Bobby

Not on My Watch: More Urgent Rescues Needed

You all know the drill. These cats are part of the over 300 cats that come into Henry County Care & Control EVERY MONTH. They have 32 small cages. Do the math. Most die at HCCAC never seeing the light of day.

ALL OF THESE CATS ARE URGENT.

IF YOU ARE WITH A GA LICENSED RESCUE AND CAN HELP ANY OF THESE CATS OR CAN ADOPT ANY OF THESE CATS, DO SO TODAY.

9/23-3675 Torbie 9/23-3676 Silver Tabby female 9/23-3677 SIlver Tabby female

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9/24-3698 Tabby and white female

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9/23-3678 Black and white tiny male

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9/23-3299 Lynx point male

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9/21-3634 DLH tabby female

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9/22-3670 Gray and white male youngster

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9/20-3629 Orange male

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9/26-3643 DLH gray male with flea collar

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9/20-3628 Orange and white female

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9/26-3554 Orange male 9/26-3705 Orange male

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9/26-3644 Orange and white female

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There are two more cats on this list, but I did not include them. I'm in the process of getting them out of the shelter. Once they are safe, I'll post about them.

Please spread the word. It may be too late for some of these cats already. I had to risk knowing that some of them are being put down now, to get the word out on all of them. Don't hesitate if you're with a rescue group and can offer help or are local and can go to the shelter and adopt. All the info, is below.

**Please Note; When forwarding, crossposting, or re-posting I ask that you leave this message intact exactly as it was written by me. I do not give permission to post my message, part of my message, or my photographs on Craig's List or FACEBOOK. Thank you for your help and support, and for respecting my wishes.**

Betsy Merchant~

We are very rescue friendly and are more than happy to work with any rescue group as long as the group has a valid Georgia Department of Agriculture license! Any rescue group, whether in or out of state, that takes pets from Georgia shelters, is required, by Georgia law, to have a rescue license issued by the Georgia Department of Agriculture's Animal Protection Division. Having tax exempt status is not the same as a license. For more information on obtaining a license, please call (404) 656-4914.

Contact:

mystiblu@bellsouth.net

Henry County Animal Care and Control

527 Hampton Street

McDonough, Georgia 30253

(770) 288-7401

http://www.petfinder.com/shelters/GA67.html

Our Hours:

Monday-Friday: 9 am-4:30 pm

Saturday: 9 am-1 pm

Sunday: Closed

County Observed Holidays: Closed

The shelter is located at 527 Hampton Street in McDonough. We are located south of Atlanta off I-75. Take exit 218 and head east on 20/81 toward McDonough. Our address is 527 Hwy 20/81 East.

For all other information regarding ordinances, county codes, and other functions of Henry County Animal Care and Control please visit www.hcacc.org

Tags Click a link below to find more articles on that topic.

Foster Cat Journal: Day One. The Tiny Miracles

Mama weighs just over five pounds. She's skin and bones on her young frame. The Vet determined she is between 9 months and 1 year old-the same age as Cara. I can't imagine a cat that young having SIX kittens, but it happens all the time. I feel sick about it. That poor creature, trying to survive in what was, up until recently, a truly heartless world.

She has an haunted quality to her expression that speaks volumes of what she has suffered. Though she is malnourished herself, she provides for her newborns as they struggle for access to the warm milk that sustains them.

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©2011 Bobby Stanford. Just rescued and on the way to the Vet. I wonder what this mama thinks will happen to her now?

Yesterday we prepared ourselves that this Mother would have to die based on what we heard from the shelter. She wasn't eating-for days. She was depressed, lethargic. What was wrong with her could have been the end of her.

Once she and her babies were in foster care, Mama began to EAT and eat well. It will take time for her to regain her strength as her hind end is red and swollen from many days of diarrhea. She has a small abscess on her tail that the Vet thinks is a self inflicted bite wound from giving birth. She may have been tugging at one of the kittens as they were being born and she bit her tail by accident. The wound is not bad and she really shouldn't have antibiotics just yet, so Maria will keep an eye on it and make sure it doesn't get infected.

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©2011 Bobby Stanford.

Overall we were VERY LUCKY-SO FAR. Mama is in rather good shape, considering. They did a stool sample on her and it was negative for parasites. She had no fleas. Maybe she knew life in a home for a time, but they got rid of her a few days after she gave birth.

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©2011 Bobby Stanford. Lunchtime rush is on.

Her kittens were in good shape, again, for now! Maria and I are both terrified of them coming down with the you-know-what-plague that seems to hit every cat that comes out of a shelter. It's wait and see. I find I am a bit reluctant to give them names-that said, should the worst happen, maybe they should have the dignity of having a name before they pass away? I hope it's not something we will meed to worry about. Right now, they're OK, getting fed and mostly sleeping in a big pile with each other-little orange puff balls.

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©2011 Maria S. Little orange puff balls.

I can't get over their orangey-goodness. I wish I could give them all kisses and welcome them to the world. Happy Belated Birthday to you my sweet babies!

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©2011 Maria S. Squee!

Taking on seven new foster cats will require some funding. I'd like to start raising donations for them so we'll have it set aside when they need it-or in case of an emergency! I'm using a low cost S/N clinic, but even with that, everything that has to be done will be times seven cats.

