A few days ago a woman committed suicide in Fairfield County, Connecticut. She left behind her two cats; Marmalade, a one year old orange and white Maine Coon mix and Shadow, a stunning, silver tabby long haired cat who is declawed, front paws and is about 10 years old. She lived alone and the only human family who remains is her brother who does not like cats and wants them euthanized.
The local rescue community, including myself, are trying to get the word out on these two cats to find them homes or rescues to take them.
It's been quite the roller coaster over the past 48 hours since I found out that Amberly had bolted out the front door of her family's home and hadn't been seen again. After her family, myself and many of you worked on getting the word out, the call I made to my friend, Katherine, ended up being the one thing that turned this story around. Katherine met with the family and searched for Amberly. Not finding anything, she left to trap another cat who needed to have his tail amputated. She picked up Leo, who we worked together to rescue last week, and got him to the shelter. [If you recall, Leo is 13 years old. His owners dumped him outside when he peed out of the pan. Then they had premie twin babies which made them decide (due to Doctor's orders!) to get rid of the cat for good!]
Leo is better off. Once I saw him, filthy, thin, with bad teeth, I knew he was a diamond in the rough. I got him his initial vetting, then AID covered the cost to have a dental done, some blood work (which was surprisingly perfect!) and an EKG! Leo also got a bath. I can't wait to see him again. I hear he's looking just lovely now.
After Katherine got everything settled, she could have just gone home. It was about 7pm, but something was bothering her. She just HAD to go back and look for Amberly again.
The second time was the charm. She called out to Amberly and heard her meow back! Amberly had somehow got locked in some sort of weird, storage thing, which I still can't understand what it was based on Katherine's description. All I know is Amberly went in, a door got shut behind her and she was trapped. For two days she was across the street from her own home!
©2012 McGarty Family. Amberly, Jack and Mama.
Needless to say Amberly's family was thrilled to get her back. I have to admit I considered telling Katherine NOT to let Amberly return home, but to bring her to me. The family had let her get out a few times before and the area they live in is NOT safe for a cat. I was going to think it over overnight, but by the time I reached Katherine to speak with her about it, Amberly was already with her family.
This morning I got an update from the family and a few photos. Once I saw Amberly with her son, Jack, I realized she needed to stay where she was. The family said she was following everyone around, purring, eating like a champ. Clearly she was happy to be home, but I fear she will forget this happiness and try to get out again. I plan on speaking with the family about building her a “catio” or leash train her and take her for a walk. Amberly needs more stimulation, play time, cat grass. All of this can help soothe her desire to get outside.
©2012 McGarty Family. Amberly is dwarfed by her son, Jack LiLac! They're so happy to be back together.
Bobette has healed from her surgery and Dr. Mixon believes she may always limp, but her leg is now straight when she walks, instead of curved outwards. She seems to get along very well, but after playing for a time, stops wanting to jump. I'm sure she's bored, sitting in her room, alone for most of the day now that Jakey and Teddy are adopted. I only got one application for her so far and it fell through.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Bobette has recovered from surgery, but is still waiting for her forever home.
There's a lot of pressure to find her a new home. With kitten season here and King and Miss FP waiting in the wings, I need the space. Two days ago I started to leave the foster room door open. Bobette has NOT been thrilled seeing my cats. Though her tail pouffs comically, her growling and hissing is no joke. She hasn't been violent, but she puts on a good show and my cats are giving her space. So far she just stays upstairs. Seeing her outside her room makes me laugh because she's so excited by having room to run. She stops and plays with every toy she sees even though she's nervous about running into my cats. I'm taking it slowly with her, but I hope we can let her mingle my cats so that room can be freed up for the SIX ADDITIONAL kittens I'd like to rescue! (wait 'till you see them!)
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. She loves getting petted!
I have a lot of guilt about Miss Fluffy Pants. She's in Maria's foster room all by herself. I need to get her out of there, but not sure where to put her. Miss FP's western blot test came back positive for FIV. The only thing we don't know is if she really has FIV or was immunized against FIV, which would show up positive as a test result. Miss FP is in good spirits and Maria tells me she is VERY affectionate. She may be ok with another cat or not, but since King has been moved out of the room, Miss FP has come out of her shell.
I've got to find an additional foster home for her in CT so we can bring her up here and start looking for her forever home. I hate that she's just waiting, but with no room at my home, I'm stuck for now.
©2012 Maria S. Miss FP. Sweeter than ever.
King continues to shine bright. He's hanging out with Maria's cats and is loving life. He gets to sleep on a real bed, get good food and is in a loving home. I can't wait to meet King and I hope we can move him north soon. He's already on Petfinder and I've had one or two inquiries, but so far nothing solid.
©2012 Maria S. King, relaxing on the first bed he's ever known.
I'm so glad he's off the streets. King's rescuer, Bobby Stanford, sent me some sobering photos of the palette factory where King and Miss FP were living. The folks who work there asked after the cats and Bobby gave them an update. I think if they could see how gorgeous the cats are they'd be very happy. Though they were kind enough to give the cats what they could. It wasn't ideal for them and they wouldn't have survived much longer in that location-especially King. There was no way he could get around very comfortably or safely.
©2012 Bobby Stanford. King used to sleep under these stairs.
©2012 Bobby Stanford. This was King's former home. I don't know how he walked around on his stunted back legs. To read more about King's amazing journey go HERE.
The good news is there's no need to be sad for King or MissFP. They're in good hands. From the looks of it, King is starting to get a little bit feisty with Maria's cats now that he feels safe. The video below is a hoot! Make sure you watch it to the end!
