Tourists from Michigan Save the Life of a Critically Ill Oregon Cat Named Marmalade
"We were really shocked by the result of the e-mails. I am just glad that we were able to get some help."
-- Jennifer Spathis
Marmalade's life had turned into a living hell. (See photo above.) He had been hit by a motorist and attacked by a raccoon that had claimed the life of his mate. Now, he was suffering from a prolapsed rectum. (See Cat Defender post of August 28, 2006 entitled "Marauding Pack of Vicious Raccoons Rip Ten House Cats to Shreds and Terrorize Residents but Wildlife Officials Refuse to Intervene.")
The homeless orange tabby had wandered around the grounds of the D Sands Condominium Motel in Lincoln City, Oregon for months without anyone lifting so much as finger to help him. (See photo below.) All of that changed in August when out-of-towners Jennifer and Peter Spathis registered at the motel.
The Spathises contacted a local veterinarian and attempted unsuccessfully to trap Marmalade. When their vacation time elapsed on August 31st they reluctantly returned home to Michigan without having been able to relieve the cat's plight.
Although half a continent away, they could not get the sickly cat out of their minds. Jennifer therefore decided to send out thirty-two e-mail letters to animal rescue groups in the Lincoln City area soliciting help for Marmalade.
Her plaintive entreaties were finally answered by Barbara Jones of Pacific City Angel Arms (PCAA) and Evan Kalik of the Cat Adoption Team from Sherwood. With the assistance of the motel, PCAA was finally able to trap Marmalade on September 23rd.
The cat spent two nights at PCAA before he was transferred to PAWS Animal Shelter in West Linn where on September 25th he underwent successful surgery. According to an October 16th e-mail from PAWS' Sharon Murphy, Marmalade is still recuperating from his surgery and it will be a few more days before anything definitive is known about his prognosis.
PAWS and the Cat Adoption Team have agreed to split his estimated $1,000 medical bill. A bake goods sale sponsored by PAWS recently raised $192 toward this goal and donations are being accepted at (503) 650-0855.
"Any time I save a life is great," Kalik told the News-Times of Newport on October 3rd. (See "Feral Cat's Grave Condition Turned Around with Help of Lincoln City Hotel Guest, Pet Groups.") "You save a life, you save the world. We save a life everyday here."
The fact that it unfortunately took a tourist to procure help for the long-suffering cat disturbs Murphy, however. "I think the amazing thing is he was in terrible shape for months and everyone commented on him, but it took one person sending out an e-mail to take care of the problem," she told the News-Times.
The motel's failure to act was likely due to more than just callousness. Veterinary costs are every bit as ridiculous as medical care for humans and few individuals are either willing or able to pony up several hundred dollars in order to save the life of a feral or stray cat.
Tant pis, even some cat and dog owners have an extremely difficult time financing the medical care of their beloved companions. (See Cat Defender post of September 25, 2007 entitled "Acid Attack Leaves Solskjar with Severe Injuries and Horrific Pain as His Heartbroken and Cash-Strapped Family Struggles to Cope.")
Clearly, drastic measures need to be taken to ensure than both companion animals and individuals receive the medical attention that they need and deserve regardless of whether they can afford it or not. The entire situation is a disgrace all the way around. All politicians should be kicked out of office for doing the bidding of the pharmaceutical manufacturers and insurance companies as opposed to addressing the legitimate needs of both individuals and animals.
It is even more disgraceful for physicians and veterinarians to withhold their services from animals and the impecunious. Unfortunately, instead of treating the sickly, most of them serve only the dictates of their wallets. (See Halifax Live, October 15, 2007, "How Many HRM Vets Charge Hundreds of Dollars for Simple Cat Neutering?")
Also, some individuals wisely refrain from summoning help for injured animals because they fear that the only form of assistance Animal Control and most shelters will render is a jab of sodium pentobarbital to the heart. The only way out of his impasse is to outlaw the killing of all cats, dogs, and other companion animals. (See Cat Defender post of September 14, 2006 entitled "Cat Killing Season Is in Full Swing All Across America as Shelters Ramp Up Their Mass Extermination 'Pogroms'.")
As for kindhearted Jennifer, she told the News-Times, "We were really shocked by the result of the e-mails. I am just glad that we were able to get some help."
In the 1946 movie It's a Wonderful Life, Jimmy Stewart, in the role of hard luck George Bailey, demonstrated that no one should ever discount the impact that one caring individual can have on society. Moreover, without people like the Spathises, PAWS, the Cat Adoption Team, and PCAA this society would be unbearable.
Murphy describes Marmalade as more of a fraidy cat as opposed to a feral. He enjoys having his fur brushed but is wary of people and accordingly will have to undergo a certain amount of socialization before he can be adopted.
Contrary to the malicious lies spread by ailurophobes and conventional shelters, feral cats can be socialized to varying degrees depending upon their backgrounds and the amount of time that individuals are willing to spend working with them.
In the unlikely event that a loving home cannot be found for such a fine looking and brave cat, Murphy has pledged to secure a place for him in either a heated barn in West Linn or at another nearby location.
Photos: News-Times (Marmalade) and Beach Connection (D Sands Condominium Motel).