Goodbye, Bitty, and the kindness of strangers

Well, it’s done.

Cheddar was willing to cuddle, but when Bitty started trying to get under him to nurse, it was a bit too much!

The cat lady now has the bitty baby. She plans to put him on antibiotics right away, since his eyes are leaky (I don’t include the lysine with the inside cats’ kibble). She showed me pictures of his siblings, which is when I discovered even more good news. When she told me she found someone who worked in a vet clinic willing to adopt Bitty, I figured this was someone different, but it turned out that this is the same person who is adopting the other two! This is someone who had lost her two cats after 18 years, not long ago. For her to now adopt three yard kittens from the same litter is just amazing! I had sent photos to the cat lady, so I’m guessing she at least saw pictures of him, but that’s it.

I had an extra surprise when the cat lady and I met up in town.

Another donated cat bed, more blankets, and 6 bags of kibble! Plus treats.

The cat bed will go into the cats’ house. Maybe the blankets, too. Those are knitted and donated by volunteers.

As for Bitty, he settled into the cat carrier and never made a peep until just before he got transferred over.

I gave him the hat he likes to sleep in to keep. I can make another one!

Previously, we had talked about getting the last 2 indoor females done, plus one outdoor male. The cat lady would have come to our place, driven them to another city, further away, to get done, then hung on to them for a week to recover, then bring them back here.

Clearly, something had happened, and she never got back to me on that.

It turns out that she’s been having issues with vets cancelling appointments, lack of communication, and even people she’s trying to help making it harder for her. Plus, vet costs are getting astronomical. There isn’t much we can do to help, but I can at least drive the cats to the local vet, or meet her in town like today. Apparently, this is not common. 😥 However, our sun room is now winterized, and our nearest vet has moved to a new, bigger, location, so we can take care of things like driving the cats to and from, and have a recovery room for them.

She also has funds left from a generous donation specifically to have cats spayed and neutered in the area – and where we live is considered “in the area” because we are willing and able to drive them to town. It turns out there is a sports celebrity that has a cottage in the area, and after she was the only person willing to come out to help a stray in -40C/-40F, this is his way of saying thankyou. As long as she spends the money on spays and neuters, he will be making monthly donations!

I brought up that, because we had so many kittens this year, we really need to focus on getting outside females done. Once she was assured that we had a place for them to recover, and that we could drive them in, she said she would try the nearest vet clinic again. If all goes well, we will get two females, then two males, done before Christmas – and before the real cold is expected to set in! I’m still holding out for a mild winter, but January and February are typically the most several months (and the reason we work to have at least a couple months of supplies in stock, in case we can’t get out!).

So she will work to arrange that, then get back to me, and we’ll have to work on socializing more of the females! Calicos and torties are almost always female, but they won’t let us near them. The white and greys are getting friendlier, but we’re having a hard time telling them apart, and only a couple are confirmed male. When the girls were tending the fire pit yesterday, they had cats all over them, and every now and then would pick up a white and grey kitten, only to realize it wasn’t one of the friendlies they were expecting.

A good excuse to get the fire pit going more often! 😁

The only down side is, certain mystery health issues came back with a vengeance. My breathing issues came back a few days ago and it doesn’t seem to matter if I’m sitting or standing, lying down or leaning. Even when I was helping my mother with her shopping yesterday, I had to pause a few times because I was starting to get dizzy and ill. I made sure my mother never saw it, though! Then last night, the mystery pain in my side suddenly hit me while I tried to get into bed, making it difficult to sleep even after the spasms were under control. The pain hasn’t gone away, and at times I am having trouble standing upright.

I should go to the doctor about it, but I don’t see the point. Clinics still have to demand masks, and I can’t wear a mask. I mean, who thinks making someone with breathing difficulties wear a breathing barrier makes sense? Never mind that it’s been repeatedly demonstrated to have no benefit, while causing plenty of harm. The other thing is, I was referred to a respiratory specialist over 2 years ago, and have still heard nothing. My mother hasn’t heard from the kidney specialist she was referred to, either. Unless it’s the Vid, or an emergency, people just aren’t getting health care right now, and those testing positive for the Vid are being badly damaged or killed by the treatment protocols. Frankly, I don’t think it’s even safe for someone like me – old, broken and fat – to go to a doctor right now. I could barely get taken seriously even before all this BS. Nothing like being sent to test after test, scan after scan, procedure after procedure, with all the tests coming back normal to have doctors start looking at you funny and suggesting it’s all in your head. If they can’t find it, it must not exist.

