Someday we hope the cycle of abandoned cats and kittens dwindles to where we’re not needed, but for now our goal is to rescue every cat from abandonment, neglect and abuse, give them all care necessary, and find a new loving home for them.
Many of our rescues are litters of kittens born outdoors to mother cats often still kittens themselves, others are adult cats abandoned for the many bad reasons people find to drop their cats outdoors and not let them back in. Still others come in through trap-neuter-return or TNR, usually reserved for feral cats but who were obviously once someone’s pet. Any cat who is or can be socialized enough to be adopted is given the chance at a home. Cats who are not socialized enough are spayed or neutered and returned to a caretaker, and often they socialize in time. This is the best we can do to find every cat a home.
Many of those rescued cats come in with dire medical need from abuse or accidents, chronic or acute illnesses, and near starvation. Healing all those cats and kittens, feeding them and spaying and neutering, keeping up with vaccines and microchips, does not come cheap, but it’s the best way to rescue cats. Pittsburgh C.A.T. is not a 501c3 and can’t apply for grants, so sales of this calendar will help pay for lots of medical care. Help Pittsburgh C.A.T. finish off 2017 and get ready for 2018!
Pittsburgh C.A.T. has fostered and found loving forever homes for almost 500 rescued kittens and cats every year from TNR projects, local shelters and right off streets, reducing the population of homeless cats in the Pittsburgh area by thousands each year and spreading education about spay and neuter, feline care and behavior and compassion.
If you’ve been following me and my feline household, you’ll know that several of the cats who live with me now were rescued and fostered through the efforts of Pittsburgh C.A.T. Basil and Bella were both rescued by volunteers, Hamlet and his sister Ophelia, too, are Pittsburgh C.A.T. alumni. Charm and her adorable children were as well, and Alvina, Simon and Theodore. They each came to my household in different ways, with different stories and different needs, but all were rescued and given a new chance at a life in a loving home because of Pittsburgh C.A.T.
Calendars cost $25.00 each including shipping and handling. After costs Pittsburgh C.A.T. receives $10.00 from every calendar sold, and if you’re local and want to pick it up, they’ll get an extra $5.00!
Photos and rescue stories
Each month features a cat or cats and the story who Pittsburgh C.A.T. volunteers rescued through TNR or rescue from abandonment, neglect or abuse, offered medical treatment, fostering, socialization, and a loving forever home that met their individual needs.
You know how I love to write and share these rescue stories, and along with helping these organizations who I support with my particular skills, writing and sharing the rescue stories included in this calendar was probably the greatest creative joy.
Here are a few sample stories:
KITTENS IN A CAR ENGINE, MOM AT THE AIRPORT: THE AIRPORT KITTENS
Finding six newborn kittens tucked into the engine of a car all safe and sound but very hungry—after it’s been driven 25 miles—might be a new twist on the story of found kittens. And the story takes another interesting rescue twist even after that.
The woman in whose car they’d been stashed had parked her car at the Pittsburgh International Airport, with its huge parking lots and surrounding open land, for about 12 hours, then driven home. Hearing the mewing the next morning her father dug through the engine and found and carefully extracted the six kittens, still with their umbilical cords attached. They surrendered them to the Beaver County Humane Society (BCHS) for care.
BCHS works with the Homeless Cat Management Team (HCMT) and Pittsburgh C.A.T. when they have cats with needs their shelter can’t fulfill, and this was one of those times. Margo found a foster and the kittens were delivered.
Still, Margo kept wondering about the mother cat, knowing she’d be looking for her kittens, kittens are best with their mother, and that female cat was also out there able to reproduce again. But how in that airport complex was she going to find a mother cat she’d never seen, who might not be in any way friendly, and who might not even be alive?
Shannon at BCHS called the woman who had surrendered the kittens who described exactly where she’d parked. Margo found the spot and set a trap in the evening, baiting it with tasty food and trying to lure a mother cat using “kitten music”, recordings of her own kittens crying and other kittens crying. Eventually a cat showed up, and after a little hide and seek the cat headed to the trap, walked in eating the trail of food, didn’t flinch when it closed behind her, and she was in Margo’s car and headed to her house in minutes. Was it the mother? What are the chances a tabby cat would show up at that exact spot who was not? It was worth a try.
Soon the foster arrived with the kittens. They let the cat decompress a bit and then put two kittens in the cage with her. The cat was not impressed, but they decided to wait her out and in time she was nuzzling and bathing the kittens. The other four were added and by morning they were nursing and everyone was purring.
The mother cat was indeed friendly and she and all her kittens were named for famous flyers in history and all adopted.
QUICK THINKING AND COMPASSION: “THE WEED WACKER KITTENS”
Meet McGhee, Parker, Violet, Thistle and Sparrow, the “weed wacker kittens”. That may sound foreboding, but it all ends well. Thanks to compassion and the commitment of volunteer rescuers they are alive and healthy and their mom will never have to worry about kittens again.
