Sebastian came to us earlier in the year (late January or early February, I think).  He was a mess.  I remember when I first looked in his cage, I was horrified.  Sebastian was curled up in a puffy pink bed, head resting over the side.  He looked up at me and let out a silent meow.  I opened the cage door and he barely moved.  His fur was falling out in patches and dark scabs littered his skin.  When I pet him, all I felt was bone.  Sebastian’s hips protruded grotesquely, skin taunt.  I felt tears well in my eyes looking at him.  I could never understand how anyone could starve their pet (or their children).  Seriously.  You have a responsibility.  Anyway…

We fed Sebastian special “recover” wet food several times a day and gave him sub q fluids.  He scarfed down the food with each feeding and eventually began eating dry food.  We didn’t want Sebastian to become ill from feeding him too quickly.  Afterall, who knows how long it had been since he last ate on a regular basis.  Slow and steady, as they say.  Sebastian showed signs of improvement within a week.

I was extremely worried about him.  I held my breath each time he visited the vet.  Ask anyone at the shelter.  Sebastian needed lots of TLC, which he had been deprived of for so long.  We gave it to him.  During this time, I was cleaning cat cages 3-4 days a week.  I made sure I set time aside to spoil Sebastian.  I would carry on one-sided conversations, give him pets, give him treats, the whole kit-n-kaboodle.  He didn’t move around his cage much.  Mostly, he remained curled in his bed.  We thought this was because of weakness or muscular atrophy.



About a week after his arrival, Sebastian hopped out of his cage.  We noticed that he had a limp.  When we touched an area of his hip, it was warm and caused Sebastian discomfort.  He bought himself another vet visit.

It turned out that Sebastian was bitten by another animal before we rescued him, which caused an abscess.  The abscess was drained and Sebastian was placed on a regime of antibiotics.  When I saw him a few days later, he was being a little freshie and played rough, biting and bunny-kicking my hand.  I knew Sebastian was feeling better.

The change in Sebastian over the course of a month was incredible.  He put on a substantial amount of weight, his eyes were bright, and he was more outgoing.  Don’t get me wrong – he was far from fully recovered.  However, Sebastian’s face filled out nicely, his missing fur was growing back, and he looked “underweight” rather than emaciated.

Sebastian enjoyed the attention during his photoshoot for  ♥  He totally hammed it up for my camera!

He’s still available for adoption, as of today.  If you are interested, here’s his Petfinder profile.  And you could always follow Save The Animals Rescue Team, II on Facebook and Twitter. 🙂




Adoptables and Adoptions

We had a great weekend for adoptions.  Seven cats and three dogs found forever homes!  Two more dogs were being looked at yesterday and today.  If they are adopted, then we only have three dogs left at the shelter.  Cats are starting to come in steady, but its nothing like it was last year.  It seemed kitten season started pretty early for us in 2012, and our shelter was flooded with kittens and teenagers by the beginning of March.

Harmony and her newborns are doing well in foster care.  When she is finished nursing, the kittens will be adopted out and Harmony will be spayed and adopted.

The shelter manager was able to pick up Girlfriend and bring her inside.  On Sunday she looked terrified.  Girlfriend mewed the entire morning and acted a little skittish.  I am sure the move inside was stressful for her, but we were afraid that one of the dogs were going to get her.  She started hanging out up in the front yard on the roof of the dog runs.  A couple of our pooches aren’t so cat friendly and go ballistic when they see Handsome walking in the street outside of the shelter.

Girlfriend was a bit better on Monday.  She was purring, talking, and marking me as her property.  She’s so cute.  I was giving her lots of cheek scratches and Girlfriend flopped over and showed her belly.  Soooo adoptable!  She misses being around other cats.  When Girlfriend sees Romeo in the cage next to her, she stops meowing and starts purr-meowing and chirping.  We were contemplating putting her in a large cage with Wobbles (aka April) since they were buddies outside.  We’ll have to reintroduce them first and see how they fare.

