You are here

Buddy Can You Spare a Dime?

When the Rescuer Needs Rescue

I've gotten many emails and comments on our Facebook page about Bob. Every single one of them, supportive and loving-offering prayers and help, whatever it takes. It means so much to me, that I can't even write the words to express how I feel. I'm sitting here crying. I'm so touched and grateful. I honestly don't feel like I deserve it. I know everyone out there is having a tough time. Every single one of you has challenges and heartache. I wish I could share all the love and support I get right back with all of you.

Quite a few folks have asked me to put up a ChipIn widget for anyone who wants to kick in a few dollars to help me pay for Bob's Vet Bill, which right now is about $5000.00. I'm not looking for a handout, but I won't turn away these offers of help any more, either. Sam and I have had a Hell of a bad few years and lately we've both been terribly depressed, wondering if we will EVER see things improve.

I feel really awkward putting up this ChipIn, but for those of you who like my work and appreciate all the advice and support I've given back, then if you want to consider it as giving me a "tip" for my good efforts or my writing, or if you want to do it in honor or Bob, then this is the time to do it.

Whatever you do, don't do anything that will put YOU into trouble. If you want to skip one cup of take out coffee and donate that to Bob's bill, then that would be mighty fine by me. I don't expect to raise $5000.00, but heck, if someone is flush with cash and loves my work, heck I would just about faint if we hit a goal like that. you go. ChipIn to your hearts content.

Thank you to Izzy and Ivy and Maria and so many others for asking me to do this and to all of you for caring about Bob-and me. It is a gift like no other.

Baba-D is IN DA HOUSE!

Author's note: Bob has a few nicknames-one I use most often is: Baba-D. Some others are: Bobbee Tinkleberry, Mr. Bob and Robert J. Dole (only used if I'm yelling at him)


Barely 24 hours ago, I got a call from one of the Vets at VCA Cheshire. He said something I didn't expect to hear: “Bob's ready to go home. He's eating a bit and has perked up. If you can get here before, say 3pm, we won't charge you for an extra day.

All I could muster in reply was; “You're shitting me.


I was told that shortly after Sam and I left yesterday, Bob perked up. He ate a little bit, he sat up in his cage. Dr Weisman, who I LOVE, said she felt the pain meds were really taking a toll on Bob, so she eased off on them. Sure enough, the minute it started to wear off, our old Bob started to make a comeback.

Of course I had a Vet appointment for Polly, who is, getting SICK again. I had to postpone it to today. I basically had to postpone everything to get ready for Bob to arrive. Since Bob's belly is in a fragile state of repair, we have to give him either cage rest or put him in a small room with no furniture. Since we don't have a room like that, I set up a BIG dog crate, then went out and bought a dog pen to attach to the crate. It would give Bob some chance to walk around a bit. I didn't want to put it in a dark part of the house or off in a corner, so Bob's in the middle of the living room. I want him to have sunshine and to be part of our daily activity so he can feel like he's part of the gang again.

Home for Bob.jpg
©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Bob's new digs.

Sam and I got things set up and I realized I needed a few things so I left early to hit a pet store that was on the way to the hospital, which is a 45 minute drive from here. Of course, I took the wrong exit and the store is in the middle of Waterbury, where the roads are like a messy plate of spaghetti. I panicked and decided to skip the store and not risk getting lost. I did NOT want to be late. The Vet bill was over $3000.00 and I didn't want it to go any higher if I could help it.

I hit a grocery store and got a new litter pan and the litter my Vet wants to use. I bought a few groceries and ignored the bell ringer from Salvation Army. I wanted to go up to him and tell him how much money I give to animal charities and how I run my own. I ask myself why I feel so guilty about not putting money in his bin when I donate clothing and household goods to them every year. Maybe that's how they score? The guilt factor?

Guilty or not, I was racing to get to Bob on time. It was 2:30pm and there was some sort of nightmare traffic jam, from what, I could not figure out. So I crawled along, finally getting to the hospital in the nick of time. I grabbed my empty cat carrier, walked in the door and almost yelled, “Filler Up!”

Oh yes, but there is a matter of the rest of the payment to deal with first. They were very nice, very professional. They went over Bob's discharge information, which isn't really much, other than to watch Bob and check his incision. He doesn't need extra meds. He can go back on Denamarin and Dasquin and eat what he likes (so THEY say!). He is supposed to wear a “cone of shame”, e-collar but he hasn't picked at his belly at all so no go for now. He's been through enough.

I spoke with Dr. Weisman, who I LOVE (yes, i know I wrote that earlier and it's still true). She told me what to watch out for and to either call her or just email her to let me know how Bob is doing or just to say hello. You're KIDDING ME, right? Woah. I love her. She's not tossing me to the wind now that the surgery is over!

While we were talking, I realized someone was standing next to me. It was a tech holding BOB!!!! I grabbed his carrier and she placed him inside it. He looked perkier, even at a glance. I couldn't wait to get him HOME!

