In late August as Covid 19 was growing in numbers and shutting down businesses, we got word that our county animal shelter would be closing to intakes. A-PAL made the decision to do direct intakes of cats from the public when previously we only pulled from our shelter or took in friendly community cats.
When this torti cat came to us, we knew she was terribly sick. A kind lady called the A-PAL phone and reached Marci Glenn who agreed when she saw this torti we named Bianca, that she was in terrible condition. The caller indicated this cat was a stray she kept seeing wandering and so sick she was concerned she was dying. She was a normal sized cat weighing in at only 6 pounds with visible ribs and protruding hip bones. Her eyes were sunken and she could not hold down any food.
At her first visit to Jackson Creek Vet, she got fluids and an anti nausea medication and she perked up a bit. Marci noted she was still not feeling well and she was losing weight also. She went back to Jackson Creek Vet and began seeing Dr. Jules Wurzler who discovered that her thyroid level was a whopping 30 with 2 being normal. We immediately started her on medication to get her hyperthyroidism under control.
Marci and Jeannie and I coaxed Bianca to eat, but after a couple of weeks, she continued not to be able to keep her food down. One of the side effects of the drug was vomiting, so we knew we needed to do something else.
Dr. Jules indicated the test results had improved and there was an alternative drug that would be absorbed through the skin. The problem was that this drug needed to be put into Bianca’s ear every 12 hours and A-PAL is only staffed for 4 hours a day during the week. This led to volunteer Kerry Mack and I going in morning and evening to treat Bianca.
Typical kitty style, Bianca would come out to greet us and would give us the stink eye after we put cold cream medicine on the inside tip of her ear. She quickly forgave us following and rubbing our legs purring loudly. Our skinny cat was filling out and looking sleek, shiny and healthy.
Back she went to see Dr. Jules who gave us the great news that her thyroid numbers were now in the normal range. The challenge was that one of the side effects of this new medication is that it can cause anemia which Bianca had developed and Bianca needed a permanent solution.
It was decided that Bianca would have her thyroid removed. We gauged her medication days left to see if we could make it until she could have surgery with Dr. Alison Pillsbury.
By this time, Bianca had been in our care for four months. We had grown accustomed to seeing her come out of her various hiding spots to greet us every day. Sometimes she came out of a cubby in a carpeted cat tree, sometimes she appeared out of a storage shelf and other times we had no idea where she hid until we heard her loud purr and felt her soft fur.
As fate would have it, Feed Barn Store Manager, Cooper Steely, called me to tell me a lady named Lisa was looking for an older cat for her mom. Her mother had lost her husband of 63 years to Covid 19 in September and had just recently lost her husband’s dog as well. Lisa explained that her mom needed a companion and a purpose.
As I began to explain how Bianca had come to us as a stray, sick and skinny and told Lisa of her hyperthyroidism and pending thyroid removal, I could hear the surprise in her voice. She explained that her mom who would be given this sweet 10 year old cat, had also had this condition and had her thyroid removed. We agreed that this was meant to be.
The first weekend passed in December as Amador County entered the purple Covid 19 tier and businesses and our animal shelter had to close again for safety. We were unable to introduce Lisa to Bianca as she recovered the first few days from surgery, but were thrilled to learn that a week after surgery Bianca’s bloodwork came back normal, so she was ready to go to her new home.
Lisa was in Amador for the weekend before Christmas and had indicated she would come immediately to pick Bianca up. When Marci handed Bianca to Lisa, you could see how happy both were and Bianca snuggled up against her and purred. We could not be happier than we are with this match and know that Bianca will have a secure future and will make a great companion. A-PAL is in the business of pet match making and we think this older cat will make her older human very happy and likewise Bianca will live the rest of her life safe and loved.
A-PAL Humane Society is a non profit organization founded 44 years ago to promote the humane treatment of animals in Amador County. For more program information, please visit pawspartners.org or call 209-223-0410.