Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Mary Needs Our Help

September 20, 2013--

My heart breaks every time I hear from Mary, which is less and less these days. On July 30, she had to help another of her cats--a 23 year-old shelf dweller--to the bridge. This has been the fifth time this past year one of her kitties has passed. This kitty may have been able to live comfortably for a few more months had Mary been able to care for her medical needs, but she couldn't, so she and the vet helped the dear girl along.

Mary has now told me that her primary diagnosis is severe PTSD. Because of her condition, Mary is becoming less able to communicate coherently.

me- feel threadbare, claw raw bloody tired finger edge cliff. lost voice for panic/anxiety friend say more than month now. feel some words whisper few days to volunteer. out loud words burn fire body. brains feel scrambly. exhausted. people not understand why take so long get better. i not understand. every day all day re-live all troubles. nightmares make few sleep. mix up true happens from nightmare happen. just have believe friend say what true not true. hear door open slam feet house, text neighbor- say nobody here. voice talk, neighbor say nobody here. just believe. what else do?

Mary's guilt at not being able to care for her remaining elderly cats and her dogs is immense. Those animals were all rescues, and she promised them so much better than she has been able to give them for the past year plus. 

I never imagined that a year later DCIN would still be helping to support Mary's rescue animals. But this continues to be a serious need for the animals under the care of one of our own.


July 19, 2013--

I haven't heard much from Mary this month. I suspect that the terrible heat that most of the country is suffering with is doing her in--physically and emotionally. At the end of June she let me know that she had started putting together the first of the two new cat trees that a generous donor had sent for her rescue kitties. She said that she was excited that the kitties would have a clean place to play and lounge again. When she last wrote, she thanked everyone for their generosity and continued support.
How one of the
new cat trees will look
when fully constructed.

June 19, 2013--

The past two months have been very hard on Mary. Most of our conversations were early in May. "My life has been so surreal the last year+....I feel like I am looking in from outside most of the time, watching someone else's life go by--certainly couldn't be MY life this is all happening in....could it?"

In early May, Mary had to euthanize two more of her rescue cats. "I collected most of these souls so long ago...they were bound to move on eventually...[One cat] is 22/23 ish and [the other] 18/19 ish. long lives and loved. [A home care volunteer] is coming out to dig and bury this afternoon."

Mary becomes distraught at times that she is not able to give her pets the quality of care she used to. But other times, she knows that she is doing the best she can under her extreme circumstances. "no regrets, no take backs...*sigh*"

Mary had to have two surgical procedures in May and I think maybe another in June. As I told you before, Mary's situation is not life-threatening, but it is very difficult physically and emotionally. "surgery tossed me upside down. sick, hurt, head woozy lots of pain. heavy drugs--dosing down now as tolerable to get head function back."

Mary had asked me whether it would be an appropriate use of the DCIN money to buy new cat trees. "Ours are over 5 years old and with what was originally 11 cats pouncing among them, that is like 112 in cat years. The old trees are so badly stained and stinking and dirty from not being maintained over the last year-- the room is horrendous with stench and the trees are very unsanitary." (This message was before her surgeries, and you can tell the difference in her manner of writing by the use of full sentences, capital letters, and punctuation.)

I had to tell Mary that I thought buying new cat trees would be an inappropriate use of the monies DCIN had raised to feed and vet her pets. But I was able to find a donor to buy the new cat trees. "I just am so grateful that they will have clean cat trees in good repair on which to light their furry fannies....I am just amazed and floored at [the donor's] generosity. I hope someday to be able to pay it forward."

DCIN's fundraiser for Mary fell a little short for April-May, but DCIN was fortunate to have $60 in credits at Wag.com from its promotion for new Wag.com customers. Between that credit and a coupon code that Mary had, DCIN was able to order her cats four cases of Friskies for $45, a savings of $100. DCIN now has another $15 in credits from the new-customer promotion that it will be able to use for Mary's kitties or some other DCIN-assisted cats.


April 25, 2013--

Mary is treading water in the deep end of the pool, but she is still treading.

