I was finally well enough to sit at my desk and try to string together a few cohesive thoughts. Three days of a cliché cold: sore throat, stuffy head, lungs loaded and tight were in the rear view mirror now. The only thing remaining was the kind of headache that makes you wish you didn't have a head. I couldn't spend another day in bed watching episodes of Upstairs, Downstairs on my small iPad screen. I would muddle along.
I tried to catch up on e-mails and sort out what I needed to get done. I didn't want to do too much right away because relapse is not an option, especially this time of year. As I sat at my desk, the late morning sun was bright and warmed my feet. Cats came and went, searching for the prime spot to nap away the afternoon. I heard Bandit and Honeydew running around the house, chasing each other, wrestling, but eventually they, too, couldn't resist my warm office full of soft cat beds.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Bandit keeps me company while I'm in bed with a cold.
I happened to glance down to my left. Bandit was belly up, apparently asleep. She was trembling. Amused, I thought she was dreaming, but her movements weren't the quirky-jerky shifts I've seen other cats do. I shot a video of her, at first trying not to wake her, then worried something was wrong. I woke her up and she was still shaking. I wondered if she was cold so I cradled her in my arms as her body continued to quake.
I petted her and talked to her. For a second or two she'd stop, then start up again. She seemed sleepy so I sat back in my chair and held her, falling ever deeper in love with this tiny little kitten. She's half the size of her brother and light as a feather. She would wake slightly, but the shaking didn't stop. I called the Vet and they said to watch her, keep her warm, let them know if it keeps going on.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. If you're not in love with Bandit there's something wrong with you.
I called out to Sam and the two of us began to set up a heated bed for her. I worried she was feverish so I took her temperature. It was 100.6°F which is normal.
After fifteen minutes passed, with Bandit still shaking, I called my Vet again. They could see her at 5pm. It was barely 12:30pm. Something in my gut said not to wait. I asked if I could bring her and leave her in case they could see her sooner and they agreed, offering I could see Dr. Mary right away if I didn't want to wait to see Dr. Larry.
As I raced to the Vet, I started to run through what could be troubling Bandit. Was she fighting off an infection? Was a toxin coursing through her? Did she get hurt? I said a silent prayer for Bandit to please be all right. Not Bandit. Not this sweet angel of a kitten. I also hoped this wouldn't cost too much. Our finances aren't the best and I knew too well how one Vet visit could easily break the bank.
Thankfully it was quiet at my Vet's office. They immediately took Bandit in the back room to check her temperature. It had gone up to 101.4°F which is still normal, but on the rise. I felt panicked and weak. I realized I hadn't eaten anything and my stomach growled loudly. I didn't care about eating, but the stress and low blood sugar was making me feel faint.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Bandit appeared to be dreaming, but then I realized she was awake and shaking badly. I rushed her to the Vet shortly after this was shot.
Dr. Mary and Super Deb began a careful examination. Dr. Mary talked about everything she was doing and what she was or wasn't finding. “Her heart and lungs sound normal. I'm palpating her abdomen and she's not complaining so there's no pain there. I don't feel anything abnormal.” Dr. Mary continued on as Super Deb comforted Bandit and kept her from wiggling off the table. She put Bandit on the floor and we watched her walk. I called to her and she ran over to me with her tail up high.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson.
They ran a complete blood panel and re-did her snap test. I sat in the waiting room with my heart pounding. Every time a door opened I jumped-wondering what the news would reveal. Those fifteen minutes passed, taking a few years off my life as I worried. When Dr. Mary came to discuss the results I almost jumped out of my skin.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Super Deb comforts Bandit.
Dr. Mary began researching toxins. The only thing I could think of were a few plants-none were an issue and an open (empty) bottle of Dayquil that I remembered I'd left on the counter. Dr. Mary was very worried about that and said that the blood work wouldn't show if Bandit had been poisoned, depending on what she ingested and when. My heart sank. Surely this kitten wasn't going to DIE?!
We discussed everything from epilepsy to birth defects to the dry form of FIP. Red-faced, I told her that earlier that morning Bandit almost jumped into an open toilet and I'd had no other choice but to pin her against the vanity with my leg to keep her from falling in. I felt terrible. Did I cause her internal damage? What the HELL was going on?
I had to leave Bandit with Dr. Mary. They gave her pain meds and sub q fluids. Dr. Mary felt if she could calm Bandit down and soothe her pain she would stop shaking, then hopefully it would not resume once the pain meds wore off. If not, Bandit would have to see a neurologist and get a CT scan. I knew if that happened we were done for-the costs-$1200 to $1400 just for the scan. Bandit had to get better.