Bah. I’m just venting right now. I’m having trouble sitting up in my chair and breathing properly as I type this, and it’s distracting.

So, back to the topic at hand!

The Bitty is now away with the cat lady, and will be reunited with his siblings in a wonderful new forever home.

I’m going to miss him, but I’m so very happy for all the bitties!

The Re-Farmer

Cat adoption update

I got a phone call from the Cat Lady this morning.

Cabbages finally made it in to the special vet to be spayed this morning, and she is recovering nicely. So that is good news.

The other good news is that we have an appointment for Turmeric to be spayed, early next month.

Turmeric will be coming back to us for recovery, while also being added to the adoption list with the Cat Lady’s new rescue organization.

That’s the good news.

The not so good news is that the organization she left, with them wanting to send Saffron and Nicco to BC being the last straw for her, isn’t too happy with her. As a large organization, they have access to lots of resources – and they are making it difficult for her to access those resources!

Which is making things more difficult for her in general. As you can imagine, things are incredibly stressful for her right now!

You’d think they would be more interested in rescuing cats and be glad to work with other organizations with the same goals, but apparently not.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. One of the things they did was stop accepting intakes through our local vet. The vet was taking in “too many” really sick cats, and the bills were really high, so they basically cut off that clinic temporarily.

Well, guess who is the vet that agreed to work with the Cat Lady?

Yup! Turmeric is going to the same local vet we’ve been using all this time!

They have become incredibly busy, though, so it’s hard to get an appointment in. I noticed a while ago that they have extended hours, and are even open on Sundays, which had been their one day off, a few months ago. Clearly, people are happy with this clinic!

The other news is with Saffron and Nicco. Using what resources she still has access to, she has worked something out with another rescue in the city. They have adoption facilities in a non-franchise pet store that is very busy. It’s not an ideal situation, but it’s still better than being sent half way across the country! She’s known the woman who runs it for 20 years, so she knows they are a good place. The fur-girls will be going there, now that they are recovered from being spayed. With how successful and busy this place is, she’s expecting them to be homed within a week.

I found out something else when she contacted me about the appointment for Turmeric.

While her new rescue organization has lots of support and is getting donations, most of this is being bankrolled by her husband right now. Thankfully, he owns a business that didn’t get destroyed by government restrictions over the past two years, and can afford it for now. So all the out-of-pocket stuff they’ve been doing has really been out of his pocket! So when we bring Turmeric in to be spayed, and will not be getting any bill for it, it’s because HE is paying for it!

What an amazing man. Her whole family has really been all in with her cat rescue operations!

All the more reason I want to help out with the fundraiser I’ve got through Ko-fi.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

The only problem is, as with the rescues, not a lot of people are donating. I’ll keep the fundraiser going for a while longer, but if people aren’t interested, I’ll just shut it down and refund the (much appreciated!) donations currently made. Everyone is going through hard times right now, and I understand that they have priorities that are higher on the list than cats! We shall see how it works out.

As for myself, I’m just in awe of the Cat Lady, and all she is going through right now, trying to do right for the kitties.

She’s awesome!

The Re-Farmer

Ginger update; more good news

This post falls into the full disclosure and transparency zone.

I just got a call from the vet clinic, this time about the bill.

They were able to give us two estimates, depending on how long the surgery took and how complicated it might get. Those estimates included the examination and x-rays we’d brought him in for, which we had to pay before bringing him home (just over $230). What neither estimate included was the cost of having him neutered at the same time, since we requested that later.

image source

So we were hoping for things to be at the low end, plus the cost of neuter. Thanks to the generosity of those who donated through the Ko-fi page, and through direct donations, we had that covered. The transfers are still incomplete, and one of the donations is still on hold, but we could use the funds from my tax return, set aside for garden soil and chainsaw purchase/repair, as a buffer until they came through. If it was on the high end, it would have been a bit harder to come up with the total, but we would have found a way.

Well, it turned out to be on the low end of the estimate – and that was even with the neuter! Which, of course, would not have cost as much as usual, since he was already there for surgery. The total bill for the amputation and neuter will be a little over $1000.

At that amount, we’ll only need to use the chainsaw purchase/repair money as a buffer, and not touch the garden soil money, until the transfers are complete.

One of the things that was brought up during the call is that he might want to scratch at the wound. There are medical “sweaters” available for sale. We will look at some, but we could also just make him one. My daughter and I both crochet, and we could whip some something like that in very short time. If nothing else, it’ll keep the shaved area and wound warm and dry.

