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26 September 2007

9:30 AM I got the call I was waiting for, on my cell phone, Monday afternoon, as we were driving back to the hotel from the Cumberland County Fair and Weird People of Maine Display (I mean, display of giant pumpkins). The signal strength was as strong and clear as the message: Joey got through surgery like a champ! There was no more news, other than he survived the amputation and was in recovery. I’d know more the next morning. We dragged ourselves out of bed. Sam bleary. I offered to drive. He said; no. that he needed a navigator. We had a 130 mile drive to make in less than two hours. Our appointment to visit the jeweler who created my engagement ring was going to chat with us about wedding bands. You’d think we’d want to get there as fast as possible. It didn’t help that we underestimated how far we had to travel to reach Camden, Maine—especially since part of the trip was on Route 1, which was not exactly a major highway. No sooner than we reached an area where we had a cell phone signal, Monica called. She asked me how I was doing. How I’m doing? Who cares about me?! She sounded very happy and indeed it was true. The news of the day was that later in the afternoon, Joey would be ready to go home! He recovered so well, that he didn’t need to stay an extra day for observation and that he was already playing in this cage—the staff had made some toys for him. They all said he was doing great and a real charmer. Oh, and Joey is adopted, too! I couldn’t believe we got a home for him already! Apparently, one of our ex-volunteers (she had to quit to have a baby), heard about Joey, gave us a $500 donation towards his surgery (now that’s what I call a donation!) and found Joey a great home! The local newspaper also saw one of the flyers, I suspect it was one I put up at the diner. They want to do a story on Joey, too. It will be fantastic to get more press. The better we can get the word out, the more donations we can bring in to help more cats. That’s how it works, eh? Anyway, Joey is being hand delivered to Florida! We normally won’t do out of state adoptions, but since this is a volunteer’s family member, and the woman checks out well, we feel it’s OK to let him go. So the game plan will be to let Joey recover for 10 days, get re-checked by the Vet, then be flown down to Florida to meet his new buddy, a 15 year old, mellow kitty, whose best friend died a few months ago and a nice lady with lots of close relatives living nearby. Joey won’t be alone and we know he’ll have the best home possible. He’s basically a celebrity already! Monica and I are both afraid to see him without his leg. We know we’re going to “lose it,” crying like babies, but we earned this moment and crying seems right. We’ve both had a lot of worry about Joey. He’s had so many people, truly Guardian Angels, looking out for him, I think he is a very special cat, indeed. One we won’t soon forget. That’s for certain. Oh, and Monica has two kittens to give me when I get home. They’re being bottle fed right now and will only be three weeks old when I get them. I can’t wait to get back, to see Joey and to start the cycle all over again. [Update: A large portion of Joey's surgery was donated by the Surgeon's who worked with him. He would have had a Vet bill of many thousands of dollars. We are so grateful to everyone who helped care for Joey. He's doing very well in Florida and is happy and healthy and enjoying life with his new family. I hope to add some photos of Joey both before and after adoption, in the near future. Willy Wonka grew up and is now a big, black, friendly cat. He's adored in his new home and is thriving. From a tiny, scared puff, to this...ahh...that's why I foster. For those times when we do have a happy ending.]

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