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Not Bob.

The other day I noticed that Bob looked dramatically thinner. It seemed to happen overnight. I know that Bob's a senior and seniors always seem to lose that padding in either side of their back, near their hips. I tried not to freak out. Bob is eating well and has some “spunk.” Even goes after Blitzen to play once in awhile. Since we're at the tail end (pardon the pun) of a rash of upper respiratory here, I thought I'd have Bob checked out. He's vomited a few times, but not often enough to concern me and his eyes seem a bit sunken.

This morning I took Bob and Petunia to visit Dr. Larry. I thought it would go fairly smoothly for Bob. He's been in pretty good shape for a senior with FIV+. Then Super-Deb weighed him. He's lost over ONE POUND since September.

Then Dr. Larry started to feel Bob's abdomen. He had an odd look on his face. My heart sank.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Bob, his usual calm self waiting for his X-ray results.

It wasn't that he felt a specific mass, but something didn't feel quite right so he had Super Deb take him to get X-rayed. Dr. Larry stepped out of the exam room. My heart started to pound in my chest. I had a flashback to 8 years ago when Dr. Larry was gone for a good 20 minutes, supposedly looking at x-rays of my cat, Squeegee. I think it took that long because he didn't want to tell me her cancer had spread to her lungs and that she only had a few months left to live.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Bob's X-ray. The area in the center, left is the area of concern.

I love Bob so much. That he was my Mother's cat, makes him even more precious to me. He's the last reminder I have of her, though I have to add, she NEVER took Bob to the Vet. We used to fight about it. That's why Bob has FIV+ now. He was left outdoors during the day and he wasn't neutered until he was well into adulthood. I managed to bully my Mother into getting it done, but by then it was too late for Bob. I realize how ironic it is to have a cat that reminds me of fighting with my mother, but I'm more devoted to making sure Bob has the BEST Vet care because of how poorly he was treated in the past.

The x-rays showed something wasn't quite right. Dr. Larry talked about cancer or a benign liver tumor that is completely operable or something else...I started to cry. I didn't want to but I couldn't help it. I know Bob won't live forever. None of us will. But I want Bob to live forever. Is that too much to ask?

They pulled blood and I'll have results tomorrow. Bob's always had high liver values, called ALT, so it wouldn't be a surprise that there is something going on with his Liver. Super Deb just called me to let me know that they pulled some strings and a very well respected radiologist is going to be giving Bob an ultrasound on Tuesday-far sooner than I had hoped.

So now I wait and try not to freak out when I don't have all the information, but I can't help it. It's Bob.

Not Bob.


Foster Cat Journal: The Littlest Soldiers

A month ticked by since we rescued Polly, Cara, Chester and their Mom, Mazie. It's been a constant battle to keep them alive. To date there are been about ten Vet trips, one emergency run late at night. Of the four, Polly has suffered the most and is still struggling to recover fully from the dreaded herpes virus infection she got just days after she was rescued.

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©2010 Maria Sandoval. Cara Melle wants to get better, NOW!

Her sister, Cara struggled as well, then started to improve, but now has an added complication of picking up another type of URI that's effecting her breathing. Maria, their foster mama, works so hard to get them to turn the corner; has taken time off from work, gotten her sister to come see the cats during the day so they're fed regularly, but more importantly, that someone is watching out for them.

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©2010 Maria Sandoval. Poor Cara, one thing after another sickens her over and over again.

Chester hasn't been hit too hard, knock wood. His mama, wasn't effected too badly, either, but she has a mature immune system. We expected she would pull through all right.

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©2010 Maria Sandoval. Red-rimmed eyes indicate that Chester is also feeling awful.

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©2010 Maria Sandoval. Chester (top), Cara (middle), Polly (bottom).

Each sunrise the kittens see is triumph. It means, they lived through one more day. Each meal is a few more calories to keep them alive and get them to grow stronger. Mazie watches over them, encouraging each one with a lick on the face or a comforting purr.

©2010 Maria Sandoval.Little Chester with his Mama, Mazie.

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©2010 Maria Sandoval. Only Mama can help make Chester feel better.

