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My whole life has been devoted to the love and care of cats.  I live with 3, have rescued hundreds, draw a popular cat cartoon*, and illustrate childrens' books featuring cats**. Cats are my muse, my family and my love.

Julie is my tabby angel. I rescued her 9 years ago.  Until this catastrophe destroyed us, she was my little Siamese twin... my constant companion. Her sweet face and true friendship were the only things that got me through the deaths of both my parents in 2009 and 4 years of hell that followed. She is 14 now with many ailments that require care. She needs stability in her last years. She doesn't deserve what has happened to us.

Jack is my bottle baby. His cat mother abandoned him on the back step, newly born. I raised him, fed him with a bottle, and was up with him every 2 hours during his first 8 weeks. Jack is in all ways my son. He's never been away from home, has been sheltered from every evil, and had no idea life could be this cruel. He does not deserve what has happened to us.

Cindy is Jack's girlfriend. A former feral. She appeared one day in our yard emaciated and ill. I got her to a vet, and nursed her in our back room through a bitter winter. Cindy was supposed to recover, then go back to her life outside. Instead, she and Jack fell in love. When she finally was well, the pair were racing around like kittens, and falling asleep in each other's arms. She gave up her outdoor life to be with him. She doesn't deserve what has happened to us.

Nor do I. But 15 months ago, for reasons no doctor knows, what was previously a mild cat allergy became suddenly life-threatening. One day I slept with Jack in my arms, the next day my throat closed in anaphylaxis. I was in the ER twice in one month. Allergy tests confirmed it twice.  The # for allergic response to cats in my test results was off the charts.

This has left our 4 lives in crumbs. I am so grief stricken I can sometimes not get out of bed. But there is no way, no matter what it takes, that I am saying goodbye to my cats. I have to fix this.

I started immunotherapy with an allergist and 3 naturopathic therapies . Each therapy promises to cure or mitigate this allergy.  The 4 together should smash it to smithereens. But it takes time and money (thousands on my credit cards so far), and none of it is covered by insurance.  The real family-saver part of the plan fell through due to lack of funds. I want to remake the basement (now a raw, cold space), into a livable cat apartment so they can be home without being in the house while I finish treatment. As I improve, they can be slowly reintroduced to the house. I was declined for a HELOC because I am self employed.

From January to May, the cats lived virtually alone in the lower half of the house. I'd had to divide the house in two, and live away from them upstairs. The only people they saw were the pet sitter who came to feed them once a day, and the vet tech I had to hire for Julie's treatments once a week. When they saw me through the glass door that separated us, all three would run to the door and cry. Jack would stand on his hind legs and shake the door in the frame so hard sometimes I thought he would break the glass. Julie lay on her side and cried. She soon had a flare up of stress cystitis and had to spend 2 weeks at the vet: $1053.....

Because of the awful effect this was having on them, and me, and because our hopes for a cat room were dashed, I had to send them to friends.  They live with my neighbor now, who is a saint, and loves them like her own, but now has to find love enough in her heart and time enough in her day for 11 cats.  I visit them as often as my lungs will tolerate.  That's usually no more than 1/2 hour 3x a week.  Our lives are just demolished.

This destroys not only our 4 lives, but if not resolved will prevent me from keeping the promise I made to my 90-year old aunt that I would take her cats when she is no longer here.  That day is coming fast.  Her 3 cats, Jackie, Sandra and NoTail are my mother's former cats, and the subject of a poster you may have seen on Facebook.   I also care for a feral colony which is being neglected and sometimes going without as I struggle with this illness and the costs.  I one day counted the number of people and animal lives that are adversely affected by this illness of mine.  It is 28.  This thing has GOT TO GO.  Only with help am I going to make that happen because I am out of cash.

I know there are plenty of causes out there that are more tragic than ours. But I am hoping that the animal loving public will understand the enormity of this loss for us if we are broken up. I cannot lose my family, and they cannot lose me. I have to fix this.

Allergist/Immunotherapy = $1200 so far
Vet tech for Julie's treatments: $20/week for 44 weeks so far
Julie's hospitalization for stress cystitis = $1053
Feral Cat Food = appr. $30/week
Alternate feeder when I'm too sick to do ferals = $12/day
Cat Room = $7K - $10K
NAET = $1000 so far
Homeopath = $1000 so far


* The Pride Cartoon (

** The Twelve Cats of Christmas, The Cats On My Block, and Emmaline (not a cat, but a squirrel) All titles available on, and a portion of all sales supports my ferals.

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