Thursday, March 29, 2012

About A Boy

It's the FF mum here today. The cats let me take over to write a post that has been a very long time coming. While I have wanted to tell the rest of his story, I just haven't been able to bring myself to do so before now. It was updating his sister's story the other day that finally gave me the push to do so.
 If you were visiting here in November 2009, you would remember a lovely little kittenboy named Freddie. Freddie was brought into the vet clinic I worked in after he was found on the pavement by a young family. He was very cold, and the immediate priority was to try and warm him up.
 You have to be very careful warming a kitten as doing so too quickly can shock their system. The safest way to do so is through skin to skin contact. For a few hours I had Freddie bandaged to my chest inside my t-shirt, and could slowly feel him getting warmer. Once his body temperature was about normal I was finally able to give him some formula. You can't feed a cold kitten as their digestive system is one of the first things to shut down and they can end up with milk congealing in their stomachs. It's a balancing act between trying to warm them safely, and knowing that they need nourishment or their blood sugars will start to really cause problems.
 Thankfully we were able to get over the first hurdles with Freddie, and he began to thrive. He grew into one of the sweetest, most gentle kittens we have ever known.
 As Freddie grew older it became apparent that he was deaf. While white cats are often assumed to be deaf, of the 5 white kittens we fostered at the end of 2009, Freddie was the only one affected. It's been suggested that the hypothermia he experienced when tiny contributed, but we'll never really know. At one stage a fire marshall came in to test all the fire alarms in our complex. Fui, Suey and Lishy didn't come out of hiding for hours. Freddie slept through it.
 Freddie was the first kitten we fostered to crack Suey's tough shell. She fell a little bit in love with him, and ever since has been much friendlier to foster kitties. Lishy took particular delight in snuggling up with him.
 Freddie's sisters were adopted before him, and once it was just him on his own he really started to settle into our family. He had free run of the house except for over night when he happily retired to his crate. He would actually put himself to bed most nights.
He was the subject of a thousand conversations with myself about how one more wouldn't change things too much, look how easy it had been going from a two cat family to a three cat family. Surely one more wouldn't change things. But we had to be sensible, as a family we move around a bit and we rent, and four just seemed like it would tip the balance too far and make it difficult for us to find a home when we were in a new city.
 Freddie didn't make it easy though. He was out to prove that he belonged with us, I think! I was secretly relieved every day we didn't receive an adoption application for him. He was a lovely little cuddlebunny and took good care of me after I'd had minor surgery.
 We finally did receive an enquiry about Freddie, and it looked good. My friend and fellow foster mum Greta and I both grilled him, and made two things very very clear. If we were to allow Freddie to go, he absolutely must remain an indoor only cat, with possible access to a shaded outdoor enclosure. Freddie's pale pink skin made him extremely susceptible to skin cancers. Both Greta and I had been involved with cats who were euthanised due to awful facial tumours, and we didn't want that for Freddie. With him being deaf, he wouldn't be able to hear cars and would be at much greater risk outside than a cat with full hearing.
 The other thing we made very clear was that if for any reason the family could no longer care for Freddie, we would take him back with no judgement and no questions asked. The couple agreed to our conditions, and after another meeting, took Freddie home.
 All went well at first, and at one stage we even got to see him again as Freddie stayed with us for a long weekend while his family were on holiday. It was lovely to see him again, as we had missed him very much when he left.
 I received an email last year from the man who had adopted Freddie to tell me that they had sent Freddie to live on a farm with a relative, and while there, he was hit and killed by a car. He had been allowed frequent outdoor access, it wasn't an escape. It absolutely broke my heart when I found out. I felt like I'd let down a little cat who I desperately wanted to keep with me. Freddie would have been 18 months old when he passed away. I had been avoiding posting about it, but I thought it only fair to conclude his story on the blog after he had so many wishing him well when he was a baby.
Sleep peacefully Freddie. In our hearts you were always ours, and I know we'll see you again one day.


Poppy Q said...

Ohhhh, our hearts are sad for little Freddie and his short life. Still we are glad that he got to have a great start with you guys, and got to thrive on soo much love. You did a great job Lishy team.

We know that your hearts will be a bit broken, but think of all that time that Freddie got to have, that he may have never because of you all.

Julie and Poppy Q

Milo and Alfie Marshall said...

Oh I am so very sorry. I know how painful it must have been to share sweet little Freddie's end story. I am heartbroken for him and you. Life is always full of "if onlys" but sadly what has happened has happened. At least Fredie had a wonderful loving start with you once rescued ~ and he will remain in your heart forever. I just wish those who took in the responsibility of this beautiful little should had listened more carefully to what you said to them ~ they should NEVER have taken him on if they were going to ignore what you said. I am angry with them.
Love and gentle purrs from Milo and Alfie.

Love Jan xx

Barb and TheDailyGs said...

Bugger. I new straight away that this would not have a good ending. Bless his little heart.

We can't save them all, no matter how big our hearts are.

