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Finding Faith for Sweet Senior Sugar Cats in VIRGINIA

As someone who does rescue, I know that every cat who gets dumped off at a shelter is evaluated for adoptability. At far too many shelters, being over the age of 8 is all it takes to be euthanized immediately if there are space issues in the facility. The health of the cat is a major factor as well. If the cat is diabetic it stands VERY LITTLE chance of getting out alive. The stigma and possible expense associated with providing care to a diabetic cat turns off most adopters. They imagine it's too tough to do-who wants to give their cat a shot every day? Who wants to monitor the cat's blood sugar? Who has time to learn proper treatment for a cat they don't know?

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©2013 Heritage Humane Society. Jibbit is approx. 15 years old, is a male manx and is currently diabetic.

It takes faith, but I believe we can find a home for every cat who needs one.

Jibbit and Sunshine are cats who score very low on the adoptability scale at first glance. They are seniors-Jibbit is about 15 years old and Sunshine is about 11 years old. Both cats are diabetic.

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Their owner died but left instructions in her Will that a specific family member should provide care for the cats. Instead of doing what was requested, the person DUMPED the cats and 4 others at the Heritage Humane Society (HHS) in Williamsburg, VA.

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©2013 Heritage Humane Society. Sunshine is approx. 11 years old, is a female silver tabby and is currently diabetic.

Our friend Amy Sikes, who fosters kitties and who also offers up a portion of the proceeds of her sales of Avon products to my rescue, Kitten Associates, was contacted by her Vet. Her Vet is the same Vet HHS uses. He asked if Amy could foster Jibbit and Sunshine, but Amy said no because she works full-time and is also a Grad student. How could she give the cats insulin every 12 hours on her hectic schedule?

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©2013 Amy Sikes. Sunshine and Jibbit, (the Laser Cat!).

Amy saw photos of the cats and her heart melted. I told her about Diabetic Cats in Need (DCIN) and they quickly offered to assist Amy by providing testing tools and guidance about caring for the cats. Amy had faith it would work out and said YES to taking the cats into foster care.

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©2013 Amy Sikes. Jibbit. Cute little guy!

Amy reports: These two furbabies truly are sweet cats I've ever met! Jibbit is a love-bug who wants to sit next to you and get petted while he purrs his wonderful purr. Sunshine is a little more reserved, but once she gets to know you, she'll come over to give your hand head-butts and cheek-rubs and purr happily for you. She also gives hugs when you pick her up!”

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©2013 Amy Sikes. Jibbit is a love bug.

Amy has a big heart and with all she has on her plate, she graciously opened her home to these two kitties. I asked her if they might go into remission now that they are both on an appropriate diet-which consists of affordable gluten free cat food.

It's too early to tell, but the blood sugar of BOTH CATS IS DROPPING ALREADY! Some cats go into permanent remission once they're on better food, but one would have to have faith that regardless of remission or not, testing is easy to do. Once you realize YOU aren't GETTING the shots, GIVING a shot isn't a big challenge, either.

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©2013 Amy Sikes. Sunshine give hugs.

What Jibbit and Sunshine need is one more person to have faith in them. Faith in the fact that because both these cats are very affectionate, that whatever extra needs to be done for them is worth the effort for all the love they'd give back in return. Cats are living longer lives and Sunshine could still live another ten years. Jibbit could sail along for too, but if he doesn't, even that's okay. Doesn't he deserves his last years knowing love?

Jibbit and Sunshine may be safe from being euthanized, but Amy can't give them a home for very long. It's not fair to her OR to the cats (she has another handful of foster cats to care for, too). These two need a HOME; a place where their new family won't give up on them regardless of what the future holds. It's possible that both cats will only need good food and no more injections one day soon. In the meantime, DCIN can provide guidance and possibly more than that, like testing equipment (contact them for details). I've cared for a diabetic cat in the past and it's not difficult when the cats are good-natured, as are these two kitties.

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©2013 Amy Sikes. Who doesn't need a little Sunshine in their life?

What's wonderful about this story is that these cats have people out there supporting them. DCIN, HHS, HHS's Vet, Amy and myself have their backs. Now we just need ONE MORE PERSON to join our group and make this rescue turn into an adoption.

I have faith in my readers-that they can help do the impossible. We've found other needles in a haystack before, now we need to do it again for sweet Jibbit and Sunshine. Please help me spread the word about these deserving cats.

