HARVIE THE RESCUED CAT FINDS LOVING HOME
A cat that was discovered severely dehydrated, starving and covered in fleas is now living in the lap of luxury.
Hilda Alchorn, 76, has always been a cat lover. She went to the Oromocto SPCA last Saturday to donate food and left with two newly adopted cats.
One is a tiny orange female cat called Precious. The other was a neglected cat she’d read about in The Daily Gleaner.
The white cat with black markings — now named Harvie — was rescued from a home in Harvey Station on Sept. 13 by the New Brunswick SPCA and the RCMP.
When the cat was discovered in the house, along with the remains of two dogs and a rabbit, it had to be taken to a veterinarian for treatment. The next day it was placed in the care of the Oromocto SPCA.
SPCA staff members named him Newton. He was so badly flea-bitten, his white fur was stained orange from the blood, said shelter manager Tracy Marcotullio.
Over the past six weeks, the cat recovered from its trauma and was ready for adoption.
Alchorn just happened to ask Marcotullio about what happened to Newton while she was at the shelter to adopt Precious.
“She said, ‘He’s right there at your feet.’ He was rubbing my legs as much to say, ‘Here I am.’ I said ‘That’s it. He’s mine,’ ” Alchorn said.
Over the last six days, Alchorn has bonded with both of her cats but, she said, she has a special place in her heart for Harvie. She decided that since he came from Harvey Station she would keep the name but change the spelling slightly.
“He just wants me to love him all the time. He’s always up on my chest rubbing my face and purring. So I pet him and pet him. When I go to bed he’s right there along side of me,” she said.
Both cats are adjusting to one another, Alchorn and their new home.
Every morning Harvie the cat wakes Alchorn demanding his breakfast of wet cat food. He’s gaining weight, she said.
“If I don’t get up right away, he just curls up beside me and waits. He’s so sweet.”
As Alchorn talked about the joy this rescued cat has brought to her life, Harvie sat looking out the window at leaves falling from the trees outdoors.
Harvie and Precious, she said, will be indoor cats because she is worried they might get hurt if they go outside. Ever since her other cats died, Alchorn said she’s been feeling lonely and her two new pets are bringing her plenty of joy.
“I always have had cats. They are such good company. When I come home they are there waiting for me. Especially Harvie. He follows me around and I pick him up and I talk to him,” she said.
So Alchorn and her two newly adopted cats are happy with their new arrangement. She wonders what they are thinking but when Harvie crawls into her lap or stands on her chest it’s clear this is one contented kitty.
“When he looks me in the eye and he rubs my faces it’s almost as if he is saying, ‘I love you’. He’s adapted to being here as if he’s been here all of his life,” she said.
Puffy has been an Ottawa neighborhood cat for about a year now. Neighbors have been feeding him and keeping an eye out for him. However, he was an unneutered male, so, though handsome to the eye, a “baby-maker” nonetheless. And a bit of a rabble-rouser who got into fights with other cats in the neighborhood.
Recently, a concerned neighbor stepped up and befriended Puffy.
“…he let me pat him and cut some matts out of his fur. He had a huge tick on him, a big healing abcess and lots of smaller scabs and scratches.”
After talking to his neighborhood “watch group,” it was decided that Puffy needed to be caught and neutered. Then he could possibly be released back into his neighborhood.
So this week, Puffy got a full checkup, de-worming, vaccinations, FeLV/FIV tests, and a neuter. All went well except for the FIV test. He has tested positive for the FIV virus.
If you are unfamiliar with FIV, feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is a lentivirus (or “slow virus”) which is characterized by a long incubation period. An infected cat’s health may deteriorate progressively or be characterized by recurrent illness interspersed with periods of relative health. Sometimes not appearing for years after infection, signs of immunodeficiency can appear anywhere throughout the body — poor coat, gingivitis, stomatitis, various cancers and blood diseases; much like any other cat might experience. [source]
What does FIV do to a cat? Infected cats may appear normal for years. However, infection eventually leads to a state of immune deficiency that hinders the cat’s ability to protect itself against other infections. The same bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and fungi that may be found in the everyday environment — where they usually do not affect healthy animals — can cause severe illness in those with weakened immune systems. These secondary infections are responsible for many of the diseases associated with FIV. [source]
In other words, FIV won’t kill him, but rather a secondary infection could. Therefore, to lessen the possibility of acquiring a secondary infection and for keeping his immune system as strong as possible, it is best for Puffy to live indoors now.
