By Janet McAfee

Kittyland Cat and Kitten Rescue celebrates the adoption of a special needs kitty named Fletcher.  A disabled homeless cat, Fletcher was expected to live his life out at the Sanctuary in Desert Hot Springs. The beautiful cat has a neurological condition that impacts his mobility and a rare eye disorder where his eyes are one third the normal size.  Upon arrival at Kittyland he spent time in their infirmary receiving specialized medical care.  Eventually he was moved into a common area where other cats.  However, Fletcher was at the bottom of the feline hierarchy.  He was also overlooked when prospective adopters visited.

In November 2021, Mario Pescatore relocated to the Coachella Valley from Los Angeles.  A certified clinical hypnotherapist and senior instructor at HMI College of Hypnotherapy, he wanted to volunteer at one of our many charities. Mario saw Gail Reed Kibe’s post on Facebook telling of the need for volunteers at Kittyland.  When he visited the facility, he observed the wonderful treatment provided to the animals and enthusiastically signed up to volunteer. (Call or text Gail at 760-219-5528 should you be looking for an interesting volunteer assignment.)

Mario noticed Fletcher always lingered by the back door and he had to pick him up to move him when he went outside.  He noticed Fletcher couldn’t walk very well and stayed out of the way of the other cats.  As he was leaving the shelter at the end of his shift on August 9, Mario was surprised to see Fletcher sitting on top of a 3-foot cat tree.  The cat was never capable of climbing this high before.  He recalls, “He jumped on me, crawled up on my chest to hug me, nestling his head under my chin.  Everyone was amazed!”  Who adopts who?  We know that animals can sense our emotions and sometimes our intent. Fletcher sealed the deal, and on August 10 he became Fletcher Pescatore at his forever home.


Mario previously adopted a “uniquely able” rescue dog named Tito he saw on television.  The pup was hit by a car and then severely neglected at his first home until rescued by People Loving Pets Rescue in Los Angeles.  Tito was missing 2 paws, and partially paralyzed using a doggie wheelchair to navigate.  Last January he needed a leg amputated.  Tito focuses not on his limitations but rather the joys of living in the moment in a loving home.

Mario tells us, “I didn’t plan on getting another cat and my adopting Fletcher really happened by accident.  But I have a soft heart for the underdog.  I absolutely love Fletcher!  The day after I adopted him I took a video of Fletcher running happily faster than ever through the house.  He loves to get belly rubs.  Animals like Tito and Fletcher are the most special and loving creatures you will ever meet.  They bestow a special gift back to us.”

The organization’s director, Ann Woods, reports, “This is the most exciting adoption we’ve ever had!  Mario is a loving human being who enjoys life and is a loyal volunteer with our Kittyland family.  Fletcher is such a loving cat.  It’s been a great week here with a woman in Big Bear drove down to adopt our FIV positive kitten as a companion to her FIV positive cat.”

Kittyland is the only private shelter and sanctuary exclusively for homeless cats and kittens in the Coachella Valley.  Located on 2.5 acres at 67-600 18th Avenue in Desert Hot Springs, this nonprofit rescues, socializes, and provides medical care for homeless cats, lovingly preparing them for adoptive homes.  They are open from 10am to 12:00 noon Monday through Saturday.  If you intend to adopt, call for an appointment at (760) 251-2700.

Kittyland also houses some adoptable cats and kittens at the Palm Springs PetSmart in the Walmart shopping center on Ramon Road.  An adoption counselor is there from 11:00am to 3:00pm Thursday through Monday.

Consider making a tax-deductible donation to this worthy charity at  Checks can be mailed to Kittyland at 1717 E. Vista Chino, Suite A-7, P.O. Box 499, Palm Springs, CA 92262.  Supplies are always needed including cat carriers, cat beds, unopened bags of cat food, can cat and kitten food.  Foster homes are needed to provide loving care for mother cats with kittens.  Kittyland is a haven of comfort, love and second chances.

Sometimes the best things in life happen when we least expect it.  Sometimes those with the odds stacked against them have the happiest ending.  Congratulations to Fletcher and Mario!  We wish you many happy years together!