Thursday, February 24, 2011

Welcome Home, Alex Olivia and Donovan

AO can't stop purring!

September 22, 2012--"Alex and Donovan have fit in amazingly fast and well..and they are a joy every day..everyone that has met them loves them!! They both have amazzzzing puurrsonalities, and are good snugglers, players, and also have really good cat breath!!! When I approach Alex, she "barks" at me with affection..which makes me melt every time..Donovan is very suave..and brings a lot of style to our place..he is soooo sweeeet!! Everyone gets along!!!"

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June 5, 2012--Alex Olivia and Donovan traveled home to Indiana yesterday. It was a very long ride, but they made it safely, and are now enjoying their new home. I am so happy for them, their new Mom Jeanne, and all the other critters in the home.Thanks so much to the White clan for driving them from Maryland to Indiana.

Holly (right) says her goodbyes to AOandD.
Alex Olivia in transit.

Donovan in transit.


Jeanne (left) picks up her new joys!

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May 6, 2012--AO&D have the commitment of a home together with Jeanne and her crew. Jeanne adopted Brooklyn from the NYCACC last fall with DCIN's help. We know that AO&D will love their new home. Both Jeanne and Holly have friends traveling between Baltimore and Indiana soon who are options for ground transports for these two. We will be sure to let you know when this loving pair is at their new home and how they are doing. ~Venita

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March 8, 2012--Updates on AO and Donovan from the comments below:

Monica said...

I am curious about their names, especially Alex Olivia. Who named them? What's the story?
March 6, 2012 3:05 PM

hollybee said...

HI Monica! Actually they came into the shelter with those names, provided by the 'owners' who dumped them there. I believe they turned in at least one other cat, and she went to rescue. I love that Alex Olivia has two names, I think that is so cute! Their names fit them perfectly....they are like Ward and June Cleaver, Donovan is the nice guy who would mow your lawn for you, while AO is the one who would make a casserole for you when you are ill. How anyone could shove them into a carrier and drop them at a kill-shelter is beyond me......they quickly became staff favorites and a plea went out to save them.

A rescue I work with (specializing in adult cats) was set to take them in, but needed to leave AO and D at the shelter for a couple of weeks while they moved location of their group home. During that time, AO got very stressed and began showing signs of being diabetic, boy was she a mess when I got her (we agreed to foster them since there are bowls of dry food at the rescue which wouldn't be good for her). She had diarrhea, a nasty URI, had lost half her fur, etc. I got a crash course on diabetes and we got her off insulin in about 6 weeks! She has been happy and healthy ever since, with the loyal support of her hubby Donovan, who is always quick to provide her with a face bath.....we actually just had an incident over the weekend with her getting a stomach bug, which I will post separately about. The good news is, because of that I had bloodwork and x-rays done, and she got a clean bill of health! Everything looks wonderful, even her gums and teeth are nice, the vet couldn't believe she was 11 : ) Thanks for asking about them! I wish I knew more about the origins of their names too.....it's rare (I think?) to hear of someone giving their cat/dog two names : )
March 7, 2012 9:23 AM

hollybee said...

Just a quick health update on Alex Olivia! We had a bit of a scare a couple days ago when AO (who has exhibited stellar health since going OTJ almost a year ago) started vomiting and having diarrhea. Poor thing couldn't keep anything down or in. Last week we had a temporary foster in our home, and although we kept him separated from the other cats, I must have inadvertantly carried some germs from one room to the next. He was from the streets, from a bad section of town, but I am happy to report he's already in a new home.

Anyway, I whisked AO off to one of the vets we use at our TNR clinics. She ruled out anything abnormal in the stool sample, and took x-rays and did bloodwork to make sure AO didn't get into anything she wasn't supposed to. Her x-rays looked great, except her intestines were full of gas and the walls were thickened. This was indicative of a viral or bacterial infection so she stayed the day at the vet on IV and received antibiotics. We brought her home last evening and she did great throughout the night, so I just got back from taking her in to have her IV catheter removed.

