©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.
After having to re-schedule three times over the past month, this morning I dragged my weary butt out of bed and took the Kittens in Black to visit the Vet. Sabrina and Black Beauty are getting spayed (as I write this) and the others are getting their Distemper Combo booster vaccination. Normally, I'd be assisting on the spay surgeries, but I admit to feeling grateful they didn't need me today. I've had the kittens since they were a week old. The idea of doing things to them that I know will make them uncomfortable and cause them pain is very difficult to accept. These procedures must be done, but can't I sit in the other room and not watch this time?
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Sabrina this morning before I took her to her spay appointment.
The kittens are growing rapidly and I need to get them all adopted soon before they lose that super cute kitten quality. The problem is I don't have time to get them adopted!
A week from today I'll be packing for my trip to Salt Lake City, Utah where I'll be a Speaker at BlogPaws. The only problem with this is: 1. I'm terrified of flying. Just thinking of it makes me want to throw up. The last time I flew this far was in 2000. 2. My computer hard drive died and I couldn't work for the past 4 days which puts me way behind schedule for getting things ready for the trip. 3. I got some freakish food poisoning a week ago and haven't been able to shake it (sorry for the almost gross pun). 4. I am so stressed out about traveling, not having enough time or money that I'm sure I'm making myself sicker and I'm not sleeping well (partially due to Jackson the cat's random early morning yowling).
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Don't you want to adopt me?
The good news is that I'm up for TWO BlogPaws Nose-to-Nose Awards and the event will be streamed live a week from Saturday! I don't know if you have to be a paid registrant to view the festivities, but once I find out I'll let you all know since it was all of YOU who got me the nominations for Best Meow Blog and Best Blog Writing!
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Dahlia wants money to buy a catnip tea. She's such a gold digger!
I'm trying to sort through applications and find good adopters. I really need an assistant. Between making calls to the adopters, the vets, doing a background check, then trying to co-ordinate home visits and having the adopters come here, get cats to the Vet and put them on Petfinder, leaves me little time for anything else. I've been trying to get volunteers, but I'm starting to wonder if I don't have a good gene for volunteer-finding. It's been over a year and I have one person I can count on to help with adoption events. I need to find time to get some volunteers..sort of ironic, now that I think about it.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Cutie Patootie wants to know where breakfast is and why it's late (answer, you're going to the Vet, don't back talk your foster mom!).
I got an update on the Kittens in Black's mama, April. She's doing very well and has gained a FEW POUNDS now that she is on her own in foster care. April's been spayed and though her foster family loves her, they're not sure they can adopt her. I hope it works out for April because this family also adopted April's daughter, Bon Bon!
©2012 Helen T. Bon Bon.
Bon Bon is doing very well and loves that she can spend time with her mother and her new friend, Wolfie (who is not too sure about Bon Bon but he's warming up to her). I'm told that Bon Bon is very confident, playful and affectionate.
Our family in Georgia, Cami, the feral mama and her kittens Coco, ChiChi and Choco have also experienced a few changes.
Cami is feral. There was no warming up to her, though Maria tried very hard to work with Cami and to socialize her. We realized the best thing for Cami was to find her a guardian, but finding homes for feral cats can be a tall order to fill.
©2012 Maria S. Cami, off to her new forever home-where she'll get three squares and a warm cot.
Because we recently changed the Vet we use in Georgia, Maria met with a Vet named Dr. Ann. Dr. Ann did the initial exam of Cami (if you want to call watching a cat fly around a room, hissing and spitting an exam) and told Maria that she'd recently had to put one of her barn cats down and was open to the idea of taking in another one.
©2012 Maria S. We're all sad that Cami couldn't live indoors, but this is the best possible outcome for her. If she only knew how lucky she was!
It was too good to be true, so Maria and I vowed to keep quiet about it until Cami was ready to be spayed. We had her spayed last week and Dr. Ann took her to her home on Saturday. Cami didn't give Maria any trouble and Dr. Ann will keep Cami in a big crate in the barn for a few weeks so she'll get used to her new home. To have a Vet adopt one of our cats-especially one who is feral is simply outstanding! We're very grateful Dr. Ann was willing to take Cami on and now Cami will have a safe place to live and a full belly. She won't be left to fend for herself. It's a great outcome.
©2012 Maria S. The gang. Coco, Choco and ChiChi (far right).
The kittens are doing well, though ChiChi remains very small and underweight. I'm hoping she'll catch up at some point, but her siblings are almost a pound heavier than she is and that does worry me. Maria tells me they all play and eat well. She de-wormed them (right, Maria?!) and otherwise they seem to be thriving.
©2012 Maria S. Our little (and first!) flame point, Coco.
Jackson Galaxy-the cat continues to yowl late at night or early in the morning, but each day it's less and less. He's attacked most of my cats at least once. I rarely ever see things heat up so I don't know who started it or why it's happening. My cats give him a lot of space, but I also see them sitting a foot away from him looking out the same window or sleeping not far apart. I see Jackson wanting to play, but some toys scare him. He loves to chase after a stuffed carrot cat toy or the laser pointer, but he doesn't like feathers or strings waved in his face.