©2012 Maria S. King, also known as, Mr Mischief!
©2012 Maria S. See the video, above, to find out what happens a few seconds after this photo was taken!
April & Her Six Kittens
I forgot how much I worry about kittens! It's been a very long time since I've had kittens this young. Lately I've been fostering them after Maria does all the tough work and the kittens are old enough to be spayed/neutered. Now I get to fret every morning. Will I walk into the bathroom, where the kittens are living, and find one of them gone? Today is day 17 and I still have six kittens. They are all gaining weight. I'm still confused as to which one is which. I believe I have ALL GIRLS, but after using a 8x magnifying lens to look at their private parts, either they ARE all female or I just can't tell one sex from the other.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Poor April is exhausted.
The kittens all have their eyes open and are starting to look more like cats than hamsters. I think they can sort of see me and I've caught a few looking up at me. It melts my heart. I can't believe in another week or so they will be wobbling about even more and starting to play.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. April and the family.
I believe that three of the kittens are polydactyls; one has bizarre shaped paws! The only tuxedo kitten has very cute markings, pink & black toes and likes to squawk when I pick her up. Another kitten has big paws like a bear and always seems to be belly-up. It's about time to name the kittens. I think I may ask for help with that, but first I'm going to get photos of each one to help us with the naming. I've named their mother, April.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Tinkies! (not a typo-that's what I call kittens)
Today I noticed that April was dwarfed by her kittens. She's a small cat and with six kittens who are about 11 oz each, it's getting crowded around her belly. She's clearly exhausted and I feel both terrible and worried about her. I feed her many times a day, but some times she just doesn't eat very well for me. I've opted to leave her grain-free dry food so she has something to eat 24/7 even if I'm not a fan of kibble. I hold a plate out to her to eat because most often she's got kittens nursing on her and the poor thing won't get up to feed herself.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. What is that thing?
Clearly April is devoted to her babies because she still gives me these short little growls when she's not sure about something I'm doing. I don't worry any more that she's going to attack me. She's been nothing but friendly. Some times I rub her neck or scratch her cheeks. She purrs right away and her body relaxes for a moment. I want to take her away from the babies so she can rest, but it's not possible right now. I'm half tempted to start bottle feeding the kittens, but I don't see any of them losing weight or crying. If they are ok and she is just tired, then it will only be another week and a half and I can start weaning them off her. I just hope she can endure this stress. I'm doing everything I can think of to support her.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. We so cute!
As Day 17 for the kittens draws to a close, I got the news that our friend Janea from Paws & Effect has to make the difficult decision to put her cat Dahlia to sleep. Dahlia has atypical large t-cell lymphoma that is not responding to treatment and Dahlia has fluid building up around her heart that has to be drained every so often or she will pass away in a lot of pain. It's the most difficult choice any cat-parent has to make. We send Janea all our love and support and ask Dahlia to Fly Free to the Rainbow Bridge when it's time to go, but not a moment sooner.
ID 20966 Pet Name/Cage Number: C22 Breed: Brown Tabby DSH Age: Young Size: Small Gender: Male Spayed/Neutered: No Date Available: 2/24 Shelter Name: Simon A very loving kitty. He was difficult to take a good picture of because all he wanted to do was nuzzle me and the camera.
Take me to the Vet. Try to see the world from my eyes. Why would I do such a thing? A few minutes of thoughtful consideration might let you find the answer and if it doesn't, take the time to reach out and ask for help. Are you so busy you can't skip watching a TV show or texting your friends and spend that time thinking about what I need? I wasn't always like this, but something changed and I need your help, not your disdain.
ID 21029 Pet Name/Cage Number: C24 Breed: Brown Tabby DSH Age: Adult Size: Small Gender: Female Spayed/Neutered: No Date Available: 2/27 Shelter Name: Hestia
Maybe you got busy or had a baby, but you'll find a new routine and the baby will grow up. Why can't I stay with you during these changes in your life? I've loved you unconditionally for my entire life and now, when I'm a senior that no one would want, you turn your back on me. What did I do to deserve this?
ID 20875 Pet Name/Cage Number: C32 Breed: Tuxedo DSH Age: Adult Size: Small Gender: Female Spayed/Neutered: No Date Available: 2/15 Shelter Name: Hallie This calm little girl from Morning Dove Lane is ready to get out of animal control. She is great with other cats and very affectionate. She rolled onto her back and let us rub her belly. She and Sandy are great friends if you’re looking to adopt two.
Don't just cast me aside and move away to a place that doesn't allow pets. What about all those nights when you were sad and lonely and I was there for you with a gentle paw and a sweet purr? Won't you give me the same consideration-the same devotion?
I can't fend for myself without you. I can't build a new life without a lot of help. I give you 100% every day and I don't even ask that from you in return. So why would you buy me on a whim from a pet shop or adopt me as a gift and think you can just return me like a used sweater if it's too much to scoop my litter pan or too costly to provide me with good food and adequate Vet care?
ID 21036 Pet Name/Cage Number: C25 Breed: Orange Tabby DSH Age: Adult Size: Small Gender: Male Spayed/Neutered: No Date Available: 3/3 Shelter Name: Rascal This big sweetheart is such a wonderful kitty cat. Don’t you just want to squeeze his precious cheeks? Well one of our volunteers did. How did Rascal respond to this? He purred. As long as she was touching him and paying attention to him he was purring.
