My Greek kitty crew

Friday, September 28, 2012

Hiding under the cupboard

Hello! My name is Ivy. The nice lady rescued me today. 

I was living in and around a local taverna fighting and begging for food every day. No one knows what happened to my mom or siblings so I'm a little 7-8 week old orphan. I'd become quite good at acting big on the outside even though I've been struggling with diarrhea and a cough... maybe I've got bronchitis. Yesterday the nice lady found me looking for water. No one even noticed I was desperate for water - but the nice lady did. She got a bowl from the restaurant and bought me some water. It was just what I needed! Upon hearing that the taverna is closing after the weekend she decided to scoop me up. I probably wouldn't stand much of a chance of surviving when the taverna closes. So today she came back with a transport box and brought me to the vet. After a check-up I was taken back to my new home. Everything seemed very big and scary so I went straight under the cupboard.

Quickly realizing I've got no plan of coming out she popped a small quilt for me under the cupboard.

I didn't quite know what it was at first - it made me quite scared. But then I realized that it was soft and warm  - just like my mom used to be. So I started milking the quilt.

As a matter of fact, it was all so nice and fuzzy. My new food bowl is full and I even have my own bowl of clean water. It's just next to me - all I have to do is come out from under the cupboard.

But for now I'm good under here. I don't think I've been sleeping this well since I got lost from my mom. There used to be so much traffic and noise at the taverna. But here it is quiet and safe. And I get comforting cuddles all the time. I hiss at first - because I'm not that used to human hands - but the hands are gentle and kind. Yes, I think I'm good here... so I'll safely go back to sleep for the moment. I could get used to this!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Yes, this girl grew!

First of all a very BIG heartfelt thank you to all you lovely friends who contributed towards Snowy - and also I am so very grateful for your lovely words, comments and prayers for Snowy. We don't yet have a diagnosis for his condition but he has improved since his last episode and is now in a stable condition. He awaits further treatment and I promise keep you updated on his progress.

BUT for now an update about the ├╝ber charming and strong-willed Cookie... She is now about 12-13 weeks and just enjoy (again) the comparison between the moment just after I found Cookie and the miraculous beauty of her eyes today. Might not seem anything special but it certainly is when you consider the inexplicable state of her eyes at just 3-4 weeks old.

You can take a peak here just to revisit how bad her eyes really looked underneath those horrible "mud-cakes." In the image above you can detect kind-of-like swollen pockets under her eyes. They were filled with pus that just oozed forth when the "cakes" were removed. It took a while to reveal two teensy eyes behind the layers and I honestly thougth her right eye was a write-off. But... you know this story by now.

But she also had another wonder in store for us. At about age 6-7 weeks she started to turn white. Until then she had been almost pitch black. But everyday she just seemed to grow a little whiter and we wondered when it would stop. 

It seems she's now reached her actual color - a very unique blend I've never seen before!

Otherwise Cookie enjoys playing all day with bro and snuggling up with moma cat when it's time for a nap. As you can see in the image above Cookie is catching up  size-wise with her tiny moma. It gives you an idea of just how young this moma cat must have been when she gave birth. She will need an intro for herself one day soon... We can't figure out what to call her. It was initally Precious as she acted real precious (didn't want to mingle with the other cats too much) - but now it's as if her inner "alter-ego" has appeared and she reminds me of a flower-power girl with her long hair flowing in the wind when she runs, lol! In that side of herself I call her Hippie (very endearingly!).

But just to round off with Cookie... I don't know how many pictures I've taken close-up of her eyes (a lot!). They are a real glistening miracle that I marvel at even today when I compare the images. I believe her eye-sight is a real testament to the fact that miracles really can happen through a lot of patience, a lot (initailly) of around-the-clock care and a heart-full of LOVE. But then of course it is humanly impossible to not pour your heart over a helpless little life of God. 

I say this because we might all take this human response for granted, but only last week a cat friend of mine told me of her neighbour finding a plastic bag discarded in an iron dumpster (shut closed). Yes, you guessed it... the plastic bag contained 3 kittens. Tree newborn kittens still with the umbilical chord attached. Probably just a few hours old - taken straight from the kitty mom. So many stories to tell really... the good, the bad, the ugly - but also the miraculous. But this to say that I believe one can no longer take a "normal" human response for granted.  It's a wonderful human gift being able to respond to our inbuilt instincts - and to not grow numb or overlay what we know to be right!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

When you love a little cat

It's been an eventful summer - something I've come to gradually accept as part of life when you live with 30+ rescue cats. When you rescue a stray or a dumpster cat there's simply no telling what their "medical record" is. You don't know what they might be a carrier of or what other at first hidden weaknesses they have. 

