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JERK!

Home, At Last

On a crystal clear afternoon last November, Buddy and Belle lost their home. They didn’t lose it due to a natural disaster like Hurricane Irma, but instead to a human crisis. Their dad, my former flame of decades ago, called me, begging to please take his cats. I have cancer he said. It was advanced liver cancer. He was probably not going to live much longer and would I take his cats?

I’ve been contacted many times by families who have lost a loved one, who don’t know what to do when a pet is left behind. Was this going to happen to my ex? How could I say no, but how could I say yes? It would be a terrible burden on my rescue.

His cats were 6 years old. It wouldn’t be a quick placement. I don’t have a shelter, so it’s not easy for people to just come and see them. They’d have to go through the adoption process just to meet the cats and with the competition of kittens available for adoption, the odds were slim Buddy and Belle would be adopted any time soon.

Belle waiting
©2016 Robin AF Olson. My first moments with Belle where I promised her it would be okay one day. She just had to trust me (and I had to hope I could really pull this off).

What was worse was their being in our foster network meant I’d have to say No to a lot of kittens who needed our help, because I’d lose that foster space to adult cats.

I wrote about my struggles and my anger about the situation in a 3-part post (links for them are at the end). I knew my ex was going to screw me one last time by dumping his cats on me, but I also knew that I’d say yes and take the cats for their sakes, not for his. He was prone to being a drama-queen back then and was still now. That sounds cruel, but it’s not, especially when you get the part of this story about what happened recently. Bear with me.

Poor Buddy. Poor Belle. It was clear they were in shock and stressed out when they arrived. They were in terrible condition, too. They were both overweight, had never had decent food, not even one bite of the worst canned food, ever. They ate the cheapest kibble, stored in a plastic jug that sat on the floor.

 

It cost my rescue $5000.00 in surgeries, medications and vet care to get them back on their feet. Meanwhile, our 16-yr old cat, Nicky was on his last legs. We couldn’t spend much time with him the week Buddy and Belle arrived. They had to be in surgery as soon as possible.

 

There was too much going on, but but I put my head down and plowed ahead. We quickly realized Nicky needed vet care, too. In fact, Nicky, Buddy and Belle were all at the vet on the same day. It was a nightmare to try to stay on top of which cat needed what treatment or procedure next.

Belle at the Vet first time 650
©2016 Robin AF Olson. Belle's first vet visit in her LIFE.

 

Sadly, Nicky never came home. We had to put him down that night after he’d had a grand mal seizure while on an IV at Dr. Larry’s. I felt like we had to sacrifice our last days with our precious boy to care for someone else’s cats. I was furious. This was not right. I sacrifice SO MUCH to do rescue yet it wasn't enough.

 

Nickys last day 600
©2016 Robin AF Olson. Ten months after this photo was taken, Sam and I still cannot talk about Nicky. The pain is too much.

Belle lost half of her teeth. Buddy had a bladder full of painful crystals and a suspicious cyst (Dr Larry biopsied it and it came back benign). Buddy was withdrawn for months. Belle, began to slowly flower, but I could tell she was depressed living in my blue bathroom.

Buddy Stones 650
©2016 Robin AF Olson. What cheap kibble does to the inside of a cat's bladder.

 

It took three MONTHS for me to get Belle to eat canned food and get her off kibble.

Thankfully Buddy had a better appetite. Belle slimmed down and began to eat better for me. I realized I had a brand of canned cat food that was made up of small, round shapes, similar to her kibble. I offered her one tiny piece of canned food and she ate it. She recognized the shape and would eat the food if it was broken up into tiny bits. It took a long time, but eventually she began to eat more and more brands of canned food. I could stop worrying about her losing weight too quickly, but it wasn’t good enough.

 

 

They were lonely. Pitifully lonely. I couldn’t spend enough time with them and it wasn’t fair. Now that I had them eating consistently, I could move them into a better foster space.

 

Enter Jame and family.

Jame (pronounced: Jamie) and her daughters, Grace and Frances, are my go-to foster home for kittens and friendly cats. I love this family like my own. They’re so smart and capable and eager to learn about cats. They graciously agreed to take Buddy and Belle knowing they might be in their home for months. They gave up fostering kittens for the spring and summer. I was so very grateful that Buddy and Belle would have full run of a finished basement lined with a row of big, sunny windows. They could enjoy a lot more attention than I could provide. I hoped they’d be happy.

©2017 Robin AF Olson. .

 

I worried about Buddy and Belle feeling like they lost their home with me, but it wasn’t the right place for them. I worried they would stop eating (again) or just hide for weeks on end. It was a rough go for a time, but eventually they adjusted. Having the attention of this loving family made a big difference.

 

Meanwhile, I kept trying to find them a forever home to no avail.

No one wanted adult cats, even though I lightheartedly described them as 72-month old kittens on their adoption listings.

Ten months later, my rescue, Kitten Associates, took part in the national event called Clear the Shelters (more on that another time). Part of the festivities included an adoption event at BMW of Watertown (thank you guys!). I was to bring all of our 14 foster kittens for the general public to meet and hopefully adopt, but I knew Buddy and Belle couldn’t take the stress so they remained at Jame’s house.

Final butt sniff R Olson
©2017 Robin AF Olson. Belle making sure Buddy is still Buddy.

At the last minute I decided to design and have printed two huge posters, one for each cat. There wasn’t much text on the banners, just portraits of the cats. I hoped I’d captured their essence in my images. They were goofy, loving, playful and so filled with love. They were gentle cats and had been with kids thanks to Jame. I just needed someone to believe in them and realize that kittens aren’t always the best option to adopt.

Buddy and Belle Posters copy

While we were setting up the showroom for the event, Kathleen and her son, Jace came over to me. She told me about their cat Morgan and how he’d recently died. How Jace, at only 3 ½ years old, could not truly process death. His understanding was to relate it to cars. When the car got old it went to be recycled and would come back as a new car. I asked him what he would call his new cat and he answered quickly, “Morgan, of course.” ...once it was done being recycled.

©2017 Robin AF Olson.

Normally I don’t consider it safe to adopt kittens into a home with such a young child, but Jace had already grown up with Morgan. He told me he missed his cat and was so sad. I also knew that Buddy and Belle had once lived with a little girl. Since they’re adults it was worth a try to place Buddy and Belle if Kathleen would consider adopting two slightly used cats.

