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Smile Saturday

It's been an emotional week here at Covered in Cat Hair. A week ago we lost Big Boy, then through a miracle were able to pull a sweet Tabby named KoKo out of the same shelter and in just a day got her Vetted and to her new home in Alabama. Our smiles didn't last long, as we found out last night that we lost another kitty named, Jill Ann. At least she died having a name and not a kennel ID number and she died around people who, though they see death all the time, did not harden them to the point where they could not compassionately and lovingly help her to pass. I don't hate these people, rather the opposite. I don't know how they can do what they have to do every day. It's difficult enough to have to report these stories to you. Being there and seeing all that...oh dear, no. So I honor those people here, too.

This was KoKo (see photo below), just two days ago. Bobby, our dear friend and most awesome volunteer, offered to take KoKo from Henry County to the Vet, then drive her 4.5 hours to Alabama where they would meet up with KoKo's new mama, Elke! What kind of person can just drop what they're doing and drive a few hundred miles? Bobby is unassuming and kind. He has a twangy (to my Yankee ears) Southern accent. (I often wonder if he gets a kick out of my east coast/midwestern/mutt mix?) His heart is so big and so full of love for cats, it astounds me. Then add to that, Bobby is so dependable. I couldn't do what I do without him. I know this will embarrass him, but he's a treasure. He really is. I won't embarrass him any further by sharing a photo I have of him, but let's just say his inner goodness is clearly reflected in his warm smile. He's a kind soul and I'm grateful to have his help.

©2010 Bobby Stanford. Used with permission. KoKo in her carrier wondering what is going on, but being a very very good passenger in the car. Though Bobby may have mentioned that she may be a sweet cat, but she's weighs a brick (10 pounds!).

As many of you know, Elke is on of our Covered in Cat Hair friends on Facebook. When Elke first saw the story about Bobbi, the little Manx I rescued, she thought that she'd offer to adopt her, but by the time she was ready, Bobbi had already travelled to Connecticut to be put into foster care here. Elke had been touched by the stories of so many sweet cats needing rescue that she decided she could add one more to her current cat-family of two. When Elke read about KoKo and saw the notes that were left in her cat carrier, she knew she needed to do something. She called me around 8pm EST, the day after my post went live. We had a good discussion about Elke adopting KoKo. I needed to be assured that this was a well thought out decision and that Elke understood what she was getting herself into. She impressed me with her energy and her willingness to take on whatever comes-knowing she'd have to keep her new girl in isolation for two weeks to make sure she didn't bring home anything with her from the shelter, once she arrived. We could have kept KoKo in GA for the two weeks, but Elke was clear on the risks and already has a great cat-only-Vet lined up should KoKo need something.

KoKo did need one thing. She needed a new name, so it would help mark the end of her old life and the beginning of her new one. Her name has been changed to Sophie, in honor of Elke's dear friend's cat, who passed away suddenly.

I thought you'd enjoy seeing some photos from KoKo's journey to become Sophie.

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©2010 Bobby Stanford. Used with permission. KoKo peeking out of her new cat carrier just after meeting her new mama.

Okay, now I don't like seeing a cat out of a carrier, outside of a car, but I was assured that there was NO WAY this kitty was going to get loose! I am not going to Alabama to find a cat! Thankfully, it was not an issue at all. Here is Sophie with her new Mama, Elke (below, left) and her sister, who just happened to be visiting from out of town.

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©2010 Bobby Stanford. Used with permission. Elke and her sister with KoKo, now Sophie.

I think it's pretty clear they're VERY HAPPY to be meeting their new kitty!

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©2010 Elke Napier. Used with permission. Sophie preparing for a belly rub in her new home.

Since Elke has visitors for another day or so, Sophie got to stay in the bathroom. With a thick soft rug to stretch out on and some toys, some good food and love, this kitty was liviin' large. What a far cry from where she was just a few hours previous-in a steel cage on death row.

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©2010 Elke Napier. Used with permission. Sophie investigates her new home!

Once company left, Sophie got her OWN ROOM!

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©2010 Elke Napier. Used with permission. Queen of the Castle!

Within no time at all she was exploring her new surroundings. Elke reports that so far there has not be any incidents of “inappropriate urination or defecation-” which was the reason for Sophie to be abandoned outside a Vet's office after they had closed for the day.

