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Loving Bruiser

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Many people are familiar with Bruiser's story. We rescued him in 2015 (estimated to be about 7 or 8 years old at that time). Everyone fell in love with him. He overcame so much: diabetes, hyperesthesia syndrome, eye surgery, broken teeth, missing ears, living with FIV, etc. He is loved by so many people. Five years later (during the COVID pandemic) he began battling many challenges all over again.

We noticed coughing/wheezing and labored breathing. We took him to CCVH Sunday night, August 23, 2020. X-rays showed he had inflammation in his airways - possible asthma. He was given two injections and sent home with prednisone. Within 24 hours, in addition to there being no improvement, his breathing began to sound raspy. He wasn't eating, and then he urinated on himself. This was so not like him. Being extremely concerned, I messaged my favorite vet tech (Amber) who consulted with the best vet I know (Dr. Boden). She urged us to take him to an emergency facility where they could run further tests and hospitalize him if necessary.

So on Monday, August 24, 2020, I took him to NorthStar Vets. They put him on oxygen right away and ran numerous tests, which revealed anemia, increased globulin, kidney disfunction (creatinine was 3.7 and should be under 1.5), slightly enlarged heart with some surrounding fluid, increased blood sugar (485), something in the upper left lung (possibly pneumonia or a mass). They compared x-rays to the ones taken 24 hours prior at CCVH and said whatever is going on, it's progressing quickly.

The radiologist, internist and/or criticalist would be reviewing everything in the morning and call me with an update, prognosis, or treatment plan. I was so concerned that this was the end for him. Whatever we were dealing with, all I wanted was for him to be comfortable and know how much he is loved. I don't think I ever cried so much over a pet before. He is such a special cat.

Obviously, the bills were extremely high, but I could not possibly give him anything less than the best. He has earned it. He deserves it. The initial bill (from CCVH) was $441.84. The deposit for admission to NorthStar was $1,700, with total estimated cost to be about $3,400. Because of his age, we stopped taking him on tour over a year ago and his book sales have almost ceased, so the income just hasn't been there. I know that so many of you love him as though he were your own, so I wanted to give you the opportunity to help, if you're willing.

Updates have been posted since this page was created. Please be sure to read them. Bruiser sees his vet numerous times a year for both well and sick visits. We will continue to post updates and will ask for additional help if/when needed. Thank you mostly for the prayers for this little guy. We love him so very much!


  • Melissa Klaassen
    • $5 
    • 2 yrs
  • Anonymous
    • $5 
    • 2 yrs
  • Andrew Laszutko
    • $20 
    • 2 yrs
  • Sabina Safronova
    • $25 
    • 2 yrs
  • Adriana Smith
    • $100 
    • 2 yrs


Barb Gareis
Bordentown, NJ

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