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I figured Monday was the perfect day to blog this, as I have a dilemma involving a cat and I really need help. 

Over the summer, our next door neighbour Steve developed cancer. It wasn't long before it got really bad. We haven't seen Steve in a while, and last we heard he didn't have much time left - so we're assuming he has since passed away. Steve had 5 cats and his family trapped all but one and took them to the Humane Society, where I am guessing they were all put down (the shelter here in Ottawa does not have a no-kill policy and his cats were not friendly to anyone but their owner). The one left was "accidentally" let out of his apartment a few months ago and we've been feeding her ever since. But with winter here being awful (over the weekend it was -30 C) we couldn't bear to see her freezing outside anymore so 9 days ago we trapped her and put her in the only room we have available - a 5'x5' windowless bathroom. 

She has really come around in the past week but she is really not happy stuck in that bathroom (she hasn't been to the vet yet so we can't let her near our cats). It did not take her long to get used to us and now I pet her every time I go in the bathroom to visit (although she is still a bit "feisty") - which is fairly often because she meows frequently. As soon as I go in there with a book to hang out she shuts up and curls up typically in the sink and goes to sleep. It's heartbreaking.

We were in contact with a cat rescue organization (who lent us the trap to catch her) but they are not offering to take her in - seems they are full to capacity and due to the freezing cold weather many of the cats have respiratory infections and passing it to each other. We don't know what else to do. We already have 7 cats and there is NO WAY I can handle another one. (We have 3 cats on meds, and had a vet come to the house the last week to check them all out and give them shots...to find out 4 of them need dental work done. Total for all this being somewhere between $3000 and $5000). We can try and take her to the SPCA in Quebec that is a no-kill shelter but I can't bring myself to do that just yet. 

So if anyone in the Ottawa area knows an organization that has room for one more cat, or knows anyone that might be willing to take her in, please email me at desiretoinspirekim@hotmail.com. We'll pay all her vet bills and whatever it takes to get her ready to go to a new home. 

Reader Comments (42)

Good luck my friend!

16 Jan 2012 | Unregistered CommenterArlindo Alves

Hi! Poor little one - I live in Sweden so I am sorry I can not help!! But Good luck!!

16 Jan 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDaniel

You and Jeff have a heart of pure gold.
I am proud of being your friend.

Hope you find a place for her soon.

16 Jan 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMaura

Dammit Maura you're going to make me cry (and I just got to work so there goes my makeup).

16 Jan 2012 | Registered CommenterKiM

I'm not near Ottawa, but I have some friends on Twitter in the area who might be willing to signal boost. I'll tweet this there.

16 Jan 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa

My brother who lives in Montreal recently rescued a mother and her litter of 4 and is still having trouble finding a home for them so he still has them. I hope it works out for you and the cat, however, I just wanted to say that you are very kind for looking out for your neighbor's cat.

I wish you and the cat a happy outcome.

16 Jan 2012 | Unregistered Commenterboops

We adopted our cat at a shelter where the dogs and cats each live in large (separate) spaces rather than small individual cages. If you can find a shelter like that, maybe you'd feel better. I know I would. The one near us, on Long Island, is Littleshelter.com. Maybe they know of other shelters with similar living conditions that allow for more freedom. To me, that's the big issue...cage or no cage. I hope you find a solution.

Wow she is a beauty! I live in London with two cats and 5 kittens... who need homes... I can only sympathise with you. I have rescued a cat like that earlier this year. She was feisty and with time and patience has become a really very affectionate and bright pet. Some cats (females in particular) find it stressful to live with too many other cats but with more space and less competition reveal themselves to have lovely characters. I've had Lizzy since June and she is a totally different animal to the one who arrived here.
Kim you seem to have already done some of the hard miles to tame her and with those looks I'm sure she will find a home.

16 Jan 2012 | Unregistered Commenterselina

We are lucky to have several "no kill" shelters here in Kansas City.

I would consider foregoing the dental work, (I know you want to take good care of your babies) and consider keeping her.
Or....do you have any family that would love to have her?

Art by Karena

16 Jan 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKarena

I would suggest getting her fixed and up to date in shots first so that she is more adoptable.....and then looking for a place.
We have great organizations in Nova Scotia like Litters and Critters.....that work hard to save all animals....maybe there is something local like that?

16 Jan 2012 | Unregistered CommenterReeber

Aw what a cutie! Kudos for rescuing her from the cold. I hope and pray someone will step forward to adopt her. You are doing the right thing. Hang in there!

16 Jan 2012 | Unregistered Commentercoasterkim

I work as a volunteer in a shelter for cats who can't be adopted (to wild, ill or to old), but it is in the Netherlands so I can not help you with this cutie. I wish her all the best!

