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DoodleBug's FeLV Test Results are In!

Three days ago, DoodleBug tested POSITIVE for Feline Leukemia. I decided to have him re-tested right away, instead of waiting for two months. I wanted a confirmation that the first test was accurate.

Super Deb just called me with the results.




Okay, DoodleBug had only one test, but I just wanted to be emphatic about the results! I am SO thrilled!!!!!!!!!! This means that it may have been a false positive. To be sure, Doods will have to be STUCK in the bathroom for TWO MONTHS until we re-test him one more time, BUT it is very likely he is just FINE, thank you. And does NOT HAVE FELINE LEUKEMIA!

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. The Dood.

I'm SO GLAD I insisted on running a second test to confirm the first one instead of waiting for a grueling two months to get the news!

Yay! Yay! Yay! Yay! Yay! Yay!

Covered in Cat Hair is On the Air!

Robbin and Joe Everett host the #1 Online Pet Show in the World called Pets Teach Us So Much! I'm very excited to let you know they've invited me to be a Special Guest on TONIGHT'S BROADCAST!


We're going to talk about the ridiculous way Covered in Cat Hair came to be and what plans we have for the future! If you want to hear the show, visit this LINK.

The show begins at 6:30 PM EST (Eastern Standard Time-USA) and my segment will begin around 6:45 PM. THIS IS A LIVE SHOW so if you want to hear me try to do an interview while yelling at the cats to get off me, now's the time!

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AND...Drumroll, Please!...if you'd like to CALL in to ask me a question or just say hello, you can dial (760) 683-2665.

This should be a lot of fun! To top it off, this may be the start of my own bi-monthly show with the Everett's so stay tuned, literally and figuratively!

Talk to you TONIGHT!

Two Big Love Bugs, Dumped, but Not Forgotten

Under cover of darkness someone snuck up to the door of my Vet's office and left him not one, but two cat carriers. They each contained a very large cat. There was no note, pleading for help. There was no information on the health, behavior or even name of the cat. They weren't even sure these cats came from the same home! Maybe two different, desperate, people dumped cats? They had no idea.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. The poor baby barely fits in his cage he's so BIG!

They brought the cats inside. They have no facility to contain cats for a long period of time. This is a Vet's office with small steel cages. The best they had to offer are two side-by-side two story spaces, barely big enough to hold the cats. These are HUGE cats.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Are you my brother? (I think so!)

Instead of being aggressive or terrified, the cats wanted one thing: LOVE. Oh, and they wanted a belly rub, especially the black one, the bigger of the two. This big fella weighed in at 19 POUNDS. He's not even really fat, per se. He's just HUGE and he LOVES to LOVE and be loved. This is one, sweet, knockout of a cat and his friend, a lovely classic (with the swirl-pattern) tabby is just as sweet and affectionate.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Hello Handsome! I see your tail is up in the air! I know he wanted to be petted!

Dr. Larry doesn't have any way to find these cats a home, so I'm helping him out. He can tell me the following:

• The cats appear to be between 7 and 9 years of age.
• Both are neutered
• FIV+/Feline Leukemia NEGATIVE
• at least one of them could use a dental, Dr. Larry will do that for FREE for whomever adopts the cats
• They seem to be buddies, but do they have to be adopted together? That's not my call to make. It's a bit too soon to tell. I'm guessing if they got a good home and it meant they were separated, it would be better than them sitting in a tiny cage.


©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. He has nice stripes, right?

I spent some one-on-one time with the cats this afternoon. They were friendly right away, no hesitation, no fear at all. The tabby liked to “chat” with me if he wasn't getting attention or if he just wanted to say “hello.” He enjoys being petted and his tail goes right up and curls at the end. He is very happy to be with people. He didn't mind me giving him a belly rub, but when I reached in to pick him up he got nervous. I think that's because he recently had his blood drawn and maybe he thought I was going to do it, again. That said, he watched me and came right back to me a moment later. This is a great sign. He has confidence and does not seem to be aggressive at all-even though he is in a stressed environment with dogs barking, weird smells and he's not home! What a NICE kitty!

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. His eyes are dreamy, too.

