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One I Hold in High Regard

Dear Clare

Dear Clare,

Thank you for the homemade cat mats. I know I'm supposed to give them to the foster cats-and I will, but I had to “test drive” one on my cats first.

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Dear Clare,

What did you put in the cat mat? Spencer's sense of smell is poor. Normally he isn't interested in catnip. Is there something you want to tell me? Spencer is bunny-kicking the shit out of this mat. His eyes are glazed over. What is going on?


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Dear Clare,

My cats won't share. They want their own mat. If they don't get one, they'll spat.

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Dear Clare,

There is more square feet of cat, than there is square foot of cat mat. Can you make me a bedspread sized one?

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Dear Clare,

Do you know if there's a catnip rehab facility in Connecticut? I'm thinking Bob might need to go there. He looks like he's had a bit too much and Nicky can't stop rolling around and yeowling incoherently. I'm afraid the neighbors are going to call the cops.

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Dear Clare,

Nora would like to know if you can rub her belly to maximize her user experience (since she can no longer reach her own belly).

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Dear Clare,

Nicky also asked if you could rub something, but I had to edit out what he said. I blame the drugs for his ungentlemanly, he had a surgery a few years ago and that sort of limited his options in that department, anyway.


Dear Clare & All My Dear CiCH Readers,

It's friends like you that are like a big mat of catnip for me. I can wrap myself up in your comforting words and breathe deep, feeling suddenly quite invigorated and alive when only moments before I was too busy licking my wounds to do much else.

With Love,


Foster Cat Journal: I'm in Big Trouble

People often ask me; ”How can you let foster cats go? Don't you miss them? Doesn't it make you sad? Cry?”

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I energetically answer that if I don't adopt them out, I can't rescue more. I already have seven cats, which is more than plenty. It's not wise to add on to the “family” for a variety of reasons. Sure, it hurts when the cats leave, but usually they're only here from just a few days to a few weeks. If that's the case, hey, anyone can do this. Just keep them moving in, then leaving promptly. It's doable.

What happens when it's NOT the case? What happens not only when you've had foster cats for a few MONTHS, but what if they were all sick? They all needed you? Some were so sick you didn't know if they would survive? How can you not become deeply attached?

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How do you let THOSE foster cats go?

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Jennifer has been caring for Rudy & Comet for months. They are no longer in their foster room, but have the full run of the house. They frolic and play and love life. Jennifer's been crying, thinking about them leaving. I've been reminding her that we'll find them a great home and we'll keep them together if we can. That she can't adopt more cats. Jennifer not only has plenty of cats, too, but she has seniors and special needs kitties. Adding two spunky kittens to that mix would not be good in the long term.

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I'm not telling her anything she hasn't told herself. She's steeling herself for the day, which may come VERY soon, for when she has to say goodbye to them and I feel really bad about that. I never wanted her to have a bad experience fostering, but I can't protect her from this.

I, too, am faced with the same thing.

Today was the big day. After MONTHS of struggle, I was able to put all but Blitzen on Petfinder. The cats are ready to go, at last!


The problem looking over my photos and selecting the ones that are the cutest and will garner lots of interested adopters, I found myself awash in tears. I could barely type out a description or upload a photo. I'm still crying now.


I just kept looking at their faces. I missed them and they are still here. I never want any of them to leave. They've all captured my heart and I honestly don't know if I can be here when they get adopted.

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And if this wasn't painful enough, Sam and I are done after 17 years. I am flat out heartbroken. The person I used to be able to go to when I was sad and needed a hug is lost to me, probably forever.

I have lost so much in my life. I don't know how to go on.

I suppose this is what they call burnout or just a big, bad bump in the road? Whatever it's called, I don't recommend it.

Adoption Alert: Helping Abby

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Abby is the victim of cruelty. Her ear was sliced off by a heartless beast. Although she's suffered a great unkindness, she's still a sweet and loving girl in need a forever home.

Abby's been spayed and has all her shots. Her coat is sleek, black and plush. She asks us if we would please overlook her ears and see her good heart.

I don't have Abby's age. I'll post that info as soon as I get it.

Abby is located in GREENVILLE, SOUTH CAROLINA, where our Will and new friend, Grayson was from. Transportation FROM Greenville, to your state CAN easily be arranged. Contact Carole at (864) 630-2872 or email at if you'd like to know more about Abby or are interested in giving her a forever home.

As always, please spread the word. Let's get this girl a home, quick!

You Know You Need a Bigger Bed When...

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Photo courtesy Isilwath and used with permission.

