Each and every year, despite all of the yearly warnings to pet owners, hundreds of unsecured pets run off in terror because of July 4th fireworks, and many of them very sadly become lost.  And July 5th, each and every year, is always one of the busiest days at America’s already overflowing animal shelters because of the vast numbers of lost pets being brought in.  Pets and fireworks don’t mix very well, and they never will.

Now imagine the trauma and the terror that is experienced each and every Fourth of July holiday by both America’s wildlife and by animals like feral cats that live outdoors all year long.  In my area, the abysmal fireworks’ booms and bangs go on and on and on for several weeks before, during, and after the Fourth of July.  As a pet owner and a pet rescuer, I’ve come to hate this time of year.

About two weeks before July 4th this year, I began receiving calls and messages about three tiny terrified kittens that were running through my own neighborhood, desperately attempting to find some sort of safe haven from all of the noisy fireworks constantly being shot off.  But by the time that I would manage to reach the backyard of the latest terrified kitten sighting, these three tiny street orphans always raced off into the night before I ever got there.

As both an animal lover and a pet rescuer, this was extremely frustrating, and extremely heartbreaking to me.  I couldn’t even set up a feeding station or a live trap for these three tiny traumatized kittens because they never remained in one place for very long, and I knew that they were now starving.

About a week after the 4th, I finally got the break that I had been hoping for.  One of my neighbors called to tell me that these three kittens were now huddled under the dense bushes in his front yard.  I raced out of the house with one of my traps already baited, placed the trap next to his bushes, and quickly retreated.

Precious, Tiny and MidnightWithin minutes, I saw three tiny starving kittens emerge from the safety of these bushes, and they were headed right toward my trap.  One was soon inside, two were soon inside – and just as the third kitten was about to enter my trap, yet another horrifically loud boom went off directly overhead, and this third kitten once again fled into the night.

Thankfully, I now had two of the three kittens safely rescued, and I took them home.  But I also knew that I had to somehow catch the third tiny sibling still on the loose before it starved to death.

My break came two nights later when, unbelievably, I spotted the third kitten race into the bushes in front of my own house.  I crept down my front stairs, placed a baited trap beside the bushes, and quickly retreated.  Within minutes, the third starving July 4th kitten was caught.  When my spouse looked at this last one, she said:  “It’s Precious!”

My wife and I have been caring for ‘Precious’ ‘Tiny’ and ‘Midnight’ for a couple of weeks now, and all three of them are adorable.  They are now safe, and sound, and still extremely hungry – they can’t seem to get enough food.  They also like to be held and cuddled a lot.

kitten bathtime for Precious, Tiny and MidnightWe took them to my vet’s office recently, and all three have thankfully been given a Clean Bill of Health.  We will continue to foster them until a local cat rescue organization can take them under their wing.  As you can probably imagine, pet rescue organizations all across America are now all overflowing with ‘July 4th cats and dogs.’

Please safeguard your own pets each and every Fourth of July; and please consider both the utter trauma and the absolute terror that both indoor pets and outdoor animals now experience each and every year from our modern day obsession of shooting off fireworks for weeks without end around each and every Fourth of July holiday.

Ed Kostro

To read more of Ed's articles and poems, please click on  the link: Ed Kostro

P.S. Last word from Ed:

As most of you know, Rebecca and I already have a house filled with rescued dogs and cats that no one else was willing to take in, so we are very sadly unable to keep these three adorable ‘July 4th kittens.’ And, as usual, whenever I rescue a homeless street orphan these days, it gets harder and harder to find anyone willing to foster or to adopt them. A lot of people say that they want to help homeless animals today, but very few people actually do. America’s animal shelters are all so very sadly overflowing with unwanted dogs and cats, and they have been for a very long time now.

Thankfully, CatNap from the Heart has agreed to take these three kittens under their wing. They are a marvelous nonprofit ‘no-kill’ rescue organization dedicated to creating lifelong relationships between companion animals and adoptive families. They will be providing continued care and shelter for these three adorable kittens until they can eventually find loving new homes for them.

Rebecca and I gave CatNap from the Heart a monetary donation for helping us and these three adorable kittens out, and if you would also like to help them to continue their much needed mission, please visit their website linked here. They also have a ‘Wish List’ of much needed supplies. They are currently providing care and shelter for more than 100 homeless cats.

www.catnapfromtheheart.org

 

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