Happy Tails: Meet Brat, Geo & Rags

Author’s Note: Many thanks to Vicat Furrington   for letting me interview her about her furry family. Pictures used with permission. 
How many pets do you currently have? What are their names? 
I currently have 2 cats,  Brat and Rags, and 1 dog, Geo
How did they come to live with you?
All 3 were rescues. Geo came first. He was the dog of a guy about to go to jail for several months, they were homeless and living out of a van in winter in Nebraska. I had a giant NOPE, and immediately took him home with me. He was a year and a half old.
About 6 months later, one stormy night Geo and I heard a mew from outside but in the deluge couldn’t locate where. The next moron we found Rags stuck in the mud beneath the propane tank and Brat under the bushes. They were 9 werks old, and had been born to a semi-feral cat who lived down the road, but the rest of the litter had died. I had delivered them, so I guess when things went badly, those 2 struck out to find me.
Does Brat have asthma or another medical condition that causing him to have problems breathing? What is normally used to keep him calm?
Brat was born butt first, and got stuck. I was able to pull him out and save him and the mom and the other 4 kittens. But there was damage to his lungs, causing what I now know as Non-Contagious ﹰBirth ﹰTrauma-Induced ﹰFeline ﹰAcute ﹰRespiratory ﹰDistress ﹰSyndrome. It is rare, and before Brat no cat ever made it past 2. His 7 now…
 
It is really rare because there is no real research about it. There was 100% mortality rate, so why research something we can’t cure? But we can. He can go from peppy snarky demanding bratty to losing 15% oh his body weight overnight, fish gasping on the floor and drowning in his own fluids. He gets into the crouch with full neck extension, which is a very bad sign for any cat with respiratory issues.
But. He has lasix and prednisone for during the episodes, we do steamies in the bathroom with sweet peppermint oil in the water. When coughing I hold him upright and massage his chest to stop spasms or he would cough himself apart internally. His triggers are stress, heat, and pollutants so we try to avoid those. It is an ongoing battle and worth every minute.
What breed of dog is Geo?
His coat looks so shaggy he looks so pettable.
Geo is half Westie and half Bichon, and in perpetual need of trimming because his fur grows so fast! And the sweetest doggy I’ve ever met.
How many pets have you rescued?
I’ve lost count, really. There have been hundreds, including raccoons, squirrels, a snake, cats, dogs…
What tips/tricks/suggestions do you have for others looking to rescue/adopt?
Never rule out an older animal or one with health issues. Sometimes those are the most fulfilling experiences of your life.
 
Is there anything else you would like to add about your furry children?
They save me just as much as I save them.

Extra Love Needed: Meet Lenny

Author’s Note: Miss Claire for taking time to answer questions about her extra love needed furbaby Lenny. All pictures used with permission.

I am curious how the other members of the family react to him (assuming you have other cats).

I have 5 cats in total. They all seem to let Lenny away with everything! With food Lenny will run round and take food out of their mouths!!! It’s like they know he is special.

How did he come to live with you?

When he was a kitten the breeder wasn’t sure if he would survive as he was so small. When he was 13weeks old he was 710g. When we went to see him he looked very poorly. He had gooey eyes and was very smelly. We were hesitant to take him but after many discussions with my husband we felt he needed our help as eating communally wasn’t helping. At the time the breeder had 18 cats in a small mobile home. He couldn’t possibly be getting the attention he needed.

Did you have to syringe feed him? Did the vet say if this a disorder he developed as a kitten?

He had no problem eating he just face plants everything you give him. It ends up his nose and all round his face which he can’t wash himself. He had conjunctivitis. We treated that and it cleared. I then received an email from the breeder that she had sine test results for Lenny. He had 3 bacterial infections one being pseudomonas. The conditions where he was born was not very sanitary especially the amount of cats in one place. So hearing he wasn’t well wasn’t a surprise. When I took him to the vet she was shocked. She said I should take him back to breeder. I couldn’t. I’d had him 2 weeks and had fallen in love with him. Instead I emailed the breeder and explained what the vet said. She said she would take him back and I could have Jimmy instead. I said no I would have Jimmy and keep Lenny. I would look after Lenny through whatever happens. If he grew into a normal cat then I would make a payment for Jimmy otherwise we were quits. She agreed. So we got Jimmy who is Lenny’s half brother.

Is there anything else you would like to share about him?

I have to clean Lenny on a regular basis as he often poops his pants. I have trimmed his fur to avoid having to get clumps out his fur! When he is really bad he gets a bath which he really hates!

The vet thinks he was either born like it or that it was a difficult birth. He said in natural selection he probably wouldn’t have survived….

He is a funny little boy. He doesn’t know how to ‘cat’. He can’t jump or climb. He has the tiniest Miow which we it hear when he wants his wet food. He spends most of the time sleeping or just watching the others hare round the house. He likes to play with string and bugs and flies!

We have a catio so if I let him he stays out there all night bug watching. If I bring him in I put him on the bed and he sleeps on the pillow with his head propped. If I scratch his ear he puts his paws on too of my hand and puts his head on top!

The vet doesn’t know what will happen with Lenny. Without expensive scans it’s hard to say. Who knows. All I know is I will care for him for however long it takes. Whether that will be 6 months or 6 years.

We both had doubts whether the breeder would keep Lenny or have him put to sleep. For us we had to keep him.

Does anyone else have a disability?

This last one is Cookie she is a rescue. She was found living in a greenhouse living on insects and bird food. She has an air pistol pellet in her knee. When she came she was a nervous wreck. Now she is very confident and likes a fuss

 

Does anyone try to groom lenny?