Our super good friend, Izzy fell fast asleep, comforted by her furry companions...ALL TEN OF THEM!

For those of you who don't know Izzy and her husband, Mark, they have the biggest hearts and have the most cats of anyone I know. They put ME to shame! Yes, they have 17, going on 18 cats! These 10, shown above, are their seniors. If you look in the back, right, you can see Mercedes, who they rescued last year from a Kill Shelter. She is 20 years old and was abandoned by her family. Thank goodness for people like Izzy & Mark who drove all the way down to Georgia to pick her up and personally transport her to their home in PA!

Next month, they are going BACK to Georgia to rescue another kitty! I think we need to put together a donation to buy these guys a super HUGE bed! It's the least we can do! Poor Mark. Where is HE going to sleep?

I'm guessing on the floor!

Update: Will's Fabulous Life

Another update from Will's mama, Clare. Will has taken over the day-to-day operations of the house and is fully in charge. Looks like everyone is getting on well together.

Apparently, Will is still as shy and timid, as ever, judging from the photo, below.

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©2010 Clare Harrison

Nice boots!

Blog Paws 2010-Come See Your Humble Hostess in Action!

Well my dear readers it seems as though I've been invited to be a Panelist at Blog Paws 2010, “the first-ever conference just for the online pet community.”

So pack your bags and join me in Columbus, Ohio on April 9th and 10th where I'll be sharing some tips and tricks from what I've learned (screwed up) writing a pet blog and where I hope to learn tons more and make lots of new pet-centric buddies.

“BlogPaws is founded by three passionate and dedicated pet lovers and bloggers - Caroline Golon of and Yvonne Divita and Tom Collins of Scratchings and Sniffings and Windsor Media Enterprises.”

To find out more about Blog Paws 2010 or to register, just visit them by clicking on the image, below.

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Let me know if you plan on attending! If we get enough people, I'll make sure we can find a way to get together during the Conference. Maybe we'll all do a Covered In Cat Hair (eek!) breakfast on Sat. April 10th? Look forward to meeting everyone!

The Thing About Will

I got some new images of Will the other day. Yes, “that Will,” the one who lived in South Carolina, who was hit by a car, rescued, taken to a shelter where they could not care for him, was rescued by me and our CiCH friend, Jenna, then was taken to Dr. Anderson's for care and recovery, then who was adopted by Clare and her nutty British family in Connecticut. Whew! That was a mouthful.

Will is doing just GREAT. He fits in purrfectly with his new family and has taken over the place, if you ask me.

Will likes to play hide and seek. I bet you can't find him in this photo.

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Will also likes to help around the house. Here you can see him “helping.”

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Will also loves his fellow felines. Where they go, he goes. Again, he's just trying to shove, I mean, show his appreciation for being with such a great family by hogging, I mean snuggling with them whenever he can. At least Millie, the dog, can use her dog bed if Will is hogging, I mean resting on the chair.


Will, you never cease to amaze me. Keep up the good work.

Ring Around the Rudy (and Comet, too)

I made it. I reached the point with all these sick kitties that whatever happens to them, I'll just deal with it. Freaking out doesn't make them get better and is only worse for me. That said, IF they DIED or had something like Feline Leukemia or FIP, I would go right back to freaking out. It's my right as an American citizen! Okay, maybe not, but I'm gonna reserve the right to freak out again. Right now I'm okay.

Saturday, Jennifer drove alllllll the way from Milford with Rudy and Comet, stopped at my house to pick me up and we all went to see Dr. Larry and Super Deb. How could this NOT be a FUN adventure? You've got two crazy-cat-chicks and two cute, sick, contagious cats all together laughing and singing songs (or something like that).

Jennifer drove very “enthusiastically” (YIKES!!), while I calmly suggested she be careful about those small, windy roads (while I clenched the “JC Strap in the car”) that hugged along the River Road. One false move and the comfort of the pavement, down an embankment into the deep, dark and cold depths of Paugussett River.

Good times.

We arrived safely, albeit with a few extra gray hairs on my part. While we waited in the exam room to meet Dr. Larry, you could feel the excitement building. This was the first time I'd ever gone to the Vet with anyone who had only read about my MANY trips to Dr. Larry's office, but never met him. Jennifer mentally reviewed all the concerns she had about Rudy and Comet.

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Rudy's face looked worse. His tail looked worse. Then we looked at Comet, who until that morning had looked fine. Now her face had big red patches between her eyes and ears and more on her ears, too. It really looked like something nasty was erupting and reminded me of Gracie's skin when she has bad Dermatitis flare ups. Comet's chin looked really terrible.

