Voted onto the Island

I’ve mentioned our Misfit Toys before – our menagerie of rescue dogs and cats, the each came to us with some sort of physical, or in Dani’s case, psychological challenges. 

Asta is our mini Lab mix. She joined our troupe while recuperating from surgery to repair a broken leg and pelvis. She had been hit by a car and eventually ended up at a rescue refuge near us. For the first few months with us, she struggled with the after-affects of that surgery. She even had a trip to the prestigious Auburn University Veterinary College for a surgical consultation.  

The pin that was initially implanted to repair her broken leg had begun to migrate down and was stabbing her in the back of her hind knee. Our options were to replace the pin, amputate or remove the pin and hope for the best. 

We took option three and for the next four weeks, Asta had limited movements, allowed to get  up to walk only to go outside to go to the bathroom. 

That was seven years ago, and I am grateful to say that Asta has no lasting difficulties from her injury. She can chase squirrels with the best of them.

Issy, a rusty-colored tabby, came to us as an adult rescue. Because of a digestive problem, she was isolated from other the cats because she was on a special diet. She had been at the animal refuge for several months when we first saw her. 

As with most of our pets, we went to the refuge looking for a special needs pet… one that no one else seemed to want. 

Issy has since been diagnosed with a thyroid disorder and is on daily medication. Issy is the definition of curmudgeon. We theorize that because she felt so miserable, having been misdiagnosed for so long, she became perpetually grumpy. Once properly treated her disposition did improve, but she’s still a grouch. At the advanced age (recalculated to human years, she is actually 12) of 65, she is painfully scrawny skinny (she’s under veterinary care and is fine), slow moving and doesn’t give a shit about her appearance anymore She’s just an old broad.

Mia (nee Chaz) and Sayuki (nee Latifah), a grey tabby and tuxedo, are mother and daughter. Mia was rescued from a neglectful situation after giving birth to a litter of five kittens. Our son brought the whole family home one night and we found ourselves acting as human nannies to five 10-day-old kittens because momma Mia was suffering from infected mammary glands and couldn’t nurse. 

Once the kittens were old enough, we found homes for four of them, keeping Sayuki (the smallest of the crew) and Mia. 

Sayuki had her own medical crisis when she developed a problem with a salivary gland. It was chronically blocked and swelling to the point that Sayuki couldn’t eat properly or breathe well. After several trips to the vet to have the gland aspirated, we ended up having to take her for minor surgery – marsupialization (I had to Goggle how to spell that) of the affected salivary gland. Basically, the vet surgically opened the gland then sutured it to keep it open and no longer at risk of getting clogged.

She too had a complete recovery from surgery and now eats like it’s her job. 

Dani, our most recent addition, a beagle/dachshund mix, came to us as an older dog. She is a little more than 2 years old and she too, like Issy, had been at the refuge for several months. We don’t know the extent of it, but Mister and I are sure Dani was abused in some way. She is only now, fours months along, showing signs of feeling safe with us and that we can maybe give her a normal, happy life.

Not too long ago, I was researching local city ordinances regarding animals ownership. I was actually checking to find out if I could get some chickens or maybe a goat or two. I found that, per city laws, if we have more than five pets, we have to register as a pet store. Seems a little extreme to me.

NaBloPoMo20 4/30

From top left, clockwise: Issy, Mia, Asta, Dani, Sayuki

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I believe all good fiction includes an element of truth, and all good photography includes an element of fantasy. In this journal I hope to give voice to the stories swirling around in my head, and to capture the images I see through my camera’s lens.

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