It was a long afternoon. I kept running things over in my head. What did I do? What did she get into? Facebook friends gave suggestions or left supportive comments, praying for Bandit to be ok.
I had the difficult task of calling Donna, Bandit's rescuer and first foster mama to tell her the news. I knew she'd be just as upset as I was and I struggled, trying to be calm and not burst into tears. She took the news well, but I knew it was killing her, too.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Bandit says goodbye the to the staff at Dr. Larry's.
I felt so happy and light, not bothered by anything as I drove along the crowded highway, a journey I've probably taken a thousand times over the years. This was a good trip. I couldn't wait to see Bandit. I got to the Clinic, smiling and anxious. One of the staff told me that Dr. Mary wanted to talk to me. I said I'd just spoken to her on the phone and she said she knew that, but that the doctor still wanted to talk about something. My heart sank.
I went in the back room where only staff were usually allowed. The walls are lined with varying sizes of stainless steel cages. It's brightly lit and spotlessly clean. I zeroed in on Bandit. She was far off to the left, curled up on a heated pad in the back of her 2' x 2' cage.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. After a long, difficult day, finally some rest.
Whatever joy I may have felt evaporated into the frosty night air. The drive home in the darkness did nothing to soothe either myself or Bandit, who cried, desperate to get out of her carrier. We set up a dog crate for her, hoping she would rest and do nothing else. I offered her a litter pan and she peed away all the sub q fluids. I gave her something to eat and she didn't hesitate to enjoy her dinner. I shut the door to the crate and she sat there, mild tremors coursing through her body. I resigned myself to it being a long night and began my hyper-vigilant watch of her every move.
Over the next hour or two it was clear that Bandit was not happy being confined. Each time I opened the crate door she'd slip past me and dash around the living room. I decided to bring her to my bedroom and close the door so I could watch her and she'd have space to move around and not feel stressed. I offered her toys and she wanted to play. She jumped on the bed. She chased her brother, then her brother chased her. She wouldn't sit still long enough for me to see if she was shaking. She seemed like her old self, yet I couldn't believe she was suddenly just fine.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson.
I didn't want to believe it, but she seemed fine. This morning she was playful, hungry and just as loving as ever. As I sat at my desk, trying to put this story together, she climbed into my arms, fussing about until she found a comfortable position. I cradled her just as I had a day before, but this time the only vibration I felt was from her deep, blissful purr.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. This morning with Bandit in my arms.
With all the shopping madness ramping up and the rush to get ready for the Holidays, it's lovely that organizations who really need the help, have their chance today with Giving Tuesday.
My Non-profit rescue group, Kitten Associates, has been blessed with an early number of donations of food, treats and toys that came in after we broke the news about our Amazon Wishlist two weeks ago.
What I love about our Wishlist is it allows YOU to choose what we get and there are items at just about every price point. We'd love your help and you'll see, below, how our kittens feel about your donations, too!
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Woah! This is WAY bigger than what we even asked for! Yipee!
There are few feelings that are as precious as giving help to someone who needs it. Thank you for helping us be part of Giving Tuesday. I hope you'll enjoy the special video I created to honor today.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Not even the DOOD is sure how to put it together, though.
This is a riot!
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. The energy in the room increased tenfold after the cat tree was in place. The kittens LOVE IT! Thank you Tereza & Larry for donating it to us!
Last year I reviewed Mike Bender and Doug Chernack's wonderfully warped book, Awkward Family Pet Photos which hit the market on the heels of their New York Times Bestselling book: Awkward Family Photos.
©2012 By Awkward Family, LLC. Pretty in Pink..and blue and purple?
Awkward Family Pet Photos 2013 Wall Calendar
This year the purveyors of preposterous are back, just in time for the Holidays, sporting a dazzling duo of 2013 Calendars. One is a well designed, colorful, 12-month Wall Calendar whose message, “Celebrating the Special Bond Between People and Their Pets” is achieved in the most twisted and sometimes downright creepy fashion. Each month celebrates a particular species. The year begins with dogs. In April, they celebrate bunnies or animals dressed a bunnies. One month features monkeys but I won't spoil it by telling you which month it is. Can you guess which one it is?
©2012 By Awkward Family, LLC. I hope they get matching cars one day, too.
I'd like to know the criteria Bender and Chernack use to choose their photos. The process must be a delicate one, walking the fine line between photos that make you shudder with delight versus photos that are simply vintage images including pets.
Perhaps they have an inner guidance system that recognizes they're on the right track when scrutinizing a family's precious photos? They might wonder aloud; “Why did they do that to their hair?” or “Did they really wear that sweater with the image of the cat rear ends on it, then send it out as their Holiday card?”
