P.E.T.S.,LLC

King of My Heart

It's hard to believe that we rescued King from a palette factory in Georgia six months ago. In that time, King has been transformed from a thin, filthy rag of a cat into a lovely, chubby cuddlebug.

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©2012 Maria S. King getting settled prior to transport.

King is very special to me, even from afar. Knowing he must have had a difficult life living outside, handicapped by a deformity that robbed him of his hind paws, made me imagine the worst. How he must have suffered trying to get around with two stumps for back legs-especially with trucks, cars and fork lifts buzzing around him. How did he manage? How did he not get run over and killed? How is it that he's so darn friendly? I know the folks at the factory fed him scraps when they could and they put a piece of cardboard down under an outdoor staircase so he's have some sort of shelter, but someone handled this cat. That much is clear.

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©2012 Maria S. Not so sure about going for a long ride.

Six months is a long time to be in foster care waiting for a forever home, but Maria and I both knew that finding King the right home wasn't going to be easy. In fact, a small rescue like mine shouldn't even take on anything other than cute little easy-to-adopt-out kittens. We don't have the staff or the foster home space to take on a cat we can't find a home for within a short amount of time. If we had a brick and mortar shelter we COULD take on more adults. If we took on as few as three adults who would be tough to place, it would prevent us from saving MANY more kittens from Kill Shelters. It's a very tough place for us to be in, but I know in time we'll take on more adults when we have the resources. I'll still help the few I can and get the word out on other adults I can find another rescue to take on.

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©2012 Maria S. Maria watches the transport make it's way north.

But King had something about him, from the moment Bobby called me, describing this cat's plight. Bobby had seen him a year ago, then not again for a long while. When he saw him again, he knew he had to ask me, knowing full well that this is not a cat I can usually help. I understood that taking King on would cause some issues for us, but I couldn't say no. I'd never sleep at night thinking about him out there struggling to survive.

I had lots of questions and concerns. What could I do for him? Would he need surgery? Was he semi-feral? What was I getting myself into? I'd cared for a cat who had a limb amputated but not one without back feet who could not walk on a floor unless it was carpeted.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. I saw many black dogs come off the transport. Black animals in the south still carry the stigma of being bad luck.

 


©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. King arrives, though not very happily.

On Saturday, King's transport arrived. Whatever concerns I had about him would be put to the test. The Vets and Specialist declared there was nothing more to be done for him. What would I do with a cat who couldn't jump or run around-who could only travel as far as I placed rugs or towels on the floor? Would I feel strange touching him…seeing his back legs end prematurely into rounded stumps that showed signs of a paw pad and deformed toes-but which didn't function as such?


©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Meet King.

The trip was tough on King. He was crying and upset off the transport because it was filled with barking dogs. I HATE to put him through that, but the trip ends and the damage to his nerves won't last forever. It's a necessary evil if I want to get King here reliably and safely for a reasonable amount of money.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Getting to know King.

King was clearly confused and upset, but once he was in the car with me, without the sound of the dogs, he got very quiet and just sat towards the back of his carrier. I spoke to him as we drove along, but he didn't move or make a peep.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. He loves to be loved. King has a heart of gold.

I brought him upstairs to the bathroom which would be his temporary home. He hid and cried.

I got him something to eat and sat with him. I wasn't sure I could pet him, but I had to try. The second I touched him, he softened up and pushed his head back into my hand. I scratched his neck and he flopped down on his side, rolling against me. It took a few minutes, but I coaxed him out of his hiding place. Watching him walk made me sad. His little back legs can't get a grip on a smooth surface so he slipped a little bit trying to reach the cat bed I'd put out for him. He climbed into the bed. It was the first time I really got a good look at him.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. You know what King wants!

King gained FIVE POUNDS since we rescued him and I could feel the weight of him as I stroked his back, then his sides. He quickly turned over, opening himself to me by showing his belly. He had no reservation allowing me to pet him there, too. He wriggled around, keeping eye contact with me. He loved being scratched under the chin and behind his ears. If I hit a certain “right” spot, his back leg would twitch and dig at the air, just as a dog would do.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Chillaxin' on his "throne."

 

My heart sank as I realized King could not scratch himself, EVER. He had no way to do that. Of course he'd LOVE it if someone would scratch him so I spent a long time scratching every part of his head and neck, allowing his twitchy back legs to guide me to the right places.

 

The longer I scratched, the happier King got. He seemed grateful for this small gesture. He couldn't get up and run off or jump on the cat tree and look out the window. He could sit next to me and be my buddy and he seemed fine with that and I did, too.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Such a good boy! (by the way, King is going to the Vet this morning to re-check why his third eyelids are showing)

Although I still feel sad when I see King's back legs, it hit me all of a sudden-of course it really didn't matter that he's handicapped. He's a great cat, paws or no paws. King doesn't know what he's missing. He never had it in the first place. He doesn't let that stop him from living his life to the fullest.

