Paws4Life, Inc.

“Mew” Beginnings

~ FREDO ~ {Adopted December 2018}


Fredo ~ On the evening of May 22, 2018 this little guy was found on the side of a highway at just 6 weeks old!!  The family that found & rescued him were on their way home & saw some kitties just on the side of the road.  They pulled over & tried to get the ones they could, but they all ran off into the dark.  All but Fredo, that is, because of his CH (cerebellar hypoplasia).  The finders were not able to keep him & posted a video of him in a Facebook group that we’re in looking for an adopter or rescue to take him.  Having volunteered with CH kitties in the past we knew in our hearts he had CH just from watching the video so we began communicating with the family letting them know we were sharing their post around as well as checking with our wonderful foster couple Kelly & David to see if they thought they’d be up for fostering a special needs kitten.  They did not hesitate at all & opened their hearts & home to fostering this tiny black baby.  We drove to pick him up the following weekend & of course we all fell instantly in love (Kelly & David have an extra soft spot for black kitties, too).  It was difficult for the rescuing family to have to let him go, but we promised them we’d make sure he was adopted into a home that is just perfect for him & that will be able to meet all his needs.

When we agreed to take Fredo in under our rescue we felt like it was such a privilege to be able to care for such a special kitty.  We were excited mixed with a little bit of nervous since he was our first CH rescue kitty.  His foster parents are truly amazing people & while being very protective of Fredo in every way, they also let him lead them in showing what he was capable of as well as what he needed.  In no time at all they were able to establish a routine that met all his needs & Fredo just thrived.  He certainly made a special place in his foster parent’s hearts & he has taught us all so much about perseverance, determination, & living in the moment.  Foster mom says Fredo has a zest for life & is so sweet & loving & he enjoys each moment & day to the fullest.  He just truly shows that with love all things are possible.  Fredo has been a gift to each of us & we hoped & prayed that whoever adopted him would find their life to be equally full & blessed because he’s in it.  While we had several inquiries with adoption interest, we were very specific on the things we felt an adoptive home would need to care for this precious soul & it seemed that none of the inquiries up until then were a good fit.  We decided to reach out to our wonderful friends at MeowAsFluff, who creates short videos & writes articles specifically on special needs cats & highlights them on their social media venues, to see if they could highlight our Fredo & they so graciously agreed.  It was not long after his story went more viral, thanks to them, that we were contacted by an amazing young couple who saw the video & were very interested in adding Fredo to their family.  After much detailed communication/screening we are thrilled to say that on Dec. 26th, 2018 we took Fredo to his new family & while it’s always bitter-sweet to let our kitties go, Fredo (now Flike) is a happy thriving boy who is loved more than words can say!

~ PAWLEY ~ {Adopted spring 2018}

Pawley ~ What a character! He showed up in early 2015 a bit in rough shape (scratches on his nose/face from fighting other strays no doubt) and un-neutered as they all do. He kept his distance due to the small group of strays already in our yard that we were caring for, but once this group was moved into the large enclosure we built Pawley began to really warm up. He pretty much lived in our yard, save for a romp in the nearby woods, so we made him his own “space” just outside the large enclosure. He had a feeding station, a large bin that we made into a sleeping space for him, & we even built him a shelf that he could climb & play on. Until early 2017 Pawley lived in our yard and he socialized very well, sitting in my lap, playing and being silly, and just loving life. And as usually happens in the early spring, a new un-neutered stray started coming around. Of course this stray was bold and tried scrapping with Pawley a few times (they actually did scrap once or twice) and I knew this couldn’t go on. After all, this was Pawley’s safe place, HIS yard that he had made his home. A plan was in place to neuter this new stray but until that would happen I didn’t want Pawley to feel unsafe. Because he had been around for 2 years and over this time the kitties in the enclosure had plenty of time to get used to him I made the call to put Pawley in the big enclosure, but I wouldn’t force him. The next time he was at the door with me I decided I would hold it open to see if he walked in. The first time he didn’t, but the next opportunity he had he decided to walk in and that was when he began living in the large enclosure. For the year he lived with the others in the big enclosure all went pretty well, save for a tangle or two with the leader of the group, Vader. But Pawley eventually learned his place in the pecking order and it was a big sigh of relief for me knowing that he was now “truly” safe. He continued to be the silly character of a kitty that he had always been and he gained some serious admirers over time who loved seeing his posts. He always greeted me at the door for the feedings and if I sat down he was always the one to get in my lap first. A very social guy!

One of our IG followers saw a post of him and she said something about him caught her eye and she kept coming back to see his posts. She decided to reach out to me about adopting him, but it would be several weeks before that could happen due to some home repairs that had to get done. In the meantime she came over to meet him in person and learn more about him. She definitely wanted to give him a chance at living in a home and I could not deny him this wonderful opportunity. When the time came, I delivered him to his new home and he has never looked back. I felt in my heart that he would do well in the right home and this was THE right home for him. I’ll admit, having cared for him for 3 years it was very hard to see/let him go. He was such a big presence, we had a beautiful journey together, and I’ll always cherish that time. I still have moments of missing him, but then I’m reminded of the amazing life he has now and that is really what they all deserve!