To learn more about Jibbit & Sunshine, Call Heritage Humane Society directly at 757-221-0150 or email Amy at: matya13@yahoo.com

TRANSPORT OUT OF STATE CAN BE ARRANGED.

Please SHARE this story with your cat loving friends! THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

2.26.13 UPDATE: THE CATS ARE OFF INSULIN! It took all of 10 days to turn their diabetes around just with a DIET CHANGE!!!!! They are getting a check up on Saturday to make sure they are still OTJ (Off the "juice"-insulin). This means we only need a home for two sweet cats, not ones with health issues!

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Scent-sational or Not? World's Best Cat Litter New Scent News!

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Nineteen Top Cat Bloggers have been selected as World’s Best Cat Litter™ Catvocates and I'm glad to be counted as one of them. As a Catvocate I'll be sharing new product news and giveaways—and who doesn't love FREE CAT LITTER?

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In the coming days, I'll be revealing details about the top secret NEW SCENT that will be added to World's Best lineup and offering up a fun giveaway. I can't give you more details than that just yet so stay tuned!

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Blitzen was just a baby when we started using World's Best Cat Litter. You can read about my year-long test & review as well as see more pix of baby Blitzen and Bob Dole HERE.

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The Truth Is…

I didn’t plan on writing more about life here after the shooting in Sandy Hook. My blog is focused on cat rescue and the challenges of living within a multiple-cat household, but something happened today that must write about.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson.

This post is regarding people who call themselves “truthers” or conspiracy theorists. They play detective, purportedly sniffing tiny “details” out of a tragedy that when taken out of context or when twisted about to suit their agenda and strung together with bits of dried up tape and spit, turn into their version of “the truth.” They supposedly get their data from credible news outlets or mysterious unnamed “sources.” They make things up. They see something in a photo that only their twisted perception can reveal.

Their capacity for self-deception is breathtaking. They crave attention, yet calling them “truthers” is a misnomer since they clearly perpetuate lies and only hurt people who are REALLY involved.

The case in point is what happened here in Sandy Hook.

Suddenly these bullies are appearing out of the woodwork and I will not give them yet MORE publicity by saying who they are. They declare that the shootings didn’t happen at all-that the kids aren’t dead! The 20, 6-year old kids are fine. They’re alive.

They say the shooting was faked, portrayed by “crisis actors,” not “real people” (these actors DO exist, but they are used for Emergency Training seminars, etc. These folks concur-they had no role in what happened—DUH!). They are determined to prove that the situation was used to push tougher gun control laws. Really?

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson.

Wow. If the U.S. Government was that creative do you think the economy would be in such dire straits? No way! They’d open a movie studio to rival Paramount Pictures. They’d be profitable, save the economy and we'd all have jobs being hired out to be actors in the next, as-yet-to-happen faux-tragedy to befall our Country!

To be behind an event like this would be a logistical nightmare. Who has time for such tomfoolery with everything else going on in this Country? They’d have to hire a shitload of actors, who would have to be made up of PEOPLE I KNOW. One such person is someone I’ve known for over 30 YEARS. I find it impossible to believe that my dear friend, who is the Lieutenant in a local police department, who was one of the First Responders, was an actor. Bullshit. That what he saw was phony. Bullshit. The fact that he will probably need to go on a paid leave of absence after what he saw-NOT bullshit.

The other thing that makes my blood boil are the attacks on another person I know here in town named Eugene “Gene” Rosen. You may recall that Gene was the gentleman who lived down the street from Sandy Hook Elementary. Victoria Soto’s surviving students took refuge in his driveway after the massacre. Gene just happened to be home feeding his cats. When he discovered the children, he opened up his home and his heart to these kids until they could be reunited with their parents. What a good deed. How could such kindness be seen as merely staged dramatics? Disgusting!

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson.

Gene is a Pet Sitter and I’ve known him for years. Gene is a sweet, gentle person who loves animals. We serve together on the newly formed Advisory Council for the Newtown Animal Care & Control Center. I just saw him a few days ago at our last meeting. He was very quiet, clearly distressed by what has befallen him and this was BEFORE the “truthers” started attacking him.

What these “truthers” are saying is that Gene is an actor; that Gene did despicable things to the children that I will not repeat. They make outrageous claims stating they can do so because they have proof. Oh really? Do they KNOW Gene? NO. Do they live here in town? NO! Are they being “mean boys and girls,” picking on an innocent senior citizen? YES!