 

I told Kathleen Buddy and Belle’s story. She teared up. She didn’t want kittens, especially after she heard their story. This woman is so sweet and compassionate, she completely understood their plight. Buddy and Belle’s home was long gone. They needed the love and support of a new family-one that would stick with them no matter what. Kathleen wanted to be that family if it was a good fit.

 

I was hopeful, but not sure if it would be a match. I moved forward with the adoption process and they passed with flying colors. Over a week ago Kathleen, her husband Jay and son, Jace met Buddy and Belle. I was worried the cats would run and hide with so many people wanting to interact with them.

As Jame, her daughters, and I looked on, Kathleen cautiously held her hand out towards Belle, who took a careful sniff, then leaned in to be petted. At that moment, I saw the look on Kathleen’s face. She lit up with pure joy. It made my gut hitch. She loved this cat. I could tell in that first moment, but I said nothing, afraid I might push too soon.


©2017 Robin AF Olson. The first moment Kathleen met Belle was magic.

Buddy and Belle took turns being a bit shy, then playing with Jace (which made him giggle with glee) or sitting to be petted by the family. Jame’s daughter Frances and I kept exchanging glances, our eyes wide. Without a word I knew what she was thinking.

This is it. This is the family, isn’t it?

Was it too much to wish for?

 

We had our answer barely an hour later. Kathleen shocked me by asking me if I thought it would be ok for them to make Buddy and Belle part of their family. They asked ME for my blessing? ME? Are you kidding? This was a love match if I ever saw one, so of course I said YES!

 

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©2017 Robin AF Olson. Buddy and Belle with their new family.

Then Frances turned to me, stunned; “You mean they’re getting adopted now? As in RIGHT NOW?” I nodded somberly, yes, suddenly realizing the girls hadn’t had a chance to say goodbye to their foster friends.

I invited the family upstairs to the kitchen to do the adoption paperwork while Jame and family had time to say their goodbyes.

I didn’t want to get excited. I was scared the cats would be returned right away. I warned the family that Buddy might shut down and to give him a lot of time to adjust. He might hide a lot and to leave his cat carrier out because he liked to de-stress inside it. They promised they would go slow and were so gracious and thankful to both Jame and her family and to me for taking them on. I asked her to update me if she would be so kind. We gave them Belle’s bed, Buddy’s hidey-cat-carrier, toys, food and even their old litter pan so they’d have familiar scents in their new home.

 

With the cats safely in a big carrier, we brought them outside, as a gentle rain fell from gray skies. A wave of sadness hit me. After the resentment and anger from all those months ago faded away, I realized I loved these cats as my own. They completely charmed me, but I would probably never see them again. I could only hope that I’d get updates from time to time. It was tough not to cry. They’d had a rough journey, but now they could finally relax for the first time in nearly a year.

 

The next day I got a promising update.

Buddy and Belle were home. Really home. They didn’t have to adjust to living with Kathleen at all. They took a nap on the sofa, Buddy choosing to snuggle next to his new dad. He didn’t hide at all.

Belle climbed up on the cat tree and looked out the window. They were already eating and using their litter pan.

Belle w jace.jpg
©2017 Robin AF Olson. Belle on her new cat tree with her new friend, Jace.

I was stunned. These cats had always been fearful, but clearly they were in the wrong homes. They were good homes, but not the right home. This was right. This was it.

 

They finally had what we all yearn for-a safe place to sleep, shelter from the storm of every day life and love.

 

In just over a week since the cats have been adopted, I’ve gotten a few updates. Each one is accompanied by photos of the cats looking completely relaxed and happy.

Kathleen wrote:

 

“Nearly first full week and we have learned that Buddy enjoys his nose being gently massaged. He also fetches and retrieves the krinkle balls.

 

Belle is just plain curious and silly. She loves investigating dresser drawers but is also well versed in creating her own shenanigans. She is pretty content so long as one part of her body is touching someone....or she is playing, she's a happy girl.”

 

napping w dad.jpg
©2017 Robin AF Olson. Buddy fell asleep next to dad, Jay, within a few hours of arriving in his new home. I guess he knew he was finally home.

 

And as for my ex, well his latest Facebook post declares he’s cancer-free and already fishing again in Sheepshead Bay. In the nearly year since we’ve had his cats he never once asked me how they were doing. He never answered my emails telling him we could not afford the burden of the costs of his cat’s vet care. That was on me to solve by begging for donations. What a creep. He just wanted someone to dump his problems on and he knew I’d be a sucker. I wonder if he’s going to adopt cats again? I sure hope not.

 

I feel bitter and want to hold onto my anger, but in truth, I’m ready to wash my hands of having anything to do with him ever again. He doesn’t deserve such amazing cats, or my complete dedication to providing for them. I’m damn glad I got them away from him.

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©2017 Kitten Associates. B&B with mama. I'm betting they'll be good lap-warmers as the days grow colder.

Buddy would be dead by now without me stepping in, no joke. Belle’s mouth was so painful with broken teeth and teeth falling out of her mouth that it would have been horrific torture to stay with him. He cheated on me and was completely unrepentant all those years ago, yet as I write this I realize here’s more proof that I will do anything to help cats, even if it means dealing with someone who hurt me so badly.

But then I look at the photos of Buddy and Belle with Kathleen and her family and my anger turns into joy. Their life begins anew, filled with the promise and hope that this time, this family, is theirs forever.

Cute twosome vinci
©2016 Robin AF Olson. I will really miss these guys. Good luck and happy life!

Backstory: Of Cancer, Carbs and Cats: Return of the Ex. Part 1

http://coveredincathair.com/content/cancer-carbs-and-cats-emergencies-all-around-part-2-3

http://coveredincathair.com/content/cancer-carbs-and-cats-end-and-beginning-part-3-3

This Precious Life: We'll Never Really Know. Conclusion.

(Continued from Part 1)

I asked about the moms and she said yes to me getting them spayed, at least.

 

In the end, she adopted out 8 kittens that were not fixed and I doubt had any vetting of any kind. Who did she sell them to? What really happened with them? I do not know. The few times I asked I got a different answer. One answer was it was good homes to good families then it was to friends and to their own family members. I was livid. I knew if those kittens were alive, all of the rescues in CT just had 8 more intact cats to deal with. God knows how many more kittens they would have before they were vetted, IF they were even alive.

