Robin Olson's blog

The Calm Before the Storm

I got up early, worried that I'd get a call from Chrissy, the transport driver, that they were running ahead of schedule and that I wouldn't have Huggy Mama's room ready! There was much to be done. I had to get my other fosters fed and watered, feed my guys, then get my swanky bathroom ready for Huggy.

This is my first rescue from a GA shelter. I'm worried that Huggy will not be so sweet. She'll be nasty, then I'll never be able to find her a good home. What if the kittens are skittish? Okay. I can work with that. I should be happy if that's their only behavior problem after being in a cage for over a month. What if they're sick? They shouldn't be, but geez, look where they came from. Using step pans and quarantine is not my idea of a welcoming committee, but hopefully it will only be for a few days and then we can move everyone to the nice big room.

Those poor kitties. What they've been through; being confined, the noise and smells of a shelter, the fear, the loneliness, the unending time stuck in a cat carrier in a transport vehicle. I have a brand new cat bed and a big fluffy blanket for them to rest on when they get here. There's fresh water out and food at hand. I plan on just letting them stretch out, relax and eat to their heart's content.

Part of me is thinking; "What have I done? I'm never going to find a home for an ADULT cat! She'll be here forever!" Well, I took this on and so be it. With any luck, by Christmas she'll have a forever home.

I have the same worry for Last Chance mama, too. I hope Jennifer has an easy time with her Mama and kittens. This is her first time fostering for us and I want it to go great. She's bent over backwards getting a big space ready for everyone. They have a dog crate for their first few days, lots of toys, bedding and food. She even got kitty stairs so Last Chance (whose name will soon be changed to, Kitty) will be able to get onto a bed that's in the foster room. I think I'd like to live there! Sounds pretty nice!

The transport is running late. Three more hours to go. In the meantime, I have an adopter coming over soon and another may come over after that. There's been LOTS of interest in Andie. I feel badly for the others. My big fear is that Mama won't get adopted. I'll hate to see her taken away from her children, but it means a good life for her if she can move on. She's such a sweet, mellow lady. I've grown quite fond of her in a short amount of time. I took a few photos of the kittens and mom together. It makes me sad to think soon their time together will come to an end, but that's how it goes...

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Not On My Watch: No Time for Blogging!

Things are very busy here with Mama-C and her five offspring finally vetted and ready for adoption. Calls have been coming in and it looks good for at least half of the kitties. One person even begged to adopt little Andie! Popular girl! Hopefully, by Monday, I'll be down to four, then perhaps another one or two will be adopted during the week.

I've been working on making arrangements to take in another critical rescue. Yes, the eight kittens, shown in the post below...not sure I have the guts for this, but if no one else steps up, I will find a way to give them a foster home.

Speaking of rescues, TOMORROW, "Huggy" Mama & her two kittens, as well as "Last Chance" Mama & her two kittens will be arriving via transport around 1pm. There's much to do to get their temporary space ready to go. I had to cut a deal with my Director. She's going to take the CallaLily litter and I have to keep Huggy in quarantine-which includes having to use "step pans" filled with a bleach mixture that I'll have to step in and out of every time I exit the foster room Huggy is staying in. This is to prevent the unlikely spread of disease until Tuesday, when Cali goes and I can move Huggy out of the bathroom and into the main foster room.

Will be a royal pain in the ass to keep things disinfected and separated, but I that's the deal and I might as well learn how to keep a quarantine area in case, God forbid, I need to do this again.

Mama-C is wiped out from her spay. She slept in my lap for awhile. The kittens bounced back from their surgery quickly, but no one feels like eating! I have four kinds of food out. Nothing. Ugh. I am going through a tough time with ALL the cats. No one likes anything I offer them. It's really annoying and a waste of food.

Mama-C is also done with her Motherly duties. She is very thin and weak. I feel so badly to be the one to "cut the cord" between her and her offspring, but the day draws near where they will be separated from each other and all go off to their new homes alone. I really hate this, but fortunately the kittens are resilient and make new friends quickly and hopefully Mama will find a good home, too...I worry if she does not. It means going back to where she came from. Her previous owner cannot afford to pay her electric bill. How will she care for Cali? We gotta find a home for her. I'll start trying on Monday.

So basically, that's what's going on. I gotta run to Tar-jay Boutique (Target) to get stuff for Huggy Mama. Oh, I'll need names for her kittens, too. Start thinking, guys!

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Not On My Watch: Go Ahead, Try to Say No

This little girl was part of a litter of eight, abandoned in a cardboard box at the door to a shelter in Greenville, GA that ONLY TAKES DOGS. They don't have cat food or litter there or any way to help these kittens. You know what I will say next. Without a foster home placement, they will be euthanized, for there is no one to help them.

