Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Shelter cats need love too: Wordless Wednesday thoughts

Popoki the cat on her bed

I've been thinking a lot about shelter cats lately. That's partly because Popoki the exotic shorthair cat here is just about to experience her very first gotcha day with me. It was just a year ago that I saw her hiding behind her litter box in her kennel, trying really hard not to sniffle or cough. She's changed my life so much and I can't imagine my life without her. And it's only been a year!

Popoki the cat in a closeup

I've also been thinking about shelter cats because it's the end of kitten season here, and adoptions in my cat shelter have slowed considerably. People who were looking for a cat seem to have adopted the adult cat they wanted, or they snapped up one of the hundreds of kittens that came through the shelter. That means I'm seeing many familiar faces when I walk through the shelter each week. And I know so many of those faces belong to cats that are wonderful.

Kitty looks thoughtful

I've also been thinking about how some cats that aren't showstoppers like Popoki get passed right by in shelters, and how that can impact their overall health and well-being. I'm thinking about that a lot, actually. It happened to my last foster cat. When the weeks went by and he couldn't flag down a family, he seemed to sort of lose the will to live. And despite all of the help and care he got in the shelter, he declined very quickly.

Panda the hospice foster kitty

I brought him home as a last-ditch effort, hoping I could convince him to start eating. But he struggled with nausea (despite medications and fluids), and he continued to lose weight (despite force feedings). He also developed a sort of wheeze or stridor when breathing, which might be a harbinger of a cold. I took him back to the clinic for a recheck today, and his blood work is just absolutely awful. All of his values are askew, and since they are, his nausea persists. And now it's possible that many of his organs are shutting down, not just his liver.

This was something I knew might happen when I brought him home. But I'm sad to see it come to pass. I'm taking him in tomorrow for another recheck, and if we see no improvement, we will let him go.

I want to thank all of you who shared and reached out and wanted to help him get placed. I hope you will do that work in his memory in your own shelters. Find a forgotten kitty and share and network. The shelter cats need our community. Let's do that for Panda. That's something I know he would appreciate. And so would I.

Please leave me a note so I'll know you were here. And be sure to visit the other blogs in the hop this week! Everyone loves a visit. 


  1. I am very sorry that Panda is doing so badly. I hope there is an improvement tomorrow, but if not I wish him a peaceful journey.

  2. I am so sorry about your foster cat. I hope his number improve!

  3. Popoki is simply beautiful. Happy Gotcha day sweetie!

    My heart goes out to Panda whose previous family has no idea how his bond with them left him depressed and losing hope. I pray his story helps make others think twice before taking their sweetie to a shelter, even if they have to rehome - more families should take responsibility to find their pets another family.

    -Katie Kat.

  4. Happy Gotcha Day with Popoki! I'm so sorry about your last foster. That had to be hard to watch. You are a wonderful person for attempting so valiantly to help him. I'm sure he appreciated that bit of love.

  5. We're so sorry about your foster kitty. It's tough to have a cat doing poorly, but it means so much that you're giving him the love and a chance to have some real in-home happiness there with you.

  6. That just breaks my heart about Panda. Every cat deserves a beautiful life, and so many will never know the feeling of being loved to pieces. This is a beautiful post.

  7. Oh my heart breaks to read this - It's so wonderful that you brought him home -and your "lost the will to live" statement... oh my gosh, I hope his recheck is ok and I will do work in his memory like this week. You rock for doing what you're doing for these cats and kittens. This is indeed a beautiful post - and transparent which is what folks need.

  8. We are so sad to hear that Panda is not doing well. We are purring and praying for a comeback, and a better recheck. <3

  9. Our hearts just broke. We are so sorry Panda is gone. Rest in Pease sad spirit - we love you although we never met you, Panda sweetest boy.