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!
If we didn't have the power of imagination just think about what a dull world it would be. We'd probably all still be living in a cave, wearing animal hides. There are times, though when I wish I didn't have the ability to imagine, especially when it comes to thinking about our latest rescue, Bongo.
X-ray of Bongo's damaged leg.
In the week we've had Bongo, I've only heard good things about him. The first few days made me sad when I heard he stayed in his litter pan, comforted by his own scent-something common to cats who are confined in cages at animal shelters. In time, Bongo realized he was safe and loved and began to spend his days relaxing on a soft bed or playing with toys. He walked holding his right front leg off the ground. It doesn't seem to function properly. You can see a video of it HERE.
If you compare the front legs, you can tell one has good muscle mass and one does not.
Yesterday Bongo met with Dr. Alan Cross, a noted Orthopedic surgeon. Dr. Cross reviewed Bongo's x-rays and did a careful and thorough examination.
It could NOT have been from being hit by a car. Bongo's leg had to be grabbed and twisted by force.
I tried not to imagine who did this to him or why. I tried not to imagine that this person is still doing this to other cats. I did allow myself to imagine what I'd do to the person if I ever could find out who did this to such a sweet and innocent creature.
©2012 Maria S. Sweet Bongo.
Dr. Cross felt the best solution in this situation would be to amputate Bongo's leg. It's only in his way and over time it will become more and more of a hinderance. Bongo has NO sensation in his paws, which we originally thought he had. I've never had to make this choice for an animal and I'm not overjoyed it has come to pass. For Bongo, I will do whatever it takes to help him live the most comfortable life possible.
If there was any way we could save his leg, it would be done. I know Bongo won't mourn the loss of his leg as we will because we can imagine what life he could have had, but perhaps we can begin to imagine a new life, on three legs, that can be just as full of love and joy as it would have been on four.
The fur is growing back on Jackson's front legs from where he was shaved to insert an IV needle. The fur is growing back on Jackson's chest where he was shaved so the cardiologist could get a better echocardiogram of his malfunctioning heart. In some ways, Jackson appears the same as he did when we rescued him from a kill shelter nine months ago, but in some ways Jackson is being transformed and the results have been surprising and shocking.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Beginning to feel better.
It's been about ten days since we discovered Jackson was suffering from Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy—a thickness of the lining of the walls of Jackson's heart. Twice each day Jackson needs to be medicated with two tiny pills. Every third day, Jackson gets a quarter portion of a baby aspirin to prevent clots from forming.
At first I worried if I'd be able to keep to the schedule of medicating Jackson. I feared he'd be resistant and grow to challenge my attempts. Luckily, Jackson's been surprisingly easy to pill-so far-knock wood. I can hide Jackson's pills in minute amount of Flavor DOH along with a little bit of his favorite canned food.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Is Jackson a good egg?
The only difficult thing about treating Jackson has been keeping his pills organized and making sure each Sunday I prep his pills by cutting them into halves and placing them in a pill box. I went a bit overbid and got his prescriptions compounded into liquid in case I couldn't give Jax a pill. It was expensive and turns out, unnecessary. At least I have more meds should I run out without having a refill on hand.
Before the “incident” Jackson was either very quiet or cried at night. He mostly kept to himself and slept. Once in awhile he'd play with the laser pointer. Now that he's been on his medication, a new Jackson is emerging. One I'm not sure I like very much.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Petunia, Nicky and Jackson (in egg).
Don't get me wrong, Jackson is a sweet cat, friendly and affectionate, but as soon as his energy level increased, his behavior changed. I caught Jackson spritzing urine near the kitchen, then again in a few other places. I deal with cat pee every day, but adding ANOTHER cat to the “who did the peeing” list is a nightmare.
I do the best I can to clean it up and sort out why they feel the need to do that. Sam and I are always looking for more ways to make them feel more comfortable and at ease. We want them to be happy, but we need some sense of autonomy over our own living conditions, too.
Yesterday something happened that could be the beginning of the end-the one thing I cannot tolerate and I can tolerate a lot. Without provocation Jackson charged after Petunia, scaring her badly. That's not the end of the world, but what he did next shocked me.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Poor Cricket is still stressed after being attacked.
Jackson jumped up to the top of a cat tree where Cricket was sleeping. Cricket is our “former feral” cat. He keeps to himself and he doesn't bother with any of the other cats. He's probably the most submissive cat in the house and one of the sweetest.
