Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Limb Broke - With Me On It

Note:  This is a blog post from an exhausted animal rescuer.  If you're squeamish about profanity or easily offended, please don't read any further...

I don't know where to start.  Last week was awful, so was really looking forward to the "rescue rollercoaster" coasting for a little bit this weekend..just a little bit, damn it.

Instead, our beautiful kitten "Cohen" died on Friday night from something unknown and I understandably had a grieving foster Mom on Saturday morning.  I never get used to consoling foster parents.  Hearing them cry...It hurts so much as I know how they feel.  Having to make "the call"...their cheery voice answering the phone with an excited  and hopeful "HELLO?"  My voice sounding sad, and hopeless,  "I don't have good news..."

I wonder how many of these calls I've made over the years?  Saturday was a banner shit day and continued...

We rescued a darling 5 month old kitten named "Bella" last week.  Her foster Mom contacted me on Saturday to say that Bella wasn't doing well.  It sounded like URI to me.  No biggie.  Been there. Done that.  But Bella's foster Mom said something was different, and I decided to go with her intuition and get the kitten into the vets.  Twelve minutes later, the foster Mom calls me back.  She found a dead fetus on the floor.  How is that possible?  Five months old...

...the story continues... the vet performed an emergency cesarean section and finds another fetus stuck in the birth canal, and SIX more kittens in the womb.  That 5 month old kitten was carrying EIGHT kittens. 

...She died this morning.  Twenty four hours after her cesarean section - she joined her 8 kittens. 

F*ck the people that didn't care enough to get her spayed.

I rescued 2 cats for a new foster family on Wednesday.  By yesterday morning, they decided they "couldn't handle it" and wanted me to pick them up.  One cat was sick with URI, so I'm syringe feeding her until she can go to the vets on Monday.  The other I drove into Toronto tonight to meet with an emergency foster home.

I thought I explain everything.  Upper Respiratory Infections...pills...running noses.. drooling...

We have one cat at the vet with probable fatty liver.  He hasn't eaten on his own in a week, so I think I'll bring him home with me tomorrow to continue the medical care and take the newly sick girl in for a trade tomorrow.

I feel really alone.  David isn't happy with me since I spent all weekend on the phone with various emergencies.  He said he was tired and annoyed of hearing "one sided conversations".  Our Saturday date night was filled with phone calls from terrified foster parents and veterinary offices while I struggled to make small talk with David over antipasto at our favourite Italian place.  My eyes and lips kept telling him that I was sorry.  He understood.  Certainly he knew who I was when he married me. 

The emergencies were real and I wouldn't want people to NOT call me.  It's what I do.  It's what I signed up for when I started this rescue.  It's just a drag that it all happened in one eff'ing 2 day period. I don't want anyone to EVER feel badly about calling me with a problem or concern.

The REALLY sad part?  We had FIVE adoptions this weekend and I've been too busy and stressed to wallow in the glory.  Five little souls went to their Forever Homes thanks to loving foster parents who cared enough to save their lives.

Thanks for listening to me wallow in my own self pity. I feel better typing it all out. In fact, I feel much better and capable of looking towards tomorrow.  I'll face whatever happens - I'll be ok.  We'll all be OK.

15 comments:

Khyra And Sometimes Her Mom said...

And we'll be here for you to share the good - bad - and the fugly -

Khanine Khysses,
Khyra and Her Mom

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh, Beth. I'm so sorry to hear about all the tragedies - and furious at that little 5 month old's former people.

Try to wallow in the glory of the adoptions. That's a phenomenal number of adoptions for a small, new rescue. And those five cats owe their lives to your efforts, and that of their foster homes. Bad news is always printed in bigger font than good news, but we should never forget the good news.

Renee

Erika and Blair,xoxo said...

Beth, I am so so sorry to hear about your weekend. Although I can only imagine what would have happened to those kittens without you. Before their last moments, they knew they they were safe and loved. You did a great thing. I hope you find time to enjoy the adoptions.

Vesna said...

Beth, Oh that poor little girl, now she's not in pain anymore.

Years ago I rescued a 6 month old barn cat who had 5 kittens, only 2 survived, she had complications and had emergency surgery. Thank God she pulled through and is now a happy girl who will live with me for the rest of her life.

Thank you for the work that you do.

Anonymous said...

Oh Beth, that is one heck of a lot of awfulness to happen in one weekend...

I hope karma does a number on the eejits that Bella once belonged to. I really wanted to use a much, much ruder word, but I won't.