Don't you care that every single extra cat or dog just forces another cat or dog to die somewhere else? Will I stop being a good mouser if I'm spayed? Clean up your yard. Clean up your basement. Clean your house. You won't need a mouser! Will you feel bad taking my testicles if I'm a male? Why would you want me to be more aggressive, stink up your house spraying and add to overpopulation? It takes part of one day out of your life to get me “fixed” and if you look around, you'll find out there are plenty of places to get it done cheap. Now you don't have to dump me at a shelter, with five newborns fighting to get a meal off me. Because you didn't do the right thing, I will have to watch my precious kittens get killed at the shelter just before I take my last breath. Mamas and kittens are always the first to get sick and to be put down. If you just went without buying another pair of shoes, and not even very good shoes, you could do right by me, instead.
ID 20971 Pet Name/Cage Number: C31 Breed: Gray Tabby Age: Young Size: Small Gender: Female Spayed/Neutered: No Date Available: 2/25 Shelter Name: Sandy Sweet, sweet Sandy. How tragic her time at the shelter has come up. This wonderful little kitty would mesh well in just about any home environment. She does well with other cats and likes kids. Don’t you just want to give this darling her second chance? She and Hallie are great friends if you’re looking to adopt two.
Please respect me and fight for me, instead of taking the easy way out by killing me or casting me aside to fend for myself, which is just a slower death. I'm worth fighting for. I know there was a time when you thought so, too.
ID 21053 Pet Name/Cage Number: C04 Breed: Buff Longhair Age: Adult Size: Large Gender: Male Spayed/Neutered: No Date Available: 3/7 Shelter Name: Axil This amazing boy would make an excellent companion. We haven’t seen him around kids yet, but he is a VERY tolerant kitty. Such a handsome boy with a wonderful personality to match.
3/19 UPDATE: Three cats are safe-can we save MORE??! See updated photos for who got rescued or adopted.
ID 21055 Pet Name/Cage Number: C26 Breed: Black DSH Age: Young Size: Small Gender: Female Spayed/Neutered: No Date Available: 3/6 Shelter Name: Nina This beautiful kitty cat is very affectionate. She thoroughly enjoyed being petted and loved on.
ID 21052 Pet Name/Cage Number: C1 Breed: White with Black DSH Age: Adult Size: Small Gender: Male Spayed/Neutered: No Date Available: 3/7 Shelter Name: Stevie This big love is ready to leave animal control. Unfortunately his time is up on Wednesday. wouldn’t you like to come and meet this gentle boy?
King continues to amaze us. He was once just another hungry stray cat, but with a startling difference. He has no back feet, but somehow this cat survived for the past year on his own. He was dirty, scared and thin. Life at the Palette Factory meant dodging forklifts, trucks and fighting for scraps from the employee's lunch pails. But somehow, through all of that, King made a life for himself.
©2012 Maria. S. Enjoying the good life by his new cat tree.
When our friend, Bobby told me about King, I knew we had to do something. There were plenty of risks taking on a cat like this. Would there be bank-breaking surgeries needed? Would he be nasty? Fractious? Did he suffer from other issues we were yet to discover? Who would adopt him if we DID rescue him?
©2012 Maria. S. King gives us that “come hither and rub my belly” stare.
There are times when although you're aware of all those questions, you have to do something no matter what and that's what we did. Bobby got King over to the Vet and had him spayed, got his shots and tests and went on to Mama-Maria's house to be fostered. Shortly thereafter he was taken to another vet to be x-rayed so we could determine what happened to his legs. We needed to do more tests so a final diagnosis would have to wait.
©2012 Maria. S. Ready for rubbin'!
We had some trying times. King urinated quite a few times on his bedding. When his Palette Factory friend, Miss FP arrived to share the same space with him, he urinated even more outside of the litter pan. Maria thought he might be incontinent, but he was using the pan some times. Over a few weeks, King settled down and he hasn't urinated outside the litter pan after we got him a big cat tree that allows Miss FP to be up high and feel safe and King can stay on the floor on his pillows and feel safe, too.
©2012 Maria S. & Robin Olson. King makes a friend and learns to play.
Bobby took King to see an orthopedic specialist named Dr. Alan Cross. Dr. Cross examined King and reviewed his x-rays. He felt that it was likely that King's issue is due to a deformity and not an accident because if it had been an accident, King would have bled to death. There is either a callus or a bit of a paw pad at the end of each back leg. The legs are almost the same length, but the right one is a bit shorter. King is not a good candidate for a cart or prosthetics. They could do more harm, than good. King might benefit from some soft booties or leggings so we'll look into that. Bottom line-King needs to live in a home with rugs or carpeting because without it only his front legs reach the ground and the others swing freely in the air. On carpet he can plant his back legs and walk somewhat normally.
©2012 Maria. S. What IS that thing?
While all these tests and vet trips were going on, something amazing happened. King began to blossom.
His filthy coat began to shine. The white patches of fur glowed. King's eyes had a sparkle that wasn't there before. He gained some weight so now he has a fullness that was missing before. King made best friends with Maria's cat, Kahlua. The two of them “head butt” each other and even hold paws. Part of me wishes Maria would keep King so he could stay with Kahlua, but it also means that King cold be happy in a forever home that has another kitty already waiting to be his friend.
Sadly, Miss FP has not been interested in forming a friendship, but keeps to herself or enjoys pets when Maria's friends come over to visit.
©2012 Maria. S. Ooo! Cardboard scratchy thing!
The best thing about King is his love for everyone. He's an easy going, sweet natured cat. Considering what his life has been like, he has no reason to be affectionate towards humans, yet he loves people. He's a very special cat and I admit to having a crush on him from afar. I can't wait for him to join us here and I can't wait for the day to arrive when he finds his forever home.