Then there's the black kitty. He just wants a belly rub, to be held or to purr himself silly. He reminds me of my big boy, Nicky. Same gigantic cat with a heart of pink roses and buttercups. He is pure sunshine in a black coat with a tiny white spot on his chest.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. (Super-Lauren was camera shy so I blacked out her face.) Here you can see how BIG this kitty is! Lauren can barely hold him.

His paws are SO BIG I thought he was polydactyl (extra toes), but he's not. He had no hesitation when he met me. He plopped over in his tiny cage and wanted a belly rub. This cat has no mean bones in his body. He has a sweet face. I fell hard for him. It was easy to do. They just don't make cats like this often enough. Someone must have loved these too cats very much. They are both well fed and were in fairly good health. Whoever gave them up must be very sad right now because these are great cats. I don't know how anyone could live without them. I honestly can't feel angry. I feel sad for this person. I wish they had just asked for help, but maybe they did and no one listened. We'll never know. We have to focus our anger and our energy on helping them. That's what counts now.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Big black kitty would not look at the camera no matter what we did, so Lauren helped out by holding his head. Made for a surprisingly elegant image.

While the folks at my Vet (who I'm not naming because I don't want more folks to dump their cats off on him), name the cats,

Dr Larry has also offered to do a DENTAL on BOTH CATS and FULLY VET them before they get adopted or a licensed CT rescue takes them into their shelter/foster home.

He will do whatever it takes to get these cats a home.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. He has so much more love to give!

If you live in Connecticut, or a nearby state, and want to ADOPT these babies or just one of them, please FILL OUT A PRE-ADOPTION FORM on my non-profit cat rescue's web site HERE.

If you are with a licensed rescue in CT and would be willing to take these FULLY VETTED awesome cats into your shelter/foster home, then email me at and I will put you in touch with the right people.

While I'm very sad these babies are in tiny cages, at least they're safe and not about to be euthanized. Thank you Dr. Larry for doing the right thing and for being kind. I'm sorry someone dumped these cats on your door and made them your problem, but I'm really happy you can provide care for them until we can get them a home.

Please SHARE THIS & RE-TWEET to any buddies you have in Connecticut or the surrounding areas! THANK YOU!

The Angel Babies

I know a lot of people who rescue cats and they often say to me that they think they're cat magnets because cats who need help, always seem to find them. My friend, Izzy, is one such person and recently she had to take quick action to save the lives of helpless neonatal kittens.

Izzy and her husband, Mark were helping bring in hay at the boarding farm where they keep their horses. While they were there she found out something that was was both heartbreaking and a true emergency.

At the boarding farm there was a tractor shed on the property. The owner found 5 newborn kittens without their mother. The owner figured the mama would come back, so she didn't worry about it. She checked on the kittens the next day, but no mama. For two days the kittens were left alone, not fed or kept warm. At less then a week old, without urgent care these kittens would perish.

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©2011 Isilwath. Izzy smartly used an insulated thermal bag to help keep the kittens warm. One of the MOST important things you need to provide to very young kittens is warmth.

She mentioned her find to her next door neighbor who said he'd shot and killed a white cat in his yard, worried she'd kill his ducklings. Without pity or concern, he ended her life, not realizing he may have also just ended the lives of five little kittens, as well.

The owner moved the kittens to her stable, hoping another feral mama would find them and care for the three boys and two little girls, but no help arrived...until Izzy got there.

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©2011 Isilwath. Some of the Angel Babies.

Now Izzy has a few, ah cats, dogs, horses...well more than you can count on your fingers and maybe toes, so Izzy knows how to care for animals, but she's got her hands full already. She didn't bat an eye, or try to get out of helping these babies. One look at them and she was smitten. Each delicate creature was snow white, but by some comedic genetic twist, all but one has at least one black dot on their head. It's as if a cosmic force anointed them, marking them as ones to be saved. Izzy knew she had to move quickly, so she took the kittens and got them home where she began the difficult task of trying to warm them up get them FED. Time was of the essence!

©2011 Isilwath. Jazz.

