Sunday, October 28, 2007

ANIMAL COPS: WALTERBORO




You never know when you’ll be given an opportunity to do a good deed.

Last night, the wife and I had to make a WalMart run for the weekly grocery stockpile, and since she’d worked till 11PM, we didn’t even get there till almost 1AM (watching the end of Game 3 of the World Series delayed our departure) and it was almost 2AM as we left.

We had just pulled out onto the main road and started to accelerate when Crys jerked the wheel to the right and said “Holy CRAP!” I had been in La La Land looking out the window and wasn’t quite sure what we’d almost hit till she said “Did you see the little kitty in the road?” No, I hadn’t…

We quickly did the world’s most illegal u-turn and pulled back towards the cat, who was sitting smack in the middle of the traffic lane. I just wanted to get him out of the roadway so he wouldn’t end up a little roadkill smear. He turned and started to run back towards the woods, but as soon as he heard my voice saying, “Go, little kitty!” he turned around and ran straight towards me with the most pitiful mewling I’ve ever heard. I scooped him up off the road and the poor little thing started to purr and meow and nuzzle me. I thought I’d melt right there.

Here’s where it gets complicated.

I am a HUGE cat person. I’m a complete and utter sap for kittens. This guy was MAYBE 8 weeks old at the most, a little orange male tabby, nibbling at my fingers and talking to us, trying to climb my shoulders, and I simply couldn’t leave him in the roadway, so I jumped back in our car. The problem? Crys is highly allergic to cats. We tried to have a cat once, and once he hit about 7 months old & started to shed more, she broke out in WELTS. Some folks get hives; these were swollen to enormous welts, and in very inconvenient spots too. Her lip would swell up, or her eye would almost swell shut; it looked like I was beating her. Finally the cat was given to a friend, and the swelling went away immediately.

Now what?

We started driving, and all the while my new fuzzy buddy was trying to eat my fingers and crawl all over the car. Crys is in a near panic, expecting any second now to erupt into anaphylactic shock and swell up like a Zeppelin, and we’re trying to determine what to do. After a quarter mile we decided to run him over to our friends Cori and Robin, who were the only people we could think of who would take in a stray cat and who also might be up at nearly 2:30 AM. They recently had lost a kitten to a pit bull and this little guy could be a suitable replacement.

Sure enough, they were more than happy to take my little charge under their care. He was quickly fed, devouring a plate of food, and he curled up in Robin’s lap to sleep after exploring a bit. The little dude never stopped purring once the whole time. I think he was already socialized to people, since he showed no fear of us and was more than ready to crawl all over us, and he was already weaned. However, a busy roadway is no place for a half-pound kitty and now he has a safe & happy permanent home. He’ll get a once-over from a vet in the next couple days and best of all, I retain visitation rights. Having been rescued next to Wally World, he’s now been christened, of course, Wally.

I’m a regular viewer of all the Animal Planet rescue shows, based in Houston, Detroit, Phoenix, and elsewhere. I’ve wiped many a boo-hoo off my cheek while watching those shows. I’m looking right now at a sleeping Dachshund sprawled on my couch who was a shelter rescue last Christmas. That little dog is just the coolest. So be careful as you motor around town. That little speed bump up ahead could be an adorable little buddy in need of rescue.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for doing this good deed! Sadly, there are homeless cats all over the city. I am sure there are more kittens where that one came from. You should go back and check for his brothers and sisters! The humane solution to this problem is try to rescue and find homes for as many kittens as possible and to trap, spay or neuter and release the adults (also known as TNR). The adults have sadly been on the streets too long and will not be friendly enough for adoption. If taken to the SPCA they will be put down. But by trapping them and getting them fixed before releasing them, the breeding cycle will stop. You can buy humane animal traps at Lowes and Simply Spay & Neuter in Mt Pleasant will allow you to bring stray cats in without an appointment. They spay & neuter on Mon, Wed & Fr. Also, Pet Helpers plans to have a low-cost spay & neuter clinic at their new shelter and have recently organized a group of volunteers to help with the TNR project. Call 795-1110 for more information if you'd like to get involved.

joan said...

What a little sweetie. It was his lucky day that you drive by.

Randy Barnett said...

In our area, there is a clinic that helps feral (wild) cats. They do basically what Anonymous said. They do this at no charge, but gladly accept donations