Cat Haven of W.N.Y.

5165 Broadway # 230

Depew, N.Y. 14043

(716) 683-6213


 CathavenOfWNY [AT]

Meet CatHaven’s Life Long Residents;

Let us start by introducing you to Vera . . . she was found on a street corner in N.Y.C. in Sept of  2001, around 911 . . . sitting outside a bank with her 8 week old kitten. A very friendly girl she approached everyone going in and out of the bank, almost as though she was asking for help for herself and her kitten. Finally, a kind hearted woman and her daughter took pity on this friendly cat and took her and her kitten home with them. Unfortunately, Vera tested positive for feline aids. The woman’s very knowledgeable vet told her that although Vera was positive there was a good chance that her kitten would test negative, as new research was showing that a positive mother does NOT always pass the virus to their off spring. He suggested that the kitten be kept isolated and then tested at 6 months of age.

 Meanwhile, since Vera was so HEALTHY, the woman did not have the heart to put this friendly courageous mom down, so she boarded her and desperately searched for a home for her. She found our e-mail address on the internet and contacted us. Normally, we would not take a cat from outside of W.N.Y., but at the time of 911, everyone wanted to pitch in and HELP out those who were victims of that awful tragedy, so we agreed to take Vera. Vera was flown in to us, she arrived safe and sound, but quite vocal about her plane ride, she was a wee bit upset! But the HAPPY ending is that Vera is a part of our hospice and has NOT been sick one day in the 4 years she has been with us. Best of all, her kitten DID test negative at 6 months of age and is happily living with her rescuer in N.Y.C. Vera, is still an adoptable cat, being diagnosed with the feline aids virus is NOT a death sentence . . many of these cats who are carriers do NOT show any symptoms and CAN and DO,  live long healthy lives . . . UPDATE:  Jan 2012, Vera went into kidney failure and passed away.

    Artie . . .  was found in downtown Buffalo in 1994, and rescued by a “CatPerson”  . . . however, like Vera, he tested positive for feline aids . . . Artie has been with us for over 11 years. This goes to show that feline aids cats can live just as long as their cousins who are negative. Artie did develop gingivitis  and stomatitus and had to have all his teeth removed about 2 yrs ago. These diseases are common to cats with immune suppressed diseases like aids and leukemia, but are treatable. We were told that Artie would have to have canned food for he rest of his life . . .  but Artie had different ideas, as soon as he came home from the vet he plopped himself in front of the dry food bowl, and happily gummed his food down with no problem . . . UPDATE:  January 2007, Artie passed away at the very ripe age of 14 years, like most cats with feline aids his kidneys shut down on him. He’s now in a better place where there is no pain or suffering. We will miss him  .   .   .

 It all starts with teaching your children that animals are NOT worthless creatures without feelings. They bleed, feel pain, they know an act of kindness and compassion, they know suffering and they certainly know love   .   .   .

  We do not know the WHOLE story of what happened to this YOUNG kitten. If her and her sister were simply dumped by uncaring folks like unwanted garbage, or if something happened to their mother. But we DO know that if it wasn’t for Mike’s compassion these kittens would be dead! Mike had the swift insight to be THEIR voice and call US for help. The poor little tiger kitten was in pathetic shape, her ear was torn, there were holes in her head and neck that was infested with maggots. We tried to clean the wounds and help this young kitten, but it became evident that it was beyond our expertise and there were too many maggots. This was a job for an experienced vet, so we rushed her to the Orchard Park Emergency Clinic. We were told that the kitten probably had a 50/50 chance of making it thru the night, but we were not ready to give up on her and we told them to do what was necessary to save her. They started her on IV fluids, it was a long night for everyone at the clinic as the vets and techs attempted to remove the maggots that had infested her frail body, by morning she was stabilized.


