Kitten rescue

Campaign Created by: Kent McManigal

The funds from this campaign will be received by Kent McManigal.

Goal: USD $600
Raised: USD $ 290

There are many feral cats in this area and no cat rescue groups are local enough to help. The closest one is across the state line and has said they can't cross the state line to help me.

This puts me in the position of needing to help cats and kittens pretty often, which is more than I can afford. I can spare the time, but not the money.

The immediate need is a kitten that needs medical care for infected eyes. I rescued one in a similar condition last summer and it cost in the neighborhood of $600 for all his care. That's what I'm setting the goal at for now, but depending on how it goes, I would like to make this an ongoing fundraiser to help the cats on a more permanent basis.

I would like to get a few cats "TNR"ed (trapped, neutered, released) to stem the flow of homeless kittens. There are a couple of cats-- one in particular-- who would make great pets and I would love to find loving forever homes for them. If I had room in my house for another cat, I would have already adopted one of them. (Ask about Tobbles.) 

Another ongoing expense is their food. I'm only feeding about 5 of them regularly, but sometimes visitors show up. A neighbor of mine also spends his own money to feed the strays (about a dozen of them in his case), and I would like to get enough money coming in to surprise him with ongoing help with that expense, if possible.

I want to make clear that I am doing this as an individual. I don't have a rescue organization of any kind, nor do I plan on creating one.

So, the ball is in your court. What happens next is up to you.

Thank you for your consideration, whatever you decide to do.


She's a good MommyCat
October 16, 2023
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MommyCat seems to have adopted yet another kitten. A little orange who looks like a small Tobbles showed up at the porch yesterday, hanging out with MommyCat and the kittens.

The calico and this new orange are more shy than MommyCat's litter. I suspect they haven't been exposed to humans as much. I'm wondering if these two newcomers lost their mom and have been looking for someone to take her place. They seem to love MommyCat and she acts like they are hers. She does her best to be a good mom. I only know of one of her kittens from previous litters that's still alive, and that's the one my son adopted a couple of years ago.

The orange is much more skittish than the calico; it doesn't come to eat until it's sure I've gone back in the house, and it often runs and hides if it sees me. Hopefully, he'll get more comfortable with me soon.

I love seeing how contented they are after a good meal. 

At tonight's feeding, Pants and Oliver didn't show up. Pants ate a lot this morning, and if I see him show up later I'll give him a little more. Oliver is the least regular, but usually shows up at least once per day. I'm still watching for him tonight.

A calico kitten
October 13, 2023
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I think MommyCat adopted a kitten.

A couple of days ago a calico kitten, the same size as MommyCat's kittens, showed up to eat. Today she was rubbing against MommyCat and looking up at her face. MommyCat seemed to accept her.

I have also seen her playing with the other kittens.

Everyone seems to be doing OK. Pants has been really hungry recently, and eager to be petted before he eats. Oliver is still shy and won't let me get too close, but he doesn't stay quite as far from me anymore. MommyCat meows and hisses, equally. She accepts pets on her head when Pants is with her, but not when he's not there.

I've been sneaking a few pets on one of the gray kittens. It comes up to the food bowl as I scoop the food into it and starts eating, and doesn't mind (or doesn't notice) when I stroke its back and head a little as it eats.

I think the white kitten may be lutino. It has some orange in its tail and maybe on its ears, but I think it has red eyes. That's not good news for a feral cat; it probably means it will lose its sight.

I wish I could find it a home!

I got really close to running out of canned food for them. The supply chain wasn't working. I finally got stocked back up-- at least a little. It's always a struggle.

Porch kittens at 9 weeks
September 12, 2023
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I'm hoping to hear an update today on the kitten that got placed in a home a few weeks ago. If I do, I'll let you know.

MommyCat and her four kittens seem to be doing well. They are eating through my supply of dry and canned food really fast, which is a problem, but I'm glad they are eating well. I'm hoping I don't run out of food for them.