If you can help this little pumpkin patch, your donation is tax deductible as all the money goes to my non-profit, 501(c)3 corporation, Kitten Associates. Any overages that we don't use for this family, will be used to provide food and vet care for the other cats in our program.

If you want to send a donation DIRECTLY through to PayPal, then we will get 100% of your donation IF you take the following steps:

1. Log in to YOUR PayPal Account

2. Select the tab: SEND MONEY (on the top of the page)

3. To: info@kittenassociates.org, Fill in Amount, then choose the PERSONAL tab below where you fill in the amount and select: THIS MONEY IS BEING SENT AS A: GIFT

4. Press "continue" to finish the payment transfer

Checks can be made out to: Kitten Associates. Please note: Bob's Angels on your check and mail to: P.O. Box 354, Newtown, CT 06470-0354

Mama.jpg
©2011 Maria S. Just a bag of bones today...but one day she will be plump and happy again...one day soon.

And now for some FUN. We need names! I'm open to suggestions-I may not use the names you offer, but let's give it a shot. We need a name for Mama and we have FIVE BOYS AND ONE GIRL (we think) who need names, too. They should all have names in honor of Bob. Here are his names and nicknames: Robert J. Dole, Bob Dole, Baba-D, Bobbie Tinkleberry (hee hee). Post a comment here with your suggestions or visit our Facebook page and leave a comment there.

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©2011 Maria S. Sweet dreams little ones. Grow big and strong!

Not on My Watch: Bobby's Angels

In honor of my beloved, Bob, who died 12 days ago, I decided to rescue a cat. When I found out about an orange kitty stuck in a tiny cage at Henry County, sick and starving with six tiny kittens stripping her of any energy she has left, I knew I met “the one” that needed my help. In this case, it turned out to be “the seven” who needed me.

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©2009 Robin A.F. Olson. My darling, Bob.

I'm VERY VERY LUCKY I have good friends who support my rescue “habit.” Over the course of this morning and afternoon, I was able to put together a number of plans, which included the dreaded “worse case scenario.” They told us that Mama “was not doing well” and not eating. That could mean a million different things. Is it as simple as she's scared and unhappy? Is she getting an upper respiratory infection? Or is something deeply wrong with her? Something the Vet can't correct? Something VERY costly to cure?

I had to ask everyone on our team if they would be able to handle it if Mama had to be euthanized. I didn't even want to ask. Bobby didn't even bat an eye. He is willing to be our warrior. I knew I could count on him. Maria found a backup foster home in case the babies have to be bottle fed. Then Connie, understanding the risk of pulling a sick cat from a shelter, said that her group, Animals in Distress, would help us with initial vetting!

How could I say no?

So I didn't!

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Then we all started to panic, worrying about the worst case...would Mama be OK?

Bobby got her out of Henry at 4pm. An hour later, I found out the good news-MAMA IS NEGATIVE/NEGATIVE for FIV+ and Feline Leukemia!!!!!

But why wasn't she eating?

I don't have complete details yet, but Mama has a small abscess on the base of her tail. That has been treated. Otherwise they thought she was in VERY GOOD overall condition. I don't even know how old she is or the birthday of her six little kittens. All I know is she is SAFE and will be in a warm, clean room with plenty of good food to eat. Hopefully, once she settles down, she will want to eat. She won't need to use a tiny litter pan as a place to rest. She'll have a nice, soft bed. She'll have the companionship of someone who loves cats deeply and hopefully one day, when they are all old enough, they will come to my home and be fostered here.

AC 9.14.11 002_rez copy.jpg

We don't even know if we have six boys or a mix of sexes. We barely even know what they look like. All that matters is that they're a lovely orange, perhaps more rich and deep in tone than Bob, but it works for me. I am so VERY HAPPY to be able to have been part of saving their lives. It softens the pain of losing Bob, just a little bit.

Today is the beginning of their story with us and unlike Bob, they will have a great start with everything they need so they'll never have to get FIV+ and suffer through a sad end the way Bob did.

I think Bob sent this family to me. I just found out they were born the day he died.

Tags Click a link below to find more articles on that topic.

Not on My Watch: Orange Mama + 6 in Dire Situation

Here we are again...in that same, familiar place. Another Mama cat and her six newborn kittens are in DIRE NEED OF RESCUE by a GA LICENSED RESCUE ORGANIZATION---that needle in a haystack so difficult to find.

AC 9.14.11 005.jpg
©2011 Betsy Merchant.

Apparently, Mama isn't eating. She gave birth a few days ago and hasn't eaten since. As she grows weaker she is at high risk of getting SICK, then she will be put down, along with her innocent babies. This breaks my heart especially because being orange, they make me think of Bob and how much I'd like to rescue them in his honor.

AC 9.14.11 004.jpg
©2011 Betsy Merchant.

There are many obstacles-the big one is what is wrong with mama? If she is VERY SICK she may need to be put down. Can I make that choice? Can Bobby, who will have to pick her up, be in the room with her. What will that do to him? What about the kittens? Are they going to be sick, too? Will this be another year long many thousands of dollars vet bill? What if Maria has to bottle feed the babies? She can't! She has to work!

I'm hoping that by posting this, a GA Licensed Rescue group will see it and call Betsy Merchant or Gerri Yoder, who is the Director at Henry County Care & Control, and save this family TODAY! Contact info at end of post.