Also, poor Cohen :-( Losing cats is always tragic and Bella (and her kittens, of course) but I've always felt even more helpless when it came to kittens. My condolances to you and Bella & Cohen's foster moms.

I don't think you are wallowing in self pity at all. You use your blog to vent so that when concerned foster parents call, you have the ability to help and support them. It's one of the many, many reasons you are so good at this rescue business :-)

Also, I completely agree with Renee (for she is very wise ;-), 5 adoptions is extraordinary for a rescue that has only just been born :-)



Cindy, Bertie, Sammy, Malley and Batman

peewee22 said...

I'm so sorry to hear about all the tragedies that occured over the weekend. Poor, poor Bella - only a baby herself, to have to go through such an ordeal, at the end of which she died. As usual, people are responsible. I'm just glad the foster Mom knew she wasn't dealing with a run-of-the-mill problem and Bella was taken to the vet's. I shudder to think how much suffering Bella would have endured had she not.

On a happy note - great news about the 5 adoptions. I hope you can console yourself with the thought that you and your rescue made that possible.

I hope the coming week holds good news.
A

Carolyn said...

I'm so sorry Beth, to hear about the sad demise of these kitties. I empathize with you and feel your pain and frustration. As a driver who has been in this shelter, I would like to point out to other readers that many of the cats in there are in need of medical care and TLC from the moment they are rescued. There are no windows, just fluorescent lighting, and some rooms are dark still. There is no interaction except between staff and individual cats, and mother & kittens. You see the photos of cats sitting on a sheet of newspaper or a metal cage. The aura of death lingers. The staff do what they can, but in serious cases, the cats are not treated there for surgeries. They lie there sick and afraid, with broken bones, on the brink of kidney failure, gashes from raccoon or whatever else attacks until they are rescued, for a few examples. Somehow they hang on until they're out, but not long enough for some. Fostering these innocent beings is a very rewarding experience, but there's responsibility involved as well for their complete recovery. All of them are starved for affection. Sometimes you don't know what a cat's personality will be like when you bring in a foster cat, but believe me, the ones who hang on do come around and adapt to a new loving home and will bring you so much joy and satisfaction. Congratulations, Beth on a successful adoption weekend - wallow in some deserved praise - and David is such an understanding husband. I'll foster his clone if one's available! lol :) Carolyn

Kea said...

Oh, Beth...My heart hurts for you and for the foster moms, for the loss of these precious cats and kittens who never had a chance. Sometimes we can do everything humanly possible and it's still not enough.

Wishing you a better, happier week.

(((Hugs)))

-Kim

Anonymous said...

Beth, I'm so so sorry you had to go through that, all of that. You do such great things for so many cats every day and I know you pour your heart into it. I'm horrified that anyone would volunteer to take 2 and not have the compassion to see it through. Please try to remember the good when the bad comes knocking. My heart and thoughts are with you... Lorelei

Bradly Jones said...

please tell me this is not true.. :(

highparkgirl said...

Please look after yourself, or you will not be able to help the cats and kittens.

Devon said...

I'm so sorry to hear about all the losses Beth! Truely a tragic weekend. The five adoptions seems like only a small victory after a weekend like that.

My heart goes out to you and all the foster homes!

Caroline said...

Beth and foster parents of the sick and dying, take comfort in knowing you got a sick animal out of a horrible situation,at least they died in safe surroundings, especially Bella, she was under vet care and not at the AC in the middle of the night with no one to help. Even though we can't save all of them, to at least make an attempt is HUGE as it is to end the suffering. Take heart and carry on in their memory.

I can feel David's frustration at dealing with one sided conversations, when I lived at home my mother was involved in many charities and talked non stop on the phone, it drove me nuts and was something I never missed when I moved out. It isn't personal, we just all have different interests, Beth you would probably be equally frustrated listening to David counsol Bridge players, lol! "You put the queen of hearts in, you take the spade out, you trade with the diamond and you shuffle it all about..."

Karen said...

Caroline and all the other kind people who commented.... i am Bella's foster mom. I want to say that in addition to Beth and myself we had an absolutely wonderful vet. Dr Khalil of Credit Landing Animal Hospital worked tirelessly to save Bella. We were there until almost midnight when the c section was done. The following day when it appeared she was not doing so well he put her back on fluids and then went in every two hours to check on her all thru the night. Such kindness and dedication can only inspire all of us. So though there are those out there that lack common sense (eejits I think was the word)there are those that are wonderful too...

Lisa said...

That's not wallowing at all, Beth. That was a week from hell...no one could got through that without feeling emotionally wasted and beaten up.