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Twinkle's Lucky Break Ch 2

It’s 5 AM. 27 hours have passed since Twinkle broke her leg. She’s in a big dog crate in my living room. It’s covered with blankets to keep her calm, but she’s lonely and scared so she cries from time to time. Sleep is hard to come by for both of us. I know if I run to her side every time she cries then she’ll continue to train me to respond to her crying. I have to wait for her to stop, then I can go to her and comfort her but it's a challenge.

First Day Home
©2014 Robin A.F. Olson. Twinks first day after surgery.

Her first hours home were the worst. I knew it would be like that. The effects of sedation were still wearing off. Her heart was racing. She was mad with fear, frustration and hunger. I could only soothe one of her aches so I fed her. She ate so quickly her teeth would sometimes make little “ting” sounds against the china plate as she gobbled up mouthfuls of food. I held the plate up for her so she could eat more comfortably. With her right back leg in a cast, everything she does is going to be awkward for the next few weeks.

Ugh. “Next few weeks.”

I can’t help but flash back to Bobette, after she had a surgery that we hoped would repair her back left leg. She had to be in a cast for 4 weeks. She couldn’t get in and out of a litter pan so I had a baking tray for her to use. Every day it was a huge mess. She had to be restricted to a very small crate. She could not be allowed to move. She had to wear the “cone of shame” (e-collar) so she wouldn’t chew at the dressing on her leg, but with her it was one thing after another. The bandage almost came off the first night and required a trip to the ER Vet. Then I didn’t know her bandage had a wooden splint in it that was digging into her heel. It caused her even more pain. The surgery was a total bust even though we spent hours sitting with her and cleaning her and protecting her cast. Bobette eventually needed the leg to be amputated and though she did fine through the surgery, she died right after it, her blood unable to clot. She’d been adopted by my friend JaneA of Paws and Effect by that time and there was nothing anyone could have done. It still pains me deeply to have tried so hard to help her when it was all for not.

Bobette in Cast on Sam sm
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Bobette

I think back on those tough days when I look at Twinkle-Twinkle. I've already promised myself that this will not happen to her. Her surgery wasn’t even surgery when it was all said and done. During the course of her first 12 hours at NVS there was much discussion on whether or not she had a break to her “heel” AND a torn Achille’s tendon or if it was just a fracture.

I was told if it was a fracture they would repair it using radiographs to guide them so they could place tiny smooth pins into the broken pieces. The pins would hold the bone in place and because she’s a kitten, the new bone she creates as she grows would cover over the pins and give her a very solid repair. At least that is the thought. BUT, her growth plate could be effected which would result in her leg becoming deformed as it grows.

Stretched out sleeping r olson
©2014 Robin A.F. Olson. Twinkle in one of her favorite places to rest-Sam's lap.

The problem is she can’t mess around with that cast. She can’t run around. She can’t do much or the pins could work themselves out and we’d have a bigger problem on our hands. In her after-care notes it states that it could be “catastrophic” for her to have any access to the leg, which means the e-collar must stay on and she must be kept quiet and away from her family.

But she wants her mother. She wants her siblings. She wants the cast off NOW.

She was lucky that she most likely did not tear her tendons. Though there is a good deal of swelling in her leg, her paw still functions and she has normal range of motion, well IF she could move her leg. It means an easier recovery for her and quicker recovery. It will still be an eternity of weeks until we know how the repair will go and I have to keep telling myself that this will pass, just like everything else. She WILL be out of that cast one day, but for now my job is to keep her as comfy and happy as possible, even if that means getting up in the middle of the night or not working as much so I can sit with her after my duties caring for the other cats is over for the time being.

On sams lap robin olson 650
©2014 Robin A.F. Olson. With Daddy-Sam. Sam's boy Nicky is to the right.

My own cats are VERY curious about this newcomer. My gut tells me to keep them away from her, but I need them to realize she can’t bother them and vice versa. Hopefully they will all settle down, but I fear that her being in the living room will set off a volley of urine marking as my cats will believe this tiny kitten to be an intruder who needs to stay away. This is an exercise in finding balance. I have to keep my own cats happy and keep my feelings calm and relaxed. I can’t yell at the cats to stay away. If they sit on the dog crate, they sit on the dog crate. If they peek in at Twinkle, as long as she’s not upset, that’s okay. The less I get upset, the less my cats will bother with her. At least that’s my hope, but we have just reached a place where the cats are basically fine. No marking or very little on the tile floor in the kitchen. With Twinkle's arrival it could get so much worse.

