Monthly Archives: March 2010
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!
It seems like no matter what site I happen to be browsing on the internet, I always stumble across animal lovers–even in the most unlikely places.
For example, since I write quite a bit I often scan writing blogs and try to keep up with the latest information on publishing and writers’ groups.
Perusing the Central Ohio Fiction Writers’ web site, I discovered that one of the COFW members, New York Times Best Selling Author, Lori Foster, collaborated on a book called Tails of Love. The proceeds from the sale of this book, which features an anthology of animal stories, benefit AAF, Animal Adoption Foundation, a no-kill animal shelter in Hamilton, Ohio.
Wow! I had no idea.
My next surprise came on the Guide to Literary Agents Blog. While checking out the rules for the Dear Lucky Agent Contest, I discovered that editor Chuck Sambuchino has a category called “Dog Stuff” in his blog. The very first photo on that page featured his dog Graham reading a book (no, seriously, it did–click on the link and go look at the picture!).
Even on The TUTs Adventurers Club web site, positive thinking guru, Mike Dooley is posing with his dog.
Mike always says, “Thoughts Become Things…choose the good ones!” Somehow, animals must always be on my brain and in my thoughts even when I am in realms beyond animal rescue. Because of this, I seem to find animal lovers like myself everywhere I go.
I don’t mind that at all.
Everyone always tells me horror stories about animals; stories I don’t want to hear and that sometimes keep me awake at night worrying about stranded and abused cats and dogs.
But the story of Simon is one I had to hear and one I want to tell you even though it is difficult to know that things like this occur. The focus of this story is on the positive–one person stepped forward and saved one cat, Simon. And, although he is the lone survivor, we can rejoice in his life.
Here is Simon’s story.
Toward the end of January, I had an email from the Madison County Dog Warden, Gary Kronk. The email said that he needed help for a lady in a local trailer park and her 13 inside cats. The lady was going in a nursing home because of Alzheimer’s and there was no one to take care of the cats. Deputy Kronk needed a place for the cats to go and quickly. He was working with the attorney who was in charge of the lady’s case and she wanted the cats out of the trailer pronto.
Deputy Kronk tried to accommodate the lawyer, but she wanted a solution that day–something he could not do. The lawyer talked about hiring a “nuisance company” to come in and “take care” of the cats, something Deputy Kronk did not want to happen. He wanted to find them a home, even though they were not adoptable in the normal sense of the word.
Most of the cats were very shy. They had only been around the older woman and were not socialized to the point where they could be adopted. To most people they would have appeared to be feral. But, unlike most feral cats, they also had never been outside. They had always lived in a warm, safe environment. Therefore, they needed a barn home where they would be protected from the cold and conditions they had no experience with.
As you well remember, at the end of January into February, Ohio was hit with a ton of snow. Even animals used to living outside were having a hard time. Inside only cats certainly could not manage those extremities.
I could offer no solutions to Deputy Kronk. We had been looking for barn homes for several of our kitties with no luck. He was checking to see if there was any money in the woman’s estate to take care of the cats. We thought maybe we could, at least, get them fixed before they went anywhere else.
But we, and, sadly, the cats ran out of time.
Deputy Kronk had such a hard time working on this case that he finally pulled out because he was having problems trying to offer solutions that did not mean death to the cats.
But death is what they got.
Just about a week ago, one of our Board members, Carol, had a phone call from a vet office here in Plain City wondering if we could help with a Siamese kitty that came from a rotten situation. When Carol began describing the circumstances to me, I knew it was the same case Deputy Kronk had been working on with no success.
The Siamese cat, Carol told me, had come from a trailer after his human had to go to a nursing home. Carol had further details in the saga. It seems that the people in charge of the cats decided to just let them all outside as their way of solving the problem. When one of the neighbors saw beautiful, friendly Simon out in the cold, wading through the snow, he scooped him up and took him inside. The other cats were not so lucky. None survived the weather.
We, of course, offered to get vet care for Simon and help find him a home. It turned out that Simon was already ear-tipped and neutered, so possibly all of the cats had already been vetted and huge expenses used for their vet care–all for nothing.
