the objective of ORA is to work for the benefit of all animals,
cat rescue is one of ORA's
main activities at the present time. This is due to the huge problem
of feline overpopulation that afflicts most urban areas.
allow their unneutered or unspayed cats to go outdoors without realizing
that this is the cause of enormous miseries and suffering for the cats.
The cats mate, reproduce and the offspring have to fend for themselves
often dying of starvation, or cold, or becoming victims of predators,
cars or deranged humans. The kittens who are able to survive will reproduce
and in turn continue the horrific story of suffering and death. Since
female cats can give birth up to 3 times a year, to up to 6 kittens
per litter, you can imagine the impact that this creates on the feline
population. In fact an unneutered male cat and an unspayed female and
their offspring can produce 270,000 in seven years! Is there still a
doubt left about the importance of spaying or neutering your cat?
promotes the spaying and neutering of all cats before they become able
to procreate. The spaying and neutering should be done at the age of
six months. The same rule applies if you keep your cat indoors. An unspayed
or unneutered cat will eventually be successful in running away to mate.
of love for cats, we think all cats should be neutered and spayed to
avoid new births. We are also committed to procuring the best life possible
for all existing cats, domestic, stray or feral. One of our main activities
is to rescue stray and feral cats and to take in cats surrendered by
their owners and to find good adoptive homes for them. Any cat that
is rescued or taken in by ORA is vaccinated, spayed/neutered and de-wormed
as needed. The cat receives any other necessary veterinary care and
then is placed in a foster home if a suitable adoptive home is not readily
cats that are not suitable for adoption, either because they are too
old or they need constant medical attention, are kept in our "residential
shelter" that now counts 22 permanent occupants. We have a strict no-kill
policy. We do not believe that we have any right to terminate a life,
just because the cat is sick. All curable sickness and controllable
health problems are treated. Fortunately we can count on veterinarians
who treat our cats at very discounted rates and to whom we are extremely
thankful. Even so, because of our policy of caring for all sick animals
and because of the sometimes costly operations necessary, our vet bills
are very high. We resort to euthanasia only when cats are terminally
ill and in pain.
has also started a program of rescuing older or medically challenged
cats from pounds that euthanize non adoptable cats. We have found that
the majority of these cats are very gentle animals, and very grateful
to have been saved. It takes a little longer to find good compassionate
homes and more money must be spent to restore these cats back to health.
Unfortunately this last program, which had proven very successful, had
to be abandoned for the time being due to lack of funds and the insufficient
number of foster homes willing to take care of these cats. We are heartbroken
at the thought of those cats that we could have saved but we are at
least for now absolutely unable to do anything about it.
large part of our financial and logistic resources are taken by cats
given up by their owner. Pet ownership should be considered more seriously.
No cats should ever be adopted, unless a commitment can be made to keep
that animal until the end of his natural life, which could be over twenty
is painful to watch a cat that has just been given up by an owner. They
are distraught, they have been taken away from their home, betrayed
by the people they loved and they look up for food and comfort. They
hide in a corner depressed. Some are angry, hissing at everything and
everyone, often refusing to eat. We've had cats in perfect health, who
refused to eat on their own for up to three weeks. In a regular shelter
they would be classified as having behavioral problems and they would
be euthanized. However, since we give individual attention to each cat,
we have discovered that these cats are perfectly normal, they are just
traumatized and they now mistrust humans. We need a lot of understanding
for those cats, we need to empathize with them: to put ourselves in
their "paws" and many must be force fed. At the beginning they react
fiercely, then little by little they start liking the attentions we
give them, they accept the force feeding routine, a few come to enjoy
it and finally one nice day they go back to eat on their own. That is
the breakthrough moment: they feel comfortable again and the human/cat
relationship is reestablished. Generally, soon after, they start playing
and purring: that is the biggest reward from our work. The last step
is to find a loving "forever home", where they will be considered part
of the family and where the thought of giving them up would be inconceivable.
RESCUE STORY, THE STORY OF OUR MASCOT PRINCESS DIANA
ORA we are all volunteers, and my
partner and I are full time real estate agents.
Last year, on a cold day in February we were carefully making our
way through a pack of snow towards the entrance of a house that we
were going to show. Suddenly we heard a loud and repetitive "Meow,
was demanding our attention. I looked around just in time to see a
skinny red tabby cat placing herself in front of my partners
feet almost to block her way. Before I could have a clear picture
of the cat, I heard my partner say, "What has happened to you,
oh, you poor thing?" The cat was blind on the left eye and pus
and blood were leaking out of it. Her right ear had a large growth
the size of a walnut with coagulated blood. It was obvious that the
cat was in pain and she was literally asking for help. While one of
us rushed through showing the house the other knocked at a neighbours
door to get a box to transport the cat to the vet. We then explained
to our clients the emergency of the situation; not being animal lovers
they didnt see what all the fuss was about. The cat needed immediate
attention. She showed very little resistance when she was scooped
up and put into the box. It was Saturday and the emergency vet clinic
was quite far away. In
the car, the cat was very quiet enjoying the warmth of a heated place,
a luxury that probably she had never known before.
veterinarian confirmed what we already knew, the cat needed to have
the growth removed and nothing more could be done that day. We took
her home and disinfected and cleaned up a bit around the growth in
her ear. She gave some opposition however all was forgiven when she
was given something to eat and she demonstrated a very healthy appetite.
