Extra Love Needed: Meet Matt the Blind Cat

may I ask how old you are? Where did your name come from? How did you come to live with your family? Were you born blind or did you have an accident to cause you to be blind? How long did it take you to learn your new surroundings? Do you live with any other fursiblings? What are your favorite things to do? What advice would you give to other cats like yourself looking for a permanent home? What advise would your humans like to give to those who are worried/concerned/scared about adopting a blind cat? Is there anything else you would like to share about yourself or your humans would like to share about you? Maybe I borrow pictures of you for the article? I will state they were used with permission. I will also link your facebook page. Thank you for your time.

 

I was rescued in Stephenville, Newfoundland. A lady found me huddled in the snow. She called Port Aux Basques and Area Scaredy Cat Rescue, who then got me to a vet. They thought I was approx. 4 months due to my size, but the vet determined I was roughly 8 weeks old at the time based on my teeth. I had pneumonia as well as upper respiratory infection, conjunctivitis etc. My eyes were so infected, they swollen shut. As they healed the vet realized that I had been born with eyes that hadn’t formed properly. My rescuers called me “Matt Murdock” after Daredevil the blind comic book character. After a few months of healing I was adopted by a gentleman in Cornerbrook. Sadly a few month later our house burned down. One of my kitty brothers died. I was then found the next day in the basement of my house soaked and terrified. I had severe smoke inhalation. I then returned to my previous foster home where I spent many months recovering from the trauma of the fire. It took me a long time to recover from that and it broke my foster parents hearts. I had been such a loving fella when I left and returned scared and withdrawn. They then decided I would stay with them forever because it took so long for me to settle in their home again, to send me to yet another would have been hard on me. It doesn’t take me long to map out a room. Usually within one day I have it memorized. I climb the cat trees just like my furry siblings (I have 7 others kitties living in my home), I can navigate just as well up onto the furniture as they do. Sometimes something might be left on the floor like a suitcase, box etc and I just feel it with my whiskers and go around. I spend lots of time on the Victrola greeting people who come visit us. My forever mom and dad run the rescue so we have lots of visitors! Besides lounging I love playing with soft balls…I carry them around in my mouth. MY favorite thing to do is bumming vittles from my humans. My nose is super strong so I can smell all their good food. My advice for other kitties who are blind is just be yourself and let your true self shine. Change may be scary, but when your forever home comes through its the best feeling ever! While the thought of adopting a special needs cat might seem to be a lot to take on, really having Matt has been no different then having any other cat in our home. As long as we’re not moving the furniture around drastically he does quite well. We’ve made small furniture adjustments in the livingroom, and it he mapped it out quite quickly. Feel free to send us anymore questions you may have. Also take whatever pics you need. I’ll be posting more in the next day or so. Thanks so much for sharing Matts story. Hopefully in convinces others to consider adopting a bling kitty. =^.^= Matt, Bob and Kat

Extra Love Needed: Meet Beanie

May I ask how old you are?

About 5-6 years old. The shelter didn’t have an exact age.

Beanie in his new home

Where did your name come from?

It came from the woman I lived with before my new home. She had to go to a nursing home and her other cats (my mom and dad don’t know how many) were all adopted but me. No one wanted me because I was blind. That made me very sad. Then the Blind Cat Rescue and Sanctuary in North Carolina put up a notice about me on Facebook and my new mom saw it and called them immediately. She filled out the application, but was number two on the list. The number one lady lived in Connecticut and she decided it would be a long scary ride for me to take so she let me go to my mom since we were both in Maryland. My new mom said she didn’t want to change my name because she knew that it would be the only thing I’d recognize when she took me to my new home.

Were you born blind or did you become blind over time?

I was born blind.

Were you excited to get your very own forever home?

When I first got to my new home, I was very afraid and I hid under a bed for about two weeks. I’d slink out to eat and use the litter box and quickly run back under the bed. But as I got braver and started coming out more and more I found out that my new family was nice and only wanted to love me and take good care of me. What kitty wouldn’t love that?! And I felt good knowing there was another cat to keep my company when the humans weren’t home.

Meeting Buster his new brofur

Was it scary riding in the car?

It was! I was very quiet and didn’t move even though my new mom spoke to me all the way home. I didn’t recognize any of the sounds and none of the voices. My mom and dad had to come to what they call the Eastern Shore in Maryland to get me from the shelter and take me back across a big bridge to where they live.

How long did it take for you and Buster to get used to each other?

Not too long. My new mom and dad put up a baby gate so that Buster could see me and I could smell him, but I surprised them by jumping over the gate the first day! MOL! I might be blind, but that doesn’t stop me from being a cat! Ever since then, Buster and I have been friends.

Did your mom have to make any adjustments to make sure you could get around easy?

Not really. With my long whiskers and super-power hearing, nothing much gets by me! She was afraid I wouldn’t find my food or the litter box so she kept everything in one room with me. After a few days they started moving everything back to where Buster always had the little box and food and I had no trouble finding either one! Buster and I have a very tall cat tower with three perches and I jump up into the bottom one and Buster uses the middle one. My mom and dad were surprised to come in the door one day and see me lying up in Buster’s! To this day, they don’t know how I got up there! MOL!

Picking out a toy to play with

What are you favorite things to do?

I have a favorite mouse that used to be tethered to a pole, but I wanted it so bad I pulled it off! Now I walk around with it in my mouth and meow very loudly so everyone knows I caught it again! I also love to take it to my mom’s pillow every night as a gift and she’s most appreciative and tells me what a good hunter I am!

My favorite place to be is wherever my mom is. I sleep with her at night and when she’s home, I lay down next to her.

I also love to stalk and chase Buster through the condo! Sometimes he gets upset and bats at me, but that never stops me. It might not be fun for him, but it’s fun for me! (My mom said it’s kitty karma because Buster used to chase Chi-Chi!)

Enjoying some time in the cat tree

Questions for your mom – Is this your first blind cat?

