Thursday, May 5, 2016

A #Mother's Day #Feline Story--Rescuing Halo by Karen Rose Smith

Two years ago on Mother's Day, my husband and I found Halo napping in our yard. We'd never seen her before. She was thin and looked as if she needed care. She didn't run but if she'd been on her own for a while, I knew she wouldn't trust easily. She came and went and we began to feed her. After about a month she took refuge from rain and storms in our open patio sunroom. She was staying and I suspected why. She was pregnant.
Halo in the shrubbery along our patio 

After an emergency visit to a vet--she had a severe case of colitis--we found out for sure. She was pregnant. I'd never seen a cat through a pregnancy. I consulted friends who had, put Halo on a special diet I cooked each day--poached chicken breast, white rice and pumpkin--and fed her every few hours to give her the nutrition she and her babies needed. 

A pregnant Halo

She became healthier and delivered three wonderful kittens--Tia, Mason and Miss Paddington. Halo was devoted to them, watched over them, nursed them, washed them. When they were old enough to escape the storage bin where they were born, she'd call them back to her and they'd come running. The awesome experience of watching her devotion and how her kittens thrived with her care is something my husband and I will never forget.

We found loving forever homes for Tia and Mason. We adopted Halo and Paddy and integrated them with our other two cats.

Halo and Zoie nap together

Paddy and our four-year-old, Zoie Joy, got along from the start. They are now buddies. Halo continued to watch over Paddy when Zoie was around until she finally learned that Zoie is a sweetie too and would never hurt her baby. They even take an occasional nap together.

Paddy is now twenty-one months old and she still cuddles with her mom. Their bond is beautiful to see.

Last summer, Halo scared us with a series of seizures.  After three vet opinions that ranged from a brain tumor to neurological problems, we took the advice of our own vet and had her spayed. Our vet felt because she hadn't been spayed, hormones were running amuck. There is a condition where the pancreas, liver and gall bladder become inflamed and the vega nerve is irritated and causes the seizure. 

In September we had Halo spayed. At the same time, she also had 6 teeth extracted. It was a very rough time for her but she seemed to recover well. However, it was time for her rabies vaccine. About a week afterward, her nose began running. It wouldn't stop and she became sicker. The rabies vaccination had lowered her immune system's ability to fight off infection. The vets believed the infection had come from the dental surgery. The first antibiotics didn't heal her. We had a rhinoscopy performed with a specialist before Christmas. At first the diagnosis was cancer but then the biopsies came back--she had a severely resistant bacterial infection. We thought we'd lose her. But finally, after being on her new third antibiotic for 2 months, the infection turned around.  I'm so happy to say she has gained weight, is alert with clear bright eyes and spurts of playfulness she never exhibited before. She's a happy, well, fur baby now. 

It's been two years since Halo came into our lives. (I believe my mom, who I miss dearly, sent her!) At first Halo seemed reluctant to accept affection but now she realizes she belongs here too. Now besides rubbing against our legs, she cuddles with us when we watch TV.  She and hubby have a special bond and she often curls up in his arms.

The vet told us she believes Halo was in an accident and had a broken leg that somehow healed. I'd love to know her story. But whatever it was, she is safe and loved now. Watching her, I learned more about motherhood. Mothering her and her kittens is an experience I'll cherish always.

Happy Mother's Day!



Karen and Paddy
USA TODAY Bestselling Author Karen Rose Smith is an only child who delved into books at an early age. She learned about kindred spirits from Anne of Green Gables, solved mysteries with Nancy Drew and wished she could have been the rider on The Black Stallion. Yet even though she escaped often into story worlds, she had many aunts, uncles and cousins around her on weekends. Her sense of family and relationships began there. Maybe that's why families are a strong theme in her novels, whether mysteries or romances. Her 95th novel will be released in 2016.

Readers often ask her about her pastimes. She has herb, flowers and vegetable gardens that help her relax. In the winter, she cooks rather than gardens.  And year round she spends most of her time with her husband, as well as her four rescued cats who are her constant companions. They chase rainbows from sun catchers, reminding her life isn't all about work, awards and bestseller lists. Everyone needs that rainbow to chase.

Karen looks forward to interacting with readers. They can find her at the links below. 


Anonymous said...

Beautiful post, Karen. Halo's journey has been amazing and it is so good to see her healthy and content.

Unknown said...

You and your husband are such kind and compassionate people; God bless you.💐

Sandy Swanger Bartles said...

I love these blogs on the kitties! You should write a book on them. I know I would buy it!

Deborah Blake said...

I remember talking to you on the phone on dealing with cat births :-) Halo has had a remarkable journey, and I am so glad she is finally in good health again. Seeing her and Paddy snuggling reminds me of my own mama cat, Minerva, and what a good mother she was. She and her "kittens," Magic and Mystic, still snuggled (although not Mystic and Magic together) until the day she died. Some mother cats are fairly indifferent to their children once they are weaned, but it is wonderful to watch the ones who keep that loving bond.

Halo was very lucky to have ended up where she did!

Delynn Royer said...

I remember when Halo's kitties were born--what a story!--and I do think these loving animals are sent to us for a reason. What a great post for Mother’s Day. Happy Mom’s Day to you (and Halo too)! :)