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One I Hold in High Regard

Foster Cat Journal: Improvements & Disappointments Part 1

Four weeks since the cats arrived...

Two are adopted and doing well: Dasher and Vixen.

Of the remaining seven who have been sick this past month, only ONE just got the OK to be released for adoption-just ONE! The “winner” is Comet!

After being hospitalized with a high fever, dehydration, tapeworms and a very serious URI, Comet is now clear of everything and has put on a total of TWO POUNDS since she arrived. She weighs a slender, but healthy, six pounds. She was all but skin and bones when I first got her. She would not have lasted much longer at the shelter, that's for sure. Between her size, her poor condition and her coloring-she had the odds stacked up against her. I'm so glad she's with us now! Safe and loved.

Comet's been staying with Jennifer, who's also caring for Rudy. The two tuxes have become good friends and enjoy running around their foster room and take turns beating each other up. How sweet! You may recall that Comet likes to “eat Rudy's brains.” Rudy doesn't seem to mind, though he has not turned into a Zombie, thankfully.

I haven't put Comet up for adoption yet because while she was here for a day, I heard her sneezing and Jennifer mentioned the same thing. I'm going to be VERY conservative about when I put any of these guys up for adoption now. Although Comet is spayed and ready to go, I don't want her to relapse in her new home, especially if she's with other cats (which is one of my goals since she loves Rudy so much, she should be with other cats. I'd prefer if she and Rudy could stay together, but...Rudy can't be adopted right now.)

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Miss Comet, at almost nine months, looking very sweet and fantastic-at last!

Comet tickling Rudy's leg. Any second now, she'll be going after his BRAINS, of course!

Then there's little Rudy. He's a complete goofhead. Yes, that's a technical term for GOOFY! Since he's arrived, I have NEVER heard him breathing normally. Jennifer reported that he was doing great until a few days ago when he started to sound bad again. I got him to the Vet and she grabbed some x-rays of his chest. Rudy has Bronchitis. Thankfully, it's not Pnuemonia, but Rudy's on a brand new round of medications-lots and lots of medications that have to be given FOUR times a day. Rudy's been through so much in his short life, but he's a tough cookie and I expect him to recover in time. For now, he's getting lots of love and care and both Jennifer and her husband, Ron are in love with both their tuxy-fosters.

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Rudy is a powerhouse of nuttiness. I wish he would get better!!! Poor lamb chop!

This morning, just before I was about to post this article, I got an email from Jennifer. Rudy is not improving and now Comet has a “runny nose.” Oh step forward and one step tripped, fell, smacked my head on the floor. Ugh!

Hello out there in the world....

I'm sorry to globally answer everyone's questions/concerns in a post, but hopefully this will cover most of it.

Sam has his own plate of problems. Tomorrow he has to have a root canal and his mom just had very minor, elective surgery, but she is 80 and is anything minor when you're that age? I don't know what else is going on since, we're not talking. He's obviously pissed at me for being short with him because I'm stressed out of my mind, but he has a very LOW tolerance for the slightest wrong look or sigh on my part. Yes, part of it is my fault, but not all of it.

I promise everyone I am not going to do anything to hurt myself, other than what I can't help-not eating right, not sleeping well and stress hurt me, but you know what I mean.

Today, I discovered I was an idiot (again) for locking Donner in the dog crate to keep her from feeding on Cupid. When I came back into the room I realized she had dumped the water bowl ALL over the crate and herself, then she basically rolled herself in clumping cat litter!!! I grabbed her and took her to the bathroom that I had just spent a few hours scrubbing, and put her in the sink. She was covered with litter and that shit is tough to get off a kitten. I know. I should have used non-clumping litter. I know!!! Ugh...

Donner was wriggling around so I scruffed her. She looked up at me and my rage evaporated. How the Hell could I get bent out of shape when this little kitten needed me? I just focused on the task, not piled it up on my pity pile. I got her as clean as I could. I even stopped to let her catch her breath. Her heart was racing so fast I got scared. I continued on with pulling the clumps off her fur while it lodged deeply under my fingernails.

