Monday, October 13, 2014


Yep, I admit it, I am a foster failure. Not just once, mind you but many times over. But this time I did it in grand style with Yolo. We lose many wonderful foster parents at Planned Pethood because they adopt their fosters, have a full house, then drop out. To date, I have two dogs, Stanley and Ida, both of whom were pulled from the pound with heartworm which ensured a long stay in foster care. They never left. My cat, Mamie, is also a foster failure. She was on the edge of unadoptable with a nasty case of ringworm and wild behavior. You can take the girl out of the hood but you can’t take the hood out of the girl. She stayed. Now Yolo has followed in their footsteps.

Yolo (You Only Live Once), dubbed by my niece Morgan, could not have a more appropriate name. This handsome two year old black dude has been through lots of trials and tribulations in his short life. He came to his foster home at only 4 weeks old. He came from a horrific hoarding situation. An elderly woman housed over 70 cats and kittens. There were actually dead kittens lying in the home and she wasn’t even aware of it. Yolo came to Planned Pethood sick and puny with 5 of his sibs. One poor tiny dude, Yancey, did not make it. But Yolo and the others recovered and things looked very rosy for them. But…

He developed a chronic ear infection shortly after his arrival. Then came a series of vet visits and a variety of treatments continued for well over the next year and a half. He had thick black gunk that smelled in his ears for months at a time. The first vet wanted to remove his ear canals. The second vet switched him to prescription food thinking he had food allergies which meant ALL the cats in the household had to switch too. They hated the new food and all the permanents lost weight but Yolo’s infection persisted. But the THIRD vet discovered he had huge polyps in his ears that were causing the chronic problem. Throughout this process, Yolo endured having his ears treated nearly every day of his life but he remained a cheerful (unless you are a vet), highly entertaining little brother. But then, oh no poor Yolo, the infection reoccurred AGAIN in one ear. Back he went to vet #3 to discover one polyp had grown back in a matter of months. But he was repaired, hopefully permanently. Shout out to Doctor Bart!

Yolo is happy as a lark and loves his foster family: Stanley and Ida (resident shepherd and lab), 3 cats, and foster dog after foster dog after foster dog. He sleeps with his foster mom and Ida every night. He wants to help you type while using the computer. He loves to investigate places he should not be, thinking his name is dammit Yolo now that he can hear.

All the resident cats in Yolo’s home are older than him so he must resort to entertaining himself. One of his favorite extreme sports is to run full speed ahead and leap onto the top of the cat tree, making it sway dangerously toward the ground. He has recently tried to play with his own image in the mirror by furiously pawing at what he must think is another cat. Our theory is he develops his solitary cat games because no other cats will give him the time of day.

My final push to adopt Yolo came when he was marked down. Actually, ‘free’ is my favorite four letter word but ‘sale’ is right up there as well. All of Planned Pethood’s black dogs and cats and senior animals were discounted. Black animals are adopted the least, euthanized the most, and linger in shelters more than any others. So now he is member of the permanents and I have fastened my seatbelt for what may lie ahead. If you ever stop by, I can guarantee his black furry butt will plop right into your lap to say hello.

by Judy S.