Yes. I read the book, Homer the Blind Wonder Cat by Gwen Cooper, and it made me want to have a blind cat myself. I was super excited to go get Beanie once we were approved and I’ve never regretted a second of having him share our lives. I would recommend having a blind cat to anyone.

Are there things that Beanie can’t do?

One thing I don’t allow Beanie to do is to go out on the patio. I will occasionally let Buster out there, but I’m afraid to let Beanie out because we live on the second floor. He might be fine, but I’m afraid he might try jumping up over the railing so I don’t let him go out there. Other than that, I’ve haven’t found much of anything else. No one told him he’s blind and he doesn’t feel limited. One day I was listening to an email a friend sent me that contained the songs of different birds. As I was playing the various songs, Beanie was sitting in front of our patio door and looking up out the window with his head tipped listening for the birds. Even though he’s never seen one, his instincts still kick in! We also feed hummingbirds on our patio and Beanie listens to the hum of their wings when they’re at the feeder.

Also, I travel to New York quite often to visit my family. I used to bring Buster (and Chi-Chi, our other cat who has since gone to the Rainbow Bridge) with me when I went. I won’t bring Beanie because I know he’d be lost and scared there and wouldn’t know where anything is. I know it would also be a frightening ride for him since it’s six hours of driving each way. So we now hire a cat sitter to come in to check on the cats each day when we’re gone.

How long did it take for Beanie to get used to his surroundings?

It was only a couple of weeks. He warmed up to everything quicker than we expected and we were amazed at how well he adapted.

What would you like to say to people who are hesitant on adopting a blind cat?

Don’t hesitate at all! Beanie is such a joy and he’s a truly affectionate cat. I can’t imagine my life now without him and I wouldn’t hesitate for a second to adopt another one.

Relaxing Sundays are the best!

How had Beanie changed your perception of blind cats?

I always thought it would be very limiting to have a blind cat in the home, but I now know that they’re just as easy to take care of as a sighted cat and the joy he brings is unlimited! I now encourage people to adopt blind cats.

Is there anything you or Beanie would like to add?

Beanie would like everyone to know that he and other blind cats will bring you love and happiness like you’ve never known before. And I can’t stress enough how much my life has been enriched since we brought Beanie into our lives and home. If anyone decides to adopt a blind cat, you will never regret it! I will definitely do it again.

Buster & Beanie

 

Author’s Note: Many thanks to Beanie & his mom for letting me interview them both. Pictures were used with permission. Please visit Beanie on his Facebook page – Beanie (The Blind Cat)

 

This article is a part of the Extra Love Needed Theme. Please click on the below page for more articles on pets that need extra love and care.

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Extra Loved Needed: Meet Melody

How old are you?
I just turned one year old! The nice people at the shelter estimated my birthday to be July 16, 2013.

Where did your name come from?

My mom rescued me at a music festival, so she had to name me something music related! My name at the shelter was actually Melody Star (for the Star of Bethlehem, because the music festival was in Bethlehem, PA). Often mom likes to call me Mellie or Moose!

How did you come to your forever home?
Answered by my mom: In August, there is a local yearly festival called Musikfest. While we were there one night last year, we walked passed some teenagers standing by a box. The first time I contained myself and just kept walking. The second time we passed that area, I saw another teenager walking away from them with a kitten sticking out of her purse. That was all I needed to see! I walked over and started talking to the young boy “watching” the box. He said they had found the kittens and were trying to find homes for them (I do commend them, they were trying to help!). There was 1 kitten left, but it was already “promised” to someone. While talking to him, I observed that the kitten was too young to be away from its mother, and that they had a little dish of tuna they were trying to feed them. Then, as one of the girls came over and picked the lone kitten up, I noticed she had what looked to be very infected eyes. Long story short, I was able to convince them to give me the kitten to take to the shelter we volunteer and foster for (The Center for Animal Health and Welfare in Easton, PA) since it really needed medical attention. At this point, I didn’t know what I was getting into and hadn’t even called the shelter to be sure they would accept her, but I knew the kitten needed help.
The next morning, I took the kitten to be evaluated at the shelter and kept her to foster. At that time she weighed 7 ounces. On Melody’s half-birthday- January 16, 2014 we officially became foster failures and signed her adoption papers! Melody was born with Microphthalmia, so her eyes never developed. She was blind from birth. It was recommended that we remove her eyes as not to have a risk of cancer in the future.

Do you live with any fursiblings?

I have two fur brothers: Socks and Sawyer, and two fur sisters: Mona and Eclair. Mom and Dad still foster for the shelter, so there are also always a number of foster kittens or adults for socialization in the house to play with.

What is your favorite thing to do?
I love to play with toys- especially ones that make noise that I can follow easier. I also enjoy when Mom takes me places and I get lots of love and pets from people!

This is a question for your mom: Have you ever had a blind cat before?
No! I’ve seen cats at the shelter that had to have one eye removed or had some scarring, but never one that was completely blind. We were a bit hesitant taking her into foster, but we had read Homer’s Odyssey by Gwen Cooper about a blind cat and knew she would be fine.

Did you need to make any special adjustments to your house for her?
Not really. Melody has been with us since she was very tiny, so she grew up with everything how it is. She did go to my sister’s house while we were on vacation and learned the layout of the house in 2 days!

What would you like to tell others about blind cats?
Don’t feel bad for them! I had people tell me when she was little that she should just be put down because she wouldn’t have a good life. Melody was born blind, so she doesn’t know any different. Get to know them and you will find that they are just normal cats- they eat, walk around the house, use their litter box, play, and snuggle (and get into trouble!).

How long did it take for her to heal from her surgery?
Melody has had 3 surgeries so far. The first she was spayed and they removed a portion of her third eyelid on each eye to be sure it wasn’t blocking any vision she might have had. The second was to remove her left eye. The third was to remove her right eye. She recovered from all of them within a few days. The third one she ended up ripping out half of her stitches the night after her surgery so we had to go to the emergency vet and they put staples in.