If Bender and Chernack ask themselves “What were they thinking?” I'm guessing it seals the deal and the photo is accepted into their collection.
Clearly the people and pets featured in this calendar never asked themselves these sorts of questions and we are all the richer for it.
©2012 By Awkward Family, LLC. Well said.
The beauty in projects like Awkward Family Pet Photos 2013 Calendar is that it reminds us that we're not as cool as we think we are. Everyone has a photo (or in my case albums full) tucked in a drawer somewhere they'd rather no one else ever see… and no, I don't mean that kind of photo!
Awkward Family Pet Photos 2013 Day-to-Day Calendar
If you can't get enough Awkward Family Pet Photos, then check out the 365 days of screwy-louie-weirdness in their 2013 Day-to-Day Calendar. Each day reveals a new image of the curiously clueless. I love it. Unlike some desk calendars, this one is in full color so you can appreciate the awkwardness even more. The only thing lacking is that it should be in 3-D and come with a pair of glasses. Maybe they'll do that next year?
©2012 By Awkward Family, LLC.
©2012 By Awkward Family, LLC. I want to see the photo that was taken 30 seconds after this one.
Oh, and make sure you check out May 16th if you get a copy of the Day to Day Calendar…I'm just sayin'...
In honor of Awkward Family Pet Photos, I thought I'd share a special one with you from my archives.
©1992 Judith K. Feminella. My dad in his underwear reading the Sunday paper---if Blue the cat will let him.
After careful consideration, from time to time I write a product reviews. If you see it here, it's because, at LEAST I think it's worth you knowing about even if I have an issue with it and, at BEST, I think it's amazing and we should all have one, two or more of whatever it is I'm reviewing. I get NO reimbursement for writing these reviews, though to write a review I am supplied with the item, as I was in this case. This review is MY OPINION, ONLY. The result you experience using this product may differ.
I don't know what day it is. Let me think about it. Yes. Ok. It's Thursday. I've been on the run for four days. Four days since the end of the world as I knew it. Four days since the wicked winds of Hurricane Sandy arrived and destroyed the power grid.
Now my life has shifted into solving the “how do I” of mundane tasks. How do I get something to eat when all the food in my refrigerator has spoiled? How do I keep myself clean if I don't have running water? Where do I go to the bathroom if I cannot flush the toilet?
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Before the storm.
It boils down to that due to Hurricane Sandy, I live in a winterized cabin with no plumbing. The home I knew is gone for now-until Connecticut Light & Power has time to come to my middle class neighborhood and reconnect the line that is currently laying across the road, snaking its' way across the open woods.
The first few days weren't too bad, it was an uncomfortable flashback to last year's outage, but the nights have gotten cold. The temperature in the bedroom was in the 50's, which is not as bad as I've experienced, but it's very uncomfortable if you have to get out from under the covers. To make matters worse, the simple act of getting up to pee turns into having to get mostly undressed (at least the bottom part of any pajamas), then hover over a watering can. Yes...that's what I rigged up for myself. Its' shape is more like a pitcher so the top is open and the handle is at one end. Hovering over it with my bare feet on the cold tile, I tell myself to go ahead and pee, but my middle aged body says NO WAY. You do not just squat and pee here, you just don't do that! That's gross! But if you have not other options, what do you do? Run outside? It takes a tremendous amount of water to flush a toilet, which I was saving for “other purposes.”
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Only two ways out of my neighborhood. Both were blocked by fallen wires. One road was opened after less than a day, thankfully.
Eventually the task is completed. The vessel is sprayed with bleach. The contents carefully poured down the sink. Yes, gross! I hate it. I bleach out the sink and rinse it with water I saved in a large bucket before the storm hit. I'm trying very hard to keep things clean while feeling like I'm turning into a savage. I'm also worried that if I see a watering can months from now I will wet my pants…okay, maybe not.
I only worry about having my bladder suddenly behaving like Pavlov's dog is that because in the 1940's my grandmother got constipated. Her doctor prescribed something but it took a long time to work. He told her to get a copy of the New York Times and sit on the throne and wait. So she did. It worked, but after that my mother told me that every time my grandmother read the Times she had to go to the bathroom.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. A common sight-many grand pine trees fell onto power lines, their root systems not deep enough to hold them in place.
