A Tail of Two Rescues: The Abandoned River Kittens
2020 is the year of the stray kitten, at least at Janery headquarters! (If you're just looking for the river kittens' GoFundMe - It's right here.)
On a recent Monday morning, after dropping my daughter at school, I was taking the scenic route home on a dirt road along the river.
As I passed a trampled area where people often park, I noticed a small black kitten crouched next to a cardboard box. Within seconds I had turned the car around. Given the rural location, I knew the kitten had been intentionally abandoned there.
The kitten was eating scraps of fish, pork rinds, and what looked like dog food. A cardboard box was on its side with a sweatshirt tucked into it as a bed. This little kitten was fearful but curious. I spoke quietly to him until I was able to catch him. Once inside my car, he curled up in my lap and started purring contentedly.
Just like that, we were adding yet another cat to our family. I set off to surprise my husband. ;)
We named the kitten Gigi, and took him straight to the vet to treat his bad respiratory infection. After several cold nights where temperatures plunged near freezing, I was relieved to know he was safe and warm.
The next morning I took the same route home. Some neighbors were walking, and I stopped to ask if they knew anything about the black kitten.
“You mean the orange tabby cat? He’s been there for about a week” they said.
My heart jumped in my throat. It hadn’t occurred to me that there might be more than one abandoned cat.
I headed back to the spot where, sure enough, I saw a beautiful orange tabby eating scraps by the same cardboard box. As I got out of the car, he ran and hid in the bushes, mewing quietly to me.
I went home to get some food and other supplies in the hopes that I could catch him. I felt terrible that I had taken his sibling away, leaving the orange kitten to spend a scary and very cold night alone in the woods. Even worse, I could tell that he was sick. It was heartbreaking to grapple with the reality of what someone had done.
I spent that entire Tuesday trying patiently to win his trust and catch the orange kitten - I was determined to get him off the streets before another cold night. Eventually, I gave up and bought a cat trap. After setting it up in the bushes near the box, I picked up my daughter from school, then returned to show her the trap.
To my surprise and delight, the orange kitten was already inside the trap, mewing his little head off in a panic.
We loaded him into the car, trap and all, and took him straight to the vet. During the car ride, my daughter named him Juicy, because he’s the color of orange juice. Since both kittens were sick with respiratory infections, we isolated them in the sunroom. They immediately took to the job of product testing a new cat bed design, and seemed quite thrilled with attention from the whole family, even the children and Amber, our poodle.
Now, two weeks later, they are nearly recovered from their illness, and are bundles of energy. They seem to be a well matched pair, and we often find them sleeping together. Gigi and Juicy are both unneutered, but that will change in just a few days.
There's only one problem: When we invite them into the rest of the house to play, they urinate on things. Did they learn bad habits in their first home? Perhaps. They're reaching maturity, so we hope that neutering will help them.
Cat pee or not, I’m so thankful that we found them. Bathroom issues are one most common reasons cats bounce around from shelters to homes and back to shelters again, but these guys no longer have that risk: They’ve found their happily ever after with our family.
Of course, we didn't budget to add more critters to our crew this year. KG, the spring stray cat, has been a big investment due to his health issues.
Every Janery order helps me pay the bills for our rescued pets (as well as helping animal rescue organizations). I also set up a GoFundMe for the river kittens after several customers kept asking. This way, if you’d like to help but don’t need to shop, you have that option.
Gigi and Juicy's first vet visits cost $600 for tests and medication, and that doesn’t begin to cover the neutering, vaccinations, and other tests that they will need in the next few weeks. It's hard to adequately express my appreciation for the support - both emotional and financial - of customers like you. If I could purr, I'd be rumbling up a storm. :)
You’ll be seeing more of these cuties in our upcoming products. They didn't know this home came with a modeling job! In the mean time, you can follow along on their rescue journey - I’m sharing it on Instagram and Facebook.