2016-12-29 / Columnists

Pets, Pets, Pets

This year Babylon Animal Shelter and Last Hope in Wantagh each took in close to 500 cats and kittens. Every cat has a rescue story though known details may be sketchy. Below are five memorable Babylon Shelter and/or Last Hope cat rescues from the 1,000 feline stories of 2016:

*VINILO- Thank heavens Vinilo continued to sing out like Caruso. His loud meow saved his life.

When four weeks old, Vinilo got stuck at the bottom of a six-foot vinyl fence post, actually another foot underground too, where he was submerged in rainwater. He kept meowing until a lady heard him in the back of her yard, but she could not find a cat.

She called Babylon Animal Shelter for help, and director Chris and ACO Jill rushed over and heard him too. It was so hard to locate the trapped kitty because the Wyandanch High School graduation was going on full blast just behind the yard. Finally they located his cries, emanating from the bottom of a vinyl fence post without a cover.


Carlton received a new home for Christmas after his loving owner died. Carlton received a new home for Christmas after his loving owner died. After a bit of MacGyverism, Chris cut a doorway at the bottom of the post, and Jill was able to squeeze her hand in to pull him out covered with vinyl flakes. Jill fostered him all summer until Last Hope scoffed him up before school started again in the fall.

Vinilo is still waiting at Petsmart Bellmore, a Last Hope satellite location, to be rescued again by someone who wants a forever feline. His name means “vinyl” in Spanish. Vinilo, born in May, is a black cat with a silver undercoat.

*FAITH- During the summer Nassau SPCA got a call about an infant kitten taped in a box near a Nassau LIRR station. First report said the kitten was on the railroad tracks which turned out not to be true. A mother and daughter discovered the box near a dumpster when they were walking by the station. The kitten was rushed to the vet because when they opened the box, the kitten lost part of her tail adhered to the tape. The SPCA asked Last Hope to take this kitten they named “Faith.”


Vinilo, rescued from under a fence post as a baby, is still waiting to be adopted. Vinilo, rescued from under a fence post as a baby, is still waiting to be adopted. Faith was bottle-fed in foster care, and needed extra socialization with other cats because she was a singleton. Several months later she was adopted by a family in Bellmore.

*MORRIS- This orange tabby, about 10, was the pet of a 91-year-old man who perished from his injuries after a month of intensive care following a car crash on his way to work last winter. Morris was scared and bewildered being left without his owner so he began hiding in the large empty house.

Friends of the senior citizen were the executors of his estate. They promised to make sure Morris would be safe if anything happened to their friend. The couple was also trying to get the house ready to sell, but couldn’t bring real estates in until Morris had been safely trapped. Last Hope was the only rescue to respond to their plea for help. The couple hired a feeder for Morris but all three people knew little about cats.

Morris was confined to a downstairs apartment until the caretaker left for vacation. For some reason, upon leaving, he gave the cat full access to the home which made trapping more difficult. I did not see Morris after the first day I met him. At that time he was locked in the apartment bedroom. I was afraid he got out of the house (a window was not secure) or was back in a bathroom ceiling where he hid when his owner was gone. It took several attempts and multiple traps before I caught Mr. Morris. Soon after coming to Last Hope he was adopted by a dedicated vet tech who volunteers at our feral cat clinics. She, her husband and Morris are very close. He’s now affectionately known as “Morris Mush Pot.”

*FOXIE- This lovely tortie was the last Frontier Trailer Park cat brought to Babylon Shelter. She was extremely outgoing. Her abdomen seemed bloated so there was some concern she might be pregnant. The shelter vet determined she wasn’t, and a spayed Foxie moved to Last Hope.

She was adopted soon after and instantly fit in with two dogs, a cat and a kindergarten child. A week later Foxie became testy when anyone touched her. A trip to the vet revealed a large tumor in her abdomen.

The prognosis wasn’t good. Her new family reluctantly returned

Foxie to Last Hope.

Meanwhile the vet who discovered the tumor was immediately enamored with this charming cat. She took Foxie home to do hospice care, but later removed the tumor in a risky operation. Foxie fits in fine. She loves the children and sleeps with her veterinarian savior.

*JASMINE- In the spring, a worker found a two-week-old tabby secured in a box on a conveyor belt at a Farmingdale factory. The worker notified Last Hope, and the kitten, emaciated and hypothermic, was rushed to an emergency hospital. Just before Christmas, she was adopted by a caring family. Their other cat and Dachshund are older pets. The cat is accepting Jasmine, but presently the Doxie is taking his time getting used to the idea of having a youngster in his domain.

*CARLTON- A Christmas angel must have intervened for Carlton. He is also a Frontier Trailer Park rescue cat, scooped up in N. Amityville when the rundown trailer park was demolished to make room for luxury apartments and stores. Carlton was adopted and cherished by a devoted Last Hope volunteer and retired NYPD officer who passed last month. We feared the poor cat would have to return to Last Hope.

Instead, before Christmas, Carlton was adopted by the son of a Last Hope volunteer who happens to be a NYPD officer too. Happy New Year!

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