Donner was really good about the bath, over all, and when I was done, I cranked up the space heater in the foster room so she could dry out. I held her and she shivered. She sat on my chest. I could feel her cold, damp paws on my skin. I rubbed her more with the towel, then held her side to my mouth and exhaled my warm breath onto her. She slowly stopped shaking, so I brushed her as she groomed herself. She pressed against my face and purred. I let her sit on me, tucked under my chin(s) for a good hour until she was nice and dry and warm again.

I realized I was falling in love with this little girl and feeling that helped me soften enough to keep on going.

Yes, “this too shall pass-” one of my Mother's favorite sayings. It's true. One day it will be a year later and these kitties, I hope, will all be in their forever homes and I will still be doing rescue.

While I would love someone to come and rescue ME, there is no way to do that. Jennifer taking Comet and Rudy helps tremendously. Now that their room is cleaned up, tomorrow I should have some time to focus on other things in my life. Hopefully, in time, I WILL go away on a nice vacation and get out and have some real fun, but right now I have to continue hunkering down and find a way to see this through.

It sure helps a Hell of a lot to get ALL the supportive, helpful and sincere comments from all of you! It's very humbling to me and I honestly don't feel like I deserve it. Everyone has problems, sadness, troubles in their life. I'm no different. As much as all of you would like to help me, know, too, that I would like to give it all right back-the love, the support, the compassion. You guys deserve it in droves.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Foster Cat Journal: Two Weeks of Hell. No End in Sight.

I can't believe it's been almost two weeks since the cats arrived. All the joy and good wishes for their future are on hold with no end in sight. These cats are so sick, it's terrifying me. None of us have ever seen such sick animals for such a long duration. The number of medications each cat gets grows daily. Also, one cat will improve, another gets worse, but they get better or worse in different ways. One is snotty, one's eyes are suddenly inflamed, then vice versa. I can't even predict who is going to get what, next. The Vet says it can be WEEKS for things to resolve. WEEKS! Only Comet and Rudy might be coming out of it, though Rudy is shockingly still snotty after two full weeks of meds. The one bright spot is that Comet gained a POUND in 12 days!!!! She looks more like a cat, instead of skin and bones.


Rudy, looking much improved, but sounds like heck, still.

I've been too busy to take any decent photos, but here's one I shot this morning. Dancer didn't look bad yesterday, then this morning, this is how she looked. I made yet another run to the Vet, every day this week pick up more meds. I'm so fed up and angry and frustrated. I need them to get BETTER ALREADY!!

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Dancer. Just gave her new eye drops. Hope they help her. She is playful and eating well.

And poor Blitzen, who once was the most beautiful kitten I'd ever seen-now he's a shell of his former self. His once sparkling blue eyes are pale and runny, staining his cheeks. He was literally foaming and bubbling at the mouth. He needs more than I can provide for him, so he's been admitted to the Vet's isolation boarding facility. I can't tell you how deeply this KILLS ME to see these little guys suffering so badly. I know I have to see this through, but I'm not sure I can do it.

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My little guy, Blitzen, a shadow of his former self.

This is how Blitzen looked about 10 days ago. Can you believe this is the SAME kitten? Now you know why I'm heartbroken.

Last night I packed Comet and Rudy up, along with their meds and a chart I designed so Jennifer could figure out how to dispense everything and when. It took two hours to pull everything together. I had just enough time after getting home from the Vet, to get it done. I am not getting anything done for myself, my work, my home, just cats and Vets. I am VERY GRATEFUL that Jennifer took these guys. They will get a MUCH nicer place to live and the attention and care I could not provide. They were getting the basics and that's about it. With them gone, I will have a bit more time for myself, once I scrub down their room and wash all the linens they used.

This is JUST for TWO CATS. I am dealing with FIVE CATS worth of MEDS. You can see the charts I made for Jennifer on the far right. The white boxes indicate how often the meds are given out.

