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My Poor Baby

18 months.

That's how long I've been trying to find a cure for Gracie's dermatitis. I am so stressed out from all the tests, treatments, baths, specialists NOT curing her problem! I know it stresses HER out and that stresses me out, too

I'd planned on writing a post about taking Gracie to visit a homeopathic Vet. About how you need to have a different mindset about expectations of results. That it will take time.

If you factor in that Gracie had LOTS of different meds for a year, then it will take a very long time for them to work out of her system. She's only had homeopathic treatments since January. She's on a very restricted raw diet. I have to be PATIENT.

Two weeks ago, I thought that FINALLY Gracie was starting to improve. She had chewed the fur off her belly, but it was starting to grow back. Instead of an armor of scabs, the size and spacing of the scabs was much improved.

Then I tweaked her diet and she got a new treatment. I don't know which did it, but something really effected her badly. I noticed her skin got worse, so I put her back on her old diet. Today, she went to her "western" vet, Dr Larry, because I thought she had an injury to her eye.

Her eye was fine, but when we flipped her over to see how her belly was, this was what we saw.

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Gracie did this to herself. It's from over-grooming. At the left is her belly and the injury goes inside her left rear leg.

It was very difficult NOT to cry when I saw this. I was in such a state of shock, I didn't know what to say. I was ashamed that I missed this horrific and painful injury and all I wanted to do was give her a big fat shot of steroids, which I KNOW would make her feel better, but which, in the long run will kill her.

What makes matters worse was that I chose not to do anything for her. Her homeopathic Vet would not agree to give Gracie ANYTHING right now-espeically steroids or antibiotics, which would be the next steps. We were able to reach Dr. Hermans, who quickly re-arranged her schedule so that she could see Gracie in a few days and she also told me some things I could do for her to keep Gracie comfortable until her appointment.

Dr. Larry, bless him, with the most open mind of any doctor in the universe, suddenly told me that he felt that I should get Gracie in to get acupuncture done because he'd seen amazing results. Perhaps it would help to calm her down and break her OCD-ish cycle of over grooming?

Instead of pushing me to use "his method" of treatment, he respected Dr Hermans wishes (and mine) and he gave me good suggestions. Gracie is going to get acupuncture in early June, or sooner if they can fit me in.

Dr. Larry says a home for Gracie by herself is the ultimate answer, but I reminded him that she was FINE for years in this same house, with the crazy foster cats. I hope that if she was all right once, she can return to good health again one day. Right now I want to crawl into a hole and hide. I feel terrible for my baby girl. Just terrible. I need a magic wand so I can fix her up and help her be happy again. I can't be a bad cat-mama. I just can't.

Unfortunately, it looks like in this regard, I already am. If I could find Gracie a great home (along with her daughter, Petunia), I would do it. But who would want a cat with a known medical condition? I can't promise it would go away. This is so frustrating and exhausting.

Please, please, please. Let me find the cure for my cat! I'm running out of options.

NEFHS Conference

I'm sitting in my hotel room at the Crown Plaza in Worcester, MA. after attending most of The New England Federation of Humane Societies Conference (say that five times fast). The hotel appears to be located in the center part of town, right next to some glorious old churches and WPA era buildings. My GPS didn't seem to know exactly where this hotel was so I had a not-too-thrilling-drive around town late Saturday night. Needless to say, there are some parts of town that don't appear to be places where one wants to drive a BMW. Our building is newish (less than 100 years old) and I'm sorry to say a bit creepy-okay, a lot creepy.

I was trying to figure out how to explain the decor. In the “common” areas, no pun intended, it appears that someone went to an auction of many hotels that were closing and bought up everything they could. The range of styles of furnishings is from 1970's dreck to 1990's faux antiquey. There are brown upholstered lobby chairs that look innocent enough, until you foolishly try to sit in one of them, at which point your buttocks is squeezed like a tube of cake decorating icing, then squirted into a vortex that drags you downward to the ground. They're VERY tough to “de-chair” without first having to roll to the floor, as though you're on fire and attempting to “stop, drop and roll” yourself to safety, after which you quickly stand up, brush yourself off and try to appear normal.

