Robin Olson's blog

Not on My Watch: Update on Will. How You Can Help.

Will, the poor little cat who was hit by a car on Friday, is doing well. His Vet and caretaker, Dr. Anderson said that the swelling around his eye is improving and he shouldn't need corrective surgery. He has a cut on the inside of his mouth and no other injuries. Though the Dr. is fairly sure this was from the impact of a car, she can't rule out that Will wasn't hit by a person. It's a sad fact that animal abuse happens and Will might be a victim of that. We'll never really know.

What we do know is Will is going to be neutered this week! He already has his shots on board, had his "combo test" for Feline Leukemia and FIV. He failed each test beautifully! With de-worming and a dose of Revolution, Will will be ready to be adopted as soon as late this week!

We're having a tiny technical problem getting Will's ChipIn widget up and running. He won't need much in donations, so this will be an easy save for us! I hope you guys can help out once we're ready.

What Will needs more than anything, is to FIND A FOREVER HOME or to be taken in by a rescue group. Though they prefer he stays locally, Will can easily be transported anywhere in the Northeast and outside of that, transport can be arranged, as well.

I'm told that they don't get any sweeter or more friendly than Will, so if you step up, you're getting a marvelous new friend! Later today I should have updated photos of Will to make it easier to get the word out and for his new family to fall in love with him!

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How Brief This Joy.

After all my excitement over Spencer possibly being more Norwegian Forest Cat than mixed breed, tonight I was petting him and was suddenly alarmed by what I found.

Spencer had a LARGE bald spot behind his right shoulder blade! A few days ago I thought his fur looked a bit odd. I could see his pink skin appear as stripes through his dense coat. I didn't think anything of it until I saw the big bald spot. I thought that perhaps I caused it yesterday when I combed out a good sized mat. The matted fur was in the same area, but the mat was not THAT BIG. This is a BIG area.

I checked Spencer's left side and I saw the same thing-a big bald patch. I almost threw up. My gorgeous baby's fur is gone. The skin is pink, smooth, no signs of broken hairs, blood, scabs, nothing. Perfectly clear of fur.

I Googled: "causes of hair loss in felines" and saw far too many possibilities from symmetrical alopecia to hyperthyroidism to mange, flea bites, ringworm, dermatitis. Oh God. Here we go again. Another cat with skin problems. It could also be caused by anxiety.

Spencer has been fine. Just fine. He had a a few fleas a few months ago. He was given Advantage once a month for the past three months. He never had it before then. Was it the Advantage? Wouldn't he be bald where the Advantage was applied?

I have no answers. It's not an emergency, so I'll attempt to get to sleep. Dr. Larry isn't in until TUESDAY. I'll call tomorrow to give them a heads up. If they think Spencer needs to come in sooner than Tuesday, I'll be ready.

There are things I can bear-being fat, I can bear being estranged from some of my family members, but not this...I get so much joy out of seeing Spencer. His little wiggle-walk and super pouffy butt fluff (aka, fluffocks). He just makes me smile every day. Even if he lost all his fur, I would love him just as much, but my heart would break. He's so magnificent. Yes, I'm deeply attached to him. He's my boy and I love him, dearly. I'm not over reacting...it's just that I feel this tightening in my heart.

What does this mean for Spencer? What will come of this discovery? Is this going to get worse? What will happen to my boy and how can I make it better as soon as possible?

Oh no! Oh no!

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The Secret That's Right Under Your Nose & Will Change Your LIfe Forever!

During the course of my life, I've never had a purebred cat. All my cats were rescued from the Pound or sort of fell into my lap. While I figure one day I'll find a purebred that needs to be rescued, for now it's just me and a house full of "mutts." That is...

...until I decided to watch Cats 101 on Animal Planet this afternoon.

I was intrigued by their teaser ad, showing the selection of cats they were to highlight. There was a Havana Brown, Abyssinian, Ocicat, blah blah blah, Norwegian Forest Cat. I did a double-take. The cat they were showing was a doppleganger for Spencer. As the show began, my heart started to race. Was I having a heart attack or was I just excited the Spencer had a secret that was about to be revealed...one that would "change our lives FOREVER" (that quoted part should be read with great authority and grandeur and maybe a bit of reverb).

