Felines can be Purr-fect Pets
A retired educator now dabbles in what had been her first choice as a career. “I’d always wanted to be a veterinarian but they sometimes need to do things I wouldn’t want to do,” said Eloise Keithan of Watsontown who operates a feline shelter since retiring from teaching.
Rescuing, domesticating, and sometimes nursing neglected cats and kittens back to health began four and a half years ago when she took in four tiny fur-balls born in a shed across the road from her home.
Since then Eloise provided temporary care for about 250 cats and kittens with 77 this year alone. Funds to feed, spay, neuter and vaccinate are earned through her substitute teaching. Sometimes individuals finding the strays offer donations to help with expenses until permanent homes are found.
“I have one foster parent caring and cuddling the little ones, and am looking for others to do the same, but I’m really looking for forever homes,” she said. Eloise tends to those cats needing medical attention and those too young to eat on their own. She shared about a mother cat who’d nursed her own 4 kittens, then was convinced to nurse another five who’d arrived later. “I had to hold her down the first couple times, then she took them as her own,” Eloise said.
Spreading the word that homes are needed is accomplished through posters and word of mouth. “There is a network between similar rescuers, so when prospective owners seek cats of specific color or age, we can readily provide it,” she said.
Her criteria for adoption is to make one home visit, “I couldn’t sleep at night unless I knew they were going to good homes,” she said. There is no adoption fee, however donations are encouraged which so far have covered about 20 percent of expenses incurred.
The fan of felines also suggests that “one kitten would be lonely, two are half the work while 10 times the fun. One family agreed to adopt two and when learning the last of the litter remained, took three saying, why not?”
Adoption can be a 20-year commitment but Eloise insists cats are the easiest of pets. There can be many happy returns to those giving tender loving care to felines. For more information phone 538-5610.