Cat Finds New Life Thanks to Rescuers Refusing to Give Up

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Photo - Cat - Zip (2)To a quiet chorus of cheers, Zip, a beautiful five-year-old gray tabby cat, was welcomed to the Humane Society of Northwest Montana, home of the Charlotte Edkins Animal Adoption Center in July.  Zip, who had faced near death, was safe thanks to a collaborative effort of cat lovers and animal caretakers.

Zip’s rescue started in March 2013 when her owner passed away unexpectedly and family arrived to settle the estate.  While Zip’s two other companion cat friends were willing to make a car trip to the Charlotte Edkins Animal Adoption Center, Zip’s fear overtook her and she bolted outside.  That’s when Adoption Center staff reached out to a long-time cat rescue and animal lover.

Equipped with years of experience in the area of live-trap cat rescue, Bonnie went into action and solicited the help of two other cat rescue caretakers, Darcy and Nancy.  Their thoughts were that Zip was hunkered down somewhere immobilized with fear, so they set a live trap, posted flyers and talked with neighbors.  Then the situation worsened – the motor home that Zip had lived in was sold and removed from the only place she knew as home.  All that remained of Zip’s former life was her blanket covering a cold metal trap on an empty lot!

As days turned into weeks, the rescuers were beginning to lose hope as no one had seen Zip or fed her since she ran away.  To everyone’s amazement, twenty-three days later, Zip was discovered inside the trap and was rushed to the Adoption Center.  But Zip’s nightmare was not yet over, as she showed no interest in eating.  Was she suffering the effects of malnutrition or grief?  Despite a variety of foods and forced feedings, nothing enticed Zip to eat and the concern that she could develop fatty liver disease grew with each turn of the nose as she rejected countless bowls of food.

Realizing that forced feedings were too stressful for Zip, Humane Society staff consulted with Dr. Elizabeth Pittman and Dr. Kevin Morrell, at Alpine Animal Hospital.  In a drastic measure to save Zip, an esophageal feeding tube was inserted and Zip was placed in private foster care to be monitored around the clock.  Fortunately, after several weeks and an emergency vet visit to Dr. Terry Yunker at the Flathead Spay and Neuter Task Force, Zip finally came around. The tender care from her foster mom, Christy, paid off and Zip started eating on her own.  Happily, Zip’s feeding tube was removed a short time after and she made a full recovery.

Eight months after Zip’s nightmare began; her dream of a new home became a reality.  Zip was adopted as an only pet by a retired woman who had plenty of time and love to give sweet Zip.  The Humane Society of Northwest Montana applauds everyone who worked so diligently to save Zip.


The Humane Society of Northwest Montana is located between two of the fastest growing cities in Montana, Whitefish and Kalispell, and is home to the Charlotte Edkins Animal Adoption Center. Their facility opened their doors in July, 2004, sitting on 14 acres and built in the shape of a horseshoe. They have 39 kennels for cats and `17 for dogs.

Their mission is to promote compassionate care, perpetuate the bond between animals and humans and end the destruction of healthy, adoptable pets so that every animal finds a loving home. They are a private, non-profit 501(c)3 limited admission, no-kill organization.


2 thoughts on “Cat Finds New Life Thanks to Rescuers Refusing to Give Up”

  1. My grans old cat did the same thing after his doggy brother found the rainbow bridge. My gran knew he was depressed but the vet denied it, said animals don’t have emotion like that. He joined his doggy brother not too long after.

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