©2012 Maria. S. The day we rescued King. What a wreck, but still regal under all that dirt.
This cat has been through so much, but his future is looking bright. I enjoy the privilege to witness his glorious transformation. It gives me great joy. In fact, I'm walking on air, too.
©2012 Maria. S. A few weeks later, with a belly full of high protein canned food, a few vet visits, a clean, safe place to live and lots of love, King bears little resemblance to his former self.
Jakey and Teddy are still here. I don't know why it's been so difficult to find them a forever home. Interest in adopting them together is few and far between. Applications are lacking in ways I can't overlook, if I do happen to get any. Now Jakey has gotten ringworm on his back foot and Teddy has it on his shoulder-at least I'm pretty sure that's what it is…so it means even more time here since they can't go anywhere until they clear up. In the meantime I'm itching to do a rescue, but with Bobette in the big foster room and the boys having to spend the night in their room leaves me no extra space.
I'm already seeing kittens appear on Henry County Care & Control's Petfinder page. It makes me sad and sick. Here we go again. The sense of urgency ramps up. This Animal Control is going to be overloaded any second. Lots of animals are going to die. I sit back and take a deep breath. I'm not the only rescue helping HCC&C, but that doesn't mean any of the cats I read about are safe.
This is NOT BOBETTE! This mama and her babies are ID# 2/18-0416 and need rescue! Contact: email@example.com if you are a GA LICENSED RESCUE ONLY.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Teddy with his creamy filling showing.
Things are not looking good for any local Georgia cat who needs help. Between the news of PETA's investigation of Caboodle Ranch in Florida, which alerted the ASPCA to respond to claims that over 700 cats were being mistreated and living in poor conditions. The number of rescues helping with this situation is astounding and includes: Atlanta Humane Society (Atlanta, Ga.); Bay Area Disaster Animal Response Team (Belleair Bluffs, Fla.); Cat Depot (Sarasota, Fla.); Florida State Animal Response Coalition (Bushnell, Fla.); Good Mews Animal Foundation (Marietta, Ga.); Humane Society of Broward County (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.); International Fund for Animal Welfare (Yarmouth Port, Mass.); McKamey Animal Care and Adoption Center (Chattanooga, Tenn.); PetSmart Charities, Inc. (Phoenix, Ariz.); and RedRover (Sacramento, Calif.). Staff from the University of Florida (Gainesville) College of Veterinary Medicine and Maples Center for Forensic Medicine at UF are also assisting with the rescue operation. The news was NOT well received by many in the rescue community who were outraged that the owner of Caboodle Ranch, Craig Grant, was treated like a criminal and is being persecuted unfairly. You can read some of their comments HERE Meanwhile, others claim there are seriously ill and dead cats on the property. Add to that, the news of a hoarding situation of 40 cats in GA means local cats may have a tough time finding a rescue.
©21012 Robin A.F. Olson. Together, Forever.
I've got to find Jakey & Teddy a home and get them out of here as much as I adore them..I mean they drive me crazy! Now that they're out of their confinement for most of the day, they get bored so easily that they constantly bug me for either attention, food, playtime or food. I had to put them in their room the other night after I counted having to scold them 15 times in 15 minutes…and this is after they had play time and it was 10pm and I just wanted a few minutes to fade out in front of the TV. Apparently the fact that I sit on the loveseat in the living room means they should lie under it with their belly up and rip the underside out of the furniture. You know..for fun. There are a billion toys inches away and they go for the furniture. Hmpf!
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Jakey, silly boy.
Then there's Bobette. What am I going to do with this cat? She was supposed to go over to AID months ago, but I held her back because she needed surgery and I felt responsible to get her healthy before she goes anywhere else. The problem I'm seeing is she HATES her offspring to the point of it being dangerous if they sneak into the room when I enter to feed her. I haven't allowed any of my cats to see her for fears of what she will do. If she won't get along with other cats, that's going to be a very tough sell. I'll have to set up a screen and do a test with my cats. I wonder if it's just her boys she wants to stay away from or all cats. Oh boy...
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Siamese twins!
©21012 Robin A.F. Olson. Bobette Jumps!
It's tough to say what is going on with Bobette's leg. I see her every day and changes are not so apparent to me. I can say I've seen her run with more confidence and JUMP! I also notice her pulling her self up onto the bed instead of jumping up on it so is her leg weaker or stronger?s
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Room enough for two.
Three weeks ago Dr. Mixon told me she may still have a “dip” to her gait until he removes the pin in her leg. It's the last thing that will be done and hopefully removing it will allow her to be more comfortable since the pin is right under her skin and I think it is uncomfortable for her.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Just Jake.
On Wednesday the pin will be removed. Will I get bitten again? Will Dr. Mixon be the lucky winner? Hopefully we know to go easy with her and will be able to get her lightly sedated enough so Dr. Mixon can quickly remove the last piece of hardware from her leg.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Jakey with the ASPCA Kitty.
Bobette's fur has grown back. If she didn't limp I would almost not know she had surgery. Her knee has stayed in place, but when I felt her leg it felt terrible. I think it's because I was feeling the nylon sutures that will always be in her leg. At least that's what I hope I'm feeling!
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Jakey is having a bad hair day.
The weather has been odd. It was sunny and in the 50's in February and now that it's March, it's colder and snowy. I feel uncomfortable in my own skin. I want to be free of it and do something. I don't like sitting around when I know cats need help. Behind the scenes I've been doing some things to help other cats, but it's not enough. I miss having teenie kittens around and this is after I promised myself a break.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Jakey with Blitzen.
