Last year, 2020 was difficult is so many ways. In the wake of the health and economic turmoil left by the pandemic, Paws and Love was focused on keeping our Sanctuary residents safe and well leaving us less able to help community cats in need. Petco stepped in during these difficult times with life-saving funds. Because of these funds we were able to spay/neuter 27 extremely vulnerable cats and kittens. Thanks to Petco these cats are now safe and doing well!!
Stevie the Wonder Kitten was one lucky kitten who was spayed thanks to Petco's grant! You can read about her story here.
A group of 16 cats/kittens were able to be helped thanks to Petco. You can read more about their story here.
Stevie the Wonder Kitty
Her eyes, however continued to worsen…we got her back to the vets but they felt she was still too small for surgery so back to the Sanctuary she went – but not for long. Her eyes would not heal. Stevie was now 1-pound 8ozs, she had gained a pound in a week – but was still shy of the 2 pounds we hoped for - the vet decided that if Stevie was going to make it at all surgery was a must. While surgery was in progress we held our breath knowing that it was risky.
Stevie’s surgery was a success!!! We had made it out of surgery!! Now we will have to take it slowly and one day at a time.
Stevie had other plans... she came back and was famished! She drank her formula for a full minute and a half. This was a particularly good sign. Then she went to take a well needed nap... and so did I!! I got up, prepared more formula for Stevie and had some snuggle time. She had her dry food in the cage from the days before and I put in some fresh canned food. When I was sitting in the room with her, I hear drinking... what? Has she found her formula all by herself? Yes, she did…then I get a closer look and see she is eating her wet food!! HUH?? She has refused it for 3 days. THEN she found her dry food and began crunching on that! This was amazing! Stevie had not only just had surgery, but she was back to her normal diet!
That night she was running all around as if nothing happened. From that point forward Stevie was her own advocate – exploring her environment, playing with her foster Dad Bryan, “looking” out the windows – and fearlessly climbing the mountain of pillows on the bed so she could slide back down!!
We are so very happy to share the great news that Stevie our little blind kitty has officially been adopted. After she recovered from surgery here at the rescue she was put into foster care with a lovely couple. With all of the updates and pictures, we knew this was a match made in heaven!! Even before the adoption, Stevie had her very own Christmas stocking!!
We are so very happy to share the great news that Stevie our little blind kitty has officially been adopted!!!!!
Stevie has other fur siblings (dogs and cats) and is doing great with them. Her mama says she is a climber. She climbs her legs and gets onto her shoulder. She says she is a very brave kitten!!
Yay Stevie!! You did it girl!!
Thank you to all of our awesome friends and supporters who made donations for her surgeries and medical expenses.
Special thanks to Petco whose lifesaving grant helped to make sure that Stevie survived!!!
A Rescue Gone Right
If you every wonder if you have made a difference…just think of these guys whose lives were saved because of Petco!!
A New Colony Needs our Help!!
Paws and Love was contacted with an urgent plea for help with a new colony of feral cats. The caretaker reported that the mama cat was not walking right. She was very unsteady; her gait was shaky, she could not hold her head still, and she would fall when she tried to use the stairs. He said he had seen her splayed out in the yard unable to move. He could not understand what was wrong and was very worried. Audra, Director of Paws for Love went immediately do a welfare check.
Audra, “What I found made my heart sink! The landlord is a plumber and had discarded old toilets in the back yard that fill with rainwater. To prevent mosquitoes, he then fills them with a colored bleach solution. I was very fearful that mama may have been thirsty and that she had swallowed this water.”
In addition to mama there were several other cats and kittens in the colony. Given the setting, it was clear that this was not a safe place for these kitties to be. Because the mama cat was no where to be seen, Audra went back at around 7:30 when the caretaker feeds the cats. Mama did come out and she was just as wobbly and shaky just as we had been told.
That night we set up a drop trap to try and rescue Mama, but unfortunately a male cat entered followed by two tiny kittens who probably did not even weigh a pound. They were all after that chicken!! Then mama made her appearance. She walked under the drop trap, but the feeding bowl was occupied, and she looked like she was going to leave.
Audra, “I had no choice but to pull the cord with 2 cats and 2 kittens underneath. I hooked up the transfer cage and babies and mama shot in it instantly. Since I was there for the ill mama cat, I only had the transfer cage. I had to release the male (I did go back for him) and I kept mama and her two babies.
Unfortunately, at the vet, the worst possible thing was discovered, mama was not going to make it. I was devastated!! I knew the only thing I could do now was to help her pass with peace and promise to help her babies.”
