“Hobbs”

He was worth saving, but we couldn’t although we gave it a good try. Hobbs took his last breath about an hour ago. He was gone before the needle even hit its mark and he left on a flood of my tears.

Of all the hoarder’s load, he was the most loving, falling asleep night after night, wrapped up in Mike’s beard or snuggled on my lap. About a week ago, he started fading away from us- he was running high temps just like Hamilton. His heart was racing furiously fast, so fast the vet couldn’t even track it. He was having trouble breathing some days and his abdomen became flaccid and loose. He was passing odd color stool, either it was a pale yellow or bright yellow (never a good sign). His fever fluxed between 103.6 and 104.8 and today it hit 105.8 and to hell with the huge vet bill- I raced him back to the vets.

They ran an x-ray to discover his stomach was full of fluid- they did an aspiration and drew out thick yellow fluid and I burst into tears, because I knew what they meant. We wasted no more time and this kitty who had been fighting FIP (wet version) is fighting no more.

Saying Goodbye-

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If you happen to read this and you are in a good spot in your life and you have $5.00 you can send our way. I can’t emphasize enough how much it is needed right now. Our vet debt has never been higher. But he was worth fighting for- every ounce of me knows this and at least- he died in my arms and not on the cold floor of the hoarder’s home where no one gave a tinker’s damn about him.

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Not a good feeling

Getting calls daily from people who want us to take their stray and feral cats. It does not feel good to tell them that right now, we can’t take anymore cats. We are in the process of working on the deck enclosure and insulating it- but that is already spoken for with the arrival of Betsy at the end of this month. I find it sad that most of the people lay the blame of their situation and their cats at our feet as if it is our fault that they have suddenly become homeless, or have to move due to circumstances. One gentleman who just called us has had 7 cats living inside his car for 8 months! I asked him if they were in carriers- and he said no- they “roam free” inside his car. I can’t even imagine that scenario. Our larger enclosure is un-usable at this time due to storm damage. Big limb went into the roof and water is pouring in. Thankfully, that enclosure has only been used for storage for quite awhile because it is also not insulated and therefore not safe.

One of the hoarder’s kittens passed away last night. He had a “fever of unknown origin” and they couldn’t get him to stabilize. He died, alone in a cage in isolation at the clinic with no one around. :(

Geez another call about a stray cat as I was typing this. I hate how this makes me feel. So hopeless and frustrated when there is such a need and not enough funds to cover all that is required to help these people. I can only do what I can, and right now, there is little I can do for these cats.

 

 

“Operation Betsy Underway!”

Today, I met with Dorothy and Phil. They came down from Portland to meet with me, see the possible place that their Betsy will spend her remainder of her days in and then they took me to lunch. I found them to be very down to earth, strong Christians and just all around lovely people. We have decided to provide Betsy with a second catio- this one on the second floor right above the first so she can have somewhere to observe the outside cats and wildlife without them being able to touch noses with her. They would like the enclosure to be fully insulated, the new catio in place and the new entryway ready to go by Feb. 22nd. George is agreeable, and tomorrow we make a dump run (George and I) to get rid of the cat litter and free-up our trailer.

I was quite impressed with the measures these two have gone to in order to make Betsy’s life as best as possible while under their care. I promised to blog about all the progress she makes and keep in touch with them in the future.

 

 

“One-Eyed Jack”

I just got the call. One-Eyed Jack has gone to the Bridge. He started peeing pure blood and they took him in. The vet found a mass on his bladder and suspected cancer. Amanda didn’t want to put him through chemo so she let him go. :( At least the end of his days were a lot happier for him. Poor Boy had such a rough start in life but I am blessed to have had some time with him before he left.

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“Operation Betsy”

I learned about this feral kitty this week and I have been emailing her caretakers Dorothy and Phil about her plight. Dorothy is a delightful woman who used to rescue stray cats but ceased doing so some years back due to her husband’s illness. She kept a few of her rescues, Betsy is one of them. Betsy is a mackerel tabby brown about 12 years old. She has been living inside their bedroom closet, to scared to come out for quite sometime now. The family is relocating and Dorothy does not think that based on all she knows about Betsy, that this move would do her any good. She has asked me to take this feral cat and allow her to stay here until her end of her days.