©2012 Maria S. Goofy Choco.
Jackson slept on the foot of the bed the other night, which was a very surprising sight. A few of my cats didn't come to bed that night, which wasn't very surprising. I realize they have to work out who gets what space and that takes time. Day to day things are better. Jackson's rough coat is getting silky. His feline acne is going away. He loves to give head butts and kisses and even let me pick him up for a few seconds, but he weighs almost 15 pounds so he's not so easy to lift him anyway.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Jackson enjoying the view of the woods.
And finally, King. King is doing well. We ordered his Leggings for Life to cover his back legs. King's back legs end an inch short and he has no back paws. We want to cover his back legs so the ends of the legs, which end in a callus, don't get scraped or bruised. Personally, I hope these things come in cool colors!
©2012 Maria S. Belly rub, please!
King has been living with Maria's other cats and gets along great with all of them-even the dog! (you can read King's back story HERE and HERE) I still can't believe this handsome boy came from living outdoors on his own at a palette factory!
I'm hoping that King's forever home is out there and will find him soon. King's been waiting for six months, but until the time for him to go to his family, at least he's safe and happy and getting a requisite number of belly rubs each day.
©2012 Maria S. and Chris Cumpton (inset). Meet Macadamia. She was living at an apartment complex with 8 other cats. People where throwing rocks at them and one hit them with a tennis racket. If that wasn't bad enough, they were being poisoned. Mac was VERY lucky to be rescued from this awful place. Mac is NOT on Petfinder just yet, but if you CALL GOOD MEWS they can give you more info on this young lady. She's spayed and LOVES to be loved and sit on your lap. What more could you want?
©2012 Maria S.
Not only that, but Good Mews has special programs that help Seniors, called Golden Companions and another helps cats with special needs called HALO (Home at Last), which I found extraordinary. Not only do HALO cats get the extra care they need while at Good Mews, but Good Mews pays for the Vet Care of these cats AFTER they get adopted! On their web site it states:
©2012 Maria S. This is where Miss FP will go after her initial quarantine period is over until she's ready to join the other cats in the main room.
One very special kitty at Good Mews is named Tricky. She's a plump gray and white shorthair whose life has been far from easy. Tricky lived in a home with other cats and a couple. The man was a very bad person.
©2012 Maria S. Meeting Tricky.
Most shelters would “humanely euthanize” Tricky because her care would be too taxing on the volunteers and who would ever adopt a cat who needs to be helped to evacuate her bowels twice a day?
Good Mews is NOT that kind of shelter. They did right by Tricky and not only gave her a place to live for the rest of her life if need be, but they help her do her thing, then they give her a bath every day, twice a day. She gets around just fine without her back legs-at least that's what she would tell you.
©2012 Maria S. She may have been shot and is now paralyzed, but Tricky doesn't let anything get her down.
Tricky is so beloved she has her very own page on Facebook. If you're lucky, she'll accept your friend request!
Is she looking for a forever home? I'm not sure about that. Is there someone who would be able to provide for her and give her the special care she'd need every single day? I think there are some very special people out there who could give her what she needs and if that person is reading this blog post and Tricky captures your heart, please DO contact Good Mews and talk to them about her or offer to make a donation towards her care.
©2012 Good Mews Animal Foundation. Bud is another cat who is overlooked at the shelter. They say: “Bud and his sister Taylor came to Good Mews when their family lost their home. Bud is one of the most beautiful cats you will ever see. He is a little shy right now, but will easily come around when he knows he has a loving family again. I guess if I lost the only home I had ever known, I would be a little wary too! He gets along great with other cats and is seeking a home with a family that loves him and some kitty friends to pal around with! Will you be the one to brighten Bud’s day?” Bud is a HALO cat! so his Vet care for life is included with his adoption (for qualified adopters). Here's his Petfinder listing.
©2012 Good Mews Animal Foundation. No one wants Meryl. “Meryl is a very sweet girl that would really benefit from a forever home. Meryl is a bit on the overweight side and being in a home, her new family can help her maintain her weight. At the shelter we have to keep food out at all times so it is hard to keep Meryl on a diet. It is not healthy for cats to be overweight and we worry about Meryl.
Meryl has a playful side to her and enjoys running around the shelter and loves toys and the feather wand. ”
©2012 Maria S. Maria & MissFP say farewell.
Maria visited with many of the cats looking for forever homes at Good Mews until it was time to help MissFP get settled into her new digs. For the first two weeks MissFP would have to reside in a cage, but it's spacious and light filled and rumors are that since MissFP didn't come from a municipal shelter or from the outdoors that her quarantine period might be shortened. In no time at all MissFP would be able to roam freely around the large main area where she'll be able to look out big windows, climb many different cat trees or simply lounge on a cat bed.
©2012 Maria S. Getting settled in her new home.
