Keekers' Story - By Cat Depot Volunteer, Barb Delgato
Being a Cat Depot volunteer brings you in touch with many people from the community. People who love cats seem to find each other - roaming the hallways, socializing with cats in the pods, working in adoptions and the retail store, attending and staffing fundraising events and coming to the aid of cats in need. I am one of those volunteers who has found a home away from home at Cat Depot.
This summer, my son and his family moved to Florida. You can't find a happier grandma having her only grandson just two hours away after spending the first 10 years of his life thousands of miles away. They were scheduled to move on July 3rd before the birth of his new baby sister, but she arrived three weeks early and changed their travel plans. The health issues of his baby sister and mom made it impossible for the family to take my grandson’s cat, Keekers along with them as originally planned. So, they were forced to leave Keekers with a friend for the time being.
In early September, they received word that the cat sitter was moving by mid-September. Cat Depot put an article in their newsletter to see if anyone in their network would be traveling from Sarasota and would be willing to transport Keekers by September 14th. As luck would have it, Cat Depot volunteer, Wendy Gardner was in a training program in the area where Keekers was living and would be heading back to Florida on September 14th! And she was willing to have Keekers as her travel companion.
My daughter-in-law and I were so excited but when she tried to contact the cat sitter, she received no response. Through a mutual friend, she discovered that the cat sitter had already moved and had surrendered Keekers to a shelter without calling her! We were very distraught but we didn't give up hope.
Keekers is 13 years old and had been with their family since he was 6 weeks old. My grandson has had his companion kitty with him for his whole life. We tracked Keekers down at a shelter on September 12th and my daughter-in-law paid the owner reclaiming fee.
In the meantime, I kept Wendy updated on the situation. Luckily, the shelter was willing to keep Keekers until Wendy could pick him up on her way to Sarasota on September 14th. Thinking positive thoughts that it would all work out, I sent her a package with everything she would need for him for the trip.
Wendy and I kept in touch every few hours during the journey of 1,000 miles and she sent pictures of him sitting in her lap while driving. He is so laid back that he never stayed in the carrier except when exiting the shelter and going into a hotel for the night. Wendy and Keekers arrived safely in Florida on September 15th after two days and 18 hours of driving.
This weekend, I reunited my grandson with Keekers. The first thing Keekers did was lick his hand. Next I called Wendy and sent her a picture of my grandson and Keekers.
The mission that seemed impossible at one point, had been accomplished through the goodwill of Cat Depot and volunteer, Wendy Gardner. Our family is forever grateful.