Sunday, May 21, 2017

Because we could all use a little sunshine right now, here's an update on "Ray of Sunshine"

Ray of Sunshine was a stray, live-trapped for TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) by a Feline Rescue volunteer. Once in our care, volunteers recognized something special about this little girl. She didn't have plans to be a feral cat. She just had to come inside. Ray's foster mom called her Ray of Sunshine (ROS) because of the joy she brought into the house and to other cats around her. Although she was extremely shy with people, ROS was a magnet for other cats. She loved to snuggle. And she really loved to play!

ROS moved from her foster home to the adoption room at Woody's Pet Food Deli and was adopted to live with "Buddy", another cat who had just lost his feline friend and needed a companion. ROS's family was very patient and attentive to her need to warm up at her own pace. Sara recently sent an update on ROS, who is now called Rey:

Thought you and Rey's former foster might like some of the more recent pictures of her. 

She's almost always with her Buddy (our orange cat's nickname) and she loves snuggling with him. If he changes rooms and she can't find him, she'll start crying and he'll get up and come find her. Aside from that, she's fairly quiet except for mealtimes, when suddenly she's the loudest little high-pitched squeak you'll ever meet! Despite being wary of our beagle at all other times (usually just means she's perched on something, even if that something is only a foot high and she's at eye level with him!), food is enough of a motivator that she's crept right up to the dog while he's eating and debated helping herself. Hasn't taken that first mouthful yet, but it's going to happen one of these days! 

She's regularly asking for pets these days and will allow herself to be picked up to move her from spot to spot. No snuggling in our arms yet, but from the progress she's been making that day will come. Our kitchen window overlooks the back yard with its rabbits, and I just put a bird feeder in. She loves it, especially when it's nice enough to open the window. The window in the cats' room faces the street, and the cats seem to enjoy watching all the humans pass by. 

Thanks to all who helped Rey along the way to become part of a family.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Adoption Update: The Tippy Tuxies

I met Calvin, Daisy and Rosie (TheTippy Tuxies) at their adoption photo shoot. My cat of 19 years, Kitty Wampus, who was also a tuxedo cat, had passed away a few days before. Photo days are like a kitten party so I was really looking forward to a little "kitten therapy". Basically I play with kittens while taking their pictures. On July 16, 2016, The Tippy Tuxies came in for photos. They were being fostered by Linda, another Feline Rescue volunteer. I saw a glimpse of them in their carriers so I knew there were tuxedo kittens but I still wasn’t prepared for their resemblance to Kitty Wampus. Rosie and Daisy had nearly the exact same markings! 

Calvin on the day he came in for pictures
The Tippy Tuxies have that name because they were born with cerebellar hypoplasia (CH). I’ve photographed a few kittens with CH before so I knew CH kitties can be rather difficult to photograph. Their heads wobble and they tend to have erratic movements, so sometimes it can be harder to get clear photos of them. Rosie and Calvin mainly seemed to have some fancy footwork but were otherwise normal kittens. Calvin walks with a high-step that looks like a trot or a prance. It was so adorable! They fell over a little bit, but they were mostly just sweet, charming and adorable kittens. Daisy, however, couldn’t walk or stand without leaning on something.  

A little bit about Cerebellar Hypoplasia
Feline cerebellar hypoplasia (CH) is a non-progressive, non-contagious neurological condition that results in walking and balance problems. A kitten is born with CH when her cerebellum, the part of the brain that controls fine motor skills and coordination, is underdeveloped at birth. Consequently, an underdeveloped cerebellum can result in underdeveloped or complicated mobility. CH cats are known for their “drunken sailor” walk, which is why they’re known endearingly as “wobbly cats.” Since the condition is non-progressive, it will never get worse — and in some cases, owners say that their cat became more capable over time [as they learn to adapt to their disability and develop muscles]. Source:

Daisy on the day we met
Shortly after this photo was taken, Daisy crawled into my lap. It took so much work for her to get there since she wasn’t able to walk at the time. The sweetness of that moment and her resemblance to Kitty Wampus brought me to tears. I then had to explain to Linda why I started crying. We talked a little bit about my recent loss, and these new kittens and we agreed that I would foster the three of them when Linda was planning to be out of town at the beginning of August. On my way home that same day, I stopped and bought them a scratching post and a few new toys for when they came to my house.

When I started fostering this trio, my goal was to get all of them adopted together. Rosie and Calvin were extremely bonded, and although Daisy was more independent, I thought it would be better for her to stay with her siblings. Although, I’m pretty sure most of the foster volunteers were already placing bets about my impending “foster fail,” I think the moment I knew was on August 9, when Paul and TJ from the Engineer's Guide to Cats were at Feline Rescue on the day of the Cat Video Festival. I brought the trio in for the open house, and I was being asked when they’d be available for adoption. I didn't like the idea that they might be leaving me someday!
Paul and TJ with Calvin, Daisy and Rosie
After Kitty passed away, I didn’t think I would be ready to adopt for several months. However, I was open to the idea of foster failing and welcoming new cats into my home. But I had only planned to adopt a pair. The Tippy Tuxies helped me heal so much, and the three of them were so perfect together, I didn’t debate too long about adopting the three of them. Rosie and Daisy were a little bit underweight, so we waited until September to do their spay and neuter surgeries. I adopted them shortly after that.