She continues to need our help. "I am beyond broke and destitute. I very much need the money DCIN sends to feed the cats each month if it is at all possible to continue that. I know we have been a drain on resources...I am trying everything I can to get back to some part of myself. It is a long process and so hard. Not whining--others have been further down than me and made it...just explaining."

Mary is everlastingly grateful for the kindness of those in her local community and in the Feline Diabetes community in her time of need. "We are blessed to have so much love and care from so many...I am so grateful for the care and financial help being offered to my kitties that I just can't give them right now. I remember when I first contacted you to re-home them and my heart was tearing out of my chest as I wrote the words to you. I am so grateful that they have been able to stay in the home they have always known and not have to deal with upheaval from my situation."


March 17, 2013--

Mary lost another of her cats this month to acute renal failure. Dear Miss T will wait patiently and lovingly at the rainbow bridge for Mary.

Mary closed a chapter on her crisis recently, and from her telling me about it, I believe there is a good chance for her outlook on life to start to improve. There will still be several months at least that Mary will need significant help from her friends, including her friends in the Feline Diabetes community, because this entire experience has left her emotionally and physically exhausted and financially drained.

I thank each and every one of you who read this, whether financial donor or not, for your support for Mary. We support the extra-sweet kitties, but we also support the people who care for those kitties. DCIN is a specialty rescue, made up of special people helping special cats and special people. Muwah! ~Venita


February 16, 2012--

Mary has been doing fairly well this month. She was heartbroken to lose one of her very old cats. Fly free, baby. She also revealed her situation to some of her FD friends. That was an anxiety-filled experience for her, but she was relieved to find herself held close by those people. Mary also experienced a personal epiphany that is helping her to move past some of the trauma of her situation.

This is a critical time for Mary. Again, I can't tell you why, but it is especially important for Mary to feel our support for her and her rescue cats and dogs this month. Mary is so extremely thankful for all the support (financial and emotional) she is receiving. She and I email several times each month, and her emails always are filled with her gratitude for your support.

I also am so touched by the your outpouring of support. The folks in the FD community are a special breed.

Chip-in has shut its doors. I am trying a new donation service for Mary's pets' needs this month. This service (YouCaring.com) doesn't have all the functionality that chip-in had, but for you it is as similar to your chip-in experience as I could find. The primary difference is that unless you choose to opt out, YouCaring charges you a "voluntary fee" to make a donation for Mary. As you make a donation, please read the screens carefully so that you can making a knowing choice about making a donation to YouCaring.com.

I can't post a "ticker" of donations here, but when you go to the YouCaring donation page, you will be able to see the amount raised so far. As in all past months, our target this month is $300.  


January 17, 2013--

[Removed chip-in widget as chipin.com is a defunct website.]

Your prayers, well wishes, and donations have helped Mary immeasurably. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I am opening the chip-in for donations for Mary's pet care mid-January through mid-February. Mary's physical condition is weak, but what you have given to her gives her the will to rise up to help her kitties and her dogs. (Yes, she has some droolers too.) This past weekend, Mary put her "backbone" into it and changed out the litter boxes and litter in her kitty room. I understand how complicated this process can be when one has limited physical strength. When I had my surgeries, I was often limited for several months on how much I could carry, and those litter bags/pails are not light. Sure, the pet store will carry them to the car for you, but what happens when you get home? You end up opening the bags/pails in the car and taking the litter into the house in small pans. Many many trips later, the litter is in the house and you are in bed, resting up from the exertion but glowing at the accomplishment.
Old Mother Hubbard went to the cupboard
to get her poor dogs and cats some food
and when she got there, the cupboard was NOT bare
because DCIN friends had filled it!!! :-)
Mary wanted to share with you a photo of her pantry, fully stocked with pet food from last month's donations. Here is what Mary wrote to me:
I want these generous people to see the fruits of their generosity and kindness...I wish I could tell them all how I have been able to provide new meds the cats need, too, (one cat's phenobarb and SQuids, another's eye ointment, coseminDS for the oldies, etc) through DCIN, too... and that they will all have fresh potty places with the new order of litter coming, thanks directly to DCIN generosity.

