Meanwhile, Jennifer Schenkel happened to be looking on the Humane Society for Boone County’s website just for fun. “It was a totally random thing. I just was curious to see what animals were at nearby shelters,” Jennifer said. After looking at the available cats, Caitlin immediately caught Jennifer’s eye. The following day, Jennifer decided to show pictures of some available shelter cats to her daughter, Gracen, to see what she thought. Gracen immediately pointed to Caitlin’s picture and said, “That one!” Jennifer told her that Caitlin was a pretty special cat, because she was blind. Gracen’s response was, “Oh my gosh, Mommy! Now we HAVE to get her!”
Within 24 hours, Jennifer had filled out a meet and greet form, and was at the shelter with Gracen ready to meet Caitlin. “I think it was meant to be that we were looking on that website that day for sure,” Jennifer said. After Caitlin’s surgery, the family adopted her into their home.
Being a blind cat hasn’t stopped Caitlin one bit from enjoying life! She is very smart and has her own way of communicating with her family. She even loves going on walks and has a very sassy personality. “If we get on her about something, she always has to have the last word!” Jennifer said. “She is very persistent when she wants fed.” Because Caitlin can’t see daylight, she will often meow at Jennifer during the night thinking it’s time for food. Jennifer and Caitlin have a very special bond, but Caitlin also has a very special bond with Gracen. They love to cuddle together, and Gracen will often pick her up and carry her around like a baby. She even has her own cat stroller! Caitlin is the perfect addition to their family.
According to the Schenkel’s, Caitlin has been an absolute blessing on their lives. When they first got her, the family had recently moved to a new town and were going through the divorce process. The weeks that Gracen isn’t with Jennifer, Caitlin is her best friend. “I love having someone to care for and nurture, and she does the same to me,” Jennifer said. “She’s definitely filled a void and come into our lives at the perfect time.”
From being the last sickly kitten alive in her litter to becoming a best friend and wonderful family pet, Caitlin is truly an amazing cat. She has overcome all odds and has never let anything bring her down. With the help of her family, she is able to live every single day knowing she is loved and cared for despite her disability.
“She’s helped us more than we’ve helped her.”
Two years. That’s how long Shoes, a senior Tabby cat, was lost from her beloved family. But thanks to a microchip and caring couple who found her, this 16-year-old kitty is finally safe at home again.
Two cities. Shoes lived in Lebanon with her family, and the couple who rescued her found her in Zionsville. That’s at least a 15-mile journey.
Shoes got lost at age 14 when she was scared by thunder and ran outside during a storm. How she made it to Zionsville is a mystery, but there is no doubt who she belongs to or loves very much. Shoes meowed as soon as she heard her owner’s voice on June 23 at the Humane Society for Boone County Shelter in Whitestown.
Deputy Hannah Fisher, an Animal Control Officer for the Boone County Sheriff’s Office, and Dr. Amy Rader, a veterinarian and HSforBC board member, also helped get Shoes safely home again. The couple who found Shoes took her to Zionsville Animal Hospital to be scanned for a possible microchip then Deputy Fisher tracked the chip’s outdated registration information and finally found the cat’s owners.
Her story is quite remarkable. She was adopted by her family as a kitten and named Shoes because of her four white paws. Shoes weighed 20 lbs. when she disappeared two years ago. Sadly, she only weighed 5.6 lbs. when rescued on June 22.
It was a very emotional reunion with her owner, Constance Tai, the next day.
Dawn Walker, director of Feline Foster and Adoption for HSforBC, said Shoes “started in [meowing] the minute she heard her mama’s voice! It was precious and one of the most amazing moments!”
Shoes was extremely thin and needed veterinary care. But thanks to a microchip that still worked after 16 years, this story has a “safe at home again” ending.
Microchips do work! Even old ones!
Ask most HSforBC volunteers about Simon, a white pit bull mix, and you will see smiles spread across their faces because his story is a wonderful rescue tale.
Simon was picked up by Christy, the HSforBC Canine Director, in early August 2017 after a police call about an abandoned dog found near Boone Pond. He had little fur, broken teeth and both of his ears were swollen almost completely shut. He was extremely underweight, had trouble walking and suffered from open, bleeding sores all over his emaciated body. He was about 6 or 7 years old, and obviously had major allergies which made him itchy and uncomfortable.
Simon was taken to Zionsville Animal Hospital for evaluation and skin scrapings to determine the proper medication. He was vaccinated and started on prescription medicine. Back at the shelter, he was given a soothing bath, food and water, and comfortable bedding.
During his next visit to the veterinarian, Simon received a heartworm test which was negative. The veterinarian also pre-
scribed two other medications.
Simon was fed grain-free, chicken-free food, and bathed twice a week with medicated shampoo. By late October, he was
showing marked improvement.
Even living with discomfort and pain, Simon was such a sweet and gentle dog who found his way into everyone’s heart.
In December, a foster family welcomed him into their home so he could have loving care 24 hours a day.
Tim Browning and his wife, always wanted a dog, but they traveled too much to justify adopting a pet. Then Tim and
co-worker Michael McMillan, both of Zionsville, decided they could share a dog. On May 4, Print Resources where they
worked was celebrating Cinco de Mayo with lunch, beer and margaritas.
“We had been looking for an office dog for about six months,” Tim said. “The dog would be shared between Michael
and me in the evenings and on weekends, but Michael currently lived in a rental house that didn’t allow dogs. Once he
moved, we would get a dog.”
Their plan changed when they looked at the HSforBC Facebook page that afternoon. They saw Simon’s photograph and
wanted to meet him. It was decided that Simon would go to work with them on Monday to see if he was suited for office
life then returned to his foster home on Monday night. If he showed any aggression toward employees or visitors or had
any other bad habits, it wasn’t going to work out but they hoped he would be a good office pet.
When Simon arrived at Print Resources on Monday morning, he was let off his leash. He immediately walked around and
met each employee, checked out their garbage cans then laid down to take a nap.
“We were in love with him,” Tim said. “He never went back to his foster. He is our official greeter. He sleeps on the couch
at work, but gets up any time anyone comes in the front door. People have told us they make excuses to come by our
office just to see him. If anyone sits on the couch in the lobby, he jumps up and sits by them, usually holding them there
with one paw over their leg. He’s quite a celebrity!”
Tim and Michael changed Simon’s name to Indy. He still takes allergy medication twice a day and a few Benadryl pills more as preventative care for the itching. Indy will probably need medicine for the rest of his life because he has numerous allergies, but his symptoms are under control now and he is a beautiful, well-adjusted and loving dog. Happy Tails, Indy!
The Humane Society for Boone County is a private not-for-profit 501 (c) (3) organization almost entirely volunteer operated and dedicated to the task of animal welfare, rescue and education in Boone County, Indiana. Please consider donating to help our organization.