Friday, July 20, 2012

Our Weekly Recap of Events

We would like to dedicate this weekly blog recap to all the volunteers, staff, and board members who provided outstanding care to Keenan over the years.  Our In-Sync Exotics' family is the BEST and without you, we would not have been able to give Keenan such a loving and caring home that he deserved. Thank you everyone!

Now, on to this week's recap:

Monday's blog was all about our July Cats as we highlighted arrivals, birth dates, and tributes to  cats who crossed the Rainbow Bridge this month.  Learn more about these special animals by clicking HERE.

On Tuesday, we covered the social Dallas event called a "Taste of Dallas."   Thanks to our board director, Lisa Williams and several In-Sync Exotics' volunteers (Sonay Florez, Kim Morris, Mary Marsh, Stacy Tekstar, Judy Chapla, Ricki Hart & our newest volunteer [and reigning Miss Texas Junior Teen] Shelby) we were able to share our mission and cats with a LOT of people!  Click HERE to read more about this great event!

Keenan will always reside
with us & in our hearts
Wednesday we shared with our readers the passing of Keenan, our 17-year old cougar.  While are greatly saddened that he is no longer physically with us, we choose to celebrate his life and pray that he is at peace with his father, Zeus, and his brother Charlie, just this side of Heaven at a place call the Rainbow Bridge.  Click HERE to read more about our precious Keenan. 


Yesterday, we thought are readers might appreciate viewing a few fun videos of Wobbles and Sabu.  You have got to see how much Wobbles has grown over the last three months plus you'll never guess how Sabu keeps his "cool" during our hot Texas summer days! So click HERE to see them both as you have never seen them before!

Are you making plans to visit us this weekend for our Summer Splash event?  Big cats, watermelons, need we say more?  It should be a rather fun and messy affair!  So join us!  Click HERE for details!

Do you Tweet or Twitter?  We've been having some fun tweeting about Neffi, Wobbles, and many more of our cats!  You are invited to join in!  Our tweet handle is @Insync_Exotics, so join in on the fun!

One of our followers, @TextaPet, loves to tweet spontaneous animal pictures to over 29,000 followers!  Whew--that's a lot of followers, especially since yesterday we just broke the 600 follower barrier--yay!!!

We'd like to introduce you to @TextaPet as a great way to show case your own pets at home, by clicking HERE to see their cute video!  

It goes without saying that our exotic cats and Nugget are NOT pets, but by sharing our mission with others, we are able to expand our supporter base. So thank you @TextaPet for sharing our wild and not so wild ones with the tweeting world!

Well, that concludes this week's recap of events.  We hope you will join us again next week for more In-Sync Exotics' news!  Until then--be happy and safe!

Oh, and remember, we are open for tours Thursday - Sunday, so make tracks to In-Sync Exotics this weekend to visit your favorite animals!

Later in the morning:

In honor of Keenan, we have placed Keenan's mug in our Close to Our Hearts' on-line gift shop.   If you would like to purchase a Keenan mug, click HERE. All proceeds from the mug sales benefits the animals of In-Sync Exotics.  Thank you!


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Wobbles Plus Sabu Equals Smiles!

Today, we thought our readers might enjoy a few fun videos staring Wobbles and Sabu!

Have you met Wobbles yet?  For our new blog readers, you may want read about our little lady's early beginnings at In-Sync Exotics (Read HERE).

Here is Wobbles staring in her first video titled "Wobbles Attacks!"?

But now our little Wobbles is growing up--and fast!  Watch Wobbles in her latest video with a cameo from "Shoes!"

Our precious Wobbles is looking very cool and regal in the office!

Now that we are entering the "dog days of summer" (ahem--lion days of summer), we thought we'd share with you how Sabu (and the rest of our cats) stays nice and cool during the hottest days in Texas!

Fun fact about the phrase "dog days of summer":  This phrase comes from the ancient belief that Sirius, also called the Dog Star, in close proximity to the sun, was responsible for the hot weather.  The Old Farmer's Almanac lists the traditional timing of the Dog Days as the 40 days beginning July 3 and ending August 11, coinciding with the ancient heliacal (at sunrise) rising of the Dog Star, Sirius. These are the days of the year when rainfall is at its lowest levels.  

