02 April 2008

The Rescue Story continues--(was NOT an April Fool Story)



Happy News! My veterinarian tested our rescue kitty for both FLV and FIV (Leukemia and feline Aids) and he was negative on both counts. So I've brought him home to feed him up and work on getting his coat unmatted, and we expect to be able to get him vaccinated and neutered within a few weeks, as soon as he's strong enough to stand the anaesthetic and innoculations. He's about a year old and will probably be a big handsome kitty when he's fed up--he's part Maine Coon, apparently, and he's definitely a sweetie. The rest of the catchildren are still pouting, but they'll handle it. Thank you to all of you for your good thoughts and support. We don't know his name yet but I expect he'll let us know in the next week or so. We'll keep you posted on his improvements.

Yesterday afternoon my Longsuffering Spouse burst into the house, calling for me to come and get my boots on and come out to the barn. I thought that Leggo had gotten into trouble, or Jenny had tried to teleport to Mars, or something equally upsetting. But no. Look what we found in a little nest of hay under the ladder to the haymow.

I'm always suspicious of cats outside, because they're usually wild as hawks. But when we spoke to this little fellow, he spoke back and came right out from underneath the ladder. LSS picked him up.

"oh good god almighty honey....he's starving. He's nothing but bones! Get him something to eat!" His voice trembled in rage and grief.

My LSS is a retired lobster fisherman, as I've said before. He can pick up a 250 pound lobster trap (they have to ballast them up here because of the tide) and toss it like a stone. He manhandles huge chunks of logs onto the woodsplitter, and while he's a bit heavy, he has muscles in places a lot of us don't even have places. I call him my chunk of North Mountain granite--solid, strong, steadfast.

He's also a complete mushball, where cats are concerned. We went through this a few years ago, when he came home with a little cat who looked amazingly like this one, only a grey tabby rather than brown. She was starving at a house down in the Bay, a castoff from somewhere, and the homeowner wouldn't feed her. So LSS bundled her in the truck, brought her home, handed her to me and said, tears in his eyes and voice choked up, "I couldn't leave her there to starve, darling..." Well, of course not!

Currently, the stranger is in seclusion in the kitty isolation ward. He's eaten and drunk, let me brush him and determine that he IS a male--a complete one, but very immature--and let me tangle some of the burdocks and hay and hairballs out of his fluffy coat. His tail is enormous in size, fluffy as all get out, and it and his head are the biggest things on him. The rest of him is just bones, hair...

...and purr. And talk! He's another talker. I just spent an hour with him snuggling him down. In the morning, I'll take him to our vet to be tested for feline leukemia and if he's negative, we'll get his boosters and set a date for neutering, and he'll be integrated into the family. If he's positive...but I'm hopeful that he's negative. I think he's young enough that he could still be carrying immunity from his mother. Other than being desperately thin, he appears healthy; strong gums and teeth, bright eyes, no discharges, no sign of fleas.

But what set me into rage was when he went to the litter box, and did his business. Not to be gross, but what he put in the box was full of...bird seed. Not bird feathers, bones, or anything like that. Bird SEED. He must have been eating what was on the ground outside under the main feeder. And he's so friendly...he isn't a kitten that's always been wild. He was someone's pet, til someone got tired of him.

Meanwhile, the rest of the catchildren are doing the eggshell walk, tiptoeing up to the door to look into the ward at the stranger, and a couple of them have made noises that sound like a cross between a vacuum cleaner and a fire siren. Spunky came in here, jumped up on the desk and lay down on my bluetooth keyboard, frowning at me, while others have been racing around the house acting like they'd seen ghosts. But they'll get over it. And hopefully in a day or two they'll all be racing around the house together.

Somebody tell me there IS kitty karma out there, and that the person who jettisoned this little fellow will face retribution. There MUST be kitty karma...the little guy did know where to go.

So it might not be a kitten. But like my buddy and enabler Kylee...and Yolanda...and any other who wouldn't turn away a starving creature...what else could I do?

39 comments:

  1. Of course you had to take him in. It saved you $ and gas. You didn't have to drive to the shelter and make choices. The choice was made for you by that smart little fellow. What a handsome face. Oh yes, I think there is kitty Karma. All Karma is wrapped up together.

    I about cracked up reading your description of how the other cats are taking the news of a new memeber of the family. Good luck at the vets office.

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  2. Wow, Jodi, he's such a looker! Such a handsome face, and the masses of fur are so snorgle-able (to use some Cute Overload-speak). I'm an avowed long-haired cat lover (I don't worry about the shedding - long hair seems to clump so well).

    It's terrible that in a province where animal shelters and wildlife rehabilitators and the like can get plenty of press coverage, we still have people abandoning cats and starving horses and livestock. Public awareness is obviously not enough by itself!

    I hope all goes well with the newbie.

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  3. Jodi, Awww! I'm so glad he found you. Now he will be loved and taken care of and the other cat children will have a brother. A truly feel good story. I am happy for all of you.

