“One, two, three, four, five, six...”
Every time I enter the Foster room there's always a flurry of activity. The kittens are crying, they want to be fed. They're bored and want to make a mad dash out of the room, down the hall and into the unknown of my bedroom. I know that if I'm carrying a tray of food, they usually run out the door, then come right back, hence my need to count heads at every meal time. There should be six cats in the room.
©2011 Maria. S. Amberly and Periwinkle. You can see how thin Amberly was by looking at her neck and shoulders.
As you may recall, two weeks ago, a wonderful family adopted Amberly and Jack LaLac. They filled out the Adoption Contract and left me their Adoption fee. I was to board the cats until after the Thanksgiving holiday was over, so the cats could start their new life out in a peaceful environment.
©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. All filled out and looking gorgeous.
Yesterday Jessie and her husband, Terry came to pick up the cats. First they had to drop off a family member at the Islip, NY airport which is a few HOURS in the opposite direction from where I live. They drove a good part of the day, but were determined to get their cats as soon as their relative left the house! By the afternoon, I got an excited phone call from Jessie, saying they were about 40 minutes away.
©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Little man Jack.
Here comes the tough part. I'd said my “I love you's” and my goodbyes to the cats. I knew this was a great home, but I also knew that I'd seen the bond between Amberly and her kittens continue even after she was spayed. I watched Truffles or Peri walk over to their mama and bow their head for her to sniff, then lick. Some times Amberly would grab the kitten roughly and groom them or play-fight with them. At times it was too rough for me to witness so I broke it up. I was glad that Jack, the biggest kitten, was going with his mama. He could stand up to her roughhousing and could give back as good as he got.
©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. At six months (yesterday).
I knew the remaining kittens would be all right, but I knew they would be sad and confused and I wondered how Amberly would do. This is the part I hate. I really hate breaking up a family, but I know, in time, everyone will adjust and go on and be happy. This is the transition point and for the sake of all, it must be done. I also think that the girls, BlueBelle, Periwinkle, Blaze and Truffles will have a chance to flower without their big brother hogging the toys or knocking them around.
©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Jack is going to be much larger than Amberly. She's still small in stature, but has fluffed and filled out considerably.
Jessie and Terry just renovated their home and many of their things were still in storage. They'd forgotten their cat carriers were in the storage space, so they brought over two cardboard cat carriers. I immediately worried that both cats would blow right through those boxes in a hearbeat, but I also knew the trip wasn't too long. Hopefully they'd get the cats out of my house and into theirs without any problems. Good thing the cats were microchipped!
©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Last kiss from Blaze.
The big goodbye was more like yanking off a band-aid. Jessie and Terry had to get home in time to pick up their children from school, so they were only here for a few minutes. As soon as Terry put the cat carrier on the floor, Jack jumped right into it! Amberly jumped into the one next to it, but then figured out what was going on and jumped out. Blaze jumped into her carrier so I had to lift her out and put Amberly back inside. It was a silly little game, cats popping in and out of the cat carriers while I was trying to give some of them a last kiss.
©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Time to go!
©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Play time with the feather toy.
It just didn't work out that way, but it was fine if I didn't kiss them again. They were going to be all right. Their family couldn't wait to get them home. We wrapped up the paperwork and I gave them some cans of cat food and tried to remember things they should know so I rattled off a few last minute details as we walked to the car.
©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Mr. Handsome-oh, Jack's new name may be Jack Cadillac!
I wished the cats good luck and a happy life. I turned to walk back to the door and my eyes stung as I fought off tears. I didn't cry. It was time. Amberly had been on an amazing journey-from being rescued by Maria when she found her lying in the street, starving, with just born kittens to tend to, to a plump, luscious, SPAYED cat with a wonderful life ahead of her. Amberly will never have to worry about a thing. Her family's got her back. Jack will have a lifetime of fun. He has two young boys to play with and two dogs to befriend. I hope Amberly doesn't beat up the dogs, but time will tell. For now, this is the point of the story we all hope to reach when we first take on a new foster cat. It's here. Time to rejoice.
©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Clowning around with Peri.