I suppose having cats that don't require much care is enough of a break. It's almost spring, Kitten Season looms on the horizon. With the weirdly warm winter I fear it's going to be a Hell of an explosion of kittens very soon. Better take it easy while I can.
I have to admit I didn't feel very hopeful about Bobette's future. In fact I had a lot of doubt that she'd end up being able to keep her leg. Although the sutures are gone, there are no more antibiotics to take, and her fur has started to grow back; she walks with a pronounced limp.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Ho-hum. Bobette doesn't know I'm about to put her in a cat carrier. Hee hee!
I finally got brave enough to touch Bobette's leg. I carefully ran my fingers along the velvety surface where I thought her kneecap should be and I felt a small, sharp object under the skin. I flashed back to the surgery, watching Dr. Mixon digging into her leg. He used some sort of uber-nail-clippers to clip back some of Bobette's bones and I think he said he was making her a new knee cap. Was this what I was feeling, under the surface? Considering her limp, it made sense.
I began to doubt my judgement and curse myself for not spending the $2500.00 to have Bobette's surgery done by an Orthopedic surgeon. What was I thinking trying to save money and hope I could get away with it. Dr. Mixon is a General Practitioner, not a specialist.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Watch this lady zip around and…oops…rip into my HAND! Hilarity ensues…
Today I brought Bobette in for her re-check. Dr. Mixon asked me how she was doing and I glumly replied; “Well, not so good, her kneecap popped out and she is limping a lot.” Bobette was nervous and I had her under a towel as I updated the Vet. Dr. Mixon uncovered Bobette and looked at her leg, then a curious look crossed his face.
He had me hold her on her side so he could manipulate her leg. I told him about the thing I felt when I checked her leg and he shook his head.
“It's not her kneecap, it's the PIN I put into her leg to hold things in place. Her knee is just fine. In fact it's exactly where it should be.”
Dr. Mixon showed me how Bobette's leg is straight. It flexes normally, instead of being crooked. The knee is in place. As he admired the result, he added; “I'm a better surgeon than I thought!”
I just stood there in awe.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Pondering her future.
Dr. Mixon removed the few remaining staples from her incision and I made an appointment for a month from now to have the pin removed from her leg. Until then the game plan is to get her moving more and playing. I'll be taking down the big dog crate that was once her home, throwing away the e-collar she wore for what seemed like an eternity, and getting a few new toys for her to chase.
The next thing we have to work on is to find out why Bobette doesn't seem to like her boys or any other cats, for that matter. After all this-to find out she has to be an only cat, is going to make her adoption very difficult, indeed.
Over the years, I've fostered many cats and I believe, that for those of us who take this on, we get to a place where we specialize in the type of fostering we do. I know people who take neonatal, orphan kittens and with a very serious commitment to a schedule of feeding, cleaning and nurturing, help the kittens survive those delicate early days. There are others who focus on Feline Leukemia positive cats, giving them a chance to live a full life, for as long as it may be.
For myself, I seem to take on mama-cats and their offspring. I don't know if I have the chops for bottle feeding kittens or the nerve to remain calm during the most trying of times, so I have the mamas there to take on the feedings and care and I step in when they're about four weeks old and help them make the transition to being socialized and ready for adoption.
I've never rescued a cat with a disability. I don't even know what the politically correct term for a cat who's missing his feet is called. Is he handicapped? Special? I don't know. I'm naive, but learning. I'm a bit uncomfortable and somewhat freaked out by seeing a cat without hind paws. It hurt my heart when I saw him take his first, stiff-legged steps. I wanted to turn away, but my desire to help him outweighed my own feelings.
I have other concerns, as well. Without a shelter, where adoptions of adults are easier to pull off, I'm wondering if having a disabled adult cat will be an even more long-term foster. Maize was here for 14 months and she had no physical issues. How long will this cat be with me? Am I crazy for rescuing him?
©2012 Maria S. After a day in foster care, a bath and good food, King is looking much better already!
King has been in foster care for six days. In that short time he's surprising us at every turn. If we have a concern, he proves us wrong. If we have a worry, he gives us a lovey-dovey look and “makes muffins” on the bolster of his cat bed. It's easy to forget there are any challenges with this cat.
King is NOT feral or semi-feral or skittish. He must have gotten a lot of attention from the workers at the Palette factory because this cat has no wild beast lurking in his heart. King is all about LOVE.
©2012 Maria S. Yes! King does his business just where we hoped he would.
King is NOT incontinent as we first feared. After passing the first day living indoors, Maria found King urinated all over his bed and the floor. He'd used his litter pan for moving his bowels but not urinating. We discussed it and thought we'd make sure the Vet would check him for neurological issues related to his back legs-which may have effected his ability to control his output. Another day passed and Maria found that King was using his litter pan properly, though with a bit of difficulty getting in and out of it so she made some adjustments.
©2012 Maria S. At the Vet, is King stressed out? No way!
The second Vet we took King to did an exam, but only after all the staff held, petted and cooed over King who was more than happy to get the attention! King's legs were x-rayed. The Vet felt it was likely his legs were deformed and this was not abuse. I think Maria and I were both relieved to hear that, but were also at a loss-NOW WHAT DO WE DO FOR KING?
©2012 Maria S. Little tux cat on a little green bed.
