THE SCRATCHING POST - Spring, 2003
Art Show: Carol Wilson's Cat Paintings
Issue 15 - By Barbara Stanley firstname.lastname@example.org
Home2Cats, P. O. Box 752671, Memphis, TN 38175-2671
"On a hot day, one of the best places to hide away is the bathroom. Bathroom rugs are very soft. But, the cat has already taken a nap. So time for a stretch, then move on to another part of the house."
Mews You Can Use:
In the Winter-2000 issue of THE SCRATCHING POST we discussed Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV). FIV is a disease that attacks the immune system of the cat. With a compromised immune system, the cat is no longer able to fight off infections or disease. FIV is mainly transmitted by blood exchange (bite wounds) and also sexually.
Up until now there has been no vaccination to help prevent the disease. One could only have the cat tested to determine if it had FIV. Recently, a vaccine has been approved and is now available to the public.
There is some controversy over the vaccine in that vaccinated cats will test positive for the FIV virus. This is due to the fact that the current FIV test checks for antibodies instead of antigens. Tests for most other diseases such as feline leukemia tests for antigens not antibodies.
Drs. Janet Yamamoto and Niels Pedersen worked for 14 years on the development and testing of this new vaccine. Dr. Yamamoto says she anticipated concerns from vets about diagnosing FIV in vaccinated cats. She has an answer — a plasma test called the RTPCR, which should be available to veterinarians before the end of the year. This test will accurately determine if a cat has FIV, even if the cat has already been vaccinated.
There are five strains of the FIV virus, A, B, C, D and E. The vaccine was made using types A and D. Type B is a very common strain in most regions of the U.S. and no testing of the vaccine has been performed thus far against type B. This means that a pet owner might wrongly believe they were protecting their cat fully against the FIV virus with this vaccine.
The FIV vaccine is an "adjuvanted" vaccine. An adjuvant is an additive used with killed vaccines to improve their ability to stimulate the immune system. Unfortunately, adjuvanted vaccines have been implicated in the development of certain tumors. No one knows for sure how often vaccine site associated cancer occurs.
The FIV vaccine is initially a series of three shots administered every two to three weeks. Your cat needs to be FIV tested prior to being vaccinated. The following year just one annual booster is required. The efficacy of this vaccine has been determined to be 82 percent.
It is important for every pet owner to review the positive and negative aspect of this vaccine and discuss it with their veterinarian.
The best protection against this disease is to keep your cat indoors and also spay/neuter.
"Even the tamest of house cats will rediscover their wild instincts in certain situations. This tigery looking cat is prowling through an oak forest on an autumn day, as leaves are falling. In search of prey, real or imagined."
Breed: Love Child
Sometimes even with the best intentions things go wrong. This was one of those times.
We received a call about a feral cat colony that desperately needed to be rescued. Someone was torturing and mutilating the cats and the colony was down to five.
The caller had been feeding this colony of cats for several years. He said he would pay for their Felv/FIV test, vaccinations, and neutering/spaying if we would help these cats. These cats were in a dire situation and the caller was willing to cover their medical expenses, which rarely happens. How could we say no? Home2Cats said YES, absolutely.
We met the following night and he introduced us to the colony. We set up plans for trapping and he agreed to come every night to help us since the cats were familiar with him. He met us every evening and all was going well. After several nights of success, we were ready to rendezvous to trap our last cat. Our ‘good Samaritan’ then informed us that he had previous commitments the next few evenings and would not be able to join us.
Off we went on our own to catch the last cat. The last cat is usually the smartest and the hardest to trap. The ‘Survivor’ and ‘Fear Factor’ mode is at its peak. The trap is now the enemy even with Kentucky Fried Chicken. It took us a couple of evenings but we succeeded. The next day we took the colony to the vet for testing, shots and spaying/neutering.
Everything seemed to be progressing fine with their vet visit, when Violet stopped breathing during her spaying. Violet was on the verge of ‘crossing over’ to the other side. Dr. Carolyn McCutcheon opened her chest and massaged her heart. Violet came back. Unfortunately she suffered oxygen depravation. The previously feisty and sassy feral cat woke up helpless, blind and unable to walk or eat.
We then discovered that our ‘Good Samaritan’ had bailed out on us. His not showing up for the trapping of the last cat had been a planned event … We had been set up.
But Violet was still critical and we knew we had to move on and concentrate on her recovery. Due to the oxygen deprivation Violet had some brain damage. She had to relearn standing, walking, drinking and eating. She also faced the daunting task of learning to do all these things as a blind kitty. She was a slow learner but a great student and mastered all of the above.
Violet also forgot that she was once a feisty and sassy feral cat. In her ‘reborn’ state, she is the sweetest girl and a great conversationalist. She chirps and chatters when you talk to her. She flops on her side, stretches out all her legs, and then rolls on her back for belly rubs. Her purr sounds like a Humvee coming through. The other Home2Cats residents sense she is ‘special’ and they make a point to greet and rub cheeks with her … and so do we.
Although our ‘Good Samaritan’ did not go the distance, the story ends well for Violet and her friends.
"Two young cats, one black and white, the other calico, are deciding on their next move as to who is going to claim this territory. I wanted to use the shapely garden hose as an element framing the sections of the painting. Another name for this work could be Confrontation."
Animal and People Recognition:
While losing a companion is one of life's greatest sorrows, never having one is to miss out on years of loving companionship.
If you would like to honor a pet or loved-one by making a donation, please send your donation to Home2Cats, PO Box 752671, Memphis, TN, 38175-2671.
We will include your name in our next newsletter and also here on our Home2Cats website. Thank you!
In Memory of People:
--Ruth Blann Cartledge
In Memory of Animals:
Fluffy, Tiger, Sassy, KC, Crystal & MarshmellowWho added much happiness and love over 35 years to our family life.