King is here today because Bobby and Maria offered to help him, but the gravity of this rescue hit me. If I hadn't said; “I've got your back-yes I'll take you into my rescue,” this never would have happened. I looked down at King. He flipped over and showed me his belly again. He looked into my eyes and in that moment nothing else mattered. As the tears slid down my cheeks, I fell in love with this cat. This once miserable wreck of a beast, with no hope in his life, laying before me, completely surrendering himself to me, trusted me to do right by him-and I know I did. I felt honored. I felt humbled. I felt hopeful that a cat as sweet and gentle as King would find his forever home soon…

…maybe sooner than I imagined.

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Jackson Galaxy-In My Arms at Last!

The next chapter of Jackson Galaxy's transformation from shelter-cat-on-death-row, to rescued and re-homed, took place this morning. I was amused that here I was, waiting for the transport to arrive because I'd posted a simple status update on Facebook, letting everyone know about this cat, without having any means of taking him into my rescue (I had no space to do so at the time). Yet, here I was, picking him up for my sister rescue, AID, who gave me the green light to save this kitty on their behalf. It was my honor to pick him up and personally deliver him to the shelter.

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©2012 Betsy Merchant. Henry Co. Care & Control. I see this kitty and know he's gotta be saved.

The transport from Georgia arrived a few minutes after 9AM. I was ready to pop out of the car and race to the truck so I'd be first in line. As usual, the transport was full of dogs and our sole kitty rescue, Jackson Galaxy, must have been none too thrilled to be in such company.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Jackson, just seconds off the transport.

The offload took a few minutes and before I knew it, one of the guys was bringing Jackson to me. Jacks cried once, then I hustled him into the car, trying to shoot some video to record this bit of history while I was at it.

I'm deeply embarrassed by the video I shot, but I'll post it anyway. Make sure you don't listen (of course you will) to the soundtrack. Yours truly sounds like a moron! Woohoo! Oh well. Live an learn.


©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Jackson arrives and I seem to have Tourette's!

Once in the car, with the sound of the barking dogs well muffled. I reached into my pocket and took out a few dehydrated chicken treats for Jackson. He sniffed but didn't eat any, preferring to rub his face onto my fingers. I love his big head. His fur felt very plush. I wanted to take him out of the cat carrier, but I didn't know how he'd behave. I still had another 30 minute drive before we got to AID, so I started up the car and waved goodbye to the guys. I'm sure I'll be seeing them again, but for now I needed to get Jackson to his new home base.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Nom-noms!

Jackson was quiet in the car. I'm sure he just wanted to rest. I called out to him a few times and he looked at me through the holes in the carrier. I slipped a few fingers into his crate, keeping one hand on the steering wheel. He rubbed against them, marking me as his. It was a sweet gesture. I couldn't want to really give him some good lovin'.

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I love that this kitty is named after Cat Daddy, Jackson Galaxy. If you're not familiar-Jackson Galaxy is the star of a terrific show on Animal Planet called; “My Cat From Hell.” If you want to understand how your cat thinks and how to have a better life with your cat, watch this show! My only problem with it is sometimes I want to reach through the TV and smack some of the cat guardians-what ARE those people thinking putting a shock collar on their cat?! I'm SO GLAD Jackson is there to save the day! Anyway-the name just fits the cat. He's such a sweet cat, but he has a very “chill” vibe about him. He seems like the sort of cat who likes to be social, but not in your face. He's cool with whatever-goes with the flow. It's a bit ironic that the cat is just one color-white, while Jackson, the man, is very colorful, indeed.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. He may look a bit cranky, but Jackson was all sweetness and love.

Once at AID, Jackson got to the business of doing his business, then had a few snacks, while Katherine, the Shelter Manager, and I fussed over him. Jackson will be in a big crate for a day or so, just to let him acclimate. Within a few seconds a little tortie came over and said hello. Jackson was not bothered at all. He didn't even notice her. He seemed ready to meet everyone, but we wanted to make sure he got some time to himself before he was free to move around the shelter.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. He's not peeing! LOL! What a cutie!

Katherine made up a card for his cage so the volunteers who come in to clean every day, would know who he was. I gave him some special treats and a catnip toy. He seemed perfectly at ease and enjoyed all the attention.

AID will be putting Jackson on Petfinder soon. They'll be brushing him to help him be extra pretty and are making sure he has whatever he needs until his forever family finds him. I think Jackson is in very good hands and getting closer to the end of his journey from out of the Kill Shelter and into a great home. (BTW-Jackson will not have to worry about being euthanized at AID-they do not do that!)

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Love muffin!

What makes this story even better is this:

 

I couldn't tell you this until now, but I spoke with Jackson Galaxy-Cat Daddy and not only was he delighted about having a cat named after him, he has graciously and generously offered a FREE mini-consult of 15 minutes to whomever adopts Jackson Galaxy, the cat! Woohoo!

