The Kittens Are Meow Safe

The Kittens Are Meow Safe

Bonnie Jean Coleman helped find homes for two kittens roaming around Hockaday

PURRFECT MATCH The two cats that were found now belong to Kerri Holt ‘87, mother of Kyle Guthrie ‘10 (cat on the left) and junior Allison Parks (cat on the right). PHOTO PROVIDED BY BONNIE JEAN COLEMAN
PURRFECT MATCH The two cats that were found now belong to Kerri Holt ‘87, mother of Kyle Guthrie ‘10 (cat on the left) and junior Allison Parks (cat on the right). PHOTO PROVIDED BY BONNIE JEAN COLEMAN

This past winter was one of the coldest in years, especially for four homeless cats which roamed around our school’s campus. Two of them still do, and they were never brought to safety and warmth despite Hockaday’s efforts to catch and help them. After receiving a call from security, Middle and Upper School Choir Instruc­tor Bonnie Jean Coleman rushed to the dining room one day, where two wet kit­tens, swaddled in bath towels, awaited her.

Coleman works with Kit­tiCo Cat Rescue and Paws in the City to help foster and res­cue animals. She has always had a soft spot for the fuzzy animals and admitted “that’s one of the reasons I took the job when I came because when I saw that Hockaday had a cat, I thought ‘now that’s pretty special!’” After she was informed about the stray cats, which were about to endure the harsh weather last De­cember, she made it her mis­sion to catch and find homes for them.

In December, once the weather began to worsen, Cole­man brought up blankets, ken­nels and food with the hope that it would offer the kittens a shel­ter from the dangerous weath­er. Coleman set out a few traps in an effort to catch the tiny kit­tens, and after days of waiting, she was relieved to hear that the security guards finally caught two of them. After weeks of failed attempts, the guards fi­nally managed to trap the shiv­ering kittens by throwing their jackets over them. Then the se­curiyty gaurds bundled them up in their coats before taking them to the kitchen where they were given a warm bath.

After catching the cats, Hockaday Security Guard Rachelle Medlin said, “We went down the hallway and asked people ‘do you want a cat?’, and nobody wanted one so we decided to take the kittens to [Coleman] because we knew about her history with cats, and she took them.”

Coleman said that the two were totally wild but small enough to be tamed. She brought them home with her, taking them to the vet the next day to get them dewormed and to receive their shots, spending about $242, which she consid­ered a charitable contribution.

After “cat-proofing” her house with the help of her god­daughter, Tatyana, Coleman placed the kittens’ cage in the bathroom, allowing them to run all over the room. Know­ing it was their favorite spot to cuddle, Coleman placed a soft T-shirt in the bathroom sink, where “[the cats] could be all cuddled up because they don’t have their mommy anymore,” Coleman said.

Soon, the taming of the cats began.

Coleman and her godchild began to pet the cats while they were eating in order for them to associate the petting with what they liked, which was food. After doing this for many weeks, the kittens finally became friendlier, and Cole­man decided it was time to find them homes. Coleman posted about the cats on her Facebook and emailed Upper School No­tices as she tried to seek out people she trusted to give the cats homes.

Finally, Coleman heard back from two people: Kerri Holt ‘87, mother of Kyle Guth­rie ‘10 and junior Allison Parks, who were each extremely in­terested in adopting them.

“I haven’t had a pet since I was very young,” Parks said, “but I have wanted a cat or a dog for a long time. Every time I would see a pet adoption drive or had a random opportunity like this one to get a pet I would ask my parents until they fi­nally said yes to adopting the kitten from Bonnie Jean. I was actually really surprised when they told me I could keep her.”

Now that the two kittens have homes, Coleman hopes to find homes for the remaining two cats which still roam the school campus.

Contact Coleman at [email protected] if you see any cats wandering the campus.

– Manisha Ratakonda