Many people know the story of Dewey the library cat. He was the kitten that was dropped through the mail slot at the Spencer Public Library and ended up being adopted by the library workers and living in the library. Two years ago we had a similar experience at the Natchitoches Parish Library. Someone dropped off a tiny malnourished kitten through in our book drop. Knowing that I had experience with nursing abandoned animals back to health, they brought me over and asked what I thought.I was hesitant to get their hopes up. The tiny animal was clearly traumatized by the ordeal and I had no idea ifthere was internal damage due to falling books. I brought her to the bathroom and cleaned her up as best Icould.Even though cats are notorious for hating water, she was completely listless. She made little if any movementsand could only manage a few weak mewling noises. I was worried. Knowing that my sister, Terri had muchmore experience with nursing animals back to health than I did, I gave her a call and explained the situation.She gave me some general instructions and promised to come take a look as soon as she could. I went to thestore and bought some pet formula. Even though she was clearly starving I wasn’t able to get her to eat much.She just seemed too weak to manage.Terri arrived a short time later to check the kitten over. She had the same concerns I did. The kitten wastiny, malnourished and literally too weak to even raise its own head. I asked if she would foster the kitten andnurse it back to health while I tried to find it a forever home. She agreed and left with the kitten and theformula.
She spent the next three days nursing the kitten back to health, dutifully getting upevery two hours to feed her. Slowly she began to notice definite signs ofimprovement.By the end of the week, she had a healthy lively kitten running around the livingroom playing with her other two cats and four dogs. They all immediately adoptedthe youngster as their own. She went from being orphaned to having 6 mommies.Even Terri’s 3 year old son fell in love, proudly proclaiming that she was his cat.Knowing that there was no way she could take the kitten away and break all theirhearts, she told me I could stop my search, that the kitten had found her foreverhome. She even let her son name it, he chose Gary. We did try to explain that shewas a girl kitten and that Gary was a boy’s name, but he didn’t care. So she becameGary the library cat.
Gary grew up to be a lively, spunky, mischievous cat. She had a litter of her own beforethey were able to have her spayed. Due to her small stature they were unaware she waseven old enough to be spayed when they realized she was pregnant.She was a very attentive and loving mother and we were able to find homes for herkittens. Fortunately Gary’s story has a happy ending. But she came very close tohaving her life ended before it could properly begin.Gary was lucky. She began her life alone, abandoned and starving. Now she’s ahappy, energetic cat who spends her days napping, and then chasing anything thatcatches her eye through the yard, and playing with her son (yes Terri also kept one ofher kittens) and her other adopted family.