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Bella, left and brother Barney, right.

Barney and his sister, Bella, are bright, friendly and sweet cats. They are 10 months old and NOT spayed/neutered yet. The woman they live with is in the Coast Guard and has been transferred to New Orleans. She had a place for the cats to go, locally, but it fell through. We have TWO DAYS to find a rescue to take them or a family to offer to adopt them.

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Barney with a cute smudge of color near his right eye.




Barney is VERY smart. He figured out how to flush the toilet! If you wanted to take a step forward and toilet train him, he's be a great candidate! Sadly, Barney is not smart enough to be able to help get himself out of this terrible predicament---and he faces a sad fate if we can't help him.

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I don't have a great deal of information, but what I did get is from a trusted source.

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Barney, looking for a miracle.


• The kittens have a $100.00 sponsorship towards their vet care.

• Transport CAN be arranged. There are folks in the area who will drive the cats to you or your NO-KILL Shelter---even out of state!


If you're with a licensed no-kill shelter or are a kind-hearted soul who is looking to adopt, here's the contact information:

Bobby Hansen



Make Christmas in Connecticut a Dream Come True

Bobette and her boys visited Dr. T at Noah's Ark to have their spay/neuter surgery. As they often do, because they're so young and male, the boys were fine and running around after their surgery. Bobette didn't fare as well. Her surgery was unremarkable, but sadly, Bobette was very uncomfortable after her spay.

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©2011 Maria S. Poor Bobette was very uncomfortable after her spay surgery

I'm very glad that Maria is such a doting foster mama. She saw Bobette angrily swatting at the kittens, as she sat curled up tightly. As any woman knows, the good old heating pad is a friend during certain times of the month. Maria figured the same might be true for what would comfort Bobette so she offered her the same soothing warmth. Bobette gingerly stepped onto the heating pad, then slowly stretched out. Her injured rear leg sat in a slightly awkward angle as Bobette curled her front legs under her chin. Poor Bobette. We don't know how her kneecap became subluxated or what happened to her bones fusing together. I have to get Bobette to Connecticut so she can have more tests and see a specialist, but our ChipIn isn't doing very well and we REALLY need help getting Bobette and family to Connecticut.

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©2011 Maria S. Maria wisely offered Bobbie a heated pad, which helped her relax. You can see her kneecap is not in the correct location.

We use PETS, LLC to transport our cats. They're professional and though 97.4% of their transports are DOGS, they give us a place up front for the cats. The transport fee for the family of four is $300.00 ($75/cat). Yes, we could dig around to find a cheaper transport, but many aren't as reliable as PETS and don't provide the same attention to the animals during transport. If we can't do a private transport, this is a solid alternative.

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©2011 Maria S. They boys did well after being neutered and it's clear they LOVE sleeping on a BED..

Adoption applications are coming in and this time of year there's a blip up in adoptions. The Pumpkin Patch has a reservation on a transport for next week and I have an Adoption Event for the day they arrive. I hope they can make it up here in time, but I may have to hold off on moving them if we can't raise the funds.

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©2011 Maria S. Teddy.

Sometimes I wish I could just get in my car and go get them. I can't wait for them to be here. I need some orangey goodness now that Bob has been gone these past three months. Bob...I miss him so very much. In the next month or so I will be making a big announcement about him. I wish I could tell you now, but it has to stay a secret awhile longer. I know you'll be thrilled when you find out! Okay..I'll stop teasing you!

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©2011 Maria S. Mikey's stripes are getting more defined.

A week has passed and Bobette is feeling better. She's still a bit testy with the kittens, but that's to be expected. They boys are oblivious and spend their days playing, napping and growing. They're ready for their next adventure-Christmas in Connecticut-and with any luck, a forever Home for the Holidays.

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©2011 Maria S. Mikey is too tired to be photographed.

Your donation for Bobette and family is TAX-DEDUCTIBLE. The money will go to my Non-Profit Cat Rescue: Kitten Associates.

If you'd prefer to send a check, please make it out to: Kitten Associates and mail it to:

Kitten Associates
P.O. Box 354
Newtown, CT 06470-0354

Thank you very much for helping Bobette and her family!

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©2011 Maria S. Bobette finally feeling better after a few days of rest.

Dexter's Dark Passenger

Note from Robin: CREEPY PHOTO BELOW, BUT NOTHING GORY! You have been warned.


Terri Royal has a big heart. She loves cats and has been particularly touched by the plight of feral cats in her community of northeastern Georgia. Terri's not one to look the other way when a cat needs help. She and her husband, Warren, always seem to have a foster cat in their home, in addition to their five cats, all of whom were rescues.

Terri is the caretaker for a number of feral cat colonies. She makes sure they get fed and that they're all spayed or neutered. Once in awhile a friendly stray comes along and she helps that cat find a good home, too

A few weeks ago, Terri spotted a tiny kitten when she was putting food out for the feral colony. From her husband, Warren's email to me, he described the situation:

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©2011 Warren Royal. Used with Permission. Dexter, so sick, but what is wrong with you little guy?

He lived in the bushes behind Target and today when she went to feed them, he walked out and was very lethargic- horrible respiratory infection, dripping from nose, mouth, and eyes. He was blowing bubbles from his nose, and sneezing terribly.

