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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! 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!

©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.

The Angel Babies

I know a lot of people who rescue cats and they often say to me that they think they're cat magnets because cats who need help, always seem to find them. My friend, Izzy, is one such person and recently she had to take quick action to save the lives of helpless neonatal kittens.

Izzy and her husband, Mark were helping bring in hay at the boarding farm where they keep their horses. While they were there she found out something that was was both heartbreaking and a true emergency.

At the boarding farm there was a tractor shed on the property. The owner found 5 newborn kittens without their mother. The owner figured the mama would come back, so she didn't worry about it. She checked on the kittens the next day, but no mama. For two days the kittens were left alone, not fed or kept warm. At less then a week old, without urgent care these kittens would perish.

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©2011 Isilwath. Izzy smartly used an insulated thermal bag to help keep the kittens warm. One of the MOST important things you need to provide to very young kittens is warmth.

She mentioned her find to her next door neighbor who said he'd shot and killed a white cat in his yard, worried she'd kill his ducklings. Without pity or concern, he ended her life, not realizing he may have also just ended the lives of five little kittens, as well.

The owner moved the kittens to her stable, hoping another feral mama would find them and care for the three boys and two little girls, but no help arrived...until Izzy got there.

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©2011 Isilwath. Some of the Angel Babies.

Now Izzy has a few, ah cats, dogs, horses...well more than you can count on your fingers and maybe toes, so Izzy knows how to care for animals, but she's got her hands full already. She didn't bat an eye, or try to get out of helping these babies. One look at them and she was smitten. Each delicate creature was snow white, but by some comedic genetic twist, all but one has at least one black dot on their head. It's as if a cosmic force anointed them, marking them as ones to be saved. Izzy knew she had to move quickly, so she took the kittens and got them home where she began the difficult task of trying to warm them up get them FED. Time was of the essence!

©2011 Isilwath. Jazz.

Izzy and her husband, Mark, also a dedicated animal rescuer, helped tend to the kittens. The phone rang. It was the owner of the farm. They found a sixth kitten. He, too, looked like the others, but was strangely about a week older. He was alone and crying. Mark drove back to get him. They weren't going to turn their backs on kittens in such dire circumstances. The kitten was sick and probably starved. They put him in with the others, hoping for the best.

©2011 Isilwath. Vash.

It was touch and go for a few long days. Izzy and Mark took turns feeding and helping the kittens void their bladder and bowels. At that age, the kittens can't even do that without help. It's a very difficult thing to do TIMES SIX. Every few hours the kittens were fed, cleaned, loved. Now was the time to pray and hope that they weren't too late, at least for some of them.

©2011 Isilwath. Princess.

It's been two weeks and the kittens have survived so far. Each day they live is a big success for Izzy and Mark. They decided it was ok to go ahead and name the kittens.

Their names are:

Justin - older kitten - two gray spots on his head
Shiro - all white female
Princess - white female with two very small gray spots on her head
Screamer - little male with a black spot on his head
Jazz - little male with a large gray spot on his head
Vash - little male with three gray spots on his head screamer-sm-a.jpg
©2011 Isilwath. Screamer.

©2011 Isilwath. Watch Izzy manage feeding six HUNGRY kittens!

They're squirming and crying and eating and doing all the things little kittens should do. Two of Izzy & Mark's own cats, have become surrogate mothers to the little ones, offering their own warmth and companionship, (though since they're spayed-no milk) that the kittens so desperately need. It's as if they knew, too, that these little angels needed them.

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©2011 Isilwath. Cee Cee with her foster babies.

But what happens next? Izzy and Mark don't live in a big metropolitan area full of potential adoptesr and don't have resources to home so many kittens. Well, that's where I stepped in. I told Izzy I had her back. I didn't want her to fear having six extra cats. Even though I'll have Amberly and her five kittens by then, I'll find a room for these angel babies. I'm just part of the team that's going to get them to their forever homes. We're trying to right a heartbreaking wrong and perhaps in getting these kittens strong and adopted into great homes, we're honoring the spirit of their Mother, who truly is an angel now.

©2011 Isilwath. Sophie, one of Izzy & Mark's cats, helps with motherly duties when it comes to giving Justin a bath.


