by Lee Juslin
Bobbie and her husband, Tim, are long time terrier people and big supporters of Col. Potter Cairn Terrier Rescue Network.
Then, in what turned out to be a life changing event, their son called from the plant where he worked and said he had found a newborn kitten. “Its eyes are not even open yet, Mom.”
Bobbie knew with his family, work, and busy life, her son would not be able to care for the kitten. So, with fingers crossed, Bobbie agreed to take the tiny bundle of fur. “I thought in the beginning it might not survive, but I was determined to do the best I could for the little mite,” said Bobbie.
Her background in wildlife rehab gave her some knowledge of just how much work caring for the kitten would be. After much research, Bobbie came up with a nutritious mixture and fed the kitten through a syringe at regular intervals. To everyone’s delight the kitten thrived. After several weeks, Bobbie hoped the Charleston Humane Society, where she had a contact, would take the kitten now that it was eating regular food. But fate intervened in the person of a vet tech who saw the kitten when Bobbie brought it in for a check-up, fell in love, and adopted the little one.
After successful outcomes with several kittens from her son’s plant, he suggested that Bobbie apply to foster kittens through a local rescue group, Animal Ark Rescue (ARK). To date, Bobbie has fostered a dozen kittens. “I can do two bottle fed kittens and two six week or older kittens on solid food at once. Every time I take in a new baby I learn something new, like the need to water down the feeding mixture to prevent the kitten from developing diarrhea. Some have to be encouraged to move away from the bottle and to eating kitty kibble or even wet food.”
Bobbie’s two Cairns and one Westie have had different reactions to the kittens, but all have learned to tolerate them. Bobbie puts the kittens on the floor at about four weeks old and watches carefully. Tori, a female Cairn, ignores and doesn’t look at them. “I think she feels if she doesn’t see them they don’t exist,” said Bobbie. Duffy, her old man Westie, likes them but doesn’t like to have them disturb him when he’s sleeping, and the kittens have learned to leave him alone when he’s resting.
But, the best terrier helper with the kittens was Meatloaf. “At first he saw them as prey but then he came to adore them. I never had to worry where they were, because Meatloaf followed them and kept a close eye on them.” Sadly, Meatloaf crossed the Rainbow Bridge recently and Bobbie lost her best helper and cat wrangler.
“I miss his sweet presence every day and especially his babysitting abilities with the kittens.”
Ark, for whom Bobbie has been fostering for about a year, is a regional rescue group that takes in all abandoned, neglected or abused animals. Bobbie says they even rescued a duck.
If you would like to learn more about ARK you can check out their website: www.animalarkrescue.com.
Check out more animal rescue & therapy animal stories in our Pets section.