Houdini and Lucky spent a lot of time with me Monday morning.  Lucky is doing great – he put on a healthy amount of weight.  When he came in from Paterson, he was all bone, weighing in at 4 pounds.  When he got neutered a couple of weeks ago, he weighed 10 pounds.  He’s trying to play with the other cats, but it’s like he doesn’t quite know how.  Boots went through the same thing.  Maybe if we put Lucky in the playroom with some teenagers, they can teach him.  I’m sure he’ll learn fairly quick.

Houdini is such an awesome cat.  There’s no other way to describe him.  He loves to play and loves being around people.  Houdini curled up next to me and demanded belly rubs Monday.  Then he would jump over my shoulders (using my shoulders as a springboard) and ham it up on my other side.  Several weeks in a row, Houdini has won the START II Post Caturday Shelter Award for Cleanest Cage.  I think he would do best in a home with children (about 5+).  And, he would also be great for a family who has never experienced the joys of cat guardianship.  He’s easy to care for, has plenty of love to give, and just wants to be around people.

Houdini Talking

Houdini Talking

My Buddy, Cosmo

SONY DSCThis past weekend, my buddy, Cosmo, was adopted!  

When Cosmo came to START II he was terrified.  His eyes were round disks, pupils so dilated that hardly any green of his iris showed.  I felt really bad for him.  I’ve seen some cats adjust very quickly, immediately walking around the shelter like they own the place.  Others have a very difficult time adjusting to their new surroundings (see Boots). Cosmo was one of the difficult ones.  The different scents of all the other cats and dogs was too much too soon.  The first day I met Cosmo, he didn’t purr once for me.

The next time I saw Cosmo, he was bit better.  At least he would purr.  However, he was still having a hard time adjusting to the other cats.  A caution sign, as well as a “I DO NOT like other cats” label was fixed to his cage card.  I knew that he wasn’t mean or feral.  He was just scared.  And I certainly wasn’t going to force him to adjust at my pace.  Cosmo needed to adjust at his own pace.  

One thing was certain.  The number of cats at the shelter excited him.  Not an excited in a playful way.  More like an excited hissy-spitty-I’m-going-to-scratch-your-eyes-out sorta way.  He was going to be a challenge to work with.  A few of the volunteers didn’t feel comfortable cleaning his cage or socializing with him.  I knew in my gut that he was a lovable, highly adoptable cat.

I set time aside during the days I volunteered for Cosmo.  I made sure to give him extra pets, lots of hugs and kisses, and playtime.  I know a couple of dedicated volunteers joined me in this crusade.  Our group effort worked because in a couple of weeks, Cosmo was playful, bright-eyed, and loving.  Each time I arrived in the morning, he paced back and forth meowing at me until I opened his cage to pet him.  I still set time aside for him. He didn’t freak out as badly the last couple of weeks when other cats were out.  It looked like he wanted to play.  Cosmo loves playtime with people.  One of his favorite games was chasing a feathered wand toy.  He went absolutely bonkers over it.

A moment of clarity arose when I was playing with him one afternoon.  I had half my body in his cage and I was giving him belly rubs.  Cosmo decided to give me some pretty rough bunny kicks.  He was totally into the moment and started biting my hand.  Cosmo paused for a moment and looked at me.  My face was right next to his.  I half expected him to bite my cheek or scratch at my face, lost in the moment of playing.  Instead, he rubbed his forehead against my cheek and gave me kisses.  I returned his affections.

On Saturday evening I received a text that Cosmo found a forever home.  I was so ecstatic that tears welled in my eyes.  We thought he would have had to been adopted out of the shelter instead of showing at one of the Petsmart locations.  A family saw him his first day at Petsmart and fell in love with him.  That’s by buddy, Cosmo.  What’s not to love?


Awakening Prometheus

Prometheus was up early today playing.  He tired quickly though.

Prometheus passed out in bed

Prometheus passed out in bed

It’s hard to believe that such a precious, cute face could be so mischievous.  Sometimes I don’t think he knows his own strength.

Close-up of Prometheus sleeping

Close-up of Prometheus sleeping

And then he wakes up with a huge yawn.  He’s ready to play.  Look at those teeth.  And people wonder why my arms are always scratched up.  Yup, this boy is a biter.  He loves to shake his head around once he’s latched onto an arm.

Prometheus - RAWR!

Prometheus – RAWR!