Kitty Angels

Kitty Angels Newsletter Issue #1

A newsletter for our Friends and Supporters

KITTY ANGELS - WHAT WE'RE ALL ABOUT

Joan Abbot, President, Kitty Angels

Kitty Angels is a no-kill shelter dedicated to rescuing stray and abandoned cats, furnishing them with treatment for injuries or other health problems, and placing them into life-long, loving, homes with compatible owners. We take all necessary steps to ensure the well being of our cats, including screening for infectious diseases, spaying and neutering, and providing rabies, distemper and other necessary vaccinations.

As a general policy, Kitty Angels sets no limits on the amount of veterinary care which it will provide to a sick or injured cat to return it to a state of good health prior to placing it in a good home. We also believe in the importance of expanding the public's awareness for the need to spay/neuter and vaccinate all pets.

All of Kitty Angels' work is accomplished by a network of dedicated, unpaid, volunteers whose common objective is to ameliorate the problems of the existing homeless feline population while simultaneously working towards reducing their future numbers through a combination of feline sterilization and public education.

Kitty Angels is a community resource, but is not connected with any town or government agency. Although some of our cats come from households which can no longer care for them, the majority of the cats in our care are the very neediest of animals, such as strays or feral (wild) cats, many of which are in urgent need of medical treatment.

Kitty Angels is operated entirely by volunteers who care for the animals in the shelter facilities; do round-the-clock trapping and field work associated with the control of feral cat colonies throughout the area; and act as foster care givers for cats and kittens that are sick or otherwise in need of special care and attention.

The past several years have been very busy ones for the shelter and our population of needy animals has continued to grow. We take in and place hundreds of cats each year and deal with many feral cat populations throughout eastern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire.

Entirely through the efforts of its volunteers, Kitty Angels placed over 600 cats into lifelong, loving, homes last year. While a few of these animals came into the shelter and went out to homes with nothing more than neutering, vaccinations, leukemia and AIDS testing and a veterinary exam, others received many hundreds of dollars of veterinary care. Some required extended rabies quarantine periods due to extensive wounds of unknown origin. To provide shelter, food and medical care, Kitty Angels is 100% dependent upon on adoption fees and the tax-deductible donations of individuals and organizations. For us to continue our work we are in constant need of good, life-long, homes and the financial support of generous and caring people. Please contact us if you would like to adopt a cat, if you wish to be on our mailing list, or if you are able to make a donation.

"If man could be crossed with the cat, it would improve man, but it would deteriorate the cat."  - Mark Twain


VOLUNTEERS - THE HEART AND SOUL OF KITTY ANGELS

By Joan Abbott

It's 4:30 am and I know that if I don't put my feet on the floor and get myself out of bed I'll never make it to work on time. I shower and head out to do the shelter chores, patting a few feline heads on the way (and the dog). I check the shelter answering machine for any calls that might have come in during the night or while I was in the shower. Most mornings there aren't messages before sunrise but sometimes there are. Volunteers trying to reach me - people who have found cats - questions...

After chores I sit down to do some early morning shelter paperwork. Before going off to my "other" job, I try to gather my thoughts and make a list of what must be done today. So many things to do - so many cats, so little time. I see a pair of feral eyes peeking out from under the bed They belong to a little feral kitten that I am trying to socialize. But this morning instead of beginning my paper work I take a moment to picture the other KA volunteers beginning their day.

Grec at age 2I picture Penny starting her long commute to Boston, ever watchful for strays along the way. Helen will be up soon to care for the 60 cats she has in her care. Lesa will be tired this morning as she has been out trapping feral cats outside a “crack” house till late into the night. Cheryl will be up soon, as she cares for our critically injured cats as well as many others. Susan will be getting in her car to drive her endless miles covering the New England area in her sales position while orchestrating adoptions and incoming cats in her area from her car phone. Grec, our “night owl” will still be asleep from being up late after trapping, feeding and checking on many feral colonies. Linda has her new computer and will be busy working on new forms and handouts. Julie has a two week old baby now in addition to her foster cats. Michelle, who lovingly fosters my hard cases, will be up soon, and Linda D. will be tending to the cats in her care too. The afternoon and evening will bring another round of chores in addition to driving to many locations to feed feral cats.

