Thank you for visiting the web site for Kounty Kitties Stray Rescue Project. Eight years ago Sonia Drudge began feeding a small colony of feral cats near the school district office where she works. One of the custodians for the complex had been feeding the cats before and Sonia took over when he left that job. At that time the cats would wait for her to place the food and leave the area before they would approach and eat. After months of feeding, the cats became more trusting and would come out whenever they saw Sonia coming. Eventually she was able to get close to the cats and particularly the kittens.
Sonia decided she would trap the cats once they trusted her enough to allow it, and then get the animals fixed so they would not continue to reproduce and multiply. After a few years and many litters of kittens Sonia was now able to pet most of the cats in the colony except for the older generation that had started the colony.
Then came hurricane Charley. The storm blasted Central Florida with 110 MPH winds and flooding rains. Upon returning to work after the storm Sonia discovered that Fluffy and her two new born kittens had been displaced. Fluffy was a second generation member of the colony and was Sonia's favorite. Fluffy was extremely skittish but Sonia was able to catch her and her two kittens and bring them home. Fluffy and her kittens were given a home on our screened in lanai where they lived in comfort along with two other kittens from different litters that had become separated from their mothers during the storm. Unfortunately there was a tear in the screen that we were unaware of and Fluffy escaped through the opening leaving behind her two kittens. She did this with the encouragement of the neighborhood tom, Romeo. Sonia began the task of bottle feeding all four of the kittens as well as other motherly duties.
Several weeks later Hurricane Francis blew through the area reeking even more havoc on top of the devastation left behind by Charley. Sonia decided to name Fluffy's kittens Charley & Francis after the storms. They were both beautiful kittens and we were able to find a loving home for them easily. One of the other kittens also found a home easily and was named Roxy by the new family. The last kitten weighed only 9oz and was very sick when Sonia found him. She took him to the vet and was told that he would probably not survive, so we new that adopting him out would not be possible. Sonia obtained medication from the vet in order to make him his comfortable as possible for whatever time he had left. Sonia spent hours feeding him and taking care of him. She even used her asthma nebulizer to make a breathing treatment tent for the kitten. After a while the kitten began to flourish and made great improvements. Before long he was running around the house and pouncing on our other three cats which we had adopted over the years. We had grown very attached to the little guy and decided to add him to our family. We named him Charley as well, and he is now the biggest cat in our house at nearly 17 pounds.
For the past 3 years since the storms Sonia has taken in nearly 60 cats. Some of these were kittens which she had spayed / neutered, vaccinated and then adopted out. Some were adults which she had fixed and vaccinated and then released back to the colony. A few were pregnant females that gave birth at our house. Fluffy was one of these, as she returned to us in very bad shape and about ready to give birth. (Thank you Romeo!)
Despite Sonia's best attempts, she was not able to save all of the cats from the colony. She rescued them as fast as she could catch them and as fast as money would allow her to take them to the vet. Unfortunately, when someone decided that the cats in the colony were a nuisance all of a sudden after 8 years, Osceola County Animal Control was notified. Read about this heart breaking story here.