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Those who love their pets tend to enjoy all animals. Our animal owners are no different. Check in on News-Herald staffers Robin Palmer and Cheryl Sadler as they share their own animal tales and announce upcoming events in Lake and Geauga counties.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Emma's Story attempts to lighten the mood

My boyfriend says he's stopped reading this blog because homeless and missing animals depress him.

I see his point. So does Dolores Levin of the Gates Mills Animal Welfare Committee.

Yet she's quick to say she prefers not to think that way.

"I just wrote an article about not being depressed in these situations, but rather to smile and applaud what all of us in the rescue business do and how many animals we save," she said.

Below is the speech she gave at an annual gathering of Gates Mills committees.
Good evening ladies and gentlemen and any strays that may have wandered in.

On behalf of the Gates Mills Animal Welfare Committee, I am not going to bore you with statistics about how many feral cats we have trapped and are now feeding. Nor am I going to tell you how many residents’ dogs we have taken care of after the police have picked them up roaming the streets.

Also, you won’t hear about the abandoned animals that we have found homes for.

What you will hear tonight is the story of Emma. The Committee got a call from one of our residents who is a very elderly widower and he was slightly panicky. He found an emaciated cat starving to death in his yard a few weeks before Christmas.

The snow was blowing and it was freezing outside. She was huddled against the side of his house, wearing a red collar and was extremely friendly when he came out.

His wife had been a cat lover and he felt obliged to run right out and buy food and kitty litter. The problem he stated was that he was leaving town in a few days and he didn’t know how to get out of the predicament he was faced with.

He brought Emma into the house, gave her food and water and called the Animal Welfare Committee. Without fanfare or changing clothes in a phone booth, one of our members went over and picked up the poor cat, who was full grown but weighed only six pounds. That is the normal weight of a six-month-old kitten. Arrangements were made to foster Emma and take her to the vet.

She had no tags, however, faint black marks on the worn red collar that looked like chicken scratching revealed under a borrowed microscope the name Emma. There were also barely visible markings that looked like numbers.

After writing down about a possible hundred combinations of numbers, we hit pay dirt and found the owner in Bedford, who told us that Emma had been born to a feral cat and she had kept her as a kitten. She later married a man who was allergic to cats and a friend convinced her to dump Emma at a stable. Her former owner said she was not in a position to take her back or help us in any way.

We have no way of knowing how many months this poor cat had been traveling before she ended up in Gates Mills in the middle of winter. Considering the shape she was in and the very worn collar, it was a long time.

The vet exam revealed no deadly disease, just the usual fleas, mites and worms. There was a bit of a problem with lung worm, which sounds worse than it is. We gave her medication and cleared it up in a hurry.

She was already spayed so we gave her all of the necessary vaccinations and found out that she is friendly, outgoing, loves to cuddle, likes children, other cats and dogs.

Emma’s long weary, winter journey is over and she is now in her forever home.

Chalk one more up for the good gang from Gates Mills.
Sweetheart, sometimes it's a bumpy road to a happy ending.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

P.S. On an even lighter note, my sister, Julia, forwarded this to me with the message, "This will absolutely make you smile." Enjoy.


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