She is GREAT at the vet - very laid back, purrs the whole time, sits on my lap or on the scale : ) The only 'stress' related thing I noticed was that her ears turn fire red, like she is embarrassed or something, I had never seen that in a cat before......in addition to great x-rays (no signs of any tumors or anything else awry) her bloodwork was stellar! Of course her BG was up a bit, but that was to be expected. A couple other values were slightly elevated, but all were related to what she was going through. Her platelets, etc were perfect, yippee! So, if anything good came out of this, it's that we have a current full blood workup and x-rays on her as we keep moving forward in trying to locate their forever home!
March 7, 2012 9:35 AM

hollybee said...

Forgot to mention, her teeth and gums looked great too....vet couldn't believe she is 11!
March 7, 2012 9:53 AM
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February 26, 2012--A video of Alex Olivia with her kitten-like energy. Please consider adopting AO and Donovan. They must be placed soon. They are on DCIN's 911 list.



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February 12, 2012-- Great news for Holly!! She has been offered and accepted a fellowship in California. Although she won't be leaving for a few months, the bad news is that Alex Olivia and Donovan aren't able to go along.
We're going to have to rent a place out there and it's going to be hard enough with our 4 permanents.....we are going to be working hard to get all of our fosters placed (we currently have 4). Even if we could take them, Donovan is not happy not being able to be king of the fiefdom around here, and we'll be lucky to get a place out there 1/3 the size of this house......so he definitely wouldn't be a happy camper ;(
DCIN is now rating Alex and Olivia as 911. Although their lives are not in danger at this time, we have no idea what the future holds in a few months if they don't find a new situation. Alex Olivia hasn't been on insulin for almost a year. So a diabetic-friendly home is one we need to find--someone who will feed low-carb wet or raw food and test AO's BG levels from time to time.

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February 1, 2012--A video of AO and Donovan.



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Alex Olivia
January 29, 2012--I asked Holly for an update on AO and Donovan:
Yes, I have Miss AO  and D still, coming up on one year.......we had a party yesterday and Donovan was the life of it ~ he is SOOOOO social, it was really fun to see! AO was very social, but she let people come to her instead : ) It was a party for our TNR group so everyone here loved cats.....
AO is very, very laid back......her favorite thing is to find a really comfy spot to snooze......and she LOVES for you to find her and give her rubs - she'll reward you with a squeaky meow, and a purr as big as the sun. Donovan is a curious kitty - he wants to see what's going on all the time. We'd love to get these two into a permanent home - Donovan is a bit antsy. Our male cat Beau only tolerates other male cats for a few months before he starts giving them the cold shoulder. Donovan would LOVE a home where he can have 'responsibility' - other cats would be fine, but he'd like to be the one with all the responsibility, to take care of the others and his humans, to be looked up to. The cat density here is a little too much for him and since we foster we have other cats come and go, so he's never quite sure what his 'role' is here.
Both are 'bed cats'.....LOVE to sleep in bed with you : ) AO's health is perfect these days......I randomly test her about once a month, she remains OTJ and thrives on a mix of Sophistocat/Fancy Feast. At the party yesterday, people couldn't believe how well she looked, they all remember the pics I first posted of her!
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October 2011--New pictures, and they are gorgeous!!


Donovan


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June 3, 2011--I was in Baltimore today, and stopped in to meet Alex Olivia and Donovan and their foster Mom, Holly.

Yes, I got waylaid four times by the four gray/gray tiger, 9-week old kittens in the front room. Ferals babies being socializing. "Take us home!!!" they quietly whispered in between their baby hisses. "Yes, I want to, but can't," I sighed in response.

I first met Donovan. He has the most awesome, thick but short medium-gray fur. Maybe five white pieces of hair on his chest. He likes to be petted, but doesn't at times, and will lightly nip to instruct the uninitiated in the proper way and time to pet. He doesn't mind sprawling on the dining table for his pets. Donovan not only looks after Alex Olivia, he worships her. He bathes her face. He follows her around. He worries if someone (stranger me) approaches her.

Alex Olivia is a quiet, well-mannered girl. To my way of thinking, she still needs to add some weight. Her diabetes has been diet controlled since early March. Sometimes, Holly told me, AO seems to not want as much attention as Donovan gives her. Yes, us fickle women. Complaining when we are worshiped.

These two cats would cause no ruckus in a household. They hang together, taking their own space in Holly's home. They seem to be each other's everything, but still have room in their hearts to love people.

