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Not on My Watch: GOOD FRIDAY!

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Thumper was in a cage at the Emergency Vet Clinic for 3 MONTHS! We get the word out on him and he gets a home in ONE WEEK!!!!!!

Do I know any details? He went to a family with one other cat and should have a grand old time in his new home. That's all I got!

Of course, while I was asking the Vet about Thumper they told me a kitten was just dumped there with a prolapsed rectum. They fixed it, for now, but it may require another surgery if it does not hold. I offered to come down and get photos of the kitten once she is ready to be we will be at it again trying to find a home for this baby, too.

In the meantime, CONGRATS, THUMPER!!!!

Not on My Watch: There's No Place Like Home

Every cat should have a loving family and a warm, safe place to call home. Whether that cat is feral and has a caretaker who feeds him and provides shelter or a pampered “princess” who wants for nothing and is valued above all others. Within those extremes, come folks like most of us-people who deeply love their cats and are devoted to their care and well being, come what may. Maybe we don't put rhinestone collars on our cats or feed them imported delicacies. Maybe we don't even have a cat bed just for them, our bed is easily shared, if not a bit too crowded.

When Chester was lost, then found again, he could never have survived his adventure without having a dedicated and loving family, supporting him from afar. They could have stepped back and said; “No. The Vet costs are too high.” or “He's an old cat, just let him go...”

But they didn't.

They stood by their boy when so many would have made an excuse and let him go. For that, they are the heroes in this story. I was just the lucky one to have found a lost kitty in the woods.

Yesterday, Chester's family got together to celebrate his homecoming. He's been back for just about the same amount of time he was lost in the woods. I'm told he's still a bit weak in his rear legs, but he can jump up onto his favorite chair and get onto the bed, too! He's eating well and happy to be home again.

©2010 Michael C. Rosenstein. Used with permission. The family portrait we were all hoping to see one day! Our dreams and wishes came true for this wonderful family.

Chester's family, from left to right: Frank, Chester, Frank's wife, Ruth, Michael, and Frank & Ruth's Daughter/Michael's wife, Nicole.

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©2010 Michael C. Rosenstein. Used with permission. Chester with his mousey toy.

Chester has a Vet appointment coming up this week. They're going to see how he's doing and find out if there's anything that still needs to be done to help Chester's recovery. I'm told that Chester isn't a big fan of cat carriers, but hopefully he will be traveling in one, so he can get used to it!

©2010 Michael C. Rosenstein. Used with permission. His fur looks clean and thick. Chester is filling out a bit and livin' large on his favorite bed.

I want to hang on to this wonderful feeling forever, but I know that it's time for Chester to be with his family and for me to quit bugging them for updates. We have so many more cats to rescue, cats to find! (no luck in finding Cowboy!) and cats to raise money for so they can have a chance at finding just what Chester has had all along: a loving, forever home with a wonderful family.

Let's get to work!

Not on My Watch: Helping Thumper

A week ago, I was just leaving the Emergency Vet's office after dropping off Chester, the 21 yr. old cat I'd rescued from being lost for almost 5 days of no food or water.

The second the Vet Tech found out I did cat rescue, she asked me if I could wait a minute. She wanted to show me a cat they were trying to find a home for. He'd been dumped at their door 3 months prior. His left front leg was deformed. When he walked, you could hear a distinct “thump,” hence his nickname, Thumper.


Thumper is a very outgoing and handsome cat. He's big, too, but only about 2 or 3 years old. He's still got a lot of “kitten” in him. I asked about his leg and the Tech said they had it checked out by a neurologist and that he couldn't say if it was from his genetics or an injury, that since he was comfortable and using the leg (instead of limping), that they didn't need to have it removed.


Thumper is VERY friendly and affectionate, as you can see here. He's curious, confident and interested in the world around him. He seems to get along with other cats and dogs, too. Because he's such a big, hardy, cat, he would be great for a family with kids.

