Thursday, March 8, 2012

Linda-Example to Us All

I iz sorries! I was all excited to write this blog post yesterday, but it was rather an overwhelming day and we were late to bed, but on the bright side, by waiting for today I have way more pictures for you!

I signed up for the ASPCA foster program last month, a wonderful program that allows animal-lovers all over the NYC metro area to provide the specialized care necessary to prepare pets for adoption to animals in need. Some of these animals need medical follow up care, some need additional socialization, some are kittens not yet big enough to spay, or neuter. Some are just wonderful adult cats who need a break from sitting around the shelter environment.

I attended orientation February 16th, and have been anxiously awaiting our first placement since then. Finally, on Tuesday, I caught the e-mail: Linda, an adult spayed female, was a recovering high rise victim. She felt from an apartment window, and though she survived, she got a nasty wound under her front leg, and her rear right leg was so badly damaged it couldn't be saved. She underwent an amputation, and stayed at the ASPCA veterinary hospital for the initial recovery period. She needs time to adapt to life on three legs, building strength and coordination, and the wound on her front leg needs special care and time to heal properly. She needs pain meds, antibiotics, both oral and topical, twice a day.
I am so proud to be a part of Linda's story. She is an incredibly sweet, and outgoing kitty, in spite of the horrendous trauma she experienced. Obviously you can't help but anthropomorphize a little bit. Cats can't comprehend self-pity, and they don't have social stigma to deal with, or even a very concrete grasp of how this change will affect their lives in the future. But I can't help but be inspired by the way Linda pulls herself up, and hobbles wherever she needs to go. I can see how much of a struggle it is for her, but all she wants is a good ear scratch, and she's purring away.
Not that she's all sweet acceptance, she's plenty spunky. We tried to give her a break from the collar and it only took her two minutes to turn around and start chewing on the staples where her leg used to be, so back on it went. I helped her out of the cattery this morning so I could clean it out, and she bullied right past me and made a beeline for our bedroom, where our resident kitty was hangint out. I intercepted her and attempted to point her back in the direction of the kitchen. One would think a newly three-legged cat would be minimally agile, and somewhat docile. Nope. She squirmed and wriggled till she got herself turned around and past my legs, and she took off much faster than she had given evidence of being able to move previously. I was finally able to successfully secure the borders, so she sat behind the cattery and protested rather loudly before deciding her time would be better spent napping.

I gave her a sponge bath today. It inspired her to attempt some cleaning of her own, but all she can lick is her collar, poor thing.
Her vets suggested I give her a break from the collar as long as I could stay there and watch her, as that might encourage her to eat, so I did, and was relieved when she did tuck into a can of fancy feast with apparent relish. After eating half of it, she started washing herself, which I figured was fine, but she licked at the wound on her front leg too much and tore a big scab off of it, which sent me spiraling into a dark whirlpool of 'OhmygoddessI'materriblemother!' thoughts. I applied a clean papertowel to the wound to encourage it to re-clot, and scurried out of the room to text the husband and e-mail her vets. For the third time today.

She was lying down quite cozily when I left, and I swung the door to her cattery open to inhibit her escape, but clearly she was more determined (for unfathomable reasons) than I thought, because I heard a deep, throaty, feline growl, saw Truffle hiding behind the chair in the living room looking quite stiff, and rushed into the room to see Linda hobbling toward Truffle without an apparent care in the world. I scooped her up and rushed her back to the kitchen, this time reinstating the whole cattery in place to block her escape, and went to comfort Truffle, who had high-tailed it out of there as soon as Linda was secured in my arms.
Oh yes, this beautiful, brave kitty is a handful! But I'm glad to see that she's curious, and not afraid to take off on her three legs for adventures unknown...I'll just have to be more vigilant about what she's doing when her collar's off, and keeping her fenced into the kitchen. Starting next week, she'll be allowed to have more space to explore, once she's a little bit stronger, and I'm hoping that in the next two to three weeks she and Truffle will work out their social hierarchy and be friends, but it's hard to say with cats!
I solemnly swear not to let this turn into a foster cat blog, but I will keep you posted on significant progress along Linda's road to full health and a forever home! If you're interested in a spunky little lady who loves to be petted and scratched, Linda will be available for adoption through the NYC ASPCA in four to six weeks.

Live Omily,


  1. I laughed out loud several times while readin g this post! You have a talent for comedy, dear daughter.
    Praying for Linda and all of you. Om, Samti, Om. Om Shanti, Om.

  2. Haha, it's not me; Linda's just a laugh a minute! She's such a clever, stubborn, sneaky little thing! It's such fun watching her true colors come out, now that she's on a lower dose of pain meds, and can wear a shirt instead of her collar.