Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Cat-rescue groups are a hardy bunch.

Two winters ago I was asked to help with a round-up of feral cats that had been left in a barn that had been owned by a man who had recently passed away.
This barn was an hour west of Carleton Place.There were approximately 30 cats and they would only come near the owner of the barn because he would throw some food around for them. These 30 cats were underfed, some had upper-respiratory disease, some were pregnant and all were frightened of people. The property was going to be put up for sale and these cats were not wanted. They had to go. If the local shelter had rounded them up they would have all been euthanized as it was already full and the cats were not friendly.

One of Ottawa's rescue groups (The Ottawa Cat Rescue Network)  got involved along with Gwen from Country Cat Rescue in Kemptville, Ont. It was hoped that they would be rounded up and the less feral ones could go into foster homes. So in we went with live traps, cages and food and lots of guts. The traps were set here and there with stinky food like tuna and sardines. The cats ranged from 6 months to approximately 5 years.  There were people there that were willing to take home one or two each to work with them and give them a chance to become adoptable. One couple had enough cages ready to take 7 cats.

Gwen was the main trapper and after many years of rescuing her skills were very much appreciated at this barn. She was amazing and fearless and so confident. Once the cats were trapped the trap was covered with a blanket to try to calm the cat. Day 1 - 14 cats were trapped and taken to foster homes to be assessed and then vet checked. Day 2 - 7 cats. Day 3 - the remainders. This was over the course of 3 weekends. In the meantime the cats were kept fed and watered at the barn.

Here are some photos from the rescue.
The cows were also taken out by locals

Ice conditions made walking difficult and it was filthy dirty in every building. It was also freezing temperatures and there were many trips to Tim Horton's for hot coffee. The cats would hide out in all these buildings.

Louise from the Ottawa Cat Rescue Network & Lynn (volunteer)

Lynn, Gwen & me (frozen solid)

So, of course you want to know how it all ended up. Well, almost all of the cats were put into foster. They were all skin & bones. 2 were pregnant and 2 needed surgery. One cat had to be euthanized because of illness but at least she spent her last few hours with someone who cared and didn't die in a freezing barn. The couple who were waiting with cages to take 7 cats actually took more than 7 and spent hours upon hours working with them and they were adopted eventually. This guy in the last photo was the patriarch of the group and God love him he tried so hard not to be trapped. On the 3rd day of trapping he just couldn't resist the food and was trapped. He turned out to be adoptable.

So that is just one rescue that some of these rescue groups get involved in. Almost 30 cats to find homes for. Cat lovers are a hardy bunch and this is proof.


  1. What a sweet story of angels rescuing little angels! That is an awesome work..thank Heavens for good people who care! (My computer sure freezes up as I come here, the play list just wrecks havoc with the loading for me anyway! Takes so long!) :D

  2. I love cats and I love these brave and dedicated people who save such needy cats!! Thanks for sharing this story!

  3. Hooray for warm hearted cat rescuers out in the cold!!! Good stuff!

    xo Catherine

  4. That's some seriously good karma you are collecting. Bless you all! I love this story, I can go to bed feeling like I live in a good world.

  5. Personally, I will never understand kill shelters and feel only evil people could work there!...This was a great story populated with loving hearts and sweet kitties=I love happy endings!

  6. Bless you for helping save those poor animals!


  7. I love cats, dogs too. It is always so good to hear that rescued feral cats have found forever homes.
    I just can't stand to think of all the suffering that neglected, abused, feral animals go through.
    your story is wonderful, with a good ending. Thank you for sharing, and bless you for caring about these cats.

  8. What a heart-warming, happy ending story! We're so glad that they all were trapped and that only one had to be pts. Fabulous work on everyone's part!

  9. Oh Deb, there is Louise, one dedicated soul. I love her. When I lived in Ottawa I fostered a dozen little ones. Colt and I would do our weekly volunteering at Critter Jungle. I loved it. Living out here has slowed down that to a couple outings a year. I try my best. It seems I was adopting senior dogs instead of cats, but still manage to have 2 strays in our home. Love, unconditional love from all our fur babies : )
    Have a great long weekend. Isn't it beautiful?
    Love Claudie

  10. could you please tell me how i would be able to contact you...i have unfortunately been chosen by many cats, some with kittens , some pregnant, to be there mother, only i cant..i have 2 indoor cats of my own.. i live next to big sky ranch near kemptville and i guess people figure if they drop them at the gate they will take them in. the cats eventually end up in my yard. i need your help.