Whether they’re sick, exhausted or consumed with personal or professional issues, every one of these people will spend at least a part of every day…365 days a year…tending to the cats in their care, helping with adoptions, trapping, driving cats to and from the vets, picking up supplies, making phone calls, raising funds, doing adoption days and tending to the endless list of things we must do. The compassion and dedication of these care givers overwhelms me. I take a moment to count my blessings for such a dedicated group of people and I know that long after I have closed my eyes tonight some of these people will still be out there carrying on our mission to help stray, abandoned and needy cats.

“There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.” - Albert Schweitzer


FERAL CATS

One of the biggest problems in the stray cat world is the increasing numbers of feral cats and kittens. Over 50% of the animals we take in each year have a feral background. Feral cats are cats which are born and raised in the wild. Colonies can be found in every neighborhood…in alleys, parks, abandoned buildings; foraging out of garbage dumpsters; and roaming in rural areas. They have a very harsh existence and, if left on their own, a tragically short life span.

We do not believe that the solution to the feral cat problem is extermination. Within our geographical area we do our part by trapping, sterilizing and domesticating feral cats. We educate people as to what can be done with these populations and convey to the public a message of compassion for all living things. We are successful in domesticating and adopting out many of the feral cats that we work with. In those cases where a feral cat that has been trapped and sterilized cannot be domesticated, we re-release it in areas in which shelter and long term care are available. We currently have 20 “catch alive” traps in continuous use in our trapping programs. But, this is not enough – there is always a long waiting list for our traps, and for our assistance in dealing with feral colonies, and we are constantly running up against feral cat situations which are beyond our current capacity. At present, these include: a feral colony, including several kittens, living in the darkened remains of a burned out basement of a mill building; a colony of at least twenty-six feral cats, and a feral mother and kittens living in the parking lot of a lumber yard. Each of these situations requires traps, an experienced volunteer and funds to provide medical care, spaying and neutering and food and shelter for them. During the winter our shelter will receive more and more requests for help. Unfortunately, because these poor creatures live on the fringes of civilization, nobody considers them to be their responsibility and we rarely receive donations from people who call to report these situations. Due to financial constraints we have to turn many away. Yet, once they are socialized, these cats are quiet and unassuming and make wonderful additions to a multi-cat household. Please read the following article called “Lonely Souls”...  [webmaster's note - click on the link to read the article, then use your browser's Back button to resume reading here.]

"No one can have experienced to the fullest the true sense of achievement and satisfaction who has never pursued and successfully caught his tail.” Rosalind Welcher


OUTDOOR CATS .. One of the Reasons We Do What We Do

LARRY

His “real” name is Lawrence, because that’s the town Lesa found him in. But we just call him Larry – he’s so mellow, it just seems to fit him better.

Why he’s still alive, we’ll never know. If you look at him from his right side, he looks like an ordinary adult black and white cat. But, if you look at him from his left side a chill runs down your spine. His left eye is collapsed and milky white. There is nothing where his left ear used to be...nothing but shaved skin and a scar.

When the vets did the surgery to remove the horrid scab and reconstruct his head they couldn’t even find an ear canal. Whatever had caused the massive injuries to his head had torn all of the inner and outer ear tissues away. Perhaps his head was caught under the tire of a moving vehicle, or maybe a nasty dog had savaged him. We’ll never know. Nor can we imagine how this poor animal must have suffered, or for how long. We put no photo here...it’s not the kind of thing you would want to look at or something that we’d want to publish at this point in his recovery. Hopefully he’ll be well enough to show in our next newsletter. Hopefully he will heal fully and live.

Despite his injuries, Larry is a “mush.” He was obviously someone’s pet at one time...before he was hurt so dreadfully. Please keep your cat indoors.

EMMA

I had come home sick from work with a blinding migraine, traveling slowly through the first snowstorm of the season. As I headed upstairs to go to bed I paused to listen to the messages on the shelter’s answering machine. One message was particularly disturbing. It was from a woman who said that there was an 8 week old kitten huddled in the snow outside the laundry room at her apartment complex. She said that it was injured; that it looked so sick that nobody wanted to touch it; and that none of the other rescue organizations she had called would come and get it.

