Ark Animal Sanctuary (week of December 13, 2017)

A few weeks ago we started trapping stray cats at the sanctuary, in hopes of getting them in out of the cold. There were two cats in particular that we were hoping to get. For months there had been a black male and a petite black female coming every morning to eat.  

This poor little girl would come every morning with another black male cat. The male would wait for her to eat and once she was full he would then eat. It was touching watching the two — he was definitely her protector. He made sure her belly was full before he even considered eating.  

He was not feral, just very timid and after a little coaxing he would always let me pet him and he would purr. One day I just picked him up and took him inside. We named him Frank. We waited to see if someone would come and claim him, knowing deep down inside that no one would.  

After two weeks we took Frank to the vet where he was neutered, vaccinated and tested.  Once at the vet it was discovered that Frank had pillow foot which means the pads of his feet were swollen and kind of squishy. This happens in many cats when they have been outdoors in the elements a lot.  Frank was treated for pillow foot and has recovered quite nicely.

The little black female continued to come after we rescued Frank, but she had become more timid and would always run when ever she spotted us. We started setting live traps and sure enough she went in and was captured, and that day was the beginning of her new life.

Once again we waited to see if someone would claim her and no one did. We named her Suzie and once inside we found her to be the sweetest cat ever. She was thankful to be inside where it was nice and warm and there was an endless supply of food and water. We noticed that her back paw appeared to have been injured — it was bloody and had a hole in it. It looked very painful. Once Suzie went to the vet, it was determined that she too had pillow foot. Suzie’s pillow foot was much more severe than Franks. She was treated with antibiotics and went back for a re-check after 10 days.  Her foot still had not healed so now she is on steroids in hopes that will take care of it.

For now, both Suzie and Frank are content and happy to be inside out of the weather, to have an endless supply of food and water and to have the volunteers give them all of the love and attention they can handle. The next step in their journey is to find their forever homes.  A place where they are safe and loved, a place where they will never have to worry where their next meal will come from or where they will be able to find shelter, a place where their lives matter and they will receive vet care when they need it. These two have been through so much but they are survivors.

It was amazing to watch the two of them. Frank was such a gentleman in every sense of the word he took care of Suzie and tried to protect her.  Perhaps he knew how painful her foot was and that is why he let her eat first even though his foot wasn’t much better.  They have a bond which continues to this day. If you  take anything away from this story I hope it is that cats are not disposal you can’t just move away and leave them behind or just put them outside and call them an outdoor cat. They cannot feed themselves or always find shelter.  They need help especially when they become injured and that is our responsibility has pet owners.  Not getting them neutered or spayed just adds to the problem of more unwanted pets.

Our wish for the holiday season is that every animal find a home where they are loved and taken care of. That every animal is altered so there are no more unwanted litters.  Until then we at The Ark are committed to continuing to rescue and to do whatever it takes to save the life of an animal.

Please join us for a bake sale on Saturday, Dec. 16 and the 23 outside Hollywood Pet Salon from 10-2.

Thank you for your continued support and as always thank you for reading our column.

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