Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Kiwi is Gone

Gig Harbor, WA scenes...



Kiwi is now in Washington state. How she got to where she is now, and not to where she was initially going, is a story of stress--both cat and human.

My friend in Brownsville is online more than I am, and has developed rescue contacts. A couple months back two of these contacts agreed to take in two of her rescues, both wobbles cats, one a Siamese. One went to one rescue, who primarily transports rescued Siamese and collies. The other went to a long term rescue/sanctuary, that houses few cats but houses them well and long term if necessary, even for life. I was happy for her to find them a placement.

Then, she took in an Albany stray female, a black long hair, with an injured leg, found by a friend of hers over off Knox Butte. There's a problem house nearby with a woman who takes in animals for whatever reason but doesn't care for them well. The cat likely came over from there.

But she hadn't the space or money to care for Erika, the problem leg cat so she appealed to her online resources again. The one rescue agreed to take her and the other agreed to place a Siamese she had. That Siamese had five female black kittens. I helped her get the last three of them fixed through Poppa funds at the S/nipped clinic. She got the other two done a month earlier, using Safehaven vouchers and a private clinic. However both later came down with distemper and died. Fortunately, the other three had been vaccinated when fixed at S/nipped.

The Siamese and her five girl kittens originally came from someone who otherwise was going to shoot them.

My friend knew about Kiwi, my recent arrival here--the unwanted stray Siamese who had been through so much already. I knew she hated car and carrier travel, but when my friend said the Siamese transport rescue said the people taking Jenny, the Brownsville Siamese, would also take Kiwi, I agreed and offered to ride along.

We left around 8:00 a.m. yesterday morning. I had Kiwi in a soft shell play pen. They're large and very flimsy nylon with a zipper front. However, it would hold a bed and litter box and she couldn't damage her face and nose if she tried to get out.

Kiwi immediately went into car/carrier stress mode. It didn't cease. The trip would be long. I thought she'd calm down after an hour. Or two hours. Or three! You would think. But not Kiwi. She broke out of the soft shell by unzipping it. She isn't dumb! She was then free roaming the car. We thought, "Ok, maybe she'll be fine doing so." But she began climbing onto the dash. I finally made a collar out of my key lanyard and a leash out of my camera bag strap. But her distress increased. At times she would sit quietly on my lap. But not for long.

We finally stopped and I put her back into the soft shell, this time securing the zipper with the key lanyard clip. Then came diarrhea, explosive, probably because she was trying to hold a need to go and due to stress. The stench was horrific. She broke out again, covered in diarrhea.

We stopped again and this time she had to go into the hard shell carrier. I covered the door on the inside with a towel. By this time, my friend and I were seriously stressed. My friend was chewing her fingernails. I wanted to crawl under the tiny space under the front passenger seat and just cry.

Kiwi continued banging the carrier and rocking it, crying, clawing out the front, her distress was huge. I was afraid she might die of stress. Or that we would. I was kicking myself to the curb for putting her through this. I knew the likelihood of the transport woman taking her now was zilch. My friend told me the home taking the two girls was another two hours further north of Tacoma where we were to meet the woman for the transfer. We tried to think of some solution. We didn't think Kiwi would survive a five hour drive back to Albany either.

We finally made it to the Tacoma mall where the Siamese woman met us. And no, she did not want to deal with transporting stressed out Kiwi. She took Jenny and my friend and I exchanged stressed out looks. What to do now?

Nothing to do, but to take Erika, the bad leg Albany stray, on to the Gig Harbor rescue. When we arrived, that woman was rushed also, because she had a cat needing to see a vet. But when she saw Kiwi and heard what she'd been through on the ride up and in the time before, with her being lost for a month or more, and unwanted, she offered to take her. Kiwi had instantly reverted back into the fun loving easy going kitty she is, when not in a car or carrier.

I was so relieved I could have collapsed on the spot. So was my friend.

The drive back was far easier, far more peaceful. No more stress. Good luck Kiwi in your life journey. You are in great hands. And thank you Viv and Laura, for helping with Kiwi.

Despite the stress, it was fun to see things I rarely see. Made me feel exotic to see the great Columbia river and its bridges, islands and boats, with V shaped white capped wakes spreading out behind their progress and made tiny by distance. And to see the white glistening jet liners flattened by approach or take off, to or from Portland International, laid out over the tops of buildings or tacked low atop the horizon as if suspended in air.

The bridge of the gods, as it is called, across the inlet between Tacoma and Gig Harbor is like a dance of dolphins to behold--sinewy and graceful and beautiful! Like music!

Kiwi and Erika, both former Albany strays in trouble, are now living in Washington state and face far brighter futures than they could have ever encountered here in Oregon.

But that sales tax up there, OMG! What a shock to get a coffee and expect to pay one price but then have it cost almost 10% more. Be glad you live in Oregon, if you do! It's terribly expensive up there, to even buy coffee.

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