Robin Olson's blog

Foster Cat Journal: The Curious Case of Cupid

Looks like all the kitties are finally starting to get better. I'm told that Rudy and Comet are enjoying their new digs at Jennifer's house. They're playing and having a good time. Comet, apparently, likes to “eat Rudy's brains,” which Jennifer describes as her grabbing his head and chomping playfully on it. They're both drying out and heading towards good health. Then we try to find them homes again, since we lost their last adopters. They just didn't want to wait.

Cupid and the crew are growing and gaining weight. Blitzen still has nasty eyes, but not as bad as this past weekend. Dancer is getting better and Prancer and Donner seem to be past the worst of it. Cupid acts oddly. I can't quite figure her out. She wasn't even trying to nurse her kittens so I let them hang out together. Now that she's feeling better, I caught them nursing on her so I had to separate them again. I HATE doing this because Mama is the one who gets locked up in the dog crate while the kids run around the room like maniacs. Cupid looks depressed. She's slightly friendly at times, but won't sit too close. Other times she purrs and follows me closely around the room. I can't figure out what she wants.

Tonight I gave her a break and took her into my bedroom to keep me company as I folded laundry. I know, exciting. She calmly sniffed around the room with her tail held high-a GREAT sign. She was interested in everything and seemed to perk up without the kittens around. I decided I was going to grab a shower, but first wanted to brush my teeth.

Cupid followed me into the bathroom. The SECOND I turned the faucet on, she had pushed me out of the way and was drinking from the tap!

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She seemed quite delighted and I was quite surprised! Suddenly this laid back, almost emotionless cat was interested in something. She had a good drink, then took a break then went back for more.

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Of course she could not resist that there is a SECOND sink in the bathroom, too. So I turned it on so I could finish brushing my teeth.

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Now that she's feeling a bit better, you can see how pouffy her tail is getting. It's REALLY LONG, too. She is a pretty kitty. I'm gonna try to get her away from the kittens more often so I can see her personality shine through. It was nice to see her rolling on the carpet with her paws in the air. Normally she sits on the hard wood floor, never on something soft and the foster room is filled with beds. Weird. Regardless, I think someone will really enjoy giving her a home, from what I can tell.

We didn't hang out too long. Cupid started to cry. I think she was worried about the kittens so I brought her back. She burbled to the kittens when she returned and they all ran over to her to...NURSE! Damn it! I had to lock her up right away. I really feel bad doing this to her. I may see about moving her to a foster home for a week so she can really dry out, but not have to be locked in a cage. Thursday they go back for a re-check. If I get an OK from the Vet, I'll move her for the next week. She really needs time to herself and a vacation from the kids.

Don't we all?

Foster Cat Journal: Super Deb

Looks like some of the kittens are showing signs of being almost DONE with the URI, eye infection, ear mites, etc...Hurrah! Perhaps in another week they will be clear.

Yesterday, however, I almost ran Blitzen and Dancer to the ER. Both of them are struggling with eye infections and snotty nose problems. I ran out of some of their eye meds and wondered if they would be stable enough for the day to avoid the trip through the snow storm and the nasty roads to get them seen by a Vet.

Thankfully, Super Deb stepped up to the plate and offered to come over and save the day! Who is better than you, Deb? Who? Our first mission, though was to check out Your Healthy Pet, where we do our Adoption Events. Deb had never been and was foaming at the mouth to check out the goodies. She brought along her super-cute dog, Jayne. Jayne is a shizhu? Right, Deb? With one brown eye and one blue eye. Janyne is a very mellow dog. Once in awhile I take her for a walk and she just toodles along. I didn't think anything would get this dog's motor running. That was until we got to the pet food store.

Jayne during one of our walks earlier last year.

Jayne met Chandler, the owner's of YHP dog. Chandler is a “chweenie”-a Chihuahua and a Dachshund. Chandler is very energetic and outgoing. He loves to bring his toys over for you to toss, well once he saw Janyne, all fetching was off. He wanted Jayne, while Jayne played coy. Chandler sniffed at her and nudged her, then all of a sudden it was like a switch was flipped and Jayne jumped to life. Both dogs started slipping and sliding across the wooden floor trying to dominate the other. Jayne was making all sorts of noise and we were all a bit concerned that the dogs were going to really fight, but Super Deb assured us that Jayne was having fun.

