Shelter Tales #3…Peaches and Patches

Peaches(orange kitten) and Patches(curled up in the bowl)

You may remember from my previous tales, one of the animal control officers left the shelter under a cloud of suspicion, which left only one officer to do everything.  I spent a good bit of the summer of 2004 volunteering and helping out.   I quickly went from playing with the animals to learning how to clean out kennels and cages, answering the phone, washing cat/dog bedding, washing cat/dog dishes, feeding and watering cats/dogs, and even cleaning and mopping the floors and bathrooms of the shelter!  It takes a lot of work to run an animal shelter!

I came every Friday without fail, and lots of other days as well.  Once a week I’d take pictures of certain animals that Lo, the animal control officer, recommended as the best candidates for adoption.  I’d run those pictures in our local newspapers as “Pets of the Week”.  Then on Fridays I’d keep the shelter open late so people could come and see the animals that were available for adoption.  We found homes for many animals that way.  It was always a great feeling to see an abandoned animal find a new home. 

I also decided to do a follow-up program with the adoptions.  I bought thank you cards and stamps with my money.  Every week I’d get the names and addresses of people who had adopted pets, then write them a quick thank you note for giving an animal a home.  I also made little gift bags to give to anyone who adopted a pet.  The bag contained little items for the animal–maybe a can of food, box of treats, and a toy.  The shelter’s  number of adoptions slowly began to increase.  Unfortunately, so did the number of animals being abandoned.  It seemed like the kennels and cages were always full.

During the summer of 2004 I decided to adopt two kittens.  I have always been a “cat lover”!  I like dogs, too, but my  heart is with cats.  There was a mother cat named “Calicat” in the shelter when I began to volunteer.  She was pregnant.  A few weeks later, she gave birth to five kittens.  “Calicat” was a beautiful calico cat.  In retrospect, I should’ve adopted her because she later got put to sleep, but I chose to give one of her kittens a home.  I also had my eye on a playful little orange kitten from another litter.  I decided to adopt them as a pair.

By then, the shelter had cats and kittens everywhere!  Cats come in cycles.  Spring is cats natural breeding time, so by the summer the shelter was filled to capacity.  Cats in abundance don’t do very well.  They tend to catch and spread disease rather quickly.  Upper respiratory virus and intestinal parasites  spread like wildfire.  Due to lack of funds to treat sick animals, they were usually put to sleep–a practice I can’t have any part of.  I made it a point to not be there durng those times.

Anyway, I adopted those two adorable kittens that are pictured in this post.  They were the first of many.  Both were adorable and got along very well.  “Peaches” wasn’t afraid of anything, which unfortunately led to his early demise. 

I already had a couple of dogs at home that I’d adopted prior to adopting the kittens.  One of those dogs was a hound puppy named “Ethan”.  “Ethan” was just a big, playful puppy, but he was rough.  One morning I looked outside of my window and saw “Ethan” holding “Peaches” by the neck with his mouth.  I knew it was too late.  “Ethan’s” playfullness had been too rough.  Little “Peaches” was dead, but still warm when I got to him.  He didn’t have a mark on him except he was wet from “Ethan’s” slobbery mouth.  I cried and blamed myself.  “Ethan” didn’t have a clue what he’d done–at least I thought he didn’t.

“Patches” was cautious and wouldn’t have anything to do with “Ethan” or any of the dogs.  Because of this wise decision, she is alive and well today–and so is “Ethan”.

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Published in: on January 19, 2010 at 10:52 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Oh so sweet those two wee ones are. My heart broke though for you and for Peaches. I cry every time one of the feral cats doesn’t show up for a while.
    You are an angel and I am sure your shelter appreciates all that you do.

    • Thanks for the sweet comments…from one cat lover to another. Kathy


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