He was too weak to eat, or to struggle, so Terri just picked him up and put him in a small box. He's very young- 6-8 weeks, and starving. We think he has 2 more siblings in similar condition.

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©2011 Warren Royal. Used with Permission. Just after surgery.

She [Terri] took him to the emergency vet, who gave him fluids, vitamins, combo test, and antibiotic shot, and some milk replacement. I had to leave to catch a flight (on it now) but he's in great hands with Terri. She took him home, set him up in a bedroom upstairs, with water, a little warm bed, and plenty of food and the milk. (she just told me he LOVES it!). He is resting very comfortably and is purring when she pets him- he seems to love affection.

Terri named the kitten, Dexter. He weighed only 1 lb, 4 oz.

Dexter wasn't doing so well. Although he loved affection and wanted to eat, he had constant, severe breathing problems. He had great difficulty eating. It would take him 30 minutes to eat a small amount of food. Terri gave him milk replacement, which he could eat more comfortably, but the poor little tabby was very ill.

Warren writes: And he would start sneezing - I mean REALLY sneezing - sometimes 20 times in a row, violently. We would find blood spots afterwards. The vets thought that his nose was just really irritated from all the sneezing, maybe a tiny vessel rupture, and that was causing the bleeding. But also he could barely breathe - he was always breathing very loudly, and sometimes mouth-breathing.

The Vet said to let Dexter rest. Give it time. Thank goodness Terri and Warren didn't heed the advice. They'd seen cats with upper respiratory before. After another day passed, they were sure something else going on, so they took Dexter back to the Vet.

One of Dexter's nostrils was bigger than the other. Nothing remarkable about that, but it was odd. What happened next was horrifying. When the Vet looked into Dexter's nose, SOMETHING LOOKED BACK...and was MOVING INSIDE DEXTER'S SINUS!

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©2011 Warren Royal. Used with Permission. THE WOLF WORM.

Warren wrote:

This little kitten had a 1-inch+ WOLF WORM living in his nose.

It was so big that the hardened vet techs cried when they saw it and what this poor kitten had endured.

They could not believe that something SO BIG had been in this poor kitten's nose. They saved it for me in formaldehyde so I can see it when I get home - but they're saying it's like the size of a large garden grub-worm, they have never seen anything like it. He must have filled up his sinus or partially gone down his throat, his nose was so tiny -

No one expected that Dexter would have to have surgery, especially to remove a Wolf Worm!. Simply tugging it out was NOT an option. Wolf Worms are Bot Fly larvae. Removing just a piece of them results in a horrific anaphylactic (allergic) reaction and terrible infection which could easily go to Dexter's brain.

But would Dexter survive the surgery?

Warren writes: But since we didn't know this, Terri had fed him that morning, before the vet visit. And when they figured out what it was, they had to anesthetize him, which was very risky because he had eaten. (We have lost other ferals during routine spay/neuters under similar circumstances and had been heartbroken). But we felt that it was an emergency, and we had to go ahead and cross our fingers and hope for the best. They waited a few hours to make it a little safer - and while he was down, we went ahead and neutered him.

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©2011 Warren Royal. Used with Permission. Getting some rest.

The Vet carefully removed the Wolf Worm. It was no longer Dexter's Dark Passenger. Now it was safely preserved in a jar while Dexter began the long road to recovery.

Warren writes: He is much better now, his breathing is completely clear - but there may be some residual damage. They say he may always have issues with sneezing, and his nose may be permanently enlarged. But we just don’t know. He is very happy, and playing, and eating like a HORSE.

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©2011 Warren Royal. Used with Permission. Squirrel!

Since he has been with us, even with the worm, he has gone from 1 lb 4 oz to 2 lb 4 oz , mostly on the milk replacement. But I think now the will really start to thrive...

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©2011 Warren Royal. Used with Permission. Making friends with Abby

Dexter will be ready to find a forever home in a few weeks. Though they struggle with the idea of keeping Dex, Terri and Warren know they can't help more cats in need if they have too many cats of their own. It's not an easy decision to make, but with Dexter's loving personality and winning ways, we feel sure his family will find him soon.

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©2011 Warren Royal. Used with Permission. .

If you're interested in learning more about Dexter or want to adopt him, please contact me directly at info(@) and I'll put you in touch with Dexter's family. Transportation can be arranged. Dexter is located in Northeastern Georgia.

The Wolf Worm is not available for adoption.

Two Big Love Bugs, Dumped, but Not Forgotten

Under cover of darkness someone snuck up to the door of my Vet's office and left him not one, but two cat carriers. They each contained a very large cat. There was no note, pleading for help. There was no information on the health, behavior or even name of the cat. They weren't even sure these cats came from the same home! Maybe two different, desperate, people dumped cats? They had no idea.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. The poor baby barely fits in his cage he's so BIG!

They brought the cats inside. They have no facility to contain cats for a long period of time. This is a Vet's office with small steel cages. The best they had to offer are two side-by-side two story spaces, barely big enough to hold the cats. These are HUGE cats.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Are you my brother? (I think so!)