I told the family I would check in with them in a week to see how things were going. Last night, just a few hours after the cats left, I got an email from Jessie. She wrote to me about her sons Jordan and Thomas. It read: “As I'm typing, Thomas is doing his homework at the desk in my office which is where the cats are, and will be, until they're comfortable to explore the rest of the house. Amberly and Jack are taking turns laying on his papers, trying to nibble on his pencil, and head butting him as he's trying to write. He's giggling, and they're tails are up and they're both purring. They are all in heaven. You'd think they've been here for years.
©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. I'd like a basket full of cat, please.
Jordan has carefully placed their toys around the room and replaced the water dish twice because as he's told me, "cold water tastes much better." ( it's also filtered from the fridge, no tap water for these kitties ) Jordan's now laying on the carpeted floor on his side and Amberly has curled up on his belly and is trying to nap. Jack is jumping over him, not letting her rest, which is making Jordan giggle as well. What a sight it is!
Our dogs have been caged but I have a feeling that in no time at all everyone will coexist beautifully.
Just wanted to say thank you again. You both are remarkable people for all that you do.
These are 2 cats you won't have to worry about. I promise you they will be loved always.
Be well and we'll keep you posted.”
©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Jack and Jack's shadow.
I couldn't have hoped or wished for better than this for these fine felines. As much as I miss them, I know they were getting bored in that little room. The girls are quieter now that Jack and their mama have left. They're not eating quite as well. They seem a bit lost. I'm spending extra time with them so they won't be too sad over the sudden change in their lives.
©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. All-star cat wrestling.
Tomorrow two more of the kittens are probably leaving and it will be a bit harder yet to let them go. I have to remind myself that it's very good timing because more cats are arriving. The Angel Babies will finally be here after being sidelined for weeks longer than we expected by a sudden outbreak of fleas and ringworm!
©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Rescued. Rehabilitated. Re-homed. Amberly's journey comes to a happy end.
As Amberly's family becomes part of our history, a new family arrives. It's helps stave off the bittersweet quality of having to say good bye so often and reminds me that more need help, too. There are more stories to tell and more cats to get to know and to fall in love with. Better get to it. Okay, maybe just a few tears first.
“One, two, three, four...”
Our dear “Bob's Pumpkin Patch” family is growing up. No longer are the boys squirmy and plump orange gourds. Their mama, Bobette, no longer needs to care for them with the intensity she once had. It's been ten weeks since we rescued them from Henry Co. Care & Control, a Kill shelter in McDonough, GA.
©2011 Maria. S. They baby boyz!
Our little family of four, was once a family of seven. The spirits of the three kittens who passed away still linger in the shadows, watching their brothers thrive, as their own lives were so unfairly cut short. Their foster mom, Maria, still pines for those babies, but it is a testament to her love for them that the others did survive.
©2011 Maria. S. Growing like weeds.
Jakey, Teddy and Mikey are doing well. Today, along with their mama, they're off to the Vet to be spayed or neutered and get their first vaccinations. The boys were born in a cage at a shelter where horrific upper respiratory infections thrive. That these boys did not break with that illness is a small miracle. At each sign of a sniffle, we gave them homeopathic remedies, which stunned us in their effectiveness. We'll always be on the watch for that dreaded URI to appear, but at least at eleven weeks of age, these kittens have the chance to build up their immune systems-unlike our Polly, Chester and Cara who were sick for many months after we pulled them out of the same shelter.
©2011 Maria. S. Our little Pumpkin Patch family.
Bobette has not fared as well. Barely a year old, Bobette has had a very difficult life. Not wanted by her family, dumped at a kill shelter, pregnant; hopes were slim that Bobette would survive. At the shelter she refused to eat, while her six newborns struggled to get proper nutrition—and most likely the reason why three of the newborns did not survive.
©2011 Maria. S. What's out there?
When I heard about Bobette not eating for four days, I grew very concerned. I was fortunate that Maria was willing to take in another family after only having a short break on fostering. We busted Bobette and family out of the Kill shelter and rushed her to the Vet. She was given a thorough exam, but Bobette sat crouched in a corner, frightened of what was going on. It was easy to miss that Bobette's secret pain.
©2011 Maria. S. Teddy & Jakey.
The family settled in Maria's bathroom. It was small, easy to keep warm and safe from Maria's cats getting too nosy with the newcomers. Bobette spent most of the day feeding her boys. She didn't walk much, nor did she have the room to run around. It didn't trouble her at all. It was time to focus on her offspring and not worry about herself, but what we didn't know was that Bobette wasn't all right.
©2011 Maria. S.