The difficulties in providing care for these kittens, is partially due to their inability to smell their food. First, it stopped them from nursing and caused Maria to take over syringe feeding them many times a day. Then, it was difficult to get them to lap food off a plate. They just didn't understand how to eat. I suggested Maria elevate their plate and that seemed to help, but before that was done, their bathroom home had to be scrubbed down many times a day.

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©2010 Maria Sandoval. Dinner time!

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©2010 Maria Sandoval. Polly gets down and dirty with dinner.

Litter training was a tough road, too. If they can't smell, they can't know the smell of their mama's elimination. What then would help guide them to the litter pan?

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©2010 Maria Sandoval. Polly is a mess in more ways than one.

And yes, Maria also has other foster cats to care for, plus her own kitties! How she's doing this without having a nervous breakdown, I don't know. She's a tough cookie, that's for certain.

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©2010 Maria Sandoval. A yes...antiviral eyedrops. $90.00.

©2010 Maria Sandoval. Mazie and Cara.

©2010 Maria Sandoval. Mama Mazie.

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©2010 Maria Sandoval. Chester and Polly.

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©2010 Maria Sandoval. Chester looking much better!

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©2010 Maria Sandoval. Cara and Polly still struggle to get well.

©2010 Maria Sandoval.Cara relapses and goes back to the Vet.

Then there are the costs. One small vial of antivirals cost $90.00. I've lost count of the Vet visits and we don't get a discount. Fortunately the Vets try to be kind about charging us, but it adds up. We also had thought we were going to get some funds covered from an anonymous donor, but that has fallen through. We're going to have to open up our fundraising and ask for more funding. The costs for their care and future spay/neuter is going to break the bank.

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©2010 Maria Sandoval. It wasn't bad enough that Polly's been sick for a month, but she was so filthy she had to have a bath. Some day she'll look like a normal kitten...we hope!

We're still waiting for the day when the kittens look like kittens, instead of sad little urchins. Where their joy is measured in how high they can jump after a toy or how long they can purr.

These little soldiers will march on and we will continue to be there to help them along the way.


What makes us fall in love with a cat? Is it the color of their fur? The length of their coat? Their purr? What is it that makes us go out of our way to make their life better? To want to protect them from harm? To see them slumbering peacefully on a soft bed-that is usually one they share with us?

©2010 Bobby Stanford. Busted out of Henry Co.

This is MacGruber. He was rescued barely 24 hours ago from Henry County Care & Control. Even though he's twice the age of cats I can normally rescue, I didn't care. There's something about his playful expression, the way he holds himself, relaxed, at ease with the world, confident. He did not know he had little time left to live, he just knew he was living his life in a cage and well, that's just how things go.

©2010 Bobby Stanford. Mr Chillaxin'

I'm partial to black and white, long haired cats. MacGruber is not that cat. Something about him spoke to me and that was it. I would go to the moon for him. I don't know why. When I rescued him I didn't even know if he was friendly.

©2010 Bobby Stanford. MacGruber loves his new friend.

I didn't have to worry about MacGruber's personality. Bobby picked up Mac from HCCAC, then drove him to East Lake, our Vet. He meowed along the way, but was not particularly stressed. Once he arrived, the staff took one look at him and just had to get their hands on him! With out hesitation, this boy was ready to be snuggled by strangers. He didn't care if they were long lost friends or a new acquaintance. He was ready for some LOVE.

©2010 Bobby Stanford. How much love can one kitten take? A lot!

Bobby reported that MacGruber just wanted to snuggle with everyone. He was easy to handle. The Vet got a kick out of him. He didn't put up a fuss or make any trouble at all.

©2010 Bobby Stanford. I love YOU more!

It seems, I'm not the only one who has a crush on MacGruber. He knew a life of love before he ever went near a Kill Shelter. Whoever gave him up must miss him dearly. He is pure in his love, somehow unscathed by what has befallen him.

©2010 Bobby Stanford. Nice heart and lung sounds. Oh..and nice kitten.

©2010 Bobby Stanford. CHEEZ WHIZ! Or...sneaky way to deliver a pill?

©2010 Bobby Stanford. Mac makes the rounds and impresses all the babes.