Could it be copy.jpg

So I sat there and watched and listened. The narrator talked about some of the traits of the Norwegian Forest Cat. Things like, tufted toes (check!), big-ass bushy tail (check!, though he didn't say "big ass"), tail often has a WHITE TIP (CHECK!), triangular shaped head with really fluffy ear fur (CHECK!), thick double-layer coat (CHECK!!!), extra "pouff" around the head (CHECK!!!) rounded tipped ears (CHECK!!!).

Look at his tail! See the white tip? See the look of dementia on his face? Wait, that's not a trait...is it?

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Holy crap. Spencer's gotta be a Norwegian Forest Cat! I went online and looked at some Breeder's photos. You tell me Spencer does not look like this guy!! Spencer is just as pouffy! What do you think??

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CH Meisterhaus Talia of LostWoods. photo: lostwoodswegies.com

Is my precious pouff a "Wegie?" I feel like I just won the Lottery!

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Local Tales: Helping Chloe

"I'll give you $100. Just take the cat to the Vet and have her euthanized."

This is what one woman recently said to her pet sitter. She was talking about her 13 year old cat, Chloe. Chloe, a beautiful Maine Coon mix with shocking green eyes and a plush coat, who had only known this woman's home her whole life, was now being treated like a worthless, meaningless, nothing.

Chloe's owner was tired of a very common behavior problem in cats-inappropriate urination. Not only had Chloe climbed under the sheets, then peed ON her owner, she defecated on the bed, too. We know it's been going on for years. Chloe pees on anything soft. Chloe lived with two other cats. Was she troubled by them? What about her health? Would her owner even get her to the Vet for a checkup? Certainly, NOT. That would require making an effort.

Fortunately for Chloe, her pet sitter was not about to do hew owner's bidding. Instead, he took Chloe home. Since he wasn't sure he could safely keep her in his home, he chose to place Chloe in a small storage space over his garage. It's dark with just one window and a single overhead lightbulb. It's cold and damp and a bit mildewy-a far cry from the comforts Chloe once knew, but she was safe and in loving hands. That's what really mattered most.

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This big, pouffy baby just fits in her prized cat bed. With a new diet, she may slim down a bit and overall feel much better.

He got her a big dog crate and put her inside it with a litter pan. She used the pan properly, but when she was allowed out of the crate, she would pee on any bedding in the room-possibly because it smelled like other cats. Everything was removed, save for one new cat bed. I went to visit her to help set up a better space. We moved the litter pan out of the crate and into a corner. Sure enough she started to use the pan perfectly for a few days in a row.

She was seen by a Vet who said she might have some sediment in her urine that might cause her to feel uncomfortable. Chloe is quite overweight. Her diet needs to be addressed. I also thought she might be backed up with impacted feces. Many years on dry food...there is no telling what sort of shape this cat is really in. We put her on grain free food. She was slow to adapt to it, but this morning I found one (I call it Kitty Crack) that she liked. With a diet change may give her additional comfort and she's on antibiotics for awhile, too.

This morning she peed on a comforter. First I thought it was because it must have still smelled of other cats even though it was washed. I realized it might be WHERE it was placed (inside her crate). She may have thought "inside the crate means go to the bathroom"...so the comforter will be washed again, but this time placed OVER the crate to give her a place to snuggle at night. I brought her a new cat bed, too. Hopefully, she will use that for SLEEPING only.

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Chloe looks stern, but it's just the tabby markings on her forehead that give her that expression. She's really a sweet cat.

The pet sitter feels a strong connection to this cat. It made me sad because she may need to be placed in an only cat home and not be able to stay with the pet sitter. At her age and with this behavioral issue, she may have a long road ahead of her in a cold room with little companionship. Is it enough for her, for now? She'll live to see old age, but at what cost? How many others, like Chloe are subjected to ostracization (or worse) by their families for doing the same thing?

Working with inappropriate urination problems is very tough. I've suffered with cats ruining my home for three years! I can really feel for anyone with this problem, but to kill the animal is not the answer. It will take work to get Chloe turned around and find the right home for her, but in the end it will always be worth it to me.

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Not On My Watch: Will, Cat Hit By Car, Going to the Vet SOON!

Will is going to be picked up in an hour by Dr. Anderson! The poor baby has had to wait this long to get any medical care. What a crime this is!!!

I'm VERY GRATEFUL to Jenna for getting the ball rolling and to Dr. Anderson and her staff for being willing to take on this homeless patient.

