Saturday, September 29, 2012

A Second Chance for an Orphaned Kitten

Billy was barely two months old when he first arrived at my shelter. He was born on the street, where he had lived together with his mother and siblings until his entire family were brutally killed by roaming dogs. Billy has been left all alone in the world, a tiny little baby, with no one to take care of him or to provide him with everything that a kitten should have. He had no chance of being taken into a temporary foster home; it was considered that he was doing well enough on the street. I agreed to take him in as
soon as I heard that he existed – what other choice did I have?

Anyway, little Billy has been picked up and was allegedly freed of external parasites, yet he arrived here full of fleas, worms and with a fungal infection. It turns out that he is
flea allergic as well, he had many bald spots all over his tiny body. In addition, he was bone skinny and therefore might have become susceptible to a myriad of viruses. I freed him of internal parasites on that very first day – he was vomiting worms for hours! I wasn’t even
sure if he would survive. From my previous experiences with little kittens, I’ve learned that they usually go through the acute health crises approximately from 10 days to two weeks after being rescued. I feared that Billy would suddenly get worse and I kept a constant
eye on him.

This adorable little guy had been doing fine for days, he’d grown quite a bit and gained a lot of weight. He was very playful, lively and cheerful from the beginning; chasing mouse shaped toys, random flies and constantly pouncing
on every moving thing. He wasn’t able to understand why he was being kept separated from the other cats, but he was an expert at finding a way to play on his own. The end of quarantine couldn’t come too soon.

And then fate has
struck yet again. Baby Billy is sick right now. I strongly hoped this tiny fellow wouldn’t contract a viral infection, but he has somehow. He’s under treatment at the moment, but it’s hard to give any prognosis yet. It’s too early to say if he’ll have the strength to get over

He has a high fever, yet he keeps purring and cuddling. He is even trying to play, a poor little boy, who's never had anything until he arrived at the shelter.

Please, help us if you can! No one in the world could bear to
lose baby kittens one after another. Little Billy deserves a chance! Just look at his tiny, cute and innocent face!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

As If We Are Cursed

It is with the deepest regret and the utmost sorrow that I sadly announce the passing of my beloved little Kai. Although I knew he didn’t stand much of a chance, this feeling of utter defeat is unbearable and it makes everything seem senseless and futile.
In the very end, it appears he only made it to the shelter to ultimately die young.

Kai's foster Mom is completely shattered. She blames herself, she blames the vets, she blames the world. Although I know that everyone did everything that could have possibly  been
done, it all seems like just a faint consolation and a futile attempt to mend a broken heart. It’s unimaginably hard to accept the horrendous truth that our beautiful, gentle, special boy is gone and gone forever. This is the end of his story and extremely
heartbreaking for everyone who knew him and loved him.

Kai has been struggling with undiagnosed health problems for two months now. He put up a valiant effort and seemed to have gotten better and to have recovered twice; he succeeded in
overcoming two big crises. This last, third time, he simply lacked the strength to fight. He wasn’t even old enough to change his teeth yet…

My lovely little sweetie was already in very bad shape when he first arrived here at the shelter. We all hoped that the change
of scenery and fresh air would help him feel better. He did look a little bit more cheerful on that first day, but then everything started to take a turn for the worse. Our beautiful, sparkling, wonderful boy was just fading away slowly beside us and there was nothing we could do to stop
his illness from progressing. Oh yes, we tried everything under the sun, but nothing seemed to help. All that we could do was be there for him.

Kai passed away in his sleep, peacefully and evidently without pain, like a candle being blown out.
His death has left an ache in our souls and a huge hole in our hearts and lives... one that can never be filled. I am drained of any more tears to shed, yet the pain tears me up inside far more than it can be imagined.
Sleep tight, my little darling, beautiful in life and even more beautiful on the other side. In our hearts you’ll live forever, gorgeous, lovable, brilliant and precious, as you had always been. You aren’t brightening our days anymore, yet your memory will carry on for as long as we exist
and beyond.