The vetting, completed, Bobby drove Mac to Bobbie's house where he'll be living for a few weeks until Izzy and Mark transport him to the northeast. Bobbie thought he was lovely and ever so friendly. Everyone who's met him has wanted to adopt him. There are jokes he'll never leave Georgia and find his home before then!

©2010 Bobby Stanford. MacGruber with Bobbie. What a smile he has!

I hope that's not the case, because I have a big, gooey crush on MacGruber. Every time I look at a photo of him, I smile. He's a dear boy and I'm so grateful and delighted that I could save his life. With Bobby and Bobbie's (!) help, and a ride from Izzy and Mark and we'll be all set. Next stop, forever home!

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©2010 Bobbie Coker. Carpeting feels a lot better than sitting in cat litter.

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©2010 Bobbie Coker. A big smile and a big heart-now is the time to relax and enjoy life.

As we gather together with our families to give Thanks on the cusp of this holiday, there's one little orange cat, who gives thanks for his life and the chance for a VERY happy Holiday season to come.

Foster Cat Journal: A Precious Journey to a Safe Haven

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©2010 Bobby Stanford. Used with permission. Precious gets a hug from one of the Vet Tech's at Eagle's Landing.

Precious went to the Vet. It's the first thing we do when they leave the Shelter. The big question: what was wrong with Precious and what needed to be done right now and what could wait until she arrives in Connecticut in a few short weeks.

©2010 Bobby Stanford. Used with permission. Okay, I admit she looks a wee bit nutty here, but what a lovely coat she has! I like her golden toe (see right rear foot).

Precious weighs just 4.6 pounds. She's not an adult-barely grown. She's only 9-12 months old. A mere kitten. My foster cats are younger than she is and they weigh TWICE what she does.

She's a lovely blend of tabby and calico. Her coat has hints of Maine Coon. Her snap test results were negative for Feline Leukemia and FIV-I always am relieved when we get that result. She had a flea or two, no surprise. She is not in obvious pain, but her lower jaw is broken and one of her canine teeth hits her gum. If left untreated she would adjust and just have a crooked smile, but you KNOW we will not leave her to suffer.

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©2010 Bobby Stanford. Used with permission. Inspecting her new room.

Her right front leg has feeling, is warm and has sensation! There is crackling in her shoulder. It is either a broken leg or a dislocation. She is comfortable and can get around with ease, so for now there is no treatment. It may seem cruel not to act right away, but we can move her much faster to the north, to her home, where we can have all the surgeries done that are required. She can recover from the stress of travel without the complication of recovering from surgery. We just know she would break with a URI if we did that.

She is not pregnant and, of course, this cat has probably NOT been spayed. Spaying will be done, as well, when the time comes. For now, she can eat as she pleases and get some rest.

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©2010 Bobby Stanford. Used with permission. The paperwork you can see on the bed is the release form from Henry Co. That little piece of paper gave this cat her freedom and her life back.

Bobby drove her to Corinne's. Our new foster Mama. Corinne has loads of experience and many stories of saving little kitties and big kitties, alike. Really with no time to prepare, she offered to help with the blue kittens, then when we didn't need a foster for them and I heard about Precious, I asked if she would mind helping her instead. There was no hesitation, just willingness to be part of this rescue.

Precious arrived and one of Corinne's cats snuck into the room, but Precious didn't mind. They escorted the cat back out so Precious could get to know her new home without added stress. A soft, welcoming bed was just what she needed to take the stress off her injured leg. She purred and relaxed. Wherever she had just been-that cold, scary place, was already a fading memory. She was safe and sound, maybe a bit sore, but in Corinne's warm and gentle hands, it would see her through this tough time. Corinne will also be her chaperone when it was time to leave Georgia forever and begin her new life in the northeast.

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©2010 Bobby Stanford. Used with permission. A nice soft bed. No more harsh cage for this injured sweetie.

We're all just pleased as punch that this worked out so well, so far. Thank you, again to Bobby and Corinne for all they did to help this girl to safe haven.

Not on My Watch: Perfect & Precious

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©2010 Betsy Merchant.

Yesterday, I got a plea from Betsy at Henry County Care & Control. One of the other cats hoping to get rescued is a sweet little girl who is, well, is a bit of a “fixer-upper.” I took one look at the photos and tried not to cry. I decided I had to do whatever I could to help her find a rescue.

