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  #1  
Old 01-25-2012, 06:27 PM
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Name: Gill
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Default My four foster cats

For the past couple of years Neil and I have been fosterers for our local small animal rescue group, People's Animal Rescue & Rehoming Team (PARRT) which is based just a few miles down the road from us. We originally got involved after I saw an article in the local newspaper saying how they were bursting at the seams with selfish folk dumping their unwanted cats, kittens and dogs on them At the time we had an empty house as we had lost our whippet Tina in a tragic accident a year earlier which had led to me blaming myself and having a bit of a breakdown After a bit of therapy/counselling and a few Happy Tablets I began to forgive myself but was afraid of getting another dog in case I let them down again So I told Neil we were getting a cat! We went to see Linda who has run the charity for 30+ years and we decided to go for an oldie who was more likely to need a home than a kitten. That's how we ended up with Molly. She had hyperthyroidism, arthritis and an enlarged heart - all of which I had to give her pills for. Luckily she only had one tooth in her head so I never got mauled or bitten whilst giving her the one pill which could NOT Be crushed and put in her food! Sadly she was only with us three weeks. One day she was perfectly healthy and the next she had a stroke which paralysed her hind legs (a blood clot from her enlarged heart had travelled to her hindquarters). We got her straight to the vet but the outlook was not good: in a young healthy cat it was a very tricky operation with only a tiny chance of improvement but in an old girl like Molly who was 13+ it was zero. So, as I cuddled her, we let her slip away to Rainbow Bridge
We let Linda know what had happened later that afternoon and told her that it had NOT put us off fostering the oldies at all. Running a kind of retirement home, we had realised, was SO fulfilling and we both felt we were actually doing something worthwhile for probably the first time in our lives. So, two days later, Suzi came into our lives.
She was about 9 years old and had been abused by her previous owner's husband.....been used as a punchbag basically! She really did NOT trust men at all and Neil DID get bitten and scratched a few times in the early days when he failed to listen to her body language and what it was telling him! But eventually, given time and treats of smoked ham, Suzi began to trust Neil (she'd been fine with me virtually from the start). We had her for over a year before one horrible day in late May 2011 when she, uncharacteristically, wandered off out of our courtyard and was hit by a car.

Molly ~ sunbathing.


Suzi ~ in her usual position!
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  #2  
Old 01-25-2012, 06:37 PM
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Name: LS
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Aww what a beautiful story about bravery and love!
Your words made me cry. Good on you for helping these poor kitties.
You should be so proud. I hope you are feeling better mentally, I wish you all the best.
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  #3  
Old 01-25-2012, 07:18 PM
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Name: Gill
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Feeling pretty frustrated at the moment as I typed out a post, with pics, about my next cat Domino and the computer froze and then conked out!!!!! Frustrating or what! Photobucket seems to be playing up for me so I'll leave pics out until tomorrow and will just concentrate on telling you about our foster babies instead.

Domino came to us in March 2011 as a cruelty case. She was 17 years old and barely a third of her proper weight....she was just a bag of bones! She had an eye infection, a mouth infection which led to all her teeth except her four 'fangs' being removed and her coat was so badly tangled she had to be shaved and ended up looking like a chinese crested dog. Her owner's excuse? She was bored with her and didn't want her any more!!!
For the first week it was touch and go as to whether she WOULD actually survive but we MADE her! LOL She was hand fed the tastiest food I could find, slept on a bed with a heater under the blankets and had either Neil or myself taking it in turns to sleep in the living room at night on the sofa just so we could hear if she needed anything.
Over the coming weeks she slowly started to put on a few ounces and her fur began to grow back as a light covering of down. Her personality though.....she had the heart of a lion She soon started bossing Suzi - four times her weight - around and pinching the sunny windowsills LOL
I truly lost my heart to this darling oldie and when I got up on Sunday 12th June and found her 'asleep' in her bed I thought I would die of grief!!! It was some consolation to know she had had exactly 100 days of love and wanting for nothing before setting off for Rainbow Bridge......but even now I still miss that darling girl like crazy. I said then ''No more!''.......and lasted six DAYS! LOL The house was unbearably still (especially as we had lost Suzi just three weeks previous).....so we got straight on to Linda and said we NEEDED another oldie to love!

And that's how we came to foster Thomas and Misty.

Thomas is my darling boy, Mummy's little angel and I love him SO much LOL He's black & white, approx 15 years old and was dumped on PARRT as his owners didn't want him anymore (???). Heaven knows why as he is the most gentle, loving boy who sings when he is happy LOL He has no voice but instead has a little sing-song chirp like a gremlin LOL He also LOVES his food abnd has no qualms about hooking food off YOUR plate if you take your eye off him LOL
Misty is also 15 years old and a tortoiseshell & white (calico in America?). She is a typical tortie and rules the house with a paw of iron!!!! You can stroke her head but nowhere else! She has a touch of arthritis and has lost a little bit weight but after various blood tests found her to be very healthy (no kidney problems or hyperthyroidism) the vet said she's in very good nick for her age and the body condition is probably 'just' old age. I'm certainly NOT worried about her as you cannot feel any bones and her appetite and litter tray is perfectly ok. For all we know she could be older than 15? Folk tend to be very vague about the truth when they dump their pets on PARRT!!!