THIS IS DIRECTLY FROM BETSY-------------------------

This precious young little Mama is in dire shape. We cannot find anything she will eat. She is skin and bones and literally wasting away here while desperately trying to care for her 6 newborns.

AC 9.14.11 001.jpg
©2011 Betsy Merchant.

We have given her every type of canned and dry chow and she just will not eat any of it. I have boiled some chicken to take tomorrow and try but we are running out of time. She is so thin, and she cannot keep feeding her tiny tots.

AC 9.14.11 002.jpg
©2011 Betsy Merchant.

PLEASE spare them, we need rescues help NOW!

Mama+6 ID# 9/10-1913

AC 9.14.11 003.jpg
©2011 Betsy Merchant.

**Please Note; When forwarding, crossposting, or re-posting I ask that you leave this message intact exactly as it was written by me. I do not give permission to post my message, part of my message, or my photographs on Craig's List or FACEBOOK. Thank you for your help and support, and for respecting my wishes.**

Betsy Merchant~

We are very rescue friendly and are more than happy to work with any rescue group as long as the group has a valid Georgia Department of Agriculture license! Any rescue group, whether in or out of state, that takes pets from Georgia shelters, is required, by Georgia law, to have a rescue license issued by the Georgia Department of Agriculture's Animal Protection Division. Having tax exempt status is not the same as a license. For more information on obtaining a license, please call (404) 656-4914.

Contact:

mystiblu@bellsouth.net

Henry County Animal Care and Control

527 Hampton Street

McDonough, Georgia 30253

(770) 288-7401

http://www.petfinder.com/shelters/GA67.html

Our Hours:

Monday-Friday: 9 am-4:30 pm

Saturday: 9 am-1 pm

Sunday: Closed

County Observed Holidays: Closed

The shelter is located at 527 Hampton Street in McDonough. We are located south of Atlanta off I-75. Take exit 218 and head east on 20/81 toward McDonough. Our address is 527 Hwy 20/81 East.

For all other information regarding ordinances, county codes, and other functions of Henry County Animal Care and Control please visit www.hcacc.org

Tags Click a link below to find more articles on that topic.

BlogPaws 2011: The Next Few Hours

Maria was certain something was terribly wrong with Amberly. The cat is very small to begin with and was still healing from spay surgery that was done 10 days prior. What was making the cat's belly distend? Then Maria mentioned very smelly poop, which can be a sign of Giardia. I told her I thought maybe it was worms or just the effects from a long ride in the car. She felt it was something worse than that-perhaps life threatening! I promised I'd find a Vet. She said they would be arriving in about an hour. I had to act quickly.

Thankfully, Caroline Golon, one of the Founders of BlogPaws, was able to find a Vet. She didn't tell me she was going to find me a really cute Vet to boot..and one who does Acupuncture and Wellness! I wish I had had time to have a conversation with Dr. Patrick Mahaney, instead of pleading for his advice!

Robin Marg Patrick.jpg
©2011 Robin A.F Olson. Margaret Gates, Dr. Patrick Mahaney, & Me just after the phone call..and the relief that all was well for Amberly.

Margaret Gates, from Feline Nutrition, was with me. We were both giving Dr Patrick big-eyed “Puss-in-boots” look, asking if he wouldn't mind talking to us about this cat problem we had. Of course Dr. Patrick did not see Amberly, nor could he advise us since he's from California and not licensed in Virginia, but it didn't hurt to ask for his opinion, which he was gracious enough to give us. I put Dr. Patrick on the phone with Maria while my heart raced. It was 4:45pm-in fifteen minutes, the Pettie Award winners were going to be announced via the web. Almost all of the nominees were at BlogPaws and we all sincerely wanted to watch the broadcast, but I had to make sure Amberly was all right over anything else.

Thankfully, Dr. Patrick agreed that Amberly needed to be de-wormed and I promised to get a stool sample over to my vet when we got to Connecticut. As a personal THANK YOU to Dr. Patrick, I'd love it if you ALL go visit his web site: http://www.patrickmahaney.com/blog/ and LIKE him (what's not to like?!) on FACEBOOK!

With that issue put to rest, Margaret and I started to look for the room where we could watch the Pettie Awards. I have to note that for some reason, Dogtime Media pulled out of attending BlogPaws 2011 about 2 weeks before the Conference. Many of us were very upset about this because there would be no formal ceremony, handing out of trophies and no chance to give that acceptance speech we'd all been planning. The Petties were going to be broadcast as a pre-tapped video.

Pettie Screen.jpg

Instead, we were sent off to a private room with a nice big screen projection setup. Everyone else was off to a screening of a new Disney movie called Spookie Buddies. About 20 of us were sitting around waiting for something to happen. I didn't see any computer hooked up to the screen so I ran off looking for help. Michael, our very nice A/V guy, got there with minutes to spare! My heart started racing. We were all getting nervous with anticipation.

Then I started getting texts from Maria. They were going to arrive in about 15 minutes! What was I to do? Make them sit out in the hot car? I had to go meet them, but I just HAD to see who was going to WIN!! Covered in Cat Hair was up for TWO awards!

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Then the video began, featuring Leslie Smith, Editor at Dogtime.com. We all started buzzing...first up, our friends Kate Benjamin of ModernCat and JaneA Kelly of Paws & Effect! When Kate won, we all erupted in screams and clapping! I wish both ladies could have won, though.

