Tuesday, June 29, 2010

We are family

Whilst driving home from a TNR (Trap, Neuter Return) job an industrial area, I noticed the tell-tale signs in a vacant property by the train tracks . . .a makeshift shelter covered with a ratty tarp, a couple of blankets getting soggy in the rain and some food dishes blown about by the wind. These were the remnants of someone’s efforts to care for a group of stray cats. The humans were long gone but of course the cats, survivors in the face of adversity, were still there.

I began visiting them, caring for them, with the intention of sterilizing them to prevent further expansion of the colony. Clearly none were fixed as there was a mix of adults and juveniles. Within a few weeks and with the help of traps, donations and a vet, that had all changed, and over the next few months as they learned the routine the younger members of the now-stabilized colony would come to greet me as I drove up. One group of siblings in particular, led by a male with his three sisters, came to accept my affection as would any house pet, but for these cats home was the harsh reality of an unforgiving industrial zone. So brazen did they become that I would have to slow my car to prevent running them all over in the parking lot. I wondered if the cars of the neighboring auto repair business employees drew the same attention from the cats. Regardless, the cats were endangering themselves with their growing trust of humans.

Then, after having greeted me every day for over a year, the male stopped showing up. Several weeks passed. I had to accept that something had happened and that I would never see him again. Did someone take him home? Perhaps, but it was not likely. Did he misjudge the wheels and end up crushed on the road? That was more believable. Was he poisoned by the antifreeze which was sometimes left in uncovered buckets? Certainly that was a possibility. Did he get locked in a storage shed and starve? Possibly, since this group of cats was living in an unusually dangerous area. The siblings had developed a trust in me and I a bond with them, and the loss of one was a severe blow – another hole in the peppered armor I have fashioned around my heart to allow myself to continue this necessary work in the face of similar losses. The possibility of the other three sisters suffering the same unknown fate one by one was something I was not willing to passively stand by and witness. They were tame to me, so I took them home with no plan in mind except ensuring their immediate safety.

After some time at my house I learned their true personalities. Wendy, the black one, is unashamedly gregarious. Trish, like her disappeared brother, is a gorgeous silky long haired tabby and white, shy at first but a good friend once you have gained her trust and as feminine a cat as you’ll ever meet. Serena is a patchwork of black and white, a gentle sweetheart who simply prefers the company of her sisters. The three of them have been together their whole lives and are perfectly content. Wendy and Trish, though happy with each others company, are not particularly amused by other cats, and though they would adjust to life in a single cat household this would leave Serena alone, shy and unadoptable, her family gone, an unacceptable injustice to a delicate and deserving soul.

So, we are looking for a family with a pet-less home willing to jump in and start an entire family all at once! Darlings all, Wendy, Trish and Serena each have distinctly different personalities and make a diverse, low maintenance trio who will give warmth to any household willing to give them a chance. After the disappearance of their brother, they have become as tight as any sisters could be. It is a bond to be honored and preserved. If you listen carefully you can hear them sing: “We are family. I got all my sisters with me.”

If you believe that you're the family for these sisters, email adopt@utahpets.org!

Jonny Woodward
Feral Fix Coordinator

1 comment:

  1. I hope they find a home! I have seven cats myself.