Feral Paws Rescue: Seath

 by Paula Hunsaker

 Our story this month is about a beautiful male gray tabby, who is two years old. Seath was rescued from a high-kill shelter in California. When I go into the high-kill shelters, I always look at the cats marked as being feral. Why? Because they only get out of the shelter if pulled by an approved rescue that is a non-profit. These cats are not able to be saved by the public if they are labeled feral at the shelters. The criteria for a cat that is tagged as being feral: as being unable to be handled or held. I have found over the years that many of the cats listed as feral at the shelters are simply scared from all the slamming of the kennel doors and new sights and smells. They have been trapped by the public or put in a carrier and ripped from the only place they called home for years or months. They have no clue what has happened or what they have done to be now in a kennel in a horrible place with the smell of death all around them, not knowing that their days on this earth are down to three to seven days before being taken out of this cold kennel (where they lay on old newspaper) until they are pulled and taken to the room they will be killed! So many are killed just for being scared and not understanding what has happened to their life.

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Then we have the ones that have tipped ears in the feral kennels that were truly not feral but just because they have a tipped ear. The way that shelters, and the public, would see a cat with a tipped ear was to inform us they are feral and have been fixed. What we are seeing in shelters is that many years back there was a program called the Maddy Program that allowed the public to bring in cats that are feral to be fixed at no charge. But the cats would have to be taken into a vet in a trap, and they would tip their ear.

Ear-tipping involves surgically removing a small portion of one of a cat’s ears while the cat is under anesthesia for spay or neuter surgery. It is the universally accepted way to signify that a community cat has been spayed or neutered, which means no new kittens will be born, and that is a good thing. But what we are seeing now after years of this free program, is that many cats are showing up at shelters with a tipped ear, where once they were someone’s cat that was friendly at the time before being taken to the vet as a feral so they could get the free service of the Maddy Program, but in the end, it labeled the cat as being feral. That is a death sentence at a high-kill shelter. Now rescue groups are seeing that many of the cats coming through the shelters, and being labeled feral for just being scared or having a tipped ear, are being killed at shelters every day. These specific cats at the shelters, not all of them are feral because they used to be someone’s pet now with a tipped ear that were fixed through the Maddy Program as being feral, and are now being killed just because their owner was not truthful but wanted the free service. And that is now a death sentence to the cat at the shelter.

Seath is one that was at a high-kill shelter and put in the feral area to be put down. When I met Seath, he was sitting in the back of his kennel shaking and scared to death. He was so confused about what had happened, and why he was now at this ugly place and being put in a net and jerked around from kennel-to-kennel at the shelter moving closure until the day he would die. His trust in humans was being seriously questioned. Of course, naturally I pulled Seath to give him a chance at a forever home. Seath was scared to death when we left the shelter. Now being pulled once again from the cold kennel with a net wrapped around him and put into a carrier. Of course, I would be scared, too, and it would only be natural to fight for your life! Then again, being judged by humans as being a crazy feral cat, I’m sure you can understand how he must have felt.

Understandably, we found that yes, Seath was scared after getting to the rescue. Once again being moved to an unknown place, not sure why his life was being changed again, and wondering what happened to the place he loved and called home. At the rescue Seath was placed into a large area to roam and feel free, where he no longer needed to worry about being in a cold kennel laying on newspaper, but finding he had a bed to lay on with room to walk around. Being able to look around outside and not feeling trapped anymore. But now Seath can relax and feel safer and freer and not smelling death around him. We can give Seath all the time he needs to know we are safe with him, and that he is not going to be killed. He can have all the time he needs to feel unharmed, and to come around (on his own terms) and show us that he can be loving and wants that future of a forever home.

We are so happy to say that it has come to the day that Seath has now been moved to our adoption area and is ready to move on in life to a forever home, for the rest of his life. He has shown our rescue that he is ready to move on in life and isn’t this feral crazy cat. He’s a loving cat just waiting for his forever family to come to our rescue and take him home where he will be shown love and a warm place to sleep and never fear his ugly past. He’s certainly ready to have a happy and wonderful future. We love our rescue work! 

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.