We've all been there. When it comes to the time that we must spay or neuter our sweet furbaby and we are filled with extreme anxiety. Will they be the same after being fixed? Will they still have the same personality? Will they be upset and afraid of me? Will they come back a completely different cat?
Well, we hate to say it; yes. They will become a different cat. One hundred and ten percent different. They will be happier. Plain and simple. Of course if your cat already has an awesome demeanor you may not notice the chance as much, or if you spay or neuter prior to 6 months you may not notice much of a difference... but, when you look at cats that were born into colonies and were partially feral? Well, Cindy Lou is a purrfect example of just how much of an "attitude" change sterilizing your kitty can do.
Cindy Lou had come to ELM in February this year with what was believed to be calicivirus. While no mouth sores were visible, she was unable to eat, drooled excessively, and had a severe eye infection to boot. Perhaps it was just the worst URI we've ever seen, however it just about took her life. She was syringe fed multiple times a day and under a watchful eye for quite some time. Despite what I thought was progress with a semi-feral kitten of four months, it was clear after her recovery that Cindy Lou was not too receptive to touch or quick to ask for attention. She did not like to be held and kept her distance from humans.
As you can see in this picture, now one and a half months post-spay, she has turned into a lovely little girl who just celebrated her first birthday! She now begs for attention, purrs quietly as she snuggles with you, wraps herself around your legs, and has a beautiful motherly temperament she never showed before her spay. She grooms our younger rescues, cuddles with them, and watches out for them. She has truly become one of our best success stories and it's coming to the time now where we know it's almost time for us to say "goodbye". Goodbye and congratulations to a new family that will dote on her and one of "her" babies.
Saying "goodbye" to Cindy Lou will be one of the most bittersweet moments for me especially as I've grown quite fond of Cindy Lou and her presence here is just expected. She has her favourite spots where she sleeps and cuddles with Buzz or some other attention seeking "kitten" that just so happens to snuggle up to her. Saying goodbye will likely make me cry. She was the first colony member I took in of many. She was the first colony member that essentially changed my life personally. She was the first colony member that simply put, taught me so much more as a person and as a rescue owner.
She is loved so much here at ELM and I argue with myself every day over what would be best for HER. I know I can't be selfish. She deserves a home where it's just her and Buzz, Bo Peep, Jones, or one other lucky rescue she spends her time with. If I had my way, it would be Buzz she needs to be adopted with. They share an indescribable bond. If Buzz gets the all clear at his next vet appointment, that's how it will be and two of my most favourite and loved rescues will be available as a bonded pair. One loving and extremely lucky family will bring them home and will have two of the most beautiful felines in the world. I envy them already.
So will spaying and neutering your pet change their attitude? Yes. Yes it will. You may see a small positive change like a bit more affection, perhaps your cat was marking his or her territory? That will also come to a decline if not a complete stop. There will be more purring and less discomfort for your furbaby. No more heat cycles and no more desperate attempts to dart outside or attract a mate. Plus, we mustn't forget the health benefits: sterilizing your feline/pet has been proven to prolong their life.
To spay or not to spay? I think the answer is pretty darn clear. We may as well ask: Do you love your furbaby and want a happier home? If you answer "yes", then please, please, spay and neuter your pets. You will be rewarded one-thousand fold 🙀✂️😻
If anyone requires financial assistance or a discounted rate due to hard times, please contact your local OSPCA to find out if they are hosting any spay and neuter clinics or offer a Community Assistance Program like the one at our local Hamilton/Burlington SPCA on Dartnall Road in Hamilton. For a mere $75 your feline will be assessed, vaccinated, microchipped, given Revolution, and of course, spayed or neutered.
Please do this for your furbaby. He or she deserves it. It's not cruel and it's safe. They will most definitely thank you for it.
#purrsforlife #petsareforlife #spayandneuter #adoptdontshop #feraltofriend #feralnomore #everylifematters #truelove #feeassistance #OSPCA #HBSPCA #spayandneuterprogram #communityassistanceprogram #microchipyourpet #protectyourpets
I'll miss you my little buddy. I loved every minute we shared. You were worth every waking second, every bottle feed that lasted for an hour, ever break at work coaxing you to feed, every bath, every look into your beautiful blue eyes. I'll miss walking past you and seeing you looking up at me, longing for me to hold you just a little bit longer. I'll miss your cute little waddle and bunny hop. I'll miss holding you while you "played" with my finger. You definitely left all four paw prints on my heart. I was so happy when you made it to 602 grams and your eyes began to sparkle a little bit more. Perhaps that was your way of telling me you would be okay, that you knew your peace was coming and you were ready to say good bye. It was just me that wasn't ready. I had always clung to the hope you would be my little "pocket pet" for life, despite knowing in my heart that your life would be shorter than most.
