Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Richard with his Feline Friends

March 10, 2013--Richard hanging out at home.


September 9, 2012--

2 diabetic cats 
 + 1 papa san chair


It's good to have your friends by your side--
even if you can'y see them because you are wearing
a stupid E-collar.

Richard is in an E-collar because of what his Mom and vet suspect is an allergy that is causing him to scratch his face raw.


Can someone without an E-collar
rescue me?
June 3, 2012--Richard has been scratching himself a lot and the vet suspects a food allergy. Rilla has been experimenting with Richard's raw food trying to figure out the problem. But she finally had to put him into an E-Collar.
He has now been a Conehead for 12 hours, and he's pitiful, but seems to be doing okay.


Richard and his roommates.
March 17, 2012--Richard sez life is rough in his new home, but he is bearing up with all the stoicism he can muster.


February 16, 2012--Rilla sent us a new photo of Richard with his new fur family, Teddy (the Snowshoe) and Stella. About Richard, Rilla says--
I cannot BELIEVE how much food we go through. He looks good right now, so I'm trying to be careful about how much he gets. I'm having to put three bowls of BARF out, which is a pain. If I put out just one, Teddy and Richard squabble over it, and Stella starves to death. If I put out two, Teddy and Richard will still squabble over the same bowl till I grab one of them and shove his face in the second bowl. Teddy eats his fill, Richard eats his entire bowl and comes over to finish Teddy's leftovers, and Stella still starves to death. With three, Stella gets to eat while the others are eating, although as soon as Richard is done with his own bowl, he insists upon being helpful and helping everybody else finish theirs. There is a vast mountain of dishes to wash. I'm still trying to work this out. I wish I could isolate Stella at mealtimes, but she is part feral and I can't catch her easily.

Oh, and the melodrama! All the cats dance and yowl and act like they haven't eaten in a week when I bring the food over, of course. But Richard is extra frantic. Those enormous pleading eyes in that black face, and that gaping pink maw. Last night he gave a long tortured wail that must have lasted more than half a minute. It would have gotten a standing O at any tragic opera.

Richard is down to 1 unit of Lantus, and usually getting only 1 shot per day.

January 30, 2012--Richard is now home with his new Mom Rilla. Guess what? She LOVES him. Among the things she has said:
Richard is such a darling. He has so much love to give. What a tragedy it would have been if this special little guy had been put down.

Richard would like to thank all of the many generous and kind people who networked, transported, fostered, and donated to his chip-ins.
DCIN still hasn't collected donations for all it spent for Richard's second fight. If you would like to donate for that cause, the chip-in is at the bottom of the next post.

Richard checks in at the Tulsa Cargo Terminal.
Richard's carrier has room for guests.

January 25, 2012-- Richard continues his trip home to Washington state today. An early liftoff from Tulsa, an 1+ hour layover in Houston, and into Sea-Tac shortly after noon local time. He should be home in plenty of time for dinner.

Dale sent these photos from when she dropped Richard off. "As you can see, his shipping crate is BIG. The red one in front of him is what I carry the cats to the vet in.  I think he will fly comfortably and definitely has enough room to turn around in (and invite a few other kitties in there with him. LOL)."

We also got a nice note today from the director of the shelter that had Richard. "I have not experienced such dedication and care from any rescue group as I have from DCIN. Richard's outcome would not have been as wonderful had DCIN not been so willing to help. How can I ever thank you all??"

We would still like to collect some chip-ins to help pay for this second flight. And of course, prayers and good thoughts for an uneventful journey.


January 20, 2012--The plans were all set. Richard was pulled from the shelter and sent to foster for a short while with Deb in Maine. Deb handed him off to MJ who held him overnight and then took him to Boston Logan airport yesterday (Thursday) for his flight hubbing through Houston and then onto Seattle-Tacoma WA airport.

But a snag. Service at the Sea-Tac airport was disrupted due to a snow storm. And once Richard got to Houston, we found that his flight to Sea-Tac was cancelled. Thankfully, Claudia (one of DCIN's transport team members) and Dale, a DCIN friend near Tulsa, agreed that Richard could bunk at Dale's home until he could make it to Seattle. (Because Richard is an insulin-dependent diabetic that had a high BGPS the night before his trip, and no insulin the day of travel, Claudia felt it better to send him to Dale instead of leaving him kenneled at the Houston airport without insulin.) Claudia was able to get Richard onto the last flight out of Houston to Tulsa last night.