Within a few moments, any throw rugs were being shot across the room, the dogs tearing up the floor, barking, jumping, dodging between stacks of pet beds. They were both having a great time. Tom and Mary Kay said they wanted to adopt Jayne and Super Deb very cooly glared at them and they dropped the topic immediately. No way is Jayne ever going to leave Super Deb's side. Nu uh.

So the dogs had a great play date until Chandler did the unthinkable, okay I thought about it, but I didn't say anything. Chandler jumped onto Jayne's back and humped her right in front of all of us! One of the customer's declared it was “time to get a room.” We broke the dogs apart and Super Deb looked at Jayne (who I'm told usually does the humping!) and Jayne just looked at her coyly.

Then we braved the nasty roads and got back to my house in time to see the snotty, eye-boogered kittens enjoying some play time of their own. Deb felt they were ok to give them the meds they had, keep using warm compresses on their eyes to loosen up any crusts, but that overall a good number of them did look much better.

That was a big relief. I've been waiting for things to finally start to improve. Deb wondered aloud if Donner, who's doing well, could get re-sickened by being around her sick siblings (say that five times fast-sick siblings, sick siblings,sick siblings,sick siblings,sick siblings,). It's tough to say at this point, but hopefully her immune system has built up some resistance. I'll know soon if she relapses.

I have now heard from folks in FL, MI, NY, CT that they are seeing a BAD URI going around. Very unnerving, but in a way, glad to know it's not just us, but horrified because it will mean even more cats are going to die. It's a tough situation.

Super Deb didn't stay too long. I always enjoy her company and always wish she would hang out and watch a movie or have some tea or something, but Deb has to replace her cell phone and I'm sworn to secrecy as to why she has to do this in the first place. All I can say is Deb certainly lived up to the “Super” part of her name and being Super requires acting selflessly in times of danger and as a Super-Vet Tech, Deb has better things to do than worry about where she left her phone when lives are at stake. That's how she rolls, so just stand back and let her do her magic.

Rock on, Super Deb. Rock on.

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Peace Between My Beasts

Some of my cats just don't get along. For whatever reason, Bob (on the far right ) and Petunia (center) don't like each other. Bob always goes after Petunia and is quick to give her a swat if she gets too close. Is it because SHE wants to be the alpha cat and Bob wants to keep his position of authority? Perhaps.

I bought an electric blanket (on sale at Tar-gay), thinking it would be a cozy treat for my cats, since I keep the heat low in the winter. It took all of five minutes before the cats were lining up to lay on it. Not only lay on it, but stretch out, relaxed, without a care in the world. This is pretty big stuff around here. Gracie usually is really tense and high strung and Petunia is very jumpy, too. Yet, once on the warm blanket, they started to unwind, the tension falling away, as they turned into furry puddles of bliss.

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I think I'm on to something! Here are mortal enemies, hanging out together, peacefully. It makes me wonder if the same thing could happen in the Middle East if everyone would just have a Spa Day together? Think about it. Put down your weapons and get a hot stone massage and a dead sea salt scrub. I mean, really, if the warmth of an electric blanket can get my cats to get along, just think what aromatherapy might do for World Peace?

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2009: It's Been Quite a Year!

This was a banner year for me, featuring not only the MOST cats I've rescued to date, but some of the most interesting and surprising rescues!

Some of the highlights include:

My first rescue from a Kill Shelter where I saved Huggy Mama, her two offspring, “Last Chance” Mama and her two offspring. All the cats have great homes (especially LC, who was adopted by her foster mama, Jennifer!)

Dealt with a flea infestation from Callalily and her five kittens!

Had my first trial by fire when 4 kittens from South Carolina got really sick with a URI (I know better now that it wasn't that big of a deal compared to what I'm dealing with now!)

Did my biggest rescue of nine cats from ONE shelter! All were vetted and placed in great homes in just over a WEEK!

TWEETIE! Not only socialized a feral kitten, giving him a shot at an easy life with a family, but got him adopted by the “Internet's Most Famous Cat”-Sockington!

Will the cat who was hit-by-car in South Carolina, with no hope to be rescued, I lucked out, wrote a few emails and not only got him help, but ended up bringing him to Connecticut to be adopted by our most marvelous CiCH friend, Clare!