Fun fact is courtesy of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia!

We hope you enjoyed today's blog posting of our Wobbles and Sabu.  We'd love to hear from you, so feel free comment and don't forget to click on one of the reaction buttons below. And as always, don't forget to share your favorite blog postings with family and friends! Thank you!

We close this blog posting with a picture of Sabu, nice and relaxed in front of his fan!  That's our Bo!


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Charlie and Zeus Are Waiting for Our Beloved Keenan Over the Rainbow Bridge...

Dear In-Sync Exotics Family and Friends:

Yesterday evening, we (vet, staff, interns, and volunteers) said our good-byes to our beloved cougar, Keenan. The decision to release him from his ailing body was not easy, but we all agreed it was time.

Keenan battled some very serious health issues for the last seven months. On January 17th, we reported on Keenan’s  trip in September 2010  to Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine so their veterinarians could perform a sonogram to learn why Keenan stopped eating. The following account is taken from that posting:
In September 2010, we noticed that Keenan was behaving oddly.  He appeared lethargic, refusing to eat all his food, and play with the other cats—so we called his vet.  Dr. Kerin examined Keenan without anesthesia and visually found nothing physically wrong with him, so he recommended a trip to Texas A&M, so he could be anesthetized and thoroughly examined.
A couple of days later, we took a road trip to College Station so Keenan could be examined by the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine veterinarians. Keenan was sedate so the vets could perform a sonogram.
During the sonogram, the vets observed Keenan’s heart stop beating, so they immediately initiated emergency resuscitation procedures. After about 60 very long seconds later, Keenan’s heart finally started again. Technically, Keenan died on the exam table for a very short time.
During the time Keenan’s heart stopped, his body started to shut down non-essential organs, and so when Keenan’s heart resumed beating, we discovered our cougar was blind.
Thankfully this condition was only temporary for while Keenan was recuperating at A&M, the vets were happy to report his vision returned about 36 hours later. Keenan, stayed at A&M for three days, while the vets tried to get him to eat and take his medicine because they wanted to perform one more sonogram, this time without anesthesia. Needless to say, we were very anxious about repeating this procedure after what happened the last time.
Keenan came through the second sonogram procedure without incident and the test did reveal our cougar has a heart problem known as Dilated Cardiomyopathy. 
We returned home with our cougar with a plan to give him round the clock attention to make sure he resumed eating and took all his prescribed meds. Unfortunately, Keenan still had trouble eating, so we called his vet, once again, for a consultation. 
Dr. Kerin recommended we take Keenan off most of his meds as they were causing Keenan to lose his appetite as they undoubted upset his stomach. He did continue to take two medications necessary to aid our boy, enalapril and furosemide. Enalapril is commonly given in conjuction with a diurectic, like furosemide. Because of the medications’ side effects, we monitored Keenan’s kidney parameters (BUN and Creatinine) levels periodically to make sure there were no changes to his kidney functions. 
Nine days after his trip to A&M, Keenan still refused to eat his regular food, so we administered subcutaneous fluids and he was given a valium shot by his vet. As soon as the valium shot “kicked in,” Keenan resumed eating his meals once more. 
For the next several weeks, Keenan’s vet visited with our cougar to check on his heart rate to make sure he heart was beating normally. During one such visit, Dr. Kerin thought he heard an irregular heartbeat. 
A call to a heart specialist was made and Keenan went to his vet’s office for another sonogram and an EKG—all without anesthesia. As expected, Keenan remained calm, cool, and collected through the entire procedure—he was such a trooper! The heart specialist confirmed our vet’s diagnosis—Keenan has Cardiac Dysrhythmia (also known as arrhythmia). Our cougar was prescribed another medication called diltiazem, which is used to relax blood vessels so the heart doesn’t have to pump as hard. It also increases the supply of blood and oxygen to his heart. 
So last Tuesday, we drew blood and our vet ran the usual blood tests. The results were not encouraging. Our geriatric cougar has renal failure. Whether it’s chronic or acute, we do not know at this time, but we are monitoring him very closely. 
In the meantime, we are administering subcutaneous fluids and keeping him on his medications. Keenan’s next blood draw will be on Tuesday of next week, so we will keep you posted of his condition. We hope you will keep Keenan in your prayers.
For the last six months, we provided Keenan with subcutaneous fluids and medication. Some days he seemed to be doing great, and other days he seemed lethargic and not interested in food.

