'Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened."
The call came in from my dear friend Katt (of all names!)
“Michele we have a problem. There is a feral cat that just gave birth to 4 kittens in my friend's backyard (Cherie Curry from the "The Runaways.") She has a dog that is trying to get them and she can’t leave them out there! She has called all the local shelters and no one is willing to come out and take them away. Can you help her?”
That was all she had to say. From that day forward my rescue work and 100% dedication to helping homeless cats and kittens began.
I ran over to her home and found a beautiful mommy cat with babies nestled underneath the bushes and ivy. With my meager knowledge of catching a feral (wild) cat, I attempted to grab her with a towel so I could put her in a cat carrier.
BIG MISTAKE! All I succeeded in doing was put her in attack mode and then scared her off for hours! When she finally returned, we attempted to catch her again, but she was fed up with the human intruders and started moving her kittens to a safer location. I was completely amazed at how easily she scaled an 8-foot cement wall with a kitten in her mouth.
She quickly took all of her kittens away. All but one… a little baby girl.
Now, I don’t know if we handled that kitten too much or if she was sickly. What I do know was that I waited outside in the backyard until 3 am to see if the mommy cat would return for her last baby. When she didn't come back, I carefully bundled up this tiny creature and took her home. But first I made a quick stop at Petco for some newborn kitten formula and a nursing bottle.
She was only a day old and I named her “Hanna Grace.” Hanna, after the street she was born on and Grace, for the grace of God I had in finding her.
Hanna did very well for the first 4 days of her life. Then things took a turn for the worst. She became very ill and couldn’t eat. I rushed her to my vet, whom immediately insisted that she was too sick to survive and told me she should be put to sleep.
WRONG ANSWER! I took her to the emergency vet later that night and she received better treatment. It seemed that she had a strange mass in her stomach. I was sent home with a few words of encouragement, but not much hope. I didn’t sleep the whole night.
The next day I felt I needed to have one last opinion. As I drove down the street I said in my mind, “If I see a vet’s office within the next 2 blocks, I am going in for a third opinion!” Sure enough, VCA Parkwood Animal Hospital in West Hills was on the next corner. The Dr. Hersberg took turns examining her and we realized that her baby formula was not digesting properly and that a new brand of food might help. I
left with a positive feeling that if she could just make it through the next few days she would be all right.
Well, to the amazement of all she survived! Baby Hanna went everywhere with me the first 6 weeks of her life and she has turned out wonderfully. She is now my mascot for Krazy for Kats! Hanna has even been to a public seminar and she was able to meet the famous spiritual leader and author Dr. Wayne Dyer!
The best part of this story is that the vet clinic put me in touch with a rescue group called “Best Friends Catnippers” who helped me retrieve the other kittens. That is how my whole trapping adventure began. I was able to go back and rescue the three siblings and trap the feral mommy cat! I had her spayed and vaccinated after the kittens were weaned and then she was safely released back to her colony where she stills lives today.
I truly believe this wonderful mommy cat, whom I named Jasmine, found it in her heart to give me her first born baby girl as if to say, “Here is an opportunity for you to help those of us in need.” She also made it possible for me to find her again and rescue all her babies, which have now all been adopted out to good homes. Since then I have been committed 100% to reducing the homeless cat population in Los Angeles and helping our furry friends have a happier life.
Hanna Grace is full of love and she is my inspiration. Each day she gives me kitten kisses as if to say – “Thank you Mommy, for saving our lives. My brothers and I are eternally grateful. You are doing a great job with the kitties!”
I appreciate you for taking the time to look at these beautiful rescue kittens that I foster. They all deserve to be taken off the streets and out of dumpsters to have a warm home to live in. They will come to you with a heart of love and will give you years of companionship. And if you ever find a young kitten in need, please give me a call and Hanna and I will do our best to lend a helping hand or put you in touch with someone who can.
Michele & Hanna Grace
And her favorite Aunt who made the call...