The awards were being announced at lightning speed. Next up was one of my categories: Best Social Integration! Stephanie Harwin of Catsparella won! I was very happy for her, but then I worried..it was my best shot to win. There was no way I was going to win for Best Cat Blog. The competition was way too stiff.

My heart felt like it was going to bust out of my chest. Maria was texting me. They were about to arrive! My category finally came up. I thought to myself-it's about time I was a WINNER. After the pure HELL of the past few weeks, I was due..due for something good to happen and I'd worked very hard for 5 years writing Covered in Cat Hair. Surely, I had a shot, but it also meant that my good friend, Ingrid wouldn't win and I wanted her to win, too.

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The intro screen came up...

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They announced the four finalists....

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And when they said MY NAME and COVERED IN CAT HAIR, I jumped out of my seat and threw my hands over my head and yelled; OH MY GOD!!!!!

Ingrid was right there, giving me a big hug. She was so gracious and I knew from our talks that we both would be happy if either of us won. I wanted to cry. I was so happy, but I had to leave the room! Bobby and Maria had arrived and were waiting in the Lobby. They'd just driven 10 hours. I was not going to make them wait.

Winner.jpg
©2011 Robin A.F Olson. Just after the WIN!

I floated out of the room and there were lots of folks from the show milling about. I wanted to scream “I WON I WON!!!” but I had to drop the urge and get back to business. I could celebrate later.

And then, across the lobby, I saw Bobby and Maria walking towards me. It was so odd. I knew what they looked like and we'd talked many time over the past year, but here they were in the flesh, like nothing particularly strange was going on. I'd been looking forward to this moment for a long time, but I could see how tired and hot they were so I got them to sit down and got them a drink. As I was walking back, I saw everyone leaving the room where I just watched part of the Petties. Ingrid, it seems, won for Best Pet Blog-the TOP honor of ALL the awards! I WAS SO HAPPY FOR HER and now things just felt complete! EVERY award-other than than the Best DOG Blog, was WON BY A CAT WRITER!!!!!

Robin and Bobby.jpg
©2011 Robin A.F Olson. Bobby & I cuddle with Peri & Amberly.

And then, like moths to a furry-flame, the cat writing ladies managed to find that Amberly and her kittens were in the lobby and within seconds they were all cooing and smiling over their new friends. Maria and Bobby were good sports. I think the energy in the room revived them and all the fussing about the kittens was a treat to see. What was even better was that most of us had just won a Pettie Award and it felt so empowering for us to be together! It was a moment I really cherished.

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©2011 Robin A.F Olson. Ingrid King (left), Foster Mama-Maria (seated), Tamar Arslanian of I Have Cat (rear), Margaret Gates of Feline Nutrition and Kate Benjamin of ModernCat (right)

I think I had about fifteen minutes of feeling good, happy, visiting with everyone...then, as things often do...the shit hit the fan. One of the ladies came up to me holding BlueBelle. She said something was wrong. I looked at the incision on Blue's belly. She'd been spayed 10 days earlier. I have to say the "person" who did the spay did a terrible job. I've never had to put kittens on antibiotics after being spayed because they got an infection. Their incisions were horrible. Here was Blue, very calm and serene and the glue had popped and her incision was opening up and was bleeding.

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©2011 Robin A.F Olson. Sam & Bobby with Periwinkle & Amberly.

We were all supposed to go out to dinner to celebrate, but I had to find a Vet and this time we were going to need to do more than just have a consultation about what to do. We had no idea where Dr. Patrick was and I had no idea what to do next. BlueBelle was in trouble and we had to do something for her right away.

Find out what happens next...in tomorrow's post!

If you'd like to see the Pettie Awards presentation, just go HERE to see the show and a complete list of all the WINNERS!

Basil & Nigel's Big Day Out & How to Slim Down the Siblings

Basil & Nigel are very lucky. Not only was I willing to go to bat for them, but TWO groups; the Siamese Cat Rescue Center and the Humane Society of Forsyth County both stepped forward to offer the boys a safe place to live until they find their forever home. Thank you, again to HSFC for taking them on!

Before the boys could go anywhere their first stop was East Lake Vet for a checkup! There the Vet would do a snap test-a simple blood test that indicates if the cats have Feline Leukemia or FIV+. This is the WORST part of doing rescue-not the late nights, phone calls, millions of emails...waiting to find out if the snap test results are positive is dreadful. If the boys were sick, very few rescues would take them and their future happiness would be in peril.

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©2011 Maria S. Nigel waits to meet the Vet.

This afternoon, while I was waiting for a call from Bobby, I got an email. Maria surprised me with photos of the boys. Apparently she was in the area when Bobby brought the boys to the Vet so she stopped by. The subject line of her email was: “neg/neg” I know what that means! The boys are NOT SICK! WOOOOOOHOOOO!

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©2011 Maria S. Nigel explores the exam room.

More details about them came in: 1) Overall they're quite healthy! 2) Nigel weighs 27 1/2 pounds, while shy-guy Basil weighs 21 1/2 pounds, 3) they didn't have any sign of fleas or flea dirt, so they must have been indoors, 4) Poor Nigel's belly is burned. It appears both cats must have been confined to a VERY SMALL area. Possibly Nigel had to lay on bedding that was soaked in urine for a long time.