Instead of being aggressive or terrified, the cats wanted one thing: LOVE. Oh, and they wanted a belly rub, especially the black one, the bigger of the two. This big fella weighed in at 19 POUNDS. He's not even really fat, per se. He's just HUGE and he LOVES to LOVE and be loved. This is one, sweet, knockout of a cat and his friend, a lovely classic (with the swirl-pattern) tabby is just as sweet and affectionate.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Hello Handsome! I see your tail is up in the air! I know he wanted to be petted!

Dr. Larry doesn't have any way to find these cats a home, so I'm helping him out. He can tell me the following:

• The cats appear to be between 7 and 9 years of age.
• Both are neutered
• FIV+/Feline Leukemia NEGATIVE
• at least one of them could use a dental, Dr. Larry will do that for FREE for whomever adopts the cats
• They seem to be buddies, but do they have to be adopted together? That's not my call to make. It's a bit too soon to tell. I'm guessing if they got a good home and it meant they were separated, it would be better than them sitting in a tiny cage.


©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. He has nice stripes, right?

I spent some one-on-one time with the cats this afternoon. They were friendly right away, no hesitation, no fear at all. The tabby liked to “chat” with me if he wasn't getting attention or if he just wanted to say “hello.” He enjoys being petted and his tail goes right up and curls at the end. He is very happy to be with people. He didn't mind me giving him a belly rub, but when I reached in to pick him up he got nervous. I think that's because he recently had his blood drawn and maybe he thought I was going to do it, again. That said, he watched me and came right back to me a moment later. This is a great sign. He has confidence and does not seem to be aggressive at all-even though he is in a stressed environment with dogs barking, weird smells and he's not home! What a NICE kitty!

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. His eyes are dreamy, too.

Then there's the black kitty. He just wants a belly rub, to be held or to purr himself silly. He reminds me of my big boy, Nicky. Same gigantic cat with a heart of pink roses and buttercups. He is pure sunshine in a black coat with a tiny white spot on his chest.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. (Super-Lauren was camera shy so I blacked out her face.) Here you can see how BIG this kitty is! Lauren can barely hold him.

His paws are SO BIG I thought he was polydactyl (extra toes), but he's not. He had no hesitation when he met me. He plopped over in his tiny cage and wanted a belly rub. This cat has no mean bones in his body. He has a sweet face. I fell hard for him. It was easy to do. They just don't make cats like this often enough. Someone must have loved these too cats very much. They are both well fed and were in fairly good health. Whoever gave them up must be very sad right now because these are great cats. I don't know how anyone could live without them. I honestly can't feel angry. I feel sad for this person. I wish they had just asked for help, but maybe they did and no one listened. We'll never know. We have to focus our anger and our energy on helping them. That's what counts now.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Big black kitty would not look at the camera no matter what we did, so Lauren helped out by holding his head. Made for a surprisingly elegant image.

While the folks at my Vet (who I'm not naming because I don't want more folks to dump their cats off on him), name the cats,

Dr Larry has also offered to do a DENTAL on BOTH CATS and FULLY VET them before they get adopted or a licensed CT rescue takes them into their shelter/foster home.

He will do whatever it takes to get these cats a home.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. He has so much more love to give!

If you live in Connecticut, or a nearby state, and want to ADOPT these babies or just one of them, please FILL OUT A PRE-ADOPTION FORM on my non-profit cat rescue's web site HERE.

If you are with a licensed rescue in CT and would be willing to take these FULLY VETTED awesome cats into your shelter/foster home, then email me at and I will put you in touch with the right people.

While I'm very sad these babies are in tiny cages, at least they're safe and not about to be euthanized. Thank you Dr. Larry for doing the right thing and for being kind. I'm sorry someone dumped these cats on your door and made them your problem, but I'm really happy you can provide care for them until we can get them a home.

Please SHARE THIS & RE-TWEET to any buddies you have in Connecticut or the surrounding areas! THANK YOU!

Cara's in Trouble.

This morning I brought Cara in to see Dr. Larry. Thankfully, they were able to fit her into the schedule for today without an appointment, but it meant I had to leave her there and they'd do x-rays and an exam at some point during the day. I got home and sat in the foster room with Mazie, Chester and Polly. They've been in that room for FOUR MONTHS. Only Mazie can be adopted and no one has been interested in her. Polly STILL has a URI and Chester is dealing with that spot of ringworm on his head. I know that being in a small room, even if it does have one huge window that overlooks the yard and another smaller window that gives them a view of the sky and tree tops, is not enough. Since they can't really catch anything from my cats and vice versa, I let them out into my bedroom once in awhile. There's more room to run around, but they really need a huge space to stretch their legs. I suppose if being bored or not having a lot of space was their biggest problem, I'd be lucky.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. What's next for this poor cat? I'm afraid to find out.

Dr Larry called me early this afternoon. Cara's x-rays did not show any obvious foreign object, but he wanted to do a blood panel to make sure she didn't also have an infection. I wanted to push back and say, no, not to spend the money since Cara seems fine, but I agreed. He told me to meet him at 4pm and by then he'd have the results and I could take Cara home.

