Our Kitties that Found Forever Homes

Dr. West and Simon before he left Noah's Ark for his new home.

Dr. West and Simon before he left Noah's Ark for his new home.

Simon is the gorgeous lynx point Siamese who I told everyone about a few weeks ago. Simon was the only survivor of a hoarding case in which the elderly woman, who was caring for the cats, entered a nursing home and the cats were all turned out in the snow or left to die, trapped inside the trailer. Luckily, a kind hearted neighbor saw Simon and rescued him just as he was close to death. 

Simon has been through a ton of medical care since then. His feet, when he was first brought in out of the snow, were covered in feces and cat litter from conditions inside the trailer. All of his paws were raw and sore from being caked in this nasty concoction. By the time he came to us, his paws, except one, had healed and that paw had huge scabs on the pads that would pull open and bleed. After weeks of foot soaks and antibiotics, Simon’s feet finally are close to normal, although he will always have scars on the pads from his ordeal. He can, at last, use regular cat litter, as well. For weeks, he had to use Yesterday’s News, the litter made from recycled paper, instead of the finer sand and clay litters to prevent the tiny grains from embedding in his sore pads. 

I also freaked out when I noticed that Simon had a drinking problem. Not that our boy was a lush or anything, but he would actually stop eating to drink water. And he would suck down bowl after bowl until he made himself sick. I worried about diabetes or kidney failure from his near death experience. Instead, Simon had elevated sodium levels due to the fact that he had not had food or water for a very long time and his body began to lose sodium from inside cells. With the sodium outside their normal cellular state, Simon felt as if he had just eaten a can of salty peanuts. Sodium is what makes up salt and so these elevated levels made Simon extremely thirsty. He had to be hospitalized and given fluids repeatedly to bring the sodium levels back to normal.

Dr. West said Simon’s favorite perch in the hospital was on the sink next to the faucet. He knew that was where the water came from.

Finally, however, Simon’s sodium reached nearly normal levels and he could actually leave water in a bowl. At one point when Dr. West first tested him, Simon drank four bowls of water straight down and promptly threw up.

I had been corresponding with a very nice lady about Simon for several weeks. She wanted to adopt him and patiently waited for his foot to heal and for Dr. West to decide if he needed to have all his teeth pulled on top of all his other issues. Then when I told her he might have more complicated problems, she held her breath and waited.

And, thankfully, I had good news for Karen. Today, she was finally able to take Simon home. This sweet boy truly deserves a life of leisure and happiness after all the trauma he has witnessed in his short life. We offer up a toast to Simon’s turn of good luck. And we know that Simon will drink to that.

Simon and his new mom, Karen, off to toast Simon's turn of good luck.

Simon and his new mom, Karen, off to celebrate Simon's turn of good luck.

Albert chillin' in his new home!

Albert chillin' in his new home!

We just want to thank Brian, one of our very favorite PetSmart employees, and his mom, for giving our little feline leukemia positive kitty, Albert, a chance at a good life. Since they do not have any other cats (their others all lived to be close to 20 years old–you have to do something right to get a cat to live that long), only three spoiled guinea pigs, they had the perfect home for our positive baby. However, we are still hoping that after he is re-tested, Albert will be negative.

In any case, fuzzball Albert is now out of the cage and making himself at home with Brian. It is a perfect situation since Brian’s mom recently retired and can spend lots of time with our little guy. We’ve already been asked what they would have to do if they decide to make Albert a permanent resident.

So, thank you, thank you from us and Albert to his new family. Now let’s just hope the pig girls appreciate their new furry brother, too!

The look of understanding--we know who is in charge of this household now!

The look of understanding--we know who is in charge of this household now!

Miss Emily poses for foster mom, Judy.

Miss Emily poses for foster mom, Judy.

For the past several months, we’ve been working with a very nice lady, Judy, who lives next to a nature reserve/park-like area where tons of cats get dropped off quite frequently. Judy had taken in four litters of kittens since the summer from pregnant, dumped mother cats that found their way to her yard seeking food. Emily came from one of those litters.

