Less than a month ago, we lost my little Oliver to a severe and very sudden virus that sounded a lot like feline leukemia that violently attacked his healthy blood cells and bone marrow. Feline leukemia isn’t always a death sentence for cats, but Oliver was only a couple months old at the time and still just a baby. Beyond treating it aggressively with blood transfusions and bone marrow transplants and potentially just making him hurt even more, there was little more we could do other than ultimately show him mercy and humanely euthanize him.

Once Oliver was gone, we started focusing our attention on our surviving kitties. As an adult cat who is already fully vaccinated and not at all related to Oliver, we figure Tigger is probably just fine but we wanted to make sure Oliver didn’t have something that could have spread to him. But most of our concern was focused on Oliver’s brother Rufus. We wanted to make sure this virus wasn’t something the two of them contracted during birth and that we wouldn’t soon be forced to make the same painful decisions for him. Having already spent $500 at the emergency vet trying to diagnose and eventually euthanize Oliver, getting the two of them in to see the vet and tested for anything that they may deem necessary would have cost even more money that we frankly just didn’t have at the time.

We wound up putting together a fund for the Black Family Kitties to try and raise money to help us pay for veterinary bills for Tigger and Rufus. The donations were incredibly helpful and actually even covered the entirety of their visit to see a new doctor for a second opinion and chat about their overall health and wellness! There were also dozens of people who shared the link to the fund with their friends on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites which meant a great deal to us. We have officially shut down the fund now that the kitties seem to be in good health and spirits. Little Rufus has almost even doubled in size — going from 3 pounds at the beginning of August to 5.2 pounds just yesterday!

I’m personally very grateful and humbled by everyone who donated, helped spread the word, or even offered suggestions and emotional support in our time of need! I don’t think that I could ever show just how much it means to me that so many of you care for our little balls of fluff as well!

Nikita at Big Cat Rescue. Photo credit to BigCatRescue.org.
Nikita at Big Cat Rescue. Photo credit to BigCatRescue.org.

But Tigger and Rufus aren’t the only cats that need help! Big Cat Rescue is one of the world’s largest accredited sanctuaries of big cats such as lions, tigers, bobcats, cougars and other species that have been abused or abandoned in Tampa, FL. They do wonderful work at this place and you can keep up with them via live streams, podcasts, and more all over the web! They depend on people like us to help support and spread the word just like we’ve done before for my little kitties!

There are two different ways you can help them out the most:

  • ACT: Ask your members of Congress to champion and support the Big Cat Act. This is HR 3546 / S 2541 (the Big Cat Public Safety Act) which seeks to put an end to backyard breeding and exploitation of big cats. It will not take away wild animals from those who currently own them, but it does seek to eliminate the buying and breeding of privately owned big cats as pets or commodities. Exotic cats in private possession do not serve any conservation purpose and even provides a smokescreen for illegal poaching and trade. The Big Cat Act will help prevent this and keep wild cats in their natural habitats.
  • DONATE: If you have money you would like to contribute to their cause as well, you can donate to the Big Cat Rescue directly at whatever level is possible for you. You can donate and see all the different ways you can contribute financially by visiting their donate page.

Thank you once again for everyone’s help with our own kitties and it is my sincere hope that together we can help all animals in need!

Author: Joseph Black

According to Wikipedia, I discovered magnesium and carbon dioxide, so that's something.

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