"I met Buddy on October 26, 2010 when a good samaritan brought him to us after they found him barely alive in a parking lot. They were referred to us by a local humane society that would take him in and his fate lied in whether or not they would financially be able to care for his treatment and find him a home.

When Buddy came to us he wasn't able to move much and was placed on iv fluids and required intense medical care. His bloodwork showed his body was failing quickly and he was in great danger of not making it through the next few hours. Buddy could not move, his gums were pale, he was covered in fleas and dirt and wasn't neutered. His eyes lacked life and he was moments from death. Buddy was diagnosed soon after with feline diabetes and feline infectious anemia. He contracted the anemia through the fleas that infested him and his blood counts were extremely low. His uncontrolled diabetes put his blood sugar levels at a very high level and he was in danger of going into a diabetic coma.

Another challenge Buddy faced was that he is riddled with extreme arthritis and his joints made a crunchy feel when touched. It didn't look like this old cat would ever live a good life, but something in his eyes told us we had to keep fighting for him. He came in on a Tuesday and we were given until Monday to see if he was improving or the decision was to humanely euthanize him.

I think he knew that his time was almost up. After 2 days of intense medical care, including hand feedings, and many pep talks he lifted his head and began to eat a little on his own! Tears were the only thing that could express the extreme joy when I saw this moment. I bawled like a baby and vowed to keep fighting for him even when he didn't have the strength to. This old guy is a fighter we thought. He had no one. No one to live for. No one to love him, but now there was a glimmer of hope in his eyes that there was something worth fighting for. He saw how much he was loved and how life might not be over yet.

The next few weeks were touch and go. Each day he seemed to improve a little more. He began to lift his head and meow for food. He even made attempts to go in the litterbox.

A few days later he began to take a turn for the worse and the thought of losing him was unbearable. I try not to get too close, but he had already stolen my heart and now I might lose him. I said goodbye to him that Friday after my shift was over, and cried all the way home. I knew I was going to come in on Monday and he wasn't going to be there. After worrying all weekend I came in on Monday and he was still there. He had made it to his "deadline" and Dr. Zgoda said we needed to keep fighting for him. He was put on intense medications to control the diabetes and the feline infectious anemia. He began to eat a little more on his own and his bloodwork began to get better. He needed a proper name. He went from "Stray male" to "Buddy". Because that's exactly what he is, a little buddy.

I would come into work and go immediately to check on Buddy and he'd perk up when he saw me. He began to try and walk on his own to come to me, and gave out an old man meow whenever I said hello. We moved him to our biggest kennel to encourage walking to build up his muscle mass. He began to enjoy catnip and cat toys. His favorite is a feather toy that he likes to "kill" on a daily basis. A real personality began to emerge. His appetite began to improve and so did his weekly bloodwork results.

A few weeks later just in time for Christmas, we found out that Buddy had gone into remission of feline diabetes. He no longer needs insulin!!!!! Not only did he not have diabetes anymore but his bloodwork was near perfect!!! Buddy is officially up for adoption.

I have never stopped fighting for Buddy. I will continue to fight to find him his "forever" home. He deserves it. He was never loved before. He was never cared for. Now he knows unconditional love and he's addicted to it. In fact when I go and sit in his kennel he crawls on to my lap and kneads his paws and even drools a little. He just wants love, all the time. I will be sad the day Buddy goes to his new home. I will be even sadder if he never finds one. Whoever lets this little guy into their heart will not regret it. He will be a faithful friend for years to come.

I hope that you will come meet Buddy and let him in your heart like we all have. Without the care of each and every one of our doctors and nurses Buddy would not be here today, and every day when he squints his eyes at us I feel like he's saying 'thank you'"

By Emily Hoover, LVT

***Update*** As of Feb. 7, 2011 Buddy's anemia has resolved and his PCV (measures red blood cells) was at 31%! Normal range for a cat is 29-50% and in the beginning it was less than 20%. He also continues to test negative for feline leukemia and FIV, he has no intestinal parasites, and his blood glucose levels are in the normal range as well. All in all things are looking up for this little guy. He is taking each hurdle with stride and continues to lift the spirits of everyone at Otterkill.