I prefer my ignorance, the rose-coloured glasses I wear, and yes; the blinders. I love having blinders on. Those blinders help me stay focused and living in the moment. If I though ahead and decided your fate in advance I wouldn't have had my hope and without Hope, I am nothing.
I love you so much Woody, you changed my world for three months and I'll cherish those memories forever.
I am grateful to God for every rescue He sends my way, whether I hold them for only an hour, or if have the joy of finding them a forever home. Every rescue is a blessing and a miracle, and for that, I am thankful.
Yesterday I had Presley in for her spay and it was discovered her heart is now beating so fast and hard it's actually audible to the human ear and easily felt as she's held. This comes as a complete shock to myself, Dr. Sharon, and of course her original mommy, Meagan. We are currently not aware of her prognosis, however, she too is now on the Pimobendan, taurine supplements, and Clavaseptin. I can only pray her condition was caught in time to be reversed without any negative effects.
I am beyond disappointed with the pet food manufacturers for the lack of research and studies done on low taurine in cat food and its effect on (pregnant) cats and their litters. I believe I'm now up to six different and unrelated litters plus a colony of cats that have heart or related issues.
The boys are generally okay with a diet rich in taurine. A good quality food with a high taurine percentage is essential to your feline's well being.
If I had the right company backing me, I would be able to more than prove my findings, alongside my veterinarian of course. Without her, we wouldn't know what we know. I've heard of other vets "seeing this in rescues often" yet it seems as though no one is making an effort to look into the reason why. We already know the reason why; low taurine at conception. We have ultrasounds, x-rays, and of course, we have autopsies to back us up. It's heart breaking. I believe everything happens for a reason, I just wish I knew how to move ahead and get this out there so the pet food industry (and many other professionals) would wake up and address the problem.
Perhaps some of these issues could be from in-breeding, but honestly? The one common theme I've found here, is a certain cat treat that's given to most of the felines. I won't share the brand or name of this treat as I have no proof. My best advice here is if you want to give your felines a treat once in a while, please give them a piece of roasted chicken or order some protein tablets for cats from your vet. There are so many different options in cat treats and I can assure you the cheaper brands are not the way to go. Most are high in salt which is very bad for a feline's heart.
Needless to say, the remaining girls will not be spayed as I now recommend they all wait until at least 6 months of age prior to spay. All the female Country Bumpkins will have x-rays next week so I will have an update then. Hopefully Presley's condition is a fluke. I know first hand she was well fed and cared for. In no way, shape, or form do I point any fingers at any of my fosters, finders, or former owners. Without proper research being done, how is the public supposed to know? I am only seeing this because of the dedication and thoroughness of my vet, Dr. Sharon. My post isn't to advertise her or her clinic, to convince you she's the best vet out there (even if I do think so myself 😉), or to sell you any product or food.
This is more of a rant out of sadness for all the 11 babies I've lost due to Dilated Cardiomyopathy or other low taurine associated issues. It's just wrong. I don't want to see the numbers climb. In rescue, you know there will be a lot of sadness. The frustrating thing for me is I see much of this sadness is preventable simply by forcing the pet food industry to increase the amount of taurine in their food products and conducting research on their food longer than 6 months (I forget where I read this my apologies) and instead continue their research for an added year for a total of 18 months.
We all have questions, however we don't have answers. This is part of the reason why I am not in a rush to adopt out my kittens at 6-8 weeks. Presley is now 14 weeks old. Several of our taurine related losses came after the kitten was 8 weeks old. Had I ever been in a rush to adopt out my babies... Well, can you imagine the poor family that loses a young kitten? How traumatized it would be for a child? I don't think I'd ever forgive myself if that happened to one of my rescues.
I apologize for the book when all I wanted to do was share the devastating news about our Princess Presley. Please keep her in your thoughts and send your love, prayers, and healing vibes her way. We need another miracle.
