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Colony Cats: Emergency Medical Grant Report

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

The grant awarded was used exactly as described in the application: to pay for the medical care of a cat named Cindy Lou Who (CLW), who was taken in by Colony Cats in bad shape. She ended up needing several surgeries: Her tail was removed and she had abscesses cut open and drained and debrided twice. She was a wonderful cat throughout the entire process.

This grant directly allowed us to assist more cats with medical care because it paid for some of CLW's medical expenses. She was an expensive case right at the beginning of 2020 (with total expenses over $5,000) and a big hit to our medical budget. Right after her, we had a group of kittens with eye issues and at least three had to have one or both eyes removed. Medical expenses can quickly get out of hand when you are a no-kill shelter. Because of COVID-19, we have also had to close our adoption center, and our adoption income has drastically decreased because adoptions are down for the year.

How many pets did this grant help?


Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

This grant helped a cat lovingly named Cindy Lou Who (CLW). On Dec. 7, 2019, an injured stray cat was found wandering an apartment complex in a southeast suburb of Columbus, Ohio. When she was found by a resident of the complex, her injuries appeared severe. The resident reached out on social media asking for help but did not follow up with those who replied with suggestions to help. The resident contacted Colony Cats directly via email on Dec. 8, and Colony Cats very quickly went into action to try to find out more about the cat’s situation and if the finder could bring her to the hospital. The finder was busy and not able to bring the injured cat, whom she knew and liked, for help.

Despite describing CLW as being unable to stand, smelling like death, and having fecal matter attached to her, the finder did not reply to emails for over 18 hours, leaving the injured cat outside in the cold with a blanket and maggots on her. Colony Cats stepped in and a volunteer went to the neighborhood, found the injured Cindy Lou Who, and took her directly for emergency care on the morning of Dec. 10. CLW was finally safe, warm and willing to receive help. Below is her timeline of assessment, medical care, and recovery.

Dec. 10-11: CLW has blood work and liver values that are not normal. She is diagnosed with a diaphragmatic hernia and a broken spine at the base of her tail. She does have some feeling in her back legs despite not being able to stand or walk. She cannot control her bladder and it needs to be expressed. Medical staff deduce that CLW must have been hit by a car in the neighborhood where she roamed freely and was an unowned cat. She has maggots in her injuries. CLW knows she is safe and is making biscuits with her front paws in urgent care at the animal hospital. A fundraiser is created by Colony Cats on social media to request donations for her medical care, which is estimated between $1,200-$2,000, depending on how CLW responds to the various treatments.

Dec. 12: CLW has surgery. She cannot eat on her own because of her injuries and is syringe-fed.

Dec. 13: Colony Cats thanks the donors on social media for their support for raising the requested funds and notes that CLW is more awake this day after her surgery.

Dec. 14: CLW eats and urinates on her own without having her bladder expressed. She even gives herself a little bath!

Dec. 16-19: CLW has had a fever for a few days and the source is finally found: She has an abscess hear her tail that is then drained. She begins to rest comfortably again.

Dec. 23-26: The abscess is worse than expected and opens, revealing a very deep wound on CLW’s hind side. Cultures are done and reviewed, and CLW undergoes another surgery on Dec. 26 for debridement of the wound and removal of her beautiful tail. After this surgery, CLW is reported to be continuing to eat and taking her medicines like a champion.

Jan. 13, 2020: CLW is released from the animal hospital, where she has become a staff favorite, into the arms of a loving foster from Colony Cats who will ensure she receives everything she needs to heal and feel loved.

Jan. 20-present: She has continued to heal and her checkup at the animal hospital to get her stitches removed went very well; however, she did have any abscess that needed to be cut and drained. CLW loves to make biscuits. On March 1, CLW was adopted by her new mom, who is also the mother of one of the vet techs who cared so deeply for CLW during her recovery. She continues to drain a little urine, but that should hopefully heal over time. She is very loved in her new forever home!

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