Can you provide a home for ‘Lola’? – The Royal Gazette | Bermuda News, Business, Sports, Events, & Community

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Can you provide a home for ‘Lola’?

The Bermuda Feline Assistance Bureau (BFAB) is currently looking for a home for a little cat called Lola who suffered terrible injuries just trying to get warm.

Lola was found in January at a BFAB feeding station near LF Wade International Airport.

She was cut and badly burned, with one ear partially melted. BFAB volunteers named her Lola after the 1957 song ‘Whatever Lola, Wants Lola Gets' which was more recently sung by Sarah Vaughan Lola the kitty usually gets what she wants with a gentle mew.

She is one of 14 cats BFAB is now desperate to find homes for. Twelve of the cats are healthy. Another cat, Morgan, is older than Lola and visually-impaired.

Most people want kittens so adult cats, particularly ones with a medical past, are sometimes harder to home. “When Lola was found, her ear was partially melted and she had burns and gashes to the back of her neck and on her side,” said Cindy Harding, a volunteer with BFAB. Mrs Harding has bonded with Lola, but is unable to adopt her as a pet. She already has two cats who don't get along in her one-bedroom apartment.

“The vet shaved her up and gave her some antibiotics,” said Mrs Harding. “At first they thought someone had purposely injured her, but another vet thought it was consistent with her trying to warm up with a hot engine. She might have crawled into the engine of a car. Then the engine was still too hot and it scalded her.”

It has taken the little black cat a long time to heal. Some of her fur is growing in white in places, which can be normal after a burn injury. Although she is a little skittish, she is still very gentle and friendly. In fact, her personality was what first caught BFAB's attention.

“Normally, if we find a feral cat that feeds at our feeding station, we usually spay and neuter them and put them back out at the feeding station,” said Mrs Harding. “Usually, they are too wild to be adopted out. This one is so gentle and sweet-natured we thought she would make a good housepet for someone. She could probably be an indoor or outdoor cat.”

Mrs Harding thinks Lola might have gotten lost or been turned out of a house that no longer wanted her, because she is too gentle to be feral.

“She would probably work well in a quietish household,” said Mrs Harding. “She isn't too pleased about being picked up, although she has let me rub her belly, which is quite a sign of trust. She has never nipped or scratched. I would imagine she probably gets on with other cats because she was out at the feeding station.”

Lola is thought to be around two years old and no longer needs any medical attention. She has been tested for feline AIDS and leukemia and is clear of these diseases.

“I have been working with BFAB for about two years and I absolutely have seen BFAB make a difference,” said Mrs Harding. “We now have a dedicated vet and we work full-time on spaying and neutering cats. Before we used the local veterinary clinics, and often had to wait until space became available to spay and neuter our cats. We also have two full-time people who trap cats. Since August, BFAB has spayed or neutered 900 cats on the Island.”

The proof of their success might lay in the fact that they currently have no kittens up for adoption, even though kitten season is almost upon us. Mrs Harding thought the sudden need for homes for adult cats might be linked to non-Bermudians leaving the Island. Unfortunately, when people leave they can't always take their pets with them.

This was the case for Morgan, a brown, partially-sighted tabby in need of a home.

“I have had Morgan for three years now,” said Mike Nixon. “My next door neighbour gave it to me. They got it from a girl who brought him from overseas.”

Unfortunately, his first owner had to leave and the cat found himself at the centre of a series of bad human relationships. After a breakup he was left with a boyfriend who mistreated him. He became very sensitive to having his stomach touched. His eye was damaged after he was thrown against a wall. But Morgan found a friend in the Nixon family.

“Morgan used to come in and hang out here and we decided to take him on when the neighbours moved out,” said Mr Nixon. “He has now quieted down a lot. He sits on my lap. As long as you don't touch his belly, he's fine.”

Unfortunately, while living with the Nixons, his bad eye became infected and had to be removed. He now only has one eye.

“He is a bit of a pirate,” said Mr Nixon. “He doesn't have any health problems.”

He needs a home because Mr Nixon is leaving the Island, and doesn't believe that the cat would travel well.

“He needs a home with someone who understands cats,” said Mr Nixon. “He probably wouldn't work well in a home with smaller children, as they wouldn't understand not to touch his stomach. If I take him to the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), people are going to want to adopt kittens,” said Mr Nixon. “Who will want a one-eyed 12-year-old cat? I'm sure he would be at the bottom of the pile. If I wasn't leaving I would hang on to him for the rest of his life.”

For more information leave a message with BFAB on 291-1737.

Making a difference: Cindy Harding with Lola, one of the many cats helped by the Bermuda Feline Assistance Bureau. Since last August they have spayed or neutered 900 cats.

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Published March 24, 2011 at 9:00 am (Updated March 23, 2011 at 5:54 pm)

Can you provide a home for ‘Lola’?

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