Love Nicole ❤️
In less than 12 hours I'll know more about my Honey Girl. To say I'm filled with anxiety and apprehension is an understatement. I have the "sparkling" or aura in my eyes that usually signify a migraine is coming on which isn't surprising to say the least. Honey after all, is one of my most cherished rescues of all. She has a very special place in my heart that no other could ever have. The reason for this is because I was the one that saved her from being euthanized. I had never expected to have such a huge impact on another feline's fate. The message that day was to me alone, asking me if I would I please take in this sweet girl with a gaping wound on her back that just wasn't given the chance to show the world what an amazing treasure she truly is.
She healed up quite nicely and rapidly in my care. For four wonderful months she was free of her nasty wound and that dreaded "cone of shame". Then she lost the playful spring in her step and my worst fear came true. Her wound was back and it wasn't going away this time.
So now three months later, after trying every different trick possible to keep her from getting at her back, Honey is scheduled in for debridement and I'm terrified. I'm generally pretty good with being realistic and logical but for Honey, I'm just downright terrified. There's no doubt in my mind she's in the right hands. I'm truly blessed with an amazing vet care team. Their compassion and support is second to none. I wouldn't trust anyone else with Honey's care. So why am I scared? I'm scared because I know things may not turn out the way I want them to. There is really no other option though. Her wound has spread and she's becoming more uncomfortable so what kind of person would I be to not even take the one possible chance at improving her life? She's gained weight thankfully which is amazing... But.
But what if?
I despise that one word that has been nagging at me. But... I can't even finish the sentence or the thought in my brain. I am physically unable to form the thought, let alone accept anything other than she will pull through and come home in a few short days. Right?
My boyfriend is trying to prepare me. He knows that if anything negative happens with Honey during or after her surgery, I would likely shut down for days, if not weeks. I find the most difficult thing with rescue is the losses. Losses I shoulder myself despite knowing nothing I could have done would have changed the outcome. I don't take "failure" well. When I lose a rescue, I always blame myself. I understand my thoughts are unrealistic, however, these rescues are mine alone and a loss in my home or under my care means I am somehow responsible. This is the curse of being a highly emotional person. I have sobbed over every loss. I have questioned my role as someone who "rescues" and if I am in the right line of work. Maybe I'm just not cut out for it? Maybe I just care too much and I need to be able to turn off my emotions and become "hardened" like I've heard of some others... I can't. That's not me.
So here I am, laying in bed. I have about 6 cats in my room with me. Some are pets and some are rescues. They are my family. They are loved and they matter to me like any living creature or human matters. My home is quiet despite the romping around I hear downstairs, the purring in my ears, and the odd trill from Neo as he talks away to me from his bed. The silence is deafening because Honey is not here. Her sweet little moon face with her gorgeous emerald eyes with her black eyeliner. The most gentle and sweet cat you could ever have the pleasure of knowing. My Honey Girl is waiting for me. She trusts me. I just pray I will get to see those beautiful emerald eyes again. I need my Honey Girl as much as she needs me.
My sweet, affectionate, lovable, and most doting rescue kitty, Chance, is back at home base here at ELM. He bonded very well with his one owner who he would cuddle and sleep with. Because she has a slight disability and her spouse was needed to help with the care of Chance, he made the decision to give Chance back (all Chance needed was special food, no pills or special attention), despite the sobs of grief from his wife. Needless to say, I am heartbroken for the lovely lady who adored Chance, for Chance who wasn't even given a "Chance" and just knowing Chance is just an undeniably amazing 6-year-old; healthy, playful, stunning... Yesterday I said goodbye to my beautiful, sick girl and it hurts me so much that a spouse could do something so incredibly cruel to his wife. I only know the side I was given, but knowing his adoptive mom was sobbing as Chance was taken away was enough to fill my eyes with tears. I just don't understand. Chance is healthy. He is not high maintenance. So what if you have to scoop some poop and give a cat food and water... I'm doing my best not to be angry. I think really it's just my heart. I understand I/we will see more death, disease, and cruelty than most people but honestly, the past 6 months have been downright difficult. Please share Chance's photo? He's such a gorgeous and loving, declawed boy. He's 6 years old going on 6 months old. He deserves a real "Chance". One that will give him the time he deserves and not someone that will abandon him again. From being abandoned in an apartment building, to going to HAC fully blocked, to being sent out to be euthanized, then unexpectedly and suddenly safe into my hands... Please make a dream come true for my gorgeous boy.