And through all of this, now Sam and I are not talking. He stays in his office downstairs and I stay in mine. When I enter the kitchen, he leaves it. When I sit down on the sofa next to him, he gets up. A late Christmas gift arrived for him yesterday. I gave it to him as a bit of a peace offering. It's still sitting there unopened. I think I will just send it back. I don't nee this slap in the face on top of everything else.

I really need to get out of here, not go to a Vet, not do an errand, just do something I want to do or see people I want to see, but I can't think of anyone or any where that would help me find my smile.

I honestly am so fed up, I fear anyone who dares to give me any grief right now. I seriously am about to fly into a rage that may be seen from outer space. Heck, that might cheer me up? Maybe I should try it?

Foster Cat Journal: The Flying Snotsman

I had a good cry yesterday and got some rest, not enough, but a start. I talked to the Director and she said how badly she felt and how she knows just how I feel, too, but she was sorry she couldn't take any of the sick cats off my hands-you know she is wiped out, too.

I don't dare get into a rant about that right now, but let's just say-how badly does someone have to cry for help before the folks that are supposed to help, step up to the plate. I don't know how many times I've sucked it up, tired or not, but I guess that doesn't count when I'm in a jam.

Our dearest friend, Jennifer who had to put one of her kitties down a few weeks ago, ended up having to do the same thing to another cat yesterday. She is the one who also just adopted a 13 yr old, diabetic cat in very poor body condition. Jennifer is a Saint. On top of all that, she read my blog post and she called and offered to take Rudy and Comet. I'm torn by my own need for help and my fear that either of the kittens would get any of her cats sick. Also, Jennifer, do you really need more to do? Although, maybe having little ones running around would soften the heartache of losing a good friend? I can't say.

I'm going back to the Vet...again...I might as well get an apartment nearby. Hopefully Rudy and Comet's recheck will go well and they will be ok'd to go to Jennifer's. I'm bringing Blitzen back even though he was there yesterday. He has become so seriously snotty that it's terrifying me. I'm not a friggen' VET! I'm a Graphic Designer! It seems as though everyone expects me to just plug in some Sub-Q fluids or take temps on a wildly wriggly kitten or just some how know what to do for every little problem.

Ugh. Sorry for complaining. At least, so far (KNOCK WOOD), none of my cats are really sick. I'm hearing a sneeze or two and last night Tunie's eye was a bit runny, but overall they are OK. Hopefully, because they had better health to start with, they are able to fight this off. We'll could still flare up.

Lastly, I really appreciate everyone's supportive emails and comments. You've all been there with all of this stuff and it makes it somehow tolerable to know that you care so much! I wish I could give you all a huge hug right now! THANK YOU!

Hugs for Anne

Tonight, one of our most dear friends on Covered in Cat Hair, Anne (AnnaBanana74 here and on Twitter, too), sent out a number of “Tweets” that sent a shock wave through those of us who follow her. I got a call from Andrew, another one of our CiCH friends, asking me if I'd seen what Anne had been posting. I had not. I ran over to my computer to look. I was sickened and saddened by what I read:

‘Made the decision to disavow most of my family. That's news.”

“Two bottles of wine, 6 Xanax and xx number of Ambien TBD.”

“Hey at least the cats give a fuck”

“Peace out all.”

“Please find my cats and fosters good homes”

and an hour later...this....


Everyone experiences difficulties in their lifetime and some come with such force, the only option we might feel we have to stop the hurting is to hurt ourselves, one last time, and to be over and done with this awful life. I'm not reading out of a self help book. I've lived it and lived through it, myself. Tonight Anne called out for help on Twitter. Maybe she was just venting “aloud,” but it was so unlike anything she's ever said before that a number of people perked up and took action.

Another one of our friends, here, Ms Julie G, jumped on the phone, calling Anne (as I had done, along with a few others) and got nothing but ringing or the call went right to voicemail. I left Anne a message asking her to call me right away and that no family argument was worth hurting yourself. Out of concern, Julie called the Police. So did I. So did some other people. Not ONE of us have ever even MET Anne. Tonight was the first time I ever heard her voice on her outgoing message. It didn't matter that we had never met, the cords of love bind us whether we are living in the same house or living hundreds of miles apart. Anne has always been supportive, compassionate, loving to everyone. She is passionate about rescuing her little kitties. She shares advice and offers her heart to whoever needs it.