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©2010 Betsy Merchant. Her right front leg bends at an odd angle. Her jaw appears to be broken, too.

This little dear, gets along fine, thank you, even “hauls around”, according to Betsy, even though it's clear, something quite serious happened to her. Most likely she was hit by a car, but we don't know when. We know that no one bothered to provide her with any medical care. How they could look at her and not see that she needed HELP shocks me. To make things worse, now she finds herself waiting to die at a Kill Shelter. What kind of world is this?

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©2010 Betsy Merchant.

She not a cute itty-bitty kitty. She may require thousands in Vet care to correct her facial deformity and to possibly amputate her leg. Although she can eat, she does drool. Although she can walk, is she in pain? She doesn't deserve this life she's had, she deserves so much better. The thing can I get that to happen for her?

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©2010 Betsy Merchant. Not in pain, this little girl can still move around quite freely.

I guess it's like everything else. You just put the word out and hope the perfect person sees her photo and falls in love. This little cat's body may be broken, but her heart is still full of love. She's a sweet natured cat, even after all she has suffered. I know someone can help her. I just have to find them.

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©2010 Betsy Merchant.

I sent out some emails last night, to my “gals,” Connie and Jennifer. I asked them for suggestions on how we can be creative, get this cat to Connecticut and get her help. I would do a fundraiser. I would help get a foster. I would do just about everything I could think of, but I just couldn't adopt her.

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©2010 Betsy Merchant. What a FACE!

I didn't have to. Connie, who already adopted Big O-a complete wreck of a beast from a horrible situation in GA and who adopted Little Maria, who had an untreated broken leg, stepped up and suggested that SHE adopt this cat! I balked at first, but Connie prefers to help cats that are in dire straights-the ones that are hard to place-the ones that need a little work (or a lot!). One thing I know about Connie is that when she makes a commitment to a cat, that cat won't have anything to worry about ever again. Connie is a magnificent cat-mama. If she was willing to open her home to this poor creature, then I could make it happen.

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©2010 Betsy Merchant.

So as I sat in the car while Sam drove us to New York City to attend The Chocolate Show, I made phone calls. Things began to fall into place. As of this moment, this cat is FREE. She is busted out of Henry County. She's at the Vet being checked out. With any luck, fairly soon she will be at her foster mama's home and in a few weeks, she should be ready to fly to Connecticut-right around Thanksgiving—a perfect time to truly appreciate the miracle that happened for this girl. This girl, former ID# 11/10-4781, now has a home to look forward to and a proper name.

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©2010 Betsy Merchant.

Introducing, Precious.

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Oh yeah, and the Chocolate Show was awesome, too!


Foster Cat Journal: Better Be Better!!!

I'm in love with the latest family we rescued. Every photo Maria sends me, makes me grow more and more attached. In her own words, she said she wished she could stay home from work and just watch them interact with each other and their mama. I wish I could drive down to Georgia and bring them home with me right now! I can already tell, they'll be tough to give up to anyone. What a beautiful crew we have!

And at last, we have names!

This is a little girl. She looks like she'll be long haired as she's already sportin' a baby-sized ruff. Since she's a bite-sized cutie, I'm going to call her, Cara Melle.

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©2010 Maria Sandoval. Say hello to Cara Melle!

This is our little man. A show-stopper-orange tabby. Another fluffy feline. His name is: Chester Cheetah

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©2010 Maria Sandoval. Say hello to Chester!

This is our second little girl. Her markings are very unusual. Her back is dark and light, like salt & pepper hair or the pattern of a hedgehog! I was going to call her, Sonic, but Maria warned me that was a boy's name. Instead, her name will be: Polly PicklePuss

©2010 Maria Sandoval. Say hello to Polly PicklePuss!

The last name we need is for the kittens mama. I'm told she is 2-3 years old and is very very friendly. She's a great mama and I'm guessing this isn't the first time she's BEEN a mama. Her name will be: Mama Mazie

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©2010 Maria Sandoval. Say hello to Mama Mazie!

