Alabama's Broken Heart

Dear friends,

My special needs kitty, Alabama, is nearing the end of his earthly journey. He's been diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure. His heart is enlarged and working extremely hard just push and pull blood through his body. He has fluid build up in his chest cavity that is placing pressure on his lungs making it more and more difficult to breathe. His devoted veterinary team here in Olympia (who has worked with us for the past 9 years) has placed Alabama on diuretics to draw out excess fluid and he will be recieving blood thinners to ease his overtaxed heart.

My heart, however, remains broken.

Ultimately, Alabama could live several weeks. He could live many months. He is not in pain, is still quick to sit on laps, purrs frequently and loudly, and unapologetically demands food in the morning. He sleeps more now and is less interested in play time. When his quality of life diminishes, I know I will make the right decision and have him peacefully euthanized at home, in my arms.

His current medical bill has thus far totaled $856 dollars in the last two weeks alone -- two vet visits, an enema, fluids, anti-biotics, a full blood work-up, x rays, an ultrasound, an EKG, other assorted lab work, and medication. I am fully expecting to have to pay two to three times that amount in the coming weeks and months, including compassionate end of life care.

In recent years, I have spent thousands of dollars on Alabama's veterinary care. From his chronic bouts with upper respiratory infections due to his lifelong battle with feline herpes virus, to his radiation treatment for hypothyroid disease, the cleaning and pulling of numerous teeth, to the development of urinary crystals and gastrointestinal issues resulting in prescription-only diets.

Unfortunately, I now find myself needing financial assistance. Any amount you may be able to contribute will be graciously accepted and forever appreciated.

Thank you for your spport, from the bottom our broken hearts.

The Story of Judith and Alabama:

In 2002, Alabama was rescued as a kitten after his mother was hit and killed by a car. Unfortunately, unable to find the mother's den for several days, Alabama was the only kitten found alive. Raised by hand via bottle, Al quickly grew into a needy, cuddly kitten who only wished to be carried around upon other people's shoulders. I adopted Alabama from a rescue run out of a woman's house in Portland. Upon getting him home, I discovered he was covered in fleas.

And then the sneezing started. After 12 years, it's never really stopped.

Alabama was soon dignosed with Feline Herpes Virus, which weakens the immune system and leaves cats vulnerable to secondary infections. He's always been sniffly and sneezey and generally sounds like Darth Vader when he sleeps.

Al has travelled across the country twice in my car, and is the ideal travel companion. He's always happy to meet new people, or cuddle up with old friends. He's the most loving, outgoing, funny animal I have ever lived with and, over the years, if some of my housemates could have chosen Al over me, they would have without hestitation.

Alabama has been my best friend, a watch cat, and a constant source of joy and love in my life for 12 years. I can't imagine life without him.

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Judith Baumann 
Olympia, WA
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