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Thumper spends most of his day in a small cage. A Vet Clinic is NOT set up as an animal shelter and the staff is constantly busy helping other cats and dogs who are have serious medical issues. Thumper's life is a lonely one and this big love-bug deserves to be busted out of that cage and with a family he can call his own.

If you're interested in adopting Thumper, please contact The Animal Emergency Clinic of Danabury, P.C. at 203-790-6383.

(This is in western Connecticut)

Not on my Watch: R is for Remarkable!

I'm sitting here at my desk. It's 102°F outside. It's a bit warm in the house even with the A/C on, but none of that matters. All I can think about is Chester.

I just went to Dr. Larry's to visit Chester. It was quiet there today. The usual sounds of construction were thankfully absent. There weren't any clients. The mad rush had just ended. I wasn't sure I wanted to know how Chester was doing, but there I was, anyway. Lauren, one of the very nice lady-Vet techs, smiled when she spoke of how Chester was doing. I couldn't wait to see him.

Over night Chester had made some sort of great improvement. No longer laying down and eating out of the side of his mouth-he was sitting up and eating furiously. He was sleeping, not like a damp rag, spread out on a table, but curled up as any normal cat might do. Not only that, but when she brought him out for us to visit, I gasped when I saw him. He was standing on all fours!

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©2010 Robin AF Olson. Chester looks like a cat again. Hurrah!

Chester is still weak. It's to be expected, but he was UP and reacting to being petted. He was looking around and appeared to be much perkier than even the day before.

I was simply, astonished.

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©2010 Robin AF Olson. Chester gets a bit of help to keep him steady as they take his weight for the day.

I bought Chester a catnip mousy toy. This catnip is REALLY strong and there isn't a lot available to purchase. I felt lucky to get some. I wanted to see if Chester would react to it at all; another way to gauge how he's doing.

I should have brought him a napkin because once he got a whiff of the catnip he started to drool a bit! It was clear he liked it very much. Seeing him do something, so completely normal, something I would never think twice about seeing, was truly remarkable. This cat is a cat again!

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©2010 Robin AF Olson. Chester digs his catnip mousy toy.

While Chester was rubbing against his mousy, Sam, Lauren and I petted him. His coat feels much cleaner and softer. Though he is still quit thin, he appears to have gained some weight. His eyes were almost zombie-like on Saturday and now they react in a more normal way. It was a blessing to witness this transformation.

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©2010 Robin AF Olson. A little bit stoned from the catnip (the tail of the mousy is under his arm), Chester enjoys his pets.

I spoke with Dr. M., who works with Dr. Larry. She was also very impressed with Chester's improvements. I asked if he was going home tomorrow and I think there is a good chance of that happening. It's not for me to discuss or decide-that's up to his family. I might give him one more day of Vet care since traveling in this terrible heat might be very hard on him, but again...that is out of my hands. One way or the other, I think Chester will be home one day soon (KNOCK WOOD, no jinxing here!)

©2010 Robin AF Olson. Chester, you ARE amazing!

We had a nice visit with Chester. It may be our last before he leaves for home. I told him I loved him and that I was proud of him for doing so well and to keep up the good work. I could tell that he was getting tired and needed to rest more. He probably has a long recovery period yet to go.

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©2010 Robin AF Olson. Chester loves the attention from his new friends, as he thinks of home and his family who are waiting to see him.

It dawned on me just as we left-that Chester has been receiving Vet care for almost as long as he was lost in the woods. In my minds' eye, I can still see his face, the eyes dark, his body unmoving, under that fallen tree, perfectly blended in with the dead leaves he was about to become part of, forever. For the rest of my life, I will never forget rescuing Chester and his remarkable recovery. There are so few things to be happy about these days. For once, it's nice to take a moment and have something to smile about.

Chester is out of the woods, in more ways than one.

R is for RESCUED!

Writing on 2 hours of sleep may not be the smartest thing I've ever done, but this story needs to break right NOW!!!

