My cats are sick…

My cats are sick…

by Lea Schorr
(Clearlake CA USA)

Dear cat-people, the Title line pretty much says it all: My cats are sick.

My much-loved brother-and-sister cats, rescued 3 years ago and hand fed because their mother was trapped and handed over to S P C A, which my mind can’t help but interpret as “that place that is mis-named here in Lake County CA because there is no prevention at S P C A of cruelty to animals” when they were much too young to lose their birthmom, were also trapped two weeks before Christmas apparently because someone decided they should not be allowed to run & play outdoors.

That’s all I can think about; their being trapped. I don’t want to think that the people who trapped them are cat-haters…what’s to hate about a beautiful pair of silky-sleek black cats? I made many calls to Animal Control, to every small animal veterinary in the county, and to the S P C A. All places called denied any knowledge of the cats but there just was something in the voice of the phone person at Animal Control that made me feel I was not being told the truth.

A dear friend drove with me to A C just to check and see if my feeling that I’d been lied to was right. The conditions of the Adopt Us! cat rooms were not to be believed. Every age of cat, from tiny babies to elders, could be seen in those cages. There were no dishes for food nor water, no sandboxes, just slick-finished newspaper the A C employees said would absorb any urine…which it did not.

Several seriously (and obviously) sick cats were caged next to not-sick-yet cats. I was stunned at the smell of the place, the fact there were sick cats not in quarantine, the seeming uncaring attitude of the people who worked there.

I found my cats! They were hunched and miserable in dirty cages, employees said they were (quote) “feral…” How, please, could “feral” cats have on collars bearing jingle bells?? A C would not let me have my cats at first. I was asked if I had (quoting again) “proof they were mine.” I couldn’t believe it. What did these people want? Birth certificates?

I had to pay $112 to get the cats released to me. After two days at home it was obvious they’d gotten badly ill at the A C. They wouldn’t eat. Wouldn’t drink water nor the chicken broth I made for them. My girl Strega was drooling a waterfall, well, nearly, from her mouth. Brother Magic was wheezing, gasping for air, hacking. So off to the vet we went.

I explained to the vet office people I didn’t have a lot of money for cat exams or treatment but was overjoyed when one lady there said there was (Still more quoting) “a Foundation that gives support to cat people over 50 years of age.” At 61, I certainly qualify. The vet was less than helpful. He didn’t order blood tests to see what was wrong. What he did do was claim that a scratch above Strega’s eyebrow was infected and handed me a bottle of Amoxycillin. He said “If they’re not better in a couple days, come back.”

So yesterday we went back. The lady who had said that The Foundation would give support was not on site. No one would phone her to ask whether what I said she had said was true.

This time a different vet wanted to run over $800 worth of tests and it was demanded I pay half that immediately. I made the big mistake of telling the truth: I didn’t have $400. The list of tests was cut, lowering the prospective bill to $600…I’d still have to come up with half. I couldn’t do it. “Don’t you know anyone who can loan you the money?” asked one employee. “No, I’m sorry, everyone I know is in the same bad shape regarding money as I am.”

The test list was cut again. Vet now has my check for $120 which is apparently half of the total charged in hand to be cashed on February 2, 2009 when my State Disability check (I have Multiple Sclerosis) comes in. I’m also supposed to pay another $120 on that day.

But: my cats are sick. They are so sick they don’t even “argue” when I give them the pills from the vet. They can’t or won’t eat nor drink. I’m worried sick myself that they’ll die and I’ll have no reason to get up in the mornings. Brother Magic is sneezing and hacking. Sister Strega is the same. I’m so sorry this is happening to them; they are my dear friends and I don’t know what I’d do without them. I also don’t know why it seems that the vet and employees seem to think a poor person should not have a sweet pet. Because a person is not rich, that person shouldn’t be allowed to have unconditional love from four-footed beauties?

Dear fellow pet-people, thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading the story of “the babies” and myself. I can’t help crying as I write; to have to think about these dear pets not being with me because I’m ill myself and not rich is heart-breaking.

