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A tale of 47 lives

A few years ago, GVC was called upon to help in the assessment, treatment, and care of 47 beautiful cats, who had been rescued from the most terrible of situations.

Of course, we were more than happy to oblige, but I don’t think any of us expected the physical and emotional drain that the day was about to have on us.

For almost 12 hours, Team GVC, assisted by the original rescue team, examined, assessed, triaged, and treated all 47 cats, most of whom were suffering from a number of medical problems, some more serious than others.

Many the female cats were pregnant, with one little girl being just days from giving birth. Only a very small number were microchipped, which made identification extremely difficult. Most of the boys were un-neutered and it seems all 47 cats had been living together in one small room, breeding and spreading disease from one to the other.

All the cats were dirty, covered in diarrhea and most were coughing and sneezing.

One little boy had a fever of over 41 C with purulent discharge coming from both nostrils. He was struggling to breathe, and we feared that he might not make it.

We were only able to keep the 16 most critical cases here at the clinic, the other 31 cats were treated for initial symptoms and sent to foster homes where they were cleaned, cared for, and medicated over the next days.

When looking back on that day, there are 2 things that touch me very deeply and that I will learn and grow from and take away with me.

The first thing is the incredibly sweet and forgiving nature of those 47 cats. Life had really dealt them a bad hand, yet they looked into our eyes, purring, head butting us and letting us treat and medicate them without extending a single claw or uttering a single hiss. I would have expected them to be very wary of human interaction, but it was almost the opposite. The very last cat we examined at 9.45 pm, was a little white long-haired girl who could not give enough cuddles to Nora. It was as if she was thanking us.

The other thing I will take from that day is the un-questioned love, care, dedication, and commitment, not only on the day, but also in the days afterwards of both Team GVC as well as the team of rescuers that brought the cats to us.

It is amazing what can be achieved when we all come together in the spirit of a united goal. In today’s sometimes cynical world, it shows me that there is still room for love and compassion, whatever your background and whatever your cause.

I am happy to report that all cats are doing fantastically well. All have made complete recoveries and are being neutered, microchipped, vaccinated, groomed, and brought back to a state of health so that we can start looking for furr-ever homes for them.

On a final note, I would like to ask everyone to ADOPT, DON’T SHOP…

Or if you absolutely do want a kitten from a “Breeder”, please, please, please check out where your kitten is coming from. Ask to see the kitten’s parents and to see the environment into which they have been born and where they have been raised.

Make sure they are old enough to leave their mothers and get them checked by a vet prior to purchasing them.