Friday, February 27, 2015


I recently read a sweet little picture book entitled Our New Puppy by Isabelle Harper and Barry Moser. My friend Marion came across it while straightening out some stored items passing it along to me.

It's about two young girls experiencing the arrival of a new puppy who comes to live with their family and older dog. The girls learn some very important lessons about life from the experience.

The book is an old title published in 2001 by Scholastic Inc. but you can find it on Amazon. It is for ages 3 and up.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


Everyone who saw Porch Guy figured he had some sort of eye infection but deep down inside I felt something else was happening.  Have you ever experienced a time when you wished you weren't right? This was one of those times.

We took Porchie, now renamed Mr. Handsome, to a Brooklyn veterinarian who works with ferals and strays. Corneal ulcers most likely caused by Entropion was the diagnosis. I searched the web for information on this condition which PetMD explains very well:

Mr. Handsome needed eye-drops but we couldn't get him to hold still long enough to administer the meds the end result being the drops went everywhere but in his eyes. As a late January blizzard started Mr. Handsome went with me to another veterinary hospital for an exam and medical boarding. At the end of seven days the ulcers were healed.

Home he came and off we went to the original doctor for a re-check. The diagnosis - definitely Entropion of both lower eyelids with surgery needed to correct the condition to prevent a recurrence.

Meanwhile, Annie was still depressed, Orphée continued having the occasional accident and we were still trying to identify a pet parent for Inkspot the remaining kitten. Inkspot was not thrilled to have another cat taking over the second cage he inherited from his brother and sisters nor was he thrilled to be sharing his space.

He vacated his little room never crossing the threshold, abandoning his cage, litter box, bowls and his bed! After a day of this nonsense we moved all his possessions to the kitchen where he retreated setting him up there. This made Inkspot very happy and gave us a bit of relief. Every so often he would peek into his former room to stare, growl and hiss at Mr. Handsome before running away.

Inkspot's video was generating a good amount of potential adopters but it meant more time spent emailing, reviewing applications, doing phone interviews and setting up visits. By now I was at my wits' end when the perfect candidate for Inkspot contacted me. Just reading her emails told me they would be soul mates - the brave little boy with a rough start in life and the wonderful woman willing to open her heart to an orphan after the recent loss of her beloved cat. The adoption process went smoothly and Inkspot went to his new home.

With surgery scheduled for two weeks from his follow-up visit, Mr. Handsome's eye issues were slowly coming back. Finally the day of surgery arrived and with it more snow plus single digit temperatures. Again we went to our appointment accompanied by snow. The surgery went well and Mr. Handsome came home the same afternoon.

You would think this was the end of all the running around and drama but not by a long shot. Something totally unexpected and devastating happened after Inkspot's adoption and before Mr. Handsome's eye surgery...

Sunday, February 8, 2015


As John Lennon wrote in his song Beautiful Boy, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." So true, so true, life is what happened recently and life is the reason my blog posts have been virtually non-existent for a very long time.

It began around the time the mother cat showed up with her kittens. Fate took our decision to TNR the feline family in a totally different direction by throwing a curve ball none of us expected. Mom had a tumor the veterinarian was not sure could be completely removed. Given the fact Mom would not let anyone handle her post-surgical care was not doable. She was euthanized.

This left the kittens without anyone to teach them how to survive on the streets - they could not go back outside. If you think that's a very simple decision, think again! The kittens needed to be housed, fed, cleaned up after, medically vetted (de-wormed, etc.), trained, in short, socialized and fostered.

With assistance from caring people in the rescue/TNR community we were able to get this done. While this was going on pictures were taken, bios written, video footage shot and posted as the search for forever homes began. Days flew by completely occupied by animal care. Reviewing adoption applications, interviewing prospective adopters and arranging play visits with the kittens took up even more time.

Incredibly, three of the kittens were adopted by Christmas leaving one little guy hugely resistant to socialization left to work with until he was ready for a loving home. In a complete turnaround, he began to socialize once his siblings were gone turning into the sweetest one of the litter.

While all of this was unfolding, Porch Guy came and went on his own schedule, showing up one day with his beautiful eyes closed into two slits. He needed medical attention. Orphée was still experiencing intermittent toileting issues and Annie was feeling neglected.

Unbeknownst to us, life was about to get worse...

The harsh reality of life on the streets with no family to call your own.

Very limited vision and most likely experiencing pain.