There are SO many cats and dogs needing good homes, and many of them right here at the Swamp. My friend Al was over to visit while Whitey was still so sick and he wanted me to go around the yard to show me a cat who was looking rather puny. I refused. I had already seen him/her. I can not take on another animal. I also can not bring them to the local shelters as that would be the end of their lives for sure. We do not have a no kill shelter for hundreds of miles and even they are not accepting more.. So here at the Swamp, so we provide food and water and allow them to live out their lives.

It's so sad their lives are short, but at least while they live, they are happy to roam about, well-fed and playing in a beautiful place.

Cory said...

I am so sad for our furriend Freddie and hissed off too that these people let a deaf cat outside. Why they didn't return him to you....::sniff::


Tom, Tama-Chan, Sei-Chan, Bibi-Chan, Gen-Chan, Vidock said...

We can imagine the extent of your heartbreak when you received that piece of news, especially after you had been so specific about him never being allowed free access outdoors. The utter stupidity displayed by some people never ceases to amaze us, or is it their total unwillingness to use even a single brain cell to ensure the well-being of an animal? It makes us want to bite and bite and bite the idiots who sent Freddie to the farm.

And of course there is the bittersweet aspect that Freddie is now gone and Lishy whom everyone expected to live but a short time, is thriving.

We will never forget you, Freddie.

The Chans

Random Felines said...

we are so sorry. the hardest part about rescue is letting them go and hoping you are making the best decision - but you can't live by the "if onlys". it is just sad that rather than live up to their end of the bargain and bring him back, that couple chose to make a decision that turned out badly....

Faye said...

Our meowmy cried when she got to the end of the story. She remember well how hard you worked to get Freddie back to good health.

We agree, WHY did these people send him to live on a farm, and then the owners let him outside?? You and Greta had TOLD them you would take him back. Perhaps a handsome white angel cat was needed in Kitty Heaven??? Freddie was greeted there by the four cats I lost in Hurricane Katrina. We all understand our grief and hurt.

Sending hugs, purrs and soft paw pats from the New Orleans Kitties.

Terri said...

This should never have happened. Freddie should have been returned to you. I hope you told him about it. This makes me so angry!

Angel and Kirby said...

WE are so sad that Freddie was sent to the farm after you told the man you would take him back! What were they thinking, letting a deaf cat out on a farm!I know how hard this was to write. He was such a sweet baby and will be missed by all. WE can only hope he had a good life in his short time!

Repositório said...

Oh! =/

Sparkle said...

How sad and what a tragedy - the family should have sent him back to you rather than carting him off to a farm where he was outdoors, something one should never do with a deaf cat! What was wrong with those people?

Tillie and Georgia said...

We are also quite sad about this news and hissed off that Freddie went to a place where he was allowed outside.
As was mentioned, you do your best and that is all you can do.You cannot change people.
My Mom gave me a nice cross stitch saying: "Do your best and leave the rest.
Angels do no more"
You have done your best,and for that I am thankful !!
Hugs,mom Nancy

Lita and the boys in Melbourne said...

Oh, we remember when all the white kitties lived with you and you found out Freddie was deaf. We agree with what Cory & Terri & Sparkle (all right, with what everyone) said. Man! and don't do "why?" this was all Freddie needed to be here for this time. Blessed be little man.

Meg said...

You did your best for Freddie and hopefully his short life was happy one. Purrs to the sweet one.

The Island Cats said...

We remember sweet Freddie. And we are so sad to hear that his life was cut short. We just don't understand why humans do the things they do. This shouldn't have happened.

HubbleSpacePaws said...

My heart aches for you, hon. I am so sorry your trust was violated. I can only imagine how it hurts.

Please know you did everything you could to protect the boy you loved. And know that Freddy knows that, too.

meowmeowmans said...

Oh no. We remember Freddie, and are sad at this news. Hugs and gentle purrs to you all.

LindATx said...

I add my condolences, and second the thoughts that you did your very best and Freddie knew that you loved him. We try, but some things are beyond our ability to control. I envision him chasing butterflies in the beautiful field next to the bridge; he'll meet you when you're ready.

Jan's Funny Farm said...

So sad. No matter how many questions one asks or what promises are made in order to adopt, too often the adopter ignores the promises made. It's a shame you couldn't keep Freddie, but you couldn't know the guy would be one who'd lie to you.

Charlemagne and Tamar said...

We're so sorry about Freddie. We know that he's at the Rainbow Bridge waiting to be reunited with all of you when the time comes.

Sadly and sending purrs,
Charlemagne, Tamar and Mal

rainbow said...

What a sad story, but FFmum, you MUST NOT blame yourself - you, together with Fui, Suey and Lishy, did everything you could and gave dear little Freddie the best possible chance. We are sneding our best purrs to dear little angel Freddie.

Goldie, Shade and Banshee said...

We are so sorry to hear about Freddie. He was a real sweetie and should have had a long and love filled life. You did the absolute best you could and gave him a great start. That just burns our bums how they let him outside. Wankers.