The Dragon in Exile


Eagles Over the Kennebec

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The Socks Defense Fund

Many kind people have written to. . .ask that they be allowed to contribute to the Socks Defense Fund, even though the goal has changed (read about it here, and here).  Some other folks have taken matters into their own hands and have donated towards Socks’ vet bills via the Splinter Universe site.

You guys are determined to help, is what I’m saying here.

Far be it from Steve and me to stand in the way of determined people; in fact, we are grateful for help.  Thank you.


Here's your link to the Socks Defense Fund.

CF treatment is long-term and can really add up. I was one of those folks who "took matters into my own hands" because I want you to be able to keep him for as long as treatment is effective. I don't want you to have to stop six months or a year down the road because you have to choose between treatment and groceries.

Once upon a time, I had a goofy orange cat named Fred. He, too, was a rescue cat. He had kidney issues and developed a urinary tract blockage and it didn't look good.

Unbeknownst to me, my mother had played a lottery ticket and won a nice prize. She very kindly shared the wealth and sent my sister and I a bit of her windfall.

Unbeknownst to my mother, the day the check arrived was the day Fred took ill.

It saved his life and we had another five good years with him. I consider this paying it forward.

*Raises glass* To absent friends.

Donation made! Give the kitty a nice scritch for me.

Not surprising. You guys rescued Socks and he became "your" cat. Then you shared his stories and quirks and he became "our" cat.

So, a scritch to our kitty.

Re: determined people


2013-03-23 05:43 am (UTC)

I donated to the Socks Defense Fund because I know what it is like to lose a cat you love and who's been your companion for years. I lost one to diabetes and one to osteosarcoma, and I've got one that turns 14 this year. Every time I've lost one, I have let their legacy be to bequeath their warm, safe home to another cat in need of rescue. I firmly believe in rescuing and homing those animals in need, but the city won't let me have more than four, and three is all I can afford.

Ditto, ditto, and said far more eloquently than I could.

Re: determined people


2013-03-23 05:45 am (UTC)

Oops, the above was meant to be in reply to houseboatonstyx

I'm sorry to bring this up, but have I missed some national development?

The last I knew, massive numbers of healthy young kittens and puppies were still being euthanized for lack of money for adoption fees. Has this changed?

No, it's not changed, but I have to ask what your point is.

I wish people would think about how many more lives, young healthy lives, could be saved by that amount of money.

So your assertion is that, once a cat becomes ill and needs medical care, they should be put down, and the money that would have gone into their care put forward to adopt a new cat, who, because healthy and young is more worthy of life than a cat that has been contributing to hisorher family and the quality of life of the family members?

Do you feel the same way about two-legged people? That once grandma comes in need of medical care, she should be put down, and orphans -- healthy, young orphans -- brought into the family in her stead?

There are also loved pets taken and killed by Animal Control because their families cannot raise the ransom money.

(And aiui, Socks was already unwanted and you had recently taken him in temporarily, and were trying to find a new home for him.)

There's always a worthier cause, and we all do what we can, when we can.

Most -- but not all -- of the cats Steve and I have brought into our home during our life together have been shelter cats/cats in need. While we once had five cats; we realized that was too many, given the usual resources of a freelancer household, and now we hold the line at three.

That doesn't mean we don't donate to the local shelter, or help out other cats in need, by donating -- as people are now donating to help Socks. There are probably cats in peril at the shelter in Waterville at this moment, but it does neither them nor us any good to adopt them if we can't care for them.

When we adopted Socks, it was with the idea that he would be with us for the rest of his life. Yes, we were looking for a better situation for him, because we could foresee a time coming rather quickly that we wouldn't be able to care for him, so trying to find him a more stable situation was the ethical choice, if, admittedly, a long shot.

What people sometimes fail to understand is that individuals are not interchangeable.

When we were first come to Maine, Archie -- my first cat, ever, who had at that point been with me for nine or ten years -- developed seizures. I took him to the local vet in Skowhegan, who said something like, "Cats get seizures," and sent me on my way. On the third visit for seizures, the vet said, "You know, this is only a barn cat. Why not put him down and get another one?"

We found another vet. Turns out Archie was allergic to one of the dyes being used in the cat food we'd been buying. Stop feeding him yellow dye number whatever -- viola! No more seizures. He lived another joyful and zany six years.

It is not necessary to adopt an animal, to save it from euthanasia; it's only necessary to donate the ransom money to some other family (perhaps its original owner).