 

Jackson is between 1 1/2 and 2 years old. He's neutered and UTD on his vaccines. He is negative/negative for FIV and Feline Leukemia. He is a domestic short hair, white with green eyes. He's friendly and sweet. We'll know how he gets on with other cats soon. So far, so good. If you're interested in adopting Jackson (the cat!), contact AID at info@animalsindistress.com

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MY CAT FROM HELL – IS ON TONIGHT, Saturday, January 28 at 8 PM ET/PT.

Foster Cat Math Part Two: The Pumpkin Patch Arrives

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©2011 Maria S. Bobette and family etting ready to leave for Connecticut.

I can't believe it's been over a week since the Pumpkin Patch family arrived from Maria's home in Georgia. This time of year, it's always more hectic and I had much to do before this family arrived. Even after picking the family up off the transport, the boys only had an hour break before I packed them up and brought them to my rescue group's Home for the Holidays Adoption Event! (I left mama, Bobette home to rest. She was very cranky with the boys and I thought some alone time would do her good).

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©2011 Maria S. The transport awaits.

The planning and setup for Adoption Events always leaves me knackered. Someday I hope to have volunteers able to help me get these things done. My car isn't very big, but it seems as though there's an endless supply of “stuff” that has to be crammed into it. Things need to be packed, washed, organized, then I have to figure out how many cats there are plus how many crates needed, plus where is this all going to go and how is it going to get to Choice Pet Supply where the event is being held?

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©2011 Robin A.F Olson. Would you adopt me?

Irene is my right hand woman. She shows up. She helps. She fills up her car with whatever I ask. She jumps in and chats people up and tries to get us a few sales or donations. Sam will load up his car, too and help us get the tough things set up, then he scampers off to work on his own projects. I end up having to design flyers, send out notices to the newspapers-the online ones, the printed ones. Then the flyers have to be hung up around town, if I can get away long enough to do that. There's just an amazing amount of work to be done. Meanwhile, there are cats to care for and all their paperwork to fill out, what vaccination they need, getting them to the vet, vetting potential adopters. No wonder I always seem to be stressed out and feeling like I don't have enough time in the day.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Cutie!

We got some applications and I met with folks who had emailed me about stopping by to visit the kittens. It was all going well when all of a sudden, I heard one of the Angel Babies furiously meowing and scratching at the plastic tray bottom of their crate. As I lifted the cover off the back of their cage, my nostrils were violated by a powerfully nauseating smell. Then, I saw it-diarrhea! Ugh.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Bananas are good fun.

Irene and I quickly started to clean up the mess. Thankfully the poop wasn't on the bedding in the cage so the cleaning wasn't difficult. The smell, however, was not going away. I had a small litter pan ready to go. It was too soon into the event to offer it to the kittens, or so I thought. If one of the kittens had the runs, I figured I'd better give them the litter pan. Seconds after I placed the pan in the cage, two of the kittens started digging around in the litter. At first I thought they were just bored and playing with it, but after a few minutes it was clear that another kitten had to let it rip-and so he did.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Jakey the sneak-attack biter!

I truly believe that the U.S. Government should use mooshie cat poop smell as chemical warfare. There is no way troops wouldn't be quickly offended by the stank and run for the hills! Did we manage to clear the store? YES! It was great at keeping the crowds down. Just what we needed.

The orange boys did fine. They were bouncing around, having fun. They laid on each other and the three of them started grooming each other. It was so cute that it made everyone forget the lingering stench, as they crowded around the cage, “ooo-ing and ahh-ing.”

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Hello! This is Teddy or Mikey. I think it's Teddy.

People would ask me questions about the boys, but like the white kitties, I couldn't tell the orange kitties apart (I am starting to a week later, though).

Meanwhile, poor Mazie sat forlornly in her cage. She growled a bit so we covered her up. I bravely stuck my hand into her cage and she started to purr. She forgave me from locking her in a cage by giving me her belly to rub. I felt very guilty about having her at the event, but she's GOT to find a forever home! She's been with us for a YEAR already and she's such an awesome cat!

I was grateful when 4pm came so we could pack up and get home. I wanted to lay down and go to sleep right then and there, but I knew that once we got back I'd have to feed the foster cats, make sure they were all right, then unload the cars and put things away.

I got the cats fed, but after that my body complained to the point where I just had to sit down for awhile. Unloading the cars could wait.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Bobette a few moments after arriving.

I also wanted to spend some time with Bobette and the boys. I didn't have a chance to get to know them that morning, so now was the time.

I let the boys out of their carrier and Bobette looked at them and hissed. She's barely bigger than they are and at certain times I can't tell which one is the kitten and which is the mother. A few of kittens foolishly went over to their mom and she attacked them. I don't think she had her claws out, but the sound she made was one of pure rage. I made sure the boys were fine. They were scared, but ok. I got them all fed. I kept Bobette away from the kittens. I worried that she might attack me, as well, but she seemed relaxed around me or was it because I was feeding her?