The next time we came prepared with MANY traps for the remaining kitties and we were able to trap 4 other kittens who were quite “spicy” little things. They were appropriately named, Fennel, Mace, Nutmeg, and Saffron. The females were a bit more challenging after seeing all the trapping they were skittish. Audra kept going back to this location to trap all kittens and ended up with an additional FIVE!! A total of 11 kittens rescued from this location. The 11 kittens became temporary residents of Paws and Love while they learned to socialize, use inside manors, and live with a forever family!!
Two adult females were trapped as well as three adult males. The five adult cats were fixed, vaccinated, and returned to their home creating a much more manageable colony for the caretaker to feed and look after. We also informed the caretaker of ways to make the area safer for the cats.
We are so truly fortunate to have a wonderful network of supporters and fellow rescuers who we can count on to help our community cats. We still have three of the kittens, though they are now almost 7 months old, and HUGE! They have not quite decided they are ready for adoption. Until then, they are being loved, as they desire, and inside preparing for a wonderful healthy life!!
Thank you, Petco, for assisting with the cost of spaying/neutering these precious cats which allowed us to save the lives of 16 cats and kittens from this one location! Your support made all the difference!!!
TNR doesn't mean our job ends once these cats are neutered and returned to their outside home. Sometimes it means we go back to take care of ones who have become sick or injured and need additional vet care like this handsome boy! He had a pretty bad eye infection which was treated and after being monitored for a few days to make sure he was doing well, he was released back into the colony this morning. He looks to be feeling much better! 😻
We were back at it this evening to trap some more kitties! We were able to trap two on Sunday, and then we got these four beautiful cats today who will be spayed and neutered tomorrow. We think we have 3 more cats to trap and then that should be all of them for the "white cat colony." That'll put the numbers at a total of 20 cats spayed/neutered for this one colony - Woohoo! :)
If anyone is interested in a couple "working cats," or barn kitties, a few of these cats are in need of a new home. They are currently cared for, but their numbers are a bit higher than the caretaker is able to handle for an extended period of time. So if you are interested, you can fill out an application at the link below.
Thank you all for your support as it allows us to do this. <3
Kitten season is upon us!
Look at this baby ginger that got trapped this morning, thanks to the stealth and sweet Miss Jenny!!
This young girl is less than a year old and ALREADY PREGNANT!!!
She’s a friendly so she’s going to be here with us until she has her babies. She will then be spayed and available for adoption. Oh, yeah, she’s a sweetie!!! She head butts and purrs!! A lovely girl!!
Stayed tuned for more of her story!!
Who wants to name this girl?
Help us sponsor her and her babies by making a donation.
If interested in donating, you can donate using the button below (this goes to PayPal) or mail a check to:
Paws and Love
610 W. 15th Street, Ste #18
Washington, NC 27889
**please be sure to note that your donation is for TNR #6. <3 Thank you!!
You can BE the Difference!
This starts at home, in your backyard, neighborhood, schools, works, churches, community groups...
Get involved...they need US to help them!
At ONE location last year we spayed and neutered 45+ and a rescue partner took about 15 kittens in. 29 of those we spayed were FEMALE!!!! Together we saved an unimaginable number of future unwanted litters.
Want to help in a BIG way? We are looking for people to sponsor a fundraiser to fund a TNR clinic day. To do a small clinic day of 15 cats is roughly $1000.00. Contact Stephanie or Audra for more information.
This story has been long overdue and we wanted to share it with everyone when it happened, but we were all emotional at the time and we felt like this sweet boy deserved a well-written story of his short time with us.
We met O2 when we were out trapping the “white cat colony” on the evening of December 17. Audra had setup everything by the time I arrived there and all we had to do was put some hard-to-resist food in the traps (we use canned chicken and fish) and then wait. Soon after we put the food in the traps, we were able to trap several cats - it was so quick! We zip-tied the front (to prevent any escapees) and covered the traps with blankets and placed in the car.
After we had seven cats in the car, progress started to slow down so we started to look in possible hiding spots. Turns out we missed a feeding station that was setup near one of the buildings and as I was coming around the car to help search, I saw Audra sneaking up to the feeding station and she quickly snatched up an orange buff male kitty! I did not recall seeing him last time and we later found out that he had recently shown up on the property. The caretakers loved him because he was a sweetheart. <3 Anyway, back to the story! I immediately went to get one of the cat crates so he could go in it. As Audra kneeled to put him in the crate, she noticed something was off about him but she couldn’t really describe it to me. We trapped three more cats that evening then setup everyone inside with a small dinner and called it quits for the night.