Does she need any additional help/care?
Melody needs no further surgeries and is a happy and healthy girl!

Is there anything you would like to add about her?
Melody is a great cat, and I feel like she was brought into our lives for a reason. She opens people’s eyes about how normal a “special needs” cat can be. She loves being pet and being social when we have her out, so we are thinking about getting her certified as a therapy cat. I just need to find the time to be able to take her to places on a regular basis! We love that it makes her happy to make others happy and do good for others- both humans and other animals waiting for their forever homes!

 

Author’s Note: Many thanks to Melody & her mom for answering the questions. Pictures were used with permission. Please visit her on her Facebook page – Melody the Rescue Cat: Love is Blind

 

This article is a part of the Extra Love Needed Theme. Please click on the below page for more articles on pets that need extra love and care.

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Extra Love Needed: Meet Pip

How old are you?

I turned 2 in March

Where did your name come from?

Mom thought I looked like a Pip.

I read you made quite a journey to your forever home, can you tell me about it?

A woman in Nebraska found me amongst a litter of stray kittens. All of my brothers and sisters had average legs; I’m the only special one. But the lady who found us felt she couldn’t care for my special needs, so she reached out to social media. Word spread, and Tenth Life heard about me. Within a day, volunteers had agreed to transport me ALL the way to St. Louis!

Were you scared?

Nah, I’m an outgoing guy who loves an adventure. Plus, I was only 4 weeks old and didn’t know the dangers (and excitement!) that the world held.

How many different vets did you see about your legs?

I started off seeing my favorite vet, Dr. K. She took X-rays of my legs and sent them to specialists all around St. Louis. When they couldn’t decide what to do with me, she enlisted the help of an orthopedic specialist at the University of Missouri. Clearly, I’m special – it took a lot of super-smart people to figure out how awesome I am 😉 They all agreed that I was getting around fine just the way I was born. So I’m on a “wait-and-see approach,” as mom says. So far, so good!

How many fursiblings do you live with?

I have five permanent fur-siblings, and an ever-changing number of foster siblings. Mom always has someone new she’s trying to help!

Does anyone treat you different?

If you think being adored by thousands is being treated different, then yes!

Is there anything you can’t do?

Absolutely not!!! I run, jump, play, and even attack my siblings. Although I do prefer carpeting.

What would you like to say to cats that are like you awaiting their forever homes?

Hang in there, my friends! Though it may take longer than you want, the perfect family for you is out there! They just have to realize how awesome you are. And if a different-looking fellow like me can find a loving home, you can too!

These questions are for your mom: Have you ever had a cat like Pip before?

Pip was Tenth Life’s first kitty with a congenital condition like this. However, after we helped Pip, we had several other kitties with the same or a similar condition to him. Though kitties like Pip may have physical difficulties down the road, they fare well if simple accommodations are made in the home. Soft surfaces are easier for them to handle, and a close eye must be kept on their joints, since those bear the brunt of the cat’s weight. Pip has a very strong callous on his left front elbow (he holds the other front leg up against his body when he walks).

What are some adjustments you had to make for Pip?

We added rugs to our mostly-hardwood-floored home. Other than that, not much. We already provide low-sided litter boxes for our other kitties with special needs, so he assimilated very easily!

Why did you choose not to take the specialists recommendations for Pip?

We actually did take the recommendations of the specialists. The only alternative to letting him live as-is was athrodesing his joints, which presented another whole category of problems; he wouldn’t be able to bend his legs at all and would make him more susceptible to breakage every time he jumped down from somewhere. Our regular vet and the orthopedic specialist agreed that Pip was better off without medical intervention. They did advise that we reevaluate his comfort regularly and make adjustments accordingly. But so far, he shows ZERO signs of discomfort 🙂

What would you like to say to people who are worried that cats that need extra love & attention won’t have a high quality of life?

It may be more work to care for cats with special needs, but the rewards more than make up for the extra efforts. In my 3 decades of experience with cats (over 10 years professionally), I’ve found that the cats who need our love the most seem to appreciate it the most. There’s something very special about one’s bond with a cat who has been through a lot of medical treatment, abuse, or mistreatment. It’s something I can recommend to those who truly love companion animals.

What tips/advice do you have for first time parents of pets that need extra love & care?

Find an amazing vet you trust. Many vets don’t understand cats; do your research. I’ve encountered too many veterinarians who have only a perfunctory knowledge of cat care. Coming to appointments prepared, yet not combative or defensive, can be your greatest asset. Additionally, please BUDGET for pets with special needs. Medical bills add up incredibly quickly, and nothing is more upsetting than being unable to give your pet the care he/she needs when the time comes.

Is there anything you would like to add about Tenth Life Cats?

Tenth Life is my heart and soul; my passion. I want the world to know that cats with special needs are so incredibly deserving of wonderful lives, but they need our help. Additionally, ourcounty needs help when it comes to appreciating cats and their amazing qualities. Tenth Life exists to elevate cats’ status in the public eye and to do everything possible to make life better for felines with and without special needs.

Author’s Note: Many thanks to Pip & his mom for letting me ask questions about Pip. Pictures were used with permission. Please visit his facebook page – Pip the Wonder Kitty.

This article is a part of the Extra Love Needed Theme, click on the badge below for more interviews with pets that need extra love & care.

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Extra Love Needed: Meet Kona

May I ask how old you are? 

I am one year old today!  

 

Where did your beautiful name come from?

My mom said it means King of the World…and I am king of my world!

 

How did you find your forever home?

 My mommy wanted a rag doll kitten so she looked for breeders in Tampa, Florida.  

 

Can you tell me a bit about FIP and how you were diagnosed?

FIP is a terrible virus that some of us get sick from.  You can read more about it on catvirus.com.  

 

Are you on any medications?