 

Chapstick at 2 weeksish
Chapstick/Miracle beating the odds.

I begged to help the moms get spayed and we finally were able to set up an appointment to get it done. I was so excited that we could get these cats vetted. Everything was going fine. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. I had found out they were moving to Georgia soon, so it was good this was getting done. An HOUR before the appointment I got a text…“sorry but Jon worries the moms will throw a clot on the trip down to GA because it’s so soon after we have to leave so we have to cancel.”

 

Once again I found myself in utter disbelief. What a crock of shit. Really? Instead of getting these cats vetted for free, they’re going to move them intact into the state that has a horrifically high kill rate in all the municipal shelters. Those cats, if they ever got lost or kept breeding had a very bad future ahead of them. I was at the end of my rope, not to mention I had to be rude and cancel on my Vet which hurts my relationship with him.

 

Photo 2
One of the other mama-cats.

Unwilling to give up, I took yet more time to send them info on low cost clinics in their new home state so they could get all the cats vetted once they got there. They always assured me that the cats would be taken care of and it would be fine, but I just felt placated.

The final straw was this week.[editor's note: this was over a year ago] I thought they were long gone but they were still here, living in a hotel. Now they wanted help getting their two moms (the ones I’d offered to get spayed) a new home, along with the male who I’d had neutered. They were moving in a few DAYS and couldn’t keep all the cats. Could I help?

Belly Happy R Olson
Tiny tummy.

I should have said no, but I wanted to help the cats so I said I would try. I begged a BIG favor from a dear friend who does rescued and she offered to take them, but…she asked after Miracle. What about her? Of course, she needed to be spayed, too. I told her she would have to make the deal with the couple. That I would go get them, I would help vet them, whatever I could do, but in the end if she was taking the cats she would have to make the arrangements.

 

She talked to them a few times each time getting a different story. I didn’t even know they’d kept a male kitten from one of the litters so they had a male and female kitten who were intact. When she told them she’d take ALL the cats and get them vetted, then give them back the kittens they balked. First, they suddenly changed their minds that the fixed male could stay with them and that they only wanted the two females to be re-homed. They wouldn’t answer certain questions. It was Wednesday, they were moving on MONDAY. We had to RUSH to get every cat vetted. Then all of a sudden they wouldn’t answer Katherine’s texts asking them when we could come get the cats.

 

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Miracle with one of her stepmoms.

Clearly they did not want to give up the kittens, but it was okay to give up the young adults that had just had litters of kittens. Why? Was it because the new “adam and eve” kittens were going to be bred next? Had I unearthed a backyard breeder? I can’t say. I can ask questions because things didn’t line up. It’s one thing to change your mind, but it’s another to change your story depending on who you’re talking to. I was furious.

I got up very early Thursday and called my vets. I again begged for an appointment to S/N the kittens. We could do the adults later. No one could help or if they did the costs were outrageous. I knew I had a litter of kittens coming up on a transport the following week. It runs back to Georgia so it would buy us time. All I had to do was get the kittens vetted, then we’d pay to transport them to Georgia and Christal could pick the kittens up when they were in their new place. It was crazy, but it was the best we could offer. My friend would take the adult moms and get them vetted and find them homes.

Opening Eyes
Looking more like a kitten than an alien.

Then yesterday…the final straw. Now they were leaving the next day (today) instead of Monday. And she tells me; “thank you for your help but we’ll just get vouchers” (her patented answer every time we challenged her about really getting her cats S/N. You can only get one per family in CT and she needed at least 4-again more BS. When they get to GA they will take care of it and to forget it but they will just keep all the cats—even the ones they asked us to re-home.

Sure they will.

 

So I blew my top. I went online to Facebook. Christal had unfriended me. All the photos she’d posted on my timeline of Miracle were gone. I did a search on her name and it came up empty. Why do this if they are so innocent? I searched for Jon. Same thing. Gone. I decided to let them have it. This is my final text message to them:

 

"Never in my life have I ever been so manipulated, lied to, used, taken advantage of. You’ve wasted SO MUCH of my time that could have gone to helping cats who really deserved help. Shame on you. I can’t believe you won’t get your cats S/N. Backyard breeders are the lowest of the low. There is no excuse. Let me be clear, I find what you do disgusting and reprehensible. Saying you will get a voucher or find a service is a lie. Everything you’ve said to us is a lie. I have news for you. You can’t make a buck off kittens in Georgia if that is even where you’re really going. All you’ve done is guarantee that poor chapstick will have a hellish life and the others will, too. We offered to help you, no matter what it cost us in time and resources and you just made up another excuse. This didn’t have to happen. All your cats could have been traveling healthy and not been able to reproduce ever again. Thank you for reminding me never to trust anyone or give them the benefit of the doubt. I’m sorry for the rescues in the state where you’re moving to next. All the rescues need to be warned about you as well as the DOA [note: Dept of Agriculture who oversees animal welfare issues] and if I can I WILL get the word out about what you’re doing. That’s not a waste of time in my book as you have been. Have a great move. Thank you for leaving Connecticut and all those intact kittens you sold to “good homes.” I’m sure we’ll be cleaning up that mess for years to come."

With his new mamas c peruzzi
Latched on.

She replied that she was sorry. That she would agree to get the cats spayed some day and they were NOT backyard breeders. That there were things going on she could not talk about-too embarrassing-that caused them to make the choices they did—that they wanted to keep all the kittens the mamas had, not just keep the 2 but it wasn’t feasible.

I didn’t write back. I don’t know what to think. It would be one thing if it was only me who felt uneasy with how this transpired but my friend was distrusting of them from the first moments they began to talk. She was very leery of the answers they gave her and how they kept changing their tune. I wasn’t being paranoid. I could trust my evaluation of the situation.

Because I don’t want to vilify anyone I will leave it up to you to decide what you think is wrong or right with this big mess. Maybe Miracle will be just fine. Maybe she will be vetted one of these days when this family gets back on their feet. Maybe we should be compassionate and help this family through a tough time and understand that this was all a bunch of unfortunate coincidences and because we don’t know the FULL story. We can’t judge.

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Eating on her own.