After I took Simon to the vet, I spoke with the lady who was taking care of him and she gave me further gruesome details in Simon’s story.
It seems that the people went into the trailer, shooing out all the cats that would leave (and really, how many would have opted to run out into the cold and snow, vacating their warm home?). Those that did not go were locked inside to starve. After a few weeks, the people came back and removed the dead bodies.
I cried when I heard this. What a needless waste of life. What an awful way to die. The kinder choice would have been to humanely euthanize them, not allow them to suffer without food and water, wallowing in their own feces, among their dying feline friends.
I could only think of my own cats and fosters. Many of them are very shy. If you opened my front door, not many would run outside. They would, instead, hide from strangers. Under the same circumstances, my cats would also have been locked inside and starved to death.
And what would the poor woman with Alzheimer’s think if she knew the fate of her beloved cats? They were her only companions, their fuzzy faces the one constant in her life. She would not have wanted them to die or to suffer.
Conditions in the trailer after the woman left must have been bad, because poor Simon’s feet were encrusted with feces and cat litter after his rescue. His current protector told me that she started noticing bloody paw prints on her carpet from Simon’s raw feet. Simon, in his attempts to remove the hardened clumps on his pads, pulled away skin, as well.
Thankfully, Simon’s feet have now almost completely healed. He is also very, very thin. But he still loves people, still wants you to pet and hold him. He still trusts that humans will do the best they can for him. Because that is the way with animals. They always forgive.
Simon is a survivor. I only wish I had done more to produce that same fate for the others. I feel terribly guilty that I didn’t get more involved. I am working with Deputy Kronk to see if there are any charges that can be brought against the people who killed the cats. It is too little, too late, but I feel I must do something.
Someday, I hope to never again hear another animal horror story. And the only way to do that is to stop the people who cause these atrocities. I am positive that can happen.
Naomi, who was formerly called P. L. G. (which stands for Poor Little Girl), came to us after she was abandoned in a trailer when her family moved. The Madison County dog warden (our buddy Gary) found Naomi without food or water living alone in the trailer. He had the trailer park manager contact our volunteers, the Swider family, who live in the area and have trapped most of the cats in the park for our TNR projects. They kindly offered to foster Naomi until we could find her a home.
But this was not a simple case of getting the cat fixed and putting her up for adoption. Poor Naomi had some issues with her mouth that we soon realized were very, very serious. In fact, she had so many lesions and sore spots on her gums that sometimes she had trouble eating and would scream (yes, literally scream) in pain.
Dr. West at Noah’s Ark offered to help Naomi, but after weeks of antibiotics and pain medicine, we discovered that Naomi actually had a hole in the roof of her mouth. Dr. West suspected that the poor cat may have chewed on an electrical cord, shocking herself and causing the damage with an electrical burn.
Just this week, Naomi went to see a feline dental specialist because Dr. West felt her problems were extremely complicated. Naomi has two main issues that are making her mouth hurt and causing her to stop eating. First of all, she has the lesions and hole in the roof of her mouth. Secondly, the poor cat has stomatitis, which causes her throat and gums to be inflamed due to an immune related condition.
The stomatitis required that Naomi have a full mouth extraction of all her teeth, which she had done yesterday. With steroid injections and her teeth pulled, the inflammation should be relieved. Once her mouth has healed from the removal of her teeth, Naomi will then need a second operation to close the hole in the roof of her mouth.
And this is why we need your help. The first surgery to remove Naomi’s teeth is estimated to cost $1500-1600 (we haven’t received the bill yet–we are holding our breath waiting for that). But the $1500-1600 is not even taking into consideration what the second surgery will cost.
Even the dental surgeon has told us over and over, “She is such a nice cat.” And she is. She truly deserves to have her mouth fixed and be able to get a home where she will never, ever be left behind again.
We can only wonder what would have happened to Naomi if we had not agreed to help her. Unable to eat, with no family, and in horrible pain, she probably would have curled up somewhere and died. And it would not have been a slow and easy death, but a prolonged death by starvation made excruciating due to her mouth pain.