I was diagnosed 2 months ago because I was not acting right, not eating as much and seemed uninterested in play.  My mom took me to the doctor and they found out that I am very anemic, and my protein levels were very high.  They took X-rays and round that I had enlarged kidneys, lymph nodes and heart.  I then had a sonogram done by a specialist and they found that my spleen was enlarged as well and my retinas were slightly detached also.  They gave me weeks to maybe a few months to live.

 

Does your mom have to take any precautions if she touches you?

I am on prednisolone which is a steroid and Buprenex, which is a painkiller.  Mom tried PI but it did no good and will not use it anymore.  No, I am not contagious….anyone can play with me.  I actually caught the virus from another cat at the breeder and my immune system could not fight it so I got really sick, where other kitties do not.  

 

You have such a beautiful coat, are you part Siamese?

I think I am part Siamese and Burmese….I am ragdoll.

 

What is your favorite thing to do?

 My favorite thing to do is play and be with my Mom.  I follow her all over.

 

 

Is there anything your mom would like to say about FIP?

 My mom hates FIP and never heard of it until I got sick.  She had 3 kitties before me who were healthy.  She thinks people and vets should learn more about it.  


Author’s Note: Many thanks to Kona’s mom for answering the questions and letting me borrow a picture for use. Please visit Kona on his Facebook page – Kona’s Story – Fighting FIP

 

This article is a part of the Extra Love Needed theme. Please click on the below badge for more interviews with pets that need extra love & care.

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Extra Love Needed: Meet Easter the Extraordinarily Optimistic Kitten

Easter
Easter was named after a Tori Amos song that I hold dear.
Her story is as follows:
This is Easter. She is 6 mths old and has had a very tough start. Her mom was dumped with some other cats in the middle of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia where they went to live in a lady’s yard. The lady spayed and neutered all of them but two had kittens while this was happening. Easter is one of those kittens. She snuck off when she was very young with a sibling and didn’t come back for a long time. When she returned to the barn she had a very bad eye infection. The lady was unable to pay for the surgery she needed and didn’t have anywhere to keep her inside for recovery and feared she would need a life as an inside cat so I stepped in to help. I am active in animal rescue/rehab and work with the Wythe-Bland Animal Welfare League in SW Virginia and have 3 dogs, 12 indoor cats, 1 elderly chinchilla, 14 chickens and 5 alpacas on my farm. We raised money for her eye surgery in a day or two and she was taken in immediately to a local vet who will remain unnamed but did a very poor quality job on her enucleation. In fact, she didn’t remove the eye at all but simply sewed it shut which trapped the harmful bacteria and infection inside. The vet swore that the eye had been removed by her personally and was very upset that I tookEaster to my personal vet for a follow up 2 days after the supposed surgery. She was not sent home with antibiotics or pain medication. When she came to me that first day her face was covered in matted blood, she was violently shaking and could barely see at all. I thought she was going to die but she just purred so much when I held her.  Her eye socket was filled with horrible bacteria and would not have healed if not reopened, drained and cleaned. She had 3 surgeries before Virginia Tech finally found her eye deep within her face and removed it. The vet has been turned in to the VA State Vet Board and I am currently seeking legal assistance. No animal should ever suffer like that.
Easter & her minion, Bones
She came to live with me the day of her surgery and we have fallen in love. She came down with a very serious stomach problem in the end of January and was on her way out of this life when I decided to take her from my vet’s office and take her to the Virginia-Maryland Vet School on the Virginia Tech Campus in Blacksburg, VA. The Sunday that she became extremely ill and I was sure she would die happened to also be the day my Dad died two years ago from a month long battle with stage 4 cancer. It was a hard day. I couldn’t let her die too. On the way there I thought she had died several times and would tap her to make sure she was ok. She crawled on her belly out of her box and laid her head on my hand while I was driving and purred. The Virginia Tech School is absolutely amazing and expensive. We raised enough money to cover her stay in the ICU for two days. While the doctors were admitting her to the ICU and assessing her condition she found the energy to launch from the counter and onto my chest where she would then climb me like a tree and snuggle with my face while purring. She had extreme symptoms of parvo but never tested positive for it or anything else. Feline parvo isn’t easily diagnosed and to date there are no accurate tests. Her brothers and sisters are all in good health and all of my cats are vaccinated and in good health so it is assumed that she caught a nasty virus from the unnamed vet she went to for the enucleation. The vet is known for it’s horribly unsanitary conditions. If it was parvo, we all got very lucky and it has not spread to anyone else here and since she survived it she can never get it again. That’s IF she had parvo. She did have internal bleeding and some very serious issues from being so dehydrated. She never gave up and neither did I.
Easter being melodramatic
She has been very slowly recovering from her awful diarrhea and has put on some weight though she is still under 5 lbs and thin. She went back to Virginia Tech to have her 2 week checkup and her eye was still not healed from the first surgery at the unnamed vet so they decided it was time to reopen it and get it done right. I took her back to Virginia Tech a few days later for her surgery (after getting a foot and a half of snow) and she did great. She was immediately happy and ready to play after the surgery. About a week went by and I noticed her eye socket looked a little puffy and she seemed sad. I rushed her back to Virginia Tech that day and they did a ultrasound on her eye socket, found infection, drained it and put in an umbilical string so I could continue to drain it at home. They had also done a culture on her eye bacteria and ear bacteria when they had her sedated for the second enucleation. The bacteria in her eye socket is a very resistant bacteria, pseudomonas. It is from having so much bacteria in her eye socket because it was not done properly the first time and from being on so many antibiotics. The antibiotics allowed only the strongest bacteria to survive which turned them into a super strong, resistant bacteria. The antibiotic used to treat this strain of super bacteria is very dangerous for kittens and can harm the cartridge in their bones thus stunting their growth. It can also cause the retina to separate causing blindness. It’s the only shot we had though so we did it and didn’t look back. Her final eye surgery came after the swelling came back after her drain was removed. I was so sad for her. Virginia Tech actually found her eye deep within her face in that final surgery confirming my deepest fear that her eye was still there and the awful vet never even removed it. Since then she has slowly healed and is finally in good shape. She has some trouble with her eye that’s left but she’s alive. So far, so good. I’m not sure if she’s better or if we’re just waiting for another problem to surface. Easter turned 6 months old on 4/20 and we went out in her stroller to a park to celebrate. She walks on a harness and loves car rides. She has been playing like crazy and wants me to carry her everywhere. If I choose to ignore that, she has no problem racing up my leg and onto my shoulder. She is a true fighter and no matter what awful things she’s gone through she’s never stopped purring. That’s her story so far. She’s such an inspiration to me.
Kittenploza! Kittens that were up for adoption.
How did you get involved with rescuing/rehabbing animals?
She liked l of the other cats I have and instantly bonded with an x-feral cat a few months older than she is named Simon SpaghettiO.
How long did it take for her to walk on a leash?
She figured the leash out pretty fast but it is still a work in progress.
Has she met the alpacas?
She’s met the alpacas and is freaked out by their weirdness. Most everyone is though.
Bones looking out for his “mom” while she rests
How did you get involved with rescuing/rehabbing animals?
I have always rescued animals. It’s the way I was raised. I’ve never actually had my own rescue but I’ve always taken in and cared for any animal that needed it. I’ve rehabbed, cats, dogs, opossums, rabbits, chinchillas, alpacas, chickens, frogs, lizards, birds, praying mantises, and I’m probably forgetting a few. It gives my life meaning.
What is a typical day like for Easter?
A typical day for Easter is to wake up at 5, wash my face, play with her Mardi Gras beads and the qtips, eat breakfast, take all of the cat litter out if the litter box, play in it, race up the curtains, play with Simon, sleep, eat again, go run errands with me or go outside on her leash or in her stroller, watch tv, try to get Smiley O’Meowy to wash her, fight with Simon, harass whatever rescue I have in the quarantine room, play with Simon some more, go to bed with me and insist I play fetch with the beads, play catch with her ball, practice jumping, take everything off my table and go to sleep wrapped around my head like a hat. 🙂 longest run on sentence ever?
What would you like to say to others who are considering taking in a pet that needs extra love and care?
Everyone should have at least one cat. They are wonderful companions. Taking in a special needs animal provides a destination for your life. It sets the time for what you can do if you put your mind to it. Always make sure you know what you’re getting into, do your research and have a good vet on hand. Anyone is capable of helping an animal in need. I wish more people would help homeless cats. Spaying and neutering your animals is so important. Also, always make sure your cats are tested for felv/FIV and given the appropriate vaccines. I cannot stress that enough. Anytime you notice your animal friend acting differently, be aware and watch for signs that something is wrong. Cats are great at hiding illness and pain.
Is there anything else would you like to say about yourself or your family?
Also, we still have a donation site to help with her expenses and the ongoing cat rescue effort that I am part of in this community that does not support cat rescue. I am privately TNR’ing cats, transporting them to and back from the clinic, getting them tested, giving them homes or releasing them. It’s expensive. I operate my own etsy farm store, eBay store, have a pet sitting business Katie’s Critter Sitting and work with a rescue friend who owns A Dog’s World Day Spa in Wytheville, VA. I am an active member of the Wythe-Bland Animal Welfare League.
Easter relaxing


