The Story of Toni
Toni is a tiny, vulnerable cat that we ended up catching while targeting a colony of community cats in the city of Buffalo. The abandoned house the colony lived in was scheduled for demolition, and the cats were about to lose their only shelter in the bitter cold of the Buffalo winter—and they were in physical danger from the demolition itself. Traps were set, and at some point Toni was spotted by the trappers huddled up against the abandoned structure, a little black speck in the unforgiving cold, starving and miserable. The colony caretakers had never seen Toni before, and had no idea when or where she had turned up. In any case, it looked like Toni had given up. She was cold and starving—it took less than 10 minutes to lure her into a trap with some food.
When Toni first arrived at the Cat By Cat Inc shelter, she was thin and exhausted, and completely shut down. She lay curled in her bed and never left it except to eat, drink and use her litterbox. She barely responded to soft caresses and soft voices. Patti, a Cat By Cat Inc volunteer, took her home to work with her and give her one-on-one attention. During this time it was discovered that Toni had advanced kidney disease, so she was put on a regimen of prescription kidney food and regular subcutaneous IV fluids to try to bring her back to a healthier state. Imagine feeling sick and terrible from kidney disease while trying to survive in a big, scary, outdoor world (in the winter!)—no wonder she had given up. We don’t know Toni’s "before" story, but we think she is likely already spayed and was probably a lost or dumped pet.
With the patient and focused individual attention Toni received from her foster mom, Patti, she has slowly graduated from a tightly-curled, frightened ball afraid to leave her bed and barely tolerating human touch, to standing and greeting her foster mom with soft chirps, roaming happily in her own special room, rolling over for pats and scratches, playing for short bursts, and lying companionably on the bed with her foster momma in the evenings. She’s not a cuddler, and still has her skittish and mistrustful moments—the fallout of her traumatic time as a homeless outside cat—but she is gentle as can be, easy to handle, and she loves attention and company.
Cat By Cat Inc’s goal with beautiful, tiny Toni is to manage her kidney disease and bring her to optimum physical and emotional health, and then find just the right home for her, someone with a quiet nature and quiet home with a heart open to sweet cats who need just a little bit of extra-special care. Toni’s not completely “there” yet, but from the fast progress she has made we know that with continued love, patience and care, Toni will reward her person with her full trust and love.
Haley: Mike Canada's Story
It was 11pm on a Friday evening when I received a message about a sick baby kitten found in their backyard. I had nothing going on at 11pm on a Friday evening and immediately said, I will be right over.
For whatever reason I decided to take Stephenson Avenue, which is a route that does not even make sense to take from my house, but I am thankful I did. As I am flying down the road, I almost hit this big thing in the middle of the road. The big “thing” in the middle of the word was a gray cat bleeding from the nose and mouth. I got out of my car and slowly try to approach him, but he tried to scurry away from me. I realized in that moment this boy had been hit by a car and left to die in the road. He was severely injured and could not move his back legs and needed medical attention immediately.
All I had in the car was a trap and a towel, so I threw it over him and wrestled him into the trap, then sped off to the kitten. It was very tiny and obviously had bad upper respiratory and eye infections, so I had to take her too. So now I have a cat bleeding in my back seat and a tiny sick kitten wrapped up in my lap trying to figure out what to do with them at 11:00pm on a Friday night.
The good news is, by being an insistent pain in the ass I was able to get the police department to get ahold of the city's animal control officer, who came and got the injured adult and took him directly to an animal emergency hospital. The kitten was transported to Cat by Cat Inc. where they immediately began to triage her medical needs and care. Sadly, the injuries the big grey boy sustained were so severe, he could not be saved. The little peanut of a kitten, affectionately named Haley, recovered well, and grew into a beautiful little girl who found her Purrfect home all thanks to the teamwork between rescues.
Black Jack's Story
This handsome fellow has not had it easy. In fact, we are fairly certain he was subjected to human cruelty as when our hero, Mike intervened, there was intention to drown Black Jack.
Mike received a call and dropped everything to rush to Black Jack's aid. I did not hesitate to accept this amazing boy into Cat by Cat Inc.
Mike fostered Jack initially and messaged me one night to say when he entered his foster room, Jack was in his hidey cubby, and when he saw Mike approach urinated and then proceeded to sit in it as if to afraid to move.
This is a sign of physical abuse in domestic animals. Just as in a domestic abuse relationship, you hide in plain sight, never knowing when you will be victimized. Jack continued to do just this. When he came out of his crate, he would hide in plain sight. Mike spent hours showing Jack love and compassion. Jack came to trust Mike and never urinated again.
This big boy then came to spend some time with me. I worked on positive approach, safe handling, and confidence building. I learned that this guy is a big teddy bear looking for his safe place to call home. When you pick him up, he curls into you. He hangs on, and for a few seconds will tremor in his hindquarters as if not sure what is about to happen. Then he quickly settles and relaxes in your arms.
I learned about behavior cues in animals that had endured the most unimaginable traumas inflicted on them by humans and survived, when I was studying applied animal behavior so many years ago. One of those case studies stuck with me some twenty years later, and as I read Mike's text I knew instantly Jack had been physically abused.
I do not know if I could forgive the human race, but Jack did. His character is strong, his need for love runs deep, and his eyes are soulful.
This beautiful boy was accepted by our transfer partner SC and is up for adoption at the Petsmart on Transit Road. He deserves the very best and a family who will love him until the end of time.
If you are looking for a hopelessly devoted boy who will be at your beck and call.... it’s Jack.
DJ: Swamp Rescue
It was eight years ago on a very chilly October day that my phone rang. On the other end of the line was a local veterinary hospital. They had a client standing at their front desk in a panic. She explained that while driving on North French Road, she saw a black ball of fur that she believed to be a kitten being thrown from a car. She quickly turned around and went to the spot to investigate. As she peered down the embankment she saw something black in the swamp water.
I immediately jumped up and asked the receptionist to have her meet me at the spot where she believed this happened. I grabbed my knee-high rubber boots, a sweatshirt, and a carrier and ran out the door. On my way I called my husband to tell him what was happening, and he agreed to meet me there.
As I pulled up, I saw the woman standing on the side of the road, pointing down the embankment. I peered down to see a black spot sticking out of the water. As I slid down the embankment, I realized the black spot was indeed a kitten whose body was underwater and only his little head was above water.
As I stepped into the cold murky water, the water went right to the tops of my boots. I remember thinking, “I wonder how deep the next step will be”? It was deep as I ended up thigh high in freezing cold water. Trying to assess the situation and not splash water on the kitten's head, I slowly began to move toward him. He suddenly sprang up and started swimming toward one of the hundreds of trees that line North French.
Right up a tree he went. I found a branch to stop him from climbing higher when suddenly the lady yells from the embankment, he’s going to fall! Yes, he fell out of the tree and landed in the water. This gave me a brief moment to scoop him up and wade back to the road.
We rushed off to the vet. Dr. Sue was able to save his broken leg. My amazing neighbor, Chris, immediately offered to foster him, and she found him his happily ever after with Kathy and her beautiful family. DJ is a loved and cherished boy today.
This has been my craziest rescue yet. I went swamp-diving and saved a life.