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      Saralee is one of our long term residents here at the sanctuary. Itís hard to believe that this pretty little cat is the same ragamuffin we picked up late one rainy night in March 1994.
      We had first seen her outside a gas station going through the dumpster. She was skin and bone and very, very pregnant. We put out some food which we always carry with us for these occasions. She ate voraciously but kept a wary eye on us. Suddenly, out of the shadows, we noticed several more cats slinking up. Soon there were seven! Much to our dismay, three more of them were also pregnant.
      We spoke with the owner of the property and offered to trap the cats, have them fixed, vet checked and then return them to the only home they had ever known. He emphatically stated that they were "just wild strays" and he didnít want them around. It was obvious that this was definitely not a safe environment for them. It was also obvious that the situation would quickly get out of control after the females gave birth, greatly increasing the size of the colony. Therefore, we set about trapping and removing them. Over the course of the next week, we managed to trap all seven of them.
      Within a short period of time the females gave birth giving us a grand total of seven adults and sixteen kittens. With good treatment and medical care, they soon became healthy and beautiful and we were able to place most of the kittens in good homes. Unfortunately, the adults were a different story. They were all feral and it took us a long time to win their confidence. Even after all this time, SaraLee is still somewhat leery of us and only very occasionally allows us to pet her. Most times she just canít bring herself to overcome the initial discomfort of being touched. Avoiding humans is an acquired skill which enables these ferals to survive out in the wild and they have a hard time letting go of it. Rarely does SaraLee let down her guard and let us in, so whenever she does, we treasure those moments as small victories! However, to us, the most important thing is that this sweet girl is able to live out the rest of her days with her companions in a place where she is safe, she is happy and she is loved!

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