Latka's Big Adventure, a 1,200 mile journey

On September 22nd, 2010, in Cheyenne, Wyoming, a young, male, domestic short hair, feral cat darted into traffic and was hit by a car, which sped away. This accident put into motion an incredible story about a rescue that spanned three states and through the kindness, generosity and decency of strangers, this homeless animal found himself a permanent home at The Cat House on the Kings.

A witness to the accident called the Cheyenne City Animal Control and the seriously injured feline was brought into the veterinary office of Karen M. Randall, DVM, who tested him and provided basic emergency care. The following day, Dr. Randall anesthetized him, wired his fractured jaw, neutered and vaccinated him, treated his head trauma and bb gun wounds and provided a Fentanyl patch for pain control.

A dear client of Dr. Randall, Kevin O’Hare, heard the story about this cat, which they named Latka, and told Dr. Randall about a wonderful sanctuary for cats in central California at which he had volunteered in the past. Kevin offered to drive Latka from Wyoming to The Cat House on the Kings in Parlier, California if arrangements could be made for him. Another gentleman by the name of Bob Rhue offered the use of a flexible kennel to make the trip comfortable and offered to pay the $3,000 surrender fee so Latka could live out his days wandering the 12 acre sanctuary along the banks of the Kings River.

Lynea was so moved by the kindness and generosity of these strangers that she offered to take Latka at no charge, but Mr. Rhue, from Aurora, Colorado, insisted on paying for his care (which was much appreciated as there is never enough money to care for nearly 1,000 current residents).

After 5 weeks of healing, recovering and eating like a horse, Latka was ready for a road trip. He was loaded into his comfy two part kennel that spanned the entire back seat of Kevin’s BMW and was so cooperative during the journey it was hard to tell he was feral. Kevin made good time on the 28 hour drive of 1,220 miles, despite an early snowfall the day before they left. Latka remained a perfect gentleman during their one stop at a motel along the way.

Latka was introduced to his new home and immediately took over a carpeted cubbyhole. Kevin stayed for a couple of days to make sure Latka adjusted well and left for the long drive home after the annual Cat House on the Kings Halloween open house on October 30th. Many thanks to all who made this heartwarming story possible!

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