I worried that MissFP would react badly to the new environment, but she was unfazed. Maria placed her into a cat bed and MissFP “made muffins”, then settled down. Maria even got her to eat, so it was a good sign that she was going to be okay. Before Maria left, she leaned down to kiss Miss FP good bye and Miss gave her a head butt as her way of saying “thank you for not giving up on me and for giving me a loving home. I'm ready to take the next part of my journey to find a forever home with these good people.”
©2012 Maria S. Miss FP in her temporary quarantine space.
Help me THANK Good Mews by visiting them on Facebook and let them know we appreciate what they do or, if you can, please consider donating to one of their many life-saving programs. MAKE SURE YOU MENTION COVERED IN CAT HAIR WHEN YOU DONATE. THERE'S A SPACE CALLED "OTHER" IN THE DONATION FORM WHERE YOU CAN ADD THAT INFORMATION. Here's a list of ways you can donate.
©2012 Good Mews Animal Foundation. It's not fancy (yet), but one day this building will be Good Mews' new home after it gets refurbished.
OTHER WAYS TO HELP: Good Mews bought a building! It's just a shell right now, but their dream is to get it set up and ready to go by the end of 2013. Wish list items include gift cards for any amount for Lowes or Home Depot, gift cards so they can purchase bird feeders and seed, decorative benches for their new yard. The sooner they can open, the sooner Good Mews will be able to help 150 cats!
You don't need money to help! Do you live in the metro Atlanta, Georgia area? Do you know people there? Are you a landscaper? Do you KNOW one? Do you have gardening skills? Do you like to paint walls? Even if you can't offer a financial donation, they also need people to help do the work to get their facility completed. If your Church group could donate a weekend of time or if your softball team could spend a day helping, it could make all the difference.
If you like to go shopping, visit their Good Mews Cafe Press Store. All your purchases go to helping provide for their cats.
Michelle just contacted me and let me know that MissFP is doing well and is still giving headbutts to the volunteers and making muffins on her bed. We wish her good luck and that her forever family finds her very soon!
And…it looks like Clover had her first NEGATIVE test result for Feline Leukemia. It's not a “for sure“ yet, but crossing fingers, this kitty may have very good news soon!
Just before Valentine's Day we took in a friendly stray kitty who was living outdoors at a Palette Factory in McDonough, GA. Our volunteer, Bobby, who alerted us to this kitty's plight, asked me to name her so the Vet could get her spayed and create her medical records. I called her Miss Fluffy Pants, thinking I'd change the name later, but the name stuck.
©2012 Bobby Stanford. MissFP at her former "home" at the Palette Factory.
You can read more MissFP's back story HERE, but the short version is, MissFP has FIV+ which basically turned this sweet kitty into a rescue-roadblock for us. My rescue, Kitten Associates, doesn't have a lot of resources and space in my one foster home in Georgia is at a minimum. If I couldn't find MissFP a home, she'd take the only space we had and prevent us from helping any more cats until we helped her. That meant saying no to the requests I got to help kittens who are being born in the thousands in the south.
I asked around and got a lot of “sorry, no's” then East Coast Maine Coon Rescue was willing to do a courtesy post about her, but we didn't get any applications. I asked other big shelters in Georgia and didn't even get a reply. FIV+ cats, though the virus is not easily spread from cat to cat (only through a deep, penetrating bite wound), makes them tough to adopt. Add to that MissFP is black-which especially in the south makes it even harder to find her a home.
©2012 Maria S. Miss Fluffy Pants.
The goal, as it is with ALL our foster cats, was to figure out a way to get her to my home and hopefully find her a placement in Connecticut, but I was getting requests to help local kittens and I had to say yes. MissFP would have to wait and so would our other adult cat, King. Because King so easy going Maria allowed him to share space in her home with her resident cats and it wasn't a problem for him to remain there for longer than usual. MissFP spent her days in a bathroom behind a closed door while Maria was at work. It wasn't a great life for MissFP and I felt terrible about it.
©2012 Maria S. A good sign ahead...
I kept looking for help or a home for MissFP. I did NOT want her to go to a sanctuary, never to have a forever home. MissFP loves people and is okay with other cats, but prefers humans. For a short time I thought we found a forever home right in Atlanta for MissFP, but the person backed out at the last minute-just hours before MissFP was going to be taken to her new home. We were all devastated. MissFP went back to her cat tree in the bathroom and I went back to scratching my head, feeling torn between resentment and anger at myself. I loved MissFP even if it was only from afar and I didn't care that she had FIV+, I just wanted her to have a loving home, but it just wasn't happening.
©2012 Maria S. The interior at Good Mews.
©2012 Maria S. How true.
I got an email from Michelle, one of the Board of Directors at Good Mews. She wondered if I could help her find a rescue or sanctuary to help a cat named Clover who was testing positive for Feline Leukemia. I did what I could and gave her some suggestions. For the heck of it I asked her if there was any way she could help me with MissFP. Her answer shocked me. She had to check with some of the staff, but she was pretty sure they COULD HELP US! She'd write me back to confirm. All I had to do was WAIT and hold my breath. Was this the answer we'd been searching for for so long?
