Meows from Mudpie!
In 2017 I plan to make my interview series bigger and better than ever, featuring both fictional felines and real cats with amazing stories to tell!
It all begins today with my new friends who call themselves The Cats of Hazzard. My Mommy is a huge fan of their namesakes the Dukes, so when she stumbled upon them on Instagram her heart did a little flip. When we learned more about them I knew I needed to share their story here. (We heard a rumor that the little nuggets have accepted another needy kitten into their group who has 5 different heart defects!!! He wasn't available for our little chat but maybe we'll get a chance to catch up with him at a later date!)
Luke, Daisy: Well, an Umbrella of Hope adopter (of special needs kitties) who is also a personal friend of our director saw a post for us being passed around her circles and alerted our director. It seems that a cat had given birth to four orange kittens and it was time to find them new homes. Two of them were typical kittens and two were...well, us. Umbrella of Hope offered to take all four kittens and fix mom cat but by then the two typical kittens had already been given away. When the transporter went to pick us up and take mom to get fixed, she was told there was a kitten from a previous litter who was also different like us. That is how Uncle Jesse got to come here too.
Bo: I found myself in a shelter and the staff knows that Umbrella of Hope has a soft spot for kittens who are a bit different. The timing was uncanny because they had just agreed to take Luke and Daisy and Uncle Jesse. My coat happened to match theirs and I was around the same age so I became a part of that litter.
Aeternum Vale... Farewell forever It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of one of our Cats of Hazzard -- Rosco P Coltrane. Our vet feels that his paralysis could have been caused by a blood clot and that at some point this weekend, it became dislodged and ended up in one of his major renal vessels causing acute kidney failure. It was fast and it was severe and there was nothing further that could be done for him. We did not allow him to suffer and we are mourning his absence terribly. "A butterfly lights beside us like a sunbeam and for a brief moment its glory and beauty belong to our world. But then it flies on again and though we wish we could have stayed, we feel lucky to have seen it at all" -- Author Unknown We invite you to light a candle for Rosco and leave a comment to honor him with your love, to show your support for our rescue and to give your sympathy to his foster family who is reeling from the loss. Rather than mourn the absence of the flame, let us celebrate how brightly it glowed. Glow Rosco... glow with the stars. We will miss you. Rosco P Coltrane July 2016-November 2016
Rosco P Coltrane (writing from Heaven): I was found by a rescuer who quickly realized she was in over her head. Through some connections, I made my way to UOH and into the Cats of Hazzard litter because I too was the same age and the same color and it was a perfect fit! I achieved my mission of finding a human's perfect love and so I did not have to stick around very long, but like my famous orange predecessor, Tomato (from Best Friends Animal Society), I am continuing to report from kitty heaven.
Where did the Dukes of Hazzard names come from? Are you as crazy as "them Duke boys"?
The rescue group that saved us, Umbrella of Hope, picks themes for each group of animals. We got the Dukes! We are definitely a fun bunch, but we keep our “crazy” within the confines of the law! ;)
(Note from the Dukes' foster mom: Actually, the funny and previously undisclosed way they got their names is that we found out Uncle Jesse may be the father of Luke and Daisy. Since they all have the same mom that seemed a bit hillbilly-ish to us so we started throwing around different ideas for those names... The Dukes of Hazzard stuck mostly because there is a great theme song as opposed to another option - Deliverance) ;)
Uncle Jesse, Luke, and Daisy all have severe rear-limb deformities. Their tentative diagnosis (pending specialist exam/review) is a combination of femoral, femoral head, tibial and metatarsal agenesis/hypoplasia. In layman's terms, it means that for some reason bones in their back legs did not form all the way or at all.
Bo was born with a small (and blind) right eye that has since been removed. His “good” eye is missing part of the eyelid and the eyelashes curl in and rub on his cornea.
Does any of this stop you from enjoying a happy kitten life? What are your favorite ways to get into mischief?
Not at all! We live life like any “normally abled” kitty would! In fact, as far as we know, there is nothing different about us! Some people think because our legs are a little different, and/or our sight is impaired, that we might have trouble getting around. Nope. In fact, we surprise some at just how fast we can move! We love to climb to the top of the cat trees, wrestle with each other, and chase the little red dot that randomly shows up in our presence. Still, no matter how fast we can run, we can’t seem to catch it! One day, little red dot! One day.
Bo may need a one-time eye surgery to correct his eyelash issue (we had to stop his medication for a month to determine this and are right in the middle of that time-frame). It appears that the other three will need no more care than any other cat. Uncle Jesse has seen a specialist and has been cleared for a need for surgery. We expect the same results when Luke and Daisy all see the specialists at UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital next month. If there is a need for surgery, it will be a one-time thing to mitigate future issues.
How can those of us who are so many miles away help you?
Thank you for asking! There are many ways you can help. Umbrella of Hope is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization who specializes in senior, special needs, medically needy, hospice, shy and plain small dogs and kittens. Every single person is a volunteer which means that all donations go DIRECTLY to helping the animals in our care. We receive NO government funding and do this on donations and an occasional grant (but they are hard to come by).
Our rescue group, Umbrella of Hope has a Paypal account http://www.paypal.me/UOH (TAX DEDUCTIBLE)
We’d like to thank all the wonderful people who have helped us so far, and give a thank you in advance to those new friends who may be inspired to do so after hearing our story. Umbrella of Hope is run strictly by volunteers -no one gets a paycheck. All of your tax-deductible donations go directly to the animals! So we all thank you for helping them to do the great work that they do!
What are you looking for in a forever home?
What everyone wants! Someone to love us, and keep us safe, and happy, and healthy for the rest of our lives! We promise to give bunches of love and happiness back to them in return! We also hope that our new families will continue to share our stories so that more differently-abled animals can also find forever homes.
I read that you all hope to be ambassadors for special needs cats. What do you see yourselves doing in that role?
We want to be ambassadors for animals in shelters with special needs to show the world that we are happy, loving, able and adoptable . We do not see ourselves as “different” and that is a powerful lesson for humans! We hope our story encourages people everywhere to consider a special needs animal. The more people willing to open their homes to animals with special needs, the more lives that can be saved.
Lastly, what do you hope people reading this learn from your story?
Sadly, many kitties like us are “put down” because we are different. We hope to show people that just because we may look a little different, doesn’t mean we live or love any different. We are capable of living long healthy lives and we, just like all “normal kitties,” deserve to have families that love us!
Photos used with permission: catsofhazzard on Instagram