Robin Olson's blog

Foster Cat Journal: Ahhh..the Rollercoaster of Fostering

I got Rudolph, Comet and Dasher to the Vet this morning. I was both grateful to get an early appointment and even more relived that Rudy made it through the night. For a little guy, he is very sick.

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I managed to get a crappy photo of him as he curled up on my chest. He's very affectionate even though he can barely breathe.

The Vet Tech took everyone's temp (except MINE of course). Rudy was at 103.8°F, Comet was at 104.2°F and Dasher was normal at 102°F.

The general consensus was that it would be pretty tough for these cats to get so sick in the 36 hours it took to get them to CT. They left GA in good health and somewhere along the line they became very ill. Comet had to be hospitalized. She hasn't eaten much, is depressed and very very thin for her size. At 8 months of age she is just 3 pounds. She was dehydrated and uncomfortable. I'm glad they kept her. I'm worried about her and I'd be more afraid she'd end up crashing here!

Little Rudy ate for us, so he was sent home with a bag full of meds. Two eye drops, antibiotics, a probiotic and nasal drops. He is “this” close to being hospitalized, himself. He only weighs 1.11 lbs. Our Director took him for a few days to help me out. I have no space to quarantine another cat. My hope WAS that I'd be getting the cats adopted out quick and I'd have time and space for any foster cats that are here. That will not be the case now.

That said. One cat was spared being sick-so far. Vixen.

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To describe her as a knockout does her a disservice. This cat is stunning and very very affectionate. To imagine that even a cat as fine as she, had faced death due to an overcrowded shelter is beyond my comprehension. From the get-go, this girl was all over me, purring and wanting to be held.

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She made quick friends with Dasher, too. I just loved her!

Yes, she's adopted. Of course-though I wish she could have stayed longer. She went to an awesome home and these folks will be taking her to visit MY Vet, the wonderful, Dr. Larry! Hopefully, I'll get to hear how she's doing since we're all in “the family,” so to speak.

Although it's been a trying day and things are not going to be going very smoothly, that's for sure-I got to see this today:

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And this...

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Dancer

And this...

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Blitzen

Oh yeah, and...

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Donner

I think I have the most beautiful kittens in the world and I'm NOT going to let ANYONE adopt them!!!! MINE! MINE! MINE!

Anyway, they're too young to be adopted, so they're here at least another two months..I mean years...I mean weeks!

I got a lot to do...a ton of paperwork, gotta get to the store since now we're supposed to get blasted with a nasty snow storm tomorrow. What happened to the Christmas card I was going to design? All the gifts I was going to buy? I haven't even decorated the damn tree yet! I'm really glad I just got two huge shipments of cat food today, so at least they cats will be fed no matter what. They're saying 8-15" of snow starting tomorrow!!! So much for last minute...Holiday?...shopping? anything?

Ugh.

Foster Cat Journal: Santa's Team Arrives & So Does the Panic

I got in the car, my stomach started to CHURN. I thought it was just because I was psyched to finally pick up the GA rescue kitties, but then I realized...oh no...food poisoning!!!

We made it to a nearby gas station where I had a really QUICK visit to the bathroom. I could barely “contain myself”-literally. Great. That fine lunch Sam and I had at Swanky Franks gave me the trots. How am I gonna get to Brewster to pick the cats up? It's a 40 minute drive?

I guess it's a blessing that I have a tender tummy most of the time, so I carry Immodium on me. Good thing. Sam was sick, too. We both sat in the parking lot at the Mobil station swilling bubbly water and stuffing tiny green pills into our mouth. Nice way to start a heartwarming story about cat rescue, right?

Plugged up and guts rumbling, Sam punched the throttle and off we went. In the blink of an eye we were at the parking lot of Home Depot and there sat the transport van. My heart was racing, thankfully, nothing else in my body was making an waves. I smiled over to Dick, the driver, and we jumped out of our vehicles to say hello. There were a few dogs running around on the grass enjoying freezing to death! Geez, it was COLD!

Dick ushered me into the van an apologized for it being messy. It was like being inside someone's closet-someone who has lots of puppies in cages in their closet. There was a great deal of barking and rustling around. Dick's wife Diane, loaded up the crates and handed them out to me one by one.

First, was Mama-Cupid and her 4 kittens. I took a quick peek at them and was floored. WOW they are PRETTY KITTIES!

