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.
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.
They save me just as much as I save them.