Something happened to her that tipped her over the edge. She called out for help and her voice was heard loud and clear.

After a number of frantic calls, emails, txts, I finally heard from Julie. She had saved the day...well...and probably saved Anne's life. I'm not totally clear on who's call did the trick, but does it matter? We called. Things happened. They reached the right person at the right Police department. They had spoken to Anne! She WAS alert, but...she HAD tried to hurt herself and needed help.

I don't know much more than that. Anne is in a hospital somewhere in upstate NY. What happens next. I don't know. What I do know is that when I heard that Anne WAS in good hands, I burst out crying and began to shake with relief. I've lost two family members to suicide. No one got to them in time. I've battled with that demon, myself. What causes someone to feel that taking their own life is the solution, is a private, complex matter. Thankfully, for our Anne, she cried out for help, perhaps not realizing just how many people were listening.

Anne, I am so sorry you felt so badly tonight that you wanted to end your life. You need to know that you are NOT alone. We ARE here with you and we DO CARE, so very much. If you think I'm a big jerk for writing about you, please understand, I only do it because I care about you and I want other people to know-other people who might feel just like you or I do, that they, too are not alone.

Please, all of you, if you ever get to a place in your life where you feel like you don't want to go on, remember, the one thing you can count on is things will always change. Take a deep breath. Wait a moment, then...another. Suddenly, you will soften and not feel as badly as you did a few minutes before. Give yourself the chance to take the next breath. There's so much in life to enjoy and experience. Don't let these bad feelings drive you to miss out on all of the wonderful things in the world.

Anne, you are loved. Don't forget that.

National Suicide Prevention Hotline

Covered in Christmas Wishes

Cupid and the kittens have the URI, as I feared. Donner and Mama have the worst of it. They're each on 5-6 meds, twice a day. Shoot me!

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Cupid and Blitzen, not too happy to be confined, yet again.

Donner (I know it should be DonDer, but too late for spelling boo-boos), is not doing well. She hasn't been eating for a few days and has to be force fed right now.


Dancer behaved herself for her claw trim. She's doing pretty well overall, but did have a fever.

Blitzen is beautiful No matter what angle or lighting!

This morning, Super-Deb the Vet Tech and dear friend, emailed me to ask me if it would help me if she volunteered to continue caring for Cupid and Rudy until Saturday! Sure, it's just two more days, but with Mama and the kittens flaring up with URI, the less cats I have here, the better. I was truly overjoyed and grateful for her help. THANK YOU, SUPER DEB! I'm SO GLAD I BOUGHT YOU A BOTTLE OF WINE LAST NIGHT! You'll love Pure Evil Chardonnay from South Australia. Well reviewed. Should be a keeper!

Also either I kissed or got kissed by Dr. Larry! Delirium set in so I fogged out the important, who started it all and it was just a kiss on the cheek, but heck, after what...10 years? I got a kiss! He liked his wine, too. I think he chose 3 Blind Moose Merlot. Not sure. I also got some Bitch Bubbly which went over well with some of the staff. Thank you guys, for helping me when times got tough.

Also, thank you to Jennifer for offering to take Rudy & Comet this weekend!!! Now that they are "safe" to go into foster care with other families, Jennifer kindly stepped up to help out even though she has her hands full with her own cats and their health problems. Having the little tuxes out of here will really help me focus on Cupid and the babies.

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Sadly, I did not have time to do my special custom Christmas Card, though I think the crappy image above covers how I feel. YES, those are REAL hairballs on the tree and YES, I am leaving them there as the new vogue in holiday ornaments! Yes, I'm a trend-setter AND a cat rescuer on the verge of a nervous breakdown!

Merry Christmas, everyone. May our New Year be filled with Joy and Healthy Cats!

That Holiday Spirit. I Gotz It.

Thank YOU to all the folks who took time out of their busy lives to offer words of support and love during this difficult time. It humbles me to the core and I appreciate it a lot.