Today I was able to wash 16 dishes at Animal Care & Control since I'm buddies with the ACO and they have a brand new generator so things are working there. I warmed up the raw cat food (which has not gone bad due to my pre-loading the freezer with ziplock bags of water to make big ice cubes). I got something to eat. I helped Sam do two runs to the dump to get rid of ALL the recycling that had been sitting around in the garage for months. I went on a fool's errand to Loews to try to find more portable lights, mirrored tiles (to put candles on to magnify their light and a wick for my mostly burned out hurricane lamp), but they had none of those things. I overheard one of the salespeople say you couldn't buy a gas can in the entire state since folks needed to haul gas to keep their portable generators going.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Coating the doxycycline pills by flashlight.
I finished some paperwork for the Town that was due today. I got a cup of tea at the local grocery store that just opened back up. I read SOME email, but it's too difficult to reply so I gave up on that. I posted a few things here and there. Somehow that took me 11 hours. Normally I'd get all these things done in a flash.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. The one thing that worked-ziplock bags filled with water before the storm kept the precious cat food cold.
We've learned that we MUST be home BEFORE dark to feed all the cats or we just can't see what we're doing. The kittens want to bust out of their room and they still have to be medicated twice day. Trying pilling a cat with the light from a flashlight as your only source of illumination or scooping the litter pan in the dark.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. I knew that already!
I told Sam I feel like we're running from Zombies. We can only be out during the day. At night we race home not only for our cats, but to take shelter. To try to get some heat out of our lousy fireplace to warm the cats, to try to put on more clothes to keep the chill away, to try to think of something to do for the rest of the night, sitting in the dark by candlelight.
At least we don't have to worry about boarding up the doors and cowering in the corner in fear of having our brains eaten. The only thing that's truly horrible outside is our neighbors generator, which makes so much noise we can hear it through the walls of our house when we're trying to go to sleep. Maybe the generator is protecting us from the zombies by distracting them to go to the neighbor and kill him and crush that noisy-ass thing?
I can dream, can't I?
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. The second biggest oak tree in the state of CT is down the road from my house. Once I saw it still standing I had hope in my heart that everything would be okay.
I finished writing this post Thursday night, a few moments before Sam and I got kicked out of the Town Hall. They close at 8pm and we'd already run back home, fed the cats, then came back for some work time. I wanted to stay longer, but there was no place else to get internet access so we headed home.
There's a traffic light about a mile from my house. It's been off since the Hurricane hit. I said to Sam that our power would be back on when that light was on—which was wishful thinking on my part.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Empty fridge again, but this time we didn't load up on food before the storm. The loss still stung, but not as bad as in 2011.
As we approached the traffic light, Sam noticed it was on. As we drove closer to home, we saw lights in other homes, but they were located before the break in the line. Certainly our power was not back on yet?
I didn't want to get too hopeful. Most of our neighborhood had power, just our street was out. As we passed over the downed line there were signs someone had been working on it. There was an orange highway cone and some official looking tape on the line. I looked to my right and the lights were on in the house nearest the break. As we continued down the street, every house had a few lights on.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. the DOOD minds the bags of spoiled food.
Could it be true? Were our lights on FOUR DAYS SOONER THAN EXPECTED?
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. My food is bratty, but not that spoiled.
I immediately felt badly, too. I started texting any of my friends who were nearby and who didn't have power yet and told them to come over right away. I thought about all the other people who don't have power yet, who are cold and in the same lousy state as we had been. My joy was short-lived, but my appreciation for having a chance to get back to normal will stay with me for a very long time.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. It's al over at last. Exhausted from the craziness of the past week we simply spent the day in bed with a good book, cats and a cup of tea---and loved every second of it.
Part of this post is dedicated to catching up on current events with all the foster kitties. How are they doing? Are they adopted? The other part of my post…well…you’ll find out.
The Kittens in Black
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson.
April had six kittens on March 26th, the night of my dreamy dinner date with Jackson Galaxy. Some of the kittens were polydactyl and all but one were solid black. It was an honor to watch them grow from just a week old to seeing them blossom into lovely young lady-kitties. You can read more of their story HERE and see loads of photos of those early days, too. It took a long time to find forever homes for them, but with such sparkling personalities, eventually everything worked out.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. My little munchkins.
Bon Bon was adopted right away by a marvelous family. Cutie Patootie and Sabrina, were adopted a few months later by my dear friends Lynne & Steve. After six months, a surprise, a local family offered to foster kittens for us and they ended up with the remaining kittens until they got adopted.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. The girls.
At the same time I got an application for one of the three, Hello Dahlia. The couple was lovely and have a kitty named Admiral Mittens and a dog named Olive. In a few days after the adoption I got the news that Dahlia jumped the twin baby gates separating her from the dog. Within moments the two were best buddies and are often seen sleeping cuddled up together.
