FROM READERS: The rescue of Zipper the kitten

Friday, July 11, 2014 | 6:00 a.m. CDT
Brothers Ford and Harry Stanton pose with Zipper, the rescued cat their family recently adopted.

Second Chance volunteers Jennifer Newberry and Joyce Wilke rescued a lively yellow kitten recently. These are their stories of Zipper the kitten.

The Rescue, by Jennifer Newberry

About a week ago, I was greeted by a huddle of small children as I walked in to my apartment building on Ash and Stadium in Columbia. These children knew me as "the cat lady" because they had seen me coming and going with my cats and foster cats. They also knew I was a volunteer with Second Chance.

The children stopped me at the door and told me about a mother cat and her litter of kittens that had surfaced during road construction in the lot adjacent to ours. They told me how the construction workers had given them money to buy food and water for the cats. Before the oldest child could finish his sentence, the youngest one interrupted with, "Can you help the kitten?"

The kids introduced me to a lively yellow kitten that was bouncing back and forth on the stairs in the middle of the construction site, happily chasing his tail while buzz saws where whirring about twenty feet away. I got to know this kitten over a few days and saw he was very friendly, playful, and loved being petted so much he would "make biscuits" in the air as he walked around you. I watched him as he chased the feet of the construction workers and tried to play with the specks of wood kicked up from piles of sawdust.

I put out a request to Second Chance that night, asking how to get him accepted since I had never brought in a stray before. Another volunteer, Joyce Wilke, asked me where the kitten was, and the next day I came home to find her talking to the construction workers as her husband put the kitten in the back of her car. I knew she already had litters at home and yet, here she was, taking this kitten home for Second Chance.

The Intake to Second Chance, by Joyce Wilke

Jennifer Newberry, a Second Chance volunteer, posted on our Facebook group about an orange stray kitten near her apartment complex. Since I handle intake of public cats for Second Chance, I made it a point to go by and check him out the next day. As I drove up to the construction site, I saw a cute kitten watching the workers above him. He seemed to be about 4 months old.

The kitten was friendly and easy to pick up. The construction workers told me how cats came out around dusk and ran the kitten off from the food that was being set out for him. They seemed worried that between cars zipping around all the time and the mean cats in the area, the kitten probably would not survive.

I took the kitten home and named him Zipper, as he liked to run up and down the hallway chasing other kitties and then slide on the floor. Within a few days, he was neutered and vaccinated. As he was healing, I noticed his energy was dwindling and thought it was the stress of his medical procedure. When he stopped eating, I quickly took Zipper to a doctor. The vet said he had a bacterial infection that was probably from drinking stagnant water while a stray.

Zipper responded quickly to the antibiotics and is now zipping around again. He still will not eat when there are other cats around – a direct result of being bullied by the other stray cats. Of interest, he is not afraid of loud noises, even a vacuum cleaner! I think this is from his time around the construction crew on Stadium.

I believe we rescued Zipper from traffic, construction, mean cats and infectious elements. He has been adopted through Second Chance and found his forever home complete with other playmates.

This story is part of a section of the Missourian called From Readers, which is dedicated to your voices and your stories. We hope you'll consider sharing. Here's how. Supervising editor is Stephanie Ebbs.

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