Well Aimee went to the vet this morning along with McGee. McGee has 7 puncture wounds in his right leg. His leg was so swollen last night, we thought he might have broken it. I put him in a cage immediately and started him on antibiotics- but he has been given a pain shot and an antibiotic shot as well. Aimee is going to be spayed tomorrow and she is very pregnant. Because she is so skinny (except for her bulges) they want to hold off on vaccinating her for a bit.

Aimee’s relocated

She is now on the back porch in the smaller deck area. I am really hesitant to put a cat with no known history in my house- even in a new cage. So I did a bit of shuffling around and put her on the back porch.

In order to keep her warm, I shored up the screened enclosure with wood to create a windbreak. I tucked her new cage in tight by covering it with a heavy quilt- and I put a heated cat stone out there for her for warmth. She is able to get out of the cage (it’s actually a large soft-sided carrier. She can walk around and stretch her legs and she has all the comforts of home. Plus she is away from any lurking virus. She gets vaccinated on Monday.

I just looked up the AVMA new vaccination guidelines on the Internet. I want to be sure that all these cats are protected.

Even though my message clearly states on my phone that I cannot help anyone wanting to surrender strays or ferals to me- I am still getting people leaving their messages. The last gentleman- I had to call him back and calm him down. I have never heard the words “damn cats” so many times in my life! I was afraid for the cats and I hope I gave him other resources that he will use for the “damn cats” that have overrun his rental property. I just can’t take them. I think I did diffuse the situation though and hopefully he won’t follow through with his threats to kill all of them. 🙁

Not the Ritzaim:

Rescue Mission

This morning after I fed the cats, I took B out to the back pasture to run her a bit. She alerted on a clump of blackberry bushes that line our wooden fence. When I saw the alert, I groaned because it only meant one thing- cat in the bushes (more than likely injured). I put her on the stay command but she was so antsy inching her way to the bushes- I figured this probably couldn’t wait.

Thankfully, there was a pair of clippers nearby, so I started hacking at the bushes to get a path and calling softly to whatever animal was inside (though I knew it was a cat) I finally found the kitty- she is a calico short hair. She has been beat up by a tom and she is pregnant…sigh…

I have her inside the haybarn right now in a large new cage and will take her in on Monday to get her looked at, spayed and vaccinated. I will ask them to keep her for at least 3 days before I bring her back. Our haybarn isn’t that warm these days as there isn’t any hay out there at the moment.

I am glad I found her- she is bone skinny except for those protrusions on the sides of her belly which I hope is a pregnancy and not something ugly. We had a wild storm last night- high high winds, thunder lightning, hail it was totally nuts. It is supposed to be some of the same today. They are calling it the worst early winter storm to hit us in years.

So she is safe and not happy to be contained. I have tended to her wounds on her neck and flank and I am calling her Aimee-

Received a call tonight

A gal called me just a bit ago. She adopted a black persian (minature) kitten from me about 5 months ago. She just got a 60 day notice to vacate because she has been trying to make some changes at her apartment complex. I guess they look at her as a troublemaker. She wanted me to come and get Embers because she can’t take her with her when she leaves.

I explained the situation and that I would rather not bring a kitten back here if I didn’t have to. Then remembered that I keep a wish list from people who want specific types of cats. I grabbed my book and looked through it until I found the woman Faith who wants a Persian. I called her and she is so excited at the prospect of getting this Persian. I just hope it all goes through okay. I told Angel to let me know the outcome- but come on really? “Angel” and “Faith?” How could this NOT work?

Looking at the hard copy

of the necropsy report shows me all I need to know. In researching this virus, I read that usually the kittens/cats are riddled with lesions inside. In my case, one lesion and one lesion alone was found inside of each kitten that’s how strong a strain this is.

No more looking back, beating myself up or asking why. It’s time to move forward but it is going to be strange to not rescue for awhile. It has become such second-nature to me.