Ahh..if naming them was the toughest task...I wanted to make sure they have names because they've become sick with an Upper Respiratory Infection. At just three weeks old, the kittens don't have any sort of immune system to protect them.

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©2010 Maria Sandoval. Cute Cara.

It started with Mama Mazie. Her eyes got watery. She started to sneeze.

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©2010 Maria Sandoval. Pretty Polly Poses Perfectly.

We all knew it was just a matter of time before the kittens fell ill, too. It was terrible, knowing they didn't have much time. Every feeding not only helped them to survive, but also gave them the URI. How could Mother's Milk be so good, yet so detrimental to their future?

©2010 Maria Sandoval.

If the kittens were even two weeks older, I wouldn't be worrying so much. There's little that we can do. Maria took them all to the vet yesterday and it was decided to put them on antibiotics-which made Mama Mazie get sicker.

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©2010 Maria Sandoval. Chester before he got sick.

The kittens seemed to be okay for a day or so, but...

©2010 Maria Sandoval.

We knew they would fall ill...and they did.

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©2010 Maria Sandoval. A watchful Mama Mazie.

With things like this, if it's a viral cause-there are no drugs. Just rest and good food. To prevent a bacterial complication-antibiotics and eye drops and maybe nose drops. I worry. I flash back to Princess or to my own, Blitzen who cost thousands of dollars in vet care, who had to be force fed, who we feared would pass away...and they were OLDER when they first got sick.

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©2010 Maria Sandoval. Lunchtime at the Vet.

I hate being 1000 miles away. All I can do is try to figure out a treatment or a supportive ointment or paste. They get lysine and bene bac. I know Maria is doing everything she can, but in the end, it will be up to the mama and the kittens on if they will be able to survive this.

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©2010 Maria Sandoval. Mama gets sick first.

I wish I could say they will be ok in a week or so, but I don't know. When kittens get to the age of cutting teeth, it's a precarious time. I've been told that they can pass away during this time for no obviousl reason. Add to that they are now sick...well..even more precarious.

©2010 Maria Sandoval. Then Polly gets hit hard.

I've been lucky to have not lost a kitten...KNOCK WOOD...SO FAR, but I know that will not always be the case. I do know that I will do EVERYTHING in my power to help these cats get well. And get well SOON. If they don't respond to the meds and need more Vet care, I'm going to have to start fundraising to make sure we will have enough set aside if the whole family or just all the kittens need supportive care.

We've been down this road before...the not knowing...the fear...the rollercoaster ride. We just have to take a deep breath and find some faith that these babies will make it so they can come to Connecticut in December and so I can KEEP THEM ALL! I mean, so I can find them great forever homes.

Come on, babies. Get better!!!

Breaking News: Tweetie's at the Emergency Vet!

My former foster kitten, Tweetie, who rose to fame and fortune when he was adopted by Sockington, the Internet's Most Famous Cat, is lying in recovery at a Boston area Vet after having emergency surgery to correct a urinary blockage.

I don't have much more info than that at this time, but please send your good thoughts and prayers to this sweet little guy and his family.

As soon as I know more, I'll let you know.

Hang in there, Tweetie!!!

Not on My Watch: By a Whisker

Last week, I learned a painful lesson. I waited a few hours too long to say, “YES” to rescuing some kittens from Henry County Care & Control. By the time I called, they had been euthanized. Some of them started to show signs of upper respiratory-something we could have easily managed in foster care, but the rules of the shelter are not forgiving.

I cried a lot that day and the images of those kittens are etched in my heart, forever. Though guilt weighs heavily upon me, it does not stop my need to try again.

Over the weekend, I found out about the kittens you see, below. There are two sets of two-really one litter of four in two cages. Each one sweeter than the last. I knew it would be tricky for me to take them since my fosters haven't all be adopted yet, but I was set on doing just that. I started the work trying to put all the puzzle pieces together. Could Maria foster? Yes. Could Bobby transport them to the Vet and get them from HCCAC for me? Yes. How much would this cost? I need to do a fundraiser.

©2010 Henry Care & Control.