His last creatinine and BUN test this month revealed his kidney values were extremely high. Our vet advised us that Keenan renal failure was advanced and it didn’t look good for our boy.

Keenan told us that he was ready to cross over the rainbow bridge when he finally stopped eating. His body was shutting down, so he could no longer digest food. He looked so tired.

On Monday afternoon, I notified our board members, staff, interns, and volunteers that Keenan would be departing this earth Tuesday evening. It wasn’t long before caring well-wishers stopped by to say their good-byes to our cougar. Two board members, our intern coordinator and two volunteers decided to spend the night at In-Sync Exotics with Keenan. They wanted him to know how much they loved him and that he was never alone.

Keenan and Cerella
Keenan is survived by his mother, Mercedes and his sister, Cerella. He will also be missed by his cougar gal pal Crimson as they often would snuggle together. We have no doubt that “Keenan the Explorer” crossed the rainbow bridge to be with his father Zeus and his brother Charlie. So while we miss Keenan very, very much, we know that he is finally at peace. I will always love you, Keenan.


Keenan’s memorial service will be at 11:00am today (Wednesday) at Pet Memories in Rockwall.  If you require directions, please click HERE.  Thank you to everyone who offered their condolences—this has been a difficult decision as it is so hard to say goodbye…

A Prayer for Keenan’s Departure

Dear Lord, please open your gates
and call on Zeus and Charlie to come escort
our handsome Keenan across the Rainbow Bridge.

Assign him to a place of honor,
for he has been a wonderful animal who
brought love and joy into our hearts.

Bless the hands that sent him to you,
for they did so in love and compassion,
freeing him from pain and suffering.

Grant us the strength not to dwell on our loss.
Help us remember the details of his life
with the love he has shown us.
And grant us the courage to honor him
by sharing those memories with others.

Let him remember us as well
and let him know that we will always love him.

Thank you, Lord,
for the gift of his companionship
and for the time we've had together.

And thank you, Lord,
for granting us the strength
to give him back to you now.


May 27, 1995 - July 17, 2012

Keenan will always live in our hearts

And he will always be watching over us
from his lofty perch in Heaven.


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Miss Texas Junior Teen Volunteers at the In-Sync Exotics' Booth!

Last week, Team In-Sync was at the Taste of Dallas event, sharing their experiences of what it is like to volunteer and care for exotic cats.  

Our board director in charge of all things media, Lisa Williams, spearheaded the 3-day event.  For those of you who know Lisa, it should not come to you as a surprise that she started to lose her voice at the event from sharing all the wonderful programs with visitors who came up to the In-Sync Exotics table!

Thankfully, there were several volunteers at this event like Sonay Florez, Kim Morris, Mary Marsh, Stacy Tekstar, Judy Chapla, and Ricki Hart who shared their love for our animals, explained our mission, and shared our animal care programs to the folks interested in learning more about us!  Thank you ladies for doing such a great job representing our sanctuary!

We like to introduce you to a new member of Team In-Sync.  Her name is Shelby Feil and she was crowned, July 9, 2012, as the Reigning Miss Texas Junior Teen! Shelby volunteered to work at our Taste of Dallas booth on Saturday night, so she could help spread the word about her favorite cause.

When asked why she wanted to volunteer at In-Sync Exotics, she said she wanted "to bring more attention to a great cause. I liked being in the booth, hoping to bring more people over to hear about what the facility does and for them to come out and visit.  I learned that the biggest expense each month is food for the cats and I'm hoping that I can help to raise money to assist with the continued costs to care for these poor animals."