Can you help provide a small donation so we can pay for the Angel babies vet care? Your donation is Tax Deductible as the money goes to my 501(c)3 Non-Profit cat rescue, Kitten Associates, Inc.

You can use the ChipIn widget, above or mail a check to:

Kitten Associates, Inc., P.O. Box 354, Newtown, CT 06470. (make check out to: Kitten Associates and note "Angel Babies" on your check)

The kittens will need shots, to be spayed or neutered and microchipped. It's about $85/cat to do it here in CT, so we're just asking for the basics. If you can help, great! If not, you can help by sharing this with your friends. THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

Not on My Watch: 24 HRS TO SAVE 15 YR OLD CAT-URGENT!




ID# 0850

BLOSSOM's owner brought her to animal control and paid a fee to have her euthanized instead of taking her to the vet's and paying for her to be treated for a urinary tract infection. Poor reward for her 15 years of gentle, faithful companionship!

If someone will take this beautiful Nebelung (German name for the long haired gray cat known as a "creature of the mist"), we have a sponsor who will pay to have her examined and treated by a vet.

Since her euthanasia fee was paid, she MUST have commitment by 3 PM Monday (Feb 28)!

Who makes up these moronic rules? Give the jerk a refund and don't put the cat down! This is a SERIOUS URGENT, please cross post and share!

If you can offer rescue or adoption for this cat, contact:

Pat Hopper - Douglas County Transporter

(cell) 404-725-0393

E-MAIL: pnh1918 (@) REMOVE SPACES AND PARENTHESIS FROM EMAIL ADDRESS BEFORE CONTACTING PAT. This was added to prevent spam bots from emailing Pat. If you're confused, just drop me an email.

Foster Cat Journal: Down, Then Out.

Cara's spirit is as big as the world. Her green eyes glint with mischief. As I hold her, a deep purr kicks in, celebrating the simple joy of being alive. Her chest rises, quickly falls, then rises again. When her breath leaves her, I can see her ribs. When I pet her back, I can feel her spine. She is so small and underweight, yet her drive to live is so strong, so vital, how can we lose her?

If we can't find the answer to WHY Cara is not able to keep her food down, we WILL lose our little girl.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson.

Cara's ultrasound didn't give us anything to go on. Not a clue. Things seem to be normal. It's not perfect science. It can't detect everything, but so far x-rays and the ultrasound tell us nothing.

After a week at the Vet, I brought Cara home. That night she started to vomit. I tried to be extra careful, only giving her a small amount of food. Some times it would stay down, many times, not. I didn't know if it was because I was giving her too many tiny meals or the wrong food, or I was waiting too long between meals. I just couldn't figure it out.

What did seem to be clear, was that continuing to give her antibiotics was NOT a good idea. She's on a very heavy dose of them to stave off this damn URI she's had since she was barely a few weeks old. She seems clear of the URI and yesterday I stopped giving her some of her meds. With one antibiotic left, even that made her vomit after I gave it to her.

I called East Lake, one of the Vet's I work with in Georgia. They told me that in her records they noted that Cara was having difficulty eating and that they thought she had something STUCK IN HER THROAT! What?!!! And they didn't do more to find out what was going on? At the time, Cara was being syringe fed because she wouldn't eat on her own. Polly and Chester would not eat on their own, either. They were having a tough time being weaned. Maybe that was it? Or maybe not.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson.

I took Cara back to see Dr. Larry this afternoon. The one thing we haven't done is run a blood profile on Cara to see if there's anything going on there. Even if it shows nothing alarming, any future Vet care is probably going to need recent blood work as a prerequisite to treating her.

I told Dr. Larry about what I'd found out in Georiga. He called his partner, Dr. Andrew, to come into the exam room to talk about Cara since Dr. Andrew is also on her case. What I didn't expect was what came next.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson.

They wanted to talk about what to feed Cara and what else might work for her, since what I've been giving her has made her vomit sometimes. They BOTH said to feed her DRY FOOD! Here it comes, the big talk I've been trying to avoid. Feeding cats a raw diet or even just grain-free canned is like being part of a religion whose followers are persecuted for their beliefs. I felt my blood pressure tick upwards.

ON the exam table R.Olson.jpg
©2011 Robin A.F. Olson.