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©2011 Maria S. What a face! Hi Nigel!

In a way, I'm glad we will never really know what happened to Nigel because it would kill me to find out. Nigel is a big love bug and even tried to jump onto the exam table, but because he's so big, he didn't make it and fell backwards. He wasn't hurt, but it's so sad he's trapped in that big body. It's only temporary, but still, it's brutal to see a beautiful animal suffering like that. It's just wrong.

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©2011 Maria S. Nigel has dreamy blue eyes!

We wonder if the boys might be Burmese/Siamese mixes due to their dark coloring. I'm not well versed in what makes a siamese. Maybe one of you might help us figure that out? Bobby told me their eyes are a very beautiful blue and that they're both good cats.

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©2011 Maria S. Basil is trying to look tiny. No one notice him!

Basil is shy. We don't know if he was always like this or it was due to cruel treatment. Fortunately he is NOT aggressive, just a scaredy-cat. He didn't make a fuss when he was examined. I think he just wanted to get out of there an into a small dark place...okay a big dark place, to hide.

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©2011 Maria S. Basil is a cutie!

Later in the day, I got a few emails from Bobbie, who has graciously offered to foster the cats for the next 10 days or so. Bobbie said that Nigel was enjoying himself, but that Basil was hiding in the cat tree (which is not really bad since he wasn't hiding under a bed and was up high so he will be less stressed). That Basil wasn't eating their new grain-free canned food, to which I was not surprised to hear. Transitioning the cats to high quality canned food will be tough. Nigel DID eat, but wanted to eat alot more than he should, so Bobbie took it away and went back to letting them get used to their new home.

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©2011 Maria S. Poor Nigel. His belly wasn't too bad. He'll just need to be wiped down with an antibiotic wipe every day until he heals.

Most people know that you can't put a cat on a diet. Their metabolism is very different from that of a human. Cats get energy from protein, not carbs, as we do. They also can develop “fatty liver” or hepatic lipidosis if you try to get them to lose weight too fast. HL is deadly and NOT to be messed with.

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©2011 Bobbie Coker. Apparently Nigel enjoys his new foster home with Bobbie very much!

I did some research and found some helpful tools that I could use to determine what these cats need for calories. Sadly, most cat food can labels do not list carbs or calories so you have to do the dreaded “M” word...MATH! This is a starting point. I realize I need to write a lot more about nutrition and feeding guidelines, but that will have to wait. For now, give this a try...

Also, from what I can tell, THIS IS NOT AN EXACT SCIENCE and every cat has different requirements for caloric intake so you MUST keep that in mind.

To start, you have to know how much your cat weighs, then convert pounds into KG. You can do that HERE

Next you have to use a Enteral Nutrition Calculator (ACK!) to figure out how many calories your cat needs. Based on Basil's weight-we'll call it 21 pounds. He would be 9.52 kg and his BER (basal energy requirement) is 355.59 kcal/day. That would be to MAINTAIN the weight he is now. The rest of the calculator is for sick cats or cats that need extra caloric intake. You probably don't need to use that, but I used this to find out that I am grossly under-feeding Bob, which is probably why he's a bag of bones right now. I've already started him on a different feeding regime to help him out.

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©2011 Bobbie Coker. We hope you'll come out soon to visit, Basil!

The last step is to grab a can of whatever you're feeding your cat and READ THE LABEL. This Cat Food Nutrition Calculator from the Cornell Book of Cats is a start, but I discovered that it gave me one number and I saw a calorie listing on the cat food that said it had 40 more calories than the calculator determined! You can see why this is not an exact science!

Going by what it says on the label, fill in the percentages in the yellowed out area of the form. You'll copy the following information from the label: percent of Protein, Fat, Fiber, Moisture & Ash/Other Minerals. Once you do that, it will calculate how many calories are in every 100g of food.

The labels I checked show the gram weight of the food on the front, under the Net Weight. So for example, one can was 156 g in weight (a typical 5.5 oz “tuna can” size) and 106 calories per 100 g of food. That's roughly 165 calories per can. What shocked me was the HUGE difference from one brand of food to another. The one I thought was very high in calories was actually quite low!

Once you compare what your cat needs versus what it's eating, you'll see why you might have a tubby tabby on your hands. Now that we know the numbers, we can adjust Basil and Nigel's intake accordingly, but first things first...they need to settle down and get used to eating different food. Breaking them off the habit of eating dry will be tough, but in time they will adjust, especially since they don't have a phone and can't order a pizza behind our backs!

Lastly, we're still trying to fund our ChipIn for the boys. It's not a lot, but their food is costly and the Vet bill was rather big. If you can donate the cost of a cup of coffee to the boys, that would be great! If you can do more, even better. In a way, we all helped save the lives of Nigel and Basil because I couldn't help them, if you didn't help us with donations, so great work, TEAM CiCH!

Foster Cat Journal: A Farewell to Phil

I rescued Phil from Henry County in early June when it didn't work out that he could live there as a shelter cat. [his rescue story is here] He didn't like the dogs, so he had to go. Over the past few months, Phil's been enjoying life with Bobbie, his foster mama and cat-blogger of Cats-Goats-Quotes.

While Phil was in foster care, I got lots of updates. Every one said what a sweet, pretty cat he was. He was laid back and got on with Bobbie and her other cats. He didn't make a fuss, wouldn't jump on furniture, but would rather just sleep inside his cat carrier.

