Saturday, December 22, 2007

Nicole, Animal Number 3,000 Arrives at Rikki's Refuge

She's a cute little thing. At first glance, you would assume she is a highly adoptable, lovely little house kitty. But as you get to know her, you learn about her medical problems. Cats without tails are often called Manx cats. Manx are a specific breed, that not only has no tail, but has a depression where the tail should be. The last vertebrae is missing. Your spinal cord runs through your vertebrae, and connects to nerves all over your body. When nerves are damaged, or nonexistent, you lose sensation and or the use of parts of the body. Because of this abnormal body structure, Manx cats, are very prone to nerve problems near the end of the spine. Without grossing you out with too much medical detail, this is the area that controls one's bowels and one's bladder. Deformities in this area leads to issues such as incontinence, inability to go potty by oneself, and constant leakage.

Gilda & Steve were caring for Nicole at their home in Pennsylvania. They foster and do adoptions through Stray Cat Blues, I met Gilda & Steve at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah in 1998, after acquiring the land for Rikki's Refuge, while I was still in the "oh my gosh, what have I gotten myself into !!!" mode. I spent two weeks out there studying, and begging all of their directors for every last little bit of helpful information that could give me. Gilda & Steve were there visiting and volunteering, and we hit it off.

They were so excited to hear at Rikki's Refuge would soon become a home for un-adoptable animals. A few months later they picked up a precious little girl off the streets who was a Manx. She was named Kelly, and her medical problems were far more severe than Nicole's. Kelly was animal number 12 at Rikki's Refuge. She came to join us on December 1, 1998, long before we have built anything. Her condition required constant medical attention. She crossed the Rainbow Bridge on July 25, 2001 from medical complications. She had been the Spokes Cat of Cat House Number One, adorable and charming, and never complaining about all the medical treatment she needed - including daily baths.

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