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Bringing the cats in from the cold

  • ”Zeus” is currently available for adoption at the Monadnock Humane Society after being trapped in New Ipswich. Courtesy photo

  • ”Zach,” a cat captured by Bonnie Somero in New Ipswich to protect it from the cold weather.  Courtesy photo



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Monday, January 08, 2018 5:58PM

Bonnie Somero’s two cats spend most of their life outdoors. But when the cold comes in, so do the cats.

But the two strays she occasionally sees stealing a bite from her cats’ food dish or visiting her porch weren’t so lucky.

Somero put out the call on social media: Anyone missing an orange cat? A few people came by to check, but it was never the right match. Still, Somero didn’t want to leave the animal out in the cold. 

A neighbor, Tiffany Bates, offered Somero the use of her Hav-A-Hart trap to try to catch the stray. And on night one, success!

Well, somewhat.

Instead of catching the orange stray she was aiming for, Somero had trapped an orange and white cat she’d also seen in her yard on occasion. Somero kept the cat in her basement overnight, until Bates was able to transport the cat to Monadnock Humane Society in Swanzey, the only shelter she could find that was open at the time, to be checked out by a vet. The cat is now called Zeus, after being named by Bates’ daughter.

“Honestly it seemed like they were just grateful to be warm,” said Bates. “The first cat that we caught, it purred in the car the whole way to the animal shelter.”

The cat had some frostbite on its paws and scarring on its face, but otherwise appeared to be healthy, said Bates.

Time for round two. It took another few days of the trap being out, but eventually, the orange cat she’d originally been aiming for took the bait and Somero was able bring it inside.

Bates picked up this one, and after a night in her home, she turned it into Kitty Rescue in Jaffrey for treatment and rehoming.

Though both cats appeared to be strays – the orange Tom they caught suffering from frostbite on its paws and ear mites so bad that the cat had an infection – they seemed to accept their newfound captivity without upset.

“It seemed like at some point they were both domesticated,” said Somero. “Because they would let my kids pet them through the cage. It made me feel good to get those two out of the cold, and medical attention they needed.”

Bates agreed that both the animals seemed to be ready to become a family pet for someone. 

“They were both really sweet cats. Someone did own them at one point, but their fur was matted and they didn’t look like they had been taken care of recently.”

Heidi Bourgeois, President of the Board of Directors at Kitty Rescue in Jaffrey, said the organization has taken in a handful of cats over the past few weeks from residents who either trapped them or, with the friendlier ones, simply let them in to keep them from the cold.

“We did see a spike,” said Bourgeois. “We have had cats brought in from Troy, New Ipswich and Jaffrey. They’re not chipped, so we don’t know if they belong to anyone, but at least they’re in and out of the cold for the moment.”

In addition to the orange male named “Zach” by Bates’ son, the no-kill shelter has taken in a male from Troy that has been dubbed Morris and two year-old cats, a calico female and gray male from Jaffrey. Two more were trapped in Jaffrey using a trap provided by Kitty Rescue, but the people that trapped them ultimately decided to keep the kitties permanently, said Bourgeois.

Bourgeois suggested that if  anyone in the area has a concern about  a cat they believe may be a stray, to call Kitty Rescue at 532-9444, and they will provide assistance. 

Zeus is currently available for adoption on the Monadnock Humane Society’s website.

 

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.