I am a proud and dedicated volunteer of Kitten Rescue, an all-volunteer, non-profit organization devoted to helping homeless and abandoned cats and kittens in Los Angeles. During my nearly eight years with Kitten Rescue, I have been blessed in finding loving homes for over 250 cats and kittens, and even a few pooches! Many of you adopted your furry four-legged family member(s) from me, some have sought advice with kitties that you’ve found, and others yet have indulged my insanity as I’ve brought along carriers full of neonate kittens everywhere: to work, to family gatherings and social events.
This year, I will be participating in the Los Angeles Marathon Big 5K as a member of Team Kitten Rescue. (Don’t be surprised if I have a carrier of kittens with me!) You might ask yourself why an overweight, asthmatic, arthritic grandmother of three, with a full time job, would take this on. . . . the same question my body has been asking my brain everyday! I’ll tell you why. . .
Last spring (April Fool’s Day to be exact) a litter of the sickest newborn kittens I’d ever seen were ‘bestowed’ upon me. They’d been born in a mud-soaked drainage culvert on a cold and rainy day and remained there during another storm days later. They were just over a week old, weighing mere ounces, and barely clinging to life when they made their way to me. One little angel died hours later, and the remaining four were fading fast. They were so congested they couldn’t breathe, much less nurse on a bottle. I tube fed them around the clock by inserting a small catheter down their throats and directly into their tiny stomachs. Their eyes (though not even open yet) were crusted over and obviously seriously infected. For the next two weeks I feared losing one, or all, of them at any moment. Through the grace of God, they somehow survived and started to show signs of improvement.
Belle, Pearlie, and Ralphie had extensive eye damage. A trip to a veterinary eye specialist revealed that they would all have scar tissue on their eyes forever from a herpes viral infection, which resulted in Pearlie having an eye removed. The damage was continuing to progress and would not be reversible. Little Gaston’s eyes remained unaffected by the virus, but he was separately diagnosed with an enlarged heart, a medical condition that makes him unadoptable.
Little Ralphie was adopted by a wonderful woman who was able to see past the scarring and disfigurement to his eyes, but Belle, Pearlie and Gaston are still in my care.
Their vet visits, treatments, surgeries, medication and ongoing care have been, as can be imagined, quite costly. Kitten Rescue helps hundreds of cats and kittens like Belle, Pearlie, Ralphie and Gaston each year, but we can’t do it without your help.
I know times have been tough and recent economic challenges have affected us all, but I ask you to please open your heart (and your wallet) and donate whatever you possibly can by sponsoring me in the Big 5K. I promise, no amount is too small, and all donations are tax deductible.
Please visit my fundraising page where you can sponsor me:
See a video depicting the journey of Belle, Pearlie, Ralphie and Gaston at:
On behalf of Belle, Pearlie, Ralphie and Gaston, I thank you for your support.
With love and gratitude,
Laura (Charlii) Hawthorne, aka The Crazy Cat Lady