Somehow this story seems fitting, given the fact that October 29 was National Cat Day. Also given the fact that the cats involved were rescued earlier this month. The story involves 50 gray cats in varying shades and a well-meaning woman in Lady Lake, Florida, who took in more kitties than perhaps she could handle.
Authorities say they were notified about the poor living conditions in the home of Alicia Jenks and that there were at least 50 cats living inside, WESH2 reports.
The Cats Are All Healthy
Jenks told authorities the kitties were inside and walked through the home with a deputy. Concerns were raised after law enforcement was informed by the Department of Children and Families that Jenks’ daughter was living with her. The girl will not be allowed back in the home again until it has been cleaned.
The smell of urine was overpowering so the deputy left and returned with a face mask. Deputies found the home was definitely in a bad way, with only nine boxes for the 50 gray cats and urine and feces all over, TheAnimalRescueSite reports. But despite the awful conditions in the house, all of the cats are healthy. Their fur is soft, and they have no diseases. All had access to food and water. Obviously, the kitties were cared for.
Operation 50 Shades of Gray Cats
Of course, the officials who rounded up the kitties, couldn’t help but jokingly reference a rather controversial movie. With 50 cats involved, it soon became known as “Operation 50 Shades of Gray.” Jenks was allowed to keep five cats, including two who roam the neighborhood. She was given a notice of code and has been given two weeks to clean the home up and get the necessary vaccinations for her remaining cats.
The rescue created a cat tsunami, of sorts, at the Lake County Florida Animal Shelter.
Fortunately, most of the cats have been adopted, but there are still 17 who need homes, DailyCommercial reports.
“We are grateful for the community stepping up to adopt these cats in need, said shelter director Whitney Boylston. “We received an outpouring of support from local residents and beyond.”
New homes will turn what was almost certainly a stressful situation for the kitties into a happier one. They will receive plenty of love and attention. Something that can be in short supply when there are too many animals in one place, Boylston noted in an interview with station Fox35.
“Any time you have an abundance of pets, it’s really difficult to give each one of them the attention that they need for them to be properly socialized.”
It’s fortunate that Jenks fed and cared for these sweet cats as she did, but it’s a situation that could have become more serious. It seems like most hoarders are well-intentioned but it often turns disastrous.
“Most hoarding begins with love right? You love animals and then you just get quickly overwhelmed.”
This was obviously the case for Jenks, Boylston added.
“She loved her animals. There were just too many.”
Hoarding situations aren’t uncommon
Loving and caring for cats can easily grow out of control. Boylston emphasized that this is why spaying and neutering are crucial — “because just a few cats can turn into quite a few cats” in just mere months. And in this case, that’s certainly proven to be true. Most of the gray cats were not spayed or neutered, and two had recently had litters.
The kitty influx was a huge challenge for the shelter, which is almost always at full capacity, so it’s fortunate that most have found homes. Anyone interested can adopt one of the kitties for just $10.00.
You can find out more about the gray cats in the video below.