So there we were, in August 2011, quite happy with two lovely oldies. And THAT is when Tiger Lily came into our lives!
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  #4  
Old 01-25-2012, 07:38 PM
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We first heard about Lily when we were helping Linda raise funds for PARRT at Warkworth Show. She said a cat had been handed in to our local vets here in Alnwick with a badly broken leg after being hit by a car. We immediately said we would take her as she would need to be on cage rest for a few weeks and we had a lot more spare time to concentrate on her than Linda who is always manically busy with PARRT.
Off we went to the vet with our cat carrier...a NORMAL cat-sized cat carrier Lily JUST fitted in it as she is a HUGE longhaired tabby & white!!!!! Definitely some maine coon or norwegian forest in there I'm sure! We also had a 36 inch dog crate all set up for her but she was dwarfed in it.....like a giant cat in Lilliput So I popped along to Linda's to borrow her 4ft dog crate!
For the first six weeks Lily had weekly vet checks with Simon who had done her operation but by the end of that time it was clear the op had not worked! So Lily had to have a second operation to put even stronger meccano in her leg! This did the trick and now, five months later, we are into the final furlong *touch wood* She is at the surgery tomorrow (26th January) so fingers crossed Simon decides she is fully mended and either removes the pins tomorrow or Friday. I'm sure he will as she is SO much better now I'm removing ALL food when I go to bed just in case she does get kept in tomorrow.....so THAT should make her really popular with the others

Our fourth cat is Nina. She is small, compact and jet black. She's also epileptic and on tablets twice a day which, thankfully, now control her seizures. Unfortunately she is semi-feral and VERY shy so we cannot give her the pills manually (she turned into a hissing psycho banshee the one time we tried.....very scary!!!!!) but luckily they CAN be ground up and put in her food. She is slowly learning to trust us and will let us gently stroke her head betwen her ears and her cheeks but no further. In the evenings she will play with Lily on the stairs....chasing each other and lying in wait and pouncing on each other LOL We aren't bothered in the slightest if she always remains wary - she's in a safe Forever Home now and that is more than enough reward for us

So.....this is the Feline Madhouse that my chi is going to come into The cats are all ok with dogs as I had one stay for a weekend while her owners were away so I have no worries on that score and our dog won't be left alone with the cats until we are 200% sure they've all settled in together.....and even then I'm sure my chi will be sleeping on OUR bed

Anyway, I'm off to bed now as it's 8.40pm over here in the UK and I'm on early shift tomorrow *6am until 9am* so will be up at 4.30am to clean litter trays, shower and have my own breakfast. I'll sort out photos then so you can get to 'meet' my darling babies properly
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  #5  
Old 01-25-2012, 08:33 PM
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So pretty. I hope to foster one day.
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Thank you for my lovely siggy Caitlin!
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  #6  
Old 01-26-2012, 04:37 AM
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Fostering IS really satisfying Though I suppose we are FAILED fosterers really because we aren't actually looking after the cats temporarily until a perfect home comes up - they tend to stay with us for life
Any vet bills are paid for by PARRT so we don't have to worry there (though I DO insist on paying for worming treatments, food and litter myself).

Linda knows that any really bad cruelty cases or oldies with perhaps just a few weeks or months left come to us and when their time comes we are both with them as they slip away. Folk often say ''Oh I couldn't do that - it would be too upsetting'' but to us it's an honour to be able to give those poor animals a final few weeks/months of love and then, when it's time, let them go quickly and kindly. Yes, we both shed buckets of tears once we get back to our car but they are tears of love for that beautiful cat and, as I always say to Neil, one passing creates a vacancy for another lost soul to come to us
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Old 01-26-2012, 06:26 AM
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You ladies are doing amazing stuff Gill! I'm sending you
both big hugs and best wishes for all the present and future
babies you save.

My mom has been rescuing cats since I was a small
child. I grew up watching her nurse abused cats
back to life, sat with her in parking lots as she tamed
feral cats because she didn't want them to be harmed,
and watched her march her little 5 foot tall self into
houses and give people the what-for if she thought
they were treating an animal poorly.
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"Saving just one dog won't change the world, but it surely will change the world for that one dog." - Richard C. Call
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  #8  
Old 01-26-2012, 01:09 PM
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Name: Gill
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Domino ~ when she first came home to us



Two weeks later - starting to feel better and boss Suzi around!


Feeling better and better


She soon discovered our bed!


And the sunny windowsill!


Weight slowly building up and fur coming through!


My darling beautiful girl as I'll always remember her - on her many beds in front of the heater



Domino ~ love you forever baby girl xxxxx

Last edited by Gilly; 01-26-2012 at 01:12 PM.
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