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!
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.
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.
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.