Bobette ate like a champ. The boys did well under her care. It seemed that after her loss, Bobette paid even more attention to the remaining kittens. She cleaned them and fed them and kept them safe. It didn't matter to her that something was wrong. She had her babies to care for.
©2011 Maria S. Teddy's Cat Nap.
©2011 Maria. S. Mama and Jakey.
Maria recently moved the family into a bigger room, with plenty of sunshine, windows and toys, it's an ideal location for a growing family. The cats could finally RUN, stretch their legs, jump!
©2011 Maria S. Pumpkin Patch Boys Go Wild!
...and that's when Maria realized something was wrong with Bobette. She was limping. Her left rear leg had a hitch to it as she walked. Maria called me and I told her to get Bobette to the Vet. I hate waiting, wondering what was going on. Maria called a few hours later. Bobette seemed sensitive in her back. Perhaps it was an old injury, but the Vet couldn't find anything obviously wrong. He suggested to give it more time. I asked if he ran an X-ray and Maria said he didn't feel it was necessary.
©2011 Maria. S. Triple threat of cute.
Yesterday, I wrote about Warren and his wife, Terri and how they ignored their Vet's suggestion to wait on having their kitten re-examined when they realized their foster kitten, Dexter wasn't getting better. Maria followed the same line of thinking; she kept looking at Bobette as she walked. Something was wrong. It wasn't something that was OK. Maria called me again and this time we both agreed that no matter what, Bobette must be x-rayed. We did not want her to be in any pain.
Once x-rayed it was clear that something WAS WRONG, Bobette has a rare condition called a Patellar luxation. Basically, Bobette's kneecap is out of position. This is caused by a genetic malformation or trauma. It's a rare condition in cats, but common in small dogs. It wasn't completely clear to Maria or myself, but one of the bones in Bobette's rear leg fused with another or fused improperly. Bobette's left rear leg is shorter than the right, hence Bobette's limp.
Bobette doesn't appear to be in pain and I'm guessing that due to the bone fusion, she had a trauma to her leg. The fact that once she was dumped at the Kill shelter she stopped eating, was perhaps due to the trauma, not to the stress of being confined.
The Vet says to do nothing. Bobette can get around and that returning the kneecap to a normal position may not help, as the kneecap can slip back out of position. Because there is more going on than just the kneecap problem, I've decided we need to look into this matter further. Bobette is barely a year old. I don't want her to face a lifetime of pain or discomfort. Like Warren and Terri, this doesn't sit right with me. We need to do more for Bobette.
©2011 Maria. S. Bobette gives her son a kiss.
First, we need to get Bobette to Connecticut. I'm setting that up to be in two weeks. The transport costs $300.00 for the family. I'd like to take Bobette to our Vet, first, then to an orthopedic Vet for a second opinion. If they all agree it's not worth doing surgery, that's fine, but if Bobette can live a better life if she has corrective surgery then we'll do a fundraiser for her.
What I need to ask for now, is for help with expenses to get them to CT and to pay for some additional Vet care for Bobette after she arrives. During this time of giving thanks, I hope you'll consider a donation to our efforts. Bobette has been through so much in her short life, let's help her get on the road to a long happy rest-of-her-life.
The donation you provide to Bobette and family is TAX-DEDUCTIBLE. The money will go to my Non-Profit Cat Rescue: Kitten Associates.
If you'd prefer to send a check, please make it out to: Kitten Associates and mail it to:
P.O. Box 354
Newtown, CT 06470-0354
Thank you for helping Bobette and her family. All our best to you and your family on this Holiday week!
A friendly stray cat, starving and exhausted lays in the middle of the road one summer morning. Who knew the act of choosing such a dangerous place to rest would change this cat's life forever?
©2011 Maria S. Moments after the kitty was discovered.
Maria, our super-foster-mama, was going to a tag sale, but got a lot more than she bargained for when she saw this friendly cat in the road. She stopped to offer help, not sure she should get involved, but not being able to stop herself from helping this poor soul. All the questions she may have asked herself, all the worry about if she could handle taking on another foster cat and what that might entail. What if the cat was sick? What if she needed more than Maria could provide?
©2011 Maria S. Baby Jack LiLac. Just rescued by Maria!