Then, another rescue group in New York stepped up to offer to take two of the kittens-the cute lynx point/siamese mixes. Another group said they would take the other two. Fundraising didn't need to be done, but they didn't have a foster home or a way to get the kittens out of HCCAC. So I contacted Betsy at HCCAC and told her about my weird plan. My group pulls the cats, they get funded by another, they get transported to New York and ultimately get fostered and homed by another group! It's nutty, but who cares? Will I miss having them here, YES, but...they will be alive. That's what counts.

Crazy little details sorted. Directions, confirmations and approvals given, I made the call yesterday morning to confirm rescuing the kittens. My heart was racing. I hoped I hadn't waited too long (again). Betsy was out and they asked me to leave a message. I started to panic. I gave them the ID numbers of the kittens and said that I would be happy to take them and to NOT PUT THEM DOWN. I waited.

©2010 Henry Care & Control.

I waited an hour. I didn't want to be a pest. I hate to be annoying, but I was freaking out! I emailed Betsy. I waited. I finally called HCCAC again and she was still out so I asked if there was someone else I could speak with and a gentleman got on the phone and told me they cats were still "available" and that not to worry. Betsy would call back.

©2010 Henry Care & Control.

So. I worried.

A little while later my phone rang. It was Gerri Yoder, the Director at Henry County Care & Control. She told me that Betsy had contacted her and asked her to call me! That not-to-worry, the kittens were safe and they would hold them until we could pick them up the next day. She gave me her direct phone number at the shelter AND her cellphone number. I never have to worry that I can't reach someone who can help me help the kittens.

I stopped worrying. As soon as I started to relax, Gerri told me it was a good thing the kittens were getting a rescue. They had starting to sneeze-showing signs of getting URIs. Then, it hit me. If I had waited another second, they would have been put down. It was by a whisker that these kittens were saved. I wanted to throw up.

A little over an hour ago, these little babies were not only busted out and rescued, but they have already been to the vet and are on their way to Maria's house to be fostered for the next two weeks. They are just six weeks old.

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©2010 Henry Care & Control.

Two have the sniffles, but nothing too bad just now. Bed rest and good food will help them feel better soon. They are out, just in the nick of time...and now they have their whole lives ahead of them, instead of few hours left to live.

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©2010 Henry Care & Control.

Welcome to life outside death row, babies. Welcome! Oh and we have a few more kitties to welcome, too. When you rescue four, you just can't stop there, can you? Heck no!

Foster Cat Journal: The Princess & the Pig

Last night Connie, Sam and I went to visit Princess Fifi. We knew her temperature had started to climb again and we were very worried about her. Her temp was at 104.7°F. The Vet decided to move her to IV antibiotics as they would help her feel better, faster, if she has some sort of bacterial issue. If it was a virus, there wasn't a whole lot we could do except give her supportive care and wait.

VCA Shoreline VREC is a big, fancy building. You can tell by walking in the door that it's going to cost big bucks to bring your animal inside. Before we even took a step, we saw a big pit bull standing in the center of a circle of bloody paw prints across the floor. The dog's left front paw was a bloody mess. The dog seemed to be relaxed and content, even though he was bleeding. He owner was stuck to a cellphone, talking about something. Of course I assumed the dog was used for fighting, but then stupidly realized why would they bring it to a Vet if it got hurt in a dog fight? Then the dog turned around. He had big, dangly balls. Connie and I both got pissed when we saw this. Why this dog is running around intact? We both wanted to yell at him, but realized we'd be outmatched if we spoke up.

We sidestepped the blood, told the receptionist who we were visiting, than sat down and waited. An exam room door was open and we saw a small, white bichon or poodle sitting on the exam table. Her right leg was bent oddly. Connie gasped and said; "oh no, neurological problem!" Then I started to worry they were going to put the dog down. We both agreed we hated sitting in this waiting room. I whispered under my breath; “close the door.” A Vet Tech walked over and shut the door. Neither of us wanted to see what was going to happen next.


After a few minutes, we were escorted through some doors, into the heart of the building. Princess was being held in isolation.

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The room was small and filled with a huge bin of used sharps, a garbage can, a table with yellow dressing gowns all over it and a small bank of four steel cages. Three were empty. Each one had a card that read: CLEAN. The fourth, held our Princess Fifi.

