Early Morning Open Thread: Sisters

Good news from Soonergrunt:

dont feel good at all. relly hurt but have good drug on cool iv button thing. doc said op went verry well and be happy. Also my phone im typing this on sucks. Will hae more 2morow when less stoned.

(The man is made of stern stuff. Worst I’ve ever had done to me surgically, knock wood, was an uncomplicated old-fashioned gallbladder removal, and I still don’t remember anything from the ensuing 48 hours or so.)

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From commentor Linda M:

The rescue of these two little girls was a happy accident. It had been about 9 months since we lost our previous cat, and I was just not ready to get into another relationship. My husband, who had just been rescued himself by a wonderful team: an oncologist, radiologist, and thoracic surgeon, was feeling spiffy and optimistic after surviving lung surgery. He was ready to take the plunge and go to the shelter to find one adorable fuzz ball to cuddle. One day I was informed that he was going over to the shelter, with or without me. Being the control freak I am, I couldn’t let him go alone, so I said I would go only to look.
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There were cages and cages of kittens in the lobby. Due to the cuteness factor, I think most kittens get rescued first. I love any size cat: kitten, adolescent, mature, elderly, but we have always made a point to adopt at least an adolescent. So, we went straight to the room where the “older” kittehs are kept. We worked out a plan that we would only stand in front of the cage and let the kitty come to us; if the kitty wouldn’t come to the front of the cage, it was a sign that there was no chemistry between the kitty and the human. As we stepped up to a cage where these two beauties lounged, they both came forward and rubbed against the door of the cage and looked straight at both of us. The tag on the cage noted that they were littermates and they had been in the shelter for six months. Awwww. These little girls were only 13 months old, and they had been at this shelter for six months—breaks my heart. And, oh, by the way, the cage tag identified them and Paris and Nikki.
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I opened the cage door and took them into the private room where we could all sit together and let our smells mingle. These girls crawled all over us, and we couldn’t keep our hands off of them. We decided that they had to go with us—immediately. There was no going home to think about it, no vacillating over should we get just one. This was it; we were in love! We filled out all the papers and got them out of there as fast as we could. When we got home and let them out of their carriers, they just trotted around as though they had always lived in our house—never once did they go hide or disappear behind the furnace—they were home and they knew it! Oh, and, by the way, name changes were in order. They are now Emily and Sissy. Two of the sweetest girls in the world!



Early Morning Open Thread

First things first — everybody send positive thoughts Soonergrunt‘s way, that his heart surgery (scheduled for this morning) is uneventful and his recovery swift!

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From commentor Daniel K:

Meet Tessie.
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When I found her six years ago, she was literally four days from being euthanized, and the folks at the shelter tried to talk me out of taking her. They said she’s nuts, shits and pisses like it’s her job, barks non-stop, etc. So I played with some of the other dogs at the kennel, but kept walking past her cage checking her out.
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When they agreed to let me play with her, she barked at me, took a leak on my shoe, and then ran in circles chasing her tail like a maniac. But then I thought, look at her – she’s a beauty! So I asked them if I could take her for a walk, and how far I could take her. They told me to leave my drivers license, and go as far as I wanted. And so initially she walked me, for a good 30 minutes, yanking and panting the entire way. Then she stopped, looked around, and realized she wasn’t at the shelter. I remember this look on her face, something like, holy shit I’m free. Then she looked up at me for the first time, jumped up, put both paws on my chest, and started to slobber all over my face.
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Aside from puking in the car on the drive home, she was the most amazing angel in the world. Loving, insta-house trained (literally no accidents evah), amazing disposition, fiercely loyal, snuggly. Here’s a link to a video I made of her (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOEt_kxjebY), introducing her to a friend’s 4-year-old son who lived too far away to meet her in person.
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About a year ago, Tessie developed a bunch of mast cell tumors. She put up a pretty amazing fight, but ending up losing the battle to cancer. Good God, I miss that mutt!



