Feb 12, 2014

It Takes a Village: The Story of One Old Cat

Yesterday, while scrolling through Facebook, I came across a story that moved me so much that I immediately moved into action. My friend, Chris, had been at the shelter when an old man was surrendering his old cat, and the scene was something she just couldn't shake. It was so sad and so touching.

She was picking up a foster dog at the time and had her hands full, but she shared it on Facebook, where I saw it. I'm not sure I even got halfway through before I myself was in tears, ready to move mountains and leap buildings to help this cat.

After reading her post and doing some digging, I posted this below on my personal Facebook page -- and the response was overwhelming and amazing.

Here is what I posted:

Yesterday, a friend of mine was at the Palm Beach shelter picking up a foster dog when she saw an elderly man surrendering his cat. Her name was Gwen, he told them, and is between 10-13 years old and black. The poor, sweet man had even brought her a bag of dry food and three cans of wet food. My friend said he didn't seem like he could afford much, so this was probably everything in the world he could do for the old girl. It was like he was dropping her off for boarding, she said. He probably thought she'd be safe.

My friend, Chris Dominick, couldn't shake what she'd seen, but couldn't take the cat then. So she went to the Urgent Cats of Palm Beach County page and posted what she saw, hoping the old cat could be identified, and someone might be able to help her.

I read her post as was just as torn apart as she was. So I picked up the phone and called the shelter, trying to find Gwen. She wasn't listed on any of their websites, so I was hoping she was just not put up yet.

They first told me it would be nearly impossible to track her down with what little we knew. They get like 50 animals a day, and surrender times aren't listed. She'd have to go through them one by one... I told her the story, and she started to melt and told me to hold on.

When she came back on the phone, she was already combing through intake records -- and we found Gwen! There was just one problem: Her notes said that she was friendly when she was first taken out of her carrier, but hissed and swatted at the vet when they tried to draw blood to process her (of course she did; it's a loud scary shelter!), and so because of that and her "geriatric" age, she could not go into the adoption program.

Basically, she'd be put down that night if I hadn't called. We reached them with maybe 30 minutes to spare.

She asked if I was interested in adopting her, and that if I was they could put a note in her file and keep her for ONE more day, max. I told her that I wanted to work to rescue her, and that if they gave me that day, I could make it happen.

And so my name is in her file now. And Gwen has until they close tomorrow, 2/12/14, to have a plan.

Can anyone adopt her? We can transport!

If not, can anyone local (Broward County, ideally) foster her for a few weeks while we work it out?

We can't let Gwen down. As many cats as we help, I rarely pick up the phone to call the shelter about them. But her story just moved me to tears and shattered me.

Can we please save her? Share far and wide!

She is at Palm Beach Animal Control. Her ID # is 1719429. We can transport her to a good home.

That old man thought he was doing what was best for his Gwen... Let's make it come true, shall we?


This is the picture of Gwen the shelter emailed me after I called.
Within an hour, there were nearly 100 shares and the most heart-warming comments. Bottom line: Gwen has a local foster (think you Cutehead Kyle S.) and hopefully an adopter and/or rescue backup.

I emailed the shelter to let them know, and if all goes according to plan, we should be able to get her out safe today! I will post when she is out for sure!

All paws crossed for Gwen until she's officially busted out, OK? Thanks, Cuteheads! I hope we can work a miracle for this old, sweet girl (and her sweet old former owner!). Huge thank you to Chris for telling this old girl's story so we could all work together for her!

P.S. We can make these amazing things happen because of the amazing group of friends we have here! I can never feel grateful enough. Everyone is just so nice!

P.P.S. If you'd like to adopt her, please fill out our adoption form. We can transport to a good home!

UPDATE 10:14am: Just got off the phone with the shelter to confirm she's still there and let them know we 100% will get her out (wanted to make sure nothing bad happened!), and she's still there! Working out the details on how we'll get her out. Will continue to update when she's safe!

11:10am: Cutehead Leslie W. is going to head over to bust Gwen out in the next couple hours! She'll go to our vet, Dr. Simon's Pet Clinic, and then to foster with Cutehead Kyle S. tonight! I'll keep updating... Still looking for adopter.

12:05pm: Leslie is on her way to bust Gwen out right now! Thank you to Good Karma Pet Rescue of South Florida  for stepping up to help her while we work out her adopter and transport!

2:30pm: GWEN IS SAFE! Yeah! Here is her freedom photo. And she is absolutely gorgeous! She will go to foster tonight while we work out her plan. What amazing teamwork today!

3/8/14: Gwen is on her transport to her new mom, Cutehead Karen R. is Maryland right now! YES!