Holly is an awesome woman. Among her many achievements are fostering for the Howard County Cat Club and coordinating the volunteers for the monthly spay/neuter clinics for Community Cats Maryland, a TNR group. I had a most enjoyable two hours with Holly and the ten cats that live with her.

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February 24, 2011--
Alex Olivia and her lifelong mate Donovan (not diabetic) are in foster care with Holly for Howard County Cat Club, a rescue group in Baltimore, MD. Alex Olivia (AO) is the tabby and Donovan is the grey. We really would like to see these two placed together, as they are highly bonded.

Why were these two turned into an animal shelter?
Their 'owner' brought them in because they had 'too many animals' at home......I guess they were doing some spring cleaning ; (

They quickly became staff favorites because they are just so darn sweet, so a plea went out to save them.......
AO and Donovan are 10 years old and front declawed. They are eating Wellness CORE wet. AO is 7-8 pounds, thin but gaining weight (she had lost weight while at the shelter).
Both kitties are VERY laid back. We have four permanent kitties and one other foster - Alex Olivia and Donovan have integrated perfectly, with no altercations. We have one room that is dedicated to fosters and that is where Alex Olivia spends all of her time (there is a low barrier, which Donovan jumps sometimes to go exploring the rest of the house, then he jumps back in to spend time with his 'woman'). I have left the barrier open at times and our other cats have been free to wander in. Alex Olivia enjoys picking a new spot every day to sleep and appears quite content. She tolerates being glucose tested using her ear VERY well. She will sit in your lap and let you lance her ear and do the test. She does not even notice when you give her the insulin shot. She has a very loud purr, a little meow, and will sit in your lap and rub on you. Both are just the sweetest, most laid back, low-key kitties.
Both cats get along with the other cats in the foster home. Their behavior with dogs and children is unknown.

In addition to the photos here, AO and Donovan each have a video:





AO was diagnosed diabetic on February 1, 2011, during a routine exam at the shelter. Although AO's intake exam on January 21, 2011, described her as healthy, the staff observed alopecia, weight loss, lots of water drinking (PD), and lots of pee in litter box (PU). They performed a urine dipstick test and the glucose level was 1000. It appears as though the symptoms manifested themselves during her stay at the shelter. AO has no known history of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) or hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).

AO's current clinical symptoms include glucose ranging from 109 to 228 mg/dl, some alopecia (as you can see in one of the picture above), and hunger. AO is on .5U of Levemir insulin twice a day. A spreadsheet with her BG readings is here.

Both AO and Donovan have some upper respiratory issues from being in the shelter; the shelter put both of them on Clavamox. There is some sneezing and one of AO's eyes is runny, although it's now getting better. Holly adds Viralys (Lysine) to their water (Donovan isn't a fan of it in wet food) and wet food and has been putting Terramycin on AO's eye the past couple of days and that seems to be helping (she had tearing and some mucus).

The two have no behavior problems, such as spraying or inappropriate urination). They both tested negative for FIV/FeLV and were vaccinated in late January/early February 2011. Holly has copies of the records from the shelter. She also has records of AO's full blood panel in February from a private vet. I have contact information for the shelter and the private vet as well as for Holly.

AO and Donovan were meant to enter the rescue's group home and go up for adoption; however, when they found out AO was diabetic this wasn't an option because the rescue's volunteers do not come in on a regular basis. AO would not have been able to receive timely doses of insulin.
I have been fostering cats for various groups for over a year now and help them to adopt out the kitties. Unfortunately I have no experience with diabetes and have relied heavily on the advice of the FDMB group members. Also, in addition to working full time, we have a side business that involves long hours at craft shows/farmer's markets on the weekends--some of this will be overnight travel, the busy season starts in just a few weeks. I tried all of my feline connections to see if anyone else could foster, but either they don't have the experience or they are full.

Alex Olivia and Donovan are not at risk for euthanasia, but you can tell from the above quote from Holly that they need a new placement, if only a foster home, soon.
They truly are a sweet pair of cats that deserve every bit of this second chance they are getting!
If you are a member of the FDMB, you can follow AO's progress by searching the posts for member Hollybee.

