The sweet darling you see above is my mother's beloved feline Roberta. This lovely seven year old gray tabby has been with my mother for over three years now, and she is an absolute darling. Roberta is known to find those she is affectionate toward and curl up in their laps, on their chests, or across their shoulders for loving and vast amounts of attention. When my mom sleeps at night Roberta slips over to her, crawls under the blankets, and sleeps on her chest. A simple pet or scratch is enough to set her purring for nearly an hour, and to cease petting her is an unfathomable event to Roberta. This cat is pure affection, and beautiful to boot, a perfect companion for my mother who works long hours and loves the affection herself.
Unfortunately Roberta is a rescue kitty, and like many rescues, she comes with a medical issue. Roberta is frequently affected by polyps growing in her ears.
Polyp removal is a simple enough task if you only have to do it once or twice. The removal of polyps usually only costs a few hundred dollars in terms of the procedure and medication for recovery. Unfortunately Roberta has a chronic condition, this is the third time that Roberta has been in a state that she needed polyps removed, and the vet says that this is only going to keep happening. The reasonable long term solution to this problem is surgery to have Roberta's ear canal removed.
Mom had been saving up for the necessary surgery for a while until, a year ago, Hurricane Sandy came along and threw a wrench in the works.
My mother describes the situation in her own words:
"I have been searching desperately for help for my 'rescue kitty' Roberta. She has chronic polyps that grow inside her ear canals and the one pictured is particularly fast-growing. The only option for her (aside from euthanasia) is surgery to remove her ear canals. Surgery will leave Roberta deaf, of course, but she's a much loved and pampered indoor-only kitty and I would rather have her deaf and comfortable as opposed to putting her down so she doesn't suffer.
Roberta has already had two surgeries to remove the polyps but they keep growing back. The vet recommended removing the ear canals and I agreed it was best. Before the surgery was scheduled, Hurricane Sandy came along and destroyed the house I was renting, all my possessions, my savings account, and my credit."
My mom had only been living in New Jersey for a few months before Sandy hit. Pretty much every single possession she had with her was destroyed or ruined. While things survive from being in storage back in Ohio as her move hadn't been completed, Sandy has ruined her as it has ruined many lives. But, despite it all, my mom had come through it with both of her cats. It was enough to have that and her family. Unfortunately the situation was stressful and by taking almost everything away from her, they took away what money my mother had been setting aside to help Roberta. What money my mom now makes goes into restoring the normal parts of life: refurnishing, helping to rebuild the home she was living in, restoring what savings she had in case of personal emergencies, and rebuilding in every sense of the word. There is nothing for Roberta. And Roberta needs help.
Polyps are not a medical condition that are easy to deal with. Beyond the inherent bleeding polyps are prone to, simple contact with a polyp can lead to serious bleeding. Due to the placement of the polyp Roberta will bleed if she scratches her ear, or if the other cat and dog she lives with attempts to lessen her pain or instinctively deal the wound by licking it. What is more, the pain and irritation have driven Roberta batty, leading her to eat less, pull out her fur, and refuse to let the other pets near her. Roberta has lost weight since Sandy and while she's a small cat she looks and feels like flesh and bones. I can't pet her without feeling every vertebra distinctly, and she is feather light to pick up now.
We have been told by some people that the best thing we can do for Roberta is euthanize her. We have been told that putting her down is better than letting her live deaf. We have been told that putting money toward a beloved animal is a waste of time.
We do not believe any of this. I have personally spoken to a variety of veterinary professionals who have seen the ear canal removal surgery, and how the cats were before and after. I have been told by professionals (who are not going to be doing Roberta's surgery and thus have no financial gain in pushing the surgery) that cats who have their ear canals removed adjust to the deafness and live far happier lives than if they were forced to live with the growths. And so it means a lot to us to do our absolute hardest to get Roberta healthy again.
My mother has lost so much to Hurricane Sandy and done her best to overcome it through hard work, determination, and the kindness of other people. Now she's hoping that the same kindness in smaller doses can help her save her cat.
The goal of this project is to raise the $4000 necessary to perform an ear canal removal surgery for Roberta. This procedure will leave her deaf, but the alternative if we cannot raise the funds is to have Roberta put down.
Please, Hurricane Sandy has taken too much from my mother. Help us keep Sandy from taking away my mother's beloved cat as well.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask, and we'll try to get to them as promptly as possible.
Roberta, and my mother, thank you for your time.
As for the bookmarks for Platinum level donation... Those are currently being designed and will be posted here the second I have a proof done. Expect that very soon.
- Kim Benner
- Rachael Sharpe
- Camie Anderson
- Kimberlee Mulherin