Thursday, March 18, 2010

My Little Feral Friend - Angie's Story

As I walk by, the little tuxedo black and white mom cat hesitantly gives me an affectionately gentle tap on my leg. I try again to give her a pat on the head, but as always, she scurries away before I can touch her. As you will read, Angie and I developed an understanding very early in our relationship.

Last April, Walter and I arrived at a rural pound to deliver some literature and were greeted with the sad news that 2 pregnant cats had been trapped and delivered to the pound the day before, and each had given birth to a litter of kittens that very day. From many previous such occurrences, the animal control officer solemnly explained that in the next few days, both little families would be euthanized in the pound’s crematorium as there was no hope of finding an adoptive family for a mom and her new litter.

In their respective cages, were two bedraggled, skinny mom cats, one a brown tabby with three kittens and the other, a tuxedo with four kittens. The kittens were sleeping in little heaps, content as could be, unaware of their impending fate. The mothers, however, both only just kittens themselves, paced nervously in the tiny stainless steel space and hovered fearfully over their brood, seemingly sensing the horrific doom awaiting all of them.

Both of these little souls had obviously endured cruel weather, constant hunger and brutal circumstances for the duration of their pregnancies, struggling courageously not only to stay alive, but also, somehow to provide some nourishment for their future babies. And then, to be dealt the harshest of outcomes, to be reduced to ashes, alongside their helpless newborns that they had fought so fiercely to bring into this world. No, not this time – they would come with us.

The pound staff hurriedly bundled up the two feline families and gave us some sketchy instructions. The tuxedo mom cat was quite tame and they had been able to handle her and easily pet her on the head. However, the tabby was very feral and we were cautioned to be wary of her. Once on our way, we chose names for our new residents; the tame tuxedo would be Angie, and the feral tabby would be Paula.

Having arrived at the sanctuary, off we went, to place each family group in separate rooms. I took Angie as Walter anticipated that he would have less difficulty with releasing the feral cat. I carefully lifted the four little kittens who were sleeping at the front of the carrier and placed them gently on a blanket. Next, I reached into the back of the carrier for Angie. I felt a stab of pain as her teeth sunk into the flesh of my fingers and made a crunching sound at the bone. As I examined my blood-soaked hand, Walter walked into the room, looking at me with surprise, announcing that he had zero difficulty with releasing the feral cat! Yes, in our hurry out of the pound, we had either mis-heard which cat was which, or the staff had inadvertently given us the wrong instruction.

In the 10 months since, Angie and I have developed a very special relationship. Her biting me was only a reflection of her fierce protection of her babies and her experience with uncaring humans. She proved to be a loving, nurturing mother to her kittens. Her three girls were adopted out to good homes and adorable Chuckie, the lone male, remained at the sanctuary as a permanent resident because the chances were great that his constant, whining meeeee-yow would lead to his being returned by any adoptive home that was initially charmed by his affectionate personality.

Angie, still very feral, gets along wonderfully with all the other cats and is very kind to them. She very likely will always remain feral. But still, every time she sees me, she walks by and gives me that affectionate little tap on the leg, as if to give relentless thanks for saving her and her babies’ lives. As I look into her beautiful soulful eyes, it is I, who gives thanks.

June, co-founder of Forget Me Not Cat Sanctuary

8 comments:

  1. What a wonderful story. Angie is a very pretty tuxedo girl. Bless you June and Walter for your kindness to all of these special cats.

    The Wilsons

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  2. Angie, we love your beautiful golden eyes and those cute little black specks on your nose! You are adorable. So glad you were saved by these kind people. Yet another happy ending story.

    Sam & Sadie

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  3. A lot of people think feral cats can't be tamed at all, but that's totally not true, as you can tell by Angie's story. Sure she may be a bit shy still but it seems that the love and kindness she is getting is taming her a lot. People just need to give these cats a chance.

    Gloria and Jemimah

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  4. Dannielle, Bethany, Snickers, and BentleyMarch 21, 2010 at 12:04 AM

    Yet another reason I am so glad I saw the article in the Edmonton Journal in October and decided to adopt our wonderful kittens from the Forget Me Not Sanctuary! Thank you for everything you do for all the cats out there who are unloved and forgotten through no fault of their own!

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  5. How sweet, made me cry reading this. how lucky are these cats to have found their way to you kind people.

    BEAUTIFUL story.

    Michelle and Rocko

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  6. Feral, schmeral...I think all animals respond to love and kindness and while they might not end up being the most affectionate cats on earth they still deserve our love and compassion.

    I wish every city in every country in the world had a place like this cat sanctuary.

    Margery, Dalton, Tillie, Freddie and Chauncer
    Kelowna BC

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  7. My friend told me about this blog and it is just fantastic! I've never seen so many beautiful cats. All the videos are terrific. What great stories! This place is absolutely phenomenal. I can't believe we have something like this so close to home. Way to go, for creating this home for the needy souls.

    Jiggers, Jiminy, Johanna and the human Jill

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  8. That's so awesome of you guys! It is completely amazing what you do for these little guys!

    I have a feral cat myself.. found on the outskirts of Edmonton as young cat... and her & I also have a sort of understanding. She still will bite if she does not like what is going on, or does not want to be petted, but she warns me with a flick of the tail and a 'look in her eye' that tells me to leave her alone, but then she'll come back to me later and climb in my lap & make it up. =)

    I just have to warn strangers about her. lol. NO one but me and a few close friends seem to know how sweet she can be.. but I see the wild in her sometimes..

    Still cannot live without them!

    Donette

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