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Celebrating Lawrence’s Gotcha Day

October 22nd, 2017 · 2 Comments · cats

This is Lawrence (formerly known as Tootie), and he’s new here.

On Friday, Mark, Pat, and I made him a permanent part of our family, and we are so thankful to all of the people who have helped us along the way.

Lawrence is a man of mystery, but we do know part of his story.  A Good Samaritan found him on State Road 39 near Monrovia and thought maybe he’d been hit by a car, so the Good Samaritan brought him to the Morgan County Humane Society (MCHS) in Martinsville.   At first, the staff thought maybe he had vision issues because his pupils were dilated.  He also crouched and walked on the back of his legs, which led them to believe that maybe he had some neurological deficit.  Because the shelter environment isn’t the best for a tiny kitten who has been through some kind of trauma, Morgan County’s number one cat lady (at least in my mind), Alicia Fouty, took Lawrence home with her.  After a few days with Alicia and Doug, her husband, fostering him at their home, Lawrence became less fearful and started to get a little more comfortable with people.  He was examined by the shelter’s veterinarian, who thought maybe Lawrence was recovering from a concussion and would continue to improve.  He still had a strange gait, though.

Mark and I got involved when Alicia shared Lawrence’s story on the Morgan County Community Cats Facebook page.  We were instantly smitten with this little brown tabby guy.  Because of his suspected neurological issues, Alicia was looking for a home with people who have some experience with cats with special needs.  After some discussion, Mark and I decided to offer to take Lawrence to see Dr. Johnny Cross, a neurologist at VCA Advanced Veterinary Care Center.  Dr. Cross is wonderful and had worked with our George and Jud in the past, so we knew what to expect with a neurological consult.  After Alicia arranged with MCHS for us to take Lawrence for his consultation, we made the appointment and brought him to our house.

We got Lawrence home, fed him his evening meal, and then”fasted” him (withheld food for 12 hours) overnight.  This was not a great way to start our journey together, but we also wanted him to be ready for any diagnostic tests Dr. Cross would want to perform.  Alicia sent his favorite toy with him, and we were able to play a little bit.  By the time he had settled in with us that first night, we weren’t really noticing anything “different” about him.

He REALLY loves his toy!

We took him to VCA, and after a short recitation of his history and a weigh-in (2.7 lbs) by his tech, Dr. Cross examined him.  We had brought Lawrence’s toy, and he was curious and active.  Dr. Cross did a full neurological examination—checking his front legs, back legs, turning his neck from side to side, using his light to look at his pupil reaction, palpating and talking with him, saying “hey, friend” to Lawrence quite a bit, as I remember him doing with George and Jud in previous visits.

Waiting to see Dr. Cross

Ultimately, Dr. Cross decided against doing any further testing because he thought that it’s most likely that Lawrence did experience some kind of trauma.  Perhaps he was hit by a car.  Or maybe he fell out of a vehicle he’d climbed up into.  He may have been thrown from a car.  Some trauma likely occurred that caused his brain to swell, and as the swelling went down over time, the people who were with Lawrence noticed he was improving.  He also might have improved because he began to become less fearful as he was in a home environment and began to trust people more.  Dr. Cross also explained that we should watch for any odd behavior as Lawrence gets older because sometimes cats can develop neurological symptoms much later after a trauma.  So, for instance, he may have seizures someday.  If that happens, we’ll be certain to film the incident and take Lawrence back to see Dr. Cross.

After the visit, Mark and I discussed whether we felt like we can care for Lawrence.  We are both working outside of our home full time, so we’re not well-positioned to care for a cat who needs extra care with bath rooming, insulin injections, or long-term feeding assistance.  Since Lawrence is using the litter box with no issues and is eating on his own, we decided we can care for him and see if any issues appear in the future.

Lawrence is making new friends, including Grace.

I called Alicia to discuss, and after consultation with the shelter director at MCHS, we were allowed to adopt Lawrence with the agreement that our veterinarian, Dr. Susanna Aldridge at Tender Loving Care Animal Hospital, will direct his vaccination and neuter schedule because she is in the best position to assess his needs due to his neurological history.  So, on Friday, Mark and I went to MCHS, returned the foster equipment and supplies, completed the paperwork, paid the fee, and we officially welcomed Lawrence Carnell into our family.

We are beyond smitten with this tiny kitten.

Happy Gotcha Day, Lawrence!  We couldn’t have gotten to this happy occasion without the help of the Good Samaritan who found this tiny kitten, the great team at MCHS, Alicia and Doug Fouty, Dr. Cross and his team at VCA, and Dr. Aldridge and her team at TLC.  Thank you from the very bottom of our hearts for doing your part to help our Lawrence!



2 Comments so far ↓

  • Jen Londergan

    Adoptive families like yours are what give me hope for each and every animal that we, at MCHS, are privileged to care for.
    Thank you so much, on behalf of Lawrence, and all the kittens, for helping us uphold the belief that every animal has a bright future ahead!

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