Things were busy at Maple Ridge today, so I grabbed a People magazine and looked at it while I waited for Dr. Larry in exam room number 2. I noticed photos of celebrities in their bathing suit, walking on the beach at some exclusive resort. I didn't even know who half the people were. Then, it dawned on me. Why does it matter that I need to see these photos at all? If there were photos of my neighbors walking on the beach, I would be just as uninterested. They're on vacation? So what! What are they doing that's unusual, interesting, important? Maybe People should be renamed; “Photos of people on the beach with really nice bodies, wearing huge sunglasses, but otherwise not really doing anything.” I swear they use the same photo each week, they just photoshop the latest celebrity A-lister face over the body they used the week before.

I was just about to read about why Catherine Zeta-Jones is disclosing she has Bipolar Disorder II and why there is a “II” and what that means? Is it a sequel to Bipolar Disorder I? Maybe it's fancy movie star version of Bipolar disorder? Dr. Larry entered the exam room before I could sort it all out. He sighed. Then he said something about me having too much on my plate. I had a feeling he was about to add more to it and I was right.

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Cara's x-ray. The arrow points to some of the particulate I noticed in her stomach. Her filled up intestines can be seen at the bottom and top of her body, on the left side.

Cara's blood work showed her White Blood Cell Count was VERY HIGH. High-normal is about 20,000. Cara's is 35,000. She's got a raging infection. Her stomach is swollen full of gas. Her intestines are full of stool-almost packed solid. I looked at the x-rays and asked about something I saw in her stomach-some small particulate. Dr. Larry waved it off saying it was the cat food I know the RAW food with the BONES in it. I balked. Cara does not get raw. She gets canned. So of course it has to be the canned food. It's CANNED FOOD! There aren't BONES in it. Then it hit me. It was the cat litter. It confirmed what I had been suspicious of all along—that Cara has been eating the corn based cat litter. Perhaps the high WBC count is due to her eating out of the litter pan?

It's tough to say what's going on exactly. Dr Larry wanted to have an ultrasound done. The Vet who performs them had a cancellation. It's for tomorrow at 8:30AM. Larry felt we might be able to see if there's still a piece of yarn toy acting as a filter between her stomach and her intestines or if there's any damage to her stomach from eating the toy or ingesting the litter. It would give us some info, but potentially not enough.

Cara may need exploratory surgery or another endoscopy. Dr. Kittral, who's been performing all Cara's endoscopies needs to be included in our decisions. Sadly, she doesn't start her work week until TOMORROW. Dr. Larry wanted to put Cara on antibiotics, which, of course, raised a huge alarm bell in me. We can't give her oral meds or we risk causing her strictures to return. We compromised and Larry gave her an injection that will only last until tomorrow. By then, hopefully we will have more answers and be able to figure out a game plan for Cara.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Oh Cara! You poor baby!

I tried to be brave, but I felt a bit weak in the knees. Cara could be in a very dangerous situation. With her esophagus compromised already and her stomach lining possibly being damaged, we can't try to clear the stool out of her without risking her rupturing somewhere. Anything invasive that needs to be done, has to be carefully considered. Any medications given must be carefully scrutinized. She's been on too many antibiotics. She's been through so much already. I just don't know how we're going to get her over this next hurdle.

This Vet bill, even with a discount, is going to be bad. It could be the beginning of VERY BAD, I don't know how bad just yet. I'm going to open up yet another fundraiser for Cara. Her last two Vet bills came to $1500.00 and with the loan I got, we were able to pay everything off in full, but now we're back to loose change in our pockets to pay for the next Vet bills. I'm guessing that between today and tomorrow it will be $600.00 and counting. I can't give up on Cara even if the timing is the worst, ever. I thought we were over the hump, but now we've been pushed back down the hill like a feline version of Sisyphus.

I also have a lot of guilt about this situation. The past two weeks I just haven't been home much with frequent trips to NYC to care for Sam's mother. I couldn't feed the cats as regularly as usual and I fear that Cara resorted to eating the litter out of desperation and perhaps now has developed a taste for it. I really LIKE the litter and the other cats are fine with it, but I have to stop using it around Cara.

As for Cara; we've just GOT to get her well; for once and for all.

I realize we've had to ask for help more often than I ever imagined to get Cara well. I'm blessed with having devoted and compassionate friends of this Blog. My hope is that not one person has to donate more than $5. If we can all ChipIn, we'll hit our goal in a heartbeat. If you can share this request with your friends, I would appreciate it very much. Your donation IS tax deductible, as the funds go to a Kitten Associates, Inc. foster kitten (Cara).

Not on My Watch:The Happy Arrivals

I just couldn't wait any longer. I got the cats fed and/or pilled. Got myself dressed. I double checked I had everything, then left the house at 8AM knowing full well I'd arrive at the PETS Transport drop off location in Danbury 30 minutes early. I needed to get my hands on Noelle and Amelia. I wanted them off that big truck and into a warm, quiet car...really, into my lap. I've seen only a few photos of the girls and heard stories about them, but today, Connie and I were finally going to meet them. It's been so long since I felt the joy of rescuing a cat. I really have missed it.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Look familiar? Yep! Transport day is here!

There were only a few cars in the parking lot when I arrived. The car next to me, a subaru from NY had a couple in it holding a small beagle. I thought how nice it was that this dog was getting a new buddy today and how much things would change for that dog-hopefully for the better.

