~~ Lynx Rescue: Spring 98 ~~
First and foremost, THANK YOU for your patience and prayers.
This yr, at the end of May, we went to the South Dakota area to rescue a few baby lynx from a local fur farmer. In the beginning of this endeavor, I planned for ONE baby lynx, and made commitments to you with that in mind. Never did I dream there would be 7 actual kits rescued. Two went to a facility in Oregon, two went to a facility in Arkansas, and three came here.Of the babies that came here, two were baby canadian lynx and the fur farmer threw in a third, that was a bob cat baby.
If you could see the conditions of a fur farm, you would understand WHY I took what ever I could out of there. And the baby bobcat, well, even though we weren't in any way prepared for her, I could NOT leave her there in that "hell hole" ... .
As a member of our "lynx family" YOU already KNOW , that I am NOT a fan of fur farming!!
Of the 3 babies that came here, one had a permanent home waiting for it in Illinois. I want to personally thank the KATZ family for their deep commitment to the rescue of Dakota, the biggest of the kits rescued this spring. I did the initial intensive care of all 3 babies, and the first 8 wks of bottle raising.In July, the Katz family took baby Dakota into their hearts and home in Illinois. That is ONE major reason this letter has taken so long to reach you all!!! I planned to bottle feed one, NOT three!! If any of you have ever had triplets, or have bottle fed babies of any species, then you will know that spring here is a very intensive time.
Add that I have over 30 other animals to care for here, hold two jobs and exhibit full time on weekends , plus do summer camp programs and speaking engagements, as well as full time rescue of multiple species, then you , hopefully will forgive the delay of the update on the babies.
I do not have much help in this activity. I am the only one who bottle fed.It is a round the clock activity with little sleep if any and NO free time. Volunteers here are on a very sporadic level. Once someone comes out and sees the amount of work it entails, they don't usually return! I am blessed however with a few dear friends that help the best they can with assistance to the web site we told many of you with computer access about and it is being updated this week , and will be maintained in the future by Linda at Kats Korner, those of you with computer access, please visit her website and thank her when you get a chance!!
The lynx site will be at:
The baby lynx were less than 10 days old when John OD and I traveled to the South Dakota area from Southern Wisc. The baby bob cat was less than a week old ... .All 3 kits that came here came in with major medical needs. The others that went to two separate facility's also had the same intensive health care concerns. More than half of the original 7 did not survive the first month of life. Our 3 here did ... .only by the grace of a higher power and much prayer!
They come from the fur farms with Giardia, Coccidia, Pneumonia, as well as Fading Kitten Syndrome, and a host of other surprises! Diarrhea is constant the first 4 wks and you are constantly on guard for dehydration as well as babies going into hypoglycemic shock. Vet bills mount daily. Costs of formula and special needs rise daily.
The babies were named "Kanuk" , your baby canadian, ... Dakota, another canadian, and Wicca, the baby bobby.
Enclosed is a color spread for you of Kanuk and Dakota. I am hoping you will not mind receiving a 5 x 7 print in lieu of the originally planned 8 x 10. I will tell you why. Printing costs are very high. Adding postage, and envelopes, it is costly and by providing you with a 5 x 7 , I can send you more pics ... . at a lower more economical cost. Too send the larger prints, it takes away from the necessary care of the baby lynx. I feel it is more important to care for the needs of the cats, and their on going upkeep, than to waste monies on the postal service or giving it to the printer. I thank you in advance for your understanding of this matter. I MUST put the cats needs first and foremost.
To give you a generalized overview of where the monies go, there were a total of 20 adoption commitments, excluding the Katz family, theirs was a total release price/and life commitment to Dakota. Of the 20 lynx family team members, 11 were internet friends. 8 were from the exhibit we do on weekends, and 1 was private, ... We had to raise the original adoption commitment from $25 to $35, as the printer and post office/ costs took a huge chunk out of the initial donation. Those of you that joined at $25 still receive the same benefits as those who came in later at the higher costs. The main goal is to "INCREASE AWARENESS!" ... the distance we drove from Wisc to South Dakota was close to 600 miles one way. Our gas was , round trip in excess of $115, add one night layover for 4 hrs in a motel, our initial fundraising ate up 8 adoption commitments right in the transport alone. Each lynx cost a sizeable "ransom" to get them off the fur farm. We literally have to buy their freedom. Each facility that committed to cats paid $2500 for each two lynx taken off the farm. Roughly $1200 each kit. The good ole boy fur farmer threw in the extra kit at the last minute before we left the farm. Medical expenses for the kits rose daily with each host of problems we faced and continue to face. Formula for one kit was $36 per week. As the kits grew , so did their nutritional needs, at 4 wks we start adding Gerber baby foods, strained meats, I had not shopped for baby foods in over a year, I was shocked that it ranged from 79 cents per jar to $1.09. With 3 kittens bottle feeding, the costs of baby food alone were $6 to 8 dollars per day!! You can do the math here , there are 30 days to a month! They also require special vitamins and due to cross contamination factors, each kit has to have its "own:" bottle of vitamins, separate bottles, nipples, in addition to necessities like wipes, tissues, paper towels, not excluding a few stuffed toys, *beanie baby donations are always appreciated!!* ( we are not collectors , so you can remove the tags) Things you don't think about are laundry soaps/ bleach/ disinfectants like Health Guard and Virikon to sterilize their environment.The list continues! The time and commitment involved , one can not place a dollar value on it.
