The Kamloops SPCA is dealing with two “cat-astrophes” that are taxing its resources.
The first involves 17 felines known as the Armchair Cats.
A trucker noticed a brown armchair that was dumped on the side of a logging road at the end of February. He spotted two cats sitting on it, and called the SPCA about them, branch manager Charleen Holloway said Friday.
When SPCA staff when to check out the situation, they found one cat dead (blunt force trauma, possibly due to the chair being tossed onto the roadside), and the two cats sitting on it took off.
They realized there were cats inside the chair, so they hauled it in to the shelter. Four felines were removed from among the worn springs and stuffing — one requires eye surgery.
Shelter staff left a cushion behind to mark the spot, and set up carriers and food for the remaining cats. But there weren’t just two; so far, 17 Armchair Cats have been trapped in the two weeks since they were discovered.
The cats appear to be related; they’re all shades of gray or orange or a combination of the two. They’re between six months and two years of age.
While they’re all thin and skittish, many of them are already coming around, socially.
“They are actually very handleable, other than being quite sick. We are trying to get them back up to health. But they’re coming around with human contact. We’re optimistic we’ll adopt them all,” Holloway said.
Many of the cats are, however, a little hoarse or have a “broken” voice.
“They purr. We haven’t heard them meow at this point. It doesn’t seem to be a throat issue. We’ll see how they progress. We suspect a lot of them are related. It could be a genetic thing from their breeding.”
The Armchair Cats are in foster care or isolation at this point, until all their health problems are cleared up. Some might be ready for adoption in a week or so.
“The biggest thing for us is good homes, and patient people. They’re coming around but they’ll still need some socializing,” Holloway said.
There are no clues, other than a chocolate-brown velour chair, as to where they came from.
And they aren’t the only medically needy cats the SPCA shelter is dealing with.
Holloway said another 17 cats have come in from a woman in a nearby rural community who can’t take care of them any more. She has 10 cats in her home waiting to be brought into the Kamloops shelter.
Ideally, the shelter would be housing 35 cats, as renovations and new standards are brought into play, she said. Right now, there is no room for intake.
But between the shelter and foster care right now, the Kamloops branch is overseeing between 65 and 70 felines.
The second batch of cats is in even worse shape than the Armchair Cats, she said. The shelter has few adoptable cats at this point because of the two crises.
“We’ll be advising people after Monday to check our website. We won’t have a large amount of adoptable animals as we’re working through these situations. Please be patient,” she said.
All of the cats have to be spayed, neutered and vaccinated; most are requiring other medical treatment as well.
Holloway said donations toward those veterinary bills would be appreciated. But even small things — paper towels, garbage bags, other shelter necessities or even new foster homes — would help.