I was very glad that I could help Maria feel confident that she could take this on, by assuring her that my rescue group would cover any expenses and would find a forever home when the time was right. It became even more important that she had our backing after she realized the cat had given birth and that her kittens needed to be found as soon as possible. Many of you may have read about this miraculous search and rescue. It's detailed HERE including some amazing photos.
©2011 Maria S. A Mother's Love.
The cat was named Amberly, though barely a kitten, herself, was also a good mama. She was laying in the road, hoping it would lead her to the right person who could help her. Her babies, just days old, were saved. I named them after plants and elements since they were found under the base of a tree. One of the kittens I named, Jack LiLac. He had a skunk stripe on his nose, but was as sweet as could be. Jack thrived in Maria's care until he, his mama and his family were old enough to come to my home to be fostered here.
©2011 Maria S. Baby Jack.
Amberly's journey had taken her off the streets of Georgia, into a loving foster home. Her next stop would take her and her kittens across 1000 miles to my home where I'd be waiting to care for them. Who could have imagined she'd have to travel this all these miles for a chance to find her forever home? Amberly's new family was looking for her. We just had to wait for them to contact us.
©2011 Maria S. Little Man, Jack.
The family has been with me for a little over two months. They're all remarkable cats with copper penny colored eyes. I got many applications for them, but each one was not good enough. We have strict adoption policies. I realize that makes adoptions slow, but it's important that we know every cat has the best, safest, most appropriate home. I tried not to give up that we'd find a match before the cats were too old, but it was challenging.
©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Jack, today. He outweighs his mama now.
Last week I started to get applications that looked very promising. One of them had interest in just one cat. They wanted AMBERLY! We met, we spoke at length about their home, their life, their past cats. I did a Vet check. I did a home visit.
©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Congratulations to Amberly & Jack!
The husband and wife came to visit the kitties today to finalize their choice. Although the couple wanted ALL the cats, they knew that Amberly had to be their girl. Amberly is barely recognizable from what she once was. No longer thin, with her coat thick and plush, there are new signs of her having a longer coat than we imagined. She's playful and robust and loves to race around the room, stop and give kisses, then lounge on a soft bed. She never has to worry about where her next meal will come from or having loving companionship.
What I couldn't have predicted was they they fell in love with Jack, too. Jack is sweeter than sugar and loves to wrestle with his Mama. They're more like siblings than mother and son. They'll never have to be parted, as this couple is adopting Jack, too! I'm glad they'll stay together for the rest of their lives.
©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Amberly & Truffles.
The family can't wait to give them the best home and most love they can provide. Amberly and Jack will have two small dogs to be friends with and two young boys to play with. It's a lovely home with plenty of space. The family is planning on getting cat trees and scratchers, feeding the right diet and giving them whatever they need. I couldn't ask for more.
©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Lady Blaze.
Jack and Amberly will be here for another 2 weeks. After that time they'll be going to their forever home. Contracts are signed. Fees are paid. I will really miss them a lot. They're so easy to love.
©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. BlueBelle is more lovely than ever.
I just can't understand and I suppose I never will-why Amberly was alone in the first place and why she had to give birth under a tree in the woods. I'm sorry she had to suffer. She must have known the love of humans at some point. We'll never know how she got to that road or why she was laying in the middle of it. Amberly's journey is almost to an end. She's on the road again one last time. This time it will take her to a very happy future, side by side with her son.
©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Periwinkle (left) is one of the nicest cats I've ever met. I have a crush on her.
There are more home visits coming and possibly more of Amberly's family will be finding their forever homes soon, too. Stay tuned!
As some of you may have heard, Sam and I found out our boy, Nicky is possibly in the early stages of renal failure. As we process the news and look into further tests and ways we can help him, I thought today's post should be easy on the eyes and something to get the week off to a good start.
Presenting Movie Monday!
Bob's Pumpkin Patch kittens are five weeks old! The boys, Jake, Mike and Teddy are doing very well. They're all growing and enjoying play time. Okay, so they have a way to go to figure out what the litter pan is for...oops! At least they're eating well. Teddy is the “wild child” and loves to race around so much that foster mama, Maria has a tough time getting a photo of him.
Bobette's coming out of her shell. The confinement at the shelter and the stress of not eating for 4 days while there is long passed. She's eating well and playing with the kittens. Bobette's just a kitten herself at only 10 months old. She's more like a big sister than a Mama.
