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Hurricane Ian Cats

By Ben Field

The recent tropical storm, Hurricane Ian, ravaged and caused heavy damage to much of Florida and the southern east coast. Streets were flooded, homes were destroyed, and possessions were lost. Unfortunately, as Ian claimed countless material treasures from families, so too were many pets left behind to fend for themselves in the torrent of the storm. Now many of these animals are being taken into shelters to be reclaimed by their owners or moved into new homes. The recent influx of animals that southern shelters are seeing is causing overcrowding and uncomfortable living conditions for the recovered pets. To assist with the overflow of animals The Monadnock Humane Society and several other animal care organizations, have recently taken in pets from Florida shelters. MHS took in thirteen of the cats that needed our help.

These friendly felines began their journey in the shelters of Florida in the areas unaffected by Hurricane Ian, but experiencing the overcrowding and sudden influx of lost animals. The situation was dire, food was running short and the conditions were tight and uncomfortable. With the cats meowing for help, Monadnock Humane Society offered the available space it had to take the kitties and sooth the difficult environments of the packed shelters. The cats were put into carriers and prepared for the long voyage from the southern shelters to the northeast. They began by boarding a plane chartered by Greater Good Charities, and though it must have been scary for the traveling animals , they were kept comforted by the caring people overseeing the flight and the many blankets, pillows, and toys in their carriers. After what was surely a strange sensation of take off and landing by plane, the cats were moved into a van courtesy of St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center. It was time to begin the next leg of their trip to the Monadnock Humane Society.

The van bound for MHS started in New Jersey and was one of many others filled with animals, journeying to animal shelters and humane societies all across the northeast. Driving through the many hills and trees of New England the cats from Florida got their first feel of the beautiful Autumn in the northern United States. They traveled up from St. Hubert’s in New Jersey, through its close neighbor New York, over the winding roads of Massachusetts and finally reaching the refreshing air of New Hampshire’s Monadnock region. Once they reached their destination at the Monadnock Humane Society, the cats were met with welcoming arms and people filled with compassion ready to care for them. The kitties saw happy faces and made some friends at their new home in MHS, but there was still much to be done before they could find new families.

 While getting comfortable with their lives as part of the Monadnock Humane Society family, the cats were given check ups and examined to make sure they were healthy. The veterinary staff at MHS was happy to see lively cats without any illnesses or other health issues. At last, after a long journey and an appointment with the vet, the Florida cats were able to settle in and relax in their new home. All there was left to do now was wait. Soon families would be coming to meet them and take them to new homes and new lives. The cats found comfort in the warmth of a more open environment, and the people of the Monadnock Humane Society found comfort in knowing they helped the animal shelters and survivors of Hurricane Ian.