I listened to the radio, which in my car is rather daunting since the reception isn't so great. I heard about a new book that sounded interesting, but already forgot the title. I was just too excited. I kept scanning the parking lot for the truck and for Connie's car.

I watched Connie's SUV pull into the parking lot. I watched her navigate past some geese who were waddling around in the the parking lot. As Connie got closer, I waved at her. She saw me and I could see her jumping up and down in her seat! It was a hilarious sight. Connie is the perkiest person I have ever met. Her energy and good cheer is contagious and it made me feel even more excited.

There was already a truck form PETS in the lot, but I checked with them and they said the cats were on the next transport to arrive (any minute). I tried to stop Connie from getting out of the car, into the cold rain, but the second she parked, she was out of the car, ready to RUN over to the truck. I got things sorted out with her and we both sat in her car while we continued to wait.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. One of Kyle's team brings out someone's new dog.

The transport was right on time and as it pulled up, Connie said she was going to start crying (again!), just like last time. Seeing people meet their new pet for the first time is very moving. I think the lousy weather and the fact there weren't many people to pick up animals made it less emotional for us. I saw Kyle Petersen, the owner of PETS and the guy you see featured on Animal Planet's “Last Chance Highway,” get out of the truck. I met Kyle at a Conference a few years ago and we had a good chat about moving cats north. He's a really sweet man. We said hello and I told him to watch the weather. Bad storms are due this afternoon and he said he'd keep safe. Since we were second in line we didn't have to wait long for the girls. As usual, they were the ONLY cats on the transport. It's always full of dogs, but cats are rarely moved. Yes, there's a big whoopdeedo about bringing cats anywhere since there's an overpopulation problem for cats nationwide.

In the northeast, we don't have a problem with dogs, so it's “ok” to move them without hearing a peep from local rescuers, though some say the pit bulls, which are often sitting in local shelters, get overlooked because folks can get a Lab or a Golden from the south. Honestly, I have gotten the most lovely, friendly and even stunning cats from the south and the odds are far greater they will be euthanized and have less chance to find a home than cats up here. Of course, if I had the space or foster homes, I'd rescue local cats, too. The best I can do right now is help network local rescue groups with folks here who need help with their cats.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Kyle and our first look at Noelle.

Kyle lifted Noelle out of the carrier to put her into our carrier. She looked scared, but we only saw her for a second. Another moment later, Kyle had Amelia in his hands. Connie and I were vibrating, we were so anxious to get the cats. Kyle handed me the paperwork and Connie took the carrier. We got into Connie's car. Noelle was meowing, not really crying. I carefully lifted Amelia out and gave her to Connie and I took Noelle.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Hi Amelia!

Both cats were frightened, so we just held them and petted them and let them settle down. Suddenly we were in no hurry to go anywhere or do anything. We just wanted the girls to relax and we wanted a chance to get to know them a bit before Connie took them to Animals in Distress's shelter in Wilton.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Amelia is a show-stopper, she's so gorgeous.

We held them for a long time before I even tried to take a photo. It was lovely to see them. Amelia is stunning. Her eyes are bright green and many of her toes are white on a black paw. She seemed interested in all that was around her and after a few minutes began to settle down. Of course Connie and I decided we wanted to take the cats home with us, but we knew we tormented ourselves knowing we couldn't.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. White toes! Hee hee.

I noticed the people who were in the car with the dog were back, but the car was empty. Then I realized it was because they gave the dog BACK to be transported back south. Connie and I were heartbroken. I think Connie wanted to get out of the car and smack those people. It was very weird because they drove a little way, then stopped suddenly just in front of the transport. I said I thought maybe they were reconsidering. They sat there for a few minutes. The transport started to leave and they followed it out onto the main road. It was very sad. I hope that dog will be all right.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Amelia sees the geese in the parking lot.

Noelle was finally settling down. I wanted to get some photos, so I put Amelia into the crate and gave Noelle to Connie. Noelle started to call out to Amelia and turned to look for her. She clearly did not want to be away from Amelia-even for a moment.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson.

Maria had warned me that Noelle had bonded very strongly to Amelia. It was clear she was okay with us, but she needed to be close to her surrogate mother. I took a few quick photos, then offered Noelle some food. She ate a bit, but when she heard Amelia eating in the carrier in the back seat, she got very squirmy. I took the hint and put both cats with their food, together.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Noelle was a bit nervous but didn't mind being held at all.

The next thing I saw shocked me. Amelia was eating. Noelle was at the back of the carrier, afraid. Then she came over to Amelia. She didn't walk under Amelia, rather Amelia put her front leg over Noelle, as if to protect her. Noelle felt safe enough to eat some food

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Amelia protects her little ward, Noelle.

I grabbed a few clumsy photos. If you look carefully, you can see Amelia's leg over Noelle. Noelle ate like that for a few moments, then they ate peacefully side by side. I said to Connie that we've got to adopt those two cats out together. She agreed. What a pair they are! The love they obviously have for each other is deeply touching. Of course it will make them harder to adopt. Connie is determined to see they stay together.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson.

Even though we had two carriers, we left the girls together in just one so they could snuggle up on the last leg of their journey. It'll be a bumpy few days as they get used to their new living situation, but I have a feeling that they won't be at the shelter for long, anyway. These lovely ladies had us both smitten. I'm sure there's a family out there who will feel the same as we do.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. I just LOVE Noelle's sweet face.