I'm not the sort of person who does well with conflict. I never know the perfect thing to say to make my case. I tried to be respectful, but here they are, telling me they see cats do great on dry food and here I am, knowing from their OWN LIPS they do NOT get more than a few hours (brought to you buy big industrial pet food manufacturers) nutritional training in Vet school. So who are they to tell me to feed crap to my sick kitten?

They said that cats used to be obligate carnivores, but not so much now. That's bull-hit. They wouldn't even accept that feeding grain, an irritant that cats cannot digest, would be bad for a cat with stomach problems.

Then they said that why don't I just try it. Spend $5 on some dry food instead of spending $1000.00 to have Cara 'scoped.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson.

Really? Really? Do they think I'm as close minded as they are to feeding a wholesome diet to cats? I was so offended, I almost walked out. I would feed Cara spaghetti and meatballs if it would help her.

I kept going back to the fact that Cara's been on 8? 9? antibiotics over her 17 weeks of life. She needs to be on NOTHING other than a bland diet. I said to them, would you eat a bowl of cereal after you had a stomach ache or eat something bland? They went back to the dry food debate.

Cara had her blood drawn. I asked them to tell me how much food she needs to eat so I know what the target is. Cara has lost 2 ounces. This is really scary. She now weighs 2.14. Her sister is TWICE her size and Chester is pushing 5 pounds. I just wanted to get OUT of there. Just give me the info-let me leave.

Both Vets tried to be respectful and kind, but they also kept reminding me that they had many years of being in Vet practice-which again, great for diagnosing ailments, not so great at understanding feline nutrition! It left me feeling like I'm just a person who “takes great care of their cats and is the best and they love me and I'm great, BUT...they have all these years on me.” (hey, don't placate me, ok?!). How many years have I been studying and learning about feeding grain-free? FIVE?!! I know that counts for nothing even though I've cured a diabetic, fixed life-long breathing problems, unblocked a blocked up cat, reduced obesity in an overweight cat, greatly improved blood test results in just my cats-not to mention the other cats I've helped with IBD and other chronic conditions. They don't see that. I'm just a lay person on a rant.

I think I need to start looking for a new Vet. Even writing this makes me feel sick. It's akin to me breaking up with Sam after almost two decades of life together. I don't take this feeling lightly, at all, but I can't go somewhere where we part company so seriously. Proper nutrition is the basis for good, lifelong health. Why Vets don't start from this basic point when they do an exam is beyond my comprehension. "What are you feeding your cat?" should be one of the FIRST questions a Vet asks about their patients-not something that's not even considered.

Then, the final straw. Super-Deb, who I trust as if she were my own beloved sister, told me to feed Cara the dry food. Just do it. For her (Super-Deb not Cara). See how it goes.

I left the Vet feeling like I was going to scream and burst into tears (which I did after I left). I drove over to the pet food store and bought Cara some more grain-free canned food and I bought a tiny bag of premium dry cat food. I felt like a Judas.

Dry food.jpg
©2011 Robin A.F. Olson.

When we got home, I gave Cara the dry food. She seemed interested in it, but really only picked at it and left half of the tiny portion on her plate. I don't think she understood it was food. After a few minutes, I let her out of the cat carrier (I lock her in it when she eats so the others don't bother her). She seemed fine. I started to fear she was going to do great on dry food and maybe I was wrong, but I just couldn't face it.

A moment later, Cara jumped off the bed and found a plate that had, literally, a pea-sized, if even that big, bit of raw food on it. A meager leftover part of a full dish that I had just given to her sister. She licked it up. Seemed fine. Then..all of a sudden...the straining, neck twisting and stretching started. The horrible gurgling sound..the vomit. All the dry food, the tiny dot of raw amid mucus and foam came out.

©2011 Robin A.F. Olson.

Was it the dry food that made her sick or the bit of raw? I offered more dry food to her, but she wouldn't eat it. That's my girl. Chester was playing with it. New toy, not nutrition!

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson.

An hour later I gave Cara chicken baby food. She ate it up, purred and laid in the sunshine. No vomiting. I have to trust my gut and my experience. I'm going to give Cara time. I'm not going to do anything else to her for the rest of the week, other than give her baby food, then after a few days, some canned grain-free mixed in and a bit of pro biotic to help her flora balanced...see if she keeps it down.

