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Maine Coon

When the Going Gets Tough

I know this road. I've walked it more times than I care to recall. It's the moment at which I realize the time I have with one of my cats is coming to an end. The road is full of hopeful moments that will ultimately lead to despair and to the final choice we must make for our cat, one day.

I hate this road more than I can say. It eats at my heart and taxes my reserves. I try to prepare myself, but there is no preparing for death. It comes, as it does for all of us. We either accept it and find peace or fight and have the same end, no matter what.

On Saturday I got Bob's blood test results. His liver function, one test indicated by his ALT, was stratospherically high. A normal value would be 10-100. Bob was at 1240.

Other liver values were also very high, save for his Bilirubin, no it's not a sandwich, it's a blood test. That test result was normal. This is a good thing.

From Cat World, Australia, I found this description of Bilirubin:

Bilirubin: This is a major breakdown product of red blood cells. When red blood cells wear out they are trapped in the spleen and destroyed, releasing bilirubin into the blood. This type of bilirubin is called unconjugated. This bilirubin is transported in the blood to the liver, where it is taken up & conjugated (joined with glycuronic acid). This conjugated form may either be stored in the liver cells or excreted into the bile. Bilirubin levels are increased in cats with liver disease, gallbladder disease or have excessive destruction of red blood cells (known as hemolysis).

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What do these numbers mean? See THIS web site for some helpful guidelines.

Then the kicker came today. Bob had an ultrasound done of his heart and abdomen. I thought I was going to be able to sit in during the ultrasound, but Dr. K said it would be quicker if he was on his own. Super Deb assured me she'd be with him and answer any questions. I kept thinking about this and that thing I wanted to make sure he knew, but in the end, nothing I was worried about mattered.

I took Super Deb's dog, Jayne for a walk, instead of twiddling my thumbs in the waiting room. It was freezing cold outside with a bitter wind. I tried to shake off the fear of what I would find out in a few more minutes. I tried to not cry thinking about it. I know as any good cat-parent knows-something is wrong, I just didn't know what it was. I didn't really WANT to know.

When I returned to Dr. Larry's office, grabbed a magazine about celebrities and their fabulous lives and pretended to look at it. I saw Super Deb. She wouldn't make eye contact with me. Then Dr. Larry arrived to start his day. He didn't even look towards the waiting room. Maybe it was not a big deal that he didn't look, but it seemed like no one wanted to even give me a hint as to what was going on.

Sam arrived with Petunia and Nora. He sat next to me, but we didn't speak. It's been a common thread here for a very long time. We only speak when necessary. Something is going on with Sam. I can guess, but he won't talk to me about it. Instead he hides in his office in the basement and plays his guitar. He mumbles this and that. He helps out around the house, in silence. Each day I grow a little more resentful, more angry. I am shut out and alone. I didn't do anything wrong. I can't wait forever for his life to be in a place where he feels like being a partner to me again. I'm still suffering from the car accident, in tremendous pain, but he does nothing. No comforting. No nothing. With all the stress I have about Bob, he only taps my shoulder or brushes my hand. When I need him most, he is the furthest away. I have to ask myself how many more years can this go on? What happened to having joy? Companionship? Even a dear friendship? For so long I have tried to encourage him to trust me, to talk to me, to give him guidance and support, but I am tired of trying.

So, Sam is there, but not there. I am there, but wishing I was somewhere else.

Petunia is getting a dental. One of her molars has a HOLE in it! Was THIS what was causing her to go on a pee-storm throughout the house? Fight with the other cats? Did she also have a urinary tract infection or impacted anal glads? While under anesthesia we'd be finding out. Maybe after all these years, I'd finally have a true end to the inappropriate urination going on in my home.

Nora was there to check her foot. We thought she had ringworm, but turns out she did not. She has some sort of fungal infection on one foot. It hasn't spread. We've treated it and it's getting better. But what about BOB??! Will someone please TELL ME what is GOING ON?

Dr. Larry took a deep breath. That was all he had to do. I knew it was bad news and he was preparing himself to speak.

Bob's heart is normal, which is very good, but...

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Fun with ultrasound results.

