When Sylvester was saved during the Great Kitty Rescue, it was his third chance at survival. This is Sylvester’s story ~
Sylvester’s mother did her best to take care of her kittens, but she was no match for the heartless man who took it upon himself to murder any cats wandering in his neighborhood. One day this man captured and killed Sylvester’s mother and siblings, but he managed to escape.
A kindly lady living in the same neighborhood was suspicious of the man but couldn’t prove anything until the day she caught this man trying to kill her two indoor/outdoor cats. He had cornered them and backed his truck up to them to try to asphyxiate them. With a call to the police, she was able to stop him that time, but she feared for the beautiful black and white tuxedo cat who was now on his own.
Kitty Haven is Born
Debbie Kurth decided to trap the wild teenage kitten and at that moment, her cattery Kitty Haven was born. Debbie named him John Boy and had him neutered and vaccinated. Her roommate constructed an outdoor enclosure to keep John Boy safe. They gradually added more space to the enclosure and more cats were kept safe there both domestic adoptable cats and feral cats. They added air conditioning to keep the cats cool in the summer and heat to keep them warm in the winter.
John Boy got used to humans being around and talking to him, but never allowed people to touch him. The only person who ever touched him was the vet who neutered and vaccinated him.
Still, he was a favorite of the volunteers. They say he had the cutest, silliest personality out of all of the feral cats there. He had a nose for wet food and would peek his head through the cat door when the cats in one of the indoor enclosures were being fed.
Disaster Strikes Kitty Haven
During Sylvester’s stay at Kitty Haven, 28 animals lost their lives due to a devastating fire. This was a terrifying experience for the surviving cats including John Boy and a tremendous, heartbreaking loss for Debbie.
After a time, Kitty Haven returned to normal and the cats were happy and healthy.
Sadly, their lives were to be turned upside down once more. On July 4th, 2006 Debbie Kurth was in a terrible car accident and was life-flighted to UMC in Las Vegas. She spent two weeks in ICU and was released; but her injuries, including severe head trauma, made her require on-going special care. Unable to live alone, she was not able to go home to Pahrump and her beloved cats. Instead she moved to Missouri to live with her mother.
John Boy Meets FLOCK
The elderly owner of the property where Kitty Haven was located did her best to care for the cats. But within a couple of months she was overwhelmed by the expenses. Calls were made and finally the president of the new cat sanctuary called FLOCK in Pahrump agreed to take all of Kitty Haven’s 58 feral and domestic cats. And so John Boy was rescued for a second time…or so the people from Kitty Haven thought.
We don’t know exactly what went on inside the FLOCK compound but we know it was a very bad situation. We have suspicions based on volunteer experiences and statements from workers who would rather stay anonymous. What we do know for sure is the condition of the cats when Best Friends Animal Society was finally given custody of the cats in July 2006 and it was horrifying.
Of the 58 cats that went to FLOCK from Kitty Haven, it is believed that only four survived the dire conditions at FLOCK. John Boy was one of them.
John Boy Becomes Sylvester
When John Boy was rescued a third time during the Great Kitty Rescue led by Best Friends and carried out by its employees and volunteers from all over the country. John Boy was renamed Sylvester and was eventually transported to Kanab to live at the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. He was chosen to attend Miss Sherry’s Finishing School for Felines and that is where I met him…and fell in love with him.
Sylvester now lives in Coronado, CA with his fellow Great Kitty Rescue brother Kermit and Sal a local abandoned cat who adopted Bob and me two weeks after our cat Brewster passed away at the tender age of 18.
The once untouched cat Sylvester aka John Boy solicits pets on a steady basis, purrs up a storm, thoroughly enjoys his meals and will never have to worry about being rescued again. He still has some fears to overcome, but he has learned that it is okay to trust humans and that interacting with them can give him lots of good feelings.
Head over to You Tube to see Sylvester’s New Years Day video.