9 Lives Cat Rescue needs your help as it shuts down

Published 6:00 am Sunday, November 8, 2015

joanne wilkinson 1

For the past decade 9 Lives Cat Rescue has worked tirelessly to help save cats that had to be given up by their owners for a variety of reasons, or rescued cats that were found on the side of the road, or abandoned in apartment buildings.

One such cat was Dot. Natascha Techen, the fearless leader of 9 Lives, got a call at 10 p.m. on a stormy night when there was actually a tornado watch in the area. The call came from Batesville to say that an orange cat had been hit by a car and was trying to drag itself down the street. Natascha drove to Batesville that night with winds whipping all around her car. She managed to find the cat, brought him back to 9 Lives, and through good veterinary help Dot is now able to walk, but unfortunately does not have control of his bladder. Due to his loving disposition, Dot is a much-loved cat at 9 Lives.

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One of the primary goals of 9 Lives was to spay and neuter cats so that the cat population did not grow out of control. 9 Lives offered low cost spay and neuter services. Low-cost spay and neutering is vital to keep the cat population at a manageable level.

Sometimes people think they are being kind to cats by letting them stay in their backyards or barns, but they neglect to spay/neuter the cats. Suddenly instead of two cats they quickly have 20 cats and they are no longer able to take care of such a large population. A low-cost spay and neuter facility in Lafayette County is essential.

9 Lives will close

Techen, one of the founding members of 9 Lives Cat Rescue, has done such an excellent job caring for the cats, arranging adoptions, setting up all kinds of fundraising drives and staying up late at night to hand feed kittens. Natascha also partnered with the PetSmart adoption center to use the display cases at PetSmart to showcase the cats that were ready for adoption. Countless cats have found good forever homes due to the liaison with PetSmart. About 150 cats or more have been adopted into loving homes each year.

Now Natascha needs to leave her post as head of 9 Lives. She deserves so much praise for her decade of service to the organization that she co-founded. It would be wonderful if anyone would be interested or willing to take over the running of the rescue group. There are already volunteers in place who help with the daily cleaning and other duties, but someone is needed to oversee the operation. A new facility would also need to be found to house the cats.

9 Lives has also been a dedicated practioner of TNR, the Trap-Neuter-Return method of controlling feral cat populations, endorsed by the Humane Society of the U.S. If there is anyone who has a heated/cooled area where spayed and neutered ferals could be allowed to recover for a few days before being released, at least that part of 9 Lives’ work could continue. If anyone needed more information or wanted to talk to Natascha about either taking over for her, or providing a place to house ferals, she can be reached at 662-202-4587 or email: nine_lives_cat_rescue@hotmail.com.

Can you help?

As 9 Lives will close its doors at the end of November, they are currently desperately trying to find loving homes or barns for the cats that are in the shelter. All of the cats have been spayed/neutered and vaccinated.

Among the cats looking for loving homes are MAREO, who was found in a drainage pipe. He is about 1 years old, has beautiful swirly gray fur, and has a loving personality with a sense that life is fun.

COLUYUS was dropped off at a gas station. He is shy at first, but has such a sweet heart once he trusts you. He is white and buff and full of fun.

SAPHIRO is a shiny-coated, very gentle solid black cat that was born around June 2015.  He is very affectionate toward people and gets along well with other cats. BARNEY is a white and orange teenager who would love nothing more than to sit on your lap!

DOT is the cat mentioned earlier in the article and is such an affectionate cat, but is not able to use a littler box due to his prior injuries so would need to be kept in a room where accidents could be easily cleaned up. If you would like to meet some of the cats in person they are at PetSmart. Other cats available for adoption can be seen on the 9 Lives website: http://www.9livescatrescue.org.

JoannE Wilkinson is an Oxford resident and can be reached at joannewilkinson@yahoo.com.