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I manage a colony of feral cats. I had a friend helping me to TNR these cats last summer. She managed to get a kitten who was about 8 weeks old. She told me she thought this one might be able to be rehabbed and asked if I was willing to try. If I was successful, she would get this little one into an adoption event. So I agreed. Within the first day, I was petting this little fuzz ball and she was purring. By day 2, she was climbing onto my shoulders. My friend was still looking for a rescue to take this little one. However, she had won my heart over and she is now a permanent part of my family. She wants for nothing and enjoys her days tormenting her siblings. She has also made friends with a hummingbird, who comes to see her, through the window, each afternoon. Her mom and her brother are part of the feral colony and are well cared for as well.
My American Staffordshire Terrier Lacy Lou was badly abused and almost starved to death when I got her when she was a year old. The vet told me that she wouldn't live past two if she was lucky and here we are with her turning ten in two weeks. She can't live outside as she is allergic to everything, however, I wouldn't have it any other way. Her best friend is a 6-year-old American bulldog named Bella and a 16-year-old Siamese named Princess. I got Lacy at a time when I was still upset about losing my 11-year-old Chesapeake Ruby about a year before. Lacy filled the hole that was in my heart. I saved her, but she saved me too when I had given up as well. She is truly a very special sweet girl. She never lost that even after all she had been through. She had taught me about forgiveness and true heroism in the face of one the worst scenarios you could imagine for a dog. She is a very special wonderful dog that I do love with all of my heart.
March 2017, I posted the story about losing my BFFeline Sammy (a rescue) suddenly. Our remaining 14 year cat, Wander (another rescue), let us know it was time to get her another friend as she continued to look for Sammy at all hours. Our local shelters and fosters were a great help as I had never "shopped" for an elderly cat and was told the hardest ones to integrate are rehomed ones. In almost to the day, in June, we brought home Bix, a female tabby version of Sammy! Her family was moving to England and needed a home. And yes, a rehomed one is difficult but she is warming up to us and while the cats aren't buddies yet, they aren't fighting which is a great sign. Food/treats are a blessing in helping the rehoming! Bix really has helped us heal and is quite a character herself!
We had just lost our sweet old Pekingese, Maggie May on Easter Sunday to thyroid cancer. I told my husband that that was it. No more pets. He disagreed. Said we have so much love to give. So I jumped on Petfinder and started my search. 5 weeks later, I came across this boy and it was love at first sight. We filled out the adoption papers and made arrangements to drive the almost 100 miles to go get him. This boy has been a balm for our souls. He's so loving, funny and smart. Our lives are so much richer with our Gallagher. We love him so much and truthfully feel like he rescued us. We never forget our losses but we honor them by sharing our hearts and opening our home and saving a life.
March 30, 2009 I had to put my 16 year old cat, Bubba, down due to age related illness. He wasn't my first loss, but my hardest. I still had two other cats at home, including his best bud, Peek-A-Boo. June 21st, Father's Day 2009, I heard a meowing at the neighbor's back door and saw a little Grey cat howling to get in. Made a phone call to the local police to take the cat) and the the dispatched officer and I both went and asked the neighbor if it was hers. She said/denied it being hers, so the officer took the cat to his car. Cat wasn't having it and ran back to me and I ended up getting her into the car. Soon after, I am back in my bedroom with my two cats when I hear a sharp howl coming from the hallway closet. There was no mistaking who's howl it was because both cats became upset and reacted the same way (crouched/took to hiding) as the day they sniffed out his body after his passing. The howl WAS Bubba. Looked around, there were no other cats .. it WAS the spirit of Bubba. Fast forward to 6 weeks later and a call to the local shelter to see if the cat I had turned over to the police was still there. Dropped everything I was doing and adopted and brought her home. I still grieve for Bubba all the time, but I do believe he brought her to me to ease the loss.
He was on the sidewalk that Autumn day, crying all day for his mother, who never returned for him. A little ball of white, black and gray fur about 3 weeks old. We fed, bathed, cuddled, and instantly fell in love with him, and named him Puff.
