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It's Good Mews for Miss Fluffy Pants Part 1 of 2

Just before Valentine's Day we took in a friendly stray kitty who was living outdoors at a Palette Factory in McDonough, GA. Our volunteer, Bobby, who alerted us to this kitty's plight, asked me to name her so the Vet could get her spayed and create her medical records. I called her Miss Fluffy Pants, thinking I'd change the name later, but the name stuck.

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©2012 Bobby Stanford. MissFP at her former "home" at the Palette Factory.

You can read more MissFP's back story HERE, but the short version is, MissFP has FIV+ which basically turned this sweet kitty into a rescue-roadblock for us. My rescue, Kitten Associates, doesn't have a lot of resources and space in my one foster home in Georgia is at a minimum. If I couldn't find MissFP a home, she'd take the only space we had and prevent us from helping any more cats until we helped her. That meant saying no to the requests I got to help kittens who are being born in the thousands in the south.

I asked around and got a lot of “sorry, no's” then East Coast Maine Coon Rescue was willing to do a courtesy post about her, but we didn't get any applications. I asked other big shelters in Georgia and didn't even get a reply. FIV+ cats, though the virus is not easily spread from cat to cat (only through a deep, penetrating bite wound), makes them tough to adopt. Add to that MissFP is black-which especially in the south makes it even harder to find her a home.

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©2012 Maria S. Miss Fluffy Pants.

The goal, as it is with ALL our foster cats, was to figure out a way to get her to my home and hopefully find her a placement in Connecticut, but I was getting requests to help local kittens and I had to say yes. MissFP would have to wait and so would our other adult cat, King. Because King so easy going Maria allowed him to share space in her home with her resident cats and it wasn't a problem for him to remain there for longer than usual. MissFP spent her days in a bathroom behind a closed door while Maria was at work. It wasn't a great life for MissFP and I felt terrible about it.

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©2012 Maria S. A good sign ahead...

I kept looking for help or a home for MissFP. I did NOT want her to go to a sanctuary, never to have a forever home. MissFP loves people and is okay with other cats, but prefers humans. For a short time I thought we found a forever home right in Atlanta for MissFP, but the person backed out at the last minute-just hours before MissFP was going to be taken to her new home. We were all devastated. MissFP went back to her cat tree in the bathroom and I went back to scratching my head, feeling torn between resentment and anger at myself. I loved MissFP even if it was only from afar and I didn't care that she had FIV+, I just wanted her to have a loving home, but it just wasn't happening.

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©2012 Maria S. The interior at Good Mews.

I was resigned to the fact that MissFP was ours for a long time to come and many little kittens were never going to see the light of day because our foster space was full. That's just how it was. It wasn't MissFP's fault. Even if she wasn't in our Program, we'd still only be able to help one litter of kittens at a time.

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©2012 Maria S. How true.

I got an email from Michelle, one of the Board of Directors at Good Mews. She wondered if I could help her find a rescue or sanctuary to help a cat named Clover who was testing positive for Feline Leukemia. I did what I could and gave her some suggestions. For the heck of it I asked her if there was any way she could help me with MissFP. Her answer shocked me. She had to check with some of the staff, but she was pretty sure they COULD HELP US! She'd write me back to confirm. All I had to do was WAIT and hold my breath. Was this the answer we'd been searching for for so long?

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©2012 Maria S. I think they understand what Jackson Galaxy refers to when he talks about the importance of building a “cat superhighway.”

At the time I didn't know much about Good Mews, other than that they were one of the biggest cat rescues in Georgia and that they help rescues out of state, too. They have the manpower and sometimes they have the space to take on another cat to the 100 or so currently in residence.

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©2012 Maria S. The view from within.

After hearing rumors that another huge cat shelter in Georgia shut down intake due to having 150 kittens, I was flat out stunned that Good Mews would even consider taking on MissFP. Not only that, but they were just as careful about placing their cats as I was.

©2012 Maria S. One of the cat's at Good Mews who's looking for a great home. This is HoneyBee on Petfinder!

I felt like I let MissFP down. It's a failure for us to not be able to find Miss FP a forever home, but it's always been difficult for us to place adults. Take Mazie for example. She was here for 14 months before she got her forever home. I know I shouldn't beat myself up, but I still feed badly. I'll never get to meet MissFP nor have the joy of meeting her new family. I will, however, be glad knowing that we have space in Maria's home for the 3 kittens she rescued last month. They'll no longer have to live in a ferret cage, but will have decent space to run and play.

Now if Good Mews would just call and tell me their answer is YES!

To be continued…

The Re-Birth of Bob Dole.

It's been almost eight months to the day that my beloved cat Bob Dole passed away. His death came slowly, from lymphoma and the return of a hepatic cancer that I thought had been surgically removed right after Christmas of 2010.

Bob's last year was bittersweet. His once magnificent coat was reduced to tattered ruin since he could not fight off a fungal infection because he also had FIV+ and his immune system was compromised. He grew thinner and weaker. The once boss of the household grew quieter and let others rule the roost. He ate less and less and even after months of chemo and other treatments, I had to syringe feed him. I knew nothing could save him, but I never stopped trying to give him another day…another good day. [You can read about Bob's last days-though it's a TISSUE WARNING multipart post, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE]

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©2007 Robin A.F. Olson. My most beautiful Bob at 16 pounds of pure pouffy perfection.

When Bob passed away I lost a dear companion and part of my heart, even though we'd only spent five years together. Bob used to be my Mother's cat. After she died in 2006, I took Bob in and his presence was so grand that even now it feels empty in the house without him.

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©2009 Robin A.F. Olson. After a "lion cut" he looked so CUTE!

Bob was the greeter, the peacekeeper, the big love muffin and had the best purr I've ever heard. He had just the right amount of sass that just made everyone love him all the more. Whenever I said his name aloud, people's eyes would light up and they'd laugh. They asked funny questions about if Bob Dole, the cat, referred to himself in the third person as Bob Dole the former Vice President of the United States did (the answer was of course, yes).

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©2007 Robin A.F. Olson. Welcome to mah belleh.

Even now it's very difficult for me to write about Bob, to look at photos of him, without crying. There will never be a new photo of Bob, his dazzling orange coat and lime green eyes sparkling with that “Puss in Boots” expression he gave me when he wanted a treat. Now his ashes lay inside a tin box I have in my living room. It sits next to some framed photos atop a glass shelf. When I can, I have a candle burning, too, in his honor, as if there was a chance I might forget him. He meant more to me than any cat I've known and will probably ever know again.

