Oh Happy Day Moment!

This morning while feeding the two porn kitties. 🙂 (Sorry, that’s what we call them because that is their history.) Anyway, I had to clean and straighten the place up so while I am in there, I just talk to the kitties like I am talking to another person and letting them know what I am doing.

I was in there longer than normal because we had a bad storm last night, and poor Fletcher, I guess you can say he is scared of thunder because he trashed the place. So there I am, putting things right. Dumbledore the big gray polydactyl until now has stayed inside the carrier inside the cage and growls at me any time I approach the carrier. (I hadn’t fed him yet that morning).

I’ve bent over to pick up a litter pan, and I hear this soft “Thump” behind me (where the cage is). I turn around and see Dumbles out of the carrier! I grab a can of food and a bag of dry, take a deep breath and go over to the door expecting him either to rush it or growl and advance on me. He just stood there looking at me.

I step inside, praying he won’t attack me. And ignoring him (he’s in the corner watching but not growling). I pop the lid, pour the food into the bowl and shake some dry. He steps out of the corner goes right to the food and starts eating!

I am just sitting there in the moment, the very first time, this Lost Boy and I have shared personal space since his arrival. I kneel down and talk softly to him and started to pet him! AND he let me!! I petted him a few times, he never ceased eating the entire time and since I didn’t want to push him. I turned around to leave with a big smile on my face. I want to get my scanner out and see if he is chipped but that is for another time. I can’t imagine anyone intentionally dumping a polydactyl they are highly desirable cats in Oregon. I am thinking he was once owned and either got out of the house or was owned by someone who didn’t want to spay or neuter. But he is not feral.

That was Unexpected

Odie, who I was told originally was “very feral” has been on cage rest for 14 days now. Today, was Independence Day for this fella. His paw with the hole in it has healed and his meds are all swallowed up. I knew he was having cage anxiety, so this  morning, I opened up the back door, opened up the door to his cage and told him he was free!

He jumped down off his cage and went to the back door, darted down the back steps and stopped! I figured he would be hot-footing it to the shop where he likes to hang out. He turned around and looked at me- darted back UP the stairs into the door and scrambled into his cage! Astonished, I looked at him and asked him if he was sure.? To answer me, he jumped on top of the cat condo inside and started to groom himself.

He’s sure and so I will continue to work with him because he is very petting aggressive. I can now pet him for about a minute before he tries to attack me, but originally it was just seconds before he would whop me on the hand. LOL  I have to be careful because when I am cleaning his space he is following my hand like a hound dog on a scent and if the protective gloves come off- he will nail me. Silly Kitty- is he feral? No, not at all. Just been severely neglected of love and care before he arrived here.

We also have two of Sarah’s kittens back- Draco and Muggles. My foster mom told me the litter was extremely high-need and she needed a break. So I took two from her yesterday.


Two Cyber-Friends

We have never met in person-  yet we must talk about six to eight times a month (I’m guessing) through emails. We met via my blog. I don’t know when he stumbled in here and read my life, but he was led to reach out to me privately and share his blog with me. We found, we have a lot in common even though he lives in another country.

I can always count on him to come in with inspirational and wonderful emails that are thought-provoking and thoughtful at the same time. We call ourselves friends and once again, he reached out to me after reading that Chappy had died.

This was taken off his blog Ihave3cats . He wrote this when his friend’s cat died on April 2, 2012. With his permission, I share it with you now. I will warn you grab a kleenix it is profoundly moving: James thank you for writing this and for sending it my way.


A friend’s cat died over the weekend. He was not a very old cat, fourteen, I believe, which veterinarians nevetheless say is a senior feline. But this cat had not been well for some time, and his life ended with help from his closest human. 

It made me think about people and their pets, or, rather, why people have pets. I don’t suppose many humans consider the end of an animal’s life, when bringing a cat or dog into their home for the first time is so much like the beginning of it. Yet we live longer than cats and dogs, and, in almost every case, we outlive the pet whom we welcome as part of our family. 

