Carolina Cats of S.C., Inc.

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CONTACT US: Reach us by e-mail at carocats@lycos.com, friend us on Facebook - Carolina Cats -for our most up-to-date news or reach us by mail at our NEW P. O. Box 5465, Columbia, SC 29250

3/10/12 - FREE KITTY ADOPTIONS! We are involved in heling to save the 200 cats at St. Francis Animal Rescue Center in Rock Hill that will be taken by York County Animal Control and almost certainly killed if they are still in the center's building on March 19, 2012. We have already taken on 17 of these cats (and we brought one to Columbia to its already-arranged wonderful new home) and other rescues and individuals have also saved many in the past 3 weeks but we are running out of time and there are now approx. 50 cats still needing rescue urgently. We don't have room to take on more, but if some of those we already have get adopted, then we can. We also have a number of nice kitties rescued from Goodman Correctional Institution on Broad River Road. Please consider adding just one more kitty if you can. WE WILL WAIVE THE ADOPTION DONATION TO THE RIGHT HOMES IF YOU MEET OUR USUAL ADOPTION CRITERIA! ALL VET CARE WILL BE DONE - FIXED, TESTED, SHOTS, DEWORMINGS AND FLEA CONTROL AND MOST ARE MICROCHIPPED - ANY THAT AREN'T CAN BE DONE. Please check out the kitties on our FB page, too.

UPDATE ON ME 3/31/12: I haven't had to have any more cancer treatment since this time last year, and have now had three clean scans in the past year. I am back to pretty much doing everything I used to do before my diagnosis. There is hope for cancer patients! I do have some joint pain still from the chemo, but I'd rather have that than cancer!

7/11/10: We are desperately in need of donations - our vet care and food bill this year is over $50,000 and we haven't had any donations in weeks! We just rescued a kitten with severe eye problems (from Craig's List); today another kitty we fixed 4 years ago for someone is going to our vet and will probably have to have one of her eyes removed due to an old injury that recently caused the eye to swell; also yesterday one of a pair of feral kitties we fed for several years downtown after TNR-ing them was recaptured for vet care - he needed a major dental ($600+) - we're still working on capturing the remaining kitty, who has lost a lot of weight recently. Also yesterday we fixed one adult semi-feral kitty from a situation on Maple Street (another $300 - she had to have a Convenia shot and more) and trapped three kittens. Will be trapping their mama and one remaining kitten tonight. All will have to be fixed and returned, even though where they live is not very safe, as we simply don't have the room or funds to take on more cats - we are caring for over 80 already and it takes all day to feed, water and medicate them as many have special needs. See more on our Facebook pages. UPDATE ON ME & THE KITTIES 7/11/10: I'm still doing chemo, but only one chemo agent instead of two (taxol) and less of it, and only once a month instead of every three weeks - less down time and more up time between treatments and fewer side effects. So far, so good . . . I was diagosed with severe hyperthyroidism and endometrial cancer 2 years ago and needed immediate surgery for a possible cure, but had no income or insurance. My future and that of the many cats I cared for suddenly became precarious. If I applied for Medicaid ( I'm just a couple of years too young for Medicare) and then died within five years (unfortunately, a possibility) the government would then take all my assets. I don't have much in the way of assets as over the past 16 years everything I once had has been spent on rescuing and maintaining other people's cats, but the government would take my home and that is the only thing remaining to protect the cats when I'm gone - it would at least keep a roof over their heads until something else could be provided for them, and the proceeds of its sale could eventually help to continue to maintain them. I didn't want to lose the house and was at a loss to know what to do, so I did nothing for quite a while. Eventually, as my health deteriorated, I found it difficult to keep up with the needed kitty care, which takes a lot of energy and physical work, and has taken up most of my day and even the night for the past 17 years. Our few other members help financially and do what they can physically to assist, but they all have their own cats and other Carolina Cats foster cats, and were not really in a position to take on those I cared for too. Early this year my oncologist said if I did not have surgery I would die. I needed a thyroidectomy and a hysterectomy. Recovery would be many weeks, and I would probably need chemotherapy too, and I was very concerned about what would happen to the cats if I didn't make it through the surgeries (which were to be done at the same time) or died during recovery, etc.

Even if I could figure out how to cover the cost, I would not be able to care for the cats during all this. Despite some of our supporters having too much on their hands already, three of them have taken on the cats I was caring for, greatly adding to their own burdens. One person in particular has taken on most of the cats (despite already having more than anyone else other than me), and in order to get everything done every day she must get up at 5 a.m. to complete a.m. medicating, clean-up, box scooping and feeding before going to work (she works full time during the day), and often isn't done with the evening feeding, box cleanout and evening feeding until 10. Needless to say, the kitties don't have weekends and holidays, so this is a 365-day-a-year job. This wonderful person also provides much of the funding needed to support most of our kitties.

I had a major transfusion, and then underwent both surgeries on May 13. While recovery was very slow at first I eventually improved enough to help take care of the cats again. However I will be undergoing chemo for the next several months, which takes a week out of my life every three weeks - I am unable to do anything much during that week.

HOW CAN YOU HELP TOO? First, WE URGENTLY NEED TO FIND GOOD HOMES for the adoptable kitties to reduce the overall care time and financial burden. If you are willing to open your heart and home to one of our older or less adoptable cats, that would also help a great deal. If you can't adopt permanently, could you perhaps foster on a long-term basis? If you cannot adopt or foster, please consider making a secure Paypal donation using the button above, or mailing a donation to our P. O. Box - every little bit helps!

Most of the kitties have transitioned well to their new, but hopefully temporary quarters, but several of the older kitties who have age-related problems catching up with them have needed vet care and we continue to have to nurse some of them along. They obviously miss my presence, as previously I was around them most of the day.

Poor little CJ was stressed out - we think she stopped eating, and she suddenly collapsed. The vet couldn't find exactly what was wrong as her bloodwork was more or less normal. At first she rallied a bit, then she began to seizure and things looked grim, but she is fairly young and without a diagnosis we didn't want to give up. Meds kicked in and the seizures stopped, and CJ eventually recovered after more than a week at the vet's. We moved her to a smaller, quieter group of kitties and she has come back out of her shell again and seems to be doing well.

Another kitty, Rowan, had already been hospitalized for intestinal problems for over a week prior to the move to the new quarters. He still had the intestinal problems, and right after the move began to vomit severely and had to go to Emergency and spend the weekend. It appeared he had pancreatitis, and this meant a few more days at the regular vet's too - another large bill, but he, too, is now recovered.

2/24/08: HOPI, our pretty little blue-eyed tabby-point snowshoe Siamese mix who is one of our many permanent residents, had her horrible ear tumor removed at the specialists', Surgical Referral, in August last year. The tumor had come up fast, rapidly became huge, bled, wept, and is caused her considerable discomfort. The prognosis is excellent if this type of tumor is quickly removed, but this type of delicate surgery needs to be done by expert surgeons who have the fine instruments needed to help avoid damage to facial and optic nerves. This type of surgery - a total ear canal ablation, costs $1,500 or more, and we had absolutely no money - not even enough for food for the rest of the week. - when Hopi's tumor appeared. I actually sold my mum and dad's gold wedding bands to pay for food that week. Fortunately, we then received two large donations of canned and dry food - enough to last a long time - through two other local rescue organizations, allowing us to use any incoming donations for needed vet care.

