Freya 2.0. 12 Little Words. Part 10

continued from part 8 and part 9

When I got back to the hotel room I looked around. Freya hadn’t made a single mark on ANYTHING in the room or on the bed. Even though there was no sign of her little butt prints, I couldn’t stand to see her toys strewn about. I had to put all the towels away, hide her toys, scoop the litter pan one last time. Freya wouldn’t be coming back here, at least that was the plan. I’d be picking her up the following morning and heading home, but seeing her things really upset me.

9:30 AM came and went; then it was 10:00 AM. At 10:05 AM I got a text “Anesthesia starting. She’s doing great!” Okay. So far so good.

I began sending out texts and updating Facebook. Then it began; the volley of text messages, emails to my phone and calls from concerned friends. Though I could not have survived all that came to pass without them I have to admit that every time my phone chimed with a new message my heart did a flip-flop. I tried to stay calm by reading a book. Before I sat down to read, I had started to put my pajamas back on, then thought better of it. What if I had to race back to Angell?

So I sat on the bed with my sweater on top but my pajama bottoms on the bottom. I felt like an idiot but I didn’t know what to do with myself.

The book was about a young woman in Amsterdam in the late 1600’s who married the wrong guy (he had a scandalous secret). She was also haunted by a mysterious character who seemed to know everything about her life as well as what would happen in her future before it came to pass. I didn’t get though a single page of that book there were so many texts coming into my phone. I’d read a few words then answer a text, then read a few more. An hour passed and I started to think the surgery should be finishing up soon.

The texting slowly stopped and I continued to read my book, wondering when this mysterious character would reveal herself. The plot of the story took a dark turn, then I started to panic feeling like maybe this book was jinxing Freya. I didn’t want to read about anyone dying; then I looked at the time. It was 11:30AM and the surgery had been going on over 90 minutes. Surely I would hear something soon?

I had one chapter left in the book. I stopped reading. The plot was getting too dark. I sat with the phone on my lap. I looked around the room. It was such a gray day. The interior of my room seemed drained of color, a perfect metaphor for how I was feeling. When the HELL where they going to call me? Maybe she was dead and they didn’t want to tell me right away? I suddenly felt such a strong wave of nausea I was sure I was going to vomit from anxiety.

The gloom of the room copy
©2014 Robin AF Olson.

A few minutes later, a text: “All done!”

Okay. Done. But what does that mean??! I held my breath, waiting for more news. I could see the little gray dots on the text message screen indicating that Jen was typing but hadn’t sent the message yet.

I kept looking at the little bouncing dots, then started to talk to them. “PLEASE TELL ME ALREADY! PRESS SEND, JEN! PRESS the SEND BUTTON!”

All Done


Then…“He said it went well…he will call later with the details”

Oh my god. She was ALIVE! She did it! She was OKAY! OH MY GOD! And then the tears came, the racking, end-of-the-world flood of tears I'd been holding back, the 4 months of worry, draining out of me with 12 little words. Freya’s surgery went well. She was waking up. She was with us. She would be coming home with me. I was crying so hard I couldn’t see to type my reply and my hands were shaking so I had to type very slowly: “it did? thank you!!! thank him!!!”

I broke the news. I called Sam. I felt badly that I was crying when I called but it couldn’t be helped. He thought Freya was dead because I was so upset, but once he realized she was okay he was relieved. We all were. All of Freya’s friends on social media, all of her friends at our Vet’s office, all of my friends, too were cheering. It was such a great moment, but along with the relief came exhaustion. Selfishly I thought that maybe now I could sleep, because I suddenly felt so drained.

But there would be no sleep. Dr. Pavletic was going to call me and my phone didn’t stop chiming with good wishes. I decided to sit in bed at least and do nothing other than rest and wait for the call. He checked in a few hours later and told me how well everything went. We didn’t talk for long because he had another life to save, but I gave him my thanks and said I’d look forward to his next update at the end of the day. It was already 2 PM so I sat my alarm for 5 PM. Now I could sleep.

Or maybe not.

-------------------- to be continued...

Freya 2.0. In Search of Peace. Part 9

continued from part 8

I lived in Minneapolis many years ago and drove in blizzards in whiteout conditions. One late spring day my car stalled out driving across a flooded road during a “once in a hundred years” severe thunderstorm that dropped 10" of rain in 4 hours, while tornadoes buzzed nearby. But this trip to Boston was one of the most difficult and terrifying of my life. By the time the sky was fading to black, I was grateful the traffic jammed up and we were forced to dribble along at 15 mph. I never understood why this was called rush hour. At least I could slow down physically and maybe emotionally, too. I couldn’t wait to get to the hotel. I wanted to get unpacked, get Freya cleaned up, then maybe cry and do nothing but rest in a peaceful retreat for the night.

Freya waiting to be unpacked r Olson copy
©2014 Robin AF Olson. Freya's ready to bust out of her Sleepypod.

I got to the hotel and parked in the wrong spot. It was covered parking and I needed the shelter since it was pouring rain. I found out I had to carry most of my own bags, with help from the nice lady at the front desk. When she told me my room was down the hall on the first floor I got worried about noise, but in truth it made getting Freya back and forth a lot easier. As I opened the door to the room, I saw a nice king-sized bed with perfectly white sheets on it. I wondered how I was going to keep that bed white with a kitten leaking stool out of her back end. Then I heard it: NOISE, traffic noise. The traffic I’d just escaped. The back of the hotel overlooks a parkway. My heart sank. I’d already dragged all my bags into the room and washed Freya off. Yes I was a loser for not asking for another room, but I was too tired to move. I just didn’t know how I would sleep. So much for peaceful retreat.

Final blowout r olson copy
©2014 Robin AF Olson. Last “blowout”! Clean up, aisle 9!

At least Freya was unfazed. Once clean, I tried to get her to eat but she wouldn’t have a bite. I got out her toys and set up her kitty cabin and hooked up the heated bed. I took every one of the towels I brought and covered the bed with them, then hoped that somehow it would do the trick and keep it clean. Freya loved running around on the carpeting since she could dig her claws into it for traction. She chased after all her toys while I finished unpacking. I’d brought some food from a deli so I sat on the bed and ate a sandwich, grateful to have something to eat after a miserable trip. Since there was no room service or café at the hotel, nor was it near anywhere to get take-out, it worked out that I brought my own food.