In the sun.jpg
©2011 Robin A.F. Olson.

For Cara, I will slay dragons, but right now I need a moment for myself. The hours and hours of watching her, cleaning up her vomit, measuring food, worrying, have taken a toll. I thought I was to a place where I could handle these ups and downs, but I think it's cumulative. Between my own cat battling cancer, the sickly kittens and Cara's tender tummy, I hit a wall. I'll get us through this somehow, but I'm not sure what scars will be left behind as a painful souvenir of these difficult days.

Valentine's Day: A Day of Whine & Roses

If I could go back and live my life over again, I'd make some changes. The biggest thing I'd change is regarding my misguided, often desperate need to be loved. Why was I so needy? Why did I start having crushes on boys when I was in Kindergarten! Was I already a victim of bedtime stories of the Princess being rescued by the Prince or that one day Mickey Dolenz of The Monkees, would marry me?

Why did I care?

I don't know.

What does this have to do with Cats? This is a cat blog, after all!

Nothing. In my defense, it IS my Blog and I can stray from the topic if it's particularly important to do so; or if I just damn well feel like it.

Neil Parrott. He was the first boy who ever kissed me. He kissed me during recess. We were in First Grade and he chased me around the playground until I ran into the corner of a building, with my back to him. He kissed the back of my head, then ran off. I was mortified.

My family was living in Ohio, in a tiny town where WE were the ONLY Italian (pronounced, Eye-Tal-Yan) people they may have ever SEEN. We had to SWEAR not to TELL ANYONE that Mother was Jewish! Big secret! It was okay that Daddy was Italian, so Mother said she was Calabrese! There was no place to get pizza, so my Mother had to make it from scratch. Every Sunday night we watched The Wonderful World of Disney and ate “pizza”-which was just dough, some tomato sauce and rectangular slices of some sort of cheese with dried oregano sprinkled on top. At the time, it was pure heaven. I can't imagine what my parents must have suffered after being accustomed to eating pizza in Brooklyn and why my Mother had to hide her true background.

After Neil, there was an appropriately long dry spell. We'd moved to another small town. This one was in Minnesota. The next kiss wasn't until I was 12 3/4 years old (which is the number I said to myself when it happened. Yes, I purposely remembered my age because I knew this moment was monumental.) I went to the movies with Brad “Jocko” Johnston. We saw “Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster.” If ever there was a more romantic movie, I couldn't say what it was. All I can remember is Brad sitting to my right. All of a sudden he stretched, then put his left arm around me. I can't remember what he said because my mind went blank, but I do remember what happened next. He leaned closer, said something, then kissed me on the cheek. Just once. I could have died and gone to Heaven right there.

My Mother picked me up when the movie was over and asked me how it went. I couldn't tell her the truth and just said it was okay. I touched my cheek and thought to myself; “I'll never be the same again.” Which also proved my Mother right-I WAS born at the age of 42. I was just an old person in a little kid's body. What kid would be so dramatic?

Robin at 15.jpg
©1976 Judith K. Feminella. Me. The boy-crazy author, as a teenager.

After that I was done for. All I cared about were boys. Why didn't I care more about SCHOOL? I did well in school, don't get me wrong, but I could have done better and suffered less, if I hadn't always had a crush, usually on some boy who didn't give me a second look.

Which brings me to Valentine's Day.

Why do we get ourselves so wrapped up in a fabricated Holiday that demands we be showered with roses, cards, chocolates and jewelry? Why are we left feeling frantic and miserable if these things don't come to pass? Does anyone think about the flower industry, the sweets manufacturer, Hallmark or QVC? They'd LOVE for you to buy into this day of LOVE so they can grow market share! And don't forget about your credit card company, hoping to raise your “average daily balance” after you spend too much money to prove to your mate that you truly love them and that this special card or gift will prove that.

In a week or two, whatever was gotten will be eaten, thrown out or forgotten..okay maybe some of the cards will be kept in a shoebox, to be burned in the fireplace as part of a cleansing ritual, when you get divorced from your crummy husband in a few years. Oops. I'm talking about myself again.