As you can see, above, the many LONG words that I can't make heads or tails of spell out that Bob has a 5 cm mass present in the right lobe of his liver. It is not possible to tell if it's a cancer or if it's a benign tumor that could be treated or removed surgically.

With FIV+ and being a senior cat, Bob may not be a good candidate for surgery. He may have cancer and if they do the surgery they will open him up, then say they have to put him down. That it would not be fair to wake him up when he will only live a little while longer, anyway. It's a big crap shoot.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Bob ponders his future (on his new blanket from Jennifer)

Thanks to one of my readers who works with FIV+ and Feline Leukemia positive cats, she told me something shocking:

...for any kitty that has been tested since the beginning of this year with the new IDEXX 3-way test (FIV/FeLV/HW), you cannot trust ANY positive result on the FIV or FeLV component: incredibly high rate of false positives, confirmed by retests with the western blot for FIV or the IFA for FeLV. the true positive rate on retest is the normal, VERY LOW, percentage. (and, of course, the FeLV component only tests for EXPOSURE, and most cats are able to process the virus out of their systems, which is why retesting is imperative. usually, the retest should be done 90-120 days after last exposure, but with the nationwide problems on the new test, we-who-get-the-panicked-calls-to-place-these-cats are advising that cats be retested immediately. (IDEXX does know about the problem, and will admit it to vets; however, tho they've asked for the names and contact info for those who have stats--national rescues, and special-needs sanctuaries--they've never followed up when they were provided with same.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Blitzen and Nicky try to cheer Bob up.

Even though Bob was tested years ago, this is the time to make SURE he is FIV+ because that will effect his ability to get a surgeon to take on his case. Because he was not neutered at an appropriate age, he got FIV. This is my Mother's fault and I will never forgive her for not caring for her cat. His life would have been so much better if he'd been neutered sooner and not left outdoors to get into fights with other territorial males.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Blitzen decides to lick Bob's head while Nicky is...Nicky.

I started to cry when I got the news...big, shaky tears. I tried not to cry, but he knew I couldn't hold back. Dr. Larry rubbed my arm and told me about a woman whose dog had the same thing Bob does. That he opened the dog up and saw the mass and called the owner and said he should put the dog down. The mass was too big. The dog would die anyway. She was going through a bad divorce. The dog was all she had. She demanded he cut the mass off-so he took half the liver. The dog lived...another two and a half YEARS. But Bob's not that dog and Bob could have cancer and Bob has FIV+ and he's a senior...blah blah blah...

©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Blitzen being cute, as usual.

I just wanted to fall over, curl up in a ball and weep. But that won't help Bob get better or live a bit longer, at least.

So I asked a few questions, then left the exam room. The first thing I saw was Moonpie's face! His new owner, as promised, brought Moonie and Patty to meet Dr. Larry now that they are adopted. I couldn't have been happier to see their friendly faces. I took Moonie out of his cat carrier and held him. He sat comfortably in my arms. Both cats meowed furiously at me. I hope they weren't asking me to take them home. I wanted to, but they will be happy in their new home one day. Right now they're doing well, but are still scared. Their new owner says that each day the calm down a bit more and become a bit more cuddly. With three young boys to play with, it's a big change for them. I told her to give it a month and that I'm always there for her whenever she had a question. She told me to come visit them any time. It would be too tempting to sneak them back home with me, but it was really GOOD to see them again.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. My boy, Bob.

We loaded Bob into the car, alongside Nora and drove separately home. I got Bob fed and gave him his liver medicine. He ate well, then went to his heated bed for a nap. It was just like any other day, completely unremarkable, save for the part that I know there may not be many more such unremarkable days ahead.

Foster Cat Journal: A Precious Journey to a Safe Haven

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©2010 Bobby Stanford. Used with permission. Precious gets a hug from one of the Vet Tech's at Eagle's Landing.

Precious went to the Vet. It's the first thing we do when they leave the Shelter. The big question: what was wrong with Precious and what needed to be done right now and what could wait until she arrives in Connecticut in a few short weeks.

