Have you ever thought things were a bit boring around your house? Would you feel better having someone greet you every morning? Do you want a friend who isn't boring and knows how to show some sass? Samantha is your girl! Samantha has been living with us since early July 2016. It hasn't been very easy for her, but she has been a true warrior through such a tough time. She started out as a boarder and has become one of our adoptable fosters. Due to difficult circumstances Samantha and her sister, Cuddles, could not be reunited with their human. In turn, they were both signed over to Camp Kitty towards the end of August. Only a week or two after they were signed over Cuddles started exhibiting some unusual symptoms coupled with vomiting. We hurried her to the vet only to discover she had a large sarcoma in her chest that pressed into her airway. After consulting with the vet at St Francis we realized there wasn't anything we could do except make her comfortable. Cuddles stayed with us for about another week or so, and at that time we had to make a difficult decision. Her quality of life was diminishing and things were getting difficult for her. The choice was made and two of us were there to see Cuddles off as she crossed the Rainbow Bridge. This was a hard time for everyone, but Samantha remained resilient. Since then she has been living at Camp Kitty and wondering if she will ever find a buddy who really gets her like Cuddles did. She is a complex lady who loves people, but so far hasn't found a cat buddy here who is up to her standards. This has resulted in her living up front and becoming a bit of an unofficial greeter to all our customers. She seems to love being up front at our new location because she lived in the back and did not get all the customer attention at the old location. Speaking of the big move, Samantha was easily one of the most relaxed cats! While our move was only about half a mile it really threw the rest of the fosters for a loop--not Samantha. She didn't fuss when we put her in the carrier, then the car, and then put her in a bustling new building with people coming in and out all day. Samantha was cool as a cucumber and ready to nap and relax in her new cabin. It has been mostly smooth sailing since we moved, but there were a few days that we were concerned about Samantha. She is a very good eater and it is unusual for her to leave much food in the bowl, but for a bit there her bowl stayed full. We were worried about her lack of eating and occasional vomiting so she made a visit to the vet. There didn't seem to be anything technically wrong with Samantha and it was determined that anxiety was the cause of this bout. We can't say that we blame her, this happened just after the holidays when we had been so busy and she got moved around a bit. She is back to her normal self now and is happily eating crunchies again! She will chirp greetings to you if you walk near her cabin and at that point it is nearly impossible to not stop for a love fest. Samantha will stretch out of her bed to greet you and accept as much love as you are willing to give. She loves to be pet, will tolerate being held briefly, and will occasionally sit in your lap for a short period as well. She will happily run across the room if you toss a treat or a toy for her. Samantha is also a great sampler of wet food, but she never eats the whole can. To be fair she seems to have trimmed down a little bit since her arrival and probably wants to keep up her good progress. As you can see Samantha is a remarkable lady! At approximately nine years old her life got turned around and she didn't let it get her down one bit. She is nothing like people would imagine a "senior" cat to be and she really deserves to spend her years with someone who loves her unconditionally. Until then, she will be at Camp Kitty lapping up all the love she can.
Don't call it a comeback...wait, that's exactly what this is. We are back to the blog! Forgive us for the long absence, but since our last update we have kept ourselves pretty busy. We have packed up and moved locations, found furever homes for Vegas, Gizmo, and Toffee, scooped a LOT of poop, and have gotten two new fosters! Today we would like to tell you about our newest and littlest foster. Our sweet new foster was brought to us out of the blue by someone who didn't know what to do with the tiny kitten. While we don't normally take cats off the street, we knew that this kitten would have a better future if we did. We took her in and named her Cindy Lou since we were nearing Christmas. Cindy Lou started out as a hissy and shy kitten who was not happy about much, except food. Eventually she started to come around and really turned a corner when she stayed with Myra over Christmas. Not long after Christmas it was time to get Cindy Lou's shots, and we received quite the shock about our little Cindy Lou. Cindy Lou is more of a Max than a Cindy Lou. Our little lady turned out to be a little fella! One day Myra pointed out that Max sits in quite an unusual position. He throws his legs to the side almost like a miniature fluffy mermaid. He has proved his running, jumping, and climbing skills, but we could not help but notice that this wasn't a cute one off. He always sat this way! When he went to be neutered he also got an x-ray to check it out. As it turns out his femurs aren't connected to his hips! One seems to be healing fairly well on its own, but the other will require a surgery a little later on. This did not put a damper on Max's mood and he would be happy to let you know that he feels great! Over the past few weeks he has really started coming into his own! He loves toys, wet food, and even some of the other cats! He has chosen quite the role model for himself: our very own Schroeder. He obviously looks up to him, which means we are in TROUBLE. Can you imagine two Schroeders? We certainly can't. We love that Schroeder has dropped the Alpha act around Max and taken him under his wing. It has definitely made Max a less shy kitten. We think Max is well on his way to becoming someone's perfect forever friend. He will soon be up for adoption through AARf, and we just know there is the right person out there to love him. Do you think it might be you?
As anybody who has ever visited camp will know, our foster cats are most definitely not malnourished. As evidenced by the following pictures, they eat well. In addition to the bottomless bowl of kibble, everyone gets some wet noms every day, too.