One regular donor paid for Hopi's surgery (she helps with much of our vet care, and cares for many kitties herself). We opted for a $600 surgery to remove the tumor but not the whole ear canal, gambling that the tumor would not come back. The biopsy showed it wasn't cancerous, and for almost a year Hopi was fine. Then she began experiencing some infection in that ear again which our vet then treated with antibiotics and steroids to shrink the tumor, which at first seemed successful. After a while, however, Hopi was eating less and losing weight rapidly, and it appeared that perhaps she might have something else going on as well as the ear tumor, which was now growing down into her ear rather than out of it as before. More bloodwork and then an X-ray didn't pinpoint anything else, so we decided to consult the internal medicine vet to rule out other problems and while we were trying to get some weight back on Hopi so the ear tumor could be dealt with. Sadly, Hopi sat in my lap and purred for quite a while during the night, then ate a little and drank some water in the early morning hours before her appointment with Dr. Weinkle, and then lay down and died. Every time we lose a kitty it is very heartbreaking, and Hopi was a particularly sweet little kitty whose loss we feel very keenly. We wish we'd had the funds for an MRI and for the ear canal ablation and been able to do it sooner and perhaps have had Hopi for longer, but it was so difficult to decide how much to put her through as she became so frail. Hopi had already had to have a kidney removed when she was quite young (but she had long recovered from that and her kidney function was normal). Dear little Hopi was about 11 years old. In the past four months we also lost little Sugarmama, one of our feral kitties, aged 18+, to renal failure; Koko, a very dear tabby Siamese mix, 15+, to cancer; and little Missy, also 15+ to a bone marrow cancer. After losing a number of kitties in the past three years in the 15-20 age range, Bonnie Bon Bons is now our oldest kitty, at 17+ - she has been in renal failure for two years and has an ear problem, but seems to be holding her own with sub-q fluids and other medications.

12/20/09- update on GUS: Gus went to the cat show last spring and was able to raise enough money for himself to have the surgery to remove his ear polyps. The infection cleared up, so we are were very pleased. However, recently Gus suddenly had difficulty walking and his head was twisted to one side, making it difficult for him to eat. His little back legs, which are rather short but used to work well enough for him to leap from perch to perch in the cat trees wouldn't seem to work properly at all. He spent several days at the vet's and came home on steroids (hmmm - Gus on steroids - he always thought he was a big bad cat even though he's actually quite small!). His symptoms improved but didn't resolve completely - his head is still slightly lop-sided although he is able to eat now, and his legs aren't quite back to normal. He does need a dental badly, but we are afraid to anesthetize him without some further diagnostics to try to determine what caused his symptoms. Of course, that means we need more donations to take him to the internist. Can you help our poor little Gussy-Man? Unfortunately, deep-seated ear infections are very, very difficul to get rid of in cats, primarily because of the shape of their ear canals. We have three other cats with long-standing ear infections, and Gus, our extra-special cutaneous asthenia kitty (born with a condition that causes his skin to tear easily so he wears clothes to protect the skin) has developed a big, bleeding polyp in his ear with purulent infection below. Gus saw the vet today (2/19/09) and the infection is being cultured. If it can be treated with antibiotics and is not resistant, our regular vet can remove the polyp, which, unlike Hopi's, is not seated way down into the eardrum but is on the inside of the pinna (ear). Before operating to remove the polyp, however, we must be sure the incision site will be able to heal and that the other infection will not interfere. Today's vet bill will probably be around $125, and bloodwork and the polyp removal will probably be another $150-$200. DONATIONS ARE STILL URGENTLY NEEDED - please click the secure Paypal button above - they keep a small fee but we transfer most of the donation straight to our bank account as soon as they notify us, or you can mail your donation to the above address to help Gus or any of our other kitties.

URGENT! URGENT! URGENT! We rescued a black lab a couple of months ago - saved him from certain death at the pound after our paths crossed with his at the Lexington County Public Library on St. Andrews Road. Unfortunately, Underdog is a great people-dog but untrustworthy with cats. We all have cats - lots of them; we have called everyone we know and cannot find a foster home for him. We have already incurred over $700 that we could not afford in vet costs and boarding charges for him, and MUST find him a foster home or permanent home by September 30 or we don't know what we're going to do - we have no more money for boarding and are spending money that we need for the cats. We don't want to have to put him to sleep. Please, please help if you know anyone who can foster or adopt Underdog - please see his listing for further information.


UNDERDOG

Our little orange boy, Sunshine (Taffy's kitten) won Best in Show in the Household Pet Contest judged by Jim Gandy last February when he was about 5 months old. It was a pretty big surprise - he had quite a bit of competition in some very pretty adult cats, but he was playful and sweet as kittens are, and although Jim gave nothing away until the last minute, apparently he can't resist a kitten! Our Sunboy is now 16 month months old and has grown into a big, beautiful cat, but unfortunately, despite being Best in Show, he hasn't yet found him the right home; he has a loving personality and pretty markings, too (he's a mackerel tabby and his stripes look like they have ripples in them). His foster dad loves him and finds him quite amusing - won't you please consider Sunshine? He would do best in a home without small children as he hasn't been around any and is, for some odd reason, spooked by loud noises, but he gets along well with other cats (likes to wrestle and play rough) and also with a small dog.


SUNSHINE, TAFFY'S KITTEN - BEST IN SHOW, HOUSEHOLD PET, COLUMBIA, S.C. 50TH ANNIVERSARY CFA CAT SHOW 2/23/08. LOOKIN' FOR THE RIGHT HOME!

Sunshine was one of Taffy's kittens: Taffy was dropped off at my house, along with her six-month-old kitten, one morning by the father of the young man who owned the cats, although we didn't find this out until later. Unbeknownst to us, poor Taffy was pregnant again (it turned out it was at least her third litter). Unfortunately, she developed mastitis (severe infection of the mammary glands) and after a couple of weeks could no longer feed her babies so we had to bottle-feed them. Fortunately, with hotpacks and antibiotics we were able to get Taffy through her problems even though one mammary gland ruptured. Joyce and I took turns to bottle-feed the babies, which wasn't easy as Joyce had to work out of town a lot and I was having to have a lot of medical diagnostics done myself, but again, we managed it all somehow. During the first week of bottle-feeding, the calico baby suddenly became totally limp and almost lifeless one night, and we had to take her to Emergency. It cost $136, but I spent the night sitting in my van dropping formula down her throat one drop at a time and stroking her throat after each drop to get her to swallow (she lost her swallowing reflex and even exhibited neurological symptoms such as circling, and we weren't at all sure she was going to make it), and by the next morning she was back to normal and she's been fine ever since. We have so far spent about $250 on Taffy. Now we need donations to help get her spayed and for her to have a dental and have her teeth removed to hopefully cure her severe stomatitis/gingivitis. All four kittens thrived and grew up healthy, and three were adopted - but Sunshine is now a young man and still waiting for a home!

