Special to the Tribune
How do you think your pet cat would react if they suddenly ended up in a noisy, cold, and scary animal shelter? For some pet cats, this experience is so foreign and frightening that they panic, act out and earn themselves a trip to the feral ward.
Such was the case for one beautiful 5-year-old Seal Point-Maine Coon mix named Washington, whom I found in the feral ward of Contra Costa Animal Services (CCAS) on his euthanasia day on Christmas Eve of 2013. Washington’s sad story began when his elderly owner could no longer care for him, and returned him to the place she had adopted him when he was eight weeks old, CCAS.
It’s not uncommon for people to turn in their owned cats for understandable reasons like hers, thinking that their cat will find another good home quickly because, well, it’s such a great cat! But Washington got scared in the shelter, acted out by hissing and growling, and earned himself a trip to the feral ward.
Walking through the feral ward on that fateful Christmas Eve, I spotted Washington and realized he was actually a really nice cat. So I learned more about his story from shelter volunteers and decided to rescue him.
When I brought Washington home to foster, his sweet personality came out quickly. But after a few days, when I started giving him a claw trim, I realized that his claws were short and raw. It turned out he was so scared and upset in the shelter he had severely damaged some of his claws and attached nail beds trying to escape his cage. The veterinarian said incredulously, that Washington needed surgery to repair the damage to his paws.
Washington had his surgery and after about three weeks with his paws wrapped in bandages, he was fully healed. This wonderful cat is now renamed Wesley and is living the spoiled life every cat deserves with one of our volunteers here in the Bay Area!
If you would like to support our work, we currently have a campaign to help save free-roaming cats: www.youcaring.com/5250
Outcast Cat Help is a 501c(3) California non-profit organization dedicated to helping the community humanely control and care for the stray and feral cat population. We are 100 percent volunteer operated with no paid staff. We help the “outcast cat” … the cat nobody owns, that lives on the streets or in your backyard, or behind the restaurant. We provide low cost spay/neuter and vaccinations for these cats. Other services are also available.
Outcast Cat Help