The Vet was going to reach out to her peers to see if there was a specialist we could meet with-someone whose focus is on orthopedic issues. I also spoke with a woman in Texas who works with handicapped cats and she told me to forget trying a cart because cat's just don't like those. Dogs can use them, but cats, with their independent nature, need to feel free (and how does the cat use the litter pan in a cart?). I asked her about orthopedic devices and the answer, again, was the same. If you can get the cat to wear something, they get rubbed raw, they have to be adjusted all the time and frankly we'd be better off looking into a padded bootie to keep King's paws protected…AND to keep him on a carpeted surface.
Maria tried a soft dog bed under King and he took a few steps. He didn't get up much and after just a day of being alone while Maria was a work, King took a turn for the worse. Maria called me, worried that King was getting sick. He was eating ok, but was very “flat;” a sure sign something is brewing.
©2012 Maria S. Alone for the first time, King begins to sink into depression.
That night Maria's cat, Kahlua, scratched at the door to the foster room. Though I warned her not to allow King to meet her other cats so soon, Maria went with her instincts and opened the door slightly. She said that once King looked up and saw her cat it was like a light was turned on in King's eyes. When he saw Kahlua, he stood up and tried to walk over to her.
©2012 Maria S. King begins to enjoy his life living indoors.
Maria allowed Kahlua into the room. What happened next blew us both away. Thankfully, Maria got some video of the meeting. I won't spoil it by saying more. Just watch and see…
©2012 Maria S. Prepare to be amazed…
It was obvious that King needed a friend. Sadly, Kahlua couldn't stay in the foster room with King all day. She just wouldn't like being away from Maria's other cats. The solution was very simple, IF it worked…have Miss Fluffy Pants join King!
Miss Fluffy Pants still lives outdoors at the Palette factory. Bobby made sure she had food over the weekend, but he told me that she would rather be petted than eat. Each day she lives at the plant, is another day we risk losing her to an accident or predation. We realize time is ticking, but we also have to factor in that Miss FP could be sick or carrying fleas, ticks, ear mites, etc. We must get her vetted FIRST before she can be in Maria's house-even if the cat is kept away from Maria's own cats. We can't risk sickening everyone.
©2012 Maria S. This is the third setup Maria tried with King. It seems to work well for him as long as he has carpeting under his paws.
Then there's the other question-one I have to tread lightly talking about. Bobby thinks Miss FP might be pregnant. Of course that's likely to be the case considering King wasn't neutered, why would Miss FP be spayed? It's very difficult to tell if a cat is pregnant until they are quite far along and the Vet could feel their heads.
This is where I get stuck like a deer caught in headlights. What do we do for Miss FP?
©2012 Bobby Stanford. The only photo I have of Miss FP-and I just found out she's BLACK, not gray!
Something I didn't know about until just a few years ago that most rescues spay-abort pregnant females. Cat overpopulation is a very serious matter that effects all 50 states and each additional kitten being born takes away a family who might have adopted another cat who is already on death row at a kill shelter or digging for scraps on the street. I'm a very passionate advocate for spay/neuter laws and legislation and, in fact, it's part of my rescue group's mission statement to support this issue.
That said…I foster kittens all the time. If they're already in the “oven” and I can provide care for them and find them homes, I have a very very hard time taking those unborn lives. I realize this is a very hot topic, especially if I were talking about humans, but humans can make choices for themselves and I'm not going to take a stand about those choices one way or another. This is about cats. Cats don't have a choice. I was also told that spay-aborting really messes up the mom-cat's hormones…but if this were done for Miss FP, then we could place her with King and IF they recognize each other and are friends it's a win-win for them, but that's a lot of IF's.
If we allow Miss FP to have her kittens, then what happens to her? Where do we foster her and can Maria take that on? I doubt the kittens can be near King, though he is so friendly, perhaps they could be in the same room. I talked to a rescue friend of mine about this and she blurted out; “What if Miss Fluff is King's mom and she has more disabled kittens?” THANKS KATHERINE!
©2012 Maria S. No more starving, dirty cat, now a proper gentle cat who'll one day have a forever family.
The short answer is-Bobby needs to verify that MISS FP IS A FEMALE, first. On Tuesday he'll take her to the Clinic to get snap tested. If she tests negative/negative they'll do an exam and determine what's going on. Then she'll either be spayed or she won't. If I take a big step back and try not to be emotional about it then I don't feel I should interfere in Miss FP's motherhood. It's not as if I'm breeding her and I've spayed or neutered every single cat I've ever rescued, so maybe that offset letting one cat have a litter or maybe I'm just fooling myself?
I can try to rationalize it all I want, but in the end it's going to be very difficult to find the right answer.
In the meantime, I'll start hoping that Miss FP is a boy.
As soon as I have a better idea of what King will need, in total, I will adjust down our ChipIn goal. If you still want to help with King's care, because he may need more tests, perhaps orthopedic booties and transport to CT, just use the ChipIn widget in the right column, near the top of the page. Yes, that donation IS tax deductible!
When you open the door to Animals in Distress's shelter you're greeted by their new Host, Jackson Galaxy-the cat. Jackson was rescued from a Kill Shelter before his time was “up.” I saw his photo and just fell in love. Thankfully, AID's Shelter Manager, Katherine, offered to take him into their rescue if I could get him to Connecticut. She saw that big “biscuit head” (as they say down south) and knew she could find him a home.
©2012 Katherine Reid. Tom cats get a BIG head when they don't get neutered as kittens. I think it adds to Jackson's appeal. More to kiss! (and he HAS been neutered recently!)
I named this big lug, Jackson, in honor of “Cat Daddy” and cat behaviorist, Jackson Galaxy, because this cat is something special. He has the same calm and gentle disposition as his namesake. The only difference is Jackson, the cat, lacks the tattoos and cool outfits-though his snow white coat IS very nice now that he's getting brushed regularly.
