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Foster Cat Journal: Head Banging

Really. Will these cats EVER GET BETTER? It's been almost a MONTH. You think they'd be all set by now and this morning little Blitzen was getting SICKER AGAIN! Not only that, but Dancer and Donner are both having eye issues that never seem to GO AWAY. I am so PISSED right now. This is so frustrating. I don't even KNOW if any medications would help these cats, yet it seems like I'm throwing everything there is at them!

I started Blitz on Zithromax (I think that's what it is)...this will be the third antibiotic I've tried. His left eye is irritated again and this is after not getting meds for a DAY. That's it. ONE DAY. He's snotty and coughing and sneezing. I don't get it. I have given them all their meds 2 or 3 times a day, 5 or more meds for over THREE WEEKS!!! I get more and more meds in tubes, bottle, pills, pastes, yet nothing is getting them well. They're all growing and the bigger they are, the tougher it will be to get them homes.

I am at the freaking out stage! I am about to get these cats to another Vet, too. Sorry, but there's gotta be something that's getting overlooked or I'm doing something wrong and I need help figuring out what it is. Maybe each kitten needs their OWN meds, instead of sharing them? I try to keep everything clean, but I could be making it worse. I just don't know. At least they are all eating well and bouncing around. I'm very grateful for that, but...

...Com'on guys, GET BETTER!!!!!!!

Foster Cat Journal: Improvements & Disappointments Part 2

Cupid had a second blood test. It confirmed that her kidneys are functioning properly, but that she's still battling an infection. Her stats were much better and she did gain a pound, which I mentioned, a few days ago. Her coat is marvelous and her personality is starting to come out. I've been keeping her separated from the kittens so her glands can dry up. When the kittens approach her she'll smack them or bite them, trying to get them to leave her alone, but Donner won't give up and goes straight for a nipple. I don't let her suckle. I'm fearful that Cupid will get mastitis. So far, so good. Just a few more days and I shouldn't have to confine her or the kittens any more. I honestly hate doing it, but I must. Cupid needs to dry out. Those kittens are too big and could really hurt her now.

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Cupid is so easy-going, she didn't even care about getting blood drawn! She's a great kitty!

What surprises me is seeing Cupid play. She's finally interested in some of the toys, though she still backs off if the kittens are near her. I take her into my bedroom occasionally, to give her a break and that's when I see her open up. She'll roll on the carpet, put her paws in the air. She'll drink from the faucet or chase after a toy. I can hold her for a few moments and she'll sit comfortably in my arms, but she just won't sit on my lap-or even near me. I hope that once she's away from the kittens, she'll be able to blossom even further.


I can't seem to get a photo of Cupid looking happy, but I'm working on it! I'm sure she's getting tired of being a Mama and ready to move on to other things.

Of the four kittens, Prancer seems to be doing well. The others: Blitzen, Donner and Dancer have on and off problems, especially with their sinuses and their eyes. Blitzen, in particular is doing the worst. He's such a sweet boy and so beautiful, but he's snorting and has a slight infection by his nose. His eyes are runny and I think I've gone through at least three or four bottles of eye drops and antibiotic ointment. I'm still giving a ton of meds to the cats, daily. It's not that big of a deal, but it's causing two of the kittens to be shy when they see hands coming near them. I'm trying to offset the bad-giving meds, with the good-play time. I don't want the twice (or more) daily meds to make them nasty grown up cats. It's tough to wrangle them and somehow make it a nice experience for them. I just try to be FAST and get it done.

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Blitzen is still struggling with an eye infection, sinus issues and an infection near his nose.

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...but he is still gorgeous!

Donner, too, who was doing great, then started to have eye problems! It's amazing just how long this shit is taking to work itself out of this cat-famly. The Vet said these things can take weeks to resolve. She wasn't kidding. The problem for me is not only am I unable to help any more kittens, but worse-I am getting attached to Donner and Blitzen. It's going to be tough to say goodbye to ANY of these cats since we've been through so much together, but Donner, who sleeps under my chin and Blitz, who is just the sweetest natured cutey-who will lay belly up on me and sleep, too...well I am smitten. I've done well. In the almost five years I've been with ANC I have not adopted ONE cat. I've been sad MANY times when the kittens have left, but I know I'm doing what I must do. Now I'm not so sure I can do it this time, too.

