A long time resident of Lloydminster has tossed out a lifeline to a stray cat. It was a year ago around Halloween that his wife who is a real cat lover found a little kitten in very rough shape.
Olen Hillaby and his wife Nicole already had two feline companions, Nelson and Ginger.
However there was never a thought as to how the little kitten whom they would name Stubby would fit in.
“He wasn’t in that good of a shape. He was just a kitten, but his ears had been mostly frozen off. His tail is only a couple inches long. He pooped a crayon after we got him. So he had been scavenging pretty hard to make it. He hit the jackpot with us.”
The rescue of Stubby can be seen in the bigger context of stray animals. Despite the work of SPCA’s across the country about 75 per cent of their animals are put down. Feral cats in Canada face dangers from fighting, disease and traffic. A big city like Edmonton is reported to have some 63,000 roaming cats. Feral cats are hard to domesticate and carry diseases such as toxoplasmosis or cat scratch fever, both of which affect humans.
Stubby’s rescue by Olen and Nicole was a lucky intervention. They quarantined him until they could get to the vet. Little Stubby had worms. He stayed in quarantine for another week. He slept. He ate. Hillaby says Stubby gained a couple pounds over that next week.
The couple then had to integrate Stubby into their family.
“He took a little bit of getting used to the other guys. He was just a little cat, but he could beat up the two cats twice his size at the same time. [It] turns out he was a very young kitten and the other cats are mature cats. He just wanted to play and be aggressive and the other two were like, “ahhhh.”
In the last six months Stubby has begun to settle in and can be seen sleeping with Nelson and Ginger. He’s simply happy to have found his forever home. Hillaby encourages people, if they can to adopt a cat as they have no regrets.