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Samantha's Journal
Samantha's Journal
July 29, 2013

Just a short update

Today I received the first contributions by mail. One is a money order for $60.00 (Du #1 contributor) and a check for $5.00 (this is either DU #3 or DU #4 but the return mailing address is Fayetteville, AR - if you live here please pm me).

Additionally, we have $235.00 directly on deposit at the hospital: DU'er #2, DU'er #6, DU'er #7 and DU'er #8.

Total on hand $300.00. Probably the balance will arrive shortly.

I will be calling the clinic to make the appointment to have all the kittens treated the same day. They must all weigh at least 2 pounds. Two I am sure are there (Monet and Sunny), one is probably there (Dane) and two will soon be there (Elise and Bo).

I want you to know these kittens are thriving. It has been extremely difficult to balance everything, but I am committed and I have the wonderful support of those of you who have backed me up with donations, advice and even thread-bumping. We all did this together.

I am starting to reach out for interested adoptive parents. Started zealously approaching this yesterday in anticipating of having the surgeries done soon. This afternoon, I received an inquiry from a sound potential possibility who is interested in Monet or Elise.

I will keep you guys posted as I can.

Once again, I cannot thank you enough.


July 24, 2013

For the love of a cat named Nikita:A message for cat-savvy people (part 4 continued from the Lounge)

Perhaps you have seen the threads I have been posting the last few weeks about a cat who adopted me. I have always owned dogs, and when I opened my door one day and found this beautiful little cat meowing at me, I in my naivety did not know what she wanted from me. "She wants food, but if you feed her, you will have a cat," my neighbors said. I looked back at her earnest face and emaciated body and asked of my neighbors, "What is the alternative?" I promptly left and went to the store to buy some cat food. And that was the start of a very, long arduous journey which is culminating with this thread today and the ensuing two to three weeks.

Here are the threads if you wish to review them, and here is a picture of the beautiful cat who I have named Nikita who climbed the steps to my doorway that day.

Thread 3 at http://www.democraticunderground.com/1018434376
Thread 2 at http://www.democraticunderground.com/1018337627
Thread 1 at http://www.democraticunderground.com/1018319954

If you have had the opportunity to follow her story, you know one of the enduring questions that arose as the story progressed was this: was she pregnant. In the meantime, some of my neighbors became upset that now a cat was hanging around in the neighborhood and upsetting the applecart. I persisted in my determination to help this cat with whom I developed a deep bond. I did a lot of research, and asked that DU'ers who had a lot of information and advice to answer my questions along the way. The overwhelming amount of support I received from our community of cat-savvy people is truly impressive. They donated their time and helped me progress in my journey with Nikita to a very positive end.

But then one day, Nikita left. I was devastated. I did not see her for 2 days. When she finally returned, I was shocked by her appearance. She had dropped an incredible amount of weight suddenly. So I knew she must have had a litter. People told me that cats often hide their litter for protection from predators and the elements. You can read what happened next in either Thread 2 or 3.

But I recently took the advice of what DU'ers pushed me to do, I had Nikita spayed, given all her shots, tested for HIV, ears cleaned, nails clipped. This was done at hospital in Laurel, Maryland. Today, Nikita is thriving and for the first time in her life has a name, an address, a permanent home, a human being that loves her and tons of DU'ers who have followed her story. She also has 5 kittens:

May I introduce from left to right:

Monet (so beautiful, white with patches of color so brilliant one thinks of a painting by Monet); my very first impression of her was the stunning look she carries seems simply to give her the appearance of a truly beautiful work of art;

Dane (front and center) gray with lighter thin gray stripes and beautiful blue eyes;

Sunny (behind Dane) so golden, so beautiful she lights up the space;

Elise (named from the enchanting Beethoven piece) because she too is enchanting, colored similarly to Monet, and she is "kissing"

Bo (to the right) strikingly black with a white stripe down his nose and white paws with some white also on the stomach area.

I call them collectively Nikita's kids.

Today I start a fund-raising appeal to ask those who have the ability and willingness to do so to help me get the same treatment for each of Nikita's kids that I was able to get for Nikita herself. This will not only be a great thing for their health, but it will further the adoption process. I had an opportunity to put these kittens in a colony, but I chose to keep them. I wanted to find them wonderful homes. So I should mention here if you have a place in your heart and your home to love one of Nikita's kittens, if you are anywhere near the DC metro area, I would love to hear from you.

Our own Animal Control facility is stacked to the hilt and cannot take in any more animals. But I wanted to take the responsibility for Nikita's kids in finding good homes for them.