©2010 Bobby Stanford. Used with permission. Okay, I admit she looks a wee bit nutty here, but what a lovely coat she has! I like her golden toe (see right rear foot).

Precious weighs just 4.6 pounds. She's not an adult-barely grown. She's only 9-12 months old. A mere kitten. My foster cats are younger than she is and they weigh TWICE what she does.

She's a lovely blend of tabby and calico. Her coat has hints of Maine Coon. Her snap test results were negative for Feline Leukemia and FIV-I always am relieved when we get that result. She had a flea or two, no surprise. She is not in obvious pain, but her lower jaw is broken and one of her canine teeth hits her gum. If left untreated she would adjust and just have a crooked smile, but you KNOW we will not leave her to suffer.

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©2010 Bobby Stanford. Used with permission. Inspecting her new room.

Her right front leg has feeling, is warm and has sensation! There is crackling in her shoulder. It is either a broken leg or a dislocation. She is comfortable and can get around with ease, so for now there is no treatment. It may seem cruel not to act right away, but we can move her much faster to the north, to her home, where we can have all the surgeries done that are required. She can recover from the stress of travel without the complication of recovering from surgery. We just know she would break with a URI if we did that.

She is not pregnant and, of course, this cat has probably NOT been spayed. Spaying will be done, as well, when the time comes. For now, she can eat as she pleases and get some rest.

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©2010 Bobby Stanford. Used with permission. The paperwork you can see on the bed is the release form from Henry Co. That little piece of paper gave this cat her freedom and her life back.

Bobby drove her to Corinne's. Our new foster Mama. Corinne has loads of experience and many stories of saving little kitties and big kitties, alike. Really with no time to prepare, she offered to help with the blue kittens, then when we didn't need a foster for them and I heard about Precious, I asked if she would mind helping her instead. There was no hesitation, just willingness to be part of this rescue.

Precious arrived and one of Corinne's cats snuck into the room, but Precious didn't mind. They escorted the cat back out so Precious could get to know her new home without added stress. A soft, welcoming bed was just what she needed to take the stress off her injured leg. She purred and relaxed. Wherever she had just been-that cold, scary place, was already a fading memory. She was safe and sound, maybe a bit sore, but in Corinne's warm and gentle hands, it would see her through this tough time. Corinne will also be her chaperone when it was time to leave Georgia forever and begin her new life in the northeast.

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©2010 Bobby Stanford. Used with permission. A nice soft bed. No more harsh cage for this injured sweetie.

We're all just pleased as punch that this worked out so well, so far. Thank you, again to Bobby and Corinne for all they did to help this girl to safe haven.

Not on My Watch: Perfect & Precious

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©2010 Betsy Merchant.

Yesterday, I got a plea from Betsy at Henry County Care & Control. One of the other cats hoping to get rescued is a sweet little girl who is, well, is a bit of a “fixer-upper.” I took one look at the photos and tried not to cry. I decided I had to do whatever I could to help her find a rescue.

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©2010 Betsy Merchant. Her right front leg bends at an odd angle. Her jaw appears to be broken, too.

This little dear, gets along fine, thank you, even “hauls around”, according to Betsy, even though it's clear, something quite serious happened to her. Most likely she was hit by a car, but we don't know when. We know that no one bothered to provide her with any medical care. How they could look at her and not see that she needed HELP shocks me. To make things worse, now she finds herself waiting to die at a Kill Shelter. What kind of world is this?

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©2010 Betsy Merchant.

She not a cute itty-bitty kitty. She may require thousands in Vet care to correct her facial deformity and to possibly amputate her leg. Although she can eat, she does drool. Although she can walk, is she in pain? She doesn't deserve this life she's had, she deserves so much better. The thing can I get that to happen for her?

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©2010 Betsy Merchant. Not in pain, this little girl can still move around quite freely.

I guess it's like everything else. You just put the word out and hope the perfect person sees her photo and falls in love. This little cat's body may be broken, but her heart is still full of love. She's a sweet natured cat, even after all she has suffered. I know someone can help her. I just have to find them.

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©2010 Betsy Merchant.

