Morasts first honorees of Calling All Angels ©

Calling All Angels © of Adams County has selected Candy and Rod Morast of Hettinger as true angels who have cared for homeless cats.Posted June 14, 2013

 

Stray cats in Hettinger are guaranteed safety and warmth due to the generosity of the Morasts.
Stray cats in Hettinger are guaranteed safety and warmth due to the generosity of the Morasts.

 

Calling All Angels © of Adams County has selected Candy and Rod Morast of Hettinger as true angels who have cared for homeless cats.

Calling All Angels © is a nonprofit organization that supports abandoned, abused or neglected dogs and cats in the area. The main focus is to raise awareness of proper treatment of animals, to solicit funding, and to assist people who foster animals in need.

The Morasts have been caring for homeless cats in the area for more than 15 years. When driving by the Morasts’ Jack and Jill store in Hettinger, one can spot the cats curled up in their house on cold winter nights with the heat lamp glowing above them.

When asked about the famous “Cat House,” Rod said several years ago he asked Ed Quamme to build a new house, as the older house was looking kind of shabby.

It was the year of the Centennial celebration and a lot of buildings in the area were getting facelifts. Ed built the house so that it had an old-fashioned storefront to go along with a retail theme. The home is carpeted, heated and has two levels.

Rod and Candy have never turned down a cat that has wandered into their lives. They have fed up to 20-30 cats at one time. In some cases people have secretly dropped off cats—even entire families of kittens.

When asked if they can tell if a cat is from a home or if it is feral, Rod chuckled and said, “We never ask the cats; we just feed them.”

If a cat is wild, Candy said they set a cage out to trap the animal so that it can be safely taken to the veterinary to be spayed or neutered.

Some animals never become tame, but they accept the kindness the Morasts offer and come running at mealtime.

Rod said that he tries to find good homes for his cats if possible. He said he interviews the applicants to make sure that they plan to provide food and shelter.

“They can’t simply drop them off somewhere to let them fend for themselves. Cats will not survive if you do that,” he said.

The Morasts have several stories about those cats who have wandered into their lives:

Hadi. Several years ago Candy and Rod had found a good home for a litter of orphan kittens; the adopting home is located 22 miles from Hettinger. About a month or two after the family had adopted the kittens, Hadi, one of the orphans, disappeared from her new home. Her owners had figured a coyote had gotten her.

Some time later Candy happened to notice a new visitor outside the store.

“Rod, you have got to come see this; it’s Hadi!” They figured it took almost a year for Hadi to make her way back to her original home.

Bandit. Bandit was a kitten who was orphaned after his mother was killed. He was a special challenge, because even though he stuck around the Morast home, he wouldn’t let anyone touch him. Candy said he would sit in the tree and hang one paw down for her to touch until he finally decided to become a member of the family. Twelve years later he crawled into the underbelly of a semi-tractor. The trucker was unaware of the cat’s whereabouts and started the truck, killing Bandit. The trucker was so upset that he had the body cremated and the ashes given to the Morasts.

Foxie. Not all the Morast “dependents” prefer to live at the store.

When a cat is pregnant Rod and Candy take the mother cat to their own home until she has had her kittens. Once the kittens are weaned the Morasts take the mother cat to the vet to have her spayed. The cat is then taken back to the store to come and go as she pleases. Foxie, however, had other ideas.

After her kittens were able to fend for themselves the Morasts took Foxie back to her two-story home at the store. Foxie, however, refused to go back and continued to return to the Morast home until Candy and Rod surrendered. Foxie currently lives in the Morast home.

Calling All Angels © salutes Candy and Rod Morast. Thank you both for quietly donating hours and hours of time while you cared for homeless cats and for for covering costs associated with the care. Most of all thank you for showing compassion for creatures that cannot fend for themselves. You are truly angels.

–If you or someone you know needs a home for a dog or cat, please remember the animal is your responsibility and to simply “dump them off” for someone else to care for is not only inhumane but unfair and costly to those who assume that responsibility. Ask first. Maybe someone will be willing to either take your pet or to help you find a good home. And remember: get your pets spayed or neutered! Calling All Angels© 701-928-0768.