I know I should talk about what I learned at the conference, but the scent of lye? soap? was so strong in the hallways and guest rooms that it seared my sinuses a bit and caused me run to the window to crank it open to gasp a gulpful of freshish air.

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The rooms have been updated and they are relatively nice. The caveat is the fabric wall paper behind the bed NEEDS TO BE VACUUMED! It's covered with dust. I can see where the wall was wiped down and where it was not. It would be a very bad choice for someone with cats. That is for sure.


I'm trying not to write a whiney beyatchy review, but I believe that the crunky location, the equally crunky, err, dreadful food, the overly lit lighting and the overly warm conference rooms, just left me feeling drained and gassy (no meat for us meat eatin' folks and all dem healthy veggies go straight to “fumes.”). I also couldn't help but compare it to BlogPaws, which was a lot of FUN, high energy, a great location and good food.

Maybe that was the problem? It was the energy of the folks at the Conference? Yes, I should blame myself first, so blame me, but then blame..what was going on? I did not feel the warm welcome or the general friendliness I've felt at other conferences.

I took classes on Infectious Diseases, Working with Adopters, Social Media for Shelters, and got to see this new way to quickly socialize feral kittens. It ONLY takes a few HOURS. I'm somewhat suspect of this procedure, but it sure seems to work. I'm going to plug it so you can check it out. Fearful to Friendly. While I feel the author is on to something, I do warn you that the web site is not too informational and it points to buying a DVD. We saw some of it, and with all due respect, it's rather long and needs some editing. If you can glean the info from it with the soundtrack turned off, you're golden. I think there is valuable info there, but I would love it if it could be presented more succinctly and professionally. That said, if you can turn a kitten or cat or dog around really fast, it's worth the money and the tedious sound track.

I also learned that I'm basically f-cked. Between having coccidia and ringworm in my house, the only way to get rid of it is really to BURN the house to the ground. The ringworm will live on in HAIR for YEARS and the coccidia is not killable, if that is a word. I'm not going to get my panties in a bundle about it. It's too late. What is done is done. My cats, knock wood, are fine, but the next litter of fosters I get will be the test subjects. They say to treat the kittens for Coccidia if we had it in the foster rooms, but I am reluctant to medicate kittens unless they really need it.

I also learned to listen more to potential adopters, to not judge them first (yeah, like I'm going to be able to do that!) and speak less AND that for a few bucks, I can drive a mile and get a really BIG grilled cheese with HAM sandwich.

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The Boulevard Diner, Worcester, MA


I'm looking forward to going home and getting ready to FINALLY get my hands on some new fosters! (crossing fingers)

Foster Cat Journal: The Last of Santa's Team Goes Home...Part Two

If you read my last post, you know that Blitzen found his forever home yesterday. If you read my last post v-e-r-y carefully, you might have noticed something else, too.

I said I cried when the Adoption Agreement was signed, which was true. I didn't say whose signature was on the paper or if my tears were sad ones.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson

It's something to consider.

The other thing to consider is how sweet, friendly and loving this little cat has become. He always seems to have a sunny outlook on life. Everything is interesting and exciting to him, to be explored and enjoyed. Every time I look at him I smile. I could find a way to let Blitzen go, but life is too short. Why do I have to say goodbye? I have a lot of cats, what's one more? Will it ruin my life or ruin my other cats life? Probably not.


So the signature, one of two, is mine. The other, not seen above, is Sam's. I cried because I was happy and maybe a tiny bit scared to make this commitment.

My old boss said; “It is what it is.” I think that sums it up nicely. Sure, I could go nuts worrying about how this cat will impact our lives or do calculations that tell me it's going to by tough on our budget to have an EIGTH cat, but it is what it is. We'll find a way to manage.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson “Blitzen 4.23.10”

I guess I got tired of having to say goodbye and longed to say something new.

“Welcome to the Family, Blitzen!”

The last of Santa's Team has found his forever home.

...and it's with us.


Foster Cat Journal: The Last of Santa's Team...Goes Home

Part One of Two.

Here we are in April, almost May, and little Blitzen is not so little any longer. His siblings and Mama are long since adopted and he's been here with us, finishing up treatment for ringworm and mingling with our resident cats.

