Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Fly Free, Sweet Chester

August 13, 2012--We learned yesterday of Chester's passing.
I am so grateful to have had Chester in my life. Saying thank you seems inadequate, but if it were not for the magic of this board, DCIN, and Beth (Beth & Simon), I doubt I'd have the many great memories of Chester.

I'm happy to say Chester learned a whole new side of life when he came here - he'd never been outside and he'd never had a big brother. I'm glad he was able to experience both here; two of his favorite things were to go walking outside with his Dad and being on the deck in the sunshine taking a nap. Chester learned about birds (odd little creatures, according to Chester), and his BFF was a raccoon that has lived in the area for years. Of course, BK was his big brother and, while it took some doing, BK was able to teach Chester how to really play. Not only did Chester learn about balls, empty paper sacks, and feathers, he also was a real he-man when it came to computer skills (this according to my computer repair guy!).

I'm grateful Chester was able to go to the Rainbow Bridge without having a protracted illness. According to his vet and from all appearances, Chester simply had a massive stroke while asleep in his favorite place on the deck. He did not appear to wake up or suffer any pain. BK is heartbroken and keeps looking for his little brother, but I'm confident Chester will pay him a visit soon and reassure him that he is in a better place. I'm also confident that Chester is with the rest of our GA's at The Bridge and that Mr. B is there taking wonderful care of them all.

Fly free, Chester.

Jana's 1-4-10 Update-- This is Chester, clearly stressed by all the holiday activities (including two Christmas stockings full of toys and catnip!) in his new home: Chester is doing great and I'm so happy this big furry lump of love is part of our family! He and B.K. get along very well (and have, I swear, started to plot against the beans)! Chester has always been an indoor kitty because he was declawed, so you can imagine how thrilled he is to have a patio where he can safely be outside (in the rain, snow, matters not to Chester!) and discover a whole new world that he was only able to see through windows before now. Health-wise, he is now eating only low-carb wet food and is receiving 2 units of Lantus BID. In fact, he is doing so well, he's ready to have his bad tooth extracted and the rest of his teeth cleaned. This procedure (along with updating some of his shots) will likely occur in the next week or two. After that, and besides his diabetes, Chester will be in excellent health!


   Update 12/29/09--There was excitement and anxiety in arranging Chester's transport to Oregon from Columbus, OH. I found a fellow through Craigslist who would escort Chester in exchange for a free flight. It was a win-win situation. Chester was a wonderful traveler, except for his cantaloupe-sized bladder on a very long trip. This is Jana's report on Chester, after having him about 10 days:
I cannot believe how wonderful this guy is...and how well he has transitioned! Chester is now a Lantus kitty (2 units BID), eats only low-carb wet food (and hasn't met a flavor or brand he doesn't like), is losing some weight, and is very much enjoying his first experiences "outside" on the patio. He and B.K. get along great (although they have had a few hissing matches - but nothing they couldn't work out without my jumping in), and he has found "his places" in each room of the house. He very much enjoys using the computer, and has e-mailed his former vet and her staff. He's sleeping at my feet right now (and will likely be a little unhappy I'm posting without his assistance!), and has clearly made himself to home and is very happy and relaxed. The only time he's gotten PO'd at his mommabean is when she refused to feed him human food and table scraps. I didn't know this had been something he was used to in his old home and, with the holidays, it took a few days before DH and I actually sat down to eat a meal. Once we sat down, Chester went nuts...similar to a dog that gets fed table scraps. Needless to say, Chester isn't receiving table scraps here, and he was none to happy to learn of this development! Fortunately, he got over it...and he did get a treat (a bit of turkey breast) for Christmas (in addition to two Christmas stockings full of toys and catnip!) Thank you to everyone who made this possible...and, if he were awake, I'm sure Chester would thank you as well!

