Friday, October 7, 2011

Hope for the Animals Team Rescues a Mother Cat

Please read this astonishing rescue story, a first-hand account from Susie, from our Hope for the Animals Program:

The phone call came yesterday, near the end of the work day from America, from our Panajachel preschool teacher that a mother cat had fallen into a latrine in San Andres. We quickly assembled our Hope for the Animals Team, (Erick, our driver and ex fireman, Jonathan #75, Augustine, Doña Berta and myself, Susie).  Armed with 2 flashlights, a rope, a cat carrier, a hot water bottle and cat formula, we arrived at the scene. As soon as we stepped out of the truck we were met by a group of children excitedly telling us that a cat had fallen into their latrine. They shoved a dirty box  with a hole cut out of the top at us which contained 4 tiny kittens. Doña Berta took charge of the 4 two week old kittens and asked the family to heat water to fill the hot water bottle so that we could warm the mother when she was rescued. 
I quickly told everyone that we would survey  the situation before deciding how to proceed. As we approached the cane-made latrine we were relieved to hear the howling cries of the cat. The smell was horrible and the cat had been trapped for at least 2 hours. It became painfully apparent that there was no way that this cat had “fallen,” into the latrine. It is unfortunately quite common for people to dispose of unwanted animals in this manner.

I angrily exclaimed that the cat had not fallen into the latrine and where was the lid, because it is dangerous for animals as well as children. Augustine and Jonathan took a picture and I was comforted by the fact that the cat was only belly deep in raw sewage! This was going to be easier than we all imagined. Erick quickly fastened a noose and was able to loop it around her front legs and head after the 4th attempt! We hurriedly rinsed her in a nearby pila. We left feeling proud of having rescued these cats from certain death. 
The mother and kittens are now resting comfortably in Sharon’s bathroom after receiving medical attention. I feel so honored and grateful to be able to work with such an exceptional bunch of people. The admiration I feel for my coworkers is difficult to explain. Each is so wonderfully unique and bring their skills and life experiences to aid in the many unique situations we encounter. They all have stories of hardship and I have NEVER heard them complain about how someone else is getting help and not them.
Unfortunately, the Hope for the Animals Project has been temporarily shut down due to budget constraints. We will commence with the sterilization program in February when Meredith comes down for her annual clinic. Last night's adventure was a grave reminder of the importance of our monthly spay and neuter clinics. 

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