We were informed of a posting on Craig's list about a lot of tame, abandoned cats at a house in Nampa.  A neighbor had spotted all of the cats and took food and water over for them.  The residents of the house had moved out quickly because of a foreclosure on the property.  The neighbor had contacted all of the shelters that she could think of and, of course, they were all full, including us.  All of our foster homes were full, and we have a long waiting list of new cats to help.  With the overpopulation of cats here in the Treasure Valley, it seems we all operate at maximum.  For no-kill shelters like us it means we have to ask people to wait or turn cats away, for conventional shelters it means that decisions have to be made as to which cats are the most adoptable, and the least adoptable are humanely euthanized.  There just aren't enough resources or space for all of them.

A volunteer that helped at IHS had gone to the home and reported that the majority of the cats were very friendly and not afraid of people.  We weren't sure what we could do to help, but we wanted to go check out the situation.  We hoped that with patience the cats could be cared for where they were and taken to shelters gradually as space for them opened up.  We went there with the attitude that we could help provide food and warm shelter. Then we'll see what we could do as we get room for more cats.

We went down there on Christmas Eve.  We had a little trouble finding the place, when we got there we found that people weren't exaggerating.  The cats were running out to greet us, happy to see us, and yes, there were a lot of them!  Some acted like they would hop right in the car to go home with us if we would let them!  A few were a little more shy, but still not really afraid of us.
To their previous owner's credit, the cats were all fat and happy and looked like they had been well cared for.  Unfortunately, the signs of abandonment were starting to set in.  The house, already in bad shape (probably should have been torn down years ago), was becoming a giant litter box.  The cats hadt fleas and worms.  Fortunately, there are medications like de-wormers and Frontline, that quickly cure these health problems.  As more time passed the house was going to become more unhealthy.  It was important to get the cats out of there soon.

The house was in very bad shape.  Cats were all over the place!
How many? 20, 30, 40, 50?  It was hard to count them, they were running around everywhere!


As You can see, they were well-fed, and considering how sweet they are, we knew they were loved.

We went there just to see what was going on, and to leave some food and water.  The cats themselves made us change our minds.  They were so sweet and craving attention.  It was sad that they had been abandoned in the middle of winter.  We decided that, if we could muster up extra foster homes, extra help, and extra funds, we would start taking these cats and finding them new homes.  Our normal operations already stretched to the limit, this was going to have to be above and beyond what we already are doing.

So, on our first visit, Christmas Eve, after a little pep talk to ourselves, we ended up leaving with seven cats.  They were so friendly, coming right up to see us, that all we had to do was guide them into carriers. 

 We cringed when we calculated costs for vaccines, testing and fixing these cats. We wouold not be able to help these cats without extra help.  We began putting out an SOS to see if anyone would help.

We don't know if the family owned all of these cats or took care of strays.  This is what happens when you don't spay and neuter your pets, or strays that you are caring for.  We can tell almost all of these cats are related.


The response we received was amazing!
Many people stepped forward to foster the cats.  Many have donated food, supplies like Frontline and given money donations!  Others were helping by providing the cats in the house with food and water and stopping by to check on them.  We still had many cats to go. We still needed many more donations and needed at least 10 more foster homes by Jan. 23rd when the bank was due to take over the property.

All we had to do was line up the carriers and open the doors, the cats were ready to get out of there.  On our second visit, we removed another 7.  We estimated there may be 15 to 25 more.


The property is scheduled to be auctioned off on Jan 23rd and the house will probably be demolished.  So it is important that we get the cats out of there and to safety before the new owner takes over and before the house is torn down.

It was difficult to find a place for the skittish/wild ones.  We needed someone to care for them as barn cats.  A wonderful lady took the 3 wild ones to live on her farm.

As we walked through the house some of the cats would walk with us as if they were showing us around.

All of these guys were rescued and adopted.

This pretty girl (named Cinder Chestnut) was happy to get in a warmer and cleaner environment.  And glad she didn't have to wonder where or when her next meal would come.

This was Half Pint Chestnut getting tested for FIV and Leukemia.  He was a trooper but didn't like the pink bandage.   Thank you Orchard Animal Hospital, you rock!  Half Pint was then ready for adoption.  Besides being tested, he's was also de-wormed, neutered, vaccinated and no more fleas!

.Cats lined up for spay and neuter clinic

 Bubba Chestnut


January 1st

We were continued getting cats out of the house.  The remaining ones were a little more shy so we were using traps.  Still, once we had them we are finding that they are very friendly and we could handle them right away.  It's amazing how friendly most of these cats were.  We had encountered a couple that we could just pick up and put in carriers!  As of January 1st, we placed 22 into warm, loving foster homes.  We had about 10-15 more.  7 were taken out before we got involved.

A few of the cats turned out to be good at entering the traps, eating the can food, and then exiting the traps without setting them off!

One by one we got the remaining cats out with a total near 50 cats.  All have been adopted except for Val Kilmer Chestnut and Sawyer Chestnut.  Both are shy but amazing boys.  The are so happy in their foster home but are available for adoption to the right, patient family.

This is my ham "Sawyer Chestnut".  He was very hissy, growly and wild for a couple of months.  We were going to find him a barn home but a few days before he was to go, he decided he didn't want to be a wild child anymore.  He wanted to be a spoiled indoor kitty.  He's a sweetie to me but still hisses at others and occasionally me too.  He still needs to trust people and will be with us for a good while but some day.......... he is going to own the right family.  He's very much like my Smokey and he's going to train a family to spoil him.

Val Kilmer Chestnut (on the right) is also still available for adoption but only to a super patient loving family.  He's very unique looking with his eyes.  He's so sweet and playful.  I would love to see him and Sawyer go to a home together but that's not required.

 Smokey and Val Kilmer Chestnut                                                                            Val Kilmer and Smokey Chestnut

                       Sawyer Chestnut                               Val Kilmer Chestnut



Copyright 1999-2008 Conrad Strays, Inc