I will admit, I will be extra strict this time around. I can't let Chance be abandoned again. He doesn't deserve what he's been through. He needs to be an only cat and he will be your knight in shining armor. Please help Chance find a REAL home. A home he deserves. His life matters.
Chance is neutered, declawed, up-to-date on his needles, dewormed, had a fecal flotation done (negative for parasites), only 6 years young, microchipped, not good with dogs or cats, and just a little bit shy. He still trusts despite all he's been through and loves like no other. He may be adopted for only $225. All his health records will come with him, along with full disclosure from my vet. Getting Chance fixed up and stabilized cost me over $480. I'm not looking for more money, I just want a home for the most amazing cat you will ever meet. Please fill out my online questionnaire if you're interested in meeting my boy Chance.
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen of PJ's Pets
I'm writing this in a blog as I'm so incredibly sickened about Cleo. Last night was night number three with no sleep whatsoever.
When I saw the original plea about Cleo from my colleague at All Paws, I called the PJ's Pets in Brampton at the BCC and spoke with a girl (I believe her name was Jessica) who claimed she works for a vet and has 9 years experience working with "pets". When Jessica declined my wish to purchase/hold this baby girl, I began to question the care she had been receiving and advised her that she is aiding in the decline of Cleo's health. She advised me that the OSPCA had been called so I let her know that I would also be calling to ensure they were indeed investigating the health of Cleo. My conversation with the OSPCA went well and my information taken down. I was told they had already received a couple calls to which I then apologized and let the operator know that I had just posted the kitten's information on my rescue page and I had over 600 followers. We chuckled a bit in an attempt to lighten the nature of the call and hung up on a pleasant note.
My post on Facebook is currently sitting at having reached over 14,000 people:
Which, to be perfectly honest, I couldn't care less as it's essentially done nothing for Cleo. I've been informed that Cleo is at the store manager's home. I have read the letter from the "vet" and PJ's posts hidden in the comments of the New Years post on their official page. I'm 43 years old and I can read through the lines. The letter does not state the kitten is healthy. The letter states the kitten is "not in poor health" and the vet merely guesses as to why she is losing weight.
Not only do I run my cat rescue, but I volunteer at my vet's office. I have seen snd nursed back to health more sick cats in the past 2 years than I care to admit. I've seen many cover-ups and heard several lies from all kinds of people including those we would trust the most. Reading this "veterinarian's" letter is more depressing than reassuring.
When one can't sleep, one digs. When one digs, this is what you find:
PJ's Pets "Chief Veterinarian" is Dr. Jeff. Dig a little deeper within the PJ's website and you'll find his full name: Dr. Jeff Rabinovitch, DVM
If you google his name, you will find his clinic and staff:
The veterinarian in the scribbled out letter PJ's Pets submitted discretely in their comments on their New Year's post, boasts of 10 years experience which would mean Dr. Jeff would not have written this, however, there are two more practicing DVMs at his clinic who are far younger than himself. I'll let the general public generate their own conclusion.
Still awake, and even more digging, one will easily find just how committed and dedicated Dr. Jeff is to helping out the OSPCA with his sponsorships.
I've done my best to remain professional when I've spoken in reference to this poor, sweet kitten. I'm well educated and am not easily conned. My goal with Cleo is to get her the proper vet care. It's been my experience that the colour of the gums are not the go to for checking a feline's hydration. To check for hydration, you typically pull up the skin over the shoulders and neck, give it a gentle twist and release to see how slow (or fast) the skin falls back onto the feline (you are checking the skin's elasticity). It's always been my understanding that the nose, gums, tongue, and footpads are usually the indicator of anemia if pale, in fact, a quick Google search confirms my belief:
So bearing this in mind, if a vet has been in practice for 10 years, one would hope the veterinarian would know how to check a cat for dehydration. If all this vet did was look at her gums there's a big problem here. Huge. Not to mention a kitten being stolen by a "hoarder" and being among 11 other cats with unknown health concerns, puts this kitten at a giant risk and she should have been placed in isolation for at least two weeks to ensure she was not exposed to anything. Many very contagious feline diseases like coccidia (a common intestinal parasite that is lethal in kittens and found by doing a $40 fecal flotation) can take up to 13 days to show up in a feline. Coccidia is not killed with regular deworming. It's treated with Sulfa. Giardia, another very common intestinal parasite requires treatment with Metronidazole and doesn't always show up in a flotation but will in a Giardia Eliza test. Something like ringworm (also quite common in rescues - I use rescues as an example as no one knows what kind of cats the "hoarder" may have had) can take up to THREE weeks before symptoms show up.
