Sunday, August 10, 2008

We did it! I'm completely blown away. I'll be posting soon but right now I'm at a loss for words. For once.

Total Bill: $2700
Total Raised: $2700

You guys rule. I'm so touched by this and all your sweet emails.

UPDATE: Here are the most recent pictures of the Maine Coon cat I rescued, his story below. The thing on his face is a feeding tube, now removed since he's eating! The first pic is right when I was at the vet and picked him up, the night after surgery. The second is him making himself at home in my kitchen closet. You can click on the pics for a larger photo. Again, none of this would have been possible without your generous donations. I'm just blown away by the response.

Groggy on the MendFeeling Even Better

Extracted flip flopHe had an obstruction in his intestines due to his previous owner allowing him to eat her flip flops. Once again, no, I'm not kidding. This is the actual large chunk that he swallowed that they removed. (Yes, I photographed it because that's how I roll). That's my index finger in the photograph for size comparison. Now, he's on the mend!

Thank you to those of you who donated to help this wonderful cat heal!! Here are some blogs, in alphabetical order, of those who donated. I asked their permission to post them. Please check them out and give them a read! Oh, and if they have comments, tell them how much they rock.

Adrasteias Labyrinth
Barefoot in the Park
Knitty Banter
Truly Regal Manners

And Lorna, who I already link to at the right. If I've left anyone out, let me know!

Here is the story:

This pledge drive was not for me, but for the vet bills for a cat that I rescued from a neighbor who lives in squalor.

I have a 25-year-old neighbor whom I discovered was living in filth and squalor. When I saw how she was living, I asked her to let me help her clean her apartment to relieve her from the inhuman conditions. When I saw it; trash piled two feet high, cat feces, food and litter all over the floor, soiled sanitary napkins (no, I'm not kidding) piled by her bed and on the floor in the bathroom, thousands of ants in the freezer, living room and in the bathroom, months worth of discarded food rotting in take-out bags all over the floor, mixed with her clothes in the bedroom and bathroom, piles of clothes in her bedroom, never washed and caked in cat urine, a fridge full of rotting food, other food that had spilled on the floor and never been picked up. I could go on, but no descriptions will do it justice. When I worked on "The Wire," I saw abandoned crack squats that were more sanitary and in better condition. I was shocked and the next day staged a mini-intervention, if you will. I sat her down and told her that she couldn't live like that, offering help to "get her out from under it." I was also greatly concerned about the sweet, beautiful Maine Coon cat that she had adopted from the shelter a few months back. A shelter that had entrusted him to her to give it a healthy, safe living environment. Because I'd heard from other neighbors that this woman was living substandardly, I'd been keeping an eye on the cat and taking an active role in educating her on cat care. I bought her brushes, play toys and medicine. It was me that she turned to this week when the cat became ill and unable to keep food down. I asked to see the cat, she told me she'd bring him down since her apartment was "messy." Instead, I followed her up because I wanted to see the environment that he was living in. It was then when I peeked through the blinds that I saw the true horror of her living conditions. I knew that the cat was in danger. It was obvious, just from what I knew about her that she had neglected this cat and provided an unhealthy environment that had made it sick. She told me a vet had told her to "keep an eye on him," but I had doubts that she'd even called a vet.

On day two of helping this woman clean herself out from under the filth, the cat exhibited some alarming symptoms, including tremors and disorientation. It was heartbreaking, to see the friendly, loving and social animal that I met a few months ago become the animal I was seeing in front of me. Scared, sick, shaking and so disoriented due to malnutrition and dehydration (caused by the vomiting) that it was walking backward and in circles. I told her we had to get him to an emergency vet immediately, so off we drove to one in Studio City.

The vet rushed him in when he saw the tremors and we sat and waited while they treated him. I knew that there was no way that I was going to allow this beautiful cat, who didn't ask for this and that had this done to him, go back into that home. While we were there, I was able to pull the vet aside and explain the conditions that the cat had come from to help them better diagnose him.

A bit later, the vet came out with an estimate and not surprisingly, the woman was shocked. I let her process it for a few minutes, then made her a deal. I would pay for the vet care, but she had to allow me to adopt the cat. For a few agonizing minutes, she processed this, and then agreed. I can't describe the denial, cluelessness and disconnected mental state this woman was in when she first thought that I'd pay it and let her take him back after he got healthy. During this time I also spoke to her mother over the phone (she had asked me to talk to her mother to try to convince her to pay for the bill) about the extent of the danger that her daughter was in and my plans to take ownership of the cat.

This is the cat. These photos were taken in my apartment (he came over to visit) before he became ill due to neglect and the filthy conditions in which he was living.

Main Coon cat needs help

Main Coon cat needs help

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