Frazier & Maddie

There’s a belief among some rescue experts that relocating strays from the street for better homes is outdated, paternalistic thinking. Maybe, but for the majority of cats we see, leaving them as is/where is isn't an option. At least for those of us with a conscience. Besides, where would we get the good stories?
Take little Frazier. Memorial Day weekend, we were tagged in a post about a kitten with “really bad eyes” pulled from a busy intersection in Madera. Something about the post sucked us in and when the finder reported that she’d turned the little one over to Madera PD, we called Diana Frazier for help. She called back in minutes. The little one was at the shelter, on schedule for PTS, and she could meet me at 11 AM. “Google Maps will take you to the jail. Don't end up there…” Good advice.
I'm no vet, but I’ve learned by watching the crew that eye issues almost always appear worse than they are. I hoped for the best, slid down in my seat as I passed the jail and met Diana at the shelter. Ugh…one look at the little one, and my hopes for an easy fix were over. The little one weighed a pound at most, both eyes were badly infected and worse…he purred on contact. Really?
We’ve had pirates and cloudy eyes but never a blind cat, and a side of me said, “Let him go. No one will ever know.” But there was something about this spunky brat…did I mention the purring? “We'll take him.” A month later, this little gremlin may have lost his sight, but he's got ears like satellite dishes, greets visitors with a purr that says, “Nice to see you!” even though he never will, plays with his friends in the grass and has Dirty Harry as a mentor and protector. Better than life on the street, if you asked me.
And then there's Maddie. Three days ago, we took a call about an anemic Russian blue with mobility issues confiscated from a local prison. She’d been hidden in a cell—you say kitten, the Man says contraband—hand-fed leftovers and discovered by a compassionate guard. Social equity aside, this little one needed attention that the infirmary couldn’t offer, and the finder delivered her to us with a giftcard and an apology. “I didn’t realize she couldn’t walk!”
Once onsite, the crew hustled little Maddie to the vet for an exam and X-rays. Diagnosis: “No breaks. This looks like a nutrition issue. Maybe rickets.” Wait, what? Is that still a thing? Turns out with poor diet and no exposure to the sun, it is. After a few servings of enriched pate and yard time, Maddie is back on her feet with the finder shocked at the transformation. “Take her back to where we found her?” Uh, that's a misdemeanor…
And two nights ago, I took a 1 AM call from one of our crew from his bartending gig. “One of our guests was at the drive-thru and heard crying from his engine.” On his break, our guy helped the finder jack up his car, recover two bottle babies, box them up and watch them under the bar while he finished his shift. By 2 AM, the little ones were safe onsite, and by morning the crew had them on a feeding plan and was combing our foster network for nursing moms. Better than living in a wheel well…
Every single day, we respond to tags for help like the ones above. We don’t have a big, shiny facility, experts telling us to just say no or six figure grants funding our efforts. But we have saved tons of animals with the help of our dedicated crew and fosters and generous supporters, and every single one of them—the cats, at least—is better off for the effort. Thanks in advance for Frazier and Maddie and all the others…
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