SPECIAL NEEDS KITTIES UPDATE: Sadly, on the morning of the Cat Show last year, we finally had to have dear little Purrsy put to sleep. She had bravely battled mammary cancer for just over two years, a lengthy survival time for this type of cancer in cats. She had four surgeries, with a year's remission between the first two and 6 months after the last one, but it just kept coming back, and although she still ate well the tumors eventually grew and devoured all the nutrients. Even though they eventually caused some edema in one front leg and their position in her armpit caused her to limp, she gamely got around and even scratched on her favorite wicker chair until the last day or two. But she finally told me it was time to let go, even though it was the hardest thing in the world to do. Purrsy was a dear little elderly persian who had come through many medical problems since we rescued her five years ago, and we miss her very much. On the Monday after the show, we also had to have little Lola, another elderly baby, put to sleep. Lola was petite and snow white and also very quiet and sweet and a little shy, rescued originally in 1998 from Woodland Village Apartments. She had been hospitalized for kidney failure and we were hopeful when, after a week, her levels all returned to normal, but upon coming home she seemed to have some mild neurological symptoms that finally worsened on that Monday morning, culminating in at least one small seizure, and by the time we got her to the vet's she was unresponsive and we had to accept that it was time for little Lola, too. On Friday night both Lola and Purrsy slept next to my face, purring away - not unusual for Purrsy but unprecedented for Lola - it was as if she knew she had to say goodbye.

Two weeks earlier, we had suddenly lost Harrison Ford, our deaf white kitty, who was 16-17 years old. It is always had to lose them suddenly (well, there is no easy way to lose them, no matter what), and we miss dear, gentle Harry. About four weeks ago, Bailey staggered into the living room at 2 a.m. and suddenly collapsed and was unable to get up again. He was unable to use all four legs, which splayed out in odd, twisted positions, developed nystagmus (eye oscillation) and involuntary rolling - all neurological symptoms, and things looked scary overnight, but with TLC he made it through. Tests and X-rays the following day failed to come up with a definitive diagnosis, however. He was given a steroid shot, started on prednisone pills and antibiotic to try to cover all bases pending bloodwork results - which ultimately did not help us much more with a diagnosis - and by some miracle he gradually, day by day, began to recover - first the nystagmus disappeared, then the rolling stopped, then he could lift his head, and after three days he sat up again (at first I had to syringe food and water into him as he could not seem to find the dish to put his tongue into it, even when I held it under his mouth and even though he knew the food was there - again, a neurological symptom). He threw up most of his antibiotic (and while still experiencing the involuntary rolling symptom, rolled in the vomit), and I just had a gut feeling that I should not force too much on him, but instead take it a day at a time and see how much he continued to improve, rather than go for more expensive diagnostics at the internists or veterinary school, and fortunately this gut feeling turned out to be the right way to go. It took about two weeks, but Bailey has almost fully recovered. We still don't know whether he had a stroke, perhaps, and would like to get some further diagnostics and a heart work-up (X-rays did show his heart was not entirely normal and his heart rate is fast), but we do not have the funds to do this at present.

We are in dire straits financially now that we can't raise money any more at Trenholm Plaza every week like we used to be able to do, and with my recent health problems we haven't been able to do much about raising money or getting donations. We were fortunate to receive two large food donations, one of dry food and one of canned food, that have been a lifesaver, BUT WE ARE HAVING TO POSTPONE ALL BUT THE MOST URGENT VET CARE AT PRESENT AS ALTHOUGH OUR MAIN BENEFACTOR PAID SOME $3,500 OF OUR VET BILLS RECENTLY, WE CURRENTLY STILL OWE APPROX. $2,000. THIS MEANS THE SOME KITTIES WHO MIGHT LIVE LONGER WITH SPECIAL CARE (OLDER CATS IN KIDNEY FAILURE OR WITH CANCERS, ETC.,) WON'T LIVE AS LONG AS WE WOULD LIKE IF WE CANNOT DO THE NECESSARY DIAGNOSTICS AND TREATMENTS. WE'VE ALWAYS BEEN ABLE TO AFFORD THE ULTIMATE IN VET CARE, BUT THIS IS NO LONGER THE CASE. We would love for someone to hold a fundraiser for us, and we could also use towels and baby blankets, heavy-duty trashbags, bleach and paper towels and a DIGITAL CAMERA WITH VIDEO CAPABILITY (this would really help to show off our kitties who are fine in their foster homes but don't do well when brought to Adopt-A-Pet - it might help more of them get adopted, thus saving us the cost of food and vet care!).


PRETTY BOY


PRISSY


PRECIOUS

"JENNY'S KITTENS": The above pictures are of the four little black-and-white kittens from a feral mama that we rescued in Harbison back in the summer (mama's now fixed) - two longhaired tuxedo boys, Pretty Boy and Purrfect, a little shorthaired tuxedo boy, Precious, and one pretty little girl, Prissy, who is mostly white with black markings - she has an extra pretty face and pink nose. They were scared at first but they've been in a loving foster home with four other cats since the summer and are now very gentle, tame and playful and they love attention. Purrfect has found a home, but the other three are still waiting, and their senior-citizen foster-parents, although very attached now, can't really keep three more kitties since they already have four cats, so we're hoping for some good adopters to come along who'd like a cute and sweet teenage kitty or two! Special reduced donations for these babies for the right adopters!

Remember, we test EACH of our kittens individually, and test mama cats when we have them (Taffy's kittens and Jenny's kittens each had a mama who tested negative). Other rescues may test only one kitten in a litter, which isn't enough - sometimes one can be leukemia or FIV positive when siblings aren't.

Other rescues also often let orphan kittens nurse with the mom of another litter, but this is not a good practice since orphan kittens can't be tested reliably and this could be exposing the mama's vulnerable babies, who don't yet have an immune system, to leukemia or FIV - you won't know until at least three months from the time the orphans joined the mama cat as the diseases can take that long after exposure to show up on a test.

We NEVER mix litters, especially orphans. We also keep our small kittens isolated from adult cats and other litters and wean them early and separate them from their moms (don't worry, they have each other for company so they are well adjusted and well-socialized). This helps prevent exposure to corona-virus, which many cats carry. Most aren't affected by it, but a few mutate it later into the deadly disease, FIP - feline infectious peritonitis. Small kittens under 4 months who do not yet have an immune system are very vulnerable to contracting corona virus if exposed, so we try our best not to expose them. Many other rescues and shelters mix litters and allow small kittens to run around with adult cats in foster homes or cat rooms in their shelters, thus exposing them.

12/3/07: In the past few weeks we lost little Allie, our elderly feral Siamese-torti who was hyperthyroid and who at one point went blind from high blood pressure. Her thyroid was well-controlled, her kidneys were normal, and she had regained partial sight, but she suddenly stopped eating and diagnostics did not show why. Since she was so thin anyway, this quickly took its toll. Our vet believed she may have had an underlying intestinal lymphoma. Allie was a mama cat rescued in 1995 for a 90-year-old lady who used to feed her. About three weeks ago we had to put Boyette, 9, to sleep. Four weeks earlier Boy had suddenly dropped weight and developed breathing difficulties. Initial diagnostics showed only a high white count, but antibiotics did not improve her condition and we then noticed a lump on her lower ribcage. More X-rays pointed to osteosarcoma, and there was little that could be done. Boy was one of 17 cats we took in after fellow-rescuer Marlyn Schumann died of cancer in 1999. Last week we lost little Spookers, a sweet 16-year-old black kitty rescued back in early summer when the business on US#1 that she had lived at for many years closed down. Spookers was diagnosed in kidney failure when we rescued her, and she also had a heart murmur, a paw injury that would not heal (we believe something was imbedded in the paw although it could not be seen outwardly), a tumor on her lower spine (a biopsy was inconclusive but it appeared benign) and a draining wound under her chin which healed only after several weeks of antibiotics. Despite all this Spookers ate well and was happy until suddenly one of her eyes ruptured. Our vet hoped to anesthetise her briefly and deal with this and her bad paw, but when her bloodwork was repeated for this surgery Spookers was found to now be so far into kidney failure that anesthesia would probably kill her. She did not seem to be in pain but we started her on pain medication anyway and brought her home and spent a lovely last day in the sunshine taking some pictures, since we didn't have any. Spookers left us that evening. About a week earlier we also lost Valentino, 15, after a long battle against weight loss despite every test indicating nothing wrong. Valentino was the one black kitten kept by Sue Magana out of a litter of white kittens born to a white mama kitty - that's how we first met Sue, who helped me found Carolina Cats, and who died suddenly in 2000, leaving behind 10 kitties, several of them with special needs. We took all of them in and placed two with friends. Faye cared for the rest, and we have gradually lost several of the older ones recently.

