Extra Love Needed: Meet Snickers

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

How old is Snickers?

Snickers is 14. She just had her birthday!

How did Snickers come to live with you?

I owned her and her brother, Milton’s mom. I went on vacation and my nephew was supposed to be watching her but let her out and she got pregnant. I got to watch them be born! So I have had her since day one!

Did she have asthma when you got her or did she develop it later?

Snickers was diagnosed with asthma later in life and she gets a shot when needed. Two years ago she started walking funny so I took her in and her blood work came back with a blood sugar number of 598!!! She will sadly never go into remission for her diabetes because of her asthma shot. The steroids in it will always affect her blood sugar.

What are some of the signs of asthma?

Some signs for asthma is coughing but not trying to cough up anything. And labored breathing.

What about signs of a diabetes flair up?

For diabetes some signs are drinking lots of water, weight gain, peeing a lot and most will develop neuropathy, which is damaged nerve function and the cat will start walking funny in the back legs.

How often do you check her sugar?

At the minimum I check her sugar twice a day before I give her an insulin shot. Usually I test her about 4-6 times a day. She gets her shot in the morning and at night.

What kind of medication is she on?

She gets a shot for her asthma when needed but she can also use an inhaler just like people do! I have asthma as well so if she is having a rough time and for some reason I can’t get her in she can take some puffs from my inhaler. She has an extension called the Aerokat so it’s not going directly in her mouth.

What are her favorite things to do?

Her favorite things are playing with earplugs, lol, snuggling with me and she loves to go out in our backyard.

Are there any other pets in the house?

I do have one of her litter mates, Milton and I have my mom’s cat, Olivia, whom I adopted and my mom passed away. Her and my cats do not get along at all! Even after a year and a half.

Are they protective of her?

She’s not protective but I am the only person she loves. She tolerates my husband. She does stare at the door if someone knocks, that’s about it.

I love to educate people on feline diabetes and this little girl is my everything!

Here is some additional information on Feline Asthma and Feline Diabetes

https://www.thespruce.com/treat-feline-asthma-555454

Feline Diabetes

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 Snoopy

 
Author’s Note: Many thanks to Snoopy’s mom for answering the questions. You can follow his journey on his facebook page – Snoopy Whoopie -. Pictures used with permission.
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Snoopy Snoopy was born on August 24th of 2011 at our home . We never knew of his condition maybe until 2 weeks after birth When I saw him I knew he was my special little angel. We kept him and his sister Lady and he also has a brother named shaggy who we gave a home.
How does he normally get around?
Snoopy normally gets around without his wheels due to the stairs and we have outside. Kinda steep and dangerous for him to be on his wheels.
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When did he get his first set of wheels?
Snoopy got his first wheel said maybe around April or May of last year. Snoopy he’s gotten some what used to his wheel. He’s not 100% there but still working process. He practice at least when we try to practice three times a week for 30 minutes or as long as he can handle it. When he gets tired he’ll get of them and rest for good while or for the rest of the day.
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What is his favorite thing to do?
  His favorite things to do is eat and of course play with the cats.
What advise does your mom have for people who want to adopt a dog that is missing a leg (or two?)
My advice to people that want to adopt a special needs pets do it. I think that’s the best thing you can ever do. It just feels right and they need love too. When you do it it makes you view life a whole different way. Just remember just because they are different does not mean there no good. It just means there special little angel that can give you lots of love. Snoopy and his furry family are my everything and it makes me happy that they are happy.

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Extra Love Needed: Meet Scooter

Author’s Note: Many thanks to Scooter’s Mom for letting me bombard her with questions. Please stop by Scooter‘s page and give her mom some love as she is missing her furbaby dearly. Many thanks to Miss Tami for letting me borrow pictures for the article. 