There is a group of women I know, they call themselves the CL Posse. They rescue off of CL kittens and cats in need. I was one of the people on their list to take the worst case kittens. I called last night and spoke to Clara about taking my name off the list. We must have talked for hours. She is 89 years young. She started rescueing when she was 16. She stopped at 70- but she is active on taking these kittens and cats at risk away from the clueless and putting them with people who actually have brains (as she put it). I told her I would be available only for advice until further notice if they need me.

My vet called yesterday

He has all the paperwork back from the necropsies and he is quite concerned with what he sees. He kept referring to a hot strain of panleuk loose in this house. Made me feel honestly as if I am sitting waiting for the next catastrophe to unfold. A good friend in the rescue community took it upon herself to lecture me about everything I did wrong and to basically say that I deserved what happened because I chose to not vaccinate under-age kittens who were already sick.

Well, I pretty much have beat myself up and down for everything that has happened, and I don’t need anyone else helping in that department. When I shared my thoughts with my ‘friend’ her next email to me was she would never contact me again. So be it, don’t go away mad, just go away.

The four kittens in the bedroom are still scampering across the floor, eating, playing and not showing any signs of this dreaded disease. They are still harboring URI and are currently on antibiotics to see if they kick this cold.

The only surviving kitten from the one litter I was so worried about is doing great- except for clear discharge in his eyes and some sneezing. Compared to his littermates, I consider that a good thing.

I want to thank everyone who reached out to me here, and privately to help me sort through this. My vet doesn’t want me to shut my doors, but I do need to just step away for awhile. So much has happened in such a short time and I am on such an emotional low right now.

One of my good friends and a fellow rescuer in Texas told me yesterday that I need to think about all who were saved and not these latest casualties. She said I should put on my answering machine a message that states something to the effect of “If you are going to leave messages on this machine, they will not be listened to. If you wish to call me on non-cat related items, call back.” She said that would help me escape the daily and endless sad kitten and cat stories I hear. I am thinking about her suggestion.

In the meantime, I am taking care of the cats and kittens who are here. We are buckling down for the winter to hit soon and reinforcing our outside feral cat houses with extra insulation. Something tells me this winter is going to be brutal.

I have shut down the upstairs completely- our winter coats are upstairs but that would be the only reason to go up there in the future. I told Mike I would almost rather buy new coats then bring our old ones downstairs- that’s how scared this virus has left me.

I contacted the last three people who adopted kittens from me (even though they adopted them long before the outbreak) told them what happened and urged them to get the kittens vaccinated.

That’s all I can do. It’s time to just rest for now, keep vigil and pray that the virus is at least contained and vaccinate these new kittens once they get over their URI-

Thanks again to all of you. You ALL have been so terrific through this whole ordeal-

Symptoms of Panleukopenia

I have been doing research and look what I discovered- all the signs that your kitten or cat might have panleuk

Abdominal pain
Abnormal behavior, behavior change
Ataxia, incoordination
Cachexia, weight loss
Cerebellar signs
Coma, unconsciousness
Cutaneous necrosis
Exercise intolerant or reluctant to move
Fading kitten syndrome
Hair coat poor
Hepatitis, liver inflamed
Hypopyon, anterior chamber eye pus
Intention tremors
Intestines thickened
Menace response absent or decreased
Mental dullness
Onset gradual, progressive
Onset sudden, acute
Oral mucosal ulcers
Oral mucosal vesicles
Pale mucous membranes
Sudden death
Third eyelid, nictitating membrane prolapsed
Unable to stand
Visual deficit
Walking difficulty

With Paris right before she died, she suffered neurological damage. She couldn’t seem to figure out how to move forward on the floor and would instead try and squat then move backward until she reached a wall or other obstacle. Then she would sit there before she threw up. 🙁

Results are in and they are not good

Both cats show severe signs of panleukopenia (feline distemper) however you want to say it, the virus is here and stubbornly this virus sticks around waiting for the next victim.

Paris went to the vet today and I was nervous because she hasn’t been able to poop now for three days. But apparently she was just heavily constipated and now she is going like a champ. Other than an URI which most of the kittens are now fighting- she “appears” to be in perfect health. But- that can change in any moment and I pray it doesn’t.