I had 2 cats, Hunter and Tigger for about 9 years before any more entered my home. Since September 29, 2009 I have added another 12 and that's how I became known as the Crazy Cat Lady. After finding a tiny kitten late one night outside my apartment, I began searching for the remainder of a litter a neighbor had informed me of. The first I named Popcorn b/c shortly after finding him he got into my bag of popcorn and started munching. The next was Peanut who looked like a chubby Peanut and who is so beautiful even though she only has one eye; next Jellybean who ran into a drain pipe which I dragged into my apartment; and Sweetpea who was very ill with coccidia and spent 5 days in ICU. Each time I brought a new lil’ one into my home I slept on the floor with him/her in a separate room and until a clean bill of health was given they remained separate. I would gradually begin to introduce scents to my older cats by swapping out blankets that the kittens slept on. They slowly adjusted to each, with Jellybean oddly separating from her litter and becoming Hunter’s dedicated "girlfriend". It took me 1 1/2 months to catch all 4. November 2009 I got a call about a 4 week old orphan kitten, now named Bradley in memory of a friend who died in a car accident 3 days prior. The little rascal kept getting so excited with bottle feeding he chewed up about 6 nipples. Next was Buttercup who I found sleeping next to an AC unit outside a townhome and Daisy who tested leukemia positive and as a result she was not allowed interaction with the other cats. I placed a thin piece of smooth wood under the door so that they couldn't play with one another’s paws underneath and everything she has is separate. In May 2010 I added a male, female cat and 5 kittens left in a hotel room and placed them in my larger guest bathroom along with an alpaca fur pillowcase. Soon after, the male cat was discovered to be a female, adding 5 more kittens. I checked on them constantly in addition to treating a couple for eye infections. Once they became healthy and weaned I found great homes for all but 3 (which I still have – Smokey, Midnight and Blackie Chan), with the agreement that of no declawing and they had to agree to get them fixed. I also provided each new parent with advice on how to keep the cats from clawing furniture and carpet and to make sure they keep the litter clean to avoid inappropriate elimination. My recent addition was Noodles, who is a “Mini-me” version of Popcorn and is about 5 months old.
In fall 2010 I committed to working with difficult health cases from a rescue housed at Dearborn Animal Hospital in Decatur, GA, where I’ve volunteered for more than a year now. Debbi has most of her teeth removed because of Stomatitis and I was told she’d been sick for a year, was antisocial and suffered painful mouth ulcers, which on occasion would make her stop eating. I decided to take her to see Dr. Moorehead at Main Street Vets in Stone Mountain for Nutrition Response Testing, a treatment which provides supplements and high quality food recommendations instead of drugs. He discovered a sugar allergy, chlorine sensitivity, and a kidney issue, a possible cause of her chronic upper respiratory infections. I’ve had Debbi for 3 months and she’s a different cat. Her mouth issues are almost completely gone; she’s social now and often is seen basking in the window sunlight in the foot wide window sills. As a result of this vet visit, I now only use spring water, which also got rid of a facial twitch on the right side of Popcorn’s face and that my regular vet couldn’t find the cause of.
My last addition was, Wendi, a FELV + friend for Daisy. She is also a very difficult case from the rescue, having developed acute onset of diarrhea as a kitten that had continued for 3 years. Dr. Moorehead found that her healing systems aren’t completely functioning, chlorine is an issue, toxins in her liver and kidneys, a viral and bacterial issue in addition switching of her body’s electrical impulses. She’s on 6 supplements and a hard cat food containing no fish products, as they can create digestive and allergy problems. I also boil a whole chicken every 2 days, cooked only in spring water. I’m still trying to combat her diarrhea and little by little she’s showing improvements including an increased activity level. I refuse to give up on giving her a normal, happy and healthy life! To protect my other cats I wash my hands after I pet her and Daisy and the board is still under my door so no exchange is made with the paws of my healthy cats. Wendi and Daisy share a 7 feet tall cat tree in the window of my bedroom and love the sunlight in the window sills as well as having several scratching areas and lots of toys.
I’m committed to making a better life for all felines, part of which is educating others on their behavior before they toss their furniture scratcher or inappropriate eliminator into a shelter, though it’s not a fault of the cats it’s the fault of an uninformed and irresponsible owner. I’m also doing trap and release in my complex. I make sure to get those I take in clean bills of health, spayed/neutered, never declaw them and gradually introduce them to the others, though that’s fairly easy nowadays since I often foster rescues. I provide the best environment possible with tons of toys, 2 huge cat trees, a variety of scratching areas, 3 air purification systems as well as a special HVAC filter, multiple food and water dishes, 7 Rubbermaid litter boxes with scoopable, unscented litter cleaned once or twice daily, and lots of cat beds and hiding places for snooze time. If any get stuffy noses I create a Vicks Vaporizer and shower fueled steam room as well as giving them occasional massages when I have the time, especially with Wendi as it helps her relax and she stretches her back legs and purrs away. I love them all and wouldn’t trade them for the world. Each has a unique personality…. Peanut goes on walks with me every day, wakes me up licking my face and sits on my shoulder when I’m on my computer; Popcorn bounces around like popcorn popping when playing with his favorite 2 liter bottle top, Jellybean shadows her boyfriend Hunter; Sweetpea has assumed parental care over Noodles; Buttercup is my shadow; Bradley waits in the sink until I turn on the faucet (he refuses to drink from a bowl) and at night goes outside to catch moths in the outer enclosed hallway….. and the list of personality quirks continues for miles. I’m very in tune to the behavior of each and know immediately when something isn’t quite right simply by daily routines and personalities. I keep informed with online research on feline behavior, illnesses and alternative treatment options. I keep an open mind, watchful eye and indestructible dedication to each and every one. And for everyone who calls me the “Crazy Cat Lady” please keep doing so because I have grown to accept and love it. As my favorite coffee mug states “Love me love my cat(s)”!