Kate Thompson (part two)- Kate & Her Cats

I’m delighted to bring you part two of my wonderful story about my dear friend and animal lover, Kate Thompson.


In my earlier post, I shared some of Kate’s animal rescue stories, from raccoons to squirrels to a sweet dog. Though Kate loves all animals, I think cats hold a particularly special place in her heart. Kate has shared her heart and home with so many cats, I thought it best to dedicate an entire post to Kate and her beloved cats.

Here is the heartwarming story about Chester . . .

Kate and her ex-husband used to travel north once a year to a small town between North Bay and Sudbury, to stay in a cottage community on Deer Lake. One summer when they arrived for their week-long vacation and were unpacking the car, Kate saw an orange and white cat approaching. He came right to up to her and was really friendly. Like all animal lovers, Kate wondered if the kitty had a home. She soon discovered that people in the adjoining trailer park had moved away, leaving behind the poor cat.

Kate’s first instinct was to bring the cat into the cottage. But she had brought along her own cat and didn’t feel comfortable doing so. Instead, she started feeding him, sharing her cat’s food. However, the cat was more interested in eating Kate’s Cheetos, so she started calling him Chester.

Though Kate considered bringing him back home with her, she first decided to canvas the people in nearby cottages to see if anyone wanted to add a lovely kitty to their family.

One of Kate’s cottage neighbours was a super sweet family, with a boy and a girl around five and seven. Kate made friends with them and soon broached the idea of Chester. To her relief, they seemed slightly interested— definitely not a hard no, anyway. Kate offered to go into town to buy a cat carrier and some supplies for them. Much to her surprise, the dad decided to come along, and when it came time to buying the supplies, he pulled out his wallet. It was then Kate knew Chester had found his new forever family. Kate is still friends with the family on Facebook, and although sadly they lost Chester a couple of years ago, he brought them so much love. They often sent her pictures and told her what a wonderful cat he turned out to be.

Though Kate couldn’t keep Chester as her own, she did end up keeping so many others. Spooky was one of those fortunate cats. When Kate first met Spooky, she already had been sharing her home with two black cats for a few years. Kate wonders if Spooky saw the other two cats laying in the bay window and knew he, too, would be welcome. He started showing up at her place a few days before Halloween and Kate instantly knew his name had to be Spooky—though he was anything but. Kate says he was the friendliest cat. The relationship began as many of Kate’s relationships with animals do—feeding him and putting a cat carrier outside, made cozy and comfy with soft bedding.

Spooky came whenever Kate called for him, and after only two days, would happily be picked up and cuddled. He was so friendly Kate thought he must belong to somebody. She called the local Humane Society to find out if they’d had any reports of missing cats. The receptionist said there hadn’t been any black cats reported missing, and if Kate was planning on giving him a home, she should do so immediately, because people can be cruel, especially around Halloween to black cats. Horrified at the thought, she scooped him up and brought him into the house. For the safety of her other two cats, Spooky spent the weekend in Kate’s spare room, happily receiving lots of cuddles.


First thing Monday morning, Kate took Spooky to her vet to have him checked out. As soon as she was given the all clear, she started introducing the newest member of the family to the others. It didn’t take long for everyone to meet. The other two cats were very interested in who had come into their home, and Spooky just wanted to make friends. Once he was allowed into the “general population”, he would climb into bed with the other two and insisted on cuddling them. Before long he had made himself very welcome.

Spooky & Wally

Sadly, Spooky passed away in 2019, at the young age of eight. He will be forever missed. Somehow Kate always knew she wouldn’t have a lot of time with him, but that didn’t stop her from giving her heart to this special and loving cat. She fondly describes Spooky as “an old soul and my angel.” 

I was fortunate to watch one of my favourite Kate-cat rescue stories play out first hand. It happened about seven months after Spooky joined Kate’s family. A client of hers had stumbled upon two abandoned kittens. Knowing Kate’s willingness to help animals, she brought them to Kate’s place. Though Kate had rescued many cats, she’d never rescued ones so young, but she knew someone who had! Her rescue friend came over and offered helpful advice. Kate learned the kittens were about 12 days old. She immediately went out and bought bottles and replacement milk, and began the task of bottle feeding them every three hours. Kate doesn’t have kids, so this was the closest she ever came to feeding babies, and describes it as ‘exhausting’.

