The rescues - pictures
This situation ought to prove to people how important it is to spay/neuter your animals, even if you never intend for them to get outside, because she obviously did get pregnant anyway during her first heat. She was quite lucky that someone like me was directed to the problem and rescued them all, as the people who owned the house she picked to birth these babies under were only feeding her chicken skin and were about to get rid of the whole bunch, thinking that she had been dumped. This was one of the rare cases where that was not the fact, and it made me feel really good to not only save the mother cat and her babies, but also to settle the mind of an obviously distraught woman who had been worrying for 2 weeks about what had become of her cat after taking her to her mother's (who wouldn't allow her inside - scary, obviously, for a cat who has never lived anywhere else), especially knowing that she was ready to give birth at any time. I don't know what would have happened to the cat if she had been discovered living in the apartments where this woman lived, though, as they did not allow animals there and were about to inspect the place - the whole reason this happened. Another lesson - if you can't keep and care for an animal, please don't get one!
At least this story has a somewhat happy ending, except for the fact that there are now kittens born and to find homes for in an already overpopulated area, and I can never be completely sure that the homes I find will be good ones - you just have to hope. The one thing that is for sure is that they will go nowhere until they they are rendered incapable of reproduction and adding to the problem. That is now the formal policy of Warm Hearts, and it should be one that all rescue groups share.
Here's Baby's kitten whom I named "Spunky" the moment I found them because the kittens were pretty much feral, and he just kept hissing and spitting at me. It was so cute! Just a little bitty guy at only 2 weeks and just all "cattitude!" It only took me a few days to get them all calmed down and used to me, though. But the sight of that tiny little face spitting up at me out of the box I grabbed out of a dumpster on my way to go and rescue them was just so funny! (I now have bought myself a proper cat rescue carrier that is canvas and folds up so that it doesn't take up much room in the trunk of my car, and with the adoption of Hippie and Missy, I obtained a regular cat carrier that will hold more cats comfortably. I just don't carry it with me as part of my emergency rescue kit, like I do the new one, along with a sheet. I try to stay prepared, though, as you never know when an animal will need you (like the day we used the truck and my body to block a whole highway to catch a chicken whom had fallen off a Sanderson Farms truck we had just passed).
Here is the kitten we call Hippie who was brought to us a week after we rescued Baby and her 2-week-old kittens.
And here is her sister, Missy:
They were both 8 weeks old at the time, and while Baby freaked out at first and didn't want them anywhere near her babies, eventually she adopted them and even allowed them to nurse alongside her own. In fact, despite the fact that all of the kittens are more than old enough to be weaned and eat solid food just fine, she still allows them to do this, though she did make a half-hearted attempt at making all of them stop when hers were old enough.
I have to say that it was really cute back then, when there was such a major difference in size, to see them all nursing side by side. Probably not too good for Baby, though, as she has remained a bit too skinny, in my opinion. Besides, she was just too young to have babies, it being her first heat and all. Of course, in an ideal world, she would have been spayed and never allowed to breed. The woman who had her said that she had been working on doing just that, but had been unable to afford it. Even with the vouchers the rescue groups give out (when they are even available and the money hasn't all run out), it still costs $35 to spay a cat. That may sound cheap to some of you, but for someone who is poor enough to have to live in public housing, that is a lot - just like it is a lot for me, especially when there are so many needing to be spayed. I just can't afford to do it, so here they sit.
This is one of the biggest problems around here - not enough money. Warm Hearts doesn't have it right now, either, as there are 2 horses involved in an abuse case that must be cared for and that Warm Hearts is taking care of for now. That is a major expense! We used to have a mobile spay/nauter clinic about twice a year that was quite successful in getting large numbers of animals fixed, and I went there to get most of mine done. I even was lucky enough to qualify for and find a sponsor willing to pick up my part and only had to pay for the rabies shot they give wheneve they spay/neuter an animal (though we usually do that here and just did with all of my dogs over the past two days). Rabies usually isn't a problem, and I have never had an animal get it, but then I always give them that shot, too. You can buy them for around $5 at the feed shop, so I do. I am especially glad that I did it now, too, as we have had a rabid bat turn up this past week. At least all of my animals are fixed, as are the rest of my family's, but we have to get Baby fixed ASAP! And, just as soon as Warm Hearts does raise some money, Baby will be the first to be spayed before she comes in heat again. Then come the rest of the kittens so that we can get them adopted out quickly. It makes me nervous to have this many animals at once because I always fear that there will be more needing help and that I won't have the room or be able to afford to do so. I would try if I found one dumped, though. What else could I do????? And it really isn't a matter of "if," but "when."
And here is the little guy I picked up out of the road that has the mange. He is getting much better, as I am using a combination of internal medicine with some external ointment that helps with the scratching. He seems to have more energy now and definitely scratches less. I purposely have not named him, as it seems that every time I name an animal, I get stuck with them, so he is just referred to as "little guy."
Here is the article that prompted me to formally join as opposed to just working on my own and ocasionally with them, and I hope that it prompts others to do the same. The last I talked to her, quite a few people had called asking for vouchers, but only 2 had called wanting to join. You don't have to call her to join, though - just show up at the Mt. Ida Civic Center at 2:00 on 8/13. It would be nice to have an idea of how many people to expect so that I can prepare the right amount of food, but that's okay if you can't/don't call first. As you can plainly read in the article, we need all the help we can get!
And you don't have to show up, join, or even live around here to do that, though it would be nice, as I have some good ideas on not only how to make Warm Hearts stronger, get more people to spay/neuter their animals, get more funding and foster homes, not to mention adoptions, but also how to make this community stronger and be better off economically. However you can help at all, please do! Soon there will be a PayPal button on this page to make it easy to donate that way, but for now, you can just mail a donation to this address:
Warm Hearts Humane Society
P.O. Box 535
Mt. Ida, AR 71957
Here is the article as it appeared in the July 20 issue of Montgomery County News:
Have a nice day!
For the animals-----