To reduce the overpopulation of dogs and cats by providing quality, reduced cost spay and neuter surgeries and by supporting humane population control.
C-SNIP'S 100,000th Patient - Bella the Barn Cat
- Bella is a working cat. She lives in a barn, defending the food for the farm's other animals from mice and vermin. She is queen of her domain.
- As a barn cat, Bella generally lives life on her terms, not prey to the dictates of pesky humans. She therefore warns off the nice lady with the paper collar and scale.
- Bella's reputation precedes her.
- Each cat spayed or neutered at C-SNIP receives their own catnip toy, sewn and donated by loyal volunteers. Bella finds this to be a big time bonus.
- Suddenly, our darling girl takes a break from her catnip to watch intake proceedings very carefully, with good reason.
- These are Bella's kittens. Though cute, our staff quickly learns that, like their mother, these barn kittens aren't to be trifled with.
- Each sharp clawed little angel puts Karen through her paces, as she ID collars, writes a number in their ears, and most dangerously, protects their hyperactive kitten metabolisms with a dab of caloric supplement gel.
- Last, she sets them on the scale and pauses for the moment it takes for either the scale to read, or the kitten to make a break for it.
- Kittens (especially those that aren't all that trusting of humans) like to hide. Giving them a place to do that with empty medical supply boxes helps keep the kittens calm and comfy, and bonus, easier for C-SNIP staff to safely handle.
- So when Bella looks across the aisle at her kittens, this is what she sees.
- Apparently, she's satisfied. In fact, she's being so cute and sweet that C-SNIP staff reconsiders her thick, bite protective, bleach-stained towel and plans to move her to a soft fleece (once she's asleep).
- The cage door opens, and before she has a chance to get worried or upset, Clinic Manager 'Quick Draw' Kat has injected anesthesia making its way through Bella's system.
- It was lightning quick, but whatever just happened, the queen is not amused.
- She plans to tell us how not amused she is, but decides first to take a little cat nap.
- While Bella slumbers on, she receives two forms of injected pain medication to help with recovery, and is bundled with her paperwork...
- ...She then receives an apologetic snuggle and a free ride to surgical prep.
- Once in prep, she gets some eye drops (in case she decides to sleep with one eye open).
- C-SNIP staff determines that Bella has a lovely, clear airway, and gives her lidocaine to relax her throat and keep her comfortable.
- Bella's breathing tube glides in quickly and easily, as it should. This is the 100,000th time we've done this, after all.
- Bella is laid with her back resting in the cradle. Her heart rate and oxygen monitor and anesthesia machine are hooked up, nails trimmed, and belly shaved. When Bella was assessed earlier, the doctor determined that for her, fluids and a catheter would not be needed.
- Finally, lead tech Rebecca starts scrubbing Bella's belly for surgery, with wipe after wipe after wipe after wipe. There are a lot of pictures of this, but trust us, you only need to see one to get the idea. Even if it represents sound practice, honesty, it's a bit snooze-worthy.
- 47 seconds after she's scrubbed (yes, we timed it), Bella is brought into the surgical suite. Dr. Julie Eberly sets her up with a sterile drape.
- Dr. Eberly performs C-SNIP's 100,000th surgery.. which takes about 6 minutes.
- All done, with an incision so small, you wouldn't even know she'd been spayed. Which is a bit of an issue, really...
- So Bella is tattooed to make it undeniable that she's spayed. She won't need to go under anesthesia or the knife again if she migrates barns in the future. A simple green line, but it's a C-SNIP badge of honor.
- Bella gets some tasty corn syrup, which helps keep her blood sugar levels where they should be, and gives her something sweet to groom off her whiskers later on.
- O.R. guru Karen disconnects Bella, double checks that every step is done and done well, then bundles her up to go to the recovery mat.
- Each kitty on the mat has their tongue showing so Karen can see them from anywhere in the room. Bella's tube will come out when she starts showing early signs of waking.
- Karen is meticulous about monitoring each and every cat as as they sleep it off.
- As Bella begins to come back to us, her eyes open.
- It isn't until she lifts her head on her own that she signals that she's ready to head back to her kennel.
- Before queen Bella can remember her plan for revenge, Jackie scoops her up and cuddles through her attempts to warn us off with growling and threats.
- Bella is awake, but is feeling no pain, just lounging.
- Meanwhile, on the recovery mat, five kittens slumber on. They'll follow mom back to the cat room shortly.
- It's dinner time in the cat room. Bella's not shy about liking her food, and is enjoying watching her kittens do the same.
- Early the next morning, it's time for a final incision check and to saddle up. Bella's brood (all boys) let Jackie know that they're still a bit put out about all the human attention.
- As a final safety measure, Liz secures the cage doors with zip ties. It's a long drive home, and a loose kitten... not good.
- The cats were set in the hallway with care, in hopes that their owners soon would be there. (Note: The wire crate is empty. We don't stack carriers.)
- In the lobby, Marcia reviews aftercare instructions, 24 hour contact information, and what to expect from here.
- Bella's gift is wrapped up and ready to go.
- Bella's human, Nancy, and her own 'kittens' get a few last words of wisdom and our thanks for choosing to break the cycle by spaying Bella and her brood.
- Then out come Bella and the kittens, with Jackie and Pat to help bring them to Nancy's van. Jackie is relaying what sweet little darlings the kittens were (we suspect her fingers are crossed).
- Still protecting our fingers, we say a fond farewell to our 100,000th patient, Bella.
- Back to the barn Bella and her kittens go with Nancy and the kids, a few parts missing, but with a brighter and more promising future intact.
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