By the time I arrived at the apartment complex someone had managed to scrape the kitten into a box without touching it. When I peered in at the tiny dirty kitten I gasped. It could hardly move and a yellow discharge was festering from a wound under her front leg – a wound so deep that I could see muscles and bone. I had to look away. Dead tissue was removed from around the wound; antibiotics reduced her fever; and a sponge bath helped remove the fleas and dirt. It took several more operations in order to find enough healthy tissue to hold the stitches in place.

Emma was feral. But, as a result of all the attention lavished on her during her hospitalization she began to trust people and thrived. Emma is fully recovered now, and living with my husband and I as part of our “permanent collection.”

"You can't look at a sleeping cat and feel tense." -
Jane Pauley


JIGSAW JOE

Jigsaw JoeIt was the second time in a week that the black and white cat had been hit by a car. The first time he had just been grazed lightly and had run off with no apparent injuries. This time he wasn’t so lucky. The security guard found him motionless in the ditch, bleeding with severe injuries. The guard transported him to a local vet where they began to treat him for shock. When the guard returned to work he mentioned what had happened to the other guard on duty…Lou…who had seen the cat get hit earlier in the week. Lou called and asked if I would accept the cat into the shelter as the vet was quoting a pretty high figure. Always a push-over for a sad story, I agreed to take the cat and arranged to have it immediately transported to my veterinarian in New Hampshire. The cat had extensive injuries, a severely broken jaw, eye damage, broken facial bones and multiple other injuries. We didn’t even know if he was tame or feral. We had to try to save him.

A large piece of his jaw had to be removed and many wires put in. When he regained consciousness we were delighted to find that he was one of the most personable cats we had ever encountered. Because of the way he was pieced back together, we named him “Jigsaw Joe.” After nearly two months of hospitalization, he was taken home by Jean, one of the veterinary technicians that had nursed him. He is still a sight for sore eyes, with his crooked jaw and the eye he will never see out of again, but he is a constant reminder of what KA is all about.

LITTLE SISTER

Little SisterLittle Sister, her siblings, and mother (a pure bred Siamese) were left behind in April of 1997 when their owners moved away. An area resident caught the kittens, had them neutered, and then re-released them into the neighborhood where they had been found. The well-meaning individual put a collar on the female kitten so that he could tell her from the male. Little did he realize the problems this would cause Little Sister.

The collar had been put on loosely, to allow room for growth. Within days, Little Sister managed to get her right front leg caught in it. Although the individual realized what had happened, he was unable to capture her again. Months went by and things got progressively worse as the collar continued to cut into her neck and under her leg.

Ten months later, In February, Lesa, a Kitty Angels volunteer heard about the cat and organized a trapping expedition. After many days of searching, they were overjoyed to find her in one of the humane traps they'd set. Unfortunately, the smell of infection was almost unbearable as she was transported to the hospital. Her wounds were so severe, and so badly infected, that it was hard to imagine how she had she survived. The veterinarian wasn't optimistic about saving her leg. The collar was cut off, and the first of many surgeries took place. Happily, her leg was eventually saved. Little Sister was adopted by a loving home, where she is now purring up a storm.

COUNTLESS ANIMALS SUFFER HORRIBLY AND DIE NEEDLESS DEATHS BECAUSE WELL-INTENTIONED OWNERS THINK IT CRUEL NOT TO LET THEM GO OUTDOORS. MOST CATS WHICH BECOME LOST ARE NOT AS FORTUNATE AS JIGSAW JOE AND LITTLE SISTER . AN OUTDOOR CAT FACES MANY PERILS: FELINE LEUKEMIA, AIDS AND OTHER DISEASES; VEHICLES; DOGS, COYOTES AND OTHER ANIMALS; HUMAN CRUELTY; TOXIC SUBSTANCES; FROSTBITE; AND MANY OTHERS. KITTY ANGELS' OFFICIAL POLICY IS TO ADOPT ONLY TO PERMANENT INDOOR HOMES. PLEASE KEEP YOUR CAT INDOORS ALL THE TIME!!!