©2012 Dahlia's Family. Dahlia and Olive.
That left us with Black Beauty & Belly Holiday.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Snowy, Ally & Matt-Belly & Beauty's new family.
The family who was fostering the kittens fell in love with them. They asked to make it official after seeing how they'd get along with their other cat, Snowy. The introductions went well and their fate was cast. The girls have been in their own home for a few weeks now and all are doing well.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Belly in her tent.
The Georgia Rescues
Adoptions are picking up, but finding good adopters is still very difficult. I got numerous offers to adopt Coco, our flame point, blue-eyed beauty, but none of them were a good match.
I figured our boy Tater would be gone in a flash, but because I want him to go with his sister Latte, there hasn’t even been one application for them.
The big surprise to me was who of our group of eight would get adopted first. It ended up being our skinny-mini-black-kitten Choco and his orange tabby sister, ChiChi! A lovely couple who had no other pets, saw their photos and fell in love. When they met the kittens they ALL ran off and hid. I thought there was no hope of any kitten getting adopted if they didn’t show well, but as a last ditch attempt to save the situation I left the couple alone in the room. Sure enough, little Choco came over to say hello and his shy but sweet sister followed suit.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Happy Adoption Day!
When Jon and Laura left the room they were smitten. Choco and ChiChi went to their palatial home where I hear they are doing very well and are very content.
©2012 Jon & Laura. Choco and ChiChi now named, Magic & Pumpkin.
Then there’s Willow. I thought I had an adopter for her, but at the home visit I just felt there was something off. The couple must have felt that way, too because I never heard back from them, nor did I reach out after our meeting. I keep hoping Willow will find her happy home. She is so great with the other kitties and so friendly and silly. She should be with a young girl and a nice family. I’m sad I haven’t found that for her yet.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Tater, Barney, Latte (tortie) and Fred (rear).
Little Fred & Barney aren’t so little any more. Barney had a very bad case of roundworms, but once he was de-wormed he began to do much better. I almost had a home for both boys, but it fell through so back to the drawing board.
There's lots more news including an update on the DOOD and Jackson Galaxy (the cat) as well as some “stuff” I'm not sure I want to talk about yet. Part two is up next....
Maria and I decided after a few years of fostering non-stop that we both needed a break. That lasted one week before Maria took on a sweet kitty whose owner had left it at a parking lot near the local Target store. Maria named the 4 month old kitten, Bunny Boo Boo and on her own, took care of the vetting and brought the kitten home until she could find a forever family.
©2012 Maria S. Bunny Boo Boo.
Bunny is a love bug and I'm helping Maria find a forever home for her. Maria knew I just couldn't take on more kittens here in Connecticut so we're focusing on finding a local home for Bunny (somewhere in the McDonough, GA area).
Bunny gets on with other dogs and cats and loves people. She'd be a great addition to any family. We can arrange transport to nearby states if you're not located too far from Atlanta.
©2012 Betsy Merchant. Bongo.
A week after Bunny, we rescued Bongo. It was just one more cat, right?
Then we heard about a heartbreaking situation in another part of Georgia. Apparently a neighboring town has an Animal Control where they not only euthanize animals in record numbers, but their method is by heartstick. If you want to know what that is, click HERE (there are no graphic images). I don't want to describe it because it's horrible and upsetting, but if you feel you can read about it then you'll know WHY we want to AVOID any cat having to go to this place. If you read it you'll also know why there is a strong support to BAN this heinous activity.
©2012 Jennifer N. Pregnant siamese mix in her new foster home.
Within a few days we were able to put together a team and Bobby our awesome volunteer, drove her a few hundred miles to her new foster home. I'm very glad to report she is doing VERY WELL with foster mom, Jennifer N. and is VERY affectionate (and gorgeous). That she was living outside on her own, but still very friendly reminds us of how many owner-abandoned cats there are out there. She must have known love at some point. Thankfully she will know love again.
And then there's George.
George lived with a lady who took him in off the streets at the same apartment complex. She took him into her home, knowing full well she would get evicted if they found out she had a cat. To make matters worse, she's at this location to hide from an abusive husband so she really needs to keep a low profile. In some ways it would have been good if we could have rescue her AND her cat, but at least we could help her cat.
©2012 Bobby Stanford. George.
George is just one MORE cat, but that's really IT for us for this year. We need to find homes for the cats we made a commitment to already and I DO need a break so I can focus on fundraising and getting a lot of silly things done, like finish our web site and do some long range planning, RIGHT?