What the HELL was going on? This is NOT acceptable. My cat-mother-protectivness came out with a vengeance. My cats are not going to fall victim to attacks like this. I don't care what is going on with Jackson. If he's injuring my cats that's it. He's out. It's not fair that my cats are subjected to new cats from time to time or have to suffer upper respiratory because I have sick kittens in another part of the house.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Jackson just wants to be understood and loved for who he is.
But how am I going to talk about this? I'm going to get judged for what I do or think about this situation? Perhaps knowing that gave me pause and kept me from kicking Jackson out of the house.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson.
Tomorrow Jackson returns to the Vet. This is his first Vet visit since he almost died. He's no longer in pain and feeling better. We're repeating his x-rays to see how his heart is responding to medication. We're running a FreeT4 blood test to look at his thyroid levels and we're checking his kidney function because he can have kidney problems due to the fluids he has to move to keep his heart and lungs clear.
Perhaps we'll find out that all these issues are caused by his thyroid, which can be treated. Perhaps it will make it a lot easier to forgive Jackson for his mis-behaviors. I realize he's not a man in a cat suit and he's behaving as a cat does, but who IS this cat? Is he as sweet as sugar or the devil in disguise? Is he just bored? What am I doing to contribute to the problem or am I the problem?
I can't say today, but fairly soon we'll know more and hopefully be able to get a better understanding of just who Jackson Galaxy really is.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. What remains after the fire and flood at Animalkind on May 1, 2012..
We continued on to the fourth floor. It suffered the least amount of damage. The sheet rock was still intact. There were cats living here, too. Some of them had been kittens who had tested positive for Feline Leukemia. A few of the kittens died and the others couldn’t be near other cats until they had time to re-test negative. The surviving kittens had to sacrifice those first few months when they would have been the most adoptable. It would mean if they weren’t sick, they’d be adults who'd have a much tougher time getting adopted. It wasn’t fair, but it was the best that could be done for them.
There were many cats walking around the large sun-soaked space. It was too warm and the cats were lying stretched out on scant blankets that were scattered around the rooms. A few cats came over to me. Clearly they were sick. I didn’t judge Katrin. I would have done the same thing. She could have put them all down to save her the headache of trying to see them through this, but she didn’t.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Sweet kitty finds comfort in a simple box.
Katrin had a difficult time walking through the building that had come to mean so much to her. This place was her life and her life was in shambles at her feet. I told her to imagine the day when she walked up the stairs and she could smell freshly painted walls; to imagine the cats running freely around the rooms, enjoying their release from captivity. My mother often said; “This too shall pass.” I knew it was true for Animalkind, the problem was—WHEN. When would it pass?
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Lovely architectural bones, but not so comfortable for the kitties.
We returned to Animalkind’s temporary headquarters at the Warren Inn. The phone rang. Katrin was called over to speak to the person making the call. At last there was some good news–the power in the building was hooked up! All they needed was a final inspection, which could happen very soon. Katrin spoke to the caller at a rapid pace and as soon as she hung up the phone, she lifted the receiver and made more calls. She was on the phone as a volunteer brought in an injured snowshoe kitten AK had agreed to rescue from the notorious Animal Care & Control in NYC (notorious for euthanizing zillions of cats and dogs every day). The kitten was stunning, but supposedly suffered from a broken hip. She sat in the cardboard carrier and meowed. A cat carrier was also brought into the room with two young kittens, also from ACC&C. Just because their building was gone, didn't mean Katrin was going to stop rescuing cats.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Quarantine kitty.
I overheard Katrin speaking with a volunteer to ask them to go buy as many fans as she could. She also wanted screens for those windows-ASAP. She was going to make certain the cats in quarantine were more comfortable now that they had their power restored.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Sick ward patient enjoying one of the few comfortable places in the building.
With all the activity of volunteers and calls, I decided I should head back home. A foster mom entered the room with her kitten, Tatanka (which means Buffalo in Indian). Tatanka’s eyes were like orange saucers as he looked around the room. He couldn’t have been more than 7 or 8 weeks old. Something happened to him, but so far their Vet couldn’t determine whether it was a neurological problem like Cerebeluar Hypoplasia or an injury. Initially, the kitten couldn’t walk at all, but with his foster mom's care he was starting to use his back legs and could stand up for short bursts.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Tatanka with his Stretch & Scratch.
