They say that to make a difference in someone’s life, you do not have to be smart, rich, perfect, or beautiful; all you need is to show that you care. Even to animals, the saying is applicable because one woman, despite struggling to stay afloat in her cat rescue organization, still does her work passionately. She’s a hairstylist by day and cat rescuer by night, but it took a sad incident to make Jamie Rushford dedicate her life to rescuing stray cats. Check out her story.
Transformed by the Death of a Kitten
Rushford did not know much about animals. Therefore, even when she witnessed a kitten born in her friend’s barn having problems because one of the legs was shorter than the rest, there was nothing she could. However, the helplessness got to her when the kitten developed respiratory problems that resulted in death a few days later. She decided it was time to help every cat in need in whatever way she could. After a while, she founded Cat Crusaders of Franklin County, a non-profit organization dedicated to rescuing cats. However, working at the organization is not a full-time job; given the expenses, Rushford still works as a full-time hairstylist in Enosburg. For the sake of ensuring the cats are in good health, Rushford partnered with a registered veterinarian, Julie Kyle, who has been with the Cat Crusaders since it began. Since she is a hairstylist by day and a cat rescuer by night, Rushford spends the nights trapping and rescuing cats. She was already spaying and neutering the cats she rescued, but Kyle explained that there was a need for them to work together on a much larger scale.
It is Costly
Farmers who spot stray cats call Rushford to collect the felines. The rescuing process begins when the Cat Crusaders team starts trapping the cats on Friday nights and check if they have caught any on Saturday mornings. They also reset the traps, and by Sunday night, the trapped cats can be anywhere from 10 to 30. The felines are then loaded in a rented van which costs Rushford $250 per weekend and the expense of spaying and neutering the cats can be as high as $2,500 monthly. Although people think owning a van would facilitate the job, Rushford had done the math and thinks it is uneconomical. According to her, buying a van for $1,500 and then spending at least $15,000 on insurance and maintenance does not make sense. Luckily, even though the Cat Crusaders are cash-strapped, the community recognizes their effort and helps whenever they can. For instance, Billie-Jo Draper, the Town Clerk, agrees that the non-profit deserves the funding they are about to receive due to their community work. Rushford is more than glad to accept donations or any other help, but she believes adoption would be a much better option.
Hairstylists Finding Cats Useful to their Trade
While Rushford gives hope to the stray cats, other stylists have found different ways for kitties to serve their customers. A video posted by The Dodo revealed one hairstylist using a cat to give his customers a perfect look. At first, it seems like an ordinary styling job when the stylist cuts the customer’s hair. However, when he picks a cat that runs its paws through the customers’ hair, you get to realize it is not the typical thing you would expect in a salon. The customer does not seem to mind maybe having already gotten used to having paws substituting a comb. The video was initially posted on Facebook by Lmaoviral on January 6, 2016, and had garnered over 2.3 million views by June 13, 2016.
If you find that strange, then you will be more surprised to learn of a cat mom who uses her furbaby as an anxiety reliever for her customers. According to Mashable, Betty Boo has never taken a day off since she started working at the Babar Hair salon in Melbourne, Australia. It’s been six years now since the “employee” began her job of alleviating anxiety in Chris Guglielmi’s clients. Guglielmi adopted Betty Boo when she was only eight weeks old. At the time, the cat had been abandoned, and the kind-hearted lady gave her a new lease of life. Since she never gets enough of snuggles, Boo finds the salon a great place to “work” because she can always sit on clients’ laps where they can pet her. She has become a client favorite and also quite popular. Boo has an Instagram account to update fans on what is going on in her life and at the salon; so far, it has 9,983 followers.
Cat Rescuing is Indeed a Calling
Not many people dream of growing up to be animal rescuers; usually, it takes an incident to open up their hearts and spend their lives saving animals. Rushford is therefore not alone; according to Pets Best Insurance, Lisa Deanne Gilman found her calling when she learned that most shelter animals end up being euthanized because they cannot find forever homes. She started rescuing in 2000 and reveals that animal rescuers will cry when they cannot save animals, although they understand they can’t save every stray animal on the planet. However, when they deliver a rescue animal to their new home, they find the strength to get up every morning and do all it takes to make a difference. Regardless of how demanding taking care of animals can be, when one couple wanted to hire a cat sanctuary manager, they were overwhelmed by the number of applications they received. The Bowells made it clear that the job would involve cleaning poop and vomit and euthanizing too wounded cats. The couple received almost 40,000 applications within six weeks of placing the advert. Finally, the job went to Jeffyne Telson, whose past dedication to saving kittens stood out to the Bowells.