With this good news, I’ve made some changes to the Ko-fi page. To start, the fundraiser goal graph is removed, now that the surgery is complete.

For quite some time, I have had people suggest I include a donation button, and some have even offered to make donations, to help with the kitties. I resisted, because I have a really hard time asking people for money! I know how tight times are, but for Ginger’s injury, we had no choice, and the kindness and assistance offered has been humbling and generous. We will leave the donation buttons up and the donation page active. If anyone wishes to help with the kitties, these donations will be used to help buy cat food and litter, pay for spaying and neutering, and any other vet bills that come up. Nothing else.

I will be sure to post photos and more updates when we bring Ginger home, and during his recovery.

The Re-Farmer

Broken Baby

This morning, while doing my morning rounds, the kitties all came out to say hello.

Then I saw Ginger.

Walking on three legs.

His right front leg was dangling and swinging in a most unfortunate way.

I tried to go to him, but he “ran” away. I didn’t want to risk losing track of him or hurting him more, so I went inside. My younger daughter was handy, so I told her about it, and she went outside with the cat carrier to try and catch him, while I called the vet clinic.

The doctor was in surgery at the time, so we were told to bring him in for 3pm. My daughter had caught Ginger, and we had a few hours, so we set him up in the sun room, where he would be safe and we could check on him through the bathroom window.

It was encouraging to see that he had jumped up onto the swing bench to nap in a sun spot. Also, his injured leg is not visible in the photo. He’s lying on that shoulder.

I had hopes that it might not be too bad. After all, he wouldn’t be lying on the injury if it was really bad, right?

So we brought him to the vet and my daughter went in, because she can wear a mask. She texted me updates whenever she was able. At first, the doctor thought there might be a dislocation, but they had to sedate him to take x-rays. He is the friendlier of the litter, but he’s not fully socialized, by any means, so it took a bit longer for them to examine him.

What the x-rays revealed was a badly broken elbow. What the doctor thought was a dislocation was a broken bone, sitting on top of another bone.

Not only was it a very bad break, but in a very bad spot.

We were presented with two options. One was a surgical repair. The last time the doctor had gone that route, it ended up costing $2200. The other option was amputation. My daughter texted me while they looked up the cost of that, but my immediate reaction was that an amputation would be far less traumatic.

For the amputation, we got two estimates. Which it would be depends on if it takes 2 or 3 hours to amputate, and how difficult things turn out to be. The price range was just over $1300, to just over $2000.

Ouch.

At that point, they woke him up to give him more pain killers so we could take him home and talk about it. Once in the vehicle, my daughter was able to give me more information. The surgical repair is something they couldn’t even be sure would work, largely due to the placement of the break and how bad it is.

Oh, and we did ask what they thought might have caused the injury. He clearly had not been in any sort of fight. They think it was most likely a really bad fall. 😦

The problem isn’t deciding what action to take, but how to pay for it. Even the money set aside for the garden soil and the emergency fund together would cover the lower amount, but that would screw us over for all our gardening, repair and maintenance plans over the summer. I don’t think I’ll even tell my family about it. Their response would be to have him put down – and not necessarily having the vet do it, for the gun owners.

We’re not going to do that.

In fact, what we’re likely going to do is have him fixed and, after the surgery, turn him into an indoor cat.

Hopefully, the vet will let us make monthly payments. However, I have also done something I have had quite a few people recommend I do over the past several years. I’m loath to do it, but for the kitties, I will.

You may have noticed a new button at the top of the column on the right. We now have a donation page set up with Ko-fi. Anyone who would like to support taking care of the kitties can click and donate any amount they wish.

Currently, I’ve got a fundraising goal of $1300. If it costs more, we should be able to cover it. If we raise more than the goal, it will go towards getting Ginger fixed so we can bring him inside. My older daughter tells me she’s planning to open up to more commissions to raise funds, too. There are only so many she can take at the same time, though.

Tomorrow, we call the vet back and talk about setting up the amputation and payment options. Until then, we’ve set up the sun room for Ginger’s convalescence, and he is there now. In fact, my daughter just have him the first of the treat flavoured painkillers we brought home with him, which he is to get every 24 hours.

Because the swing bench is a favourite place for the cats to nap, we moved it around and set up “stairs” for him to use, so he doesn’t have to jump up onto it, as he had in the earlier photo I took.

The poor broken baby! He’s being remarkably calm and stoic about the whole thing.

Pretty soon, we might have to consider changing his name from Ginger to Tripod! 😉

The Re-Farmer