Author’s Note: Many thanks to the patience of Easter’s mom – I am so very truly sorry for the delay in posting.. Pictures were used with permission. Please visit Easter’s Facebook Page – Easter the Extraordinarily Optimistic Kitten & visit the Kittens of the Misfit Critter Farm & Sanctuary 

This article is a part of the Extra Love Needed theme. Please click on the below badge for more interviews with pets that need extra love & care.

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Extra Love Needed: Teddy

Where did Teddy’s name come from?

The gentleman feeding the colony first called him Teddy. He resembles a sweetteddy bear so the name stuck. It seems to suit him.
Did it take him long to adjust from being in a colony to being with a foster family?

Teddy wasn’t really part of the colony, but he was sometimes on the fringes. The colony caretaker said he was only seen intermittently at the feeding station and was easily chased off by other cats.

From the moment Teddy was trapped it was obvious he was not feral. I believe he was looking for human help when he went into that trap. I totally support TNR efforts and the whole feral colony concept. Those wonderful caretakers also help us identify  those cats, like Teddy, who clearly need to be with humans.

Teddy’s transition to foster care was very easy. He was affectionate and accepting of care from the time he arrived. One of the first videos I posted shows how grateful he was to be safe again.
With all the list of ailments he had, did it take longer for him to become healthy due to being FIV+? Is he on any medication or a special diet right now?

We have no idea how long Teddy’s been FIV+ but he shows no signs of disease at this time. The vets were aggressive with antibiotics for his acute infections and those all resolved as expected.

I was almost more worried about what appeared to be a recent, first time herpes virus outbreak around Teddy‘s eyes and ears. He receives lysine powder supplements in his wet food each day to support his immune system and it has helped suppress the herpes.

We did recently diagnose a chronic heart condition which will likely worsen over time. Teddy is stable and doesn’t require any medications or special diet. I buy national brand wet and dry food. He’ll have regular vet checkups to monitor his condition.


How many other cats are in the house and what do they think of him?

Well, I won’t give you an actual number, I almost qualify as a crazy cat lady, LOL. Let’s just say there are several and they each have a story of their own. It really is a free roaming little colony within the safe boundaries of the house and screened areas. We do have an occasional hissy fit but overall we live a peaceful existence.

Teddy was sequestered in his own room the first two weeks here. Following that, over the course of a month, he gradually integrated with the household. He did stand his ground a couple of times in the beginning but now everyone’s relaxed and tolerant. Teddy is very comfortable now and has found his place, he‘s been with me almost 12 weeks now.
What advice would you give to those hesitant to foster/adopt an elder cat?