Shortly after Bob died, my friend and client, Warren Royal, contacted me. I've written about Warren and his wife Terri. These people have the biggest hearts and deepest love for cats. They've saved the lives of countless cats and taken a few of them into their home. They will stop at nothing to help a cat. You can read about them HERE and HERE.


Warren's company is called Royal Bobbles,™a premium bobblehead manufacturing company specializing in exquisite historic figures. I've designed a few of their outer cartons for Alfred Hitchcock, Mark Twain, Smokey Bear and the cast of American Pickers. They also create custom bobbleheads to celebrate weddings or birthdays or to use as fundraisers.

Can you see where this story is going? I sure didn't-at first.

©Royal Bobbles, Inc. Bob the bear?

Warren asked me if I'd like them to create a BOBblehead and of course I accepted right away. The process might take some time, he warned. They'd never done the likeness of a cat and said it would be tough to do, but they wanted to try. I was delighted to have a chance to memorialize my dear cat.

©Royal Bobbles, Inc. Bob looking more cat like.

And so, over the past eight months, we've been working to get it right.

There was a sculptor in China who began working on a form. It was sad to realize that cats aren't pets in China and I don't want to write about what they do to them there. Memorializing a cat was certainly out of the norm so it took many trials and refinements, but eventually it got sorted out.

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©Royal Bobbles, Inc. Okay, clearly something is lost in translation. Is that a BOOB next to BOB?

I began to realize how difficult it would be to capture the sad-eyed look of Bob regardless of how many photos I sent for reference. Even though I had to ask for changes, I was impressed with the dedication Warren and his team had in making every detail just right. I didn't want to think about how much all of these revisions were costing him to get done and though I tried to love everything they did, even Warren would often write and say he didn't love it either and wanted to push back for more edits.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Say hello to Bob the Bobblehead.

A few weeks ago after Warren hired another artist to repaint our little BOBblehead, who did an outstanding job. We all agreed that Bob was finally done and a few days ago my BOBblehead arrived. When I opened the box I held my breath as I carefully unwrapped the base, then the bowl, then finally Bob. I held him in my hand and his little head jiggled back and forth. I looked at his face and though it would never be Bob, somehow his “Bobness” had been captured. I smiled as tears ran down my cheeks. If I couldn't have the real Bob, this would be a lovely way to memorialize him.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Nice pouffy tail there! (Bob is sitting on his flannel blankee)

I rearranged my shrine to Bob to make space for the new addition. I wondered what Bob, the cat would have thought about all this fuss. He probably would have said not to bother and that we're just being silly humans. That may be the case, but it's comforting to have the little guy here.

I know it took a lot of work and patience to get this done and I'm extremely grateful to Warren and his crew for their efforts. I just love my BOBblehead!

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. The shrine complete, with Bob's ashes in the blue tin to the right and the Maneki Neko candle my friend Irene made for me from her own bee's wax.

The sun just rose on another day. My fingers are cold from typing with the windows open. It's another day without Bob, yet in a way, Bob has returned. I hope this Bob will be with me always as a reminder of one very special cat, gone too soon.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Good night, Bob. Rest in Peace.


This may be a bit odd, but I know there are some of you who have followed Bob's life story for many years and who have come to love him as I do. Though it was NEVER my intention to profit from this experience, I'd like you to know that if you'd like your own BOBblehead, to contact me at . Depending on how many orders we get will drive the per unit cost of the piece. The more orders, the lower the price. I will put everyone on a list and let you know in a week or so how much they would be and if you want to order one we'll figure something out.

If you want your very own Bobblehead of your cat, dog, friends, family or one of yourself, please DO visit Royal Bobbles and fill out a contact form and let them know Robin sent you! They do GREAT work and their prices are very reasonable.

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 if you're interested in adopting or doing a shelter transfer with us. Transport IS available. MFP is completely vetted and ready to go.


©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!


The Incredible Transformation of Miss Fluffy Pants

I was very disappointed when King and Miss Fluffy Pants's (is this her name? It was just a code name, but I think it might stick) reunion was not a happy one. It was clear they were never friends at the Palette factory, where they were both rescued from. Perhaps they even competed for the same scraps of food?

King was nonplused at the first meeting, but Miss FP was pissed. She hissed and growled when Maria let her out of the cat carrier, into the small bathroom that would be her new home. We didn't realize it at the time, but Miss FP had just had a terrible 48 hours. She was sedated, then the Vet realized she'd already been SPAYED! She had her blood drawn and we found out she may be FIV+. She was nose to nose with a big dog at the clinic and she was so distressed when she tried to attack him through the door of the carrier, the momentum of all that energy almost flipped her cat carrier over and onto the floor! With her life turned upside down, from the routine of living on scraps at the Palette factory, to a clinic full of scary smells and a big dog encounter, needless to say, Miss FP was not a happy camper to be yet at another strange place full of different smells.

If Maria had space in her home, she would not have put Miss FP with King, but we had no choice. We had to make it work until we could figure out what to do.

After Maria let Miss into the room, she let it be known that she did not want to be touched or be anyone's friend. She was so fractious that Maria was scared to go near her. Fearing for King's safety and with no other options we decided to put Miss into a crate so at least she couldn't bite King. With a disability to contend with, I didn't want King to be exposed to FIV+, too.

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©2012 Maria. S. Miss FP in her little crate.

We were all very unhappy with the situation and I started to scramble, thinking of what I could do to make it better. Maria had to be at work. She couldn't stay home and monitor the cats so Miss was stuck in a tiny cage, probably getting angrier by the minute, while poor King started to cry and urinate all over his bedding.

A day passed and Maria let Miss out of her cage to stretch. She hissed at King, but didn't growl. It was progress, but not much. King was still urinating around the room to the point where we worried he had a urinary tract infection. Maria was very stressed and tired-and who wouldn't be from having to do a mountain of laundry and deal with her own cats and work, then come home to a big mess! I was getting stressed out because I couldn't figure out what to do and living 1000 miles away, I couldn't just come over and help-which I desperately wanted to do.

I realized I had to take it in small steps.