IN MEMORY OF SMUDGE, SUGAR, WILLOW, & CHEROKEE

Smudge came to us with 14 other kitties four years ago after her rescuer became ill and lost her job and home. She was a great kitty but no-one adopted her so she remained with her foster mama, Faye. Perhaps this was meant to be, as Faye's nephew Matthew, who recently came to live with her while attending school, "adopted" Smudge. He carried her everywhere and she slept in his room at night. It was Matthew who first noticed the lump under Smudge's chin. The biopsy news wasn't good - lymphoma, but Smudge started chemo at Dr. Verbrick's, and seemed to take it well, as many kitties do. She continued to watch the birds through the window, one of her favorite pastimes, but although everything was tried, she wouldn't eat. In April, Smudge lost her battle. She stumbled, and then slipped into a coma. Faye and Matt were stroking her as she slipped away. Smudge was a dear kitty, and we are glad that Matt was able to give her some very individual TLC in the last months of her life. We're not quite sure how old Smudge was, but believe she was about 8 to 10 years old.

Sugar, 12, was a beautiful and sweet white angora-look boy. He and his sister Snowflake were adopted from us as kittens, but after several years (and the acquisition of a third cat) the adoptive couple were about to have a baby and moved in with in-laws who wouldn't allow the cats. One of their friends took the cats, but after acquiring yet another kitty he, too, could no longer keep them. We adopted out two and took back four! The youngest soon found a new home. Smokeybear, Sugar and Snow remained with us. Four years ago Sugar developed a large lump on his back. He had radical surgery to remove it, just in case it was fibrosarcoma, but fortunately it was only a lipoma (fatty tumor) and he quickly recovered. Early this year, however, he suddenly began losing weight. His bloodwork was fine and his demeanor normal and he was eating, so our vet didn't think at first it was anything major, and neither did we. But eventually we had to see the internist as Sugar got thinner and thinner and his kidneys became abnormal, and the diagnosis was renal lymphoma. We scheduled him for chemo in he hope he could have some quality time, but it was not to be - our dear Sugar died the day before he was to start chemo. Willow (17-1/2) and Cherokee (11) were both diagnosed in renal failure in January within a week or two of each other. Willow had been doing well for such an old girl who didn't like other cats but put up with them all for so long! Cherokee was the kitty who had to have both ear canals ablated (removed) due to severe ear inflammation about 4 years ago. She was a funny, feisty kitty who also didn't like other cats - strangely, in the last six weeks or so of their lives Willow and Chera actually snuggled together sometimes, as if they knew they had the same problem. We lost them in August within a week of each other. Willow had been with me longer than any other kitty in the past 18 years, and I miss her terribly, yet no less, perhaps, than any of the others. They were both troopers, taking 8 or 9 medications and bunches of fluids daily with little fuss. Chera was anemic and on Procrit from the time she was diagnosed, and ultimately she had an apparent reaction to the Procrit so that it couldn't help her any more. Willow didn't need Procrit until her last couple of weeks, but developed oral and gastrointestinal ulceration, and as hard as it was to have to do, Dr. Weinkle helped her gently to the rainbow bridge and her little body was ready to go.

Because Edens and Avant won't let us go to Trenholm Plaza any more after 14 years we are having great difficulty supporting our cats. Donations are minimal at our new location outside Books-a-Million on Harbison Boulevard, which means that we are struggling to find the $100 plus needed weekly for food and litter (this is just for the approx. 100 cats in my care - the other three main foster homes, who care for approx. 125 additional cats, pay for their own litter and food), and we have no money for needed vet care. We've had some wonderful supporters who've mailed us checks, but we're still running up a huge vet bill, and we've never had to do that before and don't feel comfortable with it. Some vet care can be delayed, but we've had some kitties who had to have immediate care, and currently have several kitties still urgently needing to see the vet - Rambo, 16, a big black boy who wa one of our first feral rescues, has lost quite a bit of weight recently ; Bonnie, 15, a sweet torti, and Lola, probably also around 15, a quiet little white former feral mama from Woodland Village Apartments, have both also lost some weight - we're thinking maybe thyroid or kidney problems beginning for these kitties and they all need bloodwork to figure out what's going on. Dakota and Jeff, both already diagnosed as hyperthyroid and on medication, need checkups to make sure their thyroid problems are properly controlled. Nike, 12, just had a major dental - we thought he had oral cancer, but thank goodness it looks like it was just some bad roots, now removed. Brother, 9, had severe herpes-related corneal problems and needed to be anesthetized to have one eye sewn shut temporarily to allow it to heal; pre-anesthesia bloodwork, however, indicated that he was anemic and in kidney failure, which was odd as he did not present with obvious symptoms. He was hospitalized for over a week, and was somewhat traumatized once he got home, as he is rather a scaredy cat even normally, but gradually he improved and he is now doing well. He is on Procrit for the anemia and both eyes healed far better than we dared hope, plus he's eating quite well again.

If you want to come see us at Books-A-Million, please be sure to call our line at 798-7285 first to double check that we'll be there - occasionally we or a kitty might get sick and cause a delay, or the weather may interfere.

Some other recent expenses: Purrsy has now had FOUR mastectomies for mammary cancer. She underwent her first mastectomy on the upper left gland in January 2006 and did well for a year. In early February 2007 after the first recurrence she underwent her second, more extensive mastectomy for the removal of two mammary glands on the left side, but quickly recovered. A month later, however, she developed a lump up under her left front leg that seemed to quickly increase in size. It was difficult to decide how much more to do, but Purrsy's chest X-ray was clear and her bloodwork perfect, so she had a third, more radical mastectomy to remove the new lump and lymph nodes, plus both lower left mammary glands just in case. She was off her food for a few days but on pain meds was comfortable and soon began eating normally and recovered well. We debated doing chemo, but funds were short and studies indicated that it did not prolong life, so we decided to just wait and see what happened. Purrs had several good months, but in the past month or so the cancer has returned, and she now has several tumors on her left side. We have decided not to put her through more surgery at this point. She is still eating well at present. Purrsy is an elderly little persian who, shortly after she was first rescued four years ago underwent a total ear canal ablation to remove a huge tumor filling one ear (she was skin and bone, and the tumor drained out of the side of her neck and you could smell it 10 feet away), plus she also needed two surgeries for a cleft palate that our vet said was caused by her being dropped or kicked as a kitten, and a mid-life spay (she was estimate to be 8-10 years old when rescued). Purrsy's vet costs have now been over $2,500, but she's still hanging in there and we're glad! Can you donate to help with the vet bills? See pictures of Purrsy at bemikitties.com/carocats/cats.html (page 6)