So. I’m not judging, but I DO feel like I’ve learned a lesson. In my friend Chris’s words this is a cautionary tale. There’s a point at which you have to walk away from a rescue situation. This time the cats are leaving the state and it’s out of my hands. If they were staying here I know I’d still want to find a way to help, but can’t if I can’t trust these people and their intentions.

That poor little kitten barely clinging to life in a cardboard box, then nursed to life truly is a miracle, but what happens next to her…I shudder to think.

As for myself-I’ve learned I have to insist on doing paperwork every time we let someone foster for us, help us, work with us. The logistics and emergency nature of Mira’s rescue made that impossible, but I am going to make sure this never happens again. At least if I’d had the forms signed, I would have had a right to get her back even though I doubt I would have been successful.

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Last photo of Miracle I got.

 

I hate to think that this is yet another situation that will cause my heart to turn against people. I’ve heard it so many times. People who do animal rescue despise humans. They despise the bullshit, the lies, the cruelty. I don’t want to be one of those rescuers, but I have to admit it’s not going to be easy to remain open and caring with the next person who calls.

 

The Sad Truth about Bongo

If we didn't have the power of imagination just think about what a dull world it would be. We'd probably all still be living in a cave, wearing animal hides. There are times, though when I wish I didn't have the ability to imagine, especially when it comes to thinking about our latest rescue, Bongo.

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X-ray of Bongo's damaged leg.

In the week we've had Bongo, I've only heard good things about him. The first few days made me sad when I heard he stayed in his litter pan, comforted by his own scent-something common to cats who are confined in cages at animal shelters. In time, Bongo realized he was safe and loved and began to spend his days relaxing on a soft bed or playing with toys. He walked holding his right front leg off the ground. It doesn't seem to function properly. You can see a video of it HERE.

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If you compare the front legs, you can tell one has good muscle mass and one does not.

Yesterday Bongo met with Dr. Alan Cross, a noted Orthopedic surgeon. Dr. Cross reviewed Bongo's x-rays and did a careful and thorough examination.

He felt that Bongo had severe nerve damage and muscle wasting in his leg from a trauma of some kind. Most likely from someone grabbing his leg and twisting it backward. It wasn't enough force to break the shoulder, but it was enough to destroy the nerves.

It could NOT have been from being hit by a car. Bongo's leg had to be grabbed and twisted by force.

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Muscle wasting.

I tried not to imagine who did this to him or why. I tried not to imagine that this person is still doing this to other cats. I did allow myself to imagine what I'd do to the person if I ever could find out who did this to such a sweet and innocent creature.

Bongo Day One B.jpg
©2012 Maria S. Sweet Bongo.

Dr. Cross felt the best solution in this situation would be to amputate Bongo's leg. It's only in his way and over time it will become more and more of a hinderance. Bongo has NO sensation in his paws, which we originally thought he had. I've never had to make this choice for an animal and I'm not overjoyed it has come to pass. For Bongo, I will do whatever it takes to help him live the most comfortable life possible.

If there was any way we could save his leg, it would be done. I know Bongo won't mourn the loss of his leg as we will because we can imagine what life he could have had, but perhaps we can begin to imagine a new life, on three legs, that can be just as full of love and joy as it would have been on four.

Foster Mama FAIL!

For the kitten's fourth week birthday I decided to be an idiot and scare the crap out of them! Hurrah! I'm learning oh so much about fostering kittens; what to do, not do. Today's lesson is: “DO NOT DO THIS.”

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Wondering what the heck is going on.

The other day I downloaded some iPhone apps that had to do with cats. Some are educational/ reference material about what is toxic to cats or cat health and others are silly and have to do with painting using photos of cats or adding weird things to existing photos of cats (like laser beam eyes). I also got this app called Cat Sounds. It was FREE. It has all of FOUR (free) cat sounds on it, plus some wild cat sounds. Last night I played a few of the sounds and my cats almost slept through them. One sat up and looked around.


©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Drama! Intrigue! Hilarity!

This morning, after playing with the kittens and shooting some video, as a MORONIC ACT I decided to (FAIL!) play the sounds. One sound was of a purring cat and another was was titled: “Happy Cat.” April was sitting next to me on the floor. She heard the sounds and looked around, but was basically bored.

I played the Happy sound again. I think it was a cat in heat. The energy in the room shifted. It got quiet. I looked into the bathtub and the kittens had formed a group and were huddled together-TERRIFIED!

 

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Foster mom's blunder; scaring cats into nice photo op (by accident).

Of course, instead of soothing them, I shot a video. Classy move on my part, I know. Fortunately the kittens don't appear to be adversely effected, but one of them is still giving me a funny look ever time I enter the room to check in on them.

Watch the video! It will explain it in a more entertaining way.

Over and out.

Happy 1st Birthday, DOOD!

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson.

It's time to celebrate, kick back, steam some broccoli and enjoy the fact that the DOOD is part of our lives. He's come a long way-from being an abused four month old kitten who only knew how to attack or chase humans, instead of love them (and who could blame him after being kicked and taunted by the kid in the home he was living in?).

Even before I realized any of his social issues, I had a bad scare last July, right after I rescued Doodlebug. He tested positive for Feline Leukemia. The next two months ticked by so slowly. DOOD had to be confined to the bathroom until he could be re-tested and two tests confirmed he did NOT HAVE FELINE LEUKEMIA! During those months I worked with him, teaching him that hands were not toys or weapons and that he could have fun and feel safe around me. It took many months to get him to overcome his tendency to attack, but eventually he began to relax and not be so aggressive.


©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. My Broccoli: Happy Birthday. Starring me singing (eek)!

Today, the DOOD only jumps in my lap, instead of attacking me. He gives me microdermabrasion treatments to my face with his enthusiastic licking, and likes to lie upside down in the crook of my arm when it's time to go to sleep. He often reaches out his front paws and rests them on my cheek. Some times he does it when I'm asleep. It always makes me laugh. He's never extended his claws-ever. He seems to like to touch his paws to my skin. In fact, I checked to make sure I didn't miss that he was declawed he's so careful with me.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. the DOOD this morning

the DOOD has blossomed in more ways than one. He weighs 14 pounds, 3 ounces! He runs like a drunk rabbit. He “hog piles” onto Blitzen, then attack-licks him. He climbs into the kitchen sink and he chases after the other cats for pure sport. He's not perfect in every way, but my he's my perfect little brat.

 

Happy, Happy Birthday DOOD. Now go, eat your birthday broccoli.