Gorgeous Gwen out of the shelter! Yay!
HOW YOU CAN HELP
If you'd like to help Gwen and other cats like her, you can sign up to be a volunteer driver for our Cute Transport Network! The more people we have to get cats to their homes, the more we can help!

Why not subscribe to Your Daily Cute by email? Don't miss a Cute!

34 comments:

  1. Agh - this made me cry. What I really wish I could do is get that kitty back to her dad and set up an Amazon delivery of cat food etc. This is breaking my heart

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  2. Poor little ole man. I am sure it broke his heart to give up his purrbaby. Thank you for working Gwen and getting her a foster. I am Ann AnimalAdvocate Fudge Cluck on FB. I post animals needing to be rescued all day and sometimes all night long.

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  3. preston_margaret@ymail.,comFebruary 12, 2014 at 6:27 AM

    Thank you cuteheads!

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  4. Agreed. He must be terribly depressed having to surrender his cat.Sometimes that is all they have in the world. I'm sure the cat will get adopted or fostered,but I'm not sure how he will fare? I wish we could get them back together,i would help with food or whatever would be needed..This is a heartbreaking situation..

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  5. OMG it's too early in the morning for me to be crying - though it seems i cry all the time anyway these days. You're amazing Dorian. THANK YOU for getting involved. I wish that old man knew what happened to his Gwen....

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  6. God bless you Dorian for being involved and helping this kitty. Would there be any way that her former owner could be found? So that he would at least know she was safe and cared for? What a story!!! You are an angel on earth!!!

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  7. There really are angels in this world, Miss Dorian...and you are one of them.

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  8. Sitting here bawling my eyes out after reading this, mainly as a catharsis for what has been a tough couple of days in my world. Thank you for all that you do. :)

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  9. Unfortunately, I don't think the shelter can give out that information. I will ask if maybe they can tell him. I'm not sure if they will or can though. :(

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  10. What a story!! Can't wait to find out who takes this little kitty and any other details about the rescue.

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  11. So glad I have an office with a door so people won't ask me why I am crying at work! Thank you so much for helping Gwen.

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  12. Such a sad story! Hope Gwen fares well. Please keep us posted

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  13. I saw this last night... broke my heart. Poor Gwen. I'm glad you all were able to help her!

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  14. I wonder if the sad old man had to go in a nursery home and couldn't take his beloved Gwen with him? This story is so sad and I wish we could find her owner to help him as well like you cuteheads help Gwen. Please, Dorian, keep us posted.

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  15. Please update about Gwen. She's beautiful, reminds me of my semi-feral cat Mystic. I wish I weren't so far away, I would definitely foster. Being in Michigan, that isnt' possible.

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  16. It would be great ! Please insist to get that information ! You can achieve everything you want, we all know it !

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  17. SAFE! :) I'll keep updating on this post too.

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  18. God Bless every single earthbound angel who participated in saving this sweet, old kitty. It takes a village ... and it warms my heart. I, too, wish the little old man could, at least, be advised that his old companion is safe and warm in this harsh world ... hope he is, too. ♥ ♥

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  19. Nicole in San DiegoFebruary 12, 2014 at 4:26 PM

    Count me in as one so affected by what you've done! You and Chris and all your fellow rescuers are angels to do what you do. So glad Gwen is safe and on her way to a new home.

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  20. Yay! Another win for Team Cutehead. She looks so much like my Kate, who will be 15 in March. So much wish there were a way her owner could have kept her. Doubt that the old man is homeless, but one of the nicest local stories is about the local Humane Society setting up a program to foster homeless folk animals during this horribly cold midwestern winter.

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  21. That was supposed to be homeless folks' animals, but I'm guessing you all figured that out.

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  22. BEST ending to a sweet story ever:) God bless all us cat lovers and ALL animal lovers!

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  23. Oh, thank God, thank God that the beautiful Gwennie is safe! She is gorgeous!

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  24. I only hope the old man has as much love in his life as his cat does now.

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  25. lord, thank you. every one please help out. i can't, but i can post to my peeps. please...please help this man and his child.. prayers do work. sorry i can't do more.

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  26. Is it possible to find out why the man had to give her up? If it is money, maybe we can raise enough to keep them together.

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  27. This is fantastic!! Yes it took a village of very good people. Xo

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  28. This is such a wonderful story! Thank you so much for sharing it. I hope the old man will be OK, too. What a sweetheart.

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  29. Jennifer Hamblen Seneff JonesFebruary 14, 2014 at 10:20 PM

    awesome job guys......... from up in indiana

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  30. How ever did I miss this? So very happy for Gwen and her new Momma! *snif* Love Happy endings!

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  31. Lil Bub would say: GOOD JOB CUTEHEADS.

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  32. great idea!

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