I want to thank all who read these words. My babies are still very sick but somehow it helps a little to be able to share the heart-hurt…and oddly enough it makes me feel they might actually get well. I’m praying hard for that.

Cat purrs and blessings to you all! I’m sorry I have no way to post their pictures; anyone seeing them would surely love them as I do.

Great Post, Lea. If you want to take part in the “competition” for best submission please leave a note as to how you’d like to receive the money.

POC Admin

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My cats are sick…

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Jan 05, 2009 Update to My cats are sick…
by: Lea Schorr

Dear people:

I just want to step back in here and leave word that my four-footed “owners,” :-), are heading toward healthy once again.

Due to the kindness of Yvonne, manager of the Emerson Street, Clearlake CA veterinary office and also due to, the vet Dr Sharp (who is VERY sharp) gave them the best of care.

That lady is very gentle with sick cats; when she returned to the exam room where Strega and I waited for Dr Sharp to return with brother Magic, I was stunned to tears to see my boy alert, bright eyed, and very busily eating as much as he could hold from a can of good-for-them A/D feline food!
Magic’s sister Strega is also bouncing back incredibly fast from the Kennel Cough they got by being very poorly maintained at Animal Care & Control.

Thank you again, “pet people,” for your words of support and help.


Jan 01, 2009 Re: This Is The Real World, by Anonymous
by: Lea Schorr

Hi, Anonymous:

Thank you for your comment about My cats are sick.

Yes, I’d like to participate in the award program.
I live in an apartment building where there are many “pet people.” They all say they love their animals, and talk about how much comfort their birds, cats, dogs are to them.
They worry that their animals might get sick, of course. Those are family members…

What I’d like to do if awarded is establish an animal help foundation and have a poor-people-who-love-animals-aware veterinarian and staff help to administer it.

Thanks again.


Jan 01, 2009 To Ms Larson…
by: Lea Schorr

Thank you very much for the Foundation info. Coincidentally and oddly, the veterinary office I took the cats to was the one you mention that’s located on Emerson Street.
When I had to take still-sick cats back there two days after our first time, a vet we hadn’t seen before wanted to run over $800 worth of tests and treatments and said I’d have to pay half before anything was done.

I said that I was sorry but I didn’t have that much money…I have around $30 in the bank…and asked about the foundation that had been mentioned during our first visit.

No one seemed to know what I was talking about, the person who had told me about the foundation was on vacation and no, they wouldn’t call her to confirm the information about the foundation.

Some needed things were removed from the list and I was asked if I had $300 to pay for half of the bill that woul result from the tests still on the list.
I said again that I had around $30 and repeated my question about possibly calling the person who knew about the foundation.

The vet’s office now holds my check for $120, to be cashed when my SSA check comes in, half of the amount charged for checking ears, taking temperatures, and 14 antibiotic pills that I’m to give one to each cat every 24 hours.

My cats didn’t get blood tests so there was no diagnosis of their problem.
I dug into the internet and it turns out they got Kennel Cough at the Animal Control site.

I’m still syringing water into their mouths, they can’t smell anything so won’t eat nor drink. The fact they won’t eat is really hurting me; they keep meowing as if to say they’re hungry, they go to where their food bowls are, but they won’t eat.

Now that I’ve read your note, Ms Larson, I’m more stunned than before about the vets and assistants not apparently knowing about the help foundation.

But I do want to thank you for the Acme website address. I went there and it’s great.


Dec 29, 2008 How to get help
by: Elizabeth Larson


The group you’re looking for is the Acme Foundation, based in Cobb,,, 707-928-5200 They help seriously ill pets belonging to seniors and the disabled.

To apply, you need to go through Clearlake Veterinary Clinic, according to the instructions on their Web site. You can reach Clearlake Veterinary Hospital at 994-9100. They’re located at 3424 Emerson St., and can be found online at

Hope that helps.

Elizabeth Larson

Dec 28, 2008 This is the real world
by: Anonymous

Hi, Thanks a lot for taking the time to make your submission. It gave me a real sense of the real world and the difficulties a lot of us have in looking after our cats and the cats of others.

Please provide a payment method of you wish to participate in the best submission award.

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