They aren't friendly, so it's hard to get pictures of them:

I love watching them play and nap.

If you can help me make sure their food doesn't run out, I would appreciate it. If not, I understand. I'll find a way.

I still wish I could get them all into a rescue that would neuter/spay and find a loving indoor home for them all. I love them.

A little good news
August 29, 2023
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I think the lone kitten got lucky. He's been adopted. The girl who originally brought him to me found a home for him.

The person was going to make him a barn cat, but after meeting him has said she may make him her indoor cat and get him fixed, instead. I'm hoping that's how it plays out. He is really loving. She's also going to give him some medicine she has on hand in case he has an upper respiratory infection

She believes it's a female. I think it's a male. Maybe I'm wrong.

I may never know what becomes of him, which is hard for me. But I kept him safe and fed him while he was here.

Yet more kittens...
August 26, 2023
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It turns out MommyCat had 4 kittens. A little orange one showed up just a little while after I posted about the litter. So she has 2 gray/striped, one white, and one orange.

Then, yesterday, a girl showed up at our house carrying an older kitten that has been hanging out by the school. She wanted me to help it. It is wearing a flea collar, but is very thin. It was obviously someone's kitten, but either ran away or got thrown out. He's friendly. Apparently, he has been on Facebook for several days, with people saying "If this is your cat, this is where he is". But no one came to get him. So now he's also on our porch.

The New Litter
August 24, 2023
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I've been waiting to see if MommyCat's new litter made it this far, and had about decided they didn't. But today-- 6 weeks and 3 days after they were probably born-- they were on the porch with her.
There are three-- a solid white one and two gray/striped ones. I suspect (solid white) Oliver is the dad this time. He was helping MommyCat watch over them.
I love them and they are so cute. They also make me sad since there's nothing I can do for them but keep putting food out to make sure they never go hungry.
After Kirby, I'm afraid they have FeLV. I can't afford to have them checked. Since I don't really have room for another cat, I can't bring one inside even if they checked out OK. (My daughter really wants the white one.)
I still wish there was a local rescue that didn't require me to bear all the costs (and trapping and transportation) of them "helping" me.

RIP Kirby
March 26, 2023
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updateImage It's over. Overnight he got much worse, and by morning it was clear he was suffering. Of course, there are no vets open on Sunday, but a call to our vet's emergency number got a callback and we made the appointment. I buried him next to his friend Tobbles, under the redbud tree. Unfortunately, MommyCat (his mother) had more kittens on March 3. I haven't seen them yet, and don't want to take any of them in, but I'd love to find loving homes for them. I want the same for MommyCat and Pants (Kirby's probable father). I wish I didn't hurt so much for these cats.

March 25, 2023
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I think he's about done.

FeLV has gotten the better of him.

I haven't posted updates because of other matters that have me distracted and occupied in unpleasant ways, but the past month has been rough on Kirby.

He suddenly got weak and sick one Friday evening. We rushed him to the vet the next morning-- as soon as the vet office opened-- and she said it was his FeLV. She gave him some injections and an oral pill (4 per day). He's been on the pills 3 weeks as of today. He improved for a while. But it didn't last.

She did say it was going to be palliative care only and that there was no way to know how long it would help. She hoped it would give him at least another year or more.

He keeps having relapses. But since he recovered after a day or so each time, I held out hope. But I don't think he's getting better this time.

He doesn't seem to be suffering; he just seems to have given up. Unless he shows huge improvement by Monday morning I think it's time to make the hard decision.

Next Friday would be his 1st birthday.

I'm crushed and I'm going in for surgery on April 4th.

Late January Update
January 22, 2023
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I was afraid something had happened to Pants. I didn't see him around for a few days. MommyCat seemed more nervous and suspicious than usual, but part of that might be that Pants gives her confidence. Oliver wasn't coming around as often, either. Something was different. There were a few of the occasional visitors showing up, though. And Watcher, outside the fence.

