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Say Hello to Foster Tripawd Cat Caithe and Sad Foster News

This photogenic beauty is Caithe (shelter name Tommyanne), a total sweetheart who sustained major injuries to her front leg and pelvis. I took her into foster the day after her amputation surgery, which was approximately a week after her intake. She has been with us for about three weeks, has gotten her sutures removed and is doing wonderfully healing wise. Much like Grandma Houdini before her, she was incredibly difficult to keep in ecollars or even onesies. The vet staff came up with the idea of using a thundershirt, which was perfect.

Now I need to pick one up to have on hand for similarily difficult fosters in the future. She has 4-6 weeks left of crate rest, but her playful and high energy nature means that she’s not the biggest fan of that.

She also really, really loves blankets.

The same day, I also took home a momma cat and her three tabby kittens (with an excessive amount of legs :P).

And I’ve had “narrowly avoided becoming a tripod” senior foster cat Sun since May. She sustained serious injuries when she escaped from her home and spent 2 months as a stray. She got a tenectomy to correct her carpal contracture and save her leg from amputation. She’s now walking around like nothing ever happened, and this 13 year old is just FILLED with character and the best creaky old lady meow. She also has a ton of character, and earned the nickname Grandma Houdini for literally escaping from her splint three days in a row!!

It’s definitely a full house of fosters!

However, I also have incredibly sad news.

Content warning: pet death mentions

The last 2-3 weeks have been very challenging on the foster front, which is why I haven’t updated since my announcement of a new foster tripod. Caithe is fine and has been recovering beautifully. However, tragedy struck the litter of kittens. After a week of having them, the kittens developed diarrhea (read: I went to the foster room to feed them one morning and poop was smeared everywhere).

My first thought was that their little tummies were just sensitive to the food changes. Diarrhea can be really serious for kittens, so our foster protocol is to immediately schedule a vet visit with our in-house vet at the shelter. The kittens were otherwise fine, playing like the little murderfloofs that they are. We got them into their carrier and they were not too thrilled about this prospect.

The appointment took awhile, and due to space constraints and policy we’re not allowed to go back with the fosters. I figured they just got busy with emergencies, which often happens in an open admission shelter. Instead, our foster coordinator found us and delivered the devastating news: all of the kittens have panleukopenia. I nearly puked when she told me.

This illness is highly contagious, does not get killed by standard disinfectants, and the prognosis is incredibly grim for young kittens. It’s one of the three illnesses that a standard FVRCP cat vaccination covers (please please please keep up with the boosters on this, the virus itself can last for OVER A YEAR and it’s present in a ton of places due to unvaccinated cats). Our little guys were only 7 weeks old, and tested a strong positive on the insta-test that we use. They were humanely euthanized as they were beginning the fast downward spiral associated with panleuk. We tried to give Flake, Sora and Riku a chance at a happy forever home, but it turns out that our job was to love them as much as we possibly could during the short week they were with us.

The momma cat, who we named Siren, did not test positive on the insta-test. Our shelter’s panleuk protocol is to try and save anyone from the litter who does not test positive, and I was given the option to do so. Obviously I said yes. It requires two rounds of testing, where her poop gets sent out to a lab and we wait 2-5 days for the results, over the 14 day incubation period for panleukopenia. Currently, we’re on the last test of the second round of testing and in the 2-5 day waiting period. Siren has no clinical signs of the disease, and is in good health other than an eye infection that probably developed from stress.

I have been a mess since this happened. The suddenness of things reminded me so much of how Tripod suddenly went into congestive heart failure. While you go into fostering, especially fostering kittens for an open admission shelter, you go in with the understanding that not every kitten is going to make it. Everyone who has fostered kittens eventually has to confront a death.

But to see the kittens alive and Flake playing with her mom one minute, and the next collapsing in the back hallway where the public in the shelter can’t see you, waiting for them to finish with Siren and bring her back out. It’s hell. I bear this pain because I want to be a voice for the voiceless, and give these cats the chance they deserve for a safe, happy and healthy life, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t tear me up. Everyone has been wonderfully supportive at the shelter, and we’re all crossing our paws for Siren.

I also had to toss anything pourous that was back in the foster room, and Siren has to stay contained back there until we have the all clear. I’m also not permitted to volunteer with the cats at the shelter until we get the all clear, and we’re unable to have kitten fosters for the next six months. The room and any area that any of the litter touched was also cleaned with an industrial cleaner designed specifically to deactivate panleukopenia and other difficult viruses.

When I go in to see Siren, I change into a completely different set of clothes, put on a plastic isolation gown, and tell her how sorry I am that we couldn’t do anything for her babies but stop the pain.

We Have a New Foster Tripawd Cat – Say Hello to Tommyanne (Caithe)

We literally just brought this cutie home from the shelter a few hours ago and we’re waiting for her to get settled in. She’s a front leg tripod and just got her amputation done yesterday, and we can’t wait to show her the luxury amenities of #TeamTripod. 🙂

A Double Win for #TeamTripod

It’s always a wonderful thing when a foster cat finds their forever home. It’s an especially wonderful thing when they get snapped up nearly as soon as they’re eligible for adoption! It’s an extra super special amazing thing when both trikitties in foster at BARCS end up having the same adoption day! Let me tell you a bit about this pair of awesome tripods.

This is Frieza. Frieza was rescued from a severely neglectful situation that resulted in part of his tail and his rear leg getting amputated due to necrosis. Following his amputation, he was having such a hard time in the shelter. He wouldn’t get up and move around, and ended up peeing and pooping all over himself. The foster coordinator sent him my way for a stay in my brand new post-surgical suite (a cat playpen).