At 5 weeks, the kittens are making their milestones of eating more food and depending less on mama. Their weights are good and their muscles are getting stronger. There's less wobble to their walk with more refined movements.
It's been a very sad road, losing three of their littermates right after we rescued them. I look at how well the boys are doing and wish their siblings were with them, too. What they would look like now...how they would be playing and having fun right along with their brothers. I'm grateful some of the kittens survived, but I suppose I'll always feel a haunted by the ones who didn't.
I love to look at their faces! I wish I could be with them now. I have to wait for them to get bigger before they can come up here. It's great that ever since Maria got a new cellphone, she's been able to capture photos and videos with ease. I can tell from the many emails she sent that she spent a good part of her weekend hanging out with the kittens taking photos and shooting video-and who wouldn't?
Too bad Maria can't get maternity leave from work so she could stay home with the kittens! Try to explain that one to your boss!
I hope you all have a great week. Back to doing research about cat's kidney function for me...oh, and I have 7 more kittens for you to meet starting tomorrow!
I've been an avid fan of Apple products since my first computer in 1991. As a Graphic Designer, it just made sense to use their products, but along the way, I fell in love. I attended many MacWorld Expos in the mid to late 1990's. Attending Steve Jobs Keynote session was always one of the hot tickets to get and luckily, since some of my clients were software developers, I always got in to see the presentation.
I remember going to MacWorld Boston in 1997. Apple was in the dumps. Many of us feared that we would lose our beloved computers. It was the year they changed the Apple logo from the rainbow colored stripes to the all white version we see today. We were seated in an old Church. There were big screens lit up with the new image. When I saw it, I thought all the joy left the company-this new white logo was a signal to the end. Then, to make it worse, Steve graciously introduced BILL GATES via satellite, to talk to us about how Microsoft was going to BAIL OUT APPLE. We all BOOED. Steve handled it well and told us it was a good thing. We didn't want to believe it, but at that point we'd let even the Devil himself save Apple.
I don't have to tell you what happened next, but it was a rocky road for many years. Some left and gave up on Apple, but those of us in the design community were never going to go to PC's.
In 2000, I attended MacWorld NYC. It was a smaller show, nothing compared to the Moscone Center in San Francsico. That MacWorld was enormous-spanning two convention centers, it took a day just to get through one side of the show. It was the mid-1990's and I was lucky enough to attend many after-show parties, hobknob with celebrities and dance the night away. It was an AMAZING time filled with computer-nerdy-geeky friends, many of which I'm still close to today.
A fun fact about my past-I was a Chat Hostess on America Online. My group was called “the Secret SIG” (SIG=Special Interest Group). We met online in a chat room on AOL every Sunday night at midnight for five years. I never missed a chat. I stopped being known as Robin and was called by my screen name; Kitty. We talked about technology, art and design. I had special guests from WIRED Magazine, Apple, Adobe, NBC, Macromedia...and we were feverish about what was going to happen next and it was a great venue to talk about it. We were riding the wave of the latest and greatest technical innovations and some of us were even the brains behind creating that wave. Steve Jobs was a part of most of our discussions and dreams of the future.
Seeing Steve Jobs on stage was like seeing a rock star perform. Steve had a perfect sense of timing. We may have had an idea of what he might be sharing with us, but he always had a few surprises up his sleeve. We'd all sit there fussing in our seats, ready to jump to our feet, as we often did when he'd demo something really cool. He was the perfect pitch-man, but he loved what he did and his passion was contagious. I always felt high as a kite after one of his sessions. I'm very grateful to have had those experiences and been able to share that with my friends.
They say we lost a visionary and that's true, but Steve Jobs knew the power of building a team of top notch talent and knew how to get them to get the job done-whatever it takes. That devotion to a leader doesn't come easily or to just anyone. While I'm brokenhearted Mr Jobs is gone, I'm grateful he has an amazing team left to carry on.
Things will never be the same without Steve Jobs. Our lives are better for him being out there, making magic come to life. He will be greatly missed. Now Steve can smile down on us from iHeaven.
So what do little orange kittens have to do with Steve Jobs? Well, I couldn't write this blog without my studly quad-core Mac or edit the video of the kittens without iMovie. Even the mouse I use, was because of Steve's genius. I take photos with my iPhone and sort out details of a cat rescue via text messages. It's so much more than that. I couldn't connect to all of you without his achievements being part of the tools I use.
