SNIFF NOTES: The Rescue Column


We were tossed over a fence, my siblings and me. It was so scary. One minute someone was holding us and the next we were in the air.

We didn’t know what to do. We didn’t know why the person didn’t want us. We’re young and we think we’re pretty cute and now, we’re just scared.

My big brother kind of took charge while the rest of us hid. He returned with a person. For a minute, I thought it was just someone else who wouldn’t want us, but she had a real sweet voice and a super soft touch and a feeling kind of came over me that we were supposed to meet this person.

It turned out it was two people – a husband and a wife – and life with them was so very different from what we’ve known. They had this tack room in their barn and they gave us cardboard boxes that they turned into a cat condo for us.

We had food, water, a place to sleep, and people that we knew from their voices and their kindness would help us.

Once we got settled, the man and lady talked about adoption.

My big brother was the adventurous type. He obviously didn’t worry about walking up to people – thankfully he had found the lady in her garden, that’s how we got saved. So when someone came to look at us and maybe take one of us home, my big brother stepped right up.

It wasn’t long before he went off to start his new life.

My sister was the only girl in our group, so I really wanted to watch out for her. My other brother was the littlest of us all. I had to make sure he got enough to eat and didn’t get forgotten.

When someone else came to look at us, we could all tell she had a big, big heart. She loved runts and wanted a little girl.

It was tough to say goodbye to my siblings, but I knew from looking in that lady’s eyes that my little brother and sister would be loved forever.

That night, in the tack room, all by myself in the kitty condo, I couldn’t help it. I cried. I was never really good in the dark and night time is always the scariest and my siblings used to keep me warm and now they had started their lives somewhere else and I probably wouldn’t see them again and it hurt.

The lady must have heard me crying. I felt a little bit bad for making her come out to the barn, but somehow, I knew she understood.

Then, the most amazing thing happened. She scooped me up, took me inside the house with her and we snuggled down on a soft, warm bed together.

It’s funny. I know I might be too young to get the concept of meant to be – I mean, hey, I haven’t had tons of time on this planet – but in that moment, I realized that even though my siblings had been adopted, I actually wasn’t alone.

Here was a human who actually cared. Not one who would dump me over a fence, walk away and never look back. This nice lady and her husband would make sure I was okay, no matter what happened.

For the first time in my life, it felt like the tightness in my chest gave way to something warm and wonderful.

I knew the man and woman would adopt me out to another family. I knew that they would always be looking for a place for me, but I also knew that I was supposed to meet them. They were supposed to help me on this journey – to where I don’t know – but in that instant, on that pillow, I realized how truly special these people are. 

Special people who helped animals and didn’t just discard them.

I started to purr. And the lady smiled. And I knew, even without my siblings, even without a place in the world, I had a spot in someone’s heart in that moment.

And that was everything.

This is a tale told from the point of view of a kitten who was recently rescued by two amazing people. Great animal-lovers. Truly some of the best I’ve ever had the fortune of meeting.

It’s people like them – and we have so many in this area – who really help the Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter by finding homes for the abandoned animals all on their own.

Adoption is difficult. It’s so incredibly easy to get attached to the souls for whom we fight.

Sometimes we aren’t meant to share our lives with four-legged friends. We’re only meant to help them along on their journey. It can be both amazing and bittersweet.

So as you have a free moment today, take time to think about the man and the woman who have the strength to help many, many of our four-legged friends and that adorable little kitten still looking for his place in the world.

And know that your kind, positive thoughts will become a part of this story and be a blessing to all involved.

Jennifer Vanderau is the Publication and Promotions Consultant for the Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter and can be reached at [email protected]. The shelter accepts both monetary and pet supply donations. For more information, call the shelter at 717-263-5791 or visit the website

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