But, after a few days, Pants showed up and seemed fine. Maybe he was trapped in a shed. MommyCat seemed relieved and more relaxed again.

Pants has gotten to the point where he demands to be petted a little before he'll even eat.

I'm starting to suspect he doesn't have teeth. I can't get a good look, and he won't let me lift his lips to see, but something about the way he holds his mouth looks toothless. At least it looks like he may be missing his front teeth. So I've started giving him more canned food.

I've wondered if he'd let me brush him. His long fur might be more comfortable if it weren't matted. I may try to introduce him to the idea when I'm petting him at mealtime-- he still won't normally let me pet him-- or approach him-- at other times.

I recently stocked up on food for them, due to a generous supporter's help. Next month is going to be a little tight, but I may have enough to get through it. Thank you all for your help, from the cats and me.

(I keep trying to upload a photo, but I think it keeps crashing the site)

Update #32
January 22, 2023
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For some reason, I've been unable to successfully post an update. Will try again later.

Thank you!
December 28, 2022
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updateImage I just wanted to say Thank you to all who have supported my porch cats. I can assure you they are better off and happier-- and healthier-- than they would have been without your help. They made it through the cold snap, staying inside their boxes most of the time. I fed them extra during the coldest days just so they'd have more fuel for warmth, and I gave them unfrozen water every few hours. Who knows what the next year will bring, and what needs they might have, but with your help I'll keep doing what I can for them. Again, thank all of you!

Prepping the cats for the cold
December 21, 2022
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Like most of the country, we're getting ready for a blast of cold (with lots of wind). So I've spent the morning getting boxes ready for the porch cats.
I know MommyCay sometimes sleeps in the converted litter box on the porch-- I've gone out at night and disturbed her rest. I suspect Oliver has been in it recently, too. He used to sleep in it a lot before I moved it to the porch. I've never seen Pants in it.
Maybe the cold will convince them to use it more.
I set up a cardboard box, with a smallish opening and some towels, for additional shelter. And I wedged it in place to resist the wind. The two shelter boxes are near each other, and I hope the cats will use them. I should have room for at least 4 cats-- more if they are friendly with each other.
I'm also going to be giving them water several times during the day, and wet food along with their dry food, for extra energy.
I wish they could all be indoors so they could nap by a fire, unconcerned with the weather. I'm glad Kirby and the rest of the indoor cats can.
I'll do my best to keep them as comfortable as possible.

Late-winter kittens are coming
December 19, 2022
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MommyCat is in heat, so a new batch of kittens will be here too soon.
My dream was to get her spayed (and Pants and Oliver neutered) before this happened. But, unfortunately, this wasn't to be. The funds just aren't available for it, and the rescue groups around here haven't been as helpful as I'd like.
I would love to see MommyCay and Pants rescued, but also I want them adopted together. They are bonded and go everywhere together. It would make me sad to split them up.
Obviously, I want to see Oliver rescued, too. Oliver hangs out with the other two most of the time, but isn't really attached to them. They are just company that accepts him. I realize, if I get the chance to have them rescued I'm not going to be able to be too picky about it. I'll express my wishes, though.

Anyway, things have been going OK otherwise. Everyone seems to be doing better. Kirby is a ball of energy and eats more than any two (or three) of the others.
Thank you.

Happy Thanksgiving
November 23, 2022
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Thank you for helping me give a few cats a little better life.
All the porch cats-- Pants, MommyCat, Oliver, and whoever else shows up-- will be getting some special treats for Thanksgiving. I have some fish filets and some canned salmon for them.
And because of your help, I can keep them fed and as safe as they'll let me.
Every cat in the photo except for the chonky boy in front (Boots) is a former rescue-- I hope they have forgotten the time before they were brought in. I'll keep looking for a way to rescue those who live on the porch, too.
Thank you from me, and from the cats.