What happened on the transport? Bobette was fine with the boys when she left Georgia, but now she was clearly not interested in having them near her at all.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Bobette (far right) screams at her boys to get away.

The boys picked at their food, so did Bobette. They'd been eating dry food, softened with water, and I knew I'd have to break them of the habit; better now than never.

After they ate, the boys ran around. I called Bobette over to me. I was sitting on the bed. She came over and let me pet her. She climbed into my lap and got comfortable. I cautiously petted her. She relaxed until a kitten would come near her. As that happened, she'd alert, then growl. She'd lash out if the kitten dared to ignore her warning. I didn't want to lay there with an angry cat in my lap, but she went right back to relaxing and enjoyed my company. She even rolled over with her belly up in the air. I took a long look at her. She's very much got an Oriental Shorthair body with a classic orange tabby coat. She's long and lean with a wedge shaped head, dainty long legs and a long, delicate tail. I didn't see her limping, that would come later. Right now she was content-if I could just keep the boys away from her.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Weeeee!

I'd seen this behavior before, but never so severe. I wondered if I should crate Bobette, but with her painful leg issue, I realized that maybe it was her pain that was making her lash out? I asked Dr. Mixon, one of our Vets, about this and he said it might be typical behavior of the mother pushing the males out of the colony to keep the colony from having inbreeding issues or...well he wasn't sure. Even after almost a week, she's still aggressive towards them.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Da boyz.

The boys are doing well according to Dr. M. Mikey has a broken tail tip. We don't know when or how it happened, but it's already healed. Teddy was all right and Jakey was a nightmare getting his vaccines; what a screamer!

Bobette is another story. I see her jumping with some difficulty. She wants to play, but the boys get in her way and she gets angry. Some times she'll run around the room, clearly having fun, but after a few moments, she starts to limp very badly. Her drive to do more is hampered by what happened to her leg. She was in an accident of some kind and it's badly dislocated her kneecap. Dr. M rated it a 4 out of 4; 4 being the most severe. He feels he can correct the problem with surgery and that the patella (kneecap) shouldn't pop back out. I remembered when we first rescued Bobette that the folks at Henry County said they couldn't get her to eat for four days. Perhaps she'd just been hit by a car? Perhaps that had something to do with her inability to provide for her six kittens? I can't seem to let go that we lost three babies. I want to know why they died so we can prevent that from happening again. I know I'll never know why they're gone, but maybe the trauma their Mother suffered had something to do with it?

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Lanky, lean and lovely-Bobette.

The surgery would cost $2500.00. I'm NOT going to ask for donations. What I really need is FOOD, LITTER and some NEW TOYS for this family and for the Angel Babies. I'll be setting up a ChipIn to ask for donations for our Food & Fun Fund soon. I have to wrap my head around what Dr Mixon told me the rescue price would be for the surgery, first.

Anyone want to guess?

He's going to charge us $100.00. That's not a typo. ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS! When he first told me, I thought I was going to cry. I knew we have no where NEAR $2500.00 in our bank account and I was guessing he'd charge us around $1500.00. When he said, $100.00 I asked him to make sure that's what he wanted and he said to just put the word out about his Practice and help folks get to know him. After the surgery is done early next year, I'll be writing more about Dr. Mixon and his practice. For now, I'm very grateful we have his services to depend on and that when we do have money, it will last us much longer. Dr. Mixon also doesn't charge us an exam fee for rescue cats as long as we don't take advantage of his time. We just keep it to a few hours a month. So far, it's worked great.

Without the burden of a huge Vet bill, I can focus on helping Bobette recover. She'll have to have three weeks of cage rest and three weeks of low activity. Instead of going to AID, which was the original plan, Bobette will have to stay here for awhile, until she's better.

This poor girl; she's barely a year old and what hell she's been through in such a short time. You know me, I'll do whatever I can to help her go from “Meh to MEOW!”

In the meantime, I have about 12 other kitties I need to find forever homes for!

Make Christmas in Connecticut a Dream Come True

Bobette and her boys visited Dr. T at Noah's Ark to have their spay/neuter surgery. As they often do, because they're so young and male, the boys were fine and running around after their surgery. Bobette didn't fare as well. Her surgery was unremarkable, but sadly, Bobette was very uncomfortable after her spay.

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©2011 Maria S. Poor Bobette was very uncomfortable after her spay surgery

I'm very glad that Maria is such a doting foster mama. She saw Bobette angrily swatting at the kittens, as she sat curled up tightly. As any woman knows, the good old heating pad is a friend during certain times of the month. Maria figured the same might be true for what would comfort Bobette so she offered her the same soothing warmth. Bobette gingerly stepped onto the heating pad, then slowly stretched out. Her injured rear leg sat in a slightly awkward angle as Bobette curled her front legs under her chin. Poor Bobette. We don't know how her kneecap became subluxated or what happened to her bones fusing together. I have to get Bobette to Connecticut so she can have more tests and see a specialist, but our ChipIn isn't doing very well and we REALLY need help getting Bobette and family to Connecticut.