Here we were in Boston just a half-mile from MSPCA-Angell Animal Medical Center where at 6:30 AM I’d be dropping Freya off for her surgery. Every time I thought about it I felt sick. I was glad Freya had no idea of what was going on as she happily investigated the room and dodged in and out of her cabin, something familiar among all the new smells.

On Bed in Cabin R Olson
©2014 Robin AF Olson. All the comforts of home.

I took off my shoes and sat on the bed. Freya jumped up onto the chair I had next to the bed. The bed was so tall I knew she couldn’t make it without the chair as a step stool. She looked at me, then ran up to my lap, up my chest and rubbed her face against mine. I felt her soft fur and leaned into her as she purred deeply. She sat on my lap and quickly got settled, falling asleep. She’d had a tough trip, too.

I was sitting in a weird position, my bra was digging into my side; a knot started to burn in my back under my left shoulder, but Freya was comfortable. I didn’t want to upset this moment. What if it was her last night?

Last night lap R Olson
©2014 Robin AF Olson. Velcro kitten.

So I sat there like a pretzel wearing a too-tight bra and tried to watch some TV while I heard the thrum of the rush-hour traffic whiz by the room. I wondered once again about the price I had to pay. Why couldn’t I have gotten a quieter room? All I was living for was some peace. The next day I’d take a true break. I had no laptop so I couldn’t work or do emails. Freya would be having her surgery. Maybe I could take a day off, but certainly not much of one with all this noise.

Parting shots R Olson copy
©2014 Robin AF Olson. Yes, I love you, too.

I finally worked up a way to get my bra off the way I did when I had to go to Summer Camp and didn't want the other girls to see my training bra or what was under it. Leaving my shirt on, I reached behind me and unhooked the bra while trying not to wriggle around and disturb Freya. Once I got that done I slid the straps off, then threaded each one down the sleeves of my shirt, finally yanking it out one sleeve like a Magician might do (only a bra came out of my shirt, not a bouquet of flowers). I didn’t have to wake up Freya and it helped a little bit to have one less thing digging into me. After about an hour my legs were falling asleep so I moved her. She got up and started running around again. I was glad for both of us. At least I could get into my pajamas and get into a more comfortable position. As soon as I did, Freya was back on my lap.

©2014 Robin AF Olson. Still playful after a very long day.

All through the night Freya was either sleeping on me or making sure we were touching. It was the first night we could be together in all the months she’d been my foster kitten. Every time she moved, I made sure the towels were under her.

She wanted to put her dirty little butt in my face but I drew the line with that. I tucked a towel around my neck and she sat on my shoulder while I was half propped up.

I was so exhausted I actually fell asleep with her leaning on my face, her head on my cheek. I woke up some time later with her still there, her wet nose was cold, but she was still purring away.

Dirty beehind R Olson copy
©2014 Robin AF Olson. No, I do not want to sleep with that in my face. Thank you.

I didn’t get much sleep. At 5 AM I got up and got us both ready to go. I was so scared and tired I was shaking. I looked at Freya and cried. I had to stop. I had to be strong. I hoped I’d paid the price and in return today would be the best day of her life. I didn’t want to think of what I would do if she died.

Robin and Freya R Olson
©2014 Robin AF Olson. Me and my girl.

It was still pitch black outside and there were barely any cars on the road. The trip to Angell was a quick one. We were the second car in the gigantic parking lot. It looked deserted but I knew they were open 24 hours a day. I took a deep breath and got Freya, all her paperwork and my credit card ready to go. The sliding doors opened as we approached.

I wondered how I’d be feeling the next time I entered these doors. Would it be to pick up Freya or to say goodbye? I had to steady myself and just get this job done. I could fall apart later.

Angell at night R Olson
©2014 Robin AF Olson. The gateway to salvation.

After I checked Freya in and paid for her surgery I met with Jen, who would be our Client Liaison. She was cheerful and charming, sporting and elfin haircut and many shiny piercings on her face that I tried not to stare at. She explained that she would be texting me updates throughout the day and that if I needed anything or had questions that she would take care of everything. She did a great job assuring me that communication was not going to be a problem and that she had everything covered.

When she saw Freya her eyes lit up. As everyone as who’s ever met her, Jen was completely delighted by Freya who meowed a hello as Jen gave her a few pets. We went over what was to be expected and I found out that the surgery would be the first of Dr. Pavletic’s and would start around 9:30AM. She promised to let me know when the surgery was going to begin. I forgot to ask how long it would take, but I knew from the estimate that they expected two hours of anesthesia.

Farewell Freya R Olson
©2014 Robin AF Olson. With Jen.

It was time to hand Freya over. Jen brought out a small white cage. It reminded me of a modified trap I’d used to TNR feral cats. I didn’t want Frey to go. The reality of the moment hit me hard. I held back my tears, gave her a kiss and choked out the words: “I love you.” I took a few terrible photos and tried not to think that they might be the last ones I took of her.

Caged Freya R Olson
©2014 Robin AF Olson. This is it. The next time I see you you'll be Freya 2.0.

I zipped closed her empty carrier and walked back outside, into the early dawn which only managed to change from black to a sluggish gray. The rain had returned and chilled my face as I returned to my car. All I wanted to do was go back to bed and sleep, but with surgery only a few hours away I decided I better just sit in my hotel room and wait.

------to be continued.

Freya 2.0. Neither Snow, Nor Rain, Nor Gloom of Night. Part 8

My father grew up with a fairly serious case of Italian Guilt inherited from his father; “Every good thing always comes with a price.” he’d tell me. Of course that rubbed off on me over the years and a few days ago it became the theme of my journey to Boston with Freya.

Freya had run out of time. Her colon was loaded with so much stool that fairly soon she’d start vomiting because her stomach was pushed too far out of its normal position and she couldn’t hold any volume of food inside it any longer. She’d suffer, laying on her side, groaning as her muscles contracted in a vain attempt to move some of the trapped stool out of a very tiny opening in her vagina. It was the only way any stool could leave her body. We’d hoped she’d make it to January when we were told she’d be big enough to handle a multi-hour surgery that might create a rectum, something she was born without, but desperately needed.

Playtime R Olson copy
©2014 Robin AF Olson.

But we couldn’t wait any longer. The surgery was quickly re-scheduled once we saw her latest x-rays. Her intestines looked like over-stuffed sausages, roping and twisting through her abdomen. Not only was it dangerous, it had to be very painful for Freya.

