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Not on My Watch: The Halloween Express Heads North

Two weeks ago four little tabby kittens were going to be euthanized. They were showing signs of developing an upper respiratory infection— sneezing and runny eyes. At the time it wasn't severe. In fact, it could have passed in a few days. The problem was, at Henry County, every sick cat gets euthanized-even IF it could have easily recovered...even if it didn't need to be treated by a Vet. That's the rules. There are too many animals in a facility that does not have quarantine rooms and if they did, they would be “full up” since the animals are exposed to each other and the stress of being in a shelter can make them “break” with a URI, too. Cats are really fragile creatures. I've come to learn that after last year's fiasco with “Santa's Team.” Dogs can take more stress, where cats seem to fall apart. To be crass, it just sucks. It's not fair. It's a senseless death for these animals.

Instead of waiting or emailing, I knew I had to call if I was going to save these cats and call I did. I called everyone at HCCAC and made SURE they were NOT going to euthanize the cats. As some of you know, the cats had 30 minutes-or less to live. A sobering thought, to say the least.

But we don't have to cry over these cats. They're not only safe, but yesterday afternoon, they said farewell to their beyond-fantastic-foster-mama, Maria and began their journey to Connecticut and to become Kitten Associates latest foster kittens.

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©2010 Maria Sandoval. From left to right: How do I know? The orange cats are Skittles and Candy Corn and the silver tabbies are Treat & Treat.

Maria made sure to get everyone to pose nicely for the camera before she had to pack them into their cat carriers. For once they stopped moving long enough to get a few cute photos.

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©2010 Maria Sandoval. I think this is Skittles? Maria? Who is it?

We cannot forget a special someone who will also be part of the Express to Connecticut-our Rocco! Rocco has been hanging out at Maria's, getting belly rubs, getting some good food. All he's doing is waiting for his ride. With that big belly and sweet face, I just KNOW we will find him a great home soon. Of all the cats, I'm most excited to meet Rocco. Knowing he was abandoned by his family, that he's an adult who's already lived half of his life, well, he should have all the love and comforts we can provide to him. Through everything, he remains a sweet, friendly beast. I just love him already.

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©2010 Maria Sandoval. Rocco! You are so CUTE!

Adoptions have been very slow for me. I still have four foster cats. Soon I'll have eight. I keep hoping I'll get some adopters-espeically for Moonie & Patty. They're asleep in a cat bed right next to my desk. They seem to belong here, but I can't afford ten cats of my own. I'm glad they fit in well since I'm guessing it will be awhile longer before I find them a forever home. At least they don't have to be locked up in my tiny bathroom any more. I think my cats are starting to calm down about having them here, too and the fountains of cat pee are slowly diminishing.

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©2010 Maria Sandoval. Hold still? for the camera?

Since Izzy and Mark aren't taking another trip down south (really, they DO have a life, you know!), thanks to Judith Hougaz and Deb Parry, the kitties are riding on a PETS, LLC transport. Sound familiar? If you watch “Last Chance Highway” on Animal Planet, it will all make sense. Kyle Petersen, the owner of PETS, also runs dogs (dogs!) to the northeast, some for a rescue group run by a very perky dog lover named, Shelley Brookwalter. Shelley and Kyle's friendship and partnershp to save animals is a highlight of the program. It's a heartwarming show, but it does irk me that cats are rarely ever transported and certainly never part of the show.

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©2010 Maria Sandoval. All aboard!

These are the accommodations. Keep in mind, they would be the same in anyone's car, as well. Of course the difference is there are also no barking dogs and more attention on a private transport. It's tough. Most transports are just like this or worse. The hope is they will get going FAST and get it over with SOON. I trust that Kyle runs a tight ship. I used them last year and all was well. Hopefully that will be the case with this run, too.

©2010 Maria Sandoval. This is Steve. Maria gave him the third degree! He better take good care of those cats-OR ELSE!

If there was only some way to tell the cats that!

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©2010 Maria Sandoval. WE WANT OUT!

Poor Skittles and Candy Corn are just not havin' it!

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©2010 Maria Sandoval. REALLY! LET US OUT!

I feel worse for Rocco. He is old enough for this to really hit him hard. If only we could tell him what waits for him. I think he'd be happy to wait a bit longer and endure the noise and stress of the trip. Hang in there, buddy!

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©2010 Maria Sandoval. Awww...Rocco! Don't be scared. This is the worst part of your life. I promise it will get better really soon.

I have to agree with something Maria said to me can't be 9am Saturday soon enough. That's when I'm scheduled to pick the cats up. Connie will be there with me to get Rocco. He'll be going to Animals in Distress just in time for an adoption event. My guys will be meeting Honey B. and Yodel. I sure hope they get along or I'm gonna be in trouble because they'll have to stay in the same room! I also hope the new crew DOES NOT GET SICK...OH GOD...NOT THAT AGAIN!

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©2010 Maria Sandoval. Skittles and Candy Corn. I sure hope to adopt them out together!

It's Friday afternoon. Moonie has his paws on my leg while Patty spoons him. It's quiet. The cats are all napping. The sky is overcast and the golden autumn leaves seem to glow. I can't help but know it's the calm before the storm, but I'll deal with it, whatever comes to pass. It's just that caring for and loving sixteen cats is a bit much-even for me.

Deep breath. Knock wood. It's going to be okay.


at the meeting place way before 9PM tomorrow!

Our little Bonita left today, too. Wonderful Bobby picked her up.
Wishing all of them a safe, fast trip.

Thank you for taking care of Bonita, Bobbie! It really made it possible for her to be rescued! Great job!

We are driving down to WDW Dec 9-18, and can do another 9 Lives on the way back. :D I'll have my bro's minivan, you and Barb can load me up. :D

Rough conditions at the shelter -- so glad all these little guys got out and are on the road to recovery.

About a year ago, we took in a little guy who wasn't quite so lucky; he was stray off the streets who just wandered up to us and made himself at home. Along with a host of other problems, he had a URI that just wouldn't quit; everything else cleared up with patience and time, but the vet eventually diagnosed our boy with chronic rhinosinusitis; basically, his infection had been so deep-seated for so long before we found him that it had malformed his sinuses, leaving him vulnerable to chronic infection. His symptoms come and go. Sometimes he's almost normal. But with the changing weather lately, he's back to the running nose and the goopy eyes again, and we're back to the warm washcloths and letting him hang out in the steamy bathroom.

He's not going to recover; he'll be better on and off, but this is a permanent part of his life, and ours, just as much as the color of his fur or his green eyes. And you know what? You learn to deal with it on just that level.
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What a wonderfully told tale of tails!!!!
I'll be reading more of your blog tonight...

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