Update 12/6/09--Jana, in Portland OR, has decided to adopt Chester. In announcing her decision, Jana wrote:
I'd Love to Take Chester--I can take Chester. However, there are some logistical problems. First, hubby and I are going to be out of town from December 16 through the 21st, which means Chester would have to arrive here either before or after those days. I would need all of this board's "transport magic" to get him here. The largest airport here is PDX, but there is a smaller one in Hillsboro. Also, I'd like my vet to talk to Chester's vet. Chester is currently getting it possible for his insulin to come with him? I'd like to transition him to Lantus, but that can wait until the stress of transport and being in a new house has passed if his PZI comes with him. Other than that, I'm sure Mrs. Lincoln thought the play was fine!
I have started the process of trying to find a commercial flight to Portland OR or Seattle WA. I am trying both Pilots N Paws and a post on the Columbus OH Craig's List to find someone to travel with Chester. I have started fundraising for the transport.


Update 12/4/2009--Chester was returned to the vet today. Lisa from the FDMB visited him. Her report:
This buff-colored bundle of love desperately needs a forever home. Chester is an 18 pound longhaired male, with a loving disposition. When I met him today, he hid under a desk at first because he’s really unsure of strangers right now. That’s probably because he was returned to the vet for possible euthanasia this morning. He lives in central Ohio, but is willing to travel for a forever home. Chester’s veterinary chart has an obituary taped to the cover, because his beloved Mr. B passed away in August of 2009, just two months after Chester was diagnosed with diabetes. Chester was left all alone with Mr. B until a neighbor found them a few days later. At that time, Chester was re-homed with his original owner, who had given Chester up to Mr. B five years ago. She doesn’t think that she can help him get the care he needs now, particularly since she needs to travel for the military and he was just diagnosed. Chester was originally rescued in 2002 as a 9 pound young adult, with fleas, worms and matted fur. His new owner integrated him into a multiple cat and dog household, but after a while she decided that the spats this large boy was having with 2 of her other cats were a concern. Chester was declawed in 2004, but his original owner finally decided that Chester needed to be re-homed. That’s when Mr. B came in to his life. Mr. B and Chester had 5 very happy years together. From looking at the story shown in the vet’s chart, I think that Mr. B seems to have spent most of his time just spoiling Chester rotten. The clinic staff told me that Mr. B called them if he had the slightest concern and that the two of them were just a wonderful pair together. They made regular visits to the vet clinic across the street for little things, like funny looking poop or upset tummy. Chester got a dose of Fortiflora or advice about losing a couple of pounds. Chester got up to a high weight of 21 pounds on Science Diet dry, but is now down to 18 pounds. He was diagnosed in June with diabetes at 369 BG, and has had several vet curves. They didn’t have enough time to learn hometesting. He’s currently on BCP PZI at 4u bid, but with diet change and more stable treatment, it’s possible that he could come off insulin in time. He was retested today for leukemia- still negative, like his 2002 records show. He has had regular vet care that includes rabies and other vax; his vet records will come with him. The minute that Chester saw a hairbrush today, he trotted out for as much love as he could get. When he relaxes, this loving boy sprawls onto his back and begs for belly rubs. He’s good-natured, but showing the signs of stress with a bit of nervousness. He’s got some minor hair loss and dandruff, like a lot of recently diagnosed diabetics. He’s good with dogs and select cats, like the one-eyed clinic cat he’s currently sharing space with. The folks at the clinic really want this boy to have a loving, stable home, because he needs a break. He’s already had enough change for a lifetime. If you think that you can make room in your heart for this sweet boy, we will get him to you. Edited to add- The vet clinic is willing to continue to board him for now, but in 3 weeks the original owner will return and may ask to take him back if we don't find him a place of his own. She IS willing to surrender him formally to a new home. I have told them that if the owner insists on euthanasia to call me immediately for emergency foster care. Remember, this handsome boy gets free delivery in the rust belt states from me, or a big first leg driven for any transport necessary to bring him home.
Update 12/2/09--Chester is supposed to be returned to the vet on Thursday or Friday. A member of the FDMB called the vet directly and paid for 10 days of boarding (thank you, thank you). Lisa from the FDMB will visit Chester on Friday afternoon. Although Chester tested negative for FeLV a few years back, I am having him retested so that we know his current status (very important to adoption). The snap test will cover FIV also.