I raced over to the car and loaded them inside. Sam had the heat blasting-good thing. I got the next carrier-SNEEZING hit me in the face. Comet was SICK. SHIT!

Next was Rudy and Dasher-who I had never even seen! He is a cutie with white and tabby and something weird markings. I gotta get a photo of it. Then lastly, was Vixen. I didn't get a look at her, other than saw her gray furred paw reach out to tap me “hello” as I put her crate into the car.

The entire drive home was mostly silent save for one kitten meowing occasionally. Once we got home, I knew it would be crazy-time, but I was ready.

What I was not ready was to see the condition of Comet and Rudy-they are VERY SICK. Rudy can barely breathe. Comet has a nasty eye infection. This could not have popped up during the 24 hr transport, could it? No way. A sniffle-sure, but a full blown take-me-to-the-ER URI? No.

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I'm not a happy camper right now. I wanted to enjoy tonight and watch the cats explore life OUTSIDE a cage and good food-they were ALL starving and drank a TON of water!!! What gives??? They should have had access to BOTH on the transport. Now I am hoping that Rudy makes it through the night and that MY cats don't get sick, too.

In the morning I will get Rudy, Dasher and Comet to the Vet. My Director offered to take the sick cats from me, bless her heart. I could really hug her right now. I just do not have the space to split up the 4 singleton kittens so that the sole not-sick one, Vixen stays not sick.

Well..we will deal and move one. Hopefully everyone will be all right soon. I'm going to sneak up and visit with Cupid and her babies who are so pretty, pouffy and cute that I may have to break my vow of not adopting foster kittens!

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Here's Cupid. She's very laid back and sweet.

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This is all I could get of 3 of the 4 kittens. They are all beauties and were having fun literally hoping and skipping around the room!

I knew it would be Crazy Town here...so be it. Welcome aboard!

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CiCH Member Spotlight: Remember Will?

Our beloved Clare, who generously and compassionately adopted Will, sent me new photos of him today. I just HAD to share them with you! Apparently, Will is doing very well, thankyouverymuch, in his new digs!

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Photo by Ms Clare

Will knows how to share with his new family. Uh huh.

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Photo by Ms Clare

Excuse me, Will, but I think you've had enough!

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Photo by Ms Clare

I wonder what the bunny is thinking right now?

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Photo by Ms Clare

Laughing too hard to type! LOL!!!! I know who the Alpha Dog is at Clare's house!

P.S. Hey! Will's gettin' a bit CHUBBY THERE!!!

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Foster Cat Journal: Reunion

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I just saw Cheech! He's looking well! His big tennis ball belly isn't so big and his coat feels more plush than ever. He seems perky and is eating well, too. We had a very nice visit at the Director's home. I even brought Cheech his favorite lime green (it goes so well with his grey coat) knitted toy!

We enjoyed some play time and some snuggling while my leg fell asleep from sitting on the floor. I didn't care if my leg fell off, I was so happy! Cheech purred contentedly in my arms. He even gave me “niblets”-my term for tickling between the paw pad and the tiny toes (which remind me of baby corn niblets!)-it causes the kitten to spread their toes apart. I dunno. Sue me. That's what I call it, sensible or not.

Now we wait until Wednesday when Cheech has his next round of tests. Crossing fingers, knocking on wood, hope it will be all right so he can finally go to his home.

As for me, I have t-minus TWO HOURS to go until CRAZY TIME! The kitty transport made great time and will be in Brewster, NY soon. That's where I gotta pick up the kitties. Yeehaa! Can't wait! They keep teasing me by telling me they have NEVER seen such gorgeous kittens in their LIFE! Wooo!

Who wants to ride shotgun?

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Not on My Watch: The Calm Before the “ACK!”

I didn't set the alarm last night so I could sleep in this morning. I got up at 7 AM, too wired to sleep any further. The sun was already peaking over the horizon, filling my bedroom with an orangey glow. I kept imagining what I still needed to do to get the foster room ready, as I felt my blood pressure begin to rise.

I tossed and turned for a few minutes. Petunia jumped on the bed to get some pets before Spencer shoved her out of the way. I decided I'd better get up and get moving and headed to the laundry room, with one eye open and the other, closed. Maybe I could be half asleep and still get my work done?

I ran a “sanitize” setting load of laundry last night. All the bedding in the foster room got boiled and I threw away the litter pans-just in case something is brewing in that room. I bleached wiped everything I could, sprayed down the soft stuff with flea spray, scrubbed the floor. All I need to do is run to the store and get new litter pans and I'm all set.