I was very happy to meet the girls. I had a good time talking to Connie. I hated to see them all leave for the shelter. My joy lasted until I walked in the front door of my home, had a huge fight with Sam, then he left for New York City, to visit his Mother in the hospital. Tomorrow it will be two weeks since she was admitted. It's unlikely she'll be going home any time soon.

Meanwhile, I'm left to wonder if Sam will be coming home any time soon, as well.

Not on My Watch: Won't You Be My Buddy?

This past January, terrible snowstorms ravaged the southern U.S. Many roads were impassible for at least a week, that was IF anyone could even leave their homes. Undoubtedly many feral and free roaming strays perished from not having shelter and without having access to feeding stations or a friendly handout. One of those cats had a different journey. This is his story:

The brown tabby cat sat huddled, chilled to the bone, inside a cardboard box. The towel that lined the bottom of the box was supposed to help keep him warm, but it was wet from falling snow the day before. He'd never known snow or such deeply penetrating cold. His paws were numb. His breath came out in misty puffs.

He shifted his weight to keep the blood flowing to his feet, but he was unable to get comfortable. He had to stay put or risk losing his territory to the other homeless cats in the neighborhood. At his age, the days were fast approaching where he'd no longer be able to protect his simple home. The many battle scars on his ragged ears were testament to his struggle to survive for as long as he had.

For the past year, he lived on the lawn of a church in Georgia. The church members provided this box for him, as well as food and water. The church members adopted him, in a way, and were all very affectionate towards this rough and tumble looking cat. It was more than most stray cats get, but it was lacking in some ways, too. The church folks felt he was fine as he was, but one of the members didn't agree. He noticed the cat shaking his head, digging at his ears, clearly in discomfort. His coat was in poor condition. He looked like he'd been in fights many times. He could tell this cat needed veterinary care.

He suggested taking the cat to the Vet. The parishioners did not agree and said “he loved it there” and he was “fine”. The cat had food and water and the love of the church. It was enough. They did not want him to intervene, so all he felt he could do was to go to the local home improvement store and buy a big plastic bin that could serve as a more weather resistant home for this lost creature.

That was until this past winter. Warren Royal, whose love and compassion for animals goes beyond simply providing a great home for his own cats. When he and his wife were approached by two stray kittens one night when they were eating at a local pizza shop, they couldn't ignore their plight and ended up not only rescuing these two cats, but have gone on to rescue many others over the years. They do TNR, Trap, Neuter, Return of feral cats. They donate money to cat rescue organizations. They volunteer and give back in any way they can. They are truly a cat's best friend.

Warren was troubled about this cat's future. He contacted me and told me this touching story. He knew if he didn't go against what the church members wanted, the cat might perish. He'd seen it one too many times before. That this cat even survived the past few months out of doors was a feat in and of itself. I made some suggestions and told Warren, I'd be there for him if he needed my help.

©2011 Warren Royal. Best food to trap a cat with: KFC!

A few days ago, Warren and his wife, Terri, rescued the cat. He named him Bruiser due to his rough appearance. They took Bruiser to the Vet and discovered he had already been neutered at some point in his 8 years of life. Most likely he was dumped for one reason or another. Bruiser was also FIV+, which was not really a surprise considering the battle scars he carried. FIV+ can be transmitted through deep, penetrating bite wounds. It was not a death sentence for Bruiser, but the Forsyth Humane Society, who did Bruiser's evaluation, said they could not accept him into their program. This left Warren with a difficult choice, but really, it was no choice. Warren was committed to caring for this cat, so he brought him home, hoping we'd be able to find Bruiser a permanent home one day soon.

©2011 Warren Royal. Bruiser, for now.

Bruiser had ear mites and a bad ear infection. His belly felt hard, but after an ultrasound they determined it was just gas, probably from eating garbage. Sure, he had worms and teeth in very poor condition. Warren didn't turn away. He just paid the bill. Next week Bruiser will get his dental, but for now he's on a good diet and no longer living in a box.

Bruiser lives in his OWN ROOM, away from Warren's other cats. This is a wise thing to do when bringing a new cat into your home-especially one that may have parasites yet to shed. Bruiser has his own, soft bed. Imagine how it feels on his paws. The room is not cold or drafty. His food is always available and out of the elements. And Bruiser, Warren discovered, could not keep his name. Even though he was rough on the exterior, this cat was the biggest love-muffin Warren has ever met.

©2011 Warren Royal. See how affectionate Buddy is with this video from Warren.

It was clear he needed another name, so Bruiser became, Buddy. That's all this cat wants to be. He wants to be your buddy. He wants to rub his head on you or get petted. He's so grateful to be out of that cardboard box and the freezing cold nights, that all he wants to do is spend his days purring and loving his new friends.

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©2011 Warren Royal. Just call him Mr Love Muffin.

Warren knows that he can't keep Buddy. If he does, he can't rescue other cats in need, so Warren is hoping to find a lasting home for this wreck of a cat. His outside may be busted up, but his inside is gleaming with pure affection.

