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Rascal is a gorgeous long haired black and
white boy who came to live at the sanctuary in September 1996. We
call him Rascal because of the touch of mischief in his beautiful,
bright eyes. However, that name would most certainly not have applied to
him when he first arrived here!
We had heard about him from a lady who
had been feeding some feral cats behind a restaurant. Driving off one
day, she glanced to the side and and much to her surprise, spotted a cat
curled up inside a drainage pipe right next to a busy road. For the next
few months she would place food inside the pipe for him. Although he
would eat once she had left, he would not approach while she was still
We had been in contact with this good
Samaritan because we had fixed and vaccinated the feral colony that she
was feeding. She happened to mention Rascal in conversation and we drove
over to take a look. What we found was a very bedraggled cat with an
extremely knotted coat curled up in a ball inside the pipe. He barely
moved and when he glanced up at us, the thing that struck us most was
the absolute lifelessness in his eyes. We knew that we had to get to him
fast. At first his caretaker was very resistant to our moving him. We
find this to be a frequent problem. The caretakers think that the cats
they are feeding are just fine and that things should be left be as they
are. However, once we start working with them and show them how much the
quality of the catsí lives improve once they are fixed and vaccinated,
we can usually bring them around to our way of thinking.
The caretaker eventually agreed that it
would be better for Rascal if we took him, so we set up a humane trap.
We were able to catch him in less than five minutes. An immediate trip
to the vet was in order so we whisked him over there. He was fixed,
vaccinated, tested for feline leukemia and aids, (negative), and wormed.
He was riddled with parasites which was why his general health was so
bad. Untreated parasites can be very debilitating and are one of the
main killers of abandoned cats. He also needed dental work on some
broken teeth. We approximated his age to be about six years. Life had
obviously not treated this poor boy well!
Once a cat has been vet checked, we make
a decision as to whether it should be returned to its previous
environment. This decision is partly based upon the catís overall
health, a good food supply and a safe location. In Rascalís case, it
was obvious that two out of the three conditions would fail the test -
health and safe location. It was therefore decided that it was better
for him to remain in our care.
Rascal is such a sweet and gentle soul. It took him a little while to
trust us but once he lets his guard down, he is a true delight.
Unfortunately, he is terrified of strangers and will run and hide.
However, we have noticed that with patience, he can be coaxed out and just
revels in the attention. We get the greatest joy from looking at this
happy, healthy boy and thinking about the enormous change in him from when
we first found him. When he climbs onto your knee, gazes up at you with
adoring bright eyes and gently touches your face with his paw, your heart
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