Community Cats of Central AR has been working relentlessly to rehabilitate the cats that were wounded and traumatized by a vicious EF3 tornado that devastated their community in April.
The rescue coordinator, Sarah Richardson, refused to turn away any cats needing help during the tornado aftermath.
For weeks, Sarah received calls right and left about cats that were discovered in the tornado’s wreckage.
The rescue soon found themselves responsible for feeding, housing, and vetting over 140 cats.
Fast forward a few months and we’re happy to announce that the tornado kitties are doing much better!
The bottle babies are thriving and growing bigger and stronger with each passing day.
The cats that were found with mild injuries have been fully vetted.
All of them have been bathed and groomed since being found covered in debris from the tornado.
A few of the cats have been adopted, but most of the others continue to recover in the safety and comfort of their foster homes.
“We’re grateful we have volunteers and fosters that can provide a safe place for these cats to recover,” said Sarah.
As for the critically injured cats that required surgery, they’re making great progress and continue to be monitored throughout their recovery journey.
Sadly, 2 of the critically injured cats didn’t survive, but the rescue still counts their blessings for the cats that continue to thrive despite the odds.
Although their physical injuries have improved, their emotional injuries will take longer to heal.
“A lot of them still struggle,” said Sarah. “They’re traumatized by what happened.”
The most traumatized cats are the ones who lost their homes and went days without food or water while trapped under rubble.
The vet providing treatment recommended that the cats who struggle emotionally spend extra time decompressing in their foster homes.
“Several of the tornado cats won’t be adoptable until they decompress,” said Sarah. “So they’ll need to be fostered long-term.”
These cats have lost everything they cherished, therefore the rescue is committed to patiently providing for them while they adjust to their new lives.
Out of the 140+ cats, only two have been reunited with their families.
This is unusual as most of the cats were not feral to begin with, leading us to believe that people are not claiming their cats despite the rescue’s best efforts to reunite them.
There were also people who lost their homes and surrendered their cats, rejecting the rescue’s offer to take back their cats once they got back on their feet.
“We offered to foster their cats indefinitely and even offered to pay for their cat’s care so they didn’t have to surrender them,” said Sarah. “But they chose to surrender them anyway.”
This has posed a serious financial burden to the rescue as the tornado left them juggling critically injured cats, feral cats, bottle babies, and senior cats.
Providing food, medical care, and shelter for cats of all ages with different health conditions is no easy task for a small, volunteer-based rescue.
“We’re relieved that some people actually accepted our offer because it allows us to use space and resources on new cats who need help,” said Sarah.
Community Cats of Central AR is grateful to those who have donated and continue to support their tornado cats.
“It’s just been hard for everyone, but the cats are the ones who’ve suffered the most,” said Sarah. “We’re thankful for the kind and generous people outside of our community who have helped support these cats.”
Since the rescue continues to care for these cats long-term, donations in support of the tornado cats are still welcome.
If you’re not already, we hope you consider becoming a monthly donor to our Meow Mail program to help the tornado cats along with future rescue cats & kittens live happily ever after!
A Voice for The Voiceless
Donations benefit Community Cats of Central Arkansas, a small 501(c)3 non-profit that rescues and rehabilitates cats that are victims of cruelty, neglect, and abandonment in a rural part of Arkansas with high animal cruelty rates and limited resources.