Helped matchmake some geriatric kitties into loving homes and found a forever home for an abandoned kitty in South Carolina named Dolly.

Helped get the word out on Dewey, the Orange Kitty who was abandoned at my Vet's office. He was finally adopted by Dr. M!

Fostered, rescued, cared for and found homes for about 50 cats and kittens! (One, Dewey, I don't count since I didn't foster him, but he is shown below and, of course, my sick kitties aren't adopted just yet.)

It's been quite a year, with many great highlights. With any luck, next year will be just as great, if not better!

Happy New Year!

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Hello out there in the world....

I'm sorry to globally answer everyone's questions/concerns in a post, but hopefully this will cover most of it.

Sam has his own plate of problems. Tomorrow he has to have a root canal and his mom just had very minor, elective surgery, but she is 80 and is anything minor when you're that age? I don't know what else is going on since, we're not talking. He's obviously pissed at me for being short with him because I'm stressed out of my mind, but he has a very LOW tolerance for the slightest wrong look or sigh on my part. Yes, part of it is my fault, but not all of it.

I promise everyone I am not going to do anything to hurt myself, other than what I can't help-not eating right, not sleeping well and stress hurt me, but you know what I mean.

Today, I discovered I was an idiot (again) for locking Donner in the dog crate to keep her from feeding on Cupid. When I came back into the room I realized she had dumped the water bowl ALL over the crate and herself, then she basically rolled herself in clumping cat litter!!! I grabbed her and took her to the bathroom that I had just spent a few hours scrubbing, and put her in the sink. She was covered with litter and that shit is tough to get off a kitten. I know. I should have used non-clumping litter. I know!!! Ugh...

Donner was wriggling around so I scruffed her. She looked up at me and my rage evaporated. How the Hell could I get bent out of shape when this little kitten needed me? I just focused on the task, not piled it up on my pity pile. I got her as clean as I could. I even stopped to let her catch her breath. Her heart was racing so fast I got scared. I continued on with pulling the clumps off her fur while it lodged deeply under my fingernails.

Donner was really good about the bath, over all, and when I was done, I cranked up the space heater in the foster room so she could dry out. I held her and she shivered. She sat on my chest. I could feel her cold, damp paws on my skin. I rubbed her more with the towel, then held her side to my mouth and exhaled my warm breath onto her. She slowly stopped shaking, so I brushed her as she groomed herself. She pressed against my face and purred. I let her sit on me, tucked under my chin(s) for a good hour until she was nice and dry and warm again.

I realized I was falling in love with this little girl and feeling that helped me soften enough to keep on going.

Yes, “this too shall pass-” one of my Mother's favorite sayings. It's true. One day it will be a year later and these kitties, I hope, will all be in their forever homes and I will still be doing rescue.

While I would love someone to come and rescue ME, there is no way to do that. Jennifer taking Comet and Rudy helps tremendously. Now that their room is cleaned up, tomorrow I should have some time to focus on other things in my life. Hopefully, in time, I WILL go away on a nice vacation and get out and have some real fun, but right now I have to continue hunkering down and find a way to see this through.

It sure helps a Hell of a lot to get ALL the supportive, helpful and sincere comments from all of you! It's very humbling to me and I honestly don't feel like I deserve it. Everyone has problems, sadness, troubles in their life. I'm no different. As much as all of you would like to help me, know, too, that I would like to give it all right back-the love, the support, the compassion. You guys deserve it in droves.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

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Foster Cat Journal: Two Weeks of Hell. No End in Sight.

I can't believe it's been almost two weeks since the cats arrived. All the joy and good wishes for their future are on hold with no end in sight. These cats are so sick, it's terrifying me. None of us have ever seen such sick animals for such a long duration. The number of medications each cat gets grows daily. Also, one cat will improve, another gets worse, but they get better or worse in different ways. One is snotty, one's eyes are suddenly inflamed, then vice versa. I can't even predict who is going to get what, next. The Vet says it can be WEEKS for things to resolve. WEEKS! Only Comet and Rudy might be coming out of it, though Rudy is shockingly still snotty after two full weeks of meds. The one bright spot is that Comet gained a POUND in 12 days!!!! She looks more like a cat, instead of skin and bones.


Rudy, looking much improved, but sounds like heck, still.