I sent out some emails last night, to my “gals,” Connie and Jennifer. I asked them for suggestions on how we can be creative, get this cat to Connecticut and get her help. I would do a fundraiser. I would help get a foster. I would do just about everything I could think of, but I just couldn't adopt her.

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©2010 Betsy Merchant. What a FACE!

I didn't have to. Connie, who already adopted Big O-a complete wreck of a beast from a horrible situation in GA and who adopted Little Maria, who had an untreated broken leg, stepped up and suggested that SHE adopt this cat! I balked at first, but Connie prefers to help cats that are in dire straights-the ones that are hard to place-the ones that need a little work (or a lot!). One thing I know about Connie is that when she makes a commitment to a cat, that cat won't have anything to worry about ever again. Connie is a magnificent cat-mama. If she was willing to open her home to this poor creature, then I could make it happen.

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©2010 Betsy Merchant.

So as I sat in the car while Sam drove us to New York City to attend The Chocolate Show, I made phone calls. Things began to fall into place. As of this moment, this cat is FREE. She is busted out of Henry County. She's at the Vet being checked out. With any luck, fairly soon she will be at her foster mama's home and in a few weeks, she should be ready to fly to Connecticut-right around Thanksgiving—a perfect time to truly appreciate the miracle that happened for this girl. This girl, former ID# 11/10-4781, now has a home to look forward to and a proper name.

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©2010 Betsy Merchant.

Introducing, Precious.

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Oh yeah, and the Chocolate Show was awesome, too!


Not on My Watch: Terrific Tuesday!

I don't think anyone could possibly chronicle with any detail how DIFFICULT, how many e-mails, how many questions, how many late hours, it took to rescue what started out as Four Maine Coon Mix kittens from Clayton Co. Animal Control in Jonesboro, GA.

I've never pulled cats from Clayton. I don't have anyone with a GA license who can help. There was a big team of people networking to find the one person who could help get the kittens OUT before it was too late.

©2010 Clayton County Animal Control. The clock is ticking. Can we get these cuties out ALIVE?

Yesterday, I spent most of the day and well into the night trying to find that one person. Along the way I found out about other people who pull from GA shelters, other rescue groups, ONE IS IN AUSTRALIA!!! Everyone was trying to help, but the GA License is tough to get and once you have it, you can't just let anyone else use it. So we were left with either trying to get someone local to adopt the cats or finding a local rescue group to take them in-when all are “full up.”

In the end, it was our Maria who totally kicked ass. She had taken the day off to get Vet care for the other kittens she is fostering for me and for another rescue group. Since the Vet appointment was changed, she still had the day off so she decided to go to Clayton and find out what was going on with the kittens. She managed to find out that there were five kittens originally. Three were adopted over the past few days. Two were left. We didn't want to chance leaving them, in the hope they, too, we be adopted. Two kittens are a lot easier to find a rescue for then four, anyway.

We were still scrambling, looking for a rescue to pull the cats on our behalf. Samantha Shelton, the Executive Director/Founder of FurKids contacted me and offered to help pull the cats for us. They have 500 animals in their facility and they rent a HOUSE for cats who have FIV+. Do I love them, already? YES. I do.

At the same time, the group Maria works with, RescueCats, offered to take the kittens, use their GA license and find the kittens homes in Georgia. I would not be transporting them here as I had been planning for the past few days. I was sad about that, but so GLAD they were safe.

A few minutes ago, Maria called me. She told me she got to Clayton and it was CLOSED. They were closed for an employee meeting at 2pm! Maria held her ground and saw a guy near the door. She sweetly managed to convince him to, at least, ask someone to help her even though they were closed. As you see, below, no one says NO to Maria!

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©2010 Maria Sandoval. WOOOHOO!!!! AT LAST!!!!

So all is well.

To me, though, the biggest miracle of all was the e-mail I just got from Betsy at Henry. It simply said:

“Safe, just went to local licenses rescue! YAY!”

Her e-mail was referring to the Big Chicky-Baby Kitties I told you about last week. I found out on Monday that Henry is so overcrowded they put down eight cats. I didn't want to know which ones. I feared the worst. For these big sweethearts, their fate was not another sad ending. They are safe and sound and one day will find their perfect forever homes. Until then they will be out of the cage and into a foster home.