 

 

How did Scooter come into your life? 
Scooter was found on Oct 31, 2014 under a pile of brush. I had heard her softly crying the night before, but could not locate her. I actually thought I was looking for a injured bird.
The next morning I got up and went out I just couldn’t stop thinking about it. 
It had gotten down to the below 30s that night.. I didn’t think it would have survived. 
As I stepped outside and let my dogs out, I hear her crying, this time a bit more loudly. 
I tracked her to the brush pile and asked a neighbor to help me get in to it, as it was on his side of the fence.. I told him, Something is in there crying, as we tore the branches away he spotted her all nestled up against a pile of bagged leaves. Poor little baby. She was shivering. I brought her inside and wrapped her in a warm towel, as well as my sweater. She was so cold.

My daughter and I got into the car and went and bought her supplies, formula, and what not. Thank you to Iowa Pet Foods & Seascapes for all your help! 
We then noticed after we got her home that her back legs weren’t working, she was pulling herself with her front legs.
So off to the vet we went. Turns out she is a very healthy lucky kitten who was a bit dehydrated but otherwise in good health. According to the vet she was born a paraplegic, therefore, that is why we think her mama left her. 
The vet had taken xrays and noticed her joints in her hind legs were all backwards and  her pelvis is extremely small and he predicted that she would not live past  6 months of age due to her organs being crowded. Due to being a paraplegic she has no control over her bodily functions so she does wear a diaper.

Scoot aka Baaby, is now a active and busy 8 month old kitten. She has really no issues at this time, other than she for some reason has begun to chew her foot. We are not sure why she is doing this so we currently keep it covered and that helps her leave it alone.

Is she on a special diet? 

Scoot is on a normal dry cat food. I cant switch her diet up as it gives her really bad diarrhea. She eats “Fromm” Cat food.
Did she have to do any physical therapy or medication?

We did PT with her when she was a baby using water therapy and moving her muscles.. over time her hips and legs began to stiffen more and eventually fused so that they no longer bend. No medication is needed for her condition. She is in no pain.
 
How does she get around?
She gets around on her bum… by scooting…  🙂 Her favorite activity is going down the stairs and meowing for me to come get her as she cant get back up by herself.. but going down is so much fun for her.. 🙂
 
Does she have any fursiblings?
Scooter is the baby of the family.. she has 3 older furbaby dogs.. Rosco who is 12, Carli who is 6 and Zoe who is 3. They love to watch over her and really snuggle with her when its nap time… We also have 3 geckos and 2 fish tanks.
What would you like to tell other cats that need extra love? 
Don’t give up, keep fighting… there is someone out there who loves you, they just may not have found you yet.
Dedication:
This article is dedicated to the loving memory of Scooter
Fly free sweetheart, know you will never be forgotten and you will always be loved.

Meet Patchy the Epileptic Dog

Author’s Note: Many thanks to Patchy’s mom for letting me interview her and him about his story. Pictures were used with permission. Please visit Patchy’s Facebook page to follow his story .

First, where did your name come from Patchy? 
The lady who had me when I was born named me Patchy because of the tan patch around my eye.  When mommy came to pick me up I would look at her when she would say Patchy, so mommy did not want to change my name.
 
How old are you? 
6 years old
 
Do you have any fursiblings that you live with? 
yes Bella she is 5 and I have two non fur babies they are bearded dragons named Maui and Lani.
 
Do they treat you any different because of your condition?  
If anything I am spoiled a lot more 🙂  I am so very loved.
 
How did you come to live with your mommy? 
Mommy picked me up from a lady, her doggy had puppies and I was one of them. 
 
For those that don’t know, what is a shih-poo?
 Shih-poo is a Shih-tzu and Poodle mix
 
When did you have your first seizure?
When I was 2, I was in the hallway and fell over and started to shake.
 
Can your mom explain what happens during a seizure?
Patchy will start to act very scared, hide or act very nervous and normally that is when I know a seizure may be coming on.  Sometimes there is no warning and he just falls over to his side or often he tries to run to me when a seizure is coming.  I have to hold him very tight, make sure his neck is stable because his body thrashes all over.  Patchy limbs become very stiff, he will drool a lot and his eyes will be very dilated.  The seizure will last around 1min to 2mins.  Once the seizure is over he can not walk so I carry him to his puppy pads where he always throws up and loses his bowls.  
Cluster seizures are when he has multiple seizures in a short period of time.  The most he has ever had in a short period were 4.
 