Do I hate Valentine's Day? Certainly NOT! I love flowers and candy and sparkly things, but I'd like to receive them on another day-like the day after the holiday when they are on sale 75% off, or in a month, just completely out of the blue. Now THAT is saying; “I love you!” Or how about this...every day of the year or every few weeks or when you're having a lousy day and your partner gives you a big hug and kiss? Can't that be enough?

I LOVE romance, too. I love watching romantic comedies. I love, love, but you can't just manufacture this feeling on a particular day! The few times I really tried, planned a special day for my beloved, it utterly failed.

One year I went over-the-top. I had to make up for the Valentine's Day I cannot tell you about-only to say that I broke up with Sam! Yes, I'm a turd, but in my defense, I was INSANE. I wanted to do the ugly deed to his face and not email him or call him on the phone, so I broke his heart in person, then left to celebrate with another guy. I wither even thinking about it.

Hey, I was in my 30's and going through a divorce. What did I know about thinking about other people's feelings? Okay, okay. I was a turd. I'll leave it at that.

So here we were, years later and Sam and I are back together. I planned every moment of Valentine's evening with Sam so it would be memorable. We started with a dinner at a nice restaurant, right next to a roaring fire! I reserved the table weeks ahead of time so we could be right next to the fireplace, ensuring our meal would be EXTRA romantic. We each had a huge steak, red wine and lots of bread, as we roasted at our table. It was like the fires of Hell were fanning our meal. Sam took off his suit jacket and wiped his forehead. My face and chest glistened with sweat, but it was Valentine's Day, damn it! And this was our perfect, romantic evening!

I told Sam I had more in store for him, which is also known as sex. Basically that was probably all he needed and I didn't even have to take him to dinner, but I had to prove my love for him!

I gave Sam a gift. Red silk pajamas. He couldn't put them on until after he had a bath. I bought a book of erotic poetry and lavender bath salts because I know Sam loves the smell of lavender and he loves...never mind. I had candles lit in the bathroom. I drew Sam a nice hot bath. I was going to let him relax in the tub while I read him the dirty poems by candlelight.

Could I please have a Time Machine? Even if I only had time to say SIX WORDS before I had to come back to present day. The me of today could whizz back to that night and yell at myself: "WHAT THE F-CK ARE YOU THINKING?!"

But time machines are as made up as Romantic Holidays.

Sam got in the tub. The water was steamy. Sam's gut was about to burst from eating that huge dinner and I don't think he'd ever cooled off after suffering through the tableside inferno. I started to read. The nice hot water began to raise Sam's body temperature to uncomfortable levels. Before I could finish a poem, Sam said he didn't feel so well.

He tried to stand up, but between the wine and his soaring body temperature, he wobbled, almost falling out of the tub! I grabbed a towel and helped him get dry. He leaned heavily against me. He said he was feeling woozy, like he was going to faint.

I got him dressed and helped him into bed, but the covers were too warm so he just laid there on top of the sheets. His head was spinning. He was on fire-his skin bright pink. I grabbed a glass of cold water and made him drink it, but he only managed a few sips. I put a cool compress on his head. I asked him if he wanted me to take him to the Emergency Room, thinking to myself; “What the F-CK was I thinking?!” Sam laid there, his eyes glazed over. He quietly moaned, his voice barely audible; “No, it's okay. I"ll be...” His breathing slowed then transformed into a deep snore as his eyes closed and he fell into a coma-like sleep. I whispered to him; “I guess you don't want to have sex then.”

That was the year I almost killed Sam due to the pressure of needing to have a perfect Valentine's Day.

So before you start feeling badly because you don't have someone to ask you to "Be Mine," remember that all this Valentine stuff is created to make a buck. If you don't have a Valentine, it doesn't mean you're a loser and you'll suffer a lonely life forever.

In fact, you may be far better off, just as you are. You'll certainly have more money in the bank and you may even live longer.

Forensic Graphologist Analyzes Previous Post

One thing I really love about writing this Blog is all the great people I get to meet. Some are pen pals from across “the pond” and others I've had the pleasure of meeting in person. These folks have a varied background. Some times their jobs flat out surprise me and leave me in awe.