You’re terribly missed, little Kai.

May peace and love enlighten your path.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Little Kitties' Big Problems

Taking care of a sick kitty isn’t a walk in the park, but taking care of many sick kitties is much, much worse. It means feeling drained, emotionally fragile and exhausted. It signifies sleepless nights, general misery, fear, hope and helplessness but it's also the anticipation of
huge expenses (not that bills are on your mind at the moment). Sick kitties need a high quality food and adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals. Gasoline has to also be purchased for everyday trips to the vet, a lot of medications need to be acquired for
continuing treatment at home and vet bills are piling up at a dizzying pace.
I am guessing that all of you can remember when Alethe and her babies found a safe haven in my shelter after their horrible ordeal. Despite all of my efforts to provide them with
everything they needed, they paid a price for the miserable life they had until they arrived here – all of them have a fungal infection. I bathe them in an anti-fungal shampoo, but they must be kept separated from the other cats, so as not to spread the
infection. With all of these repairs and the upheaval that seems to last forever, a fungal infection threatening to spread throughout the entire cat population of my shelter is the last thing I need.

My beautiful Kai, so gentle, so tender and
so special, has been sick on and off for two months now and no one could determine what was wrong with him, until he’s been finally diagnosed with feline babesiosis. Consequently, he now has severe hemolytic anemia, shows signs of jaundice and
has kidney sand. He is terribly skinny and extremely weak, I’ve been force feeding him for days now.His chances of recovery are rather slim, yet he might pull through if his exhausted little body allows him to continue fighting. I won’t give up on him; on the other hand, it’s
questionable if he is strong enough to carry on. Again, I’m hoping for a miracle…

And that’s not all.... Billy is my brand new little kitten that has been picked up from the street. He was allegedly freed of external parasites, yet he arrived here full of
fleas, worms and with a fungal infection. In addition, he’s bone skinny and therefore his immune system might not work properly. In this case, he may become susceptible to a myriad of viruses. He’s doing fine at the moment but he’s not out of the woods yet. He’s sweet and super cuddly; he’s purring all of the time, poor baby. It’s never easy to have sick cats, but it’s truly heartbreaking to watch the little ones suffer. Kittens should be running around and having fun instead of receiving drugs and infusions while fighting for their lives… It seems there’s no justice in this world.

I’m perfectly aware that people are pretty strapped for cash these days and that there are many, many animals in need, but I must ask you all to help these wonderful, innocent and lovely creatures, if only a little bit. They are my hope, my strength, and my reason to wake up in the morning. They need you, all of you! Is there any better reward than a sparkling and mischievous look in healthy kitties’ eyes?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

"Unadoptable" Is Nothing But A Word

Willow will be arriving at my shelter by the end of the week! She doesn’t have a clue about it yet, but she would most certainly be excited if she knew that she is rapidly approaching the end of her tiring journey. I hope that one day she’ll be able to overcome and forget everything that has happened to her over all of those years that she spent unimportant and unwanted. She has come a long way from that cemetery in which she’d lived her entire life…

I have a real soft spot for disabled kitties. Just the thought of a deaf, blind or tripod cat that is spending its days in despicable conditions, all alone, without proper food and vet care, makes me feel enraged and desperate. All of these kitties have been deemed unadoptable, although they can live a completely normal life, with just a little more care. I guess that a disability is seen as shameful and that’s why disabled animals usually don’t stand a chance.

As all of you already know, Willow is a tripod stray kitty who apparently lost her left back leg as the result of a vicious dog attack. She somehow managed to recover on her own and continued to live in the cemetery where the attack took place. No one kept an eye on her well-being. Like all of the other cats there, she’d been rummaging through garbage for food scraps and fleeing from imminent danger for years. Being disabled, Willow was at especially high risk – she shunned humans and was never at ease, I am guessing that she slept with one eye open. There she learned the most important rule “Trust no one”.

