Unsinkable Skylar

Reprinted from:
The Latest Mews!
August 23, 2016

People are good. The gray and white cat at the bottom of the dumpster never stopped believing that. Not when someone left him there in the trash, knowing he was too weak to jump out again. Not when they threw his meager possessions – a soiled bed and some cracked dishes – into the garbage with him. Not even when he grew hoarse and exhausted as he cried for help and the hours passed until he couldn’t call out anymore.

It was mid-morning on that late spring day when one of Neighborhood Cats’ staff drove up to the dumpster. She’d been feeding a feral colony behind a nearby supermarket and had a stack of paper dishes to discard. She leaned over the side, ready to toss the plates in – and froze. A pair of yellow eyes was looking back at her. In the instant before she could react she took in the telltale signs of long neglect: the filth matting the eyes, nose and coat, the barely concealed ribs, the pathetic, threadbare bed. In the still air she could hear the rattle of labored breathing.

The cat moved first. With an effort, he pushed himself to his feet and took a step forward. Then another. It didn’t matter that he was tired and sick. His yellow eyes were clear and calm and there in the trash in the parking lot, the battered cat had no doubt he was walking into the arms of a friend.

We spent weeks helping Skylar get well. He needed treatment for a severe respiratory infection and anemia. At one year old and four-and-a-half pounds, he was critically underweight and so his days were peppered with small meals and treats, fitted between naps.  As Skylar grew stronger he slept less and ate more and his personality began to sparkle. We learned he likes asparagus (just the tips), loves other cats and enjoys riding around on shoulders. Catnip toys don’t impress him much but feather wands do. He can unwind a whole roll of paper towels in less than a minute.

Skylar’s unsinkable spirit didn’t go unnoticed. His big heart captivated our friend Andy, founder of the rescue group Not Lost in Jersey City. One day last month Andy took Skylar home. Today, bursting with good health and good intentions, Skylar is always ready to lend a helping paw when Andy sits down to work. “He’ll climb on my shoulder, stand on the keyboard… whatever it takes,” Andy said with a smile. “I don’t know how I ever managed without him.”

Won’t you help us save more cats in need like Skylar? Your gift will make this possible.

Footnote from Kathy:  Neighborhood Cats is a wonderful organization that taught me and thousands of others the art of “TNR” or Trap, Neuter, Return.  TNR finds and traps abandoned and feral cats living on the streets.  After the cats are trapped by any of the thousands of TNR Certified volunteers, they are brought to various facilities to be spayed or neutered, allowed a few days of rest and healing, and then returned to their original spots.  Often, if cats are friendly enough, Neighborhood Cats finds new GOOD homes for them.  Any cats that are found are cared for for the rest of their days.  If you know of some homeless cats living without true homes, please look into TNR certification through Neighborhood Cats (it’s one inexpensive class).  It will allow you access to traps, onsite shelters and a library of information, as well as a network of other volunteers.  In addition, TNR of course decreases the population of homeless cats by preventing them from any further reproduction.  Like they say, if you’re feeding cats but not spay/neutering cats, you are BREEDING cats.  Please also consider making a donation to Neighborhood Cats.  Even a small amount is greatly appreciated, and greatly needed.  Thanks!



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