I don't want to come off as a know-it-all, but we've all seen the photos. The "vet" did not say the kitten was in "fine health" as Ms. Young quotes. The vet wrote the kitten is "not in poor health"... Then again, this is coming from a seasoned vet with 10 years of experience, a seasoned vet with 10 years of experience that doesn't know pink gums means Cleo is not anemic.
I'm not sure what else I can do at this point. In my eyes, it's very clear to me Cleo is not well. I pray she will pull through and beat the odds. If there is anything at all anyone is able to do, I beg you, please do so in a professional and non-violent manner. This kitten deserves a fighting chance. I don't want Cleo to be the reason why PJ's is shut down, they will be the key to their own undoing. What's important is Cleo's life matters and she deserves to know love.
My hands are tied. I would like to think PJ's would be more proactive in saving face by making more of an effort to prove Cleo is 100% healthy. A healthy kitten that isn't required to see the vet on the 12th. Am I the only one who wonders why a kitten "in fine health" as Ms. Young states, is required to see the vet again in a few days? Does anyone else wonder why, in his or her letter, this "vet" is merely GUESSING at why this kitten is losing weight instead of running tests that could in fact save her life?
Baby Cleo deserves so much more than she's getting. Any staff at PJ's Pets at the BCC that has seen Cleo and her condition is an accomplice to this awful cover up. Go ahead and ask me about any of my rescues. Not only will you see all my invoices for extensive vet care, you will also see my veterinarian's name and contact information. My vet, who has been in practice for approximately 30 years now and is known for her love and compassion of animals. I give full disclosure as I have nothing to hide and I'll add that I'm always open to suggestions and if I'm wrong, I will admit it and make it right and also be grateful for learning something new.
I will say I'm thankful for one thing. Baby Cleo is sheltered. Something I can't say for the long list of abandoned cats waiting for rescue. Some will have passed away last night due to the extreme cold and that breaks my heart as I've had to turn many away due to lack of funding and space. It is because of stores like PJ's that there are so many backyard breeders and a huge cat overpopulation. I'm sure many people aren't aware that even purebred cats find themselves at animal control. The proof is in the pudding. I liked it when I had blinders on. Now, I just don't sleep at night.
One final note. If Cleo is indeed as healthy as Ms. Young states, why aren't more current or updated photos being shown? A video perhaps? If my name was in the process of being severely tarnished and my staff was being threatened, you can bet I would move mountains to prove everyone wrong. But that's me. I'm honest and I tell it like it is. Sadly, I've dealt with enough liars in my past. PJ's could fix this so incredibly fast yet they remain evasive and defensive. Both are key indicators of hiding something, not protecting their staff. Protecting their staff would be giving documented proof that she is thriving, or, working with others outside of PJ's to calm a growing "outrage".
***Please also find it in your hearts to read and sign the following petition that has been set up in light of the events that have occurred with Cleo over the past couple days:
Nicole Paling, Owner of ELM Cat Rescue
PS: I wanted to add in another fine example of just how foolish people are at Christmas with their impulse buys and "breeders" and/or stores making it just too easy for absolutely anyone to get their hands on a pet they now feel is disposable. Society needs to wake up and smarten up. Pets are for life.
This was one of the last pictures I took of my mom's rescue kitten, Angel, before she was prepped for her spay...
On Tuesday, October 28, 2015 as I was working reception, I was called into the operating room where Angel was being spayed. A routine, everyday operation my vet has performed likely over a thousand times in her career. Everything was done right. She was intubated and breathing well throughout her entire operation. She was closely monitored by the vet tech, getting fluids, and everything was going perfect until the end. As her oxygen was slowly tapered off, her heart stopped. Just like that. Several measures were taken to start her heart back up before I even got in there. I was in shock and in denial. This wasn't happening. No. Angel wasn't going to die. This was surreal. Her heart was going to start again, I knew it. I prayed like never before. I held her paw and talked to her. Panic started to overtake me and I started to yell at her, as if raising my voice might reach her deep within and start up her heart again. I'm sure she had CPR for over 20 mins. Likely much longer than most vets would even attempt. No one wanted to give up.