Bobby picked George up a few hours ago. George is about 7 months old and is vetted and has a clean bill of health. He's friendly and could become a good buddy to Bongo as soon as George can come out of quarantine. George has a bad “toupee” swatch of black fur on his head, a spot on his side and his tail is fluffy and all BLACK! This may sound odd, but I had a premonition about this cat the night before I found out about him so I had to say YES when I was asked if we could take him on (or that's just a weird-ass excuse and I think he's cute so what the heck).
©2012 Bobby Stanford. Helmet.
There is one more cat who does NOT have a RESCUE, but who clearly needs one. His name is Helmet.
Helmet does not deserve this. The couple, crying, begged for another choice. Animal control called Bobby and Barb from Winging Cat Rescue. They don't have anywhere for this TWENTY-FIVE POUND, DECLAWED cat to go.
We are in DIRE need of a Georgia Licensed Rescue to take Helmet into their program. I'm sure we can provide either vetting and/or a donation to provide for his initial services. Helmet is a nice cat, with a crappy name, in a terrible situation. This poor guy is in a small cage at a boarding facility and he's not eating. This is no way to put a big cat on a diet. He's terrified and sad.
We would also be HAPPY if someone wanted to ADOPT this GENTLE GIANT and give him the love and security he needs.
Can you help HELMET? Sharing this post would REALLY help! We need to find a needle in a haystack, but we just did it with a pregnant cat, why not with a chubby one?
Please share for Helmet!
It's been a long three weeks since the DOOD injured his back. I don't know how it happened, but it must have been pretty bad because he hasn't been able to walk comfortably since. You can read more about the injury HERE.
DOOD's been under strict cage rest since Thursday. He's also been on an opiate-based painkiller called Buprenex. It makes DOOD loopy and very friendly. It keeps him quiet, though I'm not sure he's getting very good rest. DOOD also gets a baby aspirin, which is normally a big no-no, but he's only had it a few times.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. the DOOD's temporary home-featuring a heated bed.
During the past few days DOOD has barely moved. If he does move, he appears very weak and I feared he was getting worse. If cage rest didn't help, the next step would be to see a specialist, do a CT scan and probably have to do surgery to take the pressure off what we fear is a pinched nerve.
I know the danger of having all these thoughts-of thinking too much and creating awful scenarios in my head. I have to face only what is wrong now and do my best to help DOOD until that information changes. To upset myself with “what ifs” is a waste of time.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Jackson often sleeps in the cat carrier next to DOODs crate-which is odd since DOOD often hisses at Jax.
Of course, being rational is never easy when you add stress and fear to the mix so last night I had an impressive melt down.
I function day to day knowing that I'm walking a tightrope. Bills get paid, but there isn't much leftover. If something bad happened to any of the cats or my car, my house, etc., it could just toss me over an edge I can't recover from. My rational mind says things have been tough for a long time, but I'll find a way. My fearful mind pushes me to flip out over not being able to open a bottle or that I can't nicely encourage Spencer to get out of my office so I can shut the door-so the cats won't go in there and pee while I'm sleeping upstairs. I have to yell at him to get him out of the room. This is not me, I love Spencer. I don't want to yell at him, but after years on end of stress, of cats peeing all over, of Jackson and his issues and now he's been attacking my own cats…the vice grip on my poor head gets tighter and tighter. The headaches are worse and worse and I can't find an escape from all of this. There is too much to do, to tend to, other people to help, cats in need.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Blitzen visits DOOD every day.
I can usually take it on in fairly good humor or make a joke about it, but last night I could not. I just raged and sobbed while Sam sat there, not sure if he'd lose his hand if he reached out to me. There was a time he would talk to me, help comfort me, but even with our relationship, there is another tightening of the strap around my head. We don't talk much. We don't do much. We both focus on caring for our cats and we both do our little chores and that's about it. I feel pretty empty inside.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. At Dr. Larry's this morning as lovely as ever.
After my nice fit, I went to sleep. I dragged myself out of bed this morning and started the usual boring routine of caring for the cats, cleaning up vomit or pee, scooping the pans, feeding the foster kittens. Before too long it was time to pack DOOD up and take him to see Dr. Larry. Today was the day. Would DOOD finally be able to walk again? From what I'd seen the answer would be no, but I hadn't encouraged DOOD to move this week so perhaps I'd be surprised.
DOOD was great at the Vet. His temperature was back to normal for the first time. He lost a few ounces, which in his case is a good thing. Dr. Larry examined him and DOOD didn't fuss. He didn't seem to be in much pain, but I wondered if the last of the Buprenex was still in his system.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. This is what I miss seeing.
