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Meet KitKat by James Mallory

Meet KitKat by James Mallory

~ Submitted to Crockett’s Critter Care by James Mallory.

KitKat, our Ginger boy, came to us unexpectedly about seven years ago.  While we were visiting family out of state, a little kitten ran into their garage and wouldn’t leave. He was all alone and only about four weeks old.  We waited to see if his mother or siblings would join him – but no one did.  That weekend we opened our heart and home to a new furry companion. 

He has remained an indoor kitty but still retains his outdoor instincts which we indulge by taking him for a lot of rides in his outdoor kitty carriage.  A great way to keep him safe and secure while still enjoying the outdoors. 

KitKat loves to play and his orange tunnel with his spinning ball is his favorite toy.  When he is not keeping us company, he likes to hang out in “his” sunroom where he can keep an eye on the backyard birds. 

His small circle of friends outside of family includes our pet sitter – his loyal caretaker since we brought him home. 

What is your proud pet story? Contact us so we can all hear it.

TRUE TALES: Meet Grover by Mary Ballard

TRUE TALES: Meet Grover by Mary Ballard

In August, 2002, I was visiting my cousin in Wilmington when we decided to visit PetSmart to see when they would have a pet adoption. Fortunately, they were having one that very night, and had just brought out several crates with new kittens. As soon as I saw two little orange tabby faces in one box, I claimed them for mine, male littermates, two months old, Gus and Grover. For two months I enjoyed being MomCat to two babies. Unhappily, Gus succumbed to FIP at four months old, and Grover became an only cat. He adjusted very well, taught us some games to play with him, and learned to take naps with us.

Grover has been a very sociable, friendly cat, not afraid of strangers, and has always been healthy. Now at age eighteen, he does nap longer but is still active. He claims every chair and bed in the house with a couple of favorites in each room. At his last “well-kitty checkup” the vet pronounced him a fine cat, and said to give him whatever he wants. He is still friendly, likes to cuddle, and sleeps at our feet. I am thankful for each day that he is still with us. 

Submitted to Crockett’s Critter Care by Meet Grover by Mary Ballard

What is your proud pet story? Contact us so we can all hear it.

TRUE TALES: Canine Car Rides by Nicholas Bailey

TRUE TALES: Canine Car Rides by Nicholas Bailey

I’ve laced up my sneakers & jingled my car keys, lining my pockets with necessary items for a quick outing. As I head towards the door, there she is, my eager & loyal canine companion wanting to join in on the travels. The repeated & habitual motions have sounded the ‘car ride alarm.’ She knows what’s in my future – and she wants in! 

Whether it’s the idea of being with her pack leader or the excitement offered by a traveling box on wheels, she is always up for a car ride. Being mindful of vet visits & other necessity destinations, I encourage her fondness for accompanying me. By exposing her to low stress, simple neighborhood rides, positivity is associated with the experience. I’ve practiced this with Sam since she was a puppy & as a result, she is happy to be my co-pilot. She absorbs it all; with ears that adorably perk up at the painted New Bern ‘Bear’ statues. 

With 3 million olfactory nose senses, our dogs gather exposure to a variety of smells offered by travel. In addition to bonding, we feed into the animalistic desire for exploration. When traveling, safety always comes first. As tempting as it is, keeping all sniffers and paws inside the vehicle deter incident. A well ventilated backseat harness, crate or carrier are always the safest ways for a dog to ride. A casual, safe and frequent cruise through the neighborhood keeps my precious pup ready to roll!

Submitted to Crockett’s Critter Care by Nicholas Bailey

What is your proud pet story? Contact us so we can all hear it.

Did you know what it means when a cat has a left ear tipped?

Managed Care

Derby-Cats-on-chair
Derby Cat on Chair

The notch signifies that the cat is part of a community of feral felines that have been spayed or neutered and are being cared for. They are part of a TNR (Trap/Neuter/Release) neighborhood program to trap, test, spay or neuter, vaccinate and release the feral cats back where they were found.  These cats are not your neighbor’s pet that goes inside and out.  They are feral or wild and belong to no one. 

When the cat or kitty is under anesthesia for surgery, a small portion of its left-ear is removed so that the cat colony care takers know that this cat does not need to be trapped again for this procedure.  It’s a good thing.  No new litters will be born and the cat can be returned to a closely managed cat colony.  So when you see a cat like this, it is healthy, vaccinated, and spayed or neutered, and well cared for.