24 comments:

hollybee said...

if you're on the FDMB, check out Alex Olivia's numbers - she responding splendidly to her insulin and a new friend from the forum (who lives only ~a mile from me) is going to coach me in getting her OTJ....something she was able to do with her own kitty with help from DCIN and FDMB - now she's 'paying it forward' : )

Diabetic Cats in Need said...

Holly, your new friend is active on Diabetic Cat Care.

hollybee said...

thanks! yep, we've been in daily contact........great news - Alex Olivia has been off of insulin for one week now! Hoping to find a new home for them that will be comfortable with home testing.....she is super easy to test and is feeling better every day......a couple of times I have caught her running up the stairs like a kitten : )

Diabetic Cats in Need said...

That is great news Holly. That will make this bonded pair easier to place in a good home...if AO is diet controlled and only needs occasional testing. Great job Holly!!

hollybee said...

Sorry for the slow updates!!! Life is hectic in these parts ......the good news is, Alex Olivia is still off of insulin! She does get up into the 120-130 range, and we're trying a couple of different things with the help of Marlena and Mr Cee, our new-found diabetic cat friends that live right around the corner! She's had some hair loss and we've tried to figure out why - with nothing obvious, the vet seemed to think it was psychosomatic...perhaps AO still hasn't figured out she is 'safe', never to be dumped at a shelter again! These two really have a lot of character. Miss AO loves to sleep in my sock drawer at night.....and they both LOVE being smooched on the head ; )

Copy and paste this link to see their Facebook album.....they both, especially AO, are looking so much better these days!

https://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=249418&id=1454943531&l=76be7fbc56

hollybee said...

quick update: AO and Donovan have been eating Sophistocat (Petsmart) since the Wellness CORE recall....she had been eating the Wellness CORE for about a month, we got real lucky it didn't appear to do any damage (although I have to wonder if it had any affect on her hair loss?)

Diabetic Cats in Need said...

Holly, I posted a link to your pics on the DCIN Facebook page, and directed people to these comments for updates. Thanks for adding these updates. I am so slow to update the pages for the adoptables.

hollybee said...

Yippee! Alex Olivia has taken a turn for the better - her reading was at 88 pre-breakfast this week, and it appears as though she is not over-grooming as much. It's hard to tell, but I think her fur is even starting to grow back - it's not as 'stubbly' feeling : ) I'm also gradually introducing Fancy Feast into her Sophistocat diet.

hollybee said...

Gosh, I need to get on here and post more updates! Alex O's fur has grown back in! It was like a light switch - one day she just decided to stop over grooming (she went 'cold turkey') and immediately her hair began to grow back in......she has beautifully soft fur now. I tested her this morning (it's been a couple of weeks) and she was at 75!! She had been hovering in the high 90's for awhile. She is SUCH a smart girl. She knows she is not supposed to eat the other cat's food - my b'friend is supposed to put her in the foster room in the mornings when the other cat's are eating.....well, once every week or two he forgets and Alex Olivia comes up to the bedroom to wake me up - as if to say 'daddy forgot and I know I'm not supposed to eat their food, but could you please feed me soon - so I am not tempted?' They get along GREAT with our four permanent cats. Alex Olivia is the matriarch.....I think she knows I am writing about her, she is off in the distance purring her little heart out (she has a HUGE purr you can hear across the room. She was happy to hear about Sammy going to his new home today - and happy that her foster mommy is able to help with the trip!

hollybee said...

Greetings! Thanks for the nice note Venita, I haven't been on in awhile and didn't realize you had updated about your visit! It was nice to meet you and I'm glad you had the chance to spend some time with us - just an update on those cute feral kittens, all have been socialized and now run amok in the house.....one has already found a home with a new brother named Loofie who needed a buddy to play with. They almost immediately bonded! The other kittens are doing quite well and are ready for their new homes : ) One - Smitty, is insane - he was the one that hated me the most, now I can't keep him off of me. He's the biggest character you'll ever meet....

