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Gift to Puffy Paws is the cat’s meow

Chrissy Kingston checks out the Jeep Cherokee donated to Puffy Paws Kitty Haven by Rob O'Reilly of Cape Haze.

Chrissy Kingston checks out the Jeep Chero­kee donated to Puffy Paws Kitty Haven by Rob O’Reilly of Cape Haze.

Weeks ago, Puff Paws Kitty Haven ben­e­fited from national gen­eros­ity via Cakewrecks.com.

Now the home-based cat haven has been given trans­porta­tion by a Cape Haze man.

Rob O’Reilly said his dona­tion of a 2000 Jeep Chero­kee was moti­vated by the strict no-kill pol­icy at the Haven and the Kingstons’ will­ing­ness to take care of cats infected with feline AIDS.

I’ve tried to res­cue cats in Cape Haze and Placida,” said O’Reilly. “I would res­cue them to ani­mal hos­pi­tals, but the vet­eri­nar­i­ans  put them to sleep if they have feline AIDS. Rick and Chrissy will take in feline AIDS kit­tens. … They can have a nice life. A kit­ten with AIDS can live from one to eight years.”

O’Reilly recently gave three kit­tens to Puffy Paws, a 501 ©(3) non­profit. Sarge, Priscilla and Runt were liv­ing around the BP gas sta­tion on Placida Road, and now reside with the Kingstons in their home on Lake­view Lane.

O’Reilly said he and other peo­ple try to help the many feral cats that live around Placida Road, from The Fish­ery Restau­rant and envi­rons. He said it seems there are always lit­ters of kit­tens around.

Half get run over by cars,” he said.

Trap­ping them is only par­tially suc­cess­ful, as their sur­vival is in ques­tion once they get a check-up. If they have AIDS they are con­ta­gious and are a dan­ger to other cats in a con­ven­tional shel­ter, and will be put down right away.

I’ve got two kit­tens in my house,” he said. “Their mother was run over by a car on 775. Hope­fully I’ll get them adopted. … I can’t build a shel­ter out of my house.”

Rick and Chrissy Kingston have more than a 100 cats in their home, where they keep cats with AIDS or feline leukemia quar­an­tined from the gen­eral population.

They’re really good peo­ple,” said O’Reilly. “That’s what they do for their life.”

O’Reilly remem­bers tak­ing a kit­ten who was born out­doors to a hos­pi­tal and he didn’t like the results.

It broke my heart see this adorable lit­tle kit­ten being put to sleep,” he said.

He said the $12,000 Puffy Paws got in the Decem­ber wind­fall from Cakewrecks.com wouldn’t last long. Kingston con­firmed that it is already gone, used to pay for many surg­eries for his felines, includ­ing many spay­ings and neu­ter­ings fror kit­tens that have been dropped off recently. He also said that one kit­ten, Shadow, had had an eye removed because of a hematoma.

The kit­tens came from Lake­land. Many are in the feline leukemia quar­an­tine room.

O’Reilly was aware that the Kingstons needed trans­porta­tion, as they were down to one car. Nei­ther would go very far with it.

He wishes they could find local spon­sors for their efforts.

I wish one of the clubs would take them on,” he said. “Maybe a woman’s group.”

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