As Judy wrote and told me, “A stray, timid Siamese mother brought her kittens, three sisters, to our deck this fall to wean them with the food we leave there. They were pretty sickly and their eyes were crusted over — I almost stepped on two of them as I was mowing the lawn. And Gracie, the little gray one, was stuck in the mud amidst some chickenwire that was holding a bush together. She didn’t move when we approached, and with her coloring blending with the mud, we almost didn’t see her. She was the smallest and sickliest, so I took her to my local vet for testing and meds right away. These three sisters were on three rounds of antibiotics before they were really well.”

Emily was one of the kittens that Judy almost ran over with the lawnmower. Her siblings Gracie and Camille are still looking for their forever homes, even as Emily is being spoiled rotten by her new mom in Virginia. Yes, that’s right, Emily is now enjoying the good life with her Balinese older brother Kamarre near Richmond, Virginia.

So how did we get Emily to her home in Virginia? It all came about because I wanted to find Emily the best home ever with someone familiar with Siamese. Since I volunteer with Siamese Rescue, I knew about a site called Siamlist (www.siamlist.org), where people and rescue groups can post listings for Siamese kitties. I submitted Emily’s info to the site and within just a couple of days had heard from Siamese lovers in Missouri, Minnesota, Indiana, and Virginia. Now the big question was who was the best applicant and how exactly was I going to get Emily to them?

Lynne, Emily’s new mom, was just wonderful in all the emails we exchanged. And her vet had known Lynne for years and could not say enough good things about her. So a trip to Virginia looked in the works. Lynne was more than willing to meet up with us halfway, and I know if needed, she probably would have driven the whole way, but she was eight hours from Columbus–not a pleasant trip for anyone to try in one day with a kitten in tow.

I asked a few people I knew about transporting and then began investigating the shortest trip and routes. To divide the trip in half, so that each person would only drive four hours one way, I mapquested a location in Beckley, West Virginia, straight off major highways for Lynne and Emily’s transporter. I also had to look at the weather for the coming week to make sure that no one on either end of the trip would run into nasty snow or ice.

Once I began talking to Judy about the trip, she decided that she wanted to take Emily so she could meet Lynne and see her little foster off to a good life.

Here is Judy’s account of what turned out to be a very uneventful (thank goodness the weather followed what the reports said!) trip: Although I have a lot of  experience transporting cats by car for trips that were a couple of hours long, I’ve never taken a cat on a long day trip like this–considering that Emily had about four more hours to go with Lynne, and after we’d already had Emily in our car since 6:30 am. I did a little research online and got a few tips to try to get tuned in to what the issues might be for Emily. Emily had done so well when I drove her to Plain City on the day of the clinic, so I was kind of surprised that as we began the trip she was very restless in her carrier. We stopped and for awhile I had her on my lap (I wasn’t driving), but she was still very restless. So then I thought perhaps she needed to use the litter box. So we stopped again at the next rest area and tried that, but she didn’t use the box. She went back in her carrier on the back seat (with our dog, who goes with us on longer day trips) and she slept for a long time then, crying occasionally. About thirty minutes before meeting up with Lynne, we stopped and tried the litter box and water again. But she wanted none of that.

“When we met up with Lynne, who seemed, like me, very focused on the fact that Emily was going to have an overall very stressful day, we were both geared to getting things done so that Lynne could get back on the road to get Emily home (we got there around 11:40, but Lynne had arrived before us and was re-fueled and ready to get on the road).”

Lynne checked in, too, to let us know that she and Emily had made it home: “The drive home was uneventful. We had lunch at Arby’s in Lewisburg and then I stopped to stretch my legs in Waynesboro. Em ate about 1/2 oz of roast beef, but licked a lot of water from ice cubes I got for her in her water. She licked my fingers, received kitty scratches and petting, took a bath, and passed out for the rest of the trip!”

Lynne continued, “It’s almost like she knew this was going to be her forever home. Kamarre checked out the carrier, hissed, and whined. Now they’re both exploring the living room.”

And that, my friends, is how we do happily ever afters, even when they require road trips. I want to thank Judy and Lynne for both driving over eight hours in one day to give Miss Emily her happy ending.

Emily with new mom, Lynne, in the car in West Virginia.

Emily with new mom, Lynne, in the car in West Virginia.

Charlotte peeks out from her new hideaway in her new home.  Charlotte peeks out from her new hideaway in her new home.