How can you say, NO, to this face???

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So we're all hanging in there. I took a few days to do little else, but care for the cats, so I wouldn't lose my mind. Sam and I faced the edge of the cliff-we discussed ending our 16+ year relationship. It was the most serious, sad, depressing conversation we've ever had. I think we both sat with the feeling of what it would be like if we could not move forward together any longer. There was nothing coarse or cruel about it. It was just deeply sad and heartbreaking. I shared some things with him and I think that doing so opened things back up in our relationship. Sam was willing to listen and to understand what I was saying. It must have made a difference because after that and another good cry and more “alone time” we managed to dust ourselves off, take a deep breath, and slowly try to get back on our feet.

Perhaps like dealing with a house full of sick cats, things had to hit the bottom before they could start to improve? I guess time will tell.

Foster Cat Journal: Improvements & Disappointments Part 1

Four weeks since the cats arrived...

Two are adopted and doing well: Dasher and Vixen.

Of the remaining seven who have been sick this past month, only ONE just got the OK to be released for adoption-just ONE! The “winner” is Comet!

After being hospitalized with a high fever, dehydration, tapeworms and a very serious URI, Comet is now clear of everything and has put on a total of TWO POUNDS since she arrived. She weighs a slender, but healthy, six pounds. She was all but skin and bones when I first got her. She would not have lasted much longer at the shelter, that's for sure. Between her size, her poor condition and her coloring-she had the odds stacked up against her. I'm so glad she's with us now! Safe and loved.

Comet's been staying with Jennifer, who's also caring for Rudy. The two tuxes have become good friends and enjoy running around their foster room and take turns beating each other up. How sweet! You may recall that Comet likes to “eat Rudy's brains.” Rudy doesn't seem to mind, though he has not turned into a Zombie, thankfully.

I haven't put Comet up for adoption yet because while she was here for a day, I heard her sneezing and Jennifer mentioned the same thing. I'm going to be VERY conservative about when I put any of these guys up for adoption now. Although Comet is spayed and ready to go, I don't want her to relapse in her new home, especially if she's with other cats (which is one of my goals since she loves Rudy so much, she should be with other cats. I'd prefer if she and Rudy could stay together, but...Rudy can't be adopted right now.)

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Miss Comet, at almost nine months, looking very sweet and fantastic-at last!

Comet tickling Rudy's leg. Any second now, she'll be going after his BRAINS, of course!

Then there's little Rudy. He's a complete goofhead. Yes, that's a technical term for GOOFY! Since he's arrived, I have NEVER heard him breathing normally. Jennifer reported that he was doing great until a few days ago when he started to sound bad again. I got him to the Vet and she grabbed some x-rays of his chest. Rudy has Bronchitis. Thankfully, it's not Pnuemonia, but Rudy's on a brand new round of medications-lots and lots of medications that have to be given FOUR times a day. Rudy's been through so much in his short life, but he's a tough cookie and I expect him to recover in time. For now, he's getting lots of love and care and both Jennifer and her husband, Ron are in love with both their tuxy-fosters.

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Rudy is a powerhouse of nuttiness. I wish he would get better!!! Poor lamb chop!

This morning, just before I was about to post this article, I got an email from Jennifer. Rudy is not improving and now Comet has a “runny nose.” Oh step forward and one step tripped, fell, smacked my head on the floor. Ugh!

Wee Bit o' News

I'm feeing a bit under the weather today, so I'm gonna keep this short. Today I took Cupid & the kittens to the Vet for a re-check. I'll give you all the details, along with photos tomorrow, but there's one thing I'd like to tell you now:


This is what happens when you don't let kittens nurse on their poor, tired Mama! Cupid FEELS so much more like a “normal” cat now. Honestly, she was just skin and bones before. I'm so glad for her, but I HAVE to keep her separated from the kittens, which means usually she has to be locked in the dog crate while the kittens run around loose. It sucks, but it's for the best. As you know, I take Mama out to my bedroom for breaks so she can stretch out for awhile. I really like her. I just wish she'd want to snuggle with me, but so far she's content to sit a few feet away and hang out.