I've been too busy to take any decent photos, but here's one I shot this morning. Dancer didn't look bad yesterday, then this morning, this is how she looked. I made yet another run to the Vet, every day this week pick up more meds. I'm so fed up and angry and frustrated. I need them to get BETTER ALREADY!!

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Dancer. Just gave her new eye drops. Hope they help her. She is playful and eating well.

And poor Blitzen, who once was the most beautiful kitten I'd ever seen-now he's a shell of his former self. His once sparkling blue eyes are pale and runny, staining his cheeks. He was literally foaming and bubbling at the mouth. He needs more than I can provide for him, so he's been admitted to the Vet's isolation boarding facility. I can't tell you how deeply this KILLS ME to see these little guys suffering so badly. I know I have to see this through, but I'm not sure I can do it.

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My little guy, Blitzen, a shadow of his former self.

This is how Blitzen looked about 10 days ago. Can you believe this is the SAME kitten? Now you know why I'm heartbroken.

Last night I packed Comet and Rudy up, along with their meds and a chart I designed so Jennifer could figure out how to dispense everything and when. It took two hours to pull everything together. I had just enough time after getting home from the Vet, to get it done. I am not getting anything done for myself, my work, my home, just cats and Vets. I am VERY GRATEFUL that Jennifer took these guys. They will get a MUCH nicer place to live and the attention and care I could not provide. They were getting the basics and that's about it. With them gone, I will have a bit more time for myself, once I scrub down their room and wash all the linens they used.

This is JUST for TWO CATS. I am dealing with FIVE CATS worth of MEDS. You can see the charts I made for Jennifer on the far right. The white boxes indicate how often the meds are given out.

And through all of this, now Sam and I are not talking. He stays in his office downstairs and I stay in mine. When I enter the kitchen, he leaves it. When I sit down on the sofa next to him, he gets up. A late Christmas gift arrived for him yesterday. I gave it to him as a bit of a peace offering. It's still sitting there unopened. I think I will just send it back. I don't nee this slap in the face on top of everything else.

I really need to get out of here, not go to a Vet, not do an errand, just do something I want to do or see people I want to see, but I can't think of anyone or any where that would help me find my smile.

I honestly am so fed up, I fear anyone who dares to give me any grief right now. I seriously am about to fly into a rage that may be seen from outer space. Heck, that might cheer me up? Maybe I should try it?

Foster Cat Journal: The Flying Snotsman

I had a good cry yesterday and got some rest, not enough, but a start. I talked to the Director and she said how badly she felt and how she knows just how I feel, too, but she was sorry she couldn't take any of the sick cats off my hands-you know she is wiped out, too.

I don't dare get into a rant about that right now, but let's just say-how badly does someone have to cry for help before the folks that are supposed to help, step up to the plate. I don't know how many times I've sucked it up, tired or not, but I guess that doesn't count when I'm in a jam.

Our dearest friend, Jennifer who had to put one of her kitties down a few weeks ago, ended up having to do the same thing to another cat yesterday. She is the one who also just adopted a 13 yr old, diabetic cat in very poor body condition. Jennifer is a Saint. On top of all that, she read my blog post and she called and offered to take Rudy and Comet. I'm torn by my own need for help and my fear that either of the kittens would get any of her cats sick. Also, Jennifer, do you really need more to do? Although, maybe having little ones running around would soften the heartache of losing a good friend? I can't say.

I'm going back to the Vet...again...I might as well get an apartment nearby. Hopefully Rudy and Comet's recheck will go well and they will be ok'd to go to Jennifer's. I'm bringing Blitzen back even though he was there yesterday. He has become so seriously snotty that it's terrifying me. I'm not a friggen' VET! I'm a Graphic Designer! It seems as though everyone expects me to just plug in some Sub-Q fluids or take temps on a wildly wriggly kitten or just some how know what to do for every little problem.

Ugh. Sorry for complaining. At least, so far (KNOCK WOOD), none of my cats are really sick. I'm hearing a sneeze or two and last night Tunie's eye was a bit runny, but overall they are OK. Hopefully, because they had better health to start with, they are able to fight this off. We'll could still flare up.

Lastly, I really appreciate everyone's supportive emails and comments. You've all been there with all of this stuff and it makes it somehow tolerable to know that you care so much! I wish I could give you all a huge hug right now! THANK YOU!

