Kuhio 1985~2002 (Koo-He-Oh)
In honor of Kuhio's third anniversary (August 6), we'd like to take the opportunity to encourage folks to microchip their pets. Even if your pet is an "insider", accidents happen. A door, window or gate left ajar and your baby could be wandering lost.
There are several chips out on the market. Please inquire with your vet to see what they recommend. Then, register your chip# everywhere you can and keep your information up-to-date. You can search the web for registration services. We can'tt begin to tell you how much this has relieved our minds. When you take your pet to the vet for their annual exam, have them scan to make sure the chip is still in place and working.
A couple of registration places that we've found: http://www.24petwatch.com/
If your baby is ever missing, there are several things YOU need to do. You need to be actively searching. A good resource can be found at: http://www.petrescue.com/petlibrary/...st-cat-or-dog/
Had we known this tip in advance, Kuhio's life might have been spared: VISIT your local Animal Control, humane societies, and animal shelters, including the ones in surrounding areas.
You must actually visit the animal control and humane shelters every day or two. It works well if several family members can take turns visiting the shelters.
Your description of your pet and their description rarely match. YOU MUST GO LOOK! Be sure to check all areas of the shelter, including the infirmary. Also be aware that dogs may be housed in the cat section and vice-versa.
Leave a picture of your pet and your phone number at each shelter. Befriend them.
Find out the holding period of each animal control and humane shelter. Be aware of how much time you have to claim your pet before it is euthanized!
Government Animal Control agencies usually keep an animal for only 3 days and then they either adopt it out or kill it. You only get one chance at this. Be there!
If you ever find a lost baby, please do everything possible yourself to reunite it with its family. Animal Control should be the last resort. They don't have the manpower or resources to try to reunite you with your pet. (Silly me, I thought that's what they did). So, you have to do everything possible to increase the odds that your baby will be identified. Vets and shelters scan for microchips and look for tattoos.
Kuhio was put to sleep at our local shelter. The day AFTER we were there looking for her. She was in the shelter because a well-intentioned neighbor though she looked abandoned (she was on medication for a hyperthyroid condition). The shelter personnel directed us to look at the cats in cages in a certain room and when we didn't find her there, had us fill out a lost cat form. It turns out that the personnel directed us to only look in the room where cats are put when they have been cleared for adoption.
By the time we talked to our neighbors and found out she was at the shelter, it was too late. Kuhio had been kept in the clinic/infirmary due to her advanced age and fragile health. The shelter personnel never even told us about this room. (Dear God ~ Did she hear our voices while we were there looking for her? Did she think she had been rescued?) Kuhio was never going to be in the room they had us search because she was never going to be offered for adoption. The shelter personnel never bothered to tell us to search the "found pet forms" and they didn't search their own database. If they had, they surely would have noticed that she was reported found on the same street (only 4 houses away from ours). If we hadn't taken off her collar, she would be alive. If we had known about microchipping at the time, she would have survived. If our neighbors had asked around instead of calling the shelter, she would have survived. If the shelter had bothered to search their own database, she might be with us today.
Please keep Kuhio in mind if your baby is ever missing. Don't rely on the shelter employees to direct you. Tear the place apart. Look in every room of the shelter. And if you are a shelter employee or volunteer, please take the time to help out a distraught pet owner. Kuhio deserved better. They all do.
Princess Kuhio, thank you for 17 years of wonderful, irreplaceable memories. Thank you for visiting us from time-to-time to let us know you continue to be a part of our family. As you know, 3 new babies have entered our lives since you left us. (One from the same shelter that put you to sleep). They are reaping the benefits of all the loving lessons you taught us. We are better people for having known you. Until we are reunited again...
Bob, Lisa, Kuhio
The Artist Peak Trio
UPDATE 8/7/06: Another year has come and gone since Kuhio left us. We speak of her often and still cry every now and then. How lucky we were to have had her for 17 years. We couldn't just sit around and feel sorry for ourselves, so we schedule the annual exam for Halo, Cammie and Pepper to coincide with Kuhio's bridge day. All 3 kitties got a clean bill of health today. All 3 kitties had their microchips scanned to make sure they still work. Dr. Townsend told us that Home Again (microchips) has bought out Avid. So, perhaps some day soon there will be a universal scanner that can read all brands of chips.
Dr. Townsend was pleased with the kitties. Pepper's heart murmur is still the worst he's ever heard. But she is happy and healthy. Halo's fatty liver tumor continues to swell and shrink at will but she is happy and healthy and managed to drop some weight. Cammie was a crabby as ever but very healthy for a Senior Citizen. All kitties behaved. (i.e. Halo didn't pee on anyone). They're not speaking to us right now, but it will only be a matter of time before they forgive us for putting them in the port-o-prison.
Princess Kuhio ~ You will never be forgotten. Thank you for teaching us the proper care of kitties. We love you so.