I get choked up every time I look at their photos and think about what a big of a miracle it was for these girls to get out ALIVE.

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©2010 Henry County Care & Control. Fran is saved!!!

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©2010 Henry County Care & Control. Cami is saved!!!

Once in awhile, we win one, or two or in this case FIVE. In the middle of all this craziness I found a little siamese kitten at Floyd County-another Kill Shelter. I told a group in New York about her, and she got rescued, too.

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©2010 Floyd County Animal Control. This little baby is going to New York!


A Journey of 1000 Miles Ends for The Right Cat.

It's been a few months since I first wrote about Bobbi, a Manx/Maine Coon mix whose owners felt it was ok to declaw her on ALL FOUR PAWS and whose Vet felt it was OK to do this and NOT EVEN SPAY HER!!!! If you want to read my blue-worded-rant, you can go HERE and if you want to read about how I came to rescue her, you can go HERE and HERE.

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©2010 Henry County Care & Control. Thanks to Robin, the Kennel Master and Betsy Merchant, I learned about Bobbi being in dire need of rescue. Luckily, the timing was perfect and I could help her out with the efforts of my team: Maria, Bobby (who Bobbi is named after), Connie & Carole.

After Bobbi's long trip from a Kill Shelter in Georgia to a little break at Connie's house in Connecticut, to living at Animals in Distress, Bobbi got adopted by a family with another cat. Sadly, Bobbi didn't seem to like other cats, but she wasn't SPAYED (which we didn't realize at the time), so that might have been the reason why.

Bobbi got returned after a week. She got spayed a few days later. She got along fine with all the cats at Animals in Distress, which is an open shelter with no cages. We all felt bad for her. She'd come so far, yet we wondered if we could find a home for her without other cats. Maybe that was best?

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Who is lovin' life right now?

On Saturday, during the adoption event, a family came in to visit Bobbi. I had just taken photos of her for her Petfinder listing. Apparently, the Mom of the family had been there a few days before and had taken photos of Bobbi to share with her husband and adult daughter. They'd recently lost their 16 year old kitty and wanted to rescue a cat in need.

They had returned, together, to see if Bobbi was the right cat for them. They took turns petting her, then holding her. She sat comfortably in their arms. I swore she was smiling. After a day spent being surrounded by other families, kids and cats, Bobbi was non-plused. She was just happy to be safe, with a fully belly and a nice place to sleep. She glowed from all the attention.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Oh yeah, she's got them wrapped around her little declawed toe!

It wasn't a tough decision for the family to make. They filled out an application, got a great Vet reference and were greenlighted to adopt Bobbi. I chatted with them a bit and found out they live near my house, I know of their Vet and that he is a proponent of feeding raw to cats. They wanted to know about feeding a better diet to Bobbi so I gave them some handouts, as well as anything else I could come up with to help her transition off dry food. These people are genuinely warm, kind and loving. I could tell they wanted the best...for THEIR cat...this little, loving wonder who somehow survived Death Row and a VERY long journey to find that her perfect home was waiting for her all along.

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©2010 The Murdoch Family. Used with Permission. Bobbi at home with her new Sister.

This is what I live for. This moment. This feeling that lifts my heart above the clouds. Knowing that this one cat, who didn't stand a chance, got plucked out of Hell and placed into the loving arms of a family that will NEVER put her outside to slowly starve to death...that will NEVER dismiss her or give up on her. She will finally know what she should have known all along-that her family will always look out for her and love her for the rest of her life.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Bobbi showin' off her "stuff."

And to think, they wrote to me to thank ME for what I do, but it's really them. Bobbi could have languished at the shelter for months or years without them being willing to give her a home. I feel a sense of peace and joy, knowing this journey has come to happy end.

...but that wasn't the only adoption I have to tell you about...there is still ONE MORE to go.

Not on My Watch: Virginia-USA. Temp Foster Home Needed, Quick!

