Saturday, May 14, 2016

Six Little Fighters

Kitten season has kicked into full gear and abandoned babies, frequently just born and with their umbilical cords still attached, are literally everywhere. Irresponsible cat owners here feel that spaying/neutering is cruel, but I guess separating the
youngsters from their nursing mothers and leaving them next to a trash can to fend for themselves when they aren’t even able to eat alone (or throwing them inside the waste container) isn’t cruel at all.

Of course, it’s impossible to know
who the mother cats belong to, but it’s also highly improbable that a stray cat would pack her kittens into a carrying bag or a box and leave them in a dumpster. Year after year the same thing happens and year after year the overall situation is getting worse. Although
almost all animal rescuers are already getting hoarse from repeating that spay/neuter surgery is necessary for pets, far too many cats and dogs end up on the street and the animal shelters are overflowing with all of the new arrivals.

OK, rant over. These six babies were left in a cardboard box in front of the mall when they were maybe 10 days old. Two of them hadn’t even opened their eyes yet because their eyelids were glued shut with pus. They have been hand raised and bottle fed for a month now, as
they were not progressing the way they should; moreover, all of them had a chlamydia infection and ringworm. Just great.

Five of them finally pulled through and began to eat on their own, but the tiniest one, a little black
girlie with a white tip to her tail, who had been the smallest and weakest from the very beginning, seemed to be dying a week ago. She had been given strong antibiotics for days and then the UV scan showed that her liver and stomach were enlarged, so more drugs (vitamins
and hepatoprotectives) were added to her daily therapy. She needed around the clock care, her chances were slim to none, but she didn’t want to die and she definitely wasn’t ready to give up. Bone skinny, feeble and frail, she valiantly
fought for her life with every ounce of her fragile strength and she’s made it! Boy… that was close. To our great joy, she doesn’t need to be fed with a syringe anymore, she eats on her own and even though she is at least two times smaller than any of her siblings, she is
very serious about growing big.

The little black girl already has a sponsor, our dear friend Kim, who named her Phoenix, as she defeated death by a hair’s breadth and sprang back to life. If any of you would like to virtually adopt and
name any of these cutie pies, we would be extremely grateful!

And if you’re unable to sponsor one of them, please give us a hand with the costs of their upbringing which are already skyrocketing with some help from their vet bills. No amount is ever too
small, it all adds up!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Wishing You All a Very Happy Easter!

May you feel the hope of new beginnings, love and happiness during this joyful Easter holiday. Have a great and wonderful Easter!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Everything Always Seems to Happen at the Worst Possible Moment

Just when donations are hitting an all-time low, three of the shelter residents have become ill. Kajac has been coughing and wheezing for days and has been diagnosed with bronchitis again, thus he is being giving antibiotics and is being kept in the cage which he hates, so he’s sad and miserable at the moment and feels betrayed. We are not sure why his airways are so over-reactive and what kind of inciting agents he responds to, although he's undoubtedly overweight and therefore he’s more susceptible
to breathing problems, but regardless of the cause, antibiotic treatments are expected to help him. He is not very people friendly, which makes him difficult to be treated at home, but he behaves nicely at the vet's – he is calm, reasonably cooperative and
utterly unhappy.

Silvestra has stomatitis, gingivitis and periodontal disease; her infected gums are being treated aggressively and once the infection calms down, she'll need to have at least three teeth pulled and all of the plaque and
tartar removed from her remaining teeth. She's essentially a healthy, tough cat but even the toughest get sick sometimes, and the problem is that she becomes literally hysterical when she’s struck in a cat carrier or even worse, in the cage. Anyway, what needs to be done
needs to be done, and if she was able to overcome the stress of everything that had happened to her before she arrived at the shelter, she will certainly succeed in coping with these new and unexpected problems.

Ali is in the worst
shape of all. He’s been losing weight gradually but steadily over the last few weeks even though his appetite is very good, so we dewormed him again and his blood test showed nothing out of the ordinary. Nonetheless he kept becoming skinnier and
skinnier; his coat became messy and dull, he had continuous diarrhea and it was clear that he had some serious, yet undiscovered health issue. After repeating all of the diagnostic tests we could think of - X-rays, UV scan, analysis of his blood sample in a
laboratory in Belgrade, fecal examinations etc, the vet has finally come up with an accurate diagnosis – Ali has Giardia infection. He is painfully, gauntly thin and frail, his once luxurious fur has lost all of its former splendor, his liver is enlarged and there’s mucus in his duct bile, but he is eating, fortunately, and is being given two different antibiotics three and two times a day. Considering he is a young cat who has been healthy and strong all of his life, the vet thinks he has excellent chances
to recover completely, even though the treatment will be long.

We really need your help! Monthly donations are not even covering the costs of food for ten days now, much less for the entire month and we can only dream about paying
the vet bills! We usually spend at least 1600 euros on cat food and litter every single month, and when we add the costs of vet care, special food for chronically ill cats and the wages for a helper that we have to pay cash in hand our expenses are
enormous! We have no support from the local community, as people seem to think that we exist exclusively for when they want to get rid of the cats they are not interested in taking care of anymore, but after that we sink off into oblivion until they come across another
unwanted cat or kitten. We don’t threaten people with chucking the animals out of unpaid wild boarding places or rented sheds, we are not able to look at a sick cat or kitten and do nothing until all of the money necessary for treatments arrive but as far as the
public here thinks, our cats are safe and they can probably live on air.

Please, help us with anything you can possibly afford! If you can’t donate, we hope you wouldn’t mind sharing our plight until it reaches someone who thinks even
shelter cats’ lives matter! Please take a look at our project and fundraising page and get to know our kitties a little better, maybe you’ll be touched by their sweet faces and you will feel compelled to do something for them. Carefree and happy as they seem,
they all need to eat and from time to time some will become ill and need extra help. They really have no one else that cares but those of us here - and you.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Celeste Deserves a Second Chance!

