Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Every Guy's Dream Job

Oy Vey! Boy am I tired! I just want to sleep for about a month. But this strange blonde lady won’t leave me alone ‘til I write this. Apparently the mammals elected me to write this week’s blog because I was the only one not at the meeting. Somehow I’m thinkin’ this is unfair. I guess I should introduce myself. I am Twizzler, CLAWS’s spotted skunk. I think perhaps the person who “discovered” us was maybe a heavy drinker since I have looked and I don’t have any spots. I have swirly stripes. I guess Spotted Skunk is easer to say than Swirly Striped Skunk. Try saying that three times fast.

Do you know what kind of pressure there is to be responsible for keeping your species from disappearing? Of course you don’t. You humans breed like rabbits. You’re everywhere; you certainly aren’t endangered. But spotted skunks are. In Florida we are classified as “threatened”. Kindra says we’re listed as “rare” here in North Carolina, but no one is allowed to help my wild cousins. People are a little squirrely about skunks here. We are a very misunderstood animal.

See, in Florida, they get us. They understand we are important for a healthy environment. (We are not rabid monsters who are after your children.) They contacted CLAWS and asked them to see if I would help save my species by mating and making more of me. Are they kidding? The blonde says we have to keep this G-rated, so let me try to be delicate…But seriously, isn’t that every guy’s dream job? I just wish they’d’ve asked me sooner. That is a lot of pressure for an old man. They don’t make little blue pills for skunks.

So that’s why I’m so tired and just want to sleep for a month. I just got back from South Carolina where I did my best to be an overachiever in the Romeo department. She was smilin’ when I left, so we’ll have to wait and see.

I am happy to report that in the Sponsorship Contest between the mammals and the birds, the mammals are winning! Currently the score stands at Mammals – 7 and Birds – 5. We want to keep that streak going. So if there is anybody out there who could find a soft spot in your heart for an old man under a lot of pressure and pony up $100 for my sponsorship fee, that would make me and my mammal friends very happy.

Ok, now I am going to sleep for about a month. I hope I have a sponsor when I wake up. Goodnight people.


Monday, June 14, 2010

Sponsor a Raptor in Rehab

Hello humans. I was supposed to do this last week, but I was too busy trying to rip that annoying man’s face off. [that would be Vinny] I wish these stupid feathers would hurry up and finish growing in so I can get the flight out of here. ‘Course, first I gotta figure out HOW to fly. My first attempt didn’t go so good. I kept buggin’ mom that I was ready for flight school. She said I had to wait til all my feathers grew in. I got feathers! Mom insisted they weren’t the right kind of feathers. I figured she was fibbin’ cuz she didn’t want to teach me how to fly cuz she was too busy doing mom stuff. Apparently not.

You shoulda seen me tho. I launched myself off that branch into the air and for just a moment, everything was great! Whee! I’m flyin! Yeah, right. Next thing I knew I was dropping faster than a pellet. As a matter of fact, that is exactly what I landed on…a pile of pellets at the bottom of our tree. Then to make matters worse, Mom flies down to inform me that there is no way for her to get me back up in the nest and this is what I get for not listening to her in the first place. Well, pellets.

So I had to wait for some human to find me. Just for the record, you guys need to grow some feathers…you are all very ugly up close. The stuff nightmares are made of. Anyway, I ended up here at CLAWS. They don’t have any feathers either. They promise to let me go as soon as I can prove that I can fly and catch my own food. I don’t believe them. But I am workin on my plan to escape. I will make them fear for their lives. Then they will let me go to save themselves. Altho they do feed me good things.

