Andy Loves Alice

In August of last year, Alice and her brother Andy were brought to VOKRA with their feral mother. These tiny kittens were only about seven weeks old and were very sick. They had severe conjunctivitis and pneumonia but, over time, were nursed back to health by VOKRA’s volunteer Cat Care team.

Andy at intake

Andy at intake

Alice at intake, nasty conjunctivitis and pneumonia

Alice at intake

Little Alice was touch and go for a long time and there were several days when we didn’t think she would make it. But she is a feisty little fluffybutt and pulled through.

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The two siblings were finally well enough to go to foster at the end of September. They were lucky enough to head to the caring home of Dawn and Matt, no strangers to kitty illnesses. Dawn and Matt’s beloved 18 year old cat Delilah lived for the last year of her life with a variety of illnesses requiring medications, subcutaneous fluids, and other treatments to be administered regularly. When she passed away early last year, Dawn and Matt decided to foster with VOKRA and share their love and experience with some cats and kittens in need. They are great fosters and, when the chance to care for Alice and Andy came up, they didn’t hesitate. Andy had fully recovered but Alice’s breathing still sounded rough, like upper respiratory congestion, and she still required drops and cream for her eyes twice a day.
Feeling lots better and in foster

The medication helped clear up Alice’s eyes so she could watch late night TV more clearly

Since being in our care, Alice has had numerous treatments but nothing ever seems to clear things up completely. Still, we keep trying! We have worked with our vets to determine the cause of her trouble, testing her for nearly every possible thing: Leukaemia, herpes, bacterial infection–all tests have come back negative. She has been on antibiotics six times. We have changed her litter and food several times and tried giving her antihistamines in hopes that it might be something as simple as allergies. No luck there either. No matter what we do to try to help her, Alice keeps getting better…then getting sick again. She has trouble breathing and, when it gets really bad, she has to breath through her mouth and go back on the antibiotics.
Alice at one of her many vet visits

Alice at one of her many vet visits

Alice has had a nasal flush and an endoscopy. The nasal flush gave her some relief for a few weeks. The endoscopy revealed a partial collapse in her nasal passage. But that doesn’t explain the constant congestion and her breathing troubles. She has had two stays at the emergency vet where she had to have immediate, life-saving, medical intervention in order to get her hydration up and her fever down.
One vet thinks the partial nasal collapse is what is causing the trouble. Another vet is not convinced that is the case. So she’s now been referred to a specialist and we hope we’ll have some answers soon.
Dawn and Matt are as dedicated caregivers as these sweet kittens could hope for. Dawn tells us,
I wash her little face with a warm cloth everyday and I have spent endless moments sitting in the bathroom with the hot steam of the shower running in order to give her a bit of relief.

 But there is not a lot of relief for this poor kitten. Since being in foster with Dawn and Matt, Alice has had:

  • 12 vet visits
  • 4 different vets
  • 6 rounds of antibiotics
  • 3 sedations (endoscopy and spay, herpes swab, bacterial swab and nasal flush)
  • numerous rounds of medication

Despite the strain of all these tests and treatments, Alice is a force to be reckoned with. She is a precocious little girl who finds trouble wherever she can when she is feeling well.

Alice screen climbing

Alice has a zest for life and is absolutely fearless. She isn’t even afraid of the super high-powered hand-vacuum!

You talkin’ to me, vacuum?

Dawn absolutely adores these two special sibs.
Alice and Andy are two of the most affectionate kittens I have ever come across. Alice craves kisses and will thrust her face into yours in order to get one. Andy doesn’t so much love to be kissed as pet and cuddled. He throws himself at our feet in dramatic fits of longing.
Throughout all of her trials, Andy is constantly by Alice’s side and he cries non-stop when she is not near. These two do everything together, including using the litter box! If she goes, he goes too and vice versa. The first time Dawn took Alice to the vet, Andy buried himself under blankets until she came home. And when she finally did, he nuzzled in and literally wrapped his arms around her.
Alice and Andy

Andy is so relieved when Alice returns from the vet

Isn’t Alice lucky to have her brother Andy to love her? She’s also lucky she ended up with VOKRA. We are a no-kill rescue so we will continue to work with our vets to figure out what’s making Alice sick and, hopefully, we can give her some relief soon. But, as you can imagine, doing so isn’t cheap.

The vet costs for this eight-month old survivor have, so far, totalled more than $2600. We are waiting for the latest test results from the specialist but, if those tests come back negative, the next step would be a CT scan in hopes of a diagnosis. The estimate for that scan is over $2500. We have no idea how we will afford that, let alone the cost of treatment should we be lucky enough to finally get an accurate diagnosis. 