Number one: Western Blot test for Miss-ASAP. If she truly IS FIV+ then maybe she has to go to another rescue? I have two rooms in my home for fostering, that's it, and kitten season is almost here and it will be early this year since the weather is so warm. I can't bring an FIV+ cat who is nasty into my house and hope I will ever find her a home. I'll just end up not being able to help countless other cats if that happens. It was a terrible predicament. We even discussed returning her to the Palette factory now that she was vetted. At least we could donate some food for her and a new cat bed, but I knew in my heart that I'd never sleep again if I did that to her.

I had to find out how to reach this supposedly friendly cat. Bobby had told me she was very affectionate, but all Maria had seen was a cat who would swat at her hand or growl at her.

Maria sent me a photo so I could see some progress in the situation. All of a sudden, alarm bells went off in my head. I realized we had completely misunderstood Miss FP from the start.

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©2012 Maria. S. The photo that changed everything for me.

The photo seems innocent enough. King sits near Miss's small cage. Neither cat is looking at the other. Maria interpreted it as King wanting to be close to Miss to be friends, but because he was ignoring her, I looked at it differently. Was King letting Miss FP know HE was in charge of the room-after all he's free to walk about and that HE could sit right up next to her crate and at any given moment, if he wanted to, he could pounce on top of the cage and get her, attack head on or get at her from any side of the crate. She was completely trapped and completely exposed. No wonder she was freaking out!

Maria also mentioned not being able to go near Miss FP. Then, I noticed the food dishes in the crate. They were full. Another alarm went off in my head-the food had to GO. Miss needed to be fed BY Maria, twice a day and that was it. No free feeding her. Miss needed to bond with Maria and see Maria as something good, not bad. Maria was the food provider, not the Dungeon Master!

Miss needed OUT of the cage ASAP. She needed a place in the bathroom to call her own. The problem is-where would that be in a such a small space? Of course…we needed a cat tree!

A cat tree would add a lot of vertical space to the room. Odds are, King would not be able to climb it, but Miss could. She could have the upper area to herself and feel safe. Perhaps that was what she needed?

In the middle of all this craziness, Maria and I are trying to help a pregnant Tortishell cat who was found by an elderly couple in the area! Maria was running around trying to get the cat some help, run Miss FP to the Vet to get her Western Blot test done AND she had to get to the pet store and find a cat tree ASAP!

I'm very lucky Maria is so devoted to helping cats or this would have been a complete nightmare.

Then, another puzzle piece fell into place. Maria warned the Vet Tech at East Lake Vet Hospital, to be very careful handling Miss FP. That she was nasty and might bite. The Tech said she would do her best and took Miss FP into the back of the building to do the blood draw. Awhile later, the Tech came out. Maria was worried something bad had happened and asked how it went. The answer surprised her and gave me a rush of hopeful excitement:


The Tech remarked that in all her years of working with cats, that Miss FP had been ONE OF THE EASIEST, NICEST and SWEETEST cats she'd ever worked with!

What was the difference? Was there a magic pill that she gave Miss FP? No. First, Miss FP was NOT in a room with another cat. Second, Miss FP didn't have to worry about territory. Third, the Tech probably approached her gently-not that Maria didn't do that, but Maria had grown fearful of the cat. All this adds up to-this cat is NOT fractious-she's ANGRY and SCARED!


Maria got a great cat tree and thanks to the donations we got for King's care, we could afford to get one right away instead of have to shop for one on discount, then wait a week for it to arrive. Maria set up the cat tree. I told her to take the cage out of the room. No more cage for Miss. We had to trust that she would not hurt King. She might take a swipe and him and claw him, but she'd calmed down enough for us to believe she'd not be a risk to give him FIV+. It was a very tough call, but for the sanity of Miss, we had to do it. Unfortunately, King cried with her out of the crate, then urinated on his bed. Was his sick or scared?

I can't explain how I knew what to do, but I can say that within moments of letting Miss investigate the cat tree, it was VERY CLEAR it was what she needed all along.

©2012 Maria. S. There's no footage of Miss FP being fractious because it was too dangerous for Maria to shoot video. She needed to protect herself and King. This video shows what happened after we put the cat tree into their room.


Miss FP climbed onto the top of the cat tree, nervously licked her mouth for a moment, then laid on her side and started to “make muffins” into the carpeting on the cat tree.

Maria didn't hesitate. She reached out to give Miss FP a pet. Her bravery was rewarded with a head butt into her hand. Maria overcame her reluctance to get close to Miss FP and had the simple joy of getting to know her as she really was all along.


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©2012 Maria. S. Safe in her new space, Miss FP enjoys some sunshine.

Miss FP relaxed. Her eyes were soft. Her movements were slow and easy. Her tail did not whip around or even move. She was HAPPY and with her happiness came more surprises.

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©2012 Maria. S. The posture and “soft eyes” of a happy cat.


Miss loves to be brushed. She loves to be petted. When her anger and fear washed away; a sweet lady emerged.



King stopped peeing on the floor.



King stopped crying.


King is still lonely and still loves Maria's cat, Kahlua, who comes in to visit for a few minutes once in awhile. King has also perked up now that he has some toys and the cat tree base to play with!

Although Miss and King are not best friends, they both have safe spaces to live in and places they can call their own. I'm sad that King wants a friend, but can't find one in Miss FP, but with all the surprises we've had, perhaps there are more to come?

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©2012 Maria. S. We may make changes for King after this but we'll see how it goes. What do you think?

For now we wait for Miss's blood test results and we hope she is not FIV+.Tomorrow, King goes to meet Dr. Alan Cross, an orthopedic surgeon, who may help us understand what happened to King's back feet and what we can do to help him live a more comfortable life.


We couldn't have done ANY OF THIS if we hadn't gotten the support from so many of you. You honor King with your love and your donations. His success is due to your support, Maria's love and devotion to cats in need and my determination to unlock the mystery of what these cats are thinking and how to provide what they need.


2011: The Year of the Orange Tabby

I started to write a “Year in Review,” thinking I could get through it with some effort. A lot of things happened in 2011, but many of them were just too heartbreaking to look back upon in much detail. Today I write as a brokenhearted, tired rescuer with a very bleak outlook for 2012. I've decided that too many years have passed where I've been near broke and exhausted. 2012 is going to be better, damn it! I'm overdue for a wonderful year and for things to finally get better on the economic front.


It wasn't all bad news, like any year, there were some highlights. I'm very glad to say, that even though I had some very long term fosters here, which cut back my ability to take in more rescues, my group, Kitten Associates (KA) adopted out quite a few kitties and by the power of the inter-web-net and this little blog, in total we helped save the lives of over 70 cats!


