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Kramer is only 4 years old and he is the gentlest, sweetest cat I have ever known.

He has been a constant presence in my life as I recovered from a stroke that I had in 2009. Having him in my life keeps me from sinking into the recurring depression that often follows a life-threatening health crisis like the one I suffered. Without him, I would have spent my life in bed, but his needs make me get up each day and live my life thankful for what God has given me.

He was brought to me in 2011 by some neighborhood children, he was 8 months old, and badly injured with two puncture wounds on his tail. They knew that I liked cats so they brought him to me since Kramer was outside and the owners could not be found. (they returned from vacation the next day) The owners purchased Kramer off of Craig's List two months before.

The wounds were badly infected and oozing pus which, with the help of a vet friend, I lanced, drained, stitched, medicated and dressed.
I suffered a stroke in 2009, and I had not yet won my fight with Disability and had been out of work and staying with a friend since 2009 so there was no money coming in at all. This tech agreed to help without being paid. Unfortunately, she was about to move to Kentucky with her husband so she taught me these basic skills so that I could better care for Kramer on my own when she left.

Since the owners had two children under the age of 5, I was concerned about releasing Kramer back to her because of the danger of re-injury and I wanted to avoid exposing the children to any infection so with her permission I kept him for two weeks, keeping a close eye out for signs of further infection.

When the wound healed, I sent him home. He had put on weight and all the swelling was gone.
The next day I received an email from the owner stating that Kramer had sprayed in the house and that she had put him out the back door and I could come and get him if I wanted him. I tried to impress on her that in my opinion, Kramer did not have the temperament to be an outdoor cat but she insisted that she would not allow him inside the house again.

I thought that was a bit harsh, but then I got the rest of the story.
One of the other neighbors who was friendly with the owners daughter told me that he had seen the boyfriend throwing Kramer, and holding him on top of his shoulders and that Kramer's head had hit the door jam several times. It was also mentioned that the children pulled his tail for fun. The owner had just purchased a chihuahua that chased Kramer and I was fearful for his safety.

I gathered the few cat items that she put on the deck and found Kramer under the car next door with ears covered in motor oil with new, bleeding wounds.
Kramer has been with me ever since.

I cared for Kramer, learning many new skills and techniques from rescue groups, the SPCA and other techs. When your resources are as limited as mine, you learn to do a lot of things by yourself.

Before my stroke, I had 35 years working in the medical support field in various positions including medical assistant
I managed to keep him healthy until Sunday when I recognized the symptoms of something I knew that I could not handle myself and had him at the ER within the hour.

Kramer started showing symptoms in the morning. By the time I got him to the hospital half an hour later, he was panting in pain and his gums were almost blue.
Then the bad news came.
My loving boy had to have emergency surgery to repair a severe diaphragmatic hernia which pushed his intestines and stomach into his chest and compressed his lungs making it impossible to breathe.
According to the vet, all the internal evidence proves that this was the result of an injury that occurred before we got him. Her guess was a sharp kick or that he was stepped on. There was scarring along the edge of the tear in the muscle and there was adhesion that had to be removed, meaning that his organs had been out of place so long that they had formed fibrous attachments to the chest wall which had to be cut away before the organs could be placed back in his abdomen.

All of Kramer's stomach, 3/4 of his liver and the first 2/3 of his colon were in his chest. The vet told me she didn't know how he had been breathing at all.

I had to make the decision then and there or he would probably die by the evening.
The emergency hospital issued a low estimate of cost and a high one. I was required to pay the low one before they began. Kramer would have died that night if they had not. I put the $2,100 on a Visa card that I share with my mother.
The deposit was staggering and already close to 3 months disability pay, but complications have kept him in two additional days. There will be additional fees when I pick him up.

This is way out of my league. Prayers just reduce me to tears and I'm too tired to try again.
When you are disabled, a companion animal becomes much more than "just a pet". They become your friend, family, confidant, sounding board, tranquilizer, and sympathetic ear. The pressure is enormous and I don't know where to turn.
I turned it over to God, then I found your page.

Please send prayers for my boy's recovery, and for me. Share my campaign if you are willing, or just spare a moment to think kindly of me and my situation. I believe in the power of prayer and I've never needed it more than now.
Thank you so very much.

God bless
Grace
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