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Insult turns to injury for dumped cats

Staff writer

It has been a disturbing network of events for Frelna Crawford, an ongoing saga that has taken place outside of her home.

She never saw who did it, only caught fleeting glimpses. An old discolored pickup truck has been one regular visitor. A succession of vehicles speeding off into the distance all had something in common. They left cats, unwanted burdens, at the city limits of Marion.

Counting newborn kittens, nearly 18 cats have been dropped near Crawford’s home, 553 N. Walnut St.

Crawford’s husband tried to reason with her: They had enough animals already, a dog and multiple cats. But she could not let the animals suffer.

She started by leaving out bowls of food.

One night, Crawford’s daughter, Teresa Eads, happened to notice a pregnant cat had been abandoned at the Crawford’s residence as she was walking across the street. The cat gave birth to seven kittens right there on the yard.

At first they kept the kittens outside, but recently they brought them in doors. They’ve been feeding them one by one with eye droppers full of milk.

The family has grown somewhat attached to the young cats. They named the kittens after magicians — Chris Angel and Houdini for examples.

Even with the care inside the Crawford home, the kittens have struggled. One died, and another was severely injured and taken to the Newton Humane Society.

In a cruel twist, a .22 caliber bullet shattered the kitten’s hip, and its leg had to be amputated by the Newton Humane Society. Eads reported that the humane society said the kitten would live with three legs.

At least one other cat has been shot outside 553 N. Walnut St. The other case was from a pellet gun. Eads said she has an idea of who the shooter may be and reported the crime to the Marion Police Department.

“It’s mean and spiteful,” Eads said.

Crawford asked for anyone interested in taking care of a kitten to call or visit.

Last modified Aug. 1, 2012

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