As I wrote a few weeks ago, we took in several cats that, with other shelters or rescues, might not have fared as well as they have with us. In fact, Charlotte, Blue, and Michael came very close to being euthanized. Thankfully, we did not let that fate befall any of them. And now they’ve all got their own happy ending.

Charlotte's biggest concern now is playing with her new favorite toy.

Charlotte's biggest concern now is playing with her new favorite toy.

First off is Charlotte, the gorgeous, fluffy (and very pregnant) Himalayan kitty who tested positive for feline leukemia back in October. The vet wanted us to retest her in three months, thinking that her pregnancy and other factors might be giving us a false positive result. Rather than automatically dooming her and all of her kittens to death because of the test result, we asked her foster mom, Kathy, if she would care for her until we could retest. Poor Charlotte had already had a bad start in life. She’d had two litters of kittens in six months, because her former owner was selling her kittens for drug money. With a positive test, many shelters would have euthanized her and her unborn kittens, not caring that this poor girl had never got her chance at a joyful life.

At the end of October, Charlotte had her kittens. And while we had had tons of people looking at her photos on Petfinder, no one inquired about her after reading that she had tested positive–no one that is except one very patient and persistent lady who wrote often wondering if Charlotte had been tested again.

Finally, just this past week, Charlotte was tested again and she was NEGATIVE–as were all her kittens. The persistent lady became Charlotte’s mom and now Charlotte’s biggest worry in life is keeping her favorite toy away from her new feline sisters and brother. 

A happy ending for Charlotte.

Blue with her new family.

Blue with her new family.

Our second happy ending goes to Blue. Blue is the Siamese that came to us from Capital Area Humane Society. Blue had been brought to the shelter in August as part of a hoarding case with 30 other cats. She stayed at the shelter while the case was prosecuted and was finally able to look for a way out in October when Capital contacted me. Because I work as a volunteer with Siamese Rescue, too, I had hoped to get Blue in there. But circumstances worked against that and to keep her from being euthanized, I took her into Black and Orange.

Blue had a deformed right eye, due as my vet told me, to her eye not developing correctly when she was a baby. Because of that, Blue could not see out of that eye. However, she had vision in her left eye and did not realize she was handicapped. She ran and jumped and played like any cat with sight in both eyes. Because of her “handicap,” however, she was deemed “imperfect” and would have been killed to make room for more “adoptable” cats. Luckily, we proved how adoptable she is. 

Miss Blue turned out to be the friendliest and most loving cat we have ever met. Her early horrible life did not scar her and she found joy at every new experience. When a family from Michigan inquired about her, we worried about her going so far away. When the same family turned out to be wonderful, having nursed their other Siamese through the trials of a stroke (they bathed her and made her a special “wheelchair” so she could get around and massaged her legs so they would not atrophy), we told our girl it was time for a road trip. The family drove over four hours to pick Blue up and take her home with them. With tears in their eyes, they saw none of her flaws, only her loving nature.

 

Miss Blue in her cage at Capital wondering if anyone would save her.

Miss Blue in her cage at Capital wondering if anyone would save her.

Our final happy ending is for Michael.

Michael lounging in his new foster home.

Michael lounging in his new foster home.

Michael also came to us at about the same time as Miss Blue at the beginning of November. In fact, we saved both their lives in the same week. A family brought Michael (who was named Mittens at that time due to his white paws) to Riverside Drive Animal Care Center because they thought he was not acting right. They thought he had eaten some “chewing tobacco.” Michael had never had any vet care of any kind. He is one year old and had never been vaccinated or neutered.

Well, it turned out that Michael was having trouble peeing. He had crystals in his urine that caused him to become blocked. The family did not have the money to pay to have his system flushed out, so they told Dr. Wisecup to euthanize him. But Michael was so nice that no one in the office wanted to end his life–especially since he was only a year old and had never had much chance to enjoy his short time. Black and Orange got a call from Riverside asking if we would pay to help Michael so he would not have to be euthanized. Dr. Wisecup donated all of her time to do the necessary procedures. We said yes.

While at Riverside, Michael was also neutered, vaccinated, and tested negative for feline leukemia/FIV. Shortly after leaving Riverside for foster care, Michael did become blocked again and a special surgery was performed at MedVet to remove his penis so this would never happen again. Michael is recovered now and is doing really well. He does fine with dogs and is super with people. He also made friends with another kitty at Noah’s Ark where he was staying after leaving Riverside and MedVet.