That's not too shabby considering we did the hands-on rescues basically with just a small group of people, placed the cats by teaming up with our “sister” shelter Animals in Distress or via KA and we got the word out about many other cats in need by depending on THOUSANDS of folks who read this blog and who jumped in to help spread the word. It made a difference and it WORKED. We did some AMAZING things!

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©2011 Betsy Merchant-Henry Co. Care & Control. Cow mama and her babies just before rescue.

There was our “cow mama” from Henry County Care & Control who no one would rescue regardless of our pleas for help. While other mamas and their babies got out, she did not. I didn't have many resources, but at the last minute, in the middle of the night, I got a name of someone named Jennifer H. at Humane Society if Forsyth County in Cumming, GA. We worked out the logistics and the next morning, at the very last second before the family was to be put down, they were busted out. Today they are all doing well and have been adopted into loving homes.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Big boy with hand model, Lauren from Dr Larry's office.

We went to bat for two giant kitties who were dumped off at my Vet's office. Within a few days, they were adopted by someone who had two big kitties just like the two who were dumped. Her cats had passed away and the day she got the call about them was the anniversary of one of the cat's passing away. She knew it was kismet and they were adopted.

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©2011 Betsy Merchant-Henry Co. Care & Control. Sweet mama who gave birth to a kitten with a deformed leg.

Another mama had a kitten with a club foot who could barely walk. We loved this family so much we figured waving money around would help get them a rescue. Though it wasn't the sole reason for their rescue (they ARE an adorable family!), we raised $500.00 IN ONE DAY to cover the costs to remove the misshapen leg. This family was placed with a no-kill shelter and some were adopted into good homes, but sadly Prince William needs MORE SURGERY to correct his other damaged leg. If you can help this little guy out, please consider making a donation to his ongoing care! You can read about him and donate HERE. This poor guy has been in foster care for most of this YEAR! Let's get him the help he needs.

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©2011 Betsy Merchant-Henry Co. Care & Control.

Some of the mamas we blogged about who all got rescued.

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©2011 Betsy Merchant-Henry Co. Care & Control.

All these kitties are safe now.

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©2011 Betsy Merchant-Henry Co. Care & Control.

We got the word out on a number of families in crisis. Every single one was rescued by a no-kill shelter or rescue group. We are so grateful that by helping get the word out, the rescues who do have the facility and resources to help, find out about these families and jump in to do their part. Our hat is off to these groups.

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©2011 Bobby. Bella and Barney

Who can forget, Bella & Barney, the toilet flushing cat! It was through our massive push to get the word out on these cats that King Street Cats heard about their plight and offered to take them in just 48 hours after the story broke. I've never had a story shared and re-tweeted so many times. This proves that through a simple click of a mouse, we can help save lives. These cats were facing being given up to a kill-shelter and now they are safe and sound waiting for their forever home.

©2011 Warren Royal. Buddy, what a love.

I loved the story about Buddy and his journey as an FIV+ stray into the home of our good friends, Warren & Terri royal, who rescued him and found him safe haven with a no-kill shelter. Buddy found his forever home, along with another FIV+ kitty. They are best friends.

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©2011 Betsy Merchant-Henry Co. Care & Control. Basil and Nigel just before being rescued by KA.

Basil & Nigel, just two big lugs, looking' for love. Their bellies were scalded by urine from being confined in a cage for who knows how long. They both tipped the scales at well over 25 pounds. Being somewhat timid on top of that, made their rescue a miracle in the making. Somehow I was able to get enough favors pulled and folks interested in their story to help make a dream come true. Basil and Nigel have slimmed down to just about 20 pounds each and are doing well in foster care. Basil is still very timid, but if he can overcome this his foster family indicated that they would like to adopt the boys one day soon.

©2010 Amy Sikes. CHEESE!

Cheese. A great name for a sweet cat whose owner gave him up, thinking it was temporary, then realizing in a few months it had to be for good. She lost her home and job and couldn't take Cheese back. One of our friends, Amy Sikes, fostered Cheese until another one of our readers offered to adopt him. Cheese was transported from Virginia to New Hampshire where he lives with a few Papillons, who he finds annoying, but he's gracious about it as long as they stay out of his food bowl.

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©2011 Maria S. Muddles & Cuddles.

Muddles & Cuddles were rescued by our foster mom-Maria. She took them from a neighbor who wasn't particularly interested in SPAYING her cats or providing them with even basic care. It was a very tough choice for Maria to risk taking on adult cats when she has her own cats to care for, so we jumped in and helped her with them. They made their way to CT and to AID where they both found great homes.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Phil!

Phil was five years old and a huge cat. It took all of FIVE days after he arrived in Connecticut to find him a GREAT forever home with a retired couple who has another cat named Tiger. Phil and Tiger quirky became best friends. His family is thrilled and so are we. Phil has a new name, they call him Big Poppy after a baseball player on the Red Sox.

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©2011 Maria S. Amberly and her family. Our most amazing rescue yet.

Amberly and her family's rescue was a miracle. This amazing family had the most beautiful copper eyes I've ever seen. Each kitten was sweet and Amberly was a doll. She was a skinny wreck when she first arrived and a stunning beauty when she left for her forever home. Amberly's journey is like so many others, but the mark this family left on my heart will be there forever. Amberly and her five kittens are ALL in great homes together. Amberly went with her son, Jack. Periwinkle and BlueBelle, the prettiest kittens I've ever had went together and Truffles and Blaze found their home together, too. This was one wonderful family and Maria is amazing for doing what it took to find Amberly's kittens before it was too late. You can read more about them HERE.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Peri & Blue with their new family.


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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Blue, Jack and Peri-you are sorely missed.

Amelia and Noelle (a kitten injured when she was discovered under the hood of a car in 2010) came to CT and were placed in a great home, together thanks to our friends at AID!

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Amelia just moments after arriving in CT.


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The highlight of my year was winning the 2011 Dogtime Media Pettie Award for Best Cat Blog. I wish you could have seen my reaction when I won. I was dumbfounded-completely shocked and thrilled. Some times I think I sit here in my jammies and talk to myself, but apparently I was wrong about that (maybe somewhat wrong about that). If I haven't said it enough times, let me say it again-THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO VOTED FOR MY BLOG. It really means a lot to me to get some recognition for my efforts. I get so much love and concern from all of you already, this was an amazing bonus and I am deeply grateful for it.