What I say is this: there is too much heartbreak in Newtown and we're ALL struggling to find a way to move forward. We were blessed by so many people across the world who selflessly gave their love and support, food, toys, gifts, and donations.

As always happens, those good intentions begin to fall to the wayside and people go on with their lives as the days pass. That's not a problem. It's appropriate, but the invasion of “truthers” reminds us that the flip side of compassion is stained with cruelty.

We’re still here. We’re still hurting, but we’re taking time to heal, surrounded by people we know, love and trust—our community.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson.

There are people out there who have too much time on their hands, who probably never got picked to be part of any team, who are paranoid, maybe a few French fries short of a Happy Meal™? They sit around looking to make trouble, to get attention, to stir things up, to make people who are in obvious pain, feel like they have to defend themselves about a situation that does not require defending.

They say; “we need to see photos of the bodies” because it can’t have really happened if there are no photos of bodies, yet if there WERE photos of those tiny figures under white sheets they’d say; “Oh those are mannequins, that’s not real. Show us the bloody, broken, heaps of flesh. Then we’ll believe it’s real.”

“But it could all be Photoshopped®,” they’d say next.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson.

They will always come up with some reason for why they can’t believe it. A mountain of photos or miles of video will never satisfy them. Hopefully NO ONE will feel like they need to feed this ugly beast. There is nothing to prove. We don’t need to see photos of little corpses lined up in rows waiting to be taken to the morgue. I’m okay with NEVER seeing that. Why aren’t they?

Are there some “facts” that seem odd? Did someone believe they saw more than one shooter run away from the building after the massacre on a video? Can’t all that be faked, too? DOES IT REALLY MATTER WHAT THE DETAILS ARE? DOES IT CHANGE THE FACT THAT DOZENS OF PEOPLE WERE MURDERED A MONTH AGO?

I say to you “truthers” to rename yourselves-“the kids that didn’t get enough attention from their parents, who have nothing better to do than stand cowering behind Freedom of Speech, then shout out whatever hateful, disturbing, UNTRUE things just to get a rise out of us.”

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson.

Yes, you got a rise out of me, but here’s one for you.

I dare any of you “truthers” to stop your foolishness and apologize to the people of this town. Beg for forgiveness before the rest of the world turns their backs on you, shunning you for the cowards and hateful people you are. Shame, shame, SHAME ON YOU!

What slays me is that all this energy could have been spent finding a way to protect our kids, to protect our people, so they can go see a movie or go to the Mall and not be scared shitless they might DIE going on a simple outing.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson.

All this energy could have been used to share loving-kindness with each other or ask; “how can we soothe your aching heart?” instead of “show me the photos of the dead people so I can believe it’s true.”

But that would be too much to ask for, just plain decent behavior between fellow human beings. No, some of us have to piss in the pot and make life suck for everyone and make someone like Gene end up getting threats. He and his poor wife are afraid for their lives! Is that right? Pick on an innocent person?

This is APPALLING and it needs to stop. Some of us need to GROW UP and find a new way to get attention, if that’s such a precious commodity, and they need to LEAVE THE PEOPLE OF NEWTOWN ALONE. Leave decent brokenhearted people alone to grieve one of the worst tragedies to befall us in recent times.

Go find another tragedy to pick apart because the truth of what really happened here got my fellow Newtowners international media attention that NONE OF US WANTED. Are you so desperate to attach yourself to this story that you'd say or do anything to get some press? That's just depraved.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson.

The truth is, you don’t know jack about what “really” happened here and you can ask a million pissant questions, but it doesn’t make you a better person for doing so and it will never amount to anything more than static, irritating noise. We ALL enjoy the power of Freedom of Speech but that doesn't mean we ALL have to say EVERY STUPID THING that comes into our head.

I have better things to do with my time. I suggest you do the same.

2012 The Year of Heartbreak and Hope Part 2

July

July was even more difficult on us than June. Maria had taken in two more kittens from her neighbor who were very sick. A buff tabby named Tater Tot was the most ill. The Vet told us it was the “wet” form of FIP which is fatal. His sister, Latte was struggling with a terrible upper respiratory infection. Maria took time off from work to care for the cats around the clock. Neither of us slept much. I researched alternative treatments, testing, anything I could think of while we expected that Tater wouldn't be with us for much longer.

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©2012 Maria S. (inset). ©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Our amazing survivor-Tater Tot.