Who is her favorite big cat at In-Sync Exotics?  "This is easy!   Tacoma has always been my favorite. I would adopt him each year when I was younger and have enjoyed watching him become such a strong and majestic creature. Ricki told me Saturday that he is stubborn and no one can find anything he likes. I want to do the companionship program she told me about and read books to him."

It's funny Shelby mentioned our Cat Companionship Program as we plan to highlight our special enrichment programs next week.  So be sure to check back next week so you can see why this particular enrichment program caught Shelby's "eye."

We are thrilled to have Shelby part of our team and we look forward to working with her again at our next event, Summer Splash!  To learn more about Summer Splash, please click HERE.

Our donation box took in about $200--for which we are very grateful--thank you kind donors!  Overall, the Taste of Texas was a terrific event that gave us the opportunity to share what we do for the cats and why they are with us in the first place.

Special Event Preview

On Monday, September 17th, we are holding our 2nd Annual Putting for Paws Golf Tournament!  We are building the web pages now and will roll out this golf-tas-tic event very soon.  In the meantime, we have posted our golf tournament flier on our In-Sync Exotics' event web page.  To see this flier, please click HERE.  So be sure to mark your calendars and reserve this date as a great day to go golfing for a cat cause!  By the way, I would be remiss if I didn't mention that we are also looking for corporate sponsors and donors for this golf event.   If your business would like to sponsor or donate items for this event, please contact our Tournament Coordinator at 972-757-9679.  Thank you!

We hope you enjoyed today's blog posting of our special July cats.  We'd love to hear from you, so feel free comment and don't forget to click on one of the reaction buttons below. And as always, don't forget to share your favorite blog postings with family and friends! Thank you!


Monday, July 16, 2012

Our Special July Cats!

Often times when we accept exotic animals, there are no accompanying medical or dental records.  The previous owner may recall the year the animal was born but not much else.  So that leaves our cats' medical history a mystery to be solved by our vet and animal care keepers. 

Since it is difficult to guess the cats' exact birth dates, we list the missing birth dates on the cats' biography as the same month and day the animals arrived at In-Sync Exotics.  For example, we celebrate the following cats' birthdays (and their arrival) for the month of July!

Aramis and Aurora, litter mates, arrived at In-Sync Exotics on July 17, 2011:

Then we have Eve and Layla, sisters, who also arrived at In-Sync Exotics on July 17, 2012:

Jazz and Shazam arrived at In-Sync Exotics on July 10, 2009:

Our last "birthday" for this month is handsome Spike!  Spike arrived at In-Sync Exotics on July 19, 2011, and was the last Poetry big cat to call our sanctuary home:

In Memory of...

This month we remember the passing of Tahoe, the first big cat Vicky rescued on September 12, 1991. Since she never owned a cougar before, she had a lot to learn about cougar diet, enrichment, and enclosures.  Thankfully, she received a lot of help from our vet and the Texas Parks and Wildlife, so Tahoe, and the cats who followed after Tahoe over the years, would have a safe and loving home. Tahoe became a part of the In-Sync Exotics’ family on March 31, 2000.

Tahoe’s story…

Tahoe was abandoned at a vet hospital at the age of 18 months. She was brought into the vet for treatment after a different veterinarian removed her canines, a common practice for some owners of exotic pets. Tahoe actually had all of her front teeth removed, leaving her with only a few teeth in the back.

She was underweight and had trouble eating. Because she was abandoned at the clinic, her fate was to be euthanized. Not wanting to see this beautiful cougar put down for a non-medical reason, Vicky brought her home to teach her how to eat again. For two months she blended up chicken and fed it to her around the clock.

Tahoe graduated to bigger pieces of meat and then the bone, and after four months, she learned she could pick up the whole pieces of chicken with her tongue and toss them to the back of her mouth to chew.  It wasn’t long before Tahoe was eating on her own!

Tahoe shared an enclosure with Ranger, her long-time companion, who sadly passed away April 2006. They spent 12 years lovingly doting on each other, so his absence was hard on her. Tahoe suffered from depression for several months after his death. Thankfully, Sahara was there to play and snuggle up with Tahoe. 

Sadly, Tahoe passed away July 30, 2008 from complications with Lymphoma, but we take comfort in knowing she's been reunited with her beloved Ranger.