More tomorrow, with any luck...

Foster Cat Journal: The Curious Case of Cupid

Looks like all the kitties are finally starting to get better. I'm told that Rudy and Comet are enjoying their new digs at Jennifer's house. They're playing and having a good time. Comet, apparently, likes to “eat Rudy's brains,” which Jennifer describes as her grabbing his head and chomping playfully on it. They're both drying out and heading towards good health. Then we try to find them homes again, since we lost their last adopters. They just didn't want to wait.

Cupid and the crew are growing and gaining weight. Blitzen still has nasty eyes, but not as bad as this past weekend. Dancer is getting better and Prancer and Donner seem to be past the worst of it. Cupid acts oddly. I can't quite figure her out. She wasn't even trying to nurse her kittens so I let them hang out together. Now that she's feeling better, I caught them nursing on her so I had to separate them again. I HATE doing this because Mama is the one who gets locked up in the dog crate while the kids run around the room like maniacs. Cupid looks depressed. She's slightly friendly at times, but won't sit too close. Other times she purrs and follows me closely around the room. I can't figure out what she wants.

Tonight I gave her a break and took her into my bedroom to keep me company as I folded laundry. I know, exciting. She calmly sniffed around the room with her tail held high-a GREAT sign. She was interested in everything and seemed to perk up without the kittens around. I decided I was going to grab a shower, but first wanted to brush my teeth.

Cupid followed me into the bathroom. The SECOND I turned the faucet on, she had pushed me out of the way and was drinking from the tap!

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She seemed quite delighted and I was quite surprised! Suddenly this laid back, almost emotionless cat was interested in something. She had a good drink, then took a break then went back for more.

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Of course she could not resist that there is a SECOND sink in the bathroom, too. So I turned it on so I could finish brushing my teeth.

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Now that she's feeling a bit better, you can see how pouffy her tail is getting. It's REALLY LONG, too. She is a pretty kitty. I'm gonna try to get her away from the kittens more often so I can see her personality shine through. It was nice to see her rolling on the carpet with her paws in the air. Normally she sits on the hard wood floor, never on something soft and the foster room is filled with beds. Weird. Regardless, I think someone will really enjoy giving her a home, from what I can tell.

We didn't hang out too long. Cupid started to cry. I think she was worried about the kittens so I brought her back. She burbled to the kittens when she returned and they all ran over to her to...NURSE! Damn it! I had to lock her up right away. I really feel bad doing this to her. I may see about moving her to a foster home for a week so she can really dry out, but not have to be locked in a cage. Thursday they go back for a re-check. If I get an OK from the Vet, I'll move her for the next week. She really needs time to herself and a vacation from the kids.

Don't we all?

Hello out there in the world....

I'm sorry to globally answer everyone's questions/concerns in a post, but hopefully this will cover most of it.

Sam has his own plate of problems. Tomorrow he has to have a root canal and his mom just had very minor, elective surgery, but she is 80 and is anything minor when you're that age? I don't know what else is going on since, we're not talking. He's obviously pissed at me for being short with him because I'm stressed out of my mind, but he has a very LOW tolerance for the slightest wrong look or sigh on my part. Yes, part of it is my fault, but not all of it.

I promise everyone I am not going to do anything to hurt myself, other than what I can't help-not eating right, not sleeping well and stress hurt me, but you know what I mean.

Today, I discovered I was an idiot (again) for locking Donner in the dog crate to keep her from feeding on Cupid. When I came back into the room I realized she had dumped the water bowl ALL over the crate and herself, then she basically rolled herself in clumping cat litter!!! I grabbed her and took her to the bathroom that I had just spent a few hours scrubbing, and put her in the sink. She was covered with litter and that shit is tough to get off a kitten. I know. I should have used non-clumping litter. I know!!! Ugh...

Donner was wriggling around so I scruffed her. She looked up at me and my rage evaporated. How the Hell could I get bent out of shape when this little kitten needed me? I just focused on the task, not piled it up on my pity pile. I got her as clean as I could. I even stopped to let her catch her breath. Her heart was racing so fast I got scared. I continued on with pulling the clumps off her fur while it lodged deeply under my fingernails.

