2023 Kirkland Refresh

Last month Mama Su decided she wanted in on the 2023 Kirkland Refresh, and in line at the buffet at our annual Super Bowl party announced, “This fluffy is on a diet…starting tomorrow.” The following day, Su swore off wine and foods she liked, and as a show of solidarity, I agreed to eat anything I wanted, keep BevMO solvent during her timeout and pack on a few extra pounds to establish better separation in the relationship.
After a week of egg whites, chicken, brown rice, pizza and bourbon—I snap shed 8 pounds I didn’t need to lose, and a howl of “OH MY GOD…Water weight!” from the upstairs bathroom suggested that Su’s progress was trending in the wrong direction. Come at me when I’m hungry and you best lead with a sandwich, but Mama Su on a diet that’s not working? That’s a whole new level of hangry.
In her defense, Hangry Su maintains grace and kindness with our furry guests, pet parents and visitors, but I’ve spent the last two weeks being pelted with blueberry scones and pints of Haagan Daz, “YOU NEED TO EAT!” Others might celebrate such forced indulgence, but me in a food coma doesn’t pay the vet bills, and if we're being honest, vain me likes it when my suits fit as intended.
We’re now going into Week 5 of The Great Famine, and while Su still grumbles when Maddie, Serena and I still eat whatever whenever—“You should start a support group…”— a dubious Facebook post about the dietary merit of red wine has helped defuse the tension at home. In the meantime, if you’re curious those furballs you tagged us with over the last month…
Woody, a feral tom, came to us with half his face literally torn away. The vets tried suturing the wound, but the fix didn’t take and we’ve since been treating it with alternative remedies. Woody is still “If I was 50 pounds bigger, you’d be in pieces!” feral, and his wound isn’t yet Facebook friendly, but he’ll be back with his colony and safe from infection within the month.
Dean, a scuffed-up tom with a big abscess on his neck was skeptical of us at first but has taken to treatment, regular feeding and smooshes. His wound is now closed, and while he’s not as handsome as we tell him he is, he’s a lovable lug and would make a great companion for another FIV+.
We’re hospice for Ginger, a friendly female ginger come to us from Kingsburg with chronic URI. She’s beefed up since intake but exams, blood work and ultrasound suggest she has terminal cancer (spleen) and is now enjoying sunshine and outdoor time.
And Holly, a friendly yellow and white DSH, pulled from the shelter with carcinoma on her nose. Within an hour of her freedom ride, Holly had cryogenic treatment for the cancer and is now in fospice with super foster Stephanie Yeats Cymanski.
Also working through Mama Steph’s Finishing School, Tinkerbell, a sweet calico street urchin from Visalia, with a leg broken in two spots and fixed in early January. And Mathilda, a loving, stray tabby pulled from the street with a suspected prolapse/constipation since resolved and now out for adoption.
We’re monitoring Marcy, little black cat with two broken hips and nerve damage in her front paw. The vets thought her hips would heal on their own and the foster recently forwarded a video of Marcy prancing like a show horse, prompting an “Unbelievable!” from the vet.
Brandi Can and Tnr Fresno introduced us to Roosevelt; a surly old tom with a suspected pellet wound that has since been fixed and released back to his colony. Big Red, a ginger tom with lacerations on his noggin, had his wounds repaired and was released back to his colony fixed and vaccinated. And Remington, who recently lost his tail and his testicles during a forced nap.
If we wanted Facebook to ban us, we’d show you the before pics of Quincy, a black female with a horrific compound fracture, hip damage and nerve damage in her front paw. After repairs and an overnight stay at the vet, Miss Q is with foster/rehabber Rebecca Hernandez and making amazing progress.
In the Main House, we welcomed Jack Black, a super-friendly, black long-hair teen pulled from a complex where he was kicked and taunted by pre-teen boys, now showing everyone how to relax, and Louis, a 14-lb Himalayan with hakuna matata attitude now fixed and vaccinated and serving Mama Su’s therapy pillow.
We’ve seen a rash of mites cases—Anakin, Chinois and Henry—all responding to treatment and are working on three colony ferals that need amputations (Phoebe, Alejandra, Fiona). And while we’ve taken our first litters of the Season, we’ve prevented dozens of other reveal parties for TNR friends (Brandi Can, Pierce N Griffin, Celita Martin et al.) around town.
Sadly, we lost Leo, a black kitten with spinal trauma (HBC), Tita (old age), Isaac and Horchata (FIP), Sparky, a silver tabby tomcat (ligature marks and liver issues), Karl, our little Siamese tripod (anemia, liver), Gin a feral mom (neurological), Big Boy, a black/white male and Delilah, a little black female (both to cancer) and another Sparky (HBC). Each left this world with the same love and care we give the cats sleeping on the bed.
As a final note, as part of the Kirkland Refresh, we upgraded our cat tower game and were startled to find that Kirk, our alpha paraplegic, at the top of a three-story unit, putting the fear of God in those who equated height with sanctuary. In other news, a redwood, an olive tree, two Italian cypresses and a windmill were victims of the recent weather, and Serena wets the bed…mine. No one is safe…
Serena and Maddie, Woody, Dean, Ginger, Holly, Tinkerbell, Millie, Mathilda, Roosevelt, Big Red, Remington, Quincy, Jack Black, Louis, Anakin, Chinois, Phoebe, Alejandro, Sparky, Karl, Kirk, a windmill, two trees, Siena, Uncle Creepy, Mr. Han and Dirty Harry.
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