Our good friend, Memory, who saved the local kitty after it was hit by a car, wrote me and offered to foster Rudy and Comet if they were not contagious any more. Very generous, indeed! Thank you, Memory! I may take you up on that!

And where would I be without my new good friend, Clare? She adopted our Will after he was hit by a car in South Carolina. Clare was so sweet that she brought me some very YUMMY Christmas cookies and bars! What a big surprise to have her stop by and hand deliver us special treats while she, herself is battling a cold! Clare! You are a DOLL and I adore you! Thank you for helping lift my spirits! I hope I can be good and SHARE all these great treats!

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I must be in bad shape if people are coming to my door, bearing food gifts! ;-) THANK YOU, CLARE!

Wish us luck. I'm taking Cupid and the kittens to the vet soon. Just want them vetted before the holiday hits. If they are going to break with this URI I want to be prepared. I'm also stopping at the liquor store on the way home to load up on something that will knock me OUT later. (Kidding! You KNOW I prefer Xanax!)

I haven't cried for a few hours. This is a good sign. I had a really nice talk with Dr. Larry, who I LOVE. I will always love him! He is my soul-brother! He's taking care of Rudy and Comet and we both know it's just this one's asking a lot, but he knows I'm respectful of this situation and don't take his help, lightly. Thank you for helping me Dr. Larry and Super Deb and staff!

Got other news...the local rescue group has URIs-bad ones, too. Something nasty is going around, that's for sure.

More after I get back from the Vet...stay tuned...

Foster Cat Journal: The Nightmare Before Christmas

Yesterday was tough for me. I woke up at 7am, after only five hours of sleep. I was up late the night before because I hadn't spent enough time with Cupid and her kittens since they arrived. I've made sure they've had plenty to eat and drink and a clean litter pan, but that's about all the time I've had. I've been so busy running the sick cats back and forth to the vet, spending time with Dash (he's alone most of the day and I take him out and run him around as much as I can) and dealing with the many applications from hopeful adopters, calling them, calling vets, calling our Director, getting photos of them to the paper, that it left me having to wait until midnight before I could start to have some real time with them.

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Cupid lets me know how she feels about me.

Cupid is laid back and sweet. The first days she was here, she spent a great deal of time, pressed up in the corner of the big dog crate I use when I need to separate cats from each other. She looked depressed. The many weeks of life in a cage had probably taught her that life was meant to be spent sitting in one spot, all day, up against metal bars. I thought she might not be friendly, but that was not the case.

Cupid has slowly been allowing herself to rest on the bed, that has a big fluffy down comforter on it. I found her sitting on the cat condo by the window this afternoon. She seems content, but also fragile. It's tough to get her to eat, but once she starts she's all right. She's battling the same damn URI the other cats have and maybe her sense of smell is off. I worried about mastitis, but she seems fine when I checked her mammary glands. She's painfully thin, but even after a few days her coat has improved a lot. I think that one day she will really be a serious beauty, once she gets her health back.

If I could have rested in that moment, I would have been fine, but I had to talk to our Director about where Comet and Rudy were going to be living. Our Director was "done" with fostering and would only help in an emergency. I did NOT want either of the cats in my house. They were still quite sick and I didn't want MY cats to get sick or Cupid and her family to get sick! Sniffles are one thing, but raging high fever and bad congestion is a big problem.

I've got two rooms I can use. That's it. I have my big foster room for mama and the babies-done deal. I have a bathroom with a tiny laundry room attached-which is space two. I don't want ANY cats in that space. It's a nightmare to do laundry while there are cats in the room, plus it's too much work. It takes me about an hour per feeding to get everyone fed, fresh water, cleaned litter. If it's just one room plus my own guys, that's one thing, but an extra room of cats-not good.

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I've got Dasher in room two. He can't be put back with Rudy and Comet. Dash is doing fairly well. He's eating great, running around, sneezing, but that's it. If I put those other sick cats in with him, I can't adopt him out on Wednesday.

I give Dash a break as often as I can, to get out of the tiny bathroom and run around in the bedroom. He's a joy to have around.