Foster Cat Journal: Broken

Caring for seven sick cats is killing me. Between their care, my own cats and the f-ing holiday stuff, I am so exhausted and sick it's scaring me.

Yesterday, Super Deb came over with a care bag full of things to help Cupid, our Mama kitty, feel better. Deb gave her sub-Q fluids, as her temp was 104.1°F. Cupid hadn't eaten much, has the runs, is lethargic and limp. It breaks my heart. I've tried a gillion different foods to tempt her. We ended up force feeding her, then she ate a bit on her own.

Today the gang was slated to go to the Vet for a re-check. I was figuring Mama needed more care than I can give her. This morning I had to get up early because Sam had to leave for NYC. I need him to help me medicate the cats, so I got up. I was so tired, I felt delirious. All I wanted to do was go back to bed, but I couldn't.

At least Cupid ate for me, which was a big surprise. I was very happy to see that, but she's still not “right.” The kittens are getting snottier and I'm still having trouble getting Donner to eat consistently. They all look like shit-this is after five days of meds. Great.

After I took care of all the cats and I fed myself, I went back to bed to sleep as long as I could before I had to pack up and get going. I had a bad dream. I was with some family, I was in a huge house. I didn't know where I was and I was frantically trying to get my iPhone to show me my GPS location. It said I was in Louisiana or Mississippi, but not sure...then I tried to call Shelby to come and help me but I couldn't get a call out. I woke up feeling worse than I did when I went to sleep.

As I got dressed, I heard vomiting. Petunia spewed a two foot trail ALL OVER MY BED, then more on the floor. I had to strip the bedding and get it washed, great.

Then I had to hurry up and get the cats into their carriers. This is the part where I either skip ahead or just tell the truth...I thought I had to fart, but it was not a fart...oh no. You can guess the rest. I had to RACE into the bathroom to clean up and change my clothes. Yes, I have the runs from not eating or not eating well and not getting enough sleep. I was running late, getting angry, then of course...I flush the toilet and I can tell it's going to back up and FLOOD all over the floor. I get the water turned off before it's too late. I can't find the f-ing plunger, so I just leave it. I'm already 15 minutes late.

I try to go slow, take a deep breath, so I don't let the momentum of all this stuff get me into an accident. I make it to the Vet's a few minutes late. Not a big deal.

The big deal is Cupid. Though her fever has broken, she has a great deal of fluid in her abdomen. Her kidneys are small. They took x-rays to confirm. It took three people to hold her down to get a blood sample. The Vet said something about her veins being blue before she even touched them..that it was weird. She also told me that Cupid is more like FIVE, instead of 1-2-another LIE from the good old south.

Cupid could be sick from parasites. One of the kittens has tapeworm. They all got treated for it. I hope that's the only problem going on because the head Vet came into the exam room and said that it's possible Cupid has kidney disease. If she does, it may mean there is nothing they can do and that Cupid will have to be euthanized.

I was not ready to hear that. Would I ever be? I asked her if money was not an issue, if we could help save Cupid's life. She said “maybe,” but even money may not be able to give her the chance at ever surviving.

I ask myself, what have I done? If I hadn't taken Cupid, she would be dead. I saved her life only to take it a few weeks later? Is that how this is going to play out?

I haven't even mentioned Comet-who lost her adopter and Rudy, who lost his, too. No one wants to wait. Both cats are still snotty and sick. Caring for them consists of me feeding and medicating them. That's it. I can't spend any time with them. I can't give them what I don't have.

I need help. I really need this to be done. I need Cupid to not be deathly ill, for the damn kittens to start bouncing back and eating well. I need Comet and Rudy to be in another home so they can get some love and attention they deserve.

I need some sleep. I need some good food and I need for there to STOP being f-ing problems with all the cats.

Hugs for Anne

Tonight, one of our most dear friends on Covered in Cat Hair, Anne (AnnaBanana74 here and on Twitter, too), sent out a number of “Tweets” that sent a shock wave through those of us who follow her. I got a call from Andrew, another one of our CiCH friends, asking me if I'd seen what Anne had been posting. I had not. I ran over to my computer to look. I was sickened and saddened by what I read:

‘Made the decision to disavow most of my family. That's news.”

“Two bottles of wine, 6 Xanax and xx number of Ambien TBD.”

“Hey at least the cats give a fuck”

“Peace out all.”

