Saturday, August 29, 2009

Mr. Gustav F. Mitchellson

Say hello to Gus, the newest foster at Space Paws! Gus is around six months old and just the most affectionate guy. When you pick him up, Gus will put his arms around your neck and hug and kiss you. Everyone at the office is just in love with him!

Gus won't be ready for adoption for a little while. First we need to see if he has lost parents. If we don't have any luck there, we'll have him neutered and get him his shots. Of course, he'll be subject to the usual stint in "solitary" to be sure he's A-OK disease wise. And while we're doing all this, Gus has a broken leg that will need to be fixed.

Here's his story (warning - long post ahead)...

STScI staffer Mitch saw this little guy hanging out around his house for a couple of days. Mitch is getting ready to move so, on Wednesday, he asked if Space Paws would be willing provide the shelter and he would handle "Lost Kitty" posters in his neighborhood, advertising for a foster home if that didn't get results, and getting the little guy his shots and not so itty bitty parts removed. Of course, we said yes. We decided Mitch would take a late lunch Thursday and get him, and I'd leave work a little early. I dialed up Doc Andrew's office and made an appointment for tests and shots on Saturday.
When I arrived at work Thursday morning, Mitch already had the little man with him! Mitch said he saw a kid hanging around with a bat. Even though he warned the youngster off, Mitch thought it would be better not to take chances and brought him in that morning.

I cleared taking off early with my boss (thanks, Karen!!) and, in a couple of hours went to Mitch's office to pick up the little boy. Turns out, in just that short time he'd become somewhat of a celebrity, because of his affectionate nature. One of the ladies in the office suggested we name him Freedom, hence the F. in his name now. I did start out calling him Freedom, and later tried out "Dom," but eventually just got a sense that Gus should be his name for now.

Mitch was out of his office and, while I waited for them to return, I noticed the little guy was favoring one of his hind legs. On the drive home, I noticed his pupils were very dilated for the light conditions and hit the speed dial for Doc Andrew's office. Unfortunately Thursday is his surgery day so we headed up to the emergency vet.

They were able to see us immediately and, as soon as Doc Marianne saw him, she said his leg was most likely broken. She whisked him away for an FeLV/FIV test and an X ray. Good news was a negative result on the blood test (he'll need to be tested again, when he's older - this young, there can be false negatives). Bad news was this... Doc Marianne said it would most likely need surgery, but that it was not urgent. We could wait to see Doc Andrew on Saturday. She said it was unlikely our Doc could do the surgery, but we should see him for a referral. So, she gave our boy a Fentanyl patch and some short acting pain meds and we headed home. They also said he should be kept quiet, so we made the big crate his new digs (thanks Sonia!!!).
He wasn't very hungry, but he drank the bowl dry in no time. At first he just rested, but our little dude is very social and I spent a bunch of the afternoon curled around the opening of the crate so he could get some love, but not get out. Thursday night was the Maples trip down to Jill and Peter's and, when we got home, he was resting comfortably. Some more love and it was bed time.

Friday morning, his appetite picked up a bit and, after some snuggle time, I headed off to work. When I got home, the poor baby had "monster paw!" It was swollen to at least twice it's normal size... and this was his good hind leg! The ER had said to leave his bandage on for a while because he'd squirmed during blood removal and, apparently, it was too tight (or I left it on too long... I have never felt so guilty in my life!). He was a wonderful kitten, only chewing on me a little when I snipped it off. It obviously hurt like heck! The doc's office was closed for the day, but thank God for the Internet! The online vet at said he'd be fine and didn't need to go back to the ER. Whew!

But the poor little dude had two bad legs now and we just cuddled all night. Once again, he had no appetite. He kept giving me head butts and baths and purred up a storm. It was during our cuddles, with me apologizing to him and telling him he was a "game little gus," that I realized he'd always be Gus to me. Gus... Gustav... oh, staying with the Nordic theme, I could name him after Mitch. And so he became Gustav Freedom Mitchellson.