Cheese is a stunning orange maine coon who weighs 18 POUNDS! He says it's because he is so fluffy, not because he is fat! Cheese is neutered and up to date on his shots. He's a loving boy, but his Mama, Kathleen is in a jam! She has about a week to find a TEMPORARY placement for her beloved boy!

We all do the best we can for our cats and Kathleen is no different. She's hit a very bad place in her life due to the terrible economy. Instead of just dumping her cat on a shelter, she's just asking for some time. She KNOWS she will get back on her feet and once she does, she will want Cheese to come back. Let's help our sister out. She's doing the right thing. She's raising her hand and saying she needs help. Let's help her and help Cheese!


If you live in the area of RICHMOND, VA OR if you live in the SURROUNDING AREA or NEARBY STATES, she will get Cheese to your door. She will also provide some money towards his care while he's in foster care. She LOVES her man very much and is only doing this until she can get back on her feet and bring Cheese back home. That's all she wants. She doesn't want to re-home her cat, she just needs a nice place for him to stay for awhile.

Kathleen is terrified that she will be forced to bring Cheese to a shelter if she can't find a foster home for him in a week!

If you have room in your home to share with this lovely kitty and help his mama, Kathleen out, please contact her directly:

Please help me spread the word about this cat in need. Thank you!

Not on My Watch: Jasper County S.O.S!

Last year I pulled 9 kitties from Jasper County Animal Control and brought them to Connecticut. It was just after Thanksgiving and kittens are few and far between in the Northeast. Within ONE WEEK of the kittens arriving at my door, I had all of them Spayed/Neutered and ADOPTED! It was one of the best rescues-and easiest, I've ever done.

During this rescue, I got to know Karen Bryant, the ACO of this small, Country run facility. She was a Vet Tech before coming to Jasper Co. and because of that she runs a very clean and healthy operation. I always trust the animals that come from her facility.

Karen is very kind and unassuming. She doesn't ask for much. Last year I helped get the word out to get her a good microscope which would allow her to save $10 for every animal that came into the shelter because she could now do her own fecal exams. In this economy, anything she can do to save money, helps keep things going.

Jasper County doesn't have someone doing Publicity for them, but they do have fans. Barb Lowe at Winging Cat Rescue and myself are two such people. When we hear there's trouble, we want to help.

Jasper County Animal Control is FULL UP. They are faced with having to EUTHANIZE HEALTY, ADOPTABLE ANIMALS due simply to overcrowding. THIS IS MAKE OR BREAK TIME. WE MUST GET, AT LEAST, a few of these animals OUT THE DOOR or they will continue to put them down until they have space.

It illustrated how serious this is when I heard they had called for help, crying on the phone. They LOVE their wards. They do NOT want to put them down, but they have such limited resources their hands are tied.

I ask you all what I always ask...please, get the word out to your friends. Please, if you'd LOVE a new companion, go to Jasper and pick one out. They have some VERY AWESOME cats and dogs there. Their complete list is HERE Here are highlights of just a few of their adoptable cats:


Alex. Pet ID: 10-371-1


Maybelline. Been waiting for 2 months for a home. At very high risk of being euthanized. Pet ID: 10-330-1


Saber. No. ID#. I almost had him busted out last week, but we had to take Pauly and Maria, first. SABER IS ON THE LIST TO BE PUT DOWN. WE HAVE TO FIND A WAY TO GET HIM OUT!


Jewell. Domestic Medium Hair - Brown, Tabby [Mix]. No ID#

Just like many of you, I have tears rolling down my cheeks as I report this news. Do I want to talk about it? Heck no. Would I rather write about how sweet my foster kittens are or the cute thing my kitten, Blitzen did today? YES! I wish I could just gloss over this and not look, but if I don't say a word, then these cats will die...and to me it is even more meaningless of a death of we are not, at least a witness to it. Knowing is power. Knowing is lighting a fire under each and every one of us to get up and DO SOMETHING. Make a call. Offer to help. Don't WAIT. We need to act NOW.

Jasper County Animal Control

126 Mack Tillman Drive

Monticello, GA 31064

Phone: (706) 468-0396

Email: Karen Bryant

Foster Cat Journal: Beautiful Bobbi Needs a...?!!