Clare and Sally just had to be rescued! Look at those faces! I thought they were Siamese. Little did I know they were snowshoes-a breed I've never even heard of! I brought them north and AID had no problem finding them a great home-which only lasted a few days. The girls came back to the shelter and found an even BETTER home with a new family just as quickly. Their only failing-they let their child rename the cats. Meet Pillow and Rainbow!

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Clare and Sally.

Oh Bob. My dear, Bob.

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©2008 Robin A.F. Olson. Bob a few years ago, looking magnificent as always. Rest in Peace my Angel.

We had real heartache this year, too. First, we lost our dearest boy, Bob Dole to lymphoma. His death was a long, slow process. He passed at home with both Sam and I petting him and talking to him to ease his journey. Through Bob's life I learned many things about good feline nutrition and learning to let go of being afraid of seeing Bob die and taking some joy that his passing was beautiful. I never wanted Bob to leave us and today I still miss him terribly. My heart is broken.

Not long after Bob died, I rescued an orange mama cat and her six kittens in his honor. Bobette was sick, but it wasn't right away that we understood what was going on. A week after the rescue, three of her six kittens died within hours of each other, before we could even give any of them a proper name. Maria named them Sammy, Rocky and Red. They were cremated. Their ashes are with Maria while I care for the remaining family.

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©2011 Betsy Merchant. Bobette and her family at the shelter.

Bobette's secret pain was that she was hit by a car or abused to the point of it moving her kneecap far out of position. On a scale of 1 to 4 she's a 4-meaning BAD. I see her limp and stretch out her leg to try to get the kneecap in place, but it won't go unless she has surgery. Thankfully, our generous Vet, Dr. Mixon, has offered to do the procedure for $100.00, instead of $2500.00!!!!


As we wait for Bobette's surgery date, one of her boys, little Teddy Boo, was adopted last night.


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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Teddy with his new mom and dad.

Another orange tabby had good news, too. Rocco, who I rescued in 2010, was returned. It just wasn't working out. Through the twists and turns of fate and timing, I ended up finding a wonderful home for Rocco, one I hope and believe will be his FOREVER home. Rocco spent his first Christmas with his new family, just a day after he was adopted.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Rocco on his mom's winter coat just before he got adopted.

I love black and white cats, but in 2011 it seemed to be the Year of the Orange kitty. MacGruber, who I rescued in 2010, found his forever home, along with Polly Picklepuss in 2011. They are doing GREAT with their family. Every update is happier than the last. Both cats love life and are happy in their home. I miss Macky-G very much. He was a marvelous kitty and best buddy to my cat, Blitzen.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. MacGruber. One awesome cat.

Mazie, Polly, Cara & Chester-some of the sickest cats I've ever had. Cara was chronically ill to the point where I thought she would die. Mazie got an infection and soaring high temperature that almost took her life, too. For months and months I worried, ran to the Vet, gave them one prescription drug after another. They got better, they got worse, they were with me for almost a year. One by one they slowly got well enough to be adopted and one by one they left for their new homes.

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©2010 Betsy Merchant. The last time I hope to ever see Mazie in a cage. She and her family are all doing great in their forever homes.

Chester was renamed, Boris and has a big pet family he adores. Polly is with MacGruber and Cara was adopted by her Guardian Angel, Connie.

Mazie, who ended up being with us for FOURTEEN MONTHS was adopted A FEW DAYS AGO. We're still adjusting to her being gone. It was a tough farewell.


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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Mazie on her rag bed the night before she left us.


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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Triple trouble!

We had a White Christmas this year after the arrival of four white kitties we nicknamed the Angel Babies. One of the four, Princess, was just adopted a week ago. She is doing fantastic and loves her two other kitty friends. She's even sleeping with them! We're still hoping her brothers find their homes soon. They are awesome, lovey-dovey cats and if you know what I mean when I say, they are like The Borg, you'll understand what kind of crazy cats they are…one mind…three bodies.

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©2011 Chris from Greengirlz Pet Photography. Christmas Kitties!


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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Sweet little Hannah.

Hannah and Macy were rescued off the streets in Bridgeport, CT. Hannah was so tiny and sick we thought she would die. After being bottle-fed by one of our volunteers and a lot of love and care, both Hannah and Macy recovered. They were also the first kittens I observed being spayed!

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Macy.


To end the year on a high note, Hannah and Macy were adopted THIS MORNING!


And lastly there's the DOOD. This kitten came from Cheshire, CT. I thought he'd be a quick kitty to find a home for so I took him into my rescue group. the DOOD turned out to test POSITIVE for Feline Leukemia-which shocked me completely. I refused to accept the test result and two days later he tested NEGATIVE. Even with that, he HAD to be quarantined for TWO MONTHS to make certain he did not have the disease. Thankfully, DOOD's test was NEGATIVE and he was allowed to meet our other cats. He and Blitzen are buddies who love to wrestle and groom each other.

After all that time here, I'd been working with him, to calm down his aggression towards people. I found out his former owner's kid kicked him and chased him around the house. I was filled with rage when they admitted the truth. They asked how he was doing and I never replied. They don't deserve to know what happened to their cat. Thank goodness I got him or he would have been put down by now for being aggressive.

©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Ryan meets the DOOD.

You can see he's a sweet cat (okay, some times) in this video featuring my nephew, Ryan. You can also see he went from a little kitten to an eight month old MONSTER, tipping the scaled (over) at THIRTEEN POUNDS!!!! He is going to be a HUGE CAT one day.

I'd hoped to announce that the DOOD was going to be living here with us, for good, but due to issues with our other cats, that may not be possible. We're going to give it a few more weeks and see how things shake out. I may have to just move away with the DOOD so we can stay together. Considering how my love life was this year, I may not be making much of a joke with that statement.

What about 2012?

• Bobette will get her surgery and hopefully she'll be walking normally by March.

• Somehow I will find a way to pay my bills.

• I'm going to re-design Covered in Cat Hair so it's easier to follow stories and stay in touch. Plus, this web site design is years old. Like anything else, it needs a facelift!

• I'm going to take a few days off. I don't know how. I don't know when, but I am in DIRE need of a holiday. I haven't had a trip away from home, other than for business for years. I think 2012 has to allow some healing time for me, just so I can stay strong and do more rescues.