To soften the great sadness I feel, here are the latest updates on Bob's Pumpkin Patch. Bobette and the kittens are doing great. We've had many worries that they were going to get sick. It could still happen, but so far, so good. No sign of URI, knock wood!
Kittens are fat, wobbly and wonderful.
I admit I'm jealous of Maria. She gets to enjoy watching them grow, learn and explore their world. Looking at their endearing faces-knowing that opening her home to foster them, saved their lives.
As the world mourns, somewhere out there is the next Steve Jobs. We may not know of him or her for many years to come, but that person is out there. In the meantime, life goes on. Let's make the most of it.
Okay, so I'm not so great at uploading videos, but I'm trying! Here we have one hot off the press and the other is a few weeks old! Oops.
Bob's Pumpkin Patch is our first movie. Here Jakey, Mikey and Teddy are, well, having a wiggle festival as they work on getting their muscles stronger. Everyone should work out after a long weekend!
Next up is a longer video of Amberly's kittens when they were still in foster care in Georgia. Her babies are MUCH bigger now-and, we're hoping, that two of them may be getting adopted very soon (at last!). Here they are bouncing around and having a good time. Something we should be seeing Bobette's kittens doing in a few more weeks-with any luck.
I was preparing to write about the conference I attended yesterday regarding the law changes for transporting animals into Connecticut. I was going to talk about what it may mean for my ability to rescue cats from the south, but all that is a blur now.
Last night I was sitting on my bed, playing with Doodlebug. It was 10:20pm. My phone rang. It was Maria. Oh no. She normally would not call me so late at night.
Maria's voice was low, emotionless, she was having trouble saying the words. I knew something was wrong. I wanted her to tell me what happened, but it was taking her too much time to get the words out and my anxiety was building with every second. I'm sure she was just trying to talk and not cry.
“One of the kittens just passed.”
It took a second for the news to sink in. My heart sank and I tried not to cry, too. What happened?! Maria felt he was just too little and underdeveloped-the runt of the litter.
Maria weighed the kittens earlier that night. Three were about 4.5-5 oz and three were around 3 oz. Maria had been feeling that something wasn't quite right about the smaller kittens, but she saw them being fed and she also gave them some milk replacer. Mama had gained almost ONE POUND in a few DAYS. Her diarrhea is resolving and she is clearly getting stronger, but it was too late for the little runt. We weren't even sure if it was a boy or girl who passed. I asked Maria to name the baby so she chose the name, Sammy.
I asked her if she thought the others would be all right and she said she was worried about the other two small ones. I asked her to make sure they were nice and warm-yes, heating pads were going...were they dehydrated? Did they need more milk? I didn't know what to tell her. I'm 1000 miles away and I could only try to think of who lived close by that could help. Should she take the kittens to the vet? If they had fading kitten syndrome there was nothing we could do. Putting them in the car would be further stress on them.
I started to regret referring to the kittens as Bob's Angels. Now it was coming true. Less than an hour later a second kitten died. Maria named him, Red.
I don't know what I'm supposed to say. I know that this happens. You can say it's nature. This is how it goes. The mother is barely a kitten herself. She was grossly malnourished. It's doubtful she was producing enough milk from each mammary gland. She is sick, herself, with diarrhea and is exhausted. There are many reasons why these two babies died, but I had been dreaming of having six orange babies running around my house one day. It was a comfort to having lost my own cat, Bob just two weeks ago. Now that dream was lost and utter grief was taking its place.
There was one kitten left that Maria was worried about. She named him Rocky because he was a fighter. She kept feeding him. Kept him close to her all night. Our friend, Izzy called her and gave her suggestions as to what to do, since she had just bottle fed the little white Angel babies (who are big enough to come here in a few days). Maria and I talked about taking the rest of the family to the emergency vet, but again-the fear of the stress on them just didn't make sense.
Brokenhearted, Maria fought hard for Rocky and urged him to stay strong, but early this morning, Rocky died, too. In his last moments, she held him in her hands and kissed him goodbye. She told him, as she did with his siblings who passed earlier in the night, that she love him.
Three of our kittens have died. The world can stop spinning now. Time has to stand still and take notice of these poor beautiful creatures who never even were old enough to open their eyes and see the world-who will never know the joy of playtime with their siblings-who will never grow into lovely orange adult cats. To say Maria is in pain right now is an understatement. To say I am not right there with her, is one, too. My heart is broken. I am terrified we will lose them all.
