Ark Animal Sanctuary – Week of April 27, 2022


About a month ago we took in a cat who had taken up residence in someone’s garden. We were contacted and agreed to take the chat. She was trapped alive and brought to the Ark. When we took her out of the trap, her belly was very big and round. We immediately knew she was pregnant.

About a month ago we took in a cat who had taken up residence in someone’s garden. We were contacted and agreed to take the chat. She was trapped alive and brought to the Ark. When we took her out of the trap, her belly was very big and round. We immediately knew she was pregnant.

We set up a quiet, safe place for her to have her babies, and we named her Blue Bell. Blue Bell was very shy and stressed; she had no idea we were trying to help her. Last Wednesday around 5 p.m., she delivered two healthy babies. About an hour and a half later, she delivered a third who was stillborn. She tried so hard to clean it up and revive it, but it wasn’t meant to be.

I sat with her until about 11 that night. There were no more babies so I left. The next day things looked pretty normal, but later that day, 24 hours after going into labor, she delivered two more stillborn babies. Poor Blue Bell was going through such a tough time and there was nothing we could do.

Blue Bell, a wanderer who was brought to the Ark, was pregnant when she arrived.
(Courtesy of Lorraine Monfils)

I think she appreciated the fact that we didn’t leave her alone but stayed with her. At one point, she put her little paw in my hand.

The whole process started Wednesday and Friday, she hadn’t used the litter box once. We were worried there were more dead babies in her. She growled when we touched her stomach, so we knew she was in pain.

We called the Brewer Emergency Veterinary Clinic and they said she needed to be seen. We rounded her up with her two babies and headed to Brewer, two hours away. Once there, she had x-rays, the good news, there were no more babies, but there was a lot of poo. Blue Bell was really constipated and very uncomfortable. She received fluids and an enema. By midnight, she still hadn’t left, so we were sent home with specific instructions.

Finally, on Sunday morning, Blue Bell had a bowel movement. Blue Bell is resting comfortably and taking very good care of her two babies.

Blue Bell is one of the lucky ones. She went to a safe place to have her babies even though the outcome was not happy. I wonder how many of them never manage to give birth in a safe and clean place. Cats’ work doesn’t always go smoothly. Sometimes things can go very wrong.

There is a simple solution to all of this: neuter and neuter your pets. There’s no one good reason why you shouldn’t. Using the excuse that you can’t afford it doesn’t fly. If you can’t afford it, you shouldn’t have a pet.

I know we keep preaching the same thing every time. Our hope is that if we tell enough of these heartbreaking stories, it will sink in.

In the world of animal rescue, we have settled with so many cats struggling to give birth; abandoned and sick cats; cats that have never received veterinary care. We sit with them because we care about them and want to help them. We do whatever it takes to help them. We cry when we lose them.

These cats are not ours and sad to say that in most cases we care more about them than their owners. If you’re reading this and you have a pet that isn’t spayed or neutered, you’re part of the problem. You can be part of the solution if you want. I hope you choose to make a difference in an animal’s life. Please sterilize and sterilize.

Thank you for your continued support and, as always, thank you for reading our column.

The Ark Animal Sanctuary is located at 101 Old Woodstock Road. To contact Lorraine Monfils, call 207-532-7387 or check out their Facebook page.

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