Buddy still needs to have his dental done, but after that he will be ready for adoption. Buddy is an 8 yr old, neutered male tabby with FIV+. He loves people, but we're not sure about other pets just yet. He will be COMPLETELY vetted before he gets adopted. If you'd like to give Buddy a home, or have questions about this lovely cat, please contact Warren directly at:

If you live outside the state of Georgia, transportation can be arranged, so don't let that stop you.

If you know someone who might be interested in Buddy, please share this post with your friends and family! Thank you!

And Thank You, Warren and Terri for being completely awesome-for not giving up on an adult cat who lost his home. I'm proud of you!

The Fine Line Between Enough and Too Much

If you read my blog, odds are you, at least, like cats. From the feedback I've gotten over the years, I'm guessing most of you LOVE cats as dearly as I do. The question I place before you today is: Are you rescuing or adopting cats without considering the effect on your own life, well being? Are you clear-minded enough to know when to say, “No” when someone wants you to help then with a cat? Where is the tipping point between having a lot of cats and having too many?

I'm a collector. I have 140 tin lunchboxes, about 50 snow globes, about 40 salt & pepper shakers (only ones that are miniature appliances), cookie jars, old soda advertising signs, illustrated antique children's books and lots more. Everything is organized. You can walk across the room (unless there's a cat in the way). I keep the place tidy and clean (save for a few piles of mail or what not) and it doesn't smell bad unless I cooked dinner recently.

©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Yes, it's a wall of lunchboxes! Everyone should have one...or two.

I have eight cats. Sometimes I have as many as 20. Am I a haorder? Or am I walking a fine line between enjoying my collectibles and cats, and sliding into chaos, disease and decay?

I wonder if any of YOU have the same fear I do: “I'm ok and can handle what I have now, but I could see myself going overboard if I'm not careful.”


Recently, I was contacted by Marsha Rabe. She lives in Connecticut and loves cats. Twenty five years ago she met a woman who became her dear friend. They did a lot of animal rights work including anti-hunting, anti-circus, vegetarian education and more. She's been a tireless advocate for animals for most of her life. Her friend, who I've been asked not to name, “was beyond a doubt one of the most intelligent, charming, talented, articulate, and cultured people I have ever known.”

This is not the description of someone who is a hoarder...yet...over the years her friend developed a problem as described to me by Marsha:


It started out as it always does, one good person trying to address the horrible overpopulation of cats by taking them in, one at a time.

For more than 30 years, a woman in New Haven took in strays and ferals, adopting them out at the beginning, when she could, but then gradually becoming overwhelmed. Simply maintaining the population took all of her strength and time. To her great credit, she spayed/neutered all of her cats and also provided basic veterinary care. But there was no time or energy left for placement, and besides, many of the cats were feral and basically unplaceable. They were, quite simply, the cats that no one else wanted.

For many years, the cats had a decent quality of life. But this summer, she became seriously ill, and the situation deteriorated quickly and horribly. She died on Nov. 9 from cancers related to conditions in her home.

She was my friend.

As I said, most of the 65 cats were feral and/or sick, and though we tried to find places for them to go, we soon realized that they had to be euthanized. We had the support of a kind and generous veterinarian, but the task was heartbreaking.

We are now trying to place the few that remain.

The only true outside feral is Perdita (last photo), a longhaired grey cat on the light green blanket. She is older, about 12, we think. There are three other indoor ferals whose photos I could not get.

I believe all of the others will come out of their shells, given time, patience, and one-on-one attention. If you have any thoughts about any of these cats, PLEASE let me know.

Thanks very much.


I asked Marsha if anyone had tried to help this woman reduce the number of cats in her home and she answered:

Yes, I tried to bring up the subject of the cats many times, as did many of her other friends. But her intense sense of privacy and her uncanny ability to deflect any question about the cats — and then to change the subject — meant that none of us ever got very far…until this summer, when she got sick. Then she had to let some of us help, and we learned the details.

I think if your readers find themselves unable to say no, if they find themselves keeping their animals a secret, if they don't let people into their homes, if they find themselves becoming more and more reclusive...then they should ask themselves, "Am I a hoarder?"

What is painfully sad is that Marsha lost her friend because her friend's love and devotion to cats meant more to her than her own life. With lack of sanitary conditions in the home, it not only sickened the cats, it took the life of her friend.

I'd like to help Marsha find homes for the remaining cats.We just need a few folks to step up and lend a hand...that is...IF you have adequate space, the time and the finances to do so. I'm not going to write about hoarding and ask you all to adopt more cats unless your decision is made with a clear mind and adequate resources.

These are the cats who need help now.

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©2010 Marsha Rabe. CLEMENTINE (two photos, above) One of the shyer cats, but is definitely beginning to hang out more. Her sister is Catriona, below.

©2010 Marsha Rabe. CATRIONA, Clementine's sister. About 4 or 5. Has one clouded eye. Shy, but coming out of her shell little by little.

©2010 Marsha Rabe, MOJO, a three-legged cat with a slightly twisted mouth (which makes eating messy), and a crooked tail. But he is a lively cat who just needs attention so he can stop feeling grumpy and find his way in life.It is hard to get a good photo of him because he is always rubbing your ankles. Robin's Note: I LOVE THAT WHITE FOOT!