Angel was healthy. This wasn't making any sense at all. She ran, she played, she ate, she drank, she pooped, she peed... Everything about her was normal, except...
Two weeks prior, she was to be spayed but when we ran routine bloodwork she had a high WBC and ESOs (ESOs can indicate parasites or allergies). Not a huge deal really, she was put on antibiotics and now two weeks later I'm pleading for her life. She never woke up. My mom. How was I going to tell my mom? We were all crying over Angel. I started sobbing and had to leave the surgical room. I collapsed on the floor just wanting a miracle so bad. My mom lost her husband of 40 years just 10 years ago. My mom was innocent, Angel was innocent. Angel was only 6 months old. This wasn't happening. I'm having a nightmare. Please wake me up.
Dr. Sharon comes out and I know she's exhausted every effort. I know she did everything in her power, even more so because it was me. My mom's kitten. A kitten Sharon had looked after since she was two weeks old. Angel is carried out and laid on a table. I walk over to her and I pick her up. Now I'm starting to wail. I go into Sharon's office and I start massaging her heart, willing it to start up again, her usual pink nose and gums are turning grey but I don't stop I could have sworn I heard her take a breath but when I looked at her I knew I was mistaken. I massaged her heart even harder now thinking maybe I'm just not doing it right, maybe I'm not praying hard enough. How can this happen to my mom, one of the most God-fearing, gentle, and innocent people of all? Why her? Why not me? I felt so hopeless and I'm sure my sobs could be heard all over the block. I just couldn't let her go.
I finally realized my nightmare is real. Angel is gone. She's gone. Angel is, an angel. So perfect, and gone. I walk out front not wanting to lay her back down. I don't want her to be cold. Dr. Sharon and Melissa both have tears in their eyes. They can't believe it either. I know I can't take this news to my mom so I selfishly ask Sharon if she would please do an autopsy. She mentioned sending her out but I needed answers now or no one, especially my mom, would have any closure. I still feel awful asking Sharon to do it after all she did to save her. I knew it wasn't anything relating to the procedure. Sharon is the best veterinarian I know and it broke my heart seeing her so upset as well. I felt so guilty that this happened to her with one of "my" cats. I know it's no ones fault but we are family and the pain was so much deeper and closer to all our hearts.
Sharon agreed and I gave my Angel to her and waited outside the room. I doubt it was even five minutes. The cause of her death was very evident now. Her lungs were dead. Only 10% (if that even) of her lungs were functioning. Just a small sliver of pink was showing on the very bottom of her lobes, the rest, were the colour of liver. Necrosis. Her lungs were dead. How was that even possible when she was so vibrant and full of life? She was extremely playful, had a great appetite, and had no digestive issues.
Thankfully, we ran her bloodwork for all the major diseases. It's an expensive test, but the results have brought peace of mind a second time. She was 100% FIV, FIP, and FeLV NEGATIVE. Knowing this however, makes things harder to understand. Why did this happen? All literature and research I've been pouring over for the past 24 hours have yielded no results. Research is my forte but this time I don't think I will ever know or find out why her lungs were essentially dead and with Angel having no symptoms whatsoever. All I found was ONE other case where this happened. One. No name for this condition, no closure, no answer. Sharon suspects it's genetic as her sister Dorothy passed away from a bad heart when she was only about four weeks old.
Spanky, her brother, also had a high WBC when I did his bloodwork. I hadn't yet rescheduled his neuter and now I'm scared. He will be getting an X-ray to see if he has the same condition. The other two brothers have already been neutered and recovered well and quickly. I can't help but be worried about Spanky. He sleeps more than Angel did, he has a weepy eye... He's extra special after having survived the raccoon attack.
I have been questioning everything for the past few days. I feel responsible and so guilty over Angel's death. I gave Angel to my mom. I gave her a kitten that was sick and dying. Had Angel survived the operation, her condition would have been fatal. She likely wouldn't have made it to her first birthday.