Because Maria is so good at what she does, she noticed that Tater had tapeworms. We ran more tests. His belly was big and round from the tapeworms, giardia and what was almost pneumonia. Once we started treatment he began to show improvement. It took a few weeks but we were very happy to take FIP off the table as we saw Tater eat on his own and gain weight.

King arrived in my home for a few days. He was quite the charmer, but he wasn't meant to be here for very long. Sam and I drove King to New Hampshire, to his new home where his mom, Judy was waiting to adopt him. I loved this home for him and this good woman and her sister. I never thought King had a chance and here he was 1400 miles from the palette factory in a safe, loving environment.

Two of my dear friends adopted Sabrina and Cutie Pie. Their mom, April, found a home in Brooklyn, NY and their sister Bon Bon was adopted in June.

August

We took on another pregnant mama named Winnie and got a new foster home here in CT. Donna and her husband, Paul are great foster parents. Winnie had five amazing kittens on 8.10.12 named Buttons, Bandit, Honeydew, Charly and Pinkie.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Mama, Winnie (inset) waiting to see Dr. Chris. Buttons flying high while Honeydew and sister, Bandit look on.

I took another fistful of Xanax and flew to Topeka, Kansas to tour the Hill's Global Pet Nutrition Center. I tiptoed through the “dark side,” but made some good friends and learned a lot more about pet food ingredients.

Something horrible happened to my cat Spencer. He stopped eating and hid. X-rays showed a strange mass in his sinus. I tried to prepare myself for the worst. It turned out to be a false alarm which added many more gray hairs to my head.

September

I was honored to be chosen as one of five members of the Animal Control Advisory Panel, overseeing the operations of our brand new town's Animal Control facility here in Newtown, CT. We had our first meeting and I was delighted to be nominated as Co-Chair of the committee.

Just as I was about to get inundated with kitties from Maria and Cyndie, I found a foster home for two of the remaining black kitties and the final one, Hello Dahlia, was adopted. We got the word that Miss Fluffy Pants found a GREAT forever home and Coco, Chichi, Choco, Tater Tot, Latte, Fred & Barney, and Willow arrived!

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. (inset) the DOOD resting in his cage while his mysterious back injury slowly healed and a few months later enjoying the new cat tree in my office.

Chichi and Choco got adopted right away into a great home.

One morning, the DOOD couldn't get up and walk and was in terrible pain, growling or crying if we touched him. We did x-rays that showed nothing and began talking about taking DOOD to a neurologist or starting him on steroids. It took six long weeks, most of it forced cage rest, before he was well enough to walk again without pain. I think he fell down the spiral staircase to get into the basement where we store food for our feral cat, but we'll never really know what happened.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Jackson getting oxygen before we raced him to the Emergency Vet and Intensive Care (inset). Jackson at home feeling better.

Jackson fell ill with a temp of 105.1°F. We put him on antibiotics and waited two weeks to do a re-check. At his re-check, since Jackson did NOT like to be messed with, we had to sedate him to get a good x-ray. I didn't like the way his chest looked when he breathed. That day Jackson went into heart failure from the effects of sedation and we almost lost him. He had undiagnosed hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and was in poor condition. The next day Jackson was supposed to be adopted. Instead, Jackson fought for his life in intensive care at an emergency Vet. We took Jackson home later that night, unsure of how much longer we'd have with him.

With Maria having space in her home open, we took on a kitty named Bongo who has nerve damage to his front leg. It had been a Hell of a month, but we kept on.

October

Opal went to a sanctuary and is doing well. She is becoming more friendly each day and she may one day be put up for adoption.

There was troubling news about King. He'd been struggling with chronic, severe and frankly bizarre ear infections. He had to have surgery, loads of daily cleanings, antibiotics. The other cats in the home weren't too sure about him. King faced losing his ears and his home, but his mom never gave up on him.

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©2012 Maria S. Bunny Boo Boo (inset) with Bongo (left) and George (right)-who are all ready to be adopted! Email info@kittenassociates.org for more info.

I rescued a knockout silver tabby Maine coon mix named Nico from a kill shelter in Georgia because I knew I could find him a home and I wasn't going to let him die.

Maria found a kitten in a parking lot she named, Bunny Boo Boo that she rescued on her own and we took on another cat whose former mom was going to lose her home if the landlord found out she rescued a cat from the parking lot nearby. We named him George and he and Bongo and Bunny Boo Boo are great friends.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Hurricane Sandy, no power for almost a week-just a bad flashback to the year before when we got nailed at almost the same time by “Snowmageddon.”

