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Home2Cats.org - Winter, 2008

THE  SCRATCHING  POST

Issue #34, by Barbara Stanley, home2cats@aol.com
Home 2 Cats, P. O. Box 752671, Memphis, TN  38175-2671

 

The Cat Show is Coming!

The Mid South Cat Fanciers Cat Show is being held April 5th & 6th at the Agricenter International in Memphis, TN.  We hope to see all you cat and animal lovers at the show.

 

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Mews You Can Use

Feline HCM

In our last issue of The Scratching Post, we told you of Home 2 Cats’ tragic loss of Rex due to an undiagnosed heart condition. Tragedy has struck again with the loss of our precious Tina. (Tina’s rescue story can be found in our book Cat Tails of Rescue.)

Tina was one of our special handicapped residents who was missing parts of both back legs. Like Rex she lived life to the fullest. Both Rex and Tina were close in age, 11 yrs and 10 yrs respectively. Both died from feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM).

Rex’s symptoms came on suddenly with fluid retention in his chest cavity about two weeks prior to his death. Within a week of his first symptom, Rex was diagnosed with HCM through an echocardiogram (heart ultrasound). Tina had no outward symptoms. Her condition went undetected and she collapsed and died suddenly.

HCM is the most common heart disease seen in felines. With HCM there is excessive thickening of the primary heart muscle, the left ventricular wall. This enlargement prevents the heart from expanding properly which may obstruct the blood flowing in or out of the heart. The thickened wall sometimes distorts one leaflet of the mitral valve, causing it to leak. Fluid can leak into the lungs causing heart failure. Cats with HCM have very little cardiovascular reserve and are very sensitive to stress.

A cat may display no symptoms and die suddenly and unexpectedly, like our sweet Tina. Others like Rex often develop symptoms quite suddenly. Symptoms may include difficulty breathing, weight loss, lethargic or signs of weakness, heart murmur, congestive heart failure and paralysis of the rear legs. HCM is best diagnosed using an echocardiogram. Echocardiography is a good way to detect moderate to severely affected cats.

Since feline patients are notorious for instinctively hiding signs of disease, yearly physical examinations by your veterinarian can be helpful with a possible early diagnosis. Early detection of an abnormal heart rhythm or murmur may be the first indication of this disease. Since there is no cure for HCM, early diagnosis is the key to achieving the best possible clinical response in trying to control and prevent complications.

Rex and Tina’s death were a great loss to us but their legacy will continue by educating others about HCM.

 

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From the Cat's Clawset

Robertson Davies --

"The great charm of cats is their rampant egotism, their devil–may–care attitude toward responsibility, their disinclination to earn an honest dollar."

 

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Cat Tails

Watson the Neighborhood Cat

Watson was just a neighborhood cat that people had seen for years. He was a large friendly cat who didn’t appear to have missed many meals – perhaps none from the looks of him. No one knew his name or where exactly he called home. The area did have some ‘cat friendly’ animal lovers who fed the neighborhood stray cats and this big freeloader would make his rounds for an extra meal.

Sheila, one of the ‘cat friendly’ people in the neighborhood, went to retrieve her mail one evening and heard a loud mournful cry. Looking down the street in the direction of the cry, she saw Watson, apparently a victim of a hit and run, pulling himself by his front legs onto the curb.

Sheila gently picked up Watson. Time was of the essence and Sheila rushed him quickly to the nearest animal hospital for emergency treatment. Watson had sustained a back injury and was unable to use his rear legs. Due to the swelling of his brain, he also had sustained brain damage and was blind. At this point in time it was impossible to predict if Watson would recover from any or all of his injuries.

Sheila immediately made inquiries in the neighborhood and posted flyers hoping to find Watson’s owner. She also sent emails to rescue groups in the area in hopes one would be willing to take him if his owners could not be located. She phoned her regular veterinarian and relayed Watson’s condition to him and asked for advice. From the information provided, his advice and also the advice from the rescue groups that did respond to her email was to put Watson down.

When I read Sheila’s email, I immediately contacted her for additional information about Watson. Being in rescue and also being a very familiar face at Park Avenue Animal Hospital, (my home away from home), I have seen some rough situations that I didn’t think animals could possibly recover from.

But these creatures can be amazingly resilient and rebound from the edge of darkness. Their recovery can be full of pleasant surprises. With that in mind, I asked Sheila’s permission to go by the animal hospital to see and evaluate Watson.

When Sheila and I met at the hospital it had been close to 48 hours since Watson’s accident. I wasn’t prepared for what I saw. In the cage was the most beautiful large black and white cat. He was attempting to stand but his body wasn’t quite responding. You could tell by looking at him that the ‘lights’ were not on. Yet there was something about him and his will to survive, something Sheila had also seen from the start. I knew we needed to give him a chance.

Sheila and I agreed to meet the next morning to arrange for Watson’s discharge from the animal hospital. Sheila’s mother-in-law, who had originally seen Watson at his worse, joined us.

This time I wasn’t the only one who wasn’t prepared for what we were about to see. Watson’s vision was beginning to return and there seemed to be a small flicker of light behind those eyes. He could stand for a few seconds like a swaggering drunk. We were ecstatic and a lot of hugging took place and Watson just seemed bewildered.

