The Goathouse Refuge is an amazing non-profit organization that helps cats and kittens in need and regularly pulls them from death row in shelters. I absolutely love them.
About three weeks ago I was contacted by someone at Goathouse asking if I could pick up a kitten that was alone outside and thought to have an upper repertory infection (URI). The kitten was just about 15 minutes from my office, so of course I didn’t mind. The Goathouse closes at 6:30 and where I work is about an hour away from the refuge. I told Goathouse I’d just pick the kitten up and bring her very early in the morning before I had to be to work at 8:30am. I went and picked up this sweet little kitten shortly after I got off work and was not prepared for what I saw….this beautiful itty bitty white kitten with a touch of gray here and there. Now for some unknown reason, I was thinking this kitten would be older, around 5 or 6 months, not about 8 weeks old. I got her home and decided I was going to call her Lottie; the name just seemed to fit. Poor Lottie was underweight, dirty, and covered in fleas. After Lottie drank a ton of water I gave her a bath, hoping to give her some relief by getting rid of some of the fleas, cleaned her ears and watched her devour a can of food. Because of her URI I couldn’t let her near my cats, but Otis did wander in and say hi. He loved her and Lottie loved him. Much to my sadness, I left her in the spare room for a few hours while John and I had dinner, walked Otis and hung out for a bit. When I opened the door to go see her, she was just sitting there, patiently waiting, but very sad she had been alone. I caved and ended up letting her sleep in the bed with us and she is a true snuggle bug, just the perfect little kitten.
The next morning I sadly loaded Lottie into the car at 5:45am and took her to the refuge. I knew she’d be well cared for and loved, but I really wanted her. It amazes me that I can fall in love and become so attached to a sweet kitten in just 12 hours. I reluctantly turned over Lottie to the Goathouse and then cried the whole way to work. That night I told John if Lottie was not adopted in 6 months I was going to go get her. John said he wasn’t going to say no, but he isn’t saying yes yet either. I think a lot will depend on where we are and John’s job
I know this story seems kind of sad, but it isn’t. I was able to help a kitten that was sick and an orphan get to a no kill refuge that gave her the medical treatment she needed for her URI, get rid of all of those damn fleas, and is now fed and loved daily. Lottie even has a little friend, another orphan kitten named Opal. Animal rescue can be heartbreaking, and for me there are usually tears, I prefer happy tears of finding homes, animals being rescued, and all the good stuff. Even though I balled when I left Lottie, I also was happy she was where she needed to be until she could find a forever home, even if that doesn’t turn out to be with me.
The Goathouse does so many wonderful things for animals and they are always looking for help with transportation, volunteering at the shelter, fostering, doing home checks for potential adopters, and of course donations. Most cats at the Goathouse come from high kill shelters, but during kitten season especially, they taken in many abandon/orphaned kittens-ones whose mothers were killed, born on the streets with no home, dumped as if they were garbage and not living beings, left in boxes, etc. It really is heartbreaking and Goathouse tries to help as many cats and kittens as they can.
Now, I know I sound like one of those SPCA commercials and Sarah McLachlan should be playing in the background of this post, but Goathouse really does need donations to keep their refuge going, particularly to help the orphaned kittens. Random fact, it takes almost $200 to get a kitten to an adoptable state, this means spayed/neutered, all shots, combo tested, and any medical treatment from being anemic because of fleas, dehydrated, injuries, etc. It’s a lot of money and many rescues do lose money when taking in kittens. The average adoption fee for a kitten or cat is $80-100. How do rescues afford to do this and how can you help? A really easy way to help is to become a sustainer. Sustainers are the ones who let the Goathouse know that have a “known” monthly income so Goathouse can continue to help based on a known budget. Sustainers sign up to give a monetary monthly donation and it’s so easy because when you sign up it comes out of your account every month. Right now the Goathouse needs 100 sustainers to have a successful fall and continue to work towards their goal of ensuring a stable future for the cats. To just feed the current population of cats is $5,000 a month. Think about it. And just to break it down for those of you thinking about joining:
$5 per month allows for vaccines to cats and kittens
$15 per month allows for the purchase of high quality food
$25 per month allows us to pay for necessary blood work needed for accurate diagnosis of sick cats
$50 per month allows for the purchase of flea/tick prevention for 5 cats
$100 per month pays for vet visits for a special needs cat or kitten
$250 per month will allow the Goathouse feed 10 cats a high quality diet for a whole year!
If you want to become a sustainer, you know you do, you can sign up here: http://www.goathouserefuge.org/become-a-sustainer/
Also, click The Goathouse Refuge to be taken to their main site for other ways to help.