From personal experience with disabled kitties, I was confident that a disabled stray cat can live a full and enjoyable life if given a chance. When I saw a photo of Willow standing near the garbage bin I knew I wanted to take her in. But a few problems arose – she wasn’t easy to catch and it was questionable how she would behave in her foster home. I had even heard that she was happy in the cemetery and that she should be left there. People who have never had a special needs animal might wonder why I would want a disabled cat. Those who have, they understand.

A small tripod tabby arrived at her foster home, shy, scared and withdrawn, yet she immediately recognized the benefits of eating regular, tasty meals. She soon found out how it felt to rest on a cozy bed; she adapted perfectly to an indoor life. She no longer jumps at every sound, and has stopped constantly looking over her shoulder. She's finally relaxing and accepts a human touch.

Willow now plays with mouse shaped toys and wrestles with blankets. She enjoys play fighting with kittens, as well as the “chase me” game and mutual grooming with her mates sharing the household. Like most stray cats, she obviously hasn’t had the opportunity to be a kitten, or to behave like a kitten while she was little; she was forced to grow up fast in order to survive. She is now making up for all of those lost years, and for everything she has missed.

Her foster mom says that Willow is still quite shy. She has no problems with other cats, she has a problem with humans. She hides and refuses to eat whenever she hears an unfamiliar voice like whenever guests come to her current home. She evidently continues to believe that all people are bad – all but one. Yet it’s a good sign - if she was able to let one human into her life, she will surely be able to admit another.

I have no delusions that she will ever be a cuddly lap kitty. She won’t and she doesn’t need to. But she will have a happy and fulfilled life, safety, care and a place she can consider to be her true home.

This is not a story of only my Willow, this is a tale of all Willows throughout the world, all imperfect, abused, neglected and easily overlooked kitties. This is a story of love and respect for all fearful, distrustful, unapproachable and allegedly unadoptable animals on the planet. Each and every one of them deserves a chance, the maximum chance of a better life.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Getting Closer to the Goal

The new roof eaves are almost finished and the only thing left is to apply a protective coating of paint and that’s it! My kitties are already seeking shade under the eaves and seem to really enjoy the benefits of roof overhangs.

Roof repairs are also being brought to an end. The insulation quilting has been put in place, the roof itself is covered with roof tiles and the gutters have been placed around the roof as well. The strengthening of the roof structure was done by installing additional supports that I hope will be strong enough to endure another winter. Nonetheless, the entire roof needs to be replaced next year so as to save us from worrying about another heavy snow burden in the future.

The new septic tank hole has been dug down to a depth which permits alignment to the existing sewer and the septic tank itself has been built up. The walls of the excavation serve as the outside layer; a removable concrete slab has been placed over the tank. This new septic tank will be connected with the old one by a pipe. Solid waste will continue to accumulate in the old septic tank, while the liquid will flow through the pipe into the second tank. The liquid will then drain through holes in the walls and then into the soil.

The entire sewer line has been removed and replaced with a new one. The old drain pipes from the kitchen were too narrow and too low, with insufficient fall in, so they have also been replaced and attached to the main sewer line. Now the kitchen and toilet drain pipes run through the newly built manhole and into the main line. To accomplish that, it was necessary to dig all the way from the bathroom to the kitchen drain. The kitchen sink drain pipes will also need to be replaced with new ones.

More sand, cement, gravel and outside tiles have been purchased in order to cover a new concrete path with paving tiles to make it more durable. The entire house needs to be plastered and whitewash applied as well to protect the exterior walls. Nothing has been done as of yet in regard to the path that leads from the side entrance into the yard to the cats’ indoor facility. There’s just not enough money and all of these repairs have already seemed to last forever, not to mention that total costs have escalated to two times higher than first expected.

We simply cannot stop halfway through! Winter will be here again before we know it. Please, help us finish the repairs and make our project come true before the weather takes a turn for the worse. Whatever amount you can give in the way of a donation, no matter how small or large is very much appreciated. Thank you in advance for any much needed help you may be able to provide!