I got the bill settled. It was actually a bit less than the low end of the estimate. The amount still kills me and it will be a year before it's paid off, but I can get it done. It was time to head home with my BOB!

New Temp Home.jpg
©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Bob, at home, at last. By the way, we moved his litter pan out of this crate, into the penned in area after this photo was taken so Bob has more space to relax and not smell his own fumes.

I wanted to let Bob out so he could walk around a bit, when we got home. I thought he might like to use his familiar litter pan, then I'd put him into his crate. Instead, Bob almost RAN around the house, then got away from us and RAN up TWO flights of STAIRS! Oh NO! he's gonna blow himself wide open! Thankfully we got him and put him into the crate. Sheesh!

We warmed up some raw food and offered it to him. He licked once or twice, then went to his heated bed and laid down. He was exhausted. I offered him some chicken treats, which he ate, but then turned away from me. He licked his paws and his face, a great sign. He got comfortable and went to sleep.

Sam and I sat in the living room, talking quietly. I sat facing Bob so I could keep an eye on him. He groomed himself some more, but stayed clear of his belly. He put his head down, then twisted it at a cute angle, as he so often does, and went to sleep. I was worried that he didn't eat, but hoped he'd eat a bit later.

©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Bob loves his blanket from Aunt Jennifer.

As the evening passed, I got into the penned in area and sat with Bob. I offered him dehydrated chicken and he ate every piece. He wouldn't eat any real food, but it was a start. We said good night and let him rest. I didn't sleep well. I worried about what I might find this morning. I got up at 6:15am and went downstairs to check on Bob.

I walked over to his crate and said, hello. He got right up and came over to me, purring loudly! I hustled into the kitchen and got him some grain-free canned food. I warmed it slightly and put dry chicken treat on top. He lapped at it hungrily! I was SO GLAD to see him eat! He didn't eat as much as I'd like to see, but he probably ate about 1/4 of a can of food, purring the whole time.

Of course, the problem with feeding Bob is ALL the other cats, including MacGruber, circled the pen and reached into it trying to get at Bob's food. I had to put Mac and Blitzen into the bathroom they were so bad! We've found Blitzen in Bob's pen a few times, now, so we can't leave food in there or Blitz will snarf it. Pig!

Of course, Bob doesn't seem to pay any heed to these interruptions. He just licks at his food and purrs, just as Bob did before, like any other day, but this isn't any other day. Bob just survived a very serious surgery and he's HOME. HE'S HOME! HE'S HOME!

Not on My Watch: I Just Can't Do Nothing

I've got five foster kittens headed my way. They'll be here in an hour. My dear cat, Bob is having very serious surgery tomorrow to try to remove a mass from his liver. He may not survive. He may have a belly full of cancer. Christmas is in less than a week and I am nowhere near ready...


I can't look away from this poor girl sitting at Henry County. She's been in quarantine for almost ten days without any vet care after being injured when she took refuge inside a car engine to get warm. I just have to help her.

This is Noelle. She'll be staying with our best foster mama in the world until she's ready to come to CT and join us at Kitten Associates. Because she's injured and may have to have part of her tail amputated, we're going to start fundraising for her right now, even though we don't know what she's going to need. If we need less than I'm asking for, I will change the ChipIn widget. I will only ask for just what we need and no more. Hopefully we can get the job done. She'll be seeing a vet, tomorrow. No more waiting, silently in pain.

AC 12.15.10 066 .jpg

Merry Christmas little one. I hope we can help you find your confidence, love, a warm loving home and a pain free life soon. Bobby's coming to get you tomorrow. Hang tight!

Please help spread the word so we can get the funds we need to provide Vet care for this baby! THANK YOU SO MUCH!

Foster Cat Journal: The Littlest Soldiers

A month ticked by since we rescued Polly, Cara, Chester and their Mom, Mazie. It's been a constant battle to keep them alive. To date there are been about ten Vet trips, one emergency run late at night. Of the four, Polly has suffered the most and is still struggling to recover fully from the dreaded herpes virus infection she got just days after she was rescued.

Cara cry.jpg
©2010 Maria Sandoval. Cara Melle wants to get better, NOW!

Her sister, Cara struggled as well, then started to improve, but now has an added complication of picking up another type of URI that's effecting her breathing. Maria, their foster mama, works so hard to get them to turn the corner; has taken time off from work, gotten her sister to come see the cats during the day so they're fed regularly, but more importantly, that someone is watching out for them.

Cara sick.jpg
©2010 Maria Sandoval. Poor Cara, one thing after another sickens her over and over again.

Chester hasn't been hit too hard, knock wood. His mama, wasn't effected too badly, either, but she has a mature immune system. We expected she would pull through all right.

sick chester.jpg
©2010 Maria Sandoval. Red-rimmed eyes indicate that Chester is also feeling awful.

Three babies.jpg
©2010 Maria Sandoval. Chester (top), Cara (middle), Polly (bottom).