 

Lessons Learned and a Guilty Confession

The more I work and live with cats, the more I realize how little I know. After years of fostering and having a house full of cats, you'd think I'd be an expert, but today I learned yet another valuable lesson.

At the beginning of my rescue career, I volunteered with a rescue group in southern Connecticut. I did some design work for their events and eventually began to naively foster cats, as well. After all these years, I have no interest in bashing how they do what they do, but I can say that it was very tough to get my foster cats adopted once they came to my home. Now that I have to approve applications for my group, Kitten Associates, I realize how difficult it is to find just the right adopter...but I also don't let my cats languish in foster care for YEARS, which was a common occurrence back in those days.

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©2003 Robin A.F Olson. Gracie with Annabelle, Scooter Pie and Petunia.

My first foster cat was Spencer and he's our CiCH Mascot . When he joined the family, I only had two cats and one had just passed away. On Christmas of 2003 Spencer's adoption was formalized. It was a meaningful adoption because not only did I help rescue this cat, but now he would be mine for the rest of his life.

The next cats I fostered were an abused mama cat and her three newborn kittens. Two of the kittens were confident, playful, easy to love. They got adopted together, but their sister, didn't show well and would run off and hide. I didn't understand at the time that I should have shown her in a small room where she couldn't hide. She was perfectly friendly with me, but in a big room with loud people talking away, no wonder she ran off.

Since applications weren't coming in and I was still quite the sucker for taking in cats, I said I'd just keep her. What the heck. Her Mother wasn't getting any interest because she was an adult already, so I kept her, too. I felt like I didn't have any other options at the time. Their adoption wasn't very meaningful.

Those cats are Gracie and Petunia.

I don't often write about Petunia. She's 8 1/2 years old now and I'm reluctant to admit, is not my favorite cat. She pees around the house some times. She's neurotic. She gets attacked by Spencer, Blitzen and now, even the DOOD. I've taken her to the Vet MANY times; dealt with any health issues as they come up. I spoke with a cat behaviorist. I tried homeopathy. I changed things around in the house so Petunia would have a place where she could feel safe, but I was always bitter about all the fuss I had to make over her when all she did was flip out over the littlest thing, drool on me if I petted her and sneak attack some of the cats while they slept (because they attacked her when she was awake).

Over the years I've come to resent her being here. She just causes trouble. I HATE that I have to admit this and I feel very guilty. I never should have kept her. I didn't have that bond I had with her siblings or her mother. I felt like I got stuck with her and I've been trying to make the best of it ever since.

Even though it was right in front of me, I couldn't see the good things about her; the way she would “talk” to me if I talked to her. she could do some tricks, she loved to play if she could be on her own to do so, she really loved me, but I was indifferent. How cruel I have been.

I considered re-homing her. She wasn't happy here. We weren't happy she was here, but her mother, Gracie, has to be with her. They are far too bonded for me to separate them now. Gracie is skittish and has health issues. Who would want these two cats?

So Sam and I made an concerted effort to be kinder to Petunia and she did respond, but the same group of male cats kept going after her! We would yell, try to break it up, but every night this would go on and the stress on ALL of us was not good.

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©2008 Robin A.F Olson. The girls.

Then I met up with a friend of mine who is also a cat writer. Her name is Wendy Christensen and she's the author of MANY books about cats. She's also an artist and jewelry designer. Her ETSY page is HERE and HERE are illustrations and some of her books.

Wendy told me that she had a similar problem-male cats going after her female. She took her cats to the vet. The vet couldn't find anything wrong. He kept thinking about this seemingly mysterious problem, some might call it Pariah cat, where one cat seemingly for no reason gets picked on by the other cats in the home. After all I've read on the subject, my short comment about that is I'm not sure it's a fair description or even that it exists at all (more on why another time).

He called Wendy and asked her to bring her female cat in to have its' anal glands expressed. He had a theory that if the glands were very full that the cat might give off an offensive odor that made the male cats react to.

Sure enough-the cats glands were full up. He expressed them and the cat stopped getting attacked!

Once I heard that, I knew I had to try it. Now, remember, Petunia is NOT easy to handle. She overreacts to getting her claws trimmed. It would not be easy to get her to the Vet, but it had to be done.

This morning I took 'Tunie to see Dr. Larry. Because I know that a small, dark place helps cats feel safe, I kept Petunia in a covered cat carrier and tried to keep her very quiet until it was exam time.

Dr. Larry and I discussed what was going on. He agreed that anal glands could give off scent that the males went after. He also confirmed something else I'd heard-that cats with urinary tract infections/issues can also emit an odor that other cats can smell. Petunia has had UTI issues, but was currently clear of them. I had to hope, which sounds weird, that her anal glands were full up.

I asked Dr. Larry if we could turn off the overhead lights, then keep Petunia covered during his exam. By the dim light from under the cabinets, Vet tech Amber held Petunia's scruff and Dr. Larry went to work at the other end.

We all kept quiet or just told Petunia it was “okay” and that she was a “good girl.” 'She was fairly relaxed until Dr Larry hit the right anal gland. Petunia started to writhe and screech. I asked Dr. Larry if he could take a break and he replied that once you start, you have to finish. He worked quickly. I couldn't see if he was expressing anything or not. If it did smell badly-which it should, I wouldn't have known. The day before a dog had come into the clinic. He was bitten by a SKUNK and BLASTED by the same! The whole clinic smelled like skunk a day later.

In a few minutes, the procedure was done. Petunia relaxed and Amber and I both petted her and told her she was such a good girl! She reacted so well. Normally she would have been climbing the wals, but this time she was calm. I realized that how I treat her definitely affected how she responded at the Vet. Keeping the lights low; keeping things quiet-that really did wonders.

I couldn't wait to hear the results. Did she or didn't she?

One of Petunia's two anal glands was VERY FULL, but the other was “HUGE.”

Dr. Larry described that normally expressing the anal glands results in a watery brownish discharge. Petunia's was black, thick and tarry-and very difficult to express. It's VERY LIKELY that Petunia has been in quite a bit of pain for a VERY LONG TIME.

On one hand I was thrilled at the news, but on the other hand I felt very guilty and ashamed. My poor cat-all this time I've been thinking she's a royal nuisance and I wished I could just re-home her. I was tired of all the fights and her screaming in the middle of the night. Maybe a lot of what was going on had to do with the fact that she was in PAIN and that she smelled bad to the male cats.