I first mentioned this beautiful little boy named Snowy back in mid-June. Rescued by his night in shining armour (DH) at some point when I was away. At the point of rescue he suffered a nasty flu and an accompanying respiratory infection. Also he was quite emaciated but through lots of TLC he quickly put on some weight and became a super active little guy even though he struggled to fully get rid of the respiratory infection.

 Snowy in the hands of his knight in shining armour!

The flu went but the respiratory infection persisted in spite of several antibiotic treatments. We first got a whiff of the severity one day on our way back home from the vet where he had just had an antibitotic shot. He suddenly collapsed in the car on our way back home. I was able to get him around again quite quickly and then we sped back home - lets just say way beyond the speed limit! We were kind of surprised because at that point the vet did not detect any wrongful noises on his lungs. Anyhow... lots of rest and he appeared well recovered again. 

Until a few weeks later when I was in the garden one early evening (during an extended heat wave). With several cats around as usual, and Snowy too. He was playing around my legs and suddenly collapsed on my feet. This time too I was able to get him back and rushed him inside a cool and shady room. Only this time he actually went into a very bad fit of hyper-ventilation - eyes suddenly glazed over and the white appearing instead. Then things went real fast... phoning the vet who appeared on our doorstep 20 minuttes later. I simply didn't dare move him in this state. Remarkably by the time the vet arrived Snowy had gradually come around again  - once again able to stand on his legs and breathing without hyper-ventilating. The vet examined him and gave him an intibiotic shot and suspected he might have pneumonia (in spite of not being able to detect any noises on his lungs). 

We were then instructed to keep him strictly indoor for a week. Even after that week he remained indoor and only had small 5-10 minutte outings. During this time he had another visit from the vet to give him yet another antibiotic shot and he was brought in for two different xrays. The first was too blurry and the second showed some minor signs of damage.

After about 5 weeks indoor Snowy gradually had just a little bit longer outdoor - strictly supervised. He seemed to cope and was of course delighted every day to smell the earth and play (I would have to keep seperating him from play-figthing). But one day he apparently had just had too long and some hours later (being back indoor) went into a very bad fit again. This time the vet wasn't able to come around (due to being alone in the practise) so in a state of great emergency I sent my husband off with Snowy, whilst I let the vet know they were on their way and that it was serious. I actually didn't expect Snowy would make it... it was that bad. But miraculously he made it and was put on oxygen for 24 hours. He stayed at the vet for 4 days, had intravenous shots of antibiotics every day, treatment for heartworms and another xray. This time around it showed that he had some permanent damage to the front part of his lungs meaning that he only has something like a 65% functioning lung capacity. This now means a lifetime on antibiotics and a permanent indoor life.

Snowy came back home last Monday and he is still gaining strength. This time around really did him in and his appetite is nothing like it used to be. But we keep on figthing as long as Snowy has the strength himself. The last few months have been a testing time for Snowy with 4 visits to the vet (including the longer stay), 3 xrays (under full sedation each time of course), antibitotic treatment after antibiotic treatment, 3 home check-ups by the vet, heartworm treatment, earmite treatments... this boy has been through a couple of years worth of treatments and check-ups already. And he is up for another home check-up tomorrow!

But during all this time he has been the greatest sport - even seeming to understand that he needs to stay indoor even though his little heart is running wild outdoor with his mates.

He really is the sweetest and most innocent little cat and we naturally just love him to bits. I truly wish some healing miracle would befall Snowy - he really deserves it. His attitude through all this has been stellar. 

If anyone is able to make a contribution towards Snowy's medical treatments I would be so very thankful. My vet is once again working on the basis of being paid later as I simply can't keep up with veterinary bills (all other cats included) and it is of course utterly invaluable that I can keep up this honor agreement. THANK YOU.

P.s. As usual contributions can be made via the donate button to the right on this page.
P.p.s. All the above images are taken in June whilst Snowy was at the peak of his strength.