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Stories
Asia

In January of 1999, Rosebud received a call from the director of the Rancho Coastal Humane Society. They had "Asia," a Himalayan cat that had come from the Department of Animal Control as a part of RCHS's second chance program. Asia had developed a severe upper respiratory infection, along with a herpes virus eye infection and would have to be euthanized if we could not take her. Because Asia was such a sweet cat, would we take her and try to get her well? Of course we would! We immediately took her to the Eye Clinic for an examination and for medication to try to save her eye. After several weeks of 4 different eye medications six times daily around the clock, her eye was so much improved that we began to search for a permanent home for her. We found what we believed would be her home for life. We thought that was the happy ending to Asia's story.

Imagine our sadness and surprise when in March of 2001 we received a call from the Department of Animal Control, saying they had a Himalayan cat with a microchip that was traced back to Rosebud. It was Asia. We immediately rescued her and were horrified to discover that she had a very large hard mass on her abdomen. It was cancer. We had her tumor removed and were told to hope for the best. . . that we had gotten all of the cancer; that it had not spread. In July, we detected another hard lump forming in the site of the original tumor, and also noticed Asia's occasional cough. We feared the worst, and our fears were confirmed. The cancer had spread and Asia only had a short time to live.

We decided we would keep her comfortable as long as possible, giving her as much love as we could for whatever time she might have left. We had to repeatedly have fluid drained from her chest to enable her to breathe freely. Each time we brought her home from this procedure, she would follow us around and reach out her paw to touch us as if to let us know that she was grateful. Sadly, in the winter of this year, Asia lost her battle with cancer. We were no longer able to keep her comfortable and were forced to make the very difficult decision to send our little friend on to a better place. We miss her quiet gentleness and will always be grateful for having her in our lives not once but twice.

Chris M.
Foster Parent
La Jolla, CA

Babe

The call from Rosebud came early Tuesday morning: "Can you foster a cat who's recovering from an accident. He's at the vet. Bye. Oh, by the way, he might be brain damaged. He keeps falling over when he tries to walk." Caring for a brain-damaged cat. Hmmm. Of course I went promptly to the animal clinic to pick up my new charge. He was handed to me in a pet carrier along with ear medicines, antibiotics and a warning not to let him up on the furniture because of his faulty equilibrium.

When I let my patient out at home, I beheld a nondescript white Persian, big pale blue eyes and streaks of grease in his ragged coat which bespoke of nights spent in gutters and under cars. I had just seen the film "Babe, Pig in the City," in which the title pig was described as a "pinky, whitey kind of thingy" - a description, I thought which precisely described my new foster child. So Babe he was.

After several weeks of TLC, and repeated visits to the vet, Babe's inclination to tilt to the left and occasionally fall over was shown to be the result, not of an encounter with a car, but of the presence of a large polyp in his ear, behind which debris had accumulated, causing a massive infection and ruptured eardrum. Polyp removed. Problem solved, although he would forever have a slight tilt of his head to the left which gave him a charming, quizzical expression. His coat was snowy white and luxurious. Now Babe was ready for adoption.

This is always the hardest part of being a foster mom is giving up your baby to a total stranger. After checking out several applicants, I decided on Bill, who wanted a buddy with whom to watch the games on the weekends. As soon as Babe met Bill, he walked over to him, climbed onto his lap and announced his approval with a rumbling purr. When Bill and his girlfriend Monica arrived with the cat carrier and Babe was tucked inside, the time came for me to tearfully say, "Goodbye Babe." Bill assured me he would give Babe the best of care, adding, "I think," he said cautiously, not wanting to offend, "I'll change his name."

Pat H.
Foster Parent
Julian, CA

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