I took the back road home, driving slowly along the river. The sun was brightly shining and I pulled the cover off Petunia's cat carrier and glanced over at her. She didn't make a sound. She rubbed against my finger when I pushed it through an opening on the side of the cat carrier. I told her again what a good girl she was and for the first time in a long time, I believed what I was saying. I felt real affection for her and real hope, too, that maybe, just maybe she was on the road to a better life.

When we got home, instead of running off in a frenzy, she jumped on the sofa and laid down in the sun. I checked on her a few hours later. She was still there. Normally, if she saw me, she'd sit up on alert, ready to run off. This time I could see contentment in her eyes. She was relaxed and happy. I reached out to pet her and she rubbed her head on my hand, again, instead of running off.

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©2011 Robin A.F Olson. Petunia this afternoon.

I sat on the loveseat a few feet away from her. I saw Blitzen come over to her. Normally he'd sniff at her, then do this strange sort of dance where he'd rub his head against the leg of the table, then in a few moments, charge Petunia and corner her somewhere. This time he just sniffed at the air, then seemed to change his mind. He walked away.

I don't know if we've solved the problem. It's way too early to tell and I don't know if the cats are so used to going after Petunia that they'll still do it or if she has other issues we haven't yet discovered.

What I do know is I love my cat and I'm so very sorry. I'm sorry for her pain and her unhappiness. I've always felt she deserved a better home and maybe now she'll have one here.

Cavalcade of Cute Arrives

Okay. I have 20 cats in my house. That's a lot of cats. It doesn't seem that bad because over half of them are split into two separate rooms. At least I don't have to share my queen sized bed with all of them.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Ruby or Max, not sure which one, but this kitty is VERY SWEET, regardless of the name.

A few days ago I got a call from my BFF's at AID. Once in awhile something happens-a cat gets an upper respiratory and all HELL breaks loose. In a shelter, they'll euthanize sick animals to keep the others from getting sick, too. AID doesn't do this-EVER, but what do they do if they have a kitty with a runny nose and it spreads to other foster cats? We all only have so much room for foster cats, after all.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Beardy. Beardy? Is that a name? For reals?

I had the same thing happen to me almost two years ago when I rescued the now notorious “Santa's Team.” Of the nine cats that came off transport, ALL OF THEM were VERY SICK. A few almost died. My cats got sick, too. Then some of the fosters broke with ringworm on top of it. It was during Christmas and New Year's. I was having a nervous breakdown between vet runs every other day, the fear I'd lose a kitten and the constant care they all required--and all the extra crap that goes on during the HOLIDAYS!! The Director of the group I was with basically watched me crash and burn, saying if she didn't get a break from fostering cats SHE was going to have a nervous breakdown, too. Of course this is after she spent a few months not fostering any cats. I later learned she was just getting back at me for daring to want to make changes to her rescue group by rescuing cats right through the winter, instead of closing down for a few months. I was happy to put in the work. She just had to pay for vet care. I did everything else, but the one time I really needed help, she turned her back on me.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Conference cube meeting in session. DND.

I was very lucky all the cats survived. I couldn't have managed if Sam hadn't helped me. I was angry, I cried and flipped out. It was NOT the way to learn how to care for cats with URIs. I could have handled it better than I did, but I didn't know what I was doing. It's one of those things where you have to go through it and on the other side, you've learned and can handle it better when it happens again. Was the Director doing me a favor letting me struggle so much? No. She hung me out to dry. She said "you're on your own" when I asked if I could rescue those cats, but I took it to mean, I would care for them and get them adopted, but heck, if they were near DEATH, certainly that voided any agreement we had? Guess not.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Beardy likes Auntie Ingrid's present!

So when another rescue group was in a similar jam, I didn't turn my back on them. Doing cat rescue is not about playing games or being passive aggressive to make a point. It's about the CATS. That's why I started Kitten Associates, so we could truly be about the cats and that's it.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Spot. Where is the spot this cat is named after?

On Saturday afternoon, Connie arrived with a giant cat carrier with little bitty kittens in it. They're already 8 weeks old but they seem tiny compared to Amberly's kittens. They're sweet little love muffins. I didn't expect it to be such a pleasure to have 5 more cats in the house. They're in the DOOD's old bathroom and get to use his nifty cat tree. (thanks to our friend, Amy for donating it!) The energy level in that room is amazing. I sat with them, taking photos, while they played around my feet. EVERYTHING in the room had the potential to be a toy. What a great mantra that would be for how we live our life-to look at everything and see the joy in it.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Ruby, BB and Max.

I'm not sure of the names of these babies. From some reference photos I was sent I think they are BB, Beardy, Spot, Ruby and Max.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson.

There's not much more to say about them, other than it's nice to have them here and I hope they'll all find their forever homes soon. Until then I've reached my intake limit on cats!

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Wave to your new friends!

I hope...

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson.

Enjoy the photos!

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Watching the washing!

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Oh Spot, you're sooo cute!

Not on My Watch: Fed Almost to Death, Two Siamese Cats Need Rescue!

Is it a meatloaf with ears or a cat? It's almost impossible to believe the answer.

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©2011 Betsy Merchant. WHAT????

This brother and sister, chocolate siamese, DECLAWED, pair were dumped at Henry County Care & Control in McDonough, Georgia and declared they were found as strays, but what stray cat WEIGHS 29 POUNDS?!!!

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©2011 Betsy Merchant. They ARE kitties after all!

They're both terrified and miserable.

The girl has scald marks on her abdomen from being trapped in a cage full of her own urine.

These cats were probably “free fed” a big bowl of dry food by some UNCONSCIOUS person who could NOT HAVE NOTICED their cats were SO FAT that both probably are diabetic and have joint problems, to say the least.

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©2011 Betsy Merchant. This poor girl. How long was she sitting in her own urine??? What was done to her??

These poor creatures have little chance of getting out alive. They're full up at HCCAC and they're euthanizing cats daily. I want to get them OUT of there, put them on GOOD food, NOT a DIET. Get them to start the road to wellness and feeling better. I'm looking for a local foster home in the southeast of Atlanta to foster them until the end of September when I hope to be able to bring them up here to find their forever home.

OR...

