Remember Stormy, the kitten who was rescued last summer after being trapped in a storm drain in Oakland for four days, and his best friend Cloudy, another kitten who was rescued off the streets in Hayward? A lot of readers have asked whatever happened to them.
Answer: After a few weeks of socializing in the home of their foster mom Gail Churchill, a volunteer with Island Cat Resources and Adoption in Alameda (ICRA, for short), the two of them were adopted by Sharon and Marvin Green of Sacramento. Last week I called Marvin to find out how the kittens are doing.
"Unbelievably great!" he replied. "Stormy hid under the bed for the first two weeks, which isn't surprising considering the trauma he suffered in that storm drain. But he came out of his shell when he fell in love with our grandson, who lives with us, and now he's as happy a cat as you could ever wish for."
"She never had an adjustment problem, not even for a second. Her favorite thing is annoying my wife when she's trying to do something, like sitting in the recliner reading a book or doing needlepoint. She pokes her little head under the book and gets right in the way. It's like a game with her. It's hilarious."
And are they still inseparable?
"That's an understatement! They are so much in tune with each other. They sleep together, they play together, they eat together, they care for each other - it's just amazing! I can't imagine them not being adopted as a pair."
One of their favorite games is tag. "Cloudy, who is one-third Stormy's size, will wait in hiding and then pounce on him, and then the race is on! It's so much fun to watch. We're really having a ball. They've given us so much joy."
Stormy and Cloudy are just two of the more than 6,000 homeless cats and kittens who have been rescued by ICRA over the last 20 years and given a second chance at life. In addition, ICRA has had 17,000 cats spayed or neutered, preventing hundreds of thousands of unwanted kittens from ever being born.
The cats are trapped in humane traps, then whisked to the vet for checkups, vaccinations and spay/neuter surgery.
If they're young enough to be socialized, they get smothered with TLC and placed in loving new homes like the Greens'. If not, they're returned to their feral colonies, where ICRA volunteers will watch over and care for them for the rest of their lives. But they won't be turning out any more kittens.
If you'd like to help, visit ICRA's website, icraeastbay.org, or send a check to ICRA, P.O. Box 1093, Alameda CA 94501.
Better yet, you can go to ICRA's annual Holiday Boutique on Dec. 4 from Noon to 6 p.m. or on Dec. 5 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Alameda Elks Lodge, 2255 Santa Clara Avenue, featuring thousands of Holiday-related items – gifts, decorations, baked goods, cat-themed jewelry, gift wrap, Christmas cards, centerpieces, hostess gifts, etc. – all at prices well below retail. Every single penny will go to the kitties.
And if you're feeding any backyard cats, God bless you, but that's only half the battle. Get those kitties fixed right away!