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Cat rescuer Dana shares the story of feral cats named Liz Taylor and Richard Burton and their dramatic romance, separation, and reunion, taking after their real-life star namesakes.
Dana from the New Jersey and New York-based rescue, The Meowtsiders, has been caring for a colony of feral cats since 2016. After discovering the colony by chance, she began ongoing TNR and rescue efforts and has never stopped. As she cares for the colony, she gets to know each unique personality over the years.
Dana with The Meowtsiders. Pictures via Instagram/themeowtsiders
🎬 Liz Taylor the Cat’s Dramatic Real-Life Story 🎬
One such familiar feline is beloved community cat Liz Tayor, a brown tabby girl who “always been glued to her best friend Richard Burton,” Dana says. Then, one day, she disappeared, only to make a dramatic reappearance, wounded and in dire health.
Liz Goes Missing
After she vanished from the colony, Dana tried to find her but eventually suspected she had died.
“Right before the new year, Liz went missing. Nobody had seen her. I even posted a missing cat flyer, but still nothing,” Dana says. “Richard was acting so strange and lost without his buddy. I searched ALL OVER, and nothing,” she said.
At that point, she prepared to remember the cat with a ceremony.
“I assumed Liz had passed and was prepared to hold a small ceremony in her honor.”
Richard Burton in front with Liz Taylor.
Then almost a month later, in wintertime, Liz Taylor came back, almost like a ghost in a dream! To see the cat again was shocking and bittersweet because she was limping with a seriously injured back paw. As she approached, Richard Burton kept his distance.
“That was until one day, out of the darkness, Liz emerged. But she was injured. It was so surreal. I thought I was seeing a ghost, I really did,” Dana explained. “But I suppose when you’re named after Elizabeth Taylor, you can only do things super dramatically!”
After trapping the injured cat, Dana took her to the vet, where she would remain for almost two months. At first, they suspected her foot was cancerous. Fortunately, it proved to be a serious abscess that eventually healed.
By that time, the bill had gone sky high into many thousands of dollars.
After her long stay, the cat went to a foster home to recover, separated from her boyfriend. It wasn’t the wild lifestyle she was used to.
💔 Richard Burton Longs for Liz 💔
Meanwhile, a depressed Richard Burton was longing for his sweetheart. It was life on the rocks as he just wasn’t his usual self anymore.
Richard Burton the Actor Appears on TV
To make things right, Dana began working to reunite them again.
“I kept tabs on Richard who went into a deep depression without his BFF. They were never without each other. If you know the history of the actors Liz Taylor and Richard Burton, you’ll know they were a legendary duo. They even divorced and got remarried!” Dana posted.
Next, the rescuer would need to trap Burton, who was acting unpredictably. While preparing to catch the cat, Dana got a sign on the TV.
“Before I left home, I turned on an old movie channel for my cats to watch and lo and behold; there was the real Richard Burton on the screen!” she wrote. “I forget the movie’s name. I knew it was a sign that I’d get Richard! His character was looking for Jesus. When I saw Richard, I said I’m not Jesus, but I’m going to be your savior today!” she joked.
Richard Travels to Be With Liz
Although she expected more drama, Dana and a friend easily caught Burton, and soon, he was on his way to the foster home where Liz Taylor was recuperating comfortably. Now, the two would be slowly reintroduced. After so much time apart, would they rekindle their old romance?
Liz Taylor and Richard Slowly Reintroduced
Together in the same room, at last, Dana and Brian, the foster provider, made a plan to slowly bring the two lovebirds together again. At first, they would stay in separate bungalows until their next scene together.
“After one week of staying in separate pens, they were merged into one,” Dana said. “I was nervous, but after five minutes of the merge, Brian sent a photo of Richard and Liz together in one cave. The plan is to get them socialized and adopted. Stay tuned. They’re doing well, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to have them off the streets.”
Following the dramatic meeting, the Adopt This Quilt program helped raise funds to cover the considerable expenses of this memorable duo. Hopefully, their romance will continue in a loving forever home.
For more and to help Dana continue caring for cats, you can follow her on Instagram and Facebook.
See the video below from The Meowtsiders:
Dana from The Meowtsiders got started over five years ago, inspired by caring for a beloved colony of feral cats.
In 2016, she found the colony by accident when a friend called to tell her about two kittens in a shopping center parking lot. On route to the location, she spotted an adult cat and went to feed it. What started as one cat turned out to be a colony of over 15 ferals, and none were neutered at the time. Rather than turn away, she decided to help them all and begin TNR efforts.
She knows each one of the cats and their unique personalities, like King Fluffaz, the leader of the colony.
“He had such a regal aura that all the cats just bowed down to him, seriously,” she recalled. “He protected the territory and the other cats.”
King Fluffaz on left with Batman
An Enchanted Forest of Animals
On some occasions, she observed wildlife like deer and raccoons who visited with the cats, an “enchanted forest full of furfriends,” as one person put it.
“How do you get Cats and Deer to hang together??🤔🤔” someone asked her.
“It’s not me; it’s them! Unlike people, animals know how to co-exist. They share the land, so they became friends :)” she replied.
Image by Dana/ The Meowtsiders
🐞 A Feral Cat Who Became a Lovebug 🐞
Along the way, she experienced some TNR (trap, neuter, return) fails, meaning she fell in love and decided to keep the cats. For example, she adopted Cielo Bamboo, the only surviving daughter of feral cats Mama Blanca and Papa Pancake. The rescuer tried for over 12 hours to catch the then-6-month-old kitten. Then, she wasn’t sure if Cielo would remain feral, but she proved to be affectionate.
“I named her Bamboo because it’s a type of wood that bends with the wind but does not break; it can withstand heavy storms,” she said. As for her first name: “I named her Cielo after one of my best friends who passed away and was the ultimate cat lover. I’m convinced she is the one who pushed me into becoming a cat person after she left the earth because I had no interest whatsoever prior to that,” she said.
Although not all feral cats can become house cats, she did, the sole survivor of a litter of three kittens.
“She is what is known as a TNR fail. Trap Neuter Return but I never returned her outside! Just wanted to show that SOME outdoor/feral cats can turn into the biggest lovebugs,” she said.
Dana with Cielo Bamboo
An Update on Wizard the IVF+ Cat
Previously, we have shared the story of Dana’s rescue named Wizard (later named Greebo), a magical FIV+ cat like our own Marmalade. After receiving care, a loving family adopted him and he began a new life in a loving home.
“He’s doing sooooo well,” Dana posted. “His family adores him beyond! I couldn’t be happy. When I adopt cats out, I’m always nervous, ‘is this the right family? Are they going to commit to this cat for life, etc?” I love getting updates and feedback from people who’ve adopted cats from me. Greebo is definitely where he is meant to be.”
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