On Tuesday she and I left for Boston; my little car with not-so-great tires, had to make the trip, no matter what. Even if there was a terrible nor’easter predicted with battering rain, little visibility and damaging winds to battle through, I HAD to get Freya to Boston for her surgery the following morning.

©2014 Robin AF Olson.

I admit I’m not wired to handle stressful situations with grace and elegance. I get sick to my stomach. I can’t sleep. I run every scenario over and over through my head. I have this silly feeling that if I don’t come up with every way the situation can go then the one I didn’t think of will happen. I may feel in my heart that Freya is going to be ok, but I don’t want to jinx it. I won’t say that aloud. I will think back about what her surgeon, Dr. Pavletic, told me about all the complications that could kill her during and after surgery. The stitches might not hold then she’d die of sepsis. Once the surgery started he might find another abnormality we didn’t know about that might make doing any repair impossible. Long surgeries take a toll on a kitten’s body temperature and her organs could shut down and she might die on the operating table. I had to stop thinking that this could be the last 24-hours of Freya’s life and start focusing on the road. There wouldn’t be anything to worry about if we didn’t make it to Boston and ended up in a ditch instead. The weather was so terrible that it was a very likely possibility.

From the moment I left the driveway I spent the next 3.5 hours white-knuckle driving across flooded highways, desperate to keep the car on the road, while the wind had other ideas. I chided myself for not getting new tires, but in truth I can’t afford them and there wasn’t time to do it. I had all day to get to Boston, even if it meant I had to drive at granny-speeds to do it.

What shocked me was how foolish the other drivers were. It’s bad enough people over-drive their cars in good weather, but I got tail-gated by semi-trucks (I was in the right lane on a 3-lane highway), morons in SUVS or newer cars flew by me doing over 60 mph (because that’s the fastest I could safely travel and most of the time I had to go a lot slower). My heart racing, my blood pressure ticking upwards, I kept wondering when I’d paid the price for Freya. Four months of early morning feedings, cleanings, fussing with this kitten. Four months of tears and fear about if she’d keep going long enough to get her surgery. There was a blur of vet visits, emails to peers and beyond asking for help; so much time spent. Didn’t I already do enough? Why does this trip have to be so difficult?

In the fog and pouring rain south of Hartford, I looked at the clock on my dashboard. It was 1:44 PM and I did the math that I was very behind schedule. As I looked up, appearing out of the gloom, laying on its side in my lane was the fender of a semi-truck. It was as high as the hood of my car. Time stopped as everything in my body tensed, readying for impact as I realized in a flash that maybe we weren’t going to make Boston after all.

I’d been careful driving so that I wasn’t near other cars if I could help it. I think that’s what saved our lives because I had to do a very quick, careful, maneuver around the fender that put me out of my lane for a few seconds. I couldn’t overdo the turn. I flashed back to “C-P-R,” (correct, pause, recover), a move I learned taking a Skip Barber Professional Driving class 15 years ago when my life was a lot more carefree and I drove a zippy yellow Mustang GT with a 250hp motor and 18” wheels. The road was so flooded if I wasn’t careful with the correction, with the crappy condition of my tires I would have spun out of control and been hit. As it was I thought I was going to hit the fender no matter what I did and I held my breath waiting for the screech of metal on metal to flay the paint off the right side of my car.

Unbearable Cuteness R olson
©2014 Robin AF Olson.

Thankfully I just barely missed the fender and was able to get over to my exit heading us east a few moments later. Freya had no idea what was going on, but I was so angry and upset that the sky should have dried up right then and there. The toll had been paid; the price collected out of the sprouting gray hairs on my head, but the rain and wind continued to batter us as it made me even more determined to get to Boston.

-----------------to be continued...

On the Eve of the Birth of Freya 2.0. Part 7.

In writing the last post about Freya before her surgery, I realized after it was proofed and ready to share that I forgot a very important bit of news. Freya's life was saved because our friends at Animals in Distress offered to have her family sign her over to their rescue, then I stepped in to begin providing care and do fundraising until they could sort out a foster home for her. As you know Freya's never left my home since arriving in September. With AIDs help I was able to have them do some of the leg-work required to get appointments set for Freya in Boston.

A (Wo)man's Search for Meaning

I don’t know where the time has gone. It seems like it was only just September a few days ago and here we are at the door to December. I find myself frustrated, not effective, not “getting things done,” but if I rated myself at how good of a job I’ve been doing at putting things off I’d get a gold star. I’ve been eating like a starved hermit and I can see my belly growing from self-soothing myself with food. I’d been on a good run over the summer, cutting out sugar and cutting down gluten. I felt like I could really do it this time. I was feeling a lot better and my skin was glowing, but then something happened. I don’t know what it was. I had a piece of candy, then two, then I didn’t care about things as much and I just ate what I wanted to even if having dinner meant it starting after 9 PM. I guess I need a better outlet for whatever it is I’m feeling. I suppose it’s fear due to barely scraping by and fear of losing what little success I’ve had blogging and running Kitten Associates. I know if I did only one thing, just ran my rescue or just did graphic design, I could do well. I could focus better, but it would mean other things have to be sacrificed and as much as I’m distressed, I can’t cut one out. At best, I limp along trying to keep all these plates spinning; a bit of work here, do some fundraising there, write a blog post when I can.

As each day passes I ask myself why I have such a need to get to some place that doesn’t exist; to reach some moment in time where it all makes sense, where everything broken is repaired, where I finally clean out the basement, when I have a book published. I don’t know why I can’t look around and find the meaning I need today. Here. Now. I keep searching for something, but I don’t know what it is. How idiotic is that?

Fall Dream Robin Olson
©2014 Robin A.F. Olson. Being surrounded by this brilliant color gave meaning to my life. It makes my heart soar and I forget about all that ails me.

Perhaps I shouldn't judge myself so harshly and stop taking it out on my body. My poor body didn’t do anything wrong, yet I’m not fueling it properly. I don’t really drink. I don’t smoke. I don’t take drugs other than a random aspirin. I try to live in a way facing whatever comes along, heartbreaking or not, but I can’t answer the one question of WHY it seems to be impossible to be content with things as they are and WHY I can’t simply eat to fuel myself. Why am I stuffing down my anxiety with food?