The next morning, everyone was taken to the vet and all were spayed/neutered except one – the orange buff male we named O2 (Orange male #2). The vet said he was panting, breathing funny, and his color was off so they were going to keep him for monitoring. Anything that caused him stress resulted in heavy breathing and panting, which really concerned us as that was not anywhere near normal.
Because of this, we knew he needed additional attention and because of the necessary expenses involved with this, he was surrendered to us by his caretaker. We had hoped that it was something treatable, that this loving, sweet, handsome boy would have a chance and we could find him a home. We had several people working in the background on figuring out a plan that would be best for him with his current conditions. During all of this he was talkative at times and oh-so-sweet! We couldn’t let this boy down. But then we got the bad news from his x-rays….
He had a diaphragmatic hernia. Like me, most of you had probably never heard of this so I asked for a better understanding of what it meant. Basically, a diaphragmatic hernia is when the diaphragm has a tear in it that allows the abdominal contents to enter the chest cavity. This causes respiratory distress making it hard to breathe and is the reason why when O2 was stressed, he began panting and gasping for air. Having a diaphragmatic hernia is not an immediate death sentence as sometimes surgery is possible, but one look at the x-ray and it was very obvious that O2 had an extreme case. The vet said it was the worst she had ever seen!
The x-ray showed a very empty abdominal cavity and a very full chest cavity. Every single inch of possible intestine that could fit, was squished into his chest pushing on his lungs and heart. This was why he couldn’t crouch down to eat. This was why his gums were white due to the lack of oxygen flow through his lungs. This was why something seemed “off” about him the night we were trapping. We were devastated!
I then asked the question that always comes to mind afterwards – what caused this? Well, it can be a birth defect, but in cats, it can also be caused by blunt force trauma – being hit by a car, falling from a high place, or taking a heavy blow to the abdominal region. I cringed thinking about O2 having suffered from any of these!
Unfortunately there was no time to save O2 – the damage was already done and he was nearing the end. The vet’s prognosis was very grim with only a few hours more to live and if we let him be, he would've suffer through it. We decided it was time to let this sweet, precious boy go so that he did not have to continue in this kind of pain and suffering.
TNR usually means Trap-Neuter-Return, but in this case the R stood for Rescue. In rescue, we try to save them all. We put our hearts and souls into it to do what needs to be done to provide the best life possible for those we care about. I feel, in this case, that we truly saved O2 and although the outcome was not what we wanted, he didn't have to suffer anymore and he was showered with lots of love until the end. <3 Rest in peace, sweet beautiful boy.
Hi everyone! Stephanie here to provide y'all with an update. We've been a little busy and delayed on posting a very important update about the colony we dubbed the "White Cat Colony" due to the large majority of the cats being beautiful white felines. This is one of the main colonies we asked for funding to spay/neuter back in early December and thanks to those donations we were able to trap 11 kitties on the first day!
It was my first time trapping with Audra and I was very impressed with Audra's knowledge and creative problem-solving skills - no wonder she does so well at trapping! All of the traps filled up quickly which is partly why we had to stop at 11 cats because we were completely full. Pamlico Animal Hospital and Welcome Waggin' Mobile Veterinary Clinic were able to fit these cats into their schedules so that they could be spayed/neutered and released the very next day.
Unfortunately with the weather getting colder, we decided conditions were not ideal to trap the remaining cats and so once weather becomes more favorable, we will go back to trap the remaining cats so that more babies will not be born into this colony.
The other situation with this colony is that the people feeding them are hoping that we can find placement for some of the cats there to reduce the financial burden that has been placed on them. Feeding 20 cats twice a day is costly for one household to manage. There are several cats who are shy, but are friendly once they have time to warm up to you and these may be available for adoption at a later date. If you are at all interested, please let us know!
The other option that we are working on is a "Working Cat Program" or as some people like to say "barn cats." We are in the process of defining this program and setting it up and feel that some of these cats may be perfect for this. Working Cats are great for reducing and repelling rodents from your home or business - think of it as an "all-natural" pest control. They can work at breweries, retail stores, farms, warehouse, police/fire stations, and in many other businesses. If you're at all interested in something like this, please let us know and we will notify you once we get this program up and running.
Thank you again to all of you who support us! We are looking forward to a great 2018!
We are just humans who have a love for animals and want to make a difference through spaying, neutering, sharing knowledge and our experiences!