Taking care of animals is in Erika Raggio’s nature. As a volunteer at the local 49’ers Saddle Club, the oldest club in Idaho, she spends most of her life around the four-legged. And although her days seem to be regularly busy, September began a bit differently for her. It was on the first of the month that Erika found herself with a bit of free time. She never expected fate to fill that void by leading her to a tortured soul. Especially one who couldn’t cry out for help. What she later shared on social media, shocked everyone.
Because what fate placed in her path, was a young kitten who’d been tortured with rubber cement covering his mouth!
Erika’s day began when she decided that her rare free time would be best spent at the club.
You guys I literally had some time to kill this morning, and I thought what the heck, I’ll go down to the 49er’s and pick some garbage up, etc…
She was chatting on the phone with her best friend as she walked the area. When she approached the animal pens on the property, she came upon the kitten simply laying in the middle of the alleyway! Right away though, she noticed a brown square of “something” covering the kittens mouth. That didn’t stop the little kitten from running from his would-be rescuer.
Sadly, his fading strength could be seen in his pathetically attempted escape.
He ran away from me, but was pretty lethargic. I could tell he had something over his mouth, looked like duct tape .
She knew in her heart she had been brought to the club that rare morning for this specific reason. And she wasn’t going to leave without that kitten.
I just sat near the woodpile and he eventually came back out. …After about 20 minutes of talking to him, he let me pick him up!!!!!!
But then she saw what the kitten actually had been tortured with, leading to his current state.
Rubber cement had been put over his mouth and most of his nose. The kitten could barely breathe! She couldn’t imagine how long it had been suffering and her heart broke. The kitten was so malnourished, that all she could feel when she picked him up, was skin and bones. How long had it been since he’d eaten?!
Now lending to the fateful story playing out, was the fact that her friend on the phone was also in a unique position to help the kitten.
It was all a matter of perfect timing. The fact that I was early, and decided to stop before meeting my friend to ride is definitely a sign!
As I was waking around the grounds, I was on the phone chatting with my best friend, Cami Renwick whose aunt happens to be Christine Huddleston of Helping Hands!!! Now I think there was definitely a driving force behind a little life needing saved! and that’s the beautiful part of this terrible situation!!!
With their help, she rushed the tortured kitten to the veterinarian to attempt to save his life…crying the entire drive.
Furious at the fact that this was something done deliberately, they vowed to do all they could to save the kitten.
At Orchards Pet Hospital, they carefully removed the sticky glue from the kittens delicate face. Sadly, a bit of the fur and skin on one his paws had to be removed. It had become covered when he likely tried to wipe off the sticky substance. I can’t even imagine a scared young baby going through that.
The tabby boy was only about 2 months old. They sedated him and cleaned the glue from his tiny body. While under, he was also vaccinated and treated for fleas and ear mites. The vets were honest with Erika and told her that had she not discovered the kitten, he likely wouldn’t have lasted longer than another day. She was terrified that there were more kittens out there that could be suffering the same fate.
But now, here was a sweet little kitten with no other health issues…and no home.
Erika knew there was another reason the kitten was put in her path. And it was for more than just saving his life though.
And from the very first grateful purr that came out of the cute kitten, she knew he had become a part of her heart.
As soon as the kitten had been freed from his tortured existence, he amazed everyone by breaking out the biscuits.
“I expected him to be really wild and skittish, but he would not stop purring and making ‘biscuits’ on my daughter,” Raggio said, explaining it was like he was kneading biscuit dough. “That was what made me emotional because I could not believe he was being that sweet after what happened to him.”
Perhaps it’s because her daughter, Emma, is just as much a lover of animals as she.
Emma, Erika’s daughter, says she loves his scruffy hand [where the glue was removed], which she calls “hannies.”
I am a firm believer that animals can sense that in humans. From Erika’s social media profile, her heart is exactly what draws them to her.
~Your life only gets better when you do.💕🍁 Work on yourself and the rest will follow🍃🌻~ Erika Raggio
Now, the once tortured kitten not only has dedicated humans, he’s got a huge 4-legged family to care for him too!
As soon as Erika saw the events unfolding between her daughter and the loving little kitten, she immediately knew he belonged with their family.
“Biscuit” is happy and healthy thanks to Helping Hands and Orchards Pet Hospital. My daughter named him Biscuit because he hasn’t stopped happily “making biscuits” since we picked his sweet self up from the vet.
The Raggio’s have 3 other cats and 3 dogs that share their home.
One cat, Turnip, has “adopted” him, cleaning him and letting him eat her food, she said. Though he’s still small enough to fit in a coffee mug, he’s gaining weight.
Before you ask, YES, the police department is involved in the case and are on the lookout for the cruel human(s) that did this.
I tried to hope it was an accident but I just knew someone had done this to him. THANK YOU TO HELPING HANDS AND ORCHARDS PET HOSPITAL. He is coming home with me and will never have anything but tons of love EVER again!
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE RAGGIO’S AND BISCUIT!
A special thank you to everyone who is continuing to monitor the club and surrounding area. If there are more animals in need of saving, we’ll know they’re in good hands.
REMEMBER: SPAY/NEUTER, FOSTER, VOLUNTEER, TNR & AS ALWAYS, ADOPT, DON’T SHOP!