While I am sworn to secrecy over this person's identity, I can tell you she is a Forensic Graphologist, otherwise known as a Handwriting Analysis Expert. She contacted me last year about analyzing a handwritten note I'd posted on my blog. That lead to me sending her some “exemplars”-samples of handwriting for her to use to practice her craft. She likes to keep fresh and seeing the samples is also fun for her. I sent her mine, Sam's, some friends and family. She told me things that surprised me and shocked me. She was even able to tell me one person I know is “closeted” gay. When I talked to that person, that person indicated she was correct! I had NO idea! And no, I didn't care if the person was gay or not. Sheesh! It was that I had NO idea and the person's handwriting said it all! That was what was so interesting!

To think that the loops and shapes of our letters tell a story all their own is fascinating. With that in mind, months ago, I asked this person to look at the writing samples from a post (rant) I'd written about Koko the cat, who was dumped by her owner. My email fell into her Spam folder and she just found it yesterday! She wrote up her analysis, which I'll share with you, below.

These notes were regarding THIS post.

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The gal who wrote the first note is youngish, I would guess early 20s.

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I'm sorry to say that I think the writing is a kid's and here's why:

1. I don't think an adult could imitate the weird spacing, which is common for kids who don't have a lifetime of experience writing notes.

2. The "10 mins" he wrote looks childlike--I don't think an adult would know to make the numerals different sizes, like kids do.

3. The word "gob" for "job" isn't a misspelling an adult would use to throw someone off the track. Adults who misspell purposefully wouldn't use a real word in place of another word (homonyms excluded, of course)--they would just switch around a few letters.

4. The placement of the ":" between "from" and "Korey" is also an indication of someone youthful.

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[Robin's note: this was the KICKER to me!!!]

The third note writer is definitely aware that they're behaving like an asshole, at least. No connections between letters within words, the personal pronoun "I" is demented and the "f" has a weird, duplicitous loop at the top.

What is wrong with people!!!!!!!!!!!


The good news is that within a day of my post going live, Elke, one of our readers CALLED ME and offered to adopted KoKo. The next morning, our beloved Bobby, drove Koko to her new home-a few HOURS away


Elke reports that Sophie (no more KoKo), is doing very well integrating into her home. There have been NO litterbox peeing or pooping other than in her pan. Is Sophie sick? Heck no. She's fine. Not only is she fine, she is well loved and cared for and living a wonderful life with Elke and her family. What started out as a tragedy-in-the-making, turned out to be quite a happy tail and one that I was proud to be part of.

If Sophie could write, I just know her handwriting would certainly indicate that she is happy, confident, friendly...and relived her nightmare is over. I bet she'd dot her “i's” with smiley faces or hearts, too.

Foster Cat Journal: Finding Faith

The Halloween Express was headed north as my heart sank southward. Adoptions are not going well, but I was on the cusp of FINALLY getting Honey B. adopted. After turning down applications and being blown off by potential adopters, I finally got one who seemed to be a great fit and who was really excited to adopt Honey B. I figured if Honey got adopted before the Express arrived, then her sister, Yodel would remain in the foster room to welcome the new arrivals. Sure, there might be a bit of hissing at first, but Yodel is pretty easy going and only a few weeks older than the little gang who were about to join us. It should work out all right. I wasn't happy to have an overly full house. It would mean 16 cats live under my roof. By now I should have had homes for at least 4 of them. It was feeing like it was way too much to handle.

The adopter didn't want to come over until Saturday at 6pm. The Exress was due in the morning so that meant, I had to figure out where to put Honey B and Yodel. I didn't want them to be flustered from meeting the new kittens-they just wouldn't "show" well. After a lot of mental musical chairs, I got it worked out. I'd reluctantly put them into my bedroom. This is prime territory for all my cats and I realized I could not keep the kittens there for longer than the afternoon without it causing problems. I thought I'd be all right. It wasn't perfect but better than nothing. I had no other place to put the cats unless I put them into a crate in the garage, which is no place to put these two sweethearts.

The Halloween Express arrived promptly at 9am. Connie, Sam and I were bright and excited to meet everyone. I really wanted to meet Rocco. I had heard he loved belly rubs and I wanted to be the first Yankee to give him one!

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. PETS, LLC seemed to forget they also transport CATS! Sheesh!

