On Saturday, Aug. 19, I went out to grab a sandwich from Togo’s (Sandwiches) and passed by Schnoor Avenue and Dutra Way in northwest Madera. No more than 20 minutes later, I went back home the exact same way, except this time I noticed a purple Pampers diaper box with duct tape keeping it closed and claw marks on top I assumed to be from an animal inside (see attached photo).
I continued driving home, down the street, and immediately told my roommate to take his truck and go grab the box — I had a gut feeling there was a poor animal inside.
When he returned with the box my suspicions were validated from the smeared animal feces inside of the box and the claw marks on the top, indicating an animal was once forcibly trapped inside of the diaper box.
There were a series of holes purposefully perforated into the sides of the box, as if the humans who placed the animal inside wanted to ensure it could breathe — how kind (extreme sarcasm here).
I found the box and my roommate gathered it; however, we had no animal to account for it. We informed our neighbors who lived in the area where the box was found, and around 11 p.m., they called me to inform us that they had found the poor animal that was trapped inside that “death box,” as I refer to it now, only hours earlier.
She is a beautiful all-gray cat around 9 months old with big, green eyes and a long tail. She is clearly domesticated and not feral. She was found under the bush next to where the box was likely thrown from someone’s vehicle.
When we went to pick her up she was so hungry she was eating lunch meat the neighbors had given her. She had smeared and dried feces all over her lower half and was very scared. We took her back to our house where we bathed, fed, and cleaned her. She slept in our bed and seemed happy to know she was finally safe.
The neighbor who found her decided to name her Trixie, since she had such a strong will to live that she escaped that death box.
Trixie is soon to be fixed, as we secured a voucher for her and she is in a loving home. We called the police to let them know what happened; however, with no suspects or evidence of the incident, there isn’t much they could do.
The nefarious human(s) who put Trixie into that box, scared and alone, hungry and as if her life had no meaning, deserve to face the consequences of their actions.
This instance is an example of animal abuse; that much is clear, and California has strict laws against it. Pets are living, breathing animals that deserve the chance to survive and live their lives. And sadly, Trixie’s story is one of the nicer things I’ve seen done to cats, in particular.
If you are unsure of where to surrender your pet, please, make a call instead of doing what was done to Trixie. If individual(s) can take the time to shove an animal in a box, duct tape them inside so they can’t get out, and poke holes for them to breathe, then they can take a moment to make a call and explore other options.
Call your local vet, call animal control, or even a friend. One of those outlets will provide you with information on the best way to surrender your animal. But, if you’re surrendering your animal in unexceptional circumstances for non-extenuating reasons, then maybe you should think before you decide to take on the responsibility of another life.
Thank you for your time.
— Althea Asaro,