So I can't take them, the Director won't, I can't ask Jennifer because she has geriatric cats and it's too much to ask her to take on sick animals. I can't ask Rick, another foster, because he has six cats of his own. I had our Director ask our Vet to do a medical boarding of the cats until after Christmas-just to give me breathing room and maybe the cats would be healthy enough to not be such a high risk of getting my cats sick. They said, No. I called Dr. Larry and talked to Super Deb. It was weird that she answered the phone on a Monday (she doesn't usually work on Monday's), but I was grateful to talk to her. By the time I called her, I was in tears. I had tried to figure out how to deal with these sick cats. It wasn't my fault they were so sick, but it was on me to care for them. Thankfully, Super Deb said; YES, but it would COST. I felt at that point, there is no price I wouldn't pay for sanity. I honestly felt like I was about to crack from stress.

Now all I had to do was get Rudy to the Vet for a checkup. Pick up Comet from the same Vet, then drive over to Dr. Larry's office and have them both examined, then they would be boarded, but only for a few days. On Christmas eve they have to be picked up. Not ideal, but better than nothing. If I play my cards right, I can get Dash out of here (adopted) and slot the sick cats into my bathroom. Also, the sick ones would have 4 more days of meds-which would put them at just a week's worth. That might be enough to get them to a point where they are doing better.

Just as I was about to walk out the door to meet our Director to pick up Rudy and get him to the Vet for a re-check, I got a call. It was from Julia, Vixen's adopter. Vixen was sick. She broke with the URI and Julia wanted my advice. When she said: “Didn't get up this morning..not eating...vomiting” I urged her to get the kitten to the Vet-already done. She was going in shortly. Holy shit...that's four cats with this nasty URI. Of course I had warned Julia that this might happen and Julia is a great person-totally understanding. She doesn't have other cats so it was safe for her to bring Vixen home, but now that she was home, she was in trouble. I felt guilty and responsible. I have never and would never knowingly adopt out an animal that was sick. I was mortified. No wonder...a few hours later I found out that Vixen had close to a 106°F temp and had a SERIOUS EAR MITE INFECTION on top of that.

Ear mites are not that big of a deal, but in this case it was the straw the broke the camels back. NONE of these cats should have ear mites!!!!!Supposedly they were ALL checked by a VET before they left GA. Something wrong is going on. I don't know what it is, but I did ask Barb to find out. This is why we do the fundraiser-so we can afford to get the cats vetted before they come here. Transports don't cause ear mites-at least not this bad. And that, I found out later, was not even the half of it...

I got Rudy to the Vet. He looked marginally better. No weight change. No temp. Ate for us. Still very snotty and a bit teary. Had blood in his nasal discharge. They added one more med to his bag of tricks and said they wanted to check him in a week to ten days. “When can we get him to his new home???”...two weeks?? Yes. About that...we have to see how he's doing. Great. Now I may lose the adopters we have for Rudy and Comet, since Comet is only marginally better herself.

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Comet was released with lots of meds. Her eyes look much better, but she is very snotty. She also was pooping out tapeworms. Nice!!! Were any of these cats really de-wormed or was it a lie? No problem I will deworm everyone again to make sure...again...what is going on here?

Now that the better part of the day was behind me, I had yet to get the cats over to see Dr. Larry. Actually, they saw Dr M. since Dr. Larry is off on Monday's. I loaded the cats into the car and drove through rush hour traffic just getting to his office on time. I dreaded going there partly because I knew I was going to see Julia and I was scared to find out if Vixen had taken a turn for the worse.

Super Deb looked over Rudy and re-checked his vital signs. Rudy was a playful little imp. Nothing seemed to bother him much. Deb stepped out of the room and I sat down, holding Rudy in my crossed arms. Rudy laid across my chest, like a baby. Deb opened the door and as she did, Rudy suddenly grabbed at my right boob and nipped my nipple-as though he was going to nurse off me!!! Debbie stopped frozen in her tracks, then stepped back out of the room, shouting “I didn't see that!” I had good laugh, but man was that FREAKY!!!!!! No pix. Sorry everyone!

