A Paws For Pets — Going back in time

By LaMoine Roth, York Adopt A Pet

 

This article was published on February 15, 2008. Some stories need to be remembered. This is just one of 432 articles I have written for Paws for Pets. The Cat Sanctuary started in 2000, 10 years before our building was built and the cats moved to the new building in April of 2010. Enjoy.

 

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about Gus, the gray cat I trapped during a snowstorm. I wrote how I decided to give him a chance regardless if he was feral. Well I am happy to report Gus is definitely not a wild and crazy cat. But he instead is a purring machine who loves to have his head scratched. 

He has been neutered, was brought up on his shots and he is now residing here at the Cat Sanctuary. It always amazes me how a cat can be so elusive, seemingly wild with a hostile attitude, but once they are in a safe environment it is like they are finally at ease and their true personalities come out. I would never have dreamed that today Gus will arch up for his head scratches, as I remember on that snowy Tuesday he was crouched under a car  and no matter how quietly I would try to sneak up on him, he would sense my presence and bolt away. That scared cat is gone and in his place is a very loving, mellow guy who is very vocal when not getting the attention that he has come to expect. 

He reminds me so much of another elusive gray cat, so let me tell you the story of Hobo, the I-80 cat. Early last fall, I received a call from a lady working the tourism office in the rest area west of York. She was concerned; there was a young grey cat hanging around the rest area for several days. No one could get close to him, some had tried and they would only get within about 10 feet and he would run off, sit down and watch them. She was concerned that soon it would be turning cold and she was afraid he would either become prey for a larger animal or would be hit by all the traffic coming and going in the parking lot. I always approach these types of calls with dread as many times you just can’t tempt a cat to trust you enough to remove them from danger.  

To drive to the west rest area, you must drive to the Bradshaw exit and then back track. I brought a live trap along, but after viewing the area I was afraid if the trap was left at night not only would I trap something other than a grey cat, but someone might steal the trap and cat. Instead I tried approaching Hobo as I immediately named him. He would trot off several feet, sit down and watch me with those big gold eyes. No amount of coaxing would change the distrust in his eyes. 

I decided to leave a tempting can of wet food where the lady said they had been leaving scraps of food. The next day I received a call from the rest area. The food was gone and Hobo was spotted next to the cornfield sitting directly south of the rest area site. I loaded up the live trap and drove to the rest site. I again tried to coax him closer to me but he was much too wise to trust just anyone. Several tourists were curious to see what I was trying to catch in the live trap. Some offered their advice, others looked in disbelief that one would try to rescue a cat from a busy rest area. “Why bother, it’s only a cat,” one said, only to be answered by a rough and tough looking truck driver who in no uncertain terms said it was obvious they had never owned a cat. I had to smile thinking it’s true how those who have never been owned by a cat cannot understand one’s loyalty to this aloof creature.

I set the trap, put the food inside, covered the trap with a large towel and decided to sit in my car to see if Hobo would check out the fresh smell of tuna-flavored cat food. I watched as he poked his head from the cornfield and very slowly made his way across the grass, looking both ways but never taking his eyes from the trap. I knew I couldn’t be lucky enough to actually catch him this easily, but to my surprise he steadily inched his way up to the cage, took a tentative step and actually went right into the trap. I had only been watching for a mere five minutes or less. I knew he was hungry because he continued to eat as fast as he could even when the door slammed behind him. I gathered him up, trap and all, and headed back to York. 

It was too late to take him to the vet so I put him in a large kennel and thought I would evaluate him before taking him in to be checked over. He sat in the corner, only coming out when fresh food was put in his kennel. Then on the third day when I inched the door open to put his food in, he leaned into my hand and started to purr like we were long lost friends. 

I picked him up and he snuggled in like we were fast buddies. From that time on he became my friendliest and sweetest cat amongst all the others living here at that time. He quickly filled out, he was neutered and vaccinated and was just waiting for someone to adopt him. 

He wasn’t here long when a woman from Lincoln called. She saw Hobo’s picture on our website and was interested in adopting him for her mother who was lonely since her father had passed away. Her mother had never owned a cat so she said “I need to adopt one that I like as well just in case it doesn’t work out with my mother.”

 She has emailed me several times since she adopted Hobo. She said it was instant bonding with her mother and there would be no chance of her ever getting Hobo away from her mom. We’ll never know how Hobo ended up at a rest area along I-80. But we do know a woman has found a companion, a cat has found a new home and the Cat Sanctuary has had another successful adoption.  

 

 

 

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