Monday, October 12, 2015

I visited Pet Mania, the pet store that I've been going to for over twenty years, where I adopted Atticus and Ronan, and it will be one of my last times in this location. The owners, faced with an enormous hike in rent, are having to close and find a new location. As of now, that new location is unknown. Their last day of sales is tomorrow and then they will be packing up.

It's another loss that I've faced in the last three months after losing my full-time job at the closure of my company. This one has hit me hard. So many memories in that location, and the good that the current owners brought to that little corner near my apartment resonated far beyond it. They welcomed me in and became a part of my life, and, let me become a part of theirs. Even once, asking me to drive their two teenage daughters to the Hollywood Bowl for a concert. I felt like such a mom, and was touched that they considered me to be trustworthy enough for such a task.

I was thrilled that such caring, selfless, conscientious people had taken over the store from an owner who maybe had good intentions at one time, but had let it fall into filth, hired an unfriendly staff or kept ones that should have been fired long ago, and the rescue animals weren't as cared for as they could have been. The new owners had their work cut out for them and were up against the damaged reputation that the previous owner had left in her wake.

But, they were up for the challenge. They resuscitated that place, spit shined it and made it the gem that it is today. They told the surly employees to shape up or they shipped them out, but even that was done with compassion and care, and, they raised the quality of care for their animals to where it should have been. They have rescued thousands of animals, and more than a few human souls that either needed a place to visit each day where they'd get a friendly smile, or to enrich their lives with an animal companion in need of a home.

It's a huge loss for that corner, and all because of greed of a landlord who could care less what goes in there, and whether it enhances the community or not. They just care that their hiked rent is paid every month. I know that prices rise for landlords too, and that they are in their business to make money like any business. But this is just pure greed.

Pet Mania opened a Go Fund Me to help cover costs of the move, and if anyone deserves a helping hand, these folks do. The amount they are asking for pales in comparison to the positive things they brought, and once in their new location, will continue to bring to the lives of countless people and animals. They want to continue and expand on their rescue operation, and this will help them do it. If you love animals and the people who help them, think of giving them a leg up with a donation.

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Oliver Update: More great news! First, thanks to you wonderful people, Oliver's fundraising goal has been met! In just under 20 days, the $1440 needed was raised and I can't thank you enough. Actually, about 80% of it was raised in just a few days. I started the drive on Facebook, then mentioned it on here. In events like this, I'm always so touched by the good and generous nature of people. This includes those who were willing to stop for a second and wish Oliver a speedy recovery or include him in your prayers. Thank you. It matters, as it is a defiant statement to all of the negative things we hear about the human race on a daily basis. My birthday is in half an hour. I can't imagine a better present. 

Before the company I worked for folded, and other times when I can, I stand among you and contribute in making that defiant statement through my own gifts. There's nothing better, and I hope by knowing you helped make one bad situation better, and contributed to healing so much more than a cat, you understand how big of a deal that is. 

For those of you that wonder what I'm talking about, here is the post about Oliver's ordeal

Exhibit One
Now, onto his progress. The big lug of love continues to improve. He's able to jump up on my bed, so he's back to sleeping on my head. See exhibit one at right: This includes placing a big paw on my cheek to position me to what suits HIM best.  
And, he can climb into the tub, which is great because he has a triple coat and it's been hot and humid, even with the AC on. He still has a little difficulty with that, but he's working it out. and is taking his medicine like a champ

He's also getting around much better, without the stumbles. He opened up a nice can of whoop ass on Ronan when the latter started a wrestling match. He still has a wobble in his gait but it doesn't hinder him nearly as much as it did a week ago. He may be my big cowardly lion, but damn, he's a fighter when it counts. He has a strength and stoicism that surfaces from underneath that goofy, cowardly exterior. 

Oh, and the big guy wanted me to send you a message--that you all rock.

It's now six minutes until my birthday. Signing off.

Monday, July 13, 2015

UPDATE 2: July 15, 2015

Great news! Oliver just got back from the vet, who said that he will probably keep improving with meds and care. She also prescribed a bi-weekly shot of Adequan which will help any damaged joints. As a result of this awesome news, I've once again, lowered the goal. The odd amount is because a donor gave me $60 in person, so I am subtracting that from the total on his GoFundMe Campaign. This puts me almost at goal!

Thank you all so much for your generous donations. To have raised so much in so little time, I'm just beyond. You have helped this wonderful cat, who so many have grown to know and love through my blog, Flickr, and Facebook, get back on the road to being his old self.

Case in point, I came back to see Oliver in front of a fan, looking just marvelous with movie style wind effects blowing his mane. Oliver always knows how to position himself to achieve maximum fabulousness.

Thank you all!


UPDATE 1: July 14, 2015

Oliver has shown improvement! I've kept him quarantined in the bathroom, per the vet's instructions so that he doesn't try to climb anything and rests. I had some window shutters in the house, which enable me to keep the door open while still making sure he doesn't get out or Ronan (my other cat) gets in. Yet, he's not shut in a tiny room and cut off from us.

He's still wobbly and weak in his hind quarters, but is able to use his back legs much more effectively. I'm really hoping that this means it was an injury that will continue to improve. Because of this, I've lowered the campaign goal to reflect the anticipated costs of emergency vet bills. He's going to my vet tomorrow, so I will post another update once we get back. To all of you, thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for helping this dear, sweet soul get better.


Start. Abandon, don't post. Start. Abandon, don't post. Look at all unfinished, unposted items in blog queue. Feel guilt.

Those posts will get posted, including my post about my novel class that I'm taking, going to Atlanta for my nephew's graduation, running into Jamie Hector, Marlo from "The Wire," and talking old "Wire" times at my local Starbucks, switching coffee shops to go local and rediscovering the love of writing in a coffee shop, the fast year that has passed since I lost Atticus, the recent fall of the wonderful startup that I left Disney for, but, how I wouldn't change a thing and am so much richer for the experience, and so much more. But first, this:

On Friday night, July 10, 2015 my beautiful, sweet Maine Coon cat Oliver demonstrated some alarming symptoms. His back legs were slack and he wasn't able to stand. I took him to the emergency vet, and $1300 later, I learned two things; it isn't a blood clot, and it isn't a spinal injury. They recommended that he see a neurologist, as it might have something to do with his spinal cord, as well as an MRI. The MRI and possible surgery will put his medical costs into the thousands.

Here's the kicker. The company that I worked for ceased operations the week before, leaving me currently unemployed. Yeah. That, I was always prepared for as it's the nature of startups. This? Um, no. Were I employed, I could manage, but with that being uncertain, it's just too much to take on, and Oliver's care shouldn't be compromised because of my employment status. So, while I hated to do it, I opened a GoFundMe campaign for him so that I can make sure he gets the best care possible.

I ask for your help once again. The link to the campaign is here.

Even if you just share and spread the word, it helps. I will keep everyone updated on his progress on this blog.

I want to do all I can for this sweet, sentient being who has already been through so much. I rescued him from a hoarder in 2008. Because of his owner's negligence, he required surgery, and I maxed out every credit card to save him. Way before "Go Fund Me," or other online campaigns, I asked the Web for help and put up a paypal button, and the Web, (mostly my wonderful friends and you awesome blog readers) came to his aid. That inspiring story is here.

I told Oliver, "I've got you, as long as you're willing." And so far, he's willing. Being a champ, in fact. I don't know his prognosis, and can't promise a happy ending. But what I can promise, is to do everything that I can to try to get one.

Thank you so much.

With sincere gratitude,
Anne and Oliver