The Coronavirus pandemic has had a prolonged, debilitating effect on our fundraising efforts, just as it has had on the finances of so many businesses and charities. Because of the risk of infection, we have not been able to gather together in events such as our lecture series, or public fundraisers. Thankfully, we have had the resources needed to continue with our core projects including Project Apollo and the Foster house, but unusually high veterinary expenses are depleting our funds. We hope you will consider a donation to Fabulous Felines in your end-of-year giving plans.
Because we have an older population of cats in our Foster House, we are faced with increasing health issues. So far this year, we have had over $13,000 in veterinary expenses. Sadly, we lost three beautiful animals, Astrid, Gus, and Bijoux in spite of our efforts to restore them to health. However, thanks to your generosity, we have had a number of successes.
After receiving treatment for a thyroid condition, Thumbalina has returned to loving catnip, food, and sleeping in a bed with her friend Gem. She is Miss December on our 2021 calendar.
We noticed Ares was loosing weight, and the vet diagnosed him as having GI tract inflammation and placed on a steroid-based medicine that must be delivered daily.
Like most charities and businesses, Fabulous Felines is struggling to make ends meet during the Coronavirus lockdowns, but there is a terrific way to help us and get an early start on your Holiday shopping. Thanks to our friends at Pet-Vet Market, we are selling some lovely items that would make wonderful gifts for any cat lover—either for the Holidays or just to bring some joy in a stressful time. Just go to Pet Vet on Montgomery and Juan Tabo, and look for the Fabulous Felines table. Sale items include:
The 2021 Fabulous Felines Calendar features images of the beautiful cats who live in our Foster house, or who have been helped by us. These images will remind any cat lover why we are so fond of these remarkable animals. Each calendar is $15.
Like most of our volunteers, Jeana and Pat are not only talented but also are incredibly generous with their abilities. They have made and donated a number of beautiful, soft kitty beds that sell for $10, $12, or $15 depending on their size. Jeana also makes cloth ornaments that will be perfect for Holiday decorating ($15).
We hope you will swing by Pet-Vet Market on Montgomery to check out our holiday items, and their selection of high-quality pet food, toys, and supplies. While you are there, don’t forget to mention Fabulous Felines.
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Perhaps it is our way of surviving COVID Lockdown, or maybe we’re just giving in to the flood of terrific cat pictures we’ve been receiving lately, but we have decided to create a 2021 calendar featuring pictures of the cats at the foster house. We’ll be receiving the first batch of calendars in a week or so and will let you know how you can get your copy.
When we started the project, we asked our volunteers to send us their favorite pictures of the foster house cats, and we were stunned by the response. Not only did we receive way more pictures than we could use, but also the quality of all of them was stunning.
In the end, we wound up selecting photos on the basis of resolution (we need high res for the printer), and whether we could crop them to the necessary aspect ratio. So, stay tuned for the calendar release. In the meantime, here are some of the pictures that will not be in the calendar (click on a thumbnail to see the original image). All of them are wonderful pictures of beautiful animals.
Astrid started out in the colony we support through our Project Apollo. She and her brother, Gus, came to us as young cats, perhaps 8 months old. Initially wild and afraid of people, they became calm and relaxed at the foster house, enjoying the company of the other cats and our volunteers.
At 15 years she grew thin and we discovered that her thyroid levels were way off. The recommended treatment for hyperthyroidism is a Radioactive Iodine 131 treatment. We used this for two other kitties at the foster house and it worked well for them. Unfortunately, while waiting for her scheduled appointment, Astrid seemed to become thinner faster than anticipated. One morning we found her both listless and uninterested in her special wet food breakfast. We took her to the emergency VCA clinic on Montgomery.
The vet put her on fluids and started a series of diagnostic tests to determine the cause. Hyperthyroid cats become thinner until their treatment, but they don’t usually crash. Something else was going on. Her testing involved extensive bloodwork, x-rays, and an ultrasound with a biopsy. The bloodwork showed high white cell counts, the x-ray suggested fluid in her chest, and a mass in her abdomen. An ultrasound with biopsy showed she had large cell lymphoma. This meant she was no longer a candidate for the Iodine treatment.
With two serious diagnoses, both of which cause a wasting away, we had little choice. Although both illnesses were individually treatable, given her frail condition, it was unlikely she would have survived both. She passed in the arms of a volunteer who had been caring for her and had become her friend.
After arriving at the foster house from the colony, Astrid spent the majority of her life with us in warmth and friendship. She had plenty to eat and human friends who groomed her, played laser with her, and provided friendship. She was loved and will be missed by all.
To learn more about the conditions and treatments in Astrid’s story, please see:
Hyperthyroidism in cats can be treated in different ways, determined by their specific diagnosis. The Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine as a detailed article on hyperthyroidism in cats and its treatment.
Lymphoma in cats can be large cell or small cell. To find out about the diagnosis and treatment for these, please see this article from North Carolina State.
Other resources include VCA Montgomery, which handled Astrid’s care, and Ann Beyke, who offers bereavement counseling after the loss of a pet to help focus on the joy we share with our furry friends.
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Like everyone these days, all of us at Fabulous Felines are concerned with health matters—both for our volunteers and for ourselves. In this spirit, we thought it might be useful to compile some of the articles on cat health that we have posted over the years. A few of these contain advice for preventing and treating specific problems. Others are accounts of our experiences with cats who have needed complex veterinary care, including some who could not be healed; we hope these examples may help you better to face the complexities often facing cat guardians.
Cats are particularly susceptible to urinary tract problems, including blockages. If these are not treated promptly, the animal can suffer a painful death. Sylvester’s Close Call describes the symptoms of urinary tract blockages, tells how watchful volunteers saved Sylvester’s life.
Although urinary problems can usually be treated with medication, some cases require more radical treatments, including a perineal urethrostomy (PU), a surgical reconstruction of the urinary tract. Gus and his PU tell the story of Gus’ PU, and his return to health!
The Joy of Cat Grooming not only gives tips on grooming your cat for their appearance and comfort, but also celebrates grooming as a way of bonding with your cat, and discovering any health problems in their early stages.
Abby Is On The Mend! tells the story of Abby, a rescue cat, who damaged her intestines when she ate a piece of nylon string that had separated from her cat tree. Although Abby did recover from this surgery and went on to live many more happy months, her intestinal problems eventually returned and ended her life. Her story underscores the importance of keeping a cat’s home free of things they may swallow, and that could damage their intestines, including dental floss, threads from clothing, and nylon threads from the carpets that are often used to cover cat trees.
Django was a much-loved cat at our foster house. Born with only three legs, he embraced life fully, and nothing could stop him from living like any cat—until he fell from a cat tree and injured his back. Django’s Life and Passing is the story of Django’s treatment, his courage in struggling to recover, and our difficulty in finally saying goodbye to him.
Buddy’s Story A heartfelt look at end of life care, written by one of our volunteers, that shows just how much we can achieve to extend a beloved animal’s life and ease their passing.
Hal – The Gentle Giant was a rescued cat who suffered severe damage from life on the streets. In spite of the best efforts of our volunteers and his doctors, he ultimately succumbed to his injuries, The love and courage he showed at the end of his life remains an example to all of us.
In addition to caring for our feline friends, we should not forget just how much cats can do to promote human health and well-being. Vilnius the Therapy Cat tells the story of one of our foster house cats who helped people in the memory care of a nursing home to improved outlook and health.
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