The seniors always tug at my heart. So many have tragic stories and they so deserve a safe place to live out their lives. With good care and comfort they may have many quality years ahead.

Yes, senior cats will have a limited lifespan. It can be difficult to watch as a beloved pet declines in old age but it’s also a joy to provide them with the loving care they need through their final months and days.

I have loved quite a few beloved cats through their very last moments. For me, it is an honor and a privilege to be present for them. I am always deeply moved by the experience.

 

Is there anything else you would like to add about Teddy or his care?

I’m very much enjoying the new friends we’ve been making on Teddy’s Facebook page. He’s become quite popular and we’re both pleased and thankful for all his fans.


 

Author’s Note: Many thanks to Teddy’s mom for letting me bug her with questions and letting me borrow pictures for the article. Please follow him on his page – Transforming Teddy. 

 

This article is a part of the Extra Love Needed theme. Please click on the below badge for more interviews with pets that need extra love & care.

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Extra Love Needed: Bug a Boo the Hydrocephalus Kitten

hi friends!
Where did Bug a Boo get her name from?
Bug A. Boo was named by one of the board member’s of Joa’s Arc.  It’s what she called her first grandchild when he was a baby – just a cute name.
How did she come to Joa’sArc rescue?
(- Joa was a paraplegic kitten that inspired us to start a rescue just for special needs pets)  A friend contacted us saying a friend of hers knew of a slightly funny-looking kitten living on a farm.  As soon as board members, Joyce M and Jen W, saw a photo of the kitten, we knew she was special needs and looked like she may have been born with hydrocephalus.
When did someone notice she was a bit different?
When she was just a few weeks old.
Is she able to walk on her own?
Bug A Boo can walk on her own, but she’s a little off balance when she gets excited, which – as a kitten – is pretty often.  Being off balance is some times typical with hydrocephalus pets.
Does she require any additional medication or therapy?
At this time, Bug A Boo is on Omeprazole (Prilosec), which reduces the cerebrospinal fluid production on her brain.  Depending on how she does as she develops, there are other medication and surgical options down the line, if need be.

Does she have a special diet right now?
She’s just on kitten wet & dry food.  She’s not really picky about either, but will stick her whole head in the tubberware I keep the wet food in if, in her opinion, I’m not fast enough serving it to her – that long beautiful hair ends up with wet food encircling her little face.
Is she in a foster with other pets, if so how do they treat her?
She is in a foster home with other pets and goes to work with me at a vet hospital, so she runs into other pets frequently, though she is caged separately when need be to keep her from running into things unsupervised.  For the most part, she’s nervous around other pets still … but runs right up to them as soon as they turn their back 🙂
What would you like to tell people about Hydrocephalus?
I think people seem to be the most surprised so far that pets can be born with this, just like people.  Pets have lots of conditions like people and this happens to be one of them.  Just like with people, there’s different medication and surgical options too.  It also develops differently in every individual pet.  Bug A Boo could live a long life or not… We’re hoping to find her a home prepared to care for all her needs, whatever they might be, and, as always, Joa’s Arc will love her like she’s our own for as long as she’s with us.
Is there any more information you would like to share about Bug a Boo’s condition?
 I guess just that she’s special, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t deserve to live.  Lots of people don’t give special needs pets a chance and we have already gotten lots of questions like “Is she in pain?” or “Look at her face! How can you keep her alive with the way she is?”  Although Bug A Boo is a bit different, she is still a happy little kitten who plays, chows down, snuggles, wrestles and purrs like 90% of the time.  She deserves every shot at a good life.
Is there a way people can help pay for her medical expenses?
Make a donation to Joa’s Arc – PayPal and/or snail mail.  It all goes to the animals, who are all special like Bug A Boo and every donation helps!

Author’s Note:

Many thanks to Bug a Boo and her foster mom for answering the questions. . Pictures were used with permission. Please stop by Bug a Boo’s Facebook page and say hello. 

This article is a part of the Extra Love Needed theme. Please click on the below badge for more interviews with pets that need extra love & care.

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Extra Love Needed: Frosty the Frozen Kitten

Hi to all my friends!

Miss Frosty, how old are you?

My humans guess me to be aprox 7 ½ months old.

I was giving the birthday of Oct 27, 2013 based off of when I was first seen around the barn.

Frosty after she was first found

Where did your name come from?

I got my name because I was found Frozen Alive (almost solid)
How did you find your forever home?

The man who found me is friends with my mum. So he took me to her for help. It was very cold that night and I was near death.

Next to heater, on top of fleece with heating buttons underneath for warmth

How many fursiblings do you live with?

MANY – right now 9 kitties, 6 non releasable raccoons, 1 skunk, and 5 baby coons mum is bottle raising for release later this year.
Did they treat you different when you were recovering?

Yes I need special help staying warm. My body can not regulate a comfy temp and I sometimes need sweaters or I lay in my heated bed. I also have a heated kitty bed I can lay in case I am cold and am not in a sweater.

Jan 2014, still unable to move and getting supportive care

Was it scary being at the vets for so long?

I was very scared but because I was found frozen – almost solid – and so severely emaciated I could not run or get away from anyone. I had no strength to stand, sit or at time hold up my head.

Back home after some scary touch and go days at the vet

What is your favorite toy to play with?

Mousies

Me & mousie

I love your little pink dresses, do you pick them out yourself?

Mum decides what I need to wear, if and when I need something.

Miss Carol, when did you get involved with rescuing/fostering?

I have been working animal rescue all my life. I am a state licensed wildlife rehabilitator & I run wildlife rescue, rehab and release. I rescue and foster domestic animals in need. I run a pet sitting business and I run a local pet pantry.


Frosty’s story has touched so many people, for those that want to continue to help, what can they do?