Just over 4 months ago, litle Blitzen, below right and his sisters, Donner and Prancer with their Mama, Cupid—just part of the 9 cat rescue from a Georgia Kill Shelter, I called ”Santa's Team.”

Sam and I have discussed whether or not we should adopt Blitzen. Of course, he's been here way too long and we've grown attached. We've wondered if we're being selfish and if we can really afford another cat (probably not). Blitzen seems to be getting long fine with everyone and they're working out how they get along with him.

Regardless of our decision, one thing is for certain. Blitzen needed to have a Vet check to clear him to be adopted. I brought him over to visit, er, get a check up with Dr. Larry. Super Deb spent some time with us before Dr. Larry got back from his lunch. Super Deb looked Blitzen over. He purred and purred as she weighed him, then sat with him on her lap and clipped his claws. Super Deb did something I rarely see-she smiled; a big, I-let-my-guard-down-smile. It was a Cheshire Cat smile-there and gone in the blink of an eye, but I saw it. Even though Super Deb said I shouldn't keep Blitzen, I didn't think she really meant it.

I came to understand she was concerned about the other cats and how they were doing. She imagined an angry piss-festival, lots of loud screaming fights and poor Gracie's skin erupting in blisters from being stressed out. It hasn't been a picnic in the park here, but it's not as bad as all that. I assured SD that the cats were working it out-and they are, but that I did agree, adopting another cat was NOT in our plans.

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Then Dr. Larry came in to the exam room. He took one look at Blitzen then made some God-awful whistle-chirp-something-sound. Super Deb and I looked at each other with a “WTF” look on our faces. The sound freaked Blitzen out so we scolded Dr. Larry, who was oblivious to what we were saying. He was too busy focusing on Blitzen, who calmed down and went back to purring and looking around the room.

”You should definitely keep him.”

“You're kidding, right?”

“This cat is...a-w-e-s-o-m-e! He is a b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l cat and what a sweeth-e-a-r-t!”

Then Dr. Larry asked Super Deb for her opinion and she said No. I would be nuts to keep this cat, but did admit that he was ”Okay, nice, but I really shouldn't adopt another cat.”

Blitz got cleared for takeoff. No more ringy-dingy-worm. No ear mites, fleas, URI, tapeworm, roundworm, blah blah blah. Now I just had to find him a great home.

I knew Blitzen would be adopted easily. What's not to like? He's completely confident in his fur. He is happy and loving and oh so adorable. If I adopt him, I really can't get my “dream cat.” I promised myself that next year I would begin looking for a BIG Tuxedo Maine Coon to rescue. That would put us at NINE cats if we keep Blitzen. Even for me, that's too many.

So, I need to do what's best for everyone. I lucked out and found the perfect home for Blitzen. The Adoption Agreement was signed today. I cried as the signatures hit the paper. How could I not? This adoption isn't something I'm going to be able to maintain my poker face over.

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It's time for me to move forward. We have a few feral mama cats who have recently given birth. One had six kittens on Monday! It's been too long since I've had babies in the house and I miss fostering. It's Kitten Season, after all, and I need to get back to work.

Foster Cat Journal: Week Three-Cupid Confined

It's tough on Cupid being confined and it's tough on me because I've got to spend time with her every day to keep her from going crazy. I know she's lonely and bored. The hour or more we spend together-spread out across the day in short play-periods, is something, but not enough. I can't wait for this to be over. I'm sure she would agree.


Still waiting for that darn ringworm to GO AWAY! Looking pretty as ever, during the process, of course.

The ringworm hasn't spread, KNOOCK WOOD, to any other part of her body, nor has is spread, KNOCOK WOOD AGAIN, to ANY of the kittens, myself, Sam or our cats. So far, so good.

Next week ends four weeks confined. At that time, I'm going to beg Dr. Larry to give me the go-ahead to free her from the bathroom. I wonder how she'll be with her kittens after such a long separation? Her mammary glands are finally flat and normal again and her spay surgery wound is healed and barely visible. Cupid's put on a few POUNDS and looks terrific. I just wonder if she'll remember her offspring or look at them as strangers?