Celeste’s loving elderly owner passed away four months ago and she had been living all alone at their once happy home ever since, spending her days waiting for someone who would never come back. She was fed regularly by her owner's nephew but she was shy, reserved and hardly ever left her hiding places behind the furniture. Eventually the apartment got emptied out and Celeste was trapped; her owner's relatives couldn't or didn't want to keep her, so she arrived at the shelter the next

She's probably around eight years old, but she’s still unspayed and although she doesn't look sick, she has bald patches on her back and sides. The vet says it's caused by a combination of hormonal issues and stress and it should resolve itself when she gets spayed. She also has mammary gland hyperplasia, a benign condition in which an excessive amount of tissue grows, resulting in enlarged masses in the mammary glands; she needs to
be spayed as soon as possible and she has to be tested for FIV and FeLV.

For now Celeste’s living in a cage in a separate room, as she might not feel comfortable in the presence of other cats just yet and we are trying to spare her any
further stress and upset. Despite being a little fearful, she is extremely affectionate and cuddly when she lets her guard down. Please, help us give Celeste the chance of living a long, happy and healthy life in which she’ll never be abandoned and alone

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day!

Friends are forever! Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

Friday, February 5, 2016

There Are Three New Stars in the Sky

We should’ve gotten used to it by now that whenever something good happens, something bad is right around the corner and the bad overshadows the good way too often…

Just when we relaxed a little bit after finally filling up the gas tank,
we suffered a huge heartbreak totally unexpectedly, with no warning and absolutely out of the blue. We didn’t see it coming, we couldn’t possibly have seen it coming and it doesn’t make the impact of the brutal blows any easier to accept and handle. In only the
matter of a couple of days, we lost three of our protégés, three beautiful, amazing furry creatures. Joca, Veca and Luce are no longer with us and what makes things even harder to bear, if they can conceivably get any harder, is that they were not “just cats”, but our friends,
our companions, our four legged furry jewels that we’ve been taking care of, cuddling, comforting and fighting for since we first laid our eyes on them. They were the ones we vowed to love with all our hearts until the last breath, theirs or ours…until the last breath and beyond.

However heart-wrenching it may be, I simply have to write about them one last time, as if this loving final farewell to each one of these forever gone beauties will somehow release
them and set them free. So here’s to our angels, our precious meowing gems…

Luce was an 18 year old kitty girl whose owner sadly passed away last year and she evidently couldn’t reconcile herself to the loss of her beloved human. She’d been protesting and behaving badly at home for months before she arrived at the shelter last autumn, terrified and confused, as she had always been the only pet. However, it didn’t take her long to nicely adjust to her new
surroundings and get used to our kitty crowd, but she never really bonded with any of us here. She was gentle, quiet and lovely, she seemed to enjoy petting, but not one single time did she ever approach us first. Almost unnoticeable, she neither sought nor wanted attention; she was always in her own world where there was room for only one person, her long gone owner of many years. She didn’t exactly look sad, but her pensive and distant expression was clearly showing that she was living back in the
past when her life was filled with love and joy and she was spending her days by her late owner’s side. The present without her human soulmate was totally irrelevant to her and meant nothing. Yet she was here, sweet and nice, doing what most of the cats do, until she suddenly collapsed a few days ago without any warning and we found her lying motionless on the floor of the biggest cats’ room. The vet said she probably had a massive stroke and didn’t suffer one bit, her time had come and she
went painlessly, just like that. Shocked and utterly sad, we choose to believe she is finally eternally happy and cuddling in her owner’s arms, never to be separated again.

Veca was the next to leave us. At the age of 22, we knew she could fall asleep and not
wake up at any possible moment, but she was holding on well, she was still the same old Veca, tiny and frail but strong willed, grumpy, untouchable and uncatchable. When she ate, no one else would come near, when she walked by, all of the cats would
move out of her way. She was surprisingly agile and fast and lived her life to the fullest right up until her passing. She went quietly, in her sleep, and only now that she’s not here anymore we’ve come to realize what a big hole in our hearts such a tiny cat could
and did leave…

Whoever said that “misfortune always come in threes” was right. Joca was between 12 and 15 years old, in perfect health and great shape, a big affectionate kitty boy who was cuddly to boot. He was beautiful
and he knew it, which made him absolutely irresistible and everybody, literally everybody loved him – cats, dogs and humans. Not even in our worst nightmares could we imagine that his life would be cut short. It happened in the morning, one of those gloomy and grey mornings when he was shining like a star with his mostly white fur in our otherwise dark yard. One moment he was alright, the next minute he was dragging his rear legs and we couldn’t believe our eyes. He suddenly became paralyzed and no one
had any idea why. He was quickly rushed to the vet, but the X-rays showed nothing abnormal, his blood work was excellent and what had happened to him was still pretty much a mystery. He was given corticosteroids, antibiotics, vitamins, painkillers (though he
didn’t seem to be in pain) and we were told to wait and bring him back tomorrow. Around 3 a.m, when I checked on him, he was restless in his cage and evidently unable to understand why he couldn't get up – by dawn he was already gone. The vet thinks he died of a thromboembolism; a blood clot that firstly blocked the aorta, cutting off the blood flow to both hind legs which left him paralyzed, and during the night it ultimately passed to his heart. Joca went quickly and without pain, but we are still
wondering how much more sorrow can someone endure before it breaks them completely.

Godspeed and farewell, my little darlings…at least for now. Spread your wings out wide and soar above the skies, fly free bathed in love,
embraced by the light. One day we’ll meet again, somewhere where time ceases to exist.