Save Arrow the kittycat!

The Short Story: Help me help my friends help their kitty to live! Arrow is a young, otherwise healthy cat and will have a long and happy life after getting surgery to fix urinary blockages. This situation has caused immense financial strain to my friends, one of whom has been struggling with unemployment (they've also got a baby on the way).

The Long Story:
Kelin and I have been friends since 8th grade. One of the things I've always loved about her has been her gigantic heart which encompasses her friends, her local community and her global community. This is someone who has worked her whole life for social justice, and who is always looking to reach out and connect with people and other creatures. She's really one of the best humans I know. So I wasn't surprised when I heard that she and her husband Amadou (also a fantastic human--so glad they found each other!) had adopted two feral kittens left in their backyard, one of whom was wounded. They took the wounded kitty to the vet and got him all patched up, named him Arrow, and brought him into their family along with his brother Marble.
The kitties were too young to be without their kitty-mama, and so their new parents had to bottle-feed them every four hours and wipe their butts to get them to poop. If any of you have had that experience with a kitty, you know it makes for an extremely close bond between kitty and human-parent.

Fast-forward several years to the present, and here's the situation:
Arrow has had a urinary blockages two times in the last few months which means he suddenly cannot produce urine and if he does not get unblocked he will die within a few days from liver failure or a burst bladder. This is a common issue among males cats and vets do not know the exact cause. It is related to stress, diet, and genetics. Each time the vet unblocks him, it costs $1,100. Despite Kelin and Amadou's attempts to avoid the condition through controlling Arrow's diet and environmental stress triggers, it just kept happening. Now that it's happened a third time, the vet has advised them to get a surgery that would permanently fix the problem (essentially by removing the shaft of his penis).

Now, many of us have had to make the tough decision that we cannot justify the expense of veterinary bills for an animal who is very sick, but in this case it is clearly the right thing to do. Arrow is very young and otherwise healthy. He has a long, happy life ahead of him after this. Furthermore, the repeated surgeries have meant the total cost (which actually exceeds the goal of this fundraiser) has crept up incrementally over the course of several months. Each time, it has seemed like just ONE more procedure could save Arrow. This time, he really IS at the final stage of recovery--he's going to be okay, with your help!

There are a couple extenuating circumstances here that make me want to reach out and help my friends help their kitty: first of all, Kelin lost her job and has been struggling with unemployment throughout the recent recession. The couple has been surviving on Amadou's income as a musician while Kelin has worked to find a job and/or get her production company off the ground (she's a videographer specializing in documentaries for non-profit organizations). Recently, they got some happy, happy news: Kelin's pregnant! I want them to be ONLY excited about the new person joining their family, but instead they are dealing with stress and worry about how they will be financially ready for the baby now that all their savings are gone and their credit cards are completely and utterly maxed out with veterinary bills. Arrow got his surgery last week, but something went wrong, and today he is getting another surgery to fix that--the vet herself is covering the bill, because she knows my friends have reached their financial limit.

So please, help me do this for my friends, and take a little bit of the burden off of them as they prepare for their new child. If I had the money, I would give it all to them! It would express only a tiny piece of the love I have for my dear friends who are creative, inspiring, and kind, and who make this world a better place. Whatever you can give, even a few dollars, will help Arrow and his family, and karma will bring it back to you a hundredfold.

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Kate Walker 
Westhampton, MA
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