Smuggles & Midget

At first, she thought they were doing okay, but after a day they were exhibiting signs of severe dehydration, and their tiny little bodies were almost lifeless. Kate rushed them to her vet, and was disappointed to discover her vet was not as kind and sympathetic as Kate had thought. The vet didn’t have much time for the kittens as they were “just barn kittens” and “don’t have a very high survival rate”. The vet gave them subcutaneous fluids, and sent Kate home telling her if it didn’t work she could try Gatorade.

Unwilling to give up on the kittens, she immediately called her rescue friends, and they directed her to the vet they use. Kate rushed to get the kittens to the vet before the clinic closed. The vet immediately put them on an IV drip, and sent Kate home with the IV and drip equipment, so she could continue with fluids for the next 24 hours. Kate says she will be forever grateful for Dr. Dev and the Fourth Line Animal Hospital in Oakville, because they saved her babies.


Kate already had a house full of cats, and thought at most she would be a foster mom for these sweet kittens until they were old enough to leave home. No one was surprised that Kate couldn’t part with them and almost eight years later they are still her babies!

Kate & her babies

As if this story wasn’t wonderful enough, Spooky made it even more special. From the moment the kittens came into Kate’s house, Spooky was desperate to see them. So desperate, he actually needed veterinary treatment because he kept pushing his leg under the door and damaged his paw.

When the kittens were old enough to meet Spooky, Kate wasn’t surprised at how gentle he was with them. Spooky quietly walked up to one of them, nudged the kitten onto his back and started cleaning him. From that day on, Spooky was both their mom and their dad.

Spooky nuzzling Smuggles

It had been quite a while since Kate had left the house, as she was worried about leaving the kittens alone. But when she finally did go out, she left Spooky in charge and he took his role as caregiver very seriously. He made sure the kittens didn’t get into any trouble. Anytime they would roughhouse, he would referee. It was quite a sight to see! Spooky took care of those babies right up until the day he passed away. He is, and will always be missed.

The gang
Smuggles & Midget (in front)

A couple of months ago, Kate was out fixing her garden when a sweet little cat ran up to her, rubbed up against her legs and purred. Kate noticed the kitty was limping. Being the kind and caring person she is, Kate went inside, grabbed a carrier and set it in front of the cat. Amazingly, the kitty went right in.

Kate took her to the vet. Good thing too, as it turned out she had a pus-filled uterus and was in critical condition. On top of all this, the cat was FIV positive, which meant Kate wouldn’t be able to bring her home after the surgery, because it would put her cats’ health in danger. With no other option, the animal control officer was called. They picked up the cat and took her to a local rescue, where her she would continue to be cared for. Even though this story didn’t have the ending Kate hoped it would, her decision to step in and take the cat to the vet was the right thing to do. The vet told her the cat would have died a painful death within the next twenty-four hours had she not been brought to the clinic.

Kate has shed many tears for this kitty. As all animal lovers, she wishes she could have done more. As heartbreaking as this must have been for Kate, I hope she is comforted knowing her loving actions at least saved this cat from a lonely, painful death, and possibly allowed the cat a chance to live a happy and healthy life.

Now we come to Kate’s most recent rescue story . . .

Kate and her husband live in a small rural town in Indiana. Their house is nestled up along the forest edge. Kate often sees stray cats come and go, but early last winter, one started coming around and became a regular at her house.

Kate says these situations always start off the same way. Her husband is a great guy with a huge heart, but he always leads with “don’t feed them”, which then it turns into “ok but only feed them at the edge of the property”, and finally . . . “Okay, but keep them out of the garage

So began the relationship between Kate and this new cat. Kate describes her as a Maine Coon, only quite a bit smaller than your typical Maine Coon. Kate called her Boujee because she was just that! Fancy, fancy, fancy!


Kate had been feeding her for about four months, when one day she noticed Boujee had a friend in tow. This friend was a pitiful looking little cat. He looked so sad and had these ears that folded all the way down. Kate wondered if he might be a Scottish Fold, or maybe the cauliflower ears were a result of many fights.


