the public in what constitutes responsible cat care and ownership.
To engage in other activities related to animal rescue and public education about cat care and responsibilities.
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Graphics from CatStuff
Microsoft Office: Design Gallery Live
*NaNcY*'s Cat Animation Gallery
Lucky Cats portraiture by donaldmoon
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This page was last updated 12/31/10.