It is not a question of replacing one seriously ill animal with a more convenient one. It is a question of one vs many; how many others could be saved by paying their ransoms, or by paying for some less expensive medical need.

I do not, in fact, believe that. Because paying adoption fees is a trivial part of the costs of keeping a cat. So donating so that someone can adopt does not guarantee that the cat will have a good life.

But do, please, point all of us misguided supporters at the fund or charity which does help pay adoption fees for deserving families. I'd be happy to put some money there too.

Please. Rolanni and Kinzel are well-known and admired in these circles for their love and care of cats. Cats in general, and their cats in particular. And as stated before, it gives their readers pleasure to help.

This is not to say that we do not help other cats -- as I suspect most of us do -- nor does is mean that we seek to needlessly prolong a cat in suffering. Indeed, the aim of all those who voluntarily give to the Socks Defense Fund do so out of our desire to help Rolanni, Kinzel, and Socks and to keep him in comfort and care to live out his life with those who love and cherish him. It is a personal choice, and one that does not need debate here.

This is not about Socks 100%. This is not about cats even (not 100%).

This is about people.

Ms Lee and Mr Miller have made a number of people happy through the years. I for one am not a fanboy but I'm married to one.

Those people see Ms Lee and or Mr Miller are sad about something (Socks0 and have chosen to help make them happy.

This makes those people happy. Not because they "saved Socks". Not because they saved feline kind. Because Ms Lee and Mr Miller are happier.

It's that simple, my wife came to me and said "can we help". She was sad I said yes and she is happier. My wife is sad also about cats being put down... (I'm not so sure about dogs) but knows she can't fix that.

Not more then the current donations we already make can do.

It is hoped that the money being raised for Socks will fix something.

What you're asking for can't be fixed because the issue is again people. People not spaying and neutering there cats leading to unwanted cats.

Your issue cannot be solved here. Run for president fix that problem.

Leave these nice people to try to fix this problem.

Division of labor it's a good thing.


Cool! I hope Socks will have everything he needs; I know you'll provide excellent care and he won't lack for love and snuggles!

Edited at 2013-03-23 04:23 am (UTC)

It is amazing how long a cat can live happily while experiencing progressive renal failure. My little cat Locke live for several years, enjoying her life and her time with me, after her diagnosis (at which the vet said it could be six months... or not, depending entirely on Locke). She was happy and affectionate all the way up to the end.

Socks can still live a contented life with his people, is what I'm saying. Best wishes to the entire household.

Edited at 2013-03-23 08:19 am (UTC)

Done and done. May Socks live long, get many scritches, give much joy, and most of all love and be loved.

As barbinbadon says, Socks has become our cat -- as all your cats have become our cats, because you share them so willingly. I still miss Hexapuma; I know you do as well.

Not only are your fans very smart but they are also caring and generous. And I see that you are having an animal welfare discussion here with one fan who doesn't agree that your fans should contribute to the Socks Defense Fund because it might take donations away from other rescue work.. That's silly. This isn't an either or thing. I would be willing to bet that Sock's donors also give as much as they can to their favorite animal rescue organizations. That enables the organizations to save lives providing good care and finding good homes for pets.

The story of the cat Fred was interesting. Just as Fred came down with some health issues the Powers That Be generously donated a buncha money to your family. The PTB tend to do that to repay caring for the animals.

Every pet owning family heeds a vet that they can trust. Pets are part of the family. Obviously if the pets become ill they should be treated and given the best quality of life possible. If a person doesn't feel that pets should be treated when they are hurt or ill because it might be expensive it might be best not to adopt pets. I advise investing in stuffed animals for such people! It's great to know about the long time record in cat rescue and the very good home for felines that the Lee and Miller family has maintained over the years.

There is more money to go around if we share.

Glad to see that Socks is feeling well and able to help with the author's work. We depend on him. Glad to find out too that Mozart and Scrabble are also helping. It's wonderful see such feline dedication to the writers' art.

And all this from a dog person. Many barks to the Lee and Miller household felines and wishing them all the luck.....

By the way there's been lots of progress in one area of animal work. The number of cats and dogs being euthanized every year in the US is way down from what it was, say, 20 years ago.


Glad to donate to the Socks fund. I spend much of last year dealing with a brittle diabetic cat. Medically it didn't go as I had hoped but I had another year with the sweetest cat that has ever owned me. (she of icon) Good luck with Socks.


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