Each sunrise the kittens see is triumph. It means, they lived through one more day. Each meal is a few more calories to keep them alive and get them to grow stronger. Mazie watches over them, encouraging each one with a lick on the face or a comforting purr.

©2010 Maria Sandoval.Little Chester with his Mama, Mazie.

with mama.jpg
©2010 Maria Sandoval. Only Mama can help make Chester feel better.

The difficulties in providing care for these kittens, is partially due to their inability to smell their food. First, it stopped them from nursing and caused Maria to take over syringe feeding them many times a day. Then, it was difficult to get them to lap food off a plate. They just didn't understand how to eat. I suggested Maria elevate their plate and that seemed to help, but before that was done, their bathroom home had to be scrubbed down many times a day.

messy eaters2.jpg
©2010 Maria Sandoval. Dinner time!

super messy.jpg
©2010 Maria Sandoval. Polly gets down and dirty with dinner.

Litter training was a tough road, too. If they can't smell, they can't know the smell of their mama's elimination. What then would help guide them to the litter pan?

messy polly.jpg
©2010 Maria Sandoval. Polly is a mess in more ways than one.

And yes, Maria also has other foster cats to care for, plus her own kitties! How she's doing this without having a nervous breakdown, I don't know. She's a tough cookie, that's for certain.

Ninety Bux.jpg
©2010 Maria Sandoval. A yes...antiviral eyedrops. $90.00.

©2010 Maria Sandoval. Mazie and Cara.

©2010 Maria Sandoval. Mama Mazie.

Polly and Chester.jpg
©2010 Maria Sandoval. Chester and Polly.

chester cheesetoes.jpg
©2010 Maria Sandoval. Chester looking much better!

Polly and Cara copy.jpg
©2010 Maria Sandoval. Cara and Polly still struggle to get well.

©2010 Maria Sandoval.Cara relapses and goes back to the Vet.

Then there are the costs. One small vial of antivirals cost $90.00. I've lost count of the Vet visits and we don't get a discount. Fortunately the Vets try to be kind about charging us, but it adds up. We also had thought we were going to get some funds covered from an anonymous donor, but that has fallen through. We're going to have to open up our fundraising and ask for more funding. The costs for their care and future spay/neuter is going to break the bank.

Polly Bath.jpg
©2010 Maria Sandoval. It wasn't bad enough that Polly's been sick for a month, but she was so filthy she had to have a bath. Some day she'll look like a normal kitten...we hope!

We're still waiting for the day when the kittens look like kittens, instead of sad little urchins. Where their joy is measured in how high they can jump after a toy or how long they can purr.

These little soldiers will march on and we will continue to be there to help them along the way.

They Stole More Than Just Cat Food

It's bad enough that Maria had a lousy day yesterday. A long day at work, followed by being caught in a downpour while waiting for the bus. Tired and wet as she was, she kept her commitment to cleaning out cat cages at Petsmart. It was a long day. She finally made her way home around 9pm.

I told her there was a shipment of cat food waiting for her by the garage. UPS verified the delivery. I was anxious for her to get the food since I knew she was running low and this food was for Polly and her family...who are STILL STRUGGLING to beat their URI!

As she walked down her driveway, she saw the shipment, but the box looked funny. Then she realized, it had been ripped open. Her heart sank.

©2010 Maria Sandoval.

As she lifted the lid, her worst fears were realized.

©2010 Maria Sandoval.

It was empty-save for the invoice from Pet Food Direct and the air filled plastic cushions to keep the cases of cat food from being damaged.

What sort of heartless moron would STEAL CAT FOOD...and from a CAT RESCUE GROUP??!!! Donations are tough enough to come by and now this?

Maria gave me a call. I missed picking up the phone. I heard her voicemail and she sounded terrible. I thought Polly was dead!!! When we were finally able to talk, she told me what happened. I was stunned that someone would stoop so low as to steal food. Could we have bought a big bag of dry food for a few dollars, instead of shipping cases of canned food? Well, no, we couldn't. We feed a grain-free, canned food diet, which has kept our foster kittens in much better health and at their fragile age is MUCH easier for them to digest and mix with the milk replacer they also eat. We may spend more on food, but in the long run we'll save more on Vet care since our babies will be in better health if we get them off on the “right paw” to begin with.

Maria actually filed a police report. This is the second time someone stole from her yard. The last time it was a nice cat carrier she had left outside to dry after she washed it out. A few hours later-it was gone. She originally thought it was a fluke, but now she realizes either the local kids are thieves or her neighbor who has many cats (and dogs) and no income, may have done the deed. She spoke to the woman who acted surprised that Maria would make a fuss over stolen cat food. I told Maria to check the woman's trash in a few days!There aren't many people that live in Maria's neighborhood to begin with..this is all so messed up.

The shipment cost $90.00 and I had to send out a second shipment last night to replace the one that was lost and it cost more money..the price went up. So there goes another $110.00. I called my credit card company and the purchase insurance does not cover food. I contact Pet Food Direct and they are talking to UPS, but the feeling is nothing can be done since the package was delivered. This may change, but it will be a week to ten days before I get an update.

