Kitten season came early this year.

“We’ve got some from Walker County, Gordon County, Polk County, Bartow County,” Floyd Felines and Friends Director Kristy LaRue said. “We wish it was just Floyd, but there are so many counties needing our help.”

They usually begin to see an increase in early June or July, but according to LaRue, this year’s kitten season has started in April. Since then, they’ve taken in 150 to 200 kittens and are currently at full capacity even after a recent rescue transport to Illinois with around 50 cats and kittens.

Because of this huge influx of felines, LaRue and Vice President Mary Kate McCaffery are expanding their rescue to a neighboring unit.

“We talked to our landlord and bargained with him so if he leans back on rent, we could renovate the space,” LaRue said.

The neighboring space would provide a larger quarantine and medical area for cats who are healing from surgeries or broken limbs, as well as more space for other rescues.

“That’s the other thing that’s been so crazy about this year, we’ve had so many broken legs and pelvises we’ve had to treat,” LaRue said.

She’s not sure why this year has been so bad, but she believes a lot of it has to do with how the pandemic affected veterinary offices.

“The vet services were not where they were in the past,” she said. “With not being able to get their cats fixed or get an appointment, the owners didn’t really do anything now those cats are having babies and too many are coming in.”

Kittens are very “fragile” as LaRue described, and can easily catch diseases and infections. And when those kittens are outside eating dirt, bugs and rodents, that risk is even higher.

Floyd Felines currently has several cats at local veterinary clinics being treated for diseases.

“The cats we’re taking in aren’t the ones coming from a healthy household, they’re coming in from the worst places,” LaRue said. “They’re coming in from the streets, in air conditioners in buildings, in parks... it’s just overwhelming and we’re all exhausted.”

“And with the warm temperatures, cats can stay in heat, even if they’re still nursing,” the director continued. “At the end of the day, it’s a lot cheaper to get them fixed.”

The nonprofit is now looking for help from the community in their new renovations and inundation of kittens.

Pepperell High School Students from the Future Farmers of America club will be helping out alongside Clay Burkhalter from Camco Services to put down new flooring.

They also need to paint the spaces before moving the kittens in, as well as air purifiers.

To make a donation, you can check out their Paypal.me/felines or their Facebook page “Floyd Felines and Friends.” If interested in volunteering with Floyd Felines, you can email floydfelines@gmail.com or message them on Facebook.

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