It is a strange bargain we make with these beasts. It is just that, a bargain. We become friends, and friendship is not a gift, it is not free. It is a blessing, but it comes as a deal. “I will be your friend, and you will be mine,” we tell these animals. We take care of them, provide them with food and shelter, medical care when necessary; we see them through illnesses, changes in address, additions to the household, and the neighbour who doesn’t like them. In return, they give us companionship, entertainment, joy. We give each other love. Like marriage, this contract’s most important clauses are not written but felt. 

Part of the bargain is about what happens when our pets grow old, become irreparably sick or assailed with great pain. We know it will happen but we try to ignore it for the greater part of the animals’ lives. Yet it intrudes at last, and finally. Not every cat or dog will die in his sleep, full of years, knowing nothing of discomfort. Too few end their lives this way. The majority, it seems, need us to help them at this time. 

A human who is infirm of body can still use his mind, for it’s the mind that sets us apart and above the rest of life. A futile body, useless limbs, rebellious organs, are tragic and terrible, but people have risen and continue to rise above such afflictions. A cat or dog cannot. He is smart, cunning, clever, thoughtful – but not enough to live only in his head. So when the body fails, we, their friends, must make a horrible decision. We help our loved ones die. 

This is the price of the bargain we make. To end their pain, we must endure it ourselves. We hope that it lessens with time, and it usually does, but it lasts forever, regardless. 

And yet, those of us who make these bargains and pay their cost will go on to make more. We adopt another cat, another dog; not as a replacement, but as a successor. We know how this bargain will end, too – the same way the last one did. And when that one runs its course, we make another, and another; sometimes several at once. We will keep making these bargains until the bargain we made with our own Guardian is called to account. 

We do this, knowing well the consequences, because the bargain is worth it. It is suffering and agony, it is sorrow and loneliness. It is joy and amusement, strength and comradeship. This is the bargain. This is love.


Working Unseen in the Shadows

Before the death of Chappy, I could feel the beginnings of self-doubt and questions were forming about what I was actually doing to my life. When I get like this (and there are times the emotions overwhelm) I usually get up really early in the morning and drive to the Lake. I find peace there, talk to God in the quiet- where if He wanted to speak to me- I might actually hear Him. After Benson’s ticket got punched, I woke the next morning feeling such an emotional low. It was about 4:00 a.m. a common time I wake up- because for many years when I was feeding feral colonies around town, this was the best time to feed. I couldn’t go back to sleep and finally decided to just drive to the Lake. About 15 minutes from the house. It was my intention to clear the slate- have it out with God about this contract and this path He has put me on.

I have been there several times in the last few years, to the point of just calling it quits this Rescue Game. The emotional highs and lows can be a bit of a roller coaster ride you would like to jump off of. I had told myself after losing Benson that I was done. It was over, someone else could jump in and take over.

So, I drove up to the Lake, to talk to God. To get it square- to get out of the contract. To have a normal life again and not have to see any more cats suffer. Yep, I had it all figured out.

When I got to the Lake, I turned off the truck and rolled down the window. The Lake is known to be a hot spot for meth heads, so I don’t usually get out of the truck unless I have my fish bopper nearby. So there I was, sitting there breathing in the fresh air, listening to the crickets, the frogs and the splash of the fish on the Lake…and then even though it was raining- I hear a tiny “Meow!”

Without thinking, I grab my flashlight and jump out of the truck shining the light around the area looking for eyeshine- there, by the tree right by where I parked, I see eyeshine. It’s green not red so it wasn’t wildlife. It was a little female kitten soaking wet and trembling. I walk over talking (what Mike calls my “kitty mumbles”) and the kitten doesn’t flee. She meows again, allows me to pick her up, wrap her tight and she stayed on my lap the entire ride home. I had the heater just blaring- she was bone skinny and so cold.

Got home, gave her warming fluids and warmed up some AD and she scarfed both offerings down! I looked skyward and said to God: “OK I get your point!”

The point is, I can’t be in life who I am not in person. I can’t just leave rescue and ignore the suffering of these beautiful animals. There isn’t anyone else in this area that will take on some of the cats and kittens that come through our sanctuary. Do they all make it? No, but when they are here- they don’t suffer any more, or they suffer less because God has given me the gift to know they are suffering, despite what the experts think!

We call her Lake:

Then one of my blog followers reached out to me in private. His gift to me will be shared in another post- not this one.










