Meet Cinnabar, the Queen of VOKRA’s Operations Centre!
You’d never know it to meet her now, but this darling little cat is lucky to be alive. VOKRA got an urgent call from a woman whose kids found a cat wandering around their property in Agassiz one night. The tiny cat was starving, injured and very weak.
One of our volunteers, Marion, got off work in Langley at 9:30 pm then grabbed her boyfriend and drove to pick the cat up. Now, if you’re not from around these parts, let me explain that this was about an hour drive for Marion. Each way. She didn’t get home until well after midnight so she set up a heater for the kitty to keep her warm and kept her overnight. Her assessment didn’t fill us with much hope. “She’s a mess,” Marion reported. Her fur was almost completely matted and what wasn’t matted was missing. Her lower lip was torn from her jaw. Her breathing was raspy and laboured. Her little belly looked raw and sore; either someone had tried to cut the matts away or the cat had been sleeping somewhere wet that irritated her skin. The poor thing was in very rough shape.
The call went out over our VOKRA channels (the Cat Signal, if you will) for a volunteer to drive her from Langley to Vancouver the next morning and people scrambled to make arrangements. Susan arrived at 8:30 the next morning and brought her into the city. All in all, volunteers drove over 250 KM to bring her into our care. (Because our volunteers are the best.)
She was treated and spent four days on IV therapy at Killarney Animal Hospital in Vancouver (one of VOKRA’s biggest supporters) because she was so thin, dehydrated and weak.
When she was strong enough, she was brought to our Operations Centre where the daunting task of shaving off her matted fur began. The matts were so bad they hung like dreadlocks off her tiny body, pulling uncomfortably at her skin. Her tail was so matted it looked like a stick and, when our crew removed and pulled away the knots, they discovered that part of the tail was missing and maggots were feeding off the remaining infected part.
You wouldn’t think this would be a very happy cat. You’d be wrong. Named Cinnabar for her resemblance to the beautiful Cinnabar Hawk Owl, she was calm and even purred while volunteers worked to give her a new hairdo. When she was done, she was still a mess, but a vital, grateful and beautiful one. A hot mess, you might even say.
Photo by Roham Sheikholeslami
It didn’t take long for her to claim the Operations Centre as her kingdom and everyone who enters her loyal subjects. Lucky for us, Cinnabar is a benevolent monarch who loves to play and cuddle with those she rules over. Her favourite perch is at the top of the tower of cat food boxes so she can keep an eye on everyone and everything but she can also be found lounging in her cat tree, lying on people’s coats and trying to break through the gate to get into the Reception area. She’s a handful, our Cinnabar, and we couldn’t be happier about it.
Photo by Roham Sheikholeslami
Her beautiful fur is growing back and her wounds are healing well. She’s more petite than scrawny now and her eyes positively sparkle. Except when she’s giving you the Cinnabar hawk glare. This usually only happens when she has to wear her cone to keep her from licking at her still-healing skin. We try to tell her how regal it makes her look but this is what we get in response…
Once Cinnabar is given a clean bill of health she will be ready for adoption. It will be hard to let this one go and the Operations Centre won’t be the same without her but we know that there will be many more special kitties coming to take her place. Because, unfortunately, the need for someone to rescue abandoned, homeless, unwanted and orphaned cats and kittens continues to grow. VOKRA volunteers will be there to meet that need but keeping up with enormous vet bills (like those incurred by Cinnabar) feeding and caring for our hundreds of cats is overwhelming to say the least. You can help.
Every cat deserves to be loved and cared for. No cat deserves to go through what Cinnabar did. Thanks to donations from animal lovers like you, Cinnabar has a second chance and is loving every minute of it. But her bills are far from covered. Please help make sure they are and that we can rescue more special cats like her. Visit the donations page of VOKRA’s website and contribute what you can.