©2012 Katherine Reid. White as snow and sweet as sugar…
Jack's been at AID for less than a week. Already there have been some surprising changes. First-Jackson runs the place-but not in a bad way. Jackson gets along with ALL of the other cats in this open-plan shelter. Though his first day or two was spent in a large cage, it was clear he was ready to meet everyone early on. One cat did not like Jacks, but he didn't mind and she's come to accept him in short order.
©2012 Katherine Reid. Susi, one of Jackson's new friends. And no, Susi isn't bigger than Jackson-it's the angle.
Want to adopt Jackson? Visit his Petfinder Page
Jackson's Petfinder page is up today! I hope his new family finds him soon. Of course not only will they be lucky to have this marvelous new family member…
©2012 Katherine Reid. Chillin' out and waiting' for his forever home.
As for Jackson, he's too tired by all this fuss and needs to take a nap.
Sweet dreams, sweet boy. Sweet dreams.
You can learn more about Jackson Galaxy and pick up life-saving cat behavior tips via his hit show on Animal Planet entitled: My Cat From Hell. The next episode airs this Saturday, Feb 4th at 8pm EST.
There are times when you just have to do something to help rescue a cat. You can't sit idly by and do nothing. Even from 1000 miles away, my heart is breaking for one particular tuxedo cat I just learned about. Even if I don't have a shelter and know I'm going to have trouble finding a home for him, I HAVE TO DO SOMETHING and it can't wait until I can sort out details. I HAVE TO ACT FAST.
©2012 Bobby Stanford. A lonely stray calls out for help. Where white paws should be on his back legs, there are only stumps.
Our wonderful supporter and driver, Bobby, alerted me about a cat that's been living around a palette factory in Georgia. In the daytime it's okay to walk around there, but at night even Bobby does not feel safe. This is not a place where a cat will have a long life expectancy.
He'd seen the cat six months ago, but thought it had died so he never mentioned it to me. A few days ago he was surprised to see it again since the last time he saw the cat, he noticed it's back paws were either deformed or crushed and he was hobbling around the plant on his two front legs. The workers feed him scraps. They didn't provide him with proper food or vet care of any kind.
©2012 Bobby Stanford. What a life-dragging his legs around in the dirt and living under a building.
I told Bobby to grab the cat next chance he got. Maria, our beloved foster mom, said she would foster him. Her heart melted when she heard about the poor cat hobbling around and she wanted to get him off the streets as badly as I did.
A few days passed, then Tuesday afternoon I got a call from Bobby. He got the kitty! It took a bit of coaxing to get the cat into the carrier. He's lived outdoors his whole life and though he wasn't feral, he was probably going to be very skittish. Bobby was told by one of the workers at the Plant that some of the folks could rub his belly-so why didn't then TAKE HIM TO A VET? Didn't they NOTICE something was WRONG with him? Okay, at least he could be petted-or so we thought.
©2012 Bobby Stanford. Our latest rescue, moments after Bobby got him. Where are his BACK FEET??!!
Bobby told me he was on his way to the clinic to have Doc Thomas take a look at him or her-he wasn't sure which. It's funny we all assumed it was a male cat for some reason, and turns out we were right. Bobby didn't get a good look at the back feet. The cat was too nervous to be approached. Bobby said he heard rumors that someone cut the cat's feet off, but he hoped it was not true. We decided to let Doc do the basics, for now and fill us in more the following morning. It was late in the day and she just had time to run his tests and get him neutered.
As always, I'm on pins and needles until I hear the snap test results-his were NEGATIVE/NEGATIVE for FIV+ and Feline Leukemia. Next he got his vaccinations and was neutered, but what about his FEET?!
©2012 Maria S. King, relaxing on a soft towel, probably the first comfort of his entire life.
Initially I didn't know what would be in store for King. I was told this boy is going to need a lot of socialization. At the clinic he laid in his litter pan and was covered with his own filth. He's never even used a litter pan before and with his short back legs, there's no telling IF he can use a litter pan. Maria would have her work cut out for her, but I knew she could handle it. In the meantime, I've been introduced to someone who works with handicapped cats and hopefully she will share some ideas of how we can help this kitty. I've never rescued such a severely handicapped cat before and though I'm a bit scared, he needs us, so our fears will have to be put aside. No matter what, he is safe now and we'll just take it one day at a time.
There's also a very friendly, fluffy little lady at the palette factory. I offered to, at least get her spayed, but when I heard how nice she was, I realized we needed to take her into foster care, too. Looks like Maria had all of a week-long break from fostering, but am so grateful she could and wanted to help! Bobby is going to go get Miss Fluff as soon as he can and we'll start the vetting process all over again.
©2012 Bobby Stanford. Miss Fluffy Pants, living at the palette factory. If we don't spay her soon, we know what's going to happen!
We went through a long discussion of what to name the kitty. The options ranged from Ahab to Footloose or iHop but I wanted him to have something noble and brave. Maria and I chose, King Arthur. I liked the idea of calling him “King”-of course because of nobility, but also because my Mother's maiden name was King, and two of my good friends are also “Kings” (Ingrid and Marcia).
Late last night, Maria got King back from the Vet. She said she thought the problem was a deformity, but would need an x-ray to confirm it. We'd have to bring King to another Vet to get that done. Meanwhile, Maria prepared herself to foster a semi-feral cat she could not touch, who would probably be very stressed out. She was going to keep him in her bathroom, away from all the other cats. With Maria as his only connection to another living thing, hopefully he would learn to trust her and have less fear of humans. With his leg issues and fear, this was going to be a VERY LONG ROAD.