Chappy Did Not Make It…

Last night, I spent the night with my Mr. Fiesty, My Chappy boy. In his good days, I could not get close to him except to flea-treat and remove mats once a month. Sometimes, late at night, he would come and visit me. If I was in my chair he would bump the side of the chair so my arm would drop and he could get his “pets” He loved Elevator Butt!

But I could never pick him up- just scruff and snatch as Mike called it- to put him into a small cage designed to medicate cats only. I remember one night during a thunderstorm, I felt a cat jump on my bed and I put my hand out only to encounter a matt! It was Chappy- once he knew he had been busted, he jumped down. Chappy and Dash (mother and son) were our in-house ferals) even though we got them at a young age- they wanted to be left alone and so I did. (Which I will never do again) I will socialize to the fullest extent all house ferals.  But that’s how they lived here until that day about 8-9 months ago when the door to the enclosure wasn’t latched properly and all 7 cats escaped. All are back now- except Dash.

He vanished and I searched but not luck. Saturday when I was going out to feed, I saw him lying on the grass! I had to do a double take because he and Dash favor each other- but it was Chappy. I walked up to him knowing full well he would flee, and he laid there just looking at me. So I bent down and just talked to him. I could see the closer I crawled that he was bone skinny, matted, dirty just a mess.

I picked him up! It was raining so I took my coat off and I wrapped him up (no resistance) and ran him into the house and put him in the bedroom. I gave him fluids immediately, offered food, got my clippers started removing the mats on his back legs and noticed a matt covering his rectum! Carefully, I removed the mat and explosive diarrhea was my reward! LOL and ICK!

He was refusing food, so I bathed him, put some flea treatment on him, pushed fluids and pushed some more and Sunday morning met my after hour vet at his clinic.

At first Chappy responded to the fluids, the nutrical, the forced feedings. He was on Amoxy and just TLC. Monday night, he plummeted- and he went fast. Nothing was staying in or down and it went EVERYWHERE! I stayed the night (not sleeping) with him and pushed fluids to replace all he was losing. I prayed a lot because I knew he was suffering. All night, laying in the crook of my arm he would continuously meow softly all night. I kept rubbing him and telling him I was gonna get him help. Just hang on Chappy, I kept whispering to him. “Hang on Little Man.” I knew I had to get to the vet first thing and then I remembered I had told Meowvillage I would be up there at 8. They were taking Delilah and Ashley for me. That offer doesn’t come often from other rescue groups and I didn’t want to lose the spot.

So although is was early morning. I texted Kathy and told her what was going on and asked her if I could come earlier? She said come on down! I was out the door in 5 minutes. I met her and found her to be a wonderful, warm giving loving lady. She just let Delilah and Ashley loose in the house with her other cats (I met 9) and we chatted a bit and I left.

Grabbed Mr. Chappy made a quick call to the vet and we were on our way.

Deep in my heart, I knew that he wasn’t going to come home. I have been in this game a very long time- and I run a transit station for these cats and kittens. Sometimes their journey with us is long- Chappy’s lasted 14 years. I thought he was around 11 until I pulled his file. I got him, his mom and four other littermates, ironically 14 years ago from the same vet who would give Chappy his final time of peace.

When Ben walked in and saw Chappy, he asked me: “Is that the same kitty I saw Sunday?” I told him Yes .

We gently turned him over and he was full of fluid! He was so full he gurgled! I looked at Ben with my heart sinking and said “FIP?”
Ben nodded. “Probably.” Ben grabbed a syringe and attempted to drain fluid from the abdomen- but only air and a bit of blood came out. He tried 3 times- and not one complaint from Chappy.

He wanted to do bloodwork, but we opted for x-rays instead.
I could see it on his face when he came in with the film on his I-POD (boy times have changed!) I couldn’t even make heads or tails at what I was looking at- that’s the mess that Chappy’s internal  organs were. Ben explained. Chappy had a mass in his colon- but beyond that, his insides were just a mess.  He had a mass in his kidney (might be a kidney stone?)  and his stomach was completely full of fluid. I kind of lost it and blurted out- I pushed all that fluid into him?”