Thought I would post an update about AO & D!! They continue to do well....I just updated Alex Olivia's spreadsheet - I've taken some readings lately - she is a bit annoyed by the kitten energy in the house, but takes it all in stride. I was worried she might be stressing and causing her numbers to go up, but she's been solidly 'in the green' for 2 months now!' Last night she went up on the back of the chair to escape the kitten madness and started playing with our fake ficus tree, which of course made the kittens want to be even more near her! She's been good with them though - solid hisses to tell them to back off - good training for them! She loves adult cats though....she gets along perfect with our 4 adult permanent cats! One of our male cats Beau, has started getting a bit pissy with Donovan, as if to ask 'hey, when you headin' out of here?' He did that with one of our other fosters (who even came from the same home as he did)....he likes reminding the fosters they are fosters! I think Alex O has filled out since you were here - her fur was still growing back in from when she lost it all - she is SOOOO soft now!

It's so interesting to watch the dynamics in the home when there are fosters living amongst permanents. We recently had some rodent issues (must be a really dumb rodent to enter a home with 10 cats!) and we had our friend, who is an animal communicator, check in with the cats to see if they are bringing them in (two of our cats go outside) or just what was going on. Donovan said he and Alex Olivia watch the other cats at night - "they say they are not allowed [to join in the hunting/catching] by the others that are the "permanent residents"

Alex Olivia and Donovan have SUCH a wise aura about them. They have made themselves at home, yet respect the fact that they are fosters. Alex O especially seems to know exactly what you are saying to her, I've had smart kitties before, but I think she has been the most wise I've ever met. She looks right into your eyes and seems to understand what you are telling her, it's a bit eerie! And her and Donovan really do have such a tight relationship, it's so cute to watch.

Anyway, I just wanted to stop by and write an update, things have been beyond busy here and I swear AO & D have been looking at me lately as if to say - 'hey there, remember to keep posting about us, we can't get our permanent home if you don't do your part'.....so here I am, doing my part : )

hollybee said...

Here is the link to an album I put together for AO & D on Facebook!

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1821407422344.249418.1454943531&l=76be7fbc56&type=1

hollybee said...

It's a rainy day here in the mid-Atlantic and Alex Olivia and Donovan knew just how to spend it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gnfyb9KJDCc

hollybee said...

Alex Olivia and Donovan had their very own photo shoot last week (by someone who adopted a cat from us back in the spring)....they really enjoyed their photo shoot and hope it helps them find their forever home. Both are doing really really well - happy and healthy. Donovan isn't thrilled about having to share the house with foster kittens, but he is fine with the adults.

Alex Olivia: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.2315183566439.277925.1454943531&l=7eefdb8044&type=1

Donovan: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.2315156925773.277923.1454943531&l=788f289386&type=1

hollybee said...

THANKS for posting their pics Venita! Our photographer friend was really able to capture their personalities in these pictures - Alex Olivia is a really laid back gal who literally speaks to you through her eyes (and her little squeaky meow - if you've lost track of the time, she lets you know it's time for dinner! BTW she is OTJ and I periodically test her - today she was 79 five hour post-meal!).....Donovan (non-diabetic) is also laid back, but he takes his 'hubby' role very seriously......he makes sure Alex O is happy and has all her needs, even letting her steal bites from his own meals.....the other morning I set their bowls apart and caught him going over to make sure she had her meal, then went about his meal.....afterwards he gives her face baths.....every girl should be so lucky as to have a 'Donovan' in their life!

hollybee said...

thanks for posting their update, and you happened to post on my birthday, nice present : ) I forgot to include the link to this little video of them I took on a recent rainy day: http://fdmb-cin.blogspot.com/2011/02/ao.html

hollybee said...

oops sorry wrong link, here they are on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gnfyb9KJDCc

hollybee said...

cute video today of AO with her kitten-like energy : )

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m0FJgX95kLk&feature=youtu.be

To update: I just re-read what I wrote before and I think I characterized Donovan wrong, he's not wanting to be 'king', but rather he has been bullied a bit by our big-headed cat Beau....they don't like having to share top-cat status : ) Beau can be a real punk......Donovan gets along perfectly with the other cats in the house (2 males and 2 females).

Monica said...

I am curious about their names, especially Alex Olivia. Who named them? What's the story?

hollybee said...