Although Sophie hasn't met her two new friends, which could cause her to have some issues. So far, so good. I've advised Elke on how to introduce everyone properly. She's willing to take the time it needs so things go smoothly. You can't just put cats in the same room and let them sort it out. With any luck, Sophie will be playing with her new friends, harmoniously and if not, I'll be right here, ready to help.

That seems to be my motto, as of late...

Not on My Watch: Dear KoKo.

Dear KoKo,

You don't know me, nor will you probably ever meet me. I live very far away from you, but that doesn't matter to me because I care about what happened to you and it bothers me that you are all alone in the world. I have been trying very hard to find a way to free you from that cage.

Last night, while you were sleeping, a nice lady called me from Alabama. Her name is Elke. You never met her before, either, but she surely cares about you, too. Elke called me and asked me if I would help her to help you. She doesn't want you to stay in that cage. She lives in a nice house with two other kitties. There is plenty of room for you to live there even if you don't get along with your new friends.

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©2010 Courtesy Henry Co. Care & Control. Many people contacted me asking how they could help KoKo. In the end it was a simple phone call that made all the difference. As of 11AM EST-TODAY KoKo left Henry County's cage. She is RESCUED!

I wrote to my friend, Bobby. He also said he wanted to help you, too, so just when you wake up, Mr. Bobby is going to visit you. He is going to take you OUT of your cage and you will NEVER go back there again! Mr. Bobby is going to take you to the Cat-Doctor. I know. Doctors are not fun, but you can do this, then things will get better. Then after that, Mr. Bobby will take you for a long ride in his car.

After the ride is will take a few hours, you will be greeted by Ms. Elke. She isn't going to foster you. She is going to be your new Mama. I like to call it your “Forever Home.” She said you should never have to worry about where you spend the rest of your life and she already can't wait to meet you, love you and care for you the way you should have been cared for by that other family.

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©2010 Courtesy Henry Co. Care & Control. Ms. Elke, who is one of our good friends at “Covered in Cat Hair,” stepped forward last night to offer to sponsor KoKo and give her a Forever home. Elke, you're a Saint! Congratulations to you both!

One of Elke's daughters already can't wait to meet you, too. I know this is a big change for you, but I know you'll be safe and happy now. No more cages for you!

I'm sorry we will never meet in person, but know that from afar, I send you my love and good wishes for the happy life you have always deserved.

I've got your back, Koko.

Your friend,


P.S. Don't forget to write and let me know how you're doing!

Put Your Party Hat On! It's Almost Time!

Tomorrow, August 5th, is a VERY SPECIAL DAY here at CiCH HQ. It's almost time to celebrate! We have news about one of our most cherished fosters, along with special photos of him.

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Here's a teaser. Can you guess who it is?

Can you guess what tomorrow celebrates?

What are you planning on wearing?

Not on My Watch: When Fate Steps In...and WTF?! Part 2 of 2

I checked my email late last night. There were lots and lots of pleas for cats in dire need. Cats of all ages. Some were local, some were from good old Henry Co. There was an urgent notice put out that three kittens had been there too long and that by 7am they were slated to be euthanized if a rescue didn't come forward to save their lives.

I looked at the photos and descriptions. Any one of these cats would make a great addition to any family. I asked myself what I could do to help? I don't have any more space in my own home to foster these cats. My dear foster mama in Georgia is also full up. I don't know where I could board the cats and even if I did, I still could not take them here. I looked at the photo, below. It's an “odd-eyed” (one green and one blue) white kitten. She's sitting on a little bed. The pattern on the fabric is whimsical with cute little candy corns on it. For some reason this got to me. I started to cry. This poor little kitty has no idea her life is about to end in a few more hours.

I talked to Sam. I asked him; “Should I tell my readers about this even though there is no time to put in place a rescue or adoption? Or should I just not say anything? There are SO MANY that need help, I can't list them all. No one likes to know about these cats dying when they can't do much to help them. It's so frustrating and painful! And the cccccandy corn bed!!”..then I started crying again.

It's one thing for me to cry, but for this situation, I felt it was better to hope that someone could step in and help them, knowing that help was probably too late to arrive.

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©2010 Henry Co. Care & Control. Odd-Eyed White kitty with a blue and a green eye.

I could not sleep. Not a wink. I was very tired from the stress of seeing my client fall ill and be whisked off in the ambulance a few hours earlier. I kept thinking about the kittens. I just felt sick and angry. I want to go to Georgia and make them pass a law that forces everyone to Spay & Neuter their pets! No, not realistic, but I'm entitled to my wishes, right?