In January we lost little Honeybun, whom many of you met when she used to come to Trenholm Plaza. Honeybun lost weight and vomited occasionally for a year and more, but several vet visits for X-rays and bloodwork revealed nothing. Eventually she developed neurological problems and seizured. When she was stabilized we visited the internist for an ultrasound. A liver problem was diagnosed and the pathologist said cancer couldn't be ruled out (or in). Then a test for toxoplasmosis came back positive and we were elated, as toxo is treatable, but Honeybun suffered severe intestinal upset from the medication. We took her off all meds except her seizure medication and the intestinal distress subsided, then gradually started her back on Antirobe, but again she became ill from it and went quickly downhill, and the difficult decision was made to let her go the the Rainbow Bridge. A necropsy showed that poor little Honeybun had a brain tumor. If only they could talk to us and tell us what is wrong . . . We spent over $1,000 on trying to diagnose and treat Honeybun. Won't you please donate towards her costs and cremation?

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO ADOPT OUR KITTIES? We don't have a set donation amount but don't ask very much, and may even waive the donation for the right home, especially if you are willing to adopt one of our older kitties, one with special needs or a medical problem, a shy kitty or a black teenager or adult cat. Our adoptions include spay/neuter, ALL shots, rabies, leukemia and FIV testing, Advantage flea control and several dewormings. We don't make any money at all - in fact we lose money on almost every kitty and some cost us far more than any donation we may get, plus we don't get a donation at all for those who remain unadopted. In addition to regular veterinary costs for testing, fixing and shots, some kitties may have medical problems that have to be taken care of before they can be adopted. We have to pay for food for several weeks - and sometimes even months or years, office visits and diagnostics if there are any problems such as loose stools or kitty colds, injuries or more involved problems, andwe have to pay to advertise them for adoption.

Simon and Garfunkel, above, were adopted from us as kittens and returned recently because their owner, Dr. Marianna Maldonado, a psychiatrist who practiced in the Harbison area, had cancer and died. They miss her a lot - they used to sleep in bed with her and she gave them lots of attention. These two lovely boys have great dispositions. They are Siamese mixes, but only Simon has Siamese characteristics - he has blue eyes and beige, white and grey patches. Garfunkel is particularly laid back, and both are very loving. Simon is a talker, and does like to give lots of head butts and love-nibbles - they haven't been around children, so a home with adults would be best , although they may be OK with sensible older children - preferably a very stable one with plenty of cat experience as these cats are both declawed and tend to get stressed by changes in their lives. They have lived with other cats, but not dogs. Update 3/1/07 - First Simon had a liver problem and became jaundiced and had to be hospitalized; he recovered, but now Garfunkel has the same sort of problem. Garfunkel did not improve after four days on IV's at our regular vet's, so he had to go see the internist, Dr. Weinkle. The ultrasound didn't show any cancer or other diseases, thank goodness, just hepatic lipidosis, a condition rather common in declawed cats in particular who have a change in their living circumstances. They seem fine one minute then suddenly stop eating. Their bodies try to metabolize stored fat, but their livers cannot handle this fat and they go into liver failure. Garf had to be sedated and have an oesophageal feeding tube place in his neck, through which we have to feed him a liquid diet four to five times daily. At first he was very ill - his body temperature dropped drastically last Sunday and we thought we were going to lose him, but with TLC he pulled through and though he is still jaundiced and not eating of his own accord yet, we now are hopeful he is going to make it. He is home but needs round-the-clock care. Please help out with the big vet bills for these two sweet kitties - already $1,760! Donations can be mailed to Carolina Cats, P. O. Box 210705, Columbia, SC 29221

We lost Sugarplum, our restrictive cardiomyopathy kitty, in early November 2006. She had been doing well since Dr. Weinkle diagnosed her, and her checkup about 6 weeks earlier showed all was well, but she became very quiet suddenly about 2 days before we lost her, and a vet visit indicated fluid build-up around her heart again and she was now going into kidney failure. She went peacefully at home in her bed. Can you donate towards the cost of her final vet visits and her cremation?

Sheba, a middle-aged Himalayan we took in from another rescue, got over her infection with antibiotics and repeat bloodwork showed everything pretty much back to normal and her appetite came back, thank goodness. We still need donations to help pay for the cost of her vet care.

Milton and Manda, the two kittens we rescued last year near Schiano's in Harbison, are about 18 months old now, but Manda is still very small and kittenish (she's the calico - check the Petfinder listings) and Milton is not really large, either - he's a ball of very soft fluff, and really laid back. Manda loves to play. They need a home, and they really want to stay together!


MILTON - My sister and I need a home together!


MANDA

FROM TRASH TO TREASURE: Last summer we rescued a cute little torti mama and her two munchkin-sized babies from the trash collection station on Old Bush River Road (we rescued a pregnant kitty from the same place last year). Dora, the little black and white tuxedo, placed third in the Household Pet contest in the summer TICA cat show and was adopted by the show's organizer. She is shown on the TICA circuit in Household Pet and has won all sorts of ribbons and is now 10th internationally and we all think she'll be a champion! Lily, her calico sister, has also been adopted. Trash Torti Mama is a bit skittish, and really needs someone to work with her a little - we think she has potential (maybe in a home instead of a cage she would be happier).


IN MEMORY OF JACKSON - our FIV boy, with us since 1998 when he was first rescued, never adopted, was in kidney failure and needed Procrit ($33 for three weeks' supply) to keep him with us! Update 1/1/07 - Jackson's mouth problem did turn out to be a severe ulcer, not oral cancer, and it healed, but sadly, he became anemic because we simply couldn't afford as much Procrit as he needed. He received a transfusion shortly after Thanksgiving and his hematocrit increased nicely, but unfortunately his kidneys simply couldn't keep up - his BUN and creatinine climbed significantly between his pre-Thanksgiving and the one just over a week later, after his transfusion. He valiantly continued to eat and get around and use the litterbox until his last day. We lost him December 11. We'd promised him no more needle sticks after his transfusion, and were able to keep that promise as he died in his little bed in my lap on the way to the vet's to be put to sleep. A tough loss. Jackson was 10 years old and will be greatly missed.

Jerry, the kitty we redeemed from the pound after his owners were hospitalized and the neighbors trapped him and left him in the trap 3 days in 90-degree weather, recovered from his upper respiratory illness and has regained some of his weight and is ready to go to his new home.

2006: Sadly, we had to put Leo, 12, one of our long-term feral kitties, to sleep due to cancer in May, and on Memorial Day we had have dear little Cinnamon, who was probably at least 18 or 19, put to sleep too - she had been a thyroid patient for a while and more recently had heart and kidney problems.

Cecil's torti, the very pregnant kitty we rescued and had hospitalize for 10 days due to severe respiratory distress has now been spayed - thank goodness (being part Siamese, she was very loud when she was in heat!) The stress of trying to breathe when she was ill had caused her to lose her kittens, but she is now well recovered and needs a home. We have already spent more than $500 testing and fixing five other cats from this situation, mostly females, and there's at least six more males to be done. Can you donate $30 to help fix and give a rabies shot to just one of these males? We also tested and fixed 9 kittens from this situation and placed them, but the donations we received for them didn't cover in full the cost of their spays and neuters, tests, shots, Advantage, dewormings, food and litter for several months and in the case of four of them, additional antibiotics, bloodwork and diagnostics for intestinal problems. Ashley, the little calico dumped on our doorstep last year is now over the corneal ulcer she developed and her skin issues seem to have resolved; she tested leuk and FIV negative and is now spayed.