How can one photo do you justice? I have pictures of you on your window perch with your legs hanging down in that goofy pose you had; on top of the piano ready to pounce on me; up in the kitchen window watching the birds; hiding in my cupboard shelves or peeking out of boxes; doing your contortions on the floor before falling asleep twisted like a pretzel; relaxing in Pap's lap while getting your neck scratched; drinking from the kitchen faucet; the evil look you gave us after every bath; playing tag with your little girlfriend Topaz. Even without photos, you are etched in our hearts. And we have the scars to prove that you could be much tougher than your name implied!!
But suddenly fluid constricted your heart and lungs. You couldn't jump or even walk well. The vet said it was beyond treating. I sang you your Puffer Kitty song (to the tune of Rubber Ducky), let you hear Pap say "Goodbye" over the phone and left so brokenhearted and empty. We miss our Puffer but had 9 &1/2 terriffic years together to remember
One night in June 2000, I happened to turn my head and there she was, this little imp. She was sick, had a gooey eye, so I scooped up all 1.5lbs of her six weeks self and off we went to the emergency vet. The vet gave her a really big shot and asked if I planned to keep her. I said I would think about it, but would definitely keep her through her meds. Ha! Abigail had other plans and already decided she was staying. She easily won over the rest of the human family. She was so small and so cute. My dog, Phineas fell in love, Katina my other cat (her story is here too!) was not thrilled, but eventually came around. And Abby, well, she was running around like a little fireball when she came sliding head first into me. She looked up, I looked down and I swear if that little twerp could talk, she said, "You're my Mommy now!" I am indeed. Today marks 17 years to the day I found her. She is still going strong, has lots of adventures and is my little twerpy-twerp. I always tell her she won the cat lottery the day I found her, but I know I hit the jackpot.
We heard a small cry from the dumpster, the only indication that she was alive. She was motionless.
She had an obvious head injury, and was bleeding badly.
I knew a little about head injuries, and I knew that supportive therapy was about the only treatment option.
Poor Spike was just a tiny little thing! She couldn't stand at all, couldn't eat on her own. I started with fluid by mouth, water at first, then adding canned food mixed with water. I had to support her so she was upright. I knew I was fighting an uphill battle.
She needed to be fed every few hours, so I took her to work with me and kept her under my desk.
Injury to one side of the brain leads to problems on the opposite side. Spike was weak on her right side. She still couldn't stand, but if I propped her up in the cage on her right side, she could manage to eat on her own.
Little by little we were able to entice her forward with treats. Just small steps at first. She continued to go to the right. I remember her trying to navigate the hallway, which she conquered because she always had a wall to her right! But put her in an open room, and she would continue to spin in circles. She was still just a little thing, but gaining strength and balance day by day. When she would try to jump on anything, she would still go to the right, thus missing most of the time! (She still jumps a little crooked.)
We found Spike in 2002 and she is now the oldest member of our cat family at 15 years.
Update on a Frozen Miracle
Praline: I have adapted well, very well indeed to my new life as a home cat. I have gained a healthy 2½ lb; I love to play with my siblings, especially with my elder Java; I think he sees me as rambunctious, but being the gentleman that he is, he plays along in mutual chasing and let me win the race sometimes. I love catnip; and my favorite toy is definitely the fishing pole with tinsels; the other poles are fun too, mind you; my jumps and somersaults are spectacular to my humans! I have already set rituals around the house, one being daily playtime with my mom in the morning before she leaves for work; and at night, chasing movements under her bed sheets. I remind her that not everything has to be serious in life ;)
Living in the country for 50+ years, we have had our share of feral cats. Some have gotten friendly enough to be considered pets and be named. I recall Banjo, Creamsicle and Yoda with fond memories. Our current outdoor cat is Red, so named because I thought Orange would not be a suitable name for a cat. He has had an adventurous life roaming the neighborhood. He was once gone for 10 days and I had pretty much given up on him. But back he came with a few new scars, but otherwise in good shape.
He is now about 11 years old and spends more time napping in the sun than roaming. But he greets me with head bumps and purrs at every meal. And he enjoys pretending that he doesn't like our German Shepherd, but they are really good buddies.
We cannot bring him in the house in winter because he has no indoor manners, but he has a snug house outside and is very content.
More about our other cats later.