By ANNE HEYMEN
PALATKA – East Palatka resident Sara Hetherington has an eagle eye – especially when it involves abandoned kittens.
It was déjà vu all over again, as they say, when Sara, crossing Palatka’s Veterans Memorial Bridge spied what she first thought was a gray grocery bag on the span.
As Sara describes it her first thought: It’s just a gray shopping bag I said to myself but as I began to head down the bridge I knew in my heart of hearts that I had to go back and check.”
The reason she knew better is because several years ago she rescued another kitten from the same location and Bridget is now a contented member of the Hetherington-Szczes feline family, a family which seems to grow four paws at a time. At the time of her rescue, Bridget was a mere four weeks old. She was number four of the couple’s feline children.
Sara continues: “I had to go almost a half a mile to find a turn where a U-turn wasn’t illegal. Went back across the bridge, got myself turned around and once again was heading east on the bridge. Sure enough as I approached the spot where I had seen movement I realized the gray shopping bag had four legs and a tail. I pulled over, put on my flashers, carefully exited my car, took a deep breath, offered up a prayer and started walking toward the little gray kitten who was hugging the wall and crying. He was half in a drainage pipe which thankfully had screening at the bottom. His little butt was sticking up as well as his back two legs. As I was reaching down to pull him out of the drain I hoped he wasn’t feral. He wasn’t. I don’t know who was more grateful, the kitten or me. I made it safely back to the car, and went straight to the veterinarian’s office. He’s eight weeks old, and was old enough to start getting shots. I called my husband and said, ‘You are not gonna believe what just happened to me.” He said, “what am I not gonna believe?” I answered, ” I just rescued another kitten on the bridge.”
This current rescue, says Sara, is available for adoption – if I could find a good home and I mean good! He’s still really scared and shakes a lot when I pick him up.” For now, she’s calling the kitten Jake.
Sara also offers she would be willing to finish paying for his shots and to have him neutered. Anyone interested is invited to contact Sara via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And one final plea from Sara: “Can you stress that there are safe places to take unwanted animals – not a busy bridge!”