This photo was taken five minutes after we got him in the house. I was thrilled to see him improve this significantly so quickly. This sweet kitty had a rough life, but thankfully he didn’t have a rough recovery. We did end up having three fosters in the house at once at the time, as Link was a week away from going to his forever home and Peeper (our one eyed foster) was two weeks away from hers. Scooping the poop of five cats total was one hell of a workout, let me tell ya.

Frieza quickly proved himself to be a super friendly and playful cat. It took some time to build up his strength again but before long he was zooming around all over the place. He was very well socialized with humans, but not so much with other kitties. Team Socialization did a great job of that, although they did find themselves getting worn out by this energetic little boy.

Frieza ended up having six interested parties within a week after he was eligible for adoption. I was so happy to see that so many other people saw just how wonderful he is. He found the perfect match with members from my Three Legged Cats Facebook group, and they even drove for six hours here and six hours back for him! He has settled in so very quickly and getting updates from the adopters fills me with so many smiles, even if I miss him terribly. I will be writing up a full post about this wonderful boy soon, once things calm down from this whirlwind turnaround time (due to circumstances related to his rescue, we were assuming that he would be staying with us for 4+ months).

And this cutie is Fozzie! I was originally going to foster him, but the shelter was trying to save his leg at the time and needed to keep him there for the time being. Then Frieza came in and we were super filled on fosters, so Fozzie was fostered by another excellent person at BARCS. 🙂 Fozzie had a super hard time medically during the initial treatment. When I saw him come into the shelter, he just had some markings on his rear leg. The next time I saw him to meet him for potentially fostering him, it had swollen up and skin was sloughing off. Poor little guy.

Things were rough for him during the post-amputation recovery too. There were a few times where I sat staring at Facebook Messenger, waiting for a message from his foster home that he was back from the pet ER / fever broke / etc. It took awhile for him to get to even footing during the recovery, and he also had some phantom limb pain to deal with.

Thankfully, things continued to get better for this expressive little boy and he ended up getting adopted by one of the people who contacted me about Frieza! Another of the potential Frieza adopters is currently waiting for the next trikitty to come through our doors. 🙂

Three cheers for the new #TeamTripod members. 🙂

Former Foster Trikitty Stanley (Formerly Roosevelt/Link) is Doing Great in His New Home!

Link’s adopter is being so sweet at sending me updates on how he’s doing. 😀 It was so, so hard seeing him off. I’m not gonna lie, I was crying in the lobby as the adopter finished up the paperwork, and spent about an hour in the foster coordinator’s office bawling my eyes out after they went home. It’s hard, especially when you end up with a foster that stays with you for a longer time (he was one day shy of two months with us). Having the adoptive parent stay in touch definitely has helped a lot! Here’s what he had to say about Link!

“So the little fella practically napped the whole way home, brought him in to get accustomed to his new digs (my finished basement), and he proceeded to carefully walk all around sniffing and looking at everything, and I mean EVERYTHING!….he jumped up on the couch, then the love seat, for a better view I suppose J  Checked out his litter box, food, water, then went back into the carrier to relax.  I left him alone for a little while, returned, and he was still chilling in his carrier, so I began rubbing his cheeks, which triggered his motorboat purring J  After a few minutes, I stopped, he got up, left the carrier and walked over to me, rubbed against me, then returned to his carrier…he’s so adorable!!!”

“He is adjusting amazingly!  Seems very settled with his new environment, displays tons of affection, is getting around fine, not eating too much dry but devouring the wet, and np with the little box.  He’s settled into a chair which I put the blue blanket on, so looks to be his new bed for now, and when I got up this morning he was all happy to see me, that was until I fed him, when he forgot all about me, and then introduced him to the tree and window sill, which he is no obsessed over!!!  He’s amazing, thank you so much for fostering him Tiffany, as it clearly made all the difference in him adjusting without any problem at all!!!”

“Hey Tiffany, just wanted to give you an update after the first week, it’s official, he’s Stanley J

He’s the sweetest little guy ever!!!  Adjusting amazingly to his new home and roommate, ha!  Eating like a horse now, so I’ll need to keep an eye on this, and I integrated him into the upstairs only 2 days after I brought him home, and other than being overwhelmed by the surroundings, he’s once again adapted incredibly…had to look out every window, and literally look at every thing in the room, on the walls, you name it, he’s quite attentive in curious.  Speaking of which, is very interested at things up high, and his missing leg doesn’t seem to prevent him from leaping up on countertops, tables, etc. with grace and ease…I gotta teach him though these are not places he should be.

He’s got purrs seemingly go on forever, meows when he’s hungry and when he’s lost track of me in the house, which is adorable! and every now and again he’ll get a little feisty and wanna take a swat at me, just to keep me in line, yet never in true anger.  Oh and that tail, holy mackerel, it ever stops!!!  He’s a great cuddler, but when he’s had his fill, he moves on.  Litter box has been no problem, and he’s been pretty mellow in the scratching department.  I’ve kept him on the same food, which he seems to be absolutely fine with.”

I seriously couldn’t have asked for a better match for Stanley, and I’m really happy to introduce another person to the joys of three-legged cats. 😀

Three Legged Foster Cat Roosevelt (Link) is Going to His Forever Home Today!

Just a quick update that we found an amazing adopter for Link and he’s going home today!!! This little boy has come such a long way in the past month and a half (plus gaining three pounds to get up to a healthy weight!), and I’m so proud of him. This is the first foster that I’ve adopted out and it’s definitely a bittersweet feeling, but it also means that I get to help another person experience how awesome tripawd cats are, and I get the capacity to help other amputee kitties that come into BARCS.

Also, not going to lie, I am a little bit looking forward to scooping a bit less poop. We’re full up on fosters right now and the amount of poop I have to shuffle around is pretty ridiculous, lol.