March 6, 2009

Cute Little Story


It was a cold morning in late January when Wolfville storeowner Julie Page was driving through Canning on her way to work.

Page noticed traffic was avoiding something on the road near the convenience store. “I saw it was a kitten in the middle of the road so I pulled over.”

She discovered a tiny, unmoving creature with its eyes sealed shut due to a crust of infection. “It was half frozen to death,” she said. “I felt awful.”

Page knocked on the door of the nearest house, but no one was home. Then she thought of the Wolfville Animal Hospital, which is located near her Retro Runway Fashion Boutique.

“So I put her on the front seat beside me and cranked the heat up. She fell asleep.”
Page had taken another stray cat there and knew the staff would help.

Dr. Peter Bligh was shocked when he saw the kitten.

Staff member Kathy Whitewood says the little feline they named Retro looked as if she had been run over. No home, no food “Her body was flattened against the blanket, her eyes and nose were so crusted it was impossible for her to see or hear properly,” Whitewood said.

Bligh detected no broken bones, but one of her eyes may be sightless. He took a blood sample for feline leukemia and it was negative. “Retro was simply exhausted. She had no home, no food and weighed less than three pounds. Her bones poked out from a lustreless coat of fur,” recalls Whitewood.

Technician Elissa Quimby took over Retro’s care. The cat was given antibiotics and a special hand-fed diet. Heating pads warmed her and brought her back to life. After over a month of tender care at the shelter, Retro is now ready to be adopted. An affectionate, short-haired tabby cat, she is about seven months old.

Page has been back to visit Retro and was glad to see her thriving. “We already adopted a stray in the store, so I couldn’t take her,” she said.

However, Whitewood invites the public to drop into the Valley Animal Shelter on Front St. to see Retro or the other cats. Wolfville and Area Animal Group spokesperson Pam Smith says Bligh and his staff do an awesome job.

She fears with many unspayed cats having three or four litters a year, many people do not understand the extent of the problem.

“We have to start taking responsibility for animals,” Smith says, “of the estimated 40,000 to 50,000 strays in Kings County.”

Big words in there:

“We have to start taking responsibility for animals,” Smith says, “of the estimated 40,000 to 50,000 strays in Kings County.”

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