HI Monica! Actually they came into the shelter with those names, provided by the 'owners' who dumped them there. I believe they turned in at least one other cat, and she went to rescue. I love that Alex Olivia has two names, I think that is so cute! Their names fit them perfectly....they are like Ward and June Cleaver, Donovan is the nice guy who would mow your lawn for you, while AO is the one who would make a casserole for you when you are ill. How anyone could shove them into a carrier and drop them at a kill-shelter is beyond me......they quickly became staff favorites and a plea went out to save them. A rescue I work with (specializing in adult cats) was set to take them in, but needed to leave AO&D at the shelter for a couple of weeks while they moved location of their group home. During that time, AO got very stressed and began showing signs of being diabetic, boy was she a mess when I got her (we agreed to foster them since there are bowls of dry food at the rescue which wouldn't be good for her). She had diarrhea, a nasty URI, had lost half her fur, etc. I got a crash course on diabetes and we got her off insulin in about 6 weeks! She has been happy and healthy ever since, with the loyal support of her hubby Donovan, who is always quick to provide her with a face bath.....we actually just had an incident over the weekend with her getting a stomach bug, which I will post separately about. The good news is, because of that I had bloodwork and x-rays done, and she got a clean bill of health! Everything looks wonderful, even her gums and teeth are nice, the vet couldn't believe she was 11 : ) Thanks for asking about them! I wish I knoew more about the origins of their names too.....it's rare (I think?) to hear of someone giving their cat/dog two names : )

hollybee said...

Just a quick health update on Alex Olivia! We had a bit of a scare a couple days ago when AO (who has exhibited stellar health since going OTJ almost a year ago) started vomiting and having diarrhea. Poor thing couldn't keep anything down or in. Last week we had a temporary foster in our home, and although we kept him separated from the other cats, I must have inadvertantly carried some germs from one room to the next. He was from the streets, from a bad section of town, but I am happy to report he's already in a new home. Anyway, I whisked AO off to one of the vets we use at our TNR clinics. She ruled out anything abnormal in the stool sample, and took x-rays and did bloodwork to make sure AO didn't get into anything she wasn't supposed to. Her x-rays looked great, except her intestines were full of gas and the walls were thickened. This was indicative of a viral or bacterial infection so she stayed the day at the vet on IV and received antibiotics. We brought her home last evening and she did great throughout the night, so I just got back from taking her in to have her IV catheter removed. She is GREAT at the vet - very laid back, purrs the whole time, sits on my lap or on the scale : ) The only 'stress' related thing I noticed was that her ears turn fire red, like she is embarrassed or something, I had never seen that in a cat before......in addition to great x-rays (no signs of any tumors or anything else awry) her bloodwork was stellar! Of course her BG was up a bit, but that was to be expected. A couple other values were slightly elevated, but all were related to what she was going through. Her platelets, etc were perfect, yippee! So, if anything good came out of this, it's that we have a current full blood workup and x-rays on her as we keep moving forward in trying to locate their forever home!

hollybee said...

Forgot to mention, her teeth and gums looked great too....vet couldn't believe she is 11!

hollybee said...

I am ECSTATIC to report that Alex Olivia and Donovan are going to their new home!!!! It was fate that brought them together with their new mommy/kitty family ~ a family that includes Brooklyn who was pulled off death row in NYC last fall. This will be the PERFECT home for them, and very timely given our upcoming move to CA. THANK YOU to all that posted them and kept them in your thoughts, sending good vibes and such : )

hollybee said...

Today we bid farewell to Alex Olivia and Donovan as they trekked west to their new home with Jeanne and crew in Indiana! Thanks to the White family who extended their DC vacation a day in order for me to be able to meet them for a transport. This is bittersweet indeed! They were with us for 1.5 years and integrated so well in our home. They showed great patience as other fosters came and left....kittens, momma cats, other adults, random strays, fosters with catitude : ) Because of them and the help of DCIN, I have several new long-lasting friends. They were always welcome to stay as long as they needed to, but when I got a job offer in CA things stepped up a bit. We had had some nibbles on them here and there, but nothing ever panned out, and now we know why. Any minute now they arrive in their new, loving, forever home and we couldn't be happier for them and their new family! They will ALWAYS be in our hearts! I wish we were in a position to help out another cat(s) in need, but for now fostering goes on hold. All of Our Love to AO&D ~ the rest of your lives are going to be SO much better than the first half!!!

Venita said...

Should you find yourself in a position to foster again, Holly, I am pretty certain we can find another diabetic for you to break.