What a month! In between holiday parties, paperwork and pet piles, we’ve had a rush of activity that put the crew and our emotions to the test…
Serena, the emaciated, congested, flea-infested diva from Stockton, has put on a pound, shaken her horrible URI and now sashays clear-eyed through the Main House. She’s still too skinny to be a Kirkland brand ambassador and has sneezing fits that send Mama Su scrambling for a paper towel, but she startled the vets at her recent follow-up. “Is this the same cat?”
Maddie, our formerly incarcerated feline, went from scavenging scraps in lock-up to becoming the pickiest eater at House Kirkland. With the pop of a can, Maddie sprints to the kitchen like Forrest Gump but has no reservations about dismissing multiple offerings until she finds something to her taste. Mama’s Su’s guidance? “If it looks stinky, she’ll like it.”
We keep sending super-foster Stephanie Yeats Cymanski fixer-uppers and good wine, and she responds with adoption selfies. Arlo and Tempura (nasty leg breaks), Stevie (infected leg wound), Fern and Hedwig all found forever homes. Feral-no-more Phantom (leg break) and Millie (two broken legs) are up for adoption, but Scarlett (prolapses, feral) and Caviar, a gray kitten who chewed off her foot when got it stuck (kids these days!) need a little more time in Mama Steph's certified pre-owned program to meet her high standards.
Kirkland alum, Tink (now Rini), a Siamese kitten on the street with a compound fracture has “changed our lives” per her adopted family. Milton, a FIV+ stray tomcat who came to us with battle wounds has turned into a chubby lovebug. CJ, a lovable ginger with eye issues, is warming hearts and laps. And Pierre, now Beautiful Boy, has helped his new owner get over heart-breaking loss with his hakuna matata approach to life.
We helped Samaritans dodge four figure vet bills with Buddy (diarrhea), Autumn (post-spay infection), another Buddy (abscesses), Ginger (chronic URI), Luna (allergies), Marlo (laceration), and treated dozens of others for every affliction imaginable. Horchata, Cardi and our other FIP patients have made stunning progress. Even UC Davis is in on the FIP-action.
As for heartache, we lost loveable street urchins Peter and Checkers to spinal damage and Nora, a long-haired Siamese to a viral lung problem. And Scout. We spent the Friday before Christmas helping the vet treat TNR/Colony specialist Pierce N Griffin's favorite from a suspected car hit, but the wounds proved too much, and he passed on Christmas Eve. He was one of her best greeters and deserved better than he got.
We’ve also seen a hard decline in our favorite junkyard cat, Mr. Potts. Pulled from a Visalia orchard with a broken jaw, lacerations, dehydration, kidney and dental issues, he’s been our only true outdoor cat and his tendency to spritz me with pee was sort of endearing. This country music song with fur has touched all of us, but we’re past the last chorus…
On a positive note, last Friday we took in Miss Chloe, a precocious, long-haired calico kitten pulled from a homeless camp favoring a rear leg from suspected abuse. X-rays showed a growth plate fracture, so we ran her up to a Stockton specialist for repairs. She’ll be in Mama Steph’s rehab program by the end of the week.
All this in addition to the dozens of end-of-year adoptions through our PetSmart partners (542+ adoptions in 2022), at least three out-of-state transports, constant cleaning, feeding, treatment and laundry, a propane-less Christmas Eve and some wonderful news about a PetSmart Charities grant for 2023 to follow in the next few days. Happy New Year!