the americats and the forgotten feline cats
we have 2 groups of FeLv cats..the first (the americats) came from "The Great Kitty Rescue" in pahrump. 800 cats, sick and starving to death in a desert rescue compound run by a group called FLOCK. Best Friends went in and started sorting thru the wreckage of a rescue group gone terribly wrong (you can read the whole story on their website)....can you imagine the devastation and heartbreak in 800 uncared for animals? BF got them all out with the help of many volunteers..they moved them to temporary huts on site and when well enough moved them onwards from there. many rescue groups stepped up and offered safe haven to the survivors..saints offerred a home to the feline leukemia.
up until that time...our MP building was just a dirty, dark, old, dirt floored garage...we got working on the building and the feline leukemia area so the cats coming up from the states could have a nice home. that was the fall of 2007..of the 12 cats that arrived...only the rock remains. the average life span of an FeLv cat is 2 years...we have no idea how long any of them were positive for before their rescue...but they are all almost gone now.,,they were amazing cats...aladdin, albus, ronnie....tiki.. all of them.
the other felv cats we have came from an spca seizure of a local group called forgotten felines. the spca pulled out 50 of the sickest cats (there were close to 300)..they pulled out the known felv's and they pulled out the cats from the main house because they were the ones in the most dire straits. i read the vet reports...i talked to the officers who were on site....it really was a case of far too many cats for the group to take care of. all in all, we took in about 2 dozen...the felv's, the negative seniors with severe URI and ringworm and a very young and sick mom and her ringwormy kittens.
basically all of our felv cats have come from 2 places...both were raided rescues with too many cats to properly take care of. i have been in overrun rescues...they are prisons of suffering and disease...they start out with the best of intentions but for whatever reasons they become a place that the animals need rescuing from.
our felv cats have had a difficult time in rescue...thats why i want life to be so much nicer and kinder and cleaner for them now...rescue failed them once..don't want them to be failed again.
the birds...are loose in their aviaries...the aviaries are GREAT. steve did a fantastic job on putting them both together. all of the birds have left their cages to check out their new home. it gave me a warm rush of satisfaction to see them in this beautiful space...lots of room, lots of toys, lots of climbing things and some flight space to stretch their wings too. hopefully they will enjoy being a little closer to real birds now, instead of caged decorations, their home is interesting to them. pet store caged pets are the cruelest thing that man has ever thought of.....why the hell do we think it is ok to stick a small flocking flight bird all alone in a 2 foot cage?
the squirt man....in so many ways is doing so much better than i anticipated. but 4 years in a cage left him scarred. he will never be a "normal" dog..he barely can make it out the front door on his own. he is socially retarded..he lifts his leg and pees where ever...on doors, on dogs, on people..it does not occur to him that maybe living things are not meant to be peed on. he still goes deep into hiding if someone he is not comfortable with is in the house. it terrifies him. but for those of us he knows..he trusts. we can pick him up and kiss his cute little face. we can put his urine soaked furry body in the kitchen sink for a bath. we can get him to play with us and he will charge around in happy abandon. and we let him bite our ankles and pant legs when we are going out the door because squirt only does that to those he knows and trusts.
he is a weird little dog.
i am no expert on puppy mill survivors...i have only had 4 real ones over the years (lots of messed up BYB dogs tho)..the true puppy millers are different. these are animals kept in cages bereft of any socialization, any meaningful stimulation, any real human kindness and often living in not only total emotional isolation but utter neglect and filth.
the deficits these animals have to deal with as a result of this lifelong abuse, i do not believe they ever fully recover from. so..since i am not a trainer and i am not a behavioralist and i am not a dog whisperer or an animal communicator...i do the only thing that i do well with these dogs ...be patient, let them be who they happen to be or become without ANY expectations and just truly enjoy them and their idiosyncrasies.
i do sometimes feel sorry for them (currently little mister is breaking my heart) but they will never know this because..i believe they read me and as long as i really believe they are great just the way they are..they begin to think they are pretty great too.
if they feel perfectly great in every way..they find happy. and that is all i really want for them...whatever it means to them each personally. just be happy and i am happy too.