Dorothy said that when she found out about me, she smiled and knew that Betsy would be happy here. I hope so- apparently, Dorothy has tried to adopt out this cat before but it ended in failure. She believes that the upcoming move across country would do this cat in and she does not want to be responsible for that. Instead, she will drive her 3 hours to our home and see where her kitty will be living out the rest of her days.

In order to do this, based on what I know and have gleaned from the conversations- we need to insulate the deck enclosure and put a new roof on it. Instead of putting up drywall or plywood or chipboard, we will cover the insulation with pet screen as Betsy seems to love to climb up walls and run laps over Dorothy’s head when she is scared.(Much like Cyclone used to do to us). I have talked to George and he is willing to come over when the weather permits and start doing the work and he will also make high ramps along the sides of the enclosure (inside) So once Betsy goes high, she won’t be stuck and have no where to go but a straight drop down.

There is a bit of seed money for the project but before we can do anything, we have to get rid of all the soiled cat litter that has been building up since the hoarder kitties arrival and free up our trailer so we can load supplies on it. If anyone reading this has any money that  they can spare- would you please toss it our way? Guesstimates for this dump run is $85.00 and the reason it is so expensive is because it goes by weight. Someone left about 7 bags of cat litter (the pine stuff) on our porch while we were away and unfortunately, the bags were opened a bit and it rained in our absence. I about threw my back off by lifting these now bags of concrete off the ramp so Mike can get in the house. They are the reason the dump bill won’t be under $50.00.

Here is Betsy- the kitty soon to be relocated:

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It was a short acquaintance

Addison has been adopted into a new home. She has a new family who love her- all the way down to her two black toes on the front paw. I have a line for a home for Sophie on Friday. If all goes well, this gorgeous cat will have a new home and never be homeless again. The elderly couple were charmed by her good manners and her incredible good looks.

Two Leave- One Arrives

Meet Addison-

She was spotted over a month ago near the city hall and the neighbors surrounding the building were feeding her. Now they just don’t want her around anymore so she was brought to us yesterday. I hope her owner comes forward to take her. Someone has put a lot of love into this kitten.

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Journey and other thoughts

I find myself looking for her in the morning so she can go outside and run laps around the pasture. I have yet to remove her food bowl from the corner of the living room where she ate. This morning when I was getting ready to go into town and had Juno in my arms- I called out “Come on Journey, let’s go.” Then I realized my error and fell silent.

I was looking at the photos of her when she first arrived and comparing them with later photos and I can really see that yes, she did do an amazing turnaround. She was white and grizzly looking on the first day here- super skinny, her coat so coarse that when you pet her, the hairs just fell to the ground. She weighed 39 pounds when we picked her up and when she passed, she weighed 51 pounds. She was not here for two months, we got her in October, so she had four months with us and she was happy for the most part until this last week.

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Before she passed, I caught her doing something that I thought was quite odd and it should have clued me that the end was near. She would normally wolf down all her food, but when I fed her the day before her stroke, she picked up her bowl still filled with food and placed it inside her cage that was also in the living room. She did not eat a bite. then she went over to the carpet, started to rub her ears on the roughness and flipped over on her back. On her back, she continued to rub her ears- flipping her head from side to side as if she had a really deep itch and was trying to relieve it. After that, she lay in one spot on the carpet with Juno by her side. Journey barely moved.

I miss her like crazy but I am glad we were able to take her out of the pound and give her at least some semblance of a normal life. I feel blessed that I knew her even if it was for just a short time.

We also have answers now about Mike and all those heart tests they have been running. My  husband has congestive heart failure with two abnormal vents on the left side of his heart. Because of his obesity combined with the diabetes, they are reluctant to do anything because as one specialist told me: “What we see on the graphs of the contrast study is concerning. It is not alarming.” I guess that was supposed to make me feel better. (It did not).