Donner was really good about the bath, over all, and when I was done, I cranked up the space heater in the foster room so she could dry out. I held her and she shivered. She sat on my chest. I could feel her cold, damp paws on my skin. I rubbed her more with the towel, then held her side to my mouth and exhaled my warm breath onto her. She slowly stopped shaking, so I brushed her as she groomed herself. She pressed against my face and purred. I let her sit on me, tucked under my chin(s) for a good hour until she was nice and dry and warm again.

I realized I was falling in love with this little girl and feeling that helped me soften enough to keep on going.

Yes, “this too shall pass-” one of my Mother's favorite sayings. It's true. One day it will be a year later and these kitties, I hope, will all be in their forever homes and I will still be doing rescue.

While I would love someone to come and rescue ME, there is no way to do that. Jennifer taking Comet and Rudy helps tremendously. Now that their room is cleaned up, tomorrow I should have some time to focus on other things in my life. Hopefully, in time, I WILL go away on a nice vacation and get out and have some real fun, but right now I have to continue hunkering down and find a way to see this through.

It sure helps a Hell of a lot to get ALL the supportive, helpful and sincere comments from all of you! It's very humbling to me and I honestly don't feel like I deserve it. Everyone has problems, sadness, troubles in their life. I'm no different. As much as all of you would like to help me, know, too, that I would like to give it all right back-the love, the support, the compassion. You guys deserve it in droves.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Foster Cat Journal: Two Weeks of Hell. No End in Sight.

I can't believe it's been almost two weeks since the cats arrived. All the joy and good wishes for their future are on hold with no end in sight. These cats are so sick, it's terrifying me. None of us have ever seen such sick animals for such a long duration. The number of medications each cat gets grows daily. Also, one cat will improve, another gets worse, but they get better or worse in different ways. One is snotty, one's eyes are suddenly inflamed, then vice versa. I can't even predict who is going to get what, next. The Vet says it can be WEEKS for things to resolve. WEEKS! Only Comet and Rudy might be coming out of it, though Rudy is shockingly still snotty after two full weeks of meds. The one bright spot is that Comet gained a POUND in 12 days!!!! She looks more like a cat, instead of skin and bones.


Rudy, looking much improved, but sounds like heck, still.

I've been too busy to take any decent photos, but here's one I shot this morning. Dancer didn't look bad yesterday, then this morning, this is how she looked. I made yet another run to the Vet, every day this week pick up more meds. I'm so fed up and angry and frustrated. I need them to get BETTER ALREADY!!

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Dancer. Just gave her new eye drops. Hope they help her. She is playful and eating well.

And poor Blitzen, who once was the most beautiful kitten I'd ever seen-now he's a shell of his former self. His once sparkling blue eyes are pale and runny, staining his cheeks. He was literally foaming and bubbling at the mouth. He needs more than I can provide for him, so he's been admitted to the Vet's isolation boarding facility. I can't tell you how deeply this KILLS ME to see these little guys suffering so badly. I know I have to see this through, but I'm not sure I can do it.

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My little guy, Blitzen, a shadow of his former self.

This is how Blitzen looked about 10 days ago. Can you believe this is the SAME kitten? Now you know why I'm heartbroken.

Last night I packed Comet and Rudy up, along with their meds and a chart I designed so Jennifer could figure out how to dispense everything and when. It took two hours to pull everything together. I had just enough time after getting home from the Vet, to get it done. I am not getting anything done for myself, my work, my home, just cats and Vets. I am VERY GRATEFUL that Jennifer took these guys. They will get a MUCH nicer place to live and the attention and care I could not provide. They were getting the basics and that's about it. With them gone, I will have a bit more time for myself, once I scrub down their room and wash all the linens they used.

This is JUST for TWO CATS. I am dealing with FIVE CATS worth of MEDS. You can see the charts I made for Jennifer on the far right. The white boxes indicate how often the meds are given out.

And through all of this, now Sam and I are not talking. He stays in his office downstairs and I stay in mine. When I enter the kitchen, he leaves it. When I sit down on the sofa next to him, he gets up. A late Christmas gift arrived for him yesterday. I gave it to him as a bit of a peace offering. It's still sitting there unopened. I think I will just send it back. I don't nee this slap in the face on top of everything else.

