Friday, April 6, 2012

Pre-Easter Celebration Week in Review!

Just one more day until our big Easter Celebration!!  We are so excited about this upcoming event as we prepare the grounds for our visitors--no rain or torando is going to stop us from  having a great time!

Let's take a look at what happened this week:
On Monday, we provided an update on Okemo and Keenan and formally introduced you to Wobbles, our little special needs kitten.  We also released the names of the wild cats pictured in our Who Am I With a Twist contest!  The brave readers who took a guess at the cats' names were pretty accurate, which just goes to show our blog readers know their In-Sync Exotics cats!  

Our Tuesday's posting was supposed to be about the tigers running and playing in their pools. Sadly, no tiger wanted to play in the pool that day, so no video or pictures were taken.  Instead, we covered Franklin's trip to the vet's office to find out why he was losing weight.   X-rays revealed that Franklin's heart was enlarged enough to put pressure on his trachea causing him to gag and turn away from food--hence the weight loss. We also discovered that Franklin may have the early stages of congestive heart failure.  Blood tests were taken and at the time the blog posting was written, we had not learned the results of these tests.

What we learned surprised us!  The blood tests came back indicating that Franklin has parasitic infection in his blood that may be responsible for the inflammation of his heart.  He is on medication and we are hoping that not only will it destroy the parasites in his blood, but reduce his unusual bad heart murmur (cats don't normally develop bad heart murmurs). Franklin is scheduled to re-visit his vet next month, so we will keep you posted on his progress.
We also learned Tuesday morning that Cold-EEZE selected In-Sync Exotics as the Share Your Cause campaign winner!  Read HERE to learn more!  Go Sabu Go!!!

Wednesday's posting covered the severe storm we were under Tuesday.  We knew there was a chance of rain on Tuesday, but we had no idea that there would be a chance of multiple tornados hitting the Dallas Forth Worth area! We are about 38 miles away from the hardest hit areas, and yet we still received quite a bit of scary weather.  The exact number and strength of the tornados won't be known until surveyors have fanned acrossed North Texas, looking for clues among the debris that covered folks' yards.  But it is estimated that 10-18 tornados plowed through the Dallas metro area, tossing semitrailers in the air and pelting neighborhoods with golf ball-sized hail.  
At one point we thought for sure a tornado was going to touch down right in the heart of In-Sync Exotics.  Thankfully we had all the animals secured and we ready for the worst.  As it turned out, we were only pelted with three inches of rain in a very short period of time and high winds.  No tornado! 
We'd like to thank everyone for their outpouring support and concern for our animals and staff during this stormy event.  Good news is we are all okay and ready for Saturday's big event!
On Thursday, we paid tribute to Paul Butler whose sudden passing saddened us all.  Paul's love for In-Sync Exotics was evident as he helped us rescue the Poetry cats, cared for our wild ones, and took on important projects (such as stringing up our Christams lights every year) that made an impact on our sanctuary.  Thank you Paul for your service to the are missed by us all.
Easter Celebration 2011
We end with this blog posting with an invitation for you and your family/friends to attend our Easter Celebration tomorrow!  Our doors open at 10:30am and we have lots of fun scheduled throughout the day--two egg hunts, egg toss and bunny hop contests, face painting, games, crafts, a bounce house, PLUS you get to watch the cats get their Easter goodies that many of you sent our wild ones this year!
So make some "tiger tracks" to In-Sync Exotics this Saturday and join us for a day filled with fun, laughter, and lots of wonderful memories!

Easter Celebration 2011

Thursday, April 5, 2012

We Miss You, Paul...

Paul moving a big cat
Our hearts ached when one of our board members, Colleen Butler, notified us of her husband’s sudden passing.

All of us at In-Sync Exotics extend heartfelt sympathy and love to Colleen and her family during this most difficult time. 

We will miss Paul very much as he was always willing to help animals in need—especially the Poetry cats we rescued last year from dire conditions.  For those readers who did not know him, we’d like for you to meet Paul, posthumously, as he worked tireless loading the Poetry cats onto the transporter. 

We will always remember Paul as he worked very hard stringing up our Christmas lights each year—perched atop high ladders trying to make sense of the endless miles of twinkling lights.  And we will always remember that his favorite exotic wild tiger, Aasha, captured his heart from the very first moment he met her at In-Sync Exotics.

Paul was more than just a volunteer to us—he was family.