A few days ago I got an email from Diane, who runs a local rescue group alerting me to the fact that a 19 year old cat named, Chester had been lost in the woods by the local diner. The family hails from Maine and for reasons that are not clear to me, somehow Chester, who wore a collar and leash, got out of the car while the family was eating their meal. When they got back to the car, Chester was gone.

From Chester's "LOST" Flyer.

There's a lot of very dense brush around the diner and beyond that there are thick woods. I-84 passes one side of it.

It's been a common dumping ground for cats, garbage, beer cans and other debris. It's not where you'd want to take a walk alone late a night-not that it's "that" dangerous, but...the diner is open 24/7 so all sorts of folks stop by and many of them are just passing through the state.

We also have foxes and coyotes here-an occasional bear. There are lots of good reasons to find this geriatric cat as soon as possible. This morning, the temperatures were going to rise into the low 90's and today is slated to be very humid, too. Chester has been missing since June 28, 2010 and the run of cooler, drier weather is done.

We had our uber-trapper, Karlyn, working the case, along with Barb a really nice lady with another rescue group. We were all doing what we could to find Chester, along with another cat, Cowboy, who is also gone missing, too. His family is from VA and has been looking for him for over a week.

Karlyn set up a feeding station to see if she could tell if there were cats coming to it. Then she'd set humane traps to get the cats at the feeding station. We set up a wildlife camera but caught nothing the first day. We were going to buy another camera today, but something inside me was grinding. I kept feeling like I HAD to go look for Chester again. The last time I was ill prepared, stupidly wearing sandals which prevented me from looking too far into the woods.

I didn't sleep last night. Finally at 6:00 AM I got up, covered myself with bug repellant, put on heavy clothes to protect me from ticks. I put a feliway wipe in my pocket along with some dry food and a can of very wet food and some water. I know there's no scientific proof, but all that stuff didn't matter. I almost felt pushed to get out of the house as soon as I could. I could have left in my PJ's and slippers. I didn't care what I had on me. I just had to GO.

As I pulled up to the diner, the sun was getting stronger. It was barely 7AM. I started to think that all I should look for was a sign of the leash and the collar, so at least I would know if the cat had gotten out of it or if he was still attached to it and had maybe passed away. I tried to prepare myself to see a dead cat-the last thing I would ever want to see, but I had to be tough and just get out there.

There were some creepy cars in the back of the parking lot, so I opted to walk the perimeter and just look into the brush. I couldn't get over how dense the brush was so close to the edge of the parking lot. There's a path that leads to a dried out stream, off one of the corners of the lot. A big SUV/pickup thing was blocking it. I didn't want to go near it. It gave me the creeps.

Instead I found another place to enter the woods by one of the dumpsters. I walked down a short incline and walked along the dried river bed since it was just about the only place that was clear of thorny brush. I called to Chester, waited, listened. I could hear the traffic from the highway. A bird flew over my head. A branch fell onto the ground. I thought I heard something else...a cry?

I felt like I just had to walk in a particular direction. I saw a big tree, some of it had fallen down. Under one of the large limbs, I thought I saw a FACE. I was about 40 feet away? Was it the morning light playing a trick on my eyes? I called out to Chester. Nothing. I got closer. The thing wasn't moving. I thought that maybe it was a fox. We'd heard one a few nights ago when we were last there. I took a few steps closer, then I was CHESTER!!!!!!!!

I pushed through the brush, which was much more sparse, thankfully, and ran over to Chester. I could see his lead caught up in some debris. He wasn't moving. I thought he was gone. I started to talk to him as I broke apart the branches to free up his chain. He moved a tiny bit. I reached under the tree to pick him up. He was very limp, but alive.

As I ran back to the parking lot I kept talking to Chester, telling him it was going to be ok. He didn't move, which made it easier to get him to my car, but made me more worried that he was going to die in my arms.

Chester just moments after I got him into the back of the car.

