Rescuing black cats is an adventure for this group

(Above: Dr. Hyde with one of the "lucky" black kittens)

Some say black cats are bad luck, but don't tell that to Kurt Kuersteiner, proprietor of the haunted attraction on Gaines Street. He found a black cat and six black newborn kittens nursing inside the Terror of Tallahassee haunted house, and he thinks they are the luckiest kitties in the world.

"I saw her hanging around, and I thought, 'Hey, a black cat at our haunted house. That's appropriate,'" Kuersteiner explains, "But the next time I saw her, she was inside the building and had given birth to six black kittens. They needed help and so did I."

He first called Leon County Animal Control.

"The shelter was very helpful but said if the mom was feral, they would have to put her down," Kuersteiner recalls, "Worse yet, with college closed for summer, many students had abandoned their animals, so they were already overflowing with kittens."

The future looked dark for the black cat family. Fortunately, a local organization came to the rescue. Meow or Never for Ferals is group of volunteers dedicated to catching, fixing and releasing wild cats so they can live natural lives without overpopulating. They agreed to help, but would first need to catch the little critters.

"Most of the kittens were easy," Kuersteiner says, "They were curious and hungry. But two of them had crawled in between the walls of the building, and we really had to hunt through the haunt to find them!" Fortunately, they were safely retrieved, and Meow or Never trapped the mother in a cage the following day. Now the furry feline family is united again and the kittens are almost weaned.

Kuersteiner gives high marks to the group for their work.

"Meow or Never for Ferals is just the sort of outfit that makes Tallahassee so special. They sacrifice their time, energy and even money helping animals others have abandoned. It's a selfless job, one we should all appreciate. I bet our lucky black cats do!"

The mom will be spayed and released at a suitable cat colony. In the meantime, new parents for the kittens are being sought. If you would be interested in helping Meow or Never for Ferals, or adopting one of the six "haunted house" black kittens, you can call Kerry Hyde at 576-2676 or visit their Web site at There is a $30 fee for adoption.


From Eastside Chronicle

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