Dr. Larry gingerly placed DOOD on the floor. I walked to the other side of the room and called to him. With tail held high, DOOD took his first few steps. I expected his back legs to wobble as they had this past month, but they did not.
My Mother had a bizarre saying that popped into my head; “I didn't know whether to shit or go blind.” I couldn't believe DOOD looked so much better. It's as if one cat was lying injured in my home while this doppleganger was healthy in Dr. Larry's office.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Sweet Dreams.
Of course my fearful mind didn't want to get too excited. Dr. Larry said DOOD should have one more week of cage rest and two more aspirin but no more buprenex. We would continue to be conservative about DOOD's care and hope that another week would give him the recovery time he needed before he joined the rest of the family.
Some good news at last and some hopeful news, as well. DOOD must have been wiped out from the little bit of walking he did because when we got home I let him out of the cat carrier and he walked quickly into his cage and laid down on his cat bed. A few minutes later he was sleeping soundly. If that cage had been any bigger, I would have joined him.
On to the next thing…Bobby called with news about Bongo and it wasn't good.
You never know what will come to pass when you rescue a kitten with a known physical problem. With King, we wondered if he'd been abused or if he was born deformed. Could he function better with a cart or prosthetic enhancements to his prematurely shortened hind limbs? In the end, King was perfect as he was born, missing the last inch or so of his legs and his paws. He does fine getting along on carpeting in his new home without any help or special surgery.
©2012 Maria S. Bongo enjoying a soft bed and freedom from the death row at the shelter.
With Bongo, our latest rescue, we have more questions than answers. Things we do know:
Bongo is NEGATIVE for FIV+ and Feline Leukemia.
Bongo is about seven months old.
We x-rayed his right front leg, which he does not use. His paw is warm, there is blood flow and sensation. There were no signs of major breaks but the x-ray could not detect any possible small fractures in the paw. The Vet felt amputation might be the best thing to do. If you watch the video, it's be clear his limb is slowing him down.
Thankfully, Bongo is also VERY FRIENDLY which will make whatever he needs medically, easier on him and foster mom, Maria.
©2012 Maria S. & Robin Olson. Bongo's first steps.
I've never had to give the OKAY to amputate an animal's limb before. I've only ever had one foster cat who had to have his right front leg removed. He was about Bongo's age and did very well after surgery. His leg had no sensation and was probably ruined in an accident, so in his case there was little to question.
X-ray of Bongo's Leg.
I realize there are some folks who would just take the leg without getting more definitive answers. It's a lot less expensive to take a leg off than it is to repair it. The recovery time is less and there are no chances of having to do a second surgery if the leg is already gone, instead of if the surgery is done badly.
©2012 Maria S. Someday we hope Bongo will be able to run and play like any other kitten.
We're doing a small fundraiser to cover the office visit and additional x-rays. Anything we don't use for this visit will be used for Bongo's future care. If you can donate the price of a cup of coffee to Bongo, it could mean a world of difference. Small donations pooled together can make big things happen!
We realize things are tight for everyone so if you can't donate, then would you please SHARE this post with your Bongo-loving friends?
Your donation is TAX-DEDUCTIBLE as my rescue, Kitten Associates is a 501©3 Non-Profit Cat Rescue.
If you'd prefer to send a check, please make it out to: Kitten Associates and please note on the check the funds should go to "Bongo" mail it to:
P.O. Box 354
Newtown, CT 06470-0354
Thank you and stay tuned for more updates on this sweet little guy.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. April and family after arriving in my home.
March 26, 2012 was a special night. Not only was it the night I met Jackson Galaxy for dinner, but miles away outside in the dark cold night, a plain jane gray cat gave birth to six kittens. A week later, on my birthday, as a favor to my rescue friends, I said I'd foster the family. I wanted to get them out of the cold, but I could only do it for two weeks to give my friends time to find a more long-term foster home.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. My little squirts.
That was six months ago.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Hello Dahlia.
This family featured four all black kittens I could not tell apart unless I looked at their paws. Two of the four were polydactyl (extra toed). Two had white on them, but other than that I wasn't really certain which cat was which. Their names are: Hello Dahlia, Belly Holiday, Black Beauty, Bon Bon, Cutie Patootie and Sabrina. You can read more about their early days HERE, HERE and HERE.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Hello, Baby-D!
April, the mom and Bon Bon got adopted fairly soon.It was a few months later before Cutie Patootie and Sabrina finally found their family. Belly Holiday, Hello Dahlia and Black Beauty remained.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Dahlia likes to read, of course.
