Robin Olson's blog

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).

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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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Not On My Watch: From Near Tragedy to Triumph!

We all held our breath a few months ago, worried that time had run out for "Last Chance Mama" and her two offspring, Pumpkin and Spyder. They were scheduled to be euthanized at Henry County Care & Control in Georgia because there were no rescue groups able to take them.

I wouldn't have been able to do anything if our dear CiCH member, Jennifer hadn't stepped up to offer to foster this family. It was her first time fostering for us and, I believe, her first time fostering kittens. Jennifer usually specializes in special needs and geriatric cats. Fostering such energetic kitties would be a big change for her. Thank goodness she stepped up. These cats literally had 12 hours left to live.

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As you may know, a team of folks stepped up to pull the kitties from Henry and get them to a 2 week quarantine before they were transported to Connecticut. It wasn't long before Spyder was adopted and Pumpkin followed, going to an awesome home, a few weeks later. Angel showed well, and was a real gem. We just couldn't find her a family. Jennifer offered to allow Angel to mingle with her own cats, which would free up her foster room, so she could take "The Berries" once they were ready to arrive.

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Angel being goofy while in foster care at my house.

Angel found her way. She figured out how to wake up Jennifer and her hubby, Ron, how to get a treat for sitting next to Tucker, while Tucker had to put up with getting a shot to get a treat! This little minx hid on Halloween and wouldn't come out, until Jennifer started to worry. As if by some unseen force, Angel knew she needed to come right out and show herself, so she did.

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Photo by Jennifer, used with permission. Angel and Tucker.

This Saturday, we're having an adoption event. Jennifer and I have been discussing how to arrange how we're going to get Angel to the Event and back. Jennifer hated to take Angel to another adoption event and said that "maybe we should just keep Angel?"

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Jennifer comes home for lunch to find Angel is doing well fitting in with the family. Photo used by permission.

After a few email volleys, it was decided. The last of the "Last Chance" litter has been adopted! The paperwork is signed. The deed, done. Angel found her home was right under her nose the whole time! Congratulations! You've come a long way, Angel and I'm thrilled you found such a fantastic home!

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Of course, just for the record, Tucker is still Jennifer's favorite, but there's plenty of love in her home for Angel. No worries, there!

Hooray!

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Foster Cat Journal: Cardboard Box Kitteh Update

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I heard from both families this weekend and it was all good news. Millie and Monte are loving life in their new home. Monte is still "quacking" from his URI, but is much better. He went to the Vet on Monday for a re-check. His family just adores them both and they are both using their scratching pads and litter pan like good little kitties should.

Dylan and Dee are also getting lots of love and snuggles in their new home. They have met their new doggie friend, Lucy, but haven't spent any quality time with her. They have to stay in "their room" most of the day, but do get to run and play when it's safe to do so. To be extra careful, their mom, Nancy is going to hire a professional dog trainer to come in and work with Lucy to ensure the introduction goes smoothly. I also heard that the kittens enjoy sleeping with Nancy or her daughter whenever they get the chance and they they, too, had their Vet visit and the Vet said they looked great!

So far...so good. Yay!

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