The problem is money. DCIN will have to pay another cargo fee to get Richard from Tulsa back through Houston and home to Seattle, hopefully on Saturday. Therefore, I am opening another chip-in for this second flight. It seems that Richard will earn more frequent flyer miles this year than I will. Thanks so much if you can help. ~Venita

January 13, 2012--Richard has captured a home and heart!! How could he not?

Richard will be going home sometime in the next 10 days. He has to travel all the way from Maine to Washington state.

His new Mom? Rilla (Teddy Snoeshoes and Rilla from the FDMB). She was smitten with Richard almost immediately upon seeing his posting, but we had to wait some time for him to get a dental and lose his boy bits.

As always, we are trying to raise funds to send Richard to his new family and to have some basic vetting when he gets there. I know DCIN has been asking for a lot of assistance lately, but we are doing great work finding these extra-sweet babies homes.

Here's the chip-in.

January 1, 2012--New picture and video of Richard.

Richard's visitor and photographer says:
I went to see Richard on Thursday – He was spending his day in the office room. Kate and Ellin indicated that he is out in the office for each night, to give him some room and so he can walk around a bit.

He has a nice comfy bed there and his dry DM food to nibble on as he prefers this instead of just two or three larger canned food meals. They use a baby gate to keep him in  and that works fine, as he really can’t jump like normal yet.
I had a good conversation with Kate who took him home over the long Christmas weekend. She indicated that, aside from the issue of making sure he didn’t eat other cats’ food, and just ate his own, he did really well. When any of her own cats had a hissy fit, he just took it in stride, like he’s heard it all before.  She said that he liked getting up on the bed, but he pulled himself up instead of jumping. I guess the neuropathy hasn’t resolved all the way yet, but he is walking better, just needs to get more muscles on his hind legs.
Kate also indicated that he didn’t even attempt to scratch her furniture. I guess someone taught him his manners thoroughly in this respect.  She also indicated that he likes hanging around with them, and would move from room to room based on where the humans were. He isn’t a lap cat, but is content to be in the same room or sitting on the couch with you.
She also indicated that she had brushed him (less dander showing up this week), but he would get real wiggly when she did it. I suggested that if she brushes him in the future to try just a few seconds at a time until he accepts it better.
All in all, he actually looked better this week than last week, believe it or not. He wasn’t at the same energy level as the last time I saw him, but that could be because he had been awakened from a nap for my visit. His coat looked better – less dander, but that could just be from the brushing Kate gave him.
I still haven’t heard him make any sound except a really loud purr.


December 27, 2011--And now the videos.


December 26, 2011--Photos of Richard that got lost in my in-box, as many thing do. But doesn't Richard look so much better?

Richard's dander

This one cracks me up!! But no more 3rd eyelid.

This shows his allopecia


December 23, 2011--Sue, a woman local to Richard, visited him in the shelter yesterday, and this is her "report":
I got to see Richard today. What a sweet cat! I mean, really what a great cat!

You can see that the people there at ARL could see that he was really special even when he came in a mess. They told me he was in awful shape when he came in, really bad. Skinny, full of dander, walking on his hocks, matted, the whole gamut. His personality saved him as he purrs the second he meets you and obviously has never been abused. He lets you touch him all over, including belly and paws. The tech I spoke with, Ellen, who seems to be his primary caregiver, says that he lets them test him, and inject him with no problems. Same thing with anything else they have had to do for him.

He has gained 3 lbs since he has been there – started around 7 and is now a bit over 10. I would say that he needs to gain another couple. He is moderately tall, and his legs are still not muscled well but that is probably due to being confined in the cage most of the time. He’s got a nice little belly on him, though.

He has significant alopecia on his right ear, that they attribute to ear mite problems when he came in, but the mites are gone, the area is nice and healthy and the fur should grown back fine.

They don’t know how he is with other animals, but when he passes other cats’ pens, he doesn’t hiss or growl, or appear agitated. He also seems the same with dogs.

I sat in an outside pen with him for about 15 minutes this afternoon and took some photos and videos. I will try to forward them to you. One of the techs was walking a dog to another building and all Richard showed was curiosity, no fear, just wondered what was happening. He was easy to cuddle, he sat on my lap nicely and seemed to be content to be petted and loved.