So I will keep him on the strict heart health diet. They basically said that if he went and ate a large bag of Fritos, fluid would accumulate around his heart and he would suffer irreversible heart damage. So salt and salty food are not his friends anymore and he loves salty foods. Oh my- no fried foods- no ground beef-fish and chicken only- no bacon etc… He told me later, he wanted to just go to Hidden Lake and drift the lake fishing and forget all else. Hidden Lake is really the place of our first date over 36 years ago when I flew from California to Alaska to meet this man. We wrote to each other for four years first…

I guess I am  just feeling a bit emotional right now and trying to sort through all my thoughts by sharing this so forgive me for regressing a bit. Things have been a bit unnerving here lately. We are getting hit by thieves. They tried to get into the front door but when they couldn’t get through the security door we have- they kicked a hole in the bottom screen. They have stolen mail, packages on our porch, our gas keeps getting siphoned out of our tank. They took the cover of our generator? Go figure on that one- I asked the deputy the other night when he was here, why anybody would steal from us when we have nothing to steal? He said that the other week, they had a home invasion in town and the people had literally hocked every valuable they owned so they could pay rent on their home and stay there. The thieves broke in- took a look around- found nothing of value, so they took a case of soda! A case of soda! Geez! The deputy is now coming and parking in our driveway at night when he can and working on notes of the day and they are doing added patrols around the place. We have lived here 21 years and NEVER had issues of theft until now. Really upsetting.

Tomorrow, BossMan and Janna will be going to their new home leaving us with only five kittens who will soon need to be neutered and re-homed. I wish we had the funds to get all the kittens done right now, but at least out of the five there is only one female the rest are males.

We got a call from an elderly woman last night. Her family is taking her out of her home and putting her into a nursing home. She feeds 35 cats and wants us to take all of them. I told her, I was so sorry but there was no way I could help her in that way- the best I could do, I told her was come to her farm and feed the cats until the family makes other plans for them. She started crying and hung up on me. I feel bad but we can’t save them all. We do save some and for that, I am grateful.

Nickles

This is one of the hoarder’s kitties who when she first arrived here would do nothing else but hug the space heater in the isolation room. Now her world has widened, her ringworm is gone and the feline herpesvirus has bit the dust and she is admiring her new found self in the mirror!

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And here is Linus- he now is in a new home and very happily taking it over. This photo was taken right before I surrendered him to the local shelter because he just wasn’t doing well on the meds provided-

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And here is Hamilton. He is still feeling the effects of the feline herpesvirus but he is getting better every day

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Journey’s End-

Ultimately, the decision regarding Journey was taken out of our hands and made by her last night. She was asleep on my recliner and when I asked her to come down, she tried, but she collapsed. :( Her front legs were on the ground, her rear legs and belly still on the chair)and she was having some sort of a seizure episode.  It lasted for just a few seconds, but she spent the rest of the night laying on her bed hardly moving. She appears to be in a great deal of pain and we made the tough decision to let her go. We could not undo what some a-hole did to her before she arrived here, the damage was to extensive. I suspect that besides her ears being such a painful issue for her- something else is going on internally.

I just don’t understand how someone could intentionally turn a blind eye to an animal suffering. I think that is why I rescue because someone needs to care. We didn’t have Journey long but it still hurt like the dickens to say goodbye.

I did want to say thank you to the three of you who reached out to me privately and relayed your own stories about the challenges of caring for a senior dog. Journey was a hospice adoption- it cost us nothing to adopt her- all we lost was our hearts which we freely gave to her for just under two months.

I was pretty upset when I typed this out (I still am). But wanted to let those of you who wonder what happened. Journey had a stroke. The vet believes that all her head shaking to relieve the pain of her ears caused something in her brain to rattle loose and she stroked out. She died on my lap and she went peacefully with those who loved her surrounding her to let her know that YES, Journey you DO matter.

I did a lot of research online about cauliflower ear (that’s what they called Journey’s ear flap and inner ear. Of all the images I found and there were hundreds, I didn’t see any that even resembled the level of damage that Journey was dealing with! I couldn’t even lift the flap of her left ear without her yelping. My vet said it was the worst case of ear damage that he had ever seen. :( He also said even if the flaps had been removed, that the pseudamonis would have been a lifelong, painful battle for her.