On March 6th, we're having an Adoption Event. I had to cancel the last two because WE HAD NO CATS. With any luck, ALL the fosters will be READY to be ADOPTED-at LAST!!!!

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Cupid enjoys batting at toys with her paws. She's very expressive with them. I can get her to give me a “high five” or she'll reach out to get me to pet her. She's a very sweet cat.

By the Adoption Event, the cats will have been here almost THREE MONTHS. Compared to the last group I took in from GA, those 9 were here for only 10 days before they all went to great homes. You think this will be tough-saying goodbye to this pile o' cats?

Tough doesn't even come close.

Groundhog Day-Prediction for 2010

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It's that time of year again. Time for Punxsutawney Phil to make hopeful predictions about the upcoming weather. Will winter lose it's icy grip soon or will we have to endure six more weeks of bone-chilling temps?

This year, through my very high-up contacts, I was able to ask Phil to add a prediction, just for me—well, for my foster cats. I asked Phil if he could tell me WHEN my fosters would be ready to get adopted. After all, they've been here for over a month and they appear to be getting to a point where maybe they're well enough to go to their forever homes.

Phil pondered my question for a moment, then came out of his snug burrow. His answer was clear:

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I could have saved $278 by not taking Cupid to the Vet this morning and just figured, heck, the cats are going to be here FOREVER. Might as well get used to the idea of having TWELVE cats.

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It appears that the little bald patch on her right rear leg is most likely


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Que the scary violin music! Cupid, watch out! The RINGWORM-Psycho is gonna get you. It's right behind you! Ack! Hey, don't rub your ringworm on the bed, while you're at it, OK?

We did a DTM culture, which takes 7-10 days to get a result. In the meantime, I have to treat the area externally, for now. No need for nasty anti-fungals. If Cupid gets another patch, she WILL have to take the meds. The hope is that we caught it quickly enough. Cupid also had a nasty rodent ulcer on her mouth and her blood tests showed a falling Hematocrit level, which could add up to an immune disorder (FIV+, FeLuk), so we re-did her combo test. Showed she still is negative/negative and negative for heartworm, too. We ran another CBC to see if she's doing better. She's certainly gained weight-up about THREE POUNDS now and she is still a sweetheart.

Of course, her kittens have been exposed to her, and so have we, and so has OUR BEDROOM. Cupid is to be quarantined from all of us for the next SIX WEEKS. Hence Phil's prediction. “He told me so,” I know!

So poor Cupid is locked up in the bathroom. It's cold and dark in there, so I'm going to go out and buy her a heater and a cat tree so she has some vertical space in the tiny room. I feel TERRIBLE about this. Saturday we were going to put her up for adoption. Now it will be March 16th before she is cleared again.

The bedroom's been cleaned up, kinda-sorta and I'm doing a mountain of laundry. I cleaned up the foster room as best I could, but I already know that Donner likes to groom her mama, so I'm guessing any day now the kittens will break with ringworm, too. They'll all have to stay put. No more running in and out of our bedroom for now.

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If I only knew then, what I know now. Don't lick da Mama, Donner!

I'm going to take it in stride, not have a nervous breakdown, but I may begin to fantasize about running away from home or becoming an alcoholic or both.

Maybe I should ask Phil? Six more weeks of madness or is sanity just around the corner? If you see Phil, please don't ask him for me. I don't want to know the answer.

Vet Week 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lord of the Ringworm: Ressurrection

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

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

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

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

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

Lastly, there was Comet and Rudolph.

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

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



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

Here's a hint:

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

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

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

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

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

Baby steps, right? Baby steps.

Foster Cat Journal: Still Sick!

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Blitzen is still struggling to get better.

Poor little Blitzen. I just can't seem to get him to turn the corner and get better. I'm taking him to the Vet tomorrow, along with Rudy (he's not doing well). I'm also taking everyone else! Ack! Might as well. Mama and Prancer are well enough to be spayed. I'm hoping it won't push them over the edge and make them relapse, which is why I'm only doing those two cats. Am going to take this VERY SLOWLY. If these two do well, then they can be adopted. The rest are still too sick to be messed with and I want to re-evaluate their meds, so off they go to the Vet.

