Aby-a-Day – 14 Juni: All Angel’s birthdays (Flashback Friday)

As you saw from Wednesday’s post, Angel turned 12 this year. When we got her from Purebreds Plus Rescue, they didn’t know her birthday, so I chose 11 June as the day she could have been born on. Last year, I got confirmation that she was most likely actually born on 4 July 2007, but my dad’s birthday is the 4th of July, so I just keep celebrating on 11 June. She was a year and three (or two) months old when I adopted her, so we missed her first birthday…but here is a photo of me with her on her second birthday.

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Angel on her 3rd birthday…still not used to those candles.

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Here is Angel and me on Angel’s 4th birthday.

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Angel’s 5th birthday fell on a Monday, so we celebrated with Hipstamatic photos.

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Look how proud Angel looks to be 6 years old!

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Angel’s 7th birthday was her first in our new apartment, and she had her cake on the window seat.

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Angel couldn’t wait to eat her 8th birthday cake! I’m surprised she didn’t singe her whiskers!

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Her 9th birthday was our last in Boston. She seemed a little intimidated by all the candles.

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So, of course, Angel’s 10th birthday was her first in Sweden.

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Last year’s birthday…I can’t remember what was going on with the candles. Either her birthday took us by surprise, so we used whatever oddball candles we had…or I was just matching the colours. And now she is 12…that’s a pretty incredible accomplishment.

Aby-a-Day – 10 October: Wordless Wednesday (10 years, 10 photos)

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Aby-a-Day – 20 July: “Having one eye makes you see the world in unusual ways” (Flashback Friday)

Yesterday’s post about that horrific situation in Rhode Island naturally reminded me of Angel’s situation. It was ten years ago this October that I collected her in California, but it was around mid-July that I was being approved to adopt her. This is her story, as I was told it by Purebreds Plus, her rescue:

“The story behind Angel’s eye and foster situation is sad; The breeder had a couple of tough years with her mother who was sick and dying and in the midst of this her pregnant females in December of 2006 – January 2007 were getting sick. Almost 75% of the kittens born were dead or died shortly after birth. She had never had this problem before and only when the pet food information came did she begin to put things together as she was feeding some of the recalled foods. When she bred her females (and a couple of the kittens born to them), health problems showed up in the lines – Herpes infections like none seen before with ulcerated eyes and very sick cats. Not being as careful as usual, her numbers increased and unhealthy cats increased.

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I met the breeder at a cat show in October 2007 and we talked about me taking some of her cats. I knew nothing about the situation. A week before Christmas she called me and we set January 1 as the day I would take 5 of her cats. The very next day she took 4 other cats to the Humane Society and asked that 3 be put down and the other (Angel) be put up for adoption. Two days later the Humane Society paid a visit and found a house with over 60 cats, spotlessly clean. She gave up the sickest cats and others, totaling 18 cats. The Humane Society called us, and on Friday December 20th, we spent 3 hours there bathing cats’/kittens’ eyes that were horribly stuck together and gave meds. They could only allow us to take the original 4 as there is a 72 hour rule in California. Sunday the 23rd we went back and took the other 16 (2 had died). Then at the breeder’s house we took 5 more cats – a total of 14 kittens and 11 others between 5 months and 14 months. We separated the kittens by illness levels and 9 of the healthiest kittens went to Southern California Aby Rescue. Unfortunately 5 of those died. Of the 5 that we kept, 2 died over the next 3 months, both of FIP. The other 3 were adopted. Of the other Abys 2 of the younger ones died and the others were adopted except Angel, who had many problems over the months finally with an eye ulcerating in April. She has been healthy since..

(Angel also had another medical problem: when they removed her ulcerated eye, the veterinarian – for a reason I can’t fathom – put a prosthetic eye into Angel’s eye socket. Her body rejected it. So she had to undergo another surgery to remove her fake eye!)

The problems:

· Upper Respiratory Infections that finally healed, then eyes ulcerated. Some eyes were saved and a couple had the eye removed. This was different than the normal herpes infections that we had seen in rescue where the conjunctiva was swollen and goopy. The eyes ulcerated seemingly overnight and it was a relentless treatment regime that could save then (if it did) (Angel is in this group, obviously).

· Bordatella – took 6 weeks of Doxycycline to go away

· Some of the cats were vaccinated (for FIP). Of the cats that died, they all had vaccines and 3-6 weeks after got sick and then died of FIP. The breeder begged us not to vaccinate because she had the same problem.

· Ringworm – Over the 7 months we have taken 35 cats and have about 10 more coming. The ones we have seen since April have not been as ill and that is what we expect of the remaining 10.”

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It’s been ten years…Finally, after moving to Sweden and being in a hierarchy where she is, at long last, the oldest female, Angel seems to be becoming “comfortable” in her home…or, at least, more comfortable. I don’t think she’ll ever be a “normal” Abyssinian…but at least with us, she can be herself. Whoever that is.

Aby-a-Day – January 17: “Shelter” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

This week’s Photo Hunt subject is “Shelter.”