To help Frosty, she has an amazon wish list  and she has a donate button her facebook page if you wish to send a monetary donation. Another way of helping is to help share her story and let people know that just because these animals have fur it does not make them immune to the cold. They still need help with proper shelter, food and water if they must live outside. Provide shelter, food and water to the strays and feral cats in your area.

What advice do you have for people who want to help local animals?

Contact a local rescue person in your area and see if they need any volunteer help. They usually are in need of food, bedding, and other supplies.
What was the strangest animal you have rescued? Not really strange to me, but to others they think my skunk rescues are a bit odd.


Author’s Note:

Many thanks to Miss Carol & Miss Frosty for answering the questions. My sincerest apologies for not posting this interview sooner. Pictures were used with permission. Please stop by Frosty’s page – Frosty the Frozen Kitten – and say hello.

This article is a part of the Extra Love Needed theme. Please click on the below badge for more interviews with pets that need extra love & care.

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Extra Love Needed: Meet Sheldon “chubs” Broken Jaw Kitty

Mr. Sheldon
Mr. Sheldon, may I ask how old are you? 
My age is approx 3 yrs old.
My mommy and the rescue did an estimate of when they found me and when mommy got me as a foster. The vet also tried to estimate too but with only 1 full tooth, couple broken and rest gone it was hard to judge so they look at other things to judge. My birthday/adoption day is July 31 2012 & i wasnt quite a yr old yet only about 10 mos. we think but we just let that be my birthday.
Where did your name come from?
My name came from mommy and daddy favorite show, mine too. “The Big Bang Theory” Sheldon Cooper, my nickname is Chubs or Chubber wubbers my daddys favorite name for me. My mommy tried many names from the Disney movies but i didnt respond to any of them, then she tried Sheldon and I  perk up, ears moved so she knew that Sheldon was my name. She lets her kids pick there names if at all possible. Chubs come from cuz Im nice and solid and little on the chunky side, mol..
How did you find your forever home?
How I found my furever home, where to begin. mommy volunteers for a rescue call Pet Angel Cat Adoptions & REscue, MI. 1 day the owner called and asked if mommy would consider fostering, at that time she was just cleaning the rescue. Mommy always wanted to move up to fostering. So she said yes little did she know she was getting such a emotional case. Owner told her that the kitty been at the rescues Vet for a month cuz it was abused and beaten by kids so it was now well enough to go to foster home, so the kitty could learn to trust homans again and just be loved. So she drove almost an hour to pick me up not knowing if she was going to have a mean kitty or what. What was even amazing she took me in while she had a very sick furkid that was my older brofur for 15 days before he passed Cody, he was dying of Kidney failure something that is common in older kitties and he was 20 yrs old. she was giving him fluid treatments everynite and still found time to take me in. Anyway she waited all afternoon at this crazy vet that doesnt have appts or order but anyway to get me. She found me being kept in a cat carrier and she was even more heart broken guess they didnt have room anymore for the last few days & were trying to help the rescue by keeping me but they didnt mommy said cause I was in a carrier not a cage. I was so filty and covered in a fecal matter. Mommy drove me home and was so furious cause here i went through this dramatic event and then I go thru more while in a drs care. She let the rescue know. things were taken care of on that end just leave at that. but when mommy got me home, I was so gross oh and mommy was worried cause i didnt say a word at this point so she knew I was sad. She was upset cause she knew the first thing she was going to have to do was give me a bath and she didnt want me dramatize more but it had to be done. But when she started to give me the bath it felt so good and I knew this woman was helping me, I didnt even fight just hugged her and let her clean me up. She dried me and put me on Daddys lap and at that moment Daddy said he knew he wasnt going to let me go. He knew I was special and that I was not going to go to the rescue and be put in a cage or anything and take a chance of maybe adoption. Mommy knew this was her first foster so she waited before she gave in, she also wanted to take care of Cody and my other brofur Stevie. She found out that could eat both wet and dry food if the dry food was small enough. I just happy to eat. The final step that really won my furever home, is the Day my brofur Cody gave me a blessing like he was happy i was here. Mommy says Cody knew his time was short and that he guided me to them somehow, so my mommy would have someone to love & cuddle with like she did with Cody. Stevie is in own boy, cant push him into things. But me im alot like my brofur Cody, I luv to Cuddle with mommy and go places with her. So guess Cody is in a way inside of me. Mommy always says he is. So when she say Cody cuddle with me and welcome me to the house the next day I was officially adopted. then for 15 days I learn from Cody so many wise things and what to do when mommy is really sick. She has a very bad illness that takes her away from us sometimes almost killed her 3 times. Cody was her life saver and now I am.
Sheldon loves his cuddles
How many fursiblings to you live with?
I have 1 older brofur Stevie Yzerman , 7 yrs old, and now the newest member also was a foster but had kittens they were adopted but mommy and daddy fell in luv with the little princess, never saw it coming they said what did it for them on her was she just click with us boys. Sisfur  Pepper 11 mos old, (had babies at 6 mos way to young) nicknames for Pepper are Girly, munckin. Stevie nicknames are Little Shit, LOL!! he really gives mommy a hard time. story for another time. lol
Do they treat you any different?
I wouldnt say I’m treated any different, cause we are all very spoiled. We have grandparents that literally see us a grandkids cause that is how mommy and daddy represent us to them. we give them cards and gifts etc. See mommy wasnt and cant have kids cause of her illness and cant adopt cause she cant stay healthy enough or strong enough to take care of a child. so we are her kids. I am the only one that luvs car rides and going to events for the rescue and shopping. also luv my walks in my stroller and by leash in the yard. But we all luv walks with the leash in the yard and we are finding out Pepper likes to go in the stroller too. Stevie hate  small places so he hates car rides, stroller hey any door shut he freaks so hes weird that way. lol.  I also luv my cat habitat outside but the other 2 not so much. we all luv spending time at grandma & grandpa M., get very spoil there. They are my mommy parents they are usually our babysitters. One thing I might say is mommy always makes sure I have the treats that I can eat the other ones are too hard or big and my jaw wont let me eat them. So maybe that way I treated special. Its hard for her find them lately too, Friskies puff kind, all kind of crunch ones but not too many puffs out there. even goes to Amazon