I have already received some offers from a few DU'ers to help. My estimate was that I would need to raise $325 for the 5 kittens. That is based on the fact that Nikita's cost $65.00. I have been discussing this matter with SPAY NOW, an Animal Surgery Clinic in Laurel, Maryland. Here are the figures they quoted me:

Feral females cost $60 for exam, spay, FVRCP (distemper), rabies, deworming, and ear clean
Feral males cost $50 for exam, neuter, FVRCP (distemper), rabies, deworming, and ear clean

Tame females cost $65 for exam, spay, FVRCP (distemper), rabies, deworming, nail trim, and ear clean
Tame males cost $55 for exam, spay, FVRCP (distemper), rabies, deworming, nail trim, and ear clean

I want to take them all at the same time, so today I am officially asking if you are reading this thread and are willing to make a contribution, no matter how small, please respond to this thread or send me a private message. Because the rates are different for males and females, I am not sure what the final total will be. But I will keep everyone informed as to how much is collected and what the final bill will be.

There will be 3 ways to donate, so you can private message me with questions. The way I am hoping most choose is to call the clinic, give them a credit card number and make the donation that way. One person has suggested I set up a PayPal account. I can see the appeal in that, but I do remember there are fees assessed and I would like to funnel every penny to the treatment instead of the payment mechanism. However, if enough people want this, I will pursue it. The third way is simply to send me a check. I would be thrilled with even $5.00. You can private message me and I will give you my name and address.

So keeping just as a working number the $325 I started with, I would like to let you know I have a pledge of $100 from a very generous DU'er who has followed Nikita's story who wants to help her kids. This means I only need to raise $225.00. I also have a couple of people who said they will donate, but left the amount hanging.

So I apologize for the length of this thread. I know some of you do not get down to the Lounge often and may not have been following this saga. But if you have it in your heart and can afford to make a donation for Nikita's kids, please let me know. As this effort continues, I will keep people informed of how we are progressing. I will also post updated pictures of the kids as I can capture decent shots. I leave you with these snaps of Bo for now.

This is Bo playing his favorite spot. Looks like a cage, but it is not, just a wire plant stand I had that he found and immediately staked a claim on. Stay tuned for more pictures and updates, and please help if you can.

Here Bo is sitting on his security blanket -- what else but a Mickey Mouse towel!

Thanks for reading.


July 14, 2013

Hey Cat-Savvy Du'ers -- For the Love of a Cat named Nikita -- a continuation (Part 3) UPDATE

Two earlier threads I posted for cat-savvy Du'ers pleaded for advice and assistance in taking care of a cat which had suddenly appeared on my doorstep.

Thread 1 at http://www.democraticunderground.com/1018319954

Thread 2 at http://www.democraticunderground.com/1018337627

These threads discussed my quandary in taking care of the cat since I had never owned one. Several generous posters here gave me invaluable assistance. Additionally, I have received private emails from concerned Du'ers. Lastly, the last update request I received I could not accommodate for reasons you are about to discern, but I do apologize for that. But one pending question that was left in suspense will now be answered.

Was she or wasn't she pregnant?

May I introduce from left to right:

Monet (so beautiful, white with patches of color so brilliant one thinks of a painting by Monet); my very first impression of her was the stunning look she carries seems simply to give her the appearance of a truly beautiful work of art;

Dane (front and center) gray with lighter thin gray stripes and beautiful blue eyes;

Sunny (behind Dane) so golden, so beautiful she lights up the space;

Elise (named from the enchanting Beethoven piece) because she too is enchanting, colored similarly to Monet, and she is "kissing"

Bo (to the right) strikingly black with a white stripe down his nose and white paws with some white also on the stomach area.

I call them collectively Nikita's kids, and I am sure you will intuitively realize why I have not had the time to post an update! They will be seven weeks old Sunday.

It has been a wild ride for me and I will describe more of it in a thread to follow soon. But I want to mention I am looking for loving people who might want to adopt a beautiful child of Nikita's. If you live anywhere in or near the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area and you have room in your heart and your home for a another kitten to love, please let me know. I am just now starting to look for homes for them and I know there are a lot of people here who would be the kindest of caretakers for one of Nikita's kids. I am reaching out through several venues but I specifically wanted to tell cat-lovers here. Why? The cat-lovers at DU are the most knowledgeable and kindest people I have ever encountered.

Additionally, I thank you all who helped me survive this journey. I did not have the tools in my toolbag to go it alone, and you guys helped me so much. It has been extremely difficult, not ever having owned a cat. But I have developed an extreme bond with the cat who adopted me, and she will become a permanent part of the household, along with my dog Cheyenne and perhaps one of these beautiful kittens.

