Cat rescue can be a bit challenging but is also very rewarding. We can set traps for days, weeks, or months and not catch cats we want to rescue – or at least fix and return back to where they were found. It is important to rescue kittens as young as possible as they are less likely to be tame the older they get. If they are tame, they can be fostered and eventually placed into a forever home.
A few weeks ago I saw a kitten in the garage of my building. We have several feral cats that live in the garage or nearby. There is a mom cat that keeps having kittens but we can’t seem to catch her. We have successfully found homes for 5 of her kittens in the past (from two different litters). This kitten was from her latest litter. He appeared to be an only kitten as no others were spotted. I saw him because the mom (and another cat, likely the dad) were making noises, so I went to find out what was going on. When they ran off, Tabor, as he is known now, started meowing. He was hiding in the wheel well of a car. He ran off and I couldn’t find him.
I started putting out traps a few days later. The cats were very smart. They even went into the trap a couple of times and managed to eat the food without sitting off the trap. Then Tabor was caught – thankfully.
I brought Tabor home and he was very scared. He was breathing heavily but we thought it was just because he was stressed. But the heavy breathing continued. After a couple of days, I brought him to the president of the rescue I work with, Kitten Rescue, and asked him to take a look. He was concerned as well. He said to monitor for another day and, if needed, we would bring him to a vet.
The vet took an X-ray and saw that his organs appeared to be squished together – not a good thing. We had to go to another vet – one with a surgeon. The second vet diagnosed him with a diaphragmatic hernia meaning his organs were pushed up into his thoracic cavity compressing his heart and lungs. If he didn’t have surgery, he would die in a few days. The surgery cost about $5,000. (Want to donate? You can do it here). They performed it the next day.
The surgery couldn’t have gone better. He was home 2 days after the surgery and was running around a few days after that. His stitches came out a week and a half later and he hasn’t looked back since. You couldn’t tell now that he had surgery or that he was born on the streets. He is a loving kitty who will find his forever home soon.
I know I can’t wait for the rest of Tabor’s life story. It’s going to be amazing.
Pam Allison is one of the founders of MeowWoofChirp. She has been involved in cat rescue since 2012 and is a regular volunteer with Kitten Rescue, one of the largest cat rescue organizations in Los Angeles. You can see more about her cats and some of her rescues and fosters at http://www.meowwoofchirp.com/members/pamallison/.