February 16th 2009 10:39 am
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I apologize for not having written last Sunday after Mighty was adopted. I tried several times, but in the middle of my posting, I had to stop to hold back the tears.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2009
I took Mighty to my vet to get him examined. He’s been seen by 2 other vets, but they can’t seem to give me a solid diagnosis. Mighty squirms like a little worm, but otherwise he was docile and loving towards the vet tech. My vet inspected him and watched him walk, and noticed that his kneecaps tend to pop in/out. He said for now, Mighty would have to grow older, as the development in a kitten is so rapid, that the problem could easily resolve itself. He did suggest that when Mighty hits 5-6 months, he should get looked at by a vet once again, and more testing should be done. He could not diagnose the cause of Mighty’s blindness, but he did speculate that the combined incident of blindness & difficulty with his knees was either (a) congenital or (b) due to traumatic injury having been bitten by a larger animal (think: opossum or angry tom cat trying to mate with Mom). It confirmed what my father and I had thought all along, and though we still don’t know for sure, we do know that Mighty would not have lived much past the day my father had rescued him…
The next few days, I took the weekend off from work so I could spend QT (Quality Time) with Mighty. I carried him around the house, and he snuggled in my jacket, kneading so happily and content. He clings to my shirt like a koala baby, as he left his Momma so young because of his injury. Our dogs Bella and Ruby absolutely adore Mighty, so they were loving on him the entire weekend through, taking turns licking him on the head and wanting to sit as close to him as possible without squashing his tiny little frame. Even Tabitha who first hissed, now decided to come closer to Mighty, and boinked him on the head a couple times lightly to be playful. So we had a blast that weekend relaxing, resting, and snuggling with Mighty. We also played with Mighty as he loves his playtime, especially with dangly toys and feathers. He plays very gently, and doesn’t go very far which is great when you’re multitasking (i.e. ordering items on the Internet, and trying to watch Desperate Housewives) hehe
I was very sad, however, knowing that I might consider letting the new adopter keep him IF AND ONLY IF it was in Mighty’s best interest. The new adopter wanted to take Mighty in for testing immediately, and I know that is something I had to weigh in my mind…What is best for Mighty?
By Friday, I had received a flood of emails and phone calls from people who wanted to adopt Mighty. He garnered the same adoption interest level as some of our most adoptable kittens (really cute tuxedos, for instance). Each person who was interested had some reason for wanting to adopt Mighty. Most had known someone or adopted an animal previously with special needs, or just felt really bad for Mighty’s rough start. However, amongst those many there were only a handful that I deemed highly qualified to take on the role of Mighty’s furrever family, caretaker, and home.
In fact, Friday morning, I heard from a woman who fosters regularly through another cat rescue group I have fostered with. She is a really smart woman, and I enjoyed speaking with her at length about her kitties, her fostering experience, and why she would be a great fit. It turned out that she would have been a wonderful fit for Mighty, and would have provided him with unending love, care, and TLC. The only drawback was that she told me she’d stop fostering if she adopted Mighty, and I was concerned that if Mighty did turn out to have another disability or physical issue (because he has trouble walking), I was not sure if she could handle the time and/or expense. I did tell her the vet results, and she even called the next day telling me she had done research, called her own vet, and had preparations made in the event that he might need surgery later on, which I don’t think he would, but at the very least, he would need further testing. She was also family friends with a vet back home in her home state, so she would’ve been able to provide Mighty with the vet care he might need later on, without breaking the bank or having to give him up for adoption.
I was torn because I really got along great with her. I shall call her S. She was genial, kind, and she was very similar to me (just a younger version of me, basically, though with a more flexible schedule than I have). I wanted to give Mighty up for adoption to S, because she was cool! And on top of that, she could provide the care that he so desperately needed.
However, my hubbie and I said Mighty should go to the best available home, that can best provide for him. And because in fairness, I had heard from A the day after his adoption ad was posted, and I had already made an appointment with him, he said I should let A adopt him if I thought he was the best fit (regardless whether S could provide the same).