So we are looking for a home that can take Puffy in. He currently lives in Ottawa. Taking him to the Ottawa Humane Society would likely be a death sentence (read some of the reasons an animal is destroyed in a shelter) and rescue groups called are full at this time.
Per Judy who took him to the vet:
The vet says he is young and seems to be in good health other than being a bit thin. He seems gentle and friendly. When he was at my house for a little while he was comforted when I rubbed his cheeks and ears.
I have a foster home for him only until Sunday, and then maybe another foster for a few days after that.
If you want to learn more about FIV — what it means, how it is transmitted, what you might expect — the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University has created this great page to explain. It needn’t be a death sentence. Puffy can live a long and happy life. Even in a home with other cats.
And please… SHARE Puffy’s story by clicking on one of the icons below so we can find him a new home.
We implicitly trust those caring for our pets when they get sick. They are holding something quite precious in their hands. But what happens when that trust is betrayed?
What happens when the alleged negligence comes at the hands of a veterinary professional? Someone you think has the best intentions for the care of your sick or injured pet?
These are the questions that Renate faces daily since the death of her cat Sonny just a few weeks ago at a clinic in Mount Pearl, Newfoundland. Here is part of the letter she sent to the clinic a week later.
At approximately 8pm on April 27, 2011, I made an emergency call to your hospital – regarding Sonny.
We told the veterinarian that we noticed that Sonny was hunched up when he came out of his litter box and vomited once. We were told to bring him in to your clinic.
Upon our arrival we gave [the vet] the history on our cat. Sonny showed no other signs of discomfort. He had eaten and was drinking that day and was still quite playful. (Having owned a male neutered cat in the past, I knew full well what signs to look for in a cat that had a urinary blockage.) Sonny was on the highest quality food for urinary tract and hair ball. The doctor obtained a urinalysis and [saw] crystals and at that time he advised us that an x-ray was necessary.
When the x-ray was completed, he showed us the image and said there were small stones but no blockage and that was good. He said Sonny would have to go on special food and possibly antibiotics. He debated on giving Sonny an injection and [bringing] him back the following day but he then decided to keep him overnight and flush his bladder. Feeling quite confident in what he had said, we put our beautiful cat in his hands.
At 11 pm that night, I received a call that he had lost Sonny.
I could not comprehend what had happened. The following day I went to get Sonny and asked to speak to the vet about what happened. The events that took place next will live in my mind forever. One girl brought Sonny in to us, while another followed with a debit machine asking us how we were going to pay for this? Holding my baby in my arms with my heart broken, I could not believe the lack of compassion!
I asked to speak to the vet who flushed Sonny’s bladder. When he came in he told us this: He flushed Sonny’s bladder and all went well with that and the anesthetic. He told me that Sonny was waking up from the anesthesia and when he went to check on him – Sonny had “PUKED” and he was blue by the time he realized it. He then went on to say that he worked on him for ½ hour but lost him anyway.
Sonny was left unattended as he was coming out from the anesthesia. Perhaps because of the food in his stomach, which the vet was aware of, Sonny vomited. Because he was laying down flat and likely barely conscious, he had no way to clear his mouth. With no one there to notice and no one to help him, Sonny asphyxiated on his own vomit. He suffocated to death.
To this was the added insult of the way the staff at the clinic seemed more concerned about payment. While Renate is sitting there holding her lifeless baby and trying to get her head around this whole event, she is being insensitively asked how she wants to pay for the “care” Sonny received.