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©2011 Maria S. Maria wisely offered Bobbie a heated pad, which helped her relax. You can see her kneecap is not in the correct location.

We use PETS, LLC to transport our cats. They're professional and though 97.4% of their transports are DOGS, they give us a place up front for the cats. The transport fee for the family of four is $300.00 ($75/cat). Yes, we could dig around to find a cheaper transport, but many aren't as reliable as PETS and don't provide the same attention to the animals during transport. If we can't do a private transport, this is a solid alternative.

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©2011 Maria S. They boys did well after being neutered and it's clear they LOVE sleeping on a BED..

Adoption applications are coming in and this time of year there's a blip up in adoptions. The Pumpkin Patch has a reservation on a transport for next week and I have an Adoption Event for the day they arrive. I hope they can make it up here in time, but I may have to hold off on moving them if we can't raise the funds.

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©2011 Maria S. Teddy.

Sometimes I wish I could just get in my car and go get them. I can't wait for them to be here. I need some orangey goodness now that Bob has been gone these past three months. Bob...I miss him so very much. In the next month or so I will be making a big announcement about him. I wish I could tell you now, but it has to stay a secret awhile longer. I know you'll be thrilled when you find out! Okay..I'll stop teasing you!

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©2011 Maria S. Mikey's stripes are getting more defined.

A week has passed and Bobette is feeling better. She's still a bit testy with the kittens, but that's to be expected. They boys are oblivious and spend their days playing, napping and growing. They're ready for their next adventure-Christmas in Connecticut-and with any luck, a forever Home for the Holidays.

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©2011 Maria S. Mikey is too tired to be photographed.

Your donation for 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:

Kitten Associates
P.O. Box 354
Newtown, CT 06470-0354

Thank you very much for helping Bobette and her family!

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©2011 Maria S. Bobette finally feeling better after a few days of rest.

Foster Cat Journal: A Farewell to Phil

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

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

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

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

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

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©2011 Bobby Stanford.

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

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©2011 Bobby Stanford.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Not on My Watch: Together, Always!

We didn't rescue Noelle and Amelia at the same time or ever think they would bond like mother and daughter, but what did we know? We just wanted to save their lives.

As you may recall, Noelle was running wild in the middle of winter in Georgia. She was freezing and starving. She made the mistake of seeking shelter under the hood of a car, it's engine still warm. Noelle didn't get burned, but when an unsuspecting person started the engine, Noelle screamed, her tail caught up in the fan belt.

Fortunately, Noelle was not critically injured, but part of her tail was badly mangled. Her scream, saved her. Though the person who found her could not provide care for her. Out of pain and fear, Noelle bit her rescuer and what could have been “the end” for Noelle, was the beginning of her luck changing. Noelle was brought to Henry County Care & Control, where they could do little for her, but keep her on a ten day bite hold. While her tail began to get necrotic, the one thing they could do was let us know she needed help. We acted quickly. As soon as the holding period was over, I arranged to get her vetted right away. Thanks to many of you, we raised enough money to provide for her care.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Noelle waiting to be adopted.

While in foster care, it became apparent that Noelle was very shy. We worried that her biting her rescuer was a sign she might be feral. Her foster mom worked with her and thankfully, no more biting.A few weeks later, Noelle met Amelia, who we had rescued after she was dumped at the shelter. Noelle didn't want to be away from Amelia and Amelia welcomed her company. She'd even let Noelle eat off her plate. She'd stand protectively next to her until she got her fill, then she would would eat.

It was as if the stars aligned for these two cats. One got the love she needed to blossom into a fearless feline and the other, possibly missing her own offspring, felt needed and loved again.

We transported the girls to Connecticut and our friends at Animals in Distress offered to take them into their shelter. They agreed that they would only adopt out the girls TOGETHER. They were too bonded to be separated without causing them both a lot of stress.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Amelia. What a sweet lady!

Weeks passed. Kitten season was in full force. The numbers on Petfinder told us that 100's of people saw their ads, but none wanted BOTH cats. AID stuck to their guns about keeping the girls together and I'm glad they did.

Just a month after arriving, the girls got adopted! They're going to live with a great family who are family members of volunteers at AID, so hopefully that'll mean we'll get updates on the girls from time to time.

Somehow it all worked out even though I had no idea where these cats would be fostered once they got to Connecticut and even though I didn't have funds for Noelle's care, we raised it. I can't say things will always work out for the best, but this time it did. All the best to these sweet ladies. I hope they will be forever happy and loved in their new home!

