SAN DIEGO — Ten cats rescued last month from a hoarder’s house need a permanent home.
Audrey Stratton with the Feral Cat Coalition says every life matters.
“We call them community cats. They could be feral cats in behavior or they could be strays at one point and they’re just not use to people, they’re really the underdogs and they have no one to speak for them," Stratton said. "A lot of the friendly cats go to the shelters and they’re cute and sweet and hopefully they can find them a home but these less social cats are really truly underdogs and they have no voice and they’re often overlooked. People don’t want to show compassion for something that’s not going to show compassion back to them.”
Now, these survivors, these underdogs, these cats that did not give up on life need someone who won’t give up on them.
Several weeks ago, Stratton with the Feral Cat Coalition started documenting a shocking discovery: 3 cats somehow surviving under a hoarder’s pile in a house, 3 weeks after the woman who lived there died.
“I’m quite sure Natasha, like myself, will never forget this day. Ever. When we opened the sheet the cats were so weak, their necks were wobbly as they were trying to lift their heads up," Stratton said.
Someone who knew the homeowner called the Feral Cat Coalition because they believed there were more cats inside than the one taken by the Humane Society.
They were right. Stratton says the homeowner’s friend caught three cats and then the Feral Cat Coalition came in and caught three more. When you see the videos of volunteers inside the house, you can see why it took 3 more weeks for them to discover the other three cats. Feral cats don’t meow and cry in a crate like domesticated cats.
“We found 3 cats living in 1 very small kennel with no comfort and 1 litter box, 2 bone dry bowls, and they had been in there since the owner passed away 3 weeks prior," Stratton said.
Stratton and her team brought the cats back to their clinic and gave them emergency medical care.
“It’s just a miracle they’re alive," Stratton said.
To make sure they didn’t leave any cats behind to die, they set out cameras. That’s when they saw the one they now call “The White Buffalo”.
“We call him the white buffalo because he was so rare and illusive. But finally after 2 weeks he was hungry enough that on Christmas Eve he decided to go into the trap, and we caught the last cat," Stratton said.
When we went to the Feral Cat Clinic today, the cats are getting spayed and neutered. Volunteers are giving them vaccines, flea and worm treatments, and full blood and urine panels. They’re making sure they’re healthy and ready for their next phase of life.
"They really have beaten the odds. These cats have lived indoors their whole lives, so we don't want them roaming in the community for a while," Stratton said.
How to help
Some are friendly. Some are not. Some of those might be after a little time. But here’s what they need: the Feral Cat Coalition will pay to have an indoor and outdoor structure built for all 10 cats.
The reason the Feral Cat Coalition needs a home for all 10 cats together is because the cats in this house are trauma bonded together. When they first brought the cats in for their emergency medical care, they had to separate them into different crates and they kept them separated for nearly a week.
When they decided to put them back together in crates, to try to bring them comfort, they could not believe how loving they were to each other. They started grooming each other and cuddling. Stratton says, “We put them together and they just melted into each other. Many of these cats are so bonded together and they've been through such a traumatic situation so we're looking to put them together into a home.”
But they need someone willing to have it in their backyard or on their property.
They will also need to provide fresh food and water daily and hopefully have no intentions of moving for the next 7-10 years. Feral Cat Coalition will provide all medical care up front and will continue to sponsor the future care if needed.
Stratton says, “Please help us keep this family together. They have been through some horrific trauma.” She adds, “Knowing that we can give them a good quality of life for however many years they have is very fulfilling.”
- If you think you could consider giving these cats a place to live, please email Audrey Stratton with any questions: Saving10fcc@gmail.com
- If you cannot provide the outside space, you can donate to help pay for the $5000 structure and provide all of their surgeries and lab work ups.
- If you’d like to donate: https://www.feralcat.com/donate/
WATCH RELATED: San Diego Humane Society overcapacity after influx of strays over New Year holiday (Jan. 2023).