Fabulous Felines Year End Letter

Luminarias 500x375We always take special pleasure in writing the Fabulous Felines Year End Letter. It gives us a chance to tell all our friends and supporters what we have done through the year, and to thank you for making our work possible. We also find ourselves reflecting on all the joy we receive from these gentle, complex, often surprising animals, and from you, the people who share our love for them.

2014 has been the second year of our free lecture series, and it continues to be a great success. This year’s topics have included understanding cat behavior, detecting and treating cancer in cats, setting up a pet trust to care for our cats after our own nine lives are up (given both in Albuquerque and Santa Fe), and holistic approaches to veterinary care. We want to thank our sponsors in the business community for making this series completely free to the public: VCA Montgomery, Best Friends Pet Cremation, VCA West Mesa, Shelton Jewelers, Steward’s Plumbing, and Clark’s Pet Emporium. Please patronize them, and when you do, thank them for supporting Fabulous Felines! Planning is already under way for the 2015 series, and we look forward to seeing you again!

Apollo_large
Apollo

Project Apollo continues to help a local neighborhood manage a colony of feral cats using Trap, Neuter, and Return (TNR). We are happy to report that some wonderful people in the neighborhood have taken over the daily activities of caring for the cats, and our role has become one of providing food, supplies, veterinary care, and guidance. Although TNR continues to be controversial, we are proud to offer Project Apollo as an example of how neighborhood residents and animal rescue groups can work together to manage feral populations humanely and effectively.

New Floor and Climbing Shelves
New Floor and Climbing Shelves

Finally, we continue to manage our small foster house. Although we do not have the resources to provide large-scale intake and adoption services like some of the larger rescues, our work has brought some special cats into our care. These range from companion animals who have lost their homes and are looking for new “forever homes,” to friendly animals who struggle with the effects of abuse or abandonment and need the healing touch of a loving foster, to feral animals who could not be returned to their colonies because of poor health or other reasons. Fortunately, one of our supporters has given us the use of a house for their care. They have also paid for the materials needed for a new floor, to paint every room, and to continue improving the environment for the cats and our volunteers who help with their care. If you are looking for a feline companion to share your home, or would like to foster a cat, please contact us!

Unfortunately, we have lost the live-in attendant at our foster house, and are looking for a volunteer with animal care abilities who would like help care for the cats on a live-in basis. If you know of such a special person, please contact us.

Wild Love - Coming Soon!
Wild Love – Coming Soon!

2014 has also been a good fundraising year. Our summer party was the best ever, thanks to a terrific talk from Prof. Ray Hernandez-Duran of the UNM Art and Art History Department, music from jazz guitarist Michael Anthony, and all the people who provided items for our silent auction. Wild Love, our annual Valentines Day fundraiser was also a success, and we are starting to plan the 2015 version – watch our web site for details. Of course, the lifeblood of our little rescue comes from the regular contributions our many supporters make through the United Way, the Combined Federal Campaign, or simply by making regular contributions by check or through PayPal. Thank you!

Abby recovering from surgery in the hospital
Abby recovering from surgery in the hospital

As this year comes to an end, we find ourselves especially grateful for the blessings that have come to us from Abby, one of our foster cats. Abby was not only born feral, but also has only one eye due to what we believe was an infection she suffered while still in her mother’s womb. In spite of her troubled origins, she has responded to the love she received from our volunteers and has become quite friendly, greeting our volunteers every day at the foster house. So, we were frightened and upset when poor little Abby (she only weighs six pounds) began vomiting blood. We took her to the hospital, and found that she had swallowed something that damaged her intestines. Our Abby was very close to dying, but thanks to a wonderful veterinary care team and the generosity of our supporters, we have been able to save her life. She is recovering from major surgery, and continues to charm us with her gentleness, courage, and will to live. Abby once again has reminded us why we do this work.

But, our work is expensive – little Abby’s care has cost over $5,000, and she is only one of many cats we are trying to help. So we end this letter by thanking you for your support over the years, and asking for your continued help in the future. In particular, we hope you will consider Fabulous Felines in your end of year giving. And, if you would like to volunteer for Fabulous Felines, please contact us!

Thank you for everything, and may all the blessings of this holiday season and the love of both human and animal friends fill your lives.

All the best,

Merry, all our volunteers, and most of all, the cats at Fabulous Felines.

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Abby Is On The Mend!

Abby recovering from surgery in the hospital
Abby recovering from surgery in the hospital

Abby, is very special to us. She was rescued from a feral colony, and is blind in one eye due to an infection she contracted while in her mother’s womb. In spite of her handicap and being born into a feral colony, Abby has turned out to be extremely sweet and affectionate. Although she does not like to be picked up, she loves attention, and always comes up to volunteers to be petted.

On October 13, we saw her vomiting blood, and rushed her to the vet’s. The initial diagnosis was either FIP (Feline Infectious Peritonitis) or intestinal cancer, so we were very worried. The veterinarian recommended exploratory surgery to make a final diagnosis and possibly treat her condition. Happily, the surgeon found that it was neither FIP nor cancer. Apparently, little Abby had eaten something she shouldn’t have (a “linear foreign object,” like string), and its passage through her bowels damaged the side of the intestine, created scar tissue, and caused a hernia. The surgeon repaired the damage, and sent her home with a feeding tube inserted in her neck, and a bag of medicine.