Michael is now in foster care with one of the fabulous people from Noah’s Ark. He has new cat buddies in his foster home, as well as a dog friend. Everyone loves Michael and we are so glad we saved his life.

Michael hanging with his cat buddies in his new foster home.

Michael hanging with his cat buddies in his new foster home.

In case you couldn’t tell…WE LOVE HAPPY ENDINGS!

Kaly arrives from the North Pole via the US Postal System. Kaly arrives from the North Pole via the US Postal    System.

Kaly and her new best friend, Addie.Kaly and her new best friend, Addie.

This story starts back in early November and ends on the day before Christmas Eve. A lady wrote me about her cat infatuated daughter, who I was told, spent a great deal of time “meowing” instead of talking in imitation of her favorite animal. She wanted to adopt a cat for her daughter and their family, but the only catch was, she did not want to take the kitty home until Christmas, over a month and a half away. Could we do that?

Of course!

And on top of that, we were going to make this a very special Christmas for one lucky cat and her adoring human girl.

The loving mom wanted a kitty who would not mind being picked up and carried by an overly exuberant four-year-old. She had noticed in the posting for Kaly on Petfinder that Kaly liked to be held like a baby in your arms. She thought, based upon what she had read, that Kaly might be perfect for their family. And after meeting Kaly and having her sit in her lap the whole visit, she was smitten with our girl.

So we came up with the idea that Kaly would be Santa’s cat, living at the North Pole, but looking for a new home just in time for Christmas. Right after Thanksgiving, I went on JibJab and instead of “elfing myself,” I made an elf with Kaly’s cat face. That graphic of Kaly in a green elf suit went in a card to Addie from Kaly, explaining that Santa had told her Addie loved cats and she was “Kaly the Christmas Cat.”

The next week, upon learning that Addie’s brother was a bit disheartened that his sister received a letter from the North Pole, but he did not, I made a card of Kaly in a Santa hat (this time really dressing her in the cap) and sent it. Believe me, I remember how it was as a kid–whatever my sister got, I’d better get the same or better. So I understood where Addie’s brother was coming from.

Kaly in her Santa hat. The flash was too bright for her eyes.

Kaly in her Santa hat. The flash was too bright for her eyes.

The final touch on our holiday adventure was to have Kaly’s photo taken with Santa at the PetSmart “Photos with Santa Paws” event that we participate in every year. This would be proof for Addie that Kaly really had been with Santa.

Kaly with Santa.

Kaly with Santa.

Finally, the day before Christmas Eve, Addie’s mom came to get Kaly the Christmas Cat. She had been in our care for over two months and it was hard to let her go. Yes, we do get attached. Kaly is and was such a good, good girl.

But off she went with a story about her arrival. Because Kaly was a bit afraid to ride in Santa’s sleigh–too much flying and fast moving reindeer–Santa decided to send her by the U. S. Postal service. Addie’s mom was picking her up from the post office direct from shipment via the North Pole mail route.

The whole adventure of Kaly the Christmas Cat was one we will never forget. And the best part of this is that a little girl got a new best friend and Kaly got a wonderful home.

The best way to send Christmas--with a friend.

The best way to spend Christmas--with a friend.

 

Ziggy (Becca) loves plastic bags!

Ziggy (Becca) loves plastic bags!

Ziggy and Zoe (named Becca and Gladiola when they were in foster care) are now living the good life with their new family. They have been in their new home for over six months now and have taken over!!  Not that they are spoiled or anything!

 

Zoe (Gladiola) bathing.

Zoe (Gladiola) bathing.

 

Nicky and his best bud, Sadie

Nicky and his best bud, Sadie

Nicky was royalty.  Named for Czar Nicholas, because he was a Russian Blue, the quiet, gentle, gray cat, who managed to slip in to all our hearts, silently slipped away from us last week. Nicky died because his heart was just too big.

Nicky was one of several kitties that our foster, Debbie, called her little “artists’ colony.” When she found them at a local metro park, deserted because the house they were living in was slated to be torn down, they were the starving artists. But with Debbie’s work and love, she turned Nicky and his family into happy, content, and well fed cats. 

Nicky was a gorgeous cat with big eyes and soft fur.  He had a love of toes and was constantly brushing up against feet. Debbie said he was the cat with a foot fetish. 

