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Reflections on the Best Friends Cat Rescue

April 6, 2008

I don't know what either of us expected when we visited the cats of “The Great Kitty Rescue” in Pahrump, Nevada last December. Other than to spend a few days cleaning up after the 200-plus cats then housed at the failed FLOCK facility. The critical work, of course, had been carried out long before our arrival, in brutal heat and torrential downpours — in conditions that, by all accounts, were simply horrific.

Actually, I recall very few dirty jobs over the course of our brief tenure. What we did in Pahrump, mostly, was socialize the cats. Which at first I interpreted to mean “play” or “visit,” neither of which sounded much like the “work” I'd come prepared for. In fact, the socializing proved to be more difficult. To begin with, we often couldn't tell the friendly cats from the fearful cats. Most times, somebody was there to give us a rundown of the cats in a particular “house.” Occasionally, though, we were left to the trial and error method (resulting in surprisingly few errors, thankfully).

In some ways, I think the tougher part of the job lay in getting to know the cats (as opposed to serving merely as their dutiful custodians). Bonding with these cats meant also struggling to comprehend what they'd been through on that scrap of inhospitable desert. And when we left, after only a few days, I couldn't stop thinking about the cats in Pahrump.

Best Friends Animal Society

The Great Kitty Rescue

Update for Las Vegas CityLife

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© 2008 peter j. wolf