I continued to wait it out and hope that one day their families would find them. More kittens arrived and the pressure to find something for the girls escalated. I was very lucky that someone stepped forward when I needed them most. She offered to foster the girls, which would take a great deal off my shoulders. Her name is Tiffany and she and her family just moved here from California. I've been trying to find a local foster home for two years and Tiffany stepped up to the plate and took the girls on, her two adorable children agreed to play with the kittens and give them lots of love. I feared they would have the girls for months but, for now, they were safe. I'd keep networking and advertising to get them a home.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Here's our girl on the way to growing up to be a stunning feline.
As often happens, the foster family discovered they were falling in love with the girls to the point of being reluctant to let them go. They understood they couldn't keep them all. While they considered what to do, I got sick with a bad cold. They jumped in and printed out flyers for our quickly-approaching Adoption Event and hung them up around town for me. They agreed to make sure the girls would be at the event even if that meant they might get adopted. They did so much to help I was truly in awe. This family was a dream come true.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson.
Just before the event, I got an application for Hello Dahlia from a young couple who have a senior cat named Admiral Mittens and a young dog named Olive. They saw the flyer Tiffany's family hung up at the local diner. Everything checked out and they came to the event to meet Dahlia. The couple ignored Fred & Barney, our little kittens, who usually command most of the attention. They went over to Dahlia and smiled. They held her and she was really good with them.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Mousy-master!
The couple told me Admiral was getting vetted and the vet found some things that he wanted to check out by doing more tests. I felt we shouldn't do the adoption until we all knew how Admiral's health issues were going to shake out. I couldn't imagine adopting a cat into a family who is facing a crisis with their existing cat. I also felt badly that it was Tiffany who ended up finding a home for Dahlia when she was still struggling with deciding if her family wanted to adopt her. Maybe we all needed a bit more time to figure things out?
A week passed and in that time Tiffany's family was began to re-think how they felt about Dahlia. They adored her and wanted her to stay, but knew that with the possibility of another family wanting to adopt her, they should not stand in the way. I didn't want to push them to choose and they were really great about letting Dahlia go. On Saturday they brought her back here to meet the couple and get adopted the next day. Tiffany and her children said goodbye to Dahlia. They were sad, but I reminded them what I remind myself; “Trust me, there will be more to love. In fact more kittens will be here in a few weeks.”
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Look at that FACE, those paws!
It was my last few hours with Dahlia, too.
I took some photos and we had play time. I held her and she purred up a storm. She'd grown from the tiny palm-sized baby into a lovely young adult. Her fur is like silk, glossy, shiny and thick. Her eyes sparkle. Her tail is up. Dahlia is confident in her world. She's smart, too. I bet we could train her to do some funny tricks if we had more time.
More time-it's always what I want with my fosters, but I have to practice letting go, too. At six months of age, Dahlia really needed to be with her forever family. I had to hope that she'd live a happy, healthy life in their care. I always worry a little bit if I've chosen a good placement for my fosters. This couple certainly seemed devoted to providing for their animals and their faces lit up when they looked at their new family member.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Hello Dahlia and her new family, Angela & Greg.
I thought about Hello Dahlia's namesake, Dahlia, who passed away earlier this year. I never had the pleasure of meeting Dahlia in person, but I hope my friend and her mama-Janea sees that our foster kitty was a worthy of carrying on Dahlia's name.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Goodbye, Dahlia. We love you!
But what of Dahlia's sisters? Are they still with their foster family or did they get adopted, too? I have SEVEN more adoptions to tell you about! Some are surprising and some are amazing! I've got a lot of work to do. Better get to it…
This post is dedicated to all the good people out there who love our foster cat, Jackson Galaxy. Without your love and support it would have been very difficult to provide the high level of care Jackson required to diagnose that he was suffering from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy-the most common and often fatal heart ailment that effects cats.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Jackson is comfortable at last. In one of his favorite spots-a cardboard canned cat food tray near the kitchen.
While we will always do whatever it takes to help our foster cats, the funds in our bank account were at an all time low. We begged and borrowed (no stealing, though!) and got Jackson the help he needed. Once you heard there was a crisis, many of you jumped in to help fill our coffers so we could make sure Jackson got what he needed.
I'm pleased to let you know, knock wood, that Jackson is doing well. He's responded to treatment and he's easy to pill (so far!). There's more down the road, more tests, adjustment of medications, but right now Jackson's comfortable, chatty, eating well and happy (okay he has a few eye-boogies, but I'll clean them off next time he gets pilled).
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Enjoy this update on our Jackson. It may have a sad start, but I know you'll enjoy the new footage of Jackson in action.
I'm truly grateful for every prayer, good wish and virtual hug. I know Jackson is, too.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson.