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It's not much....

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I was on a trip to New Orleans and back on Thursday. I stopped at a little truck stop in Port Allen, just west of Baton Rouge, for my required 10-hour break. I walked over to the Waffle House a little ways away, and when I came around a small building, I saw a lynx-point Siamese cat crouched down in the parking lot.

After standing and watching her for a while, I realized that she was pregnant...and very hungry.

I went around to the front of the convenience store to see if they had some cat food, and I surprised another cat, about the same size but so dirty I couldn't even tell for sure what color it was, and it clearly had a lame leg.

I bought two cans of cat food and brought them around to the back again. In the process, I surprised another cat, a black one this time.

I emptied out the two cans of cat food on the curb, some distance from each other. The three I had previously seen came out, in addition to another lynx-point, who I suspect is a male. At any rate, the four of them ate up all the food I put out.

It looks to me like they're all from one litter that must have been dumped there. I'd guess they're living on scraps of food that two restaurants are throwing out, and living in the brush behind the store.

All but the pregnant female were very wild, and she came when I called her, but would not get closer than about 10 feet from me.
post #2 of 15
Oh, that just breaks my heart!!!

But what a sweet, loving thing you did!
post #3 of 15
There's no such thing as "not much" to a feral cat -- that might've been the best meal they've had all year! = you!
post #4 of 15
it was a sweet thing to do, and more than most would do.

There was another long hauler member of TCS. I did some searching on TCS and couldn't find the info I was looking for - maybe I'll have more time later. But he also had a traveling cat (I think he ended up with 2 that traveled with him?). He and his wife became involved in cat rescue - here is his bio written up in meowhoo.com (another of Anne's websites): http://www.meowhoo.com/cgi-bin/links...ge.cgi?ID=3148

He's also a member of the "Trucking Buddy" program? Something I'm not familiar with, but here's his bio there: http://www.truckflix.com/trucker-buddy-bio.php?b=4

And here's the rescue he and his wife are affiliated with or started: http://www.catrescueinc.org/

He was registered at TCS as Uncle Fester. And he used to help transport rescued kitties around the country, bringing them from shelters (or rescuers homes) to adoptive homes. He definitely delivered a kitty from I-don't-know-where (somewhere in the East or South) to MA (hissy) up in OR. He also used to rescue at truck stops - I think he traveled with a trap, and I'm pretty sure he hauled cat food. He obviously had cages for rescues in the rig, but I don't know how it was set up.

I don't know the rules of trucking, and I don't know if he owned his own truck or what the story was. I just thought the idea of truckers being involved in cat rescue was SUCH a cool one, because transport of rescued animals to adoptive homes can sometimes be SUCH a problem. And at times when there are disasters like Katrina, transport of animals in need is SUCH a problem.

Not like I'm trying to talk you into anything....... But maybe ideas that you hadn't had before?

Laurie
post #5 of 15
I admire your generosity!! It was alot more than anyone else would have done!! Thank You!!
post #6 of 15
Well, apparently Jimmy and his wife split up.

BUT - I did find the thread I was thinking about. It's the thread about Starlight that is stickied at the top of the Cats SOS forum ("Good Lord this poor kitty!" http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...#37;2A&page=25). Jimmy's trip doesn't enter the picture until late in the thread: I think it starts on page 25 of that thread with this post: http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...&postcount=292

Laurie
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
When I owned my own truck and traveled with my wife, we had Punkin in the truck (and before that, Wickett).

But now I have a company truck, and I don't go very far, just one day out and the next day back.

The Trucker Buddy program is a deal where you hook up with an elementary school class and keep in contact with them, etc. We did it before it ever got organized, visiting a class at our local elementary school. We brought them souvenirs, samples of what we hauled (how many kids have ever actually handled a soapstone?), postcards, etc. And we carried a stuffed bear with us everywhere that belonged to the class.
post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblanche View Post
When I owned my own truck and traveled with my wife, we had Punkin in the truck (and before that, Wickett).

But now I have a company truck, and I don't go very far, just one day out and the next day back.
That's got to be a lot easier on you and the family!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblanche View Post
The Trucker Buddy program is a deal where you hook up with an elementary school class and keep in contact with them, etc. We did it before it ever got organized, visiting a class at our local elementary school. We brought them souvenirs, samples of what we hauled (how many kids have ever actually handled a soapstone?), postcards, etc. And we carried a stuffed bear with us everywhere that belonged to the class.
WHAT a cool thing to do! I can so see that children would both love that and learn a lot from it. And what kid doesn't love a big rig? I always loved going to the farm show with my grandfather to see the giant tractors and farm equipment.

