Pets

Ark Animal Sanctuary – Week of April 27, 2022

About a month ago, we took in a cat who had taken up residence in someone’s yard. We were contacted and agreed to take the cat. She was live-trapped and brought to The Ark. When we took her out of the trap her belly was very large and round. We knew immediately she was pregnant.

We fixed up a safe quiet place for her to have her babies, and we named her Blue Bell. Blue Bell was very timid and stressed; she had no idea we were trying to help her. Last Wednesday around 5 p.m. she delivered two healthy babies. About an hour and a half later she delivered a third that was stillborn. She tried so hard to clean it and revive it, but it was not meant to be.

I sat with her until around 11 that night. There were no more babies so I left. The next day things seemed pretty normal but later that day, 24 hours after she went into labor she delivered two more stillborn babies. Poor Blue Bell was having such a difficult time and there was nothing that we could do.

Blue Bell, a stray who was brought to the Ark, was pregnant at the time she arrived.
(Courtesy of Lorraine Monfils)

I think she appreciated the fact that we did not leave her alone but instead stayed with her. At one point she put her little paw in my hand.

The whole process began on Wednesday and by Friday she had not used the litter box once. We were concerned that there were more dead babies inside her. She would growl when we touched her belly so we knew she was in pain.

We called Brewer Emergency Vet Clinic and they told us she should be seen. We gathered her and her two babies up and headed to Brewer – two hours away. Once there she had x rays, the good news there were no more babies, but there was plenty of poop. Blue Bell was really constipated and very uncomfortable. She was given fluids and an enema. At  midnight she still hadn’t gone so we were sent home with specific instructions. 

Finally, on Sunday morning Blue Bell had a bowel movement. Blue Bell is resting comfortably and is taking very good care of her two babies.

Blue Bell is one of the lucky ones. She made it to a safe place to have her babies even though the outcome wasn’t a happy one. I have to wonder how many out there never get to have their babies in a safe, clean place.  Labor for cats doesn’t always go smoothly. Sometimes things can go terribly wrong.

There is one simple solution to all this – neuter and spay your pets. There is not one good reason why you shouldn’t. Using the excuse that you can’t afford it does not fly. If you can’t afford it then you shouldn’t have a pet.

I know we keep preaching the same thing every time. Our hope is that if we tell enough of these heartbreaking stories that it will finally sink in.

In the animal rescue world, we set up with so many cats who struggle to give birth; cats who have been abandoned and are sick; cats who have never had any vet care. We sit with them because we care and we want to help. We do whatever it takes to help them. We cry when we lose them.

These cats are not ours and it is sad to say that in most cases we care more about them than their owners did. If you are reading this and you have a pet that is not neutered or spayed then you are a part of the problem. You can be a part of the solution if you choose to be. I hope you choose to make a difference in the life of an animal. Please neuter and spay.

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

The Ark Animal Sanctuary is located on 101 Old Woodstock Road. To contact Lorraine Monfils call 207-532-7387 or check out their Facebook page. 

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