Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Ok ok ok ok!!

I hate to reiterate. It doesn't matter if he has blood in the stool or not. As many (MANY) people have pointed out to me, CH doesn't cause it. Okay, that's fine. We were misinformed, and I apologize. This is not the reason behind euthanizing (for us OR the shelter). It was simply a comment from me on my site because I didn't know what it was being caused from. It really doesn't matter.

I know cats with CH are wonderful, but they need a LOT of care - especially when they don't walk at all. With these kittens, it IS impacting their current quality of life, and THIS is the reason the shelter said they would require euthanasia. Please remember that.
I said we would love to keep them, but we can't.
And the reason why the shelter said to put them down now is because she has dealt with HUNDREDS of cases of kittens with CH (with a huge outbreak of Panleukopenia in the Sudbury region the past two years). She has adopted out many of them, all with minor conditions. They don't promote euthanasia -- And they are actually a No Kill shelter. Which is amazing. You should see their facility where they keep all of them, it's unbelievable.
I understand I also may be coming across to 'blaming' the shelter for this decision. But, I'm most certainly not. This shelter does amazing work, and I am completely astonished with everything they do. She is making this call because she has seen it many times. And while we trust her, we still want to try to help them before that final word is made to do so. (We still haven't heard from her, and something tells me deep down that she IS giving us this leeway to do exactly what we're doing on here.)
They had an instance last year where they had a severe case of CH in a kitten (or maybe a few? I don't fully recall) when it was about 6-8 weeks old. The foster parents, just like us, knew that quality of life may have been bad right at that point, but they loved that kitten, and wanted to make sure --- so they held onto it. 
Four months later, the kitten was still "suffering" with not being able to do anything, and his lifestyle was not a happy one. Without around the clock care, there was nothing more they could do. (I may be slightly off on the exact details in the story, but that was the general point that she made to us). Everyone was heartbroken because of the attachment they had gained... and the kitten was almost in adulthood when the decision was finally made to euthanize.
And THIS is why she is suggesting it to us now. She doesn't want to have us keep going with something that may be inevitable, you know?
I know the die-hard CH cat lovers and euthanasia-haters would be against the decision, but our hands still may be tied. No one knows if they will do wonderful or not. Sure, they may grow up to be the sweet wonderful cats, like the ones on YouTube.... But maybe they won't. What if we prolong their life to that 6 months and they're still unhappy, and they still have no home... Then what?
Sigh..... I never wanted it to be this way for them. I see them every day, frustrated with their inability.
We need to find them a home, someone who is willing to -possibly- commit to caring for them for life. Right now they are growing rapidly, and each day, it seems worse. Because they WANT to walk and move, and be able to pee in a box properly, and eat from a dish normally. It's frustrating to them, and it's upsetting to us to watch them like this. It makes me so sad that they haven't been given a proper life.
We still don't know what to do. So, please, keep spreading the word. Everyone has been so great.
Doug and I have even talked, and would be willing to DELIVER them to you, if you can take them... Even if you don't live in Sudbury (within reason -- possibly anywhere in Ontario). Of course, we will need to discuss with the potential adopter on all that... but, that's how determined we are to get these guys a home.
Anyway... I'm really sorry again if I'm sounding a bit direct. I guess I'm finding myself on a short rope.
I'm SO thankful for all of you to talk to. You are the bestest. :) **hugs**

PS: I do want to add another 'thanks' to everyone who has CH cats and is posting/sending their story. I love hearing about all the success stories, and all the love that you give them (and this really goes for any cat owner who takes any time to care for them).
You are gems.

PPS: Made some flyers to distribute around the city today, too. This is basically what they're going to look like. (Note: Yeah, I have L's name as Ellie, just because it looks a little more inviting.. and besides, I call him that all the time ;))
Contact me via blog or email if you'd like phone number. I've removed it from the picture below, just in case.


  1. Kudos to you for doing all that you are for these special babies, I know it is hard when they are special needs. I forwarded your info to several groups I am on as well as posted on my facebook. I wish you the best of luck with these babies, they are so kitties are my absolute favorite...I've got 3 of them :-)

  2. I think my personal line would be whether they can eventually do their own litterbox duties. Having to go where they'd have to lie in it, then drag it around with them as they crawl... unless you could find someone who doesn't mind that. I'm still hoping for you that they get a bit more mobility as they get older. I know you will do the right thing, whatever that turns out to be.

  3. We can't possible imagine having to go through what your are going through. You love them and this is a difficult choice that has to be made. We really hope there is someone out there who will be willing to care for them. Keeping our fingers and paws crossed.

  4. I think you need a hug right now, its so not fair for the kittens or you to be going through this. I am not in a position to judge you in in any way...just letting you know that...

  5. laturner ~ Yeah, that's something we've talked about, too. Once people learn that they may never be litter-trained (which is posing to be a huge issue right now for both of them), it could change their minds to adopt.
    Mind you, I have read stories about other *very dedicated* owners though - One who spoon feeds her adult cat with severe CH.. and when it needs to go to the bathroom, it'll howl, and she puts it in the shower - where she just hoses the tub down when the cat is done it's business.
    Can you imagine that dedication? Unbelieveable what people do for their furry-companions. It's amazing.
    So, it does mean there are people out there that do do it. We can only hope we find those people.