Izzy and her husband, Mark, also a dedicated animal rescuer, helped tend to the kittens. The phone rang. It was the owner of the farm. They found a sixth kitten. He, too, looked like the others, but was strangely about a week older. He was alone and crying. Mark drove back to get him. They weren't going to turn their backs on kittens in such dire circumstances. The kitten was sick and probably starved. They put him in with the others, hoping for the best.

©2011 Isilwath. Vash.

It was touch and go for a few long days. Izzy and Mark took turns feeding and helping the kittens void their bladder and bowels. At that age, the kittens can't even do that without help. It's a very difficult thing to do TIMES SIX. Every few hours the kittens were fed, cleaned, loved. Now was the time to pray and hope that they weren't too late, at least for some of them.

©2011 Isilwath. Princess.

It's been two weeks and the kittens have survived so far. Each day they live is a big success for Izzy and Mark. They decided it was ok to go ahead and name the kittens.

Their names are:

Justin - older kitten - two gray spots on his head
Shiro - all white female
Princess - white female with two very small gray spots on her head
Screamer - little male with a black spot on his head
Jazz - little male with a large gray spot on his head
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©2011 Isilwath. Screamer.

©2011 Isilwath. Watch Izzy manage feeding six HUNGRY kittens!

They're squirming and crying and eating and doing all the things little kittens should do. Two of Izzy & Mark's own cats, have become surrogate mothers to the little ones, offering their own warmth and companionship, (though since they're spayed-no milk) that the kittens so desperately need. It's as if they knew, too, that these little angels needed them.

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©2011 Isilwath. Cee Cee with her foster babies.

But what happens next? Izzy and Mark don't live in a big metropolitan area full of potential adoptesr and don't have resources to home so many kittens. Well, that's where I stepped in. I told Izzy I had her back. I didn't want her to fear having six extra cats. Even though I'll have Amberly and her five kittens by then, I'll find a room for these angel babies. I'm just part of the team that's going to get them to their forever homes. We're trying to right a heartbreaking wrong and perhaps in getting these kittens strong and adopted into great homes, we're honoring the spirit of their Mother, who truly is an angel now.

©2011 Isilwath. Sophie, one of Izzy & Mark's cats, helps with motherly duties when it comes to giving Justin a bath.


Can you help provide a small donation so we can pay for the Angel babies vet care? Your donation is Tax Deductible as the money goes to my 501(c)3 Non-Profit cat rescue, Kitten Associates, Inc.

You can use the ChipIn widget, above or mail a check to:

Kitten Associates, Inc., P.O. Box 354, Newtown, CT 06470. (make check out to: Kitten Associates and note "Angel Babies" on your check)

The kittens will need shots, to be spayed or neutered and microchipped. It's about $85/cat to do it here in CT, so we're just asking for the basics. If you can help, great! If not, you can help by sharing this with your friends. THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

The Petties™ 2011-Covered in Cat Hair, Double-Nominee!



I have to admit that I didn't think we stood a chance at winning even ONE nomination for the Petties 2011 awards, let alone TWO! Last year, we were nominated in the category of Best Cause Related Blog, for which I was greatly honored, but this year I'm simply gobsmacked to be in the Best Cat Blog category AND the Best Social Interaction Blog category! Who knew? Obviously YOU guys knew! The field is so much BIGGER this year, than it was last year. I'm still in shock that we got this far.


Of course there's a TINY bit more to do to get Covered in Cat Hair all the way to the BIG AWARD. You've got to VOTE again! This time you don't have to sign up for anything or give your email address out.

Click HERE to VOTE. It takes about 5 seconds. If you look at the ballot, below, you can see where the arrows are pointing..that's where OUR categories are located. I heard you can VOTE TWICE A DAY so VOTE EARLY AND VOTE OFTEN!

May I also suggest you consider voting for my friend, Ingrid in the Best Overall Pet Blog. She writes the Conscious Cat, and our friends at CatLadyLand, and Paws and Effect need your votes, too!

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If can WIN BOTH categories, it will allow me to take the $1000.00 prize for EACH win and DONATE it to my 501(c)3 Non-Profit Cat Rescue group, Kitten Associates! We REALLY NEED THOSE FUNDS TO MAKE IT POSSIBLE to RESCUE EVEN MORE KITTIES!!! Your vote will help SAVE MORE CATS!!!