He has really nice green eyes and an intelligent face. His coat actually shines, although it doesn’t have much body. I would call him sorta a long haired short hair rather than a medium hair, though he doesn’t seem to have much of an undercoat at this point. Probably his coat will fill out more and improve, with the dander going away, as his diabetes is better controlled.

Oh, also, Ellen the vet tech thinks he might be younger than 12. He probably looked so awful when he came in that they just erred on the conservative side. He doesn’t look like he has any cataracts or other issues that older cats have with their eyes.

Also, they are feeding him some sort of grain free stuff from Petco, I don’t remember the name. He also gets the DM dry food freefeed. Obviously, a change in diet will make a huge difference for him. But, obviously, the fact that DCIN has provided insulin and supplies for him has made a big difference. The people at ARL really are caring. I got to meet the tech, Kate, who is bringing him home for the holidays and she seems quite nice. Everyone working there seems very caring about the animals there. Like I said before, the shelter is crowded, but it is clean and the animals are well cared for.

I’ll try to get my videos to work, but not having success at the moment.


November 29, 2011--The shelter manager was able to borrow some Lantus over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend and get Richard started on it. DCIN has shipped the shelter Richard's own Lantus pen, blood glucose and urinary ketone testing equipment, and Methyl B12 for his neuropathy for deliver today.

DCIN has started working with to post the diabetic cats in most need of new homes. Richard is SugarCats' first post of a DCIN cat. ~Venita


November 23, 2011: Poor Richard, he came to the shelter as a stray, an unaltered 12 year old male. Shelter folks say he is sweet and appears very amicable with all, he should do well with kids and other pets. He is up to date on vaccines, FIV/FeLV negative, he will be altered and have his teeth cleaned before leaving the shelter.

He does not show ketones but blood glucose has been in the 300-400 range. He's been started on a grain free diet and is receiving B12 shots. He is not currently receiving insulin. The shelter is short staffed and times are difficult, for a diabetic cat at a shelter it's even harder.

From the shelter director she writes: "Thanks so much for your call yesterday…it made me feel that there is hope for Richard. He is a love and I would hate to see him leave this world because he is diabetic, and older. It’s just that we are so overcrowded right now, short staffed and employees are burning out – fast. We are not usually this overcrowded at this late time in the season, but it has been a particularly rough year for abuse, neglect, people surrendering record numbers of animals --- and in very poor shape. We usually take in over 4,000 animals, but this year it is looking like it will be over 5,000."


Susan Luhrs said...

Where in Maine?

Venita said...


Yvonne M. Franklin said...

Susan, I live in Auburn and work at the Maine Mall near Westbrook. I will HAPPILY transport Richard for / to you. I worked at the ARL for years, and I can tell you it's a wonderful shelter that does all they can for the animals with wonderful staff and experienced volunteers. My email is, or ADD me on FB if you need help. :)

Susan Luhrs said...

I'm on a work assignment in Philly until Dec. 16th, so there is no way I could help him right now. Plus I have to bring it up with my partner. We've been looking for another boy as our Rocco drives our 2 elderly girls nuts. Rocco is 8 and wants to hang out and do cat boy stuff while the girls aren't interested.

Venita said...

Susan. Please contact me at ~Venita

Maine Kitties said...

I live in Brunswick Maine and could help with a leg of transport here in Maine....let me know if you need me!

Ms Kate said...

I'm Kate, the tech who took him home for the holidays so Richard could get his insulin more regularly while we were short-staffed. He's absolutely wonderful! He had no problem with my four cats. I probably would have fostered him, but he really likes to have dry food available to munch all the time and two of my cats are special needs and can't eat dry food.
Thanks for all the help with Richard's publicity! I'm taking him to his dental and neutering tomorrow.

Katnyp7 said...

Hi Kate,
Hopefully this will come through one and not twice! I devised a contraption for my cats to keep the larger kitties out while allowing the smaller ones access to dry food. I would be happy to share if that might help your fostering situation.
I am in MA.
Traci :)

Ms Kate said...

Thanks Traci, but I would only be able to foster him for about a week or two tops, even with the food issues resolved. My husband doesn't enjoy us having more than 4 cats in the 1-bedroom apartment for too long!