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Operation Save the Kitten -- We need your support! (UPDATED with new donation info)

Sep 3, 2013

Well. I certainly did find something else to do over Labor Day Weekend.

On Sunday I was walking Noli and found a kitten who I assumed was a stray that had a badly injured leg. It was torn open and bleeding, and she could barely walk on it. Problem was, she was hiding behind a fence and I couldn't reach her.

I shouldn't go into all the details right now, but hopefully when the dust settles I can tell you more, because it was a truly enlightening and oftentimes disappointing experience. Long story short, I spent all day Sunday and Monday trying to get her help, calling every organization I could find that might be able to help her. In the end, it was the support of a neighbor I'd never met that caused the story to have a happy ending. And God of course...I had many many conversations with the Lord about this little kitty over the weekend.

A few neighbors knew what was going on, and one of them emailed me and told me he would help. We came soclose to getting her last night, but around 9:30 p.m., after hours and hours of sitting outside, trying to coax her out, I told my neighbor that we should call it a night. My heart sunk as I said it, but realistically, we both had work in the morning and we had tried so hard to no avail. Then another neighbor approached us and told us, "I see kittens playing in the alley every morning around 5 a.m. You might want to try to catch her then."

So we set our alarms for 5 a.m. When mine went off this morning, I wasn't feeling very confident that we'd be able to get her. But it was our last shot. We'd come this far, so we had to try one more time.

We met in the alley and looked around for her, but she was nowhere that we could see. A couple of adult cats were out, but no kitten. We'd been through this with her before, so I wasn't afraid she was dead somewhere, as I had been afraid several times during the past two days. She was just hiding. We looked and looked and looked, and then, for some reason (Oh heeeey Lord!), my eyes went to the wall in the alley.

And there she sat, hiding behind some weeds.

"She RIGHT THERE!" I whispered frantically to my neighbor. He couldn't see her for a few moments -- she was hidden very well. But when he did see her he looked at me and said, "This is it. I'm going in."

The poor little girl struggled but couldn't get far. She could no longer put any weight on her leg. We got her in a cage that one of the organizations I contacted had given us, and we put her in my bathtub with some tuna as Noli went ballistic.

"What now?" we practically said in unison. We had to laugh -- we'd been so focused on catching her, we hadn't thought through the next part of the plan.

I know what you're thinking -- call Animal Control! Or the Humane Society!

But, for reasons I won't divulge now, we decided to take matters into our own hands. The cat breeding problem is a huge one in DC and many other cities. Volunteers try to help, but I can't blame them for taking a backseat when they see two people willing to put forth the effort. I applaud the volunteers and our Animal Control and Humane Society officers for the work they do. But we weren't willing to give her over by that point. Our only concern was to get her to a vet.

After having a good chuckle and sigh of relief, my neighbor said City Paws, the vet we both take our animals to, opens at 7 a.m. We had been told that other vets in the area were less expensive, but they didn't open until 10 a.m. We both trust the vets at City Paws, so I called and got her in for an 8 a.m. appointment.

"And what's her name?" the woman on the phone asked me. I thought for a second, realizing I hadn't discussed this with my neighbor and we were both equally invested in her. But then the name came to me, and I couldn't help myself.

"Catniss," I said, grinning ear to ear. If you've seen The Hunger Games then you get it. If you haven't, you can read about "Katniss" here. This little girl (I was hoping so much she was, in fact, a girl!) was a survivor. It was perfect.

I raced to get dressed and ready for work, and a little after 7 a.m. we took her to the vet. We waited a little bit since we were pretty early, and then the lady behind the desk said, "Catniss?" My neighbor looked at me, puzzled.

"Oh! Her name is Catniss," I said, shrugging.

He smiled at me and nodded. "And what if she's a boy?"

"Well in that case, you may name him." And with that we took her/him into the exam room.

There we were greeted by Dr. Storm and he is hot and single and no I am not making this up. His name is Dr. Storm, y'all. Wouldn't this be the best "How did y'all meet?" story?!

But...back to Catniss. Dr. Storm let us know she was a girl (yay!), she's about two months old, and her leg is in very bad shape. But she was surprisingly docile and, I'm just assuming, knew we were there to help. I mean, we'd been camping out in an alley for two days. She knows us by now, right?

I had to leave shortly after 8 a.m. to get to work, but my neighbor was able to stay with her. Today they will be running tests, cleaning the wound and figuring out the next steps.'s what I need from you ("you" being an interested party in Catniss's long-term welfare):

1. You've already predicted this, but Catniss needs money for her medical bills. Anything you can give will help. $1, $5, $10, $100...seriously, anything will be a huge support. Here's how:

  • Call City Paws at 202-232-7297.
  • Reference Catniss's ID: #10932.
  • City Paws will take your donation over the phone and apply it to the account.
UPDATE: City Paws found that Catniss broke her leg, and the wound was very likely caused from the bone puncturing through her skin. Dr. Storm referred us to South Paws Animal Hospital where they specialize in these sorts of injuries. Catniss's surgeon, Dr. Norton, is very confident he can save her leg, and because she's so young, her recovery time shouldn't be more than a month. 

We set up a funding website here if you'd like to make a donation (or just use the handy widget on the upper right hand side of the Cupcakes and Shoes homepage!), or you can call South Paws, which will work the same way City Paws did.
  • Call South Paws at 703-752-9100.
  • Reference Catniss's ID: #114772.
  • South Paws will take your donation over the phone and apply it to her account.
Also, here's a few more photos because I can't help myself:

2. I am not prepared to adopt Catniss, but I will if I have to. However, having a dog already, it's not the most ideal environment for Catniss...or Noli, for that matter. If you are interested in adopting her, please email me at cupcakesandshoes [at], or you can call City Paws and give them your information. They will be able to get in touch with me.

Thanks for helping save this little kitty's life! I think she's going to have a good one ahead of her. ;)

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