We have great news! All the cats and kittens we rescued from the abandoned house in late October are now healthy! (Their story & photos are in the previous blog).
Even the most fearful of the group has learned we are trustworthy. These cats are a resilient bunch - they're playing, interacting, and turning into love-bugs!
We've already found loving forever homes for four of this group. Some of the younger kittens are in foster homes; most are here at the shelter.
In November's blog, I briefly mentioned Dwight, another new rescue. He was skin-and-bones when he arrived, and we had to feed him by hand and syringe. It's been a dramatic (and scary) journey so far, but we have good news to report. Check out his story and photos below!
RappCats wants to thank each of you for your support this year. It's been busier than ever. We spayed, neutered, rescued, and found homes for many more cats than usual. These cats were otherwise destined to add to our county's population of feral and stray, hungry, and illness-prone felines. And we've been able - based entirely on your support - to assist several Rappahannock families financially unable to get their cat emergency medical help.
We send heartfelt gratitude - on behalf of all our volunteers and our cats - to you, along with warm wishes for the holiday season. May you be blessed with health, good cheer, and the love of friends, family and pets!
PS - To join our social media community and get more updates on shelter happenings, just click these links:
Dwight arrived too weak to eat.
When Dwight arrived he immediately flopped down on his side. We could see his ribs through his fur. He didn't get up to eat. He didn't show any interest in us or his new surroundings. There was no light in his eyes. He looked so sad.
Dwight didn't resist or fight us when we needed to handle him or clean his litter box. He was too exhausted. He didn't meow or purr. He seemed to have given up.
We realized we needed to get food into him. Lesley, our shelter manager, made up a custom high calorie formula for him. We had to be careful - his liver might not be able to handle too much protein at once, and we couldn't overload his system.
The vet rated Dwight a "1" on a 10-point health scale. His blood work didn't look good. He also tested FIV positive, which isn't a big deal in an otherwise healthy cat, but in his current condition, it added to our anxiety.
Dwight let us hold him on our laps. We picked him up gently; he was so light it felt like we could easily break him! He was an average framed cat, but he only weighed 5.5 pounds.
Late one Saturday night, I sat with Dwight in my lap and we stared at each other for the longest time. I'm not much of a "woo-woo" person, but I imagined sending pure love and healing energy and determination to this sweet boy looking so intently at me. "You have to work with us, sweetheart," I said to him. "You're not going to make it if you're not part of the team".
Was it my imagination or did something change in his eyes? It seemed as though he suddenly got some light in those gorgeous eyes. We proceeded to do dinner - me gently pushing bits of food into his mouth, alternately inserting a syringe-full of Lesley's wonder formula between his teeth.
He got a bull belly that night.
Fast forward to one month after Dwight arrived. He'd been getting stronger and was out of intake. He was now in a large one-story cage (we didn't think he was yet strong enough to jump so didn't give him our 3-story-style transition cage) within one of our regular rooms. He was doing fine.
But one Saturday morning, he obviously was not anywhere near fine. Dwight was lying very still in his bed, and didn't respond to us. I picked him up - bed and all - and lowered him into a large carrier. Jenny, another volunteer, drove him to the emergency vet in Winchester. (Sadly, we don't have an urgent care vet practice in this county.)
We were frightened. His condition had deteriorated so quickly. He was given oxygen and fluids and an x-ray. His lungs were clear. His bloodwork was actually a bit better than last time it was drawn. Yet he was practically unresponsive and his fever was over 105 degrees (normal for cats is 100.5 to 102.5).
The vet needed the names of two volunteers in the event that a euthanasia decision was needed.
But Dwight's journey wasn't over. He pulled through and we brought him home late Sunday evening. He was tired and weak, but his fever had gone down. Whatever had felled him was remitting. We still don't know what really happened to Dwight. What we do know is that he hadn't given up.
Since his crisis, Dwight's journey has been smooth. We let him out of his cage to explore his room.
Dwight got to know his roommates. He learned that 12-year-old Matilda is the boss!
Dwight looks like a different cat now. His fur is silky and full. There is light in his eyes. He plays and jumps and loves cuddles. He's added 4 pounds, and he's well on his way to his optimal weight.
Dwight allows belly rubs, discovered the fun of the cat tunnel, & is buds with Hoppy.
We all love Dwight. He's really what RappCats is all about. Helping a homeless cat who wasn't going to survive on his own. Giving a cat safe shelter, with a warm bed, food, and medical care. Providing, via a team of dedicated volunteers and a generous community of supporters, whatever it took to ensure a quality life.
Our county has too many "Dwights" but we're making an impact. Each year, we're decreasing the feral population through spaying and neutering. We're rescuing greater numbers of both kittens and adult stray cats. And we're finding loving forever homes for more felines than ever before.
For that, and for you, we are grateful.
Such a handsome fella!
From all of us, and all of our "Dwights," we send our thanks and our best wishes. May your year end with peace, and your New Year begin with hope.
Meow for now! Kitty kisses!
RappCats relies entirely on private donations
from animal lovers like you. If you'd like to contribute to Dwight's or our other cats' medical and care expenses, please consider a year-end donation. We can't do what we do without your support.
Please send this blog to your friends & family, and post it on social media so others will understand our work, and can choose to support RappCats.
We thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
Donations in the form of checks and money orders are also accepted and can be sent to:
RappCats P.O. Box 307 Washington, VA 22747
AmazonSmile donates 0.5% of eligible purchases to RappCats.
Always log into Amazon via smile.amazon.com to be sure your purchases count!
Simply select RappCats as your donation organization.
These small amounts add up, and make a difference to our cats!
We also have a supply "Wish List" on Chewy's website.
Click on their logo below if you'd like to see what we currently need.