Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Foster Cat Always Relies on the Kindness of Strangers

Last night I was almost in tears at my shelter and people helped. No one looked at me and said "Why are you stressing about a cat? You have sick family members to worry about!" They understood and rallied and tried to find a way to help LeCat, my fourteen year old foster who suddenly needed twice daily antibiotics for a miserable looking infection.

The day started at 5:30 am when I put my head to the floor to coax LeCat out from his favorite hiding spot so I could feed and pet him before leaving for a conference in another town to be followed by a wedding in another state. He had jumped down from the bed at midnight with a frightened growl when Toby tried to jump onto the bed with perky ears and an upright tail.

When LeCat came out, his usual tear streak was normal on one side but white and oozing from the other eye. I freaked out but assured myself it was 5:30, I was overreacting, late, and everything would be okay. I stayed on the floor longer than I should have, playing with and petting LeCat as he lapped up his favorite wet food (seriously looks like the shepherds pie I love)and headbutted me.

When I had a free moment during the conference I emailed the foster coordinator, a vet tech friend (who works at the shelter), and the adoption events coordinator just because she's helpful and a friend.
The response to the symptoms was that he needed to see the vet tech for antibiotics right away. I flipped out and desperately tried to call friends who could take him the vet because I didn't think I could leave. Right when I was about to cry, my boss told me to go home and take care of the cat and let her know how it worked.

The verdict, once I got LeCat to the shelter, was that he might have conjunctivitis and certainly needed twice daily medication. I had a cat sitter but she wasn't able to come by twice a day, let alone medicate. I called my entire phonebook, near crying. I asked my allergic sister and Cleveland friend for suggestions.

The shelter staff called people and begged for me. They assured me they would figure something out. Finally a volunteer training to be a vet tech got permission from her mom to take LeCat. I almost cried in relief.

I got my first update this morning and hear that he's doing well and enjoying exploring his temporary digs. It's easy in pet rescue to feel that we need to be able to do everything ourselves Don't. Remember that shelters and foster groups and just kind individuals are often willing to help in whatever way they can.

I still feel a little guilty that I'm not with LeCat while he's sick. But I know I did the best I could and it's good for him to recover away from Toby (who still tries to play with him when LeCat wants to be left alone). Thanks to the kindness of friends and strangers, LeCat is going to be okay.

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