It’s been a tough run these past few months. We’ve had the shocking loss of Celeste two days after she was spayed, followed by a very long heart-to-heart conversation with our Vet, Dr. Mille. I was angry and felt he likely caused Celeste’s death since he performed her spay surgery, but he was quick to point out the many reasons why her death was something that may have happened at any moment due to the clotting disorder he suspected she had. We ended our conversation very warmly. Dr. Mille even offered to help me develop protocols to screen all our foster cats so we could do a better job preventing another cat from dying after a spay. I was grateful to him for the offer. Most Vets won’t take time to do something that’s not billable and I was looking forward to working with him, but I waited too long.

On Thanksgiving Dr. Mille died. He seemed to be a vigorous, athletic middle-aged man. I couldn’t imagine why he would die so suddenly as I sat in stunned silence once I’d heard the news. There are rumors of what happened, but not why or how. I won't be a gossip, but it leaves me shaken. It reminds me again how fleeting this life really is; we can’t take it for granted. Our goal should be to find peace with each day, whatever it brings, and to find a way to appreciate everything we have because when it’s gone that’s it. No do-over. The end.

So with my life’s clock ticking down and the pressure to accomplish something that I’m not even sure what it is, leaves me in an uncomfortable place. I wonder if everyone else feels this way, too.

I was thinking about Dr. Viktor Frankl’s book, Man’s Search for Meaning, where he writes about his experiences in a Nazi Concentration Camp. As a psychologist it gave him a unique perspective that he turned into careful observations leading him to see that even in extreme cases of suffering life never ceases to have meaning.

Dr mille 350
©2014 Cat Clinic. Dr. Mille.

He writes: “Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love. I understood how a man who has nothing left in this world still may know bliss, be it only for a brief moment, in the contemplation of his beloved. In a position of utter desolation, when man cannot express himself in positive action, when his only achievement may consist in enduring his sufferings in the right way—an honorable way—in such a position man can, through loving contemplation of the image he carries of his beloved, achieve fulfillment.”

I thought about Dove, a little kitten I’d only just learned about who was being fostered by the Itty Bitty Kitty Committee and who had a similar birth defect to the one my kitten Freya has. She’d been found in a box on the side of the road, a filthy mess, in terrible shape. Her foster mom Isabel, did her very best, taking Dove to many Vets in the hopes she’d find an answer to her curious birth defect, but most had never seen this deformity before and how to treat this mysterious condition was even more daunting.

I gave Isabel every piece of information I’d learned and begged her to have her Vet contact our surgeons. For me, helping others is the only way I ever feel good and perhaps you can call that a type of love: loving-kindness. I even began to imagine that I would ask Isabel to let me take Dove and that she and Freya could be sisters. I’d find a way to provide care for both of them since I live much closer to our Boston surgeon than Dove’s West Virginia home. All that needed to happen was that Dove had to stabilize her health and then I’d ask about taking her on.

Dove 300
©2014 Itty Bitty Kitty Committee Rescue. Dove.

And then the very next day, a message on the IBKC Facebook Page that Dove was fading fast, seemingly over night; that her core temperature had dropped to fatal levels and shortly thereafter, she slipped away on her own surrounded by her loving foster family. It was devastating news.

Each time I learn about a beloved cat dying I want to run away and hide or pull my hair out and scream about how unfair it is and how cruel life can be. I think about Frankl’s quote that even in utter desolation, when we can’t do anything about what is happening (Dove’s death for example) our only salvation is through love. Isabel’s love for Dove will keep her going even with a broken heart. My love for Freya, even with the terrifying ups and downs of her condition, are what will sustain me. I will do right by her as I have done so before for others. Perhaps that is what I’ve been searching for all along?

Sleepy Girl R Olson
©2014 Robin A.F Olson. My darling Freya.

Perhaps all I want to know is that I’m doing right by my actions and whatever may come I will continue to do so; that some how I will find a way to stop stuffing my fears into my mouth. Perhaps my journey to salvation already began as finding love for animals and for being their advocate. That feeling grew into an openness which developed into exhibiting loving-kindness towards their human caretakers. Where I get stuck is finding a way to love myself and maybe that's the key to what I've been looking for all along. I don't have to reach a certain moment in time or accomplish a certain thing or I'll be left feeling like a failure. I have to have faith in the love I have for myself and others and everything else will fall into place.

Know the Signs of Feline Diabetes #PetHealthMonth

Is this your cat?

Increased thirst, urination or possibly inappropriately urinating, hunger, weight loss, lethargy, vomiting, and even weakness in the back legs might be the warning signs your cat has Feline Diabetes Mellitus.

As with any behavior change in your cat, your first thought should be to consider taking him or her to the vet for a checkup-especially if it’s been some time since your cat has seen the vet. The symptoms listed above can also be attributed to other diseases which is why it’s even more important to have your cat examined if something is off in their behavior.

Squeegee Somber R Olson
©2001 Robin A.F. Olson. Squeegee.

In honor or Pet Health Awareness month I’ve decided to share a personal story about how a cat with diabetes changed my life and how it started me on a path I hope will help others keep their cats from ever becoming “sugar cats.”

Her name was Squeegee and she was a chubby, calico/tabby mix with white mittens and brilliant green eyes. Back in the late 1990’s I didn’t know much about cat health, but I did make sure my cats got to the vet every so often. One day I came home from work and Squeegee wasn’t walking right. Her back legs were wobbly as if she could no longer hold up her own weight. Panicked, I called my vet and was able to bring her to him right away.

Dr. Larry did a careful exam and drew some blood to test. He returned to the exam room with a look on his face I’ve come to dread. He told me that Squeegee likely had neuropathy in her back legs due to having uncontrolled diabetes.

He’d have to do what’s called a glucose curve on her to make certain that was the problem (some cats can spike a high blood glucose level from the stress of going to the vet) and that I’d have to start giving Squeegee insulin shots every day for the rest of her life. Her legs would regain strength once her levels were stable, but I’d also have to change her diet to a prescription food made just for diabetic cats.

I was in a state of shock. There was no way I could deal with a cat who needed shots. I wasn’t a nurse. I just loved my cat, fed her, gave her a safe home and now I had to fuss around with her and give her food that my other cat, Stanley couldn’t eat. In a way I was glad to leave Squeegee for the night so I could try to get my mind around what was about to happen and how it would change both of our lives. Dr. Larry gave me some syringes and had me practice giving shots on an orange. Meanwhile I was trying to figure out how I was going to manage keeping her insulin shots on schedule when I worked far from home.

©2001 Robin A.F. Olson. Squeegee & Stanley enjoying a snack of cat grass.