He was only about two years old and his best friend was little Sadie, who may have been a litter mate or cousin.  Sadie and Nicky were always together–cuddled up in a chair, sleeping on a blanket.  When one of them went to PetSmart to try to be adopted, both went, because we wanted them to be adopted as a team.

And yet, although we had numerous applications for Nicky, although he and Sadie went to PetSmart off and on over the last year and a half, Nicky never did leave Debbie. Not until last Friday.

Nicky and Sadie had been in the cage space at PetSmart for just over two weeks. They had started out in separate cages, one on top, the other on bottom.  But they both seemed so depressed without each other that a volunteer, cleaning the adoption center, put them back together in one cage.  They were quite content after that.

On Thursday, October 15, the volunteer who was doing the weekly evening cleaning in the adoption room, called to say that Nicky was breathing in short gasps. Debbie hurried to get him, thinking both he and Sadie were stressed from being at PetSmart and needed a break.  She took Nicky home, gave him treats and some food, and he seemed to be breathing easier.  

Getting up to check on him later in the night, Debbie discovered that her beautiful gray boy had finally gone to his forever home.

Debbie had an autopsy done on Nicky to see what caused such a young cat to die. It turns out Nicky had the equivalent of congestive heart failure.  The left side of his heart was enlarged and was working as hard as it could, but it could not keep up and fluid filled Nicky’s lungs.  Our Nicky’s heart was just too big for his little body, was working too hard.

I thought about why such a beautiful, happy, and sweet cat never got adopted, why he kept waiting and waiting for someone to take him home. I think I know the reason. Czar Nicholas didn’t want to leave Debbie.

He had found his home.

 

Nicky and Sadie, inseparable in life.

Nicky and Sadie, inseparable in life.

 

Nicky and Sadie enjoy a sunny afternoon.

Nicky and Sadie enjoy a sunny afternoon.

Animal Photo

I had a really rotten day today. But I am thinking good thoughts that it will get better with the help of other people doing what I cannot do.

On October 1, one of our former adopters called to tell me that Lydia, or Lilly, as the family now called her, had slipped out the door when friends came over to visit. He wanted to know what to do as Lydia was wearing “soft paws” and had no way to defend herself.  Additionally, he had no idea where to look for her since they had just recently moved into the apartment.

I told him to contact neighbors, to post signs with her photo on it, to call Capital Area Humane Society with her information so they would know someone was looking for her. I also told him to post for Lydia on the web site Pets911 (www.pets911.com), which allows people to post for lost and found pets. Since Lydia was microchipped by our group, I also told him that if anyone found her and took her to a shelter, they would scan for that.

I had not heard anything from the man and assumed that he had found Lydia and just forgot to call and tell me.  Then yesterday, I went on Pets911 myself and saw that the listing for Lydia was still on there, so I called him.

No, he had not found Lydia.

But, he told me, a neighbor thought they had seen her out by the dumpster behind the apartments.

Poor Lydia came, with her three other siblings, from a rotten neighborhood in downtown Columbus, where people threatened to feed her and the other kittens to a resident vicious dog.  And now, she was once more loose and scared in a downtown Columbus neighborhood near campus with the weather growing cold, no food, and soft paws on her nails.

I had to hold back tears.

Lydia and her siblings were my fosters.  Lydia and her brother, Freddy, lived in my bathroom while they took medicine for campylobacter.  They used to greet me at the door and would scamper out to harass my cats.

When Lydia first came to us, she was very timid and hid behind the toilet most of the time.  I have a photo of her peeking out at me from the toilet, cautious, but hopeful that maybe everything was going to be better now.

I promised Lydia that she would never, ever have to worry again.  That she would always be safe.

I lied.

With some work, Lydia became a sweet, love bug, but she still reverted to shyness in new and scary situations. I can only imagine how scared she must be now and how she must be hiding and wondering what has happened.

All of the books I have read about missing cats say that they, unlike dogs, do not travel far. They usually hunker down and hide close to where they escaped.

Knowing this, I decided to go over to the apartment complex today with a humane trap and try to find my missing girl. I showed the man how to set the trap and then I stayed for over an hour, driving around, watching the trap, searching for her little face among the weeds. And crying.

But I had to leave without her.

