Robin Olson's blog

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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Not on My Watch: Another Despicable Person Dumps a Geriatric Cat

Our CiCH friend, Andrew, sent me an urgent message from a Siamese Rescue group regarding the dumping of a 23 year old Siamese cat. I'm forwarding their plea, along with the URL for the cat's Petfinder ad. If you live in the LA area and can help, please do so soon. This cat does not have much time left.

Max is a *23 year old* GORGEOUS *Chocolate point Siamese* dumped at SOUTH LA HIGH KILL SHELTER. We all know max is probably not going to live very much longer, *but I think as human humans being we should all band together to get him out of THAT TERRIFYING SHELTER and examined, and if he is just old, give a him a gentle place to lay and a lot of love until he passes naturally.* However, if he in fact is in immense pain or anything of the like ( im not sure of his condition) he AT LEAST deserves to NOT die
abandoned in a shelter like this, rotting.

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THIS IS SICKENING. THIS IS SO BEYOND REPREHENSIBLE to dump your 23 year old cat, and a beauty at that!!! PLEASE HELP!!! Look at his big *BLUE eyes, so sad*~ wondering where his family is... don't let him die and be put in a
freezer at S. LA shelter. He deserves so much better. PLEASE...do it for
him, do it for any sliver of humanity that may remain in this sick world....

*South LA shelter: 213-485-0117 or -0119*


Adopt Max

UPDATE: Looks like Max was pulled by the Kris Kelly Foundation. Great job to everyone who did their part getting the word out about Max! I hope he'll find the rest of his days to be happy and peaceful.

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Foster Cat Journal: Here Come the Berries!

Last night I met Jennifer so I could pick up Blueberry & Blackberry from her. Blue is due to be spayed in a few days and the Vet is closer to my house, so both kitties will be staying here for the next week or so. I had a nice week off of fostering, but I like things better when the foster room has guests. These two sure fit the bill.

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They've both grown quite a bit, from the tiny babies we picked up from the P.E.T.S. transport two weeks ago. They're also much more socialized, though Blue needs more work. They eat like little piggies and are enjoying their new digs. This coming weekend, we're having an adoption event. It will be their first public showing and I hope it will get them in front of possible adopters.

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Blue has the cutest little face! Blacberry is really really affectionate! It's just a delight to have them here, if you discount the fact that they poop about ten times more than any kittens I've ever come across! Oops. I mean, really. They're still tiny kittens. Where does all this stuff come from? They don't even eat dry food? Go figure.

Back to bed for me. I've been feeling like I'm getting stomach flu or something. Maybe too much running around and eating too much chocolate from the TON of leftover Halloween candy we have! What to DO with all of this candy? I really should get it OUT of here before I eat an entire bag of KitKats! (see, even my Halloween candy is cat-centric!) I think this is why people work in an office. They can bring the candy to work and look like heros while they're at it. Maybe I should stop working for myself and get a full-time job?

Oh my GOD! That proves it. I haven't had a full-time job since 1986. MUST be sick. Off to bed.

Next up...a NEW Low Cost Spay & Neuter Clinic just opened in Waterbury, CT! Will be posting info and photos soon!

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Happy Halloween!

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From all my kitties to you!

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Foster Cat Journal: Sigh

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I miss my guys!

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Foster Cat Journal: Time for the Good-Byes

My part of the "Cardboard Box" kittens journey has come to an end. As it always does, seeing the kittens go to their new homes stirs up mixed feelings of joy and tender sadness. I began this journey seeing a photo (below) of what was once a litter of eight abandoned kittens, rescued by a kind woman named Jenna. By the time the kittens were old enough to travel, four had found homes. The remaining kittens came to me.

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Dylan (center) and Millie (front right) with two of their siblings.

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Monte (right) with sibling (left)

This litter was both the sweetest and the sickest litter I've dealt with to date. They're also the oldest, at 13-14 weeks-dangerously big to placed quickly with ease. I worried that their size would keep them from finding homes, but their beauty and perky personality won people over effortlessly.

Dylan & Dee were the first to leave. I was reluctant to say good bye and worried about Lucy-the-dog's reaction to their presence. It's been a few days and I haven't heard anything from their new family. Is that a good sign or a bad one? I'm going to call to check in, as I do with every adopter, but I'd be lying if I said this would be just like any other call. I hope the kittens are safe and all right and the dog is taking to them well. I had some mixed feelings about this, but the adopter is smart and assured me about being careful with the kitties. I have to give them a chance. I hope I don't regret it.

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Dylan & Dee. Which one is which? It's always tough to tell!

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Here's super-mouser, Delilah...I think.

So after loading Nancy & Gabe up with paperwork, print outs of research I did on how to introduce a dog to cats, some cans of food and some de-worming medicine, I kissed the kittens and took a deep breath. I would really be missing them a lot-especially Dylan, who loved to sleep on me and irk me by hogging all the food at every meal time. It got so bad I had to feed him in the dog crate, so the others could eat in peace and quiet. That said...the cat still got to me!

