Friday, June 12, 2015

"Free Kitens" left in a brown paper bag

Driving along River Road yesterday, Stephanie, our Receptionist had to slow down for the vehicle in front of her who was making a turn.  Fortunately that gave her the opportunity to notice a brown paper grocery bag sitting on the opposite side of the road that had the words "Free Kitens" written on it in black felt marker.

She almost couldn't believe her eyes, but pulled over in order to investigate further.  Inside the bag were two 3 week old kittens.  No blanket, no note, nothing but two orphaned babies left on the side of the road.  They were cold and very thin.  She rushed them back to the office and staff went to work by warming them up and giving them a meal. 

One Siamese One Brown Tabby

These two little munchkins are now in foster care with one of our "Bottle Feeders" and we're hopeful they'll pull through.

Please think positive thoughts for these babies.

Meow for now,

Letting Go of Love

Faith hiding in Fifi's fur
Being a foster parent is a beautiful, rewarding experience.  It's also pretty tricky.  You want to foster and are good at it because one has the desire to nurture, heal, protect and have the skills to provide the basic necessities for it to live.  And yet, when it is time to give them up, you have to set all of those feelings and natural tendencies aside.  It tests your willpower and ultimately means you turn off your heart and turn on your head.

Three weeks ago one of the little foster kittens in our program, Faith, wasn't thriving.  She was sick, wasn't eating and Laura, our Foster Program Coordinator encouraged the foster family to bring the eight ounce kitten back to us for special care.  Laura took her the first night and was up every couple of hours syringe feeding her and monitoring her progress.  I took her after that thinking I would only have her for a weekend and then she could go back to her foster family and siblings.  As it turned out, she needed one on one care beyond the weekend which I was happy to provide.  During the three weeks I had her she was my constant companion.  She went with me to work, to meetings, to my friend's house and then back home again.  Everybody who saw her fell in love with her because she was just so darn adorable, would connect with everyone and purr the minute you touched her.  As she became stronger and healthier she started acting like a kitten - playing and climbing up onto everything and even engaging my own adult cats into hide and seek.  She loved to climb up onto your lap, then onto your shoulder and just purr in your ear until she fell asleep.  She was once again a thriving kitten and I had fallen in love. 
Faith waking up from a good nap.

Then came the hard part - giving her up.  As long as she was sick and still on meds, I knew she would remain in my care.  But once she was well, I knew the best thing for her, for me, for my own cats, and even the cats that call our office home, was to let her go.  That is what I mean by turning off your heart and turning on your better judgement.  So on Tuesday, she went home with another foster family who had kittens the same size as her.  She is doing very well, having a blast playing with her foster brothers the way kittens should......but there is a hole in my life that she once occupied.  I knew it was the best thing, but that didn't make it any easier.

So hat's off to everybody who fosters.  You are a special group of individuals who can see beyond the immediate satisfaction and selfish desire to keep them all.  For the greater good, they are passed on to live a wonderful life and your home is open to nurture and heal and protect the next deserving kitten or cat that needs all you have to give.

Meow for now,


Friday, February 7, 2014

Star Light, Star Bright.....

.....First star I see tonight.  Wish I may.  Wish I might.  Get the wish I wish tonight. 

As a child, I remember reciting this poem and wishing upon the stars - probably for trivial things like a new bicycle or an A in my geometry class (NOT).  But now as an adult, I would wish that all of the people that we adopt to would have the same intention that Sarah expressed in the letter that we received today about her promise to her kitty, Sage.  Here is what she wrote.

Dear Forgotten Felines:

Thank you for everything you do to help the kitties in Sonoma County to find their forever homes.

When I adopted my cat, Sage, nearly 14 years ago, I promised him that he would be mine for the rest of his life.  I told him we would love him and take care of him until his very last day.  My sweet kitty, Sage, lived 13 wonderful years and I loved him until his last day....and I love him still.

I hope my donation will help Forgotten Felines with whatever is needed to give our four-legged friends homes and foster homes.

