Tuesday, February 26, 2013

It's Over

Almost 10 months after her diagnosis of having four weeks to live, our little Maggie is gone:

At almost 15 years old, she was ready to go.  David and our son Will took her to the vets this afternoon and she went peacefully.  

Like anyone who has lost a loved one, my heart hurts.  I've been anticipating her death for months, so maybe it should be a relief.  But it's not.  The last month meant daily accidents in the house and carrying her up and down the stairs.  We heated "people food" for her and there was nothing she asked for that she didn't receive. We wiped her face, wiped her butt and wrapped her in warm blankets at night. 

So now we grieve. 

A friend posted this from an unknown author on my Facebook page a few moments ago.  (Thank you, Renee - it's beautiful:)

"It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them. And every new dog who comes into my life, gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are."


Wednesday, February 20, 2013


I never respond to online classified ads for people giving away cats.  Why would I do that when there are cats dying in the shelter?  But I still surf the ads anyway and came across an ad that made me stop in my tracks:

"Kitten must be gone in 2 hours"

Nice, eh?  You would think at this time of year it wouldn't be too hard to find a home for a kitten.  So I sent an email.  The response was immediate.  "Sure.  Here's my address: XXXX"

No questions.  Nothing about me or if I was going to torture the cat, or give "it" a good home.  Nothing.  The address was in an awful area of the city, so David and I left right away and arrived at what I can only describe as a crack house.

Maybe I've been part of La-La Land for too long, but I know  a shitty area when I see  one.  They had several unfixed Pit Bulls in the house  and 2 unneutered male cats.   They didn't know I was  with a rescue and they didn't ask.

She brought out a frightened little guy that she said was 2 months old.  He is probably closer to 5 months old.  The lady told me that the kids play with him and he's very sweet.

He *IS* sweet and is safe and sound in my "cat room"  spare bedroom in the house.  Poor kid took a while to come  out from his carrier:

He's a Polydactyl and I named him "Wilson".  I was trying to figure out a name that didn't sound good with "Turner", but I may have failed.  LOL

Since I thought he was 2 months old, I had set up the spare room with my "kitten litterbox".  Sherman thought it was WONDERFUL and was happy to wait for the new guy to come out and play:

Sherman looks like a chicken sitting on a nest!

Looks like I'm back to fostering again.  I don't think Wilson will last too long on our website.  He has HUGE HUGE feet - not just from the extra toes and I'm wondering if there's some Maine Coon in those genes. 

Welcome to The Turner's little Wilson.  :)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A Rescue and an Update

There are some rescues where I can pick up a bunch of cats  and don't hear a peep out of them for the entire length of the trip.  But today was a different story.

A fellow volunteer and I went to the shelter this morning and rescued four adult cats!  I swear, we no  sooner got out of the parking lot and they ALL  pooped  and barfed in their carriers.  I've never heard so  much howling and overall "pissed off" than I have for the entire time our trek.  When we arrived to our destination, they all left their carriers quietly, feverishly trying to clean themselves as they walked.  Each one looked  basically apologetic,  "So sorry for the mess,  Ma'am...thanks for the rescue!"  *sigh*

On the way to the shelter we dropped off "Cupid" the white guy that I wrote about on the last blog post.  (If you missed it, you can read about him here. )  Cupid is getting neutered, and having some dental work done.  "Dental Work".  How I hate hearing those two words together.  It's such an expensive procedure for any rescue.   Usually, dentistry is anywhere between $500.00 - $1500.00.   Poor guy must have been in so much pain with the broken teeth.  We certainly can't leave him like that!  

Thought you'd enjoy a little look at Cupid's "Day of Beauty" before and after pictures:

I think it's VERY brave to put an UNKNOWN adult cat into a bath!  But he was extremely sweet and even purr'd through the whole thing!   The water was obviously black from the filth this poor guy has been sitting in for so long.  He must've given up grooming himself.  While he's under anesthesia, we've asked for a "lion's cut" which should make him look even cuter - and  certainly feel better. Whomever adopts this guy is going to be fortunate indeed! 

We also recently trapped and rescued  a VERY pregnant Mommy cat who had obviously been dumped outside.  The trapper said she had been around for 4 months.  Poor little thing isn't feral.  She just forgot what it's like to be loved.  We have a new foster family that stepped forward and offered to foster her and her new kittens.  This is how she looked when she was first rescued:

She's a tiny thing.  Maybe 1 year old.  She cautiously lifts her head into your hand for love.  Who  could just throw her out like garbage? 

I'm really enjoying helping some of these tougher cases lately.  Can you tell?  :)

Friday, February 15, 2013

Another Rescue Rollercoaster Day

Today was truly a rescue rollercoaster ride.  Why is it that I can get up in the morning with ONE thing that must be done for the rescue and end up spending the day doing so many unscheduled things?

I knew I was supposed to take "Lady" into the vet today.  She was rescued from a man who believed that cats should be "natural" - unspayed/unneuterd and if "coyotes eat them...it was meant to be".  Needless to say, the kitten I rescued from him had a major eye injury that is now going to require surgery.  "Natural.  My ass."