Laurie
post #9 of 15
My Dad's a longhauler and carries a bag of dry and a case of wet cat food with him wherever he goes. I begged him to do this for me several years ago when I went to Texas to visit my brother. All the cats I saw at rest stops on the way or at fast food places. It breaks your heart. (I also have him hauling a few cans of dog food. He said you'd be amazed at the dogs running loose at some truck stops!!)

Bless you for feeding that kitty family. If more people did that it'd be great!
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrissyR View Post
Bless you for feeding that kitty family. If more people did that it'd be great!
And I'm sending out TCS prayers and vibes that those kitties get even more help, esp. the pregnant kitty!! She really needs a TCS miracle
post #11 of 15
It never fails that when my husband and I travel, we come across cats (he's talked about making me wear a blindfold so I don't see them - I'm a cat magnet).

If the cats are near a store, restaurant, etc., I'll always inquire about them - do they know about the cats? Is anyone caring for them?

I'll grab the local telephone book and see if I can find a nearby shelter or humane society. I then let them know about the situation, and ask if they think they can help, if not, can they recommend someone (a local grassroots rescue group, for ex.) who can. I always offer to make a contribution.

Five years ago, while touring Jamestown, VA, my husband and I saw a mom cat transport her little kittens one at a time across the parking lot (My husband said she waited purposely til we went to our car so we'd be sure to see her). It was hot as heck, so we left water for them. I made some calls back at the hotel and miraculously, on a Sunday, got in touch with a local rescue society volunteer. Long story short, feral mom cat got spayed and is being cared for back in her original location, and all 5 kittens have forever homes. I contributed financially for their care, and the volunteer did all the trapping and vetting. It was a joint VA-NJ effort! This terrific woman and I still catch up with each other every Christmas, and I get updates about the "Jamestown 5".

Now when I travel, I go prepared with a list of the local shelters and rescue organizations. Sometimes a sad situation can turn into something wonderful.
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
Unfortunately, I was there at night, so there's not much hope of getting hold of anyone, and I haven't been back. I need to pick up some kitten food, put it in my pickup, and throw it in the truck if I get assigned to another trip down there.
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by KTLynn View Post
Now when I travel, I go prepared with a list of the local shelters and rescue organizations. Sometimes a sad situation can turn into something wonderful.
Brilliant idea! Thanks for sharing. And what a sweet story.

Laurie
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblanche View Post
Unfortunately, I was there at night, so there's not much hope of getting hold of anyone, and I haven't been back. I need to pick up some kitten food, put it in my pickup, and throw it in the truck if I get assigned to another trip down there.

What you can do is note the location where you saw the cats and try to find help for them the next day by making calls to local rescue organizations. In my case, I was fortunate to have found a local rescue society volunteer who then referred me to the woman who ultimately rescued the mom cat and kittens. I wasn't able to actually speak to that woman until the following day when I was back home in NJ.

In most cases, the cats you see at truck stops and restaurants will pretty consistently be at those locations because of the food source. So, if you can tell a rescue volunteer the specific location of the cats you saw, chances are good that when the volunteer goes there, he/she will find the cats.
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
Over the weekend, I bought a bag of kitten food and put it in my pickup so I would have it when I got my dispatch if they happened to send me down to Baton Rouge again. Sure enough, I was sent down to Slidell to deliver, then I had to wait in Baton Rouge until this morning to pick up a backhaul, so I went back to the truckstop where I saw these cats.

I saw the pregnant tabby-point, a couple of others I hadn't seen before, and the very dirty and lame cat, who looked to be in pretty bad shape; she was still filthy, and her tongue was sticking out, and she was drooling.

So, I went and got some paper plates and put out the food in a few places where I figured the cats would find them. I didn't seem them for a while, so I went in the store and got some smelly wet food and added that to the plates.

While I was doing this, I saw someone walking down into the trees where the cats are living. I had a "feeling" about them, so I waited until they came back out. It was a lady who had just taken some food down to the colony. She said that they had been feeding this colony for years, had trapped and neutered many of them, and that they were mostly doing quite well. She knew the dirty cat, who she said had always been that way and had trouble with mouth sores. She said they had not succeeded in trapping the pregant cat, either.

So, I guess my worries about the cats were groundless. Nevertheless, they ate the food I put out...
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