It was only 7am, but I called Karlyn anyway. I breathlessly told her I found Chester!!! She said she would be right there. I opened some food and rubbed some water on his mouth. Chester was clearly well out of it, but for a moment he furiously lapped at a little bit of canned food.

Karlyn arrived. I emailed Super-Deb, hoping she would be into work early so I could get Chester over to her. SD called and said it would be 9am before anyone would see Chester. Too late. I needed to move him to a Vet-whoever was open. I didn't care. Karlyn helped me get Chester into my carrier and gave me a towel for him to lie on. I got the car going and drove as fast as I dared to the Animal Emergency Clinic in Danbury.

It was a long 15 minute drive, but they were expecting us, thanks to Karlyn's call. They took Chester and I waited. Then they told me his condition was "iffy" and that they could not get a pulse on his limbs but his heart sounded surprisingly good. His BUN was high, his potassium was good, but his sodium was high. Obviously, his kidneys are not in a good place. Chester was not 19. Turns out he is 21! That this cat was even breathing after almost 5 days of no food or water, is amazing.

I called Chester's family and gave them the good news wakeup call. They know where he is now and they know he won't die alone in the woods or by the claws of a predator. I gave him a hug and kiss and told him he was a good boy and that he would be ok. I hope I didn't lie to him, but it's out of my hands.

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Chester. Out of the woods and safe, at last.

I hope Chester has a few lives left. I hope his family will be willing to pay for his care. It's going to be expensive if The Animal Emergency Clinic keeps him for the weekend. Right now I'm paying for it, but this isn't a time to fuss about money. It's a a time to pray or send good vibes or just think kindly about a very old kitty who lost his way and who was very lucky this crazy cat lady had his back.

Come'on Chester. You can do it! We're rooting for you!

My Interview with Dr. Katrina Warren, BVSc

I've often wondered if the celebrity “experts” I see on television actually know what they're talking about or if they rely on a bevy of knowledgeable scriptwriters.

Today, I was given the opportunity to answer that question-at least in the case of Dr. Katrina Warren, BVSc (that's Australian for: Bachelor of Veterinary Science)-the smart and beautiful Celebu-Vet who comes to the aid of two cat-loving families during each episode of her show: Cat Chow's® Housecat Housecall®, which has just began airing it's Third Season on Animal Planet® on June 5th.

Dr. Warren, along with her associates, Dr. Karen Sueda and Dr. Rich Goldstein, help families understand how to create a better environment for their cats or help them solve curious cat behavior issues. (subliminal message to Dr. Katrina: HELP! PLEASE COME TO MY HOUSE! I NEED HELP!)

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Dr. Katrina Warren, courtesy of Purina® Cat Chow® & Animal Planet®.

I was graciously granted a phone interview with Dr. Warren from her home in Australia. Did I want to skip my questions about the Third Season of her show and ask her about living in Australia or if she knows Nicole Kidman? YES! Did I want to know if she would invite me to come visit her or better yet, could she come to my house and SAVE ME FROM MY EIGHT ANNOYING CATS WHO REFUSED TO LET ME SLEEP BECAUSE THEY WERE HUNGRY, SO THEY WOKE ME UP AT 5:00 AM?


But I'm a professional, so I asked a few, more appropriate questions, but I really wanted some dirt. (Okay, I wanted to ask how she could marry someone named: “Mr. Darcy” in 2006 and not live happily ever after with him? Sadly, the marriage did not last beyond two years. Also, how could you NOT want to STAY married to a lovely person WHO IS A VET??? Come on!!)

During our interview, we discussed the upcoming season of Cat Chow's, Housecat Housecalls (try to say that on the air, by the way-what a tongue twister!). We also discussed proper nutrition (you KNEW I would have to go there, but I did so delicately, at least, this time), we also talked about how to handle the death of a pet, weird pet behaviors (stealing clothing) and how we can all do our part to help Dr. Warren in her quest for cats to live better lives.

