Paws4Life, Inc.

Rainbow Bridge ~ In Memory

~ Willie ~
8/22/2022 ~ Our 4th sendoff to the Rainbow Bridge this year, how can it be!? Upon arriving with a group of stray/feral cats in late 2011, Willie was approx 7 weeks old as were his two other siblings. This group of stray/feral cats helped lead to the start of Paws4Life, Inc. & Willie was the first of his siblings to be adopted in the summer of 2012. He was spoiled & loved by his family, though in the 7 years he was with them he experienced some changes that were no doubt sad. He lost his human dad early on, then a few years later lost his canine sister, and in the summer of 2019 when it was just him & his human mom remaining he had to face another life change ~ his human mom fell ill & could no longer care for him. Thankfully we were contacted by family & of course we took Willie back under the rescue with open arms where he remained as a lifetime foster (knowing that cats don’t really like change we decided to keep him on as a lifetime foster so that he didn’t have to endure any other major changes/adjustments). He adjusted well & found his place in our home & in the clowder & continued living the spoiled life (with the help we so appreciated from his sponsor mom Catherine Anderson). He enjoyed a good tussle with the catnip toys, lounging nearby, treats, & daily hugs/kisses. Earlier in 2022 we noticed that he seemed to have to put a little extra effort into breathing, so we took him in to the vet (his annual was coming up anyway) to have this checked out. He had previously been diagnosed with a heart murmur so we wanted to see how his heart sounded, however, at that time the vet said she couldn’t hear his heart over “other” sounds she was hearing. Concerned, an x-ray was scheduled soon after & sadly a mass at least 10 cm could be seen, though not diagnosed. We had to schedule another appt. with the oncology dept. at a specialty vet where, after an ultrasound & aspiration, the now 13+ cm mass was “suspected” to be cancerous. Surgery wasn’t an option due to the location of the mass and while medical treatment consisting of chemo/radiation & multiple vet vists could be tried, it would only have bought 4-6 months at best. We thought long and hard about what was best for Willie keeping in mind the big picture. We chose not to fill his last weeks/days with the stress of all of that, so we opted for meds that would keep him comfortable while allowing him to remain in the comfort of his final home until it was his time to go. For a month we were able to keep him stable monitoring his breathing a few times each day to make sure all was “status quo”, but on the afternoon of Aug. 22 it was obvious something had changed for the worse with his breathing so we rushed him to the ER vet where they quickly put him in an oxygen chamber until he could be seen. The vet on duty did a quick ultrasound and found that fluid was building up around his lungs and his oxygention was not good at all, his breathing also declined quickly when taken out of the oxygen chamber. Nothing more could be done to keep him comfortable so we made the hard decision to help free him from a body that was failing. We are so grateful he had the experience of a forever family, one that loved him so. It was an immeasurable honor & privilege to have been a part of Willie’s life journey!
~ Annika ~
6/16/2022 ~ With heavy & defeated hearts, we helped our brave Annika over the Rainbow Bridge on Thurs. afternoon 6/16/2022. She arrived with a group of 6 other strays in late 2011 (she was likely somewhere between 1-2 years old then) & was pretty feral most of her life. Over time, especially in her last year, she did warm up to those who cared for her on a daily basis. It has been an undeniable privilege to love & provide for her & to have been able to give her a safe place to live. We feel sure she knew she was loved & that she was grateful for these things, too. We miss Annika dearly & send a sincere thank you to Leslie Cobb for sponsoring her all her years with us.
~ Pinball~
6/4/2022 ~ At 10.5 years, our sweet Pinball suddenly & unexpectedly passed away on Saturday morning 6/4/2022 most likely due to an undetected heart-related issue. ~ She arrived with her two siblings, mom, & three other adult strays in late 2011 & though skittish at first, she warmed up quickly into a loving lap cat. What a privilege it has been to give her a safe haven to spend her years playing & just enjoying life to the fullest. We miss her dearly already & are grateful to her sponsor mom (Angela Norbeck) for her faithful support of Pinball all her years with us.
~ Vader ~
1/15/2022 ~ We helped Vader on his journey to the Rainbow Bridge on Saturday 1/15/2022 after almost 9 years of helping him through so many physical/medical setbacks ~ Vader arrived in early 2013 as a large unaltered stray (likely somewhere between 2-4 years old) & it was obvious he had lived a rough life up to that point. With time & patience Vader warmed up & proved to be a very friendly & social cat who was the first to jump in your lap. Vader was FIV+ & over the years we helped him with so many setbacks from his skin/allergy issues & he was on special food due to a urinary blockage/crystals, but ultimately oral squamous cell carcinoma was the one & final enemy we could not defeat. If any kitty ever deserved a break, it was Vader, but we are thankful we could bring him inside to be a part of our family for just 3 days shy of 1 year. We were able to give him all the care he needed over the years with the help of his sponsors Carolyn & Makayla Barnes.
~ Max ~
5/2/2021 ~ We said a tearful goodbye to Max, as he suddenly passed away from what appeared to be a stroke (or heart-related) on Sunday afternoon 5/2/2021. ~ Max showed up as an unaltered adult stray in early 2012 & though he looked a bit rough (but still handsome) he soon turned out to be the sweetest lap kitty. Max was FIV+ & at the time of his passing we believe he was somewhere between 11-14 years old. We miss him dearly & feel grateful that with the help of his sponsor mom Stacy Borans we were able to provide him with a safe and loving environment.