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You tell me. Could you say NO to this face? Could you say, "I can't foster this kitten or her siblings. I don't have the room. My cat won't like it. It will cause me problems. I can't help, sorry. I guess they will die."

I really really hate this. Every time I see these little faces, my heart breaks. I want to help, but it will mean quite a bit of difficulty and risk on my part. I already have a full house, but can't I make room for...EIGHT?!! more???


The kittens are being tested for Feline Leukemia and FIV. They will be euthanized if they are positive for either one-even though FIV+ is not a deal breaker for me. I have no say.

If the kittens are cleared, the people that are looking after them are willing go have them get all their shots, spay or neuter them, basically do everything and we can find transport for them with our friends at Kat5.

Can you still say, NO? I can't help them?

I don't think I can say, No. Even if it's going to be difficult for me to take them. Would I prefer a local rescue group step up and take them-YES!!!!!! Will that happen? I don't know. I'll hope for the best, but I won't stand by and let them all die, either; but sooner or later I'm going to have to put blinders on. There won't be room for people in my house if I keep this up.

If you work with a Non-Profit Animal Rescue Organization anywhere in the USA and would like to offer space in your facility or in your foster home, please contact me ASAP. It won't cost you much more than a second distemper shot and a rabies vax per kitten. That's IT! Otherwise they are very friendly, not feral and will be ready to go in a few weeks so you have time to prepare.

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Foster Cat Journal: The is No Free Lunch...well not much longer, anyway.

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I don't often see my foster Mamas feeding their offspring, as my foster Mamas are usually feral and won't nurse in front of me. Last night I saw CallaLily, dwarfed by her kittens. Not all of them could even take any nourishment from her now that they're 8 weeks old. There's just no room for all five of them!

The kittens are eating solid food, but I guess old habits die hard. In a few days, Mama is going to be spayed and the lunch bar will be closed! Calli needs a break. She's quite thin and I can tell she's tired. She's been an awesome Mama, but this Mama needs time to regain her strength so she'll be ready for a forever home soon.

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Not On My Watch: Memorial

Last week I broke the news about a sweet Mama cat and her two kittens who were one of many facing euthanasia at Henry County Animal Care & Control in Georgia. This came just a day after the joy of knowing we broke about 20 cats and kittens out of the same shelter. For some, it was literally a few hours before their time was up.

I asked for help for Angel Mama, knowing my resources for a foster placement are few and booked up with the first batch of Henry cats. There are lots of other rescue groups and families who could have offered to take them, but no one stepped forward. It weighed heavily on me, but I know there are lots of reasons why no one comes forward. One being the obvious problems with lack of open shelter space, donations are down from the poor economy, the difficulty rescue groups have placing adult cats vs. kittens. Yes, I get it, but I don't want to tell myself that it's okay for these kitties to die because of this or that's just not right.

Then I thought about the numbers again; 300-500 animals are KILLED every MONTH at just Henry, alone. To me these are not only staggering statistics, they are immoral, wrong, atrocious. Then I found out that GA kills MORE animals than the ENTIRE United Kingdom every year! It was then I realized that I have to try to find a way to fix this terrible situation. I can't live knowing this is going on. I can't turn my back on it and I won't. I need to dig in and get some answers and find a solution. No more death. This is so wrong.

Yesterday I heard that 48 cats were at risk of being put down at Spaulding, in GA. By now they may all be dead. Maybe a few escaped to rescue groups. Maybe a few were given another day or two. I don't know any more than that. What I do know is bad enough. Who the HELL can put these animals down? How do they wake up it the morning and look themselves in the mirror? I know they are struggling, but why do they accept that this is the solution. I know. I am not walking in their shoes. I couldn't. I hope, that if they want help, they will reach out. We want to help them, but we need to find a way that respects both the people involved, as well as the animals.

Up until last night, I figured this post was going to be a memorial to the 48 cats at Spaulding and this lovely cat and her curiously marked offspring. They would fade into memory as just being another statistic. Three more cats who will never have a chance at a decent life because whoever cared for this mama, did not bother to have her spayed and chose to give her up to a place knowing she would be put down. I have no compassion for these people. I need to find it, but right now, I can't. There are so may programs and vouchers and Vets-for animals to not be spayed or neutered in this day and age is a shock to me. Do we live in a third world country?

Who, in their right mind, thinks it's still "cute" for the family pet to have a litter of kittens or puppies just to show their own children "the miracle of birth;" not taking into consideration the ripple effect of having more intact animals who will continue to multiply? I'm sick. I'm really pissed. Who, in their right mind doesn't know there is a SERIOUS problem with companion animal overpopulation? How many stories, like this, have to be told before everyone gets it?