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MacGruber is just one of the many cats we've rescued! Help us rescue more with a simple vote!

Please vote today and please DO share this with your cat-loving friends! We need to WIN! We've got two litters of kittens coming in a few weeks! Yes, TWO!

Happy News at Last

I finally have some good news to report. After the past few hellish weeks, out of the blue, today I got TWO updates on some of our former foster kitties! The news did my heart good and I hope it does the same for you.


Bobbi was rescued from Henry County Care & Control last summer. She was thin, covered in fleas and her skin was full of sores. To make matters worse, Bobbi was declawed! She had NO WAY to even scratch herself---and she was NOT EVEN SPAYED. I wrote a very "blue" rant about this which you can read about here if you're not offended by swearing. There's a more genteel post about her HERE, if you'd like to know more about this little girl's journey.

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©2010 Henry Co. Care & Control. Bobbi at the shelter. Just looking at her, I knew I had to rescue this little sweetheart.

Apparently, Bobbi has settled in well with her new family. She's their only cat and is pampered and loved to her heart's content.

©2010 Maria. S. Bobbi out of the shelter and into foster care. She's thin and her coat is terrible. She was almost starved to death.

Bobbi's coat has surprised everyone. We thought she had Maine Coon in her, but her coat was shaggy and sort. Today it's plush and full. Her family tell us:

“We just love, love, love her. She is doing well, and has a healthy figure now:-) Her fur/hair is a complete surprise and amazement. I imagine her hair was thin and unhealthy when you first saw her in Ga. And when we adopted her, her hair was silky and medium. Well, I hope the photo I send shows this, but she has about 3 undercoats followed by lots of long hair. Her color is even a little different, more red has come out. She loves to be scratched and we love to give her the attention.

She loves to sleep in the sun, eat, play with a silk cord and jumping into pillows and blankets that I make into a big pile. ”

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©2011 The Murdoch Family. What a difference six months makes!

This is why I do what I do. To get these updates and know I did something that changed this cat's life for the better and for the rest of her life. She will never know suffering again-and that's how it should be for every cat and dog in need!

©2011 The Murdoch Family. Life is good for Bobbi now.

Moonpie & Pattycake

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Moonpie (left) and Pattycake (right)

I had Moonpie and Pattycake for a long time—months and months. Patty had ringworm, then Moonie got it. Then I decided they HAD to stay together. I could not adopt them out separately. They were like two peas in a pod. I knew it would be tougher to find them a home, but I hung on and hoped against hope the right family would come along.

They did. In a BIG way!

Moonpie and Patty live in a 5000 sq foot home. At first it was too much for them and they spent a few worried weeks running around the house. They've been with their new family for a few months now and today I found out that they've adjusted beautifully and are very “chill” cats, indeed.

Their pet sitter told me they have not just a cat tree to play on, but they have a “city” of cat towers. Not just in one room, but on each FLOOR of the home! They get the best food, the most love, and are doing wonderfully well.

I miss them dearly, but am so glad they're happy and healthy. It was worth the time spent worrying they'd never find a good home to know they're where they were meant to be all along.

If you'd like to read some of Moonpie and Patty's story, you can read it here and here.

Wellness Pet Food Recall: Nevermind!

Last week many of us had a bad scare when we found out our beloved Wellness Canned Cat Food might be lacking in Thiamine, which, over time, the deficiency can cause some serious neurological problems in cats. WellPet, jumped into action and instead of recalling just certain flavors within certain lot numbers that were effected, they recalled ALL THE CANS in certain lots.

I have to tip my hat to them for taking such action. I fed A LOT of Wellness to Cara and her family from right after they were old enough to eat solid food. I've always trusted the Wellness brand and have told ALL of my adopters that it's one of many good choices for grain-free canned cat food.

When I called the company, in dismay, they told me they were going to send me a “Kit” in which I could return ALL the cans, empty or full, that were part of the recall. I put them aside and waited.