If you don't get a chance to listen to the interview, there are two things you should know:

1. Dr Warren is delightful. She knows what she's talking about and is willing to open up to discuss any aspect of cat health or behavior. Of course, she loves dogs, too and it broke my heart to find out she still mourns over the death, at age 14, of her beloved dog, Toby, who passed away in January of this year. Our condolences on your loss!

2. This is so surprising and fantastic and terrible (because we can't say that about the USA)...AUSTRALIA HAS A 98% COMPLIANCE TO SPAY/NEUTER THEIR ANIMALS. Dr. Warren said it was almost unheard of for people to have kittens to give away. While we didn't have time to discuss how they handle “Bush-cats” (Feral), the idea that an entire country can get behind Spay/Neuter makes my heart swell. We MUST achieve a goal like that here in the USA!

If you'd like to hear our chat, feel free to listen to the audio, below. Keep in mind it was 8 AM EST here and 10PM for Dr. Warren. That we could have a conversation that made any sense at either of those times is just shy of amazing.


A BIG “Thank You” to Dr. Katrina Warren, for her time and expertise. It was a pleasure speaking with her. Cat Chow’s, Housecat Housecall will air Saturdays at 10:30am E/P and Sundays at 8am E/P this summer on Animal Planet.

(another subliminal message to Dr. Katrina: HELP! PLEASE COME TO MY HOUSE! MY CATS ARE DRIVING ME CRAZY! MR. DARCY...HIS LOSS!)

Foster Cat Journal: The Black Skies of June

I hate June.

I'm sorry. I'm sure some of you were born in June or celebrate their wedding anniversary in June, but to me, June sucks.

June means death: two of my cats and my Father. For some reason, there's a black cloud over me in June. I feel myself hunkering down as Memorial Day approaches, fearful of what is next. Is there really a reason for June being so bad? It's probably just coincidence, but riddle me this, Batman...

...It's barely June. I've been sick with some sort of stomach funk since the 1st. It waxes and wanes. I'm slowly getting better, but still feel run down and just want to sleep. My gut aches and I feel very queasy.

I just found out my dear Uncle died. He died in May, but I didn't find out until over a week later via E-MAIL! I didn't even get a chance to go to his funeral.

This weekend the TV in the living room died. It makes this sad siren-y noise if you try to power it up. The screen is cold and black. I don't smoke. I rarely drink. I watch too much TV. I have a TV in my bedroom. It's not the end of the world, but I HAVE NO TV IN MY LIVING ROOM! WHAT WILL I DO AT NIGHT WHEN WE HAVE DINNER? WE WATCH TV AND EAT. YES, I KNOW IT'S WRONG, BUT I'M HUMAN. I HAVE MY FAULTS. I should read or write more or be a better citizen, but I LOVE MY CRAPPY TV SHOWS! I also don't want to shell out a lot of money to get a NEW TV because we will have to get an HD TV and that will mean a big HEADACHE. Many of the components will have to be upgraded to HD OR we can just sit in the bedroom forever.

T-minus 8 days until the BA-TV (Big ass-TV) gets here!

To break the curse of June, I decided to F-it, go further into debt and buy a new TV. We went to Best Buy yesterday and got a BIG flat screen tv (we currently have a dead 36" big behemoth non-HD TV). I'm already imagining the cats urinating on it and already planning how I will keep them from doing that (SSScats-which I highly recommend! and YELLING-which only feels good to me, and perhaps, is not the best idea for the cat).

Next, we will have to build a cheapy stand for the TV, which no doubt will cause at least one scowl per person and Sam will get mad at me because I tell him how to do it and he can fix it without me "helping" (except that it will be done the "wrong way"). Then we will have to de-wire the jungle of cables from the TV, VCR, TIVO, Cable Box, Pre-Amp, Amp, Cassette deck (yes we STILL have one, but it's going "away"), CD-Player (why bother we have iPods), TURNTABLE (gasp!) and Sub-Woofer.