Katie & Keira ~ {Adopted February 2018}

Katie & Keira ~ Early one morning in the spring of 2017 a kind lady found that a momma cat had given birth to 4 babies on her front porch!  Talk about an unexpected surprise!  She was able to get the family inside to keep them safe, but knowing she was not going to be able to keep them all she started reaching out to rescues for help.  Our rescue was one she contacted & while we didn’t have an empty foster home available at that time, we knew it would be at least a few more weeks before one was needed.  While we waited for the kittens to be weaned from mom we reached out to a longtime independent rescue friend who mainly works with kittens & thankfully she offered to take two of the kittens & although our awesome foster parents Kelly & David were already fostering a couple of other fur kits, they offered to take in the other two.  When they were old enough we had all the initial vetting done (deworming, testing, etc.) & got them settled into their foster home & as they do with all their fosters Kelly & David showered Katie & Keira with lots of love & attention & when the girls were ready, taught them how to mingle with their resident cats, which they did just fine.  Over the next several months Kelly & David got to know the girls & their personalities really well & during that time we had the rest of their vetting done (shots, spays, etc.).  Once we reach that that point with our cats we are better prepared to know what to look for in an adoptive home for each of them & we begin to really network/search & share their story.  The girls always seemed to be together in their foster home, whether playing, sleeping, eating, so even though these kind of homes/adopters are harder to come by, we decided we would only adopt the girls as a pair.

We networked/posted the girls for several months sharing new/cute pictures & we would get an email periodically from someone who was interested in one or the other, but knowing we could not split the girls up we kept searching.  In early 2018 a young lady emailed & was interested in adopting both girls ~ YAY!!  Of course we did our usual/normal screening & with each step in the process this adopter/home was looking more & more like what we were looking for & we were getting excited!  Well, the rest is history ~ the girls got to stay together & their mom is so in love with them.  And we don’t at all regret holding out for just the right adopter, we believe that there is just the right home for each kitty, & just the right kitty(s) for each home!

~ POPPA CAT ~ {Adopted early 2012~ {R.I.P.  5/10/2017}

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Poppa Cat ~ He was part of the original group of 7 stray cats that showed up near my home in the fall of 2011, and he is part of why I started Paws4Life, Inc.  As the weather was beginning to warm up in early 2012, I had noticed that Poppa Cat was itching a lot and losing patches of fur. (Having my own fur baby with allergies, this was all too familiar).  Not knowing exactly what he was allergic to, I changed the food I was feeding him. He was receiving flea treatments, and I took him in on two separate occasions to get a steroid and antibiotic shot to help ease his discomfort, all while I looked hard to find him a forever home.  I also found out that he was FIV+

After much prayer and networking, a wonderful rescue acquaintance told me about the “purrfect” couple who might consider taking him in, at least to foster.  She got in touch with them and my prayers were answered.  It was intended to be a foster situation initially, but we all know how those go sometimes, especially if you’re a foster failure like me!!  Poppa Cat won my heart the first time he came to me and let me pet him, so I had no doubt he would work his charm on his foster parents too.  Not long after, the foster parents decided to officially adopt Poppa Cat.  I couldn’t have asked for a better adoptive home for him, and whatever it was he was allergic to, it cleared up once he became an indoor only cat!

~ WILLIE ~ {Adopted summer 2012}

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Willie ~ This sweet boy was also part of the original group of 7 stray cats that showed up near my home in the fall of 2011. And there was no doubt that he was Poppa Cat’s son.

He was the friendliest of the 3 babies that came with the group & I knew he would make a great companion to the right home. To my surprise, right in the middle of kitten season I was contacted by a lady who knew of a couple that had lost their senior cat & were looking to adopt a young cat, but not a kitten. I sent them Willie’s picture & info along with his sister’s, & they ended up falling for Willie’s cute face & chose him. He went to his forever home in the summer of 2012.

~ JASPURR ~ {Adopted August 2013}

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Jaspurr ~ I refer to this sweetheart as “bouncy”. He had such energy, was playful, and could always make me laugh! He started coming around with two other stray cats in Feb. 2013. He was skittish at first, but quickly warmed up and was such a sweet cat who, in addition to being bouncy and playful, had a wonderful cuddly side too.

He was noticed by a potential adopter on a Facebook page where I had posted his picture and story. After communicating extensively and doing all the required screening, this was the perfect home for him. He would have canine brothers and a few feline sisters to share his life with. He went to his forever home in August 2013.

~ BANDIT ~ {Adopted March 2013}

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Bandit ~ In late February of 2013 Paws4Life was contacted by an acquaintance who knew we worked with cats. There was a family that was asking for help in finding a new home for a kitty because his elderly owner was no longer able to care for him. He had been living by himself in the home for a few weeks and was no doubt getting lonely.