She jangled a toy in front of him and he looked at it oddly. There was something not working right in his mind, you could tell by his expression. I found myself wanting to take him home with me. His cuteness factor was set really high and the fact that he was a bit wobbly and needed extra help made him even more adorable.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Sweet ginger boy.
I’d brought with me the donation of Stretch and Scratch scratchers, which Katrin LOVED. She and I hung them in most of the cages and right away the kittens started to use them. Some of the adults were too scared to try them out, no doubt stressed from their months of captivity (they DO give each cat a break outside of their cage as often as possible).
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Tuxedo kitty in the sick ward.
It was time to head out. I said my farewells and wished good luck to Tatanka. As I walked to my car, I felt heavier. The struggles and the suffering of these good people and sweet cats effected me deeply. It’s one thing to read a story about a disaster, but it’s another thing to stand up and get involved even if you’re not confident you can do anything to make it better.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Oz is a super sweet kitty looking for his forever home.
Katrin called me a few days ago to give me another update, but before she told me the latest news, she had to tell me something else. She said that what I’ve done, getting donations for them, coming up to do a story about Animalkind, meant a lot to her.
She told me she regretted that I didn’t live closer so we could get to know each other better and I felt the same way, too.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Tatanka sits up on his own!
Update: After all these months, MAYBE just MAYBE construction is going to begin in two weeks. They have an expert coming in to review the spaces in their building and help them set it up so that it will be the best environment for the cats AND the safest from a health standpoint so they can keep their cat population from spreading illnesses.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. One of the many kittens at Animalkind.
THEY’RE LOOKING FOR HELP RIGHT NOW FOR THOSE OF YOU WITH THE FOLLOWING SKILLS. (Animalkind is located in HUDSON, NEW YORK-about 2 hours north of New York City)
• an Architect who can help with designing the new spaces
• Solo Construction workers OR someone who owns a construction company to help them rebuild
• Stone Masons who can help with their garden
• Carpenters who can help them build out their new rooms
Of course, like any rescue, they need financial donations or donations of goods. You can visit their Network for Good donation page to donate OR you can contact AnimalKind at 518-822-8643 or email: email@example.com to arrange for a donation of goods or services.
Don't forget: If you'd like to gift AnimalKind more scratchers (they LOVE THEM), please go HERE to get their shipping information. You can get a SPECIAL DISCOUNT of 10% off on any size case of Stretch and Scratch scratchers, plus you get reduced shipping. Use CODE: CATS to get the discount!
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Tatanka casts his cute-spell on us.
The final update is that Tatanka is ready to be adopted! I’m not clear on the status of his current medical condition, but I believe he'll still need some Vet visits and possibly physical therapy to be well. If you’re interested in adopting Tatanka or finding out more about him contact Animalkind at the same numbers above or fill out an adoption application.
I met my friend at Animal Control for lunch. She told me about two cats who were being borded at a local Vet. One, we believe may be a cat who was dumped or who is lost. She asked me if I wanted to see him. Of course I said YES! This is one of the coolest cats I've ever seen. He has a remarkable mustache-shaped black spot on his head and two tiny earring-shaped dots on his ears. The rest of his body is white. He has a blue eye and a green eye.
As the saying in rescue goes; “If I didn't already have so many cats I'd take him in a heartbeat!”
©2012 Robin A.F Olson. Bi-colored eyes AND a mustache shaped black spot on his head. Fantastic!
We don't know much but I'll be posting this boy's photo in the local paper. If no one steps forward we'l find him a great home. Who wouldn't want a cat who gets on with other cats, dogs and people? This guy likes to be held and purrs up a storm.
©2012 Robin A.F Olson. What a knockout!
He's perfect and then some because of his crazy markings and rare bi-colored eyes. What a gem!
©2012 Robin A.F Olson. Mr. Lovey-Dovey.
I nicknamed this kitty Pierre. If you live in western CONNECTICUT and are missing a cat and can prove this is your boy, contact me right away at firstname.lastname@example.org ! If you'd LIKE this to be your cat and want to adopt him, let me know at the via the same email address. If we can't find his owner, we'll go through the adoption process and transport him to you if you don't live too far from CT.