There are 3 other young owls and a hawk being held prisoner with me in the juvi wing. Rumor has it there are other raptors being held in a different section of the compound. If you would like to help keep me in comfort while I am being held captive until my feathers come in, you can contact and sponsor me [raptor rehab sponsor fee is $150]. If you sponsor one of the other raptors, you will be allowed to “toss it” back to freedom when the time comes. If you choose to sponsor me, the lady says you can set somebody else free. My plan is working and she is already afraid of me. She should be. I may not be able to fly yet, but I can kill her. She is afraid I will hurt a regular person. Not sure who the “regular” people are, but you are all fair game as far as I am concerned. If I never see another human up close and personal after I am set free, it will be just fine with me!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Tocho needs your hope and help

Tocho has become one of CLAWS 2010 rehabilitation favorites for many people. At least many of her pictures have.
She came to CLAWS as a two week old bobcat kitten, from another rehabber who had lost her 3 siblings and could not figure out why. For several weeks, Tocho flourished and thrived here at CLAWS. She has been such a pleasure to rehabilitate, especially because having bobcats in rehabilitation is so rare.
Right about the time Tocho turned five weeks old, just as serious toddling began, things started to become worrisome. She spent one entire day acting very strangely, uncoordinated, lethargic and just “off”. With only one caretaker, Kindra is intimately aware of all of Tocho’s behaviors, so she immediately noticed something was just not right and became very concerned.
Understanding that everybody needs a little help sometimes, Kindra started making calls to several friends and associates and finally spoke with a prominent breeder of bobcats, who has been breeding them for decades. She was assured that this was normal at Tocho’s age. What she explained was very similar to a human child’s growth spurt at six weeks of age. She did say to go ahead and give her some antibiotics for three days, just in case.
Much relieved, Kindra gave her a dose of antibiotics and waited. Very suddenly, at 2am, Tocho started acting quite normally and becoming the playful kitty that she should be.
Well, 4 days after Kindra stopped the antibiotics, Tocho took a serious turn for the worse which had Kindra in a full on panic. This episode was much, much worse than before. She was having severe tremors, almost to the point of seizures, could not focus on anything, and when she tried to take her bottle, her front legs would stiffen, flail frantically and she could not suck properly, simply swallow as the formula was put into her mouth. Panicked, Kindra emailed the vet, who answered at 5am saying to bring her in. At this point this had been going on for just over a week. Well, that was a Friday and the vet’s schedule was too busy, so an appointment was made for the upcoming Monday.
The weekend went by with just a few “episodes” with Tocho. Kindra put her back on antibiotics, as the vet agreed she should and things went by alright, not as scary as the Thursday night before but still a bit unfocused and having tremors.
Monday came, Tocho could not have a bottle after midnight, so, by her 11:30 am appointment, she was VERY hungry and a bit cranky, for her that is, for most, not so much. She was really such a little trooper during the whole visit! The vet tried not to have to sedate her for her blood test, but that stressed her out too badly. And, not having had a bottle (meaning no fluids) for so long, her blood wasn’t cooperating very well and she had to be sedated. She only weighed 1 7/8 pounds, so only 5ccs of blood could be safely taken. This was enough for quite a few tests, though it was thought, at that time, that we may wait a week to allow her to build her blood supply back and run more tests a week later.
Unfortunately, the tests cost much more than Kindra expected, over $400, even with a nice discount from the vet. Luckily, between her blood tests and the physical exam, the vet was able to rule out anything contagious or actually life threatening. At this point, it was determined that more tests were most likely not necessary at this time, and a diagnosis was made, based on her having “intention tremors”, apparently common in cats with the diagnosis she received. Her diagnosis was given as the equivalent of kitty cerebral palsy (called cerebellar hypoplasia or “spastic cat syndrome”). To read about this condition and it’s cause, you can go to these two sites and

Which is better than what was previously suspected, diabetes. So no daily shots. Though, still not what any of us wanted to hear.
What does this mean for Miss Tocho? Well, a lifetime of tremors and special attention to safety, so that if she has bad episodes, she does not hurt herself. She can live a long and happy life, but there are still the current expenses to pay for and possible future expenses.
There is still a small chance this could be a thiamine issue, something which prevents her from absorbing properly, but it is not looking that way.
We are asking that you please keep Tocho in your thoughts. Any and all donations toward her medical expenses would also be greatly appreciated.