Dakota went to his new home and family the beginning of July. On July 19th, Dakota crashed from complications of Fading Kitten Syndrome, he died a little over two weeks after going to his new family. To say they are totally devastated by his passing , words do NOT come near describing the sorrow. We will be doing a memorial site for Dakota shortly. Fading Kitten Syndrome is something that fur farm kits are sometimes born with, it is thought that it is from taking the kits from the mothers too early , the kits do not develop a sound immune system response. Fading Kitten Syndrome can take a kitten at 10 days to 7 mos, it is almost always fatal at some point. It is always a HEARTBREAKING loss!
Of the 4 kittens that went to out of state facilities, not including Dakota, all four, autopsies revealed, died of Fading Kitten Syndrome, a virus of an undetermined nature, very aggressive and very fatal.
WE GRIEVE for the loss of the lynx babies.
Wicca and Kanuk continued their battle for life.
Wicca survived her bought with the virus, Wicca over came her episodes with Giardia and Coccidia as did Kanuk. Wicca began to grow on us all. July 31st, Wicca was acting happy and well, rocking and rolling as kittens do at that age, nursing on my house cat Aspin ... .and playing , that was at 9:15 pm. I had to run some errands for the upcoming exhibit the next day. At 10:30 pm , I returned , finding Wicca ... .dead on the bathroom floor. Efforts to revive her, failed. An immediate autopsy was preformed. I was in SHOCK!! For Wicca exhibited NO SIGNS of illness prior. Was eating well. Voiding perfectly, and playing. No temperature. No cloudy eyes, no nasal congestion, no labored breathing ... .the autopsy showed that Wicca died of birth defect complications. The cause of death was not what anyone did or didn't do correctly. The cause of death was Mega Esophagus/ with a secondary pneumonia in the left lung, and when I told the Vet I had NEVER in my life seen pneumonia take any cat or kit in less than an hour, he went further and found her heart valve to be defective. This " god bless the fur farmers!" is from INBREEDING ... poor precious Wicca didn't have a chance from the very beginning. All she did have was a loving caring home at the end and the best veterinary care money could afford with all the latest advancements in veterinary technology! Still armed with all the knowledge and resources we have here, it was not enough to save our precious Wicca. Wicca left us all , July 31st, 1998. She too will be deeply missed. A memorial site will be done for her shortly.
To say the least this has been a very trying two months, and the past month, devastating. Adding to the delay of writing to you all.
On my own side, my adopted mother took ill and has been in an ICU unit for the past 6 wks, moved to CCU, and is in critical condition as I type this to you. Transient animals coming in this spring have been overwhelming, adding to the already intense workload. I thank you all AGAIN for your patience in receiving your spring update and photos. Some of you that have internet access have already seen some of the first baby pictures at the web site ...
Save the Lynx
If you have internet access, please check periodically to see what updates or additions have been added to the web site.
Those of you without internet access, my apologies, though figuring on quarterly updates, I am pretty close to schedule!! Its not the end of August yet!!!
August 4th I did a program for the Easter Seals Summer Camp for the Muscular Dystrophy Adults in the Wisc. Dells. Upepo our serval attended, as did Miriya our caracal, the temporary rescue ... .8 ft boa constrictor, Sebastian our doberman and KANUK!!! our baby canadian lynx. Kanuk has a condition called Paper Bone to add to his list of medical challenges, his left leg was broken. Still he carefully attended the program. He was only out a total of 10 mins , but he touched the hearts of EVERYONE there that night. Dakota too was there with us in spirit. We told his story ... and that of the fur farms ... .Kanuk was our "lynx" representative. He was SO WONDERFUL!! So too was Upepo , Miriya and Sebastian ... oh yes, Michelle Katz did a little talk on her "hamsters" ... and the snake too made an appearance.
Photos will be coming soon of Kanuk.
I have enclosed this baby print of Kanuk with Dakota, it was taken the day that Dakota went to his new home and family. I like to think of them talking together, on the wood pile, Kanuk is the one with his tongue out, Kanuk is saying to Dakota, "Meowmie says there are BUGS under these logs we can see and catch!!" and Dakota, wide eyed is thinking ... "BUGS?".
Thank you each and everyone for your adoption commitment and your prayers. Special thanks to Linda at Kats Korner for all her computer help!!! And MORE!! To Julie, special thanks, Colleen, though you are not a "lynx member" your help was monumental in helping with Wicca's intensive care!!! Luara and Jay K ... my love and thanks, I share your heartache and loss of Dakota. John Od, thank you for your help in the original transport of the lynx, Bonnie, thank you for caring about our older lynx, and helping with Kahlia's cage!!
Axl and Catlady, special thanks, I know you know why!!
And my deepest appreciation for the response ALL of you gave, as well as your continued prayers.
Love and light,
ladylynx (N. Martin)
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