Whatever happened to buying a tv, sitting it on a plastic milk crate, plugging it in, adjusting the antenna and watching it? Okay, the picture sucked.

And NO, we did not buy a 3D TV. Are you crazy? I just know that one day there is going to be a study out that says those TVs mess up your vision, not to mention it makes me nauseous to see too much 3D. Life is too 3D for me.

On the way home, a severe thunderstorm hit. I had to go get the car, so I ran in the pouring rain, got the car, picked Sam up. I was soaked. Two seconds later, the clouds parted and the sky was blue! Great.

I had to back road it home. Something happened on Route 34 and the traffic was at a standstill.

Our power went OUT. So we tried to look at the bright side. We LEFT home and went to the movies. We saw “Get Him to the Greek,” which was funny and tender (okay maybe not so tender, but funny). By the time we got home, CL&P had showed up and fixed the problem! Things were looking up!

So I powered up my computer. I have a 2TB (terabyte, which is oodles bigger than gigabyte) backup system. It contains 4 hard drives. Guess what wasn't working?

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I stayed up until 3AM trying to fix the problem to no avail. All my precious kitten photos, all my client files, all gone. I was lucky that I have all the original files and only lost the backup, but the BACKUP is what is not supposed to FAIL! But it's JUNE, so remember that.

I got on the phone with tech support at Drobo. Jeremy helped me. He was VERY helpful and terrific, even when I said “shit” after he told me there was no saving the data and we'd have to reformat all four drives. In the end, one of the four drives was starting to fail and two of the newer drives were installed BEFORE I did a "firmware" (whatever that is) update, which caused a very slow corruption of how the files were written. Now that the drives are reformatted, everything should work well, other than the one drive that I'm doing to pitch into the back yard.


Now I need to spend MORE money to get a new drive. Fun.

It is June 7th. Twenty three more days to go. Maybe it's just the luck of the draw. Some bad stuff that will work itself out? No worries. Right?

Not so sure about that.

Oh yeah. I'm supposed to write about CATS!

What is Candy doing? More of this photo, tomorrow!

The cats, knock wood, are doing well and I have very happy news about Candy which I will share tomorrow---after I share my news that tomorrow morning I'll be interviewing Dr. Katrina Warren of Animal Planet's Housecat Housecall!

It should be a fun interview, so make sure you check back in tomorrow for an update! Hopefully it will go well, but remember, it's June.

What Time Is It? It's 2:30 (tooth-hurty).

I learned at an early age that I would never be a sports heroine when instead of gracefully grabbing a fly ball in my mitt, I caught it with my FACE. The ball hit me on my upper lip, chipping my top two and bottom front two teeth. I was 9. I was wearing the new, matching bright orange polyester short set my Mother had just got me from K-Mart. I was terrified I'd get blood on my clothes and get yelled at, so while I was screaming and squirting blood, I held my head forward to drip onto the ground, as I walked the three (hundred, it seemed) blocks back to my family's house.

I was lucky that just about at that time, my Dentist had learned about a new procedure where you could use some sort of concrete (or whatever) and bond it onto the chipped teeth. He did the repair, while I was trying not to pass out from having all the nerves exposed in my teeth.

The repair lasted all these MANY years, but it was discolored and the bonded material was chipping away over time. It didn't look great and my front teeth, well, they aren't so aesthetically pleasing, anyway, Dentist, Dr. David, who is awesome, who I share the same birthday with, same day and YEAR, has been after me to get veneers.

What a complete waste of money. Pure vanity! Just re-bond the teeth and be done. But the re-bonding won't ever match and will discolor. The material will fail and I will still have teeth that flare out at the bottom, like an outdated skirt from Goodwill.

We're about to lose our Health Insurance and I had some money left to use in the dental plan. I figured I was going to get about 25% off if I did the veneers, so in case I ever become famous, I figured, why not?