Last night I got the mail. In it was a nice letter from WellPet, along with a fistful of coupons for free product. They've decided NOT to send out kits for returning the product, most likely realizing that the cost to cover all that shipping, the storage of the unused product, could be a complete nightmare. So if you're saving your cans, don't bother if you've already contacted the company and are waiting your coupons.


Now I don't know the real reason why they decided they didn't want their product back, but I'm not going to throw it out, as they suggest. Since I live in the woods, I'm going to offer the food up to the wildlife. I'm sure if they don't have thiamine, but they have something to eat, they'll be pretty damn happy about that.

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As for ever buying Wellness again, I already did. Their good faith actions, their sense of responsibility and that they even CALLED ME to make sure they got my recall info correct...that's just good business sense. They just took their licks, so to speak, for an accident and making it right.

Now we can go back to worrying about other things, like who is Jake going to choose on Monday's final episode of “The Bachelor?!” Emily seems like “the one,” but she might get scared and blow it!


In a statement dated February 28, 2011, Tim Callahan, the CEO of WellPet, makers of Wellness cat food (which I have heartily recommended to many people over the years) has announced a VOLUNTARY RECALL of certain lots of Wellness Canned Cat food and certain lots of the Chicken & Herring flavor.

The cause of the recall is inadequate Thiamine in their product, which can cause, a reversible deficiency that can be treated if caught promptly.

I just called Dr. Larry. He told me that I'd have had to feed this food to my cats for 6 months or so for there to be a problem. The problem is that CARA and her FAMILY have been getting this food for MONTHS-since they were old enough to be weaned! None of them are showing signs of Thiamine Deficiency, but at such a young age, could this have effected them more acutely?

I am very concerned about their health and with them being chronically sick for this something that added to their problems? Is thiamine the only deficiency or is this the tip of the iceberg?

I certainly hope that the good folks at Wellness are being honest. They're recalling ALL their canned food with the certain “best by date,” instead of trying to figure out which flavors of which best by dates are effected.

The lots involved in this voluntary recall are:

Wellness Canned Cat (all flavors and sizes) with best by dates from 14APR 13 through 30SEP13

Wellness Canned Cat Chicken & Herring (all sizes) with best by date of 10NOV13 and 17NOV13.

©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. The dreaded cans that are part of the recall.

I found that I had a few cans that were effected by the recall. I decided to go back through my bags of recycling and check those cans. The further back I went, the MORE cans I found that were part of the recall. I can only imagine how many, in reality, I fed. I've been buying Wellness by the CASE-and most of those cans are long gone. In the end, I found 18, 12 oz. cans.

I called WellPet at 1-877-227-9587 to arrange for return of the product and reimbursement. They answer the phone right away and are very accommodating. Gee, are we surprised? Okay, I'm being mean. They were very nice and will take care of this right away.

That said. I'm sitting here with a big stomach ache, wondering if these kittens have been compromised in some way and no coupon or refund is going to fix that.

Baba-D is IN DA HOUSE!

Author's note: Bob has a few nicknames-one I use most often is: Baba-D. Some others are: Bobbee Tinkleberry, Mr. Bob and Robert J. Dole (only used if I'm yelling at him)


Barely 24 hours ago, I got a call from one of the Vets at VCA Cheshire. He said something I didn't expect to hear: “Bob's ready to go home. He's eating a bit and has perked up. If you can get here before, say 3pm, we won't charge you for an extra day.

All I could muster in reply was; “You're shitting me.


I was told that shortly after Sam and I left yesterday, Bob perked up. He ate a little bit, he sat up in his cage. Dr Weisman, who I LOVE, said she felt the pain meds were really taking a toll on Bob, so she eased off on them. Sure enough, the minute it started to wear off, our old Bob started to make a comeback.

Of course I had a Vet appointment for Polly, who is, getting SICK again. I had to postpone it to today. I basically had to postpone everything to get ready for Bob to arrive. Since Bob's belly is in a fragile state of repair, we have to give him either cage rest or put him in a small room with no furniture. Since we don't have a room like that, I set up a BIG dog crate, then went out and bought a dog pen to attach to the crate. It would give Bob some chance to walk around a bit. I didn't want to put it in a dark part of the house or off in a corner, so Bob's in the middle of the living room. I want him to have sunshine and to be part of our daily activity so he can feel like he's part of the gang again.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Bob's new digs.

