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This fundraiser ended on 04/15/12

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The funds raised from this page will be used for a diagnostic test to check Max for lymphoma. Prayers please!

Max Background –

I found Max while I was running in Brooklyn. I passed this neighborhood house and saw this junkyard cat wrap her head around the corner and stare at me with these deep longing brown saucer eyes. I stopped dead in my tracks. I had to see if she was alright (this is a problem of mine). She came walking up to me very slowly – looking so pathetic I can’t even describe, but will try for the sake of the story. She was emaciated with her bones sticking out like a pile of toothpicks had spilled onto the pavement, filthy with dirt and flea dander, and covered in her own feces. She came up to me and said “heeeelwooo”… not joking, and she still does this to this day. She was the sweetest animal and I couldn’t help but try to figure out how this mangy cat was feral, which I found out later she actually wasn’t. She of course wanted to rub herself all over me, but with four other animals at home, and as terrible as I felt not to let her, I had to take a rain check.

Long story short, me and my then life partner took her home (thinking she was a he by the way) and cleaned her up. We spent months trying to get her stomach in check, as she had diarrhea all the time – and all over the floor of our apartment. During this time is when we found out that the reason Max was so nice was that she was in a home for six years – only to be thrown out in the street declawed – basically sent out to die. She had been living on the street for about a year with a compassionate Hassidic man giving her refuge in his basement when it was really bad weather out. It is a miracle she has survived this long with her limitations.

I can’t even describe to you how happy Max is being with a loving, caring family. While I did think she was a he for six months until her first vet visit (causing some tears on my part – I felt so bad for gender confusing her), she got along with all the other animals without causing a disruption to the household. She loves to sleep on the heater and on my chest every night (she takes turns throughout the night), and talks non-stop when she is happy or annoyed at the lack of food in her bowl. She is so grateful to have a warm and safe home, and I never want her to feel scared again of being thrown outside. It’s funny… She has never been interested in going back outside like most outdoor cats and I can tell is where she always belonged. I have never bonded so quickly with an animal in my life. My animals are my children, and the minute she laid eyes on me desperately pleading for help – my heart was filled with the deepest love humanly possible.

Medical Care –

Max has never been a normal cat medically, which is why I am at this point in her treatment today. When I first took her to the vet, they were actually impressed with the lack of problems they could have seen with her living on the streets for a year declawed. What they did find was her problem with chronic diarrhea (and my assumption as to why she was thrown out of her last home – most likely messy rugs), a slight urine crystal matter, and a mild anemia – and some fleas of course. She tested negative for feline leukemia and aids (multiple times), and no parasites or worms – oh and she was a spayed female not a male (so weird after six months of thinking otherwise).

She also did awkward things like wheeze for long bouts of time, vomit up water a few times a week, possess upper respiratory symptoms from time-to-time, and have skin irritations which make her a scabby mess. Even with all these issues and a great food which has made her stomach a bit better (not perfect for sure), she is such a happy cat, so I only took her in when needed… and a year later while taking her in for a skin issue, found out she was still anemic at the same low level as last year.

Because anemia in cats is not common, and is usually caused by an underlying medical condition, my vet and I wanted to delve into this matter deeper to find out what was going on. My animals are the only children I am planning on having and I want to make sure I am giving them the best life possible. We in turn ruled out feline leukemia again, parasites, two types of blood parasites, and a variety of other maladies.

The only test left to complete was the dreaded ultrasound to make sure she didn’t have any kind of tumors or growths in her stomach with all her irritable bowel issues. I pleaded with Max and told her that she had to be ok. She is my baby and we need to have a long life together – especially since I went through a difficult separation this past year from my partner and that Max and my relationship annoys my bratty (but sweet) cat Nyla so much… we couldn’t give up now!

Unfortunately, and as I feared, they found on her ultrasound that she has an enlarged lymph node and that her intestines are enlarged. The vet wants to do an endoscopy to biopsy her stomach and intestine, as well as perform an aspirate of her enlarged lymph node to check for cancer or other diagnosis. She also has to see a cardiologist before they can put her under because she has a heart murmur as well.

This is a very expensive and invasive procedure and it scares the hell out of me. I don’t want to find out anything bad or put her through this procedure, but I want to make sure that I am giving her the best treatment possible so that she is with me for a long, long time. She deserves a really good life after what she has been through and she has enriched my life so much in the short time I have had her. I don’t know what I would do without her.

So this is where we are at, but the financial responsibilities of being a single non-profit worker taking care of five rescue animals – one of whom is diabetic who requires insulin injections twice a day (who also has lung disease) – and a household on my own has taken its toll on me. I am at my financial breaking point and I have also taken a side job to help pay for medical and every day care for my animals. They really are my life and my joy. I just need some assistance – which I am not used to asking for. But they are so important to me… they really have saved my life. They are my best friends, my family!
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