Some people are just born with it. No, I’m not talking about money and fame. I AM talking about something that seems to draw souls to them like a moth to a flame though. Those people are animal rescuers. And animals seem to find THEM when they are needed the most. It’s unfortunate that this “rescuer gene” doesn’t come with a built in bank account or unlimited knowledge, but that doesn’t stop any of them. So when our close friend Nicolle Azar Thompson, had ANOTHER stray cat who simply appeared needing help, there was no trying to deny the furry soul.
When I say “simply appeared”, that’s about the only thing simple about transitioning this sweet boy into a house cat.
Because this ginger boy is only one of thousands of cats living on the streets of Tampa Bay.
Which means the chances of Nicolle easily finding a home for one more cat, wasn’t going to be simple in the least. Not to mention that unbeknownst to anyone, on one of his paws, a nasty infection was brewing where it couldn’t be seen. But there was no way she could allow him to suffer street life regardless. Even if she has literally no clue where he came from.
Seeing another new cat in her life wasn’t surprising though. I personally had actually gone out TNVR’ing (Trap/Neuter/Vaccinate/Return) with her a few days before. There is a location with about a dozen stray and feral cats she just learned of. It’s extremely devastating to see cats come running from behind trash and trees when they hear a cat food can open. Our night’s catch was only for one unfixed cat (caught 2 others that already had ear tips), but the scene at the local Humane Society was heartbreaking. This happens every week and was just the beginning of the trapped cat count that evening.
Dedicated to each and every needy feline, Nicolle returned to the location over the next few days.
One evening, as she arrived home, the surprise visitor suddenly popped into her view! She had no clue if he had hitched a ride in/under her car from somewhere. Or maybe someone had abandoned him.
True to her nature though, she never thought for a second of not helping him. Even though he had quite a penchant for song and “serenaded” her into the wee morning hours.
What simply appeared, was the sweetest gentle cat imaginable; certainly not a feral cat!
But in rescue, sometimes that isn’t completely a good thing. It means the cat likely relied on someone for food, water and shelter. Now they have no survival skills in their new homeless lives. Worse, they could be been dumped for NO reason other than humans can be horrible. Whatever circumstances brought Howley to the streets, he needed to get off of them fast.
Finding cats to rescue is easy. Clearly for some, it falls in their laps. But for Nicolle’s rescue journey with Howley, that’s where the ease ended.
She continued to post pleas on her own Facebook page and that of her newly formed 501 (c)3 non-profit organization, Chalky’s Cat Crusade. The long-awaited official organization was named in honor of her first official TNR cat back in 2011. Sadly, there has been no adopter that has stepped up to help provide Howely with a “purr”manent, indoor home.
Howley is resting comfortably with a wonderful TNR advocate awaiting his surgery on Thursday. He will be neutered, microchipped, vaccinated, tested and wormed. His injured foot will be assessed as well. He is looking for a forever home immediately and is being a perfect gentleman!
Before you ask, Nicolle currently has 4 cats of her own and 2 female rescued strays that EACH refuse to live with other cats.
Luckily her bungalow style Tampa home has plenty of doors to separate recovery spaces for cats and kittens. But there is no vacancy. Fortunately, Howley was granted limited access to another amazing foster woman, but she is only available to care for him temporarily since her home is full as well.
Howley was finally able to get to the vet for his “big boy” neutering surgery and to have his paw looked at on Friday 10/25/19. The news was good and bad for the ginger guest. He’ll heal, but will be sporting a stylish cone while recovering. If there are any issues, amputation may not be off the table, but it looks promising.
Finding a HOME for these rescued cats is the hard part. Rarely have those “simply appeared”.
The main reason people don’t get into rescuing–or eventually get out of–is due to lack of funds and support. Support can be in the form of fostering, adopting, donating or sharing their posts. For anyone that isn’t associated with a larger group, it is essential to their lifesaving work. Remember, Howley didn’t ask to be homeless and Nicolle (this time LOL) didn’t go “looking” for another feline to save.
Please be sure to follow Chalky’s Cat Crusade for all the adorable cats and kittens that one woman “simply” takes into her heart.
If you are interested in adopting Howley, please contact the organization directly. But be warned, we’re going to need lots of update photos on his new life! Best of luck Howley!!!