You are going to need a box of Kleenex for this story. In 2000 electrician Roza Katovitch suddenly lost her fiance to a heart aneurysm. Three days later her father died. This sent Roza into a tailspin which led to depression and eventually homelessness because she was not emotionally able to work.
Every day she would go to the cemetery where both men are buried to tend to their graves. And she would be there all day long. She got to know the animals who came around. There were skunks, birds, raccoons and of course, feral cats. Carolyn Jones staff writer for the San Francisco Chronicle will tell you the rest of Roza’s story in this article which ends well for Roza and Miss Tuxedo the cat, with great photos.
And yes, we noticed that her last name is KATovitch! Cats must be her destiny!
One Christmas a customer gave us some bulbs which she said to put in a vase with pebbles and water (very Martha Stewart!). The window sill in the bathroom seemed like the perfect place to put them.
One night Torti, our feisty little tortoiseshell, was sitting on the back of the sofa when she fell over as if fainting. Cats don’t “faint” like we can. We knew this was very serious so we rushed her to the emergency vet hospital.
An hour later she went into cardiac arrest 5 times, and 5 times the doctor defibrillated her. Mystified as why this was happening the vet contacting a colleague, a veterinary heart specialist in another state. The tension was intense. The attending nurses were crying because they had never seen a cat survive more than one episode of cardiac arrest let alone five in quick succession.
Torti survived a case of arrhythmia where something causes the heart to slow to a dangerous level which can lead to failure and death.
When things settled down the vet and the out of state specialist asked us if she could have ingested anything toxic in our home. Since we are greener than green and obsessed with being as toxin free as possible we were stumped. But we questioned everything in the house and office, and of course felt horribly guilty that we’d done something wrong. The next days were spent agonizing over what could have caused the arrhythmia.
Four days later when Torti was discharged and came home the first thing she did was trot into the bathroom, leap on top the sink, and make a bee-line for that vase. It was beginning to flower and we recognized them as Narcissus. I grabbed Torti and shut the door to keep her out. Using Google and the words: cats narcissus heart – there it was! That’s what caused Torti’s near death experience! Torti became known far and wide as Torti Narcissus – The Miracle Cat! Her photo is still on the refrigerator of one of the nurses who tended to her that night. The out of state specialist was so impressed with Torti’s survival and recovery that he flew in to meet her and examine her himself.
Torti had no lingering effects from her ordeal and she lived another 10 very happy years. Every time she went to the vet everyone wanted to see Torti Narcissus – The Miracle Cat.
Giving and Receiving Flowers
It sounds like we’ve put the kibosh on giving and receiving pretty flowers! It may feel like there isn’t much left. Don’t despair! Roses – you can’t go wrong with roses, especially when they are locally grown and not sprayed with pesticides.
Long time readers of our newsletter know that we have bunnies as well as our cats.
When we adopted Madeline, who became our Chief Feline Officer, she needed a name. The shelter had called her Spice but it didn’t suit her. So we opened up a contest to readers to name her. Her full name became Madeline Silver Belle. The winner received 4 cat toys.
Here are our new bunnies! They are very young brothers. They are what we bunny fans call “rubies” as they have white fur with ruby colored eyes. Currently they are named Marshmallow and Tiny. Tiny is the tiny one who weighs about two pounds. They will be the companions to Ralph, a 7 year old Dutch bunny. Yes, it’s a bromance!
Put on your creativity cap and send us some cute names! Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “New Bunnies Names.” As before, the winner will receive 4 cat toys!
Winter is a cold and potentially dangerous time of year for feral and homeless cats, whether or not a polar vortex is pushing arctic air into your neighborhood. Here’s some ways to help.
Alley Cat Allies is a national advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of feral cats (www.alleycat.org). You may have seen their “I’m an alley cat ally” ads featuring Hollywood personalities including Portia De Rossi. Alley Cat Allies has posted a good article on how to help feral cats during the winter at www.alleycat.org/WinterWeather.
Another way to help is to contact one of your local feral cat organizations. Alley Cat Allies has a posted a contact form at www.alleycat.org/sslpage.aspx?pid=1452 so they can connect you with an organization in your area that is a member of their Feral Friends Network. They also have a National Cat Help Desk that you can contact via www.alleycat.org/sslpage.aspx?pid=1453.
You can also find local feral cat assistance groups by doing search via Google for “feral cat (insert your city or area).” Contact your local group and ask how you can help.
One of the best ways to help feral and homeless cats during the winter is to provide shelters to keep them warm and out of the weather. Here’s a great video on how to make a simple low cost shelter from a plastic tote box. It even includes a cute cat helper providing supervision.
Everyone loved the article we posted about the Boy Scout who built winterized boxes to house feral cats in his community. You liked it so much that we searched for blueprints for something similar you crafty folks could make your own. Here are some plans for a larger “Feral Cat Condo” from a Michigan animal rescue group – www.voiceless-mi.org/plans/
So get out there and help feral cats this winter. You may make some new friends – both human and feline.