Monday, February 4, 2013

In memory of Zorro

Diane Quinn is my guest blogger today. I hope that a few of you will share the blog post as Diane talks about Zorro, who recently crossed Rainbow Bridge. At the same time she draws attention to the Poppy Foundation, which deserves a lot of exposure.


Every Cloud Can Have a Silver Lining

In Conny’s last blog post, you learned of the passing of our beloved Ragdoll cat, Zorro, who succumbed to a heart condition called FHC (Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy).  This silent killer is common in Ragdoll and Maine Coon cat breeds.  Quality breeders certify that their cats have been tested and do not carry the FHC gene.  Unfortunately, we adopted Zorro when he was a year old from a friend-of-a-friend who was moving, and he was a day away from being deposited at a shelter. 

One expects older pets to die, but not pets that appear to be in perfect health and in the prime of their life.  That was Zorro—so handsome, so loving, and so special.  The shock of losing him at age eight will linger along with our grief.  Our only solace is that he slipped away without pain on our sofa, in his favorite napping position and with his family nearby.

Many believe that every cloud has a silver lining.  That even in the worst of situations good can emerge to neutralize negativity.  I like to believe that is true.  Toward that end, my goal is to introduce the followers of “Under the Toronto Sun” to a worthwhile foundation that my husband and I support and where we made a donation in Zorro’s name after he died.  It’s called
The Poppy Foundation (http://poppyfoundation.org/

The Poppy Foundation is located at the Bonanza Cat Hospital (http://www.lvcatvet.com/) in Las Vegas.  Dr. Linda Steelman is one of those vets unable to turn away a cat in need.  Her hospital is the last stop for unadoptable kitties through the Humane Society and other cat rescue groups.  They are unadoptable because of incurable health conditions or because their injuries have left them so unattractive that no one will adopt them.

Within days after adopting Zorro when he was a year old, I took him for a checkup with Dr. Steelman.  Imagine my surprise when I walked into the hospital’s tiny waiting room and found myself surrounded by cat condo’s filled with snoozing kitties.  Then there were the dozens of others walking around wherever they pleased, even taking advantage of empty laps and head rubs wherever they could find them.  Parents of patients preferred to stand rather than take a chair away from a sleeping feline. The office volunteers often had to remove their furry helpers from the top of the printer, telephone console and sign-in sheets in order to do their jobs.

I admit that my heart skipped a beat the first time I watched three-legged cats limp by, cats with cuts resulting in ugly bald spots on their lovely fur, or who now had to view the world with only one eye.  At one time, when I asked how many cats were in residence, they admitted they had lost count but that they were well over 100. 

I’m happy to report that over a year ago, the Poppy Foundation at the hospital was able to add more space.  There is one large room now dedicated to cages for seriously ill cats (sort of an ICU) and a play area for those kitties that are able and willing. 

I can think of no better way to honor our beloved Zorro than by helping to bring attention to the well run, making a difference, Poppy Foundation.  In addition to money, they are grateful for used cat care items and food donations. 

Even though Conny had never met Zorro (it’s a long way from Toronto and Las Vegas), she came to know him almost as well as one of her own furry gang.  It’s comforting to know that a memorial to him will remain a permanent part of Conny’s “Under the Toronto Sun” blog site.

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