Message from the Director
Greetings! For those of you who have been friends of CFF for a while, you may remember The SCOOP when it was a traditional paper newsletter. We have decided to give it new life….digitally! So many ask about things that are going on here, and what better way to keep everyone informed than with a newsletter delivered right to your inbox?
And, there is A LOT going on! This year, we have opened 3 new cottages with a 4th just about ready to open. Since this summer, we have been using 2 of the cottages to periodically house up to 23 cats and kittens who, through the generosity of Pegasus Foundation, are waiting for transport to Massachusetts for adoption. There is a severe shortage of adoptable cats and kittens there (can you imagine?), and so in partnership with Okeechobee Animal Control, we are helping to facilitate the effort. When space permits, we include some of our own precious adoptable cats on transport, and so far this year, there have been 21 adoptions of CFF cats there paving the way for additional intake into our Sanctuary. Miranda’s cottage opened in our Feline Leukemia campground through the generous efforts of Sue DeOnofrio to raise the necessary funds to honor her daughter, Miranda, who was a cat lover and died tragically. We can now comfortably and safely house up to 20 FeLV+ cats.
Our surgical suite opened in July. This amazing gift was generously underwritten by Judy Schulte. Dr. Lynnly Miller spends every Wednesday performing TNVR sterilizing surgery on community cats as well as on our own kittens, making regular medical assessments of our at-risk cats (seniors, FIV+, Feline Leukemia+), and performing routine medical procedures such as dental cleanings, vaccinations, routine testing, etc. This continuity of care has truly enhanced the well-being of our residents and eliminated the need for a stressful ride to the vet’s office. At the height of our “kitten season,” Dr. Miller and her team performed up to 25 spay/neuter surgeries a day!
None of this would be possible without the ongoing and unwavering generosity of our supporters….your time, your talents, and your treasure. It takes all three to make our Sanctuary shine, and it does shine! As you read on, you will learn more about our plans for 2023 and how you can be involved. We need each and every one of you (and your friends!), so join us as we strive to reduce the number of homeless and abandoned cats and kittens through spay/neuter, adoption, and education. Happy New Year to you and your family!
Board of Directors
Featured for Adoption
This 2 year-old handsome, sweet boy is ready to make your home complete. Adopted from CFF as a kitten, he was recently returned as his owner could no longer care for him. He has adjusted well but would absolutely thrive back in a home environment. All he wants is a kind gentle pat and a few sweet words to make his day. And, that is exactly what he deserves!
This beautiful dilute tortie is FIV+ but is healthy, happy, and extremely affectionate. She came to CFF 2 years ago when her owner was going to euthanize her simply due to her FIV status. It is now known that FIV+ cats can live a normal lifespan and are not a danger to other cats as long as they get along without fighting. Starla lives a very companionable life with the others in her campground, so we do not feel she would pose a threat. She is also a candidate for our medical foster program…you provide for her basic needs, and CFF covers her approved medical expenses performed by our vet for the rest of her life. A win/win situation!
There is an endless supply of kittens, but we think ours are the cutest! Most have been lovingly cared for in foster homes so they are comfortable with the sights and sounds of daily living. In addition, each has been spayed/neutered, microchipped, dewormed, treated for fleas, tested for FIV and Feline Leukemia, and received all age-appropriate vaccinations.
Unsung Heroes - A Gift in CFF's Life!
Every person who spends time at CFF is special and important to our success. But, there are folks who make wonderful contributions but are less obvious in the day-to-day life at the Sanctuary. We intend to highlight one in each issue of the newsletter.
Sally Booth has been a CFF volunteer for about 4 years. Each Monday, she takes kittens to visit the residents of Palm City Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. According to Sally, for many, it is the highlight of their week. Just having a sweet ball of fluff to hold, feel the purr, and maybe even get a lick on the cheek brings a smile to even the most unresponsive resident. Sally is particularly well-suited to this endeavor as she spent her professional career as a special-ed teacher and has the innate sense to be able to see peoples’ abilities rather than their disabilities.
Sally also adopted her boy, Bobble, from CFF as a kitten. Bobble (formerly Vino) was part of a litter of 6, but from the beginning, it was clear that he had problems. His foster mom, Jill Lokay, alerted us to his challenges when he was about 4 weeks old. A vet evaluation resulted in learning that he had Cerebellar Hypoplasia causing his physical movements to be jerky and wobbly. Sally was not deterred, and Bobble has been living his good life with Sally, Blossom (her recently adopted dog rescued from the Chinese meat trade), and Raven (another CFF cat). Sally calls Bobble “a gift in her life.”
We think Sally is a gift in CFF’s life!
With YOUR Support Caring Fields Felines has had a spectacular year.
Did you know...
CFF facilitates spay/neuter services for about 40 local TNVR (Trap Neuter Vaccinate Return) cats each month thereby reducing the number of litters that are born? And, that is in addition to all of the surgeries for our own kittens coming from our foster families.