Open Thread: Cat Rescue (Large & In Charge)

Via commentor Chris W.:

This is Moe. We adopted him from the local shelter when he was around four years old. He had been turned back into the shelter two different times. They made it clear to us he could not be around other cats (we’ve since found out he is unbearably dominant around other cats, the exact opposite of his normal personality). He was even kept in a separate room at the shelter.
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After we’d agreed to adopt him, the staff let us know it was his last day and he would have been euthanized if we hadn’t adopted him. He was so well loved there the manager of the facility came in on her day off to say goodbye to him.
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Moe is ten years old now and, for the life of me, I cannot imagine how anyone could have turned such a gentle, affectionate animal back into a shelter. He is beloved by everyone (I have a friend who has more pictures of Moe in his phone than of his own cat).
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In spite of his size (29 pounds at his top weight), Moe has always been a very healthy guy so were quite surprised when late last year he turned sluggish and just lost most of his natural fire. After several ER visits and 2 hospital stays, he was found to have an
abscess (it grew from not visible to the size of my fist in about 2-3 days). We are incredibly grateful to the staff at The University of Pennsylvania Veterinary Medicine Center for saving Moe’s life and providing him with love and bellyrubs while he was in hospital. Their staff is the best (his doctor even asked after him by name when she saw us at Trader Joe’s six months after she’d seen him).
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We have our old buddy back and better than ever. My wife barely misses the flesh she lost trying to administer the oral antibiotics for a month and Moe has even lost a couple of pounds.
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Shelter animals are the greatest. I also highly recommend mature cats over kittens (they are more stable and a lot less likely to be adopted).



Early Morning Open Thread: Dog Rescue

From commentor Joy:

This is Chloe (white with black eye) and her big sister, Abby. After our little Maya died suddenly, my husband and I along with Abby walked around like zombies. After a few months, I decided I was ready to adopt again and with the help of my best friend and vet, I started looking. I had never gone to the dog pound before but with her support I was able to go in. She helped me pick out animals that would fit into our family the best. But then I saw Chloe and she just stared at me with those longing eyes. I had been waiting to have what I call my “Maya Moment” and I just knew in my heart she was the one. I adopted her and brought her home. It turns out she was a reactive dog, easily stimulated by everything especially animals and people and fearful. I searched high and low for a trainer to help me deal with her issues and finally found one. He explained that she was fearful, not aggressive, and that we could overcome this with a lot of patience. The trainer said a lot of people would have given up on Chloe and returned her to the pound, but I was determined. With his help and encouragement plus a lot of constant work, Chloe began to adapt to being in the company of other dogs and slowly warming up to people. After 8 months, we have come a long way, but she still a work in progress. Watching her overcome her fears and be able to participate in activities like walking in the park with Abby is so gratifying. It is the best decision I have made. When you come home, that little butt just wiggles until you get to her for kisses and love. She is definitely worth the time and effort and I wouldn’t trade her for anything. I really believe that most rescue animals are so happy to be in loving homes that they turn out to be the best companions. Not only is Chloe lucky, but we are as well.



Early Morning Open Thread: Rescue Cat Circus

From commentor J. Michael Neal, aka That’s Master of Accountancy to You, Pal:

These are my kids. All of them were adopted as strays. The order of acquisition starts at the top left and goes clockwise.
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The first is Monster, my Little Ball of Hate. My roommate pulled her out of a tree in October, 1994, when she was barely larger than my hand. She didn’t get her name in the way most people think. A couple of days after she arrived, I was watching the Dom DeLuise episode of The Muppet Show, and in one of the sketches, a monster muppet was making the same facial expressions she was. It stuck. I am the center of her universe, which just constitutes evidence that you don’t get to pick the center of your universe, because I clearly hate her. She’s a mean, jealous, paranoid little freak and I love her.
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Next is Ringling, who started wandering in our yard during the summer of 1998. At the time we brought her in, I said that one more cat (she was the fourth, but death and divorce have moved her up to second) and our house would be a circus. Ringling seemed to fit better than Barnum or Bailey. She is extremely quiet and deep. I can pretty much tell what any of the others are thinking, but often not her. She’s still timid around other cats (except Eddie), and so I have to keep a door in the middle of the house closed so that they stay separated. I need to get one of those Checkpoint Charlie signs to hang on the door so that people know that they are leaving the American zone. I would really like to find her a new home. I think she would be happier as an only cat and it would make my life a lot simpler.
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The gray ball of fluff is Dirk. He was shivering under the wheel of our car one day in February 1999, when it was five below. We put him in the basement and had four different kinds of parasites cleaned out of him before we brought him upstairs. He is the smartest of the four, but he’s an underachiever who will never amount to much. He is generally a trouble maker, and in particular is Monster’s tormenter. He doesn’t mind not being the top cat, but he does make her prove it on a regular basis. Every once in a while, when she thinks I’m not looking, Monster will groom his head, so I don’t take their squabbles too seriously even though Monster howls like to wake the dead.
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The last of them is Eddie. Poor Eddie. He showed up at the PetSmart I shop at in June 2004. He was very shy, and was also scarred from some sort of blunt force trauma to the head. His left ear is crushed, he has a scar right behind it, his left eye weeps and he drools because he’s missing a fang and his haw doesn’t fit together quite right. Even there, though, you could tell he was inordinately sweet. Even though we already had five cats, I got him as a birthday present for my wife, because neither of us could bear the thought that no one would adopt such a beat up cat. Since then, he has remained the sweetest cat ever (I have only heard him growl once, at an intruding cat on the porch, and only after Ringling got upset), and only gotten more shy as the number of times I have to put him in the box and haul him to the vet to be tortured has grown. He had kidney stones in the summer of 2006 that almost killed him before the vet figured out what it was. He developed an ulcer on his left front paw in the fall of 2008 that turned out to be lymphoma of the skin; that ended with his leg being amputated. This last spring, he licked all the fur off of his tummy, and I took him to the small animal hospital (where he gets all of his treatment since the cancer) to investigate a lesion that looked a bit like the tumor had.
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That set off a chain that involved treatment for a liver infection; a root canal and five crown removals; the development of another lesion on his lip in the immediate aftermath of the dental surgery, which the doctor thought really was cancer but a biopsy to be just inflammation; and now multiple trips to the dermatologist to try to figure out why he’s licking all the fur off his tummy and the fur has fallen out on his lip. None of the others has ever been to the vet for anything but their shots. It’s always Eddie. He still loves me after all that, but he doesn’t really trust me; he spends a fair amount of time hiding under the bed, and he’s gotten good at telling when I intend to grab him and put him in the box, so it’s a challenge. Wish him well.



