FURR noticed a TON of feral cats living at an Exxon station in one of the busiest intersections in Wilmington, NC. The cats were all extremely feral and there were kittens, young adults and grown cats all scrounging for food. The store employees were trying to put out some food for them, but without being spayed and neutered, the cats just kept multiplying.

All of the cats were in horrible shape, covered in fleas, parasites and injuries. FURR began a HUGE mission of rescuing all the cats, one by one, helping them become healthy and tame and finding them homes. There were over 20 cats there and all were captured EXCEPT the mama cat of most all of the kittens. We called her “Mama Exxon” and she eluded every trap we put out for her! We decided that she must be the wildest one of all, but it turns out she was just the smartest!

After months and months of attempts, FURR finally got Mama Exxon with a net and got her to safety. She was living in danger at an Exxon station in Wilmington, she had multiple litters of kittens BEFORE we could catch her.  She would always come close to us, wanting to trust us, but would not go into a trap.  Finally, my sister was able to net her with a net on a long pole!  We were thrilled to get this kitty to safety and to STOP the multiplying process!!!  My sister, Fran, took her to our Wilmington vet.  They said that Mama Exxon was nursing babies……….OH NO!!!  NOT AGAIN!!!  OMG, what to do now???  A unanimous decision was made between the vet, FURR and Fran, to go ahead and spay her, give her LOTS of pain meds and then release her the following day.

This was one of the hardest decisions we had ever made.  We knew that Mama Exxon would be really hard to catch again, PLUS she was making babies every single quarter!  We were worried about her pain after surgery.  We were worried about her babies being out there in the woods without her.  We worried about being able to catch her again…………we worried about everything…..but we did what we had to.  We spayed her & released her.

Two weeks went by…..Fran reported to me that she saw nothing.  It was devastating.  Did Mama Exxon die?  Did the kittens die?  We had no idea how old her nursing kittens were???  Did we do the right thing?  Did we kill an entire family of cats?  Oh God, it was heart wrenching.

THEN!!!  After two weeks, here she came!!! Mama Exxon appeared!!!  She was at the Exxon station again, eating the food that Fran put out for her!!!  And, low and behold, behind her came her KITTENS!!!  One, two, three, four……..all seemed to be ok!  WHEW!!!  Now, to get on with the program and catch all of these kitties and get them to SAFETY!!!

Fran was able to befriend Mama Exxon again & was able to net her again!!!  Hooray, now she is safe!!!  Thank you FRAN!!! One by one, Fran was able to rescue the babies…….all of which we still have today:  Pewter, Anklet & Pandora….and poor little Pendant that died shortly after rescue…..a devastating blow to everyone that this sickly kitten could not be saved.  His paw print hangs at FURR above the bulletin board….Please take notice of his little paw print that we remember him by. All of these kitties that we have are shy, just like Mama, but so sweet and so deserving of a home!  I pray every day for these kitties to be as lucky as Mama Exxon and finally get someone to love them.

Now Mama Exxon is about 3 years young and has turned out to be the sweetest, most gently cat we have ever had!
She is very loving, nurturing and friendly. She gets along well with all the other cats, loves people and seems truly happy to be safe and healthy at FURR! Everyone at the rescue facility LOVES Mama Exxon. She is truly an amazing kitty, especially after all that she has lived through!

Update October 2016

Paula came to FURR, along with her friend & our volunteer Kathleen, and Paula was wanting a friend for Meow Meow!  She was determined to get a cat that “needed” a home and one that was a young adult.  Paula picked our dear sweet Mama Exxon!!!  I was thrilled but cried my eyes out…..this poor sweet kitty has been through soooooooo much in her lifetime!

Mama Exxon was adopted once before to a lady that was not patient.  She did not give her enough time to adjust to being in a strange new place.  She was not happy that Mama Exxon was not “perfect” in just a couple of weeks.  She let Mama Exxon out of her safe room WAY too early and Mama Exxon did not know what to do but hide underneath a bed………shaking from fright.  I was so sad for Mama Exxon when I had to go and get her to bring her back to the lodge.  I tried my very best to explain that it takes time and patience to make a stray kitty feel safe and comfortable in a new environment, but to no avail.  Mama Exxon was brought back to the rescue facility. Mama Exxon was glad to be back to her safety zone and she actuay thrived after that feeling like she was back in a safe, loving place.

Now, Paula has taken her home!  This is the moment we have all waited for.  Mama Exxon now has a patient & wonderful person to understand her & give her plenty of time to adjust.  Mama Exxon will have a GORGEOUS sweet black male kitty to hang out with!  Mama Exxon has Paula!!!  Thanks to all of the FURR volunteers for taking such wonderful care of Mama Exxon while she was at the lodge.  Thank you all for loving her and helping her adjust to a normal life, a playful life, a good life.  My hopes is that she will never come back.  My hopes are also that I, somehow, come to terms with the fact that I will never see her again.  My job is done.  It is so bittersweet.  I will always love her.  She is an angel & forever ingrained into my soul.

If you are not ready to adopt a kitty, please consider fostering or sponsoring. All donations are tax deductible.

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