©2012 Maria S. Does this look like a skittish cat to you?
But the surprise was on us. King Arthur is more than just a brave kitty. From life on the streets into a stranger's home, this cat did not bat an eye. Instead of showing fear or aggression, he rolled over and showed his belly. Did he run off when Maria tried to pet him for the first time? No! He just wanted some love and she was more than happy to oblige.
©2012 Maria S. Our first look at King in motion. It's sad to watch but so very sweet at the end. You will fall in love with this boy! Beware!
©2012 Maria S. For Good Belleh-Rubbin-Times, Please Dial 1-800-LUV-MAHBELLY
The donation you provide to King Arthur and his fluffy friend (who needs to be spayed and get her vaccines) 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 "KING" mail it to:
P.O. Box 354
Newtown, CT 06470-0354
Any funds not used for the care of these kitties will go to helping other cats in our program.
A special THANK YOU to Bobby Stanford for being willing to take action when he saw a cat in need-not only that, but he got King to the vet and oversaw his initial care without batting an eye or looking for a pat on the back. Without Bobby, King didn't stand a chance. And also another big THANK YOU to Maria for going above and beyond-again, opening up her home and heart to this wonderful kitty.
The next chapter of Jackson Galaxy's transformation from shelter-cat-on-death-row, to rescued and re-homed, took place this morning. I was amused that here I was, waiting for the transport to arrive because I'd posted a simple status update on Facebook, letting everyone know about this cat, without having any means of taking him into my rescue (I had no space to do so at the time). Yet, here I was, picking him up for my sister rescue, AID, who gave me the green light to save this kitty on their behalf. It was my honor to pick him up and personally deliver him to the shelter.
©2012 Betsy Merchant. Henry Co. Care & Control. I see this kitty and know he's gotta be saved.
The transport from Georgia arrived a few minutes after 9AM. I was ready to pop out of the car and race to the truck so I'd be first in line. As usual, the transport was full of dogs and our sole kitty rescue, Jackson Galaxy, must have been none too thrilled to be in such company.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Jackson, just seconds off the transport.
The offload took a few minutes and before I knew it, one of the guys was bringing Jackson to me. Jacks cried once, then I hustled him into the car, trying to shoot some video to record this bit of history while I was at it.
I'm deeply embarrassed by the video I shot, but I'll post it anyway. Make sure you don't listen (of course you will) to the soundtrack. Yours truly sounds like a moron! Woohoo! Oh well. Live an learn.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Jackson arrives and I seem to have Tourette's!
Once in the car, with the sound of the barking dogs well muffled. I reached into my pocket and took out a few dehydrated chicken treats for Jackson. He sniffed but didn't eat any, preferring to rub his face onto my fingers. I love his big head. His fur felt very plush. I wanted to take him out of the cat carrier, but I didn't know how he'd behave. I still had another 30 minute drive before we got to AID, so I started up the car and waved goodbye to the guys. I'm sure I'll be seeing them again, but for now I needed to get Jackson to his new home base.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Nom-noms!
Jackson was quiet in the car. I'm sure he just wanted to rest. I called out to him a few times and he looked at me through the holes in the carrier. I slipped a few fingers into his crate, keeping one hand on the steering wheel. He rubbed against them, marking me as his. It was a sweet gesture. I couldn't want to really give him some good lovin'.
I love that this kitty is named after Cat Daddy, Jackson Galaxy. If you're not familiar-Jackson Galaxy is the star of a terrific show on Animal Planet called; “My Cat From Hell.” If you want to understand how your cat thinks and how to have a better life with your cat, watch this show! My only problem with it is sometimes I want to reach through the TV and smack some of the cat guardians-what ARE those people thinking putting a shock collar on their cat?! I'm SO GLAD Jackson is there to save the day! Anyway-the name just fits the cat. He's such a sweet cat, but he has a very “chill” vibe about him. He seems like the sort of cat who likes to be social, but not in your face. He's cool with whatever-goes with the flow. It's a bit ironic that the cat is just one color-white, while Jackson, the man, is very colorful, indeed.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. He may look a bit cranky, but Jackson was all sweetness and love.
Once at AID, Jackson got to the business of doing his business, then had a few snacks, while Katherine, the Shelter Manager, and I fussed over him. Jackson will be in a big crate for a day or so, just to let him acclimate. Within a few seconds a little tortie came over and said hello. Jackson was not bothered at all. He didn't even notice her. He seemed ready to meet everyone, but we wanted to make sure he got some time to himself before he was free to move around the shelter.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. He's not peeing! LOL! What a cutie!
Katherine made up a card for his cage so the volunteers who come in to clean every day, would know who he was. I gave him some special treats and a catnip toy. He seemed perfectly at ease and enjoyed all the attention.
AID will be putting Jackson on Petfinder soon. They'll be brushing him to help him be extra pretty and are making sure he has whatever he needs until his forever family finds him. I think Jackson is in very good hands and getting closer to the end of his journey from out of the Kill Shelter and into a great home. (BTW-Jackson will not have to worry about being euthanized at AID-they do not do that!)
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Love muffin!
What makes this story even better is this:
Jackson is between 1 1/2 and 2 years old. He's neutered and UTD on his vaccines. He is negative/negative for FIV and Feline Leukemia. He is a domestic short hair, white with green eyes. He's friendly and sweet. We'll know how he gets on with other cats soon. So far, so good. If you're interested in adopting Jackson (the cat!), contact AID at firstname.lastname@example.org