In addition to all the above, we had to spend over $600 saving 14-yr-old Bonnie's eye (she had a severe corneal ulcer that almost caused her eye to rupture); $300 on hospitalizing and treating 13 yr.+ Lola for pyelonephritis, a severe kidney infection that also affected her heart; $150 on diagnostics and medications for Leo, 13, before we ultimately lost him to cancer - he had dropped a lot of weight and was not eating well; several hundred dollars for Tabba's and Luckie's terminal vet care, pain medications and cremations (Tabba, 20, was diabetic and Luckie, 13, had oral cancer); bloodwork and other diagnostics for Honeybun, 11+, and Cinnamon, 17+, and heart and thyroid medication for Cinny before we lost her; hospitalization and various medications, including Procrit at a weekly cost of $15-20, for Jackson, 9 and FIV positive, diagnosed in kidney failure in January; Lola, Hoppy and Kitty had much-needed dentals (they had to be postponed several times because we needed our money for even more urgent vet care) - Kitty has had long-term gingivitis/stomatitis and Lola's bad teeth and gums may have caused her kidney and heart infection, which we had to treat first. Hoppy has good teeth but very bad gums and had to have almost all his teeth out as the gums were very infected. Bonnie ended up having a dental the same day as the others - her nose started bleeding on one side and we were praying it wasn't a tumor after spending so much money to get her eye better - fortunately, inflammation from a bad tooth was causing the nosebleeds! These dentals cost $550.00.

WE URGENTLY NEED YOUR DONATIONS TO CONTINUE TREATING THESE AND OTHER KITTIES AND TO CONTINUE OUR WORK. WE HAVE NO MONEY FOR SPAY-NEUTER, YET THERE ARE MANY CATS WE NEED TO FIX AT THE VARIOUS FEEDING SITES WE MONITOR. (We did manage to fix a dozen or more females since the beginning of 2006, and several dozen kitties in 2007 but now we're out of money because of all the involved vet care our permanent residents have required).

Carolina Cats will be 13 yrs. old this coming spring. Over 2,500 cats homed, thousands more spayed/neutered at low cost or free of charge, including more than 1,200 ferals trapped/neutered/released. We were the Columbia area's first rescue organization specializing in cats and are the only one providing permanent sanctuary, as space permits, for special needs kitties, including geriatric cats, leukemia and FIV positive, and cats with congenital and acquired disabilities. We also always have plenty of healthy kitties needing homes.

We don't have a shelter, and are currently supporting over 225 cats, so we regret that at present we are unable to take on new cats. We could probably remedy this if we could raise the money to convert an unfinished garage at one home into a finished partitioned room, or to add on a room at the back of the house, so that we can uncage 16 cats who have had to be caged long-term because they either don't get along with other cats, have litterbox issues, or have FIV, and the few newcomers who haven't yet been twice-tested for leuk and FIV. We will need $5,000 to $10,000 to convert this space to comfortable living quarters for these cats. Can you help by making a donation towards the cost?

FOSTER HOMES NEEDED: Because we have so many elderly, special needs, feral and semi-feral adults who will probably never be adopted, we no longer have room to take on many kittens as we have nowhere left to isolate them to prevent them catching upper respiratory or other illnesses to which small kittens who do not yet have good immune systems are vulnerable to. We DESPERATELY need some good new foster parents, especially fosters who are willing to socialize kittens, so that we can continue to help these little babies. Please let us know if you can help.

ADOPTING A KITTEN: If you're looking for a kitten, be wary of "free to a good home" and rescues who don't isolate their kittens from older cats and who don't wean the kittens by 6 weeks but leave them with their mothers and/or other cats past this age -such kittens are more likely to be exposed to corona virus through contact with the feces of other cats, and unfortunately it may later mutate to feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), for which there is no cure. FIP is not common, but is sad for cat owners to have to deal with. There is no way to completely avoid it, and often it is strong, outgoing cats who are affected, not necessarily the runts or weaklings of the litter, but responsible rescue agencies follow recommendations to minimize exposure of young kittens to the feces of adult cats by weaning them early, separating them from their moms, and keeping them separate from other litters and adult cats. Also, some shelters and many individual rescuers do not test mother cats AND each individual kitten for feline leukemia and FIV - testing one kitten in a litter isn't at all reliable, and if only the kittens are tested that's not reliable either - leukemia can take 90 days after exposure to show up on a test, FIV even longer. CAROLINA CATS IS THE ONLY AREA RESCUE ORGANIZATION THAT FOLLOWS RECOMMENDED GUIDELINES FOR AVOIDING FIP, FIV AND FELINE LEUKEMIA TRANSMISSION. For more information, see below.

FOOD, LITTER AND OTHER DONATIONS DESPERATELY NEEDED! We desperately need donations of food, litter, and cash for vet care for our special needs and older unadoptables - see WISH LIST below for the types of food and litter and other items we need.

2005 RAINBOW BRIDGE KITTIES: We also lost dear Mistletoe, 17+, another of our oldest kitties, to a stroke due to heart and thyroid problems in early November, and dear little Baby, our tiny little tabby who was threatened many years ago with being put to sleep at Pets, Inc. because she was "too feral for adoption." We saved Baby, and she rewarded us by eventually becoming quite tame! Her tiny little body just couldn't cope any longer with thyroid, heart and intestinal problems, but she was always right in your face and is sorely missed.

UPDATE ON BISHOPVILLE KITTIES: We spent more than $3,000 on testing, shots, spay-neuter, dentals and bloodwork for the 14 cats who had to be removed from the condemned home of the elderly lady in Bishopville who had to be put in a nursing home. Two of the outdoor kitties have a home on a farm on Wadmalaw Island. Thanks, Donna! Two of the tame cats found homes with sheriff's deputies and their families in Bishopville. The three remaining outdoor kitties -- two blacks and a tabby - were being long-term fostered by Barbara, one of our past adopters, in her garage until they were tamer and/or adopted. The two black cats have now both warmed up to Barbara and are much tamer, allowing plenty of petting and she's thinking about making them indoor cats like her others. The third kitty, a tabby, is still a bit skittish but is quite happy in the garage and back yard. Barbara renamed them after The Chipmunks - Alvin is the tabby and Theo and Simon are the black "twins."

The old lady's indoor cats have all blossomed since being rescued. They have all gained weight and Avery and Scarlett have gained fur - lots of lovely persian fur - they looked almost short-haired when we first got them because they were starving and neglected.


\SCARLETT

Donations needed to help cover vet care for these kitties would be much appreciated. Homes are still needed for the 7 indoor kitties, all listed on our Petfinder pages.

There is one kitty in the Bishopville situation and one in the W. Columbia situation who is blind in one eye - in both cases probably from an injury. These kitties need indoor homes - the West Columbia kitty, a sweet torti, is still outside as we have no room yet to rescue her. There is also a scared kitty with severe eye problems in the St. Andrews area that needs to be rescued.