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Nancy & Gabe get ready to take the kittens home (photo taken and posted with Permission)

Then there was Millie and Monte.

Millie was doing great. She never got very sick and her irritated eyes healed quickly. She went to her new home in Durham to wait until Monte recovered enough to join her. Her new family had no other pets, but did have a 4 year old girl who was definitely rough with my own cats, pulling on Spencer's fur. She's lucky she left here with both her hands. Would I stop this adoption from going forward because of her? I thought about it, but I also realized that she WOULD, I HOPE, grow out of this and my kittens were so easy going that they could handle being roughed up a bit. I said, a BIT. A LITTLE BIT. Her parents were watching her, but I know they can't watch her with the kittens 24/7. Again, I have to have some faith that things will be all right. I got my first kitten when I was 4, too. But, of course, I was gentle with my kitten and a perfect child. Ha ha ha! Oops.

Monte worried me. He just wasn't getting better. I gave him pills, drops, liquids, pastes, ointments...we visited the Vet again and although he was improved from a week ago, he needed another week of meds, at least, then a re-check. Monte had been sick for most of the two weeks he'd been with me. I felt so bad for him. I spent a lot of time just having him sleep on me.

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My poor baby, Monte. He really was having a tough time with the URI.

I gave Monte a few days more to recover and he started to perk up. He decided it was comforting to "make muffins" in my hair, chew my hair and nibble my neck-which gave me the shivers! I let him do it for as long as I could stand, even though I knew it wasn't a good idea to encourage this behavior. He was finally feeling better. I'm not going to bust his chops right now.

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I tried to take a photo of what Monte was doing to me. This was the best shot I got.

His new family was anxious to get him home since Millie had been crying non-stop since they'd been separated and the mom was sleeping with Millie every night in the guest room so she'd stop crying. After they promised to continue Monte's medication and with the approval of our Vet, Monte went home, along with a bag of his meds, directions and a few toys. I figured I'd have to toss everything out in order to get the URI virus out of the foster room, anyway, so Monte could keep his favorite toys. I also chose ones that were SOFT and could not be used to POKE any kittens eye out...if you get where I'm going with this...

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Monte is helping me watch CNN. He likes to keep current with the events of the day.

Monte's new dad came to pick him up. Dad smelled really good and drove a cute Audi TT convertible. I figured Monte would be in good hands with a classy dad like that. I didn't cry when Monte left. I simply smiled and felt relief. My job was done. The cats were all rescued and living in a really nice home with a loving family.

I was also relieved that in the two weeks they had been here, my own cats did not seem to get sick, too. That was my biggest fear. With "Typhoid"-Monte out of the house, I could finally rest easy. All those showers and changes of clothes had been worth it. The only thing left was to scrub down the room REALLY REALLY well and I'd be ready for the next kittens to arrive.

You know that saying, "Don't break your arm patting yourself on the back?"

Everything changed at 4:10AM on Sunday morning.

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Not on My Watch: TERRY, YOU ROCK THE HOUSE DOWN!

Twelve days ago I did a shout out about a sweet, gorgeous dilute kitty in South Carolina who was abandoned in the rain and found living under a car. Her coat, in tatters, her spirit weak, her resolve to go on-strong!

There were a lot of just plain WEIRD things going on with her health and her future. She was supposed to come to Connecticut to find a new home, but when things with her rescue group fell flat (due to the rude folks at said "rescue" group), we thought this kitty's chances of a happy future were slim.

Our dear friend, Jenna, who I've gotten my latest six fosters from, kicked butt trying to find the dilute some help. She found the kitty a foster home that only had one cat, as opposed to SEVENTY, which was how many cats were at the last foster she stayed with. Jenna asked me to step in and try to help, because the poor cat wasn't able to stay with her foster family for long.

As fate, and it must be fate, would have it, someone on Twitter, saw my Tweet and responded, wondering where in South Carolina this cute kitty lived. Turns out she lived in Greenville. Turns out our new Twitter-friend, Brian lives there, too. (Brian is the King-Cat of Terry Frum. Apparently Brain loves to Tweet! I just can't figure out how this kitty types! ) Anyway, Brian must have had some words with Terry about helping out this poor kitty and Terry could not refuse his cat's orders!

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Photo by Terry Frum

Turns out...today, Dolly, the dilute, met her NEW DAD, Terry and her four new anipals! Are we BEYOND THRILLED?

I would say; You bet your ass!! Do I love the power of social networks. You BET I DO! I'm starting to wonder if I'm a "cat yenta"-a matchmaker who puts homeless cats and adopters together. Regardless of what you call it, I'm just so happy to be part of this story and SO SO HAPPY FOR DOLLY!

I hope Dolly will get along well with all of Terry's other kitties and that the transition goes smoothly. I wish them all the best and lots of happiness!

If you want to check out Terry and his crazy cat life, featuring Brian, Sister Sascha, Sister Gracie & Sister Zoe and more about Dolly, you can visit them here.

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