It is with a sad and heavy heart that I must tell you what is going on here at Cedarhill. On Sunday night, February 5, someone broke into the sanctuary. They turned the felv cats in with our 150 uninfected cats. They were found that way the next morning. Rags were stuffed down the toilet to plug it up. A pair of Michelle’s boots were stolen. All fingers pointed toward a former employee. She worked for us a couple of weeks then asked to be admitted to Willowbrook Psychiatric Center. She turned out not to be very stable.
I’ve had to order a whole new set of 90-keyed alike master locks. The cheapest I could find was $18.00 apiece. I am sure that this person had gotten herself a master lock key to the current set of locks. We are currently on high vigil. We have locked the felv/fiv house, the senior house and the big cat house. We are locking the front gate with a chain and pad lock. In our twenty-five years, I have never felt so threatened.
Now, for the tragic news. We were not sure what happened to Oscar. He started to throw up last Sunday night on February 5 and refused to eat. The vet came out Monday and drew blood which was sent to MSU. We gave him fluids, B-12 and a huge dose of vitamins. The next day we got his blood work back and he had tested positive for salmonella and he died that night. We have been feeding the same beef and chicken and knew that was not the cause. Lady, who lived with Oscar, cries and moans all of the time. It just breaks your heat. Oscar, the plumber, is gone forever. Rest in peace, Oscar.
The following week Sonya, another tiger, started showing severe neurological regression. She could hardly walk. We carried her to MSU and we had every imaginable test run on her. From x-rays, spinal tap, spinal milligram and the result they came back with was 96% cancer in her blood work, and she tested positive for Canine Distemper probably carried by raccoons in this area. She was euthanized by MSU on February 16. The staff and I are still in shock.
If that was not enough, Phoebe our 15-year old blind tiger, on February 23, started having severe seizures and passed away a few hours later. Her little body is at MSU for a necropsy. I’m so used to having Phoebe in my back yard that the emptiness is unbearable. She was quite the talker. She was 5 months old when we rescured her and was 15 years old when she died.
For the animals,
C. Kay McElroy & Michelle Cranford
I’m angry. I’m hurt. In the 15+ years I’ve known about Cedarhill, nothing like this has happened. I don’t presume to know what happened to poor Sonya and Phoebe – the timing just sucks. But I don’t think it’s far-fetched to assume Oscar was poisoned. I looked forward to picking up their newsletter each month to read about his shenanigans. It made me smile. Now he’s gone.
I donated $50. It won’t bring any of them back, but it may help with medical costs or locks and keys. It’s not much but it’s something. It’s all I could think to do. You can read more about the sanctuary and all that they do at http://www.cedarhillanimalsanctuary.org. They were featured on Animal Planet’s Must Love Cats in February of last year, which you can view below.
I hope they find whoever is responsible. I hope the guilt consumes her and devours her from the inside out.