This new visitor would just follow Boujee around and hide when he heard any noise whatsoever, so Kate never got a chance to look at him up close. She started feeding both of them, realizing the second cat was hiding in the rafters of her garage. After a month or so, the weather started to getting warmer, and Kate was able to spend more time outside. This gave her the opportunity to slowly gain the trust of the cats. Boujee’s friend was beginning to venture closer to the house, still keeping a distance, but looking longingly in the windows.

Kate eventually got close enough to see a nasty cut on his neck. It was about a three-inch open wound, going right up into his jaw line. Even from a distance, Kate could tell it was bad.

Her chance to help him came one day when she was bringing food out for the cats and he came right up to her. Kate knew this might be her only opportunity to get him. She brought out her well-used cat carrier, lined it with a bed and a blanket, ready to put food in there the next day.

Shockingly, the following day, she was able to get him into the carrier. The cat hated it, but he needed to go straight to the vet. This all happened during the Covid-19 quarantine time so the protocol at the animal hospital was to pull up to the door and telephone the clinic. A veterinary technician would then come out to the car, take the carrier inside, and call to discuss the prognosis and treatment.

Kate was right, the cut was a bad one. The vet stitched up the cut, but that wasn’t the end of the treatment. Kate paid to have the cat neutered, treated for fleas and lice, and have some dental work done.

Kate has her own hair salon, and due to the quarantine, she’s currently closed. As such, she was able to bring Ewok, as he is now called, back to the shop for recovery. Ewok was terrified of course, and hid under a cabinet for three days, only coming out to eat after Kate was gone. Kate laid out cat beds, a litter box, blankets, towels, and everything she could think of to make Ewok comfortable.

On the morning of day four, the magical moment Kate had been hoping for happened. She was sitting on the floor of her salon, as she had been for a few hours every day to get him comfortable with her—and this time he finally came out. Ewok came right to her hand and let her pet him. Every day since, he’s become more loving and more trusting.


After about a week, he started sitting in Kate’s lap. He loves to be loved. To Kate’s absolute delight, her husband agreed that once Ewok was cleared by the vet, he could  live with them and their other three cats.

Kate says she is grateful for this little cat, who has become such a light in this time that is so dark and uncertain for everyone. Every day, she posts about Ewok’s progress on Facebook, and every day hundreds of people respond with positive comments and reactions, saying that he really has brightened up this time for them.


As for Boujee… she seems quite content living outside. She has a lot of protection around Kate’s house, in their garage and also the screened-in porch. And one weekend, her husband built a fantastic cat house with a magnetic door so that Boujee could be safe from nighttime predators. She wears a magnetic collar so only she can get in and out.

Kate wishes she could save them all, but she does continue to give Boujee love, food, and does her very best to keep her safe. And who knows what’s to come in the future… Kate says her husband seems to be getting quite fond of Boujee, so maybe they will have another house mate before long.

When asked the one thing she would change in the world, Kate’s response is, “I would just wish for everyone to be kind.”

To follow Kate and Ewok, please check out Ewok’s very own Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ewokthekitty/

Ewok Update: Twelve days after Ewok’s rescue, he moved into his forever home. He was an absolute angel going into the carrier for his trip to the vet, got a clean bill of health, and his transition is going very well. He made friends with Kate’s husband, but the friendship with the other cats will have to go at bit slower. Knowing Kate’s history of bringing cats into her family, I can’t imagine it becoming anything less than a full success.

Kate Thompson-Always Trying To Save Them All

I have known Kate Thompson for almost 25 years. She started out as our family hair dresser, and quickly became a wonderful family friend. We loved having our hair cut by Kate. Where else could you get a wash, trim and cuddle a cat at the same time?

One of Kate’s lucky clients-getting a combo cut & cuddle from Wally

Though Kate has since moved to the United States, we keep in touch via social media. It’s not the same, but it’s something. I was so happy when Kate agreed to share her numerous and amazing rescue stories with me.

I’m sure Kate, like all animal lovers, has often been told ‘she can’t save them all’. As you will soon discover, it’s never stopped Kate from trying.

Kate was born in England. After living most of her life in Canada, she moved to Monticello, Indiana three years ago with her husband.

Kate & one of her many furry friends

Kate has always been a huge animal lover. It’s just a part of her character. She says, “If being an animal empath is a thing, then I’m that.”