Looking back on it I wish I could have reached through time to tell myself not to blindly listen to what I was being told. Squeegee had been free-fed dry food and got treats of canned food for most of her life. I know the poor quality food was the culprit that made her sick but I bought into the marketing schemes to get me to buy something I thought was good. I had know idea how important the role of diet was in preventing diabetes in the first place.

I began to do some research on feline diet. As I learned about cat nutrition I came to understand that the biggest thing I could do to keep my cat from getting sick in the first place was to stop free-feeding and stop feeding kibble. The answers were few and far between back then and the commercially available choices were limited. By the time I discovered that some people were putting their cats into lifetime remission by feeding them a high protein diet, Squeegee had also developed cancer which was spreading to her lungs and it was too late to help her.

Squeegee died at the age of 13, which I consider young for a cat. Had I understood what her body really needed for fuel, she could have lived a much longer, healthier life. After Squeegee passed away I stopped feeding kibble to my cats and never looked back. No cat parent should ever have to face the heartache of seeing their cat suffer needlessly when an appropriate diet might have been the answer all along.

Today there are numerous resources for anyone who is either concerned about preventing diabetes or who has a diabetic cat and needs more answers.

There’s a great organization called Diabetic Cats in Need (DCIN). DCIN supports diabetic cats in their original, adoptive, shelter, and rescue homes when finances are a barrier to treatment; helps to re-home unwanted diabetic cats by promoting cats that need homes and helps to educate caregivers on the appropriate treatment of diabetic cats by referring them to other sites.

DCINs Facebook Page

DCIN is an Internet-based rescue/assistance program. It does not have a facility or take diabetic cats into foster care. But having a Facebook following of over 4500 people, DCIN gives people who need to re-home diabetic cats a broad audience of potential adopters. When finances or distance are a barrier to re-homing in a qualified home or shelter/rescue, DCIN may be able to help pay for transport and with transport logistics.

Venita Wood, Director of DCIN said; “After insulin, the first best thing you can do to keep your diabetic cat safe and healthy is home-testing its blood glucose levels. It will cost you less to use an inexpensive human glucometer at home three to four times a day than it would cost take your cat to the veterinarian once a month for a blood glucose curve. And you will get more realistic blood glucose numbers because the cat won't be subject to vet stress.”

While DCIN does not provide guidance on the day-to-day treatment of diabetic cats because they feel other web sites are already doing a great job (see ones listed below), DCIN wants others to understand that diabetes is NOT a death sentence. They’re working hard to change the mindset of shelters and owners who feel it’s too much cost and too much hassle to keep diabetic cats alive.

From my experience I’d add that there’s no substitute for a great, wholesome diet whether your cat is diabetic or not. Should your cat become diabetic keep the faith and don’t give up. Here are some resources to help.

Feline Diabetes">

Feline Nutrition

UPDATE: As of this writing I learned the sad news that Venita Wood can no longer continue to be at the helm of DCIN. She is looking for a dedicated, compassionate person to hand over the reins of this life-saving organization. If you share a passion for helping diabetic cats and you’d like to know more visit DCIN’s facebook page or contact


This post is sponsored by BlogPaws. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about #PetHealthAwareness, but Covered in Cat Hair only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. BlogPaws is not responsible for the content of this article.

Antics of a 12-week Old Kitten. For Freya.

Freya loves Fluff Daddy and vice versa. Every chance she gets, Freya chases Fluff around the house. Some times he'll turn the table on her and chase her back. Since she's too little to be left on her own, she can only be out if someone can supervise her. Of course we can only do this when she's in one of her "dry" periods, too. I don't think it would be much fun to have to clean up poo-drips all over the house. Having to do it in her room a few times a day is enough thankyouverymuch.

Here's our Freya from this morning's antics with Fluff Daddy. It's nice to see her simply being a kitten, instead of worrying about her surviving the day or thinking about her surgery in January. This is how every day should be for Freya.

Freya Surprise R Olson
©2014 Robin AF Olson.

Fluff Swat R Olson
©2014 Robin AF Olson. Missed by "this much."

Playtime w Fluff 2 R Olson
©2014 Robin AF Olson.

Playtime w Fluff 3 R Olson
©2014 Robin AF Olson.

Playtime w Fluff R Olson
©2014 Robin AF Olson. No kitten was hurt during the capturing of this image.

Silly stare R Olson
©2014 Robin AF Olson. Ready to rumble?

The Unexpected Turn. For Freya. Part 6.

Freya’s asleep in the little pink cage that sits on the printer stand next to my desk. The sun has long since set and after a few hours of racing around the living room, followed by a snack, Freya’s too tired to do more than soak up the warmth from the heated bed and purr herself to sleep.

It’s been barely 48 hours since Freya and I returned from our 350 mile round trip to Boston to meet Dr. Pavletic at MSPCA Angell Animal Medical Center. Nothing happened the way I expected or feared. After all the tears and anxiety in the days leading up to the trip, I assumed this was “IT”—possibly the last days of her life before very risky surgery to correct her recto-vaginal fistula. I’d played out every scenario I could think of including that Dr. Pavletic would put it off, but since he’d reviewed Freya’s 5 sets of radiographs (1 for every other week I’ve had her), blood work and exam notes from our local surgeon, Dr. Potanas, I thought if we were going all the way to Boston the decision being made was IF she was a good candidate at all, not that she was still to small to have it done in the first place.

Up CLose R Olson 475
©2014 Robin AF Olson. Silly girl after returning home from Boston.


I woke up at 5 AM the day of the trip because I wanted to feed Freya a few hours before we had to leave. That way she’d not get sick while in the car-at least that was the idea. I didn’t sleep well that night, if at all. I know I dreamt so that means I slept but I also felt like an athlete, ready to jump out of bed at any second and start a race. I was on the alert, positive there was NO WAY I was going to miss the 11 AM appointment even though it meant blasting through rush hour in both Waterbury, CT and Hartford, CT on the way to Boston. With so many variables with traffic I opted to give the normally 3 hour or so drive 4 hours. It would allow me to pit stop if needed, too. With a kitten leaking stool I had no idea how messy it was going to get for Freya, my car or even myself as I struggled to keep her clean.

Freya’s pink cage was on the passenger seat of my car. I had it rigged up so it wouldn’t tip over. A 30 lb container of ice melt was just the right size to place on the floor so the cage could rest on it where it left the edge of the seat. The cage was familiar to Freya so I hoped it would help keep her comfortable for the long drive.