©2010 Marsha Rabe, Perdita, is a semi-feral lady who may prefer a barn placement or outdoor placement. Very pretty lady. UPDATE: Perdita has been living INDOORS for the past month and is showing signs of coming out of her shell. I would LOVE to see her get a chance at a real home. At her age, living outdoors would be a cruel end for her. Maybe someone with a quiet home could give her a chance? Perdita is the heroine of Shakesperare's "A Winter's Tale" and means "lost one" in Latin.

There are a few other cats. One just showed up the other day so they're trying to get the situation worked out. If you have a barn and could take a few cats or a loving home or a rescue group that can help with the shy kitties or Mojo, please contact MARSHA RABE directly at:

marsharabe (@ symbol)

NOTE: We don't display address to prevent spammers.

The cats have been vetted and are located in the area of NEW HAVEN, CT


The ASPCA has excellent information about Animal Hoarding and how to recognize hoarding behavior. It's very sobering, indeed and I think it would be arrogant of me to think I could never be that person. I hope that this information helps all of you to keep loving your cats and to make sure you don't take on more than you can handle.

Not on My Watch: Tangerine Tuesday with a Twist of Bitter Lemon

Tigger's story was told far and wide. With his natural good looks, his youth (he's only 3-4 years old) and his charm, it was just a matter of time before Tigger got the attention of just the right folks at a rescue group.

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©2010 Besty Merchant. Tigger, your worst days are behind you now!

Last night the news broke that Tigger was SAFE and would be having a very happy Thanksgiving in his new foster home. Now he could start to put losing his family behind him and focusing on a happier future. Congratulations to Tigger!

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©2010 Besty Merchant. No more tiny cage for this big boy!

Meanwhile, I came across this beautiful little lady. She's at Floyd, in Rome, GA. Her Petfinder ad is HERE. I have no way to get her out. I'm posting her info, in the hopes that someone will go down there and adopt her or a GA Licensed Rescue can save her. They put down 37 cats last week. The odds of her getting out are slim.


©2010 Floyd County Animal Control.

I didn't feel that I had the time to be able to wait on getting help to rescue from Floyd when I checked the Henry County Petfinder page and saw THIS little guy (see add, below). My stomach dropped when I saw he'd been at Henry for over a week. I knew that time is not to be wasted. I didn't know if he was dead or alive. The look on his face called to me. It was a beacon shining right into my heart. I HAD to do something for this fine fellow.

11.14 4825 MacGruber.jpg

Look at that face and say NO to him! I couldn't do it.

Bobbie, who helped us by fostering a sweet black kitty a few months ago, offered to take this cat as a foster. I'm hoping by the time he arrives in Connecticut (sometime in December) I'll have space for him in my home. I just HAD to save his life.

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©2010 Besty Merchant.

Right now, this little 4 month old baby is being taken out of his litter box and put into a cat carrier by my dear, Bobby, the most dependable person on this planet. Bobby will get him over to the Vet and deliver him to Bobbie's home (yes, there are TWO folks with almost the same name!). This little cutie is BUSTED OUT! Instead of death, he'll have a chance at a happy life here in Connecticut.

There's something magical about this cat's face. His sweet little white feet. I couldn't stand him being known by an ID number any longer, so I gave him a name. Every time I look at his photo, he makes me smile, so I'm calling him, MacGruber, after the character on Saturday Night Live. If you haven't seen MacGruber, you can see a slew of twisted videos HERE (note: you'll have to sit through a 30 sec commercial first).

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©2010 Besty Merchant. I already have a crush on you, MacGruber!

Let's hope his snap test results are negative/negative. It's usually the last hurdle I have to worry about with pulling cats out of a shelter. With any luck, I'll have good news soon. Once I do, I'll update this post. Until then, let's enjoy the warm glow of knowing more kitties are saved, but it's always bittersweet when we know others have been left behind.

UPDATE: FLOYD COUNTY KITTY HAS BEEN RESCUED!!!!!! MacGruber is Neg/Neg on his snap test and we are told he is a complete love-muffin (not a surprise when you look at that sweet face)!

Not on My Watch: Big and Orange and URGENT!

UPDATE: Tigger is 3-4 years young and is VERY SWEET and AFFECTIONATE! The line forms to the left. Let's rescue this love bug!

THIS IS DIRECTLY FROM OUR CONTACT: BETSY at Henry County. Her contact info and the info of the shelter is below. This cat is URGENT!

Tigger is a HUGE neutered housepet. He has NO IDEA what the heck has happened to him.

His owner died and no one stepped up to care for him so we had to pick him up and bring him to the shelter.


Please help save his life if you're able!

DSH Orange male ID# 11/20-4881 TIGGER

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©2010 Betsy Merchant. To adopt me, is to LOVE ME!

The big orange boy is so sweet!

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©2010 Betsy Merchant. I need to get out of this cage! Please, won't you help me?


**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.

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©2010 Betsy Merchant. GET ME OUT OF HERE!!!!


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


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©2010 Betsy Merchant.

There is talk of a $75 sponsorship to any rescue group that can take this big lug! I may also be able to help with fostering him locally in GA until he is clear for transport.

Please cross post and share. This cat may only have until WEDNESDAY!


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