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Hana's Story

When my wife and i first visited Kaua'i in 2011, we did the Hanakapia'i Beach hike for the first time. Hanakapia'i Beach is a two mile hike from the nearest parking area, so it's very isolated and beautiful. You can also get to waterfalls if you continue on. When we arrived at the beach after the two mile trek, we were shocked to discover at least 5 feral cats living there. They did not look very healthy, and were clearly starving. We gave them our sandwiches, but afterwards we had a disturbing feeling and wished that there was more we could do.

We returned to Kaua'i one year later, in may of 2012. This time, when we did the same hike, we brought a large container of dry cat food with us. Again, we found several feral cats, although none were the same ones we had seen a year before. several of the cats we saw this time were juveniles. We put out the food and they ate it up rapidly.

I was unprepared for one of the kitties to jump up on my lap and request my attention. She was about five months old. i pet her and she absolutely loved it. She cuddled up on my fat stomach and, after a good ten minutes of petting, went to sleep there! I must have sat there with her on me for a half an hour. Most cats there would not let us touch them. This one was like a housecat. When it was time to leave, I again felt awful. Although we had fed the cats proper food, i knew that another grim fate would await them, just as it had the cats the year before.

Through a friend at our hotel, I learned about Judy Dalton. Judy is a resident of Kaua'i who has been working for years rescuing feral cats across the island. Thanks to her, dozens of feral cats have been spayed and placed in homes and caretaker colonies on Kaua'i. I spoke with her on the phone and she arranged for us to pick up a cat carrier and go back to rescue this beautiful young kitty.

On the very last day of our vacation, we trekked back to Hanakapia'i Beach, with cat carrier in hand. Several hikers passing us on the trail inquired about our plans, and we told them about Judy and how they could also contact her if they wanted to try and rescue other feral cats there. One couple told us that they too had fallen in love with one of the cats there. We suspected it might be the same kitty who had climbed up on my lap.

After arriving at the beach and finding no cats, we had to wait for close to three hours. Eventually, after apparently napping, several cats emerged from the forest above the beach. We spotted the girl kitty that we loved and easily put her in our carrier, and brought her back to Judy.  

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Hana at Kaua'i Kitty Rescue getting ready to go to her new home in California

Judy was able to get her spayed the next morning at the Humane Society, at no cost. We had already left Kaua'i by then and returned home to California, since our airline would not allow pets on board.

Although it was not necessarily our plan to adopt this kitty ourselves, we started to warm to that idea. Our house was not well suited for a cat, since we have lots of doors that we leave open every day, but we also fell in love with her and wanted to make sure she would have a great home.

Judy told us that she knew someone who could take her to California and we could pick her up at the airport. It all sounded like a good plan and we were getting excited to have this cat, who we were calling Hana, in our lives again.

Then, one of the couples we met on the hike into Hanakapia'i, called Judy and told her that they would love to adopt Hana too, if it were possible. They also lived in california, had a big home with two other kitties in it, and their airline would permit them to take Hana back with them on the plane. It sounded like an ideal situation for Hana. Being with other kitties seemed important for a cat that grew up that way, and their home sounded better suited for her than ours. So, in spite of our personal disappointment, we agreed to let them adopt Hana.

Audrey and her husband have sent us pictures and videos of Hana, who is doing wonderfully in their home. She still eats in a hurry, like a feral kitty, but she is warm, affectionate and gets along great with their other cats. My wife and i are thrilled to know that thanks to our efforts and our collaborations with Judy and others, Hana now has a healthy, happy and safe life ahead of her.

Hana at Hanakapiai Beach, 2012

Hana at Hanakapiai Beach, 2012
Hana at Hanakapiai Beach, 2012
Hana at Hanakapiai Beach, 2012
Hana at Hanakapiai Beach, 2012
Hana at Hanakapiai Beach, 2012

Judy Dalton
Kauai Kitty Rescue
Tel: (808) 246-9067
Email: judydalton123@gmail.com
Website: www.kauaikittyrescue.org

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