Wee Paws Permanent Residents
These are the special cats who are permanent guests of Wee Paws:
Chelsea: Chelsea’s elderly owner died, and her only surviving family member had health issues and was unable to take in Chelsea and Jackson Monroe. She didn’t want to surrender the cats to the city shelter where they’d face certain death anyway, so she opted to have the cats euthanized by a local veterinarian. The veterinarian offered to rehome the cats, the family was thrilled, and Chelsea and Jackson came to live us as our first rescues. The only individual not thrilled with the outcome was Chelsea, who was 13 years old and grieving in the face of so many sudden changes in her life. She refused to eat, and suddenly we had a cranky cat with hepatic lipidosis who needed to be force-fed. The feedings were increasingly stressful, and Chelsea wasn’t putting on weight, so she had surgery to place a feeding tube and gifted us with a $1200 vet bill. After about a month of tube feedings, Chelsea began to eat on her own and began to regain the weight that she’d lost. It was another two years before she approached me voluntarily—one chilly evening she suddenly climbed into the blanket I’d placed across my lap. I soon discovered she had two great loves, blankets and potato chips. Chelsea is now almost 18 years old, and still cranky, but she eats with enthusiasm and still adores a good blanket.
Jackson Monroe: Jackson (we never found out where he got his unusual full name) has always been a piece of cake compared to Chelsea. He sheds a lot, he sometimes gets a bit of poop stuck to his pantaloons, and he doesn’t care for other cats. Other than that, he seems content to nap, eat, and walk on narrow railings in high places to make us nervous. Lately Jackson has been exhibiting some subtle signs of feline dementia, and he is getting up there in age (he’s probably about 14), so we’ll definitely be having him checked out as soon as possible.
Derek: At the time we agreed to take in Chelsea and Jackson, we’d already decided to adopt Derek, a cat from Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah. We’d actually been cat-less for a period of time, and were looking for a cat who didn’t mind birds and dogs, so Best Friends matched us up with Derek. He’s an extremely affectionate, handsome guy with no teeth. We’re not sure how old he is, but he’s probably at least 12 and perhaps as old as 17.
Skylar: Skylar’s owner had to move, and she didn’t want to take her two cats with her. So, his owner of 13 years dumped Skylar and his brother, Pinto, at a city shelter and left them to fend for themselves. Skylar was a matted mess, so matted he couldn’t even be put on the adoption floor. Pinto was terrified… when the animal control officer brought him out of his cage he urinated down her pant leg. They were both slow to come around, and Skylar spent the first couple of months hiding behind a computer, but slowly they started to greet me when I brought their dinner, and they’d allow me to brush them. Pinto started to show signs of illness from day one, with recurring upper respiratory infections. Sadly, Pinto only lived with us for about a year before he died of kidney failure. Skylar is still thriving, walking on the kitchen countertop when I wish he wouldn’t, and patting me on the cheek with his clawless front paws. He sometimes offers love bites, which I would decline if asked, but he doesn’t ask.
Bunny: I know a “Mom” isn’t supposed to have favorites, but you can often catch me snuggling up with brother and sister combo of Bunny and Carlo and whispering to them that they are “my finest work”. They were born in a warehouse, and abandoned by their Mom when she was frightened off by the arrival of staff at the beginning of the day. A couple of employees heard the kittens crying and attempted to feed them after making an emergency run for kitten formula, but they weren’t allowed to keep the kittens at work, and didn’t have the resources to feed them every couple of hours. So, the pair of day old babies came to live with us, and they were sure a handful! They were so adorable and cute, but both had health problems. Bunny was actually the one that we thought was “healthy”, until she nearly died of heart failure when she was 9 months old, and we found out she had a congenital condition called restrictive cardiomyopathy. She takes heart medication, like Enalapril and Lasix, and has to have regular echocardiograms to watch for signs of further deterioration of her heart muscle. I can’t tell you how much I love this cat. I know we may not have a lot of time with her (she and her brother just turned 3 years old in March 2010), but she lives life to the fullest and loves everyone. She’s our most playful cat, and enjoys both teasing the dogs and being silly with them. I’d want her on my team if we were playing Trivial Pursuit: Feline Edition, because she’s extremely bright and notices everything.
Carlo is Bunny’s little brother. At this point in their lives he’s larger than she is, but when he first came to live with us he had horrible digestive problems and barely grew. At age six weeks he was about the size of a 14 day old kitten, although his mental development was normal, and we were constantly worried we were going to lose him to “failure to thrive”. Carlo’s turning point for the better came when we switched him onto solid food, because we were feeding only a raw diet at that time, and it happened to be exactly what his system needed. He thrives on a raw diet and still has extreme digestive problems if he eats anything else, suffering pain and cramping for days if he eats even the tiniest bit of dry or overly-processed food. He can’t tolerate fish or beef, either, so we keep him exclusively on a poultry-based diet, with occasional meals of rabbit. I was his first full-time Mom, but he’s adopted Missy Mae as a secondary Mom and spends a lot of time curled up next to her.
(more to follow!)