We are also almost through trapping and fixing more ferals in the Harbison area and donations towards this are also needed. One Check out the three Schiano's kittens on our adoption list - they all came from Harbison, and we fixed both moms and several males from this area from 2005-2007. This year the shopping center management has apparently been having cats in the area trapped, so we had to re-trap and take in several of the cats, and are looking for adopters or farm/barn type homes for them. Some will do fine as indoor pets, others are semi-feral but could be worked with. The tabby kitten we trapped who was living in the drains at Seven Oaks Shopping Center was kept by his foster-mama and dad!

LAURA'S KITTIES: Laura is one of our past adopters. About 18 months ago she began feeding a feral cat that lived in the woods behind her house in Harbison. She had kittens, and before Laura knew it the kittens had had kittens, too,. resulting in 14 cats! Laura writes inspirational poetry, and her latest book, The Year of the Cat, which has been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, is a book of poems about these cats. Laura enlisted our help to get the cats fixed and to hopefully find homes for some of them, but sadly, some were leukemia positive. However, at least half a dozen were negative, and even the positives are were healthy with no symptoms, and they were all very pretty - calicos, tuxedos, and little spotted tabbies that look like Abyssinians and Ocicats! See pix of some of them at www.bemikitties.com/carocats.pg7.html. If you have no other cats and could offer a home to one or two of the positives, or would like to adopt one of the negative cats to get them indoors as the weather gets colder, please give us a call! Adoption donations will be waived for the positives, and all vet care will be provided. The positive kittens are all from the one positive mama except two who have other mamas but nursed on the positive mama. We believe that the cats who are negative will remain negative as they would otherwise almost certainly be testing positive by now. Some may have contracted the disease but fought it off (at least one-third of those who are exposed do so) - these cats will then be immune.

DONATE YOUR CAR: If you have a car or anything else of value you can donate, please call us. 100% of the proceeds will go towards vet care for our cats - we do not pay another agency to auction the car, and our only cost is the title and $25 to advertise it.

Other major expenses we've had in the last two or three years include huge vet bills for Baby Slippers and Kiki's ultrasounds and other diagnostics (we lost Kiki, 15, in December and Baby Slippers, 12, in February, both to liver cancer); we lost dear Mama to heart failure at age 19 - we took her in 6 years ago after her caretaker, Marlyn Schumann, died of cancer. She was mother/grandmother to Sweetie, whom we lost in August at 17 to kidney failure, Little One, whom we just lost also at 17 to kidney failure, and to Kiki and Baby Slippers. We lost little Chuckie in March to kidney failure after a heroic battle. Last October he was dying, but he rallied and hung on for a while with the help of Procrit for his anemia (it cost us $25 a week, but he'd had such a hard life, we thought he was worth it - see more of his story below). Carolyn lost little Clint, a USC rescue, only 10 months, who developed intestinal problems and died of pneumonia and a massive e-coli infection despite several weeks of treatment, Clawdine, the mama of the lovely USC calico kittens we adopted out last year, to heart failure (she was only 2 years old) and Josie, 7, to biliary neoplasia. We also just lost Gabby, Sue's favorite kitty whom Faye took in after Sue died in Nov. 2000; Gabby had liver problems, although extensive diagnostics never did get an exact diagnosis. Baby (tabby) had surgery to remove what appeared to be a foreign body in her intestines, but turned out to be a large growth, fortunately benign but interfering with intestinal function (Baby is also a thyroid and heart patient and had just had bloodwork and a checkup; she came through the surgery well) UPDATE - we lost Baby in November - see info higher up; we recently lost dear Jimmy James' after hospitalization three times for pancreatitis and diabetes - he suddenly went into complete kidney failure, a particularly difficult loss for just five days after losing Little One, especially since he was only 8 years old. Necropsies showed that both Little One and Jimmy had chronic interstitial nephritis - in other words they had long-standing kidney disease that didn't show up on bloodwork and other diagnostics, despite constant monitoring, until their kidneys failed completely. Somehow their bodies compensated until the last minute.

Sugarmama, Bailey, and Luke were hospitalized for pancreatitis also; Sammy, Josie and Noelle ( all have experienced weight loss and inappetance) had to have bloodwork and diagnostics; Cinnamon (16+) weight loss - thyroid patient; Jackson (FIV positive) - small cyst-like growths in skin (fortunately, this condition has resolved with treatment); In addition to the kitties mentioned above who went to the Rainbow Bridge, we also lost in 2003 and 2004 our dear 20-year-old leuk positive Pompom to kidney failure and age-related problems, Graycie, Phoebe and Leggo to cancer, Samson (suddenly) to heartworm disease he contracted before we took him in, Spirit, one of the ferals from the Chinese restaurant to kidney failure after his neuter as a result of antifreeze ingestion; and two of our extra-special kitties - Belle to myeloid leukemia and Doodles, our little liver-shunt boy, to cholangiohepatitis as a result of his shunt condition, and incurred major expenses for final diagnostics, IV fluids and ultimately, cremations for each of these kitties (we do not dispose of our kitties in the dumpster or landfill when they cross the Rainbow Bridge, as some other organizations do).

We wish someone would consider adopting Aslan. He really deserves a loving real home with a lap to sit in and a bed to sleep on again. Aslan is very sweet, and although he is FIV positive he is unlikely to cost you any more in vet care than any other kitty that is growing older. If we can't find them homes soon, we want to try to raise enough money to convert a garage into two rooms for our five FIV kitties. We currently have some kitties caged in this garage, including Aslan and Jackson, plus several others who don't get along well with too many other cats, and Greyboy and Shadow, two feral FIV positives from the Burger King on Beltline at Devine. We want to have one room for all the FIV kitties, and a second room for the remaining caged kitties so that they can get out of their cages. This will probably cost $5,000 to $10,000.


MERCY!
Two years ago Mercy suddenly joined one of our downtown feral colonies. He had a severe eye injury and was bone thin, with most of his long tabby fur missing, naked skin showing, and what little was left was horribly matted. The cat seemed sweet and docile but looked in such bad shape we thought it must be an elderly female, so we were very surprised to leaern it was a young male. We named him Mercy, because he certainly needed it. Mercy was tested for every disease known but came up negative, so what could have caused him to be in such a condition? At first he couldn't eat, but after a few days he began eliminating what looked like rubber and styrofoam. We think he may have been shut up somewhere, either deliberately or accidentally, for quite some time. After a month, he had gained sufficient weight to undergo removal of his injured eye, and he has now recovered from this surgery. Bones in this side of his face were found to be broken - we believe someone hit him. He has now recovered well and his fur has grown back in, and he is very affectionate and quite playful, but doesn't show well at Adopt-A-Kitty - he's nervous of the noise and cars, so he hunkers down in his bed and mostly sleeps., and prospective adopters can't see what he is really like. He snuffles from time to time, particularly when stressed - this is apparently due to the injury to his face/sinuses. Mercy needs someone to adopt him who can give him some individual love and attention. Can you help? His many expenses were over $500, so please help by making a donation if you can.