  6. While I've followed your blog, I haven't read the comments lately, so I don't know if this has been up yet. If it has, my apologies - but just in case it hasn't, I'm posting this as I think it might help you at this difficult time.

    Almost two years have passed since the readers of The Itty Bitty Kitty Committee followed a quite similar story (which still makes me cry...). It only concerned one kitten out of a litter, but the foster parents had to make the same kind of hard decision, because a kitten's tolerable life was looking to become intolerable when he grew.

    So, if you haven't read about Jerry Lee, maybe you should - and note that he is still remembered by those who followed the story then. In the same way your L and Wesley and the third one who went before them will be remembered by us, your readers, if you have to send them over the rainbow bridge now.

    On Jerry Lee's last day:

    To read about him before that day and what happened afterwards, see all the posts with that label:

  7. Mari,

    I think the story of Jerry Lee is so touching and tragic and I thank you for sharing it.


    Jerry Lee's problem was TOTALLY different than the problems of these two CH kitties. Jerry Lee *couldn't* use the bathroom - an internal wiring problem. That can lead to pain and dramatically increases the risks of serious infections. That is NOT what faces these CH babies. The issue for them is *external* - they lack motor coordination skills to get them to the box - but they have NO problem going to the bathroom and do not face the pain and risk involved in being unable to relieve themselves.

    CH is a developmental condition that does not worsen with time. There is no downside, debilitative prognosis for a kitty with CH (unlike some other conditions). In some cases, the disability actually improves as the kitty adapts. My primary contention with these two little precious babies is that they are WAY too young for anyone to adequately assess how their function will be into adulthood. Their muscles are not fully developed (just like the muscles of any non-CH kitty aren't fully developed at 6 weeks of age) and their potential for motor improvement isn't fully developed (just like a non-CH kitty is still clumsy and learning their limits at 6 weeks of age).

    I do understand that part of the concern for these guys is any future ability to use a litterbox. Any caregiver will have to be willing to accept them on the assumption that they will have trouble using it independently (although frankly, this function may improve as maturing takes place in the natural course of thing!). But believe me - there are those out there with a great deal of experience with CH cats who understand how to nurture them and care for them to everyone's enjoyment.

    I'm grateful that Lyndsay is trying to learn more about CH and buy these guys some time. I'm grateful still to see that flyer - I would suggest you post it, Lyndsay, to the CH list and ask for broad distribution. I've seen people on that list get cats literally across the country, so do your best to help the rescue see that they CAN be loved and it doesn't have to only be in Northern Ontario.

    Thanks again.

  8. Please remember that you're not obligated to respond to ANYONE. Anything that creates more stress for you is to be avoided.

    Huge hugs to you all.

  9. Heather and the Kool Kitty Krew ~ That is so nice of you to say. We are only doing what we can for now.

    Figaro, I saw that message today, and it made me smile so so so much. Sometimes even a virtual hug will do... and I think I really needed it when I read that. :)

    Mari, Thank you for that info... I didn't know about that problem at the IBKC! I've been reading Laurie's site for a looooong time, and I don't remember that at all. That was really nice of you to say. I'm going to read it right now.

    Sue, I appreciate that.... I have debated whether fighting back is worth it, but you are absolutely right - It's unnecessary stress... and I'm not going to bother with the haters. Thanks for the advice :)

  10. Honey, we're here for you. Stay strong! We know how much you love those babies!

  11. Bless you. Keep your focus where it belongs.

  12. I'm so sorry that people are choosing to be unkind. It is always the outspoken who want to shout the loudest, even when they should really stick a sock in it. Anyone who is being critical is clearly not paying attention to what you write, because it is clear to the rest of us that Wesley and L are very lucky to be with you.

    You are doing a wonderful job with the kittens, and whatever the ultimate result is, they couldn't be in a better place. Don't let anyone make you think otherwise.

  13. Sending virtual hugs from down NY way. My heart is breaking and bursting for the things you are going through right now and for the extraordinary measures you have taken for these sweet kittens. Your love and committment to their well being is showing strong, and I hope you know that no matter what happens you have done everything right. You have loved and cared for these kittens and their mama to the best of your abilities and with all your heart, and there is no fault in anything you have done or may have to do.

    I just want you to know that reading your posts is one of the first things I do every day and your efforts have been an inspiration to me. Once I complete an upcoming move to Michgian I too will reach out to be a foster mama to shelter kittehs. Thank you for showing your love and your heartbreak so bravely. Please don't let anyone tell you otherwise, you are a hero.

  14. I was about to hit send on an email I wrote to you about the kittens, but I am going to save it so you have one less opinionated voice to listen to right now.

    Just keep on doing what you're doing.

  15. I'm sad to hear that on top of all your intensely hard work, you're now also having to defend yourself on your own blog... Take care and best of luck.


Leave me your paw print! :)