I really need to get out of here, not go to a Vet, not do an errand, just do something I want to do or see people I want to see, but I can't think of anyone or any where that would help me find my smile.

I honestly am so fed up, I fear anyone who dares to give me any grief right now. I seriously am about to fly into a rage that may be seen from outer space. Heck, that might cheer me up? Maybe I should try it?

Foster Cat Journal: The Flying Snotsman

I had a good cry yesterday and got some rest, not enough, but a start. I talked to the Director and she said how badly she felt and how she knows just how I feel, too, but she was sorry she couldn't take any of the sick cats off my hands-you know she is wiped out, too.

I don't dare get into a rant about that right now, but let's just say-how badly does someone have to cry for help before the folks that are supposed to help, step up to the plate. I don't know how many times I've sucked it up, tired or not, but I guess that doesn't count when I'm in a jam.

Our dearest friend, Jennifer who had to put one of her kitties down a few weeks ago, ended up having to do the same thing to another cat yesterday. She is the one who also just adopted a 13 yr old, diabetic cat in very poor body condition. Jennifer is a Saint. On top of all that, she read my blog post and she called and offered to take Rudy and Comet. I'm torn by my own need for help and my fear that either of the kittens would get any of her cats sick. Also, Jennifer, do you really need more to do? Although, maybe having little ones running around would soften the heartache of losing a good friend? I can't say.

I'm going back to the Vet...again...I might as well get an apartment nearby. Hopefully Rudy and Comet's recheck will go well and they will be ok'd to go to Jennifer's. I'm bringing Blitzen back even though he was there yesterday. He has become so seriously snotty that it's terrifying me. I'm not a friggen' VET! I'm a Graphic Designer! It seems as though everyone expects me to just plug in some Sub-Q fluids or take temps on a wildly wriggly kitten or just some how know what to do for every little problem.

Ugh. Sorry for complaining. At least, so far (KNOCK WOOD), none of my cats are really sick. I'm hearing a sneeze or two and last night Tunie's eye was a bit runny, but overall they are OK. Hopefully, because they had better health to start with, they are able to fight this off. We'll could still flare up.

Lastly, I really appreciate everyone's supportive emails and comments. You've all been there with all of this stuff and it makes it somehow tolerable to know that you care so much! I wish I could give you all a huge hug right now! THANK YOU!

Foster Cat Journal: Broken

Caring for seven sick cats is killing me. Between their care, my own cats and the f-ing holiday stuff, I am so exhausted and sick it's scaring me.

Yesterday, Super Deb came over with a care bag full of things to help Cupid, our Mama kitty, feel better. Deb gave her sub-Q fluids, as her temp was 104.1°F. Cupid hadn't eaten much, has the runs, is lethargic and limp. It breaks my heart. I've tried a gillion different foods to tempt her. We ended up force feeding her, then she ate a bit on her own.

Today the gang was slated to go to the Vet for a re-check. I was figuring Mama needed more care than I can give her. This morning I had to get up early because Sam had to leave for NYC. I need him to help me medicate the cats, so I got up. I was so tired, I felt delirious. All I wanted to do was go back to bed, but I couldn't.

At least Cupid ate for me, which was a big surprise. I was very happy to see that, but she's still not “right.” The kittens are getting snottier and I'm still having trouble getting Donner to eat consistently. They all look like shit-this is after five days of meds. Great.

After I took care of all the cats and I fed myself, I went back to bed to sleep as long as I could before I had to pack up and get going. I had a bad dream. I was with some family, I was in a huge house. I didn't know where I was and I was frantically trying to get my iPhone to show me my GPS location. It said I was in Louisiana or Mississippi, but not sure...then I tried to call Shelby to come and help me but I couldn't get a call out. I woke up feeling worse than I did when I went to sleep.

As I got dressed, I heard vomiting. Petunia spewed a two foot trail ALL OVER MY BED, then more on the floor. I had to strip the bedding and get it washed, great.