I lost a big part of my heart that day. I'm tired and I feel so broken that something I did has hurt my mom so much. I know there was no way of knowing. I know it's not my fault. The pain I feel inside is unbearable. I haven't stopped crying.
I'm sorry for laying all my thoughts and emotions out on the table for all of you, I am. I'm just having such an awful time coming to terms with this. I look at all my rescues and try to be happy for them but right now I just can't get Angel out of my head. I don't know how to get over this.
I wanted to share a little bit about my rescue, plus how and why I operate the way I do.
I take enormous pride in my rescue cats and kittens. What this means to me (and them), is that I do everything possible to ensure their health, safety, and future home will be 100% purrfect. For this reason, my adoption process does NOT happen fast. It can take days, sometimes even weeks. My ELM team spends endless hours with each of our rescues just so we can assess their personalities, their likes, their dislikes, and what kind of home they would best be suited.
We often laugh or joke around with potential adopters when they "have an eye on someone" as we know, they will more than likely end up with someone else. Each cat and kitten at ELM is unique and they all have their own "needs", funny quirks, and characteristics that would be wonderful with one family, yet not so wonderful with another.
This is part of the reason why I have (two) questionnaires, why our team likes to talk to potential adopters on the phone, email, and text. To us, communication is important and another factor we take pride in. We are 100% brutally honest. We disclose all information, we provide full disclosure with our vet, and I've had to share the disappointment with prospective adopters that who I have in our care at this time, may not be a good fit with their family dynamic.
Now all that being said, we all know Christmas is a week away. I am unable to promise any adoption in time for Christmas and I don't endorse giving any pet as a Christmas gift. Of course we do have adoptions during this time, but it is after questionnaires have been filled out, I've met with the potential adopter or talked at length with them over the phone. This is all about what our rescues NEED and not what a potential adopter WANTS. As harsh as that sounds, it reinforces my "policy" that all our rescues are placed in the right home so they are never abandoned, abused, tossed away, or neglected ever again.
I have had many adopters compliment me on how I operate, some have even remained with my vet due to her dedication and thoroughness with all of my rescues. I am a non-profit rescue. Translated, this means I do not make a profit, and because of this, I don't turn around kittens "ASAP" or the same day a kitten is seen. I don't scoop up kittens and leave their moms behind (and am still guilt ridden over Mookie's family). I take them all. I ensure mom is fixed and that this was her last litter.
Long story short, rescue is not a fast process, neither is the adoption. I hope everyone can understand I do what I do because I care, not because I am trying to be difficult or unreasonable, I truly want what's best for everyone, but my rescues will always be my first and top priority.
Thank you everyone for your continued support and being my village. My rescues depend on you and many of you have been very encouraging, selfless, comforting, loving, and my friends. For that, I will forever be grateful ❤️
Today my sweet boy Digit went Home to be with Angel and all our other beautiful rescues that only graced our lives for a very short time. Digit no longer struggles to breathe, he is no longer full of fluid, and masking his pain with his constant purrs.
My dear sweet Digit, I love you with all my heart. No one will ever compare to you, no one will ever steal kisses from me like you. No one will ever touch my heart quite like you did.
I'll never forget how you chose me. It wasn't in my mind to keep you as excited as I was about every single one of your 23 toes. You were persistent and would grab onto my ankles the second I tried to leave the room. You followed me everywhere and insisted on being my baby. You loved it when I carried you and soon it was a competition between my toddler and you. You usually won, 5 pounds is much easier to carry than 30 lol. I remember the snuggles at night, you cleaning my dishes in the dishwasher, and your gentle nature. I wish I'd had more time to enjoy you, however I'm grateful for our last couple days. I've never been so distraught over losing one of my own fur babies, but you, you just stole my heart and ran with it. Your eyes always looked deep within mine and you always knew when I needed you the most. Knowing all that I do now, I'd do it all over again.
Thank you for being mine for four months. I love you my sweet Digi, I love you to the moon and back. You'll forever be in my heart ❤️
Yesterday I got devastating news about Digit. He doesn't have much time left here with me. Despite his negative genetic testing, the radiologist believes his findings "may be compatible" with FIP. I'm dumbfounded, I'm in shock, and my heart is just shattered.
I honestly don't understand. His ultrasound showed ALL organs as normal, including his liver. He also has a mesenteric mass measuring 1.7 x 2.3 cm. The mass combined with his abdominal fluid build up is the reason for the suggested diagnosis of FIP.
