Leo is a handsome yellow-orange tabby who has fallen on some very rough times. He was an owner surrender at a kill shelter, who was dumped because he was “too affectionate!” Are you as horrified by that as I am? Fortunately, the nice humans at Kitty Corner sprung the 8-year-old cat and brought him to their facilities. Kitty Corner is associated with Contra Costa Humane Society and Contra Costa County Animal Services, and its purpose is to provide rescue and seek out homes for adult, senior and special needs kitties. Once, there, they found out what an utter treasure Leo is — sweet natured, passive and yes, awesomely affectionate and gentle. But all the stress of losing his home and all the changes he had to face got to this sweet, sensitive soul, and he stopped eating and developed a deadly disease called hepatic lipidosis, or fatty liver disease.
Some of you may know what fatty liver disease is and some of you don’t, so let me explain. We kitties need an almost 100% protein diet, and our livers help us metabolize all that meat. The liver also metabolizes fat, among other complicated processes. Now, when you humans diet or stop eating, your body is able to live on your fat stores fairly easily. It doesn’t work this way with us cats. When we stop eating and our bodies go into starvation mode, the liver has to work overtime to metabolize all the fat that is suddenly flooding its system. All that fat builds up, swelling the liver and turning it yellow. If a cat does not immediately receive veterinary care for this condition, it can kill him.
That is what started happening to Leo — because of stress, he stopped eating, and began to develop fatty liver disease. You can see how yellow his lips and gums are here.
In an attempt to give Leo a quieter, more stable living situation, and to encourage him to eat, he was handed over to a very nice foster couple. You may even know these humans through their lovely blogging cat, Savannah! Savannah has been blogging about Leo for the past week. He has had a very rough time. Savannah’s humans took him to a clinic to have a feeding tube inserted, since he still was not eating on his own. The clinic did not give Leo the best treatment (to put it politely), and they weren’t able to adequately explain how to care for Leo (Savannah’s humans are novices at this sort of medical care). So Savannah’s humans and the Contra Costa Humane Society mapped out a different plan of action for him. Savannah’s personal vet took Leo under her wing and he is currently at the Civic Feline Clinic, getting the best care he could possibly have. You can read more about Leo at Savannah’s blog here.
Although Leo is receiving lots of love (which he greatly appreciates), and is getting fed through a tube, he is still in danger of succumbing to this awful disease! Only when he begins to eat on his own will they know he is really beginning to recover. Meanwhile vet bills are adding up! Savannah’s humans spent over $2,300 themselves, and Contra Costa Humane Society needs funds to continue Leo’s care. The good news is that you can donate to Leo’s medical expenses right on their website — just go to their donation page, and where it says, “Please select the program or fundraiser to which your donation should be applied,” use the drop-down menu to pick “Leo’s Medical Care.” Your donation is tax deductible.
I do hope you can give something to help out this amazing guy! But I am not just asking you for money, I am also asking you for lots of purrs for Leo! He is going to make a wonderful companion for some human who really appreciates a cat’s affection… but he needs your help first.