"It doesn't do to be sentimental about cats; the best ones don't respect you for it." - Susan Howatch


WISH LIST

Kitty Angels is an all-volunteer organization. Because medical care and housing expenses for our cats greatly exceed our adoption fees, we depend on the generosity of individuals and local businesses to make ends meet. Without your help we cannot survive!!! The following items are always desperately needed:

Money – to pay for the daily care and the medical bills of the kitties. Please note that we have no paid staff – only volunteers. Every cent of your donation goes to needy cats!!!

Farm Homes for Feral Cats

Feral Cat Feeders – a commitment of 30 minutes, one evening or morning each week.

Sponsorship of a Feral Cat Colony – Provide food and supplies for one or more months.

Cat Food – both canned and dry.

Kitty Litter – non-scoopable preferred

People to do follow-up phone calls on adopted cats and to help with educational programs through schools, the media and public organizations.

Cat Beds and Toys or materials to make them...also, if you can sew and would be willing to make cat beds or other items, please let us know.

We have many wonderful cats available for adoption. Please help us find them lifelong, loving homes.


Thank You So Much...

Kitty Angels’ accomplishments are the result of the combined efforts of a great many people.

To our volunteers, including:

Bette Paddock, Susan Carson, Cheryl Piekarski, Bill Claybrook, Sylvia Rivet, Linda Dannewitz, Linda Robbins, Helen Fullhart,  Diane & Terry Shea, Linda Gogolin, Heidi Shea, Carolyn Greco,  Sue Stenquist, Lesa Hall, Mary Lou Toussant, Pat Harding,  Nancy Weber, Marilyn Jenney, Penny Williams, Nancy & Alex Mulcahy, Pat Myers, Connie Zukowski, Angela Nickerson

These are the people on the front lines, day and night, whose dedication and tireless efforts have brought so many needy animals back from the brink. They’re the ones who do all the hard work and get no remuneration of any kind.

To our Website Team

Thank you, Steve Lionel, for designing, creating and maintaining our website. And thanks again to Penny Williams, who answers all of our e-mail.

To Joyce Clements

For donating all of the proceeds from the sales of her incredibly beautiful cat pins.

To Deb Butler

For designing and publishing the Kitty Angels cookbook, "Table Scraps, Comfort Cooking for People."

To all of the veterinarians and staff at:

Amherst Animal Hospital
Burlington Veterinary Hospital
Dunstable Animal Hospital
Fallon Animal Clinic
Dr. Kathy Reiner and the Katmobile
Phoenix Veterinary Hospital
Swan Corner Animal Hospital
Wayland Animal Clinic

They provide the routine and acute medical care needed by all of our cats. Their skills, dedication and patience have been invaluable and have saved the lives of so very many cats.

To WNDS, Channel 50, in Derry, NH

When WNDS offered to produce and air a public service announcement about Kitty Angels, we had no idea that it would result in so many adoptions and donations. Their kindness and generosity is a perfect example of the very best in media community service.


A Special Thanks to PETsMART

Over the years we have developed a very special relationship with PETsMART, whose support and kindness have been nothing short of remarkable. Many of our adoptions are now done at PETsMART’s stores.

Some of our adoptable kitties can be seen every day at the PETsMART store at the Royal Ridge Mall in Nashua, NH. We have regular adoption days there almost every weekend. To find out our current adoption day schedule, you can call us at 978-649-4681 and listen to the message on our answering machine, call PETsMART at 603-888-7599 or drop in at our website at www.kittyangels.org.

...and to Especially for Pets Corp.… who also generously donate space in their stores for displaying and adopting Kitty Angels’ cats.

And a very special thanks to all of you who have opened your hearts and homes to animals and to those who have donated in some way to help us or to help those who act in concert with our cause.

"What is man without the beasts?  If all the beasts were gone, man would die from a great loneliness of spirit.  For whatever happens to the beasts, soon happens to man.  All things are connected." - Seattle, chief of the Duwamish, Suquamish and allied Indian tribes

Kitty Angels, Inc.  P.O. Box 638  Tyngsboro, MA 01879
978-649-4681 - www.kittyangels.org
© 2017 Kitty Angels