Because we could not return her to the foster house in her condition, Merry brought her home, turning the guest room into a convalescent hospital. The feeding tube was there in case she stopped eating, but Abby ate heartily. We did use the tube to give her her medicines, but were very happy when the Doctor finally removed it, along with all her stitches and bandages. Little Abby is now 100% pure, healthy cat! She is exploring her  surroundings and winning hearts – just like our old Abby.

Abby exploring her new surroundings.
Abby exploring her new surroundings.

Little Abby’s story underscores the importance of proper veterinary care. Although the initial diagnosis was grave, and many people would have chosen euthenasia, we wanted to give her a chance, and are so happy we did. Because of cases like Abby’s, Fabulous Felines has a policy of doing whatever we can to return sick cats to health. Thanks to our wonderful veterinarians, we did get a large charity discount, but costs will still exceed $5,000, a large amount for a small charity.

If you could help with a donation, Abby and we would be so grateful!

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Join Us in Thanking Our Volunteers – and Helping Fabulous Felines

Fabulous Felines is very pleased to announce that Katrina Crandall, a Fabulous Felines supporter and Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant, is hosting a fundraiser and donation drive this month!

Satin Hands Pampering SetOur volunteers (contact us to become one!) are incredibly generous in giving of their time and talents, and we couldn’t do our work without them. Here is an opportunity to help us reward them for their generosity. For $35, you can donate a Mary Kay Satin Hands Set to one of our hard-working volunteers. These sets will be welcome gifts to the caretakers, who need to wash their hands frequently, often causing dry, cracked skin.

In addition to rewarding the people who give selflessly of their time and keep the organization and programs running smoothly, 100% of net proceeds from the purchase will be donated to Fabulous Felines to support our work!

To donate a Satin Hands Set, go to Katrina’s Mary Kay Site before October 31, so we can provide these gifts to volunteers in time for the holidays.  Be sure to specify that the set is for Fabulous Felines in the comment box when you checkout.

Thank you so much for your support and generosity!

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Check out our enhanced Facebook Page!

I’m not sure if it is a function of my age or simply a personal awkwardness where social media are concerned, but your humble web master has long struggled to get the most out of the Fabulous Felines Facebook page. Fortunately, one of our wonderful volunteers, Miranda, has taken on the task of rejuvenating our entire Facebook page – and she has done a wonderful job!

Miranda has added photos, profiles of our adoptable cats, and features like “Lord Greystoke’s Tip of the Day” (Named after one of our personal rescue cats, a handsome grey tuxedo cat).

Check it out, “like us,” and enjoy!

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Fabulous Felines Free Lecture Series: The Three-Legged Stool of Health

All Creatures Healing Arts logo
All Creatures Healing Arts

The final talk in the 2014 Fabulous Felines Free Lecture Series will look at the role of alternative medicine in caring for our feline friends. Our speaker, Dr. Christine Wilson, DVM, is a veterinarian who has spent her career exploring the potential of alternative therapies in veterinary care, and in providing these services to animals.

Dr. Wilson practices holistic traditional Chinese veterinary medicine and chiropractic for animals in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She has been providing these unique services at All Creatures Healing Arts since March of 2004.

She has always walked on the other side of the line of convention, and alternative medicine was a natural choice. She grew up in Brooklyn, NY, and enjoyed an extremely interesting education from the start. She attended a bilingual grammar school becoming fluent in French, then graduated from the LaGuardia High School of Music and Art in 1985 and The Fashion Institute of Technology in 1987. She took a turn away from the art world in 1988 and started out toward her undergraduate coursework at Hunter College in NY with the intent of going to Veterinary school someday. In an effort to find some peace in a crazy life she decided to join her mother on her yearly trek to NM in 1989, and stayed in NM.

Here she volunteered at the Bosque del Apache wildlife refuge. Then she attended the University of New Mexico and finished in 1995 with a bachelor’s degree in Biology and Chemistry. She graduated in 1999 from Tufts Cummings Veterinary School where her interest in complementary and alternative therapies sparked. She enjoyed small animal practice for 4 years before embarking on an alternative postgraduate education by taking the International Veterinary Acupuncture course in 2002. She then completed extensive private study of Chinese herbs with a leading herbal master. In early 2005 she completed a course in Veterinary Spinal Manipulation at the Healing Oasis Wellness Center in Wisconsin. In 2007 she took a prolotherapy course. She continues advanced study of Chinese Medicine at the Chi Institute in Florida.

herbalShelfShe is an advocate of raw grain-free companion diets. She will be speaking to you about the “Three Legged Stool” of health.

Date & Time: Sunday, October 26, 2014 at 2:00 PM

Location: VCA Montgomery Conference Room
9901 Montgomery Blvd
Albuquerque, NM (map . . .)

Admission: Free!! Also, if you email us at fabulousFelines@comcast.net to let us know in advance that you will be coming, you will be entered in a drawing for a special prize! (you must be present to win)

LectureSeries2014OctYou can help us greatly by downloading the event flyer (courtesy of Jess Langer), and sharing it with friends, or posting it in your workplace, church, or other public place.

The Fabulous Felines Free Lecture Series would not be possible without the support of our 2014 sponsors. These include VCA Montgomery, Best Friends Pet Cremation, VCA West Mesa, Shelton Jewelers, Steward’s Plumbing, and Clark’s Pet Emporium. Please patronize them, and when you do, thank them for supporting Fabulous Felines!

BestFriendsLogo-jpeg     VCA_Montgomery_Thumbnail      VCA_West-Mesa_Thumbnail sheltonlogo-overStewardsCardclarks4

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