Update #27-- Kirby's vet visit
November 16, 2022
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Kirby's rescue is now complete: his neuter appointment was today.
Now, unless something unexpected crops up-- like if his eye gets infected-- the rescue portion of his life is done. He can rest easy in his forever home with me.
He isn't happy being isolated from his friends, but his incision site is a little bloody so we're going to try to keep him away from his wrestle buddy for a day or so.
If anyone would like to chip in for the balance of his vet visit, that comes to $93 beyond what I already had for him. Thanks!

The Watcher
October 23, 2022
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I've mentioned the small black cat who just sits and watches the yard. I finally got a picture of her (?) doing her thing. She's shy and doesn't let me get close, but she likes to watch me and the "porch cats" inside the fence.

Back when Tobbles was alive and Kirby and Whiskers would be in the yard playing with him, the little black cat would come right to the fence and watch. She'd move to different spots to get a better view, depending on what was going on.

I tried to invite her in-- for food if nothing else-- but she wouldn't come in. I've never seen her inside the fence.

She's welcome to come in to eat with Pants, MommyCat, and Oliver-- well, I welcome her. Maybe the problem is that the porch cats don't.

Pants actually raised up and bumped my hand with the top of his head yesterday morning. I took too long to pet him, I guess, and he got impatient. He still won't let me approach unless it's feeding time, but he's trusting me more all the time. MommyCat lets me pet her more, too, especially if I stroke her tail. But she still has to put on the feral act. Oliver still doesn't let me approach, but he doesn't run as fast or as far anymore. He just scoots out of the way.

Kirby is still doing good. He doesn't know he's scheduled to be neutered in a few weeks.

Kirby's update-- sorry it's late!
October 19, 2022
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 I took Kirby to the vet Friday evening. The great news is that she says his eye doesn't need to be removed at this time.

She says that skin inside his eyelids has grown over his eyeball, and the eye itself has deflated. That's why it looks so bad.
But she says that skin looks healthy and there's no infection or pain. She said the only reason to remove his eye right now would be cosmetic, but that it would be a lot of trauma for him to go through.
If it's not necessary, I'm happy to leave it alone.
She told me what to look for to indicate it is causing pain, just in case.
She also confirmed my suspicion that the eye is the reason he sneezes so much. It still produces tears, but they are just draining into his sinuses, making him sneeze. She doesn't think this is a real problem.
She did say that if he were an outdoor cat, the recommendation would be different. Outdoors it would be likely to get grass seeds, dirt, or debris in it and get irritated and/or infected. Then she'd say to go ahead and remove it to prevent future problems. But being an indoor cat, it's a lot less likely. Good news for him!
(There was some sickness in the household all weekend, so I was a little distracted from posting an update.)

Kirby is counting on the hoomans
October 11, 2022
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Usually, when I need some donations for vet care, I can scrape by whether or not I get enough donations to cover the expense. Not this time, though. Due to other circumstances, mostly my own medical bills, Kirby is entirely dependent on donations to get his bad eye removed.

It's just how things are right now.

If you can help, I thank you. If you can't, maybe consider sharing this campaign with anyone you think might like to help.

Thank you!

Kirby's eye
October 11, 2022
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Kirby needs to have his eye removed. The last kitten who needed the same procedure (eye removal and neutering) cost around $400 in total for the surgery.

If anyone can chip in, I would appreciate it. And so will Kirby (eventually, if not immediately).

Thank you!

It must have been a party
September 5, 2022
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updateImage A couple of days ago I saw a couple of cats I hadn't seen recently. I don't know what brought them back around, but they were lounging on the patio with Pants and MommyCat. Lari was there, as was a white/gray cat that may be one who used to come over-- but it may have been a new visitor, too. I also caught a glimpse of someone darting around a corner, but I didn't get a good enough look to see who it was. This morning I saw Oliver, the black cat, and the white/gray cat fighting (not too viciously) behind the house. Not sure what the argument was about but it was over quickly. I haven't increased the amount of food I'm putting out, and I want to make sure the 3 regulars keep getting enough to eat. Pants actually lifted his head to be petted the last couple of days. I take that as a good sign. MommyCat still prefers not to be touched, even though I sneak a pet here and there.

