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Just My Type (Hospice For Rescued Foster Cats)

make-days-count3I’m thrilled to share that this month I’ve finally reached one of my life goals: fostering Feline Friends cats who are diagnosed with terminal illnesses and who are not in pain. Because they’re unlikely to be adopted, in essence I’ll be providing hospice care to cats who have been rescued off the street and who have no family.

Note: We will not prolong anyone’s suffering. We’ll compassionately euthanize cats who cannot remain comfortable. The cats I’ll foster are only in death’s zip code. (Nod to poet Pam.)

First hospice residents

In a way, my home was a hospice for Jane Ear because she lived for less than year after I adopted her. So I’ve christened my foster room the Jane Ear Memorial Suite.

We just brought in the first kitty for whom we have this hospice idea in mind. The person who rescued him called him Gray Kitty. I changed his name to Nuageux, which is French for cloudy/overcast because his fur is the color of the sky during my favorite weather. His nickname is Geuxgeux, which sounds similar to JoJo.

nuageux-day1-day7Nuageux is just my type: a sweet old guy who has very special needs. He’s geriatric (older than 15), FIV+, anemic, and has stomatitis so bad that many of his teeth will be removed. His eyes and nose were quite runny for the first few days, but that has cleared up quite a bit. Geuxgeux had an awful worm and flea infestation when we first got him in. The vet believes that his anemia is caused by the flea situation. Our man was so thin that I could clearly feel every rib. (He gained almost 2 pounds in the first week with me!) One of his front paws has healed in a strange way from a broken wrist, but the vet says this probably doesn’t cause him any pain or increase his risk of arthritis in that joint. His mouth is in the worst condition I’ve ever seen. He has some broken teeth and quite a few are actually rotting. This old fella is extremely frightened around humans. Seeing us approach or seeing our hands get too close to him causes him to growl and hiss. The only way he allows me to touch him without lashing out at me is by first covering him with a blanket, and even then he loses control of his bladder. But I’m seeing him become more brave every day. He now gives me winky-blink cat kisses every time I enter his room. I’m certain that Geuxgeux would’ve been euthanized by any other rescue org that didn’t have a foster family who would care for a cat like him. But we’re sure that he’ll overcome his immediate health needs and we expect that he’ll get at least a couple years packed with comfort, love, food and play.

Why I wanna save cats with terminal illnesses

Through the years I’ve helped dozens of cats who show up at my house looking for food and shelter. I’ve been heartbroken over a handful who were not adopted because they had terminal illnesses. Despite them being comfortable and happy and (probably) having a few good years left, nobody wanted to take them home. So they lived out their last few months or years in a shelter. A nice shelter, sure. But without having their last hurrah in a home of their own: napping peacefully in someone’s lap, playing, and getting their favorite foods and treats regularly. I can’t imagine having spend my final months or years in a dorm-like setting without family caring for me. It pains me to think about the cats whose lives had more difficulties than pleasures. I want to tip the scales by providing more pleasures for as many cats as I can.

How people can help

best-things-felt-with-heart4When I’ve described this foster hospice dream, several people have asked how they can donate. If you’re so inclined, there are a number of ways to support the cats I’ll be fostering.

  • Use your searching and online shopping efforts to have money donated on your behalf.

Doing this is as easy as doing web searches and online shopping through GoodSearch and GoodShop. Money can be donated to Feline Friends each time you search or shop!

Amazon now has a way for you to select a charity to which they’ll donate each time you shop. (No cost to you.) It’s super easy! Visit https://smile.amazon.com/gp/chpf/about for details.

  • Feline Friends accepts donated time, supplies, services, money, and bequests.

They can use volunteer staff, small donations of office supplies, and monetary donations to help them pay for veterinary care and prescriptions. View a list of support options or contact them for a detail list of current needs.

  • Specifically helping my foster cats is something that I feel weird discussing. But I’ve been asked about this by several people who want to help my fosters live a great life in this “long term care” home I’ve created for them. So I guess I should address it.
    • Simply working with me helps because part of my income is spent on food, litter, toys, and other supplies.
    • I maintain a shopping list / wishlist for my foster room and foster cats on Amazon. Contact me for a link to that list.
    • Gift cards for pet supply stores can be earmarked for my fosters. My local favorite is Fluffy & Floyd’s, but I also visit PetWorksPetCo, and PetSmart regularly. My online favorites are Only Natural Pet and Doctors Foster and Smith, although for some items I use Amazon, Chewy, or Wag because they have competitive prices on the supplies I use.

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