The trusted little voice within that led me to 4 stray cats this past January, led me in May to a fairly new cat shelter at a local mall. At that mall shelter, I spoke with a volunteer and told her the story of Creamsicle and Blue. The story upset her. Especially the part of Creamsicle being labeled a feral. I inquired as to what it takes to get cats into that stellar and highly visible shelter. I was told they were not taking anymore cats. But. If I was willing to buy a dog cage and pay for the vet bills, they would take them, heal them and put them front and center with the other cats-in-a-row. The volunteer, Stephanie, told me they would absolutely find a loving home through their shelter. The woman in charge, Sue, also known as a cat whisperer, told me even if Creamsicle had feral tendencies, she would work with him and make him adoptable in short order. I was sold. And elated.
My plan evolved. I began the inquiry, via email, with the private shelter about being able to adopt the boys myself. I was met with heavy resistance. Just because I surrendered the cats did not give me the right to adopt them. They were now "owned" by the woman running the shelter. And she did not deem them adoptable at this time. Blue had only recently been neutered and given shots, and Creamsicle had made such a fuss at the spay/neuter clinic, hiding and scratching, the vet labeled him feral and would not perform the sterilization. A cat without shots and a neuter could not be adopted. The boys were now separated. Blue was in a small "healthy-cat" room (of which almost half the cats I witnessed in that room back in April were NOT healthy) and Creamsicle remained in his cage, alone, in the "getting acquainted/sick room".
I bought a large bag of saccharine. I spoon fed myself heaping quantities and wrote more emails. I was as nice and as patient as humanly possible. I out-right lied. I swallowed more saccharine and lied some more. And after more than a month, it was agreed I could have the boys back, not as an adoption, but as a "return of surrender", thereby absolving the private shelter of the need to give Creamsicle his veterinary care, or have any liability regarding the cats. The shelter made a last ditch attempt to convince me how much better off the cats would be in their care and that my responsibility had ended when I brought them in from the cold. I declined the offer and asked for the cats.
During my month of saccharine and lies, Stephanie kept in touch with me, asking for updates and helping me keep the faith. A cat-loving friend at work, Lynn, emptied her coin jar and gave me money to buy the dog cage. Because I found one on sale, her donation will go even farther. And finally, finally this past Monday evening at a gas station parking lot not far from the private shelter, Creamsicle and Blue were returned to me.
We drove immediately to Stephanie at the mall. Darling woman that she is, she welcomed them with big, loving arms. The boys were traumatized by the car ride and she had them calm in no time. She told them she loved them and with that, my lying days were over.
On Tuesday, the cat whisperer, Sue, paid the boys a visit and had Creamsicle sitting in her lap right away. She took him to her shelter's veterinarian and had him properly cared for. The vet laughed at the notion that Creamsicle was feral. Yesterday's email from Stephanie had me in tears, however. Both cats had arrived in rough shape. Ear mites, eye troubles and Blue, sweet Blue, has tapeworm soars on his skin and a virus on his tongue ,that if left uncared for, would "rot out his tongue". Rot out his tongue???? Holy mother of god. Stephanie said I got them to proper care in the nick of time. And both cats will be fully restored to health.
So this is what I ask of you, should you live in the Buffalo, New York area. Go visit Creamsicle and Blue. You will find them together, in full public view, at the Wyoming County SPCA satellite shelter at Eastern Hills Mall. Go in through the movie theater doors by Macy's. Look left and there they'll be, along with 65 or so other gorgeous cats. Give the boys some love. Let's heal them together and help them find the most loving home possible.(Stephanie would like to adopt them as a pair!)
Warning: I speak, on this video, as if I were an 8 year old child. Maybe a 6 year old. Feel free to roll your eyes.