Pants' progress
August 24, 2022
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Pants, the probable dad of Kirby and the longest-remaining current resident of the patio, has recently been letting me pet him more. He still gives me a shocked look when I touch him, but then he calms down and seems to enjoy it. While MommyCat (and sometimes Oliver) looks at him like he's doomed to be eaten.

I've been sneaky enough to give MommyCat a few pets while she's rubbing against Pants in her joyous anticipation of food, but if she notices she backs away quickly. And often hisses at me. I'll win her over yet.

Oliver never gets within several arm-lengths, so that's going to be harder to accomplish with him.

I'd still like to treat them all for fleas, but Pants' skin seems to be clearer now, like he's not being bitten as much. 

August 12, 2022
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I hadn't seen Lari in quite a while, But she showed up again yesterday. I didn't get a picture of her, but she reminds me of Pants, but with fewer white patches and smaller. The shape of her head makes me think "female", but the shagginess of her fur makes it hard for me to see for certain.

I'm not sure she stayed around to eat. Unfortunately, I was mowing and she was not happy about that. She vanished into the cannas and I didn't see her again, but I'm glad to know she's still around.

The other cats
August 5, 2022
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updateImage Pants, MommyCat, and Oliver aren't the only ferals I take care of. They are just the only regulars. There's a cat I call Lari-- I think it's a female (if not, its name is Larry). I used to regularly see one I called Steve. I haven't seen Steve in months, so either he is staying at the neighbor's yard, or something happened to him. Then there are several who I only see occasionally, who I haven't named. Many of them stay at my neighbor's house and only wander over to see what I have to eat. I don't have pictures of them, so I'll treat you to another picture of Tobbles.

Sunny's tooth
August 1, 2022
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Sunny came through her tooth extraction fine.

I'm hoping she enjoys life without tooth pain. If so, it was worth the cost. Which was more than I'd like, but less than I feared.
The other cats are fascinated by her scent now, and she'd rather they didn't bother her. She's tired and groggy and just wants to rest. I'm doing my best to keep them away and occupied.
She's going to be getting soft food for a few days now. Probably I'll give her "pudding" like I give one of the other cats-- Butterscotch, one of the two non-rescue cats in the house, who I've worked hard to keep alive for half of her 10 years. (It's been a struggle.)
Butterscotch's "pudding" is just canned cat food put through a blender and mixed with water, until it is like... pudding. Sunny has always loved getting little samples of it anyway. Now she'll get it regularly for a while. That ought to make her happy.
Maybe she'll even sleep in the bed with me tonight. Depending on whether Chocolate and Ghost are there first.

Dental and Covid updates
July 31, 2022
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Monday, Sunny goes to the vet to have her bad tooth (or teeth) removed. She gave the vets trouble when we took her in to set up the appointment, so I hope things go better tomorrow. She's not the friendliest cat with people she doesn't like, and she really doesn't like anyone but me. With me, she's very sweet. She may be angry with me after tomorrow.

Second, I'm pretty sure Ghost ended up with Covid-- the household humans got it and he displayed similar symptoms to those the humans had. He was really sick-- much sicker than I was-- for days. He finally started acting a little better last night, but he still hasn't started eating yet (other than small nibbles once a day or so). I hope he feels good enough to eat soon.

Kirby is still doing great. Growing and playing. His bad eye doesn't seem to be causing too many issues, except that he has poor depth perception.

More updates on the "porch cats" soon.