Hurricane Sandy killed the power and made life HELL for a week making a mess of my home in Sandy Hook, CT.

November

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. You are deeply missed, sweet girl.

More vet runs, some of Winnie's kittens found forever homes, but all that didn't matter after learning the shocking news that Bobette, who was now named, Kissy, had passed away shortly after surgery to remove the same leg we'd tried so hard to save. JaneA drove five hours to be with us over Thanksgiving so we could all mourn together. I had a breakdown, sobbing uncontrollably, saying I wished I could make it better or could have done something different. JaneA comforted me when I really wanted to comfort her. I'd rescued Kissy over a year before and suffered when three of her kittens died a few days after rescue from a kill shelter. Here it was just over a year after I'd saved her life. I'd never worked so hard or for such a long time to make a cat's life pain free and happy and now she was lost to us forever.

December

Nico arrived and was adopted a few weeks later. The rest of Winnie's family found their forever homes. There were lots of inquiries about adopting kittens since the Holidays were approaching. Tater Tot, in a surprising twist, got adopted instead of Willow, who the family had come to meet. Willow, Fred & Barney and Latte were still with us waiting for their forever homes.

I got good news that King overcame his severe ear issues and was finally settling in with his new family. The other kitties were slowly accepting him and King was finding his place. His mom is the sort of adopter I always wish for-after a very rocky start, loads of vet bills and difficulties, she kept on. She never complained. She was completely devoted. My only hope is that her reward is enjoying the love of a very dear cat and hopefully a much easier future.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Our mascot of Covered in Cat Hair and my baby, Spencer before and after surgery.

Spencer had a very challenging dental cleaning where he lost two more teeth and surgery to remove a mass from one ear and another from inside the other. I prepared myself for bad news, but the shock came as the test results indicated it was an apocrin gland cyst with “no content”-meaning NO CANCER.

Sam and I cleared out the garage of recycling one bright sunny morning. After we were done we went to Panera Bread to have a late breakfast. While we were sitting there we saw police cars racing past. I knew something bad had happened and a few minutes later I heard the news of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, which you can read more about HERE and HERE.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. My home town will never be the same again. The school is a few miles from my home.

Wanting to reach out and help heal the broken hearts in our town, I created “Kitties for Kids” a kitten-therapy for the children, first responders and residents of Newtown, CT. We were featured on national television news and major news outlets online. We got loads of donations of plush toys and the first children and parents began to arrive to visit our kitties.

Although we had no Christmas and sent out no card (for the first time in my adult life), the joy of knowing I was helping people and the overwhelming honor of so many people reaching out to us was my gift.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. We will never forget and find a way to heal our hearts.

As the year draws to a close, we have saved over 60 lives by networking, rescuing, fostering…and many of those cats were tough to place. I also helped people keep their cats by offering them suggestions on how to work with their cat's behavior and health issues. I even covered the Vet bill of a few cats in dire need so they would keep their homes, too.

It's been quite a challenging and painful year. I realize that 2013 may be no easier. All I can do is hope that I'll be better able to handle what is yet to come and that for the cats out there who need me, that I'll have the resources to help them when the time comes.

Happy 2013 to All!

The Best Worst Thing Ever. Fire at Animalkind.

Late in the evening of May 1, 2012, on the third floor apartment where a caretaker lived, a small fire broke out due to the hot embers of a cigarette coming into contact with bedding. The fire was extinguished before the fire department even arrived. The building didn't burn to the ground, but something equally terrible occurred. The building-wide sprinkle system was activated, releasing a torrent of water, not light rain showers, but a flood of water throughout the building.

On the second, first and basement levels lived the cats of Animalkind, a non-profit cat shelter located in Hudson, New York. Most of the cats were allowed to freely roam their adoption areas. Terrified from the onslaught of water, the cats climbed onto the horizontal vents from the brand new $50,000 HVAC system that was installed to control the spread of disease. The cats huddled in the rafters, terrified; but what was worse was the fate awaiting the most fragile of the cats—the mamas and kittens. They were in the basement and all the water from the floors above pooled there, inches deep. The families weren't free to escape, they were in cages, trapped in the water at risk of drowning.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Still lovely, the exterior of Animalkind.