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Our vets help us make caring for kitties like Alice more manageable by giving us great rates. They often waive the examination fees and provide us with medications. The amount of Alice’s vet bills would be significantly higher if we had to pay standard rates for everything and we are most grateful to our caring vet partners. But we still desperately need help to pay for Alice’s ongoing medical care if she is to get well. Also, we wouldn’t think of splitting Alice and Andy up, so we will continue to pay for Andy’s food and litter in foster rather than having him placed for adoption on his own.

These kittens didn’t deserve to be born outside, uncared for and exposed to illnesses. They didn’t deserve to suffer without medical attention for weeks before VOKRA got involved. They deserve a forever home where they can live long, healthy lives, and where Alice can receive the medical treatments she needs. Don’t they?

Andy loves Alice

Andy loves Alice

 As special as Alice is, she is not the only kitty in VOKRA’s care who requires extensive and expensive care. Please help us continue caring for brave little Alice and other sick kitties like her by making a donation to VOKRA today. You may not be in a position to contribute time or have the cat care experience to help the way Dawn and Matt do, but your financial contribution of any amount will be so appreciated and will absolutely make a difference; possibly the difference between life and death. We’d love to be able to pay off Alice’s vet bills but, more importantly, we want to be sure we have the funds to cover the future bills we know are looming for her.

Please help Alice keep fighting, adventuring, and snuggling with her brother Andy. You can donate to her online here or, write “For Alice” in the comment field and donate here to VOKRA today.

Alice ready for her close up

Compassionate Kids–Kate and Jack

We had some special visitors to our Operations Centre last week. One of our great Cat Care Volunteers, Helen, brought her grandchildren Kate and Jack down to learn about what VOKRA does and, yes, pet some kitties.

Kate and Jack got to sit in the birthday chair!

Kate and Jack got to sit in the birthday chair!

Jack was making a donation to VOKRA. For his birthday this year, he collected from his guests in support of VOKRA.

Thumbs up indeed, Jack!

Thumbs up indeed, Jack!

Pretty great, right? Well, that’s just how these kids roll. Last year, Kate did the same at her birthday party and collected donations for VOKRA too!

Kate the Great on her birthday!

Kate the Great on her birthday!

On their recent visit, Jack and Kate got to see their donations at work. They had a tour of the facilities, heard about how volunteers like their awesome grandma devote time, energy and love to caring for our cats, and also got a lesson in trapping feral cats as our Trappers Maria and Janet were on hand. Hmmm…the next generation of trappers? We’ll look forward to your help when you’re a little older, guys!

Tiny trappers at work!

Tiny trappers at work!

Thanks for supporting VOKRA, Kate and Jack, and for being Compassionate Kids!

Volunteer of the Month–March 2015!

Jessica and her husband Bryan

Bluntly put, VOKRA would cease to exist if it weren’t for all the brilliance, hard work, drive, and support from our volunteers. And right meow, it is time for our Volunteer of the Month, March edition!

This month we are giving big thanks and gratitude to Jessica MacDuff.

We can also give a shout out to the internet for providing Jessica the opportunity to come across VOKRA. She came across us while doing research online about working with animals and knew immediately we were the right fit. She has been a volunteer for five months now, and counting. What can we say? Kitties are irresistible to work with; working with cats and just cats is a dream come true for Jessica.

Volunteering twice a week, we always look forward to seeing Jessica every Monday and Friday. She puts in a great amount of effort to make sure our environment is spotless. Along with cleaning duties, Jessica also shares her big and accepting heart with kittens.

Though picking favourite kitties is like picking a favourite child, Jessica has noted Poosh, Oskar, and Heathcliffe as a few of her favourite and adored kittens. Ultimate #SelfiesWithKitties for the win!

Poosh (one of Jessica’s favourites), looking adorable, as per usual

Poosh looking adorable, as per usual

Not only do the kittens love Jessica, so do we!

Shelley says,

She works her butt off scrubbing floors, kennels, whatever we need. And she is amazing; she comes in and cleans every single thing in the wash up area (almost unheard of), washes the floors, cleans dirty kennels…she absolutely never stops moving.

Karen tells us,

Jessica goes nuts cleaning all over like a whirling dervish!

Tasha reports,

She’s delightful!

Appreciated by both cats and the VOKRA team? Now that is a sign that Jessica is undoubtedly one of the most hard-working, selfless, and joyful volunteers we’ve ever had. Seriously, thank you Jessica, for all that you do for VOKRA. You are magnificent; rock on!

If you would like to get involved with our wonderful VOKRA team, please visit our website for more information, and apply to volunteer today!