Later today I hope to get more information about Will's injuries and what sort of financing we will need to put together for him. Also, more than anything, Will is going to need a FOSTER HOME or RESCUE GROUP to step up to take him once he is stable. Again, when I have more information as to his condition, needs, prognosis I'll ask you guys to really PUSH the word out there so we can help this little fella out.

Thank you all, again for your care and concern for Will.

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Not on My Watch: Cat Hit By Car in SC-UPDATE

I just heard from Jenna in Greenville, SC. She's the one I took six kittens from last month. She has contacted Dr. Anderson, of the Cat Clinic of Greenville (who cared for the kittens before I got them) and she is willing to take WILL as soon as they can make the arrangements.

This is all hinging on hearing back from Andrea, who is the contact person regarding Will's care. Once she gives us the OK, Jenna will transport Will to Dr. Anderson. When I find out what Will is going to need for Vet care, I will be posting a request for donations to help him out.

More on how to help Will, once we hear from Andrea and get Will to see Dr. Anderson.

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Not on My Watch: Greenville, SC Kitty Hit By Car

NEWSFLASH: Injured cat needs help ASAP. I don't have a way to raise funds since I'm not a non-profit, but I can either ask you to contact me and let me know if you can help out with a donation and we can put our efforts together. I know people in Greenville, who I have already contacted to see if they can get the cat to a Vet now and we can figure out how to get money to them tomorrow (Friday, Nov. 6).

NAME: Will 

ANIMAL ID: 9059850

BREED: dsh 

SEX: male 

APPROXIMATE AGE: 1yr 

APPROXIMATE WEIGHT: 7-8 lbs 

HEALTH: hit by car 

TEMPERAMENT: friendly 

RESCUE PULL FEE: $ 

ADDITIONAL INFO: this cat came in hit by car they believe he is very
friendly despite his face being wounded UPDATE: needs to leave immediately

RE POSTED FROM EMAIL THAT JUST CAME IN:

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Please someone help this kitty out - he was hit by a car and brought to the shelter. What a sweet cat and he needs medical attention badly. If you can help, your contact is Andrea at animalcareservices@greenvillecounty.org.

If you can't rescue yourself, please cross post widely and let's get this baby some help!

Tiny update: I just emailed Andrea to ask her to fill me in on what Will needs and if he can recover from his injuries. I'm also looking into having one of our rescue friends set up a ChipIn widget to collect funds. Stay tuned-more things will be made clear tomorrow and I will update you as soon as I know more. Until then-thank you for the ReTweets. Getting the word out is VITAL to help save this guy's life.

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SHAME ON YOU, DUDLEY, MA!

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H1N1 Confirmed in Iowa Cat

Oh my GOD. I'm REALLY REALLY scared to think of what this might mean for cats with URI's who are at shelters and our own cats...

It was announced today that the first case of H1N1 Flu was been diagnosed in a CAT. This Press Release from the AVMA describes the situation in detail.

What do you think? I'm afraid to even put out this news because of how "hot button" the topic is-and what it could mean if people over react to the news.

Oh boy...this is a terrible day indeed.

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Want to Help Cats Stay in their Homes?

Normally, I don't plug promotional events, but this one looks really helpful and is certainly worth mentioning. The ASPCA© Cat Assistance Program kicks off TOMORROW at the ASPCA HQ in NYC and continues on to nine other locations across the country. For a full list, visit the link, above.

There, they'll be giving out Cat Assistance Kits that include such things as: a litter pan, litter scoop and cat toys, plus free product coupons to 9Lives© cat food and Fresh Step© litter. The kits are available to cat owners in need (one kit per household, while supplies last).

The ASPCA is asking people to:

During the month of November, purchase specially marked orange packages of Fresh Step® litter. A portion of the proceeds will go to support the ASPCA in helping cat owners in need. To participate, look for the Paw Points code on the side panel of the specially marked Fresh Step® litter packaging. Go to www.mypawpoints.com and enter the code. For each purchase represented by entering the unique Paw Points code, Fresh Step® will donate 50 cents to the ASPCA® (up to $400,000).

Conduct a food/litter drive for a shelter in your community. There's a downloadable flier to get you started. Customize the flier and launch your own grassroots effort where you work, in your school, at a local business or with any club you belong to. If you’re not sure what items to collect, contact your local shelter for a wish list and collect items they need to help cats in your community.

So get out there and help families who are struggling to keep their cats! Just think, a few cans of cat food...purchase some cat litter...could prevent some kitties from being surrendered to shelters!

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