She noticed scars on his nose and started to wonder if Phil had been abused and maybe shoved off the furniture, never being allowed the sense of comfort most cats enjoy.

Bobbie graciously held Phil longer than I expected because Cara, Polly, Mac and Mazie were still here. After Cara went to another foster home and Mac and Polly were about to be adopted, I let Bobbie know it was time to say her farewell to Phil and to get him on the next PETS transport north. I have never felt worse about asking to take a foster cat from someone, but it was time.

Of course Bobbie was completely gracious about letting go, but I know how much it hurts. Bobbie wrote a lovely post entitled: “Friday without Phillip” about how much she loves Phil and misses him, but she made sure he got onto the transport headed for Connecticut.

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©2011 Bobby Stanford.

What made matters worse was the heat. It was far too hot in the suburbs of Atlanta in late July. The inside of the transport was too hot. Phil, and his traveling companions, Muddles & Cuddles, who were going to my partner-shelter, Animals in Distress, were not too happy. In fact they were panting. They were supposed to be in a part of the trailer that was away from the dogs-they were not. I got frantic calls from Maria, then I called PETS, but could not get through to anyone. Maria wished she had kept the cats off the truck. Bobby, who had delivered Phil to the transport looked at Phil. He had the saddest look on his face. Bobby said it was as if he was saying “what did I do for you to do this to me?”

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©2011 Bobby Stanford.

This was Thursday afternoon. The transport would not arrive until Saturday morning. How were these cats going to survive?

I made calls and sent e-mails. I paced. I fretted. I know Kyle Peterson who owns PETS transport. He's a good guy. He runs a good service. I've never had a problem but I've never done a run in such blazing hot weather.

Friday morning I got an email, assuring me everything was all right and asking me to call them on their private number. When I called, I was told that Phil and the other kitties had overnighted in the office at PETS which had A/C and was away from the dogs. They ate well and were relaxed. I was assured that the A/C on the truck worked and that they were doing everything they could to monitor the transport, the animals and their well being. That they even had a cat lover on the truck to keep extra attention on our three cats-the only cats on the truck (as usual).

The next day passed uncomfortably. I kept envisioning Phil dying or being so messed up from the trip that I could never adopt him out. At 6:30AM PETS called and said the truck was running late, a first. That they would be in about 90 minutes late. 90 more minutes to fret.

It was going to be 90°F in Connecticut the day the transport arrived. All I could think of was to get Phil, get him into the car with the A/C blasting and get him home! I ended up following the trailer into the parking lot! What timing! I didn't have to wait long to get Phil off the truck. When they brought him to me, he started to cry-a big loud siamese-ish ME-OW! I knew what he meant. GET HIM OUT OF HERE!

Connie came to get Muddles & Cuddles. I saw them for about 10 seconds, but made my excuses to get going. As soon as we were in the car, Phil settled down. It was so quiet, I think he finally felt like he could relax. By the time we were home, he was asleep.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Poor Phil. He was completely wiped out after the trip.

I got him into his room. He meowed loudly to be fed. I felt bad taking him off what he was used to and starting him on grain free canned. Better get it over with! I gave him a can of food. He ate the whole 5 ounces. He had a good drink of water. He laid down on the wood floor. I encouraged him to climb on the bed, but he seemed reluctant, so I put him on the bed. I petted him a bit and looked at his blue eyes. I didn't want to do much to him right then and there. He needed rest. I left him on the bed and he passed out cold.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. After sleeping for the better part of a day, Phil starts to perk up.

Phil slept a lot over the first two days. I just kept him fed and spent those days sitting near him on the bed. We, okay I, watched dumb movies on TV. I petted him and talked to him. He was not overly friendly, but not mean. He was just tired. Poor guy.

I'd been getting applications on Phil from before he arrived, so after just three days of being with me, I went on a home inspection of a couple that lives in the neighboring town. Their home was spotless. They're retired and very active. They have no kids, but love cats and all animals. Their home overlooks a waterfall and the woods. There are windows everywhere you look. They are really nice people and they have one kitty named Tiger who misses his friend, Cisco, who passed away just about the same day I rescued Phil from the shelter.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Finally sitting up and looking well rested at last!

Two days later, they came to meet Phil. They talked about possibly re-naming him, Big Poppy after one of the players on the Red Sox. They liked how big he was, but didn't think he was “that” big! Are you kiding me? He IS a big guy! They were a bit nervous about how Tiger would react to Phil. At least I knew Phil loved other cats, but if Tiger doesn't like him, then Phil has to come back to my house.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson.

They wanted to give it a try and they filled out the Adoption Contract and I helped them pack up Phil, along with his favorite toy balls, his catnip banana and some feather toys. I gave them some food, too and they gave me their promise that they'd do their best for Phil.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Phil with the infamous Catnip Banana!

Phil leaving was like ripping off a bandage. He wasn't here long enough for me to fall head over heels. He was here long enough for me to see what a special guy he is and how lovely he is. He really perked up and got playful before he left. He would “lumber” instead of run. It was really cute. His legs go for miles. I think he can't get out of his own way some times.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. One last road trip to make it home.