So I knew I had a tough decision to make….
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2009
Ahhh the dreaded day. I was going to do the home visit on Saturday, but I was not feeling well, as I was still recovering from strep throat and just a terrible week overall. My DH agreed to come to the home visit, as I wanted his final confirmation that this was the right home for him. When I was packing him up (and after I gave him another bath), I didn’t really think I was going to give Mighty to the adopter that day. I thought I’d wait a couple weeks until he was older, and then go from there.
On our way, I was very solemn and sullen. We arrived, and I put my best fresh face forward. I was sad but I had to do what was best for Mighty. Their home is beautiful and is in a quiet, well-kept neighborhood. I met his wife first, then I met the adopter, let’s call him A. They were both amiable and kind, and welcomed us into their home. We got the grand tour of the home, and got to see where Mighty would live, as well as his future cat uncle (an older kitty that is still doing well and healthy, mind you). They let me chatter idly about my adoption process, kitties, how Mighty was doing, and I got to hear about how they adopted their first disabled cat, their professions, and what their schedules were like. They both have experience with disabled cats, have medical backgrounds, don’t have small children, and have the time and resources to be able to provide Mighty with the best that anyone could offer. Mighty would have someone home with him pretty much all day, and he would get their undivided attention he really needs. I know I stayed longer than I intended, but it was hard for me to leave. We finally signed the paperwork, and his wife was holding Mighty the entire time. They seemed great, and we talked at length with A and his wife. They both fell for Mighty right away, and acknowledged that their other disabled kitten had the same rough beginnings as Mighty…
As the paperwork was being filled out, I asked A’s wife if I could hold Mighty just one last time…He was already purring contentedly and enjoying her embrace, so obviously he connected with them too. As I held him, I stroked his fur one last time, and held him close to my face…I could hear his shallow breathing, and the steady rhythm of his soft, gentle purring as he kneaded my chest just one last time. It was then that the tears came a’flowin’. My DH and all my friends know how rational and logical I can be, and that I am not one to express sadness or tears unless its about once a year. So it came as a shock even to myself, that I could not hold the tears back, a technique I have become quite good at over the years. The tears would not stop, and I sat there holding Mighty, quietly sobbing until I finally had to give him back to A’s wife. As I handed Mighty over to A and his wife, I said to Mighty, “You’ve found the best home possible, better than I could ever provide.” And I knew it was the truth. I decided during the home visit that it would NOT be in Mighty’s best interest for me to foster him for even one more week. I was already way too attached, and they wanted to begin testing him for all sorts of possible medical problems immediately, something I did not have the time for right now. So I gave him to the new adopters, and kissed him gently on the forehead…
As I was leaving, they reassured us that we could come over and visit anytime. I told them what a relief it was that they lived so close.
I knew I had done the right thing for Mighty’s future and welfare, because there is absolutely no other home that could give him what this couple can provide in the way of time, vet care, experience/knowledge, love, and proven commitment to working and living with a special needs kitty.
MONDAY THRU FRIDAY, FEB 10-13
I spent the entire week rather morbid, sad, and depressed due to Mighty’s absence. I usually am only a bit wistful when fosters get adopted, because I am happy that they found their furrever home. In Mighty’s case nonetheless, I was very attached and I spent several days in mourning. Each time I tried to write on Catster about his adoption, the tears would flow. I even had points at work when I had these teary eyed spells during the day so I fought long and hard to kill those tears. I couldn’t even look at his photos and Catster page without getting upset. It was as though I was mourning his death, and I can’t understand why, to this day. I guess deep down inside I really wanted to keep him, and I know Mike had thought of this outcome too. However, what we could not provide was the time and special attention because of our work schedules and our own 4 furbies. If we had one furbie less, I would have considered keeping him. Furthermore, we could possibly run into some large vet bills, and neither of us knows a vet that would provide the full services Mighty’s need without costing us a bundle. With 4 furbies to care for, and one of them being a senior, we need to know that our funds won’t be severely depeleted because of one of our babies.