Over the years, Kate has had many opportunities to rescue animals in need, and thankfully for the sake of the animals, she always follows through. Kate jokingly wonders if she has a homing device for all needy animals.

Kate has rescued many animals—domestic and wild. I remember sitting in her salon chair, getting my hair cut, mesmerized as she told me about her daring rescue of a baby raccoon.


It was a stormy day and the small creek behind her house turned into a raging river. She heard screaming (almost like the sound of a baby crying), and ran outside to find a family of baby raccoons huddled in a tree trunk, clinging to the branches for dear life. Unfortunately, one of the babies had fallen from the tree, into the river, and was being swept away.

Not thinking about her own safety or the fact that she had just had her cast removed from her broken leg, Kate jumped in. She did so despite thinking, “This might not be one of my smartest decisions!”

The water was above her head, but somehow, she was able to rescue the baby raccoon. He was gasping for breath so she laid him down on a blanket in hopes he would be okay. After about an hour, he slowly got to his feet, shook himself off and climbed up into the tree with his siblings. Kate describes the moment as “magical”.

For years after, the raccoon came back to visit Kate, or at least she likes to believe it was him. He would let her hand feed him. In return, Lucky, as Kate called him, gave her the most amazing photography shots. It was almost as if he was posing for her.



Another one of Kate’s lovely rescue stories was about Murphy the squirrel. Kate’s hair salon in Canada was an old Victorian house. The salon was on the main floor and she lived upstairs. One day, a customer came in telling her there was a baby squirrel on the front porch. The customer had tried to shoo him off, but the squirrel wouldn’t go.

Clearly, the customer didn’t know Kate very well. She never ‘shoos’ an animal away. Kate immediately went outside and put her hand down to the squirrel’s level. Knowing he had found someone to trust, the squirrel stepped right into her palm.

Kate played with him for a minute but she had to get back to work. She made him a little bed in a plastic tote, turned it on its side and put in some Cheerios and peanuts. After work that night she went out and was thrilled to see he was still there, happily resting in the box. She put her hand in and once again he climbed on, gently running up her arm. Kate decided to name him Murphy. She couldn’t believe how friendly he was. She kept his little house on the porch and would visit with him many times a day. Kate kept this up for many days until one morning she woke to find Murphy was gone. Kate hopes his family somehow found him and Murphy went home. She reassures herself with the knowledge that Murphy was big enough to take care of himself. Kate believes Murphy is out there somewhere, alive and happy. She remembers this experience as one that brought her so much closer to the animal world.

Unfortunately, rescues can sometimes be difficult and don’t always have a happy ending… Last September, one of Kate’s local Facebook groups had a lot of chatter about a dog that had been seen limping badly in and out of a cornfield, and who wouldn’t go to anyone. Kate’s heart broke thinking about that poor, scared dog. She knew she had to do something. She went to the grocery store, bought a bag of dog food, and drove to the cornfield armed with food and some water. As soon as she turned the corner to the location of the field, the dog came right out onto the road and stood in front of her car. She immediately pulled over and got out. The dog continued to move toward Kate, snarling. Most people would have quickly returned to their car, but not Kate. Somehow, she knew the dog wouldn’t hurt her, that he was just reacting that way because he was scared and injured. Feeling the urgency to gain the dog’s trust, Kate didn’t bother with bowls, she quickly poured the food straight on the ground. Clearly, this was the exact thing to do. The dog went over and started eating. He still had his collar and leash on, so Kate was able to hold his leash and phone the police. They had been involved in the conversation on Facebook earlier so they already knew which dog she was referring to.

The dog must have instinctively known he’d met someone who only wanted the best for him. Kate sat with the sweet dog and cuddled him in the rain, while they waited for the animal control officer.

Now that Kate was able to be close to the dog, she noticed his leg was badly injured. He had a huge cut in the joint closest to his foot and whenever he tried to walk, he would limp with his foot just hanging. The reports on Facebook had described the dog as vicious and unwilling to go to anyone, but Kate disagrees. All she could see was a sweet dog who was desperate for affection.

His collar had a phone number on it, so once the animal control officer arrived, he called the number. After about two hours a girl showed up who didn’t seem very nice, and apparently was the sister of the owner. It seems that a couple of weeks back her brother had given the dog away to somebody who had gotten into a car accident, while Chiko (the dog) was also in the car. Terrified, poor Chiko jumped out and had been missing for almost 2 weeks.