DOES ANYONE KNOW OF A SIAMESE RESCUE GROUP WHO WOULD TAKE THIS COUPLE INTO THEIR RESCUE??? We've GOT to find a way OUT for these chubby babies! Anyone know of a good foster home southeast of Atlanta or anyone who might want to adopt these two?

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©2011 Betsy Merchant.

This is information (below) from Betsy at Henry County about the location for these cats and contact information. If you want my help with anything or have questions just contact me and I'll do what I can!

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**Please Note; When forwarding, cross posting, 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

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Please cross post and share so this cat CAN find his forever home! We've done it before, let's do it again! Let's WIN one for a kitty-in-need before his time is up and don't forget-there are LOTS of other cats at Henry Co. who would love a home, so check out their website to see a listing of available cats and kittens! THANK YOU!

Making Sense of the Senseless

I think it's almost a given, that when something bad happens, we try to make sense of it. Give it a reason for being, so we can learn to accept it. Then there are times when it's just so bad, there is no sense to be made.

Yesterday afternoon, I called my Vet to see if Doodlebug was ready to be picked up. I had dropped him off that morning and he just needed some tests, a shot and a wellness exam. If you're going to do cat rescue, you must NEVER bring a cat into your home without it going to the Vet, FIRST. Considering all the creeping crud out there, you can't be too careful.

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©2011 Robin A. F. Olson. What did you find out about me?

Doodle looked great, perky, nice weight. I didn't worry that anything was wrong with him, but when it took 6 minutes of being on hold to just find out a pickup time, I knew something was up. Instead of one of the Vet techs picking up the phone, it was Dr. Larry. His voice had a serious tone. Normally we would joke around, but not this time.

He didn't mince words.

Doodlebug tested POSITIVE for Feline Leukemia.

WHAT??!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME??!!

I felt lightheaded, like I was going to faint. I tried to muster up the courage to ask him what this means. When I was a kid, two of our family's cats died from it. Dr. Larry said what I had heard from other folks who do rescue, that although it is a “strong positive,” that there is a CHANCE that in time, Doodle's immune system may kick in and he will re-test, negative. This result means he was EXPOSED to the virus, not necessarily that he HAS it. It's called, Primary Viremia. You can read more about it on Cornell's excellent resource guide for Feline Leukemia If so, there are no more concerns for this cat's future. If he re-tests positive, you have to wait and re-test again. All in all, I may have to wait for up to SIX MONTHS to really be sure one way or the other.

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©2011 Robin A. F. Olson. Doodle REALLY loves to PLAY!

But Feline Leukemia is very contagious and fatal and I have an FIV+ cat with cancer and eight other cats in my house. What am I supposed to do now?

Do I have to EUTHANIZE Doodlebug? I could barely ask the question. I had to sit down. My legs went wobbly. I was in shock. I didn't want to know the answer.

I can barely even type that word: euthanize. The thought of me KILLING a KITTEN, when my life is devoted to SAVING their lives,? It's absurd! I would NEVER do that! How could I do such a thing? But what about my own cats? Does bringing Doodle into my home, mean a DEATH SENTENCE FOR MY OWN CATS?

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©2011 Robin A. F. Olson. Doodle has a black band around his belly. Ooo. I want to smoosh-face into it!

We talked about isolation. Re-testing. Doodle does NOT have to be euthanized today, but it may have to happen at some point. IF he was at a shelter, guess what, he would be dead. I get it. This is not something you want around a lot of other cats.

But I was VERY WORRIED about bringing him into my home. I wished I had a separate building to bring my fosters now, more than ever, but I was stuck. At least I HAD a room to put him in that was isolated from the rest of the house.

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©2011 Robin A. F. Olson. Stuck on You.

I had figured Doodle would be in the blue bathroom (as we call it), for a few weeks, then I'd let him meet my cats and he could run around and have a good time until he got adopted. Now I may have lost that space for fosters until 2012!

I could make SURE Doodle was locked up, change clothes after I handle him and wash my hands well after each visit, too. If I could keep my own cats away, the Feline Leukemia virus does not live for more than a few hours in the environment, so as long as there are no shared dishes, litterpans or contact, it increases the odds my cats will be all right.

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©2011 Robin A. F. Olson. Invisible cat ladder.

But what about this little 4 month old kitten?

He will be ALONE in that bathroom for a very long time.

I hung up the phone and called out to Sam. I told him the news and I could see his shoulders slump as he processed the information. He had a crush on this little kitten, too. I could see it broke his heart. We spoke about our options, about what this might mean for our own cats and for Doodlebug. I started to cry, but I was late for a meeting and I had to figure out how to not be sad, be businesslike and deal with this later. I asked Sam what we should do. We had few options. Sam said; "We don't give up on him. That's what we do. I will go get him and bring him home.”

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©2011 Robin A. F. Olson. ?

So now what I thought was going to be an easy rescue, has become much more complex. What I thought I could afford has become a challenge. The bathroom where Doodle will live is small and has a small window. I would like to buy Doodle a cat tree so he can sit up high and look out the window, as well as have a place to climb and a way to de-stress because it will have nice, tall sisal legs to scratch.

Doodle will also need more tests, a second, and possibly third ELISA (snap-test/ enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) and first and possibly second IFA (indirect immunofluorescent antibody assay). I'm going to start fundraiser for him for his medical needs and to purchase a small cat tree.

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©2011 Robin A. F. Olson. Yes, I have a zero-gravity bathroom.

I contacted Doodle's former owner and told him he must contact the person he got the kitten from and let them know the news and to get that cat tested for Feline Leukemia. I also told him that if he had Doodle around other cats, that those cats needed to be tested, too. I would have LIKED to tell him that I also would have appreciated it if he warned me that Doodle was trained to use a human's hand as a TOY and that he will haul off and bite and grab your arm or leg-a behavior I will be working to correct.

I didn't hear back from him. I'm not surprised. Doodle was on the road to becoming a very unpleasant cat to live with. You wouldn't be able to pet him without him getting excited and biting. When he weighs four pounds, it's one thing, but when he grows up, it won't be a lot of fun to have him around. I would bet money that this was the real reason they got rid of him-not that their kid was allergic, but that the kitten was growing too aggressive from how they mis-handled him.

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©2011 Robin A. F. Olson. Doodle let's us all know not to take anything too seriously.

