by Paula Hunsaker
Coco is a very special kitty in our family. Awhile ago I took my granddaughter to CCSPCA, a high-kill shelter, to pick up kitties that our rescue was pulling. While bringing in carriers to pick up the kitties. My granddaughter was looking at the kitties in the stray cattery. She came running out of the stray area and telling me, “Grandma, I found a kitty, and I want to save the kitty’s life. Grandma, come look at the kitty. Can we save this kitty?” I told her let’s go look at the kitty. She grabbed my hand and told me, “Come. Oh, Grandma, come and see the kitty.”We walked into the stray cattery, and she ran to the kennel that had this kitty. Yelling at me, “Hurry, Grandma, you must save this kitty.” As I walked up to the kennel, I noticed on the kennel card a note ‘TS’ meaning the cat is labeled as being not friendly. I was thinking to myself how I can tell this to my granddaughter. She is so excited and wants to save this kitty. I asked the shelter staff at the time that was in the cattery if they knew anything about this cat. I was told by shelter staff that the kitty was scared and wouldn’t allow them to hold or touch it, and that it would just go to the back of the kennel. But the good news was he didn’t hiss or strike at them.
During this time my granddaughter was grabbing my arm asking, “Can we save this kitty, Grandma, can we?” I looked at her and bent down and showed her the kennel card and explained what the ‘TS’ means. I explained to her what the shelter staff was telling me about the kitty. My granddaughter stood there listening to me with tears running down her face. I told her we should look at the other kitties and see if there is another one she wanted to save. She then tells me, “Grandma, this is the one I want to save. If we don’t save him, he will die at the shelter. Look at him all scared. Grandma, I will work with him and make him nice.” I told her ok, but we had to make a promise. If we get him out of the shelter and he hisses or bites, then she will have to let me work with him to get him safe for her. She tells me, “it’s a deal, but don’t worry, he will be ok.” We pulled the kitty and took him back to the rescue. My granddaughter was so excited about her new kitty. Me? I worried this kitty would break her heart.
When we get back to the rescue she runs into the house with her carrier and her new kitty. Opens the carrier, and of course, the kitty took off running not sure where he was at or what was going on. My granddaughter looks at me, and while she is laughing, tells me, “Grandma, he is a runner!” She got to the point she could find the kitty and pick him up and carry him around, but when she set him down, he was off running again. This went on for days: picking the kitty up and him running when she set him down. I would ask her how she was doing with her kitty. She tells me, “He is still running, Grandma, but I will get him to stop.” Then I go inside and see that she has a laundry basket and the kitty in the laundry basket telling him, “You be good. I am going to go outside, and when I came back, you better still be in the laundry basket.” I am thinking there is no top covering on this little laundry basket, and when she goes out the door, this kitty is going to jump out and run and hide.
About an hour later my granddaughter comes and tells me, “Grandma he didn’t get out. He stayed in the laundry basket.” This went on for days, her sitting him down and him running and hiding. Then it all came to a stop. My granddaughter was so excited that he stopped running. When she put him down, he would just sit there not running. I am thinking that the kitty just gave up running from her and her putting him in the laundry basket when he was bad and running from her. After about a month of this going on over and over, she was able to win over this kitty. Now known as CoCo, he turned out to be one of the most loving and sweetest kitties. I think back about the day she begged me to save this kitty. I had my doubts, but she didn’t have any doubts about this kitty.
On the day my granddaughter saw this kitty, it took one little girl to have hope, never give up in wanting to save a life at the shelter, believing in herself, and winning over this kitty. I express to my grandkids that they are hands on with the rescue kitties and that all lives are worth saving. On the special day that CoCo was saved, my granddaughter believed his life was worth saving no matter what issues he may have. She did it all by herself in winning CoCo over. They are now the best of friends and do everything together.
Happy Holidays from all of us here at Feral Paws Rescue Group…to you and your special kitties!
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