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From left: Dancer, Prancer & Donner

I'm going to pick Rudy and Comet up now. Will have a full house for a few more days. It's a lot more work with them here, but they are such nice kitties, I do enjoy seeing them!

Deep breath. I will get these cats well...I HOPE!

Foster Cat Journal: Improvements & Disappointments Part 2

Cupid had a second blood test. It confirmed that her kidneys are functioning properly, but that she's still battling an infection. Her stats were much better and she did gain a pound, which I mentioned, a few days ago. Her coat is marvelous and her personality is starting to come out. I've been keeping her separated from the kittens so her glands can dry up. When the kittens approach her she'll smack them or bite them, trying to get them to leave her alone, but Donner won't give up and goes straight for a nipple. I don't let her suckle. I'm fearful that Cupid will get mastitis. So far, so good. Just a few more days and I shouldn't have to confine her or the kittens any more. I honestly hate doing it, but I must. Cupid needs to dry out. Those kittens are too big and could really hurt her now.

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Cupid is so easy-going, she didn't even care about getting blood drawn! She's a great kitty!

What surprises me is seeing Cupid play. She's finally interested in some of the toys, though she still backs off if the kittens are near her. I take her into my bedroom occasionally, to give her a break and that's when I see her open up. She'll roll on the carpet, put her paws in the air. She'll drink from the faucet or chase after a toy. I can hold her for a few moments and she'll sit comfortably in my arms, but she just won't sit on my lap-or even near me. I hope that once she's away from the kittens, she'll be able to blossom even further.


I can't seem to get a photo of Cupid looking happy, but I'm working on it! I'm sure she's getting tired of being a Mama and ready to move on to other things.

Of the four kittens, Prancer seems to be doing well. The others: Blitzen, Donner and Dancer have on and off problems, especially with their sinuses and their eyes. Blitzen, in particular is doing the worst. He's such a sweet boy and so beautiful, but he's snorting and has a slight infection by his nose. His eyes are runny and I think I've gone through at least three or four bottles of eye drops and antibiotic ointment. I'm still giving a ton of meds to the cats, daily. It's not that big of a deal, but it's causing two of the kittens to be shy when they see hands coming near them. I'm trying to offset the bad-giving meds, with the good-play time. I don't want the twice (or more) daily meds to make them nasty grown up cats. It's tough to wrangle them and somehow make it a nice experience for them. I just try to be FAST and get it done.

Blitzen still sick.jpg
Blitzen is still struggling with an eye infection, sinus issues and an infection near his nose.

Sweet little Blitz.jpg

...but he is still gorgeous!

Donner, too, who was doing great, then started to have eye problems! It's amazing just how long this shit is taking to work itself out of this cat-famly. The Vet said these things can take weeks to resolve. She wasn't kidding. The problem for me is not only am I unable to help any more kittens, but worse-I am getting attached to Donner and Blitzen. It's going to be tough to say goodbye to ANY of these cats since we've been through so much together, but Donner, who sleeps under my chin and Blitz, who is just the sweetest natured cutey-who will lay belly up on me and sleep, too...well I am smitten. I've done well. In the almost five years I've been with ANC I have not adopted ONE cat. I've been sad MANY times when the kittens have left, but I know I'm doing what I must do. Now I'm not so sure I can do it this time, too.

How can you say, NO, to this face???

Eye goo donner.jpg

So we're all hanging in there. I took a few days to do little else, but care for the cats, so I wouldn't lose my mind. Sam and I faced the edge of the cliff-we discussed ending our 16+ year relationship. It was the most serious, sad, depressing conversation we've ever had. I think we both sat with the feeling of what it would be like if we could not move forward together any longer. There was nothing coarse or cruel about it. It was just deeply sad and heartbreaking. I shared some things with him and I think that doing so opened things back up in our relationship. Sam was willing to listen and to understand what I was saying. It must have made a difference because after that and another good cry and more “alone time” we managed to dust ourselves off, take a deep breath, and slowly try to get back on our feet.

Perhaps like dealing with a house full of sick cats, things had to hit the bottom before they could start to improve? I guess time will tell.


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