There's only one problem.

I haven't heard from the transporter. I do NOT KNOW WHEN, WHERE, IF he is bringing Santa's Team! He is a trusted person, but I called him as he asked at 8pm last night and got his voice mail. I told him to call whenever he wanted to and heard nothing back. I only know he was supposed to leave yesterday and other than that, I don't know a thing!

So now I get to spend the day wondering when the phone will ring. Will he give me 15 minutes warning? Will I have to meet him 50 miles from here? I'm not loving this! I'd like to plan out my day instead of run around like a maniac, then find out later he won't be here until tomorrow or such!

Okay. I had my rant. I would like to have time to visit Cheech today, too and I have adoption applications to sort through. Two of Santa's Team already have interest! Yay! I may even get one adopted less than a day after she arrives. We will see...

In the meantime, I better get crackin'. If I don't post much starting today, forgive me. I'll be Covered in Cats for the next few days (will try to get pix of the arrival posted, though...whenever the heck that will be!)

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Foster Cat Journal: Woohoo!

CHEECH DOES NOT HAVE FIP!

Will rest in foster care for the next week, then more blood tests, thne we will see where he's at. He's not completely out of the woods, but he IS out of the Vet! I'm going to visit him tomorrow!

YAY!!!!!

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Foster Cat Journal: Cheech Gets Another Week

There's still little news on Cheech. The full blood work isn't available yet. What we do know is his white blood cell count is low-which could indicate FIP or Distemper, but we're told that if it was Distemper, he would have already died.

Cheech is stable enough to go home. I wish it was to MY home, but our Director is going to take him for the next week, at which time they will do another blood panel to see if there's any improvement. I don't know if he will be on antibiotics-I would guess so, but I don't know. Our Director is sort of shielding me from what may come to pass-Cheech may still be so ill he has to be euthanized. He is not out of the woods, but at least he gets to leave his cage. If I didn't have both my free rooms being taken up by the kitties from Georgia tomorrow, I would beg to get Cheech back. I hope I'll be able to at least, visit the little guy.

I called his adopter and am waiting for her to call back. I can only tell her to wait another week and hope that Cheech will be home by Christmas or she can choose to adopt another kitten and not wait. I can't imagine not wanting Cheech! We'll see how it goes.

The knot in my gut isn't as tight now that Cheech has a bit of a reprieve. I'm also assured that money is not an issue and Cheech will ALWAYS get the care he needs while he's in our Program. That's comforting, but...I just want him to get to his home and be happy and healthy! All the money in the world doesn't cure some things that sicken little kittens.

So we wait and hope that Christmas will be a happy one for Cheech.

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Foster Cat Journal: Oh, Cheech

I took Cheech to the Vet on Monday to be neutered. It was time. His weight-up a half pound in over a week since he's been in foster care, put him over the two pound mark, so time to neuter...then on to his new home!

Everything seemed to go according to plan, though I was still concerned about Cheech's oddly round belly. I met a Vet this weekend and she looked at it and said she thought it could be worms, but couldn't not rule out FIP. That said, Cheech's overall appearance is good. He is eating fairly well, not great, not terrible and his “output” has been okay, but for a kitten it's rather dark and hard stool. He is playful, but he still hides like a kitten-Houdini. He's affectionate and loves to sleep on my chest, even belly up, some times.

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The Vet called and said they could not do the neuter, not because Cheech wasn't mature enough, but because of that big belly. They took some blood to see if that would indicate something was going on. The tests didn't come back in full today-just a partial. So far, nothing is abnormal, but the coronavirus results weren't in yet-even though that's not a great diagnostic indicator.

Sure, it's great to be able to surf the net and get lots of info about any topic you can imagine but, it also sucks. I read more about FIP and it just made me cry. I can't say for sure that Cheech is even SICK right now, but geez...he could have FIP. He could. That belly looks just like the photo in the .pdf from Winn Feline's article! And then what happens to Cheech? We know what happens...

I just love this little guy. I love all my fosters, but he's one of the few that really got to me. He is completely adorable and charming. To imagine him not being able to have a chance to live a full life after rescuing him from a dumpster, well...it would be really heartbreaking.

I understand that we don't have a diagnosis. That perhaps it IS a wormy belly or he ingested something funky in that dumpster? But why can't he come back here until the tests come in? At least he would have some time in a home, not in a cage.