It is a tad easier to get in the cat room and do small jobs myself knowing that there is a reason, that the cats will be sustained in there for a while longer because of the generosity, so there is a reason to try the best I can to keep up with things.

I feel uplifted that the dogs can have proper nutrition with the canned DCIN allows us for them, too...I just feel better knowing their health is not suffering because of my circumstances that none of us asked for- especially the animals, but all of us are affected by. Not sure that makes sense out loud, but in my heart lies a gigantic mass of gratitude for the kindness given to my cats and dogs via DCIN.
**************************************************************************************** December 17, 2012--This is my monthly update on Mary. First, let me say thank you so much for your donations since this all started. I've heard from Mary a couple times this month, and she is feeling just a bit better. And the reason is YOU! She has seen the caring that DCIN's friends have shown and that makes a big difference in her emotional health. She had the energy this month to clip nails and comb out mats on a couple of her elderly cats. If you have ever been in the throws of ill health or depression, you can appreciate what a big step forward that was for Mary. Just to have that small glimpse of life as it used to be is empowering. This is this month's chip-in for Mary.

[Removed chip-in widget as chipin.com is a defunct website.]
November 18, 2012--This is my monthly update on Mary Smith. I can't tell you much because her situation is deeply personal. She is unwell physically (although it is not a terminal condition) and is trying to cope with a debilitating emotional situation. Her need for help is even greater this month than it was last month. Her cats need care that she is not physically able to give them. DCIN is going to see whether we can find a pet sitter or mobile vet to come on premises on occasion to do things like clip nails and mats, and check the cats' bodies for bumps, bites, bruises, whatever. Mary is not able emotionally to share her plight with many in her local community. She is trying to do this alone when she knows she is unable to do it alone. She is extremely grateful for anything DCIN's friends can help with. Most of her pets are elderly, and she is so conflicted about whether to find new homes for any of them. She made a forever commitment to them, and doesn't know how to take that back. This is this month's chip-in for Mary.

[Removed chip-in widget as chipin.com is a defunct website.]

*********************************************************************************** October 16, 2012--When I was going through my own personal hell in 1996, I had to learn to accept and ask for help from others. I sincerely appreciate how very difficult doing that is for many people. There is a woman in our diabetic cat community who needs our help. I can't tell you who it is or why it is she needs help. She has explained much of the story to me, and I hope you can trust me when I say the need is extreme and the reason is deeply personal. We are going to call this woman Mary Smith. I can't tell you much about Mary without giving clues to her identity, but I venture to say that many of you know her and would jump to help this big-hearted woman if you had the chance.

Mary has a number of cats--mostly special needs, many elderly, and all rescues. Because of her situation, Mary is not working and has few resources. Her local friends have been helping her, but after months of this situation (which I only found out about this weekend), her friends are becoming burned out with caring for the cats, and the cats have only been getting basic care--food and litter changes. The hugging, cuddling, and cooing that these cats had always received from Mary are now just memories, and they cry to Mary when they are able to see her. We have no idea where this situation may go. I can tell you that it does not involve a terminal health condition, but please don't take that as dismissing its seriousness.

I spoke for some time with Mary yesterday, and although the situation may lead to the need to rehome some or all of her cats, at this point all she is asking for is help with the cost of their food, litter, and medications. DCIN is sending Mary a "starter" check for $200. That will cover about a month's worth of cat food. That doesn't touch the litter or medications. I have no idea how long this situation will continue, but my guess is it will be at least until the Spring. Given its own financial situation, DCIN will not be able to help beyond what it collects through chip-ins. I am setting up a chip-in every month that Mary needs our help. To start, I am setting them for $300/month. I will update you to the extent I can when I start a new chip-in every month. Please help Mary if you can. You may find yourself in an extreme situation some day (or perhaps you already have), with the need to ask for help. You may find yourself turning to your diabetic cat care community for some of that help. Hopefully, DCIN will be able to be here for you as you have been here for others.

[Removed chip-in widget as chipin.com is a defunct website.]

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