Neighbors Helping Cats

Derby-Cat-Rose
Derby Cat Rose

There are pockets of people involved in this program everywhere and several are in New Bern.  Their purpose is to provide a life-saving solution to a cat overpopulation problem.  These cats live healthier lives than the strays that are left to fend for themselves.

I have seen the success of this program in my neighborhood through a group named Derby Cats.  They take the cats to Spay Today, Inc., a low-cost spay/neuter service in Greenville where $55 covers the cost of spay/neuter, rabies vaccine, and a 3 way combo vaccine (distemper).  Derby Cats also provides pre and post-op care, any necessary medical care, food, litter and transport all made possible by the generous donations from our neighbors.

During the process, some of the friendly cats are placed into foster care where they can be socialized and adopted into a home.  The ferals are released where they were picked up or, if that is not possible, are sought after as barn cats. 

To learn more about Derby Cats, become involved, or make a donation, please visit their Facebook page.


Meet: Dora – The One Eye Love

Meet: Dora – The One Eye Love

A traumatized kitten from a trash can coffee cup finds a home, health, and happiness.

What Was That?

It’s 3:00 am, and five-pound Dora is tearing around the living room, attempting to climb the blinds and curtains and everything else she knows is off-limits during the day. All that can be seen is one little eye glowing with glee as she speeds by. “Having one eye doesn’t slow her down a bit,” says Ben, who found her on the side of a busy road almost six years ago when she was only five weeks old.

A Rough Start

“She was hiding in an empty cup by some trash,” Ben remembers. He noticed her little head poking out and pulled over. “She ran right to me, meeping and crying.” Dora was in a rough shape, weighing only nine ounces and covered in fleas and scratches. She also had significant trauma to her left eye, which couldn’t be saved.

Dora the cat on the couch
Dora on the couch

Happily Ever After

Sweet Dora never seemed to mind the loss of her eye. She even tried to play with her stitches as soon as she came home from the vet after surgery. More recently, Dora’s job has been class mascot as Ben’s wife, Rachel, taught elementary school online. “Dora Zoomed with me every day. She’d walk all over the keyboard, sniff the camera, and twitch her tail when she heard my students talk. The kids loved it. She’d take a nap by the window to supervise.”

Hobbies & Habits

Dora’s hobbies include tackling her 17-pound older cat brother, Fluffy Ed, and napping with her more patient older brother, the Magical Mr. Mistoffolees. She also enjoys listening for the sound of a lid being removed from a rotisserie chicken container so she can roll on her back and beg by showing her fluffy belly.

~ Written by Rachel Donnelly

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TRUE TALES: Polly & Piper

TRUE TALES: Polly & Piper

Early this summer I received a call from Polly, a worried pet owner with a specific concern.  Her little beagle, Piper, needed to have surgery on her leg and Polly needed help with post-surgical care.  This care included bringing Piper in from the car on their trip home from the hospital and helping Piper go outside three times a day until she was able to walk on her own. 

Piper had had surgery on the other leg two years before so Polly already knew what to expect and how to plan for Piper’s comfort.  After discussing the details, I said, “Sure, we will be happy to help.”  Polly was so relieved that she scheduled the surgery after our phone call and called me back with the dates.

Recovery Plan

Fortunately, Piper proved to be a cooperative patient.  She was always happy to see us and did her business right on schedule.  The Crockett’s Critter Care team gently moved her from her resting area to the yard and back on each visit.  Initially, we carried Piper up and down the long ramp off of the deck and placed her gingerly on the ground.  She remained leashed to protect her from doing anything that might jeopardize her recovery.  As she healed, she was able to maneuver the distance from the house to the yard and back on her own.

We checked Piper’s incision regularly to make sure it was healing well.  When it was time for the bandage to be removed, we were able to do so without any fuss.  Piper’s progress was steady and uneventful – just what the doctor ordered!    It was gratifying and rewarding for us to be a part of Piper’s recovery and to see her walking on all fours. We love getting calls that are out of the ordinary.

Happy pet, happy home.  

Polly was appreciative of our help saying, “Cannot begin to express how grateful I am to Jeanne and her staff for the help they are to Piper and me. Wonderful.”

We believe that Piper will have a full recovery so she can return to the Beagle lifestyle that she was born into – sniff, stop, smell, roll, wag her tail, enjoy some treats, and gaze adoringly at her doting master.