Being employed with Wayside Waifs is a very rewarding experience, and volunteers have the same feeling. Sometimes you get those special cases with cats or dogs and you cannot help but root for them. Poe is one of those cases. Pictured above is the day Poe came in, with a staff member assisting her with snuggles.
I work in our Admissions department, and I was working the day Poe came in our shelter back in February. She was an owner surrender who originally was found as a stray, and the surrender socialized her so she could be brought in for our adoption program. Below is a photo of Poe when she first came in.
I know what you are thinking. “Awe she is adorable with her stocky legs and big eyes! She must be a Munchkin cat!” Actually, Poe is a regular Domestic Shorthair, but her looks provided a different kind of answer. Every animal is required to have a blood test taken unless it has already been done recently. We drew Poe’s blood, and we noticed something different.
First, there was concern with potential neurological disorders. Our veteran foster Annie Hughes fostered her for a few days to test her vision, hearing, brain power, and litter box usage. The results were positive, as she could track and follow objects with her eyes, she listened well, had a very quirky personality, and she was going just outside of the litterbox, but that wasn’t a huge concern because she was only a kitten. At that point the relief vet decided to draw blood again, but this time, for thyroid issues. She tested positive for Hypothyroidism.
Hypo- or Hyper- thyroids can be in people and animals. Poe has Hypothyroidism, which is an under active thyroid. Hyperthyroidism is in turn an overactive thyroid. Hypo is where the thyroid gland is not producing enough of the hormone that effectively produces iodine. Without that, it can cause a number of symptoms, such as poor ability to tolerate cold, a feeling of tiredness, constipation, depression, and weight gain. Most people and animals with hypothyroidism symptoms and confirmed thyroxine deficiency are treated with a synthetic long-acting form of thyroxine, known as levothyroxine. Poe looks the way she does because her body is gaining more weight than it should be. With those results, she was put on levothyroxine and sent to foster again with our outstanding volunteer Annie Hughes.
After four doses of her medication, Poe transformed into a different kitty! According to her foster mom, “She runs, jumps, climbs, plays, takes toys to her lair, uses the litterbox every time, covers her poop, covers her uneaten food, communicates normally, grooms herself, solves problems, lounges around, gets picky about food, and expects me to do things her way.” Here are some pictures of her thriving in her foster home.
Poe’s foster mom even included a video to showcase Poe’s funny walk. Because of her shape, she had a special kind of strut. You can watch the video here.
She continued to do well in her foster home, and they rechecked her thyroid levels on the twenty-first of March, and everything was back to normal. Poe’s body started to regain it’s normal shape and she started to grow more. Originally there was concern of a hernia that needed to be repaired, but they later dismissed that as her body filled out and she exhibited no pain. After tests confirmed there was no hernia, she was cleared for adoption. However, there was a twist. Her foster mom wanted to adopt her. The picture below was Poe’s ‘gotcha’ day with her new mom! Annie does a lot with our shelter. She fosters, she is in charge of our Waif Runner program, she works with our energetic dogs, and she assesses our cats’ personalities. She does a little bit of everything, and we are eternally grateful. She also fostered my current kitty, and is always happy to cat sit for me, which is amazing. Poe is a lucky girl, and so is Annie! Here are some pictures of Poe now, in her forever home!
Poe is thriving, and it is stories like this that makes what we do worthwhile. Please send us updates of your furry friend, we love seeing them in a home!
You can meet others like Poe during our adoption hours:
We have a special going on until Sunday, learn more about that here.
Written by Teryn