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Feral cats flee in Great Escape

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A Sheltered Life – photographs, and stories, as told to Maggie Haylock-Capon, by Liza, resident greeter at the Loyalist Humane Society. File photographs by Alan R. Capon.

(If you are unable to adopt a cat or kitten, there are many other important ways to help the LHS. Donations of Javex and other household cleaning products, garbage bags, grocery bags, litter, cat food and kitten food are welcome. The Loyalist Humane Society is located on County Road 4, (Talbot Street), near the intersection of Tripp Road.)

Stop the Press, Stop the Press! Read all about The Great Escape in a special edition of The Torte Report



Hi, Everybody!
I have a scoop that will make anything that Franco reports pale in comparison. I’m going to give you a first-paw report of The Great Escape as told to me by Houdini who saw the whole thing go down.

A few days ago a door in the feral room accidentally was left open and everyone escaped. Mrs. Moffatt sounded the alarm (she blows a whistle three times in such situations, then flicks the light switch in her office three times) and live traps were set to capture those who did not return to the shelter of their own accord. At last, everyone was safely inside, but owing to a miscommunication the door was left open again. Once more those feral felines were on the loose.



Once again that whistle blew and soon all of the cats were safely back indoors, except for Hetty, a raggedy little tabby who has a perpetual bad hair day. Mrs. M. was very worried for her and even went back to the shelter at 4 a.m., in hopes of rescuing her. But there was no sign of her, just a very inebriated Franco staggering back from the Puss N’ Boots pub. Two days passed and we all feared the worst.

Then long-time volunteers Raymond and Bessie Villeneuve, who were there on the day of The Great Escape, returned for their weekend shift. When their car rolled to a halt, Hetty jumped out from under the hood. Mrs. M. was able to capture her and return her to the feral room, She had travelled everywhere with the Villeneuves, for more than two days, disembarking only when she was finally home again.

Unfortunately, unable to find the Ladies’ Room, she had left several deposits on the motor of the Villeneuves’ car, but they were so happy to see her safe and sound, they did not care. Of course that was before the weather turned mild once again.

But the story does not end there. Mrs. M. says 12 cats escaped from the shelter but 13 were recovered. A big orange cat that no one had ever seen before was caught in one of the live traps. He was wild and used a lot of bad language, so Mrs. M. promptly pointed him to the feral room. She says we lost a dozen cats and got a baker’s dozen back.

So there you have the story of Hetty’s great adventure. Nothing like an old-fashioned county horn trip to get a girl’s name in the news. She is still regaling everyone in the feral room with tales of The Great Escape. I have it on good authority that she is truly glad to be at home once more and plans no further adventures on the open road. She reports that there is far too great a distance between comfort stations.

* * *

Shelter launches Magnolia Fund and Memory Garden

Beyonce, diva cat and former shelter resident, celebrates Christmas with snowman friends. She insists that SHE is the real table centrepiece. - Maggie Haylock photo

Beyonce, diva cat and former shelter resident, celebrates Christmas with snowman friends. She insists that SHE is the real table centrepiece. – Maggie Haylock photo

Merry Christmas, All!

Spokescat Liza

Spokescat Liza

What a beautiful time of the year. There are so many wonderful things happening at our shelter that I scarcely know where to begin. Let me start by telling you about the Magnolia Fund.

Magnolia is a buff-coloured tabby who was brought to Mrs. Moffatt by a kind-hearted man who found her lying injured in his flowerbed. She had a deep laceration on her hind leg, believed to have been the result of an encounter with a predator. As the shelter veterinarian was stitching the gash he discovered that the leg was broken. Magnolia was given a cast and sent back to the shelter to recuperate. Unfortunately, when the cast finally came off, it was discovered that she had extensive damage to her foot. It could not be saved. Amputation was the only option.

All of the cats at the shelter signed Magnolia's cast before she was re-admitted to hospital owing to complications. - Gilles Robert photo.

All of the cats at the shelter signed Magnolia’s cast before she was re-admitted to hospital owing to complications. – Gilles Robert photo.

While the shelter can fund routine veterinary care for its residents, special cases such as Magnolia’s requirement for amputation, strain the budget. An appeal went out and reader response was both swift and generous. Ironically, at almost the same time, a second cat in need of an amputation arrived at our shelter. Droit, a handsome black and white fellow, had been shot and his left front leg could not be saved. Luckily, there was enough money in what Mrs. M. called the Magnolia Fund to pay for his care, too.



Now, both Magnolia and Droit have made excellent recoveries, adapting well, following their surgeries. To help other special needs cats, the shelter has now established the Magnolia Fund. All donations will be used to help residents who need procedures which are not part of routine care. Anyone interested in making a contribution to this fund should write the words Magnolia Fund on their cheques. Mrs. M. reports that she has already received a Christmas donation for this fund! What a wonderful present.