They removed all the maggots that they could find however, we were told that we still might find more maggots on the kitten and to watch for them and remove them. The vet was not able to determine what caused the injuries to this kitten, it may have started out as a simple cut, and with this warm weather the flies just laid their larvae on it and the maggots just ate away at the kitten’s skin and hair.  Hopefully this is what happened and it wasn’t some result of animal cruelty. She was dubbed MC (Miracle Cat) by us, and both kittens received 24 hr care by their dedicated foster mom who cared for them. These young kittens (barely two weeks old) will carry with them the “scars” of their youth for the rest of their lives. MC may never  turn into a beautiful cat, but her beauty will be an inner beauty, and her outer appearance will be just a reminder of what she survived. She’s a purr-fect example as well as a living reminder for all of us that “YES” sometimes we CAN beat the ODDS, and that small miracles CAN happen. After being with us for a week, MC’s sister the little white Angel developed a fever of 105 and went into seizures and had to be rushed to the emergency clinic. These two have been through a lot at an early age and they still have a long road ahead of them. We pray for St. Francis and their guardian angels to keep them safe, for US, we are just grateful to have made a difference in THEIR chances at a  LIFE . . .

        After 6 months,  MC is doing well, both she & her sister were adopted by their foster mom. MC’s ear is a little crooked, but her fur did grow back on her head (we were told that she might never heal and may remain bald in that area), she’s a beautiful tiny silver and black marbled tabby. Her sister Angel however, has had some set-backs, she is slightly brain damaged, and has recently undergone extensive (as well as expensive) surgery for medical complications that were needed to save her life.

        UPDATE: June 2010, for reasons unknown Angel has crossed over. We are unsure of the cause and no autopsy was performed. She was fine in the morning and ate her breakfast, but when her owner returned in the evening she found that the cat was deceased. She was 5 yrs old . . .

      Sampson, has been with us since January of 2002. He was found by a wonderful couple who care for a colony of feral cats. Not only do they care for this colony of cats, but they’ve trapped every cat in their colony and have had them altered, as well as vaccinated before releasing them back into the colony. When Sampson (a grey & white tom) showed up in their colony one day, he didn’t appear to be feral or afraid of humans, although he was quite frightened. The couple decided to take him in and make him a part of their indoor multi-cat household.

      Unfortunately when they took him to the vet, he tested positive for FIV. Their vet recommended that Sampson should NOT be allowed to mingle with their other cats. They decided to still get Sampson neutered and vaccinated. They decided to put him in their basement away from their other cats, while they searched for a permanent home for him. Believe it or not, the husband slept every night in the basement with Sampson because he didn’t want the cat to be alone!

       After many weeks of searching in vain for someone who’d be willing to give Sampson a forever home, a mutual friend told them to contact US, as we had helped them in the past.

       We took Sampson in. He was very afraid, after all a new home, people, other cats, unfamiliar smells etc. He hid under a bed, and no amount of coaxing would bring him out. For three days we fed him under the bed. On the fourth day we went to put food under the bed and he wasn’t there. We searched EVERYWHERE, and started to panic. Then we noticed a door to a cabinet near the kitchen ceiling was open. At the top of this cabinet was a hole which lead to the top of the dropped ceiling, and this is where he had disappeared to. We climbed up and got him down, and although he was very frightened and trembling, we think that THIS was the turning point. He then began to come out and eat with the other cats, and started coming to us to be petted and held. Although he is still a somewhat nervous cat (loud noises or shouting scare him and make him run and hide), he is a VERY loveable and friendly cat too. He  always loves to sit with me when I’m watching TV, and he’ll knead my arm, which makes me think that he’s happy. We have a large cat bed on top of our dryer, which seems to be his favorite sleeping spot (other than my lap of course), where he curls up either by himself or with one of the resident cats. He’s a wonder gentle cat, and we’re happy to have him as a part of our multi-cat household. He’s a wonderful reminder that there ARE other folks out there who care enough to try to make a difference in the lives of stray and feral cats. They had the heart to spare his life and give him a chance at something better. We are grateful to this couple who made a difference in his life.

          This is why I know that if WE all work together, we CAN make a difference in the lives of cats and dogs everywhere, even if it’s just a small difference, nevertheless it does help. So I applaud this couple and their heroic efforts at caring enough to try. 