Not on My Watch:The Happy Arrivals

I just couldn't wait any longer. I got the cats fed and/or pilled. Got myself dressed. I double checked I had everything, then left the house at 8AM knowing full well I'd arrive at the PETS Transport drop off location in Danbury 30 minutes early. I needed to get my hands on Noelle and Amelia. I wanted them off that big truck and into a warm, quiet car...really, into my lap. I've seen only a few photos of the girls and heard stories about them, but today, Connie and I were finally going to meet them. It's been so long since I felt the joy of rescuing a cat. I really have missed it.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Look familiar? Yep! Transport day is here!

There were only a few cars in the parking lot when I arrived. The car next to me, a subaru from NY had a couple in it holding a small beagle. I thought how nice it was that this dog was getting a new buddy today and how much things would change for that dog-hopefully for the better.

I listened to the radio, which in my car is rather daunting since the reception isn't so great. I heard about a new book that sounded interesting, but already forgot the title. I was just too excited. I kept scanning the parking lot for the truck and for Connie's car.

I watched Connie's SUV pull into the parking lot. I watched her navigate past some geese who were waddling around in the the parking lot. As Connie got closer, I waved at her. She saw me and I could see her jumping up and down in her seat! It was a hilarious sight. Connie is the perkiest person I have ever met. Her energy and good cheer is contagious and it made me feel even more excited.

There was already a truck form PETS in the lot, but I checked with them and they said the cats were on the next transport to arrive (any minute). I tried to stop Connie from getting out of the car, into the cold rain, but the second she parked, she was out of the car, ready to RUN over to the truck. I got things sorted out with her and we both sat in her car while we continued to wait.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. One of Kyle's team brings out someone's new dog.

The transport was right on time and as it pulled up, Connie said she was going to start crying (again!), just like last time. Seeing people meet their new pet for the first time is very moving. I think the lousy weather and the fact there weren't many people to pick up animals made it less emotional for us. I saw Kyle Petersen, the owner of PETS and the guy you see featured on Animal Planet's “Last Chance Highway,” get out of the truck. I met Kyle at a Conference a few years ago and we had a good chat about moving cats north. He's a really sweet man. We said hello and I told him to watch the weather. Bad storms are due this afternoon and he said he'd keep safe. Since we were second in line we didn't have to wait long for the girls. As usual, they were the ONLY cats on the transport. It's always full of dogs, but cats are rarely moved. Yes, there's a big whoopdeedo about bringing cats anywhere since there's an overpopulation problem for cats nationwide.

In the northeast, we don't have a problem with dogs, so it's “ok” to move them without hearing a peep from local rescuers, though some say the pit bulls, which are often sitting in local shelters, get overlooked because folks can get a Lab or a Golden from the south. Honestly, I have gotten the most lovely, friendly and even stunning cats from the south and the odds are far greater they will be euthanized and have less chance to find a home than cats up here. Of course, if I had the space or foster homes, I'd rescue local cats, too. The best I can do right now is help network local rescue groups with folks here who need help with their cats.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Kyle and our first look at Noelle.

Kyle lifted Noelle out of the carrier to put her into our carrier. She looked scared, but we only saw her for a second. Another moment later, Kyle had Amelia in his hands. Connie and I were vibrating, we were so anxious to get the cats. Kyle handed me the paperwork and Connie took the carrier. We got into Connie's car. Noelle was meowing, not really crying. I carefully lifted Amelia out and gave her to Connie and I took Noelle.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Hi Amelia!

Both cats were frightened, so we just held them and petted them and let them settle down. Suddenly we were in no hurry to go anywhere or do anything. We just wanted the girls to relax and we wanted a chance to get to know them a bit before Connie took them to Animals in Distress's shelter in Wilton.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Amelia is a show-stopper, she's so gorgeous.

We held them for a long time before I even tried to take a photo. It was lovely to see them. Amelia is stunning. Her eyes are bright green and many of her toes are white on a black paw. She seemed interested in all that was around her and after a few minutes began to settle down. Of course Connie and I decided we wanted to take the cats home with us, but we knew we tormented ourselves knowing we couldn't.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. White toes! Hee hee.

I noticed the people who were in the car with the dog were back, but the car was empty. Then I realized it was because they gave the dog BACK to be transported back south. Connie and I were heartbroken. I think Connie wanted to get out of the car and smack those people. It was very weird because they drove a little way, then stopped suddenly just in front of the transport. I said I thought maybe they were reconsidering. They sat there for a few minutes. The transport started to leave and they followed it out onto the main road. It was very sad. I hope that dog will be all right.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Amelia sees the geese in the parking lot.

Noelle was finally settling down. I wanted to get some photos, so I put Amelia into the crate and gave Noelle to Connie. Noelle started to call out to Amelia and turned to look for her. She clearly did not want to be away from Amelia-even for a moment.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson.

Maria had warned me that Noelle had bonded very strongly to Amelia. It was clear she was okay with us, but she needed to be close to her surrogate mother. I took a few quick photos, then offered Noelle some food. She ate a bit, but when she heard Amelia eating in the carrier in the back seat, she got very squirmy. I took the hint and put both cats with their food, together.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Noelle was a bit nervous but didn't mind being held at all.