This was Bobbi a month ago. Stuck in a cage on death row, covered with fleas and being declawed, had no way to even scratch herself. Because she was such a sweet baby, the Kennel Master, Robin, urged our friend Betsy to get the word out on this kitty before it was too late. Fortunately, Animals in Distress in Wilton, CT offered to take her once I could arrange for her vetting and quarantine in Georgia and once our friends, Izzy & Mark could transport her north.

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©2010 Henry Co. Care & Control.

Bobbi arrived two weeks ago and has been enjoying the quiet life in our friend, Connie's home. Soon, Bobbi will be moved over to the Shelter, where she will live until she's adopted. There's never a risk of her being euthanized due to space issues, but...adoptions are down— the lowest point anyone can remember. We simply MUST get together to get the word out for Bobbi, once again.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Bobbi, safe and sound and doing just great in foster care!

This gorgeous creature is safe, but she STILL needs a forever home—ideally somewhere in Connecticut, but if we found a great home, I know we could arrange transport.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson.

Bobbi's only 1-2 years old. She's very mellow and sweet. She has impeccable litter box manners and loves to sleep right next to you or even on your pillow, if you don't mind! She is declawed-ALL FOUR PAWS, is NEGATIVE for FIV/Feline Leukemia, is up to date on her shots.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson.

Bobbi would be a great companion to pretty much any one or any family. We think she gets along with other cats, but won't know for certain until she's at the shelter.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson.

Because she was badly infested with fleas, she still is a bit itchy and has some scabs which we feel should resolve. In the meantime, please give her a scratch if you meet her! She really likes that.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson.

And don't forget, Bobbi is a true Manx! With a very cute butt, if I do say so, myself! She also has adorable black spots on her back foot, just like my boy, Spencer!

If you'd like to know more about how to adopt Bobbi, just contact Animals in Distress or visit Bobbi's Petfinder page OR, you can always email me:

Animals in Distress also has 12 OTHER kitties who have been waiting months and months to find a Forever Home. They have some very lovely cats at their shelter, even a Siamese! If you can adopt one of these babies, you'd really be helping them to help MORE kitties! Spread the word!

We got this girl rescued. Now let's find her a GREAT HOME!

Wasn't that a nice blog post? Oh well...nevermind...just as this was about to go to press...

Another lovely portrait adopted.jpg


Not on My Watch: All the Kings Horses...

It's tough to write through tears, but I will do my best. The big Maine Coon kitty, who was dumped at Henry County has been euthanized.

What started off as a morning filled with promise, ended with despair. Big Boy was rescued. I thought I was going to be the one to do it, but Barb, from WCR beat me to it. I was glad she could do the job. I don't have the resources she does and I didn't know where he would go IF he was ever stable enough to be transported. Barb had plans for him, but sadly, they never came to pass.

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©2010 Henry Co. Care & Control. We lost a great cat today. Rest in Peace, Big Boy.

Our Bobby picked up Big Boy from the shelter. They had him all ready to go. The staff was so happy to see him leave. Bobby told me he was as friendly as they come. A big, sweet kitty, very thin, but he didn't seem to be ailing, just thin. It gave me hope that perhaps he just needed some good food and love and the rest would improve over time.

I thought of Chester, at 21, surviving without food or water or shelter for days and having the strength to come back. I hoped the same would be true for this beautiful cat.

Bobby told me the Vet Tech thought the cat was very old. When I heard the news, my heart sank. I feared the worst and indeed my fears were not unfounded. The kitty had a snap test done, which indicated he was FIV+. That alone would not warrant a death sentence, but the cat was also, over 17 years old, had very bad teeth, an eye problem, liver failure, kidney disease and was emaciated. He was facing his last days before he was brought to the Shelter and now they realized, it would be more humane to peacefully end his life.

I have been very lucky and I know that won't always be the case. I've never had to make the choice to euthanize a foster cat. I hope I never do, but that's not realistic. Barb had to make a very tough choice, but she did what was best for the cat.