   We’d like YOU to meet and get to know some of the “Life Long Residents” that live with US at CatHaven Of WNY. These life long residents will remain with us, until it is time for them to cross over that Rainbow Bridge and meet their Creator. This is HOW we spend some of our funds and donations, by helping THESE cats who may not be “wanted” as well as helping those, who ARE good candidates for adoption.

    In many cases it is thru no fault of their own that THESE cats are “not” good candidates for adoption. Many have “issues” which will not allow us to place them up for adoption, or they are considered to be undesirable companions by many people looking for a companion pet.

    Some of our Life Long Residents are quite healthy, loveable & friendly . . . but we can’t put them up for adoption because they refuse to use a litter box, bite or scratch, or are simply terrified of everything including their own shadow. We do not know WHY this is, and we’ve exhausted ourselves in trying to help them overcome their “issues.” So they will remain with us.

     Cats with feline aids or leukemia did not ASK for these diseases, they are a result of misfortune often brought about by humans who’ve made poor choices. Unaltered adults who are left to roam outside, will have the greatest risk of getting these diseases as they search for mates, and fight for mating privileges. The majority of cats who’ll get these diseases will be males, but if they are infected, they can pass it on to a female if they bite her during courtship. The offspring may or may not be infected too. The “safest” place for a beloved pet IS indoors. Altered cats will help to control unwanted and unnecessary population growth, and prevent these diseases from being passed on to other felines in the community. These diseases if left untreated, are a horrible way to slowly die in their end stages, no animal should have to go thru this. We carefully monitor OUR cats who have these diseases, and so long as they are showing no signs of pain or distress, they are allowed to thrive at CatHaven, we make them as comfortable as possible, for the time that they do have in THIS life.

     CatHaven believes in trying to help these cats IF we can, however, we can only do as much as our financial resources allow us to. A cat who is a “Life Long Resident” can be a commitment of up to 15 years, or longer per cat. Once we make the commitment to these cats, we will do whatever it takes, to ensure we have funds to continue to help them, we do this by selling products that might be of interest, aggressive fund raising and attending craft shows.

      So please, DO take a tour, and meet some of the cats who are “Life Long Residents” of CatHaven of WNY;

Tasha, Sharon & Cleo, are very healthy, spayed females with NO diseases . . . So why, are they a part of our Life Long Residents?? That’s the sad part . . . Each of them has what we’ll call “issues” that make them unsuitable companions for most folks.

      Tasha, a tortie/calico, has been with us a long time, she’s about 9 or 10 years old, very, very sweet and loving especially towards women. Her  problem is that she tends to have chronic diarrhea which in itself isn’t so bad (just very smelly), but she also tends to urinate outside of the litter box, a issue that not very many people would put up with, no matter how NICE a cat she might be. [UPDATE:  June 8, 2007, Tasha passed away sometime during night. We believe it was just from old age, she was around 15 years old. She’s now in a place where there is no pain or suffering.]

      Sharon, is a beautiful white cat who’s about 4 yrs old. She has a VERY shy personality, and has been a shelter cat ALL of her life. Other cats pick on her, she is very much of a loner who does not associate with the others. Like Tasha she also tends to urinate outside of the litter box. [UPDATE:  in February of 2010, Tasha passed away]

      Cleo, is a very friendly calico, who’s about 7 or 8 yrs old. She was found at the Buffalo Zoo. She has NO acceptable socialization skills with other cats or humans. She is very domineering towards other cats (a bit of a bully), while she loves being petted when she’s had enough she turns on you and BITES (very hard)! She definitely is not a cat that can be adopted out to a home. She absolutely will NOT use the litter box for ANY reason whatsoever.[UPDATE:  In October of 210,  Tasha passed away].

       Do they have a low stress level, is that why they urinate outside a litter box? Are they fearful of the other cats, and trying to mark their territory? As for Cleo being a bully and biting, perhaps it’s a strong survival of the “fittest” instinct from her early life, that hasn’t gone away? Many people would say, “Why do you bother keeping cats like this? When you could be spending the money and efforts on a nice cat that can be adopted out.”