The truck pulled up and we beelined over to it. We were the first on the blob-not really a line, but a mass of folks who all centered themselves around the opening on the side of the truck. A guy pushed in front of us to get his dog. I was distracted by sending him evil eye death rays, while Connie gasped. She didn't know about these transports. When she looked inside the truck, she saw all the dogs.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. The doggies waiting for the jail break.

At first she thought the dogs were going to shelters, but I told her they all had homes. They were the ones who got off death row and were were safe. She got really choked up. Who wouldn't? I was glad I knew the drill. Watching families who were glued to the doorway, waiting to catch a glimpse of their new dog WAS very moving. The dogs all moved out of their crates, tails wagging, then not quite sure of what to do next. The owner would approach the dog and greet him or her. The dog would look up, run over to them and jump up or bark or give kisses. Everyone laughed or cried or both. It was magic.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Where are we?

But I just wanted my CATS!

We gave the driver an empty cat carrier. He returned it to us filled up with kittens. First off were two of the Halloween gang. They are tough to tell apart. One was orange, one was brown. I heard a sneeze. I thought-oh great, here we go again...a transport full of sick cats.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson

As we got our cats, the folks in the crowd applauded and oooh'd and awwww'd. I said aloud that all the cats were available for adoption-just in case! The kittens were quite animated and really wanted out of their cages. It was a cool morning and I wanted to get them into our warm car, but first we had one more traveller to pick up.

©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Rocco is in da house!

Rocco. Rocco was SO BIG he could barely turn around in his crate. The first glimpse I got of him was of his butt. He was crying and crying. All the folks who saw him gasped and laughed. I wanted to cheer! We hustled the cats into the cars. I jumped into Connie's to see Rocco. I sat next to him on the back seat and opened the crate door. He started to purr and make muffins on the back seat. Connie, still sniffly, said he looked like he needed to be brushed. I agreed he was a bit of a mess, but he was here. Safe with us. This big ol' tom cat made it off death row. I was so glad we could help him.

I couldn't visit for more than a few moments. Connie took Rocco to Wilton to meet his new friends at the shelter and I got into the car and Sam drove us home. I definitely had rescuer's remorse. With adoptions to almost nil, I was really worried that finding homes for these tabbies was going to be tough. I started to imagine having these cats here for the rest of their lives and that starting a rescue group in this economy was even dumber than I originally imagined...but it was too late for that. I just needed to grin and bear it. Somehow it will work out. I have to have faith in that.

©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Breakfast is served..three or four times until the kittens were full!

As we drove home, the kittens began sneezing a great deal. I told myself it was their new environment, the different air quality, the long trip. They just needed to rest and they would be all right in a few days. I realized that there was no way I was going to be able to put Yodel and Honey B. back in their room with these sick cats. Now I was faced with a big problem. What to do with them...well just Yodel because Honey would be going to her home that day. Yodel could meet my cats and just be integrated in with them. She had her shots and tests and was spayed. It would be ok.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Maria always sends presents with the kittens. Thank you!

Jennifer came up to visit the kittens and to go to the Pet Expo in Hartford. We had a great time, then enjoyed the notorious cheeseburgers of the Shady Glen. It was a great day.

Then, my phone rang. Since we were eating, I let it go to voicemail. Had a bad feeling. I listened to the message. It was Honey's adopter. She changed her mind. She has two calicos and didn't want a third after all and that after thinking about it decided she wanted an all black cat and that it was her "executive decision" to not get emotionally attached to Honey by meeting her. Would I call her to discuss when I would be getting a black cat in that she could adopt? You're kidding me, right?

I'm sorry, but do you think I'm a department store? If it's not in your size or your color I can just get you another one?

It was 4pm. She was supposed to pick up Honey in just two hours. Now Honey was going nowhere and I was going to be covered in cats.

We got home from our outing. I was really down. I went to check on the kittens. They were eating well and meowing furiously. Each one wanted to be petted. Most of them were sneezing. A few had runny eyes. Instead of freaking out I just sat there as they crawled all over me purring and sticking their butt into my face. What can I do? I made a commitment to these animals and I'm going to keep it. It will work out. It will. It's just going to be a bumpy road for quite awhile.

©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Skittles going to jump onto my shirt so he can be petted in 3...2...1

That was three days ago. I had no idea what I had gotten myself into.


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