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A New Beginning

When 15-year-old “Kitty” was dumped at Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center in Tampa, Fla., it was immediately apparent that her time there would be limited.

Weighing only five pounds with a possible diabetic and thyroid disorder, the sense of desperation was evident on the Facebook page Urgent Cats of Tampa Bay as they pleaded for someone to save her. With multiple extensions already given, “Kitty” was slated to be euthanized on last Saturday. The posts for “Kitty” were shared over 1,000 times with hundreds of comments and “likes” as the online community searched for help.

The FSC Campus Cat Care Team decided to dive in and pull “Kitty” from the shelter, as no other rescues or followers of the Facebook page had stepped up. Despite a number of financial obstacles and lack of recent fundraisers due to winter break, the Care Team couldn’t turn away from the elderly cat  that resembled so closely one of last semesters ill-fated rescues, Checkers.

One of the team members drove out to the shelter on Saturday to begin the rescue process. “Kitty” needed to stay to have her rabies vaccination and microchip done, so she was able to leave the shelter the following morning.

Nyssa leaving the shelter, 2/4/18

“Kitty” has since been renamed Nyssa, which means “new beginning.” Her foster reported that she is settling in well, eating and drinking a decent amount of food and water throughout the day, and using the litter box normally. Nyssa has a vet appointment scheduled at All Creatures Animal Clinic on Feb. 7.

She will need to have her kidneys, thyroid and glucose levels assessed, and the visit is expected to cost $200. The FSC Campus Cat Club launched a YouCaring campaign with a goal of $500 in support of Nyssa’s rescue. As of the publication of this article, a little over $300 has been raised for the FSC Cats Emergency Rescue Fund. The initial post on Cats at FSC reached over 1,100 people in the span of a few hours.

Nyssa settling in with her foster

The FSC Campus Cat Club provides financial aid to the Care Team, which manages the welfare of the 30 spayed, neutered and vaccinated feral cats residing on the Florida Southern College campus. Occasionally, certain situations arise in the surrounding community in which the Care Team gets involved. Last semester, the team rescued Checkers, an emaciated 4-year-old stray with FIV (feline aids) and kidney disease. He lost his battle only a week after being picked up from the Winter Haven bank where he was left, but the community support was phenomenal, and the FSC Campus Cat Care Team is hoping to pull that same support for Nyssa’s case.

It is through donations that the Care Team and Cat Club are able to not only improve the lives of the cats living on campus, but to reach out into the surrounding community in emergency situations like with Nyssa. The FSC Cats Emergency Rescue Fund will be available to donate to for the next week as Nyssa receives much needed medical care and TLC.

Once she is healthy enough, the Care Team will begin searching for potential adopters for Nyssa. Updates on her progress can be followed on Cats at FSC’s Instagram and Facebook pages.



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