We confined her to a cage so as not to expose the other cats, as we
did not know if she was affected by some transmittable disease. She
settled herself in the cage very comfortably, sleeping deeply and
waking up only to empty her dish . Obviously she had not had sufficient
food for a long time.
following Monday we took her to our ordinary vet where she was operated
upon. The growth was benign. The bad news was that the growth was an
inflammatory polyp that would re-occur. She had to undergo a long period
of antibiotic treatment to clear the infection to the left eye, and
also a second operation. We then decided to treat her homeopathically.
We spent over $1,000 on her and it is not finished. She is one of our
"unadoptable cats" since she needs constant care and medical
partner called her "Princess Diana", because all cats
Princess Diana is a very happy cat, she goes around with her
little head held high, happy to belong somewhere, to have a home. She
is very playful and particularly fond of cat soccer which
she can play for hours. She has become our mascot, because with her
happiness she rewards us every day for our rescuing efforts and she
reminds all ORA volunteers of the value of their work.
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RESCUE STORY, The story of Layla and her kittens Percy and Mimi
It was on a Monday morning when David, a structural engineer
and one of the owners of Land Construction Company Ltd
called ORA to ask if we would take in some cats that were roaming
inside a vacant building on the east side of Scarborough.
His crew had noticed two or three cats that were appearing mostly in
the late afternoon and since Land Construction had
been hired to board up the building, they were concerned about those
cats living in the building. They offered to deliver the cats to our
residence. We agreed to take in the cats, but how were they planning
to capture them? Were they domesticated? From a few questions
it became apparent that we were dealing with feral cats. The construction
workers had fed the cats regularly since they first saw them, but they
could not get to them.
I asked and obtained permission to access the building with other
ORA volunteers to trap the cats. The day after three of us went
to the building armed with traps and lots of tuna. As soon as
we saw the interior of the building we were disheartened. The
building was quite large with a lot of rooms; it was difficult to decide
where the traps would be the most effective. Also, there were so many
spaces and holes where cats could hide: a real heaven for feral cats!
which cat can resist the smell of tuna? After only three hours we successfully
trapped a young kitten. However the lady who was carrying the trap toward
the exit, suddenly felt the trap getting lighter and before she could
realize what had happened she saw a kitten running away at the speed
of light. The kitten had succeeded in escaping from an opening not bigger
than one and a half inches from the back of the trap. The gap was tied
up and the trap reset. Nothing happened for a full day. The following
afternoon we received a call from the site informing us that two cats
were in the traps. We rushed to pick them up and to take them
to the vet to be checked, vaccinated and spayed/neutered. One
of the cats was the mother cat. We named her Layla, a beautiful
tortoiseshell cat, probably less than one year old. The second cat was
one of Laylas kittens, a gorgeous orange tabby, approximately
three to four months old that we named Percy.
We knew that there was at least another cat in the building, the one
that first escaped, but we could not get her back. The workers
learned to activate the traps every morning and then they would
tie them back at nights before leaving so that the cats would become
accustomed to eating inside the trap.
Three full days went by and we took a few daytime and evening trips
to the building, but no more sightings of the kitten. She would eat
the tuna during the night when the traps were tied back, but not during
the day when they were activated. Finally, four days after
the mother and the sibling were taken, we got her: Mimi,
a tabby/calico and exceptionally smart kitten. We left the traps for
another four days just to be sure that no other cats were in the building.
After four days in which the food was left uneaten we concluded that
we had all the cats. The workers finished the boarding of the building
and we started the socialization process of the three cats.
With Mimi it did not take long. She is watching the other cats
in the household and learning how to use the scratching posts, how to
politely ask to sample human food and how to entertain herself with
all the cat toys. She is really showing her joy to be part of the domesticated
cat population. Percy is less responsive, he is very reserved,
but follows his sister and takes directions from her. They are both
absolutely adorable and they are now ready to be adopted. For their
mother Layla it will take a bit longer. She was obviously on
her own for awhile and she had learned to fear people; for her the
change is very radical.
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We want to express here our deepest gratitude to the
members of Land Construction Company for their assistance
and their help in saving these cats.We hope that their example of compassion
towards the animals will be imitated by more builders and construction
workers who in their daily activities encounter and displace all kind