We also have Hoppy, a small but now nicely rounded very cute little grey and white tuxedo feral rescued from the colony at the shelter for homeless people on Two Notch. Hoppy limped, and it was believed he had been hit by a car; he had a huge ulcerated area on his paw pad, probably because - as we have since realized - he has had a severe injury to his back leg or legs, causing him to have a lop-sided gait that is low to the ground. Before we rescued him he could only get around on three legs. He also had some difficulty eating, and once under anesthesia was found to have severe gum problems. He experienced respiratory difficulty while undergoing neuter surgery, and an X-ray showed he has asthma. A biopsy was taken, and the gum problems, paw-pad ulceration and asthma were thought to be caused by a related, immune-mediated condition. He has, however, tested negative for both leukemia and FIV (we even retested to make sure). He was initially thought not to be tame, but he quickly got over being scared of us and loves being petted now and we can also pick him up, but you have to do it carefully because he is nervous about his back legs dangling. If we returned him to the colony the paw-pad ulceration would probably recur, and he would continue to limp on three legs and have difficulty eating. He really needed an indoor home with someone who has experience with ferals, but noone offered to take him, so we have ended up with yet another permanent resident (but we'd still like to find him a real home as he has to live in a cage at the moment). His paw pad healed with medication. Although he was able to eat dry food after a course of oral antibiotics for the gum problems, he still had severe gum inflammation and infection, so recently most of his teeth were removed, and this has helped him feel great! Hoppy loves it when we talk to him and purrs loudly when petted. and he now lives for his food bowl to be filled - probably because he had such difficulty eating for so long. He has plumped up considerably. Can you help Hoppy? He is about three years old and is very cute-looking.

Update! All of the kittens we rescued from under an empty house opposite a shelter for homeless people were adopted. We trapped, neutered and returned 15 cats at this colony location ( the man next to the empty house was trapping them and was going to send them to the pound. We provided him with information and products to help keep the cats off his property, and he gave back two cats he had trapped). The kittens were scared at first and needed some socialization, but were young enough that it only took a few days, and all were adopted. In summer 2004 we had to go to Family Center and pick up Junior, one of the kitties, and take him to our vet. He had been missing for several days and when he returned, he was weak and dehydrated and lay under a car in the parking lot. When our vet tested him he was, sadly, leukemia positive and his overall condition indicated the disease had him in its grip. We had to make the decision to help him to the rainbow bridge, where he must surely be running and playing again. Can you help - there are always more kitties like these needing to be rescued and socialized?

We re-trapped three of the cats that we fixed five years ago behind restaurants on St. Andrews Road. The remaining two decided not to be trapped, and due to other commitments we gave up for a while and continue to feed them. We continually trap, neuter and return cats from many colonies in the USC, Vista and Harbison areas. We urgently need donations to help continue this work, and foster homes for kitten socialization.

FERAL CATS

If you are feeding feral cats, we can teach you how to trap and fix them before they reproduce and the numbers get out of hand. We can also link you with a couple of programs that may be able to offer you financial assistance with spay-neuter if you qualify (most programs require that you be low-income, elderly, or on assistance). <


STEVIE

Stevie Wonder isa tabby and white rescued after being hit and dragged for some distance underneath a car in Two Notch Road. Stevie dislocated both hips and a front leg and fractured his pelvis. He came to us with three legs taped to his body, and he was in a great deal of pain. He underwent FHO surgery to remedy both hip dislocations. Stevie's bills were upwards of $500, but he can now walk again, and you would never know what we went through. At first he was very scared and swatted at everything, probably because of his terror at being hit and dragged along by the vehicle. It took him two or three months to learn to trust us, but turns out he is really a perfectly tame cat. It's a miracle he survived. Please help, if you can, towards his expenses - and if you can offer him a home, check him out on our adoption list.h3>

Our first donated car helped us pay for Cherokee's double ear canal ablation surgeries ($1,600.00) - thank you, Vickie!. For months, Chera had to have her food pureed and watered down, but she finally can eat dry food now (it took over a year after her surgeries). She still has some trouble with infection inside one ear, but antibiotics from time to time take care of this. She has finally regained most of her weight. .

Toto, our kitty with 3-1/2 legs, injured shortly after birth, had to have his little stump amputated as it kept getting infected. As usual, we didn't have the money (about $250), but went ahead anyway because we didn't want him to be uncomfortable.

WE RECEIVE IN DONATIONS ONLY ABOUT ONE-THIRD OF WHAT WE SPEND ANNUALLY - THE REST COMES OUT OF OUR OWN POCKETS ($10,000 out of the founder's pocket last year alone) AND NOW THAT OUR POCKETS ARE EMPTY, WE'RE HAVING TO BORROW. WE ALSO URGENTLY NEED FOOD AND LITTER - FOR MORE DETAILS ON EXACTLY WHAT WE NEED , PLEASE SEE BELOW.

HELP! HELP! HELP! We are caring for over 200 kitties. While many are adoptable, more than half have special needs and probably will never be adopted. Several dozen are over the age of 10. We can't keep up with the huge vet bills, and desperately need your help! In .

A few more examples of those we're currently caring for:

Hopi, 6, had to have a kidney removed ($1,200); Gus, born with cutaneous asthenia - a lack of collagen causing his skin to rip easily - wears clothes and socks and has to have wounds debrided and vet-glued; he came to us from Pets, Inc. with hemobartonella and a severe respiratory infection, and had to have a hernia repaired - we lost his brother to the same condition (total costs to date at least $800); Cody, 6, was dragging around on a broken leg - it had to be pinned in three places, and the pins migrated, but he has recovered well now (the bills were over $500); Buddy, 6, had to have his leg amputated ($200); Sammy, also 6, suffered a complete urinary blockage ($250) - he's OK now, thank goodness, but must remain on a special diet; Biggie had a limp when rescued - broken leg? - no, he has a bullet in his spine - too close to the spinal cord for removal, but he's doing OK so far ($250); Smokey, Jeff , Kitty Blackface and Hoppy suffered from severe stomatitis (inflammation of the gums and throat) and had to have pretty much all their teeth removed ($350 for diagnostics, surgery and medication); Rocky, 10, became jaundiced due to cardiomyopathy ($750 in diagnostics, vet care, emergency care and - sadly, cremation after we lost our big bunny boy when his heart gave out); we also lost little Nakita, 17, to fibrosarcoma after a valiant battle against the cancer and thyroid problems ($1,000+), Caressa, 10, to cholangiohepatitis ($800), and Merlin, 18, to heart and kidney failure ($hundreds).

See pictures of Doodles, Gus and Cutie (in their clothes), Mystimoo and Tiggeroo (born with deformed front legs), Belle, our sweet leukemia kitty, and some of our other special needs kitties at www.bemikitties.com/carocats.

ADOPTING

WHY GET YOUR NEW KITTY FROM US?

We are life-long "cat-ladies" running Columbia's ONLY all-volunteer, all-cat rescue, specializing in particular in special needs kitties.

Our cats are our children. We seek adopters who feel the same way. We have MORE kitties for adoption than any other Columbia agency, but many have special needs, and because we've rescued them from dire situations and become attached to them, we're very particular about the homes they may go to. We keep them in our own homes, so we KNOW their purrsonalities and do our best to make the right match. We don't try to pretend they're purrfect if they aren't, just to get them adopted - we're honest about them, and tell you their good points and their not-so-good points. We know that most cats who haven't been exposed to dogs when young are not going to learn to get along with dogs, and we don't pretend they will. It isn't fair to them to stress them out by expecting them to. On the other hand, we do have some kitties who grew up with dogs and have no problem with them. The same goes for kids - if cats don't grow up with children, they generally aren't comfortable with them, especially with small children.

P.O. Box 5465
Columbia SC
29250