©2012 Maria S. I think they understand what Jackson Galaxy refers to when he talks about the importance of building a “cat superhighway.”
At the time I didn't know much about Good Mews, other than that they were one of the biggest cat rescues in Georgia and that they help rescues out of state, too. They have the manpower and sometimes they have the space to take on another cat to the 100 or so currently in residence.
©2012 Maria S. The view from within.
After hearing rumors that another huge cat shelter in Georgia shut down intake due to having 150 kittens, I was flat out stunned that Good Mews would even consider taking on MissFP. Not only that, but they were just as careful about placing their cats as I was.
©2012 Maria S. One of the cat's at Good Mews who's looking for a great home. This is HoneyBee on Petfinder!
I felt like I let MissFP down. It's a failure for us to not be able to find Miss FP a forever home, but it's always been difficult for us to place adults. Take Mazie for example. She was here for 14 months before she got her forever home. I know I shouldn't beat myself up, but I still feed badly. I'll never get to meet MissFP nor have the joy of meeting her new family. I will, however, be glad knowing that we have space in Maria's home for the 3 kittens she rescued last month. They'll no longer have to live in a ferret cage, but will have decent space to run and play.
Now if Good Mews would just call and tell me their answer is YES!
To be continued…
I brought Jackson home three weeks ago, on the heels of Bobette, our former foster, being adopted (and who's doing marvelously well with her new mama, JaneA Kelley of Paws & Effect).
Jackson wasn't interested in being confined to “his room” from the get go. He was ready to meet everyone and get himself settled. After just two days to decompress, I followed his lead and let him out of his room. He'd already been vetted, tested, in a home-not a shelter. I thought it would be all right to give it a chance.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. My sad foster kitty, Jackson Galaxy, a few days after he arrived.
I had the Feliway diffuser plugged in and all the cats had already been on Spirit Essences for a few weeks. I expected hissing and difficulty and was ready to calmly move Jackson back to his room if problems arose.
But they didn't…at least not right away.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Jackson LOVES raw food.
Jackson began to vocalize, a lot. His powerful meow carried throughout the house. Some of my cats reacted to it, but mostly they just ignored it. After Bobette and her attacks on any cat who came close to her I think they were ready for anything but Jackson just walked around with his tail up in the air, yowling. He didn't bother with any of the cats. A few tried to give him a quick sniff when he passed by, but he gave them a look which told them to back off.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Ever elegant, Jaks points his paw as he has his morning bath.
I took some time to get to know Jackson. He's a tall cat with a big “Biscuit Head” from being neutered late in life. He weighs almost 14 pounds, but he's lean. He's quick to purr or “burble” when I pet him. He loves to give head butts, but he's not big on being held and so far he's not a lap cat. In some ways he's a bit like a dog-he likes to follow me around the house. He likes to be near the action, but I could tell he was looking for a place to call his own within my home. With 8 resident cats that was not an easy thing to do.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Mr. Handsome settling in on the cat tree.
I tried to find a balance between allowing Jackson his freedom to roam around and to give my own cats some peace and quiet. I knew that having a new cat in the house would cause problems and it did. Nicky unleashed a torrent of urine all over the house. Even though he had no contact with Jackson, it didn't matter. He was distressed and displeased. Again I had to search for balance while my cats worked out what to make of this stranger in white.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. High four.
Each night I “tucked” Jackson into his room, but after an hour or two he'd start to yowl and bang on the door to get out. I tried to tough it out. If he made a fuss and I got up, I'd be training him to make a fuss so I would get up. Instead, I didn't sleep.
I didn't get much sleep for two weeks.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Feeling blue.
Then I started to wonder if Jackson was sick or that something happened to him in his last home. He didn't care to be touched on his side and would warn me to stop with a nip to my hand. At rest, the rise and fall of his chest looked odd, not smooth and fluid but hitched. Jacks eyes were a bit runny-one stuck closed on and off for a day. He was still eating well, but seemed down. I knew I'd have to run him to see Dr. Larry. My guess-list of what was bothering Jackson was growing. Did he have HCM? Upper Respiratory? Allergy? Heart or lungworms? He's from the south. It's possible.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Kiss-face.
And then the fights began. I didn't see them, but I heard them. One by one, Jackson was asserting himself with my cats, letting them know he was the boss. Each confrontation lasted a few seconds, but it was enough to change the hierarchy of the cats for good.
None of the cats were injured, but there were plenty of clumps of fur on the rugs-none of it was Jackson's. This surprised me because I'd heard that Jackson was picked on, which was why he was surrendered. Perhaps he'd had enough from being picked on before or the family wasn't up front with what really happened. My cats gave him a wide berth, but as each day passes I see him sitting calmly in close proximity to one or more of the cats and the fighting stopped almost as soon as it began.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Life is so tough here in foster care. Don't let me keep you up, Jacks.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Burrito-boy.