Update 12/1/2009--The current foster Mom (who is the step-daughter to the person who owned Chester but passed on) is bringing Chester to the vet to PTS this Friday. I have said NO NO NO! The FDMB Cats in Need fund will pay to board Chester at the vet until we have a foster or permanent home, or hear that he is unadoptable (which is not the impression I've gotten). Please help me spread the word. Lisa & Frank & Speedy, who lives in Columbus, is going to visit Chester this weekend and get info on his health and purrsonality.


Update 11/5/2009--Elaine says Chester's placement is in a holding pattern. The local person has met Chester and likes him, but still has to bring her Golden Retriever over to see whether Chester will get along with her dog.
Update 10/26/2009--I spoke this morning to Elaine at the vet's office. She said that Chester's future is "on hold." The current foster mom may have found a local person to foster Chester, with the hopes he would become a permanent adoption. I reminded her that FDMB Cats in Need was available as a safety net. She thanked me, and asked me to call for another update next week. ********************************************************************

Update 10/19/2009--I spoke this afternoon to Elaine, the office manager trying to place Chester. She said that interest in Chester is finally growing. The foster mom has been given the names of two people--one local to Columbus OH and one in Philly--that have expressed interest in Chester. But the foster mom hasn't yet connected with either person. The foster mom has isolated Chester to minimize the friction between him and her male (spraying) cat. I told Elaine (as I have before) that if the foster mom had to have Chester out of her home, that I did not want Chester euthanized and that the FDMB Cats in Need fund would pay to board him at the vet until a home or rescue is found. Elaine kept saying "We don't want to euthanize him." I kept saying "DO NOT euthanize him." This whole situation makes me nervous. I don't know how people who do rescue can live without anxiety meds.


Update: 10/16/09--I really freaked out today when I called for Elaine at the vet clinic and she was off for the day. I talked to Terry, who then talked to the vet. (I record things like Terry's name because I have no memory and a very messy desk where notes get lost.) The vet said that she would not euthanize Chester this week. Vet also said no rescue discount for boarding--it will be $14.50/day and no extra for insulin shots. Terry suggested I call back on Monday, when Elaine is in, because she is the one who has been coordinating trying to find Chester a home, and that she will know when the foster mom will be surrendering him back to the vet's office. Terry told me not to worry, that Chester definitely will not be euthanized this week, but I am still anxious about it. I won't start fundraising for Chester's boarding until I get better info about whether he will be boarding. Maybe the lady in Philly will pan out as an adopter. And, there are a few hundred dollars in the FDMB Cats in Need fund.


Update: 10/15/09---I spoke with Elaine, the office manager at the Northarlington Animal Clinic. Chester was surrendered to them for euthanazia on 8/11/09, but the vet didn't want to PST a cat who was otherwise in excellent health. Chester is a big (read heavy), buff colored medium hair cat with a ruff like a lion. He is 8 years old. He is OK with dogs and most cats. He is presently in a foster home, but because one of the foster mom's cats is spraying because of Chester (this is where the OK with most cats come in), she is returning Chester to the vet, and the vets plans to PTS. Chester was originally surrendered because his owner died. The owner thought he had an arrangement with a step-daughter to take Chester, but once she found out Chester was diabetic, she opted to PTS. Chester is on BCP PZI, 4U BID. Elaine believes she has worked it out so that BCP will provide Chester's insulin at a reduced rate or free. Elaine just started looking outside the local area for a home for Chester this week when the foster mom announced she was returning him to the vet. I asked Elaine whether FDMB Cats in Need could pay to board Chester at a reduced rate until he found a new home. She is going to talk to the vet, Dr. Bookmeier, but believes something can be worked out. And.....Elaine thinks she might have a lead on a home for Chester in Philadelphia.


From the Yahoo group, Disabled-Cats-Rescue. (You have to join the group to see it.) It was posted 10/14/09. I have called Elaine and will have more details soon. ***** PLEASE CROSS POST AND CONTACT ELAINE ***** A friend of mine is looking for a home for a diabetic male cat named Chester who needs daily insulin shots, is up to date on his shots and is neutered; his owner just passed away and unless a home is found, he will be euthanized this week. Please contact Elaine at: 614-457-4636, she works at North Arlington Animal Clinic if you or someone you know can help. Thank you!!

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