But all of the hard work, homework, research, sleepless nights -- all of it was done for my love for the cat named Nikita who one day decided to adopt ME. Labors of love for the beautiful Nikita ...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for all your coaching and caring.

More later, but I hope to see some comments on Nikita's kids from those of you who helped me on my journey.

But let me leave you with just one note of a hilarious moment. If you were a participant on those previous threads, you might remember the second day Nikita lived here, she saw Cheyenne and I come out the door for our walk. As we walked down the sidewalk towards the street, she fell in line behind us. Much to my amazement, she tagged along for the whole walk. My neighbors thought this was a riot. She continued to do this each day.

One day, a car stopped suddenly and the driver said to me, "Ma'am, are you walking a cat?" I just looked at him and said, "I am walking my dog, and the cat has decided to come along for the ride." He laughed and pulled away. A few nights ago, I came out of the house with Cheyenne for our evening walk. I wondered if Nikita would follow, but I was unsure since she had moved her family to my porch (she had relocated the litter twice and I just met them!). I waited until we had gone a few steps and turned around to see. Nikita had walked to the end of my sidewalk, and was giving her version of the cat-mom meow to her kittens, the one the says "come to me."

Oh, my God! She was not only going for the walk, she was summoning her five babies to fall in line behind her. A visual appeared before my eyes of me walking down the path, Cheyenne beside me on her leash, Nikita trailing behind as was her habit, and FIVE SIX WEEK OLD KITTENS TAGGING ALONG BEHIND NIKITA. Panicked at the mere thought of taking these newborn cat babes down the streets, I hurriedly picked up Cheyenne and walked quickly back to the house. So everything ended well since I short-circuited the walk but I was left wondering how to deal with this plan of Nikita's. The next day, I took Cheyenne out in the back yard, but we did not walk. The following day, pretending the incident with the follow-me meow call by Nikita to her kids a few days before never happened, I started again with Cheyenne and headed towards our path. What do you think happened? I am thinking I probably do not have to tell you!!! So Cheyenne's daily walks are on hold for now until ... until????

Stay tuned for the future updates of the "daze of my and Nikita's lives" which will answer other pending questions such as, "What ever happened to the Big Gray cat" and reveal the destiny of the dreaded Black Cat that hissed at me when I warded him off from trying to mate with Nikita and eat her food....

With love,


UPDATE: This morning I received part of the information I have been seeking from the organization that treated Nikita. She was spayed, tested for HIV, given a rabies shot as well as all the other shots she needed to have. She had her ears cleaned out and a flea treatment.

I am going to post a thread in General Discussion asking for help with getting this same treatment for the 5 kittens. This probably will happen later tonight or tomorrow morning when they give me the rest of the information. So for right now, could you please let me know if you would be willing to contribute. I am trying to make it possible for people to donate 3 different ways. It can be in a small amount if that is all one can afford.

The cost for Nikita to get all of the above was $65.00. If I have to pay that much for 5, I would need to raise $325.00. However, I already have a pledge of $100, so that takes it down to $225.00. Also, the person from the rescue organization told me he might kick in a few bucks. I have two other people who have mentioned they wold like to give.

But I asked for a rescue rate (the man who trapped the kittens and Nikita told me to use the name of his organization and ask for the rescue rate) so I am not sure if they will charge me per kitten or give me an overall discount collectively for the 5.

The age of the kittens can be less than 14 weeks but each one has to weigh 2 pounds. I cannot begin to guess their weight. But I do know this. I will be taking them all at once. I need to do this not only for their health but to facilitate the adoption process.

So if you are willing and able to give anything, please email me and let me know the amount and the preferred manner of payment. The way I am hoping most people will donate is to call the organization (I will supply the name, address and number) and give them a credit card number to be credited to my account for "Nikita's kids&quot . That way, when the number is reached that I need to reach to take them all down, the bill will be paid.

I would pay for this myself, but my budget is extremely tight and I just don't have a lot of resources. I am also spending money for litter and their food, and I will continue to do this while I have them

So if you want to participate, please let me know. You can post it here or send me an email. So please help if you can, but if you cannot and you have posted advice for me on these 3 threads I have submitted, I thank you for that help. I couldn't gave gotten this far without you guys. So -- complete fund-raising appeal will be posted in General Discussion when I receive the last of the info from this organization, but for now, I would like a preliminary idea of what might be doable, so email me or post on this thread. And a big THANK YOU.

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