It was winter the winter of 2015. It was cold. And things had changed for the worse.
Iggy and his 8 feline friends were used to going into their caretaker’s garage where they sought food and shelter. But then one day, the garage door didn’t open. The caretaker had passed away, leaving the cats to fend for themselves.
Lucky for them, Pets Alive became involved with the situation through our TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) program in the city of Middletown, NY. At first, the TNR team provided feral shelters and worked with a neighbor to provide food and water to the cats until plans could be made to trap at the site.
Pets Alive trapped the 9 cats and after their spay/neuter surgeries, the TNR volunteers started naming the bunch after musicians. Iggy, originally for Iggy Azalea, turned into Iggy Pop once it was known he was a boy. He was scared, just like the others, but eventually, he made his way into “the big house” with the other cats available for adoption. There, he joined the Library crew but he would cower, run and hide when approached. But there was one thing that Iggy always loved – food! So he ate well.
Fast forward to the summer of 2016. Iggy and his friends were getting a bit friendlier – and allowed a pat on the head now and again. Then one day, something just clicked! We were able to pet Iggy without him backing away! Eventually, he got comfortable with belly rubs. We knew it was just a matter of time before he’d be adopted.
The beginning of November 2016 proved to be that day. After 2 hours of searching the house, his adopter decided he was the one. He walked into the carrier and away he went to what we thought would be his forever home. We received a picture of him on her lap about 5 days later and we all smiled. A year and a half of care, love and patience had paid off for our 2 ½ year old Iggy.
But only 5 days alter, horror struck Iggy once again. We received word from the adopter. Early in the morning, her apartment complex burned to the ground. Iggy was still inside when she got out. He went into hiding and she was not able to get him out without risking her own life. But she hoped somehow, he’d be able to escape. We were frantic making calls to the fire department, to the emergency shelter – to anyone that we could think of to find out if Iggy was safe. Eventually, we contacted the building management company. After about 30 minutes, they confirmed Iggy had gotten out and had been reunited with his adopter at emergency housing! We were so relieved to hear of Iggy’s rescue! However, his adopter had lost everything and could no longer care for Iggy.
One of our staff members immediately went to pick him up. He was hiding underneath a piece of furniture but quickly released his fears and let the staff person pick him up and put him in a carrier.
And so he returned to Pets Alive. Miraculously, other than a faint smell of smoke, he was not harmed.
How he got out from the fire, we’ll never really know. We will continue to care for Iggy until his next chance at a forever home comes along. That is what we do. We make a lifetime commitment to all of our animals and want to make sure they are safe and well loved for their lives.
Please donate today to help Iggy, who is still available for adoption, and all the animals at Pets Alive!
Written by Dani Eisenberg, Volunteer Coordinator at Pets Alive