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You can see how pink the skin is under Comet's mouth.

Even feeling badly, Comet is still a sweet kitty. That is for sure. Her body is filling out. She gained a few POUNDS. No more skin and bones. Her coat looks great. No more URI. Now what is going on with her face? We were both dreading what we were about to find out.

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A hush fell in the room as the door opened. There in all his glory was Dr. Larry. I swear I saw a glow around his head! He gave me that look he always gives me. The “okay, Robin...NOW what weird thing is going on?” I smiled weakly and began to tell him what was going on with Rudy. Jennifer added her observations. Dr. Larry took notes while his assistant, Amber held Rudy at arm's length. Whatever Rudy had, she wasn't going to be rubbing it on herself and who could blame her?

Dr. Larry examined Rudy, who behaved himself beautifully. Once Dr. Larry looked at Rudy's tail he knew that it was most likely Ringworm. He got out the Woods Lamp, turned off the lights, the shined the black light on Rudy's tail. It glowed. It glowed GREEN.

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Rudy got a nice “lion cut” tail shave for his troubles, which revealed the extent of the disease. Amber found another lesion on Rudy's side and that was shaved, as well. Dr. Larry put some topical medicine on the areas, which Rudy tolerated all right. He also checked Rudy's ears, which he found ONE ear mite EGG, so Rudy got a treatment of accurex, too. At least it was a one shot treatment and poor Jennifer wouldn't have to give him yet more meds!


Dr. Larry took some hairs from Rudy to do a DTM culture to confirm that it was Ringworm and he prescribed a nasty med to be administered for the next 30 days that would kick this fungus in the butt. Honestly, there is NO fun in fungus, if you ask me. They should call it: notfungus.

Next up was Comet. Yes, you guessed it. She has ringworm, too. Since she “eats Rudy's brains” and likes to groom his face, it's not surprising that she has ringworm on her head. Since we can't put the meds near her eyes, she's getting treated systemically. She didn't have any ear mite boogies at least.

Dr. Larry stepped out of the room for a few minutes to get the meds ordered from the pharmacy. I confessed that I thought I had a ringworm lesion on my boob, but wasn't sure. Jennifer said we should look at it with the Woods Lamp and I said I wasn't so sure that was a good idea, but Amber agreed and suddenly it was pitch dark in the room, the lamp was turned on, so I whipped out part of my right boob (the G-rated part) and we looked at the small lesion. It did not glow, but that didn't mean it wasn't ringworm. It did mean, however, that I am NUTS for showing my boob at my Vet's office! And no, I do not have a photo of that to show you, but I am keeping an eye on it. Hopefully it's not ringworm, but since we've all be exposed to it, well, what can you do? Just gotta go to CVS and buy some “jock itch” cream which will also kill the ringworm, but makes you wonder about what jock itch really is if it can be killed by ringworm ointment??

I got Jennifer and her hubby a gift certificate to buy medical scrubs to cover their clothes, which will help prevent them from spreading or getting ringworm. They're being beyond gracious in continuing to foster the cats, for which I am eternally grateful.

I was sad that Super-Deb didn't come in to visit Rudy, because I know she's very fond of him, but Super-Deb has other animals who need her help and we can't be greedy. Before we left the Clinic, Jennifer DID get to meet Super-Deb. She even called her Super-Deb, which I think made her blush a tiny bit. I'm not sure if it was the first time Super-Deb got recognized by a reader, but she must have been prepared for such an event. As we made our way back to Jennifer's car, Super-Deb opened the door to the Clinic and shouted out to Jennifer, “Did you want my autograph?”

Jennifer cooly replied that she only wanted a paw print, but from what animal, or where on Super-Deb, I cannot be sure.

All I know is it will be 30 more days for Rudy and Comet to be fostered. Poor Jennifer is going to be heartsick when it's finally time for them to be adopted. God, do I know that feeling. I'm having the same troubles, with my fosters, too.

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Rudy contemplates the rotten hand he was dealt, but knows he's in loving, if not latex glove covered, hands.

In about a week to 10 days we'll have the “final” confirmation when the DTM culture is done culturing. Will it be a surprise that it's a positive result? Awww...just add it to all the other surprises I've had on this insane rescue and wait for the next one to pop up. I shouldn't write that or I'm going to jinx things and something will pop up and one of the cats will get really sick. Okay. I didn't mean it. There. Hopefully that will keep us from further worry.

Yeah, right.