July 27, 2022
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updateImage Ghost hung around on my porch for over a year. He was like my first Tobbles in that respect. He had mouth problems, but since he was a stray I couldn't afford to do anything about it but feed him. He was really friendly, though, and loved to be petted and rub his face on me while he purred. He, like Tobbles, was always really happy to see me come out the door. A year after he had shown up was when Sunny appeared and was brought in. I felt bad for Ghost because I knew he wanted to come in (he had snuck in twice already). Soon, though, I got backed into a corner. Ghost stopped eating. He looked miserable and was drooling badly. He got thin, fast, and wouldn't even close his mouth all the way. His mouth was just too painful. He was dying. So, I scooped him up, took him to the vet, and they removed some of his teeth and gave him antibiotics. And he got to come live inside. He's been indoors now for about 4 years, and is still very loving and happy. He sleeps with me frequently. His tooth/gum problems sometimes recur, but I get him through it. So far he hasn't had to get more teeth removed, but that's always a possibility. He doesn't get along with the other cats very well. Chocolate tolerates him. Sunny and Boots hate him. Whiskers and Kirby love him-- he's the fun uncle who likes to play. Unfortunately, Ghost isn't feeling well today. I'm giving him extra attention, and making sure he drinks water. It doesn't seem like it's his mouth. Someone in the house has Covid, so maybe he caught it, too. He'll probably be fine, but I'm watching closely.

July 26, 2022
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About four years ago, we rescued a young cat who was trying to play with kids in the elementary school playground across the street. The teachers were screaming at the kids to not touch her; "It's diseased!" they said. So we took her in.

I think she was around four months old at the time.

Next Monday she has a vet appointment to remove a bad tooth that is causing her pain. She has a hard time eating right now, but at least she has a little extra weight to spare.

She's not the friendliest cat in the house. In fact, she really only likes me. I love her and end up holding her a lot. It has hurt me to see her in pain, but next Monday was the earliest appointment the vet had for dental work. I'll be glad when she is feeling better and can eat without screaming.

My oldest rescue
July 21, 2022
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updateImage My first rescue cat, Chocolate, will be turning 9 years old next month. Chocolate was born on August 19, 2013- around 1 AM. She was stolen from her mother by a dog, and I got her from the dog's people when she was about 12 hours old. She was covered in dried dog-drool mud and was extremely dry and thirsty. I wasn't sure she'd make it, but she did. And she has thrived. I already had two cats, who were a year old at the time. Littermates from my mother's cat's only litter. She managed to fit in eventually. She has been "my baby" ever since I got her. She has a bit of an attitude-- she knows she's one of the people, not a mere cat. (Nor a meerkat.) She has her own FB page, although I'm not very active on that platform anymore. She sleeps with me nearly every night, and demands my attention whenever she needs it. She's a bit haughty. But I wouldn't trade her for anything.

The unnamed black cat
July 16, 2022
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This is a small black cat who sits outside the fence and watches the other cats and people, but hasn't gotten brave enough to come and eat. Yet.

I think she (I'm not sure of the cat's sex) will eventually decide to come eat. If she keeps coming around.

She used to sit and watch me play with Tobbles and Kirby. She'd move around the fence to get a better view as we moved around the yard. I've tried to talk to her and get her to come in, but so far she hasn't.

Here's Oliver
July 14, 2022
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Oliver is less trusting than Pants or even MommyCat. He always keeps his distance until I leave the food bowl. When Tobbles was alive, Oliver would sit and wait until I was finished petting Tobbles while he ate, then he would come sneak some food.

This morning he was lying on the front steps after breakfast and I was talking to him through the screen door. He was comfortable with that situation.

He looks a little rough. He has some scars. But I care for him even if he isn't convinced I'm on his side.

