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CAT RESCUER TO RETIRE AFTER SAVING 47 AT ONCE.

Byline: Associated Press

As Vanessa Christian sits inside a large cage in her garage, lovingly nursing six malnourished and abused cats back to health, she is marking the end of her career as friend to the feline downtrodden.

These six cats are the last of a group of 47 sick cats Christian rescued in one swoop. When they're gone, she plans on turning in her litter-box scoop and fuzzy mice toys for baby diapers and pacifiers.

The 47 were rescued five weeks ago from a Los Angeles home that was covered inside with cat feces, shredded wallpaper and junk piled several feet high.

``They were like walking skeletons,'' said Christian.

Ten years of cat rescues, at about $20,000 a year in food, veterinarian bills and other kitty paraphernalia, has taken its toll on Christian, 36, who said she and her husband were in ``panic mode'' at the prospect of not having children of their own.

Five failures with fertilization methods led the couple to believe that outside stresses might be to blame for their difficulty in conceiving. Caring for so many hurt and ill cats is stressful, Christian concedes.

From persuading friends to stay off drugs in college to rescuing cats, Christian is a confirmed do-gooder, her friends say.

The 47-cat rescue came about when she and a friend were attempting to donate cat food to a long-lost relative rumored to have a houseful of hungry cats.

Instead, Christian and the friend rescued the cats and saw to it they received medical attention.

Four veterinarians and about 10 other people oversaw 45 reproductive sterilizations, 50 tooth extractions, one tumor removal, one hernia operation and grooming for all.

All but six of the cats have gone to homes, which Christian said surprised her because they were mostly adults, poorly trained and sick, and some were unfriendly.

As she gives a cat named Courage medicine for an open wound in its head, she swears she is about ready to retire as a cat rescuer.
COPYRIGHT 1997 Daily News
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1997, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Apr 20, 1997
Words:333
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