Can she also explain a bit with Idiopathic Epilepsy is?  
Idiopathic Epilepsy is a neurological condition in dogs that normally cause seizures between the age of 6months to 6years. 
 
Are you currently on medication?  
Yes phenobarbital twice a day 
 
Do you have a special diet because of your condition?  
Yes, I have to stay away from artificial preservatives, food fillers, just all of the bad un-natural stuff.
What are your favorite things to do?  
Play with my sis Bella, throw my toys around, snuggle with mommy, bite daddys slippers, car rides and look out the window 🙂
 
 

 

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 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: Misfit the Blind Dog

 

How old are you?

I am almost 2 years old. My birthday is August 23rd. 🙂

Where did your name come from? 

My name came from the idea of me and my page removing the bad connotation that comes along with being a Misfit. A lot of people will look over the “misfits” (animals with special needs, disabilities, diseases, etc.) in a shelter and makes it harder for them to find a forever home. But my moms and I believe that all animals deserve a chance and we are “special, not needy.”

Were you born blind or did your lose your sight? 

I was born blind along with 2 others in my litter, but they didn’t make it.

How did you come to find your forever home? 

One of my moms, Morgan, her sister gave me to her after seeing the other blind pups didn’t make it. The dog mom killed the other blind litter mates and she didn’t want the same thing to happen to me. Morgan ended up dating, and marrying, my other mom, Dana, and now we live as a big happy family.

 

Do you have any fursiblings you live with? 

I do have a kitty brother named Willis. He doesn’t treat me differently, but I don’t really understand what he is so I always try to chase him. Because of that, we are usually in different spots of the house! No injuries have occurred or anything, we just keep to ourselves!

Is there anything you can’t do?

There isn’t much I can’t do and if I’m hesitant, my moms usually help me through it. I had problems with the stairs for a while but with perseverance (and gold fish) I can now run up and down them faster than my moms. We got a new A frame in our dog park and I wasn’t so sure of it at first, but my moms used a tennis ball to help me over it and i did it!!

How do you plan on celebrating your birthday?

We’re gonna go to the dog park and then my moms having at party for me at my house!! We’re gonna have a cookout and my very own birthday cake.

 

What are you favorite things to do?

My favorite things to do are going on a walk, going to the dog park, going for car rides and going swimming! Oh and getting treats of course.

What is your favorite type of weather? 

My favorite weather to walk in is overcast, with low humidity. If it’s too sunny I get too hot too fast and the humidity makes me pant a lot.

Misfit’s mom: Is there anything else you would like to add about Misfit? 

​Although Misfit can’t see he does get around just fine. We could change the layout of a room and he would have it memorized in 20 minutes. It’s almost like he doesn’t forget anything you show him. At the dog park, he uses the sound of the other dog’s tags jingling together and their pa​nting in order to run with them and find them. He was born blind due to a disease that caused his eyes not to form the whole way. He doesn’t have a pupil. He knows a lot of words including dog park, walk, willis, memom, car ride, etc. He will play with any toy at all, whether it squeaks or not, whether or not it has stuffing in it, soft or hard. Misfit was very easy to potty train, he knows the word potty and will go on command. He’s very talkative, always responds to our voices with a whine or bark or sigh. And brings us his toys so he can chew on them in our lap. He’s fond of sitting on people, whether it be on their lap, foot, or back. He has been the best thing to happen to both of us, he’s our son and we love him with all our heart. We also run fundraisers on his facebook page (fb/misfittheblinddog) and so far we have raised approx. $1800 for our dog park (Worthington Off Leash Dog Park) and about $1300 for a dog with a broken jaw that needed and still needs surgery (fb/babymorganthebrokenjawpuppy)


Author’s Note: Many thanks to Misfit & his mom for answering the interview questions. Pictures were used with permission.

 

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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