Jackson's coat feels a lot better and his feline acne is almost gone. He actually enjoys it when I clean his chin. When I'm done cleaning him off, I lean down and he gives me a few head butts, purring loudly. Jackson's had some rough days. There are times when I reach out to pet him that he shrinks back in fear and runs off. I think someone must have hit him, which makes me sad and more protective of him than ever. When I think about all the care that goes into raising kittens so they never react like that to being petted, I wonder what sort of hellish life this cat may have had.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. This big guy just wants some love.
If you're interested in adopting Jackson, visit Kitten Associates Adopt Page and fill out a Pre Adoption Application. Also, please read our Adoption Policies regarding diet, declawing and more. Jackson's forever family should live within or in one of the states surrounding Connecticut-United States of America. For the right adopter, we're open to discussing an adoption that's further out of state, but use your good judgement regarding appropriate distance. As an extra treat, Mr. Jackson Galaxy has graciously offered a 15 minute consult to the person or family who adopts this marvelous kitty.
We're also still looking for a great home for King. We've had NO applications for him and he's been with us for six months. King LOVES people, cats and dogs. He just needs to live with carpeting so he can get around. King was born without his hind paws, but is quite mobile and playful. He just can't “do” hardwood floors.
(Farewells in Part 2.)
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Zombie kitten wants to eat your brains!
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Cutie Patootie's showing her secret white belly button.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Sabrina mugs for the camera.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Hi Five..or is that six?
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Attack of the 50ft Kitten!
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. This is how we do it.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Zombie kitten searches for the next victim.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Cute break with Cutie!
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Okay one more cute break with Black Beauty.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Invisible hang glider.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. One-eyed flying machine.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Engaging telekinesis in 3…2…1.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Hello Mousey with Hello Dahlia.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Sabrina in a tangle.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Belly Holiday firing super-cute rays into your heart.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Anatomy of flight.
The kittens are having a grand time and didn't want to stop having fun, but their joy was tempered with some sadness. In part two I'll fill you in on what happened after play time was over.
Poor Jackson Galaxy the foster cat. Late last year I rescued this big lug from a Kill Shelter in McDonough, Georgia. He had no hope of rescue since it was so close to Christmas and many rescues couldn't take another adult, but once I saw him I had to save his life. There was something about him, his great size, but sweet vibe that told me this was a kitty who needed to be spared being euthanized.
Fortunately, my friend Katherine from Animals in Distress (AID)said they would take him into their shelter, since I had my hands full. It worked out beautifully and Jackson arrived in January of this year. You can read all about it HERE.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. The most tranquil and Buddha-like Jackson.
I also told Jackson Galaxy, the swanky Cat Daddy from Animal Planet's hit show, “My Cat From Hell,” about this apple-head Tom cat. He felt the same vibe and wanted to lend a helping hand. He offered to provide a FREE 15 minute consultation with whoever adopted the cat. I was delighted!
In less than a few weeks a family stepped forward to adopt Jackson. They had other cats and a dog. There was some concern about how he would get along with everyone, but since Jacks did so well at the shelter, not picking fights or bothering with the other cats, that they gave him a chance.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. The image that started this journey. How could you say NO to that cat?
Sadly, I don't know all the details, but the basics are that the other cats picked on and attacked Jackson. Jackson didn't cause any trouble at all. He didn't love the dog, but he didn't fight. He tried to stay clear of the cats, but they were violent with him. Eventually the family gave him to their Mother-in-Law since she had no pets. Jackson did fine with her, but then her husband died.
The Mother-in-Law visited her family often and brought Jackson with her. This constant upheaval caused the other cats to continue to attack Jackson. The woman was between a rock and a hard place-either she stop seeing her family, leave Jackson alone or give Jackson back to AID.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. The Return of Jackson Galaxy.
I know that the family had a very tough time letting Jackson go and I know they ALL cried about it. They shouldn't be vilified for their choice. Jackson was very dear to them, but with the problems with the other cats, they decided it would be best to let him go.
I think there's a point at which people have made up their minds and you can't tell them to try to re-introduce Jackson or to not travel with him and get him a pet sitter; to work it out differently so Jackson wouldn't lose his home. The point was passed before we had a chance to intervene and on Friday, Jackson was brought back to the shelter.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Investigating his new home.
As fate would have it, AID was beyond full up, but they HAD to take Jackson. I felt responsible and tried to figure out what I was going to do, but Bobette was here taking up the only space I could use for Jackson. It just worked out beautifully that JaneA Kelley adopted Bobette while Jackson waited in a cage at the shelter for space to open up here. He only had to wait a few days.
I brought Jackson home yesterday afternoon and got him settled. My home is the fifth home Jackson's lived in in as many months. He is a bit anxious. He wants OUT of his foster room, but I need to give him and my own cats time to adjust to Bobette being gone and to the new arrival.
