The story of Colby

Colby came to us on 3/18/06 from Kern County Animal Shelter. Here he is on the day of his arrival. He was not an old cat, likely not much older than 2 years old upon his arrival, but he looked ancient. He was very, very ill. Colby had developed a nasty case of Feline Calicivirus (FCV) . Calicivirus is a common viral disease that affects cats, it is characterized by upper respiratory symptoms, pneumonia, oral ulceration (sores in the mouth), and occasionally arthritis.

Because of the sores, he wouldn't eat on his own and had to be force fed (with a tube) for 18 days until the worst of the symptoms had passed. During the progression of his illness, he lost most of his body weight and resembled a victim of the concentration camps at Auswich. For nearly 3 weeks he ran a very high fever and we truly wondered if it wouldn't be more kind to him to put him to sleep. Every time Dr. Thompson actually contemplated putting him down, Colby would purr and lean into her body or hand for a pet or a scratch. He was fighting and it was clear he wanted to live.

Finally, he recovered from the Calicivirus and began to eat on his own. It took longer still for him to recover completely, but over time he did. At one point his eye developed a secondary infection and had to be "flapped" or stitched closed so it could heal. He was truly a sad sight to see.
During the months after his recovery we had him loose as a house cat so he could walk around the front office, anything to help him to regain muscle tone. One day, in September of 2006, a nice lady came in looking for a mellow cat for her small studio apartment. Colby, still had a little way to go before he was 100% recovered, but it was clear she was smitten with Colby and wanted him, so home he went.

It was very shocking, when in February of 2007 we received an email from the same lady telling us that Colby, now named Petey, had become too active for her small apartment and she was returning him. We quickly took him back, saddened that he had to return to a cage but happy that he was safe. We all knew that there had to be a perfect home out there for out sweet Colby.

Colby was not happy to be caged again and made it known. He spent most of the next 2 months out in foster care but always coming back for the adoption events. To the left is a photo of him in his foster home.

On Saturday, May 12th, 2007, Colby found the home he was always meant to be in. A wonderful lady came in with her dog, a large retriever mix, and asked if we had a couple of dog friendly cats. Colby came immediately to mind as he did so very well with the dog in his foster home. The minute she met him she swept him up into her arms and snuggled him close. It was love at first sight. Colby and Ethan, another long time resident of the Nine Lives Foundation, went home that day. We’ve received several emailed updates on their status and one photo (below) that speaks a thousand words. Colby, now Chairman Meow, is clearly very happy enjoying the sunbeams on his window seat while Ethan, now Buzz, drapes himself over his dog. Below is an email from their family...

Written by: LH

Dr. Thompson, and all the Nine Lives Staff:

Last weekend I adopted the big orange fuzzy Colby and frisky, whimsical Ethan (black skinny boy with white paws). Just wanted tell you how they're doing.
Colby is now Ezra, a.k.a. Chairman Meow. He's so calm and sweet. He feels completely at home. Ezra sleeps on
my pillow every night. He nags when he's hungry. He now purrs, especially when he's in bed with us. He and Logan, our big dog, are buddies. They hang out together on our sofa to watch The Daily Show.

Ethan, now Buzzy, is the absolute sweetest, most adorable cat ever. He follows me around the house, jumps on everything, and purrs on contact. He races around, hurtles onto my lap for a cuddle, then leaps off to resume his speed-skating. When we watch television, he stretches up to bat at the moving images. Buzzy runs up to Logan and skids to a stop. Logan jumps up and barks, tail wagging. Buzzy leaps away, then flies in for another pass, pouncing on Logan's tail. Buzzy's so inquisitive. Whatever we do -- wash dishes, read in bed, sort through mail -- Buzz
suddenly leaps in to check out what's going on. At night, Buzz sleeps under the covers with us, until the mood strikes him to speed around the house. When Buzzy is alone in a room, he meows until we call him.

Our other two cats, Anna and Sasha, are displeased. They hiss and spit at Buzz and Ez like two fat cobras. They yowl and moan like Linda Blair in the Exorcist. I sometimes have to shut the two of them up in our guest room. Anna absolutely cannot abide Buzzy and chases him. But Buzz and Ez are such good sports. Ez calmly walks away from the hissing cobra kitties. And Buzzy -- nothing can suppress his sweet, playful nature. Despite the new surroundings, big dog, and malevolent cobra kitties, neither Buzzy or Ezra have hissed or hidden once.

Thank you so much for giving us these enchanting kitties. Good luck with your move!


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