I feel like I jinxed the babies. I'm not going to call them Bob's Angels any more. They are “Bob's Pumpkin Patch.” They are going to make it. We are going to fight hard for them. They must survive. They are bigger and their eyes are opening. Let them not see the loss of their brothers and sister, let them see a beautiful world full of love. That's all we wanted for all our kittens, but like any rescue group, we will lose some along the way. These are the first kittens lost to us and we hope will be the last.
We need to fill our fundraiser for the kittens. They are going to have to have more vet care and monitoring and we want to make sure we have funds to cover all their needs. If you can help out with a donation, we would appreciate it a lot. If you already helped them, then thank you so much!
This family deserves names and I was remiss in waiting so long to give them ones. An animal communicator told me that she never met an orange cat who didn't have a human name, so I'm keeping that in mind now.
Mama is Bobette. Means “bright fame.”
Three remaining kittens are: Teddy Boo, Jake O'Lantern & Mikey D. Cider.
LATE BREAKING UPDATE: IT IS VERY POSSIBLE THE KITTENS WERE BORN ON 9|11, not much earlier. Shelter thinks they were born the day after their mama arrived at Henry Co., not days prior. Waiting on confirmation, but this puts them at SIX DAYS OLD as of last night.
Mama weighs just over five pounds. She's skin and bones on her young frame. The Vet determined she is between 9 months and 1 year old-the same age as Cara. I can't imagine a cat that young having SIX kittens, but it happens all the time. I feel sick about it. That poor creature, trying to survive in what was, up until recently, a truly heartless world.
She has an haunted quality to her expression that speaks volumes of what she has suffered. Though she is malnourished herself, she provides for her newborns as they struggle for access to the warm milk that sustains them.
Yesterday we prepared ourselves that this Mother would have to die based on what we heard from the shelter. She wasn't eating-for days. She was depressed, lethargic. What was wrong with her could have been the end of her.
Once she and her babies were in foster care, Mama began to EAT and eat well. It will take time for her to regain her strength as her hind end is red and swollen from many days of diarrhea. She has a small abscess on her tail that the Vet thinks is a self inflicted bite wound from giving birth. She may have been tugging at one of the kittens as they were being born and she bit her tail by accident. The wound is not bad and she really shouldn't have antibiotics just yet, so Maria will keep an eye on it and make sure it doesn't get infected.
Overall we were VERY LUCKY-SO FAR. Mama is in rather good shape, considering. They did a stool sample on her and it was negative for parasites. She had no fleas. Maybe she knew life in a home for a time, but they got rid of her a few days after she gave birth.
Her kittens were in good shape, again, for now! Maria and I are both terrified of them coming down with the you-know-what-plague that seems to hit every cat that comes out of a shelter. It's wait and see. I find I am a bit reluctant to give them names-that said, should the worst happen, maybe they should have the dignity of having a name before they pass away? I hope it's not something we will meed to worry about. Right now, they're OK, getting fed and mostly sleeping in a big pile with each other-little orange puff balls.
I can't get over their orangey-goodness. I wish I could give them all kisses and welcome them to the world. Happy Belated Birthday to you my sweet babies!
Taking on seven new foster cats will require some funding. I'd like to start raising donations for them so we'll have it set aside when they need it-or in case of an emergency! I'm using a low cost S/N clinic, but even with that, everything that has to be done will be times seven cats.
If you want to send a donation DIRECTLY through to PayPal, then we will get 100% of your donation IF you take the following steps:
1. Log in to YOUR PayPal Account
2. Select the tab: SEND MONEY (on the top of the page)
3. To: firstname.lastname@example.org, Fill in Amount, then choose the PERSONAL tab below where you fill in the amount and select: THIS MONEY IS BEING SENT AS A: GIFT
4. Press "continue" to finish the payment transfer
Checks can be made out to: Kitten Associates. Please note: Bob's Angels on your check and mail to: P.O. Box 354, Newtown, CT 06470-0354
And now for some FUN. We need names! I'm open to suggestions-I may not use the names you offer, but let's give it a shot. We need a name for Mama and we have FIVE BOYS AND ONE GIRL (we think) who need names, too. They should all have names in honor of Bob. Here are his names and nicknames: Robert J. Dole, Bob Dole, Baba-D, Bobbie Tinkleberry (hee hee). Post a comment here with your suggestions or visit our Facebook page and leave a comment there.