        That’s a tough call . . . Just because these cats have issues does that mean THEIR life is of a LESSER value,  than that of another cat?  What contributed to them being the way they are? Were they born this way? Was it the environment they came from, or are currently in? Is it something hereditary or in their genes? Were they abused, traumatized or mistreated in some way? Perhaps they have a low stress tolerance? Maybe under different circumstances, they wouldn’t be the way they are today? We don’t know the answers, and THEY certainly are NOT telling us anything. We cannot judge them, we can only acknowledge that even THEY are entitled to LIVE some quality of life with the same dignity and respect as other cats. It is sad that they will remain with us, and never know what it’s like, to be a part of a loving family and have a close relationship with a human (or humans). But sometimes no matter how hard we try, we just can’t change the way they ARE, but we must do our best to at least accept and respect them for WHO they are .  .  .

If you’d like to sponsor one of our “Life Long” Residents, we do have a Share Your Heart” sponsorship program available. Please click on our sponsorship kitten logo to read more about this program and how it works. Together we can make a difference in THEIR lives . . .


Website designed by www. DAG Original  © 2005, D.A.Gewand

Esther– is an older (age unknown), long-haired female who was brought to us while she was pregnant. A very sweet natured cat who adores attention. She is partially blind and suffers eye problems. After having her kittens, she appeared to have difficulty breathing, our vet at that time said she had a heart murmur and he did not expect her to live after weaning her kittens. He was wrong, two years later she’s still alive.

     We knew the chances of anyone adopting her are slim, but we are determined to give her the best quality of “life” that we can, thanks to the generosity of our supporters. As of Oct 2009, Esther is now one of our Life Long Residentsof CatHaven. UPDATE:  Esther passed away Mar 2014.

Buddy–   This short hair blk & wht cat was a street cat, he’s about 4 yrs old. He’s fixed. He seems to be a bit of a loner & doesn’t care for other cats (but on the one hand, he won’t start fights with other cats if he’s around them). He’s friendly with adults, but a little leary about being around kids. He was shot with a paint ball gun by some kids & might’ve been mistreated by them prior to this, so he may not trust them. He loves fresh water and seems to prefer canned food. Likes being petted and scratched under his chin. UPDATE:  June 2010, Buddy sadly passed away, his kidneys shut down.

Pumpkin & Cuddles–   Pumpkin & Cuddles are fixed & declawed, they came under CatHaven’s care when their diabetic owner was placed into a nursing home. In June of 2008, their former owner was put on dialysis. As her kidneys failed, she was told she could never go back home to be with her beloved cats, she decided life wasn’t worth living without them & she stopped her treatment, CatHaven founders took Pumpkin & Cuddles to the nursing home in September, so she could be with her beloved pets one last time . . . she sadly passed away in Oct 2008. As you can see from the photo Pumpkin was upset being placed in cage, especially since he was used to lots of love and attention from his mistress. He is avery loving and adores attention. Since these cats are elderly (Pumpkin is around 8yrs  old & Cuddles is around 15yrs old), no one seems to want to adopt them and hey seem to be adjusting to their new surroundings with us, so we decided to make them a part of CatHaven’s  Life Long Residents”. They will live out their remaining years with us.

Precious— . . . is an older girl, her owner went into a nursing home and will not be coming back for her. We don’t know what her name was, so we named her Precious. We have no solid history on her, so her age is unknown, we think she’s around 12 yrs old, plus. She absolutely “loves” people and getting one-on-one attention . She’s pretty active for her age and will still play if you initiate playtime with some string or a ball. She’s rather large for a female and semi-longish haired. She has an unusual coloring: white with pale grey and orange patches. She’s very sweet and gentle. Due to no one’s interest in adopting her, she become a member in 2010 of CatHaven’s  Life Long Residents”.  . . . UPDATE:  June 2014, Precious passed away.