Ben looked at me and said “Mary Anne, you didn’t do this. He’s been this way for quite awhile. This kitty is in deep ca-ca.” He started telling me that if they could surgically repair all that was so wrong- there was a strong chance that once they got in there, they’d find they couldn’t do anything and that Chappy might not survive surgery either way. In his words it would be a lot of money spent on a cat with a poor chance of surviving the procedure.

Chappy was on my lap at this point, and I took my hand and cupped his head.Chappy’s head curled into my hand he gently licked my palm one time. He was saying “Good-bye I love you mom.” I bent down and kissed his forehead and told him fiercely that I have loved him his entire life.

Chappy was ready, even before they pushed the plunger he was gone. Not even halfway to the mark and his vein collapsed. He’s had maybe 10 drops of the stuff and he was gone. Yes. he was ready to go and I wasn’t ready to think that yet. Ben checked him pronounced him gone and I questioned him because there was still a whole lot of that juice left in that syringe. But Ben said, yes, he listened for a long time- Chappy was gone.

I brought him home and laid him out so his mom could say goodbye and went back to the garden and dug a hole right next to Turner. After this rainstorm ends, I will buy some trilliums and plant them all around.

Not a lot of pictures of Mr. Feral, but the first photo is him and his family right after we got them healthy. His mom is the one with the white mark over her mouth (hence the name Dash) She would also earn that nickname by dashing out of a room the very minute someone arrived. Chappy is the one lying down with the white chin.

Here are some photos of Chappy during his stay with us-


He had gotten into a fight and had to be caged while he was medicated. THAT was fun!



chappy's family

Wow, I just looked through my entire picture file and there are a lot of photos but only three of Chappy- speaks to how elusive he really was for fourteen years!

Goodbye my feisty boy. Thank you for returning to us and allowing me to have that final moment with you. Despite your feralness-and because of it! I loved you deeply~



A Sad Start to the Morning

It is days like today, when I wish I had stayed with my job in Corporate America and not gone into full-time rescue.




With a heavy heart, I decided to put Benson to sleep this morning. I’m not a fan of watching a cat suffer, especially one as beautiful as he is. His pillow feet began to spread to his other pads and he couldn’t walk without crying. Although he has tested FIV negative in the past- all of his symptoms now- the pillow feet, the stomatitis point to the fact that he is an AIDS kitty. His kidney values came back and they were way out of wack.

He is not the type of kitty who adapts to changing situations as he has shown me in the past. I couldn’t in good faith put him into the FIV Facility in Portland. He would have never made it. One thing AIDS does is when the host is stressed, the disease is rampaging. In the past, even when I would put him into another room as I was cleaning the one he was in- he would be sick with a URI that was out of control. Putting him back in the room he was accustomed to, he would heal- no vet visit – just keeping the status quo. That was quite a learning curve for me- it took four times before I caught on that he didn’t need to get to the vet, he just needed to go back where he was accustomed to.Pilling him was a nightmare- quite honestly, Benson is a kitten who never should have been born. I will miss him- but I am so glad he is no longer suffering. He was 9 months old.



Update on Chappy

I had to take him in this morning to the after hours vet. They determined that although he has no muscle mass on his body, and no fat either- his heart is strong, his lungs sound good. Dr. Braat said all he needs is some “Mary Anne Magic” and he should come back to us. I hope he is right. They put him on amoxy, I am to push force feedings and fluids and try to remove as many mats as I can without stressing him out. (Thank God for seam rippers!) My friend Kim came over and she held and snuggled him as I worked on his mats. We got all the ones on his chest and back and sides, and I will be working to remove the ones on  his belly and under his legs. For a boy who was fully feral- he is so sapped of strength that he doesn’t have it in him to show any attitude. I am also giving him mineral oil because I am sure he is full of hairballs. I hope he comes back to us soon.

Dumbledore still hasn’t eaten. His immune system is shot due to all the sudden and extreme changes he has gone through. His eye is now constantly dripping. I had to go in and remove the cat bed and swap it out with a cat carrier just in case he has to go to the vet in the next few days. He is an impressive growler, but he didn’t rush me or try to attack me so that is a big plus in my book. I have a lot of worry in my heart right now for these two beautiful cats.