There’s a certain quality only a rare few people have. It’s a magnetic kind of energy that radiates from within, but can be felt by others. At times it smolders, belying the real power it can unleash, while other times there is no ignoring it. When that person enters a room, the airwaves seem to change and become electrified.
One such person is Katrin Hecker, the Director of Animalkind. She’s tall and tan with brilliant blonde hair. She’s from Germany and has an unmistakable accent even after living here for decades. She’s not shy about who she is, where she’s from or what her passions are. Upon first glance she might come off as a bit distant or cool, but talk to her a few times and you’ll sense her great heart.
Katrin operates in a no-nonsense manner especially when there's so much to get done. Since losing Aninalkind's building after their sprinkler system destroyed the interior (You can read more about that HERE), she has more than a lot on her plate.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Katrin Hecker with the latest arrivals.
Katrin is creative, a painter way back when. She lived in New York City with her husband, but after too many years in the hustle and bustle, decided to move north to the small riverside town of Hudson, NY. They bought an old church and set up their first home. Katrin wasn’t sure what she wanted to focus her attention on, maybe design or get deeper into painting.
One day she realized she’d seen quite a few cats walking around town. Her first thought was how sweet it was, seeing them dash down an alley or pass by her front door. She imagined she was living in a town that loved and cared for their cats as a community, otherwise why would there be so many of them roaming around?
Katrin rescued a black cat off the street and took it to the Vet. Her husband didn’t mind as long as she didn’t get out of hand and take in all the cats she saw. Katrin found a few more cats that needed help. They were all black. Mischievously motivated or just plain brass, Katrin took in a total of eight black cats. She hid them away in one room, where she’d set up as her painting studio, knowing her husband wouldn’t enter the space. She let one or two out at a time and her husband never noticed they had more than just a few cats until one night when it was very cold and the power went out.
The wood stove was the only source of heat. One by one, the cats showed up to warm themselves by the fire. The cats were out of the “bag.” Katrin’s husband was shocked, thinking he’d gone mad seeing eight nearly identical cats appear out of the woodwork, but she made no apologies. There was a serious problem in this town and something had to be done.
By 2000, Animalkind came into existence and ever since it’s had a symbiotic relationship with the community. Katrin told me that she can’t be like other rescues and say no all the time when someone asks for help. She described some of the locals, who are down on their luck, struggling and just want to help a stray or their own cat. She finds a way to say yes, even if it means loading up her home with cats or reaching out to the community to help her help the cats.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Doors to the former surgical suite where they did all their spay/neuters.
Even at the clearly worst point of her life, with heartbreaking family problems, including illness and brain injuries to contend with and the loss of Animalkind’s headquarters, she still has to help the cats. She could have given up and walked away after the building was gutted. She could have walked away after her own home was badly flooded after Hurricane Irene badly damaged all the homes in her neighborhood.
With all that’s on her plate she finds a way to get up every day and figure out how she’s going to put the pieces of Animalkind back together again and how she’s going to get those poor cats out of their cages and into their new space as soon as possible.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Watching my step.
Katrin led me through the front door of what was once a building filled with the sounds of volunteers working away, answering calls, scooping litter pans, feeding the cats; who were living freely in large open group areas. It was eerily silent now. I had to watch my step because the floors were stripped to the bone, covered with debris. The HVAC vents snaked across the floors having fallen from the mounts on the ceiling. The cheerily painted sheet rock was gone. All that remained were exposed studs and wiring, the shell of what must have been a glorious Victorian home. I stood there. The heartache of loss was palpable.
©2007 Animalkind. Before the damage.
As we picked our way around the first floor, Katrin described each room. We passed the Adoptions area, then climbed to the second floor to see where their grand surgical suite was located. There are French doors separating the spaces, but no longer any walls on either side of the doors. A few stainless steel surgical tables and other equipment were shoved into a corner, dirty, but still usable. However, most of what had once been there was long gone.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. After the damage. The only thing that's recognizable is the teal bench.
It was a warm summer day and as we climbed the stairs you could feel the temperature rise slightly, along with the humidity. The third floor held a secret—one that couldn’t be helped. This is where the contagious cats lived...the ones with ringworm. Even though they weren’t supposed to have animals in the building, they had no choice. It was keep them safe or let them go. It’s not as though any rescue would knowingly take cats with ringworm and there was no way Katrin was going to put them down, either.
©2007 Animalkind. Cats lounging before the disaster.