Meet MommyCat
July 12, 2022
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updateImage This is MommyCat. She earned that name by mothering a couple of litters in the past year. Last summer her first litter (that I know of) was composed of two kittens whom she brought to my yard at about 6 weeks of age. I think she gave birth under a neighbor's house. One of those kittens vanished a week or so later, and my son adopted the other soon afterward (he is now named Mikan and is a handsome, spoiled boy-- I'll do a post on him someday. Remind me if I forget.) I have wondered if Tobbles was the second kitten who disappeared, but I doubt it for a couple of reasons. Then, this spring she was obviously pregnant again. On April 6, 2022 she was huge, then on April 8 she showed up for food and was skinny. So I marked the 7th on the calendar as the day she gave birth and waited to see kittens. Six weeks later, she showed up for food one day with 3 kittens. A few days later I discovered there was a 4th kitten, but it was very sick so it had been hiding somewhere. The sick kitten is now Kirby. A day after she left Kirby literally at my door, she took off with the remaining kittens and I haven't seen them again. I suspect they died. A neighbor said every kitten he saw born this year died. It was a kitten holocaust-- respiratory infections, eye infections, and rapid death. That makes me sad. This is why I would like to get MommyCat spayed. She doesn't trust me much. I can sometimes stroke her while she's eating. But she still hisses at me when I pass her on the patio. She is a cute cat, but I have my doubts she'd accept an indoor life. She deserves the best life I can help her get.

Introducing "The Cat with Pants"
July 10, 2022
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I've been so focused on Kirby, and upset over the loss of Tobbles, that I haven't said anything about the other cats.

Meet Pants. Originally I called him "the cat with pants" because his back legs looked like he was wearing pantaloons-- the way the fur was shaped and colored. I eventually shortened that to Pants.

He has been hanging around for a few years now. He isn't afraid of me, but he's not particularly friendly either. We have an understanding. I have petted him while he was eating, but he gives me a surprised look when I do. He'd really rather I didn't.

Tobbles liked him and treated him like a parent, but Pants only tolerated Tobbles. Tobbles would rub all over him when he'd come over to eat. He was OK with Kirby, but didn't want to play with him. Mostly ignored him.

He has a lot of flea bites (or something like that) on his back. I can feel the scabs under his fur. I'd like to be able to treat him for fleas-- and obviously, get him neutered. I believe he is Kirby's dad, and the father of the kitten I rescued last fall that my son ended up taking. There's no way he'd ever let me brush him, but his mid-length fur needs it.

He's a good cat. Pretty calm and even-tempered, from what I've seen. He's been on his own so long I doubt he'd ever take to being an inside cat, but if anyone wanted to give it a try-- as long as they brought him back if it just wasn't going to work out-- I'd love to give him the chance.

He's one of the cats you'd be helping. More to come...

Kirby's vet visit
July 8, 2022
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Kirby got good news and bad news.

The good news is-- no eye surgery for now. Maybe never. His eye is covered with scar tissue from the corneal ulcer he had, but it's not infected and-- although he'll never see out of the eye-- shouldn't be a problem as long as it doesn't get infected again. 

The bad news is-- he is FeLV positive, which is also bad news for the rest of the cats in the house. There's no way to keep them separated, and is probably too late anyway. So we'll just have to deal with things as they arise.

His lymph nodes are swollen, but that is probably from the eye infection and upper respiratory infection he had. The vet said it may take a while for the nodes to recover, and the FeLV may make it take longer. But that shouldn't be an issue.

He'll still need to be neutered, but that will come later.

The vet bill today came to $160.50

Time to get The Tobbles Memorial Cat Rescue back on track
July 7, 2022
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Losing Tobbles was a devastating personal loss. I expect a kitten with health problems to be at risk, but Tobbles was a healthy young adult. I was very attached to him and I haven't taken his death well. But, it's time to try to move beyond the loss.

I'm going to be thinking of this as The Tobbles Memorial Cat Rescue now. 

Tomorrow Kirby has a vet appointment. A check-up, probably some shots, and I'm expecting an appointment for an eye removal. Not sure what the full cost will be, nor whether inflation will have an impact. I guess I'll find out tomorrow.

Thanks for your support.

R.I.P. Tobbles
July 4, 2022
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I lost Tobbles overnight. I'm pretty torn up over it right now.