Happily, this girl is getting a second chance. And we just need your help to make our toothless girl smile a gummy smile again. If you can make a donation toward Naomi’s surgeries, we can soon bring a kitty smile back to her furry face.
You can make a donation online through our Paypal account on our home page: www.bandocats.org
You can also mail a donation to Black and Orange Cat Foundation, P. O. Box 126, Plain City, Ohio 43064 or you can drop any donations off at Plain City Druggist, 480 South Jefferson Avenue in Plain City (across from Der Dutchman Restaurant). The Spay Neuter Clinic located at 2752 Sawbury Blvd off of Sawmill Road also has a donation box for us.
We cannot help Naomi and all the other kitties like her, cats that other organizations might not deem worth saving, without YOU!
We are doing a new fundraiser with Carruth Studio just in time for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and Graduations (yes, all those things will be coming up in the next few months, as well as weddings and anniversary parties). We love Carruth Studio and the designs, which often feature angels and animals. George Carruth, the artist, has been creating his unique sculptures right here in Ohio since 1983. He has made commissioned designs for the White House, The National Cathedral in Washington D.C. and many, many other schools, gardens, and libraries.
The items are all made in the USA and come fully gift boxed. For all items sold, we receive 40% cash back and they ship the merchandise to us FREE! The prices start at just $18 and the most expensive item in the catalog is only $46 (come on, you can put down $46 for your mom or dad).
To view the online fundraiser catalog, please go to: Carruth Catalog
There are lots of lovely plaques and garden sculptures that would make nice gifts for family, friends, and animal lovers. If you see something you would like to order, email us with the items (firstname.lastname@example.org). We’ll then have you send a check to Black and Orange Cat Foundation, P. O. Box 126, Plain City, Ohio 43064 for the total amount (by writing the check to us, it will also be tax deductible). The sale will end on April 15 (TAX DAY–you can’t forget that!), so we can get the orders in time for Mother’s Day for anyone who orders an item for their mom.
Please pass the word about this to everyone you know and have them take a look at the online catalog. We also have paper copies of the catalog that we will have available at our next PetSmart event on March 27 or with several of our volunteers.
Albert came to us at the beginning of February when we were all buried under mountains of snow. A lady we have helped with kitties in the past wrote with a desperate email about a little scraggly cat who was scrounging for food. She was worried about him being out in the cold and snow, because she thought he looked really sickly.
She used a cat carrier baited with soft food to lure the kitty to safety. Once she had him trapped in the carrier, she took him inside out of the weather. After he was warming up in her bathroom, she noticed that he had a wound on his back leg which seemed to be leaking pus. We told her to take him to Noah’s Ark, since it was apparent the little guy needed help.
Poor Albert was one very sick kitty when he arrived at the vet hospital. Not only did he have a giant wound that was horribly infected, but he also tested positive for feline leukemia. We feared that he would have to be euthanized. Thankfully, however, the vets at Noah’s Ark, Dr. Kris Haumschild and Dr. Kim West, wanted to give the little guy a chance. With antibiotics and a lot of love, Albert pulled through. We are hoping, when we re-test him in three months, that he will also test negative for feline leukemia.
Albert has now been at Noah’s Ark for about a month. He cannot get out of his cage to run around or play because he is positive for feline leukemia and cannot be in contact with the other healthy cats. While he has been gaining his strength back and healing, he is now to a point where we need to find a foster home or forever home for him so he can begin to live a normal cat’s life. Feline leukemia cats can live very long and healthy lives. Albert will need to be in a household with only dogs or with another feline leukemia kitty. Unfortunately, it is sometimes harder to find homes for positive kitties and so we are sending out a plea to anyone who might like to foster him or adopt him.
Albert is still only a baby at around 6 months old. He is a gorgeous long haired brown tabby with some Maine Coon thrown in. He is super, super sweet and loves people. He has made so many advances from when he first arrived at the vet’s office weighing only about 3 pounds!
