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This fundraiser ended on 01/01/12

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My cat, my best friend, is in need of costly medical procedures. Being disabled, I can't afford to save him without your help.

His name is Baby Kitty. Everyone always thinks he is a female cat since he has such a shy demeanor. I'm guessing the name doesn't help either.

Being disabled and isolated from society, I have always turned to cats for friendship and support. They have been the greatest loves of my life. They have also been the greatest losses of my life. I recently had to put to rest a beautiful 19 year old companion named Sammy. It was her time and I had to make the difficult decision to let her go. Now my only companion, my only friend left, is Baby. He means the world to me and I break down crying at the slightest thought of losing him.

He is my greatest weakness, as well.

Take away my shelter, my belongings and I will rebuild and move forward. Take away my cat and my whole world falls apart (quite literally, my Mom always fears when my cats have gotten sick because she knows how it affects me). I once sold everything of value that I owned to get emergency surgery for Sammy. Back then (in 1997) the surgery came to $500. It "bought" Sammy 14 more years of life with me. No stereo, no DVD collection, no DVD player could ever hold as much value as 14 years of holidays, birthdays, thousands of days of watching Sammy and her adorable ways, her light that put such joy into my otherwise depressing lonely days.

Baby Kitty came to me 8 years ago just one month after I left my abusive alcoholic father (literally jumping in my brother's car with my pet carriers and a sack of clothes, hoping Dad did not see the cats leaving with us .. I feared for my life that day but I was not going to leave my cats behind .. this was not even an option). Baby felt like yet another angel sent to me to remind me that life was not all about struggling and hiding behind locked doors.

In these eight years we have bonded so strongly. Baby Kitty seeks me out constantly, wanting me to hold him or play with him or sometimes just sit by him. He wakes me each day by walking on my pillow (and to put it bluntly, he sits his bottom on my pillow taking up most of the space I have to lay my head .. but I just take the corner and let him have the rest of the pillow). He means more to me than words could ever express (good luck having me talk about it, my emotions make me break down into that "ugly cry" where words just sound like a garbled mess).

Baby Kitty got sick in September of last year. He developed chronic vomiting where he could hold down no food or water for several days. I took him to an emergency animal clinic where they charged me $1,200 just to place him on an IV drip for one night. Luckily, I had my Mom to help me pay upfront (they will not treat any animals unless you offer up a payment method first). It took one year for me to pay her back but I honor my word. It helped to save my Baby's life and for that I even payed her interest.

We never found out what made Baby Kitty so sick for that one week. My local vet assumed it was a hairball problem (after she ran blood work and x-rays, all coming up with no clear signs of any one particular illness). Now, one year later, Baby has begun to develop chronic vomiting again. It started a few weeks ago and lasted one week. In that time the vet gave him anti-nausea shots and took the same tests (x-rays, blood work). To say the least my veterinarian is perplexed and frustrated. All we want is to find out what is going on but my vet does not offer in-depth internal medicine procedures.

This is where I wipe my eyes of tears (over and over) and come here to plea for someone, anyone, to please help my Baby. He redeveloped the chronic vomiting just a few days before Thanksgiving. Once again, the anti-nausea shots got him through the holiday weekend (I was terrified he would become sick again while the vet was out on holiday leave and Baby would dehydrate and go further downhill over the 4 day weekend). While it takes about one week of shots to get him past these vomiting phases it is merely a temporary relief from whatever is going on inside of Baby.

The vet has reached a point where she has referred me to an internal medicine veterinarian in Atlanta, GA .. which is a two hour drive away from where I live. Baby needs to have a sonogram and further testing to find out what is going on. I have no idea how much this will cost (if the overnight IV cost $1200 and bloodwork/x-rays cost $250 I cannot imagine what a vet clinic will charge for a sonogram and this terrifies me .. I swore I would never lose one of my cats just because I could not afford to get them medical care).

I have thought to stand in the local Walmart parking lot and hold up a sign for donations. I have applied to a few credit agencies but was turned down. I even thought about going to my ex-boyfriend's father to ask for a loan.

Then I heard of this site while watching CNN one day. So here I am giving this a shot to see if I can find some help to get these crucial tests ran.

I know Baby Kitty is not my parent or my spouse or even my child but he "feels" every bit like my child. My cats are the only children I will ever be able to have so I have always bonded with them as though they were just little children with fur.

My Mom used to tell people "Cheryl lives for her cats". Back as a teenager this felt a bit humiliating because I wanted a "life" filled with friends, boyfriends, good times and not be known just as that disabled girl who lives for her cats.

But then a day came in 2001 when one of my best friends, Toobaloo, came down with mouth cancer. When I lost him I came to realize that my cats truly are my life. Now that Baby Kitty is my only child left I am trying my best to hold onto him as long as possible. At 8 years of age he has the potential to live at least another ten years with me. He is the one part of my daily life that just lights up my heart. He sees no disability, he does not judge me or pity me. He treats me like I am his Mommy, his best friend and I cannot sit back and let him fade away by a mystery illness. He owns a huge piece of my heart and I will plea with anyone reading this (if you have made it this far in my long rant) if you have any size donation to give, even just $1, I can promise you that it will be one of the most meaningful dollars you ever gave someone in need of help.

I have always been a decent person who constantly tries to pay my own way and cover my part of any given financial situation. I rarely ever borrow money and I believe in showing respect to others by paying them back as soon as I receive my monthly income. It is times like now when I truly do wish I had friends because I would sit them down, hold back the "ugly cry" (failing miserably) and beg them to help Baby Kitty and me.

Anything you can do will be beyond greatly appreciated. I do not know how much the sonogram and other tests will end up costing but these days no medical help is reasonably affordable, not for people and not for animals. I don't yet know how the donation stuff works here at this site but if there was a way I would keep a record of everyone who helps out and I would pay you back, one by one, for as long as it takes.

Baby Kitty is my everything and I am not ashamed to admit it. I live for my cat because he is always here for me in my darkest times, in my happiest times.

He is my daily dose of love.
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