In the meantime, our babies need to eat. If you'd like to help us recover our loss, we would dearly appreciate it. It really feels like those creeps stole more than just cat food—they stole our faith in humanity.

Maria got two hours of sleep last night. Cara, Polly's sister, is not doing well. Another kitten from another litter had a 104.6°F fever. Maria looked after them until early this morning. Now she's back at work, trying not to face-plant on her desk. I wish I could do more than just order cat food for her, but there are some things that can't be done from 1000 miles distance.

If you know Maria, do send her a note to tell her you're sending good thoughts, good wishes, support. Is this life or death? Heck no, but Maria is our friend, our super-foster mama. We need to rally around her so she can continue to care for quite a few ailing kittens. Maybe our goal is as simple as being a good neighbor—something that Maria does not seem to have.

The Sniffles & Boo-Boo Fund

It was a long night, filled with gut wrenching dread. I got a call around dinnertime that Polly was NOT doing well at all. Her eye was sealed shut and worse, she was SCREAMING. Maria called me to give me this urgent update and while we talked, I could hear Polly wailing. It was too late to go to a “regular” Vet. Our only option was to go to a 24hr ER Vet-also know as: “open your wallet and empty it out. Thank you. Now we will provide your animal with care.

©2010 Maria Sandoval. Polly cries-where is the cure for me to get better?

There was no hesitation. Even if it was coming right out of my almost -empty pocket. Get all the kittens and Mama Mazie to the Vet NOW! Maria had just gotten home from work and was faced with a white-knuckle drive to the Vet. I was in a daze. What to do? I didn't want Polly to die!

I realized I had NO IDEA where Maria was going, so I called her back. She said she was just about to call me to ask me to look up the number so she could alert them to her arrival. I offered to do that for her, getting online and quickly finding the Vet. Then Maria got quiet. She is a tough-cookie, but I could hear her choking back tears. She said she didn't think Polly was going to make it. She said she heard there is a “death scream” that kittens make and that's what Polly was probably doing!!!

Polly So Sick.jpg
©2010 Maria Sandoval. If this isn't the most miserable kitten, ever. Poor Polly.

I felt my gut drop to the floor and my legs got wobbly. I got choked up, but I really wanted to help Maria. I told her to stay strong, that we were doing EVERYTHING we could for these babies. That if we could not save them it would not be because we didn't give them every chance we could. Some times Mother Nature makes the choice for us, but I have to say, I hung up the phone and cried.

A Very Tough Time for Polly.jpg
©2010 Maria Sandoval. No words.

Being 1000 miles away, helpless. All I could do was call the Vet, warn them, then follow their rules by scanning my Driver's License and credit cards and emailing them the info so their bill would be paid. It was the least I could do, but thoughts of Princess FiFi danced around in my head. Her care set us back $2000.00. We were able to raise about half of that in donations and Animals in Distress was abel to pick up the rest of the tab, but this was ONE KITTEN and I had THREE, plus their Mama. Oh boy...I did not want to do THAT sort of math.

©2010 Maria Sandoval. Cara Melle struggles, too.

Maria got there in good time. They took the family in the back and Maria sat in the waiting room while I sat with my phone in my hand, trying to face eating dinner, until I got an update. I didn't feel hungry. I was too sick. I was imagining what was going on. Time ticked hour...then I get a text from Maria. A cat who came in just after she did came back a box. That really set me off. I didn't want to have any of our kittens pass away. The waiting was grueling for both Maria and I. There was nothing we could do but just keep waiting and say a prayer for the poor kitty who didn't make it.

©2010 Maria Sandoval. Even Chester is sick, today he is a bit worse.

Another hour passed. Nothing. My imagination was running wild. Didn't they always get the money worked out FIRST before they did treatment? Why didn't Maria get an update?

A third hour passed. I was hoping that other animals were in more serious shape and were being cared for while our family was just waiting in the back room. ANOTHER HOUR LATER we found out, that was the case.

Polly crying to mama.jpg
©2010 Maria Sandoval. Mazie and her family waiting for the Vet.

Polly had no fever. Though she was uncomfortable in her breathing, there was no “crackle” sound in her lungs. Her brother and sister were afflicted, but not quite as bad. Polly was crying, I'm guessing, because she was so hungry. If she couldn't breathe through her nose, she wouldn't feed off her Mother-how could she breathe? So the Vet fed each kitten and said they were big enough to get some cat food/baby food/milk replacer. This would make it easier for them to eat. Once fed, Polly quieted down. She must have been exhausted, too.

They made a few other suggestions, like running the shower a few times a day so the humidity would help them breathe. Polly gets some sterile saline and eye ointment many times a day. Syringe feed as needed if they don't lap up the food on their own. Monitor, monitor, monitor.

Comfort for Polly copy.jpg
©2010 Maria Sandoval. Only Mama can make it better. Polly finds some peace after a very tough day.