• I may start rescuing from one of the most notorious and horrible kill shelters-the dreaded AC&C in New York City. Rescuing from here is not for the faint of heart, but they need all the help they can get.

• Take a deep breath and try to prepare for what we will soon find out about our cat, Nicky. Does he have lymphoma and are we on the start of another painful journey?

• And Bob. Well there's news about him, too. We've found a way for Bob to live on and I will be sharing that joyous news with you soon.

As ever-stay tuned…and Happy New Year.

Bob's Battle with Lymphoma: Letting Go. Part 1 of 5

As you may know, a few days ago, on September 3, 2011, my dear cat, Bob Dole passed away. This is the unvarnished record of the last days of Bob’s life. It includes a description of Bob’s last moments. While difficult to write, and to read, I felt it was my duty to close this chapter with a brave heart, not to whitewash it or make it more palatable. This is life and this is death.

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©2006 Robin A.F. Olson. Bob comes to live with me in 2006.

Less than a month ago, I noticed Bob was getting dramatically thinner. We ended up taking him to the oncologist where they did $1600.00 of tests and told us that Bob’s hepatic cancer was back in what remained of his liver, that the small-t cell lymphoma was getting worse, that his pancreas was probably involved and that he was also diabetic with a blood glucose of 500-onset from steroids used to treat the cancer.

It was determined that chemo was not working any longer and that no further treatments were recommended. It was time to let Bob go. We could take him home and care for him or put him down. It was time.

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©2007 Robin A.F. Olson. Bob and Nicky are fast friends.

I got sick to my stomach. My head ached. I cried when I looked at Bob. At first, we chose to euthanize him in a few days, but after spending time with Bob and having many conversations, we made a difficult choice-to provide him with palliative care-simply feed him, keep him clean and comfortable and let him go on his terms, at his time. We knew this would not be an easy road, but since Bob was diagnosed with cancer last December, it’s been tough. Nothing new here. It was a crap shoot doing this. I risked Bob passing in a lot of pain. I risked that if we needed Dr. Larry, that we could not get him here because it would be late at night or a weekend---or during Hurricane Irene. Yet, we OWED it to Bob, to give him the dignity to live those last days on his terms, not on ours. It is part of nature for ALL of us to slowly fade away, from the moment we are born. To prematurely interrupt that process because we are afraid of seeing what will happen next, is not something I could accept doing to Bob.

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©2007 Robin A.F. Olson. Bob loved to straddle the top of my Mother's old recliner.

I began to pay even closer attention to Bob’s every move. Was he eating? Sometimes, but not enough. I had to learn how to syringe feed him. This was very difficult-from an emotional standpoint. Here I was FORCING Bob to eat, when he clearly didn’t love being fed this way. I had to struggle with him. It made a mess. When I prepared his food, it had to be in a slurry. Too thin and it would drip out of the bird feeder size syringes-too thick and it would be tough for him to swallow and he’d protest by lifting his paw to push me away. I wanted to make sure it wasn’t too hot-or too cold. I added baby food to give him more potassium. I added a bit of tuna water or even blended raw chicken liver so it might taste better and so I could get more nutrition into him.

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©2008 Robin A.F. Olson. Bob just plowed over any cat that might be in his path. Here Nora is getting squashed.

It was a struggle, not just with Bob, but with myself. I knew if I stopped feeding him, Bob would die. I knew if I kept going, was I just forcing Bob to live unnaturally? How could I live with myself if I just watched Bob starve to death? Yet, he was getting thinner and thinner no matter what I did. Every day I was shocked to my core at the sight of him. I couldn’t believe he could get so thin. We were feeding him every 4 or 5 hours with small offerings between that. It was exhausting, but it had to be done.

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©2008 Robin A.F. Olson. Bob, Spencer, Nicky, Gracie & Petunia (and me under the covers).

Then, I came to a painful realization. Bob had been getting very low carbohydrate food. It was to keep from giving the cancer something to thrive on, but what I didn’t understand is that it was also probably keeping Bob from keeping any weight on his bones and it was keeping his blood sugar low-maybe too low! I was starving him and I didn’t even know it. Did you know that there is some sort of regulation that PREVENTS pet food company’s from listing carbohydrate values on their labels! You have to do math to figure it out. Why do they do this? To disguise the crap they put in food-you think you’re buying high quality stuff, but if it’s full of carbs, it’s going to be BAD for your cat. Dry food is the worst-even high quality brands-it’s VERY high in carbs and for a protein hungry, obligate CARNIVORE, it’s not appropriate…but Bob DID need SOME carbs in his diet, so I got something else to feed him to see if that would help.

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©2008 Robin A.F. Olson. Home from being hospitalized for two weeks in 2008, battling Pancreatitis, Bob finally has his moment in the sun.

Every day I asked myself; “Is it time? Is he telling me he’s ready? Should I just put him down?”

...end of part one...

Not on My Watch: The Numbers Game

This family was rescued because 1 person posted that this family needed help to rescue groups, 1 person began bugging rescue groups to help and offered to raise $500.00 via her blog (hmmm..who might that be?), 2 people at 1 shelter said YES, 21 people donated money immediately, and 1 person offered to drive the family a very long way to their new home. It took 26 people, most who have never met in person, to step up and offer to help this family in some way. Was the journey effortless? No way. But was the journey worth the effort? I think you know the answer to that.

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©2011 Bobby Stanford. Mama is smiling. She knows she and her family are safe at last.

This family has no idea that after 1 person dumped them, so many would gather round them and offer them sanctuary, safety and love. Most of us will never even meet this family, but it's not about us. We don't care for our own needs. We care that this family will not die today and hopefully not any day soon.

©2011 Bobby Stanford. “I wonder where we're going? I hope it's nice there.”

They are a symbol of so many families that are just as deserving, who also need to make it out of a kill shelter today. Many of them need a donation or a driver or a foster home for a few weeks. These are things many of us can provide in one form or another. Let this rescue remind us how wonderful it feels to WIN one! Let us take a stand and remember to keep doing more-as much as we can-of course, without straining resources unfairly.

©2011 Bobby Stanford. Mama sings a song to entertain Bobby as he drives them to their new home.

We can fight this good fight together, but we have a lot more work to do.

©2011 Bobby Stanford. We don't know what the prognosis is for this little tabby's legs yet. Stay tuned for an update.