No one perished. No cats died. In that, it was a miracle, but the building was gutted. The once pink and yellow cheerful walls of Animalkind were soaked, ruined, crumbling to the floor. The joy that had filled the building, all the years of hard work and loving care, vanished in a matter of hours. The building that once held 150 cats was destroyed.

As early as 2am Katrin Hecker, the Director and Founder of Animalkind, her volunteers, staff and residents of Hudson, New York, gathered together and quickly began to capture as many cats as they could.

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©2012 Animalkind. Used with permission. Moving the cats into their new location.

Thanks to the kindness and generosity of a local merchant, The Warren Inn, a nearby hotel, turned its' office space into a temporary shelter space. It was just a few steps away from Animalkind's headquarters. Cages were assembled and cats were tagged and given a place to recover their shock. Many cats needed to go into temporary foster homes and people throughout the area opened their doors. The townsfolk jumped into action along with everyone from Animalkind. Though heartbreaking, the staff was buoyed by the support.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. The irony of the sign on the bottom of the window isn't lost on me.

In the following days, amazing things happened. Cats who'd been at AK for YEARS were getting adopted. Adoptions on the whole went way up. About 60 cats found homes right away. Folks started to show up from out of the blue to help any way they could. As the news spread, I heard about this terrible tragedy. In an odd coincidence, I'd been only a few miles from the fire delivering Leo to Animalkind's neighbor, Aslan's Sanctuary.

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©2012 Animalkind. Used with permission. The basement.

Like so many other people, the devastation bothered me deeply. I couldn't imagine how any rescue could recover from such a loss. I'm just one person. What could I do to help?

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©2012 Animalkind. Used with permission. One of the shelter spaces, empty of cats, filled with water.

I got in touch with Animalkind and Bob Mechling, a Designer and key member of the shelter, got back to me right away. I asked him what they needed and told him I'd do what I could to help him get it. I couldn't believe I was saying those words. I don't have two sticks to rub together, but in my heart I knew that after all these years of blogging and writing pet product reviews that somewhere I MUST know someone who could help me scrounge up a few donations.

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Freekibblekat.com and Halo come to the rescue!

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World's Best Cat Litter-YOU ROCK!

I got to work. Within a few days and after many phone calls I got the logistics worked out. Right away, Kelly Ausland of Freekibble.com and Freekatkibble.com said he would be delighted to help with a donation of 350 bags of kibble from Halo. He wasn't doing this for a write-up on my blog or a pat on the back. He sincerely was concerned and wanted to help.

Next up were my associates at World's Best Cat Litter, who also did not hesitate to help once I alerted them to the problem. I was very impressed by how quickly they jumped into action! Now the cats had a supply of food and litter coming in the door. I reached out to a few other companies, but sadly they were not able to offer any assistance.

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If you'd like to help put a smile on the faces of shelter cats in your town, you can get a SPECIAL DISCOUNT of 10% off on any size case of Stretch and Scratch scratchers, plus you get reduced shipping. Use CODE: CATS to get the discount! If you'd like to gift AnimalKind more scratchers (they LOVE THEM), please go HERE to get their shipping information:

I also reached into my own fairly empty pockets and ordered two cases of Stretch and Scratch cat scratchers. I knew that the cats would be stressed out in cages and having something to scratch could make a world of difference to their well being.

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©2012 Animalkind. Used with permission. The Adoption Room circa 2004..

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Welcome to the Adoption Room 2012.

As Animalkind began the difficult work of assessing the damage and speaking with their insurance company, things got very busy for my little rescue. I didn't hear much from Katrin, but she was never far from my thoughts.

Recently, I made the 100 mile trip north to meet Katrin and Bob and see how things were going. What I saw broke my heart and compelled me to do more.

Animalkind still needs help. In some ways, things are worse now than ever. In part two I'll share what I learned during my visit and introduce you to some VERY special cats.

BREAKING NEWS: Global Domination Phase One

As a Professional Member of the Cat Writers' Association, I'm pleased to announce that I've been nominated to be part of CWA's Council of Directors for a two-year term starting in November of this year.

If I garner enough votes to win, I will finally realize my plans for global domination. Okay, maybe it's going to take another 10 or 40 years to achieve total domination, but being on the Council of Directors is a good start.

I'm proud to be called to serve and pleased to be in such good company. Congrats to my peeps, Janea Kelley of Paws and Effect and Angie Bailey of Catladyland for also being part of team.