Then the man called to tell me that someone stole the trap.

How were we going to find Lydia without the trap?

Later in the afternoon, I had another call.  The apartment complex management had found the trap.  They thought I had been trespassing on the property, so they confiscated it. With another phone call, I explained the situation, and they said I could have the trap back.

That still leaves me without Lydia, however, and no way to find her as they do not want me to set the trap on their property.

So I need everyone’s help reading this.  If you know anyone who lives near University Village in the 500 block of Stinchcomb Drive off of Olentangy River Road near the Ohio State University campus, please send them the link to this blog or to the Pets911 link that I have listed below. Have them read about Lydia and be on the look out for her.

She is a petite calico/brown and white female cat who becomes shy when scared. She is microchipped and spayed.  She was wearing soft paws on her nails. She is only a little over a year old.

If you see her or even think it might be her, please contact me at bandocats@columbus.rr.com

I promised Lydia she would always be safe on my watch, that after coming into our organization, she would never be scared or lost again.  I need to keep that promise.

Here is the Pets911 listing for anyone who would like more info:

http://www.pets911.com/services/lostandfound/animal_details.php?uniqueID=3306300&page=

Lydia when she was first adopted,

Lydia when she was first adopted,

 

Constantine camping out in his new home.

Constantine camping out in his new home.

Just this past week, we had updates from both families who adopted Milton and Constantine.  Both boys are doing well in their new homes.  As you can see, Constantine is being pampered and spoiled by his new mom.

Milton on the other hand is making friends with everyone he meets. Cats. People.

 

Milton shares the window ledge with his new cat friend

Milton shares the window ledge with his new cat friend

Even dogs.  Although, it looks as if he is telling the dog how things are going to be now that he is in the house.

 

Milton tells the dog, "Bring me some treats, pooch. The tuna flavored kind."

Milton tells the dog, "Bring me some treats, pooch. The tuna flavored kind."

Since I posted for Miss Flower on The Animal Rescue Site as a shelter story and one of my favorite rescues of all times, I received a letter from Miss Flower’s mom giving me the story of her life after adoption.  And now here is the story of Miss Flower before she came to us at Black and Orange Cat Foundation.  This part of her history was written by Kim, who has been working with us for over a year getting the cats around her house fixed and vaccinated.  Kim and her husband, Paul, live in front of a trailer park, so they typically have tons of kitties that come into their yard looking for food. The day Kim trapped Miss Flower was one of only a few times she had ever seen this little girl.

I’ll let Kim tell the rest:

and the before story-

Our neighbor hood was overrun with cats and kittens of all ages. Many of them were sick with runny noses and nasty eyes. My husband fed them twice a day and the weaker ones were always his favorites.  We took the sickest ones to the vet if we could catch them, but we did not have the funds to treat them all. For some, all we could do was feed them and hope they would stay strong enough for their own immune system to fight their disease.

Then we learned about Robin Craft and the Black & Orange Cat Foundation which has a trap, spay/neuter and release program and also has foster care and an adoption program. We caught several of the friendly cats and took them for the spay/neuter and release program. One of the early groups we caught had a little black and white fuzzy kitten who had shown up only recently to the food bowls. We had not seen her enough to name her.

We would drop the cats off and the next evening after their surgery we would receive a call giving us an update on how the cats did. We were told that the little black & white fuzzy had a hard time recovering and needed more veterinary care. Robin said she would take care of all of that and let us know when she could be picked up. For several weeks we received reports on the little kitten doing better, received a treatment, still weak, she wants to live, and always everyone loves her. During this time Robin said she would make a nice pet. My husband and I already had an older cat that was not cat friendly and had told Robin we were not prepared for a new cat. The kitten was put up for adoption. The kitten was named Flower and Robin’s eyes always twinkle when she talks about her.

Back to the rest of the cats- our cat population is much healthier, seldom do we see sniffles or runny eyes. Fewer cats have injuries from fighting and the beautiful healthy coats are nice to look at and even better to pet. Our older cat passed and we have adopted 4 of the kittens from our neighborhood and found homes for several others.

We always remember to donate to Black and Orange Cat Foundation, it makes our hearts feel good and each day when we see the outside cats so beautiful and healthy we know we are donating to a wonderful cause.”

Flower and her sister, Star

Flower and her sister, Star

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