Kate couldn’t believe it. She says, “If that was my dog, I would’ve been camped out at the accident site and looked for him every single day.”

Kate was shocked and devastated that Chiko’s family didn’t seem to care. She wished she could have taken Chiko home herself, but it was too late. Chiko went back to the owner, who from all reports around town was not a very nice person. Kate often thinks about Chiko, and it was months before she could think about him without crying. She did contact the owner to see how he was, and was sent some pictures. Kate was relieved to see Chiko looking good and safe. Kate tries to convince herself that maybe the owner wasn’t such a bad guy after all, and that Chiko will be okay.

Perhaps it’s true, we can’t save them all, but I’m grateful there are kind people like Kate, doing all they can to help as many animals as possible. Kate has rescued so many animals, that I’m going to continue the rest of her heartwarming stories in my next blog.

. . . to be continued

Eleanor Ann Peterson–A Life Surrounded With Animals

The world is a different place since I posted my last blog. The virus known as Covid-19 has created a world-wide pandemic. Many businesses and schools are closed. Those who can are working from home, while many others are facing devastating financial difficulties.

However, in this unsettling time, there have also been countless examples of kindness. Such as, neighbours offering to deliver groceries to those not well enough to do so, expressions of gratitude to the front line workers who are put themselves at risk to support and care for others, and those who continue to help the many animals in need.

I hope this lovely story of kindness brings you joy during this difficult time in our history. Knowing that people like Eleanor Ann Peterson are doing all they can to make the world a better place for animals gives me hope. Hope that not only will we get through this pandemic, but perhaps come away with new found insight about the importance of letting animals live as they are meant to—wild and free.

This is something Eleanor has always believed—that animals deserve to be loved, respected and treated with kindness. She has devoted her life to helping as many animals as she can.

Eleanor was born in Ottawa, Canada on Christmas Day! Her mom was a single parent and couldn’t take care of Eleanor and her two sisters, so the girls moved in with a French family who lived in Orleans, about 17 km from Ottawa. Eleanor grew up running after wild animals hoping to make new friends. She often brought home pigeons and other injured animals, and Maman never complained. Eleanor would nurse them as best she could—feeding them, tending to their wounds and keeping them safe from predators, including their own family cat. Not all the animals survived, but those who did were released as soon as they were fit to go.

Eleanor fondly remembers spending her summers waking up early, having a quick breakfast, and then rushing outside wearing only her shorts. She’d head straight for the swamp and played there all day. Eleanor discovered many things—including bullfrogs hiding in tree stumps by the river and a turtle with a head injury. Wanting to help the turtle, she plucked off all the bloodsuckers, then watched as the turtle went back into the river.

Eleanor as a child

Eleanor finished high school when she was sixteen. She moved to a small town in Quebec and rented an apartment that was owned by a veterinarian. Eleanor was thrilled! Like many animal lovers, she wanted to become a veterinarian and was delighted to be able to help the vet whenever she could.

Eleanor learned many things about animal care at the clinic, but unfortunately her family couldn’t afford to send her to college, so she never realized her dream of becoming a veterinarian.

However, Eleanor didn’t let that deter her passion to learn about and help animals. She now lives in Italy and is an author and illustrator of children’s books. This allows her to share her love of nature and animals with her readers. In addition to writing about animals, Eleanor continues to rescue many animals.

Walter was one of the many stray cats Eleanor rescued. He was about two months old when she found him at the side of the road.

Walter at about two months of age

Soon after, Miguel joined the family. While hanging laundry outdoors one day, Eleanor heard a feeble cry come from the bushes in the woods. When she finally found him, meat flies were everywhere. The mother had been killed by a wild animal. Eleanor brought Miguel to the vet for a checkup. He didn’t have worms. Instead, there were fly larvae that had damaged his tissues in his behind. Without a mother licking him clean, the flies took advantage of the helpless kitten. Miguel lived a pretty long life with Eleanor, until he was infected by FIV, a virus, which is similar to AIDS in humans.

Little Miguel

Knowing he had found a loving home, Walter wanted to share his good fortune with other cats. He found Macchia roaming around the backyard, and soon Macchia followed him into the house. Lucky Macchia was adopted by Eleanor and her family in 2013.