Let's just say, that although Dr. David is a fine Dentist and I really like him a lot, I can't understand how celebrities get a full set of these things. Holy crap! It's not that painful during, well not painful at all, but afterwards, yikes, not fun, but the WORST is when the temporaries come off and you get to hear your temporaries being CRACKED, following by pieces of the material falling down your shirt. I know I'm going to have nightmares about this.

After the chipping, cracking, buzz sawing, I was left with a fat lip, numb inside my nose and gums and with a much nicer smile. I will post before and after photos, maybe.

Bob Dole, my cat, also went to the dentist, well, he saw Dr. Larry. Since Bob has FIV+, he's prone to having gum/teeth problems. Bob's down to about 6 teeth and we're doing all we can to KEEP what he has left. Dr. Larry told me that Bob had a nasty looking molar and that it needed work now to prevent it from having to come out later. We ran the usual blood panel and everything looked normal, except for Bob's ALT. Bob has never had a normal ALT, but word was it was not as high as it had been in the past. I give kudos to his raw diet and no-more-kibble nutrition for making a difference.

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That said, all the good blood work in the world wasn't going to assure me that the sedation wouldn't kill Bob or mess him up badly. I hate having Bob sedated and I'm sure I'm a pain in the ass about asking to have someone call me the second he's awake and the procedure is done. Bob's old. I don't know how old, but maybe 14 or so?

The other thing Bob needed was a haircut. I do brush him, but not often enough. He gets nasty mats and with the warm weather upon us, I thought that for once I'd get him a “lion cut” which would remove all the mats and give him a fresh look for the summer. I hoped he wouldn't be embarrassed.

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Bob took it like a champ. Bob is unflappable unless he's hungry-then there's a LOT of flapping. Sam and I picked him up at 6:30pm. We got to see him in his cage. The cage card had “FIV+” highlighted in marker, under his name. It made me sad. Bob had to be separated from the other animals. I never think about him being contagious to anyone. In fact, I am going to have his combo test re-run. I dunno...are there false positives?

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Bob looked a bit sad. He didn't have any teeth extracted, which was great, so I knew he would be too uncomfortable. I called to him and opened the cage door. He looked so odd! It was if there was Bob's head, attached to another body all together. I could still see the mackerel stripes where his fur was trimmed away. He feels very nice and smooth and has very cute fur “boots” on this legs. Super Deb, knew I'd be posting photos of her work, so she made sure to do an extra nice job. I never thought writing a Blog would bring a perk like that! Yes, Super-Deb, you will still be called “Super.” You did a good job. I think Bob appreciates, too, that you “expressed” his anal glands (if you want to read more about why cats need their anal glands cleaned out, see my post here). I'm sorry I didn't notice he was having a problem back there! I was also surprised that Bob has STUD tail! What's up with that? I guess once a stud, always a stud.

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Bob's home now and crabby. He wants to eat. I'm not supposed to feed him, so I fed him a little bit. He wants more and is hissing at all the other cats and checking out their empty plates for a scrap to eat. I want to eat, but my gums are killing me and the nerves in my front teeth are throbbing. I'm crabby, too. Sam had a crown replaced yesterday and a filling done a few days ago, but somehow he remains crabby-free. It's been “2:30” for too long. Here's hoping for a time change coming soon.(crossing paws).

Gracie Update

Understanding what results to expect when utilizing Homeopathy, is definitely something I'm learning. It's different from seeing Dr. Larry. With him, I would expect him to prescribe a shot or pill, etc., then within a specific amount of time, I'd expect results. I'd also end up effecting Gracie in ways none of us would intend. For instance, if I'd caved in and told Dr. Larry to give her steroids, she's be looking very nice right now, but internally, I would have done damage to her that might not manifest right away. They call steroids “the silver bullet” for a good reason. They work great for lots of reasons, but there's a price to pay, which includes potentially causing a whole slew of immune related problems and worse, which end up shortening the life span of the cat. For a geriatric cat in poor health, steroids can give them comfort and help them find their appetite during their final days. In a young cat, I would avoid it if at all possible. Each situation is different and you need to discuss using steroids on your cat with your Vet.

