2016-09-01 / Columnists

Pets, Pets, Pets

When the tiniest of pets are rescued, you wonder how many similar waifs were in harm’s way but never discovered. This summer Good Samaritans saved two infant kittens entombed in containers which would have become their coffins. One kitten fell into a deadly space whereas the other was intentionally encased and discarded by someone void of a conscience. Both kittens will be available for adoption via Last Hope in Wantagh.

Stuck at the bottom of a fence post: “Vinilo” has a unique rescue story that unfolded during the Wyandanch High School graduation ceremony on June 25–a very hot day. A lady who spoke little English called Babylon Shelter that Saturday to say she could hear meowing at the back of her yard but could not find a kitten or cat.

Shelter trucks are not on the road on weekends (except for emergency callouts) so Chris Elton (shelter director) and Jill Sanacore (Animal Control officer) went to check it out. Jill had stopped in on her day off to deliver her foster kitten to an adopter. Little did she know she’d become the sidekick in this mission of mercy.

“Vinilo” after his rescue - covered with vinyl fence flakes “Vinilo” after his rescue - covered with vinyl fence flakes The lady’s yard backed up to the high school where several fences and a lot of debris came together on her property line. Graduation was going on outside with a thoughtless person riding back and forth on an ATV. Chris and Jill searched the yard. They could hear crying too but could not find the source of the meow. They had to walk several blocks to enter the area from the high school side.

Then the duo saw a mother cat scoot away, and learned when this family let their little white dog in the yard, a mother cat would dive over the fence followed by her kittens. Eventually Chris and Jill narrowed down the search to a six-foot-tall vinyl fence post with the top piece missing. Chris climbed up to look down the top of the post. He could hear a kitten but couldn’t see him. Turns out the post was buried a foot in the ground and this black kitten was down at the bottom of the narrow fence post shaft which was filled with rainwater.

Doorway cut at bottom of fence post to rescue trapped “Vinilo” Doorway cut at bottom of fence post to rescue trapped “Vinilo” Chris tried dangling a leash down. The kitten grabbed on while he gently pulled the leash up but the kitty fell off. So he went back to the shelter to get tools. He came back with a dremel. As soon as he borrowed an extension cord long enough, he cut a doorway opening at the bottom of the fence post (see photo) to grab the trapped kitten. His hand was too big for the doorway and trench. Jill’s hand barely fit but she was able to pull the kitten out by the head like one of those arcade games with tongs that grab a stuffed toy.

No one threw the kitten down the fence post. Junk created a wider ledge. He either fell down, or his mother dropped him while carrying him. The soggy, emaciated, exhausted, hypothermic black kitten about four weeks old came to the shelter wrapped in a towel. Dr. Lyons, the shelter’s vet, began working on him. She gave him warm honey in case he was hypoglycemic. Tiny flecks of vinyl were sprinkles on his black fur and long ear tufts. Hence the name “Vinilo,” Spanish for “vinyl.”

Jill fostered him all summer. Vinilo grew up playing with her adult cats. He would purr and knead on his human mom, but jump out from behind the curtains to scare her cats who were not impressed with his silly game. Presently 15 weeks old and very handsome with his silver overcoat, neutered, tested, vaccinated, Vinilo moved to Last Hope in Wantagh hoping someone very kind will adopt him soon.

Cardboard coffin: Early in August a woman and her daughter were walking past a dumpster near the Bellmore LIRR tracks when they came upon a box taped shut on the ground. They found a tiny tabby about four weeks old trapped inside. They brought the kitten to the animal emergency in Westbury. The vet determined the kitten had normal vitals and a good appetite but noticed her tail was short with a bulge in the remaining portion next to a thinner portion as if the tail had been “strangled.” Her tail is bobbed now. Nassau SPCA was contacted. Their investigation uncovered an earlier report of the kitten being tied or taped to the box on the railroad tracks was not true.

Nassau SPCA asked Last Hope to take the kitten now known as “Faith.” She has done well in several foster homes. She was weaned, learned to eat from a dish and began playing with her toys. Recently her current foster mom posted a cute video of “Faith” reacting to her own reflection in a mirror.

“Faith” weighs one pound three ounces so she needs to gain at least a pound before being ready for her spay and then adoption. “Faith’s” packaging as trash was intentional. No one knows what she endured before being tossed away like garbage. Her tail injury could be abuse also. It is difficult to fathom how someone could be so cruel.

It is also hard to determine how long each kitten was trapped. But one thing is certain. Last Hope will place both special kittens–”Vinilo” and “Faith”–in homes with the utmost care. I like to describe such careful adoptions by saying the “kittens went to Harvard.” If you are interested in either “Vinilo” or “Faith,” please contact me at the Beacon.

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