This is Caramel as a baby. She’s now a seven year old domestic long haired cat, and my best friend in the world. Caramel was a rescue cat and has been a part of our family since she was just 5 weeks old. Shortly after adopting her, I discovered I was pregnant with my son, Corey, so in essence, you could say they grew up together.
Caramel knows, instinctively, when we are sick and sticks to us like glue. She calms us when we’re stressed, and comforts us when we’re sad. When I leave the house, she sits at the front door crying until I get home. She always greets me with purrs and kitty kisses. Every night, she sleeps with me, curled into a ball at my feet. She embodies the word “loyal”.
My son, who has been diagnosed with Autism since he was 3, has grown up with Caramel by his side. During meltdowns, she has, on occasion, been the only thing to calm him. He has, unintentionally, kicked her, pulled her whiskers, hit her with toys, and stepped on her. She has never scratched him. She has never bitten him. During meltdowns and night terrors, she will sit by his bedroom door until they pass.
On July 2, 2014, Caramel was taken to her Vet. She had urinated on our couch and had been acting strangely so I thought that she might have a urinary tract infection. During the examination, her Vet felt her bladder and Caramel yelped in pain. Her vet said her bladder felt like a “sack of marbles”. Caramel immediately urinated blood all over the examination table and floor. Urinalysis and blood testing were done, and we’ve discovered that Caramel has bladder stones. Sadly, these are calcium oxalate stones and can’t be dissolved by diet or other methods used for other types of stones. These stones are dangerous and can be life-threatening if the stones block her urethra and inhibit her ability to urinate. They’re also extremely painful for her. All this means that Caramel needs surgery to remove the stones and to stop her pain. I have scheduled this surgery for July 29th. I’m determined that she will have the care she needs no matter what bills I need to let slide or what else I have to do. I cannot let her suffer!!! I have a small amount of savings that I was planning to use for dental work that I need to have done. My son through no fault of his own, during meltdowns, has broken 9 of my teeth over the course of the past 3 years. We do not have dental insurance so all work done has to be paid out of pocket. My first dental appointment to fix some of them was scheduled for next Thursday. I am planning to cancel this appointment and use those funds for Caramel’s surgery if I can’t get the funds any other way. I’m not the sort of person who ever asks for help. My family receives no financial assistance to help with my son or his special needs. We don’t collect SSI or SSDI. We don’t get food stamps. My husband just returned to work after being out for 2 and 1/2 years due to a spinal injury and subsequent surgery. I am currently working two part time jobs in addition to taking care of the kids, the house, and the yard. I am a part time Autism Support Specialist 3 days a week, and I do IT and marketing work for a local realtor as an independent contractor on a job by job basis. We’re not rich. In fact, we’ve just dug ourselves out of the hole that my husband’s injury and surgery had put us in. (This is not his fault.) We had finally broken even. Then disaster struck. We’re trying so very hard to do what’s right by our family. We’re working our tails off to do everything we can to make the lives of our children as full and positive as they can be. Now we’re in the extremely tough situation of choosing between her suffering…or mine. Obviously, I would choose to help her over myself. If people think I am stupid for doing this, so be it. I have even have people suggest I put her to sleep because it “would be crazy to waste that much money on a cat.” These people clearly do not know me, have never known me, and have been removed from my friend lists, permanently. Love is about sacrifices. Love is about putting someone’s needs above your own. That’s what I’ve always done for those I care about. That’s what I will always do. So if you could, please, please help us to help Caramel!! You have no idea what your help would mean to us and how grateful our family would be! -All our love!!! Dawn & Caramel