Friday, March 13, 2009

A Fond Farewell

One month ago, I got word about the 22 cat/1 dog foreclosure problem (not that this was accurate... it was advertised as 20 cats and no dog) in Los Angeles. Incredibly, I am STILL working on it. There are days I think it will never end.

(Skunkie, pictured)
The two remaining cats in the house were LOCKED INSIDE for NINE days while Coldwell Banker sat on their hands and did absolutely nothing... including feeding or watering the cats. In the meantime, someone broke into the house, which at least provided a means for a trapper who had been working with the family for WEEKS (basically, the family was not helpful, even though they asked for help, and would set the trapper's traps outside or trip them... the cats inside could not be otherwise caught due to the conditions INSIDE--not outside--the house) to toss food in to keep the cats alive. What a nightmare. I could strangle Coldwell Banker. AND I could strangle the family.

There is no way to total the HUGE number of people that worked on this (and we have miles to go before we're through), or the hours put in, let alone we still don't have total costs as Silk will not be leaving the vet for some time to come and has already been there a month).

This is what happens when hoarders get foreclosed on or popped by animal control. There was recently another 100-cat situation which is burying everyone again.

On March 10, Coldwell Banker finally got off their negligent butts and opened the house to animal control and a trapper that has been working with us. The cats were caught, immediately, vetted, and are now safe. They will be put up for adoption as soon as we can find a group with a space, like the remaining 9 still waiting for a space.

(Sniffles, pictured)
Now for the remaining two feral cats they were feeding. Given neighbors have put poison out and two cats have been killed by another neighbor, the cats obviously cannot stay there.
We are almost "there" with these last two living creatures. We have someone to trap them, some one to hold them until this someone gets them into the feral spay/neuter clinic, and someone to take them to someone else who will see if they are truly feral or can be socialized. If they can be socialized, they will be, then adopted. If not, they will be caged for two weeks at the feral colony site, then released into the managed feral colony.

My Dear God, what a job this has been! Who knew that the family would be such a nightmare to work with.

But the GOOD news is that three are leaving tomorrow (from here) to other rescues for placement: Skunkie, Bobbie and Sniffles. This will allow me to get three of the remaining four (Silk is the fourth, but she is nowhere near ready to leave the vet) from the vet and re-review personalities with three of the four most dominant cats gone.

(Bobby, pictured)
I will miss these three. Each has a big personality and are secure and outgoing cats. The thought of them being, again, in a cage isn't pleasant, but it is necessary to find them homes. They have had a lot of down time here, being free, relaxed, well and properly fed, and breathing clean air for literally the first time in in their lives. I'm pretty darned sure that makes them happy.

So, with a tinge of sadness, I will drive them several hours away tomorrow, kiss them goodbye and wish them the best of luck. The rescues taking them are good. I will be doing the home visits for two of them once a good adoption application from the group is approved. The third cat is REALLY lucky, as am I. The group is very strict and will do everything themselves.

Little prayers will follow them each and every day, and I hope you will think well for them too, and say a wee little prayer (and I could use one too, BTW!).

This has been a long, long and exhausting haul.

Often, people comment that it must be so fun to rescue. Well, sometimes it is. Most of the time (at least in dealing with humans and their odd situations) it isn't. The best part of it all is watching the transformations in the cats/dogs themselves as they begin a new life. It can be a lot like watching a baby take its first steps. In a medical animal, it can be watching them move away from death when they are given the opportunity to live.

And some days, like today, it is a mixture of hope and laughter as our new rescue puppy with demodectic mange, which is generally easily fixed, just cracks us up.