I hadn't been there long when a call came in - Workers renovating a house that was vacant because the previous tenants had been arrested on drug charges had found that the tenants had left several cats behind, and the landlord said he wanted the cats out by 5 p.m. or he would "get rid of them".
Another volunteer and I grabbed crates and gloves and supplies and headed out. When we got there, the three adult cats had been contained in one room. But one of those cats had given birth recently and had hidden the kittens in the attic, and of course we couldn't take the mama cat without all her kittens.
The house must have been beautiful once - there was a stained glass window in the attic, for Pete's sake! - but years of being occupied by low-income tenants had taken their toll.
We got the adult cats out of the room and into carriers:
And then it was time to head up to the attic to try and locate the kittens.
I will tell you right now, those floorboards were pretty sketchy, and mama had hidden the babies under the floorboards in a far corner - we had to pull the babies out of this crawlspace:
Luckily, one of the workers at the house had long arms, and he was able to reach in and grab out the kittens, one by one. We did sweeps of the crawlspace with a flashlight to make sure we had gotten all the kittens, and then it was time to reunite the kittens with their mama and get them back to the rescue.
And here is their gorgeous mama:
Here are the other two cats we took out of the house. The female, on the right, has severely matted fur, and at one point someone had taken scissors to her to cut some of the mats out. Volunteers will work with her and she will be taken to a groomer if necessary to get her looking good again:
The mama with the babies is safe in a foster home tonight where they will be pampered and cared for, and the two adult cats will be neutered and spayed PRONTO and put up for adoption.
And I will tell you what, none of the other rescues in this area, including the local Humane Society who has a paid staff and a budget ten times ours, would touch a case like this with a ten-foot-pole. But there we were, the crazy ones, the little rescue who could, taking in these cats who were going to meet a bad fate unless they could be rescued today. Oh, and did I mention? Our adoption rate is more than DOUBLE the local Humane Society's adoption rate, even though we take in the sick, the elderly, the injured, and the other animals (like these) that the Humane Society would deny or euthanize.
Okay, stepping off my soapbox now. All I can say is, it was a heck of a day, and our rescue done good. :)