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Jack K
United States
Milwaukee
Wisconsin
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I've been a member and supporter of this site for many years. Over those years, I've come to learn that, for the most part, this is a caring and generous community. I've participated in several fundraising auctions and have been pleasantly surprised by the generosity with which people support or contribute to good causes.

Earlier this year, as some of you may remember, I ran into some financial difficulties when my cat Lucas (the closest thing I've ever had to a child) suffered a heart failure and almost died at a young age - an event triggered by some poor veterinary care. He survived, in no small part, due to some subsequent outstanding veterinary care by a local animal emergency center. I won't rehash all of the details - they're all here - but suffice it to say that the bills were quite a lot of money and are ongoing. At the same time came a large car repair bill and, although I have a job which pays me fairly well, I was pretty strapped for money and was really concerned that a repeat episode (a possibility given the damage caused to his heart) would be something I'd have trouble paying for, and I just couldn't bear to lose him just because I couldn't afford the bills.

As I looked at my game collection, I realized that I would much rather have him for longer than keep a pile of games that I rarely play and so I had an auction where I put up about a third of my fairly sizable collection, fully intending to sell more if the need arose later, in order to raise a reserve to help cover any future medical expenses for him. A good friend of mine locally also offered to pitch in several nice games, and soon I had a large auction going. When it started, I told my friend that I hoped to just get minimum bids on all items, so I could raise just enough to help give me a little cash reserve in case of any relapse or secondary failure.

What came next shocked me.

The community came to my rescue. I was flooded with messages of support and helpful advice, people bid high on games, many people asked if they could donate games to the auction (some wishing to do so anonymously) and a couple of people even sent me cash to help out. A generous pet food company even created an account on this site to donate food - I presume someone in the company is a member of our community - with no request for publicity. The reasons for this generosity were varied but it brought home to me what an amazing and caring community this is.

Since then, I have been terribly remiss. I thanked everyone at the time, but I intended to give an update about how Lucas was doing so that all those kind people who helped out, bid or supported me through a highly stressful time and clearly cared about Lucas' well-being could hear how he was doing. I apologize sincerely if I still owe anyone a direct response - I've had so many messages that I may have lost track but I will take another look, just in case...

I don't make New Year's Resolutions, but this year I decided to make an exception and promised myself I would send out this update and thank you all once more.

This community has so many very, very kind and generous people and I am very proud to be a member of it. It's an honour to be called a "Geek" and, now that things are much more stable financially in my household, I hope to be able to emulate those who were so kind to me when the need arises for others.


And so to Lucas...

A couple of weeks ago, Lucas celebrated the 6-month anniversary of his release from the hospital. He's on heart medication - twice a day, every day - for the rest of his life and a tiny dose of baby aspirin once every three days, just like a human would take aspirin after a heart attack. It was interesting to learn that the medication is the same medication a human would take but in a smaller dosage. The Senior Clinician told me that this is actually common - when a pet has an ailment that's similar to a human ailment they will often try human meds at lower levels and they often work.

Lucas doesn't care for the pills, but he's become much better about them (and I've become better about giving them) and he hates the aspirin even though it's liquid and flavoured like various meats. But the most important thing is that he's doing well (looks around for some wood to knock on). It took him about two or three months before he seemed to fully recover - he got much better quickly and then seemed to plateau for a while at 90-95% - but now you'd never know to look at him that he'd ever been ill.

I still don't know how long I'll have him around - the echocardiograms keep coming back OK and the vets are a little more optimistic these days about his long-term prognosis - but I now view every day with him as a blessing.

Thank you all for the emotional support you provided through what was a very stressful time, and for the kindness you showed during my auction which ensured that I would have money to cover his sizable medical expenses.

Here are some pictures of Lucas taken about a month after his ordeal. I really need to take some new ones (I thought I had but can't seem to find them). The first one is a little out of focus, but you can see where he was shaved for the ECGs they were doing. The second is a much better picture of him and shows where he was shaved on the legs for the IVs. It took a long time to completely grow out, and I would have some fun by telling him that he had to pull his socks up - as if he could understand me...





Thank you again to everyone who was so kind to us. I will never forget this and hope that I can pass on this kindness to others in need...
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Andy Andersen
United States
Ada
Michigan
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The things we do for our pets. Best of luck .
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いい竹やぶだ!

South Euclid
Ohio
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Thanks for sharing your amazing story. As a n00b to the Forums, I missed out on all the excitement, but as a fellow ailurophile, your happy ending warms the cockles of me 'eart.
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Jack K
United States
Milwaukee
Wisconsin
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robigo wrote:
but as a fellow ailurophile


Oooh. A new word. I can't say that I'd heard that one before.
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Jack Dowden
United States
Portage
Michigan
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Awesome - I really appreciate hearing this. I just placed another post because I had seen some...cynicism and what I would consider attacks on people's integrity in another post.

Glad to see the opposite also happens...that people step up to help out. Warms my heart to hear this - thanks for sharing!
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Jack K
United States
Milwaukee
Wisconsin
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MajikJack wrote:
Awesome - I really appreciate hearing this. I just placed another post because I had seen some...cynicism and what I would consider attacks on people's integrity in another post.

Glad to see the opposite also happens...that people step up to help out. Warms my heart to hear this - thanks for sharing!


I'm not familiar with the other situation you're referring to, but I was fortunate in that no-one ever questioned my integrity on this. It may have helped that I didn't solicit any of the donations I received. I was planning on just selling off a bunch of my collection and hoping for good bids. I have a long history on this site and a lot of people to vouch for me, but I would have understood if someone had questioned me on it. That said, it was a good feeling to not have that happen.
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Mr. Green
United States
Ft. Collins
Colorado
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When green is all there is to be, it could make you wonder why. But why wonder? I'm green, and it'll do fine: it's beautiful, and I think it's what I want to be.
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Jakob Bavnshøj
Denmark
Brøndum
DK-9500 Hobro
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Visit us at www.osterskov.dk
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Thanks for sharing this and reminding us how important this special place is!
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Brook Gentlestream
United States
Long Beach
California
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Only two things ever brought the whole internet together... SOPA and cats.


Don't mess with our cats.
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Jeremy Kratochwill
United States
Anchorage
Alaska
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I need to change this now that it's not football season.
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Almond crusted halibut, lemon crown, thin sliced radishes, parsley
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Chris Fee
United States
Corning
New York
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No fair! They're using brains against us! We removed our brains to make room for guns and explosives!
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Tails and Mel are happy to hear Lucas is doing better. They were glad to get a copy of Space Hulk: Death angel to help the cause.

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Melissa
Canada
Saskatchewan
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What an adorable kitty.

I'm so glad you were able to get him what he needed. Here's to many more enjoyable years Lucas!
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Jack K
United States
Milwaukee
Wisconsin
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puggeroni wrote:
What an adorable kitty.

I'm so glad you were able to get him what he needed. Here's to many more enjoyable years Lucas!


Thank you.

The 3rd marked the one-year anniversary of Lucas' trip to the emergency room. To mark the occasion, I took in some treats yesterday (pastries etc) for the good folks at the emergency center that looked after Lucas so well - most of the people who were there then, still are now - and were there looking after other people's loved ones on the 4th of July.

They were quite surprised - not about Lucas, but about the treats.

One of them even remembered Lucas by name, from his picture - and perhaps my accent helped a little...
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Daniel Coats
United States
Santee
California
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Awesome! I wasn't around for the event but my heart is warmed by the story.
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