We asked for and received permission to have access to the home so that we could “check in” on Bandit & also get to know his personality while we searched for just the right new adoptive home. Bandit was such a sweetheart and a silly/quirky character. Visits with him were always mixed with joy and heartache. Joy, of course, because he was always happy to see someone and get some playtime, pets, and brushes. But the heartache always came when it was time to leave him alone again. We knew a better life was on the horizon, though, & thankfully it came sooner rather than later. Bandit went to his new and forever home on March 30, 2013.

~ BOOTS ~ {Adopted February 2013}

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Boots – On occasion we are contacted and asked to help with a stray or feral cat in the community. If the case qualifies for our CAT-ch Me If You Can spay/neuter program, and funds are available, we will do our best to help. Such was the case with Boots.

In early 2013 a Good Samaritan contacted Paws4Life regarding a stray kitten she had been feeding. It seems that a neighbor had moved and left their un-spayed female behind, and outside to fend for herself. Not surprisingly she got pregnant and had babies, but Boots was the only baby found alive. Having contact with him so young, this Good Samaritan was able to socialize Boots while keeping him safe indoors. Unfortunately, she could not keep him, but knew he would make someone a great companion. He learned to play and have purrfect litter box habits, and was just a lively purr bug of a kitten. Boots went to his forever home in February 2013 where he is a happy and spoiled boy!

~ BRIAR ROSE ~ {Lifetime Foster 12/25/13} ~ {R.I.P.  4/10/2015}

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Briar Rose – In early December of 2013 I happened across a listing in our local online ads. It was a family that was re-homing their 16 year old calico kitty, who they had raised since she was a kitten, due to being gone from the home on extended travel for work/personal and they didn’t feel it was fair to leave her alone for such long periods of time. In addition, one of the owners allergies had recently become an issue, and so their kitty had to spend most of her time in the garage. Of course they knew this was not the best life for her and so they were trying to find her a better home. I could not get this ad out of my thoughts, the sadness I felt for this kitty and how after 16 years her world was going to be changing and she had no idea. After discussing this with one of my friends/fosters, we decided we would do our best to save this girl and give her a new and better home, and that it would be her last. Briar Rose arrived at her forever home on Christmas day 2013.

~ MOOKIE ~ {Adopted January 2014}

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Mookie – Paws4Life was contacted in the early fall of 2013 by a family that had been feeding a young stray cat. They were concerned for his safety, as they lived in an area where coyotes were often seen. Having a houseful of rescues themselves, they could not take in this new stray kitty so they were hoping they could find a place or home that could take him in. Shortly thereafter, a wonderful foster home offered to take Mookie in and foster him until an adoptive home could be found.

After being completely vetted Mookie went on to his temporary home where he adjusted so well to his foster mom, Kelly C., and feline foster siblings. He seemed to get along with everyone and loved being near Kelly. He was even a comforter to one or two of his feline foster brothers when they were going through a rough time. Mookie was definitely made to be very much a part of the family & was a friend to all. He went to his forever home in January 2014.

~ JIMMY ~ {Adopted November 2016}

Jimmy – We were contacted in October of 2016 by a couple who had been feeding a kitten that wandered up to their house. He was friendly, though a bit skittish, & they knew he couldn’t remain living outdoors. Especially given they lived near woods & knew there were coyotes in the area. I contacted my good friend & awesome foster mom Kelly to see if she could foster him & thankfully she was able to.

Jimmy had a complete checkup & settled in nicely to his foster home. Soon after he received the rest of his vetting & after a short quarantine period he was introduced to the resident cats. Jimmy seemed to blend right in in no time & he brought much love & laughter to his foster mom & dad. It should come as no surprise that he had interested adopters quickly. After a meet & greet the couple were very much wanting to adopt Jimmy & he was delivered to his forever home in November where they just love him to pieces.

~ MOMMA CAT ~ {Adopted May 2012}

Momma Cat was also part of the original group of 7 stray cats that showed up near my home in the fall of 2011. She brought with her 3 babies and so because winter was just around the corner we built a shelter for this small family. She was a great mom and they all stayed in our yard most of the time, save for a romp in the nearby woods.

In early 2012 MC went missing and was gone for 2 straight weeks. This was so out of character and we feared the worst. Then on a Saturday evening as I was headed out to serve the group dinner I saw a movement out of the corner of my eye. I turned my head and here comes MC hobbling towards me. I called to her, got to the ground and just loved on her and started crying. I checked her over and she didn’t seem in pain, but she could not use her right front leg. We got her to the vet as soon as they were open and after doing an x-ray they determined she had been shot. She couldn’t use her leg, but also wasn’t in any pain because of nerve damage. Only time would tell if she would regain the use of it. We kept her with us in the meantime while searching for an adoptive home, but I think the thought of “possible” surgery in the future made people hesitate to commit to adopting her. No worries, though, MC remained with us, did regain use of the leg, and has been just the perfect cat in every way!!