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Cinders – In Memory


Bengal Cinders was in need of a home. You can imagine how sad it is when we receive another email or phone call from a heartbroken Bengal cat owner at wits end. The story’s always the same.

They bought the adorable kitten from a breeder, fell in love with her/him, but now something’s wrong. What can they do?

We understand how upsetting it is to owners who weren’t expecting this at all. Breeders don’t tend to share what buyers may really face in the future.

Truth is, nothing’s wrong with the cats. They’re just maturing into the wild cats they were bred to be. That includes territorial marking, destroying houses when kept inside, having expensive health or dietary issues.

After several vet visits, and even behavior modification plans, owners can’t curb these issues and feel helpless about what to do.

Though it’s easy to love the look of a wild cat – a “lap leopard” – living with one is an entirely different beast, as the saying goes.

This is exactly what happened with sisters Ashes and Cinders. I’m sure you understand how easily it is to fall head over heels for adorable kittens like these. That’s what breeders, who charge $2000 for them, depend upon.

These sisters are sweet and have been through 2 homes already, but their litter box habits have been getting even worse.

We’re one of the few sanctuaries in the country who step up to pick up the pieces for hybrid cats like these. Knowing there’s really no other option, what do we say?

We say “Yes” yet again.

But, it comes with a renewed commitment to education. When the general public learns the awful truth, we hope they’ll stop supporting breeders exploiting for profit.

Otherwise, rescues like ours that depend on donations, will continue to have to foot the bill. It’s just not fair.

It’s a difficult position to be put in, especially when caring for Bengals can often be just as expensive as some of the bigger cats.

Life at the Sanctuary

Though Ashes and Cinders have lived together before coming to us, we’ll be assessing if that’s what they really want. We know Cinders has some eye issues. She has trouble with depth perception and caretakers notice she doesn’t seem to see toys that are close by.

When we took Cinders for a visit with an ophthalmologist, she was diagnosed with retinal degeneration in both eyes. It’s most likely caused from an antibiotic or other medication she received in the past.

Cinders’ eye issue wasn’t due to neglect or the wrong medications. It’s just an unusual side effect and nothing her former owners would have known.

In certain circumstances, this can be genetic. But the vet didn’t think that was the case for her. This does cause depth perception issues and her eyes will be dilated most of the time.

But, the good news is it won’t get any worse. Once Cinders gets used to her surroundings, she’ll do just fine being a little visually impaired. We’ll make sure the area she lives in stays constant so there are no surprises for her.

You can watch videos of her trip to the ophthalmologist at these links on Facebook:

How You Can Help

Hybrids usually come to us with special needs, genetic and/or medical issues due to their breeding.

Our sponsorship program helps support the cats’ care costs and allows you to form a special bond with them. Would you consider becoming Cinders’ sponsor parent? If you’d consider becoming a sponsor parent at $150/year, that really would help defray some of the costs of taking Ashes and her sister Cinders in. You can pay it in a lump sum or $12.50/month.

Or even a one time donation toward her care would be so appreciated. It’s easy to do using the buttons at the top of this page.

Thank you for caring about the little wild ones, too!


In Memory

This past week staff noticed Cinders was very quiet  She is usually on the lobby counter along with Mr. Oreoh and Benny begging for treats from the office staff.  Instead, she was still sleeping on the couch. Dr. Campbell came to look at her and nothing seemed out of the ordinary or painful. We decided if she didn’t perk up by the afternoon a full exam would be done.

Cinders remained sleepy most of the day and did eat her wet food when we brought it to her, but she still wasn’t her active self.  Blood work and exam were performed in-house showing that Cinders was anemic.  Lots of things can cause anemia so more blood work was run and sent to an outside laboratory.

As we waited this week for results, all staff doted on Cinders, she received antibiotics, meds and fluids.  We assumed an infection was causing her issues since they came on suddenly.  We were devastated when her blood work came back yesterday as a diagnosis of lymphoproliferative neoplasia (cancer), such as leukemic lymphoma or lymphocytic leukemia.

Cinders was only 10 years old and hadn’t shown any signs of being sick.  Our hearts sank.  We weren’t ready for this diagnosis, especially as Katniss was declining.

We hoped Cinders would still have weeks with us, but her anemia was causing her to fade quickly.  Cinders was surrounded by 20 of her adoring family members as we said good-bye.

To say Cinders was adored is an understatement.  From the moment she was surrendered, there wasn’t a staff member, donor or volunteer who would see her and not stop to ‘aww’ at her.  She was strikingly stunning, small as a kitten and soft as velvet.  I can’t count the number of people who asked if they could take Cinders home.  If she wasn’t already home amongst Mr. Oreoh, Benny and the staff, I would have had the tough decision to decide who the lucky adopter was.

Cinders was also visually impaired which made her pupils very large at time, resembling the famous puss in boots.  But that never stopped Cinders from chasing her favorite sparkle toy or any piece of small paper on the ground.

But this beautiful girl also had her vices.  She was in the “Oreoh Go Get Em Gang” who chased and cornered the sanctuary dog, Kiara. She also was known for being a very stealthy Dorito and chip thief, by getting up on the kitchen counter and sneaking towards everyone’s lunch.  She was pretty sneaky and getting an entire chip unless she got her head stuck in the snack bag and then the crinkling noise alerted the authorities (usually Tammy).

Cinders was so uniquely Cinders there is just no other way to put it.  She was the perfect package that left us too soon.  Her quick diagnosis and decline were a gift for her, but made it much harder on us.

There will be a hole in our hearts for quite some time for this special peanut. We are so grateful she graced our lives and reminds us that the next rescue will be just as unique and special.