I just got back from visiting Dr. Hermans. We had a good conversation, then she examined Gracie. Firstly, Gracie's nasty self-mutilation IS HEALING NICELY! I was only able to apply some calendula based first aid cream to her twice, along with some bitter apple around the site of the injury. Since she was healing with little help from me, that's actually a good sign that she's STOPPED chewing on herself.

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We also discussed diet. Gracie may not be tolerating the food I changed the cats over to. They all go crazy eating it, but Gracie wants it too and she can't have it so she won't eat or she'll wait and try to get some scraps off another plate. This doesn't work since there usually are NO scraps left. Now I've been given the OK to open up the choices of food I give her, which should help inspire her to eat more consistently. Juggling what to feed 8 cats is a pain in the ass. Dr. H said there is “no such thing as feeding all cats in a multi-cat household, the same food.” It's a “Holy Grail” that can't be reached if your cats are of such varying ages and from different backgrounds. Gee, I didn't have enough to feel bad about! Ugh.

So back to the food drawing board. Hopefully, I will get this figured out. The math involved in all of this “how many ozs of food/how many lbs of cat” is driving me nuts. We have a bit over 100 lbs of cat, but each one gets a different amount of food. I can't feed them all the same amount because it's too costly and I don't want the cats to get fat.

We spoke, again, about re-homing Gracie. Dr. Larry feels it's time for me to do that and Dr. H says, “No. Not right now.” The problem here is my expectations, more than anything else. I'm used to a quick fix. Homeopathy doesn't work quickly-espeically for something like dermatitis. It's going to be up and down over a long period of time. There are no guarantees, either. This may not work, but we haven't given it long enough and Dr. H does see signs that Gracie IS responding to treatment. If she was in bad shape, she'd have kept on chewing her leg. She may have had a flare up. Hard to say. I can't imagine finding a home for her with no other cats or dogs, where the new owner would not give her steroids for her skin or who would feed raw and follow her health needs. It's just not going to happen. Crossing fingers: I will get her back in good shape one day and prove Dr. Larry wrong. Gracie can stay here and be happy AND healthy!

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Bottom line is that I need to give Gracie more alone time-which I've been doing the past few nights and we're going to adjust the treatment she's getting and give that to her more often and she how she does. She won't be getting acupuncture just yet. Apparently it does not go well with Homeopathy! We can only do one thing at a time. Who knew?

Thank You for all the Helpful Suggestions

Thank you, everyone, for your helpful suggestions. I've done so much for Gracie, some times I forget what's gone on.

To answer some of your comments-

Gracie IS on a Bach Flower Essence combo and has been on it for a few months now.

Last night when I saw her injury, it looked BETTER than it had at the Vet's office. She also relaxed the second I put the first aid salve with Calendula (rec'd by my homeopathic Vet) on it. We had a very nice quiet snuggle last night and for the first time in a very long time, I opened up the foster room and let her hang out in there. She seemed to enjoy herself and was relaxed and purring (and drooling on me).

As for fostering, I need to keep doing it. I need to do it because it keeps a smile on my face when I battle depression every day and I need to do it because I can't face knowing all those kittens are being put down, when I have space in my house and know how to care for them...BUT Gracie's well being is very important-of course.

Also, I haven't had foster here since March and as it looks right now, I won't be getting any any time soon. I'm going to talk to my Vets about this. The theory for me is-if she was OK with them before, she should be OK with them again, but...that is a guess.

Lastly, I agree that with homeopathy, what is occurring now could be a GOOD sign and a sign that the worst of it is about to be over and the true healing can begin. I won't know this, of course, until a lot more time has passed and I can look back and either smack myself in the head for waiting to bring out the big guns (steroids) or jump for joy that this difficult time was just the harbinger of better ones yet to come and that I've finally found the answer to help Gracie recover.

...crossing fingers....time to go smooch Gracie.


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