“Please find my cats and fosters good homes”

and an hour later...this....


Everyone experiences difficulties in their lifetime and some come with such force, the only option we might feel we have to stop the hurting is to hurt ourselves, one last time, and to be over and done with this awful life. I'm not reading out of a self help book. I've lived it and lived through it, myself. Tonight Anne called out for help on Twitter. Maybe she was just venting “aloud,” but it was so unlike anything she's ever said before that a number of people perked up and took action.

Another one of our friends, here, Ms Julie G, jumped on the phone, calling Anne (as I had done, along with a few others) and got nothing but ringing or the call went right to voicemail. I left Anne a message asking her to call me right away and that no family argument was worth hurting yourself. Out of concern, Julie called the Police. So did I. So did some other people. Not ONE of us have ever even MET Anne. Tonight was the first time I ever heard her voice on her outgoing message. It didn't matter that we had never met, the cords of love bind us whether we are living in the same house or living hundreds of miles apart. Anne has always been supportive, compassionate, loving to everyone. She is passionate about rescuing her little kitties. She shares advice and offers her heart to whoever needs it.

Something happened to her that tipped her over the edge. She called out for help and her voice was heard loud and clear.

After a number of frantic calls, emails, txts, I finally heard from Julie. She had saved the day...well...and probably saved Anne's life. I'm not totally clear on who's call did the trick, but does it matter? We called. Things happened. They reached the right person at the right Police department. They had spoken to Anne! She WAS alert, but...she HAD tried to hurt herself and needed help.

I don't know much more than that. Anne is in a hospital somewhere in upstate NY. What happens next. I don't know. What I do know is that when I heard that Anne WAS in good hands, I burst out crying and began to shake with relief. I've lost two family members to suicide. No one got to them in time. I've battled with that demon, myself. What causes someone to feel that taking their own life is the solution, is a private, complex matter. Thankfully, for our Anne, she cried out for help, perhaps not realizing just how many people were listening.

Anne, I am so sorry you felt so badly tonight that you wanted to end your life. You need to know that you are NOT alone. We ARE here with you and we DO CARE, so very much. If you think I'm a big jerk for writing about you, please understand, I only do it because I care about you and I want other people to know-other people who might feel just like you or I do, that they, too are not alone.

Please, all of you, if you ever get to a place in your life where you feel like you don't want to go on, remember, the one thing you can count on is things will always change. Take a deep breath. Wait a moment, then...another. Suddenly, you will soften and not feel as badly as you did a few minutes before. Give yourself the chance to take the next breath. There's so much in life to enjoy and experience. Don't let these bad feelings drive you to miss out on all of the wonderful things in the world.

Anne, you are loved. Don't forget that.

National Suicide Prevention Hotline

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Christmas arrives. Along with it, more tears.

I'm too tired to plot out the points of this post so I'll ramble along the best I can. Last night I was up until about 3am with palpitations-I'm guessing from too much caffeine and stress. On top of that, Christmas, has not been an easy holiday for me to endure-yes endure. My parents are gone-3 years since my Mother died and 10 since my dad's been gone. Holidays give me a stomach ache, mostly. Little things make me cry. I try to find solace in visiting with my close friends, but all the family traditions are gone and I feel like I'm wearing someone else's clothes. Maybe they protect me from the cold, but they don't fit quite right-maybe they smell a bit odd, too.

Today didn't get off to the best start. I was already tense about Donner and Cupid, who weren't eating well, or at all, the day before. When I opened the door to the foster room, I feared seeing a dead cat. Thankfully everyone was alive, but Mama-Cupid had clearly vomited all the food she ate the night before. I had gotten her to eat by offering her about ten different foods. I finally found a winner- crappy, grained dry food, but she ate. That's what was important. Now, a huge splash of vomit covered the left side of her dog crate. She was curled inside a covered cat bed next to the mess, looking limp and weak.

Sam has to help me give the meds to the cats. They get so many different medications, I can't hold them and give them the drops, ointment, creams, pills, what have you...When I tried to get some probiotic paste into Blitzen's mouth, he squirmed, then bit my thumb-a deep puncture bite. I threw myself backward and howled in pain. I knew I was in trouble if I didn't get it cleaned out quick.