Early Morning Open Thread: Dog Rescue (Reciprocated)

From commentor Felonious Wench:

This is Kira, our Lab/Beagle mix. I had made up the bed 2 minutes before she wrecked it. She’s a cat-chaser, a plant-destroyer, a midnight-barker, and a general chaos machine. We adore her.
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2 years ago, I decided it was time for a dog. I was home a lot by myself with our sons, and I wanted a dog to keep me company. I found her at our local no kill shelter; she was 9 months old, no longer a puppy, and she’d been there a couple of weeks. I had planned on getting a small dog, but there she was, 40 pounds of sweet dog, and still growing. Her notes about her said “She is one SMART dog. She was found in a backyard, playing with a group of kids.” Guess she snuck in.
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She immediately showed herself to be a big baby who loves any person who comes across her path. My dreams of a dog with a protective streak slowly faded into reality…the dog flops for belly rubs in the presence of any human.
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So I thought.
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One afternoon, our housekeeper heard Kira going absolutely ballistic in our back yard; she had a tone to her bark and a snarl she had never heard. She looked out the back window, and two guys were climbing over the fence. Kira was having none of that. She tore over there and backed them into a corner. They got so scared they immediately managed to climb our fence and get the hell out of there…
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But not before one of them dropped his backpack.
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My fears of Kira’s inability to alert me to intruders were unfounded. Turns out the men had broken into the house behind us. She had scared one of them so badly he dropped his backpack, with his ID inside. Oops. The police confiscated it, and gave Kira a rub on the belly. She flopped for them as soon as we let them in the gate.
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Yes, she’s one smart dog.



Early Morning Open Thread: New (Rescue) Puppy


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From commentor Chris S:

So, we’ve had Jack home for five days and he’s doing well, I think. I’m a little anxious – OK a lot anxious. In preparation for getting a dog, I’ve read a bazillion and three books and articles regarding training the perfect dog. He’s a good dog to start with. We haven’t had an accident yet and he makes it through the night in his crate without whining or barking and he walks exceptionally well 75% of the time. He does whine and bark when we leave the room, or go upstairs or leave the house and he’s a jumper/hugger/kisser. So he’s doing very well for such a tumultuous little life, but we (mostly me) are not. I don’t get it other than that I have unrealistic expectations after reading a bazillion and three articles regarding the perfect dog (I know lots of friends that have very imperfect dogs), which is causing me stress. Plus I want the cats to adapt and be happy. So after less than a week, I’m fighting feelings of regret. After being an animal lover all my life, having pets (at least through my childhood) and cats for the last few years, and reading inspriing stories of man’s best friend, I feel guilty for not being ecstatic at now having a puppy as an adult. So, Tara is helping me along and with a little bit adaption on my part maybe I’ll get over myself, let him be a dog and let myself love this cute sonofagun.