There are kitties who died today and others that will die tomorrow. I ask that you consider finding a place in your heart to take a moment and think of them. Say a prayer or just think good thoughts so that somehow their short lives will have had some meaning. Somewhere maybe you could think about opening up your home to a shelter cat some day, like the ones here, so they don't need to be a statistic, too.

So what of this mama cat? Some will call it a miracle. I might be inclined to agree. Yesterday, a Vet who does S/N for one of the shelters, rescued this family! I don't have much more information on them, but I feel a great sense of relief. At least this family didn't have to die, too. At least this family will know a loving home, one day and this little family will get to have a happy ending, instead of ending.

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The Tweetie Chronicles: The A Word!

At last! Word has come in to CiCH HQ that Sockington, and Penny (with great reluctance) have decided to move forward and make Tweetie's "visit" a permanent one. Yes, I can finally announce that


I heard from a reliable source that Socks will sit outside Tweetie's room and wait for him to come out, instead of hiss or run off and hide whenever he sees the little guy. I believe that Socks actually misses the him when they're apart!

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The photo that started it all...along with it a simple question; "Are you my daddy?"

Tweetie will undergo a name change at some point. We're not sure what it will be or when it will be announced, but rest assured, as soon as I know, you'll know, too.

Congrats, Tweetie! I'm sure I'll see you again on one of your Twitter Pages or on Sockington's web site or on TV or in a Book! Shoot! I knew I shoulda gotten your autograph before you left here!

UPDATE: Looks like the rumors are NOT true. Tweetie's name has NOT BEEN CHANGED TO, Oliver or Cousin Oliver! It's a character reference from the Brady Bunch, not his new name.

Sweet Dreams

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Sunshine & Shamus no longer have to worry about being eaten up by fleas and can finally get a good night's sleep. Now if I would stop drinking tea, maybe I would, too.

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Latest Batch o' Cat Names

Thank you for all your suggestions for names for the kitties! If I didn't choose yours, don't fret. I'll have more kittens in a few weeks! Lots of chances for names!

Here's the new crew:

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Misc. Updates That I just Can't Seem to Get Around To...

Malibu, Nova and Felixia are back at ANC HQ waiting to find their forever homes. Fe is doing much better now that she's had a good course of antibiotics and is beginning to put on some weight. Nova, we hope, will be adopted soon. Malibu has continued to come out of his shell and is a very loving kitty. He's getting rather big and we're a bit worried we won't find him a home soon. Seems the younger kittens go first. Isn't that often the case?

As for my own cats, poor Gracie STILL battles miliary dermatitis. Her flare ups are still bad, still constant. She's still getting bi monthly shots and occasional baths (but I should give her more). It's been almost a year since this started and I have little hope we will ever find a cure for her. It's very sad. I fear my last options are either to put her on steroids, which I've avoided at all cost, or try to re-home her, which would make me feel like a failure. She may be unhappy with all the other cats here, but she was fine for years, then suddenly broke out. My thought is that it can't be the other cats bothering her, then...but...then what is causing her allergic reactions?

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Bob has been doing fairly well, though I'm starting to worry about him He's not eating as well as he it his sense of smell starting to go? He's vomited a small amount of water the past two mornings. I fear pancreatitis flare ups with him!

Nicky still has problems being constipated and he seems a bit down. We've been giving him stool softeners, but not enough. Gotta ramp up on that. I think this cat has a funny metabolism. First he would get urinary blockages up from his food and that meant lots of ER trips. He's not blocked any more, but now his colon is getting packed up. I can't figure out what is the culprit. The other cats don't suffer with this problem-even Nicky's own sister.

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All the other buggers are doing fine. Some times I forget they're all getting older. How is it that Nick and Nora are 9 now? Spencer is about 7 and no one knows how old Bob is, but it's easily over 10. Where did the time go?

The foster kittens and Cali, the mama are doing better this morning. Everyone ate their breakfast and started to play right away. No litter pan accidents, thank goodness and their overall condition seems much improved.

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No names picked out for the kittens yet. Will work on that today. Thanks for all the suggestions!

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Not On My Watch: Zabby Update

If you recall, a few weeks ago, I wrote a few post about Zabby, an injured 8 month old kitten at Henry Co. facing a dismal, if any, future.

Thanks to the generosity, kindness and hard work of many people, instead of being euthanized, Zabby was not only pulled from the Kill shelter, but vetted so her paw could heal while she was in the mandatory two week quarantine period. She was transported to Catnip Cottage in South Carolina, to live until she was adopted. In fact she wasn't at Catnip Cottage for very long at all. She was so sweet and well adjusted that she was immediately added to an Adoption Event. That very day, a lovely couple adopted her, who felt they were ready for a new kitty, as their's had died 6 months previous at the age of 18.

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Congratulations, Zabby!

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