In honor of my beloved, Bob, who died 12 days ago, I decided to rescue a cat. When I found out about an orange kitty stuck in a tiny cage at Henry County, sick and starving with six tiny kittens stripping her of any energy she has left, I knew I met “the one” that needed my help. In this case, it turned out to be “the seven” who needed me.
©2009 Robin A.F. Olson. My darling, Bob.
I'm VERY VERY LUCKY I have good friends who support my rescue “habit.” Over the course of this morning and afternoon, I was able to put together a number of plans, which included the dreaded “worse case scenario.” They told us that Mama “was not doing well” and not eating. That could mean a million different things. Is it as simple as she's scared and unhappy? Is she getting an upper respiratory infection? Or is something deeply wrong with her? Something the Vet can't correct? Something VERY costly to cure?
I had to ask everyone on our team if they would be able to handle it if Mama had to be euthanized. I didn't even want to ask. Bobby didn't even bat an eye. He is willing to be our warrior. I knew I could count on him. Maria found a backup foster home in case the babies have to be bottle fed. Then Connie, understanding the risk of pulling a sick cat from a shelter, said that her group, Animals in Distress, would help us with initial vetting!
How could I say no?
So I didn't!
Then we all started to panic, worrying about the worst case...would Mama be OK?
Bobby got her out of Henry at 4pm. An hour later, I found out the good news-MAMA IS NEGATIVE/NEGATIVE for FIV+ and Feline Leukemia!!!!!
But why wasn't she eating?
I don't have complete details yet, but Mama has a small abscess on the base of her tail. That has been treated. Otherwise they thought she was in VERY GOOD overall condition. I don't even know how old she is or the birthday of her six little kittens. All I know is she is SAFE and will be in a warm, clean room with plenty of good food to eat. Hopefully, once she settles down, she will want to eat. She won't need to use a tiny litter pan as a place to rest. She'll have a nice, soft bed. She'll have the companionship of someone who loves cats deeply and hopefully one day, when they are all old enough, they will come to my home and be fostered here.
We don't even know if we have six boys or a mix of sexes. We barely even know what they look like. All that matters is that they're a lovely orange, perhaps more rich and deep in tone than Bob, but it works for me. I am so VERY HAPPY to be able to have been part of saving their lives. It softens the pain of losing Bob, just a little bit.
Today is the beginning of their story with us and unlike Bob, they will have a great start with everything they need so they'll never have to get FIV+ and suffer through a sad end the way Bob did.
I think Bob sent this family to me. I just found out they were born the day he died.
Here we are again...in that same, familiar place. Another Mama cat and her six newborn kittens are in DIRE NEED OF RESCUE by a GA LICENSED RESCUE ORGANIZATION---that needle in a haystack so difficult to find.
©2011 Betsy Merchant.
Apparently, Mama isn't eating. She gave birth a few days ago and hasn't eaten since. As she grows weaker she is at high risk of getting SICK, then she will be put down, along with her innocent babies. This breaks my heart especially because being orange, they make me think of Bob and how much I'd like to rescue them in his honor.
©2011 Betsy Merchant.
There are many obstacles-the big one is what is wrong with mama? If she is VERY SICK she may need to be put down. Can I make that choice? Can Bobby, who will have to pick her up, be in the room with her. What will that do to him? What about the kittens? Are they going to be sick, too? Will this be another year long many thousands of dollars vet bill? What if Maria has to bottle feed the babies? She can't! She has to work!
THIS IS DIRECTLY FROM BETSY-------------------------
This precious young little Mama is in dire shape. We cannot find anything she will eat. She is skin and bones and literally wasting away here while desperately trying to care for her 6 newborns.
©2011 Betsy Merchant.
We have given her every type of canned and dry chow and she just will not eat any of it. I have boiled some chicken to take tomorrow and try but we are running out of time. She is so thin, and she cannot keep feeding her tiny tots.
©2011 Betsy Merchant.
PLEASE spare them, we need rescues help NOW!
©2011 Betsy Merchant.
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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.
Henry County Animal Care and Control
527 Hampton Street
McDonough, Georgia 30253
Monday-Friday: 9 am-4:30 pm
Saturday: 9 am-1 pm
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