Our May “Spa” Week was “All About Lottie.” What was so exciting about our June “Spa” Week is that it was all about “Stopping the Cycle” with Lottie’s family of 6 little male kittens. (Pictured above is Oliver, one of Lottie’s little boys.) They all came back from their new homes and were neutered and vaccinated. Here is where Lottie and Dad cat didn’t add up to 2 . . . they added up to 8 with the birth of the 6 kittens. Now that Lottie is spayed (and is doing fantastic after all she has gone through this past month!), Dad cat was just neutered and so were all of their kittens, the reproduction cycle has ended for this family. That is what Trap/Neuter/Return (TNR) is all about. Out of the 63 cats that were part of our June “Spa” Week, there was only one pregnant cat. To say the least, that is a great statistic and it shows that TNR is working in our participating communities of Steelton Borough, Swatara Township and Susquehanna Township.
Each TNR surgery clinic is different. The norm for all of our “spa” weeks is that we always expect a few sick or injured cats. They may have an Upper Respiratory Infection, Urinary Tract Infection, eye infections, broken leg or paw, broken or rotted teeth, or open wounds or bites that need treated. However, this month, we faced a few other challenges. Sadly, one male cat was so ill, he passed away before we could get him veterinary care. Diagnosis . . . liver failure. Next, a colony caretaker who had been trying for the past two years to trap “Mama” cat finally was able to bring her in. However, it was obvious that Mama wasn’t feeling well and needed medical attention. Blood was drawn, the results were not good . . . her hemoglobin count was very, very low indicating she was severely anemic and possibly had cancer. We’ve experienced very low blood counts with other cats and after some rest and treatment and tender loving care, we’ve had really good results. But, with Mama, that was not the case. After just four days in our Care Center and her health deteriorating day by day, Mama was re-examined at The Vetting Zoo Animal Hospital. To add to all her woes, she was diagnosed with liver failure. SCC immediately contacted Mama’s caretaker who make the tough decision to euthanize her. And then there is Honey, a semi-feral pet of one of our volunteers. Honey has been quite elusive, but due to a front leg injury Honey finally made it to one of our surgery clinics to be spayed. It is difficult to believe, but this 8-year-old, tough as nails, very petite cat doesn’t even weigh 5 pounds. While being spayed, a malignant mass was found in her abdominal area, plus upon further examination while under anesthesia, it was confirmed that her left front leg was broken. Honey will be going back home and will live her remaining days in great comfort with her caretaker.
But, there is some good news to share. Four approximately 4-month-old kittens were dropped off at a local non-profit organization. The manager called SCC asking if we could fit 3 females and a male kitten into our surgery clinic. Of course, we did! The big question, where are they going to go afterwards. Castaway Critters to the rescue! Three beautiful dilute calicoes (Willow Marie, Meryl Ashley and Layla) and one very charming gray and white male kitten (Spencer) are up for adoption. Please check the Castaway Critters website (www.castawaycritters.org) for more information about these sweeties.
Thanks to a Susan Giblin Foundation grant SCC received in February, we were able to assist several colony caretakers from outside our participating communities. Eleven cats from the City of Harrisburg were spayed and neutered. Two were too ill to be done and are in our Care Center. When they complete their course of antibiotics, they will be spayed/neutered and will be returned to their colony.