Schroeder, Gizmo, Frittata, Nip & TIgger, Nola, and Nip. Nobody is lacking for food.
This brings us to Toffee. As many of you may remember, Toffee was part of the “Snack Pack” of kittens that Camp rescued in the summer of 2014. Most of us expected that Toffee would be the first one of the pack adopted. I mean, look at that face!
Well, it’s now over a year later, and sweet Toffee girl is still with us. And Toffee has developed a little bit of a problem area. I mean, I guess we shouldn’t be that surprised. She and her brother Oreo did have one thing in common when they were little:
Yes, Toffee is a crunchy junkie. None of us have quite figure out exactly how it happened, but while Toffee has stopped growing, Toffee’s waistline continues to grow. So much so that she got to go visit the vet this summer out of concerns that she had a tumor or something. Happily, she was perfectly healthy. Well, except for being diagnosed officially as fat. (We had more than one customer ask if she was pregnant. Embarassing. Nope. Just fat.)
We here at camp are doing our best to get her weight back down. We started her on an exercise regimen, but she doesn’t cooperate with that very well.
And she now gets confined to a cabin at night so that we can control the midnight munchies. This has helped some, but as soon as she is set free in the mornings, she makes a bee-line for the crunchy bowl.
What Toffee really needs is a forever how where she can be put on a regular feeding schedule with portion control. We just can’t do this at camp. Everyone here is used to the unlimited buffet and there would be a serious mutiny if we tried to limit everyone’s food. And we don’t want to keep her confined all of the time either, which would be our other option.
Toffee is a super sweet girl, and has even been known to sit in laps on occasion. We have discovered as she got a little older that she is a bit shy with strangers. But regular customers of Camp look forward to seeing her, and she looks forward to seeing them. She is quite the playful little thing. She has a special wand toy that she loves to chase (and that will need to go with her to her forever home). She also loves chasing bugs. She is the best bug catcher that camp has. And while not wild about other cats, she gets along fine with the other foster cats here at work for the most part.
If you are interested in giving Toffee the forever home she deserves, please come by camp and meet her. You may need to be prepared to stay a while to let her get used to you, but I promise you will fall in love with this sweet girl.
Are you looking for a buddy to watch the big game with you? Or maybe you need a fifth for that big poker game? How about someone to help with that home repair? Maybe somebody to tag along on that midnight fast food run? Or maybe you just need some muscle? If any of these apply, then Vegas is the cat for you.
Seldom has a cat had a more appropriate name than our Vegas. Our regular customers know him as the reason for the “please knock if door is locked” sign on our door. This big guy is ready to party and enjoy all that life has to offer. Sadly, here on North Decatur Road, that’s not always a good idea. Vegas would love to go live in a house with a sunroom or a big, screened-in porch where he can enjoy the breezes and watch the cars go by.
But don’t let that burly exterior fool you. Vegas also has his soft, sweet side. He loves his naps. Boy, does he love his naps. Any time, any place, he can nap. Although if given a chance, he’d much prefer to be right next to the heating vent.
We have also discovered that this big boy is quite the lap cat. Perfect for those cool, fall evenings watching Thursday night football. Or that boring afternoon surfing the web. He also loves to be brushed. He’s one of those cats that turns into a puddle and may even start drooling when the brush comes out.
Vegas would also be a great cat if you have a home business. He is a most excellent box inspector. He will never let a substandard box leave your house.
While Vegas has been living here at camp with other cats, he would really prefer to be the only cat in his home. (He hasn’t ever really gone after the other kitties, but you will definitely hear him making his opinion of other cats known.) He also has been around dogs and has been fine. Please consider giving this handsome guy a chance. All he wants is a warm spot and some loving.
posted by Gwen
February is Pet Dental Health month. One cat who got to take part in the festivities (and by “festivities” I mean dental surgery) was Lucas. On February 5th Lucas went to Ormewood Animal Hospital to have what we thought was a routine dental cleaning with a few teeth extractions. It turned out that Lucas’s mouth was in such bad shape that minor surgery turned into major surgery when most of his teeth had to be pulled due to cavities, gingivitis and severe stomatitis.
In the summer of 2014 I brought Lucas home with me because the busy season had started at Camp Kitty. Lucas isn’t allowed to roam free at night because he gets himself stuck in places he can’t get out of and he will sometimes fight with the other cats.
With him at my house I noticed how awful his breath was. It was beyond post-stinky-sardine-feast awful. When I was awoken by Lucas cleaning himself in the middle of the night next to my head I decided to make an appointment to get a pre-op dental exam because the stench was gag inducing!
Fast forward to the day of surgery. I received a call from Dr. Annie Price at Ormewood Animal Hospital that afternoon to let me know that surgery went well and that the patient was recovering. She then described the horror that was Lucas’s mouth. She said that when he was under anesthesia she could smell how bad his breath was and could feel the heat coming from his infected gums. As she started pulling out teeth the teeth would actually crumble due to all the cavities. If that wasn’t enough as soon as a tooth was pulled his gums would begin hemorrhaging. All in all he has probably five teeth left. I haven’t had the opportunity to count them yet.