©2014 Robin AF Olson. My wish for Freya.

As much as my heart was in my throat and as much as I was terrified to leave, I put my car into first gear and headed out the driveway a few minutes after 7 AM.

After the first hour and first traffic jam was passed, I stopped the car at a rest area to clean Freya up. She wasn’t too bad, but needed her towel refreshed. She'd waxed and waned between being completely miserable and silent to meowing at me and playing with a toy I had dangling into her cage. I was able to slip a few fingers between the bars as I drove along, to stroke her face while she looked up at me with such sadness. I talked to her about why we were driving so far away and how important this was to her future. She grunted back in reply, another uncomfortable contraction raced through her. She was trying to move stool, but I knew it wouldn’t result in much. I thought about how this surgery couldn’t happen soon enough. I’d see her x-rays over the months and they continued to show a continual build-up of stool inside her. I wished I could give her that relief. In some way this trip was my only way to do that—IF Dr. Pavletic would do the surgery.

About 30 minutes before we arrived at MSPCA-Angell, Freya began to grunt and whine in earnest. Stool was coming out in tiny drips but she was laying in an ever more disturbing position. The traffic in Boston was terrible. There was nothing I could do until we got to Angell. Poor Freya just laid there and groaned.

Angell Sign R Olson
©2014 Robin AF Olson. At last.

We reached Angell by 10:30 AM, but it took me a long while to get Freya out of the car, then load up all her towels, paper towels, medical records and the like before I could get her into the bathroom to wash her off. She was in one of her “wet phases” where she pushes and pushes until she’s moved enough liquidy stool to feel comfortable again. I kept having to return to the bathroom to rinse her off, careful not to get stool all over myself in the process. She continued to move stool but this was very watery so it bled through the towels.

My friend Laurie, who adopted two kitties from us, met me at Angell since she lives a few miles away. She helped me attempt to keep Freya calm and clean but it wasn’t possible to do much since Freya kept pushing. She was so tired she eventually fell asleep for a short time in my arms as I tried not to show how panicked I felt that it was almost time to get the answers we'd all been waiting so long for.

Sleepy Girl R Olson
©2014 Robin AF Olson. Wiped out from the trip and from feeling dreadful, Freya rests while we wait for Dr. Pavletic to arrive.

It was almost 11:30 AM before Dr. Pavletic finally entered the cats only waiting area to escort Freya and me into his exam room.

This should have been the big, heart-pounding zenith of our story, but the air came out of it fairly quickly. Dr. Pavletic did a quick exam of Freya as his Vet Tech, Michelle tapped notes into a laptop. He excused himself to go look at Freya’s radiographs while I was left to look at poor Freya who was completely filthy from a giant, wet “blow out.”

Exam Time R Olson
©2014 Robin AF Olson. A very good girl considering how "probing" the exam was.

Michelle helped me get Freya cleaned up and returned to her cat carrier. Here I thought she was going to have a long exam, we’d go over her history, he’d ask lots of questions, but he came back into the room and asked me if I had questions (I did). He already seemed to have a game plan in mind—of course. He's been a surgeon for 30 years. This may be rote for him, but I could barely ask my first question: “Is Freya a candidate for surgery?”

He answered by telling me what the surgery would entail. It all depended on factors we couldn’t know about until the surgery was started. He felt that it was possible Freya did have a rectum just on the other side of her skin, just above the opening of her vagina, as in all cats. If that was the case he could pull it out and attach it to her, but then it gets tough because he’d have to go INSIDE her colon to FIND the beginning of the fistula (the abnormal connection between her rectum and her vagina). If the opening wasn’t too far inside her he could stitch it closed. Then he’d dilate her vagina and find the end of the fistula and stitch that closed.

The stitches might not hold, they might tear, they might allow stool into her abdomen and she could die from sepsis.

He also told me that odds were that Freya would always be incontinent but she might be able to at least pass stool. He mentioned that many people would not consider her adoptable and that euthanization would be an option at that point.

I stopped him from going further and told him that without ANY doubt we wanted Freya to live. Where or how she passed stool-we didn’t really care. If she was happy and having fun we’d deal with the rest. He seemed maybe not relieved by my words but willing to drop it and move forward.

Look at me at ANgell Ro Lson
©2014 Robin AF Olson. Freya uses her cuteness to intensify her spell over me.

There were more risks listed and a possible second and third surgery to be done depending on how things worked out. It would happen either separately or possibly two procedures during the same session. One surgery after the fistula repair could be to put a “twist” into her colon to help her have the muscle strength to push stool out and another surgery to possibly remove the megacolon she might develop from having her colon stretched so much over all this time.

But then the bomb dropped-he very matter-of-factly said he wanted to wait two months and see if she was big enough then. I couldn’t understand why I’d come all this way to have it delayed. Couldn’t he have made the call after seeing all her records?

He said he’d done the surgery a few times and one cat was continent and 3 or 4 were not. He never talked about any of them dying and by then I was too blank to think because I had made a hotel reservation and I had to sort out how I was going to get out of paying for it now that it was too late to cancel it. I admit to feeling a bit irked because I had planned on taking a day OFF to just go to a museum and eat a nice meal while Freya was resting before her surgery the next day. I was exhausted and I wanted to rest. I wanted a day off, but now there was no reason to stay in Boston at all.

Playtime R Olson copy
©2014 Robin AF Olson. As it should be-not a care in the world.

Freya needed her Platelet test re-done so they took her from me and I walked out to the waiting room with Dr. Pavletic. I made a few jokes which he appreciated. He said his job was very tough and laughter was one of the few ways to manage the stress. I agreed with him and told him there was plenty more where that came from. I wished I could have connected better with him, but we really didn’t have the time. I told him I was very grateful and honored to meet him and that I’d keep him posted on Freya’s status until we met again.

He told me he realized this is a careful balance. We need Freya to get bigger, but we can’t let her keep filing up with stool to the point where it becomes emergency surgery. “We don’t want her to come here in crisis,” to which I quickly agreed.

At that moment I re-dedicated myself to finding a better diet for Freya now that I had time. As I waited for Freya's return I called the hotel, scared they'd still charge me the full rate for my room. As soon as I mentioned I'd need to return to Boston in January Ryan, the front desk guy, easily changed my reservation to the new dates. I was free to go back to Sandy Hook after only being in Boston for two hours.

Biting the Box R Olson
©2014 Robin AF Olson. Not the best snack.

