Edited to add: Just got off the phone with Susan – y’all have sent donations totaling over $2,500, which is far more than enough for Frankie’s surgery – even if he ends up needing a second one. Thank you so very much to those of you who have donated, those of you who are keeping Frankie in your thoughts, and all of you for reading. You guys are the very very best, and we appreciate it so very much. (So does Frankie. No, really!)
This is Frankie:
If you’ve been here a while, you know the story of Frankie, but here’s a synopsis for the newer readers.
Frankie showed up here in early January, late one night, howling so loudly on the front porch that I could hear it from my room. As soon as I walked out onto the front porch, a small orange tabby burst out of the bushes and ran off. I told Fred about it, and we set up the game cam to see if he was coming around regularly. The game cam never did capture any pictures of him, but about a week later, he showed up in the side yard. He let Fred pick him up, and he purred like crazy, and since NATURALLY it was a weekend, we waited until Monday to take him off to the vet for testing and neutering with the plan of making him a Challenger’s House cat.
Unfortunately, he turned out to be FIV positive, and since he’d have had to be contained to a room by himself at the shelter, we brought him here and tried to find a home for him, with the help of Forgotten Felines. But then, of course, he turned out to have even more issues – he was heartworm positive and had mycoplasma haemofelis – and since he was going to need to be medicated for at least a month, we knew that we’d get too attached to him to give him up, so ultimately made the decision to keep him.
He had an even more pressing issue in terms of his mouth. His gums were bright red and he cried out when he yawned, as well as when he ate. Originally, the vet who neutered him thought it was gum disease and did a cleaning (and pulled 3 or 4 teeth), but the problem was much deeper than that. When he wasn’t improving after the initial dental work, we took him to our vet, who had to sedate him for an exam and determined that Frankie has feline stomatitis, something that often goes hand-in-hand with being FIV positive. The words he used to describe Frankie’s soft palate on the left side were “hamburger meat” and “looks like someone set off a firecracker in his mouth.”
Frankie went on a regimen of steroids (prednisilone), which worked for a few months. He was able to yawn and eat like a normal cat, and gained over two pounds (he only weighed eight when he first showed up). Unfortunately — as expected — the steroids aren’t working as well anymore. He’s started yelping again (not as much as before, but it’s only a matter of time), and his gums have gone bright red again. Medicating him has always been hard but it’s worse than ever now because it hurts him. We’ve talked with our vet, and the best option forward is to try removing teeth to see if we can get the situation under control. Our vet wants to be conservative, to save any teeth he can, and has recommended one surgery now with a potential second surgery if it doesn’t completely resolve the problem. The estimate for the two surgeries is $1400, on top of the more than $700 we’ve already spent. To be blunt, while we consider Frankie to be a gift because he’s such a good cat, he’s an unexpected gift with unexpected costs.
(And now with Mr. Fancypants, we have another unexpected gift who is FIV positive.)
So what we’re doing is what we’ve never done before: we’re asking for donations to offset the cost of Frankie’s surgery. Susan at Challenger’s House has kindly offered to let people make the donations to Challenger’s House so that they will be tax deductible, and then she will pay the vet directly from those funds. Please don’t send anything directly to us.
I can’t even tell you how much I hate this — we’ve never asked for money before, and we absolutely loathe needing to do it now. If you’re able and want to help, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. You can donate to Challenger’s House via Paypal (see the link at the bottom of this page), VISA, Mastercard (they can take those donations by phone at 256-420-5995) or check/money order. Just make a note on the donation that it’s for Frankie’s surgery / surgeries. Should more money be donated than is necessary for Frankie’s care, the extra will go to support other cats in need. (Edited to add: apparently there’s not a way to make a note that the donation is for Frankie’s surgery if you pay via Paypal. You can send an email to Challenger’s House separately letting Susan know who the donation is meant for – or, honestly, she’ll likely be able to figure out what it’s meant for. Thank you all so much for your donations!)
If making a donation would have any kind of negative impact on your budget, please DON’T do it. This cost isn’t completely insurmountable for us, it’s just a strain because we didn’t expect a cat with the issues Frankie has. Either way, he is scheduled for his first surgery on June 13th.
Please also be aware that, according to our vet, this works about 80% of the time, so it’s not a guaranteed solution. Obviously, we hope that it does work and that Frankie will go on to share many more pain-free years with us.
2016: Barnaby Mouse gets a little sun.
2015: “Excuse me, please not to bother. I am on VERY IMPORTANT PHONE CALL.”
2014: Thursday Thlurrrrrpday.
2013: A melee of Dragons.
2012: Kinda relaxed for someone who’s about to go off and get the ol’ snip-snip, isn’t he?
2011: No entry.
2010: No entry.
2009: Girlfriend has got some LUNGS.
2008: It’s so cute I want to squeeze them to death.
2007: The knowledge that he’s the Purtiest! Kitty! Ever! makes Sugarbutt a wee bit smug.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.