Feral Paws Rescue: Special Izzy

by Paula Hunsaker

Feral Paws Rescue Group in Fresno shares with us some of their animal rescue adventures every month. Check out KRL's article about Feral Paws to learn more about them.

Izzy came to our rescue awhile back. We pulled her from CCSPCA, a high-kill shelter on the day she was to be euthanized. Izzy at the time had one newborn kitten with her. When we pulled her and took her to the rescue,Izzy was able to escape from her carrier. We tried for days to catch her. She was so scared and confused. At the time we did have another mom with kittens that we were able to have nurse her baby We set traps to try to help catch her. After a while of trying to catch her, we made the choice to give her some time to run free at our rescue and not to stress her any further. Her baby was doing well nursing and being with the mom we gave her baby to.

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We waited for about a month and began again to work on catching her. She was making herself at home at our rescue and was really doing well. Once we got her trapped, we then had her spayed. She was acting out as being feral, but she wasn’t feral. We could not touch her, and that was because she was fearful. After being spayed, we let her run free at the rescue,and she was happy.

It wasn’t long before Izzy began to go up to the front of the rescue and plop herself down on the chairs that we always sit on when we’re out front. She is cute as a bug’s ear! She has the shortest legs that reminded us of a Munchkin cat, which is a breed with the short legs. Izzy was so different looking from any of the cats that we had at our rescue.

I began doing some research on the Munchkin breed of cat. The Munchkin cat or Sausage cat is a newer breed of cat characterized by its noticeably short legs, which are caused by a natural genetic mutation. The Munchkin is the original breed of dwarf cat. Much controversy erupted over the breed when it was recognized by The International Cat Association (TICA) in 1995, with critics voicing concern over potential health and mobility issues. After talking with our rescue vet about Izzy, it was decided that she could be part of the Munchkin breed. We came to the fact that Izzy was hugely different in her body shape and her noticeably short legs. It just was not a look that you would see in other cats in our area.

Soon, I was on a mission to get her to allow us to make friends. Izzy began to get the attention of all our volunteers and visitors to our rescue. Everybody was talking about her short legs. After a while, when I was sitting out on the chair in front of our rescue, Izzy came up and jumped into my lap. We had been giving her treats and a special place to eat so that she would come to us while we would sit back and watch her. The day she jumped into my lap was the day that Izzy changed completely. She allowed me to pick her up and love on her with out any problems. We kept this up for awhile, and Izzy would come over to the chair I would be sitting on and jumping up in my lap. Izzy began to greet visitors at the rescue, allowing them to touch her. She became a conversation piece with visitors. We were asked so many times if she was available for adoption. I would tell them we are going to allow her to live freely at the rescue. I did not have any plans to adopt Izzy out.

Then just a few weeks ago and incredibly special gentlemen came to our rescue to adopt a kitty. He had been here several times looking at the cats and then leaving with out adopting. This gentleman was so nice and really wanted to adopt but just had not picked that special kitty yet. As he was getting ready to leave, once again without adopting a kitty, he said he would come back in a few weeks and see if he could match up with a kitty. He explained to me that what he was looking for was a kitty that would right off the start win his heart over and feel a bond. Even though all our kitties up for adoption were playing with him and jumping on him it just was not the right kitty. I really liked this gentleman, he had such a loving heart and he kept coming back to visit the kitties. I told him about Izzy and that we did not plan to adopt her out because she had won over everyone at the rescue, but that if he wanted to meet her, I would go get her. He said he would love to meet her.

I went out and got Izzy and took her over to the gentlemen and showed her to him. When he held her in his arms, he had a different look than the other times I saw him holding other kitties at the rescue. Izzy was all over him it was like a bond of real love between them. He asked me would I consider adopting her out? I told him we are keeping her here at the rescue. Then I stood there watching them together and thought to myself, do not be selfish – there is a real bond here, and I should let Izzy go to a forever home. There was something about this gentleman, and I knew letting Izzy go would be a blessing for Izzy and for him. I told him her story at the rescue and that that I really felt good about him adopting her. I told him I would have thought I would never adopt her out. But there was something between them from the start, and a feeling in my heart, this was the best thing to do for both Izzy and this kindhearted gentleman.

I won’t lie and say I didn’t shed tears when Izzy left, but in my heart I felt good inside knowing that Izzy will have the most wonderful home and all the love in the world with her new loving daddy. He told me when he was leaving, I will bring Izzy back and let her visit with you! Needless to say, I miss her when I sit in the chair and she doesn’t run up and jump in my lap. But in my heart, I know I did the right thing for Izzy in letting her move on. This is what rescue is all about, giving a kitty a second chance at having a loving and safe forever home!

Check out the Feral Paws website to learn more about them, and keep an eye on their Facebook Page. They are based in Fresno, CA.

Check out more animal rescue stories in our Pet Perspective section on Kings River Life, and the Pets section here on KRL News & Reviews. Check back every month for another animal rescue adventure from Feral Paws. Advertise in KRL and 10% of your advertising fees can go to a local animal rescue. We also have a special Facebook Group for our pet articles--join and never miss a pet article.


  1. I am so glad that Izzy wound up in your care. Clearly you have completely changed her life by giving her this second chance. It's never easy to allow a rescue pet to move on that has been in our care - I learned that the hard way doing foster care. However, seeing them with their new forever family and knowing that they are leading the life they deserve, it's all worth it!


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