If you would like to adopt or foster Albert, please go to our web site and fill out an application. We really need to get Albert out of a cage and into a home.
Our second miracle kitty is named, appropriately enough, Miracle. One of our super volunteers, Debbie, had a call from one of the rangers at a local Metro park. The rangers used to work extensively with Debbie whenever they had cats dumped off in the parks. But Debbie had not heard anything from them since last summer and feared they were just rounding up most of the strays and having them euthanized.
Luckily, for this kitty, Debbie was involved.
The ranger told Debbie that they saw a man going into the woods last Wednesday or Thursday, before we got the most recent piles of snow, with something tucked inside his coat. The “something” was little Miracle. Somehow the kitty survived the snow and cold and wild animals until the rangers called Debbie on Saturday. When Miracle came out into the parking lot, her face was buried in snow and she was so cold she couldn’t move. There was a huge chunk of fur missing on her back, showing that she somehow escaped being some other creature’s dinner. The poor cat was nothing but skin and bones and covered in fleas when Debbie rescued her.
Miracle was so small that Debbie, at first, mistook her for a two month old kitten. Weighing in at only 4 pounds, it turned out that Miracle was actually an adult cat who was in very, very bad shape. Debbie took her to the vet where she was treated for an upper respiratory infection, diarrhea, and an infected cyst. Debbie said that she truly believed this poor girl would not have lasted another day.
Debbie had also thought that Miracle was a male, but our Miracle is one of those rare orange females.
Miracle is going to gain some weight and grow healthy before she gets spayed and has an umbilical hernia fixed. At that time, she will be looking for a forever home.
We know angels must have led Miracle and Albert to our care. And we also know that other angels will soon take them into their homes and love them forever.
I thought everyone would like to see the Guinness World Records winner for Tallest Living Dog and Tallest Dog Ever. Giant George is a 4-year-old Great Dane who is 3 feet 7 inches from his shoulder to his paw. He beat the previous record holder by 0.75 inches. And although he is a Giant, he is decidedly a Gentle Giant. His new status earned him a trip to see Oprah.
To read more: Giant George
No, Linda has not decided to replace her kitties with an elephant (we’d like to see the size of that litter pan!). Instead, Linda Stanek, children’s author and a friend to Black and Orange’s kitty population, has written a new book about Beco, the Columbus Zoo’s baby elephant. Beco’s Big Year: A Baby Elephant Turns One, which is due out this year, documents Beco’s first year of life. The book also provides information about the plight of elephants around the world.
Linda, who is a huge animal lover (obviously, since her first book was The Pig and Miss Prudence), contacted us last year about being a foster mom for Black and Orange. We quickly lined her up with two kitties, Frankie and Chloe, who she promptly fell in love with and decided to adopt. We lose more fosters that way! But it is a good way to lose them.
Then this past fall, Linda contacted Black and Orange about a mama kitty and her litter of kittens who had taken up residence on Linda’s porch. We helped with vet care and everyone found a great home, including little Cubby, the black kitten of the litter, who stayed with Linda (we know Linda has a fondness for black cats-her former kitty before Frankie and Chloe was from ebony royalty).
We want to thank Linda for supporting Black and Orange and giving two of our former kitties such a great home.
Several months ago, before we knew about Kitten’s Kiss from Eldchrist Winery, we wrote to Benefit Wines to inquire about a wine for Black and Orange. We sent photos of our group’s namesakes, our black cat mascot, Butler, and our ornery orange guy, Oswald. Just recently, we received notice that they had created a label for us and the wines can be purchased from their web site.
These wines are only available online, but they are available in several varieties featuring our label, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, and a Sparkling White Wine. For every bottle purchased at $19.99, Black and Orange receives $7. There are even sampler and collector’s packages which allow you to purchase several bottles of wine at a discounted price. And we get a portion of the proceeds from those, too. Plus, all of the wines are shipped directly to your home.
If you would like to learn more or order wine that features Butler and Oswald, please visit the web site: BenefitWines
Benefit Wines works with many, many charity groups to provide them with wine specifically for their organization. Check out all the many charities they support.