This morning, the "monster paw" was back to normal. We headed out to see Doc Andrew. Gus got a good check up, lots of lovin' from the Doc, and a dose of Revolution. Poor guy has ear mites, too. He only weighed in at 4lb 13oz so we'll do our best to get him fattened up. *sigh* Doc A recommended an orthopedic surgeon in Harford County, since he doesn't do this type of surgery. He said the Fentanyl's effects should hold until the surgeon can see Gus. And then our wonderful Doc sent us home, without a stop at the front desk! (Have I mentioned lately your husband is just the best, Staci??)

We have a call into the surgeon and will hook up with him on Monday. Doc A confirmed that, as long as Gus stays quiet, the wait will not hurt him and there are very good odds for an excellent outcome.

Gus' appetite is back and he is now getting frisky. This is good and this is bad. I'd been letting him out of the crate when I was in the room, but this evening he jumped up onto the crate three times (with me springing up to gently remove him, before he hurt himself). I can't get over what power a cat can have in one leg. Poor Gus is under crate arrest now, unless I can actually sit with him.

So wish us luck! This little boy has had a very rough time, lately, but things are looking positive for him to make a full recovery and, either find his lost parents or a new, wonderful furever family!

Here's a shot of Gus on the snuggle sheet. Tomorrow more pics and some videos of Abigail's Angels!


  1. Oh, what a sweet little orange boy, and so brave too! So glad that he's safe and is getting the care that he guys are just all amazing!

    Huge thank you to you and Mitch and Sonia and the rest of the Space Paws team,for everything you guys do! Hugs, purrs, and lots of headbutts and cuddles to sweet little Gus :)

  2. Another gorgeous ginger boy! Poor little Gus, he's been through a lot, hasn't he? I hope his surgery goes well and he's soon able to be as active as he wants! He's very lucky to have met a group of such caring, wonderful people. Hooray for the Space Paws brigade!

  3. Such a sweetie pie! I am hoping his surgery goes well. He is the kind of cat I've always wanted. As much as I adore my two kitties, neither of them are overly affectionate and gus sounds like he would be a true snuggler.

  4. I am always amazed by the tremendous spirit of cats, and dear Gus is the latest example - to be so loving and sweet despite all the trauma he faced in his young life is amazing! He is going to grow up to be a wonderful cat. Thank you, Space Paws, and to Mitch, Sonia, Doc Andrew and everyone else who is helping Gus write a happy ending to this episode!

  5. Oh, isn't he the most gorgeous little guy! I adore orange tabbies.

  6. What a good looking boy! I have to admit, I have a soft spot for orange tabbies.

    Sounds like you had a rough go, Gus. Well, if anyone can get you back up to par, I know it's Space Paws and her posse! You just have to continue to be brave, little guy.

    Good luck with his recovery and testing. I know all too well how important that is. Here's wishing nothing but smooth sailing for you and Gus!

    Hugs and positive thoughts from all of us here!

  7. ouchie that break! it hurts me just to look at it!

    but gus is GORGEOUS!!! and good job on the name, i like it. ;) he looks like he's getting quite the lion's mane. and he hugs?! omg, if i didn't have too many of my own and lived a little closer, i would beg you for him!

  8. Awwww, what a little sweetie. And kudos to Mitch for saving him from a lurking youth with a baseball bat. Best wishes to Gus for a speedy recovery! I can't imagine what energy he'll have when he feels better.

  9. All my warmest wishes and best thoughts out to Gus! I know he will come through with flying colors - and a beautiful cat he is indeed!

  10. What a sweet story with a happy ending just down the road a bit.

    Lisa, please don't hesitate to let us know if you need donations for Gus' medical care. It's been proven that the cat-blog community is a generous lot.

  11. Sending out good thoughts to Gus, too! He is a handsome boy and looks so snuggly. Hope your surgery goes well and you can jump as much as you want and as high as you want!