©2011 Robin Olson,CiCH, Spencer_tiny.jpg

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Here's the Press Release from CWA

The 2012 CWA Nominating Committee proudly announces the following slate of officers:

President - Susan M. Ewing

Vice President - Dusty Rainbolt

Secretary - JaneA Kelley

Treasurer - Allene Tartaglia

Council of Directors (four open seats) - Joan Miller, Allia Zobel Nolan, Angie Bailey, Robin A.F. Olson

Executive officers are elected annually. Council members hold two-year terms. Because JaneA Kelley accepted the nomination for Secretary, leaving her Council seat vacant for the remaining period of one year, the committee had the option of appointing a person to fill the vacancy or select someone for a full two-year term. Since we had a tremendous outpouring of interest, we chose to select a fourth seat in the Class of 2014 for a full two-year term.

According to the CWA Bylaws, once the slate is published, officers are elected at the next annual membership meeting -- this year it will be November 3, 2012, at the CWA Conference in Los Angeles, Calif. Only professional members may vote, and they may vote prior to the meeting by mail if they wish. However, when the election is uncontested, no ballots are mailed. A majority of the members present and voting at the annual meeting can conduct business, including the election.

This year's Nominating Committee was Ramona Marek (chair), Fran Pennock Shaw, Nancy Peterson and Lyn Garson. We thank the large, record-breaking and outstanding pool of candidates and sincerely hope to see such positive interest for leadership positions next year.

Respectfully,

Ramona Marek

Chair, CWA Nominating Committee

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Unleash Your Creativity with the Pet Postcard Project (and feed hungry kitties!)

Nikki Moustaki, pet lifestyle expert, writer and fundraiser came up with a fun idea that that's helping feed cats and dogs throughout the country. Her campaign is called The Pet Postcard Project.

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At it's heart, the program is very simple. Create a pet postcard and mail it to Nikki before June 30, 2012. For every 2500 postcards she receives, our generous friends at FreeKibble.com will donate 10,000 “meals” of nutritious Halo Spot's Stew cat food to this month's shelter, The Stray Cat Alliance -based in Los Angeles, CA!

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This is just one of the thousands of postcards Nikki has received.

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This is where it gets a little bit more interesting…

Jackson Galaxy, star of the hit Animal Planet show, “My Cat From Hell” and passionate advocate and “Cat Daddy” for cats everywhere, has offered to sweeten the pot to encourage all of you to send in a postcard or two (or more!).

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Here's one of my post cards memorializing my cat Bob as an Angel in Heaven. Nikki asks that “MAKE SURE THE WORDS YOU WRITE ARE EITHER FUNNY, PROFOUND, OR HEARTWARMING.”

The Pet Postcard Project will choose three of their favorite cards and two people will get signed copies of “Cat Daddy: What the World’s Most Incorrigible Cat Taught Me About Life, Love and Coming Clean,” and one lucky card sender will get a phone call with Jackson, himself! As someone who has had the honor of speaking with Mr. Galaxy on a few occasions, I have to admit, this is a prize worth entering lots of postcards for so you have a better chance to win!

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Spencer, our mascot, with his copy of Cat Daddy.

For complete instructions on how to enter and where to send your postcards go HERE

You can also visit The Pet Postcard Project on Facebook for the latest updates and hopefully news on the winners!

Now go, be creative and help feed cats in need!

CODE RED: Little Lives in Dire Need!

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.

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©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.

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©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.

We made a commitment to her and we will honor that, but there are six kittens living in squalor who we desperately want to help and we cannot help them unless MFP finds her forever home soon OR we find an awesome, Non-Profit, No Kill Shelter or Rescue who would be willing to take MFP and find her a forever home-a shelter that has the size and space we do not have.

 

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©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.

 

Please help us find a wonderful forever home for Miss Fluffy Pants or a responsible rescue who would take her. Little lives are at risk! Contact me at info@coveredincathair.com if you're interested in adopting or doing a shelter transfer with us. Transport IS available. MFP is completely vetted and ready to go.

 

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©2012 Maria. S. She loves to play, get pets and be brushed, too.

WE NEED HELP TO PLACE MISS FLUFFY PANTS SO WE CAN OPEN UP THE SPACE TO HELP SIX KITTENS & their feral Mom. As I was writing this post, I found out that two of the six kittens have not been seen in two days. We've decided we can't wait any longer. We're going to risk it and take on the remaining kittens and their feral Mother even though we don't have the space for them and they will have to be caged. We need to do an Emergency Fundraiser so we can get these kittens vetted ASAP! Over the course of a few days the kitten's eyes have sealed shut from some sort of infection. If we wait a second longer they may go blind.