We do but he hates it. I can only think it’s because he is so skinny it’s not very comfortable. But because he can’t wash if I brush him within a few minutes he’s back looking a scruff! He tolerates a certain amount then screams to be let go. I usually get enough time to clean up his bits and his face. Bath time involves the husband as I can’t hold him as he wriggles too much.Jimmy his brother sometimes pins him down and washes him…. I wish he would do an all over! Lenny doesn’t let him for very long. I think he likes being a stinky teenager!

After a bath he is super fluffy. And smells like a baby! Then he goes and rolls in the dust outside!!!

Sounds like a petulant child

Very much so. He almost knows when I need to clean him up and he leads me a right merry dance. He rubs behind the sofa and hides under the chair where no one can reach him lol. The smell of food usually gets him out!!!

 

Anything else you want to add about him or his siblings?

They all get on great. When Jimmy or Penny (both 11 months) play fight with lenny they seem to be very gentle with him. Yet Lenny will climb on top of Jimmy and try chewing at him. They are funny to watch as Jimmy could slap him down in a second but he doesn’t. Even cookie plays chase with him but doesn’t get her claws out. It’s like they know he’s not like them. Animals are just awesome.

Sweet Seniors: Meet Adara

Author’s Note: Thanks so much to my co-worker and friend Michael for letting me ask questions about his senior dog. Pictures used with permission.

 

adara1

How old is Adara?

She is 14 Born on 9/21/2003

Where did her name come from?

We had other dogs with greek god names, so we were going with that theme. Mom’s dog was Adonis, so we looked up another ‘A’ name and found Adara. It means, the one whom is beautiful.

How did she come to live with you?

I always had a dog growing up with my parents, so I wanted one of my own when we finally had a proper place to have one. I was looking in the newspaper for one and finally one day David and his mom found an ad. They drove quite a distance to get her from a breeder. They brought her home and surprised me!

What is her favorite thing to do?

She loves to cuddle with you. I could lay around all day and she would have no issues being with you. She used to like to play with toys, but at her age now she just loves to cuddle.

adara3

How does she get along with the others?

For the most part she does. When we lived in an apt complex, she was “attacked” by a black lab, so she was scared for a long time of other dogs. Now, she will bark at them but after a bit, she is like ‘whatever’. She does get along with all our other dogs at home. She has no problem growling at our husky when he wants to invade her food. He listens.

Do you have any tips for others who have a senior dog?

You have to watch them a little bit close. Adara likes to wander, and not on purpose she just sniffs outside and next thing you know she is way in the backyard or sneaks out front. She is a little slower so you have to have a little more patience with her. I would recommend getting some puppy pads, as she cant hold it as long as she used to. So we lay pads out, especially when we are gone and she is for the most part good about using them.

Is there anything else you would like to add about her or having a multi dog house?

adara2

My dog is little, maybe 8 lbs so with other larger dogs around you have to watch them all, make sure they don’t trample her. When they are all coming in from outside, sometimes the shepherd will jump right over Adara to get past her. Sometimes it scares her and you just think ‘poor Adara’. Her sight is going too, so she cant tell when a sliding back door is open or closed sometimes until you go though it yourself.
The food you give a senior dog, may be different also. We give her moist and meaty as it is soft as Adara only has 3 teeth. However, she can still eat hard food and loves it. She doesn’t seem to have an issue either. Right down the hatch!

 

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Extra Love Needed: Meet Coco

Author’s Note:  Many thanks to Miss A for letting me ask questions about Coco. Pictures used with permission.

She is around 10 her name is Coco she came from a friend of a friend

Cocker spaniel poodle mix

She was perfectly healthy

My mom, grandma, and I have a combined 5 dogs. The mother, 2 from one litter, and 2 from another. All of them seem to have cataracts except for the only boy.

They all seemed to develop over time, my cocos is the only one that requires eye drops at the moment.

We didn’t have to do any special adjustments, she haas all been at the same place for many years, so for the most part she knows where everything is. She will bump into things from time to time.

I honestly don’t have any tips or tricks, she is just like her old self. We didn’t have to do anything special to cope.

I don’t really have advice other then don’t treat them like something is wrong with them. Blindness isn’t that big of a deal, and she has had absolutely no personality changes. I will eventually have her eyes taken out because her eyes will never get better.

 

Happy Tails: Meet Cheezle

Author’s Note: Many thanks to Miss Catherine for letting me ask her questions about her famous freckled feline. Pictures used with permission.

How old is Cheezle?

He will turn 16 Wednesday June 21.

 How did he come to live with you? 

Cheezle’s mother was a stray cat, and pregnant. My sister’s took her in and she took to me even though i wasn’t a cat person at the time. A few weeks later, we had kittens.
He lived at my parents house until 2011. That’s when I finally got a place I could have him. When he lived with them he had a dog brother and sister and a cat brother named Giovanni. He hates Giovanni!
 
How did he get those awesome freckles?
Orange cats can get freckles as they get older. This article explains it a little more http://www.catster.com/lifestyle/5-remarkable-facts-about-your-cats-nose-freckles
He just got more and more freckles, the older he got
 
He is so expressive, was it always like that?
I think Cheezle has always had an expressive face. Maybe more so now since I am constantly photographing him
When he was younger and lived with my parents he was an indoor outdoor cat. He loved eating rabbits. In the summer he could catch one every day. When he came to live with me, my parents said the rabbit population exploded!
He was keeping them in check
 
Does he have any furry brothers or sisters?
Right now he is the only pet. He doesn’t like other cats. I would love to get another cat but Cheezle won’t allow it. I don’t want to stress him out.
Yeah. He isn’t big on sharing
 
Anything else you want to share about Cheezle?
Well… He is very vocal. He does not have a normal meow, it’s more of a howl. Even though he looks angry all the time, he is actually a very sweet cat. He doesn’t bite or scratch and is quite social, at least with me. He hates when I leave him. He greets me everyday at the door when I get home from work.