  12. What Sue said- I'm too far away to consider adoption of this adorable boy, but I'd be more than happy to help out with his vet expenses. He deserves a chance at a happy, pain-free life!

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  14. I gasped when I saw that x-ray. Poor little guy... but I guess a lucky little guy too to have such a great team caring for him.

    I'm broke right now, but I'll be happy to spread the word if donations are needed. Please don't hesitate to ask - after all, it only took two days for the Truebloods to get their 3 squillion!

    Good on you to be taking such good care of Gus and showing that there are loving people in the world.

  15. Yay for Mitch, being in the right place and doing the right thing! Put out a call for donations if Gus needs them... poor little guy.

  16. I haven't posted lately but I do not miss reading what's being written and posted each and everyday. I so look forward to it too! I am so so happy Jill and Peter are sharing their love and home with Ginny and George!!! Thank you so much! What a beautiful family! Love to read Sundowns Little Corner but had to quit reading several times because my eyes became blinded with tears of sadness and joy! Yipee for the TB6's. What a wonderful network of the most giving people for all their support and donations! Also, I can't help but add how proud I am of my niece and friend Meghan for contributing the money they raised selling their homemade tye dyes t-shirts to the TB6's to fix their little eyelids! You make me so proud to be your aunt. I was fortunate enough to meet Gus (Lisa, love the name, it fit him perfectly) at work on Thursday. Oh my goodness, he is sooooo lovable. I fell in love with him at first sight! Thanks to Mitch for caring about this little guy and bringing him to one of the BEST (Lisa)!!! You probably saved his life! Yah for Aggie and her sucessful spaying. Thank you Lisa, I can't say that enough. No more heat! Gosh, I know I'm forgetting something but need to get back to weedeating and picking tomatoes. It's almost time to start feeding the critters. Where does the time go....

  17. He is beautiful! Thanks soooo much to Mitch for protecting Little Gus and Lisa for being so kind and wonderful!!

  18. Oh, my, what a face! Sounds like young Gus has it all--looks and personality! (And I, too, have a deep, abiding weakness for sweet marmie boys.) A huge thanks to all the Space Paws crew for all the time and effort they put in to help this lad--and I, too, would be willing to help out with a few bucks toward the vet bills. (I was going to donate to Love and Hisses, but by the time I got a chance to go over there, they'd already raised what they needed!)

  19. I almost tell over...Gus is the exact twin of our Andy !!

    Hugs to the Baby Dude.


  20. Yes..please let us know if we can help out Gus.

  21. Oh, my!! You are all soooo wonderful!! Thank you for the support and offers of yet more support.

    We don't know much yet and I'll keep you posted as events unfold. We'll put out the call at STScI, too.

    Thank you, thank you, one and all!!!

    Lisa & Gus & the whole Space Paws team!

  22. OMG...Lisa, this will teach me to not visit around on weekends. I'm just now reading about Gus. Let us know how he is doing and if there is anything we can do to help out in some way.

    Thank goodness for you and Mitch and everyone else who is helping this handsome fellow get a new start in life. Keep us posted...that X-ray just about broke my heart.

  23. Belatedly adding my voice to the chorus of adoration for Mr. Gus. Marmies who cuddle and give chin baths...oooohhhhh! Somebody get a mop - He's turned me into a puddle of goo.

    Sundown and I will both be eagerly awaiting updates on Gus. (We've discussed a road trip from CO to adopt him when he's ready, but I suspect we'd be at the end of a long line of prospective adopters. So we'll just send love and purrs his way for now.)

  24. Awww poor Gus!!! We hope his leg gets mended ASAP! And, we are purraying he finds his furrver fmaily/home as soon as he's adoptable! He sure is a handsome boy!

  25. Poor Gus, and such a wonderful little guy to be so loving. Let's hope for a successful operation and the right home full of love.



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