Axel's Rescue Story
Happy Sunday Wanderers! For a short update about what I am up to I have just recently ended my Caribbean adventure. Post sailboat life I traveled to Florida to visit a friend and now I am currently in Philly visiting another. If you want to catch up on my Caribbean adventures check out theses recent posts: Caribbean Photo Diary, So You Want to Live on a Boat, Travel Update.
Throughout my travels I encountered so many beautiful kind-hearted stray cats and dogs and a lot of animal husbandry which of course made my heart feel heavy. As far as the stray population worldwide goes the animals in the Caribbean aren't living the worst lives. Its nice out 98% of the time and most of them hang around cafés and bars where they score regular food scraps from tourists such as myself. However, I think it is really sad that as humans we have breed cats and dogs specifically to be our personal companions and we have failed to keep their population to a level where all animals have a loving home. Street cats & dogs are often physically abused by humans and starving. Some have lost trust for humans all together and will only risk coming near you if you have food.
I have always been an animal person, and for me when I see strays I just wanted to save them all. Unfortunately, while traveling this is not very easy. I always make sure to offer my time, attention, and love to the strays I meet. All of them just want to be loved. Here are some pictures of adorable strays I encountered along my adventure. After meeting so many kind and loving strays on my adventure I am feeling more inspired than ever to rescue when and how ever I can.
Upon my arrival in Jacksonville, FL I met this adorable gray cat. My friend's neighbor had two kittens which were presumably siblings that she abandoned. She just tossed them outside and never let them inside her house again. The second cat had a disability and was likely killed or ran away as it hasn't come back. My friend had taken to leaving out food for this sweet little gray kitty before my arrival. The neighbor actaully popped by to say how nice she thought it was that Joey had adopted the cat. Could she seriously not have kept them in her house at least until she rehomed them? Seriously I do not understand people.
Axel, as he is now named is one of the sweetest kitties I have ever met. Homeless, he had taken to living on Joeys front step. As cats are loyal to those who care for them Axel adopted Joey before Joey decided to adopt Axel. Since Joey was the one who fed him, Axel gave his love and attention to Joey, even running to the car to greet him when he got home from work. I knew I had to push Joey in the right direction to properly welcome this cat into his life and adopt him.
The only reason Joey wouldn't let him inside is that he was crawling with flees. He is also not neutered and I figured had had no prior medical care considering he is very young and the neighbor couldn't even afford to feed him apparently. I knew that even if Joey properly adopted him he would still be an indoor/ outdoor cat so I wanted to make sure to not only get him his first vets visit but raise enough to have him neutered as well to reduce the risk of more stray kittens without homes. I took to Instagram to ask friends for donations to cover the price of vet services including vaccinations, flee medication, deworming pill, neutering, and a feline combo test. The response was absolutely amazing & in just 24 hours I had enough money to take him into the vet. I cannot thank Madison Oakley, Madison Harmon, Janelle Olayvar, Jon Bruce, Steven Wedor, Madden Gracey, Courtney Davis, Emily Bernardi, Kylie Dolan and Joanne Hanson enough for helping out with monetary donations.
That very day I took Axel in and gave him a bath and then took him to the vet later in the afternoon. I really enjoyed how the staff took a nutritional approach to optimum feline health. He was treated for his flees and all tests came back that he was nice and healthy. They decided to save his vaccines and neutering for later vet visits to give him time to be rid of his flees. That night Joey let him sleep in the apartment for the first time and he was so happy not to be outside in the cold he purred and snuggled up all night. That day we had also made a Petsmart run and spoiled him with toys and a new collar, Happiness was just radiating from the little guy.
I realize that as far as rescues go this one was pretty easy. The cat was very sweet and domesticated, I already had a willing adopter and I had monetary support. Thank you guys so much again! However, this was so rewarding and I know it has inspired me to facilitate more rescues in the future when and however possible. I encourage you to aid in rescuing and rehoming stray animals if you have the chance.
I feel it is worth it to mention that even though I am vegan, I do believe in feeding cats meat. They are carnivores and that is the diet that they thrive on. Although I don't like buying meat or supporting animal cruelty, cats are domesticated and they need our help. It is our job to take care of them the best way that we know how. Try to source your cats food as ethically as possible and pay attention to the quality of the product and the brands sustainability efforts. The vet I took axel actually recommended a raw meat diet for cats which I agree with. True carnivores in the wild eat raw flesh, not cooked meat. Do your own research and just do the best that you can! Dogs however have seemingly taken well to vegan diets. You can do your own research on that as well but a good brand is V-Dog. Their website has a wealth of information on the topic.
I hope you all enjoyed Axels rescue story and you are left feeling happy and inspired.
Wander often & wonder always,