Then Comet was checked out. She is really really thin and dehydrated, still. She had a fever, but that could be brought on by being in the car or her being due for another antibiotic OR she is running a fever. Regardless, she was going to be cared for by good people who have the skills to make sure she stays in better shape for a few more days. Then, she will be my problem, but for now I had a break...

...until Dr. M came into the room and ripped me a new asshole.

It wasn't enough that I was feeling horrible about so many cats being sick. That it was my fault that I subjected them to this awful transport and that they are too young to handle it. Well, some of the cats that are sick are 6 and 8 MONTHS old. The kittens are doing marginally better (other than Rudy). This also seems to be a great opportunity for people to give me shit about doing transports at all. You know...let me tell you this: the deal is done. I did the transport. The animals got sick for one reason or 100 reasons. Some are shitting worms. Some have ear mites and flea dirt. Let's get them well and not use this as a platform to make whatever point you want to make. Apparently, Dr. M did not get the memo because she launched into me about how the Practice is too small and that they don't have adequate quarantine facilities and if I wanted to get into a viral quarantine, well that would REALLy start to cost big bucks. That she couldn't completely decontaminate herself so it put the other patients at risk and if this was her Practice she would have not allowed these cats to be boarded at all. Then she told me about North Shore Animal League washing their hands of an adoption they did a few days before and that the puppy that was adopted was near death...then here's Vixen's adopters whose cat could also die from a high fever and how would I feel if my adopters had to face the DEATH of their cat just after adopting it? Hey...they KNEW the risks. I was very clear that Vix had been exposed to a nasty URI. That she got sick was bad, terrible, awful, rotten, BUT...why am I getting ripped on about this?

I seriously felt like I needed to just take the cats home. I started to imagine seeing Bob Dole and Spencer, dead. Neither of them could handle getting this f-ing virus-espeically Bob. I started to imagine that this rescue may be the worst thing I have ever done-with the best intentions I have ever had.

We've had many good runs. Many good transports with very happy outcomes. Now we are having a big problem and I'm basically on my own. I am very thankful I didn't get 12 cats instead of 9. I really would have been in trouble if that was the case.

I did my best to explain that we've learned that we cannot spay or neuter the cats before they leave GA. It's too much stress on them to do that, then transport them. Her reply was “Ya, THINK??!!!” a way, almost mocking, and certainly belittling me. I felt like I was an inch tall.

I left the exam room while Rudy and Comet were set up in their new home. I heard Julia's voice as I turned the corner. She saw me and I gave her a weak smile. I sat next to her and was ready to get laid into, but she was very nice. She wanted to know if Vixen's fever was like the others. She wanted me to help her feel better about all this. I didn't want to say that Vixen could die, so I didn't. I did tell her that the other cats had high fevers that broke within 24 hours-which was true. She was scared to take Vix back home since she still had the high fever and I told her she could call me any time, day or night and that I would help with the cat. It's the least I can do. No adopter should have the first days with their new cat be mired in fear and have to cough up a HUGE Vet bill on top of that, but she was graceful about it and understanding. It was a big kindness to me after such a bad day.

Just as I pulled into my driveway, our Director call to see how I was doing. I got choked up, but didn't cry. She was really kind to me about all that's going on. She has been there-and lost many kittens over the years. We had a good talk and we decided we need to shut this down for now. Instead of moving ahead to get Cupid and her kittens spayed or neutered, we are going to cancel all Vet appointments for the next two weeks. That will give them time to fight off this URI. If they are symptom free, we will go back to getting them vetted, then put them up for adoption. We fear any stress will be bad for them. I can't even move Mama and the babies out of here to get away from Rudy and Comet when they arrive on Thursday. The move could make them sick.

So I'm stuck. I've got more foster cats than I bargained for and they'll be here for far longer than I hoped. I may lose the adopters I have lined up, but so be it. I honestly don't mind having the kittens here, but I'm fearful of what's to come. Will Rudy and Comet be the tipping point to send a wave of illness through my own cats? Will they survive it? Will the kittens get seriously ill? Will they live through this?