Are you on medications or require a special diet?
I am not really on a special diet, sensitive to the tummy for the fur issue helps me cause I cant bring fur like my siblings. My jaw and area surrounded are out of line so I cant get the muscle to do what they should. so its not fun. I eat half wet food and dry food small morsels. As I said about I eat only friskies puff treats cause they are small enough and soft enough too. I only get a shot in the butt when I get an infection in my mouth. it happen several times a year cause my jaw isnt align and my food doesnt get chewed up right, I more prone to get infection in mouth. Its been more under control the last year cause mommy knows what to look for, so she gets me to the Vet & he does his magic.
Do you have a hard time eating/drinking?
I dont have a problem drinking or eating it just takes me longer time to chew my food and what mommy has told me I makes a big mess cause have the food falls out of my mouth or I splatter it all over the wall or floor. You definitely know when I have been in the food bowl and water dish. Vet has told my mommy that with my jaw popping more that I might have to be on certain soft food when I get older. but not worry about right now.
Is there anything your mom does to keep you healthy?
My siblings keep me healthy by chasing me around the house. Mommy just always makes sure Im very loved and that I know that homans are good again. Everything she does for me and my siblings is make sure we are loved and stay healthy and alive for as long as possible. we go for our yearly Vet checkups. We luv our Vet, he is awesome. Gives us food that doesn’t upset out tummy. Stevie has a big problem there, its his age. lol! She brushes us, walks us and toys so many toys. LOVES US SO MUCH!!
What is your favorite thing to do?
I have a lot of favorite things! Cuddling with mommy & Daddy!!, napping, playing with my toys the Cats Meow and my race track ( i have to share with Pepper, yucky) , catnip, oh yes catnip toys kickroos.., walking with mommy in the stroller, car rides,  Meeting Humans at the Rescue events or furkids(and getting the message out about abuse), going to Grandma & Grandpa M. & noms noms(treats), ok playing with my brofur and sisfur is fun too.
Miss Michelle, what advice would you give to other pet parents whose pet requires extra love & care?
One thing I would say is just show that furkid that you love it no matter what. Once the bond is formed between the 2 of u or however many. They kind of guide you of how they want to heal and how fast. Sheldon was very timid of other people when he came to our house. would never show himself to even my parents for months after he was adopted. But yet he was around us non stop when it was just Daddy & I. so I worked on his confidence, everyday or week we would do a new adventure. It could be a walk in the back yard or just sit outside. Then I would just have my mom come over, and they got to know each other and Dad, so forth. with in a month time he wouldn’t hide when someone came into our house. He would check them out and then decide if he wanted to meet them. Sometimes he would do on his own, others times he would the comfort of my arms. Soon he didn’t need my comfort at all. He was my confident little boy. He still skittish around young boys. I can hold him and he will at least sniff them out and that is a good sign cause last yr he would run so fast it made me sad cause we have friends that have young boys and I know they love my other furkids. so I know they will not harm him. but its cause he was beaten by young boys and he still remembers that. I don’t care what you say, these furkids know and have feelings just like us. I will forever be his voice and he knows that. I have found a lot awesome friends on Sheldon Facebook pg that have special furkids and they too just loved their furkids for who they are! They will blossom so much! I love seeing Sheldon at an Event for Adoption! people just flock to him cause he just so loving. I cant say I did all that, he did but I help him to come out of his shell and see that most of the world isn’t so bad. We are team. Hope that’s a good answer and I don’t sound stupid.
Is there a support group that you are a part of?
I don’t belong to exact support group. There are several people facebook that we talk thru our furkids pages. Its a tight community and we have become close some of us. We help each other with the rescue stuff and get word out of abuse and how its wrong and be the voice of these furkids and TNR events. Every furkids deserve a chance is basically what our little circle believes and supports through our furkids pages. Yes they are for fun and to make everyone smile too but we are spreading importants things about our animals thru them in a non threatening way. Like Sheldon pg “Sheldon “chubs”-broken jaw kitty/love dont abuse animals” He happy on his pg doing his adventures but he also let you know about the importance of Rescues and TNR (trap, neuter, release)program and any abuse that needs to be told.
Hugs and Headbonks ,puuurrrssss
Sheldon and mommy Michelle
Dedication:
This article is dedicated to the loving memory of Cody. You will always be loved. Fly free sweetie.
Here’s what Miss Michelle had to say about him:
Yes you can do a dedication on Cody, he passed on Aug 15, 2012 and he was 20 yrs old. My husband & I have been with each other for 23 yrs now and Cody was with us almost out entire relationship dating and marriage. We will be married for 12 yr in Aug. It was a hard one to loose Cody, but I promised him I would not let him be in pain and he would let us know when he was done fighting. Our Cody did let us know, and I know he is still with us. Do you know I still find a furball of his hair just in the middle of somewhere in our house, just out of no where. its like a sign from him saying Hi Mommy just wanted to say Hi. Its so freaky. Cause know of kids now have that kinda of hair. Oh and both me and hubby have felt him jump on the bed like he always did. no cat when we look. So now I feel like Im going nuts. But lucky me others have been there too. so we are all crazy together. lol! Dont know why I told you that story. I have to think about if there something else I would like to share. I know 1 day I would like to tell the whole story of Sheldon Abuse story but I still cry and get mad all the above. I just cried talking about Cody.

Author’s Note: I want to thank Miss Michele & Sheldon for letting me ask so many questions. Pictures were used with permission, please take a moment to drop by his Facebook page – Sheldon “chubs”- Broken Jaw Kitty.
This article is a part of the Extra Love Needed Theme, please click on the below badge for more articles on pets that need extra love. 
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