It’s a full-time job keeping up with more than 150 Softies and we’re embarrassed to admit, we often lag behind. So when a recent Facebook message popped up from Danny Wiseman, Professional Bowler and 12-time PBA Champion we were thrilled to hear from one of our dyed-in-the-wool Softie Cat Guys.
However, this wasn’t a “Hey, how you doing?” but instead a “I’ve stumbled onto a kitty situation and need help.”
It turns out that while visiting one of his rental properties, Danny learned about a kitten stranded next door in a crawl space above a makeshift garage. Neighbors hadn’t seen the mother for over a week, but heard the tiny plaintive cries. He borrowed a ladder and was able to hoist some food into the space, but wasn’t really sure on how to get the baby free. Could we get him a trap and advice on the best way to go about it?
It’s always frustrating in situations like this, a certain feeling of helplessness takes over. The only Soft Sider with trapping experience was out of town and neither of the remaining two of us had a clue. But if there’s one benefit to SYSS, it’s knowing who to call or, in this case, where to post.
This may come as a surprise to anyone who thinks Animal Control takes care of everything animal related, but there is a small army of angels out there who fly under the radar and communicate via a private page. It’s a page restricted to those who go day in and day out to the vacants, backstreets and neighborhoods that most of us wouldn’t venture to step foot in giving food, comfort and care to Baltimore’s stray kitties. These angels have been kind enough to let us in. We observe, but never post, yet on this day, we did.
“Just got a message from one of our Softies. Is there anyone in the Middle River area that can help.”
Within moments, a reply dinged through. “A message regarding this was left on the Community Cats of Maryland voicemail. We’ll be getting in touch with him tonight to gather more information so we can help.”
From that minute on, the dinging was non-stop with updates from Danny. “A lady from Best Friends Harford County called and we talked a bit. She contacted Community Cats of Maryland so the ball is rolling. Gotta get this little guy and if he is savable, Dana and I may take the chance.”
For the next 24-hours, I was attached to my phone. Had anyone shown up? Was the kitten feral? Was the kitten okay? When one of the messages said “Dawn” had arrived, I should have known it was going to turn out well.
Dawn arrived the next day, climbed a 15-foot ladder, coaxed him with food and “talked to him.” Yep, that’s often what it takes when you’re a kitty whisperer. She was able to grab him and the little creampuff was soon wrapped in a blanket and fell asleep on the chest of Danny’s girlfriend, Dana. The next morning, a vet visit declared him free of fleas, mites and remarkably healthy in spite of his seven plus days of being left on his own.
“Hey Sande – Best Friends of Harford County and Community Cats of Maryland have been amazing. All in all, a great day – from the top of a crappy makeshift shed with no mom or family to a loving home. Thank you so much for the great connections. A new lease for this little guy and a saved life.”
Since then, we’ve watched on Danny’s Facebook as Mr. Peabody Butterbean has settled in. Taking the advice of Community Cats of Maryland, Dana and Danny kept the little one separated from their other two babies, Tucker and Cheeto for the first week. After that, they slowly swapped scent-bearing towels and toys among the three with a baby gate delineating safe territory. Now three plus weeks into his new life, Mr. Peabody Butterbean is one of the family, roughhousing with Tucker and cuddling up with his new mom and dad.
People often say, “It takes a village,” but in this case, it took one Softie and a group of kitty angels to change the course of a baby’s life. Mr. Peabody Butterbean was one of the lucky ones, he crossed paths with the right people. Now just imagine if we could replicate Softies like Danny Wiseman and kitty angels in every city across the country. How many more Mr. Peabody Butterbeans would be rolling in catnip and cuddling with their family right now?
Not everyone has what it takes to drop everything and help an animal in need, but we can all support those who do. You can support the work of Community Cats of Maryland by clicking here.