I've spoken to Dr. Sharon at length and researched for hours on end since his X-ray November 3rd and can share these things with you:
• FIP is NOT contagious
• FIP is a genetic mutation of the coronavirus which IS contagious
• FIP only occurs in approximately 1:5000 felines and is more common among kittens, cats with compromised immune systems, and senior cats
• FIP happens only to felines who are genetically predisposed to it
• FIP is "random"
• Most cats will have been exposed to the coronavirus at some point in their life with either no symptoms or mild diarrhea and will recover without any further complications
• A positive genetic test to coronavirus most often means your cat has been EXPOSED to the coronavirus, not that it HAS the coronavirus
This is something I'm continuing to research due to fact that a negative genetic test to coronavirus usually indicates it is impossible that your cat has FIP, hence my confusion. The only explanation I have found for this is Raina.
Raina came to me on October 29, 2015. That same day, Digit was in for his third set of vaccinations. He was in perfect health and a great weight. Raina was in an enclosure in my room at my bed level. Digit sleeps with me every night. If Raina had coronavirus or FIP and Digit was genetically predisposed, it would explain why his genetic testing came back negative from bloodwork done on November 3 as his body may not have yet even had time to produce the antibodies for it to register.
With all that being said, I don't believe this is what Scarlett is living with. Scarlett has always been tiny and dealing with URIs and mild infections. Digit had always been in perfect health. Raina declined almost over night and passed away in pain, she was with me for only a week. Her belly was also distended and swollen, she never gained more than an ounce. It seems too much of a coincidence that Digit declined so rapidly in just one week. I don't want to believe it and with all my reading, I've found out FIP is one of the most misdiagnosed diseases out there. So with that in mind, I'm doing my best to find another answer. Cats and kittens with FIP stop eating. Digit is still eating, drinking, peeing, and pooping. FIP can only be confirmed through an autopsy and I believe a liver biopsy which I don't have the funds for.
Because I am an honest and responsible person, this is not something I feel is right to "hide" I have seen "others" hide things from their followers but that is not me. I will always tell the truth and give full disclosure.
That being said, I am taking precautions and am taking Marty, Passion, and Mookie off the "adoptable" list for the time being.
Because I isolate my cats and am cautious with when and who I allow to "free roam", I can assure you the following cats and kittens are "safe":
• Lacey and her 5 kittens
• Babe Ruth
• Chance (pending adoption)
• Caramel and Toffee
• Luna and Dottie
Also safe are:
• Cleo and her girls (I want to X-ray Selene before I put her up for adoption with her little sister, Aurora)
• Amber (pending adoption)
• Maeve and her 4 kittens
• Arabella and her 2 kittens
• Victor and Vaeda
• Boots and Charlotte
• Bella (pending adoption)
• Bert, Ernie & Delilah
Before I run bloodwork on Scarlett I am withholding adoption of the family.
As I get more information I will update all of you. Please feel free to ask any questions or express your concerns. I will post useful and informative links in the comments.
I do apologize in advance for the lack of activity in the past three weeks. I will likely be quiet this weekend as well as I love Digit as much as possible.
My rescues are my world and I'm crushed. It's very difficult to think of the 99 I've rescued in less than a year and instead look at all I owe and think of my losing Digit in the near future. I'm tempted to shut down, I fear of what the FIP "possibility" will do to my rescue in regards to future adoptions. Please know I have always done my best and got my felines the best, personalized veterinary care. A veterinarian that wouldn't listen to me last night as I sobbed over Digit and fearful of his suffering to the point where I thought the kindest thing to do was to give him peace last night. She refused and said he wasn't ready and to bring him home and love him. Of course when I went to him, he came running to me purring. So until he's ready, I'll love him as much as possible.
To finish, I don't like to "push" my beliefs on anyone... Many of you know my faith in Jesus is strong and today my daily verse just so happened to be one of my favourites:
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
It has always been the scripture that pulled me through difficult times, so reading that today reminded me that God's plans are always perfect. Whether I like them or not. There is something that needs to be learned from this, I just wish it didn't hurt so much 💔
A mom of 3 that loves Jesus Christ, my children, cats, and of course, all that God created. Thank you for checking us out here at ELM!