Whatever it is, the waiting, wondering, worrying goes on. I know that the rescue road is paved with tears and bathed in the warm glow of hope. That's all we have right now. Hope. Hope that Cheech will be all right and hope that he can go to his forever home with his waiting family, soon.

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CiCH Member Spotlight: “Not on My Watch” Ripple Effect

Memory has a truly wonderful Puritan name. Though I don't know her exact pedigree, I can tell you that Memory is one great lady, so she must come from fine stock!

I was first going to share with you the story of how Memory, one of our Covered in Cat Hair readers, trained her cat, Wallingford, to shake hands and give “high fives”. She posted a video of him in action, which was quite cute!

That, in an of itself, would be a good enough story, but...

...about a month ago, I got an email from Memory, which I'm going to share with you (per her okay to do so):

“Friday, even though I was sick I decided to go to work because I had 10 pounds of turkey gizzards to pick up from the new butcher at the Newtown Deli who gives me free meat and cheap meat for my cats. On the way up 111 in Trumbull, I came across a cat in the middle of the street and decided that I wasn't going to leave somone's pet to get squashed into the road by passing cars. I have seen enough of that and this one was on my watch. I pulled over and as I went to get out of the car, the cat lifted its' head - it wasn't dead! The traffic was going around and a car stopped to block the cat and me from the traffic as I went to pick it up. Another woman had stopped, too and she rode in the back seat with the cat on her lap and we took it to the nearest vet - who lucikly was open before 8 am! I actually had been to that vet when I adopted my Wallingford from them 4 years ago -so they had my name in the computer. I didn't even have to leave a credit card as Trumbull Animal Control picks up the bill. I called from work and they were treating the cat for shock. Later they called me and said that it had a broken tooth, bruised lungs, it's eye had some damage and it had cuts and bruises but it was going to be OK!”

[I'm not going to make a comment about the 10 POUNDS of Turkey gizzards!]

Memory didn't stop there. She got involved and didn't back out.

Saturday Trumbull Animal Control called me at home and told me that it was a big she and she was going to be fine. The warden also said that the cat was in shock and would have died if she hadn't gotten to the vet so quickly. I've been sick, but if her people don't get her by the weekend, I am going to go and take a picture of her and make some
posters to put in the area where I found her.

Again, Memory could have let Animal Control do their thing, but this kitty had a Guardian Angel on her side. She got some photos of the kitty, they called, Lucky. What a stunning Maine Coon!

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I was VERY relived to know that Lucky was NOT in any danger of being euthanized because Trumbull, unlike my crappy town, allows cats in their animal pound. Lucky just needed a home. Being such a pretty girl, I knew that wouldn't take long.

“I went to animal Control today and took another picture of "Lucky". She is the calmest cat I have ever seen and completely nonplussed about her situation. I had an adoption inquiry for her from Texas but Animal Control would require the person to come to Ct to meet with them. So it is going to have to be a local adoption. They don't think it will be a problem as she is very pretty and sweet.”

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Three weeks passed while Lucky waited to find a good home. Then, another email from Memory:

“I'm not sure exactly what the story is as I got two conflicting emails - but Lucky's owners did find her after 3 weeks! One of their neighbors went to the pound looking for her cat and recognized Lucky.
The owner's had been told that Lucky had been killed in the street and went to look for the body - but it was gone. The first email said that Lucky was back home with her sister and the second said that the people didn't think they could afford to pay her vet and impound fees. I emailed and offered to pay some of the fees - just so she could go home. I should know more tomorrow - a happy ending, and amazing ending.

I just realized that the neighbor saw the cat lying in the street, recognized it and didn't stop to pick it up! I wonder how long she had been there before I came by. She is indeed, a Lucky girl.

This big sweetie is hopefully spending a quiet Christmas with her family thanks to our fearless friend, Memory and an unknown stranger who were willing to stick their necks out and get involved to make a BIG difference in one cat's life.

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Not on My Watch: Ready to Rock!

Thank You to Everyone who donated to help get “Santa's Team” to Connecticut!

As promised, I have matched your funds with my own, so we've closed the ChipIn widget and I made my donation via PayPal to save the 3% in fees. We're all set! Now I just have to wait until THURSDAY, the date the kitties arrive, for the fun to begin!

Mark your calendars and stay tuned! Lots of stories await-and photos, too!

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