October 27, 2017

NEAS as well as other rescue groups responded to a situation with someone who may have too many cats in their home. The owner said she thought she had about 20 cats in the home and thought they were all doing okay.

After entering the home it was quickly discovered that the conditions of the home were unsafe for any cats that may be living there as well as being unsafe for their owner. It was now assumed we were going to discover much more than 20 cats. The odor and debris inside the home made this a unhealthy environment and we knew we had to act quickly.

A quick look around showed a few cats here and there, none of them approachable, and one of them – a pure white long haired beauty had a large gaping wound around her neck. We could see a few kittens as well but they ran away to hide just as quickly as we could spot them. It was obvious that us being in the house was starting to make everyone nervous.

It was hard to contain our surprise and sympathy for what was happening here. The owner talked with us and explained how they live together like feeding and cuddling times. Some of the cats would hover around the owner, as she talked sweetly to them and called them each by name, as they felt this was the only person they could trust.

We needed to begin getting these cats into carriers to get a count of how many would need our help and how each of our organizations could do the best we could by them. Collecting as many cats and kittens as we could took about 6 hours with a lot of rummaging around, looking in, under, and behind furniture and among the debris. At the end of the day, 67 cats and kittens were taken from the home and brought to the safety of our shelters and start receiving the emergency medical care they needed so badly.

We knew there were more cats in the home but we needed to let everyone settle down and we left the owner with a promise to return in a couple days to reassess. The owner was visibly upset and embarrassed throughout the day not thinking the situation had been as bad as it was.

Right away, an elderly boy named Butters was assessed by our veterinarian who rushed blood work to the lab which determined that Butters was diabetic and we needed to get him stabilized with twice a day doses of insulin and a low carb, high protein diet. Another cat, Lily (the cat with the severe neck wound), went right to our vet for surgery. She need more than 20 staples to close the wound that we’ll never have an idea what caused it. Lily was very lucky her wound hadn’t started to become infected yet but she was started on pain medication and antibiotics to make sure she stayed okay.

October 31, 2017

Once again, we met at the home hoping to get a final count of how many cats were left in the home and take the rest to safety.

We have been working with the cats and kittens that were in our care. Some had already been to the vet to be spayed or neutered, almost all of them were so fearful and desperate to get away from our touch, and another small kitten who we named Cookie has come down with what appears to be pneumonia.

Because of the cats fearfulness it made caring for them quite a challenge but our staff and volunteers are determined to win them over, even if it is just enough so they aren’t afraid. Having this many cats in one home meant that not all of them got the benefit of learning what love and affection was. They knew they loved each other though so we tried to keep them in pairs in hopes that would comfort them.

Another 16 cats and kittens were taken from the home bringing the total to 83.

We’ve been talking with the owner each day giving her updates on how her babies were doing. We discussed the medical and behavioral concerns of everyone and the process that it was going to take to help each of them become adoptable. We also talked about progress the owner was making on being in touch with crisis response companies as they could no longer live in the home until some major cleaning, renovations, and repairs have been done.

We had to leave for the day but we knew of at least 3 more cats in the home that we could see but could not get to. We set humane traps throughout the home hoping that they would come out on their own.

November 1, 2017

We received a call that 4 cats were trapped and ready for us to pick them up.

November 2, 2017

We received a call that 3 more cats were trapped and ready for us to pick them up.

November 3, 2017

We received a call that 1 more cat was trapped and ready to be picked up. As the total number is now at 91 we are really hoping that this is the last one. We reset the traps and let the owner know to check on them each day and to keep us informed.

November 6, 2017

After checking in with the owner, no more cats had been trapped. We finally had them all with 32 of them at NEAS. Now work could begin on the home.

This was an incredibly sad situation. The owner felt that she truly loved these cats and was giving them her best. She kept them indoors, fed, and talked with them all the time. She didn’t realize the impact of having so many unspayed and unneutered cats in the home would have on everyone, how traumatic and stressful it was for the cats to try to live like this. The owner was amazingly cooperative throughout the entire rescue. We couldn’t guarantee her that every cat was going to be able to be rehabilitated but we let her know we would try our best for each one.

November 11, 2017

One of our small babies, Cookie, has taken a turn for the worse. Her breathing has started to become too labored and it appears the medication and treatments for pneumonia aren’t working. One of our staff is on their way to the emergency hospital with her to see what can be done.

November 13, 2017

After speaking with the doctor it is hard to determine what is causing Cookie to be in such distress right now. Blood work and xrays are not giving anyone a clear picture but it is feared that whatever damage had been done to Cookie’s lungs was not going to get better. Even with specialized oxygen care Cookie was still struggling. We had to make the sad decision to help Cookie finally rest and be at peace.

So far everyone else in the group seems to be doing okay. Getting Butters diabetes stabilized is still a work in progress. No matter how many high quality diets we try to tempt him with, he is determined to eat the high in fat and sugar diet that he has always been used to. His fur is looking better and our vet believes he is much younger than we originally believed. Lily had her staples removed and her surgical site is healing well. Pepe, the last cat trapped, is giving us a run for our money. He is not very happy with us and lets us know that every chance he gets. All the cats have been spayed or neutered, received necessary vaccines, dewormers, blood work, and all are now microchipped.

A group of the most-ready cats have been moved to one of our community rooms. We are hoping that being in a more open, home-type of setting that maybe some of them will relax more and come around to accept the attention that our staff and volunteers are giving them. Pumpkin is the first of these cats to be adopted!