They did the best they could. The cats had the basics and no more. It was only for now. It would get better soon, but the building had no electricity and without screens on the windows, the windows could only be opened a very tiny bit. Most of the cats were flat from the heat but not in any danger at all.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Waiting.
Katrin told me about their plans for the room as I looked around imagining how it would appear with fresh paint, new cat trees, comfy chairs. It was an enormous space with large windows overlooking the street on one side and an overgrown yard on the other. They received a generous grant to re-do the yard into a perfect cat habitat so cats could go outdoors and still be within a closed space. They were going to put in benches and lots of plants and cute statutes of cats playing. It was going to be so wonderful, if only it could happen soon.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. A skinny little lady comes over to greet us.
And truly, that was the problem.
The final part of my story introduces you to one amazing little kitten and shares some last-minute updates, promising news and more. Stay tuned...
A woman named Donna lives in a nearby town. She loves her cats and always provides them with the best care possible. Like so many people have reported this year, Donna suddenly discovered she had a friendly pregnant cat visiting her yard and was concerned about what to do.
©2012 Donna M. Winnie.
This is Winnie. She usually lives at a home nearby Donna. Winnie got pregnant and had a litter of kittens, then another. Winnie is pregnant for the third time, but this time it will be different. Donna spoke with her neighbor about spaying and neutering and instead of arguing that the neighbor was doing a bad thing by leaving her cat intact, she simply offered to get Winnie spayed after her next kittens were weaned. Winnie's guardian agreed that it needed to be done.
©2012 Donna M. Babies on board.
What Donna wasn't sure of was what to do with the kittens once they arrived and how to keep them all safe and not put any of her own dear cats at risk of picking up any diseases or vice versa. I found out about Donna's situation and thought about what I could do to help. Clearly, this wasn't the sort of person I usually run into-the kind that wants to dump a problem on a rescue, offers no other support and wants them gone. No. Donna wanted to help, to contribute and to make the entire rescue much easier on whoever helped.
©2012 Donna M. Winnie and kitten number one.
What she really wanted was a reliable way to get the kittens adopted into good homes instead of putting them on Craigslist, which is not allowed in the first place and which is dangerous to do. Those listings can be answered by anyone and adopters aren't screened so the cats could be given away to labs for testing or for other nefarious purposes.
©2012 Donna M. Welcome to the world little ones!
Donna worked out that Winnie would have a home no matter what, but that if she could have guidance and eventually have the kittens go into foster care, that's what would be best and I agreed. If Donna could provide a home for now, I'd work on finding a foster home or hope, pray, beg that enough of my own foster cats would get adopted by the time Winnie's were ready to find their homes.
©2012 Donna M. Teenie tinies!
Five kittens were born on August 10th-little gray and white cow patterned kittens and one who's black and tabby cow patterned. So far they're all doing well and Winnie, no surprise, is a great mama. On Wednesday I've offered to have Winnie seen by one of our Vets to get tested for Feline Leukemia and FIV, to be checked for fleas, get de-wormed and have all the kittens examined to make sure they're all doing well, too. With any luck, everyone will be just fine and we can focus on giving Winnie great nutrition so she can support her offspring. Snap testing mama cats always distresses me, but it must be done.
©2012 Donna M. Kitten pile!
This lucky family found safe harbor under the roof of a loving couple and although they are a bit nervous about having such small wards, I'll be offering advice and doing some hand-holding as was done for me so many years ago when I first started fostering mamas and their kittens.
©2012 Donna M. It doesn't get any cuter than this.
In two months (or possibly sooner) we'll need a foster home for these kittens.
I want to thank Donna for doing the right thing for this family and for not turning her back on them or trying to dump them on a floundering rescue with no resources. Your willingness to take on this responsibility makes my job so much easier and lets me stretch my limited resources a bit further.
If only everyone who found a pregnant cat was so devoted to their care!
We all know it's been a tough summer on cats in Kill shelters. The warm winter gave way to an extra breeding season. It's hard for me to post photos of these cats knowing full well what their fate may be, but if I don't try and we don't try to get the word out, then they have zero chance.
If you're with a rescue group and want to help, you have to have a license from the state of Georiga to pull an animal out of this facility. There may be licensed rescues who will pull on your behalf, but that's something I can't advise on.
These are just SOME of the cats and kittens who need help. They're all friendly.