In her search for answers about the work done for Sonny, Renate received this response from a vet professional:
If Sonny did not have a urethral obstruction, that is, if he was not blocked and could still urinate on his own, then there was no reason to rush the aesthetic procedure. This is especially true since your vet knew that Sonny had not been fasted, thereby increasing the risks of vomiting and aspiration of the vomitus into the lungs…
… If Sonny’s life was not in immediate danger, then there is no reason at all why he should have been anesthetized that night. Your vet should have fasted him for 12 hours and performed the procedure the following day. In addition, if Sonny did not have a urethral obstruction and did not have bladder stones, anesthesia and flushing of the bladder is not even necessarily required.
… It is far below the standard of care to allow an animal to wake up from anesthesia without someone there to monitor him. I feel this is another area in which your vet failed Sonny.
Just this week, Renate was finally contacted by the clinic’s owner.
She said that she was deeply sorry about what had happened to Sonny and offered us a full reimbursement.
Yes, I guess that is a start. But the hard part is Sonny’s loss, especially when it shouldn’t have happened.
The big questions that still loom are those already mentioned:
Debbie, the clinic owner, has offered full reimbursement of Renate’s expenses and I think that short of performing some kind of miracle that would bring Sonny back, this is the least they can do when an unnecessary procedure is performed on an animal. Especially when that procedure results in this baby losing his life.
The vet that performed the procedure is on vacation. I certainly hope Debbie will take appropriate action with this vet to assure the public that this kind of veterinary care is never repeated; that unnecessary procedures are neither recommended nor performed because the pet’s owner ultimately pays the price.
Sonny should still be running around the house playing with his best pals — a rabbit named “Thumpy” and a budgie named “Fenster.”
So where do we go from here? We’ll talk about that in another post.This post is about Sonny.
For now, Renate has created a wonderful video honoring Sonny. I encourage everyone to watch it (grab your tissues) and leave her a message on the Daisy Foundation Facebook page. I’m sure she would appreciate the hugs.
CALGARY SUN | MAY 21, 2010
By KEVIN MARTIN
Anger over his cat’s inability to control its bowels led a Calgary man to fatally kick the feline, a court heard Monday.
Crown prosecutor Richelle Freiheit said Darren Ronald Lesy kicked his and his girlfriend’s pet, Sage, two, after bathing the animal the morning of Aug. 27, 2007, and discovering fecal matter on her.
“I’m not sure whether the cat defecated at that point, or had feces on it,” Freiheit told provincial court Judge Gerry Meagher.
Freiheit said Lesy was bathing the cat after it had urinated inside their Rosehill Dr. N.W. residence.
“Mr. Lesy saw the fecal matter, became mad and kicked at the cat,” she said.
“The kick made contact with the cat’s head.”
Freiheit said although Lesy kicked at the animal, he didn’t intend to kill Sage.
“It’s not the Crown’s position that Mr. Lesy intended to cause the death of the cat,” she said.
Freiheit said Lesy reported the animal at first seemed okay, but her condition began to deteriorate and he rushed the feline to a veterinary hospital.
“The cat at that point was already dead,” she said, adding a vet made an unsuccessful attempt to revive the pet.
“The cause of death was trauma to the upper cervical spinal cord,” Freiheit said.
Lesy, 25, pleaded guilty to an animal cruelty charge of causing damage or pain to an animal through willful neglect.
The offence at the time carried a maximum sentence of six months.
While more recent legislation has increased the maximum to two years, Lesy is entitled to be sentenced under the Criminal Code as it was in 2007.
At defence lawyer David Mohr’s request, Meagher ordered a presentence report be prepared by probation.
Lesy, who remains at liberty, returns to court on Aug. 4, when sentencing submissions will be made.
Cases of animal abuse seem to be on the rise. Cases that shake one’s faith in humankind. Animals are hit in the head with boards or thrown out of car windows, starved to the edge of death, burned, poisoned, maimed, crushed or tossed in the river alive.
Are there really more animal abuse cases these days or are we more aware of them because of the far reach of social media?
Regardless, there is too much suffering. And this must be addressed. Stricter penalties for animal abuse is one of the ways the DAISY Foundation seeks to address the abuse. And so is educating our youth in the proper care of animals.
We mustn’t let the heinous acts of those without a soul to overshadow our goals in making a better world for our animals and by extension, for ourselves.
Please join us.