The family was already on antibiotics since they'd just been to the Vet the day before. They felt there was nothing more to be done just now, so Maria packed everyone up and went home. She told me she was going to take the next day off-for which I was very grateful. I would not want to leave those babies alone until they get to a point where they are more stable...KNOCK WOOD...

But this story is not over yet. None of the kittens are in the clear. Some may improve, while others get worse. Because it could easily come to pass that we will need more and more Vet care, I felt it was time to start asking for donations to provide Vet care for Polly and her family, as well as for any cat or kitten in our program. I'm not asking for much, just enough so we have some protection in place, in case we need to get Polly back to the Vet or to see an eye specialist, if it comes to that.

The donations needed go to Kitten Associates, Inc., my rescue group. We're about to become non-profit so your donation will be tax deductible, retroactively. We just need to wrap up our paperwork over the next week.

Last night I posted info on our Facebook page about the kitties. Thank you for your help and for your good wishes and prayers for this very sweet family. It really helped last night. I'm happy to add that Polly got through the night all right and is resting comfortably with her siblings, as Mama Mazie watches over them and Maria keeps them all safe.

Rescue Me from the Walk of Shame!

Here at Covered in Cat Hair, we're not 100% about cats! We love all animals...okay, maybe porcupines, not so much.

Next weekend, I'll be joining my cat-sisters, Jennifer and her real life sister, Lauren (who for some reason for the past 3 years, I thought was named, LAURA?!) to the Farm Sancutary's 2010 Walk for Animals which is being held ALL OVER THE UNITED STATES! In fact, if you'd like to join us, or any group near your hometown, hit the link, above, and find a group to join in the fun.

farm sanct.jpg

Farm Sanctuary is a national, non-profit animal protection organization. Each year they rescue, rehabilitate and provide lifelong care for hundreds of animals rescued from factory farms, stockyards and slaughterhouses. In addition to operating the shelters, they work to gain legal protection for animals used in food production and to raise public awareness about factory farm cruelty and cruelty-free alternatives.

Here comes the fun part. I'm asking for SMALL donations to sponsor my athletic enterprise. Right now I have raised NO MONEY. I am completely embarrassed! If for no other reason than to help me save face, would you mind donating like...I dunno...$5 to my walk? If LOTS of you donate, then maybe it will add up and this will not be a WALK OF SHAME!

DONATE HERE if you want to help your poor, shammed cat-saving friend. If you don't donate, I will still like you, but I might eat a burger after the walk just to be spiteful.

P.S. and I'm talking a DOG with me on the walk! Super-Deb is gonna loan me her most precious pup, Jayne Dog! Between actually leaving my house, exercising and being around a dog...this could change my life, FOREVER!

Foster Cat Journal: The Princess & the Pig

Last night Connie, Sam and I went to visit Princess Fifi. We knew her temperature had started to climb again and we were very worried about her. Her temp was at 104.7°F. The Vet decided to move her to IV antibiotics as they would help her feel better, faster, if she has some sort of bacterial issue. If it was a virus, there wasn't a whole lot we could do except give her supportive care and wait.

VCA Shoreline VREC is a big, fancy building. You can tell by walking in the door that it's going to cost big bucks to bring your animal inside. Before we even took a step, we saw a big pit bull standing in the center of a circle of bloody paw prints across the floor. The dog's left front paw was a bloody mess. The dog seemed to be relaxed and content, even though he was bleeding. He owner was stuck to a cellphone, talking about something. Of course I assumed the dog was used for fighting, but then stupidly realized why would they bring it to a Vet if it got hurt in a dog fight? Then the dog turned around. He had big, dangly balls. Connie and I both got pissed when we saw this. Why this dog is running around intact? We both wanted to yell at him, but realized we'd be outmatched if we spoke up.

We sidestepped the blood, told the receptionist who we were visiting, than sat down and waited. An exam room door was open and we saw a small, white bichon or poodle sitting on the exam table. Her right leg was bent oddly. Connie gasped and said; "oh no, neurological problem!" Then I started to worry they were going to put the dog down. We both agreed we hated sitting in this waiting room. I whispered under my breath; “close the door.” A Vet Tech walked over and shut the door. Neither of us wanted to see what was going to happen next.


After a few minutes, we were escorted through some doors, into the heart of the building. Princess was being held in isolation.

Heska Guage.jpg

The room was small and filled with a huge bin of used sharps, a garbage can, a table with yellow dressing gowns all over it and a small bank of four steel cages. Three were empty. Each one had a card that read: CLEAN. The fourth, held our Princess Fifi.

Princess in bed_sm.jpg

When we approached the cage, Princess was sleeping. They set her up on a pretty pink bed. Her food was next to her. There were some signs that she ate a bit of it. We all called out to her, but she did not respond. My heart sank. We were told we could hold her, but just to be careful of the IV line into her front leg. Sam reached into the cage and gently took her out. She was limp.