16 Jan 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSandra

I have cats myself and they were rescues and I admire how you took this cat in...but your sentence 'We haven't seen Steve in a while, and last we heard he didn't have much time left - so we're assuming he has since passed away. ' really bugs me. I find it disturbing that you don't even know if he is dead or alive - a human being, but that your post is about the poor kitty. I hope you find a good home for the beautiful cat, but I also hope that you take the time to find out if your neighbor is indeed dead...

16 Jan 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGuest

That's so kind of you! I would absolutely do the same, but I know lots of people won't! I live in the Netherlands, so unfortunately I can't help you. Can't believe that there are shelters in Canada who kill pets?! In the Netherlands, killing a cat or dog is forbidden and only possible when a cat or a dog suffer from rabies or something like that. I wish you two and the little beauty very good luck he will find a good home!

16 Jan 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEmma

She´s so pretty and you are amazing!! Good luck!! (can´t volunteer to help, I´m on the other side of the globe). Hang in there!!

16 Jan 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCata

Aww ... so kind of you to offer to pay her vet fees, etc, so she is more adoptable. I'd suggest placing an ad on Kijiji (http://ottawa.kijiji.ca/f-pets-to-give-or-donate-W0QQCatIdZ113) in case there is someone out there looking.

16 Jan 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCoffee with Julie

I am a long time, silent fan and reader of Design Sponge. I've never felt the need to comment until now. I feel so terribly about this cat's predicament and I wish I was in your area because I would gladly take this poor kitty, and she looks like one of my two cats so this tugs at my heart strings even more. I would suggest researching independent humane shelters in your area but I am sure you did that already. This is such a terrible situation for the cat, first loosing her person then her feline friends and now being homeless, it breaks my heart. I hope things turn around.

16 Jan 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnya

I mean desire to inspire not Design Sponge, sorry! Got a little lost in the blogosphere.

16 Jan 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnya

Thanks everyone (and thank you Melissa)!

"guest" it's not like we were close - and I haven't seen any members of his family around much since they tossed all his belongings from his apartment into a dumpster and had all his cats killed while he was fighting cancer so frankly, I'm not very keen on the idea of conversing with those assholes. And it frankly doesn't matter - I think about Steve all the time and I know we are doing the right thing, for this cat and for Steve because it's what he would have wanted.

16 Jan 2012 | Registered CommenterKiM


A "good, kind-hearted, compassionate, decent person" isn't even close to the right adjectives to describe you and your husband. I agree that you're doing the right thing by Steve. If we didn't already have a rescued cat who is "feisty" and unable to get along with other cats, given that I also live in Ottawa, I would take her off your hands in a heartbeat.

Good luck and I will spread the word amongst my own peers to see if anyone could/would take her.


16 Jan 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEmily


Are "shots" required in Canada? In the future, I would highly recommend not giving your cats any vaccinations. They are indoor cats and vaccinations (especially rabies) can cause cancerous tumors in cats, not to mention, compromised immune systems. The vaccine and other "fillers" can be highly toxic. I discussed this with my vet and he agreed to forego vaccinations. They've already been vaccinated at least once when they are adopted (as in children, that's enough). Every year is a moneymaker for vets and I've even had a vet tell me that.

Based on the photos, you have really accomplished a lot with this adorable kitty. She looks quite relaxed (and warm) with you.
You are doing the right thing by getting the word out that she needs a home. Friends of mine have fostered numerous cats in their own home through a animal rescue and somehow always found homes for them.

I have a good feeling that someone will come forward. Just be sure that the person has the right intentions and question them thoroughly. You are a saint, Kim and Jeff, too!

16 Jan 2012 | Unregistered Commentersue

Here vets insist on yearly shots. When the vet came by last week to check my cats out she gave them all shots - and they're all indoor cats. Most of the time you can't have your cat at a vet overnight for surgery if they aren't up to date on shots.

TO NOTE: She's going to the vet mid-week for shots/spaying and all that so she'll be all set for her new home.

16 Jan 2012 | Registered CommenterKiM

We, Paul and me could emergency host but we are too far away living in Germany. Good luck my little friend! Poor nasty people, the neighbours, sorry.

16 Jan 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmina and Paul-Cat

Kim, that's fantastic news that you are taking her to the vet for spaying and 1st vaccinations (ask them to trim her nails, too).

They are required in the U.S. and most (not holistic vets) do require them. My vet is aware of the potential harm and he knows my cats stay indoors and that they've already had a few years of all the vaccinations. My cat Riley just had surgery.

Like most non-holistic human doctors, vets are trained to follow the status quo and often do not educate themselves on the individual's health (diet and environmental factors), but rather are trained to administer drugs and perform surgery only.

Their dental health is important as it could lead to disease in other parts of the body and infection. We've had to invest in teeth cleanings (probably not often enough) for our three.

16 Jan 2012 | Unregistered Commentersue

Just wanted to drop a line and say how awesome you are for helping this cat. Sending good wishes your way in hopes you find her a home soon.

16 Jan 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

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