Posted on October 3, 2015
We deeply apologize for the past three months of total silence, but we’re finally back on track, even though we certainly haven’t spent the last twelve weeks just sitting around doing nothing and twiddling our thumbs. All of you, our devoted friends and incredible supporters, already know too well that we’ve been engaged in shelter repairs for years now and sometimes I wonder why we couldn’t take just a little break, why at least this year we couldn’t avoid dealing with more renovations, more troubles, more worries, huge expenses and less sleepless nights. But that’s the way things go around here and if we can choose either to do the job properly or not do it at all, I guess the answer is pretty clear.
After some thinking, we came to the conclusion that the warmest months of the year would be the ideal time for fixing some minor issues we’ve never addressed. Most of the platforms, ladders and wooden wire spools the cats are having so much fun with while playing in the yard needed to be replaced, as autumn rains and the winter cold had taken their toll and there was no way any wooden items could last another winter. When we inspected them carefully, we were a little surprised to find out how much all of these kitty toys had deteriorated over the last couple of years. The platforms were half rotten already, all of the ladders had broken or missing rungs and most of the boards our kitties just love to rest on were twisted and warped. It was high time to do something!
We won’t bore you with describing what we did, how we did it and how much it all cost (a fortune!) but the ultimate results are four new and solid platforms that are supposed to last for years and five new ladders which make it easier for all of the cats, and especially the tripod ones, to climb up to the roof.The longest and widest wooden board in the backyard, on which many of our kitties are regularly posing for photos as it’s their favorite resting place, has been replaced with new joists, assembled to last much longer than the old board and it’s able to bear more weight which is not an insignificant characteristic… Moreover, the cats’ outdoor sandbox in the front yard and the one in the backyard have been enclosed with brick walls and not only do they look great, but there will be no more sand scattered all over the place.
We’re still trying to raise the funds to renovate the outdoor fence, but it won’t be an easy task as we’re supposed to rebuild the brick-made pillars and the small walls between them, clean and polish the old iron fencing and replace the sheet metal part of the gate. That old fence has been perilous and wobbly for the last three years and the fact that it’s still holding up is a pure miracle, so it would’ve been great if we had managed to get it renovated before the first snow.
As to the kitties, most of them are doing reasonably well, with the exception of our two older residents, Sneska and Tabadzija, who sadly have turned out to be chronically ill. It’s a shame the true nature of their problems (that said, I particularly refer to Sneska’s long lasting health issues) weren’t discovered sooner, but they weren't, and all we can do now is to try and save what can still be saved. Sneska's kidneys are failing and the reason she's been so skinny (and gauntly thin sometimes) is that chewing becomes very painful to her every now and then because of uremic stomatitis which is a consequence of CKD, her primary illness. The prognosis is guarded and no one seems to have the faintest idea of how long she will live, but since we have started to feed her prescription renal diet mixed with some wet food she looks more cheerful and she even seems to be gaining weight, slowly but steadily. Considering all of her health problems over the last few years, I guess we should be happy that her condition has improved, even just a little. For as long as she is eating, there is at least a tiny spark of hope…
Tabadzija is developing megacacolon which has been diagnosed very early on. In the beginning, right after the first UV scan he had, we were terrified to learn there was some kind of a shadow on his liver, indicating a tumor, but luckily what we saw was just his large intestine, which was actually enlarged and filled with hard fecal matter. He has been fed only soft wet food over the last couple of weeks and is receiving laxatives (liquid paraffin) every other day to help him empty his bowels. He looks and behaves normally otherwise, although his belly still seems to be slightly swollen. We’re all aware that he must bearound 15 years old, but if he’s provided with adequate food and regular checkups at the vet’s, it’s highly probable that he’ll still have a few more years of full, quality life.
Valerie, our new kitty who arrived at the shelter with an old injury of her right rear leg that healed wrongly so she was practically unable to use it at all was operated on. The vet managed to save her leg by basically breaking her incorrectly healed knee joint again and fixing it into the proper position with screws which were supposed to be removed in approximately two weeks time. To everyone’s big surprise, when the time came it turned out that he couldn’t remove the screw from her knee joint as it had miraculously slipped down her bone and couldn’t be taken out without cutting through it; naturally, nobody was eager to see her having yet another surgery. Anyway, she is recovering nicely and learning to walk on all four legs again which will take her quite some time, but she is finally using her right rear leg after around eight months of not being able to even hold onto it and taking everything into account, her recovery is going very well.
Now the bad news: we’re having serious financial problems at the moment and the situation at the shelter has become quite alarming. Next to no donations have been coming in lately and we’ll soon reach the critical point where we’re not even able to feed the cats properly! I know all of them look nice and well cared for at the moment, but they will deteriorate rapidly if we can’t provide them with even the basic necessities! Many of our kitties are aged between 17 and 20 and enabling them to eat quality food is indispensable, it’s not a luxury, it’s a must! If things keep going like they have been for quite some time now, we’ll find ourselves in big trouble. Unfortunately, there isn’t some magical food fairy that drops off free food and we’re certainly not able to feed almost 120 cats every day on our own (is there anyone who is?) So we’re forced to rely on the kindness and generosity of strangers.
Is it possible that no one out of the thousands of friends I have on Facebook is able to donate anything towards the cost of cat food? Do the kitties deserve to starve just because we are not screaming, wailing and pleading for help two times a day? Should we talk about and maybe even consider closing the shelter and turning all of the cats back out into the streets, after years of heartily fighting for them and working way beyond our limits, as they are obviously totally unimportant to people and not even worth thinking about or saving? Is there anyone out there who really cares?
Without some sort of assistance soon, everything we’ve campaigned and fought so hard for here could quickly be lost. Even the smallest donations help, they add up and it’s better than nothing at all. Please help if you can, even sharing our plight with others helps out, you never know who’s out there that would like to get involved and see these kitties remain safe and healthy in the only place that’s shown them caring and love. You can donate through PayPal, our YouCaring fundraising page or our project on betterplace.org and please bear in mind that we sincerely appreciate all of the help we get, even when our thank you notes are late, which they usually are. We are deeply grateful to all of our friends and donors who have been supporting our work so unselfishly for years now and all of us here genuinely thank each and every one of you for your unlimited kindness with every ounce of our beings!