Pet

TIPS 'n' TALES
Celebrates People and Pets
Mary Ellen and Miss Wings
Mary Ellen
Tips 'n' Tales Newspaper Columnist with Miss Wings

Dog Rescues One Lucky Cat!

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http://www.angelscribe.com/tnt_072209.html
Photo by Mary Ellen "Angel Scribe"
Mary explains to her two fur children that if they behave for this photograph,
they and their wonderful rescue stories will make them famous!
Photo by Mary Ellen "Angel Scribe"
Suzy, is an 8-year-old Terrier-Schipperke mix rescued from the Humane Society,
and 3 year old Lucky's rescue was a miracle involving both Mary and Suzy!
As you can see, all three are on their best behavior for the photograph,
even though Suzy looks a bit shy of her new found fame.

 TALES
 
When Mary's husband, Elwyn, was alive, he always welcomed the pets she brought home.  Over the years she rescued and they reared 9 cats and dogs.

Three summers ago, Mary and her dog Suzy went for their usual morning stroll along the  river. They are inseparable buddies, great walking partners, and as they walked along, Suzy turned the trip into a rescue mission. 

Suzy ran to the side of the path and intently began rummaging around in some overgrown bushes.  She was so focused that Mary went to investigate.  What Mary discovered tore at her heart strings.  A teeny-tiny-tabby kitten!  The abandoned and starving kitten was barely alive and resembled an outer space creature.  It was nothing but HUGE eyes, tall ears, and a bloated belly.

Abandoned cats in the wild have less than a 2% survival rate.  Kittens have 0%. It was a miracle that Suzy discovered the kitten. Mary bent over and gently picked up the kitten.  It was too weak to meow or resist. Mary was confident that her neighbors, Loralee and Phil, would want to adopt the baby.  She promptly popped the small orphan into her pocket.

But, her neighbors could not take the cat.  They graciously offered to help out by being its godparents, and kitty-sitting anytime Mary needed.

Mary felt that Elwyn put the kitten in her path.  The kitten needed help, and Mary needed something to nurture.  And, oh boy, did this 5-week-old kitten need Mary!  She rushed it directly to a veterinary clinic. The veterinarian gave the kitten fluids and placed it in an incubator.  When the kitten stabilized, Mary returned and paid the bill, which made her the "official" guardian.  She looked at the lucky little kitten, nestled in her pocket for the trip home...and appropriately named him "Lucky."

Because of his age and starvation, Lucky was underdeveloped and in poor health.  He had great difficulty eating.  Mary donned her retired nurse's cap and nursed him back to health.  She gave him every chance in the world to survive.

Lucky showed no interest in food, had trouble chewing and swallowing, and his bloated stomach remained a problem.  Finally, shockingly, an enema produced only one thing...partly digested grass. The poor baby had tried to survive by eating grass!  His immunity was low, he developed ringworm and infections, and continued having stomach issues.  Mary came to his rescue time after time.

Three years ago, it looked like Lucky's odds of survival were slim to nothing. But with Mary's love and care, he has developed into a beautiful cat.

"Lucky and his rescuer Suzy are great friends.  Each morning, they greet each other with a morning-nose-sniff.  Then to start their day off...they have a playful romp through the house together," laughs Mary. "Then, Suzy spends the rest of the day following me like my shadow, but not Lucky. Lucky remains an independent cat. His early traumatic experience does not deter him from loving the great outdoors.

He is very smart and in command of his life...and mine!  When he wants out of the house, he meows for me to open the door.  When he is ready to come in, he sits in front of the sliding glass door.  He knows I will see him and let him in. 

Lucky has never clawed our furniture.  I put down a scratching cardboard post, from the feed store, sprinkled it with catnip, and he loves using it." Mary softly adds, "Everyone thinks that it was lucky that we found this cat, but Suzy and I are also fortunate to have found Lucky."


TIPS

"It is more cost-effective to spay and neuter your pet than raise a litter for their lifetime...or hope that someone as kind as Mary will rescue them," says Janetta Overholser, President of the Humane Society of Cottage Grove.

"A cat can produce up to 8 kittens per litter, and a dog 16 puppies.....do you know that many caring people who want another pet?" asks Janetta.

"If three families you know each let their cat have a litter of kittens, finding homes for 24-plus kittens amongst friends and neighbors is not an easy accomplishment. If you give away your pet's babies in front of a store, how do you know the people taking them won't feed the kitten or puppy to their pet snake or crocodile or sell them to a university for product research? Please neuter and spay," adds Janetta. "The animals and your community will thank you for it.  Also, animals not altered have a higher rate of contracting cancer." 

Veterinarian Dr. Lisa Picconi confirms, "The first heat cycle in females increases their chance of mammary gland cancer by more than 50%.  Un-neutered males are more likely to have prostate problems, including cancer, than neutered males."

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