©2014 Robin A.F. Olson. Twinkle meets a new friend-Fluff Daddy

What is so much better is my heart. My soul? What I haven’t touched on is that moments after I reached out and asked for help, it was there for Twinkle. Her fundraiser started at 2 AM the night after I got home from dropping her off at NVS. I didn’t think much would come of it because of the late start and because I knew I had to raise a LOT of money—more than we’ve ever raised and in a much shorter span of time. NVS needed 75% of the high end of their estimate paid before Twinkle would have any surgery. We didn’t have that much in our account-not even close.

Twinkle Gnaws Robin Olson copy
©2014 Robin A.F. Olson. Twinkle a few weeks before the accident doing what she always does-have fun.

After I broadcast our fundraiser every way I could I dragged myself to bed for a few–hour nap. I got up at 7 AM and got to work feeding the foster kittens, scooping pans, putting out fresh water, petting a kitten here or there. There was no time for play-time, but at least I could say hello. It made me sad to see Celeste, Twinkle’s mother. She was quiet and didn’t eat. Twinkle’s siblings were quiet, too. They were still shook up from what had happened a few hours before. I knew they were missing their sister.

I answered emails and tried to catch up on a few things. It dawned on me to check on the fundraiser progress. I expected we might have raised a few hundred dollars. I knew there was no way we’d get everything we needed. I was already practicing how I was going to beg NVS for a payment plan so we didn’t have to make Twinkle suffer one second longer than necessary.

What I saw took my breath away. I immediately began to sob as the tension I’d been holding onto slipped away from my neck and shoulders. The excruciating stress I’d been under released like wild floodwaters. There was $2770.00 raised in a few hours. By then Sam was getting breakfast ready for our cats. I went to him, openly crying. He thought someone had died. I tried to get out the words, but I just mumbled between sobs. When I told him the news he was as shocked as I was. I was so shocked I asked him to look at my computer screen to make sure I saw what I thought I saw-that it was not a cruel illusion. Nope. Not an illusion. Wow!

Screen shot of fundraiser 475
©2014 Robin A.F. Olson. You guys are amazing! THANK YOU!

It didn’t stop there, either.

Even with Facebook and it’s unfair algorithm that keeps unpaid posts from many users seeing them, the word got out about Twinkle and with that the donations came flooding in. Friends rallied around us, not only sharing donations, but sharing their love for what we’ve done for the past 4 years. With every dollar donated was also the encouragement for us not to give up. It was completely overwhelming to see the figure rise meteorically as the day passed.

On sams lap again
©2014 Robin A.F. Olson. Another night spent on Sam's lap. Twinkle is getting all the attention we can muster.

In less than 12 hours we hit our goal and exceeded it by a little bit. I was completely flabbergasted-so much so that I recorded a thank you video for all of you. It’s completely embarrassing for me to see it again and I fear it will turn into one of those parody videos, but I needed to say thank you and writing a blog post wasn’t good enough. I’d cried a better part of the past day, from worrying, from fear, from anxiety, then from joy and eventually, relief.

©2014 Robin A.F. Olson. My Thank You Message to everyone who donated and shared our fundraiser plea.

When the time came to pay the bill, I could. I didn’t have to be scared any more. All of you had my back and many of you left comments on Facebook saying as much. You told me not to worry. You told me that for all the good I do, that you wanted to do something good for me in return. I do not feel worthy but I am more grateful than words can describe. Not only could we provide for Twinkle but I have been re-energized by your faith…re-energized and deeply honored.

Sleepy twinks
©2014 Robin A.F. Olson. Sweet dreams, Twinkle. We've got your back.

I don’t know what the next few weeks will bring but I do know that when times get tough I’m blessed by having so many caring friends.

I know that somehow it will be okay.

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Hi Robin my name is Ceecee, I've contacted you a couple of times and you responded. Just would like to say thank you very much for your time. At the age of 46 believe it or not I have a bucket list, and you're on it to meet you someday. What you do is on believable hard work and all the energy mentally, physically and emotionally is just incredible work that you do. I just wish I could live closer to help you.  If you're ever in St. Louis just let me know, much love to you and THANK YOU for all you do. 

Cee Cee

I am so very sorry for the loss of sweet Bobette (I did not know of your blog then).  Sometimes despite all of our love and efforts, we are unable to bring them through; and I can only believe they are needed elsewhere, and that we will be reunited with them in due time.

But it is so heartening that little charmer Twinkle is going to be able to have the care she needs to prosper.  *PRAYERS* for her to come through very successfully and to find her loving forever home -- she is certainly irresistible, and it looks as if she very much enjoys the attention Fluff Daddy is giving her.  We cared for a little man who had a similar injury a few years ago, and he came through very well.  He was a bit older than Twinkle; the family were very glad to have him back in good shape, and he seemed to enjoy his recuperation in the company of our large family.

Again, *PRAYERS* and very best thoughts for Twinkle.  So glad that those who could have stepped up for her! and for Kitten Associates.  Your devotion and labors of love obviously are not lost on your readers.

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