Then there's Christmas. I didn't send out a card—first time in a gillion years. I didn't wrap a gift-I hardly even bought any. I only got Sam two little presents and I feel awful about it, even though he tells me not to worry!!! I have the house decorated, at least, but the place is a mess. I'm trying to just take a deep breath, but I so want to have a good Christmas, for once, but at this point, I'd be thrilled with a Christmas where my cats don't get sick and a New Year that brings new homes to my fosters.

Will I do this again? Will I rescue more cats?

What do you think?

Foster Cat Journal: Ahhh..the Rollercoaster of Fostering

I got Rudolph, Comet and Dasher to the Vet this morning. I was both grateful to get an early appointment and even more relived that Rudy made it through the night. For a little guy, he is very sick.

rudy on me.jpg

I managed to get a crappy photo of him as he curled up on my chest. He's very affectionate even though he can barely breathe.

The Vet Tech took everyone's temp (except MINE of course). Rudy was at 103.8°F, Comet was at 104.2°F and Dasher was normal at 102°F.

The general consensus was that it would be pretty tough for these cats to get so sick in the 36 hours it took to get them to CT. They left GA in good health and somewhere along the line they became very ill. Comet had to be hospitalized. She hasn't eaten much, is depressed and very very thin for her size. At 8 months of age she is just 3 pounds. She was dehydrated and uncomfortable. I'm glad they kept her. I'm worried about her and I'd be more afraid she'd end up crashing here!

Little Rudy ate for us, so he was sent home with a bag full of meds. Two eye drops, antibiotics, a probiotic and nasal drops. He is “this” close to being hospitalized, himself. He only weighs 1.11 lbs. Our Director took him for a few days to help me out. I have no space to quarantine another cat. My hope WAS that I'd be getting the cats adopted out quick and I'd have time and space for any foster cats that are here. That will not be the case now.

That said. One cat was spared being sick-so far. Vixen.


To describe her as a knockout does her a disservice. This cat is stunning and very very affectionate. To imagine that even a cat as fine as she, had faced death due to an overcrowded shelter is beyond my comprehension. From the get-go, this girl was all over me, purring and wanting to be held.

Vixen and Dasher.jpg

She made quick friends with Dasher, too. I just loved her!

Yes, she's adopted. Of course-though I wish she could have stayed longer. She went to an awesome home and these folks will be taking her to visit MY Vet, the wonderful, Dr. Larry! Hopefully, I'll get to hear how she's doing since we're all in “the family,” so to speak.

Although it's been a trying day and things are not going to be going very smoothly, that's for sure-I got to see this today:

The Babies.jpg

And this...

Dancer Loaf.jpg

And this...


Oh yeah, and...


I think I have the most beautiful kittens in the world and I'm NOT going to let ANYONE adopt them!!!! MINE! MINE! MINE!

Anyway, they're too young to be adopted, so they're here at least another two months..I mean years...I mean weeks!

I got a lot to do...a ton of paperwork, gotta get to the store since now we're supposed to get blasted with a nasty snow storm tomorrow. What happened to the Christmas card I was going to design? All the gifts I was going to buy? I haven't even decorated the damn tree yet! I'm really glad I just got two huge shipments of cat food today, so at least they cats will be fed no matter what. They're saying 8-15" of snow starting tomorrow!!! So much for last minute...Holiday? anything?


CiCH Member Spotlight: Remember Will?

Our beloved Clare, who generously and compassionately adopted Will, sent me new photos of him today. I just HAD to share them with you! Apparently, Will is doing very well, thankyouverymuch, in his new digs!

Photo by Ms Clare

Will knows how to share with his new family. Uh huh.

Photo by Ms Clare

Excuse me, Will, but I think you've had enough!

Photo by Ms Clare

I wonder what the bunny is thinking right now?

Photo by Ms Clare

Laughing too hard to type! LOL!!!! I know who the Alpha Dog is at Clare's house!

P.S. Hey! Will's gettin' a bit CHUBBY THERE!!!


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