Thanks to Bobby, our super-awesome-do-anything-for-cats-friend, the family is with the Humane Society of Forsyth County (Georgia). The little tabby may have TWO deformed legs, not one. We hope the lesser of the two deformities will resolve on its own or with very little intervention. When I have more information, I will let you all know. At least, for now, everyone is well, with full bellies and a safe harbor.

Thank you again to HSFC for their willingness to go the distance for this family when their own shelter is beyond full. If you know anyone interested in adopting a sweet dog or cat, please visit HSFC's Adoption Page! The emptier this shelter gets, the more that can be rescued off death row..I'm just sayin'...Adopt today! It's almost the end of Adopt-A-Shelter-Cat Month!

Here are some faves:

Hufflepuff, Pure White Kitten

Leona, a Beautiful FIV+ baby Maine Coon mix

Felix-the GORGEOUS declawed Tuxedo (long hair!)

Helena Bonham Carter: a sweet mixed breed puppy.

We'll Never Really Know for Sure: Part Two

The tree that crashed into our driveway has been chopped up, thanks to Connie's sweetheart, Howard. He came over with mighty chain saw in hand and attacked the fallen tree with surprising gusto. I helped clear the brush away while we both sweated under the hot, steamy sun. Howard was great. He cut the tree back much further than I hoped. So much so that I won't have to call in the arborist to finish the job.

If only everything was so easily managed.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. The "M" on Bob's forehead returns.

Yesterday I wrote about taking Bob to get his eleventh chemo and that the Oncologist remarked at how proud he was of the care we were providing Bob. He said that most people would have given their cat Prednisone for a few weeks, then euthanized the animal. He seemed clearly impressed with our willingness to go the distance for our cat. I didn't really understand. It's Bob. We aren't just going to let him have a shortened life because it's inconvenient or expensive. It's HIS life. He deserves to have every good day he can.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson.

My joy at Bob's clinical improvement was short lived. The next day I got Bob's blood test back. His ALT (liver function) was over 1000. This is very bad. From the first day I took Bob into my home almost five years ago, Bob's ALT has never been normal. Before Bob had surgery to remove half of his liver (which was cancerous) last December, it was 1400.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Spencer looks out onto the deck while Bob enjoys his afternoon in the sunshine.

Last month Bob's ALT was about 400. For him, even being 300 higher than normal, that was good. 1000? Not good. Not good at all.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson.

I've been religiously giving Bob Denamarin, which I had hoped would help strengthen whatever was left of his liver. I thought it was working and, maybe it is. Maybe it would be worse without it? Dr. Joe called me to talk about the ALT. We discussed whether or not we did another ultrasound to see if Bob's liver showed signs of further cancer. We both agreed it was pointless. If we looked at his liver, we'd have to get a biopsy if they saw a mass. Then Bob would have to have more surgery to take away even more of his liver. His recovery from the first surgery was about two to three weeks. At his age, with FIV+ and lymphoma, it just didn't seem kind to put him through that all over again when they might find out the cancer was all over his remaining liver.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson.

Dr. Joe said that elevated ALT can also spike cyclically so maybe, just maybe, Bob's liver isn't in such bad shape. It was nice that he said it, but I took it as a reminder that although Bob's whiskers have grown back on the top of his head and although his fur is slowly returning here and there, that Bob has two types of cancer. The liver cancer, we thought was excised and considered to be gone, but maybe just enough was left so the cancer could continue to grow? We'll recheck his blood work next month when we do the twelfth chemo.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Bob being Bob.

Dr. Joe and I discussed if there were any other things that I could do to help Bob. He suggested adding Proanthozone to Bob's diet. Maybe it would help. At this point, there isn't much to lose.

Bob's story isn't over yet. And truth be told, Sam and I are both surprised six months have passed and this shaggy sweetheart is still with us. I'm so grateful for each day and I'm still surprised that Bob continues onward. Bob's even become more social with us and likes to sit half on my lap and half off-something he had to do with my Mother because he was too heavy to sit across her legs. The other day he sat on me, burbling, the sound I call his nutty purr. It's a charming sound. It makes me forget to be sad for a little while.

Bob's good like that. Even in his darkest days, he finds a way to make me smile.

Bob's Battle with Lymphoma: Bob is My Co-Pilot

It's the cusp of June and five months have passed since Bob was diagnosed with small t-cell mesenteric lymphoma. To say I'm surprised he's still with us is an understatement. I'm stunned, a bit in awe...and delighted!

His difficult journey began right before Christmas last year when Bob had 1/2 of his liver removed. It was another form of cancer that's considered gone since the tissue was removed. He recovered from that and we recovered from having to crate him (we built him a pen to go with his crate-see HERE) and fuss over him while he regained his strength and interest in eating.

Of course, being FIV+, Bob picked up the damn ringworm fungus that we know is in the house. Our feline dermatologist told me I'd have to wait until ALL the cats DIE, repot or get rid of ALL the plants, throw out anything the cats touched or disinfect it, get the ductwork sanitized, change the filter on the furnace, scrub down every item and ever surface in the house, wash every drape, wipe down the blinds, then WAIT TWO YEARS...then it will be gone. Uh-huh.

©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. In March, on a cold morning, Bob on his electric blanket. Me, with a heavy heart, as I take the photo. Bob looks terrible.

With Bob's health issues, I could not give him an anti-fungal. It would wreak havoc on what's left of his liver. I didn't want to do too many topicals for fear of him ingesting it. So, in April we started bathing him a few times a week and that helps keep him comfortable and less itchy. After looking at a photo of him from March, I can see he IS getting better and his fur is starting to come back. It's been such a slow change, I could barely tell that he's improved. Now that I see the photos I realize he's looking all right for a sick ol' man.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. An early bath featuring a very scared Bob.

The baths are down to a science. To keep Bob from slipping, I put a bath mat on the inside of the tub. It prevents him from hurting his hind legs even if it DOES give him traction should he want to get OUT. He's not that strong any more, but also, I think he's found a way to sit through it. We quickly wet him down, only getting him wet, then shutting the water off. I don't want the sound of the running water to frighten him. Sam and I furiously lather him up. Then..the hard part. We have to let it SIT for 10 LONG MINUTES. Then we can rinse him off, then he gets towel dried, rubbed down with a second lotion, then, to keep him from grooming himself while the lotion dries, we give him some food and we gently brush him.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. We get the hang of it. Now baths take 15 minutes, tops.

Until recently we kept him in our bedroom with a space heater and wrapped him in an electric blanket. He would shiver since much of his coat is gone. Thankfully, with the warmer days, he's more comfortable and we don't have to worry that he will catch a cold on top of everything else.