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When we approached the cage, Princess was sleeping. They set her up on a pretty pink bed. Her food was next to her. There were some signs that she ate a bit of it. We all called out to her, but she did not respond. My heart sank. We were told we could hold her, but just to be careful of the IV line into her front leg. Sam reached into the cage and gently took her out. She was limp.

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As he began to pet her, she started to wake up. I looked at her face. It was a filthy mess. I grabbed a cotton pad from a dispenser on the table, wetted it and began to try to clean the gunk out of her eyes. At first, she didn't protest, but as she felt the cool water, she began to stir. There was a fan blowing on us and she began to shiver.

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I kept trying to get her cleaned up, but the food and discharge was crusted on her pretty well. I was glad to see her react to us holding and cleaning her. I tried to mimic how her mother might have licked her face as I wiped at it with the pad.

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A Vet came in to talk to us. She was about 15 years old. We asked her question after question. She was thinking Princess has a URi. That she is not at death's door, but she is not in great shape, either. That she would eat, but only if someone stayed with her while she ate. That her chest and heart sound fairly normal and her blood work was basically fine. She turned the fan off, realizing it was making Princess feel worse. Princess stopped shaking and just enjoying being held by Sam.

I asked if we could try to feed her, so the Vet got some fresh food and I offered it to her. She turned her head away, refusing my offer. I asked the Vet to warm it up, which she did. It didn't help. I rubbed a small bit on Princess's face. She licked at it, but still refused to eat. I put the food bowl down and focused on petting her. I didn't want to think that this might be the last time I see her alive. If she didn't eat...well...she was already too thin to begin with. I tried to be positive and not “go there.”


Connie and I continued to pet Princess and talk to her. She began to react a little bit more and more, then longer we were with her. I held her for a few minutes, but I was scared I'd hurt her. She was hot in my arms and her coat was not in the best shape. I wanted to just find a comfy chair and hold her for the rest of the night. None of us wanted to leave. We could see our being there was helping her feel better.

A Vet Tech came in to take Princess's temp. Sam helped hold her while Princess fussed. Her temp was down a tiny bit..down to 104.3°F. Her weight was up by 2 ounces in 4 days! We were all cautiously optimistic that maybe Princess would continue to improve.

Then, Connie took a turn holding Princess. By that time, we'd been with her for about 45 minutes. Princess perked up and gave us a “meh.” She began to fuss so I grabbed her food. Connie put her down and showed her the bowl and she started to eat! It always comforts me to see my cats eating, especially the foster kittens. It was even more meaningful to watch Princess lick carefully at her food. Connie put out her hand so Princess wouldn't fall out of the open cage. Every mouthful Princess took, would help her gain the strength she'd need to survive whatever was making her so sick. I wanted to cry. We all urged her to keep eating!


On the way to the hospital, we stopped at Walgreens to buy Princess a little toy. They had a lousy selection, but they did have these big, squeaky toys for dogs. One of them was appropriately pink and Sam and I both thought it might keep her company. She'd have to really squeeze the toy hard, to get it to squeak, so we thought she wouldn't easily be able to set it off. I also found these really cute pet beds. It looks like a grey cat, turned into a cat bed. Very soft and plush. Very cute. I promised myself that Princess would be sleeping in it when she comes back home to us and in the mean time the weird pink pig toy might be a stand in for a playmate.

Sam placed the pig next to Princess. She just stared at it. I thought that maybe she was frightened of it, but then she did the most wonderful thing. The pig has a black cable coming out of the top of it's head that's used to hang it on a display in the store. Princess reached out for the cable and started to PLAY!!!! She tapped at the cable and bit it, then wanted to eat more food. Wow! We were all bowled over when we saw her reach out that paw. It was such a significant sign that she's still fighting and she's still a kitten who wants to play! I wish I'd bought her a box full of toys!

Princess and friend eating_sm.jpg

Princess was clearly getting tired again, so we decided to leave. She snuggled down next to her toy pig. We each told Princess we loved her and that she should fight to get better and that we would see her soon-we promised.