This is Dumbles short for Dumbledore. He is a long-hair gray polydactyl that was trapped under a porn shop. He ate a full can of food this morning and growled at me! He is doing much better.


The other kitty also trapped under the porn shop is named Fletcher- both kitties are long-hairs. Both unsocialized NOT feral


A Different Type of Rescue

This morning, on my way to feed a feral cat colony, I saw in the highway this shape- it looked like a rock. I wondered what a weird shaped rock was doing in the road and as I got closer the rock moved! It was 8:00 a.m. and there was traffic (not heavy) so I pulled over and darted out into the road and picked up this tiny  turtle! Thank God it wasn’t a snapping one!


It didn’t seem to be injured, so I took it over to a friend of mine and we decided to release it out into a local lake near her home. We were having a really bad storm and the lake was so choppy but this little guy- he couldn’t get in the water fast enough! I was just glad I noticed him and he hadn’t been hit by a car or had any wounds on him. This lake has a lot of turtles so hopefully, he will find a mate and live a happy life of 20 plus years!

Also, thanks to a friend of mine who runs www.felinefurniture.com (who by the way is also selling his business now) Scott designed a special outdoor cat house with doors that opened, but once the cat got inside, he couldn’t get out. There is wire on the side of the cat house so you can see who is in there and also to provide air for the trapped kitty. The only way the kitty can be let out- is by someone human. I trapped Chappy! Finally! it worked as soon as I put the house out by the enclosure. Chappy went in- and he was trapped.

I took him in the bedroom and just wanted to cry. He is bone skinny. He’s been outside I think about 8 months since the escape. He smells terribly, he was horribly matted (he’s part Persian) He hissed and growled at me at first, but he was so dehydrated and worn out I was able to work on a few mats with a seam ripper. I also gave him 180 ml of fluids- gave him a B-12 shot, force fed him some AD and started him on Clinedrops (he has a wound on his belly). I have done all I can to get him comfortable and come Monday, I will once again be at the vet. I’m so tired of being at the vet all the time- our bill now sits at $800.00. I was trying to keep ahead of it this year, but then we had all these really bad cases come through.  But he needs to be seen. When I pet him, all I feel is his backbone and mats. I will just have to work on the mats slowly over the next day working as he can handle it. He is growling at me and swearing but has not tried to bite me. I think he is just too depleted.


Odie and Benson

I was once again at the vet’s this morning. This time with Odie and Benson- both of them fighting injuries to their front legs. Odie’s turned out to be a deep bite wound probably inflicted by the feral tomcat let loose on our property and one that is allergic to traps! 🙁

Benson wasn’t so fortunate. After observing him for months alternately going lame on his front left leg, and after being dragged to the vet several times to see if he would walk for them and show them his pain- I took him in this morning with every intention of having them do films on his shoulder and get to the bottom of his lameness. The newest vet in the clinic- she saw us (I really like her) she has infinite patience with scared kitties feral and otherwise. Odie who last time he was there had to be muzzled and he still managed to bite a tech- had all sorts of warning flags on his chart. After talking to me about how he behaves, the vet decided to opt for wrapping him in a warm towel, working slowly and carefully and he was a champ. I couldn’t be more proud of him!

With Benson, it turned out not to be a fracture, or a sprain or a dislocated shoulder. This sweet year old Siamese has pillow foot which is extremely rare in cats- but he has it on three of his pads. 🙁  This disease is an auto-immune disease that causes the pads of the feet to become spongy and squishy and they will break open and bleed. It is extremely painful and they don’t know what causes it. We gave him a pain shot, a shot of depo-medrin and a shot of covinia and an anti inflammatory. Unfortunately, this disease is a precursor to stomatitis and early kidney failure. He’s only a year old!

I pray the steroid shot kicks in and he can at least have a few more years with us without suffering any other repercussions for this dreadful disease.

Someone stole my favorite cat carrier

Along with a garbage bag of recycled soda cans. They just lifted it out of the carport! I am heartsick because it is only one of two top-loaders that I had. I love the top loaders when you are dealing with the feral cats. It’s just so much easier to put them in through the top then in the side door. 🙁 Well I need to call the sheriff and report it I suppose. Although I am sure they have other pressing matters to attend to. Dang it all anyway!