Cold temperatures bring a heart wrenching conclusion to some pet and stray rescues

This sad little fellow was found curled up and frozen in Little Current. Unfortunately, he didn’t survive. photos by Bleu Fisher

LITTLE CURRENT – Bleu Fisher apologizes for some profane language she lets slip while describing her feelings while she waited for the veterinarian to examine the young black cat pitifully shivering on the floor of the cat carrier on her knees.

“I just get so upset at the ignorance of some so-called pet owners,” she explains. Ms. Fisher is a pet rescue warrior who attends over 40 calls a year to deal with strays and lost cats—too often those calls end tragically, especially in the deep cold of winter.

Ms. Fisher posted an unnerving video of her latest charge on Facebook. The small black cat lies shivering uncontrollably and the caption holds little back on how Ms. Fisher was feeling.

A few moments later the dreaded sequel appears. 

“Thanks everyone of course I’m sad this guy couldn’t be saved, but I’m more disgusted and pissed that the mentality in some people is ‘its just a cat.’ No, its a living being. People have lost compassion. I see so many heartless comments especially with trapping that is happening. How does anyone find joy in killing animals? Dumping animals? Leaving dogs outside tied in the back of the yards 24/7 while you sit your asses in your warm houses? Who raised these (expletive) people? Thank God this boy was found and didn’t have to suffer in these cold days!”

Ms. Fisher had received a call from neighbours just up the street from her house that a cat was curled up in a little ball.

“It was feral,” she recalled. “It was shaking and in pretty rough shape.”

She managed to collect the cat who was beyond fleeing and, unable to get him warm, she quickly raced off to Island Animal Hospital in the hopes of being able to save the poor animal. Alas, this time it was not fated to be.

“They put a heater on him, a heating pad, and he did eventually get warm,” she recalled. “But he had neurological damage along with being frozen.”

Protocols that followed highlight the dangers Ms. Fisher faces in her self-appointed role as a pet rescue warrior. After the cat was euthanized, its severed head was sent off for analysis. The neurological damage could be a sign of rabies.

“It’s not likely at all,” Ms. Fisher assured The Expositor. “But we have to check anyway.”

Another story follows shortly after. A small white and black kitten is spotted among the wood pallets at Barney’s Bargain Barn. Ms. Fisher grabs her trap and carriers and heads out to try and entice the little fellow into her warm embrace. The kitten was having none of it.

Nicknamed Baz, this four-month-old kitten had a much better result.

“She scampered back into the pallets,” said Ms. Fisher. “She was only about four months old and she was just about frozen.” She finally managed to lure the skittish creature into a trap using cans of food. Monikered Baz, the newest (temporary) addition to the Fisher household had to endure some time in quarantine before she could join the rest of the pride.

Although Ms. Fisher describes Baz as being feral when captured, complete with much hissing and carrying on when Ms. Fisher reached her heavily gloved hands into the cage to retrieve the shivering kitten, that condition was apparently short-circuited by some tender loving care.

“Now she is just a little purring machine,” laughs Ms. Fisher, “a real little mush guy.”

The kitten also had a fever of 104 (“that’s high for a cat,” said Ms. Fisher) but that has since subsided.

The kitten is now fixed, has its shots and is ready to make the journey to Pet Save Sudbury, where hopefully she will be adopted out to her forever home.

While pet owners may think their animals can take care of themselves when let out the door, Ms. Fisher notes that there is a world of danger awaiting. Leaving aside the dangers of predators and traffic, disease stalks the streets.

“Almost every cat I tested has FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus),” she said. That’s an alarming statistic, as Ms. Fisher tests a lot of feral cats over the course of her year of pet rescue.

FIV is similar to the human HIV, but is not as fatal for cats and is not transmissible to humans. Cats can carry the virus for years.

“As long as they don’t bite, they are okay,” said Ms. Fisher. “It’s transmitted (to other cats) through a bite.”

Ms. Fisher depends on donations and the good will of others to assist in her efforts to rescue stray animals and lost or abandoned pets. She credits Barney’s Bargain Barn in Little Current for a lot of the assistance she receives from the community, while the Northeast Town provides some assistance with the spaying and neutering of stray cats.

Those seeking to help out with the significant financial cost of her volunteer efforts can contribute by sending an electronic money transfer to zoenwillow@yahoo.ca or by making arrangements through the same contact. Ms. Fisher can also be contacted through her Facebook account where many of her recent rescue operations are documented.