He got sick and died over the course of a day. I have no idea what happened. Poisoning, maybe?
He never strayed far from my yard. I don't have anything that could have hurt him. It's possible he got into something next door, but I never saw him go there.
I brought Kirby-- the kitten with the bad eye-- inside as soon as Tobbles started acting sick. Yes, it is risky, in case of disease, but...
I buried him under the redbud where he liked to lie on hot days.
Tobbles, you were a good cat. The best, loving boy. I loved how you greeted me and just hung out with me anytime I was outside. I loved petting you and hearing your purrs. You don't know how much I wanted to bring you inside-- and you'd probably still be alive if I had. I'm so sorry that I failed you. You deserved so much better, and I'll miss you more than I can express.

One success story
June 27, 2022
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Today is the birthday (or what I figured is close to it) of last year's rescue kitten.

I found Whiskers on the side of the street, sick and starving, on the morning of August 1, 2021. I figured he was about 5 weeks old.

Lots of medicine and 2 surgeries later (to remove an infection-destroyed eye and to repair a hernia) and he's the happiest cat in the house. Very loving. Altogether it cost around $600 to get him healthy, and it was worth it. Much of the cost was covered by donations, for which I am very grateful.

That's why I started this project. I'd like to have money coming in regularly so I could handle these situations without having to make an appeal every time.

A day of setbacks
June 22, 2022
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I thought I had found a group that would help.

I was mistaken-- or was misinformed.

I found a lower-cost pet clinic that does spaying and neutering in the Big City 90 miles from here. They directed me to a group they said helps with TNRs ("trap, neuter, release") for feral cats. But after the group finally responded to my message, no, they don't come this far. 

They said I could trap the cats myself, bring them to their vet, stay all day and wait to pick them up in the evening, and take them back with me, and it would cost $100 per cat. 

That's a worse deal than the other place where I would still have to do all the same, but the cost with them is $35 (male) and $45 (female) per cat. Still way out of reach under current financial circumstances.

I also thought the porch kitten-- I'm calling him Kirby-- had found a home, but it looks like that has fallen through as well.

Not the best day for my efforts.

His own space
June 15, 2022
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The porch kitten is now living in a cage on the covered patio. For his safety and my peace of mind.

The young adult cat who hangs out on my patio was starting to get a little aggressive (jealous?) toward him and I was worried.

The good news is, he seems to really enjoy climbing and playing in the cage. I think he feels more secure, especially since he doesn't see well. I still let him out to play, too, as long as I'm there. He's eating well, and the infection in his eyes seems to be clearing up, but it looks like his cornea is ulcerated. We'll see how that goes.

I'm still looking for supporters to help me help the cats. Do you know anyone who might like to pitch in?

Update #3 and another option
June 9, 2022
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Porch Kitten is so energetic and playful. A real ball of fire. His eyes are still pretty bad, and I think he's now mostly blind, but it doesn't seem to affect his mood much. I wish I could have gotten enough money for a vet visit when his eyesight might have been saved, but that wasn't to be. I'll do the best I can with the situation as it is.

I've started a Patreon for this project, too. Just to try more options. I'm not going to give up.

Getting a little monthly money to use to help ALL the cats would be great. Yes, the original goal to get the kitten to the vet would also be wonderful, but that won't solve the problem. I need to try to get the local strays neutered. And I'd also like to get something to help with fleas (or whatever causes the scabbing on some of the cats). And to keep feeding them.

It's a bigger project than I'm able to do on my own.

Update #2
June 6, 2022
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I found someone who says they rescue cats in my area, but... over and over they've promised they'll bring me some medicine for him, and then they don't.

They don't have room for another kitten at the moment, but they also don't seem too interested in getting back to me with the medicine, either.

So, I'm still doing what I can. His eyes actually looked a little better a couple of days ago (not the eyeballs, but around them). No further improvement, though.

If I can't collect enough money for a vet visit, I will spend what I collect on food and medicine for him. I'll do what I can.

I hate to admit it, but I'm getting attached.

Update #1
June 3, 2022
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The kitten is still doing about the same. His eyes don't seem to be getting worse, but no better, either. I've switched to a different eye ointment, hoping it might work better.

He's still playful. I want to give him a chance-- he deserves a chance.


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