National Specially-abled Pets Day is May 3 so I wanted to share some information on what it’s like to live with animals who would be labeled as “special needs.”

Cats with CH do require some special considerations, but to what extent can vary from cat to cat. Even cats in the same litter can be affected differently. The Tippy Tuxies had siblings that were not affected at all. Calvin and Rosie walk and run pretty well, but Calvin can’t jump at all, and Rosie can only jump a little bit. She’s good at jumping up to the couch, for example, but the bed is a little too high so she climbs. It helps that I have carpet thoughout most of my home. This gives them traction and helps reduce their spills and also provide a little extra padding for when they do fall. For Daisy, that carpet is essential because she needs it for traction. She is not strong enough or balanced enough to walk very well on slippery surfaces. 

They have stairs to get up to the bed and a tray under their water bowl to catch spills. Their litter boxes have high sides and a low entry to make it easy to get in, but also for them to lean against if they need to. I found a cat tower that has levels that are closer together and easier for them to climb to the top, and also isn’t too high, so that if they fall off (or jump from the top like Rosie does), they won’t get hurt. And I try a little harder to find activities to keep them engaged. Especially for Daisy who can’t burn energy by running chasing her siblings around, it’s critical to find activities that help her develop muscle and keep her mentally stimulated.

Daisy’s walking has improved quite a bit since they first came to me. She was only able to walk while leaning against walls or furniture. Now she can take several steps at a time in the middle of the room without support. Another Feline Rescue volunteer, Caia, helped build a special walker for Daisy out of PVC pipe and wheels that we found instructions to make kitties on YouTube. Daisy used it a couple times for physical therapy, but later made it known that she had no intentions of being strapped into a glorified wheel chair. So I started just making her physical therapy a game by getting her to chase toys and the laser light to work on getting her strong enough to stand and walk on her own.

Walking still pretty hard for her, it takes all of her concentration to balance, take a step, and even just stand without support. It’s possible and even likely her walking skills will continue to improve over the next few months. I have hopes that she’ll be able to move around without tumbling over every few steps. 

Daisy uses a wide stance to balance while standing and walking
All three of  The Tippy Tuxies live like otherwise normal cats. They get to the litter box just fine, can eat and drink without assistance and can play and wrestle with the best of them. They are three extremely loving and sweet cats who’s fun personalities more than make up for any perceived burden of having a special needs pet (let alone three). Plus, they’re really great about posing for photos! 

Rosie, Calvin and Daisy
Rosie, Calvin and Daisy
If you’d like to keep tabs on the Tippy Tuxies, you can follow them on Facebook or on Instagram @TippyTuxies. They have new photographs and videos posted every day.

In honor of National Specially-abled Pets Day, May 3, please spread the word about how truly wonderful pets with “special” features can be!

Story and photos by Kris Kaiser

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Adoption Updates for the Whole Family!

Debbie, one of our fabulous foster volunteers, compiled an adoption update for her entire former foster cat family (momma cat and 5 kittens).

1 year ago today [April 11], a young cat named Ripley gave birth to 5 sweet, adorable little babies at our home thanks to Diane who rescued Ripley from the streets and thanks to Feline Rescue that took her into the foster care program! One year later where are they now?? They are all happy and healthy in their forever homes. Here's a brief update . . .

Beau and Shelby were adopted to a home of a family we have known for many years. They have an older sister cat and in just a few short months they are all happily playing together and sleeping in the family bed at night!


Mabry and Langley (now Mackenzie and Veronica) are in a home where they are loved and adored. The girls are still best friends and made themselves right at home from day 1!

Snelling has a new best friend in a dog! Snellling loves to find toys during the day and leave them in her mom's bed for her to find at night. Snelling is a true Momma's girl!

Ripley has blossomed into a sweet young cat who loves to watch out the windows and appreciates the oppportunity to go outside and stalk birds and bunnies and have a good roll around in the dirt!

Thank you to all the families who adopted Ripley and her kittens for providing them new loving homes. It was an exciting and a little bit worrisome day the kittens were born but Ripley sure knew what she was doing as a first and only time mom!

We love you all -- Ripley, Shelby, Beau, Mabry, Langley and Snelling!

You can view more photos and stories of Debbie's fosters on her Facebook page - Debbie's Foster Kitties.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Kitten season is here!

How many of you have been enjoying the mild winter we've had? We've only had few frigid days. And really no snow storms to speak of. You've spent more time outside this winter, haven't you? Well, so too, have randy tomcats. Warmer temperatures mean more kittens. The calendar says it's Spring, but for those of us at Feline Rescue, it's Kitten season.

We are ramping up for our busiest fostering months of the year. We already have had a handful of momma cats taken in Foster care (a couple still waiting to give birth). Last year, we had 6 momma cats give birth in our care during these months; we most likely will have the same (or more) this year. We had forty-two kittens born during Kitten season last year.

