It’s about love (Scroll down for an update)

Sixteen years ago on a sunny day we brought home a little ginger kitten from the local shelter. We named her McGwire, because it was the same day as Mark McGwire hit his 62nd home run. And she was a ginger, so it fit.

The Redhead was not quite a year old then, and she was only a few months. From the moment he laid eyes on this tiny little ginger ball of fur and poked her with his pudgy little finger, she was his kitty.

They grew up together. McGwire, or Mac, as we like to call her, didn’t like very many people. She shunned most everyone except her immediate family. But, oh how she loved the Redhead! You could see her little head perk up every time he walked into the room. He would pick her up and hold her like a baby in his arms, while kissing her smushy little face. She licked his fingers and rubbed her furry head against his hands. If he happened to have his room door closed, barring her from entry, you could hear her yowls from other floors in the house as she pounded her little paws against his room door until he opened it.

Two gingers

Two gingers

I can’t begin to describe the swelling in my heart when I would look in on the Redhead sleeping every morning before going to work and see two gingers on that bed – a small feline and my son. She would sleep with him every night, and when she heard me peek through the door, she would lift her head to ensure that no one was out to hurt her human, look at me, and peacefully close her eyes again.

The bond between an animal and her human.

Last week I had to take Mac to the vet, because she refused to eat. At first I thought it was because she was grumpy with us for leaving her with Rob’s step brother while we went to Vegas. After all, he’s not us. But no. She refused to eat again, and began vomiting spectacularly green, foamy liquid after a few days. Her calcium and kidney levels are off the charts, and she’s so weak, that the internal medicine doc put her on a feeding tube. They’re running a bunch of tests – ultrasounds, blood tests, biopsies, x-rays…

Mac is still alive and being fed through a tube. So far her treatment is costing us $4000. It’s a lot. Who has that kind of money lying around? And it could be more before her calcium returns to normal. But I refuse to let my friend die because it’s too expensive to help her. I refuse to break my son’s heart because I couldn’t afford to save his buddy. I won’t go back on my promise to care for this beautiful sweet creature, because of money. When you make a commitment to an animal, it’s no different than a commitment to a human being. These are creatures completely dependent on you for food, shelter and care. Would you really let them die, because it was too expensive to help them live?

Poor, sick kitty.

Poor, sick kitty.

It’s not about money. It’s about love.

Look, you’ve seen me ask for support for my friends on this blog when they needed help healing their furry friends. I’m good at asking for help for others, but not so good for myself. However, I’m also smart enough to know when I can’t handle things on my own. $4000 is a lot of money, and it may wind up being much more than that.

So I’m swallowing my pride and asking for your help today. Help me save my friend. Help me heal her – something the doctors say is very possible. Help me give my son a few more years with his best friend. She is in the hospital. She needs tests. She needs IV fluids and already has a feeding tube. She needs medication to control her calcium. And then there’s the cancer.  It’s very likely that she has it, according to the hospital. So she will need chemotherapy.  They’re taking care of this soft, sweet, dedicated creature, but the cost is ridiculously high, and I need help.

If it helps me save Mac, I will resort to begging, and that’s essentially what I’m doing, because when you love something this much, you swallow your pride. I’m not above begging for my friend, because I love her so much. And I love my son, and I want to do everything I can to help him have a few more years with his little feline sister.

I know $4000 is a lot of money, but I also know the generosity of people who understand what it’s like to love and commit yourself to an animal. I will pay it. I will do whatever I have to do to make her well again, but I need help.  I did create a GoFundMe site to raise money for Mac, and I have shared it with Facebook friends and Twitter followers.

There is also a PayPal button in the upper right hand corner of this blog where you can help as well.

I know times are hard. I know today’s economy has a lot of folks worried about their finances. I know I’m asking a lot. But anything you can do at all to help me save the Redhead’s best friend would be appreciated. Anything at all.

Please help me live to watch TV for a few more years!

Please help me live to watch TV for a few more years!

Anything I don’t use for Mac will be donated to a no-kill shelter to help other animals find loving families.