Colleen suggests memorial contributions be sent in Paul’s honor to In-Sync Exotics as a way to memorialize the love and respect he had for the In-Sync Exotics’ animals, board of directors, staff, and volunteers. If you would like to honor Paul’s memory by making a charitable donation, please click HERE.  If you decide to use Paypal or write a check, please indicate in the “purpose” or “memo” line that your contribution is made in Paul’s memory.

Colleen, we want you to know that you are definitely in all of our thoughts and prayers. We are here for you...always.

Service will be this afternoon at 12:30 in the Wildwood Chapel.


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Stormy Weather!

Well, yesterday was another day when the unexpected happened at In-Sync Exotics!  We knew there was a chance of rain in yesterday's weather forecast, but we had no idea that there would be a chance of multiple tornados hitting the Dallas Forth Worth area!  We are about 38 miles away from the hardest hit areas, and yet we still received quite a bit of scary weather!  Here are a few photos of the devastation:  PHOTOS

One weather report indicated that a tornado was bearing down towards Wylie, Texas.  Thankfully, we have an emergency plan that was mobilized immediately thanks to our staff and volunteers!  Everyone went to work securing our wild animals in their concrete dens located inside their quarters, just as a precaution, in the event a tornado actually hit our sanctuary.  All the wild cats were secured within 20 minutes!  Even  Katy (sanctuary dog), our little domestic kitties, and horses were secured during the worse part of the storm.

Good news is -- we are all okay; we just have a bit more cleaning up to do before our big event on Saturday! Ironically, it appears our rain chances for our Easter celebration went from 20% to 0%--so all in all, things are so bad after all!

Since we don't have a regular posting today, we thought you might enjoy this Simon the Cat video in the spirit of our upcoming celebration this Saturday!

So enjoy, everyone, enjoy!


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

We Received Word from Cold-EEZE...

We just received word from the person who nominated us for the Cold-EEZE Share Your Cause campaign...and the word is....we WON!!!

We'd like to thank the person who nominated us with the great story of Sabu and to everyone who voted for us each day, five times a day!  Thank you very much everyone! 

We'd also like to thank Cold-EEZE for giving us the opportunity to tell our story to the public, to an audience who may have never heard of us other wise!  Thank you!!

The person who nominated us let us know that Cold-EEZE is sending her a video camera which she is donating to us so we can have a quality video camera to take wonderful video of our animals.  For the most part, we use our cell phones to capture the antics of our wild ones, so having a video camera dedicated to taking video of our wild cats and coatimundi will be a blessing!  Thank you very much for the donation!!

We'll be putting together a special video of this event and sending it to Cold-EEZE so it may be included on their Facebook page and website, giving us some wonderful exposure -- so once again, we just wanted everyone to know how grateful we are that you supported us during this campaign and we hope you will continue to support our wonderful programs at In-Sync Exotics!

Best Laid Plans

Well, today's blog posting was supposed to be about the tigers enjoying their pools.  Needless to say, our "best laid plans" did not work out as the tigers refused to cooperate with us today!  Vicky tried to get video of Stryker in the pool, but he only wanted to play with his ball in the water fall area.  Go figure.

Next, Vicky tried to get Harley into the pool, but he was more interested in watching her pointing at the pool instead of actually going into the water!

Franklin and Vicky

Then it was time for Vicky to take little Franklin to vet.  Franklin has not been feeling too good lately and he lost some significant weight, so it was important for him to receive a thorough physical exam yesterday.  As it turned it out, Franklin has a bad heart murmur and this has Vicky and the vet worried.  So worried in fact, the vet took x-rays of the boy to see what else was going on with him.

The x-rays revealed that Franklin's heart is enlarged enough to put pressure on his trachea causing him to gag and turn away from food.  We also discovered that Franklin has the early stages of congestive heart failure (CHF).  CHF is a condition in which the heart's function as a pump is inadequate to meet the body's needs.  Sadly, this condition is not reversible--all we can do is maintain his present health with medication.

Please keep Franklin in your prayers as he is very much loved by our staff and volunteers--especially Vicky as he is her little "baby."


Monday, April 2, 2012

Three Special Animals and More News For You!

Today's blog focuses on three special animals:  Okemo, Keenan, and Wobbles.

At the beginning of last month, we received Okemo's culture results, and sadly, our beautiful Okemo, who has been through so much already, was diagnosed as having squamous cell carcinoma that spread to his jaw bone--it's literally eating away most of his jaw bone.