Macchia and Walter_ying and yang
Walter and Macchia

It appears word spread about Eleanor’s compassion toward animals. Willy was left at her door in a cage with food, a hair brush, and a note saying “my name is Willy, I’m sterilized,” and that they would bring more food for him. Willy became part of Eleanor’s family as well.

Willy_adopted 2007
Willy, relaxing

Blacky joined Eleanor’s family in 2015. He was one of four puppies born to a 14 year-old dog! At first, Blacky was a happy puppy, eating slippers or chewing on anything he could find. Then, he suddenly had epileptic seizures. Eleanor later found out that the vet had given him the wrong shot. He was afflicted with distemper. He was given other medications to help, but they didn’t do much. Poor Blacky could hardly walk by the time he was five months old. His knee caps were out of place. Not ready to give up on Blacky, Elaine slept with him all week, making sure he didn’t move too much. Then she sewed a sort of harness that held his hind legs above the ground so they could go on short walks. From there, physiotherapy began, where he would walk a few steps at a time on all fours.

Two months later, he was good as new. He ran and played with a ball. Even though he still has seizures now and then, he has a happy life where he and Eleanor are practically inseparable

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Blacky, living the good life he deserves

Eleanor and her family have opened their homes to other animals too. Given her love for animals, it’s not surprising that Eleanor has instilled this love for other species in her children.

In 2014, her son found a sweet rabbit roaming the streets of Arquata Scrivia, Italy, and little Birru was welcomed into Eleanor’s family.

Cute little Birru

Not to be outdone by her brother, Eleanor’s daughter brought home a hedgehog, who was found in downtown Genoa. The vet had said he didn’t have enough fat to survive the winter months. Eleanor’s family adopted him and named him Gigi. Because of their love and care, he grew big and strong—so strong he was able to be set free after seven months.

The adorable Gigi

Eleanor saved Attila, an Eurasian Jay, from a hungry cat. Poor Attila had hardly any feathers. Eleanor fed him with tweezers every two hours even at work. He lived with the family for five years until other jays began to visit his large cage. Eleanor noticed that Attila was getting nervous and anxious to get out. She realized it was time for him to join his feathered family. When she opened the cage to feed him his worms, he swiftly escaped, sat on the railing, and stared at her as if to say goodbye. Eleanor tried to go near him, but he hopped further away. He would come back now and then for a snack but eventually no longer returned.

Attila_jay bird_born 2007
Beautiful Attilia

Eleanor misses him. Attila could mimic the squeaky sound of the clothesline and the phone ringing. When Eleanor would set the dinner table, he would call for her husband.

Sadly, not all rescue attempts have happy endings. People who help animals, know this can happen, but that doesn’t stop them from trying.

One day, Eleanor heard her dogs barking. When she went outside to see what was going on, she saw a beautiful Roe deer walking toward her. The deer’s nose was bleeding, so Eleanor picked her up and fed her goat’s milk. Eleanor contacted a vet, who told her that she couldn’t keep the deer and had to contact the Provincial Police. In Italy, people need a permit to keep a wild animal.

Eleanor phoned the police and an officer came by to pick up the deer, whom Eleanor had named Lola. Though the officer promised Eleanor that Lola would be okay, sadly this was not the case. Two hours later, when Eleanor called the Wild Animal Care Center to see if Lola had arrived sound and safe, she was given the devastating news. Lola hadn’t made it.

Capriolo_Lola_24.06.12 003
Sweet Lola

Though there is always the chance of heartache whenever you give your heart to another being, Eleanor still believes in rescuing and helping as many animals as she can. She says the best part of rescuing an animal is “the love they give back and the trust they have in you.”

When asked the one thing she would change in the world, Eleanor says there’s actually two. “Abolish hunting and intensive factory farming. If people insist on eating meat, they can breed their own chickens or calf in their backyard. I very much doubt they would kill them once they realize how human animals are and that they have feelings, dreams and fears like humans.”

Today, Eleanor shares her home with five animals— three dogs and two hens. Though Eleanor didn’t achieve her childhood dream of becoming a vet, she still found a way to help improve the lives of many animals. I’m sure each and every one are grateful for her perseverance and especially the kindness she has shown them.

If you would like more information about Eleanor, please visit her website.