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Angel spent a few days in a shelter in California before the rescue was able to get her into a foster home. I don’t know the full story, but apparently her breeder contacted the rescue and then, before the rescue could help her with her cats, she took five of them and dropped them all off at a regular, county-run, old-style “pound.” And then when the rescue came to get her cats, she told them what she’d done. California has a 72-hour hold rule, so the rescue couldn’t get these five Abys out for three days. Angel was one of these cats. She was only about 6 months old at this time, too. I think this was before she lost her eye.

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After this, Angel spent 10 months in her foster home. At first, it was fine, and she was living with a pack of other foster Abys and the resident cats. One of the resident Abys, though, a senior female (I think she was the oldest cat in the house), took a dislike to Angel, and she ended up living in an upstairs bedroom with another Aby friend. And then, when I brought her home…well, Tessie wasn’t the most welcoming.

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All of this happened eight years ago, but the scars run deep. Angel is still very…different from most Abyssinians. She’s still definitely an Aby, but she’s been affected by her early experiences. Sometimes I wonder why they call them “shelters.” They don’t seem to be very sheltering.

Aby-a-Day – October 10: Angel’s adoption (Friday Flashback)

Six years ago, October 10 was a Friday, too. And that’s the day I went to pick up Angel.

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When I first met her, she was being sequestered in an upstairs bedroom. Seems the resident senior Aby didn’t like her and was kind of bullying her.

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She did have a friend in the bedroom, though: a fawn boy called Valentino.

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They got along really well, and Tino was an absolute sweetheart. He was already spoken for, but I wanted to bring him home, too.

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I had to go to Northern California to get Angel, which worked out well since I grew up there and my mom still lives there. Angel and I spent the weekend in Davis before going back to Boston. She hid a little when she first got to my mom’s house…

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…but she got over her initial shyness pretty quickly!

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To get home, we had to fly cross-country. This was the potty break in Denver…she didn’t need to go.

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As brave as she was at my mom’s…it took Angel a little while to get used to living with Tessie…

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…actually, six years later, that’s still something of a work in progress…

Abys in Need – Alice in Pleasanton, CA

Let me introduce Alice, a 5 year old Ruddy Aby. She’s a Purebreds Plus, and she’s being fostered at the same home Angel was before I adopted her. Poor Alice has been having a bad time…and guess what is at the root of it all? Here is Alice’s story:

Alice is such a different girl than the one who came into rescue 4 months ago. We were called by a local shelter and asked to take Alice into rescue as she wasn’t doing well at the shelter. Our foster mom drove to evaluate her. She met Alice, picked her up and carried her around the shelter and then placed her back in her cage, all the time wondering where the disagreeable girl was that the shelter had called about. Paperwork done and with Alice in her cage, away they went. But that agreeable girl changed when they got to the foster mom’s house. For the next couple of months, anytime Alice did not agree with her foster mom leaving the room or getting to near her when she was eating, she would attack her foster mom’s feet and lower legs. She has the scars to show for it. We see this with upset declawed cats at times. Alice also was jumpy when it came to eating. She growled while she was eating and couldn’t be touched. Not much is known about Alice’s background except that she was owned by a couple who loved her but then had a baby. Alice became very jealous and was acting out. They punished her for her behavior and finally took her to the shelter.

But Alice has moved beyond where she was. With patience and time, Alice has become the girl she is today. Now she comes into the house, follows her foster mom around, lays near her or sits in her lap when she watches TV. Alice allows kissing, hugging on her terms and petting while she is eating. She is a talker so be prepared to carry on a conversation but Alice has definite opinions about her world. She is fine around the cats in the houseful, but it is very stressful for her if another cat picks on her.

Alice eats high quality, grain free cat food and does better on canned food than dry food, which unsettles her stomach at times. Her foster mom is happy to talk to potential adopters about the best diet for Alice. Alice is not a cat for everyone. She should not be in a home with young children and really likes men, although she has become very close to her foster mom. She would prefer to be an only cat or with another calm girl and would probably do well with a gentle dog. Weighing in at 13 1/2 pounds, Alice is spayed, FeLV/FIV negative/negative, current on vaccinations, microchipped and litter box perfect. She is fostered in Pleasanton.

Alice just wants to share her life with someone who will love and respect her. Are you that person? If so, then contact Karen at (707) 301-6425 or Aby_Lover87@yahoo.com if you have questions, or send an Adoption Application.

I will never understand declawing. It does so much more damage than claws do…

Abys in Need – Purr McCartney in Santa Cruz, CA

This is something I worry about happening…

“Purr is a 7 year old neutered ruddy Aby. And he needs your help. His person passed away, and being an indoor/outdoor Aby, he was outside and the neighbor trapped him and took him to the pound, while the funeral was ongoing! Fortunately the mother of the deceased owner retrieved him. He was full of affection when she came to get him, but he was scared and aloof and with the shelter staff. (actually this is very typical Aby behavior, reverting to being feral when scared. Surprised the staff didn’t know about this trait with Abys.) This information is already shared with SCAR, but otherwise, please spread the word.

Please contact the mother directly, she has Purr. Her name and email address: Debra McCartney debranirmada@gmail.com

Evidently, Purebreds Plus (the rescue who fostered Angel) is also getting involved with Purr’s predicament. That makes me happy and confident that he’ll land on his feet. What a sweet-looking boy!