I also had time to research if we could do a 3-D model of her anatomy. Dr. Pavletic was all for doing that, but the trick is HOW to do it. We’d have to do a very expensive CT Scan first and that would also require Freya to be very lightly and briefly sedated. After that we’d take the data and it would have to be translated into a file format that the 3-D printer could read, but IS there software that does it? I guess I’ll find out. No one has modeled soft tissue like this before, but we’re talking about Freya so we must find a way.

Unbearable Cuteness R olson
©2014 Robin AF Olson. Cross-eyed, bowlegged, rectum or not, what's not to love.

As for myself, on the very long drive home, I thought a lot about how this was going to effect my life. Freya takes up one of my two foster rooms. It will really impair my ability to move cats to CT from Georgia. I need to do a better job getting our foster kittens (who are HUGE NOW) adopted. I have to work harder somehow and be more effective. I can’t give up on Freya because I didn’t factor her being her for months on end. I love her and she brings me great joy between all the tears and fear about her future. She doesn’t know she has multiple birth defects. She just knows love and joy and sadly a great deal of discomfort from time to time, but with any luck, we’ll try again in January and maybe this time will be her time.

Until then I'm going to love her like crazy.

©2014 Robin AF Olson. Sweetness from the Sweetess.


Please. For Freya.

Freya’s asleep in the little pink cage that sits on the printer stand next to my desk. It’s her temporary home during each afternoon so we can be together while I work and so she can enjoy the sunshine that often bathes my office.

In the cage R Olson
©2014 Robin AF Olson. Freya in her pink cage.

I can’t believe that Freya’s surgery may happen a week from today. I’ve already booked my hotel and tomorrow I’m getting my car checked out so the drive to Boston, to MSPCA-Angell Animal Medical Hospital, will be as safe as possible.

It’s been a long journey of more than 8 weeks since I first offered to foster Freya “just for a few days.” Those early days were very hard on me. The amount of care she required basically caused me to shut down Kitten Associates because I could only just do the basics for all our other cats, then grab a nap when there was time. Feedings were every few hours because she was so young and she needed loving care so I had an air mattress in her room and spent many hours just holding her while we both rested in the early hours before dawn.

Freya and Spencer Meet R Olson
©2014 Robin AF Olson. Freya thinks Spencer is her mother.

These days things are much easier and Freya has a schedule of cleanings, feedings and play time that isn’t as taxing on me. Freya still needs to be bathed many times a day due to her birth defect (a recto-vaginal fistula-you can read more about her early days with me Here) but she’s used to it now and lays across my hand as I rinse off her back end and legs. She’s doesn’t seem to mind and in fact she licks my fingers when I clean off certain areas. She even purrs during cleaning, but sadly some times she cries out, too. Passing stool through her “lady place” has to be painful, if not for the most part impossible. It’s all she’s got until surgery next week.

On Friday we take her final radiographs and do blood work. We don’t know if she has any other abnormalities and the blood work is a vital part of her surgical pre-screening.

Freya intense r olson
©2014 Robin AF Olson. Not sure what direction Freya is looking in but she's ready to pounce on something.

A few days ago we also did radiographs after I discovered that Freya had far looser stool than normal and had been vomiting. I rushed her over to Newtown Veterinary Specialists where Dr. Potanas examined her. We assumed it to be a virus of some sort and the hope was that she would clear it fast enough so it wouldn’t make her surgery impossible. Since it had been weeks since her last radiographs it was important to rule out that she was so FULL of stool it was causing the vomiting.

Lickey R Olson
©2014 Robin AF Olson. Silly monkey.

I feared the worst. Freya can’t have any of her core vaccinations until well after her surgery and she’s been around all my cats. Though she does not share a litter pan or food dish she does jump on my cats from time to time. They could carry a disease that they have no symptoms for. I realized I was an idiot for letting her near them but in my own defense there is a very fine line here. Freya NEEDS socialization with other cats to learn not to bite or be too aggressive. She can’t learn that from me and there have been times when she was too rough already. With a bop on the nose or a growl from my cats, Freya can learn, but at what price?

Super silly pants R Olson copy
©2014 Robin AF Olson. Yes, Freya also sports black and pink "jellybeans."

With surgery day approaching we REALLY lucked out – knock wood –Freya cleared her virus in a day. I can’t let her near my cats any longer. If she does well and the surgery is a success, then if she’s up to it maybe we can get back to being with cats again. I really hate doing this to her. She needs other cats and she already loves chasing Fluff Daddy around the house (and vice versa). I have to balance being careful with making sure every day is a happy one for her.

Freya has gained 1 pound, 10 ounces since she arrived weighing 1 pound, 2 ounces. She’ll be a bit over 12 weeks old, which was our goal for doing the surgery. The problem I face is there are so many unknowns that won’t be revealed until we’re in Boston that it’s hard to know what to think or what to be worried about. Maybe that’s a blessing?

01FREYA 11 7 14 RT
©2014 Robin AF Olson. Last set of radiographs. This surgery can't come soon enough. Look at that BIG mass of stool inside her.

We’re to see Dr. Michael Pavletic on Monday, Nov 10 at 11 AM. That’s when I will find out IF he feels Freya is a candidate for surgery and if so, WHEN the surgery will take place. It’s likely it will happen on Nov 11 (11/11!). But…he could say no..he could say he can’t help her…he could say he wants to wait longer. I have no idea. I’ve also thrown a wrench into the works by suggesting something that is pretty much bleeding edge technology.

What if we used 3-D printing to help Freya?

For those of you who don’t know what 3-D printing is, it’s basically taking a flat, 2-D object and creating a product in 3-D that is printed out using small strands of hot melted plastic (or other materials like FOOD-yes FOOD can now be printed). This allows designers to create pretty much anything from a car to a cart for a handicapped dog that fits that dog perfectly because it’s based on a scan of the actual dog. They are creating more and more things using 3-D printing even valves for human heart repair!

1FREYA 11 7 14 RT
©2014 Robin AF Olson. Freya also has deformities in her spine, back legs and is cross-eyed.

The idea is: make a 3-D model of Freya’s anatomy so Dr. Pavletic can better plan out the surgery OR maybe there’s a way to fabricate a mold that is the perfect shape of the thing Freya doesn’t have-a rectum. Maybe that mold could be made out of other material that would work in place of the real thing? I just don’t know, but I did reach out and found some help.