The next part of Phil's story is up to fate and the faith of his new family. Will Phil end up coming back? Maybe. I can't say for sure. I know that he did well after his first day and that his new dad, Joe, enjoys sitting on the bed, with Phil curled up next to him. Joe reads a book and pets Phil. They were buddies after a few hours.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Farewell, Phil! I hope you have the most wonderful rest-of-your-life, ever!

This feels good and right, but time will tell. For now, Phil is safe and in a loving home. With all my heart, I hope that this is “the one” for this gentle giant and if not, I've always got his back.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. The words every rescuer hopes to hear!

Not on My Watch: The Numbers Game

This family was rescued because 1 person posted that this family needed help to rescue groups, 1 person began bugging rescue groups to help and offered to raise $500.00 via her blog (hmmm..who might that be?), 2 people at 1 shelter said YES, 21 people donated money immediately, and 1 person offered to drive the family a very long way to their new home. It took 26 people, most who have never met in person, to step up and offer to help this family in some way. Was the journey effortless? No way. But was the journey worth the effort? I think you know the answer to that.

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©2011 Bobby Stanford. Mama is smiling. She knows she and her family are safe at last.

This family has no idea that after 1 person dumped them, so many would gather round them and offer them sanctuary, safety and love. Most of us will never even meet this family, but it's not about us. We don't care for our own needs. We care that this family will not die today and hopefully not any day soon.

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©2011 Bobby Stanford. “I wonder where we're going? I hope it's nice there.”

They are a symbol of so many families that are just as deserving, who also need to make it out of a kill shelter today. Many of them need a donation or a driver or a foster home for a few weeks. These are things many of us can provide in one form or another. Let this rescue remind us how wonderful it feels to WIN one! Let us take a stand and remember to keep doing more-as much as we can-of course, without straining resources unfairly.

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©2011 Bobby Stanford. Mama sings a song to entertain Bobby as he drives them to their new home.

We can fight this good fight together, but we have a lot more work to do.

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©2011 Bobby Stanford. We don't know what the prognosis is for this little tabby's legs yet. Stay tuned for an update.

Thanks to Bobby, our super-awesome-do-anything-for-cats-friend, the family is with the Humane Society of Forsyth County (Georgia). The little tabby may have TWO deformed legs, not one. We hope the lesser of the two deformities will resolve on its own or with very little intervention. When I have more information, I will let you all know. At least, for now, everyone is well, with full bellies and a safe harbor.

Thank you again to HSFC for their willingness to go the distance for this family when their own shelter is beyond full. If you know anyone interested in adopting a sweet dog or cat, please visit HSFC's Adoption Page! The emptier this shelter gets, the more that can be rescued off death row..I'm just sayin'...Adopt today! It's almost the end of Adopt-A-Shelter-Cat Month!

Here are some faves:

Hufflepuff, Pure White Kitten

Leona, a Beautiful FIV+ baby Maine Coon mix

Felix-the GORGEOUS declawed Tuxedo (long hair!)

Helena Bonham Carter: a sweet mixed breed puppy.

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Not on My Watch: Believe in Miracles

On April 21, 2011 another pregnant feline was brought to Henry County Care & Control, dumped by her owner, no longer their problem or responsibility. This cat's fate, along with that of her unborn kittens, was unknown. Many mamas never make it out of the shelters alive. The shelters are simply too overcrowded and the kittens too fragile to make it. If they pick up a URI, they are all euthanized. If they don't get sick, but they don't find a rescue in time, they will get euthanized. The odds are just not very good for a happy outcome.

This mama gave birth inside a steel cage, on newspaper, next to a litter pan. Not a very dignified way to bring life in to the world, but certainly better than she would have been if left abandoned on her own. The mama had four kittens. She cleaned them and began the task of providing nourishment-nothing unusual or special about this, just as so many other mamas have done before and since. Her babies were all chubby and healthy. One had a charming spot on this chin that looked like a goatee. They all squirmed and writhed, still blind and uncoordinated-reaching for their mama's warmth. The mama did what she could to keep them safe, placing her front leg protectively over them.

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©2011 Henry County Care & Control. This very young mama hopes for a miracle.

Last month, I posted a plea about this “cow mama” and her “cow babies.” They were among the MANY mamas and kittens that came to Henry County that needed help. Many of the families got a rescue, but many MORE families arrived over the past few weeks needing help. The cow mama and family did not get rescued. The clock was running out, as they ran out of space at Henry County.

This morning, this family was slated to die. They were at the shelter the longest, so they would be first to go. The folks at the shelter did NOT want to put them down, but their hands were tied. There are SEVVEN other families that also need rescue, too and there wasn't any more room left to keep all the cats. It was time.

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©2011 Henry County Care & Control.

Keep in mind that over the past month I, along with Dorian Wagner of Your Daily Cute, have been trying to find a way to rescue this family. Dorian and I both have a fondness for cow kitties, but neither of us were finding a solution. Last night, just before I went to bed, I got an email from Jennifer at the Humane Society of Forsyth County. I'd contacted her a month ago and at the time she couldn't help. She had not forgotten about this family. She said they had an opening and did we still need help?

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!! YES!!!! I could NOT believe the timing. Here I was about to give up. Jennifer saved the day! I got to work right away-banging out emails since it was too late to call anyone. I contacted Betsy, at Henry County. I pleaded with her NOT to put that family down. I wrote to Gerri, the Director and asked the same thing. I contacted our dear, Bobby and asked if he could transport the cats. My heart was beating so hard I could barely breathe. I contacted Jennifer and said I get the transport set up and get things sorted out and gave her information on who to call at Henry Co. to confirm they were going to take the cats.

