DJ

I recently learned that my cat, D.J. has squamous cell carcinoma (an oral tumor) in his right nasal cavity/mouth. Since he’s 17 years-old, I’ve made the decision not to put him through surgery, chemo, etc. If he was half his age or younger, I’d consider aggressive treatment. But D.J.’s had a long, wonderful, pampered life. I want him to spend the rest of his time enjoying every minute to the fullest, not in pain from treatments, not dreading going to the vet, and certainly not, at any time, missing me. Continue reading “DJ”

Orion

In early 2012, an extremely emaciated/dehydrated cat came into our shelter (big surprise, I know). We routinely receive cats and dogs in need of nourishment and/or hydration, but few that are as bad as this cat. He reminded me of Marmalade, and I instantly thought, “Here we go again.” Continue reading “Orion”

Dinah

I haven’t written anything for a while ‘cause kitten season(s) have been keeping all of us very busy here at the shelter for the last six months. I’m happy to say that we’re down to our last 15 kittens. All 105 kittens that have passed through our door this year have found good homes, and I’m sure that’ll be true of the last 15. I’m also very pleased to add that our disease rate amongst kittens this year was about 5%, opposed to about 80% the year before I joined the shelter*.

In the midst of kitten mania, a cat (who we named Dinah) came into my clinic. She had trouble walking (walked as if drunk). I know our first thought should’ve been cerebellar hypoplasia (CH), but we have to cover and clear everything else before we defaulted to CH. Continue reading “Dinah”

Jingles

Having spent six years volunteering for Forgotten Felines of Sonoma County, I know a thing or two about feral cats. At least I thought I did.

Enter Jingles.

Jingles was trapped in Healdsburg and brought into the shelter last year. Upon arrival he hissed and growled and showed every tell-tail sign of being feral. Still, I knew from experience that cats who’ve been stray for a while will act feral but then turn around and become “tame” again. So I placed him in ISO just in case he was carrying something contagious then, once I knew he wasn’t sick, brought him into my clinic to see what I could do. Continue reading “Jingles”

Marmalade

Marmalade came into my life just as I was leaving the Healdsburg Animal Shelter (HAS) after my “tri-out” day for the position of Vet Tech. I was walking out the door when a woman came in carrying a half-dead cat. She explained she was following a car and the car pulled over to the side of the road and someone just threw the cat out the window. Didn’t even bother to stop the car. Just threw the cat out like it was a piece of garbage.

Welcome to shelter medicine. Continue reading “Marmalade”

The Sniffy Chronicles

Sniffy came to the Healdsburg Shelter on March 4, 2011 as a stray cat. He (we originally thought he was a she but more on that later) was totally withdrawn and scared of everyone and everything. I put him in my clinic/office so I could work with him; so that one day, hopefully, he’d be adoptable.

For the first 23 days Sniffy hid under a blanket in his cage and never came out while I was there. He was extremely scared and didn’t want anything to do with anyone. I tried several times a day to pet him, but that scared him even more. So I decided to just let him be. Continue reading “The Sniffy Chronicles”