Have you ever heard a cat cry? Not the whine they do when dinnertime is a few minutes late, or even the wailing when they are on their way to the vet. No, I am talking about the sobbing of utter despair, when all hope is lost. That’s what Beth, a Toronto-based rescuer, heard when she and a friend visited what has to be one of the rawest, roughest animal control facilities that exist in North America.
This rural shelter doesn’t even have cages for its cats — it has old, rusty carriers, stacked one on top of the other on metal sleeves. The two overworked employees rotate shifts and are on 24-hour call. The carriers are only cleaned every two to three days, and if there is an emergency… food and water for the cats will have to wait. Flies buzz constantly around the room and the cats don’t get names or even cage cards. Death is commonplace here, and the vet might come by to euthanize cats at any time — there is no set schedule. The first time Beth went there, she and her fellow rescuers saved 20 cats from these unspeakable conditions, only to discover that there were four left behind who would be euthanized the next day. Luckily, these kitties were rescued early in the morning just in time.
But it didn’t take long for those ancient carriers to start filling up again. The next time Beth showed up was when she heard that gut-wrenching sob. It came from a small ginger and white cat, who was huddled in one of the carriers with his black-furred companion. The two of them, eight years old, had just been dumped at the shelter — their human had to go to a nursing home, and her family didn’t want them and apparently didn’t care what happened to them. The pair was scared to death. It was like they knew they didn’t have a chance. Beth knew she had to save them.
When Beth’s friend Crystal fetched the two kitties, she placed them in the car in carriers that faced each other. Tommy and Jet put their paws out to touch on the way to the vet, and snuggled tightly together once they got there. They are that bonded to one another.
Now comes the dilemma: where will Tommy and Jet go? I am loathe to call them seniors because they are about the same age as me, and I don’t feel old. Besides, at eight, a cat still has a lot of quality life left! A couple of rescue organizations in the States have offered to take them, including one in Tennessee that has a “seniors for seniors” program. But is it really okay for these two sensitive souls to travel that far? One of the clinic’s techs has already told Beth that one of the pair seems depressed. Wouldn’t it be better if they could find a home in the Toronto area? It’s a large city, and there has to be someone out there, senior or not, who would love to have a pair of mature kitties who want nothing more than to keep each other company in a nice home.
To find out more about these seniors — and the great work that Beth is doing in rescue — visit her website, House of the Discarded. And please spread the word about this bonded pair of kitties — they really need a home now!