The next thing I saw shocked me. Amelia was eating. Noelle was at the back of the carrier, afraid. Then she came over to Amelia. She didn't walk under Amelia, rather Amelia put her front leg over Noelle, as if to protect her. Noelle felt safe enough to eat some food

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Amelia protects her little ward, Noelle.

I grabbed a few clumsy photos. If you look carefully, you can see Amelia's leg over Noelle. Noelle ate like that for a few moments, then they ate peacefully side by side. I said to Connie that we've got to adopt those two cats out together. She agreed. What a pair they are! The love they obviously have for each other is deeply touching. Of course it will make them harder to adopt. Connie is determined to see they stay together.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson.

Even though we had two carriers, we left the girls together in just one so they could snuggle up on the last leg of their journey. It'll be a bumpy few days as they get used to their new living situation, but I have a feeling that they won't be at the shelter for long, anyway. These lovely ladies had us both smitten. I'm sure there's a family out there who will feel the same as we do.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. I just LOVE Noelle's sweet face.

I was very happy to meet the girls. I had a good time talking to Connie. I hated to see them all leave for the shelter. My joy lasted until I walked in the front door of my home, had a huge fight with Sam, then he left for New York City, to visit his Mother in the hospital. Tomorrow it will be two weeks since she was admitted. It's unlikely she'll be going home any time soon.

Meanwhile, I'm left to wonder if Sam will be coming home any time soon, as well.

Not on My Watch: Finding a Way to Say Yes

I want to rescue every cat who needs help. As far as I'm concerned, they could all live here with me. It's “Kitten Season” and so many cats are giving birth right now-kittens everywhere. It will only get worse in the coming weeks. This is the time when most cat rescue groups gear up for the onslaught with calls coming in from frantic owners or just folks that find a surprise litter of kittens in their yard. Many of those cats aren't going to see their first birthday. Thinking about that makes my heart ache.

I want to be one of those groups who can say YES to taking in pregnant mamas or mamas and kittens, but the reality is that without foster homes, my hands are tied. Between my own cat, Bob having lymphoma and ringworm and my current fosters too sick to be adopted out, I have nowhere to put any more foster cats—plus it's just not good to bring more cats into this environment until we can do a serious scrub down.

I can't tell you how much I HATE not being able to say YES. I want to get going; get more cats into our Program so we can help save lives. I know it's temporary. I'll work it out. We'll get more foster families. We'll get our funding going. The thing is...I know that more cats will die because I can't say YES. I know it's not my fault, but knowing that I could have helped, but couldn't put all the elements in place to make it happen-that troubles me greatly.

A few months ago I said my last “YES” to helping two more kitties: Noelle and Amelia.

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©2011 Maria Sandoval. Sweet little Noelle.

Noelle was lost. A little kitten, cold and starving, hid under the hood of a car to get warm this winter. It was her mistake, but maybe her saving grace that she did what she did. Someone heard her cry when they started up the car. They were able to get to Noelle before she died. For her troubles, she had to give up most of her tail, but she got rescued and found herself in a warm home with our foster Mama in Georgia.

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©2011 Maria Sandoval. Rub the belly!

Because I've been partnering with Animals in Distress in Wilton, CT, I've been able to help out an extra adult cat or two. When our foster Mama, Maria, asked to rescue one more kitty, I could say YES because AID was there for us. Her name is Amelia and she's a lovely tortie/calico and over the months has formed a deep friendship with Noelle.

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©2011 Maria Sandoval.

The girls just gpt onto a PETS transport headed north-the same one they use on Last Chance Highway on Animal Planet. They'll be here early Saturday morning and I couldn't be more excited to finally meet them! Their arrival is another success-another sigh of relief. They're on to the next part of their journey-going to a small shelter that loves their cats, where they will make new friends and await their forever families to find them. Once they're adopted, we'll try to make room for rescuing a few more, but it's not enough.

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©2011 Maria Sandoval. Amelia and her awesome white toes.

We've GOT to find a way to save more cats. If you happen to live near us in Newtown, CT and you'd like to know more about fostering kittens for a few weeks, please contact me at info(@)kittenassociates.org. and if you want to save lives in your own hometown, contact your local shelter or rescue groups (you can find a list of them on Petfinder by doing a “search by state”). It doesn't take a big committment-just a few weeks until the kittens are old enough to be adopted. You'll literally save lives, right before your eyes.

Help me say YES! Let's DO THIS!

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.

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©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.

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©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.

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©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.

Not on My Watch: The Halloween Express Heads North

Two weeks ago four little tabby kittens were going to be euthanized. They were showing signs of developing an upper respiratory infection— sneezing and runny eyes. At the time it wasn't severe. In fact, it could have passed in a few days. The problem was, at Henry County, every sick cat gets euthanized-even IF it could have easily recovered...even if it didn't need to be treated by a Vet. That's the rules. There are too many animals in a facility that does not have quarantine rooms and if they did, they would be “full up” since the animals are exposed to each other and the stress of being in a shelter can make them “break” with a URI, too. Cats are really fragile creatures. I've come to learn that after last year's fiasco with “Santa's Team.” Dogs can take more stress, where cats seem to fall apart. To be crass, it just sucks. It's not fair. It's a senseless death for these animals.