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©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.

 

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©2012 Maria. S. The little white kitten. How is she going to survive in these conditions?

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©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.

 

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©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:

Kitten Associates
P.O. Box 354
Newtown, CT 06470-0354

Any funds not used for the care of this family will go into our General Fund.

 

If you can't make a donation, you can help us by getting the word out. Every dollar helps and every Re-tweet or FB Share does, too. THANK YOU for caring about these little babies!

 

Update-A-Rama: Of Happy & Sad Endings & Hopeful Beginnings

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!]

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Leo.

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!

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©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.

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©2012 McGarty Family. Amberly is dwarfed by her son, Jack LiLac! They're so happy to be back together.

Bobette

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.

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©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!)

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. She loves getting petted!

Miss FP

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.

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©2012 Maria S. Miss FP. Sweeter than ever.

King

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.

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©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.

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©2012 Bobby Stanford. King used to sleep under these stairs.

 

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©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!

 

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©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.

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©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.

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©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.

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©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.

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©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.

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©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.

Breaking News: A “Game-Changer” for Cat Guardians!

What does the Periodic Table of Elements have to do with cats? Breaking news out of CERNs research facility near the Franco-Swiss border in Geneva, Switzerland indicates the discovery of a new element that's being called a “game changer” by cat guardians and cat behaviorists across the globe.

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After decades of much heated debate, the International Union of Pure & Applied Chemisty assigned a new Element. Like it’s 118 predecessors, number 119 is a pure chemical substance consisting of one type of atom distinguished by its atomic number, which is the number of protons in its nucleus. Element 119 bears the name, Urinium.

It's believed that Urinium was first discovered in 1855 by Dr. Joseph King after his tabby cat, Mossander soaked samples he was using in his research to find a new element. What he was close to discovering was Cesium, which eventually documented by noted scientists, Robert Wilhelm Bunsen (later of Bunsen Burner fame) and Gustav Robert Kirchoff.

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The scientific community scoffed and chided Dr. King when he declared that bombarding ammonia gas from cat urine, resulted in the discovery of a pure atom and that atom, alone was the cause of the offensive odor after cat urine was sprayed on household items and the like. Because technology couldn’t confirm his findings, it wasn’t until 2010 when Dr. Mike Hunt, a scientist at CERN decided it was worth a second look.

Sure enough, Dr. King was correct in his findings, but sadly never lived to see the day his discovery would be verified. What this meant for the world is simple. A metering device could be created to measure the density of particulate (P particles), in the same way a Geiger Counter measures radioactivity. Because it works on an atomic level, cat guardians will never have to worry about being bothered by “Phantom Cat Pee” smells ever again.

They’ll aim, scan, locate and remove every cat urine stain in their home with the flick of a wrist and the push of a button. Engage the device, holding it near your cat’s urethra, so it can “sniff” the particulates that emit from the opening. Next it will create a unique algorithm to “track” the “fingerprint odor” wherever it occurs in your home.

The device, in the works right now, is similar to scanners you’ve seen on an episode of Star Trek; like the one where Captain Kirk scans for bio-signs on Sigma Draconis when he’s searching for Spock’s brain (because it was stolen, duh!) except it’s not quite as thrilling when you lock onto a target and only find cat pee.

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I was able to get an EXCLUSIVE FIRST LOOK at a working prototype. It’s so sensitive you’ll have to remove all the litter pans AND cats from your home and place them into a sealed charcoal lined containment device while you’re scanning the premises so the device doesn’t get “confused.”

Using the searing power of lasers-

the new device, codenamed: Whizzard™, will include this technology as a way to literally “zap” urine smell from the home!

Though it may spark small fires or melt certain objects, I think you’ll all agree, that anything is better than a soiled home that smells like cat urine.

NOTE: The Whizzard is so accurate that once the truth is revealed about the severity of urine all over your furnishings, you may feel you need to move out of your home, but that’s ok. Whizzard’s got you covered. For an extra fee (details are being worked out, now), a Clinical “Psychologist,” named Dr. Larry will come to your home and let you unload all your frustrations on him, while he nods, smiling sweetly, then shakes his head to confirm that he is, indeed, listening to you, cares and wants to help. Larry may carry with him a pocketful of Xanax, but I can neither confirm nor deny that.

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