Very sick close up_sm.jpg

As he began to pet her, she started to wake up. I looked at her face. It was a filthy mess. I grabbed a cotton pad from a dispenser on the table, wetted it and began to try to clean the gunk out of her eyes. At first, she didn't protest, but as she felt the cool water, she began to stir. There was a fan blowing on us and she began to shiver.

Very Sick Kitty_sm.jpg

I kept trying to get her cleaned up, but the food and discharge was crusted on her pretty well. I was glad to see her react to us holding and cleaning her. I tried to mimic how her mother might have licked her face as I wiped at it with the pad.

Poor Little Princess_sm.jpg

A Vet came in to talk to us. She was about 15 years old. We asked her question after question. She was thinking Princess has a URi. That she is not at death's door, but she is not in great shape, either. That she would eat, but only if someone stayed with her while she ate. That her chest and heart sound fairly normal and her blood work was basically fine. She turned the fan off, realizing it was making Princess feel worse. Princess stopped shaking and just enjoying being held by Sam.

I asked if we could try to feed her, so the Vet got some fresh food and I offered it to her. She turned her head away, refusing my offer. I asked the Vet to warm it up, which she did. It didn't help. I rubbed a small bit on Princess's face. She licked at it, but still refused to eat. I put the food bowl down and focused on petting her. I didn't want to think that this might be the last time I see her alive. If she didn't eat...well...she was already too thin to begin with. I tried to be positive and not “go there.”


Connie and I continued to pet Princess and talk to her. She began to react a little bit more and more, then longer we were with her. I held her for a few minutes, but I was scared I'd hurt her. She was hot in my arms and her coat was not in the best shape. I wanted to just find a comfy chair and hold her for the rest of the night. None of us wanted to leave. We could see our being there was helping her feel better.

A Vet Tech came in to take Princess's temp. Sam helped hold her while Princess fussed. Her temp was down a tiny bit..down to 104.3°F. Her weight was up by 2 ounces in 4 days! We were all cautiously optimistic that maybe Princess would continue to improve.

Then, Connie took a turn holding Princess. By that time, we'd been with her for about 45 minutes. Princess perked up and gave us a “meh.” She began to fuss so I grabbed her food. Connie put her down and showed her the bowl and she started to eat! It always comforts me to see my cats eating, especially the foster kittens. It was even more meaningful to watch Princess lick carefully at her food. Connie put out her hand so Princess wouldn't fall out of the open cage. Every mouthful Princess took, would help her gain the strength she'd need to survive whatever was making her so sick. I wanted to cry. We all urged her to keep eating!


On the way to the hospital, we stopped at Walgreens to buy Princess a little toy. They had a lousy selection, but they did have these big, squeaky toys for dogs. One of them was appropriately pink and Sam and I both thought it might keep her company. She'd have to really squeeze the toy hard, to get it to squeak, so we thought she wouldn't easily be able to set it off. I also found these really cute pet beds. It looks like a grey cat, turned into a cat bed. Very soft and plush. Very cute. I promised myself that Princess would be sleeping in it when she comes back home to us and in the mean time the weird pink pig toy might be a stand in for a playmate.

Sam placed the pig next to Princess. She just stared at it. I thought that maybe she was frightened of it, but then she did the most wonderful thing. The pig has a black cable coming out of the top of it's head that's used to hang it on a display in the store. Princess reached out for the cable and started to PLAY!!!! She tapped at the cable and bit it, then wanted to eat more food. Wow! We were all bowled over when we saw her reach out that paw. It was such a significant sign that she's still fighting and she's still a kitten who wants to play! I wish I'd bought her a box full of toys!

Princess and friend eating_sm.jpg

Princess was clearly getting tired again, so we decided to leave. She snuggled down next to her toy pig. We each told Princess we loved her and that she should fight to get better and that we would see her soon-we promised.

Princess Admires new Friend__sm.jpg

We were all reluctant to leave. I made some jokes so we wouldn't start to cry. Just as I turned to leave, I noticed something in Princess's cage. Her blanket had her name on it! I had to ask myself, is this a sign she's in the right place? Was this destiny or just a coincidence? I can't help but wonder if all this was meant to be? But if so, what is next? What is to become of Princess? Will her temperature come down and STAY down? Will she begin to perk up, eat better and get back to the business of being a kitten again? I just don't know. I don't know if this WAS our last visit with Princess.

Princess Blanket_sm.jpg

The night passed without any calls from the Vet. This morning Connie called me and said that Carole had called and found out Princess's temp was “down.” What that meant, I don't know. Was it down a few tenths? Was it down to normal? I have to wait until after 10am to call to get an update. I have a stomach ache. I want to know, but I don't want to know. This has been a rough road and Big O, Little Maria and Pauly have to be picked up in New Jersey today! I need to get ready, but not sure for what. I need to get those new foster cats, but I need to stay home. It will be sorted out. Thankfully, Sam and Connie are going to pitch in and help. I couldn't function without them, but really, I just want to go to sleep, wake up and have everyone be here, happy and healthy.

