#ShelterSunday: A Sunshine Day!

Sunshine’s story starts out in a way that is only too familiar to people in animal rescue: Someone dies and the people they entrusted with their beloved animals’ care instead dump their furbabies at a shelter.  In the case of Sunshine, this meant almost certain death, as she is diabetic.  

Sunny was scared and shut down at the shelter

Sunny was scared and shut down at the shelter

Fortunately, the shelter’s vet knew Avon Lady, who had mentioned Diabetic Cats in Need (DCIN) to her in passing one day.  When the vet called the Avon Lady and asked if she could take Sunny and her diabetic “brother,” she was understandably reluctant – she had no knowledge herself of how to care for diabetic kitties.  But she did agree to go to the shelter to meet the kitties, take their photos, and send the pictures and information to DCIN.  When she arrived at the shelter, though, she knew immediately that she had to take the kitties, knowledge or no.  Poor Sunshine was absolutely terrified, and she lay petrified in the back of her cage.  Avon Lady had to get her out of there, even if it was into her untrained hands.

Sunny's first day in foster care, stressed by another cat

Sunny's first day in foster care, stressed by another cat

Sunny and her brother headed to their new foster home two days later.  Soon, their new foster mama (who is a severe needle-phobe to boot) learned that caring for diabetic kitties isn’t that hard after all!  But she also knew that her home, with one cat who absolutely HATED Sunny, wasn’t the right one for the pretty girl. It was hard to get Sunshine to eat sometimes – possibly because of the stress from the other cat – and she has a tendency to develop urinary tract infections (UTIs), like many sugar kitties. Unfortunately a UTI and her not eating combined into diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), a life-threatening condition.  Sunshine was rushed to the emergency vet, where things were very touch-and-go for a while.  Only the outpouring of donations from DCIN’s fans kept her from having to be put to sleep.  

Sunny was safe in foster care, but really wanted a permanent home

Sunny was safe in foster care, but really wanted a permanent home

When she recovered, she went to a new foster home that was closer to the emergency vet and with a foster mama who was much more experienced with giving fluids (Sunny also had kidney failure at the time), and with treating difficult diabetics. She discovered that Sunshine was extremely sensitive to carbs and could only eat food that was 1% carbs or less…unusual even for an extra-sweet kitty!  With this understanding, she could feed Sunny the right kind of wet food and soon had her off insulin! But…she still needed the purrfect furever home.

Healthy and relaxed

Healthy and relaxed

Finally, after over TWO YEARS in foster care, it happened!  A DCIN Team Member who had recently lost both her diabetic kitties realized that her home was the one Sunshine had been waiting for all this time. She flew all the way from the West Coast to Tidewater Virginia to pick up her precious little girl. It was a match made in heaven! Sunny fell in love with her new mama instantly. She loves to snuggle in bed with her mama and drools in delight when Mama picks her up. She’s such a happy little girl now that she has a home and a mama all to herself!  Sunshine is a poster kitty for persistence: She just kept waiting for that right person to come along.  Little did she know it would be the woman who had been posting her for adoption for months and who even wrote an adorable song for her!

Enjoying life in her forever home

Enjoying life in her forever home

While DCIN no longer has an official foster program, they do post cats who need new homes – currently, there are over 100 on the list!  If you can open your heart and home to an extra-sweet kitty, please check out their Adoptable Kitties Map: http://tinyurl.com/DCINkittymap.

DCIN is Jackson's January, 2017, Monthly Mojo recipient. You can help DCIN to fulfill their mission by contributing to their “Gift That Gives More” campaign. Just $5 buys a key piece of diabetic cat treatment equipment; $25 provides 100 blood glucose test strips and $50 provides a full “starter kit” for new clients. Every dollar you donate goes directly to DCIN and there is NO credit card or processing fee charged. Every donation helps! 

You can also help DCIN by purchasing one of our “TNR Cat Buddy” toys (packed with premium catnip)! $5.00 of every Cat Buddy sold will go directly to DCIN.