BENEFITING: American Red Cross
"Dream" and "angel cat" have both been used by visiting friends to describe Axel, a treasured member of our family ever since he first endeared himself to us. He chanced upon us quite by accident. On a cold December day in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, my sister and I almost quite literally stumbled upon a very young kitten, not quite newborn and yet seemingly not having known fear. He approached us first, gazing into my eyes, then hers in turn (a habit he retains when surrounded by fawning guests) with an uncannily human, knowing, pleading, and somewhat youthful expression. Though our family was struggling with funds as it was, we couldn't just leave him there, and then in a few hours, neither could my parents part with him. The years have passed by quickly and he has matured gracefully into an exuberant adult. Axel's kittenhood's qualities of personality and character have never left him - a markedly curious and intelligent cat that can create a small tornado through the room in his unrestrained energy. Of a physically and mentally vibrant disposition, there are not enough humans in the world for him to ever get bored of playing with. He has a noticeable spark in his light-green eyes, sometimes due to mischief, and sometimes due to turning up the charm as a consequence of his mischief! And charm it is; this cat can make a friend out of anyone, even hostile and unsociable cats and dogs. Anyone that isn't a friend is always a potential friend! Whenever a friend speaks of loyalty and sociability as "dog traits", I want to refer them to Axel, this cat who can convert any unenthusiast into a believer. He loves sitting in peoples' laps, lying on someone's shoulders while snuggling into them, joining you on the couch, being present anywhere there's a gathering, and running under peoples' legs because even an accidental kick is preferable to being ignored. His personality is not limited to eager love of life and living things however - both consoled friends and family have noted at different times that when they are physically hurting or emotionally distressed, the cat will give them the most compassionate and sympathetic look and stay with them quietly for as long as they need it. He has indeed called for help on behalf of a family members, such as when my sister had a nasty fall inside our apartment. I knew something was wrong when, shortly after Thanksgiving, he demonstrated unusual physical fatigue of movement, and slouched around with a morose expression. He consistently refused physical contact, which was extremely alarming. When he could no longer jump, move and void properly, it was an emergency trip to the vet. After a series of tests including an X-ray and another imaging test called a myelogram, he was diagnosed with Invertebral Disk Disease (IVDD). While mild to moderate cases may be treated with pain relief substances and temporarily restricted movement, his condition has somehow progressed to the stage that surgery (laminectomy) is recommended for the cat to have any hope of living further for much longer. That's one of the problems with cats - they're usually healthier than dogs but they just don't always let you know as soon as they feel unwell! The funds will be used in order of priority, with the most urgent matter being the surgery, for which an MRI will be needed as well that we just couldn't afford upfront at the time. While we have an estimate for the cost of the surgery and imaging, the vet does not yet know the exact degree of follow-up care and medical treatments that may be required. At best, he may be put on corticosteroids for life to preserve some quality of life and allow him more free range of movement. The funds will then be used to pay for follow-up precriptions and treatments, as well as our existing debt for the tests we already had done. Anything left over will be used either to secure pet insurance for him now if possible, or on any supplements or additional care that can be bought for his spine. Please, I am imploring those who have read this far to consider anything. Even sending some kind vibes our way would be sincerely appreciated. Everything possible will be done to help our treasured family member make it to the upcoming Christmas. Our goal is to restore his former health and personality to the extent feasible, so that he may, with all hope, continue passing on happiness and humanity to everyone around him.