We were contacted by Toronto area cat advocate Lilly Szilagy just before Thanksgiving, on the evening of Wednesday, November 23. Lilly was haunted by a post about a cat in danger and distress that she had seen in the pets section of the Toronto Craigslist. and turned to us after trying rescues and the OSPCA (Ontario SPCA) but not getting any help. Though unable to actively assist, we were able to make contact with the Craigslist poster on the 24th and get her to agree to let someone come and get the cat, then we published Toronto area woman’s distressing craigslist post about her cat: A call for help in an effort to publicize the case and find help for the kitty, on the 25th.
Miriam M, of Pickering ON, had left her cat, now called Holly, outside for 3 to 4 years of the 5 year old cat’s life. Holly may or may not have had a bowel problem when she was first left outside, but she developed an increasingly serious bowel condition as time passed. By the time Miriam made her Craigslist post asking for help getting Holly trapped so she could be euthanized in a mercy killing, Holly’s back feet had raw sores, and she was skinny and caked with feces. Miriam herself said the problem had gotten so bad that there were feces caked onto her porch. Miriam also said that Holly had gone feral and could not be easily captured. She told me that she wanted to have Holly trapped and euthanized out of concern for the cat’s misery. It was discovered later that Miriam’s mother insisted that something be done; otherwise Holly would likely have been left to die without help.
While our story on the matter engaged conversation and brought a few people to volunteer their assistance, Lilly herself, effected the rescue by bringing in private rescuer Karen Beharell, of Special Ones rescue, and a trapper from Toronto named Sunny. With Holly’s life in the balance, plans were put into place and Lilly, Sunny and Karen got her out of her bad situation in Pickering before she was killed or died. The rescuers knew that Holly might be too far gone to be saved but they wanted to give her the chance to either die humanely or recover, if possible. While Holly does have health issues, she responded very quickly to warmth, food, loving care and medical attention. The pics here and the story below as provided by the principals, make that clear.
When I later asked Karen about her rescue work she said. ” I have an independent rescue and have rehomed at least 60 cats/kittens this year. All would otherwise have been euthanized. Makes me so happy when they go to their new homes.”
We published a post about the dire situation faced by stray or excess cats in Hamilton ON earlier this year, Crystal and Her Babies Help in Plea to Change Practices at Hamilton ON Animal Control, that featured Lilly Szilagy’s videos made as a cry to get help for the cats of Hamilton.
Lilly and Karen filled in the details on Holly and her rescue, as follows.
Lilly wrote, “After I posted the ad and Karen, my friend and rescuer offered to help, we posted for a trapper and a ride. After 2 more days and no rescues offered their help, Karen asked me to ask Sunny. As this was a lot to ask of Sunny, I did not want to ask her but had no choice…no one would help. Sunny of course offered her services and went the next day to the Pickering house. She spoke to the mom who said she had been asking her daughter for years to help the cat and finally, was demanding her daughter do something. Her daughter was too busy it seems to help for over 3 years!
It took Sunny 2 hours to trap her but she said the cat was not feral but in pain. The cat was a talker and had open wounds on her legs. She rushed the cat to the kennel Karen works at and they had the vet come within 15 minutes.
The kitty, now named Holly was nearly dead. She was encrusted all over her fur (they sedated her and washed her and shaved some), gave her an antibiotic shot, did blood and stool samples and as she was dehydrated, gave her fluids and pain killers. She is a medium to large boned kitty but only weighs 8 pounds and Karen told me she can’t stop eating; the poor lady. She must have been starving.”
Karen reported, “Holly’s bloodwork came back and it was okay so just waiting for the other results from stool. I can tell she already feels better now that she has been dewormed and bathed and brushed. Ointment is being put on raw skin and we will go from the next results to see what diet she may need to be on and if she requires meds. Right now she has had a painkiller injection and antibiotic shot. thanks again. Now if i can fix her up I will need to find her a special home (indoors) for Christmas.”
Two updates on Holly from this past week tell us that: Holly is getting happier every day; she loves to give headbutts. Still has loose stool so we are trying a combination of things to get her bowels settled. Hopefully soon. She is happy and safe now and relaxes in her cushy bed daily to recuperate. Thanks to my vet for responding so quickly I am pretty sure she will be all better soon. She is also quite the talker. She has gained some weight. Istill have to get her bowels straightened out but she is so happy and comfy and safe that she will get better soon. She is also becoming more affectionate.
Holly’s rescuers and others have contacted OSPCA to open a case against Miriam M, or to at least prevent her from hoving more cats. Lilly worries, “If she is not charged with neglect, she will do this again. She has another cat that she allows indoors but for how long. What happens when that cat gets sick?”
In closing, Holly has been rescued and is on her way to recovery. She is absolutely not feral, as she was described by her neglectful former caregiver; she is sweet and loving, is talkative and loves headbuts. Holly is recovering from the effects of egregious neglect and now she needs a safe and loving home.
10 thoughts on “Holly, severely neglected Craigslist kitty is rescued and recovers”
Oh Holly I would take you in a minute but I live very far away. I hope that you do get a great home soon. I will say a pray for you. I agree that the former owner needs to be charged with neglect. I hope that happen. Good job to those who rescued this little lovely soul. Get well soon and get a great home.
if I didn’t live so far away in Australia I would snap you up in a heart beat and give you the life you truly deserve
Thanks to “Life With Cats” for working so hard to get this kitty rescued. If it hadn’t been for your pushing who KNOWS what would have happened, but it’s easy to figure out she would have crossed. Thank you so much for all you do. I have been very impressed by the work you do. Thank you for being there!!!!
lord my goodness, what is wrong with people? this woman should never have another animal to starve and ignore…
I could not let my babies outside. My female sneaks out and i go crazy. I have 5 feral cats outside that are all slowly but surely getting fixed. They are as i know very healthy. That get feed 2 to 3 times a day and lotsa of love even tho i can’t touch them. Thank you life with cats for posting and letting us know. It breaks my heart cause she is a gorgous cat. I pray she finds furever home before christmas. If i had my way i’d have 5 inside but i haven’t conveinced my husband yet,
Will Miriam M, of Pickering ON be charged with animal neglect & abuse?? For pete’s sake I hope so – despicable!
Sincere thanks to those who helped this poor cat. NO thanks to the pathetic, selfish, lazy, cruel Miriam M, of Pickering ON!
I believe their is an investigation pending.
oops … there!
When i first read this story about the craiglist cat i was horrified and so upset,iwas hopeing that someone would do the right thing to help this poor baby.I am sooo pleased to now read about sweet little Holly,her story has haunted me wondering what happened to her,she is so beautiful such a sweet little thing.I hope she gets the wonderful loving home she deserves.