Princess Admires new Friend__sm.jpg

We were all reluctant to leave. I made some jokes so we wouldn't start to cry. Just as I turned to leave, I noticed something in Princess's cage. Her blanket had her name on it! I had to ask myself, is this a sign she's in the right place? Was this destiny or just a coincidence? I can't help but wonder if all this was meant to be? But if so, what is next? What is to become of Princess? Will her temperature come down and STAY down? Will she begin to perk up, eat better and get back to the business of being a kitten again? I just don't know. I don't know if this WAS our last visit with Princess.

Princess Blanket_sm.jpg

The night passed without any calls from the Vet. This morning Connie called me and said that Carole had called and found out Princess's temp was “down.” What that meant, I don't know. Was it down a few tenths? Was it down to normal? I have to wait until after 10am to call to get an update. I have a stomach ache. I want to know, but I don't want to know. This has been a rough road and Big O, Little Maria and Pauly have to be picked up in New Jersey today! I need to get ready, but not sure for what. I need to get those new foster cats, but I need to stay home. It will be sorted out. Thankfully, Sam and Connie are going to pitch in and help. I couldn't function without them, but really, I just want to go to sleep, wake up and have everyone be here, happy and healthy.

If you've gotten this far, there's one last thing. I'm going to post a fundraiser here, to help recover some of the money we've spent to get Princess the care she needs. Her Vet bill is over $1000.00 and it won't surprise me if it goes up from there. I've set up at ChipIn widget (above) that will go STRAIGHT to Animals in Distress. If you can help out with a few dollars-whatever you donate is tax deductible. We all know money is tight and I've had to ask more than a few times for help from everyone, so I understand if asking again, so soon, is a problem for many of you. No worries. We're going to try and those that can comfortably help us-even if it's $5, it does make a difference. If you can't donate, maybe you can forward this to your friends and they can't pitch in a dollar or two? Thank you all your prayers and support during this difficult time. It means a lot to all of us-espeically little Princess.

Foster Cat Journal: 1.11

Princess is doing better this morning. She's much perkier. The other kittens are still angry she's invaded their space, but she doesn't seem to care one way or the other. She's ready to get out of her crate and walk around, but I want to wait for Dr. Larry to see her first.

I met a HUGE, gorgeous Flame Point Persian named, Pucker at Dr Larry's. What a great NAME and great cat. The cat WILL NOT go into the cat carrier and has to be held. I offered suggestions, but her owner had done it all. I was glad Pucker didn't like the cage since I got a better look at her. She made Spencer look like a short-haired cat!

Dr. Larry and Awesome-Lauren took care of Princess today. She weighs 1 pound, 11 oz. He thinks she's about 7 weeks old. I wonder about that because physically she has some size but she is VERY thin. She was very friendly to everyone and was interested in playing and exploring her space. She must have known people before she was rescued. How she found her way, alone, into Evan's garage in Litchfield will remain a mystery. In some ways, especially regarding her body condition, she reminds me of a younger version of Chester.

Eating at the Vet.jpg
©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Princess Fifi is fed by hand...but of course!

Princess got her first FVRCP shot. Dr. Larry felt she could tolerate it and that it would be better to have the protection on board since she's with other cats. She picked at some food as she got the shot, but the injection was COLD and she shook wildly afterwards, then tried to scratch at it. She relaxed, but you could see it took a bit out of her.

No fleas!

She should be crated for a week, then she can mingle with the other girls. Other than that, she should eat as much as she wants and I'll see to it that she gets fed every few hours.

But that wasn't the big news...

After I left Dr. Larry's, I realized I forgot to get some A/D for the kitten so I turned the car around and went back to the Clinic. While I was at the counter, I met a guy who said he had a diabetic cat. I told him I could help (well, my dear friend, Jennifer could) and that I could help him with diet. He told me that DR. LARRY WANTED HIM TO FEED HIS CAT A RAW DIET!!!!!!


For a LONG time now, I've been leading by example. Dr. Larry is always interested to learn new things and he was interested to learn about the benefits of a raw diet. Now, I'm not the only one he knows doing this. I can't take all the credit, BUT he knows how passionate I am about a raw diet for cats. When I heard he told his client about it for his diabetic cat, I was beyond thrilled!!!

Maybe one day I'll see my goal: no more bags of prescription dry food for cats in the lobby of his clinic! Woo!


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