This afternoon, the big Maine Coon was held in the arms of a very loving and compassionate Vet Tech as he was administered the shots that would end his life. If nothing else, this cat knew love in his last moments. It has to be worth something-even if his life could not truly be saved.

Bobby wrote me with the news of the sweet boy's passing. He said we should honor him by rescuing MORE cats and I have to say, that sounds good to me. As soon as I can, I'm going to rescue a maine coon (or more than one) in his honor.

For now, we cry our tears and feel heartbroken that we only got to know this cat on his final day. There are so many more cats in need, who are at death's door, who we must find a way to help.

Let's all take a pledge today, to do at least ONE THING to save a cat's life TODAY. Donate $1 (or more if you can) to a cat rescue group, like Barb's, donate used linens or buy food for your local shelter, adopt or foster a cat. Do this one thing in honor of this wonderful cat, who can watch us from the Rainbow Bridge and purr with joy that his death was not without meaning.

Not on My Watch: Warning-Shocking Photos. Maine Coon Needs Our Help!

Once he was a big, lovely Maine Coon. He was neutered and declawed, but did not lose his dignity when he lost his toes. He was starved and abused to the point where he is now nearly dead. His coat is matted and barbered by a scissor. He has an old eye injury and ear injury that have now healed.

With all that he has suffered, he's still loving and friendly and wants to be held. We simply MUST DO ALL IN OUR POWER to help get the word out that this cat NEEDS A RESCUE. HE IS IN SUCH POOR BODY CONDITION THAT HE CANNOT BE ADOPTED. HE NEEDS IMMEDIATE VET CARE. HE NEEDS A RECUE GROUP TO STEP UP AND OFFER TO HELP HIM-ASAP.




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©2010 Henry County Care & Control. ID# NOT KNOWN (Declawed Maine/Coon/Ragdoll, Male)

I can't tell you how angry I am. How sick some people make me-what they do, or rather, don't do for their animal companions. There is no justification for the treatment of this cat-none. If I could get my hands on who did this to this big boy...if only...I would let them find out how nice it is to be slowed starved to death.

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©2010 Henry County Care & Control. This is absolutely inhumane and shocking. No cat should ever face this horror.

Even with his rough looks, this cat is a love bug.

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©2010 Henry County Care & Control.

So what are we going to do, gang? How can we help this boy? For all I know a rescue group has already stepped up to save him, if not, we need to pool our resources. I can help with fundraising for him, get him pulled and get him to a Vet. I may have a foster home for him, but not sure. What I really need is a GA Licensed rescue to step up to take him and I will still help with fundraising. It's the least I can do. It's tough not to jump in the car and drive down there and go get him right now.

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©2010 Henry County Care & Control. A shadow of his former self. With proper vetting, a good diet and some luck, this cat will be a gentle giant once again.


**Please Note; When forwarding, crossposting, or re-posting I ask that you leave this message intact exactly as it was written by me. I do not give permission to post my message, part of my message, or my photographs on Craig's List. Thank you for your help and support, and for respecting my wishes.**

Betsy Merchant~

We are very rescue friendly and are more than happy to work with any rescue group as long as the group has a valid Georgia Department of Agriculture license! Any rescue group, whether in or out of state, that takes pets from Georgia shelters, is required, by Georgia law, to have a rescue license issued by the Georgia Department of Agriculture's Animal Protection Division. Having tax exempt status is not the same as a license. For more information on obtaining a license, please call (404) 656-4914.


Henry County Animal Care and Control

527 Hampton Street

McDonough, Georgia 30253

(770) 288-7401

Our Hours:

Monday-Friday: 9 am-4:30 pm

Saturday: 9 am-1 pm

Sunday: Closed

County Observed Holidays: Closed

The shelter is located at 527 Hampton Street in McDonough. We are located south of Atlanta off I-75. Take exit 218 and head east on 20/81 toward McDonough. Our address is 527 Hwy 20/81 East.

For all other information regarding ordinances, county codes, and other functions of Henry County Animal Care and Control please visit


Please ReTweet, re-post on Facebook and tell all your friends about this cat-ESPECIALLY ONES WHO LIVE IN GEORGIA? THANK YOU! We can make a difference-TOGETHER!


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