If you've gotten this far, there's one last thing. I'm going to post a fundraiser here, to help recover some of the money we've spent to get Princess the care she needs. Her Vet bill is over $1000.00 and it won't surprise me if it goes up from there. I've set up at ChipIn widget (above) that will go STRAIGHT to Animals in Distress. If you can help out with a few dollars-whatever you donate is tax deductible. We all know money is tight and I've had to ask more than a few times for help from everyone, so I understand if asking again, so soon, is a problem for many of you. No worries. We're going to try and those that can comfortably help us-even if it's $5, it does make a difference. If you can't donate, maybe you can forward this to your friends and they can't pitch in a dollar or two? Thank you all your prayers and support during this difficult time. It means a lot to all of us-espeically little Princess.

Not on My Watch: A Broken Leg, but Not a Broken Spirit

8.19.10 118_rz.jpg
©2010 Henry Co. Care & Control. Little Maria last week after we rescued her off death row.

Imagine you're a little kitten. Life has not been easy for you. Yet, somehow your good nature and willingness to love unlocks good favor-the kind most creatures in your condition never get to know.

Imagine you broke your leg, near the hip socket. How painful that must have been. It would have been nice if someone had helped you, but they did not. Did you become aggressive and angry, when you were forced to limp, every step filled with pain? No. You did not. You purred. You wanted to be held and stroked and told it was going to be all right very soon.

Maria 409 copy.jpg
©2010 Maria Sandoval. Little Maria in foster care.

But no one did that for you for a long time. No one helped you for a month, so being a kitten your leg began to mend itself, but not correctly. Part of your femur overlapped another part by an inch. The leg began to fuse, but you are still growing. How would you get along like this? You didn't know. You could walk okay, but not great. Mostly, you sat a lot. For awhile you sat in a cage and waited until some nice people helped you out. You thanked them by purring, your special purr and asking for some love.

They took you to many doctors and x-rayed your leg. They asked many questions-how could a 2.82 pound kitten be in such trouble? Then, one Doctor realized you were not a tiny kitten, but just very very very thin. They saw your teeth. It told them another story about you. That you are four months old, not 9 weeks. That no one fed you on top of ignoring your broken leg. Did you get mad? No. You just purred your purr and asked for more love, even if you didn't get any food to eat. That was okay by you, because you just want to be loved.

Maria Portrait.jpg
©2010 Maria Sandoval. Little Maria smiles even though she must be in pain.

Because you're a very nice kitten, underweight and overflowing with love, because some people got together to care for you, they found a way to fix your leg, instead of cutting it off as many would do just to save a dollar. They found a way to fix your leg and they paid for some of it themselves because they care so much. They have $500.00 left to raise for your surgery, that's it. Not very much to help a nice kitten who deserves every nice thing we can do for her.

maria sitting up a bit.jpg
©2010 Maria Sandoval. Little Maria sits awkwardly but is ready for some petting and snuggling.

So today we ask you, to ask your friends, to look in your pocket, to find a few dollars to give to Maria's Surgery Fund. Maria is a magnet for good fortune in that our dear friends, Mr. & Mrs. Warren & Terri Royal, who are VERY VERY GOOD FRIENDS to cats, have offered to MATCH any donation, up to $150.00, so for every dollar you donate, another will be added to the pot. The sooner we can raise the money, the sooner the surgery can be paid for.

maria lying down.jpg
©2010 Maria Sandoval. She's still far too thin for her age, but now that she's safe in foster care (and her foster mama, Maria LOVES HER very much!), she will begin to finally put on some weight. She will always be a small kitty, though..

Mr. Royal has also offered to donated 15% of the proceeds of any orders placed by readers of Covered in Cat Hair on either of his two web sites: or websites. When you make your purchase, in the COMMENTS AREA write "COVERED IN CAT HAIR" so they'll know your purchase is for Little Maria.

Thank you to Bobby, Maria, Connie, Carole and all the Vets who have shared the expertise with us and helped us to find a way to help Maria walk without pain and have a wonderful future-filled with purrs and love.

P.S. YOUR DONATION Via CHIPIN IS GOING TO ANIMALS IN DISTRESS, who will be taking Little Maria into their NEVER-KILL, NO-CAGE shelter here in Connecticut once Maria is well enough to travel. A.I.D IS A registered NON-PROFIT, 501(c)3 charitable organization.

Not on My Watch: As the Hurricane Churns

As Hurricane Earl churns in the Atlantic, I sit and wait and wonder if it's going to behave and only give the folks here in Connecticut a glancing blow of high winds and torrential rain or if the weather reports will be wrong and Earl will take a devious leap west and blast us with its' Category 2 fury.

I realized that should we ever take a direct hit that I have nowhere to go that would allow cats-and certainly not foster cats that also have ringworm. I couldn't even put them in the car with the healthy cats.

I'd be forced to stay behind.