Instead of waiting or emailing, I knew I had to call if I was going to save these cats and call I did. I called everyone at HCCAC and made SURE they were NOT going to euthanize the cats. As some of you know, the cats had 30 minutes-or less to live. A sobering thought, to say the least.

But we don't have to cry over these cats. They're not only safe, but yesterday afternoon, they said farewell to their beyond-fantastic-foster-mama, Maria and began their journey to Connecticut and to become Kitten Associates latest foster kittens.

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©2010 Maria Sandoval. From left to right: How do I know? The orange cats are Skittles and Candy Corn and the silver tabbies are Treat & Treat.

Maria made sure to get everyone to pose nicely for the camera before she had to pack them into their cat carriers. For once they stopped moving long enough to get a few cute photos.

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©2010 Maria Sandoval. I think this is Skittles? Maria? Who is it?

We cannot forget a special someone who will also be part of the Express to Connecticut-our Rocco! Rocco has been hanging out at Maria's, getting belly rubs, getting some good food. All he's doing is waiting for his ride. With that big belly and sweet face, I just KNOW we will find him a great home soon. Of all the cats, I'm most excited to meet Rocco. Knowing he was abandoned by his family, that he's an adult who's already lived half of his life, well, he should have all the love and comforts we can provide to him. Through everything, he remains a sweet, friendly beast. I just love him already.

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©2010 Maria Sandoval. Rocco! You are so CUTE!

Adoptions have been very slow for me. I still have four foster cats. Soon I'll have eight. I keep hoping I'll get some adopters-espeically for Moonie & Patty. They're asleep in a cat bed right next to my desk. They seem to belong here, but I can't afford ten cats of my own. I'm glad they fit in well since I'm guessing it will be awhile longer before I find them a forever home. At least they don't have to be locked up in my tiny bathroom any more. I think my cats are starting to calm down about having them here, too and the fountains of cat pee are slowly diminishing.

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©2010 Maria Sandoval. Hold still? for the camera?

Since Izzy and Mark aren't taking another trip down south (really, they DO have a life, you know!), thanks to Judith Hougaz and Deb Parry, the kitties are riding on a PETS, LLC transport. Sound familiar? If you watch “Last Chance Highway” on Animal Planet, it will all make sense. Kyle Petersen, the owner of PETS, also runs dogs (dogs!) to the northeast, some for a rescue group run by a very perky dog lover named, Shelley Brookwalter. Shelley and Kyle's friendship and partnershp to save animals is a highlight of the program. It's a heartwarming show, but it does irk me that cats are rarely ever transported and certainly never part of the show.

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©2010 Maria Sandoval. All aboard!

These are the accommodations. Keep in mind, they would be the same in anyone's car, as well. Of course the difference is there are also no barking dogs and more attention on a private transport. It's tough. Most transports are just like this or worse. The hope is they will get going FAST and get it over with SOON. I trust that Kyle runs a tight ship. I used them last year and all was well. Hopefully that will be the case with this run, too.

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©2010 Maria Sandoval. This is Steve. Maria gave him the third degree! He better take good care of those cats-OR ELSE!

If there was only some way to tell the cats that!

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©2010 Maria Sandoval. WE WANT OUT!

Poor Skittles and Candy Corn are just not havin' it!

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©2010 Maria Sandoval. REALLY! LET US OUT!

I feel worse for Rocco. He is old enough for this to really hit him hard. If only we could tell him what waits for him. I think he'd be happy to wait a bit longer and endure the noise and stress of the trip. Hang in there, buddy!

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©2010 Maria Sandoval. Awww...Rocco! Don't be scared. This is the worst part of your life. I promise it will get better really soon.

I have to agree with something Maria said to me today...it can't be 9am Saturday soon enough. That's when I'm scheduled to pick the cats up. Connie will be there with me to get Rocco. He'll be going to Animals in Distress just in time for an adoption event. My guys will be meeting Honey B. and Yodel. I sure hope they get along or I'm gonna be in trouble because they'll have to stay in the same room! I also hope the new crew DOES NOT GET SICK...OH GOD...NOT THAT AGAIN!

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©2010 Maria Sandoval. Skittles and Candy Corn. I sure hope to adopt them out together!

It's Friday afternoon. Moonie has his paws on my leg while Patty spoons him. It's quiet. The cats are all napping. The sky is overcast and the golden autumn leaves seem to glow. I can't help but know it's the calm before the storm, but I'll deal with it, whatever comes to pass. It's just that caring for and loving sixteen cats is a bit much-even for me.

Deep breath. Knock wood. It's going to be okay.

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