I spoke to my DH about it, and he comforted me and told me it was the right thing to do for Mighty. Had I been selfish I would have kept him, knowing that he’d be home alone on most days.
FRIDAY, FEB 13, 2008
I had the courage to give Mighty’s new Dad a call. A was glad to hear from me, and told me how wonderful Mighty was doing. Granted, he did have to go to the Laundromat 10 times and give him a lot of baths (he’s still falling over into his poo), but he is on meds for his diarrhea so that is now under control. He said Mighty goes through spurts where he loves to play, and will whiz around with his little toys,but then fall plop—right asleep because he gets tired. He said its as though Mighty doesn’t even know he’s disabled, and compared to their kitty with cerebellar ataxia (the shaking disease), Mighty is no different than a cat with fully functional eyes. It was so comforting to hear that Mighty had settled in well, and that his new Dad and Mom were giving him a normal routine, and even feeding him 5 times a day. His new Dad didn’t complain once about having to take care of his litterbox issues, as we both know that he’s still a baby (barely 6-7 weeks old), and just getting the hang of things). We talked about careers, medicine, his children, and it was clear that Mighty had found such a wonderfully kind soul to exercise the patience, tenderness, and devotion that he needed to feel fulfilled and happy. Also, another important outcome was that his test results came out fine, so he’s all clear there. The vet told A that he’s too young, and they’ll have to watch his skeletal growth for any abnormalities (exactly what my vet said) but other than that, all is good. He’s doing great, and A also invited us to come visit anytime. I told him we’d visit when Mighty is better situated and in more of a routine.
Monday, February 16, 2009
I saw Mighty’s pics with us, and I got sad again. He was the cutest thing on 4 paws I tell’s ya! And just the sweetest kitten you can ever imagine. He loved to look at light, so he always stares right into the camera, so his photos look fabulous. He looks so cute with his blue eyes gazing at you…I do miss him dearly, but I know he is in GREAT hands, and since Friday, I’ve been able to sleep at night not worrying about him so much. Its as though I had to give away a piece of me, and now that that piece is well cared for, I don’t have to fret incessantly about its welfare…
February 7th 2009 9:26 am
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UPDATE, FRIDAY FEB. 6, 2009
I have been under the weather this week, and just plain old exhausted. So when I got home early several days this week and got to snuggle with Mighty clinging to my shirt like a koala cub, it really did work wonders to soothe and calm me. It was better than any massage or long hot bath. His purring was so gentle and so soothing to my ears...
We spent the last several days playing with Mighty and his favorite feather toy. There is no bell attached to it, and he's able to see it flicker up, down, and all around him. I like to wrap it around him so he looks like a diva! Fortunately, he has none of the diva personality but boy, did he look adorable that way! He even tried to play with T who stopped hissing at him, and she playfully bopped him on the head a few times, but overall kept wanting to hang out with him. I guess she realizes he deserves love just as much as she does, after all, they were both unwanted offspring of strays.
Mighty has really taken over our home with his cute antics and lovebug ways. Our dogs won't stop wanting to sit next to him, and they groom him while he playfully plays with their muzzles. He loves the attention, and he loves to be carried around the house in our robes. He likes the memory foam areas because it is soft on his feet, and he is less cautious when he's walking around...Such a little curious fellow with so much zest for life! I could play with him for hours and never get bored.
We took Mighty to Best Buy, and hid him under my jacket. He slept there peacefully and his little tiny heart was beating ever so softly as his purring mantra continued throughout our short shopping journey. Afterwards, we took him for some more snuggle and playtime! He loves both equally, and he does great with all animals and people.
