This next interview in the Adopt Don’t Shop Series is with KD Traegner of Your Daily Vegan. Meet their rescue fur family!
What are your rescues’ names?
There are nine animals that live with me- two dogs and seven cats that range in age from 21 years old to 1 year old. The cats are: Dezzi, Jahnni, Loki, Tully Banks, Mister, Maude, and Maple Toast- six girls and one boy. The dogs are Fredd and Joee (both girls).
Can you share a bit about your fur family? Where did they all come from, and how did you grow to such a lovely bunch?
I began taking animals in the moment I rented my first apartment! It’s funny, once you start rescuing animals one cat turns into nine cats pretty quickly. Some of the animals were strays in my neighborhood that I took in, some were found by friends who didn’t want to or couldn’t keep them, some were the result of over-breeding- one of the cats was found in an elevator hoistway! They all have their own weird and unique story. The latest rescue involves Tully Banks. She walked in front of my car in a thunderstorm. At the time I thought I was just rescuing one cat, but when I took her to the vet I discovered she was pregnant. She ended up having three babies. That was a year ago. I didn’t want to separate the family so I just kept them all.
Do they all get along?
Overall, yes. Tully’s babies; Mister, Maude, and Maple are rambunctious and it can irritate the older cats and the dogs. But generally speaking they all get along as well as nine animals can living inside one house.
When they first arrived in your home, were any of them at all psychologically or physically traumatised from their early life? How was the transition period?
All of the animals went through an adjustment period when they first arrived. The cats are always sequestered for six weeks until they are tested for both HIV and FeLV. Most of the cats had an easy time acclimating to a new house once the waiting period was over. But the introduction between newborn kittens and the dogs wasn’t as smooth. To be fair, Fredd the oldest dog could care less about anything- she’s really mellow. The younger dog Joee, a terrier mix, was the opposite- she wanted to kill the kittens. It took four or five months to safely integrate the entire house. It was tough but we worked through it.
What do your fur family members eat? Do they have any preferred treats?
What they all eat for meals (a biologically appropriate diet for their species) isn’t as interesting as what they eat for treats. Both the dogs and cats eat various fruits and vegetables for snacks. The dogs like lettuce, broccoli, carrots (cooked or raw), banana, oranges, tomatoes, green or red peppers, pumpkin, squash, and sweet potato. Mister loves oranges and lemons, Maude loves squash and bananas, and Maple loves black beans and tomatoes. The cats love lettuce and spinach- everyone loves kale. I have to spell certain vegetables when talking, like carrots for example, because the dogs know what the word means. When I bring produce home from the grocer, the animals will try to climb inside the bags and take nibbles of their favorites. One time I caught the dog running away with a bunch of kale!
Are they mainly indoor folks or outdoor roamers?
The cats are indoor folks, although I do take the cats outside individually throughout the day. Mister has his own cat harness and leash- he loves to be outside. I have taken cats hiking before. I don’t let them roam alone- I live on a busy road in a city and it wouldn’t be safe to. But I want the cats to be able to feel the sun on their back and feel the wind in their fur- it’s important to me that they spend some time outdoors. Plus, they really like it.
How about play things or activities, do they have any favourites?
The dogs love to hike and be outside doing absolutely anything. The cats are little destructors! Well, the younger ones are. The older cats here are 21, 15, and 10 years old, they are more mellow and sleep a lot during the day. The Banks family are the ones who tear through the house, climbing curtains and bouncing on the tops of furniture. Since they all love to climb, there are multiple cat trees, boxes, towers, and toys throughout the house for them to climb on.
If people would like to help out or donate to a great cause, but aren’t interested in adopting at the moment, are there any places you would recommended they look into?
Absolutely! I would begin by locating the nearest no-kill shelter and contacting them to see what type of help they need. There is always a tremendous need for people to spend time with shelter animals. There are also rescue groups, wildlife rehabilitators, and animal sanctuaries that desperately need help. To find one, I recommend using the sanctuary database on Your Daily Vegan. It’s part of Sanctuary Spotlight, a mini-site devoted to helping bring people and animal sanctuaries together. There is also a Guide to Helping Animals and a guide on the most common items a rescue or sanctuary needs donated. If someone wants to find ways to help animals, this is a good place to start.
Are there any resources you would direct someone to, either for adoptions or information about taking in a rescue?
Whoops, I answered this above! I also want to share a series I wrote about rescuing Tully Banks. I talk about the challenges faced bringing a pregnant cat into the house. Plus, there are a zillion cute pictures of her babies as babies. It’s pretty fun.
And is there anything else you would like to share, or advice you have for others considering adoption or rescue?
Living with animals is a big responsibility that is filled with priceless rewards. There are millions of animals who need our help and rescuing a dog or two, or one to seven cats is a wonderful thing to do! Spay and neuter always. And finally, adopt don’t shop.
Well, thank you KD! That’s quite the adorable fur family, and I’m glad to hear they like their veggies!
I highly recommened reading all about Tully Banks and the Banks’ fur babies. It makes for an informative, and cute :), read.
Far too often cats are found and rescued after they are presumed to have given birth to a bunch of kittens, so it is fortunate Tully was still with hers when she was rescued and they were all adopted into such a loving home!
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