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I Need Some Help - 3/25/2010

Tuesday, I made the mistake every knockdown person dreads.  I pulled a feral cat out who I'd thought was asleep.  They're excellent fakers.  As  soon as I got him out, he started struggling.  I had him with one hand  by the scruff, but he was flailing me around like the tail on the end of a kite.  I wasn't going to be able to handle this alone.  I was  going to have to swallow my pride and call for assistance.

You have to understand.  You have to meter your scream.  You can't  scream bloody murder when you're merely being tossed around by a flailing feral cat. No matter how much you want to freak and cause everyone to drop everything they are doing, you just can't, or people will stop coming when you scream.  You have to save the really horrified screams for when you're caught in a finger-eating trap and can't possibly get loose on your own while the gravity-controlled door squeezes tighter and tighter. Or for when the dryer catches fire in the middle of a clinic. (Those are just hypothetical situations, of course.)

So I ever so carefully uttered a loud but controlled, "I need some  help!"  Julianne, our Monday/Tuesday vet, came to my rescue.  She drew up some more anesthesia and I managed, after several tries, to get a second hand on the cat's scruff to hold him still long enough for her to shoot.  Whew!

Other than that, fortunately, the day was pretty uneventful.  It was an easy day in Claymont, just 42 cats.  I heard that Willow Grove did 46, but they were nearly all females, so that made Jackie's day up there harder.

At the end of the day, Felicia called and told me she wanted me to pick  up traps that my husband's sister (yes, I've roped my entire family  into this organization) had brought down from Willow Grove.  And I  said, "Wait... you want me to back that huge van out of my in-law's  driveway???  I sweat every time I have to back my tiny Honda Fit out of  that driveway!"  It took me several starts and stops, but I did get it out.  I  don't know why I was so nervous.  What was the worst that could happen?   I'd have to buy a new mailbox?  Or telephone pole? Or van?

When I got back to Claymont, some nice volunteers, whose names I've completely forgotten because I'm absolutely terrible with names, were installing some new shelves for us; they also changed the overhead lights in surgery.  And... I heard a rumor that we may actually be eventually getting the bathroom fixed.  But that may be too much for us to ask.  Afterall, what would a day in Claymont be like without having to dump a bucket of water in the toilet to make it flush?  And won't everyone miss the corregated plastic tubing I duct-taped to the sink to make filling the bucket easier?

We also did a clinic in Claymont on Wednesday this week.   A long-haired feral boy came in covered with mats.  It was so bad that I couldn't shave the mats off  without risking that I was going to cut his skin, so Jackie took over.   She said, "We should name him Matt."  Sometimes a cat will come in with a long mat across its back that we have shave off.  It looks like a big fuzzy "matterpillar."  Matt will be spending a few weeks at the Forgotten Cats "Hotel" because he has an injured leg.  We give complete medical care to the ferals that come in.  If we don't, who will?  Another boy had sliced open his leg; it had scabbed over, but there was an infection under the scab.  We had to pick the scab off, soak the leg in disinfectant, and then scrub it clean.  Jackie put in a stitch.  It must have hurt the poor boy to walk.  Now he'll be all healed up in about a week.

Later on, Jackie tended to one of our fosters was suffering from a urinary blockage.  He'd been cleared the day before, but was still having trouble, so Jackie emptied his bladder and then put in a catheter.  Sometimes when I'm working in the clinic, I just can't believe what I'm watching or doing.  This is a picture of Jackie emptying his bladder into the sink.  It took for-ev-er.  Emptying bladders is a pretty common occurrance around the clinic.  Every female cat has to be expressed before being spayed.  But for some reason, standing there prepping a cat while Jackie shot pee across the sink for what seemed like it must have been 5 minutes straight and carried on a conversation about something else like everybody shoots pee across the sink while making chit chat, I wondered, "Isn't this odd?  What would a normal person think if they walked in?"

The last exciting thing that happened on Wednesday was more kittens!  These didn't belong to Forgotten Cats, though.  They just came in with Sue, who often brings cats in from her own rescue organization to be sterilized in our clinic.  These three kittens are missing their mommy and have to be bottle fed.  Sue drives a long way to come to our clinic, so she couldn't leave the little ones unfed for that long.  She had to bring them along and feed them while she waited.  Aren't they adorable?

Speaking of adorable, there's an adoption event at the Brandywine Petsmart this coming weekend.  Heidi says we still need some people to sign up to help, especially Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon.  Be sure to come by and see the kitties!  Contact Heidi at Heidi@forgottencats.net if you can volunteer to work the event.  So far this year we've adopted out well over 200 kitties!  And kitten season is coming when our numbers will really soar!

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