So Sam and I got up at 6AM. This was not my idea of a good time. No one should get up until at least 9AM and 10AM would be even better. Anyway, we wanted to get to the grocery store and buy some non-perishable items like pudding cups, nuts, chocolate covered raisins. You know-important things that will keep us healthy if we lose power—which happens if you fart too hard around here. We expect the power will go out-which also means, no WATER.

We live in a house where everything is run by electricity-including the pump that goes to our 390' deep well. That means no shower and NO FLUSHING. Not fun. We have those 5 gallon bottles of water and a dispenser. Some of the bottles are empty so we filled them with tap water. Ah ha! Now we will be able to flush, though holding a 40 pound jug of water, aiming over the toilet tank, then hoping you don't miss and dump it all over the floor or miss and get it into the toilet BOWL, which would splatter whatever was currently IN the bowl all over the walls.

Gosh, I hope the power doesn't go out tomorrow. I just don't think there's enough bleach in the world to clean my walls after that.

As I wait to find out if my little house in the woods is going to be decimated by Hurricane Earl, I thought I'd catch you up on a BUNCH of no particular order...


Her leg, HELLO!, is HEALED! She will walk just fine. She beat the infections, but traded them off for a cold. That said she is well enough now to go into foster care. I heard her foster home is terrific and her rescuers, called The Cat Women, should be getting a check from me via Sweetwater Vet Hospital, to cover ALL of HOPE's medical bills! There will be a bit left over and that will go into a fund to help other cats who need vet care.

HOPE has a new name: Ariel. This will mark her new journey. In a very strange coincidence, Ariel's foster mom is none other than Mary Jo-who is the subject of item number 2!


Big Orange's owner is a senior citizen with dementia who cannot care for her cat and whose (jerkwad) of a son refuses to allow the cat in the house! The poor cat has been attacked by local (equally jerky) kids. Mary Jo (sound familiar?) stepped up to help rescue this big lug. When news got out about his troubles lots of folks chimed in, willing to help. I got the word out to my rescue babes and one of them offered to give him a home. I can't say more than that because the details aren't worked out, but even if not, Big Orange is SAFE. Mary Jo got him today only to find out the (jerkwad of the century) son now wants to get a puppy since the cat is gone. Is there no justice for this cat? Perhaps a wonderful life in a better home will do the trick?

golfcoursecat copy.jpg
©2010 Mary Jo. Her original poster trying to find help for Big Orange.


There aren't enough swear words to cover how I feel about Pattycake getting ringworm. She had it in transport, but only a tiny dot on her ear. I didn't even NOTICE what you see below. Granted the area was shaved after Dr. Larry's Vet Tech, Mighty Lauren found it!

©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Fungus Amongus.

And of course, a few days later I felt some "crud" on her brother, Moonpie's ear so he's got it, too. Both cats are in the bathroom for eternity, or another month. Then they will be 5 months old and even harder to find a forever home for. If this is as bad as it gets I will be grateful. If the 4 little kittens in the foster room get it, too...that will be really bad...if my cats get it...well...not good...not good at all.

©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. They share everything...ugh.

4. Bob has a URI. Spencer has really bad feline acne that I just can't get rid of, Nicky PEED on the floor right in front of us so he's at the Vet getting tests done and poor Gracie's dermatitis just won't go away!

vet 9.1.10_sm.jpg
©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Bob. No fever but sneezing and coughing. My poor baby!

This is why having TWO cats is nice. If one gets sick, no problem. If both got sick, no problem! When they ALL start to get sick? PROBLEM! Having EIGHT CATS is NOT FOR SOMEONE WITH A WEAK CONSTITUTION-which is WHY I should have TWO CATS!


Thanks to Barb Lowe at Winging Cat Rescue and two other rescue groups, five cats from Jasper were saved, along with three others from Douglas and eight by our friend Joan Flores in TN, along with six from Heard County and three more who were supposedly rescued but their rescue DUMPED THEM!!!!! they were RE-RESCUED!

Frances rez.jpg
©2010 Jasper Co. Animal Control. This is Frances.

That's 25 MORE CATS SAVED!!!

Maybeline rez.jpg
©2010 Jasper Co. Animal Control. This is Maybelline.

saber rez.jpg
©2010 Jasper Co. Animal Control. This is Saber. Yay Saber!

Yes, there's a price for rescuing all these cats. Barb needs Scotch and a vacation somewhere quiet AND she needs $400.00 to cover transport. Let's show her how we can help her money woes disappear and thank her for all her hard work, saving these babies!

5. My little kittens are pushing three pounds a piece, except for Cinnie-Minnie who is just a tiny little thing.

Oh, and they're super cute, but I don't get to spend nearly enough time with them!

eating 9.1.10_sm.jpg
©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. From left to right: Yodel, Sugar Pie, Honey B. and Cinnamon.

6. Little Maria WILL be having her surgery next week! Stay tuned for LOTS MORE NEWS ABOUT THIS BIG EVENT FOR A LITTLE KITTY!

That is if my power doesn't go out tomorrow...and Earl keeps his distance.


Subscribe to RSS - Buddy Can You Spare a Dime?