Saturday, March 2, 2013

Hard times for Wildrun/Owl House cats

It's been a tough week for Wildrun/Owl House adopters. Two families have reported in via Facebook that their cats, adopted from us, are ill or have passed on. Sweet Pooh is suffering from congestive heart failure. He was born in a trap while his mother was waiting to be spayed at a feral cat spay/neuter clinic. And Lori's cat Ophelia passed over today with the help of a veterinarian due to complications from diabetes. They were both refugees from the Kitten Summers from Hell (let's not even go there now) and they were very lucky. In both cases, other kittens in their litters did not make it. In both cases, even though their lives were short (8-9 years) they have wonderful, loving homes.

On the home front, Storm, sister to my sister's cat Sylvester, is very ill. She is rapidly losing weight (cancer, kidney failure?), still is drinking and eating, but sits up periodically after eating or drinking for a little while, and seems uncomfortable in a crouch (cancer?). She is flat-footing a bit (diabetes?) in her hind legs while still having plenty of strength to leap. However, this has all occurred within three days after bringing new cats into the facility (upper respiratory?) and she has a rapidly drying crust in the corner of her eyes. So I've got her on antibiotics and we are waiting for lab results as blood was taken right before the local veterinary clinic closed on Friday. The fact this she is both eating and drinking both heartens and worries me.

Daily love and mental stimulation is vital for a cat. My sister's cat Sylvester is glossy, shiny, and sweet. Stormy, his sister, has always been a bit dull looking even though her fur and body type is exactly like his. She is beautiful, but you can't help but see the difference between a cat in a loving home (Sylvester), and a cat in a "sanctuary" (Storm). When my ex-husband and I were pre-honeymooning in California, we stopped at a cat rescue, and mentally I swore that I would never have a place that was full of such sad and dull-furred looking cats, no matter how safe and well-fed they were. Yet now I have four that look just like that. Luckily, there are only four. Others, like Tiger Tom, have escaped that fate. Look at him now.

Storm has always has some serious attitude except during thunderstorms, when she wants to be comforted and held. Today, I picked her up and held her (no thunderstorm) and she purred and purred. I'm not sure that is a good sign.

The barn is drab and dusty, no matter how clean I keep it. You can put down vinyl floors, paint the walls pretty colors, and give them soft clean beds, but it still isn't a home. It may have windows, but it's no place for a cat to be for so many years. We have people who visit here, but not every day. They see me when I clean twice a day, and I cuddle and comb them, but that is literally for mere minutes. In the house with my pet cats, Ivan and the others sleep next to me for hours, get toys thrown, wander about the house, etc. That is one reason I dream of the straw-bale building by the gorge, with an outside enclosed area. It would be more pleasant for the cats, and more pleasant for people to visit...making it, again, more pleasant for the cats.


  1. So sorry about Pooh and Ophelia. It's seems rougher, to me at least, when they don't make it to double digits. I tell myself that each of them would have died a miserable, lonely death much sooner had I not rescued them.

    All we can do is the best we can & it beats the alternative for other rescue cats, which is about 99% certain death. If only we lived in a world where all cats (dogs, etc) were in loving homes and lived long and healthy lives. Keeping hope alive, one (or more) cats at a time.

  2. I have a lot of cats many who are not sociable enough for a real home. Most here however seem very healthy, outside of three with chronic herpes. I have some very elderly cats now. Many have gone to homes and been returned and seem very happy to be back, amongst their friends. However, most wish for more attention than they get, from a human. They vie for space on my bed with me, and usually ten or twelve are on or around me nights, with some spats when more try to snuggle in.

  3. A friend of mine up in Portland has had quite a lot of success of late finding the tame cats at her sanctuary real homes, which is really wonderful for those cats. I think she'd love to be able to quickly adopt out the tame ones and leave the sanctuary, for the ferals.