Then I had to hurry up and get the cats into their carriers. This is the part where I either skip ahead or just tell the truth...I thought I had to fart, but it was not a fart...oh no. You can guess the rest. I had to RACE into the bathroom to clean up and change my clothes. Yes, I have the runs from not eating or not eating well and not getting enough sleep. I was running late, getting angry, then of course...I flush the toilet and I can tell it's going to back up and FLOOD all over the floor. I get the water turned off before it's too late. I can't find the f-ing plunger, so I just leave it. I'm already 15 minutes late.

I try to go slow, take a deep breath, so I don't let the momentum of all this stuff get me into an accident. I make it to the Vet's a few minutes late. Not a big deal.

The big deal is Cupid. Though her fever has broken, she has a great deal of fluid in her abdomen. Her kidneys are small. They took x-rays to confirm. It took three people to hold her down to get a blood sample. The Vet said something about her veins being blue before she even touched them..that it was weird. She also told me that Cupid is more like FIVE, instead of 1-2-another LIE from the good old south.

Cupid could be sick from parasites. One of the kittens has tapeworm. They all got treated for it. I hope that's the only problem going on because the head Vet came into the exam room and said that it's possible Cupid has kidney disease. If she does, it may mean there is nothing they can do and that Cupid will have to be euthanized.

I was not ready to hear that. Would I ever be? I asked her if money was not an issue, if we could help save Cupid's life. She said “maybe,” but even money may not be able to give her the chance at ever surviving.

I ask myself, what have I done? If I hadn't taken Cupid, she would be dead. I saved her life only to take it a few weeks later? Is that how this is going to play out?

I haven't even mentioned Comet-who lost her adopter and Rudy, who lost his, too. No one wants to wait. Both cats are still snotty and sick. Caring for them consists of me feeding and medicating them. That's it. I can't spend any time with them. I can't give them what I don't have.

I need help. I really need this to be done. I need Cupid to not be deathly ill, for the damn kittens to start bouncing back and eating well. I need Comet and Rudy to be in another home so they can get some love and attention they deserve.

I need some sleep. I need some good food and I need for there to STOP being f-ing problems with all the cats.

Covered in Christmas Wishes

Cupid and the kittens have the URI, as I feared. Donner and Mama have the worst of it. They're each on 5-6 meds, twice a day. Shoot me!

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Cupid and Blitzen, not too happy to be confined, yet again.

Donner (I know it should be DonDer, but too late for spelling boo-boos), is not doing well. She hasn't been eating for a few days and has to be force fed right now.


Dancer behaved herself for her claw trim. She's doing pretty well overall, but did have a fever.

Blitzen is beautiful No matter what angle or lighting!

This morning, Super-Deb the Vet Tech and dear friend, emailed me to ask me if it would help me if she volunteered to continue caring for Cupid and Rudy until Saturday! Sure, it's just two more days, but with Mama and the kittens flaring up with URI, the less cats I have here, the better. I was truly overjoyed and grateful for her help. THANK YOU, SUPER DEB! I'm SO GLAD I BOUGHT YOU A BOTTLE OF WINE LAST NIGHT! You'll love Pure Evil Chardonnay from South Australia. Well reviewed. Should be a keeper!

Also either I kissed or got kissed by Dr. Larry! Delirium set in so I fogged out the important, who started it all and it was just a kiss on the cheek, but heck, after what...10 years? I got a kiss! He liked his wine, too. I think he chose 3 Blind Moose Merlot. Not sure. I also got some Bitch Bubbly which went over well with some of the staff. Thank you guys, for helping me when times got tough.

Also, thank you to Jennifer for offering to take Rudy & Comet this weekend!!! Now that they are "safe" to go into foster care with other families, Jennifer kindly stepped up to help out even though she has her hands full with her own cats and their health problems. Having the little tuxes out of here will really help me focus on Cupid and the babies.

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Sadly, I did not have time to do my special custom Christmas Card, though I think the crappy image above covers how I feel. YES, those are REAL hairballs on the tree and YES, I am leaving them there as the new vogue in holiday ornaments! Yes, I'm a trend-setter AND a cat rescuer on the verge of a nervous breakdown!

Merry Christmas, everyone. May our New Year be filled with Joy and Healthy Cats!


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