March a catastrophic month for some local felines |

March a catastrophic month for some local felines

Carrie Click
Post Independent Staff

The month of March – at least for a few local felines – was a pretty awful time to be a cat.

A feral cat living in the alleys of downtown Glenwood Springs died after delivering three helpless kittens, and in Rifle, four neighborhood cats disappeared and their owners fear they are dead.

In Glenwood Springs, a little white feral cat who took up residency underneath a shed behind the Book Train bookstore delivered three tiny kittens. About two weeks later, Mexi Corry of Martha’s Vineyard gallery down the street, found the mother cat dead outside by an alley Dumpster.

“We didn’t know if she had been poisoned, if she’d been hit by a car, or what,” said Mary Brickner, Book Train’s manager.

Suddenly, the bookstore’s staff had three needy, minuscule kittens without a mother, living in the shop’s storage shed.

Brickner said she has seen lots of feral cats in downtown Glenwood Springs. Because of the alley cats, the bookstore staff peeled back a metal grate in their shed door in the alley so the cats could climb in the shed and warm up near the bookstore’s heater. That’s where the three motherless kittens – one black and two white – were living, wedged underneath the wall.

“We could hear them mewing but we couldn’t get to them,” Brickner said.

To entice the kittens out from under the wall, Book Train staffer Adam Sippola used a sound chip that made a meowing noise, which he got from a cat book at the bookstore. The kittens would meow back, and slowly and surely, two of them edged their way towards Sippola.

“We call Adam our kitten whisperer,” said Brickner with a laugh.

“It felt really good to help those kittens, with everything else going on in the world,” Sippola said.

Brickner and Book Train’s Maggie Niehoff worked in shifts for another two hours trying to get the black kitten to come out. Finally, Tommy “Cat Wrangler” Gallicchio, who works down the street at Florindo’s, was able to coerce the black kitty out.

Because the three motherless kittens are far too young to be out on their own, they’re being bottle fed at the Colorado Animal Rescue animal shelter in Spring Valley. They should be ready for adoption in a month or so.

Pattye Lacy of CARE said the adoption fee for each kitten is $75 and includes all shots, and spay or neuter. Lacy said those interested in adopting the kittens can call CARE at 947-9173.

Brickner said feral cats that are cared for and exposed to lots of loving, human contact can turn out to be wonderful pets. How does she know? The Book Train’s resident cat, Cossette, who can be found most days lounging in the store’s front window, was once a feral cat just like the kittens at CARE.

David Wood’s cat story doesn’t have near the happy ending as the kittens from Glenwood. During March, Wood’s two cats and two of his neighbors’ cats have disappeared. Worse yet, Wood fears the cats may have been shot.

Wood lives near the Colorado State Veterans Nursing Home in Rifle. Early in March, one of his cats was playing with a neighbor’s cat when the two took off into a nearby gully.

Soon after, several neighbors reported hearing gunshots in the vicinity of the gully. Since the first incident, Wood’s second cat, plus another neighborhood cat, have also disappeared.

Wood filed a police report on March 22, but so far the missing cats haven’t been found.

“This has been really upsetting,” Wood said. “Any information about the cats or the discharge of firearms in the area should be forwarded to local authorities in Rifle.”

The Rifle Police Department’s number is 625-2331.

Contact Carrie Click: 945-8515, ext. 518

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.