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Kittens, Cats & Calamities Part 2 of 2

Continued from Part 1

Mia & Family

With zippidy-doo-dah for adoptions this summer I still have Mia and her 5 kittens AND Wallace in my big foster room. They're all getting quite big and I'm very worried they'll be here for eternity.

Greta and Wallace R Olson
©2014 Robin A.F. Olson. Wallace (left) with Greta (right).

Wallace has come around a lot since he entered “Kitten Bootcamp,” where he began to learn his manners basically by being beaten up by Mia’s kittens. Wallace had rage and frustration from being an orphan, but once with Mia’s kittens he had an outlet for his desire to wrestle and let off steam. There were some fears early on that one of the kittens might hurt him, but in the end it went well and Wallace learned a lot.

Wallace Grabs It Robin Olson
©2014 Robin A.F. Olson. That's "Mr. Troublemaker" to you.

Wallace is still nippy when he's bored, but nowhere near as bad as he once was. He has become very affectionate and he loves to lay on me purring away as he rubs his wet nose against my cheek. He’s grown into a young adult and no longer has that goofy looking face with googly eyes, big ears and awkwardly long legs. I thought we had an adopter for him but sadly my messages to them about him went unanswered and I later found out they took in a badly injured cat and decided to adopt her instead.

But what about Fernando? Didn't something happen to him?

I’m still recovering from the shock of what happened to Mia’s son Fernando on Friday. I was working at my computer when I heard loud banging over my head. The foster room is above my office so I ran upstairs to find the metal divider from a dog crate out of it’s storage place behind a table in the middle of the room. All the kittens were cowering, terrified from the commotion. One by one I looked at each kitten, fearful one had been injured.

Fernando Dummy
©2014 Robin A.F. Olson. This was taken a week AFTER the event at the follow-up visit. Due to the graphic nature of Fernando's injury I chose not to show his left eye socket full of blood. You can see the eyelid looks weird over the left pupil. That's part of the tear. It's in 3 pieces.

I found Wallace and he was ok. I found Woody and Snickers. They were scared but fine. Then I saw Fernando and I screamed.

Where Fernando’s left eye was all I saw was BLOOD.

I didn’t even try to look at it. I called Newtown Veterinary Specialists, where I’d just taken Twinkle just over a week before and let them know I was bringing him in. I thought that Fernando had somehow gouged his eye out at the end of the damn metal divider. I didn’t have time to think, I had to act.

Mia is not friendly. Fernando was crouched next to her inside a cat condo. I had to reach in to scruff Fernando to get him out but Mia gave me a warning-hiss. I couldn’t even worry about her biting me. I grabbed ‘Nanny and put him into a cat carrier. He was screaming and I didn’t blame him.

I made it to the vet in about 15 minutes. In some ways we were lucky because not only were they not busy, the ophthalmologist Vet didn’t have any appointments so she could see him right away. We didn’t even have to wait. A tech came out and took him into the back to be examined while I tried not to burst into tears.

The moment
A video grab of the moment poor Fernando had his accident. You can see he's belly up (see the white paws top center of the photo).

Shaking, I knew I had to check our Dropcam to see if the incident had been captured. As I watched the footage, two of the ladies who work the front desk joined me.

We watched Fernando wrestling with Wallace. He turned towards where the divider was stored. We couldn’t see how he did it but his eyelid got hooked on the metal “fingers” that run along side the edges of the divider that I thought I'd stored out of the way of the kittens. Frightened, he pulled back, setting the metal hook into his lid. Terrified, he pull hard, the divider popped out of storage into the room. It stayed attached to his eyelid as he writhed fitfully to free himself. After a few nightmarish seconds he was free, but what damage had he done?

I started to cry and the ladies were really nice to me as I rambled on and on about how they must think I run a bad rescue if I let things like this happen. As the footage continued I saw myself enter the room, then tilt the web cam down so all you can do is hear my words and my screams. It's far too upsetting for me to share this with all of you. Writing about it is difficult enough. Knowing you can see Fernando possibly blind himself and not be able to do a thing to stop him was unbearable.

The ladies said they wished they could bring me a Tequila and frankly I would have taken a shot if they had some. I was a wreck. What had I done? All these years those grates were in the room and nothing ever happened. Now Fernando was badly injured. Those things HAD to go. (and as of this post they are in the pile to be taken to the recycling place in town).

It wasn’t long before a tech returned with news. Nanny hadn’t ruptured his eye! He HAD torn his eyelid and he needed stitches. They’d have to sedate him to do it and he’d need “a lot of follow up care.” They didn’t feel his eyesight was compromised. His cornea was not scratched. I was so grateful at that moment that I didn’t even care that the estimate for his care was nearly $1000.00.

We'd been lucky. Fernando should be all right and we had enough in the bank to cover his care, which after our discount was reduced to just over $700.00.

The poor kitten has to wear the “cone of shame” for the next week. It’s been a trial to keep it on him and his eyelid is swollen as a result. I’m determined to get this week to pass and have him be looking great again without that cone. After all that has been going on with Twinkle's broken leg and before that Greta needed emergency care after eating part of a cat toy and Wallace needing emergency care for hurting his legs it just felt like too much.

But after all was said and done, we made it. We’re all still here and everyone should be okay.

Junebug and Maggie Mae

Junie and Maggie have been living with foster-mom Jame and her family since MARCH! No one has wanted to adopt the kitties and fairly soon they'll be celebrating their first birthday. I was feeling like giving up when I got an email from Kendra who adopted 2 kittens from us 3 years ago. She’d had a crush on Maggie all this time, but I’d written “No dogs” on her petfinder page because she and Junie had been terrorized by feral dogs when they were living outside on their own in Georgia. Kendra asked me if it was even remotely possible to adopt Maggie. I didn’t know if it would work but I agreed we could give it a try.

Junie Perky Robin Olson copy
©2014 Robin A.F. Olson. When oh when is Junebug going to find her home? She's a fantastic kitty! Here's her Petfinder page if you'd like to know more about her.

I knew Kendra would go slowly. Maggie hadn’t been very friendly with any of us and we were worried this change would set her back and make her even more fearful. Kendra, however had it in her mind that this was a great idea and her love for Maggie was all that was needed.

I’ll be dammed but Kendra was right.

Maggie and doggies
©2014 Kendra Friedman. Used with permission. Maggie, totally bored by the fact two giant dogs are in the room with her. Nothing bugs Maggie.

Maggie has been in her new home for about two weeks and every day I get photos or videos of a cat I do not recognize. There is Maggie, the pretty calico, but she is happy. She’s purring. She’s not cowering in a corner. She’s sleeping on one of the dog’s beds. She’s with the other cats. She’s relaxed and I swear she’s smiling. Kendra is over-the-moon happy and writes to me of how much she loves Maggie. I’m left to shake my head and be reminded I don’t always know what is best for our foster cats.

It was a great lesson to learn and I’m ever so grateful our dry-spell of no adoptions has come to an end.

Maggie mess 650
©2014 Kendra Friedman. Used with permission. She must be adored because even when Maggie was naughty her mom thought it was adorable.

Now I just have to find homes for the 12 cats I have here so I can open up more space to bring up the kittens from Georgia soon.

It’s going to be a long autumn.

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*HUGE sigh of relief that they are all right! and great news about Maggie enjoying her new family so much!*  

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