A worker was clearing overgrowth on a property to be renovated and found a litter of newborn kittens; seeing he’d accidentally injured them he took them immediately to the management office. The manager knew of us and contacted us right away. Because a few of the kittens were injured they could not be left until their mom came back, but got medical attention and went to a bottle feeder.
But mom was not to be left behind—she would miss her kittens, they needed her nurturing, and she could still reproduce. Rescuers set traps and watched for two days to find her. It was pretty clear she was the tortie who wandered around crying to break your heart even when rescuers showed her her kittens, until she went into the trap.
She was reunited and was a great mom but had no interest at all in being a housecat so was spayed and released when kittens were eight weeks old.
All the kittens survived, but Violet did lose her right ear, Parker was unintentionally ear-tipped, and Sparrow lost an eye. The worker whose quick decision to get care for them is thrilled they all survived, and the manager has joined Pittsburgh C.A.T. to transport fosters wherever they need to go.
HOW MANY KITTENS? KATE + 48!
A woman had seen someone dumping the kittens on her farm off Route 201 in Belle Vernon, south of Pittsburgh, and called the Homeless Cat Management Team. The person who met Michelle to pick up “a half dozen or so kittens” handed over two large cat carriers that turned out to be packed with 24 kittens in each in all coat colors and patterns, all around the same age, six to eight weeks. One adult cat was included, but no others, no nursing females who might be mothers to provide for all those kittens, and no explanation.
Despite the fact it was more kittens than expected and more than HCMT and Pittsburgh C.A.T. typically handle at once, we couldn’t turn away the sick, malnourished kittens. Several already had ruptured eyes from prolonged upper respiratory infections but all seemed socialized and when they recovered would be adoptable.
All of the kittens had pneumonia and lung worms and herpes infections and needed to be treated for these each day for months at the clinic. When two of the kittens were diagnosed with calici, even though letting them recover from all these conditions is usually recommended before vaccines, all the rest were given their FVRCP vaccine to stop the spread of the potentially deadly virus.
Regular care for 48 kittens with combo testing, vaccines and surgeries and worming, in addition to food and litter, is expensive enough. On top of that critical measures for pneumonia, herpes and eye infections for 48 with multiple antibiotics, antibiotic eye ointments, lysine and more, was wildly expensive.
It was also time-consuming for clinic volunteers. Cindy, a regular clinic volunteer, said it took four hours each night just to do their eyes. In the end only a few kittens lost an eye, only two kittens succumbed to pneumonia, but all the others survived and were adopted.
SURPRISINGLY SOCIALIZED: FAITH AND STAR, BUSINESS CATS
If you want to buy a car at Murrysville Auto Sales, you’ll talk to Faith and Star, the two tortoiseshell managers.
Faith was found with her kittens in a parking garage in Monroeville and Star came in through BCHS for temperament issues. Neither cat could be returned to where she’d come from, yet they were not socialized enough to be adopted. They stayed at the clinic for all the volunteers to spend time with in an attempt to socialize.
Both girls were fierce and took months of patient handling, but they had no other options. They moved to be fostered with Tia and Mike in the building before the dealership opened, still drawing blood on a regular basis—Tia said she was never as scared of a cat as she was of Star. Ultimately, they decided to move the two to the barn on their family’s farm. Tia caged them next to each other, then in the same cage, and they changed, becoming friendlier, enjoying pets. Letting them wander in the showroom began to work, even with strangers.
When the dealership opened they moved into the showroom, batting their toys around the cars and shredding papers on desks. When Star began walking on the cars they were removed—the cars, that is, all the cars have to stay outside so the girls can play in their showroom. That’s a long journey for two homeless torties with big attitudes, but it’s amazing what the right loving home can do.
And a sample month:
In addition, each month is sponsored with an ad from veterinarians, businesses and individuals who work with and support Pittsburgh C.A.T., including five of the veterinarians who regularly take a shift at clinics to spay and neuter plus pet sitting and pet first aid training so you have ready resources for services you and your pets can use right at your fingertips. Each month also features the standard holidays as well as pet-related holidays and events.
The front of the calendar also includes information about Pittsburgh C.A.T.
I designed and am publishing this calendar on behalf of Pittsburgh C.A.T. for which I volunteer and support. All proceeds of sales of this calendar after costs will go directly to Rescue-Foster-Rehome-Repeat wherever the need arises. Price includes shipping. You’ll find a box to enter your address or special instructions in your shopping cart.
Calendar is 8.5″ x 11″, 28 pages saddle-stitched and includes information on Pittsburgh C.A.T. and clinics and adoption.
You can use any credit card or Paypal, and if we’re pinching pennies Paypal fees come to about $1.04 per sale, my credit card processor Squares fees are about 69 cents per calendar. That little difference adds up!
Read more about Pittsburgh C.A.T.
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