Today was a very sad day...Priscilla Cat had to be put to sleep. She was diagnosed with cancer nearly two years ago but was in remission. A week earlier she started acting odd...eating less, sleeping more, and very lethargic. I took her to the oncologist this week and although the cancer had not returned...the diagnosis was heart failure. After seeing her suffer for several days I made the decision to have her euthanized, probably the most difficult decision I have ever had to make. She was the joy of my life and the reason I became involved in TNR in 2003, the year she was born. Below is my favorite photo of her taken on 27 November, 2009.
Priscilla Cat - 27 November 2009
"Prissy" was found in a woodpile in the summer of 2003 along with three Mama cats and a total of 11 kittens. Two friends of mine and I decided TNR was needed. We called AzCATS and, after repeated attempts, no one called us back. So instead we decided to rescue all of them, thinking they might be adoptable. We all took several for foster including the Mama cats. Prissy was the smallest one and the last to emerge from the woodpile. I fostered several of the kittens including Prissy and adopted her and her sister Liza Jane who were both somewhat feral. All of us adopted a few and some tamer kittens were adopted out including Prissy to begin with. However, I missed her so much I asked her adopter to give her back to me. Thankfully he agreed...
After this experience I decided to become more involved in the rescue community. It was my good fortune to meet Jan Raven of AzCATs at a Maddie's meeting later in 2003 at AAWL. Jan asked me to come to one of their high-volume feral cat clinics in Gilbert. I was hooked! Shortly after this I met Suzie and the TNR program really took off. In 2007 I retired to do TNR full-time. I made a promise that I would be sure everyone who needed assistance - got it. My plan was to put my engineering experience to work to solve a problem I believed was solvable. The results were spectacular. In 2003, AzCATs TNR'd 3,430 cats. In 2008, before we left to begin the Spay Neuter Hotline (SNH) TNR program, we TNR'd 13,049 cats!
I have kept the on-going TNR stats since AzCATs began in 1999. That year, AzCATs TNR'd 360 cats. In 2014, the SNH TNR'd 16,080 cats. From 1999 through this month, 143,751 cats have been TNR'd through these two programs in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Thank you ADLA for continuing this incredible program in 2009.
This is a great achievement and I am so proud to have been a part of it. Today, I am even more devoted to TNR. Over the years I have done TNR as far away as Prescott Valley, Casa Grande, Black Canyon City, Wickenburg, Gila Bend and Aguila. in fact, tomorrow I am headed to Aguila once again to trap a colony of over 80 cats! It is not just about the cats but about the wonderful caregivers (and even the difficult ones) I have met over the years...folks I would never have met otherwise. Many, in fact most, are very devoted to the cats they feed and care for.
A few weeks ago I helped someone who indeed fits the above. I have helped him over the years with TNR at his business and he is devoted to the cats he feeds...so much so he has built an enclosure at his business that provides shelter and refuge for the cats.
We are very lucky to be working now with the MidWestern University school of veterinary medicine. Last month they began doing mobile clinics for feral cats! This exciting program provides free Spay/Neuter but also allows students to do community service and hand's on training. Thank you Dr. Kreisler and staff for fixing close to 100 feral cats for the Hotline in the last month.
Midwestern Mobile Nov 2015
Any finally, we were able to help this quintessential Tom cat recently thanks to the efforts of the staff at the N. Phoenix Animal Clinic. It looked like a case of ear mites but turned out to not only an abscess on his ear, but numbers wounds and abscesses on his legs. The clinic cleaned and drained them and gave him a shot of Convenia, a time-release antibiotic. The caregivers had only seen him a few times but he was lucky enough to be trapped.
Tom before surgery
So it is off to Aguila tomorrow to trap. It is a long drive but will give me time to listen to a new audio book - "The Evolution of Everything" by Matt Ridley. You might remember Matt Ridley's previous book "The Red Queen". Well, I feel like I am "The Red Queen" most of the time! But I persist...
If you want to help cats and caregivers in need by donating to The Priscilla Fund, in memory of Priscilla, please email me @: email@example.com
The Priscilla Fund has funded TNR for caregivers and cats in need for since 2011, helping more than 5,000 cats in need. Thank you for your support.