Jackson's coat is in terrible condition. It's dry and feels tacky. He must have been fed junk. His eyes are a bit runny and he has feline acne, which I'm already treating homeopathically and with diet. I've been brushing him a lot and trying to soothe his fears. He seems ready to meet my cats and just hang out, but I fear he will break with an upper respiratory infection from all the stress he's been under, so I have to wait a few more days.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Simply, Jackson. Visit his Petfinder Ad HERE
Jackson will be fine here until we get a great home for him. He's very likable and loving and meows like mad when he gets lonely. I hope he and my cats become friends. He deserves to have a good experience with other cats.
Jackson's very lucky. He not only has me and Katherine looking out for him, but Jackson Galaxy, the man himself, is also this cat's Guardian Angel. Mr. Galaxy took a liking to this big Buddha of a cat and is dedicated to helping us find our boy a great forever home.
With so many people on his side, I just know that one day the REAL forever family for Jackson Galaxy the cat will find him. Until then I get to say I'm living with Jackson Galaxy! How cool is that?
If you're interested in adopting Jackson, visit Kitten Associates Adopt Page and fill out a Pre Adoption Application. Though we prefer adopting within the United States and the area in or around Connecticut, for the right adopter, we're open to discussing an adoption that is further out of state.
There are times when something happens that stops you cold in your tracks. Whatever pressing engagements you had fall to the wayside without guilt or concern. You're driven by a mixture of shock and adrenaline. You must act immediately, even though you're not sure what to do.
On Saturday, April 28th, a couple noticed a cat wandering outside their apartment. The cat walked oddly and was very thin, but seemed to know they were there and didn't run away. When they got closer to the cat, they saw something so shocking they were stunned into silence.
The ginger tabby's eyes were sealed shut by a crust of some sort. His nose must have been running for a long time which caused it to seal shut, as well.
One of the saddest things I've ever seen. This is what Leo looked like when he was discovered. Click to view the image and click again to hide the image, BUT BE WARNED IT'S GRAPHIC and may upset you.
It's easy for some people to come up with a reason to look away-to not help an animal in need. They may not have money or time or experience in knowing what to do. This couple didn't have a cat, nor could they have one in their apartment, but that didn't stop them from helping a cat they'd only just met. They carefully approached the cat, who turned out to be very friendly, even though he could not see them. It didn't take them long to realize they needed to get this cat to the Vet right away.
Leo after his face was cleaned for the first time. No one even knew if he could see or if he'd gone blind from the horrific upper respiratory infection he was battling.
They named him Leo.
Leo was in sorry shape. The Vet began to carefully clean away the crusts covering his eyes and nose. Leo was too weak to make a fuss. He had probably been unable to eat for long time. They put him on an IV and a combination of antibiotics. The protocol for vetting an unknown cat is to perform a combo test to test for FIV+ and Feline Leukemia, so they did that, too. The test came back positive for Feline Leukemia which is contagious to other cats and ultimately fatal. Leo was also neutered, which meant he had a home at some point, but where was his family now?
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Leo under the lights at Home Depot.
As with every positive test, Leo would need to be re-tested at a later date to prove his Leukemia positive status, but the problem was that there was no where for this cat to go-IF he survived treatment. Who would take a Feline Leukemia positive cat who was battling a horrific upper respiratory infection? Maybe Leo would be better off if they euthanized him?
Calls were made, emails sent out. All the rescue groups in Long Island alerted all the rescues in New York and Connecticut. They needed a foster home or an amazing adopter or an amazing rescue to take this cat on, knowing full well he would require expensive Vet care. They chose to try to save his life if they could find a place for him to go. When I saw the photos of Leo, my heart broke. I couldn't do much, but I contacted Gina, who rescued Leo and told her about Aslan's Cats Sanctuary in upstate New York. Their rescue takes only feline leukemia positive cats. Maybe they could help?
I also offered to help transport Leo to Aslan's should it come to pass.
Leo was on an IV for a few days. Gina and her husband got a bill for $1500.00. When I told them we'd do a fundraiser, they said to donate any money to Aslan's because Leo will need much more Vet care and they had secured a placement for him there…and oh, by the way, could I drive two hours north that very night? Leo was stable enough to be moved.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Our first real look at this lovely “apple-head Tom.”
So barely twelve hours after I first heard about Leo, I was driving to the Home Depot in Brewster, New York (along with Sam) to meet Gina by 8:30pm. Gina bought a crate for Leo and a blanket that she wanted to donate to Aslan's. She gave me his paperwork and I peeked inside his carrier. His eyes were open just a bit, which was an improvement over the last photo I'd seen, but he looked like he was in rough shape. His right front leg was bandaged. I could see he still had a catheter in his leg. It reminded me of my cat, Bob, which immediately made me feel sad. I started to pray Leo would not die before I got him up to Catskill, New York where Aslan's is located, but I had a two hour drive ahead of me and plenty of time to worry.
I-84 and I-87 have seen better days. There were bumps and potholes aplenty. I kept saying “I'm sorry.” to Leo since I needed to drive “enthusiastically” if I was going to get to Catskill before 11pm, but driving at highway speeds made every bump even more obvious. Leo didn't make a fuss. I always consider that a bad sign when a cat is quiet in the car.