UPDATE: Well, we’re going to start her on chemotherapy. It’s just a shot, and it doesn’t harm her in any way. She won’t lose her hair and she won’t vomit like humans do. But the doctor hopes that in a few days, she will start eating and recovering. The one thing I don’t want to do is keep her on a feeding tube forever. I can’t imagine this is good for her quality of life in any way, but I guess I’ll need to talk to her doctors some more. If she doesn’t start eating, even after the chemotherapy, what do we do?

13 responses

  1. Did what I could; wish it was more. My late, beloved wife and I rescued ( the old fashioned way) with a group called TEARS for years, always have had multiple furries. Currently three of my four dogs were rescued / abandoned, and they are my family. When my wife passed away, the ones she had nurtured from puppyhood were so depressed for months. That is why my ONLY selfish prayer is that God let me live long enough for all of my critters to live out there lives, so they never have to be left as orphans. WhenI have buried or cremated the last of them I will be happy to go Home. I wish you all the best and pray for good success. Keep us all posted.

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    1. My heart…. there are no words. I can’t begin to even express my gratitude! Thank you. Thank you so much!

      You are restoring my faith in humanity! Everyone is. One dollar at a time. I’ve never been so overwhelmed.

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    2. And dammit, I’m crying again too! You’re overwhelming.

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  2. Praying that your friend is OK. I know how it feels to love a cat. Look into CareCredit also (http://www.carecredit.com/); I had to take out a loan from them when he went into the ICU. It took a lot of stress off me at the time, having them spot us the needed funds and let us handle the payment options later.

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    1. Thank you so much!

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  3. I’m sorry. If you want to talk, even to just relive cat good times, I’m here. Call.

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    1. Awwww! Thanks! I’m actually crashing out hard. It’s been a roller coaster of a day. But I’m NOT NOT NOT giving up on her yet! Doctor says there’s a chance of recovery, so I have to try.

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  4. I am not, have never been, and will likely never be, a cat person. But I lost my beloved puppy (he was 13, but he’ll always be my puppy) to cancer 3 years ago this month. Scooter was a rescue dog, and had always been a hyper, neurotic, co-dependent mess. But he’d been slowing down for months. We thought he was just getting old. Long and painful story short, but the time we realized it wasn’t old age, it was far too late to do anything but put him to sleep.

    The really ironic part is that back when we first adopted him, I hated dogs and was vehemently opposed to Mom & Dad bringing Scooter into our home. But now? Now I’d give anything to have that little bugger back just for one day.

    Hopefully PayPal worked this time. It isn’t much of anything, but I hope it’s enough to help.

    Know that you, Redhead, Mac, and the rest of the family are all in my thoughts and prayers.

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    1. Thank you so much – both for your generosity and your kind words! I’m totally overwhelmed by everyone’s kindness!

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  5. Nicki, I’m sorry to hear about your cat, but I honestly feel you’re wrong. And before you dismiss me, hear me out.

    Over the years, I’ve had over 15 cats and 20+ dogs grace me with their companionship. And I’ve loved every one of them.

    I’ve always done the vet visits and needed visits. Even some of the “my dog ate what” (a drywall screw) visits.

    But there comes a point when you have to let go. Quality of life is far better than quantity of life. Maybe I’m jaded, since I lost my wife to cancer.

    All I’m trying to say is, you rescued a kitten and gave her a great life. Maybe it’s time to let her go and remember the good times.

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    1. I would never let her suffer. The doctors were very optimistic yesterday and thought her prospects were very good with chemo. Today after she took a turn for the worse, I let her go.

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  6. I’ll shamelessly admit that I teared up when reading that, because it hits awfully close to home. My wife and I have three cats, two of which she rescued as kittens before we met, and the other one is mine, also rescued as a kitten.

    I know how it is to think of them as family, and how hard it is when they’re sick. I’ve been there, and it’s the most heart-wrenching thing short of seeing a child go through it. But to some people, their animals very nearly are their children.

    Right now, it’s beyond my means to lend a hand. My wife just took a pay cut at work, so we’re having to re-budget to figure things out. Unfortunately, all I can offer you right now are prayers and well wishes for you, and gentle scritchins behind the ears for Mac. I’m so sorry I can’t do more.😦

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    1. Please don’t feel bad for not being able to help! Your moral support means just as much. Thank you, my friend.

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