Rescue Journal

rescue can be deadly.

Carol  ·  Apr. 27, 2010

maple the bunny is feeling so much better..her skin and eye are clearing up really well, she is eating her russell rabbit food happily...she is actually sitting up again instead of just dragging her butt reluctantly around. and here is the thing about rescue, you cannot let things just sort of slide over top of your consciousness. i did this with maple and we almost lost her...if we had it would have been my fault. i knew she wasn't doing well and i was watching her, trying to figure out what was actually going on but she needed more than that from me. she needed me to intervene, to formulate a plan of care to actually meet her needs. luckily my head did finally kick into gear, just the thought that if i had stayed stupid for too much longer, scares the shit out of me.

this is one of the hardest parts of rescue...good intentions, kind caring hearts needs an awake and functionally intelligent thought process running constantly about each animal individually...just because there are other things going on in a hundred different places, does not absolve you of your ultimate responsibility to every single animal currently in your care. sometimes you don't have time to just ponder and think and wait and see...sometimes you have to get your head out of your ass and act a little more quickly.

anyway..i was lucky this time with maple, my brain did finally kick itself in and for this i am eternally grateful. now i need to formulate a long term preventative plan of care to ensure that her parapalegia does not not put her at risk for harm again. she does not want to spend the rest of her life in alone in a cage where she is the easiest for us to manage. i do think we can manage her better while she still gets to live with her friends if i plan her care more carefully and put in place some intelligent preventative measures.

vulnerable bunnies, vulnerable ducks, vulnerable cats, dogs, pigs, horses and little demented goats.....there are a lot of vulnerables wandering around counting on me to protect and keep them safe in their vulnerability.

this would be why senior and special needs rescue does sort of suck.. so many are so totally dependent on me to ensure their vulnerabilty is not a real issue for is a lot of responsibility and sometimes i do drop the ball.

we have almost 50 cats here in various areas..we lost one on the weekend. i noticed that i had not seen chief on thursday..i sort of looked around and asked the staff and they said they saw him at feeding time. i forgot that I had not seen him on friday...remembered on saturday that i still hadn't seen him and looked around some more. he is a sketchy guy and tries to stay out of sight. he is pretty good at hiding. but i did not get serious about looking for him til sunday and started pulling everything out to see him with my own 2 eyes. the volunteers started to help me...first we checked the back cat areas, where he always is, we looked everywhere inside and out in the cat run...and no chief magically appeared. then we moved out to the rest of the house and started checking in hidey holes and under furnature and inside of i was starting to panic cuz where was that bloody cat? tammy found a small hole dug under the foundation in the cat run that went under the house...she said it was big enough for him to squeeze into and now i am really freaking out. if he was there and if he stayed there, he could die under there too. so next i was down in the crawl space shining a flashlight thru the dirt. i couldn't see him anywhere but then there was a thick beam running down that side of the house and i could not see beyond it. i should have been on this on friday or saturday, not waiting til sunday..i needed to see that cat to ensure all was well.

finally i decided to set traps under the house and out in the cat run and hopefully he would get hungry and go into one. i was on my way to the shop to grab the traps when brenda yelled that tammy had found him on the top shelf of the cat run. was he there all along? had he been under the house and the flashlight scared him back out...i am not sure BUT he wasn't dirty so we maybe missed him while we were panicking looking for him.

calm down people ... I am right here

we fed him to make sure he was eating...chief has a really good appetite so he appreciated this and we filled in that hole with big rocks too big for cats to move so i did not have to worry about that spot anymore.

and here is my point. to many, 50 cats seem like alot of cats...but on the scale of just cats only rescues, it is nothing. most have 200 or 300 cats to keep track of and to make sure they are all ok. and cats are tricky little bastards, they can hide out and stay out of sight very easily. scared cats and sick cats especially disappear silently into the woodwork and are sometimes hard to find.

cats who stop eating can die of fatty liver disease within just a few days..i have no idea how the big cat rescues manage keeping track of all of those cats every day. with only 50 and 50 spread out between different areas that i actually live in....i usually notice within a day or so if i have not seen someone recently and i know when i really have to start looking to find them...before it is too late.

anyway...chief scared me this weekend so i am more on the ball keeping track of the cats around here again. more than half of them are 16 years or older..things could change quickly for them because of their ages and health issues and i need to be more aware.

rescuers do not just need many hands...we need many eyes too...and we need that freaking, sometimes slow to start brain to kick in reliably too.rescue can kill them if we do not do our jobs the way we are supposed to...this is what scares me to death (or into action) on almost every day (except apparently this friday and fear of sketchy, invisible cats was on a stupid holiday on those two freaking days.)



Chief looks like my cat Felix. I can just imagine Chief sitting/hiding watching everyone running around and him wondering what all the commotion was about!