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©2011 Henry County Care & Control. Look at the spot on the chin on that baby!

This morning I got up early. I felt like I was going to jump out of my skin. I heard back from Henry Co. They would NOT put the family down. I called Jennifer and she was very sweet. She was completely calm. I'm sure she does this every day. She had just left a voice mail for Gerri and things were getting settled. In another hour of phone calls and emails it was worked out.

As of 12:30 PM EST, Bobby has picked up the Cow Mama and her babies and will be driving them to the Humane Society of Forsyth County. They're a NO-KILL shelter, so this family won't have to worry again about being put down. Now all they have to do is thrive, play and wait to be adopted when they're big enough.

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©2011 Henry County Care & Control. It IS a miracle these babies got out ALIVE!

This could not have happened if it wasn't for Warren Royal, who offered me Jennifer's contact information when I was first trying to find a rescue to take this family. Forsyth is the same shelter that took in Warren's foster cat, Buddy who had FIV+ and who found him a great home.

This could not have happened if Bobby wasn't willing to drive 2 1/2 hours to deliver this family to their new home.

This could not have happened if I didn't stick my nose into this situation. While I didn't rescue this family, I did network my butt off by making phone calls and writing e-mails and blog posts.

Guess what? YOU can do this, too. You can get involved with animals at kill shelters and make a difference in their life. You don't have to foster them or even run a rescue group-you just have to be willing to stick your neck out and find those puzzle pieces until you get the right fit. I'm not saying it's easy and it certainly is stressful, but those times when it works out, it's completely worth it.

There is a lot more work to do. Those other mamas aren't going to rescue themselves. Let's get to it!

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If you're as thrilled as I am about the Humane Society of Forsyth County stepping up to help this family, then please be sure to visit their web site and “Like” their Facebook page, then check out all the animals they have for adoption. If you're not looking for a new companion, then please consider making a small donation in honor of the Cow Mama's Family to help offset the costs related to their care. Saying Thank You to them is great, but during these tough times, saying it with a donation makes a big difference.

MacGruber!

What makes us fall in love with a cat? Is it the color of their fur? The length of their coat? Their purr? What is it that makes us go out of our way to make their life better? To want to protect them from harm? To see them slumbering peacefully on a soft bed-that is usually one they share with us?

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©2010 Bobby Stanford. Busted out of Henry Co.

This is MacGruber. He was rescued barely 24 hours ago from Henry County Care & Control. Even though he's twice the age of cats I can normally rescue, I didn't care. There's something about his playful expression, the way he holds himself, relaxed, at ease with the world, confident. He did not know he had little time left to live, he just knew he was living his life in a cage and well, that's just how things go.

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©2010 Bobby Stanford. Mr Chillaxin'

I'm partial to black and white, long haired cats. MacGruber is not that cat. Something about him spoke to me and that was it. I would go to the moon for him. I don't know why. When I rescued him I didn't even know if he was friendly.

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©2010 Bobby Stanford. MacGruber loves his new friend.

I didn't have to worry about MacGruber's personality. Bobby picked up Mac from HCCAC, then drove him to East Lake, our Vet. He meowed along the way, but was not particularly stressed. Once he arrived, the staff took one look at him and just had to get their hands on him! With out hesitation, this boy was ready to be snuggled by strangers. He didn't care if they were long lost friends or a new acquaintance. He was ready for some LOVE.

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©2010 Bobby Stanford. How much love can one kitten take? A lot!

Bobby reported that MacGruber just wanted to snuggle with everyone. He was easy to handle. The Vet got a kick out of him. He didn't put up a fuss or make any trouble at all.

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©2010 Bobby Stanford. I love YOU more!

It seems, I'm not the only one who has a crush on MacGruber. He knew a life of love before he ever went near a Kill Shelter. Whoever gave him up must miss him dearly. He is pure in his love, somehow unscathed by what has befallen him.

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©2010 Bobby Stanford. Nice heart and lung sounds. Oh..and nice kitten.

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©2010 Bobby Stanford. CHEEZ WHIZ! Or...sneaky way to deliver a pill?

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©2010 Bobby Stanford. Mac makes the rounds and impresses all the babes.

The vetting, completed, Bobby drove Mac to Bobbie's house where he'll be living for a few weeks until Izzy and Mark transport him to the northeast. Bobbie thought he was lovely and ever so friendly. Everyone who's met him has wanted to adopt him. There are jokes he'll never leave Georgia and find his home before then!

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©2010 Bobby Stanford. MacGruber with Bobbie. What a smile he has!

I hope that's not the case, because I have a big, gooey crush on MacGruber. Every time I look at a photo of him, I smile. He's a dear boy and I'm so grateful and delighted that I could save his life. With Bobby and Bobbie's (!) help, and a ride from Izzy and Mark and we'll be all set. Next stop, forever home!

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©2010 Bobbie Coker. Carpeting feels a lot better than sitting in cat litter.

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©2010 Bobbie Coker. A big smile and a big heart-now is the time to relax and enjoy life.

As we gather together with our families to give Thanks on the cusp of this holiday, there's one little orange cat, who gives thanks for his life and the chance for a VERY happy Holiday season to come.

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