I ran to the bathroom and grabbed at the betadine and hydrogen peroxide. I washed my thumb, trembling all the while. I soaked my thumb in a peroxide filled Dixie cup and kept squeezing at the wound to push any contaminants out of my finger. It bled profusely, which was good. Hopefully I got it cleaned out enough to keep me from having to visit the ER on a HOLIDAY!!!

After that, what could I do? I had to finish giving the 4 remaining cats their meds. By now I was cross and Sam was silent. We just did what we had to do, then I had to figure out how to get Cupid to eat, so I force fed her some A/D and warm water gruel. I hoped she could keep that down and that it would help her find her hunger again. She looked so miserable, but I have to do the best for her, whatever that may be.

Thankfully, little Donner ate. She ate a bit of this and a bit of that and a bit more, then had a drink. She looked a bit more perky. With any luck, she is out of the woods and on her way to being healthy again.

Then I tried to feed my own cats. Poor Bob is sneezing. He's either sick from being around Nora or he's got the nasty-ass bug my fosters have. He was reluctant to eat. I'm sure he can't smell his food. I tried and tried to get him to eat. I finally gave up and gave him some grain-free dry. He hasn't had dry food in a month. He gobbled it up greedily. At this point, I want to keep him going. I don't care what it takes.

I also put out a brand new electric blanket for Bob. I got it on sale at Tar-jay. I let it warm up, then carried a very irritated Bob over to the new bed. He sat on it, feeling the warmth. He started to purr and gently knead at the blanket. I feared he would electrocute himself, but he wasn't doing it too hard. He laid down and purred deeply. He looked relaxed and content. It was great to see him like that.

2009 Bob on electric blanket sm.jpg

Sam put on the "Yule Log" DVD. It's video footage of a fireplace with a nice fire going, so in essence you can pretend your TV IS a working fireplace. The soundtrack is rather poorly orchestrated Christmas songs, but it does the trick. It throws me over the edge and I burst into tears. I'm taken back to all the years my Mother would turn the TV to WPIX to watch the Yule Log broadcast. This was before there WERE DVDs or even computers in the home. My Mother would have my brother and I stand in front of the TV and pretend to warm our hands on the warmth from the phoney fire. Of course she would take a photo to commemorate the event. One year, when we were in our teens, my brother lit a piece of paper on fire and held it in front of the TV to add to the realism. I was terrified he would drop it onto the floor and set the house ablaze. Hey, he did it when he was four, so why stop at 15?

Sam didn't know what to do. He offered to get some present for me to open. He just didn't get it. Opening a present isn't going to fix a broken, stressed out heart. Then Sam got real quiet again. This was just not going well at all. Some times I just want to give up and leave, but I don't. There is no running away from heartache or missing your parents.

We both tried to right the ship. I sucked it up and said we should open our presents. I didn't expect much, nor did he. We both had some good surprises and it was all right, though there was little joy, more polite friendliness. Let's just get through this...right?

We were invited to visit some friends. I thought it would keep my mind occupied, which it did, but Sam stayed on one side of our friend's home, while I was on the other. I tried to make peace, while he sat quietly with a cat on his lap. I know he might be hurting, too. Sam has to have a root canal in a few days. He was treated with a big antibiotic injection and said he was doing all right, but maybe he wasn't. I don't know. Sam doesn't say much. Maybe you're noticing that trend. I'm too tired to talk to him to figure it all out. I got nothing left. He's got...I don't know what. I know he went to bed at 9:30pm and I am up, too wired to sleep.

If Cupid doesn't improve, I'll take her to see Dr Larry tomorrow. She's too thin to not be eating. She's separated from her kittens so they can't bother her. It's weird. They seem to know she's in trouble. When she gets up to use her litter pan, they run over to her dog crate to look in on her with interest. They so want to be with her, but she pays them no mind. She does her business, then goes back to her bed. Her sparkle, what little she had when she got here, is gone. I hope I can get it back.

As for my own sparkle, well, the odds are that I will get that back one of these days and I will get through this Holiday season. What I can't get back is a part of my heart. It was left behind with a small, crazy family that lived in a 2-story colonial house on Salem Road in Trumbull, CT. They did silly things during Holidays, like Olympic Score belching at the dinner table or take a family portrait and where our heads would be, we each have taped in place, a vinyl die-cut placemat of Santa's smiling face. There was something about all of us together that was magic and there's no getting that back.

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