Beloved pet of Ann Shill-Tivers & Les Tivers.
--Barbara & Larry Stanley
Our sweet nut boy.
--Donald & Brenda Hargrove
In Honor of People:
Larry & Barbara Stanley
For making the world a better place.
--Donald & Brenda Hargrove & their fine furry family
Up On The Roof
"Five cats congregate on a red tile roof. Together, but each with their own agenda. The setting is tropical. The sun is out and the sky is blue. Palm trees sway in the background. A large frond from one of the trees rides over a gable. Blue flowers have dropped on the roof tiles."
Daisy and Buster
In addition to being committed to cat rescue, we’ve recently become involved in the rescue and care of two abandoned dogs we named Daisy and Buster. They had been living in a lot next to a local church. The pastor was very patient with us as we slowly gained Daisy and Buster’s trust while contacting everyone we knew in the dog rescue business for help and assistance.
They were put on a waiting list with one organization but the wait time for that group is at least two months. Unfortunately, we were forced into action when we noticed that Daisy had quit eating and was pregnant with one puppy who, sadly, did not survive.
Additionally, Daisy had an infection and an emergency hysterectomy had to be performed. She also tested positive for heart worms and will require several months of treatment for that. We have purchase a pen and a dog house so that Daisy can be contained during her treatment. This was not in our budget but it is our policy not to abandon these animals in need.
The good news is that we have found a home for Buster. However, this does not end the financial need for these two.
This is where all of you kind souls and animal lovers come in. We are very much in need of your financial help. As we are a non-profit organization, all of our funds go to our cat rescues and these costs take the bulk of our available funds. However, we just could not turn our backs on these two needy canines so we are asking you to help us in this ongoing rescue.
Please donate for the care and keeping of Daisy and Buster. Buster is still in need of neutering, shots, heartworm check and possibly heart worm treatment. Hopefully, it won’t be too long before this rescue story will have a happy ending.
"My mother, Lola, was born, and grew up, in a small town -- Sabetha, Kansas. The farm house she lived in is long gone, but from old photographs I was able to recreate a scene showing what it might have looked like on a winter day after a mid-western snow storm. Now that the storm is over, the cats are relaxing on the front porch. Jake was Lola's father. There were loads of cats and kittens around the farm, and Jake always called them his mousers."
Cat Frets Unnecessarily Over Pregnancy
I overheard my owner say she was pregnant, and might have to give me away. Is it true that pregnant women have to give up their feline friends? What can be done about this? I shouldn’t get booted out just because some "little human" is going to join our family. I know my mommy loves me and doesn’t want to give me up. What can we do?
Signed - Sad Sally
Dear Sad Sally,
Your mommy does not have to give you away just because she is expecting a baby.
However, during her pregnancy she cannot be around your litter box. You see, pregnant women can get a disease called toxoplasmosis. However, she is only at risk if she cleans the litter pan. Tell your mommy she cannot get it from petting you, from a cat scratch, or from you licking her. It only comes from cat feces.
She needs to make daddy clean your litter box for the next 9 months. There is no reason to give you away. Besides, if he doesn’t clean the litter box, what makes her think he will change dirty diapers.
Signed – Tabby
(Reprinted with permission from PAWS & CLAWS, a publication of the Jackson-Madison County Humane Society.)
"It's quite common for a cat or two to live aboard a boat, or at least be taken along sometimes on a vacation. They certainly have been a mainstay on sailing ships throughout history to keep the mice and rats in check. This reddish cat is one of my inventions, as I don't always paint cats the way they really look."
Curious Cat World:
Carol Wilson's Cat Paintings
Carol Wilson is a leading award winning cat artist, known for her inventive representations of cats' typical situations and fanciful humanized depictions. In addition to creating paintings of her own design, she has been commissioned by cat lovers, and even dog and bird owners, to immortalize their favorite animals on canvas. She paints in a variety of styles and very realistically. Carol's paintings are offered in limited editions and open editions of high quality prints, notecards, and magnetized prints.
--From Carol Wilson's website at http://www.carolwilsongallery.com. Well worth the visit! --dlh
Under A Chair
"The architectural lines of the heavy legs on the table and the bottom of the chair create a study, combined with an old cat, just trying to find some comfort in an out-of-the way spot. I try to capture all aspects of cats' lives."
Home2Cats is now on Petfinder.Com:
Looking to adopt a cat or kitten? Check out our current pet list and our adoption day calendar on Home2Cats home page on petfinder.com under shelters/organizations. You may also access our home page directly by http://www.petfinder.org/shelters/TN159.html
If you are concerned about the environment, recycling is a must. We invite you to join the recycling team of Home2Cats. You may bring your aluminum cans to Aluminum Can Recycling, 4662 Lamar-Hwy 78, Memphis, TN. (Phone 901-366-9405 - David Steward.) Just tell them that you would like to donate the cash from your cans to Home2Cats. They will track donations and send us a check quarterly.
Our Friends2Feral Program:
You can stay on the cat trail with us by adopting a feral cat in our Friends2Feral program. You may specify your wish to adopt a male or female. We will send you a picture of your adopted feral cat along with updates of your feral’s progress and the colony. Along with his/her photo we will supply you with as much information as possible about your feral’s personality so you may name your cat.
$25 donation will spay/neuter a feral cat. You will receive a picture of the cat that benefited from your donation.
$50 donation spays/neuters and feeds a feral cat for a year. You will receive a picture of your cat along with a quarterly progress report. You also get to name your special adopted cat.
$200 donation feeds a colony for a year. You will receive a picture of your colony along with a quarterly progress report. You will also receive a cat blanket with our logo embroidered on it for your favorite pet.