He did have some trouble with the pottybox, and has gone inside it, but he keeps tracking it on his fur, and even fell over on top of his own poops on accident. I've had to give him several baths the last few days, and he looks so terribly miserable when I get home with poop caked on him. He can't help himself and I try to clean him up right away. Then he's off playing, kneading, and purring again! I think he will naturally outgrow this problem, as he cannot see his poops poor thing. Also, his Momma never used the litterbox (she was a stray that nobody cared for), so she never taught him how to use it. He has to rely on instinct which hasn't fully kicked in yet, and also wait until he gets older to get the hang of things. We love him anyways!
February 4th 2009 8:40 am
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Mighty has stolen our hearts from day one. That was very clear when my normally stoic DH said, “Mighty, you have climbed right into my heart…” I have NEVER heard him make such a statement towards any of our fosters, but this was when Mighty was already sleeping in the cuff of his robe, and snuggling, purring, and kneading away ever so gently on his arms…
Since we’ve been fostering him the last several days, he has been an absolute joy and doll to have around. My DH gets home earlier, so he gets to snuggle with Mighty, and just carries him around the house in his robe like a tiny Koala cub. Mighty clings to his robe and nestles his tiny head under the fold of the robe, purring ever so softly like a baby motor…
The first day we had him, he was very gentle and still. He slept most of the day…
The next night, however, he started to come out of his shell. I took out the green feather toy, and he had a blast playing with it, chasing it, grabbing it, flicking it with his back paws, and rolling around with it covering his tiny body like a feather boa. He started to scamper, and even hop like a bunny. We noticed him running short distances towards the feather, and walking towards it, clumsily, but still with more confidence than ever. After some playtime (and some serious love-sniffing by our two dogs), he konked out, and fell asleep on my DH’s chest. Boy does he love to snuggle like a tiny teddy bear.
Yesterday, my DH was able to work from home much of the afternoon. He let Mighty snuggle in his robe most of the time, and he introduced Mighty to our two dogs. For some really odd, peculiar reason, our two dogs, Ruby and Bella, have an unceasing fascination with Mighty. Ruby makes these whiny noises, and sits right next to him. Yesterday, Mike sent me a picture, as Ruby had started grooming Mighty, and Mighty didn’t mind it all. He just sat there quietly, enjoying the attention which probably reminded him of his Mama. But it was also strange that BELLA, our crazy ADD pup did the same thing. She sat right next to him, and then started to groom and lick his tiny little head. I think they sense that he is helpless and is harmless, and all they want to do is be next to Mighty and protect him from harm. Although last night, Bella did inadvertently sit right on top of him which scared the bejeeezus out of us! Yet another reason why they can’t be left alone with tiny Mighty.
So when I got home last night, Mighty again decided he wanted to play. My DH tries to play with the cats, but unless he has the laser pointer, the cats don’t like to play with him the way I do. I don’t think he has my technique, which sucks because I have to play with them even when I’m tired, and don’t have a pinch hitter. Hehe After he had his dinner of canned food which he loves, he was in the mood for some feather toy action. So Mighty and I had a blast playing with the feather toy. He scampered about, and tried running across our king sized bed, and even hopped around like a bunny. He is so little and chubby, that he loses his balance a lot, and flips around trying to get back up again. His paw is probably the size of my big thumb, that’s how tiny he is…He so enjoyed playing with the feather, and I would wrap it all around him and he’d love the feel of the soft, feathery toy…He also didn’t care when Bella and Ruby wanted to sit near me, and he would roll over on his belly asking me for a belly tickle, then flicking my fingers away with his little pawsies…He does get poop stuck on his bottom from time to time, so I had to clean that. He would make these mouse-like pip squeaks because he doesn’t have the energy to meow just yet. He’s too tiny, and is still learning how to walk and to get used to being blind.
Oh boy, this little kitten has stolen our hearts…He steals a bit more, each day…I have not yet decided which home he will be adopted into, as I have received many adoption applications from people who sincerely want to help this little guy.