Vet Week 2010

It wasn't enough to take SEVEN foster cats to the Vet on Tuesday. Of course I have my OWN cats who need occasional vet care, too. Right. I DO have my OWN cats. I keep forgetting about them!

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He looks so sweet because his is still DRUGGED in this photo!

Spencer was up first. He wasn't too thrilled about being at the Vet. He was due for a dental cleaning and WAY overdue for a CLAW (talons of DOOM) TRIM. To make things easier, I brought a “to do” list for Dr. Larry and to make SURE he trimmed Spencer's claws (TOD), I wrote: “Please trim the Little Fu@ker's claws...” I figure, humor is a good way to drill in the request to get those claws trimmed. Spencer LOVES to sit on my chest at night and no matter how far I pull the covers up, he has a way of sneaking his claws around the edges and digging those tips right into my shoulder. I will do what it takes to get some relief.

Spencer wheezes. After thousands of dollars spent on tests, it was determined that Spencer has scar tissue in his right sinus from an old URI (from before I adopted him). Because his breathing is effected, I always worry about him going under anesthesia AND he does NOT like to be messed with while at the Vet, too. So he can get himself VERY worked up and out of breath from fighting everyone who has to handle him. He will hiss and spit and make life HELL for everyone at Maple Ridge. He really IS a nice cat, but just not when he's getting a cath removed.

One of the other things on my list was to check Spencer's bald patches to determine if, indeed he has symmetrical alopecia or not. If you recall, Spencer looked like this (see below) a few months ago.

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So, the ”Little Fu@ker” (now his new nickname) got his teeth cleaned, his claws trimmed and his fur combed. His fur is growing back nicely, so Spencer isn't sick. Hurrah! That said, I GAVE SPENCER THE BALD PATCHES FROM RIPPING OUT HIS MATS. MY BAD!. In my own defense, Spencer DOES have very soft, delicate fur. I know. Call the Cops on me! I'm sorry, Spencer!

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Spencer is getting ready to kick some ass. Ears are locked and sphincters are loaded.

I"m not even sure if I should write the next bit 'cause I'm really going to look bad! Spencer also lost 10 oz in a few MONTHS. That's a LOT of weight. So now I'm starving him, too! First abuse, then starving. Great. Actually, I've taken him OFF dry food. No more for him AND I have been transitioning him to a RAW diet. He gets a combo of RAW and canned grain-free. Apparently, I can give him a bit more than I was. Will fix that. His weight is great. He's just under 13 lbs.

This is where I shine as a cat-mom: Spencer's wheezing is almost GONE! We're sure it's due to his diet change and possibly his weight loss, but most likely the dry food was irritating him in some way. So there! I'm not a complete Cat-Mommy Dearest!

I also brought Bob Dole in to see Dr. Larry. Bob's been vomiting a bit and also sneezing. Since he's FIV+, I don't want to risk him getting REALLY sick. Right now Bob has no fever and I needed them to take his temperature (I am NOT going to check that on my own! I would like to keep both my hands, after all). Bob was congested, but not bad. He got some Convenia and we'll wait and see how he does. So far, whatever he has is mild. Thank goodness. Super-Deb combed out Bob's fur which he couldn't decide if he loved or hated her doing. SD even combed off some poop particles. Okay, dingle berries. Anyway, Bob is a bit happier for it. Well, okay, I'M HAPPIER for it. Super Deb was shocked that Bob would “go out looking like that.” SD was right. Bob should start wearing pants.

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Bob lost 8 oz, too! Starving your cats, Robin? Say no!

Spencer (aka, Little Fu@ker) got through his dental, then drove me INSANE once we got home. I wasn't supposed to feed him and he was supposed to be confined to a room for the night. He clawed at the bedroom door, desperate to get out. He would not stop no matter how many times I yelled, cajolled, begged. Around 10pm I gave up and fed him some broth. That wasn't enough, so he returned to trying to claw a hole through the door. I was so happy he was okay and so pissed because he can really be an annoying maniac some times. By 11pm I had enough. There was NO WAY anyone was going to sleep unless loonie-boy got FED and got FED NOW. Who cares if his body temperature lowered from eating? I'll set him on fire so he will be warm after he eats.

I AM JUST JOKING. No need to call the authorities, but he was really being a pain in the ass.

All is well for now. Tomorrow Jennifer will bring Comet and Rudy here, then we'll drive over to visit Dr. Larry and Super Deb. I hope that we can get the ball rolling on ruling out Ringworm and also find some answers regarding why Rudy isn't recovering from the URI.

