Panther Has Left the Building
By Joy Smith
This morning was a little bittersweet as I gave Panther the last morning glucose check and dose of insulin before he went off to his fospice home. It’s been a long, loving journey with this boy and I am proud to be part of an organization that makes a commitment to a cat like Panther – and doesn’t give up while there’s still hope and life quality. Two weeks ago, both of those seemed to be slipping through our fingers, but with the skill of our medical team and partners, along with Panther’s iron will, we are so proud to send him off with a new family who will care for him and give him the loving home he so needs and deserves. FieldHaven Feline Center will still be very much part of Panther’s life as we’ll continue to be his medical care providers. He’s only eight years old, so we hope he’ll still be part of our lives for many more years!
Panther’s story with FieldHaven began in February 2016 when we received a “Cat Information Survey,” the form the public completes when they are requesting help with a cat they want to rehome.
The reason stated for surrendering: “[…] and cat is peeing in hallway. Tried all solutions home remedies, vet visits, he is flea free, cat box cleaned daily, and he had just picked a spot on the floor to go pee.”
When FieldHaven Program Manager Jen Paul called to follow-up the owners said they had just surrendered him to a well known shelter in a different county from where FieldHaven is.
When I heard that he had gone to this shelter, my alert went up. Eight-year-old black cat with litterbox issues? Not a very good chance he’d come out of the shelter alive. Sometimes I just get a “gut feeling” about a cat – some sort of rescuer intuition maybe. I knew this cat needed our help. I called the shelter and spoke with a member of their staff. Indeed, I was correct – they were planning to euthanize him. That intuition urged me to step in and a volunteer went to bring him to FieldHaven.
Panther was transferred to FieldHaven the next day, placed in an observation cage and scheduled to see our veterinarian. It wasn’t very hard to pinpoint Panther’s diagnosis. He was diabetic. One of the first signs of diabetes is excessive drinking…and excessive urination. The vet records from his previous owner didn’t indicate that the veterinarian did any lab work which would have easily revealed the reason for peeing outside the litter box.
We began insulin therapy right away and he responded remarkably well. But other complications related to the diabetes followed over the next several months. His blood glucose levels became difficult to regulate. He had two episodes of pancreatitis which were finally resolved in late August.
In September, we began in earnest to find Panther a fospice home. A fospice is a foster/hospice home for cats that are chronically and/or terminally ill. Unfortunately, these cats usually aren’t adoption candidates due to the cost of medical care. For the best quality of life for as much time they have left, we want them to be with a family in a home environment rather than languishing in a shelter. With a fospice home, FieldHaven continues to cover the cost of medical care for the cat. It a win-win, the fospice family provides a loving home for a cat in need with no obligation for medical expenses. The cat wins big by not having to spend the rest of his/her life in a shelter.
Finally! A fospice home was found for Panther in late October. Unfortunately, the day before he was to move in with his new family, he got sick with a serious, contagious upper respiratory infection (URI). Panther would have to stay in isolation in the shelter until he was well again.
With the URI Panther’s glucose went wildly awry and he became critically hypoglycemic and began having diabetic seizures. He landed himself in ICU at veterinary emergency hospital for several days and then over two weeks of re-regulating his diabetes and treating the URI.
Panther slowly regained his strength and appetite. We knew the corner was turned when he started greeting us with his signature “Mrroowww”.
Today was the BIG Day. His fospice mom, Kimmee took him home to his new palace.
I think my intuition was right about Panther.
Please help us help more cats like Panther by making a donation in his honor today.
Your gift will help provide care for cats with medical needs so that they can be rehabilitated and adopting into homes full of love.
Thank you for making it possible for us to help Panther and others.