Tahoe will always hold a special place in our hearts.

We also remember the passing of Kane, one of the former Poetry cats, on July 30, 2011.

When In-Sync was first called by a family in Poetry TX to help relocate 20 exotic cats in need of new homes, we had no idea just how dire the situation was until we met Kane.

Kane's story...

When we first met Kane in Poetry, we noticed he could not walk properly.  Watching Kane fall over three times, and was then forced to crawl over to the water bowl because he was too weak to walk, was devastating to all of us.  This poor baby arrived heat exhausted, dehydrated and vitamin deficient. We believe that sometime before Kane arrived, he suffered a small seizure or stroke resulting in facial and leg movement changes on the left side of his body.  The vet believes 10 days after he arrived, Kane experienced another stroke or seizure during the night, that may have resulted in him aspirating on undigested food or saliva causing fluid to entered Kane’s lungs resulting to him developing pneumonia.  And if that wasn’t enough for this poor cat to endure, we learned, during his full body exam at the veterinarian’s office that approximately six months prior to his arrival, something terrible happened to Kane resulting in his right leg to be completely shattered.  Unfortunately, Kane did not receive medical attention after this devastating event, so his bones were left to mend themselves.

On July 28, 2011 our vet diagnosed Kane with terminal lung cancer.  The cancer was extremely aggressive and our vet believed he only had a few days left with us.

On July 30, 2011, around 11:00pm, Kane suffered a seizure that lasted about two minutes.  With Kane's favorite animal caretaker and In-Sync Exotics’ director present, Kane slipped away quietly into the night.

Kane me be gone, but he will never be forgotten...

This month we also celebrate the arrival of two special cats to In-Sync Exotics -- Sassy (cougar) and Isaac (bobcat)!  In this case, their birth dates are not the same as their arrival dates!

Sassy's story...

Sassy arrived at In-Sync Exotics on July 17, 2004.  Sassy's owners first contacted us in January 2004 about giving Sassy a new home. We did not have room for her at the time, but they were willing to wait until we did. Sassy waited six months to get a home here at In-Sync.

Since she was raised alone, she had some difficulty getting used to being around other cats.  She now enjoys the company of her cage mates although at feeding time, she makes it very clear that she does not share.

Sassy is a very sweet and gentle cat and purrs loudly when we are around.  She loves to climb up the ramps to the platforms to look out into the world, so be sure to look up when you visit our cougars at In-Sync Exotics because chances are she’s watching you from her lofty perch!

Isaac's story...

Isaac arrived at In-Sync Exotics on July 2, 2011. One of our volunteers, who also volunteers with a dog rescue, contacted us about a bobcat she had seen during one of her dog rescues.

Isaac was being kept in a 2 X 3 wire dog cage for the past two years when she called us about taking him. In the tiny wire cage, Isaac was sitting on top of at least four inches of dried feces and decaying food parts and bones.

There were two old plastic coffee cans that may have held water for him but both were empty and covered in dust and debris. We first moved him from the old cage to another cage that we could keep inside for a couple of days, so that we could keep an eye on his health.

Needless to say Isaac was not a very friendly cat and would stay towards the back of the cage hissing and growling at us when we tried to care for him. We had hoped that because of this behavior we might be able to send him to a rehabber so that he could be set free.

When the rehabber came to see him she was unsure that he would be able to survive in the wild. We moved him to an outside enclosure to get a better look at his mannerisms. While in his new enclosure we learned that Isaac was not the kind of bobcat that would run from people, but he would actually charge anyone that would get to close to the fence. This action led us to believe that if he was in the wild and a human got to close to him, he would attack. Isaac had learned that not only were humans bad, but also not to be afraid of them.

It took some time, but Isaac now enjoys the company of two other bobcats, Lydia and Chance, and no longer sees us as the “enemy,” but part of his family. 

We hope you enjoyed today's blog posting of our special July cats.  We'd love to hear from you, so feel free comment and don't forget to click on one of the reaction buttons below. And as always, don't forget to share your favorite blog postings with family and friends! Thank you!