Cage 6 8/3/12 This is the meduim haired tuxy mama with 1 of her 2 tabby kittens
©2012 Cyndie Tweedy.
Cage 10 7/23/12 This orange mama had her 7 kittens in AC about 2 weeks ago
©2012 Cyndie Tweedy.
Cage 13 7/26/12 This black & white mama has 4 black & white kittens, only 1 is male
©2012 Cyndie Tweedy.
Cage 20 8/3/12 Silver tabby mama with 1 calico kitten
©2012 Cyndie Tweedy.
Cage 8 8/2/12 This is the tortie that appears pregnant
©2012 Cyndie Tweedy.
Cage 19 8/3/12 This is the tabby that has milk. She is caged with a male that came in with her
©2012 Cyndie Tweedy.
Let's start sharing on Facebook and Twitter and wherever you wish. That's all I ask. Hopefully this information will find the right place to land and some of these cats will have a happy future.
As always, THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP. The kitties thank you, too.
©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.
©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.
©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.
©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.
©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.
©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.
©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.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Chillaxin' on his "throne."
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.
©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.
©2012 Maria S. Chased up a tree by a Pit Bull, this kitty needed help-and FAST!
In the past week Maria, our amazing foster mom in Georgia, has kept running into cats who need a helping hand. My rescue, Kitten Associates, has offered to help take on every cat she's found so far. All but one of these cats came from the SAME property. To date we've rescued 5 kittens and one adult. Though we have few resources, we're making room. Somehow it will all sort out. We can't and won't look away when a cat needs us.
©2012 Maria S. Maria-super-cat-lady to the rescue!
When Maria contacted me about a cat who was up a tree and needed rescue, I couldn't believe it. It seems this year more than any I can remember, there are cats coming out of the woodwork-and now are they raining down from above? There are so many kittens that are turning up alone on a neighbor's front steps-even my own cousin found one in her yard, lost and sick-so covered with ticks he almost died. Thankfully she was able to get him the care he needed in time and he will be going to a rescue in eastern CT today.
©2012 Maria S. & Robin A.F. Olson. You MUST listen to the voiceover on this cute video of Maria saving little Willow.
We had to act quickly. Maria, with the aid of her neighbor, whose voice over on the video below is quite amusing, managed to get the kitty down without too much trouble. Sadly, it was very clear that this kitty was sick. Flea covered, dirty, with a runny nose and tearing eyes. The cat kept gulping, a reflex from having too much mucus in her sinuses.
©2012 Maria S. It looks like Willow is telling Maria she's scared.
We couldn't know if this was someone's cat. She was very friendly so she'd known humans, but where was her family? If she had one, why did they let her get so sick? Why was she so thin?
Maria looked at the cat's abdomen. Her nipples were a bit swollen. One expressed a tiny bit of milk. As Maria was relaying this information to me we both realized this could be another “Amberly”-a found friendly stray who had kittens in the area. Finding Amberly's kittens was truly a miracle, but could we do it again?
©2012 Maria S. Getting some much needed rest.
I had Maria take the cat to the Vet. We'd sort everything out later. The Vet did the exam. The cat, who we named Willow (thanks to a suggestion by our friend Judy), just rolled over and wanted to be loved. She didn't care about being sick, she just wanted to be petted. This kitty was so darling we all fell in love with her on the spot.
The Vet didn't feel she was pregnant and if she had kittens she was mostly dried up to the point that they are probably weaned by now. Sadly, we have no idea where Willow came from, but the following day Maria did put a harness on the little cat and walked her around the area, hoping Willow would lead her to her family. None were found.
©2012 Maria S. Willow loves the Vet!
Maria also asked around the neighborhood, but no one had seen the cat before. Willow was either lost or dumped. Whatever happened to her, we'll keep her safe and hopefully in time she will recover from her illness. She's been too stuffed up to smell her food so Maria has syringe fed her for a few days. This morning she's starting to improve enough to eat some on her own. She's still rolling over to get belly rubs. Whoever had her must have been kind to her at some point.
I hope Maria doesn't find any more cats who need help. We're really full up and funds are low-even with the awesome amount of donations we just got in. We have to be careful so we'll have enough for everyone as their need arises.
©2012 Maria S. Another unsprayed female, barely a kitten herself, needs our help, too.
P.S. Maria gave me the OK to show her to all of you in her PJs. She was glad she wore the ones with the kitties on them.