And I have more good news! Plans are in progress for a Memory Garden at our shelter. It was decided that our handsome new barn quilt would look even more impressive with some greenery to offset it. Also, outside the office building there is a corner that could be greatly improved with some shade plants and a birdbath or two. Master Gardener Retired, Sandra Dowds, is generously lending her expertise to our project. She is the lady who operates Century House on Bloomfield’s Main Street. Her beautiful gardens are the talk of the village.

Our new garden will honour the memory of shelter residents who have crossed the Rainbow Bridge. We are planning a special dedication day next summer and there is a rumour that our good friend, Julian Gallo, (aka Wally Williamson) will make an appearance for this event.

Now, over to that old reprobate, Franco:

News Flashes From Franco

Hi Ya,



Ho,ho, Humbug. All this fuss over a garden. Bet our residents who have crossed the Rainbow Bridge would like us to remember ’em by raisin’ a glass at Scroggins old waterin’ hole in the underbrush, insteada plantin’ petunias, but Liza says different. She says a lot if ya ask me. She’s already bought garden gloves an’ a straw hat an’ she’s talkin’ about “perennials” an’ some kinda shady plants named “Hostiles”.



Sad to say we’ve lost a lotta senior residents of late. Gray Weiner, the cat with the Gumby joints passed on an’ so did Bobbit, Leftie (now there was a good guy) an’ Claudette. The big surprise was Al, who wasn’t even long in the tooth. He went sudden, with pneumony.

We gotta a buncha special needs cats here now. There’s them two three-leggers, Magnolia (here we go gardenin’ agin) and Droit (that’s Frenchy for right), Jane Plainfield who can’t see (she was a barn cat and her barn burnt down), Gus, who’s deefer than a post, Winky One-Eye, an’ Vada VanGogh, who’s got jist one ear. We usedta have Hooty who had four ears. She coulda helped Vada out with a transplant.

Had a bad season huntin’ snakes. Doesn’t help to have that dumb Houdini cat followin’ me on safari. The noise he makes trompin’ through the brush, you’d think he was wearin’ army boots. Rigged hisself all out in a camo vest n’ pants an’ looked like a real city dude. Every time I spotted a snake he’d yell “Thar she blows”. Musta thought he was ship’s cat aboard a whaler.

Benson, he ain’t no help either. He keeps tryin’ ta take me on. Says I ain’t so tough. A lot he knows. I could cut him down ta a fluff ball in no time flat, if Mrs. M. didn’t keep spoilin’ my fun. He brags that he knows some guy called kung fu and his sidekick Marshall Artz. I don’t know no dudes named Kung Fu or Marshall, but Benson don’t scare me none. I is an alley fighter from Prince Edward Heights an’ the bigger they comes, the harder they falls.

All that I gotta say fer now, exceptin’ for Merry Christmas. Maybe I’ll get lucky an’ catch me a mouse to roast on an open fire.


Gatsby, a former resident of the shelter, enjoys Christmas in his forever home with Liza's ghost writer, Maggie.

Gatsby, a former resident of the shelter, enjoys Christmas in his forever home with Liza’s ghost writer, Maggie.

The Torte Report

Season’s Greetings, Everyone,



Lots of happy news coming from our shelter these days. Liza and I are starting a fitness class in the New Year. My diet simply has not worked and Liza says it’s because I have not been exercising. She has been reading alot about what we need to do to trim our waistlines. She says we should start our days with Katnip Smoothies, a healthy alternative to the hearty breakfasts served by Mrs. M. Then, we should jog around the office keeping track of our distance with PawDometers – clever little devices that we strap to our paws. Meditation is important, too. We must sit quietly on our yoga mats and hum softly to ourselves, while envisioning how buff we will look on the catio in our cat-kinis next summer. Of course, all of this talk prompted Franco to tell us we had not seen “nothin” yet. He plans to sun himself in his Speedo.

All of the cats here at our shelter join me, Liza, and Franco in wishing you and your furry folks a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Hopefully, some of our residents will find their forever homes during the holidays. However, there are always big doings here on Christmas Day, with lots of treats for all, so even if we do not get adopted we will have a special day with lots of love from Mrs. M. and the volunteers.

Vinny, who has a fine singing voice, is going to lead us in singing carols. We had a tree, but our male residents climbed it so many times that most of the needles fell off. Then Clarence peed on it, so Mrs. M. had to drag it outside. She said from now on cat trees were the only trees we would be seeing in the office.

Happy Holidays,

* * *
Click here for previous Loyalist Humane Society blogs

Filed Under: Margaret Haylock-CaponNews from Everywhere Else

About the Author: Maggie Haylock is a freelance writer and former newspaper reporter who has co-authored several books with her husband, Alan Capon.

RSSComments (2)

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  1. Sharon says:

    I love these stories. Have you considered writing a book about the cats and people at LHS, maybe short stories. Perhaps some proceeds to go to the shelter.

  2. Olwen says:

    Love these entries, Maggie. Good wishes for 2016

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