That will add up to four trips to the Vet in five days. I hope I don't have some sort of Vet-visiting disorder. Granted I DO enjoy chatting with Dr. Larry, Super Deb, Jessica and everyone else at Maple Ridge, but it IS a bit embarrassing to think if I had been going to the gym as often as I go to the Vet I would certainly look like a super model by now.

Lord of the Ringworm: Ressurrection

When you get woken up in the middle of the night by your boyfriend screaming; BISON!!!!, you know you're in for a weird day. Add to that having to pry your eyelids back open again at 6:15 AM and things are really off to the races.

I had to get not one, two, three, four cats to the Vet by 8:15 AM. I had to bring ALL SEVEN foster cats to the Vet! I created a list of what was needed to be done to which cat so I wouldn't forget. It ranged from: “needs a booster shot, right?” to “Not sure what is going on. Cat is not getting better and now has a weird area of hair loss on the tail.”

Cupid and Prancer were also due to be spayed IF the Vet agreed that they were healthy enough to go through the stress of the surgery. It's hard to know how they'll do and even if they do well, they may relapse either from being around the other kittens who are still sick, or from stress. Either way, it's a risk I have to take. Now if I could just stop feeling guilty for putting them through this. Check out Cupid and Prancer (below). Tell me you don't feel guilty looking at them!

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The Bison Yeller (Sam) helped me load up the car and he drove us over to the Vet. We got there a bit early and they were able to see us right away. We started with Cupid and Prancer. They got the “all clear” to be spayed. Great!

Next up was Blitzen, Donner and Dancer. Blizten is struggling to get well. He is on different antibiotics for the next 30 DAYS!!!!!!!. At least they took him off just about all the other meds and there's only one eye ointment and that's IT. The other two kittens are still sick, but the Vet felt that we should give it some time to resolve. How much time? “WEEKS OR MONTHS” (!!!!!!!!!!!!) She replied. Oh brother. They'll be adults before I can get them well!

Lastly, there was Comet and Rudolph.

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Comet looks good. Got a clean bill of health...sort of. Her eyes are clear and no more sneezing. Her sore nose looks good, too. She gained weight and her coat is sleek and shiny. Except for one thing...

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Rudy. Rudy is the one thing. Rudy has a bald patch on his tail. Jennifer called me about it over the weekend. She mentioned that Rudy and Comet had accidently been locked up with one of her resident cats and that Rudy had hid inside her husband's recliner. I thought that perhaps Rudy's tail had been stuck and that's how the fur came off. of course it wouldn't be anything else, right? What causes funky alopecia? It didn't occur to me since Rudy had been in 2 week quarantine in GA AND he'd been in CT for 4 weeks now, so he couldn't have broken with anything



No. That couldn't be it! Not after ALL THIS TIME?!! How could Rudy get ringworm?? We looked at the area with the Woods Lamp. It glowed, of course. “Should we do the test? Results take two weeks.” I said not to bother. We'll just treat it, but WHERE, HOW did he get it?

Here's a hint:

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Doing cat rescue, apparently, is not for the faint of heart. The things I've learned in the past year, and learned the hard way, never stop to amaze me. The Vet felt that Comet MAY be a carrier for ringworm and passed it to Rudy. She may not show any signs of it or might break with it in another week. Wait and see. Also, she COULD give it to other cats after she gets adopted, or she might not. Is there no way to tell if she can do this? Apparently not.

I'm not going to have a nervous breakdown. I did that over Christmas break!!! As one of my client's says daily; “It IS what it IS.” Whatever that means, he's right. What can I do?

I called Jennifer. That was a tough call to make. I felt (feel) so badly about this because ringworm is airborne so of course all her cats and her husband have been exposed to it. By the way, all MY cats and my boyfriend have been exposed to it, too. Not to make it any less bad, but Jennifer is their caretaker. Without her, I will be in a big jam. Rudy's treatment lasts 45 DAYS.

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Not only that, but Rudy STILL has bronchitis. The Vet is concerned he has Feline Leukemia or FIV+. We ran 2 combo tests and both were negative. She said you can't trust the results because Rudy is too young. We are not out of the woods with this boy. Hopefully by MARCH!!! he will be all better, BIGGER, healthy and happy.

I gathered up a new bag full of medications. One had to be ordered. The Vet bill for all these visits and medications is at $1250.00. I'm going to have to put out my paper cup and ask for spare change to help us pay the bill, but right now I need to count my blessings that Jennifer was willing to take Rudy and Comet back and that I've got two kitties that MAY be able to be adopted in another week or so.

Baby steps, right? Baby steps.


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