Thank you for all that you do!  With gratitude,  Sarah

Adoption returns are one of the hardest situations we deal with here at Forgotten Felines.  First of all, we feel as though we let our kitty down by placing it into a home that didn't last forever.  But secondly, we see the confused and displaced cats withdraw from life, stop eating and become depressed when they find themselves without their home.  I think people believe that they can just "return" them and we'll simply take care of everything and they don't have to worry anymore.

If you're going to adopt, then commit just like Sarah did to her beloved Sage.  Till death us do part!  Its my wish for all of our cats.

Meow for now,

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Teressa thanks the Fluffy Fund

Teressa finally eating on her own.
It was the first day (1/6/2014) of the first full week back to work after the new year when we received a call from our partners at the Rohnert Park Animal Shelter.  A cat, Teressa, who we had adopted out one year prior had been relinquished to the shelter by their owners on Saturday.  The cat was extremely ill and the family could not afford the necessary care required to diagnose the problem.  They had taken her to the vet where she was given what they could afford, but when Teressa's condition didn't improve they took her to the shelter.  They didn't know what else to do other than get her to people that could help her.

The plan was to transfer her from the RPAS shelter to FFSC, but before that was done, Dr. Leach, the RP veterinarian on site that morning agreed to take a look at Teressa who wasn't eating or drinking, had been vomiting and had diarrhea.  Dr. Leach examined her and found a bit of string underneath Teressa's tongue that followed down her throat.  So, we called our friends at Animal Hospital of Cotati and they agreed to get her in immediately.  Dr. Jennifer Eisley with the help of Lead Tech, Tina Wright, other staff members and a consult with Dr. Alexander found that in order to remove the string from Teressa, she had to undergo an operation.  In the end, about a foot of her intestine was removed along with the piece of heavy duty thread that had caused the problem and she was transferred to PetCare for overnight hospitalization and observation.  Teressa received care Monday night through Wednesday a.m. when they felt it was safe to transfer her back to us.

We left the hospital with instructions from Dr. Tucker knowing that she wouldn't be "out of the woods" until Saturday or Sunday.  That the possibility of the resection not "taking" which would result in a second surgery was a possibility and something we wanted to avoid at all costs!  (For both Teressa and quite literally the cost!)

So, since Wednesday (I'm writing this on Saturday), we've been giving Teressa "supportive care" in the form of fluids, medication, forced feedings (she wouldn't eat on her own), and as much attention and affection we could provide. 

We also contacted the owners who had given her up to see if they would 1.) take her back once she was healed (the answer was a joyous and emphatic YES) and 2.) would they consider visiting her in hopes that contact with people she knows would help in the healing.  Again, they responded enthusiastically and on Thursday visited little Teressa.

The adoptive family is Korean so there is a bit of a language barrier (for us), but the son, Sang, speaks English and we were able to communicate with him.  He drove his Mother along with their 2nd cat to our offices to visit with their beloved cat "Yaong" ("meow" in Korean).  As soon as they came in, Teressa was mewing and talking back to them - them, Korean - her, "cat".   It was wonderful for us to see her reaction.

Teressa in her "bunky" showing off her surgery site.
The visit was so positive we encouraged them to return the next day - which they did.  On Friday while they were here, Teressa/Yaong ate on her own (a few kibbles) for the first time.  She also ventured out of her kennel, sniffed around a bit and then retreated back to the comfort of her bunky in her kennel.  

Today, Saturday when she saw me coming toward her with that syringe (to feed her) again, I think she decided “I’ve had enough of that – I can do this by myself” and proceeded to eat her wet food, drink water and crunch on a bit of dry food too.

We’re hoping this is a sign that she is out of the woods and will soon be going back home to the family who love and adore her.

Again, many, many thanks ….. from all of us at Forgotten Felines, Teressa and her family to our friends at Rohnert Park Animal Shelter, Animal Hospital of Cotati, Dr. Samuel Tucker and staff at PetCare East AND most importantly to everyone who has donated to our "Fluffy Fund" so that we had the available funds to afford the care necessary to save her life.