I felt like the worst cat mom ever. How could I let this go on for so long? How much pain was he in?
When I went to pick up Lucas, they suggested that I leave him there overnight because they had to force feed him and he was in a lot of pain. They said that they didn’t want me to have to deal with that. The truth is that I probably could not have taken care of him properly because I was an emotional wreck after seeing him. He ended up staying two nights at the vet before I got to bring him home. He requires pain killers for another week and good ol’ antibiotics for another 10 days.
I was assured by Dr. Annie that Lucas will feel so much better going forward. Maybe he won’t be such a jerk. She also said that whoever adopts him will never have to worry about his dental issues ever again. But, they will have to feed him wet food for the rest of his life. And, frankly, that’s a good thing. Wet food will reduce his chances of getting a urinary tract infection and developing kidney failure.
Why were his teeth so bad? Since Lucas is an overall healthy cat and was FIV/FeLV negative Dr, Annie came to the conclusion that his body was hyperreactive to bacteria on his teeth.
Let this story be a lesson to everyone. Take your cat in for a dental exam. It could add years to your cat’s life.
post by: Gwen
Every holiday throughout the year brings an influx of boarders to Camp Kitty, which means some of our foster cats, like the Snack Pack and Lucas, get the boot from their cabins. Other camp staff members have taken the Snack Pack home over Labor Day and Thanksgiving. Well, Christmas and New Year’s was my turn to take home the remaining Snack Packers.
I have a toddler so two kittens couldn’t do much more damage to my Christmas tree or other holiday decorations.
When Toffee and Oreo first arrived they were nervous especially with a loud 3-ft-tall terror running around, a grumpy black cat and three dogs. They spent their first 24 hours in the safety of the guestroom.
Then Oreo’s curiosity got the best of him. He was ready to come out and explore.
He was the first one to come out amongst the dogs. He boldly walked through the cat opening of the pet gate into the living room and confidently hissed at any canine trying to get a good sniff of him. Over the course of the week he grew comfortable around the dogs and even tried to play with one of them. Toffee, on the other hand, was more suspicious of the canine set. She eventually became comfortable around them while they were calm. As soon as they got excited, she hissed and was gone back into the guestroom.
The resident feline, Birdie, was not as welcoming as the dogs. Oreo loves other cats. He must go to a home with another cat. When he encountered Birdie he tried to head bump her, but she would have none of it. Instead, Oreo got a swat to the head and a hiss. Birdie don’t play that! Birdie also let Toffee know that she doesn’t share when she caught Toffee lounging in her mango box.
Having Toffee and Oreo as my holiday guests gave me some insight into their personalities. Oreo is outgoing, confident, snuggly and very cat friendly. Toffee loves to be around and near people, but please don’t try to cuddle with her (she ain’t into that). She’s not a huge fan of dogs. She could probably live with an older, lazy dog, but never with an extremely active Jack Russell terrier puppy.
They returned to Camp Kitty shortly after the new year when their cabin was vacant. My Christmas tree survived. And with them at my house my son learned how to say “two cats.”
Here’s hoping that 2015 will be the year Toffee and Oreo go to a forever home.
This summer, Camp Kitty got its first foster kittens in quite some time.
They were dubbed The Snack Pack and were cute as anything. And oh so tiny. They were all different colors, and they all had their own unique personalities.
We are happy to report that Totino (the gray one) and Sundae (the tortoiseshell) have both been adopted and are both doing great in their new homes.
Somehow, though, Toffee and Oreo are still with us. I don’t think anyone at camp would have predicted this since those two were the friendliest, most curious of the bunch from day one.
I mean, just look at those little faces! How sweet are those?! And both of these little darlings are growing into amazing kitties.
From day one, Oreo has been Mr. Personality. He loves life and everything about it. This is a fellow who loves to play and plays hard, but at the same time also loves being cuddled and curling up on a soft lap. He was the first of the bunch who would climb on our laps for a mid-day nap.
(In the interest of full disclosure, Oreo is a bit of an imp. He is incredibly curious and sees everything around him as a possible toy. Fortunately, he is adorable and about the softest thing on the planet, so he gets away with quite a bit. He is also a serious chow-hound, so we have to watch what he eats.)
And then there is little Toffee.
With her pretty face and gorgeous tabby markings, she is something to behold. She also loves to play, but loves to nap in a lap or right by your side. She is also a fierce bug-catcher.
Much like her brother, Toffee also can make just about anything a toy. Lucky for her, Gizmo is very patient with the kittens. In fact, Gizmo wants to share that both Oreo and Toffee make good cuddle buddies!
These two little dolls are now almost six months old and ready to go to their furr-ever homes. They would do best either adopted together (so they can play together) or into homes with other cats who will accept them and play with them. Come on out to Camp and visit them. They have both told me that their only Christmas wish is to have a permanent home for the holidays.
(Note: During the heart of the Christmas holiday, they will likely go to a foster home since Camp will be crazy busy and kittens aren’t really helpful then. Call before visiting to make sure they are here.)