When I arrived at the foster Mom's home to pick up Lady, her face said it all;   The kitten she had been working with and working with was  dying today.  Poor Clarence had been to the vet a zillion times and nobody knew what was  wrong.  His viral tests were negative and he hadn't been thriving for 4 weeks.  He was  never really suffering - until today.   So with a heavy heart, I took "Clarence" for his last vet trip, along with "Lady" who needed surgery:

 Clarence looked like a robust kitten in this picture.   But his little body could not longer sustain him and my heart broke into a million pieces.

I picked up 4 kittens from a rescuer and met up with two excited foster parents.  The kittens were tiny and insanely cute.    Being a "rollercoaster rescue day", it shouldn't have surprised me when an email came in from the foster Mom that said that one of the kittens wouldn't put down his little foot and was  walking on 3 legs.  *sigh*:

I received a phone call about a cat that was outside and needed help.  Apparently, he had been hanging out around the area for more than  2 years.  Suddenly, the people were worried about him since he started to look so bad.   They didn't know if this cat was a male or female.

Our volunteer arrived at the property to find a very pathetic white cat with gorgeous eyes.  He had several abscesses on his face, was horribly matted, and limping:

I'm always so nervous taking cats like this.  I didn't know if he or she was going to be nice or if he (or she) was going to be adoptable.   I was starting to spin out about the whole thing when an email arrived from the his/her rescuer.  It was simply put:

"It is an intact male with small balls. He has a gash on his ear. I cleaned his ears, trimmed his nails washed his face and checked his bum. He purred the entire time."

I laughed and it felt goooood.  :)

Monday, February 11, 2013

February Freedom

I've been working with the public quite a bit more than I usually do.  I'm finding myself answering urgent pleas and returning calls from the public who  have found a cat and need help.  Because I'm generally not very trusting of people who want help with cats, it's a big step for me to call these people back. 

It's a beautiful time of year for cats that need help.  In July - nobody will have time or space.

I received a call from a lovely sounding older lady that reported she  witnessed somebody "fling" a cat out of a car window.  What makes  people think that it's  OK  to throw a cat out of a car window?  Apparently, the finder of the cat is highly allergic and not very internet savvy on how to search for help, so this poor kitty spent the night in a box on her front porch.  I  can't imagine how cold she must've been.  (Probably  warmer than she would've been if she hadn't been discovered)  The finder found how to reach me the next day and  this poor angel spent her last night as  an unwanted, abandoned cat:

She's happy and safe (and apparently VERY VERY sweet) in  a foster home.  Now I can  only hope she's not pregnant. 

We also rescued  a very lovely little dilute calico at the "high kill shelter".  She's quite pregnant and were praying she doesn't deliver her kittens while she's got the shelter's standard viral infection:

I put out an urgent plea for donations for her.  The cost of taking care  of these  kind of cats is so high.  I'm grateful that some generous souls stepped forward to help.

Our adoptions have been very high this month.  We've adopted out 30 cats and kittens this month and it's only the 11th!  I love knowing that I have the freedom to rescue more.  February is kind of the gravy month - not much sickness and many adoptions.   I just paid an $8000.00 vet bill today so am truly happy to have a little bit of gravy to help with expenses.

One of our volunteers innocently said to me today,  "Gee Beth, it's almost kitten season already!"

"NOOOOooooooooo!"  I am not ready.  Nope. Nope. Nope.  Not ready.  I'm enjoying my freedom.


Sunday, February 03, 2013

The Other "F" Word.

We had to say goodbye to another kitten with FIP.  

Saturday must've been a horrible day for "Dustin's" foster Mom.  Nobody should have to hold a kitten while it's put to sleep - certainly not somebody who VOLUNTEERS.  Saturday should be a day  off from work for this foster Mom - a day of cleaning house or shopping.  NOT holding a kitten while it peacefully passes.  Fostering it supposed to be fun, but it isn't always.  This foster Mom can certainly attest to that.

If I never hear the initials F-I-P again, I'll be happy.  The past 6 months have even brutal for all rescues and veterinarians regarding this fatal disease.  I learned more about FIP in 6 months than I have in 20 years of rescuing. 

Strange, but I think  I've only seen 5 cases of FIP in 20 years.  Over the past 6 months, I'm afraid to count how many.  I can't imagine why that's the case.  Now I'm completely jaded and am worried about every kitten who has a pot-belly or seems quiet.  It used to be a pot belly on a kitten indicated worms, a big meal or a kitten that needed to poop. 

We've had SIXTEEN awesome adoptions in TWO DAYS.  I should be rejoicing!   The cats and kittens went into amazing homes and will be loved forever.  But I'm worried and pray that they're OK.  I'm sure they'll be fine.  They've all had vet exams and have been lovingly cared for by our foster parents.  But this stupid disease takes no prisoners and doesn't seem to care who it takes. 

Apparently, they're working on a new drug for FIP.  It can't happen soon enough for  me.