All in all, I'd have to say that my first CT cat rescue under the Kitten Associates moniker was about as bad as it could be. I have to think that in trying to make sense of this, I had to save Doodle, so I can help him be a good kitty-citizen, learn to be gentle and give him all the tools to have every chance at being healthy and living a good life.

For the record, if there is one someone's keeping out there, I will never put Doodle down.

If he IS Feline Leukemia positive, then I will search the Earth until I find someone who will adopt him.

Please help us purchase a cat tree for Doodle and be able to continue to re-test him for Feline Leukemia for the next few months! You can use the ChipIn widget below or you can also mail a check to: Kitten Associates, Inc., P.O. Box 354, Newtown, CT 06470-0354. Put “Doodle” on the check so we know where the funds should be spent. Your donation IS tax deductible. Thank you!

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©2011 Robin A. F. Olson. DoodleBug: Thief of Hearts.

I'll Have A Side Order of Rescue with my Rescue, Please

I'm in trouble. A lot of trouble!

I get emails and calls every day about cats needing a new home. Their owners give them up because they are suddenly allergic to them, or they're moving and their new landlord doesn't allow cats (so why MOVE THERE?!) or they've fallen on tough times or they just found the cat on the street. Whatever the reason, they're out there. So many there's no way I could even make much of a dent by saving one cat, but heck, it makes a difference to that cat.

I admit it. I was missing MacGruber and Polly. The house is silent without them running around. Okay, I don't yell much any more either, since the two of them were pretty good at getting into trouble, but I MISS it, you know? Also, my own cat, Blitzen is very sluggish and sad. He has no one even close to his age to play with and he just follows me around the house now.

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©2011 Wei H. Photo from Craigslist Ad.

So I felt weak. I got an email from our local rescue group mailing list. It was a copy of a Craigslist ad for a Free kitten, 2-3 months old. Litterbox traiend. That's it. No other info. Craigslist doesn't allow postings like this so they aren't up for very long-which means, the contact info of the person who wrote the ad, is not valid for more than a day or so. The rescuers try to intercept these ads and get those animals help because the people giving the cats away are giving them away, unvetted, not spayed or neutered!!!, and to just ANYONE, so those cats could be harmed or worse.

Many times these cats are kicked outside to fend for themselves if the ad doesn't work. So, I replied to the ad. Did they need help with the kitten? A few days passed. I got an answer. YES, they needed help.

Oh dear, now I actually have to do something! Okay...my foster room is booked. Phil will be here from Georgia on Saturday. My only other space is my bathroom. I guess that will have to do. If this cat isn't as advertised or is nasty, I might have him here for a long time. It's very tough to take on something without having any idea of the outcome. You're responsible for a LIFE. YOU have to choose, if this cat can be adopted and what the heck to do if it's a mess!

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Cutie!

In a month, I'll have Amberly's family here, then The Angel Babies, so this little kitten BETTER be adoptable and I better be able to get him neutered in time-knowing that the S/N Clinic near us always books out this time of year-at least a month. Oh boy...well...It's a risk worth taking, I think.

Then there was the family...I have to say dealing with them did not go smoothly at all. First, they blew us off after we went to all the trouble to make a vet appointment, get the room ready, and get ourselves in the car to meet them, then they say they can't be there for 2 more hours! So we re-scheduled and while we were on the road, anyway, we went to Target to buy a new litter pan for the kitten.

Then they didn't want to sign the Surrender form, which would protect us should they ever want the cat back and find we had already adopted him to another family. That was announced in an email I got at 1am this morning. They said NO, we will just not bring the cat if we have to sign the paper.

So bleary-eyed and half asleep I had to try to "nicely" tell him in my reply, not to worry. That it was a common thing to sign off on and that it was just so that WE were not sued if THEY didn't like where the cat went after they gave it to us. At 8 am he wrote me back saying; OK, thanks for explaining. See you at 9:35 AM.” Yes, 9:35 AM, not 9:30 or 10...hmmm...odd.

Sam and I were both sure we would never see the kitten.

We pulled into the Park & Ride off I-84 to wait for the owner, who I didn't know anything about other than he had an Asian name, to bring the kitten. A car was already there waiting even though we were 15 minutes early. There were two Asian ladies in the car, one waved at me. I waved back. Their windows were open. I thought it was strange. I didn't see a cat carrier. I got out of the car and said hello. Turns out they waved at the person in the car BEHIND us and did not have the kitten! Oops. I live in a pretty much “New England Yankee” sort of demographic area so what were the odds we'd see another group fitting the same heritage as the owner of the kitten?

At 9:30 AM, an SUV pulled up. Definitely our guy. He got out of the car and smiled, then went to get the kitten. They had closed him up inside a small, covered CAT LITTER PAN. It was clean, but really? No holes in it to breathe? Sam took the litter pan and got in the car to transfer the kitten into our cat carrier. The guy gave me the paperwork signed and I signed it, too. I asked if there was anything I should know about and he, in a round about way, said the kitten peed on soft things when they first got him. Did they give him a litter pan? I don't know. Then he said he used the litter pan, but was weird about telling me if the cat pees on soft fabric that's on the floor, like a rug or cat bed. May have a litterbox aversion issue. Other than that, he said the kitten was fine.

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©2011 Sam Moore. Meet DoodleBug!

He never told me the cat's name. He didn't give me any of the leftover food, if there was any. I asked him if they fed the cat. His mother said something in Chinese, not sure what, but he nodded at her and said the cat was fed breakfast. That was it. No remorse, no sadness, not even a goodbye to the kitty. No donation to provide for the cat's vet care, which I had asked for a few times. Oh well.

They left just a few minutes after they arrived. I got in the car and looked inside the cat carrier. That was it. I was “done.” What a sweet little face was looking at me from inside the carrier. When we got to Dr Larry's I took him out. He was purring. He was FLUFFY. He has a little white TIP on his stubby black fluffy tail! He didn't mind being held. His fur was very soft.

Sam almost whined at me. He wanted a turn holding the little guy! So we traded. He nibble at Sam's whiskers, then got a bit over excited so we put him back in the cat carrier. Lauren came out and we took the kitten out and put him on the countertop. He calmly explored this new place and I saw his butt. It was just the right amount of FLUFFY. He had that cute little butt-wiggle when he walked. Oh shit, I'm in trouble.

I think I'm in love.

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