It was winter the winter of 2015. It was cold. And things had changed for the worse.
Iggy and his 8 feline friends were used to going into their caretaker’s garage where they sought food and shelter. But then one day, the garage door didn’t open. The caretaker had passed away, leaving the cats to fend for themselves.
Lucky for them, Pets Alive became involved with the situation through our TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) program in the city of Middletown, NY. At first, the TNR team provided feral shelters and worked with a neighbor to provide food and water to the cats until plans could be made to trap at the site.
Then the day came and Pets Alive trapped the 9 cats and got them to the safety of our sanctuary. The cats were spay/neutered and received appropriate vaccinations and care. The TNR volunteers started naming the bunch after musicians. Iggy, originally for Iggy Azalea, turned into Iggy Pop once it was known he was a boy. He was scared, just like the others, but eventually, he made his way into “the big house” with the other cats available for adoption. There, he joined the Library crew but he would cower, run and hide when approached. But there was one thing that Iggy always loved – food – so he ate well!
Fast forward to the summer of 2016. Iggy and his friends were getting a bit friendlier – and allowed a pat on the head now and again. Then one day, something just clicked! We were able to pet Iggy without him backing away! Eventually, he got comfortable with belly rubs. We knew it was just a matter of time before he’d be adopted.
The beginning of November 2016 proved to be that day. After 2 hours of searching the house, his adopter decided he was the one. He walked into the carrier and away he went to what we thought would be his forever home. We received a picture of him on her lap about 5 days later and we all smiled. A year and a half of care, love and patience had paid off for our 2 ½ year old Iggy.
But not long after his adoption, horror struck Iggy once again. Early in the morning, his adopter’s apartment complex burned to the ground. Luckily, she and her neighbors got out safely and went to an emergency shelter, but Iggy was still inside. He went into hiding and she was not able to get him out as conditions worsened. But she hoped somehow, he’d be able to escape. We were frantic making calls to the fire department, to the emergency shelter – to anyone that we could think of to find out if Iggy was safe. Eventually, we contacted the building management company. After about 30 minutes, they confirmed Iggy had gotten out along with several other animals and he had been reunited with his adopter at emergency housing! We were so relieved to hear of Iggy’s rescue! Sadly, his adopter had lost everything and told us she could no longer care for Iggy.
One of our staff members immediately went to pick him up. He was hiding underneath a piece of furniture but quickly released his fears and let the staff person pick him up and put him in a carrier.
Miraculously, other than a faint smell of smoke on his fur, he was unharmed. We will continue to care for Iggy until his next chance at a forever home comes along. That is what we do. We make a lifetime commitment to all of our animals and want to make sure they are safe and well loved throughout their lives.
Prefer to send in a check? Make checks out to Pets Alive and mail it to us at 363 Derby Road, Middletown, NY 10940. Write “Giving” on the check.
Thank you so very much for your support. It means a lot to the animals.
Written by Dani Eisenberg, Cat Caretaker at Pets Alive