Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Jan, this is Christy, I need your help

Please come and get me. Remember me? You saved me back in May. If you had not picked me up and helped me, I probably would not be alive today. The day you took me to Rikki's Refuge I went into labor. And it was really bad. Some of my kitty friends say it's no big deal, but I thought it was really awful. I was in labor for almost 48 hours. I had 4 babies, my first 3 were born breach, and it really hurt. Remember my poor little babies? They were so very tiny when they were born, that we were worried about them. I took good care of them, and at first are doctor thought they were going to be OK. But by the time they were two weeks old, they had faded away and died. I helped Nellie to take care of her kittens.

It was a long time before I was healthy enough to get spayed. I'm really glad I did, because I sure don't want to have to have babies again, and those Tomcats just won't listen to “NO”. So after months and months. I'm all happy and healthy. And I’m pretty young too, only about a year old. Kerry looked at me the other day and said, “What are you doing in the 9th Life Retirement, Assisted Living and Psychiatric Center? You are young, perfectly healthy, well-adjusted, a lovely young kitty. I think you should live in a regular cathouse.” And so I moved out to Cat House #1. Vincent and Victoria, Boss Man, Sneakers, Shorty and Marty, Timmy and Kerry Potter all welcomed me. Amanda even licked my ears. But it's really scary out here! Kerry Potter kept telling me stories about evil humans. I don't think I belie her because the humans I know have been very nice. Kerry Potter says they try to capture you and do evil things to you, she tells me I'm lucky to be out here, and not in the 9th Life Retirement, Assisted Living and Psychiatric Center, where there's more humans all time.

But I want my humans! And I want to go inside! I can't figure out how to get old quick. Vincent and Victoria had some ideas for assisted-living, but I really like having four legs. But I sure can pretend to be crazy. So if that's what it takes to get back in the 9th Life Retirement, Assisted Living and Psychiatric Center, that's what I'm going to do.

I screamed, I yelled, and I figured out how to get out of Cat House #1. They just hugged me and loved me and put me back in! So last night I got out again, I ran to the hospital, and I climbed up the door, and I clung on to the windows, and I screamed, and I screamed, and I screamed. It was raining and I was soaking wet. This really made them feel sorry for me, so I've now been admitted to the Psychiatric Center.

But Jan, I think you better come and get me and adopt me, because I don't think I can keep up this Psycho act for long, and then they'll try to make me go and live like a normal cat again. I promise to be really, really good if you let me come home and live with you. Do you think maybe we can just give it a try?

Love, Christy

Parfait, the Stowaway

Parfait is a precious little dilute calico, just a little thing, not very many teeth, just a little bitty meow, but a great big purr. She's an older girl and she needs fluids every day. Parfait loves cages and carriers. She always loves to sneak inside. Sometimes when a new kitty arrives, if the carrier is left sitting there for a minute, she climbs in. She's almost ridden home with people many times.

Today is a big vet day. Lots of critters going in for various types of work for the day. The carriers had been set out, the labels affixed, and at six o'clock this morning, we were catching the appropriate animal to put into the appropriate carrier. They were loaded up into the van and driven off to Culpeper Animal Hospital.

Keeping track of the medical records for a thousand animals is no small chore. Everyone has their computer record, charts are printed every day for anyone needing medication, and charts must be printed for anyone going to the vet. Labels are printed to put on carriers, so there's no confusion on who is who, and what work needs to be done. Just imagine how you would like to be the vet who got seven black cats, seven brown tabby's, seven black and whites, and had to figure out who bites and who doesn't, and who was getting neutered, and who needed a tooth pulled. The label on each carrier gives the animal's name, species, personality (as in caution your fingers will be removed if you put them into this carrier), and what medical work is needed for the day. Each animal is also sent along with its full medical chart, showing it’s shot history, as well as its prior medical history, and what is wrong today.

The animals all arrived safely at Culpeper Animal Hospital, were unloaded, and began to get prepared for whatever procedure they were having today. For non-emergency items, we block our vet service a day at a time. Imagine calling for a vet appointment, and instead of being assigned a half-hour slot, you were assigned a day!Well that's the way it is at Rikki's Refuge! And soon the phone rang. Culpeper Animal Hospital was saying, “We seem to have an extra animal here.” The vet list always has last-minute changes to it, because if surgery was scheduled and someone has a cold it has to be delayed, if someone has come down ill unexpectedly, or someone has recovered unexpectedly they may be added to, or deleted from, the list.

I was given a description of the additional animal and I was most baffled. Didn't sound like a last-minute changed one. We went over the list of each one and everybody who should be there, was there, and there was one more. The extra kitty had arrived in a carrier with a very feral cat wrapped in a mesh laundry bag (aka feral cat handling device), with only one name and description on that carrier.

“Ah Ha”, I said, “does this look like an old girl, not many teeth, fairly small, very nice and friendly? Lena, run check and see if Parfait is here.”