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  4. I don't know what is wrong with people who think it is OK to dump a pet in a rural area & just assume it will survive. This seems to be a widespread problem. Our local paper just did a 3-part series about rescuing shelter dogs & cats from kill shelters in Southern Illinois, where they have an abundance of abandoned animals, & driving them up to the suburbs to be adopted. You'd think with the abuse some of these animals have suffered that they'd hate people, but most of them are so grateful for food, warmth and kind words, that they are just sweetness itself. I hope that little guy is healthy & is accepted by your resident kitties.

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  5. I've always heard that you don't find cats, they find you. It sounds like this one's search is over!

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

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  6. Jodi, I do believe there is a kitty (and dog) karma--this little guy somehow found his way to just the right person to take care of him. He's so beautiful I can't imagine someone neglecting him.

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  7. What a lovely little kitty, I adore the huge tail. Don't even get me started on people dumping animals in the country. It's like they think the cats and dogs will just forage for food. All of my pets have been recycled, second hand etc, and I have never had a bad experience that way.
    regards,
    Theresa

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  8. Poor baby. There has to be kitty karma or some special place in hades. Glad he found you.

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  9. There absolutely is kitty karma and pup karma too. Could that tail me any fluffier?

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  10. I found my precious tiny kitten one night in December while it was sleeting and snowing. She was mewing and so miserable. I'm so glad I was there to take her in. She has been the best pet.
    I've never understood how someone could just dump a pet to fend for itself. It's shameful! I hope your new guy is healthy. It looks like he has already adjusted just fine to his new home.

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  11. Jodi! What a handsome fellow he is! I nearly cried reading your account -- your LSS is a heck of a guy, a real keeper. :-) And surviving on bird seed? Unconscionable! Of course you have to keep him. I can't wait to hear what you name him -- you're very inventive in that department. I hope his checkup goes well -- keep us posted.

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  12. There was nothing else you could do Jodi. I would have done exactly the same. Your LSS is a dear, isn't he? I like men who are mushballs, it's a most endearing quality!

    How shocking that the little guy had eaten mostly birdseed, he must have been really starving. I'm so happy he found you and LSS in the nick of time!

    The chance that he has feline leukemia is not very high fortunately. Here I had my foundlings tested for feline aids too as around 10 % of moggies in my country have it. I'm happy to say that both Kadootje and Surprise were negative for leukemia and feline aids.

    De-worming is a good thing for your boy right now. I did it with both my girls and after that they gained a lot of weight, which is just what you little boy needs.

    He looks very handsome already, just imagine what he will look like after he had his fair share of TLC, and loads of it!

    If he is still a kitten, the intergration into the cat family won't be all that difficult hopefully.

    Have you thought of a name yet for this sweet boy? Give him a big cuddle from me and lots of well wishing purrrrrrrrs from the Bliss team!

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  13. Oh he is so beautiful, inside and out. And you were just writing about going to the shelter. He is one lucky boy to be picked up by your piece of granite, I love the description of LSS, I want to give him a hug!
    Frances

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  14. What a handsome young man!

    Our Spike came to us by way of someone not "needing" him anymore, so they just dumped him in the country. Horrible people, those who don't cherish the life of their pets.

    We'll keep our fingers crossed that he checks out well at the vet and will be welcomed by all the other cat children.

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  15. Oh Jodi .. he was meant for you guys ! .. I felt sick at heart about the bird seed he tried to survive on. That poor cunfused little soul . I so hope the test is negative too .. you can't go through this with your hearts on your sleeves for this beautiful baby with that being positive.
    I'm so happy .. held back a bit until you know this will work out ..
    Your husband .. is the same as mine ..Blue Nose Guys ?
    I'll be thinking of you guys today .. this has just got to work out for you and this handsome devil .. again .. no insult , but I'm talking about your rescue kitty ! I'm sure your husband is too .. well .. you know what I mean ! : )
    Joy

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  16. Do you have a sign outside that says 'Stray Cats Welcome'! They do seem to find you don't they! He is a handsome devil.

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  17. I do not understand why people abandon their pets...heaven is a place where everyone is a responsible pet owner.

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  18. Oh this incenses me as well. So glad he found a good home. He's a handsome boy indeed.

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  19. That's a beautiful boy cat you have there. Offcourse you couldn't turn your back. Specially being such a beautiful and good natured animal. All my cats were rescued from the streets too, but always as young kittens. Introducing an adult cat to your cats could be somewhat difficult. I do hope all goes well!

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  20. Our little cat came to us via the rose bush she was hiding in. Dear teenaged son loves to tell how he rescued her despite the thorns and approaching storm. She is very much his cat. I'll do if his lap isn't available, but I'm clearly not her first choice. :0)
    Enjoy your new little friend. He sounds precious.

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  21. Jodi, So glad the tests were okay! He'll find his rank with the other cat children just fine. They may give him a hard time for a few days, but will come to love him too.

