Last Tuesday evening, just as I was getting ready for bed, a neighbour from down the street rang our doorbell and spoke to my hubby about a white cat that was sleeping in a baby carriage on her property. Evidently she had been feeding her for the past 3 weeks, and upon learning that we were involved in cat rescue, wondered if we could help (funny how that type of word travels so quickly).........
I was fuming to say the least once my husband came upstairs to tell me of the conversation - I was adament that I was marching down the street to give this person a piece of mind about how we were not going to turn into the "go to" people for every cat that showed up in the neighbourhood, and how rescue work takes a great many resources and FUNDS! and how the neighbourhood needed to step up and begin helping with what was obvously a very serious problem in our neighbourhood.
Twent minutes later I was on my doorstep with "Bella" - I knew what her name was going to be from almost the moment I saw her......
I could not leave her there, laying under the neighbour's car, dirty, with eyes that were weeping with greenish gunk, being so small and seeming so vulnerable - so without even thinking about how we were going to be able to welcome her in, we carried her up the street and into the Safe Haven Hotel she came. I made a call and thankfully our rescue had absolutely no qualms about having her vet checked the next day to ascertain whether she was spayed (or pregnant), how old she was and if there appeared anything else wrong.
The vet visit proved that she had indeed been very pregnant and was approximately 4 years old. I wasn't prepared for how emotional I became upon learning of her pregnancy and knowing that those babies were now gone.........with so many unwanted kittens constantly needing homes; the very difficult decisions have to be made to help control that situation. I was very saddened and just felt horrible - being someone who is very much opposed to abortion, and who takes a very strong stance against it morally, it was the first time I had been directly involved in that. But upon speaking with two fellow volunteers within the rescue who have a great deal of experience sadly in these situations, they helped me to see that there are really no other options, and reminded me that just 24 hours before she could have been having those kittens outside, alone, in filthy surroundings, with the prospect of trying to protect her babies from racoons and other predators, all the while having to forage for food, and ensure their safety. Not happy motherhood for a homeless cat by any stretch of the imagination.
We welcomed her back to our home and set her up in our finished basement. In four days we've learned that she loves wet food, loves to be brushed, has the most beautiful blue eyes we've ever seen, and is incredibly affectionate considering all that she's been through. She is declawed on all 4 feet - what kind of a person makes a cat completely helpless to defend itself but doesn't spay her? We highly suspect that she is part or full Manx since she has a bobtail, the blue eyes and has other physical features that appear in line with that breed.
Calvin & Clarence are at an adopt-a-thon this weekend in the hopes that they will be adopted. They may also be moved this weekend to another foster home who has just had an adoption, where they can be the only two kitties and thoroughly be spoiled rotten by a new foster Mommy. It was a difficult decision to make, the prospect of them not coming back to our home, but 6 kitties in the house with the addition of Bella, would just be too many for us personally (and for Rocky!); and so we've had to consider options that will allow us to help everyone.
Bella is flourishing already - and we're so thankful for the opportunity to help her and see her find a loving forever home that will cherish her the way she deserves to be. To think of where she was this time last weekend makes me shudder - but to dream about where she's headed brings tears of happiness to my eyes.........this is what fostering is all about.........helping those who cannot help themselves.