About 30 minutes into the drive I heard an odd sound, then I heard it again. I realized Leo was wheezing, but it was not the sort of wheeze I had ever heard before. Since I was driving I kept asking Sam to check on Leo. Is he sitting up? Is he looking fairly comfortable? Is his nose running? Is he ALIVE?
Leo was uncomfortable but did not appear to be in any danger. I made good time and we arrived at Asland's at a few minutes after 10 pm. Hilary Harris, the Director, met us with open arms. She's the kind of person you can warm up to right away. I brought up some of my Halo Spot's Stew canned food donation to offer her and we started talking about appropriate food for cats. We talked shop. She introduced us to many of the cats-and there are 60 of them. She knew every name and where every cat came from. It felt peaceful there, but I felt very sad, too. Here is a house full of cats who have a terminal illness. Many will never have a home to call their own, but being at Asland's is a very good option for them. [I'm going to go into more detail about Aslan's Sanctuary at another time because they deserve a blog post solely about what they do and about the tragedy that befell them last autumn.]
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Leo, severely underweight and weak, gets a lift from Sam.
I finally got a chance to see Leo for a moment as Sam lifted him out of the carrier and placed him into a nebulizer tank, which is basically a plastic tub with a tight fitting lid. There's a hole in one side for a tube to enter the tub, which is attached to a nebulizer. It's a way to deliver medicine to the sinuses and lungs that will help decongest Leo and ease his breathing. It's also very unnerving for a cat, but it had to be done.
As Leo got his treatment, we got to know each other. Hilary told us she could have lived offsite from Asland's but prefers to live with the cats. She has a small bedroom and tinier office space in Victorian home she shares with the cats. There are few human comforts. It's all about the cats and keeping them happy.
Everywhere we went the cats followed us, reaching out for attention. I was slow to touch them, thinking about how I was going to decontaminate myself and not bring anything into my own home later that night. After awhile I forgot about the URI's or the leukemia. They were all sweet kitties who needed the same love any cat did. I wished it wasn't so late so we could have stayed longer, but Leo needed to get settled and the next morning he was due to go to a new Vet for more supportive therapy and another checkup. We said our farewells and as the rain began to tickle our shoulders, Sam and I got back into my car as I set the GPS for HOME.
More on Leo and his struggle to survive tomorrow…
Last night I reached out to all of you to help us find a home or rescue to take Miss Fluffy Pants so we could open up adequate space to take in a Feral Mama and some of her kittens (two of the five are still missing as of this writing). I'm glad to report that in LESS THAN ONE DAY we have some hope.
A special lady stepped forward to adopt Miss Fluffy Pants!!! She lives in the Atlanta area, but for some reason if that doesn't work out, MissFP has been accepted by the East Coast Maine Coon Rescue as a cat they will include as a courtesy post on their web site. They get a lot of adoptions and it's great exposure for our sweet girl! Thank you to Chris & Vicky at ECMCR! Check out one of the cats they're trying to save-a gorgeous Orange Maine Coon in New Jersey!
©2012 Maria S. Miss Fluffy Pants caught the eye of one of our friends in Atlanta!
As for our Emergency Rescue last night, it's clear we waited too long to step in, but these cats belong to a resident of the same town Maria lives in so we couldn't just jump in without his permission.
I'd like to say some very angry words about the person who "owned" these cats. Things like, “you had a chance to get your cat spayed a year ago for FREE, why didn't you do it?”
©2012 Maria S. Our sad boy moments after rescue. I think he got a bit too excited to have real food to eat.
Thankfully Maria was able to get the Mom and the kittens set up in a two story ferret cage without too much trouble. It's not very spacious, but it's what we have until Miss FP finds a home. The Mama allowed Maria to wash the kitten's faces, carefully rinsing away the goop on their eyelids. They fussed as kittens do, but eventually she was able to tease their eyes back open.
©2012 Maria S. It's a GIRL!
Once the kittens were clean, everyone got a huge helping of Halo cat food-thanks to the big donation they sent us! The kittens ate some of their food and wore the rest. Maria was able to tell that we have a Black male kitten, an Orange Tabby FEMALE! kitten and a FLAME POINT (our first!) female kitten. Mama is a Tortie to the max and full of “Tortie-tude.”
©2012 Maria S. The little flame point female.
This morning, Maria took the day off work so she could take the family to the Vet! It's a good thing she didn't wait. Mama is severely underweight and the kittens are too small. They all have Coccidia, fleas and an eye infection. Had they gone on like this much longer, I have no doubt the kittens and probably the mama would have died. It wasn't so much that they couldn't fend off their infections or parasites, but between the combination of all these things, PLUS poor or no nutrition…they wouldn't have made it. The fleas would have caused anemia, the parasites would prevent them from absorbing nutrition-if they got any and the environment was not safe at all.
©2012 Maria S. Mama getting ready to chow down, but very leary of what she's doing in a cage.