In just a few months Watson’s vision has fully returned and his eyes now sport an intelligent bright look…the ‘lights’ are now most definitely on! He experienced mild seizures for several months, which have diminished and hopefully have disappeared altogether. At times you can still catch a slight stagger in his walk.

Watson is a loving cat who loves to rub his muzzle against your cheek. He is the’ biggest’ lap cat… and that can also be taken literally, as Watson is quite large. He makes his presence known by standing on his hind legs with his front paws on your leg or lap. He can’t quite figure how to hoist the other half up but that really isn’t necessary as his front paw tactic works every time with someone else hoisting for him. Watson knows how to achieve his goals!

Watson’s life was saved by Sheila’s compassion and her willingness to take action and become involved. Thanks to the generosity of Sheila, her husband, mother-in-law and a caring neighbor, Watson’s initial hospital bill was paid in full. We felt the best way for us to honor this wonderful lady was to give this fortunate feline Sheila’s family name, Watson.

Watson had previously been declawed and obviously had been someone’s pet at some point in time. No one answered Sheila’s flyers so Watson is in need of a special person or family. Until then, this lovable ‘lump’ will reside at Home 2 Cats.

 

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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.


 

 

In Memory Of Animals

Oscar
Beloved cat of Sarah Jortner
--Jackie Foshee

Calli
Beloved cat of Kurt & Mary Lindquist
--Steve Meyer

Red & Phantom
--
Pam Magee

Home 2 Cats had to say good-bye to some very special residents.
Tina aka Tina Turner who captured our hearts.
Tiffany & Garfunkle who lost their battle with feline leukemia.
--
Ruth Blann Cartledge, Larry & Barbara Stanley

Rex
Home 2 Cats
--
Ruth Blann Cartledge

Rex
Home 2 Cats
--
Rob & Sidney Nisbet

Tiffany
Home 2 Cats
--
Tiffany Crouch

In Honor Of Animals

Chrissie
--Ann Hightower

Asia, Noah & Iris
Loved pets of Glen & Rubye Reid
--
Bob & Nancy Barrow

In Memory Of People

Ted Cartledge
--Ruth Blann Cartledge

Celia Marks
In loving memory
--
Rob & Sidney Nisbet

Raechel Weisman
In loving memory
--
Rob & Sidney Nisbet

In Honor Of People

Larry & Barbara Stanley
--Rob & Sidney Nisbet

Larry & Barbara Stanley
For your tireless endeavors.
The four of us recognize and appreciate all you do.

--George & Linda Bond, Henry & Autumn

Carolyn Short & Joyce Webb
True Cat Lovers!
--Polly, Robert & Heather Mize

Pate Family, Albrecht Family, Cordes Family and Brewer Family
--Mike & Marlene Mauk

What better way to honor friends and family than to help the smallest among us.
We honor:

The Pates (Ki-Kitty), The Albrechts (Tiger & Snickers), Kelly Cook (Pedro & Conchita), Amy & Mike Jacobs, Pat & Eldon Stanton and Mike & Marlene Mauk (Scraps & Milo).
We also honor Barbara & Larry Stanley—big hearts full of unconditional love.
--Bob & Dody Cordes

Our Christmas gift in honor of our wonderful neighbors:
Dody & Bob Cordes, Guiness, Ozzie, Harriett & Mr. Murphy.
Marlene & Mike Mauk, Scraps & Milo.  Sandy, Gary, Nicole & Michael Albrecht, Tiger & Snickers.

--Hal, Suzanne, Elyse, Andrew & Ki-Kitty

 

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A Few Words from Home (2 Cats!)

Warm purrs to all the wonderful people who remembered the animals during the holidays and added Home 2 Cats to their Christmas list. Thank you for sharing pictures of your animals with us. We enjoy seeing pictures of your family (even the two legged ones!) and especially the pictures of former residents of Home 2 Cats. It is so heartwarming to see how loved they are and what beautiful animals they have become with love and care.

Here in the Memphis area, we are sorely lacking in available and affordable spay/neuter programs, especially for stray and feral animals. This situation is a huge contributor to the difficulties organizations such as Home 2 Cats face on a daily basis.

The Animal Protection Association has one of the few (and perhaps the only) ongoing spay/neuter programs in this area. They are a non-profit organization that relies on donations and grants. Please keep this worthy and much needed organization on your list of charities. Their service helps the animals, which then indirectly helps other organizations.

Wouldn’t it be great if spaying and neutering reduced the need for rescue organizations? What a nicer world it would be for the animals and us! Let’s all do our part!

 

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Our mission is:
To provide food, medical care, love and sanctuary for injured, disabled or abused animals.
To educate the public in what constitutes responsible cat care and ownership.
To engage in other activities related to animal rescue and public education about cat care and responsibilities.

 

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Home2Cats | Newsletters | Photos | Lynx
Please send email to:  home2cats@aol.com
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P. O. Box 752671
Memphis, TN  38175-2671
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Microsoft Office: Design Gallery Live
*NaNcY*'s Cat Animation Gallery
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