©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Bob seems to like his bath, okay, like maybe not “like” per se.

Bob made it as far as I had hoped. I just wanted him to be able to go outside on our deck, which is 16.6 feet off the ground. I know this measurement because I scared Bob once and he FELL off the deck. It was a terrible day. (Read about it HERE), but since then he doesn't walk on the railing any more. He just loves to sleep on his fluffy bed and soak up the sun.

©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. I wouldn't believe it if I hadn't seen it myself. Bob on May 29, 2011.

I know, too, that this will help KILL the ringworm, so the more he wants to get outside, the better. I also feed Bob on the deck, a few extra meals. Bob has to eat every few hours. The cancer absorbs a lot of the nutrition he gets. It's a constant battle to keep loading Bob up with food without the other cats pushing him out of the way to get at it. I find myself having to guard Bob while he eats. I really want to get back to work, but I know if I move, Bob won't get a full belly. Feeding him a few meals outside worked great, until the other day when I heard a huge crow cawing. I looked outside and saw him in a tree, near the deck, eyeing Bob's leftovers. Then my stomach did a flip and I got Bob to come back inside. The last thing I need is for the crow to confuse Bob with a meal!

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Bob is a back seat driver, but Sam is being cool about it.

Bob's still getting Chemo. We had to opt to do it once every FOUR weeks because we just can't cover the $600 payment every three weeks. I'm not even sure how we will keep this going, but we have to find a way. The oncologist said he was looking for problems with Bob, but couldn't find any. Even though Bob lost a few ounces, he wasn't particularly distressed about it. He felt that Bob was responding well to chemo and that all things considered, Bob was doing great.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Bob, down to 12 pounds, 11 oz. from 16 over a year ago.

Bob is an amazing creature. He has beat SO MANY ODDS-it blows my mind. He's overcome being homeless, having diabetes, losing many of his teeth due to a very poor diet, treated for Bartonella, had pancreatitis, upper respiratory infections, then everything else with FIV+ and losing part of his liver and now, cancer and yet, he is right here, purring away, eating well. I even saw him play a little bit. Does this mean Bob is invincible? NO. It does not. It does mean that Bob...well all I can do is shrug my shoulders. I have no answers for how he's still with us, I'm just REALLY GLAD he's made it this far (:::knock wood:::). I know it things can change for the worse in a moment.

©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Chillaxin' in his favorite place. Outside on the deck on a fluffy bed.

It would be greedy for me to want more time with Bob, but I'm game, if he is. If I have to hover over him while he eats for another few years, great. Bring it! Bob climbed into my lap and took a nap the other day. It was the first time he ever did that since I brought him home in 2006 after my Mother (his former Mama) died.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Watching the world go by at 65 mph.

It's pretty obvious that Bob is my co-pilot. I would be lost without him.

Not on Warren's Watch: Punch Drunk Love

I'm so proud and choked up that my eyes are burning and tears will be rolling down my cheeks any time now. When I started writing my blog in 2006 I had no idea of how meaningful the connections I've made with some of my readers would become. Many of you are near and dear to me. One such person, is Warren Royal.

Doing any kind of animal rescue is heartbreaking. Being willing to take a stand, even for one animal, takes a great deal of courage, as well as a few resources. It's difficult to put yourself on the line and take responsibility for an animal you may end up having to later euthanize. This is not for the faint of heart, but it is for the “big of heart.”

I've never met Warren or his wife, Terri, but I've come to know them through their love and devotion to cats. They started by accident, one night getting a pizza with mushrooms. A tiny stray cat begged for a morsel to eat. They were hooked. They had to help cats in need. The tiny stray came home with them.

Terri cares for the family's five cats, but she also feeds SIX feral colonies and does TNR (trap, neuter, return). That she does this in Georgia, makes her a Saint. Though there are MANY dedicated rescuers in Georgia, there aren't enough. Their shelters are bursting at the seams year round. Cats (and dogs) are often treated as no better than garbage. Terri stands up for them.

Buddy is Punch Drunk, he's so in Love!

Warren, has a huge, compassionate heart. He is also generous. When he decided to take in a stray cat from a local church, he never backed down, even though the cat he named, Buddy, needed a lot of costly veterinary care because he is FIV+. [Read about Buddy's background HERE and HERE] Warren just kept on giving Buddy the best. Knowing he could not give Buddy a forever home, he found a fantastic placement at Humane Society of Forsyth County, where Buddy had his OWN ROOM, a special place for FIV+ cats.

Warren visited Buddy often, but was sad to see him there alone. One day, Buddy was joined by another cat named Aslan whose owner had a terminal illness and was forced to give up her beloved FIV+ cat. Fate must have guided their caregivers to put these two cats together because they became fast friends.

BFFs: Buddy and Aslan.

We knew it would take a long time for Buddy to find a home, but we also took joy knowing he was safe. Then, just yesterday, after only a few short weeks of waiting, something amazing happening. We got the news that Buddy had been adopted!

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Congratulations, Buddy!!!!

He got ADOPTED by a Vet Tech! Who better to understand the care Buddy will need and be able to provide it for him? It was sad that he would have to leave Aslan, after just meeting her and luckily the Vet Tech thought the same thing...

She adopted Aslan, too!

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Congratulations, Aslan!

How marvelous and magical, it approaches miracle status! Two senior cats, BOTH with FIV+, placed together. WOW! WOW! WOW!

If it hadn't been for Warren, sticking his neck out, getting into a "discussion" with the members of a church who thought it was fine to let Buddy live outside in a plastic tub and never get any Vet care, Buddy would be on the fast path to death. Between his terrible teeth problems, FIV+ and kidney issues, Buddy didn't stand a chance. Thanks to Warren, Buddy is going to have a fantastic life, a new best feline friend forever, a family to call his own and an endless supply of love he so richly deserves.

This post is dedicated to you, Warren. BRAVO!


Please note: FIV+ is NOT a death sentence AND it does NOT mean that a cat with FIV+ can't live with non-FIV+ cats. That's just not true. FIV+ and non-FIV+ cats can live together safely. My cat, Bob Dole has FIV+ and he lives in harmony with my zillion other cats. I just don't worry about them getting it. It's only transmitted through a DEEP puncturing bite wound or sexually and if your cats are spayed/neutered, as they SHOULD BE, then no worries!


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