Stray Pregnant Cat Saved by Fate
As a statewide organization that focuses on educational workshops and seminars, NYSHA does not normally engage in rescuing cats, as other organizations take on that mission, but a situation was thrust upon us where we had to help. Since we do not have a shelter, we refer people who call for assistance with stray animals or surrenders to local shelters and rescue groups. However, this was a unique circumstance.
A disabled woman, who spent much of her time in a wheelchair, reached out to NYSHA. She had been feeding two friendly, stray male cats and wanted to give them a home, but first wanted them neutered. She needed help in finding a low-cost spay/neuter facility, as well as help in transporting the cats there – something she could not manage to do herself. A kind NYSHA volunteer agreed to make the appointment and to transport the cats to the spay/neuter van.
The day she arrived to transport the cats to their appointment, the NYSHA volunteer saw a third cat in the woman’s driveway. The scruffy, long-haired cat was frightened and emaciated. The volunteer could not leave it there. She placed some wet food into an extra carrier and the hungry cat walked right in and began gulping down the food. The volunteer quickly shut the carrier door. After transporting the two males to the spay/neuter van, she took the third cat to her home and settled the cat in a room with food and water. Since she had to pick up and return the two males to the woman later, she decided to bring the scruffy cat to a local shelter the next day.
The volunteer was stunned the next morning when she opened the door to the room where she was keeping the cat — she was greeted with soft mewing sounds. The cat was lying on her side with four kittens beside her. The volunteer stood there in shock; she had not yet checked the sex of the cat. Who would have thought that this poor emaciated cat was pregnant, let alone, ready to give birth? Yet, during the night, four seemingly normal kittens were born who were now happily nursing on their mother’s small, thin body.
That changed the plan; the volunteer felt that the best place for this cat and her four kittens was right where they were. She knew that this frightened waif of a cat would be overwhelmed by moving her and her kittens to a shelter. She talked with NYSHA Board members and they agreed. NYSHA supported the upkeep and veterinary care of the mother and kittens. All were subsequently tested for any diseases and were found to be healthy. The veterinary exam indicated that the mother was emaciated from a simple lack of food, not an underlying condition. Weeks went by and the kittens grew big and soon were ready to be placed in forever homes.
At that point, NYSHA reached out to a trusted area humane agency which agreed to take the kittens and find them good homes. As the NYSHA volunteer had bonded with the petite, shy mother cat who had so surprised her, she decided to provide her with an inside forever home. And, of course, have her spayed.
We could not have hoped for a better outcome in what would have been a tragic ending for this stray cat and her kittens had she not appeared at the right time in the right place. It seems that fate had led her there.
New York State Humane Association Humane Review, Vol.XXXVII, Winter/Spring 2021.