Meow for now,


Saturday, May 11, 2013

Mikey and Rialto

Mikey (on left) and Rialto (on right)
Just like us, each cat has it's own story.  Rialto (quite a wonderful name) came to us from a man whose intentions were good, but through misinformation and fear, ended up relinquishing him to Forgotten Felines.  Rialto was found wandering in a mobile home park and was brought to us by this man who had intended to make him part of his feline family.  (Rialto is one of the most wonderful cat's you'll ever come across.....just wants love and affection and returns it in abundance.)  Unfortunately Rialto turned up being FIV+ and the man no longer wanted to keep him.  In fact, he was going to have him killed.  Well, we weren't going to have any part of that, so Rialto joined the Forgotten Felines family.  He is currently in foster care with his new friend, Mikey.

Mikey came to us as a tame kitty from a rather large colony of feral cats.  Whenever possible we make every attempt to help re-home tame cats especially if the caretaker is having difficulties in properly caring for the group.  Well, Mikey was a favorite in the colony, (another loverboy of a cat) but he had a chronic upper respiratory infection that she wasn't able to heal and ultimately wanted the best for him so turned him over for adoption to us.  We placed him in foster care and got rid of his chronic runny nose, but soon found out that he had several other medical issues as well.   His teeth were bad, his gums were bad and he had a skin condition - all to the tune of well over $1000 to treat and hopefully cure.  Well, that is a pretty hefty medical bill for one little kitty, but he was SO very, very sweet what could we do?

First of all, one of our partner veterinarians gave us a great discount on his care and then two of our terrific volunteers decided to do an on line auction for Mikey's medical bills.  And, guess what - yep, they raised every cent in order for us to give Mikey all that he needs to be ready for a new home.

And, along the way, Mikey and Rialto have become best buds.  Two furry friends found acceptance, health and hope for a new future.  They'll both be available for adoption by the end of the month.  Spread the word, please!!!

Meow for now,

Friday, April 19, 2013

Received a note of thanks from the Yoga 101 Studio this morning that I wanted to share.  Why?  Because it was just so sweet and sincere.  Here goes:

Dear Forgotten Felines Friends/Staff:  Thank you sooo much for trapping/releasing the feral kitties at the Cotati Yoga 101 Studio (Dick...the trapper).  And thank you to everyone else for providing the astounding array of services for our feral kitty friends (spay/neuter, vaccines, basic medical treatments, microchip and - of course - extra TLC!)

On behalf of our community, I wanted to express my appreciation and gratitude. 
Thank you again
(x 1000!)

All my best,
Erin Elisabeth Marshall

Thank YOU, Erin, for taking the time to send us a card and expressing your appreciation.  It means a great deal to us!

Meow for now,

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Two Momma's and Ten Babies

Two Moms and Ten Babies
Yes, that's right - two moms and ten babies.  No wonder they're sharing!  The one thing that keeps this job exciting, new and fresh is that EVERY single situation we handle is unique because no two cats are alike, of course!

One of our volunteers, Michelle, came across this little family as a result of her scouting around her neighborhood.  Periodically new cats would show up at her house and she couldn't figure out where they were coming from.  So, she did some recon and came across an older gentleman who was feeding many (10+) cats.  He welcomed her offer of spay/neuter assistance enthusiastically and then queried...."Can you help me with the two litters that were born in my house?"  What could she say?

Of course she had no idea what she was getting into, but what started out as a scary proposition has turned out to be a heartwarming encounter.  Although the situation was a bit tenuous at first....the cats and kittens have settled into a routine, become accustomed to their new surroundings and new foster family and are one happy little tribe!

After a couple weeks of observation, Michelle reports the following:

  • She thinks that the calico may be the gray girls mother.  Calico is a much more experienced mother and not only takes care of the babies, but she also grooms and takes care of the gray mother.

  • The mothers share responsibility for nursing the babies.....all ten babies will be nursing on one mother while the other rests.

  • The mothers take turns eating their wet food treats.  One day the calico goes first, the next day the gray momma goes first.

  • When the kittens were first presented to Michelle, five of them had their eyes open and the other five were still we have no idea who belongs to whom.

  • And, even as young as two weeks old, Michelle says you can see their individual personalities emerge.  One little gal in particular is very curious wobbling all over the enclosure exploring every inch.
Here we go again.....another kittens season.  Watch for their progress on our Facebook page!!

Meow for now,