Mama went wild in the car on the way to the Vet and while she was at the Vet! She peed, screamed and gave the Vets a big scare when they tried to de-worm her. She did NOT want to be messed with. At least they did get her blood and she tested NEGATIVE for FIV+ and Feline Leukemia!
©2012 Maria S. The little tykes after something to eat. They're already using their litter pan!
It's going to be awhile before these cats are healthy. Mama is going to need a lot of food. Maria tells me she can see the cat's spine she's so thin. What a horrible life these cats have led-all under the “watchful” eye of a human, who did nothing for them until Maria stepped in and fought to save them and give them the chance at a better life. I'm glad she could keep her cool and just get those cats into safety. I hope we'll be able to find the two kittens who are missing. It's a bitter pill to swallow, knowing we could have taken them in sooner and saved all five kittens, but were too worried about taking up what few resources we have.
©2012 Maria S. Poor Mama. She's scared of humans, but the good news is…we MAY have a home for her, too! More on that when we have a confirmation.
©2012 Maria S. Waiting for the Vet.
We did amazingly well with our fundraiser reaching just about the halfway mark of our goal, but because we had to take the cats to Vet and not the low cost clinic (because they are only open on Wednesdays), we already used up half of our funds to pay the first Vet bill. We urgently need to raise the remaining funds so we'll have that money ready when they need their vaccines, spay & neuter, and my fear-more medications and more emergency visits.
©2012 Maria S. Nom-noms-a-rama!
If you didn't get a chance to help us last night, use the ChipIn Widget, below or this LINK to our fundraiser page on ChipIn. Every dollar adds up and no donation is too small.
The donation you provide to this Emergency Rescue is TAX-DEDUCTIBLE. The money will go to my 501©3 Non-Profit Cat Rescue: Kitten Associates.
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 "Bright Eyes Fund" mail it to:
P.O. Box 354
Newtown, CT 06470-0354
Any funds not used for the care of this family will go into our General Fund.
©2012 Maria S. Getting rescued WITH Mama…priceless.
My little rescue group, Kitten Associates, is in a terrible jam. A few months ago, we rescued Miss Fluffy Pants from lousy living conditions outside at a Palette Factory where she lived on scraps. MFP was thin, her coat poor. She was dirty and miserable.
©2012 Maria. S. This gorgeous Maine Coon mix is in dire need of a forever home.
Since she's been in our foster home in Georgia, she's blossomed into a ten pound beauty. She's more than ready for her forever home, but due to one simple fact-that MPF has FIV+, we are having a very hard time finding her a placement and because we can't move her out of her foster home, we CANNOT HELP SOME KITTENS WHO ARE IN URGENT NEED OF HELP.
The problem is, that even though we did a Western Blot test to confirm the FIV+, in actuality she may NOT have it at all. When we rescued MFP, she was already spayed. Since we've seen some very odd things done to cats in the South-like a 4-paw declawed cat who was NOT spayed-it makes me wonder if MFP was vaccinated against FIV+, too. It would give us a positive test result, but we can't tell if she really has FIV+ or if it's from a vaccination.
©2012 Maria. S. MFP loves people, is ok with dogs, and ok with cats.
As you may know, FIV+ is not a death sentence. With good diet and living indoors a cat can do just fine. The only way to spread the disease to another cat would be if MFP deeply bit into the cat and I mean the type of bite that would send a human to the hospital. My cat Bob Dole was FIV+ and NONE of my 7 other cats got it from him and he lived with us for six years.
One of the WORST things that can hit a small rescue like mine, is to have a hard-to-place cat to find a home for. It prevents us from helping other cats because we are NOT going to put MPF back outside or leave her to fend for herself.
©2012 Maria. S. MFP is about 2 years old and is in good health.
Maria and I have been asking for help, but it has fallen on deaf ears. We're trying to do something for these kittens, but it's Kitten Season in the South and everyone is getting overloaded. Now we're faced with knowing about a problem and being unable to have the resources to do anything about it.
©2012 Maria. S. She loves to play, get pets and be brushed, too.
©2012 Maria. S. The kittens as they were last week, when we thought we had time to find them a rescue or get MFP a home. Now the gray one and one of the two black ones are gone.
©2012 Maria. S. The little white kitten. How is she going to survive in these conditions?
©2012 Maria. S. This is the SAME ginger tabby you saw in the above photo, TODAY. Even though he can't see, he came over to Maria to be petted.
Use the ChipIn Widget, below if you'd like to help these kittens. They'll need vetting (times five) ASAP, antibiotics, food, etc.
©2012 Maria. S. I know how you feel looking at this photo. We're on it. We're going to get these kittens to the vet as soon as we can. We just need help puling the funds together.
The donation you provide to this Emergency Rescue is TAX-DEDUCTIBLE. The money will go to my 501©3 Non-Profit Cat Rescue: Kitten Associates.
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 "Bright Eyes Fund" mail it to:
P.O. Box 354
Newtown, CT 06470-0354
Any funds not used for the care of this family will go into our General Fund.