Sam and I got things set up and I realized I needed a few things so I left early to hit a pet store that was on the way to the hospital, which is a 45 minute drive from here. Of course, I took the wrong exit and the store is in the middle of Waterbury, where the roads are like a messy plate of spaghetti. I panicked and decided to skip the store and not risk getting lost. I did NOT want to be late. The Vet bill was over $3000.00 and I didn't want it to go any higher if I could help it.

I hit a grocery store and got a new litter pan and the litter my Vet wants to use. I bought a few groceries and ignored the bell ringer from Salvation Army. I wanted to go up to him and tell him how much money I give to animal charities and how I run my own. I ask myself why I feel so guilty about not putting money in his bin when I donate clothing and household goods to them every year. Maybe that's how they score? The guilt factor?

Guilty or not, I was racing to get to Bob on time. It was 2:30pm and there was some sort of nightmare traffic jam, from what, I could not figure out. So I crawled along, finally getting to the hospital in the nick of time. I grabbed my empty cat carrier, walked in the door and almost yelled, “Filler Up!”

Oh yes, but there is a matter of the rest of the payment to deal with first. They were very nice, very professional. They went over Bob's discharge information, which isn't really much, other than to watch Bob and check his incision. He doesn't need extra meds. He can go back on Denamarin and Dasquin and eat what he likes (so THEY say!). He is supposed to wear a “cone of shame”, e-collar but he hasn't picked at his belly at all so no go for now. He's been through enough.

I spoke with Dr. Weisman, who I LOVE (yes, i know I wrote that earlier and it's still true). She told me what to watch out for and to either call her or just email her to let me know how Bob is doing or just to say hello. You're KIDDING ME, right? Woah. I love her. She's not tossing me to the wind now that the surgery is over!

While we were talking, I realized someone was standing next to me. It was a tech holding BOB!!!! I grabbed his carrier and she placed him inside it. He looked perkier, even at a glance. I couldn't wait to get him HOME!

I got the bill settled. It was actually a bit less than the low end of the estimate. The amount still kills me and it will be a year before it's paid off, but I can get it done. It was time to head home with my BOB!

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Bob, at home, at last. By the way, we moved his litter pan out of this crate, into the penned in area after this photo was taken so Bob has more space to relax and not smell his own fumes.

I wanted to let Bob out so he could walk around a bit, when we got home. I thought he might like to use his familiar litter pan, then I'd put him into his crate. Instead, Bob almost RAN around the house, then got away from us and RAN up TWO flights of STAIRS! Oh NO! he's gonna blow himself wide open! Thankfully we got him and put him into the crate. Sheesh!

We warmed up some raw food and offered it to him. He licked once or twice, then went to his heated bed and laid down. He was exhausted. I offered him some chicken treats, which he ate, but then turned away from me. He licked his paws and his face, a great sign. He got comfortable and went to sleep.

Sam and I sat in the living room, talking quietly. I sat facing Bob so I could keep an eye on him. He groomed himself some more, but stayed clear of his belly. He put his head down, then twisted it at a cute angle, as he so often does, and went to sleep. I was worried that he didn't eat, but hoped he'd eat a bit later.

©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Bob loves his blanket from Aunt Jennifer.

As the evening passed, I got into the penned in area and sat with Bob. I offered him dehydrated chicken and he ate every piece. He wouldn't eat any real food, but it was a start. We said good night and let him rest. I didn't sleep well. I worried about what I might find this morning. I got up at 6:15am and went downstairs to check on Bob.

I walked over to his crate and said, hello. He got right up and came over to me, purring loudly! I hustled into the kitchen and got him some grain-free canned food. I warmed it slightly and put dry chicken treat on top. He lapped at it hungrily! I was SO GLAD to see him eat! He didn't eat as much as I'd like to see, but he probably ate about 1/4 of a can of food, purring the whole time.