Normally, tigers with this type of condition may have up to six months to live. Unfortunately, we don't know when Okemo became ill.  Our vet believes he may have been sick for quite awhile prior to his arrival at our sanctuary, so we have no idea how much "time" he might have with us.

Okemo's diet changed slightly, so we do not cause his jaw to fracture prematurely.  We now cut up his eat and we cannot offer him bones for fear they will cause him irreversible harm.  Our special tiger is in good spirits and he is eating well.  Sadly, there is nothing we can do for him other than to monitor his progress and make sure he is comfortable as possible. 

Okemo loves to explore his playground and continues to perform his usual ritual of self grooming. There are times when we forget how sick he truly is as he chuffs and greets us each day.  Several of us have bonded with Okemo and so he receives lots of one-on-one attention.  Even Jasmine warmed up to Okemo, often trying to catch his eye or nip his ears.  We will continue to keep you appraised of Okemo's health condition.  In the meantime, please keep him in your prayers.   

Here is Okemo today:

About a month and a half ago, Keenan, who will be 17 years old in May, was diagnosed as having a devastating disease--chronic renal failure.  Chronic renal failure is a progressive, irreversible deterioration of kidney function.  

We've been monitoring the progression of this disease by drawing blood from Keenan so the BUN (blood urea nitrogen) as well as other components of the blood could be examined.  An elevated BUN is a certain sign of loss of kidney function.  Sadly, last week's test results showed his BUN level increased once again.

Keenan's health has been teetering back and forth from good to okay back to good again.  He still receives subcutaneous fluids each week and we closely monitor his food intake.  Keenan likes to sun himself on the raised platforms, now that we are having great weather.  We will continue to keep you appraised of Keenan's health condition.  In the meantime, please keep Keenan in your prayers.   

Finally, we have little Wobbles, an adorable kitten with special needs.  On March 22, 2012, little Wobbles became the newest member of the In-Sync Exotics' family.  We soon learned lour little girl had a very serious problem--terrible multiple seizures each day.  We're not sure why she is having so many seizures, but we are learning towards an injury involving a dog.  

Wobbles has round the clock kitten "sitters" who watches over her throughout the day.  On March 30th, little Wobbles had 12 seizures.  However, for the last two days, she has been seizure-free.  We pray that these seizures will eventually subside so she can live a normal "kitten" life.

Here is little Wobbles today: 

Okemo, Keenan, and Wobbles continually reminds us all--that no matter how big or small, old or young, sick or healthy--they are truly miracles and we are eternally grateful for the opportunity to be part of their lives.  We love them like family!

“Cold-EEZE ®  Share Your Cause, Not Your Cold” Contest

We'd like to extend a HUGE thank you to everyone who supported us in the "Cold-EEZE Share Your Case, Not Your Cold" Contest!  It looks like we may have secured the top spot of this contest!!!  We could not have done this without your help.  As more develops, we will definitely share the good news with you.  Again, thank you "voters" and a huge thanks to "Cold-EEZE" for allowing us to share our cause with more people who may never of heard of us otherwise!

Who Am I with a Twist!

Folks, we have a winner!  On Friday, Sheila Frazier, submitted her response to the Who Am I with a Twist contest.  After reflecting upon her initial response, Sheila changed her answer based on the clues given in the blog posting.  We received several brave responses, and for the most part, everyone accurately guessed the identity 80-90% of the time!  This is outstanding! 

So without further ado, here are the names of the cats in rank order:

1. Kshama
2. Aasha
3. Samu
4. Sabu
5. Kahn
6. Lydia
7. Shazam
8. Sheila
9. Chance
10. Smuggler

And of course, Franklin as the bonus cat!

Oh!  Almost forgot to tell you!  In response to many readers' requests, we have added more t-shirts and tank tops to the on-line gift shop!  Several of you took advantage of the 35% sale over the weekend--we hope you love and enjoy your gifts!

If you were not able to take advantage of the discount savings, we'll keep an eye out for additional discounts and let you know when we see another exciting sale.   Throughout the month of April we'll be adding some more exciting stuff, so check back regularly!

Let us know what your reaction was to this posting by clicking on one of the reaction buttons below and don’t forget to share it with your family, friends, and co-workers by using the share buttons below. 

Thank you everyone for your support of In-Sync Exotics—you are truly a blessing to us!