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  22. Aw, he's beautiful! Your Toby Soprano looks just like our cat, Farley.

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  23. Jodi, he's a sweetie--definitely a Maine coon! I know your outrage--see my post "The story of Shawn, feline phenomenon" in Poor Richard's Almanac for a similar tale (with, thank God, a happy ending). How can people just throw them away like that?!! Thank heavens he found you and your husband. Given our experience, I'm sure he'll repay you with love a thousandfold.

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  24. The thought of this little guy just being abandoned brings tears to my eyes. I'm so glad you're able to keep him. He's going to be a big, gorgeous beastie!

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  25. Looks like you've got the same invisible sign in your garden that we do, written in kittenese that says, "Kitties loved here" and that this little guy read it.

    You know... reading the past couple of days posts I can see the larger plan in all of this. Kylee's post made you yearn to go to the no-kill shelter. But in actuality that yearning was a preparation for what was going to show up in the barn... this little guy!

    And don't worry... I know that those who are cruel to these little creatures will receive their just reward. Rage is only a few clicks away from passion and love. So just translate all that rage into all the love that this kitty needs to make up the difference for his cruel experience. That's what I've had to do with Lucy.

    Hugs to you and purrs to the new one,
    Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

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  26. Looks like you've got the same invisible sign in your garden that we do, written in kittenese that says, "Kitties loved here" and that this little guy read it.

    You know... reading the past couple of days posts I can see the larger plan in all of this. Kylee's post made you yearn to go to the no-kill shelter. But in actuality that yearning was a preparation for what was going to show up in the barn... this little guy!

    And don't worry... I know that those who are cruel to these little creatures will receive their just reward. Rage is only a few clicks away from passion and love. So just translate all that rage into all the love that this kitty needs to make up the difference for his cruel experience. That's what I've had to do with Lucy.

    Hugs to you and purrs to the new one,
    Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

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  27. What a sweet, lucky thing. Good for LSS! I like him already.

    I too believe there is a special 'reward' for someone who abandons a pet. Or at least I hope so. I hope the transition goes reasonable well with the other catchildren.

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  28. It's amazing how our best friends can just walk into our lives like they do. It's lucky to have you to take it in! I'll have to tell the story on my blog sometime about our cat Amber who I've had since college. She just started hanging out on our back porch and one day she came in the house walked up the stairs, said a friendly "meow" to me while I was reading book, turned around and walked outside to wait for me to come down to visit. Cats can be amazing creatures.

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  29. Thank you for taking care of the cat and giving him warmth and food.
    Please keep us informed about your new friend. He really looks nice and friendly.
    Here in Toronto many cats are left behind when people move, close their cottages in the fall or just don't want them anymore. The cats end up on the streets and live a terrible life unwanted and unloved.
    Tiger, our first cat was a stray and we loved him dearly.

    -Cheers Gisela.

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  30. He looks very much like my late Frodo, although Frodo was black and the strong silent type (probably part norwegian forest cat). Send him my congratulations for choosing such a good home!

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  31. He will love you guys so much - with good reason. I hope the other catchildren won't be too hard on him. He has the sweetest face. Did you know that the appearance of a cat in your life signals magic and mystery are coming alive?

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  32. I'm so glad your new boy is healthy -- he'll be as rough and tumble as the rest with your good care. :) He's just gorgeous.

    BTW, completely off topic, I saw a (supposedly new) plant this morning for your chocolate garden. :) http://tinyurl.com/2eo7tj

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  33. Oh great the tests were negative. This little guy has found himself a good home, and he is beautiful.
    I had to laugh at the description of your husband, and at that of the other cat children.

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  34. Yes, Jodi, there is kitty karma. And you're racking up cosmic brownie points. He's a very handsome fellow and I'm sure you'll have him plumped up and preened in no time.

    He's a very lucky cat to have found you. I'm sure he'll pay you back ten fold in love and amusement (if he hasn't already). Keep us posted on his progress.

    Charmian

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  35. He's a real beauty. I'm glad he's found such a fine home. Keep posting updates on him. We want to see him!

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  36. Jodi,

    He's gorgeous! And he definitely knew exactly the right place to go didn't he? :)

    And what a lovely man you have there, who just brought him in. Just like that.

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  37. What a lucky boy to be taken in by your family! Glad to hear he's well. All of our animals are rescues from shelters and I love them dearly (despite recent activity as posted).

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  38. He's a lucky cat, Jodi, to have found you two. I'm smiling broadly at the description of your husband's compassion. What a sweetheart :)
    And what a beautiful boy Mr. No Name is. I can't wait to hear what you decide to name him.
    We've had cats dropped off here too. People tend to think a farm is a handy place to get rid of unwanted animals, and of course, they're never turned away. We've adopted some beauties.
    Give the little new guy a cuddle for me please :)

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  39. Another voter for kitty (and dog) karma here, too, Jodi! I'm glad to see that your beautiful boy found you. (And that he's a talker! I love the talkers!)

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