We need all the help we can get. What can you do to help? We are in need of the following:


Although new caregivers cannot foster pregnant momma cats (there's SO much to learn about fostering and we've found it can too overwhelming to start with such a critical foster), we are in need of caregivers to take in abandoned kittens, mommas with older kittens, and medical needs cats (like diabetics or injured, ones that will require more vet trips).

Fill out our online foster application


Bottle Feeding - 
Feeding - 
Kitten-safe Litter -
Bedding -

By Robin Holland, Foster  Program Director 

Photos by Kris Kaiser

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Happy Easter, Bunny!

From Red Lake Rosie's Rescue:
Bunny was a beautiful long-haired tortie that was a surrender at Red Lake Rosie's Rescue a few years ago. RLRR is so thankful for the relationship we have with Feline Rescue where we are able to send cats by twos to be adopted. Bunny's story is one of the many success stories we have with Feline Rescue.

Yesterday I received this picture and message:

"I just wanted to drop you a line to say thank you for all that you do.
In 2012, after the death of my cat Boo-Boo, I decided to spend 2 days a week visiting the homeless cats at Feline Rescue. I love all the cats, even the snarky ones. I don't remember her exact surrender date, but in early 2014, a long-hair tortie that they named Bunny showed up from you guys.

All my recent cats, {Binky and Comet}, have been either feral or hated people. I seem to have a way with them. Bunny was definitely a problem. She kept attacking the volunteers when they would clean her litter box, kennel, and give her food and water. She did respond to a few people, and I was one of the fortunate few.

I had lost Comet's sister Sunny, my soul mate, in 2013, and, in the spring of 2014, Comet had a stroke. I didn't want Binky to be left alone if Comet didn't pull through. I figured no one would adopt Bunny the way she acted, so I brought her home. Comet did pull through, thank heavens, and Bunny has become an awesome family member. Of course she has the famous "tortitude", but she's really sweet. She doesn't like being picked up or held, but she often climbs up on us for loving. We live in a rural area and get mice, but Bunny totally loves hunting them.

She's very safe now. My cats are NEVER allowed outside where they can get hurt. If it hadn't been for you guys rescuing her and sending her to Feline Rescue, we wouldn't have met. I can't imagine our family without our Bunny. Shelters seldom hear about how their former charges end up, and I know I always love hearing the happy endings from adopters, so I thought I'd share Bunny's story with you. Thank you again for all you do."

Friday, April 14, 2017

The Miracle of Willie

Willie was a cat Feline Rescue took from a hoarder. When rescuers went into the home, they passed by Willie, who was curled up on a bed and not moving. No amount of noise they made roused him. They thought he was dead and they couldn't bring themselves to check. They continued to move in and out of the room. Willie never moved. After making one final walk-through of the house, one of the rescuers summoned her courage to check on Willie. She had to know before she left if he was still with us. She knelt by the bed and after a few seconds, Willie slowly lifted his head. The rescuer would comment many times after leaving the house that she was so glad she checked on him.

Willie spent two weeks at our vet. He had a wicked cold and could barely breath. He would be sent to his foster home with an armload of drugs. The vet would find a couple more things seriously wrong with him. One of his eyes is non-functioning, a "dead" eye, the result of some head trauma that only Willie knows about. To add insult to injury, Willie tested positive for not only FeLV (Feline Leukemia) but also FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus).

When Willie was finally sprung from the vet, he could not be contained. He pranced about his foster room, investigating everything. He was a bundle of energy. Of happy energy. He purred. He kneaded. He gave kisses. So, so happy.

Now Willie is looking for his forever home. He is super friendly and playful. He needs a friend to wrestle with so Willie needs to go home with another FeLV cat or to a home that already has an FeLV cat.  His FIV isn't contagious (transmission is only through a bite that breaks the skin) but his FeLV is.

If you'd like to learn more about FeLV, below are some links to articles that talk about FeLV and FIV.

Written by Robin Holland
Photos by Kris Kaiser

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Life is looking up for little Amelia

Red Lake Rosie's Rescue took in a cat from the White Earth Reservation- a little tabby and white female with a mangled leg. The owner said Amelia had been run over by car.  RLRR had her leg amputated and Feline Rescue was willing to take her into foster care.

It turned out that she wasn't a kitten as we assumed, but a tiny nearly-adult cat weighing just 3 1/2 pounds. She was shy and very shut-down when she arrived in foster care -- probably in pain and shock for all that had happened. 

She wasn't fond of being coaxed into moving around for physical therapy.

But, she quickly learned to love foster mom and foster dad.

Amelia even made friends with a little lion :-)

In addition to her mangled leg which was amputated and the road rash on her face which healed, Amelia's tail was broken and stiff in several places. One day her foster mom saw her out of the corner of her eye and she had a short tail! She immediately began to look around and there was Amelia's tail and a single drop of blood ;-o

No amputation required for her tail! It was healed on its own. The photo of the tail prompted what was probably the largest number of comments ever from the other Feline Rescue foster caregivers on their private Facebook page!!

Amelia is perfectly happy with her abbreviated tail.

And, she became fast friends with a another tabby in her foster home.

This beautiful girl will be ready to find her forever home very soon :-)

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