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©2010 Henry Co. Care & Control. Little Flame Point with lovely blue eyes.

I got up at 1AM. I sat on the sofa with one of the cats and had a cup of mint tea to settle my tummy. I tried to feel sleepy, but it didn't work. I didn't want to go near my computer, but I didn't want to wake Sam up by turning on the TV. I got up and walked to my office and turned the computer back on. I poked around and looked at my email, went on Facebook, dawned on me. I knew it was stupid but what the heck?

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©2010 Henry Co. Care & Control. Little Lynxy Point with lovely blue eyes, too. What a charmer!

A few days prior, we had a new visitor on the Covered in Cat Hair Facebook page. She, too, did fostering and rescue right in Georgia! She has a Blog about her foster cats that was really cute. I don't know what prompted me, but I sent her an email entitled; “Silly Question.” It was 2AM. I told her about the kittens and asked if she might know anyone that could help. Realizing it was the 11th hour...

A few MINUTES later, she wrote me back. She just happened to be awake, medicating one of her cats. She wrote me a sweet note and said to send her the info, so I did. I sent her listings on 6 or 7 cats. I waited...

She wrote me back. She cc:d Betsy, our contact at Henry Co. She said to go ahead and pull ID#'s...1, 2, 3...KITTENS! My stomach flipped. My heart skipped a beat...did she just say YES to taking the kittens? Did that mean I was going to foster them here? I HAVE NO SPACE!!!

I quickly wrote her back and told her my concerns. Her kind reply was that, no, she didn't need me to find homes. She could do that locally. She just needed me to get the kittens busted out and have our SUPER BEST FRIEND IN THE WORLD, BOBBY, pick them up and get them to the Vet. She would do the rest!

And 3AM, just FOUR HOURS before these kittens took their last breath, the paperwork for them would be updated to read; “RESCUE HOLD,” but in the language of the shelter means;


I sent out some emails and did what I needed to do to get things in order. I was feeling pretty wobbly I needed to try to sleep. I set my alarm for 6:45AM to make sure Betsy got my message. I crawled into bed next to Sam. I woke him up. I whispered that I was sorry, but I couldn't wait to tell him something. I tried to keep calm, but I couldn't hold back the tears any more. I started to cry again, as I told him the kittens were saved and he said a sleepy “Oh that's so wonderful!” as he held me tight. I thought about the little kitten and the silly candy corn print cat bed, but this time, as the tears fell down my cheeks, they were not tears of grief-they were tears of joy.

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©2010 Henry Co. Care & Control

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©2010 Henry Co. Care & Control

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©2010 Henry Co. Care & Control

Please thank Kate for stepping up and helping us out. As a "Thank You" to her, I paid her Vet bill. I felt like it was the least I could do. Please also thank, Bobby, for picking up the kitties this afternoon and sitting with them at the Vet's office and for making sure they are safe and loved until they go to foster care.

Covered in Cash! WOWIE!!!!

I am amazed, humbled, stunned, thrilled, delighted, excited, grateful, so very appreciative, to all the people who dug deep into their pocket and offered to help me cover the Vet costs for rescuing the kittens!

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I had hoped to be able to pay for the Spay/Neuter of the cats, and just pay the rest of the Vet bills out of my ever more empty bank account. I only asked for $400, but with help from Sparkle, the Designer Cat, who wrote a GLOWING article about Kitten Associates (okay, and about me, too) and her urging to her readers to keep helping me even if I met my goal, I extended the goal by $100 so I could buy some de-worming supplies and cover a tiny bit of the Vet bill I've already paid.

I looked at the totals on ChipIn last night and saw that not only did I reach the goal of $400, but the goal of $500 and then went far beyond that to $715 (and counting! I haven't been to my P.O. Box yet!)!!!

I realize that every fundraiser won't go this well and I can't always be asking for donations (even if more cats will have a need), but for right now, this moment, you have allowed me to cover just about ALL the Vet expenses for these kitties (I already paid over $400 for the first round of Vetting on all 6 kittens. The S/N will be another $400), which will give me the opportunity to focus on their care and not worry about anything else. (Okay, maybe getting on Petfinder would be a worry).

Because of your generosity, you have directly effected the future of these kittens lives. You stuck your neck out and believed in me. I am deeply grateful for your help and I will do everything I can to make sure each kitten has the best home possible.

And now, let's see how this story unfolds...Kittens are due here the end of the first week of August. I better get my ass in gear! Got to be ready for them!


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