There are two master fabricators at UPenn who have worked with Vets before and have the 3-D printing equipment we need. I’ve asked them for assistance and they are eager to help. I’ve reached out to Dr. P. and though he doesn't need a model (but would like one if I can swing it), I want him to understand that anything I can do to help make this surgery a success I’m going to do, even if it’s nutty, cutting edge technology or bordering on absurd. It doesn’t hurt to ask, right? So what if Freya has a robo-anus? She needs to survive this surgery and live a good life. I don’t care how it happens.

I love all my foster cats and kittens as my own, but after the past few months of cats dying and emergency vet runs we need a WIN. I love the heck out of this kitten. We need good news. We need a happy conclusion for Freya. Her light is SO bright. She’s SO vivacious. I can’t think that this could be the last week of her life, but there are odds that it could be or that the second or third surgery she may need will end her life. It's going to be a long road.

Blue eyes R Olson475
©2014 Robin AF Olson. Her eyes are so radiant, it's tough to capture their true color.

So, 3-D printed body parts, trips to Boston, revered surgeons..may it all come together beautifully and perfectly all For Freya. And frankly, if I can just maintain a reasonable level of calm going through this I would really be grateful.

©2014 Robin AF Olson. Freya being Freya.

-----time passes-------

It’s Sunday. Tomorrow is THE day-the day I drive to Boston with Freya. Time’s up. Blood work has been done. It showed an abnormality with her blood platelets, which can result in a high risk of bleeding during surgery. I’m told that the test can easily have a bad result if it’s not done right. We will re-do the test and hope for better results once we arrive in Boston.

Although there's a team ready and interested to do the 3-D model we just don’t have time to pull it off. It’s NEVER been done of soft tissue before and we’d have to get a CT Scan (expensive among other things) and there’s software needed to translate the CT Scan into data the 3-D printer can use. I don’t know IF there IS software that can do this yet.

Freya and Dr P goofing off copy
©2014 Robin AF Olson. Dr. Potanas, Freya's surgeon here in Newtown who has been overseeing her care and will take over once we get back from Boston.

I’ve already started packing the car. I have Freya’s pink crate on the front seat so I can keep an eye on her during our trip. I’m trying to get everything ready but as always there are bumps in the road. I smelled some nasty burning chemical smell coming off my car last night so now I’m wondering if I have a leak and if my car is going to break down. I’m at the point where I feel like whatever happens I will get to Boston tomorrow even if it means renting a car. Part of me can’t wait to get going and part of me is so busted up about it I fear a total meltdown once I finally meet Dr. Pavletic.

With spencer on the bed R olson copy
©2014 Robin AF Olson. On our last day together before the surgery, with Sam sick in bed, Freya got to help him feel better as she got some tips from Spencer on how best to do that.

You can’t quantify love, though I think everyone tries. They might say they love their foster kitten, but not like they love their own cat. Maybe there are “flavors” of love that we reserve for certain situations, I don’t know. All I know is I’m sitting here thinking about Freya. Her pink crate is gone from my office. It feels cold and empty here even though the same sunlight still shines into the windows. I have come to love Freya with all that I have and all that I am. I want her to LIVE and LIVE happily and well and it’s breaking my heart to know there’s a very strong chance it won’t go that way.

Please help me find the strength to do this-to be there for Freya-to not fall apart no matter what happens. Please let Dr. Pavletic have a really really good few days where he feels great and is happy and can help our little kitten. Please, Freya, know you are so loved, not just by me and Sam, but by the world who has come to know you, too. Let that love keep you strong and may that light inside you continue to shine brightly as you face the biggest challenge of your young life.

Please. We need a WIN. We need a really really big WIN.



Visit Freya's Facebook page and leave her a message of love & support. Maybe it's crazy but we're hoping for 1111 loving & supportive comments (in honor of her surgery on 11/11) and with your help we can do it!

Pawcircle for Freya with Mouse R Olson400
©2014 Robin AF Olson.

The Loss that May Break the Internet. Farewell Big Daddy.

I just got word that after a 7-month battle with nasal lymphoma that Big Daddy had to be humanely euthanized this afternoon. His daddy, Warren worked tirelessly to find a way to keep this gentle giant alive, but in the end the cancer made it impossible for Big Daddy to have any quality of life. It had spread and was far worse than anyone realized. Though they sought out help from Vet-oncologists and made sure that no matter what, Big Daddy had everything he needed to live the best life he could, it would never be as long as any of us would have wanted.

BigDaddyPortrait W Mahoney
©2014 William Mahone. The face that launched 10,000 friends on Facebook…Big Daddy.

Big Daddy's story is truly unique and in many ways breathtaking. From an injured stray cat who was assumed to be feral, Big Daddy sauntered into Warren's trap and the rest is history (some of it you can read in a selection of my previous posts HERE, HERE and HERE).


What hooked all of us from day one was that face. Big Daddy always had this forlorn expression-mixed with a combination of curiosity and surprise. When we expected him to be aggressive, he was mild-mannered. When he had to go to the vet or ride in the car he never complained. He never was foul-tempered even after getting painful radiation treatments. He tolerated chemotherapy, too, all with grace and dignity. He liked nothing more than to sleep with Warren and relax by the fire or hang out with his other kitty buddies.


Though I have never had the pleasure of meeting Big Daddy, I've been in the background helping Warren learn about feline nutrition and how it would help Big Daddy's prognosis. I also helped raise funds and shared funds from my own rescue. I was there for the late-night calls and tried to help Warren manage the excrutiating emotional ups and downs of Big Daddy's many close calls.

As time passes we'll learn more details about why Big Daddy was so happy and seemingly fine barely 24 hours ago and what trigged a massive seizure that though he recovered from, it uncovered something else, something so dire there was nothing more that could be done for him other than to allow him to have seizure after seizure. It was no way to live.

Warren promised him a long time ago that he would not let him suffer and he kept that promise today.

Big Daddy and Warren
©2014 Warren Royal. BFFs Warren with Big Daddy.



When I die I hope I come back as Warren's cat. His devotion, compassion and love for Big Daddy should be something honored and revered. He is the epitome of a Cat Daddy. If everyone was like Warren this world would be a far better place.


I know Warren, his family, his co-workers at Royal Bobbles, all the friends and families who loved Big Daddy from near and far are all heartbroken today-including myself. Big Daddy lived big, loved big and sadly died after a big battle that no one could win.


We love you Big Daddy. We will never forget you. Fly free.


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