CFF has approximately 20 senior cats living in loving foster homes with caring foster families? We underwrite all of their medical expenses.
CFF provides a safe, nurturing, and healthy home for cats with physical challenges who would otherwise struggle...or worse? Rudy (feral) hit by a car, and rescued by his outdoor caretaker, has now recovered and has become a staff and volunteer favorite. Stallone, living outside whose jaw was fused shut because it was broken and never medically treated, was taken from another rescue organization because they could not care for him and would have euthanized him...another favorite of our team's.
CFF regularly rescues kittens and cats from a rural shelter where their fates would be uncertain due to lack of financial resources?
We receive no public funding of any kind. Our work is underwritten by our magnificent donor community whose generosity and loyalty is humbling. On behalf of our cats, kittens, staff, and volunteers,
I am asking you to consider us in your year-end giving plans.
Click the button below to make a tax-deductible donation...every dollar helps us save more lives!
We wish you and your family a wonderful holiday season and invite you to visit any day between 10am and 3pm (except Sunday). If you bring a bag of treats, you will have an instant fan club as you wander our serene Sanctuary and see what "happy" means to our residents!
Cuterebra Infection in Pet Cats
By Pat Ries, DVM, MS - Savanna Animal Hospital, Jensen Beach
Whether it is called Cuterebra, Warbles, Bots, or Wolf Worm infection, they all originate from the same source.
This infection is caused by a type of common North American fly, a Cuterebra sp, that typically infects rodents and rabbits, and incidentally infects cats. The adult fly lays her eggs around the nests, burrows, or trails of these wild animals and our pet cats can become incidentally infected when outdoors hunting, or just traveling around under bushes and trees.
The botfly larvae enter your pet’s body through the nose or mouth when they are grooming themselves, resting or occasionally through an open wound. The larvae will migrate through the body until they settle in a specific place under the skin, generally around the head and neck, but they can be found anywhere on the body.
As the larvae grows under the skin, a bump will appear (it may be felt or seen) and a small hole will open for the larvae to breathe! This process takes about a month or so depending on the type of Cuterebra fly infecting the cat. This is often when the owner will notice a “sore” or “weeping wound” on their kitty. The cat may have a dried mat of hair or be licking one spot aggressively. It may look like an abscess.
As time passes the hole enlarges to enable the larvae to wriggle out and fall to the ground to continue its lifecycle.
This is when your pet must be seen by your veterinarian to have this hitchhiking gross creature professionally removed. Infections and severe reactions can occur if the larvae is not removed whole. In wild animals, this larvae would eventually drop out to the ground and turn into a pupae, but you do not want this in or around your home.
When the larvae is removed by your veterinarian, they will inspect the wound and make a decision if it needs to be flushed out or debrided, and if antibiotics are needed. There may be multiple bot larvae in your cat, and at various stages of development.
In severe infections the larvae may have migrated into the cat’s nasal passages, pharynx, eyelids, and/or brain. This type of infection would cause respiratory symptoms, a nasal discharge, wheezing, violent repeated sneezing, lethargy, depression, and/or central nervous system signs and seizures. Nearly all of the 100’s of cuterebra I have removed over the years, the overwhelming majority have been simple, singe larvae infections,that quickly healed.
The good news is that this type of insect infection is not common in cats and it can be prevented by keeping your cat indoors so that they do not have the opportunity to become infected through contact with these insects.
How You Can Help
Are you looking for the perfect kitty companion to brighten your life? We have open adoption hours on
Friday, Saturday and Monday from 11am to 3pm
with adoption counselors on hand to introduce you to
our kittens and cats.
Other times are available by appointment (772-463-7386).
The adoption fee is $70 for one and $125 for two.
Any adopted cat/kitten must be in a carrier to leave the property for the animal’s safety.
As you might imagine, we need lots of supplies to care for 150+ adult residents and anywhere from 20 to 80 kittens in foster homes. Our list is also available on Amazon.com.
Friskees canned food
Fancy Feast kitten canned food
Purina One Healthy Kitten dry food
Purina One adult dry food
Scoopable cat litter
Dawn dish soap (blue)
Volunteers are the lifeblood of our Sanctuary.
Without them, we could not care for our residents, provide foster homes for our kittens, hold fundraising events, maintain our social media presence and our website, etc.
Volunteer and Foster applications are available on our website. Please complete and submit the application, and we will be in touch!
Save The Date
Saturday, February 11 at the Sanctuary at 1:00. Fun afternoon festivities…and there is a rumor that Elvis will be making an appearance. Details to follow….
Merry Meows Update
Covid changed the landscape for all of us over the past 3 years. We were planning to resume this signature event in 2022, but at the time we needed to financially commit to our vendors, there were still concerns about gathering. It was with a heavy heart that we cancelled yet another Merry Meows. But, rest assured that we have already begun planning for next year, so mark your calendar for Saturday, December 2, 2023. We are reimagining the event…stay tuned for the exciting details!