Of course, the problem with feeding Bob is ALL the other cats, including MacGruber, circled the pen and reached into it trying to get at Bob's food. I had to put Mac and Blitzen into the bathroom they were so bad! We've found Blitzen in Bob's pen a few times, now, so we can't leave food in there or Blitz will snarf it. Pig!

Of course, Bob doesn't seem to pay any heed to these interruptions. He just licks at his food and purrs, just as Bob did before, like any other day, but this isn't any other day. Bob just survived a very serious surgery and he's HOME. HE'S HOME! HE'S HOME!

Bob Dole, Surgery Bound.

Anxiety plays out in my stomach most of the time, but today I could feel it in my chest as my heart beat hard and fast-“thump, thump, thump!” It was time to pack Bob into his cat carrier and drive to Cheshire, the town name I find rather ironic and/or amusing. There we would meet Dr. Weisman at the VCA Cheshire Vet Hospital. As much as I needed to get this meeting to happen, I struggled with wanting to go to bed and stick my head under the covers. I didn't want to know how she felt about Bob's prognosis or whether or not he'd make a good candidate for surgery.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Bob circa 2008. This is why we love Orange cats!

I was pretty sure, after talking many times to Dr. Larry, that I'd hear: “Well, Bob is a senior with FIV+ and the mass is large and, you know, he probably wouldn't even survive the surgery and maybe it would be best to just send him home to be loved and let him go to The Bridge.

Dr. Weisman was surprising. She was upbeat and listened, she is quick to understand a situation and she explained things clearly. Bob IS a good candidate for surgery! Yes, he has a liver mass, but his other organs, including his heart and lungs are working normally. His blood test is really quite GOOD, if you don't count the glaringly sky-high ALT value.

She didn't want to do the surgery to prove anything. In fact she said she's not a “hero.” She's not going to go in and try to remove the biggest liver mass ever seen. If it's dangerous, she's not going to do it. She said a few times, she is there to do what is BEST FOR BOB-NOT what is BEST FOR ME, HER, ANYONE. I really admired her for saying that and appreciated it. That's all I want.

She told me she'd open him up, take a look. If he was a mess, full of cancer, she would close him up, send him home to spend his last hours or days or weeks with us. If he wasn't full of cancer, if the mass is on the part of the right lobe (there are THREE lobes on the right of the liver!) she thinks it's on, it would be something she could remove. If it's NOT and too risky to remove she may biopsy it to find out if it's benign.

As it has been since we found out Bob had a liver mass a week ago, there are no firm answers, only the okay to go to the next step. We've reached the place to decide and in the end, there really was no decision to be made. Bob will have a better life without the mass. If it can be removed, we will have that done. If not, we'll at least know what we're dealing with and Bob will have the best, most comfortable end-of-life we can provide for him.

If we did nothing, Bob would slowly decline further and further and die. If we do something, Bob can have quality of life. We did not talk about how much MORE life, but it will be more...

And it's going to cost. It's going to cost a lot of money. Between $3500-4500. Sam and I aren't having Christmas this year due to our lack of finances, but we will find the resources we need to make this happen for Bob. It's not foolishness. It's not "just a cat." It's a living creature who is in pain. If we have the ability to do this for Bob, then we will. Money will never be something that is more important than LIFE. That is just wrong.

At the end of my own life I never want to look back and feel like I didn't do right by my cats because of fear and because of a buck. If I have to go without some things, that's fine. I will still have a roof over my head and food in the panty. It will be okay. It will suck to have to spend this money, but so be it.

Sunday, the foster cats arrive from Georgia. My house is going to be full up with craziness. Monday Bob has surgery and hopefully by Wednesday he will be coming home to recover. It may mean Christmas Eve at the ER Vet. It may mean a sleepless Holiday, but hopefully it may end up meaning, that what I really wanted for Christmas, I have a chance at getting. I just want Bob to be well and to stay with us for as long as he can manage. We're not ready to say goodbye and I think he still has a lot of life left.

Bob Dole proved it to me as we were about to leave the Hospital. We walked past another client who was bringing his Golden Retriever into the waiting room. Bob took one look at the dog and HISSED LOUD!



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