Friday, March 14, 2008

Please help Moki and Lilly Lu

Rocky's mom: Please forgive my very long intro to a fundraiser I'm starting; I hope you'll take the time to read it in full. It addresses a serious concern, one that is close to my heart-- and one I’m afraid may relate to many kitties that are close to all our hearts.

Several years ago when Viagra was put on the market, I remember making the offhand remark that it was no wonder ED drugs were needed, since our drinking water was probably full of female hormones from birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy. It’s now a known fact that such drugs in waterways around the world are ‘feminizing’ male fish.

Think about it – we all take medications, some of which are absorbed, but the rest is eliminated by our bodies in urine and ends up back in our water supply.

Last week a major study was released. Not only female hormones, but antibiotics; antidepressants; mood stabilizers; cholesterol drugs; anti-convulsants; pain medications; asthma medications; heart and blood pressure medications, and a host of other prescription drugs – as well as over-the-counter drugs such as ibuprofen and Tylenol – contaminate the water supplies of more than 41 million Americans.

Only 28 of our water sources were tested, and all but 3 contained drugs; this included 24 major metropolitan cities. In Philadelphia alone, more than 56 pharmaceuticals were found in the city’s treated drinking water; 63 were found in the city’s watersheds. This problem is worldwide -- more than 100 different pharmaceuticals have been found in water sources in other nations.

Even worse, adding chlorine -- as is done in nearly all water treatment plants – makes some pharmaceuticals even more toxic. And any pharmacist can tell you that combinations of drugs can be deadly. Finally, most of us are aware of the growing problem of antibiotic overuse creating drug-resistant strains of viral and bacterial diseases.

But human waste isn’t the only source of contamination. For decades, beef cattle and other animals for consumption are given ear implants of an anabolic steroid, trenbolone, used by some bodybuilders, which causes cattle and hogs to bulk up. We are EATING this drug -- and we may be feeding it to our pets.

Let me share a personal story. In 1970 I worked for a major manufacturer of this drug. One day a month, anyone who had never had any kind of a tumor was required to work in a building on the outskirts of the property. We were outfitted in “toxic hazard” spacesuits and helmets, to help prevent our bodies from absorbing the drug … even through our eyes.

Our job was place these anabolic steroid pellets onto cards and shrinkwrap them.

In two months – or about 8 days exposure to this drug, fully outfitted in a hazard suit, I developed a grapefruit-sized tumor on my back and two smaller ones on my thighs that required surgery. Fortunately they were benign. Over the next year I was repeatedly hospitalized, with several surgeries, for severe hormone imbalances and hemorrhaging.

We are eating this drug, along with anabolic steroids that end up in our drinking water!

How could this happen? Several contributing factors are: a) Water providers do not disclose results of pharmaceutical screenings unless they are forced to do so. b) The U.S. government has no requirements for safe levels of drugs in drinking water.

Not to be a conspiracy theorist, but I would also add: c) The pharmaceutical industry is a huge and politically powerful one. Why should they be concerned ... after all, new diseases = new drugs = more revenue. Perhaps they have a vested interest in our drinking 8-10 glasses of water a day to try to stay 'healthy'? Personally, I think the pharmaceutical industry should be required to fund the upgrading of all our water treatment facilities, and keep them upgraded as they develop new drugs, in order to assure that their products are not poisoning life on this planet. They can afford it. In fact, they could probably accomplish this by doing nothing more than diverting their massive advertising budgets to this effort.

But please consider that contaminated water affects not only humans, but wildlife -- and our beloved pets as well. Given that we cat lovers know that even a tiny amount of Tylenol will poison or kill a cat, how can the consumption of Tylenol along with a vast combination of drugs formulated for much larger humans NOT harm our babies?

In an article in the newsletter, Dr. Debra Primovic, a Columbus, Ohio veterinarian, says, “Water containing drugs in the drinking water of pets concerns me. We have no way to know how this will affect their long term health.”

Most of us filter our kitties’ water. But this doesn't remove the drugs. Many 'reputable' bottled water companies are simply bottling tap water, and neither these companies nor manufacturers of home filtration systems test or treat for pharmaceuticals. From my own research, it seems as if reverse osmosis filtration systems are the most likely to remove at least some pharmaceuticals.

Even if the top experts have no idea how this long-term consumption of drugs in drinking water will affect human health, much less the health of our pets, I ask you to consider some statistics:

- In recent years, the number of U.S. prescriptions rose 12% to a record 3.7 billion. Add to that 3.3 billion purchases of nonprescription drugs.

- In recent years, at least 30 new diseases have emerged: fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, Lyme disease, AIDS and many more. And severe allergies are dramatically on the rise -- have more than tripled in some studies.

It isn’t necessary to be an “expert” to strongly suspect that there may be a connection between these statistics.

I’ll stop ranting now, but this made me think of how many kitties in the Blogosphere have struggled with ‘new’ or ‘undiagnosable’ illnesses ... as well as how many suffer from cancer and other diseases that have long been linked to exposure to pollutants.

It also made me think of some of my past artwork, created when I did volunteer fundraising work for the Hoosier Environmental Council … again, like my cat greeting cards, packed away in my basement storeroom. This line of environmental images, named “Earthrights”, consists of both fine art prints and notecards.

I want to put them to good use, in fundraisers to help specific kitties whose veterinary bills are astronomical because 1) their vets have difficulty diagnosing their illness, or 2) who are considered to have a ‘new’ disease. I’ve chosen Moki and Lilly Lu as the recipients of this first fundraiser, which will run through March 31.

Lilly Lu is battling an undiagnosed condition. She needs surgery for bladder stones, but her vets believe they’re secondary to some unidentified condition, possibly even cancer, and they don’t want to perform surgery until they determine what is causing the stones and abnormal bloodwork. But now they’re stumped and want Mama Laura to take Lilly Lu to a specialist at Tufts University.

Mama Laura has already spent $2,000 trying to help Lilly and she’s used much of her living expenses for that. And remember, Mama Laura is expecting twins, so she desperately needs our help. She feels as if she's failed Lilly because she can't afford the specialist, and she feels her only option is to help Lilly over the Bridge because she doesn't want her to suffer. On her blog today, she's offering to give Lilly's fashion wardrobe away to other kitties. This is so sad! Please help us help Lilly Lu!

Moki is a new friend whose mama has spent thousands of dollars since July helping the then tiny stray kitty with an undiagnosed neurological disease, which causes him to have tremors and makes it nearly impossible for him to walk. The current consensus is that he suffers from a ‘new’ disease, and the ongoing quest to determine what it is and to improve his quality of life is likely to involve thousands more.

Please see the heartwrenching videos on Moki's blog showing his valiant efforts to walk, and read his full story, and do whatever you can to help his mama find out if there's a way this courageous little guy can someday run and play!

Please help us help Lilly Lu and Moki! A sample of the Earthrights images in our fundraiser is below. For each hand-tinted fine art print sold, $30 will be donated to Lilly Lu and Moki. For every 12 notecards sold, $14 will be donated.

If I were not in financial straits myself, with a houseful of kitties who are all behind on their veterinary care, I would donate ALL the proceeds to Lilly and Moki. But I promise you that the small percentage I’m keeping will be spent on vet care for my own kitties.

Even if you can't make a purchase, please announce this special fundraiser on your own blogs, websites, and Catster groups etc. The more people who become aware of it, the more we can help Lilly and Moki!

I cannot even begin to express my gratitude to all of you on the Cat Blogosphere for your warm hearts, magnificent friendship, incredible generosity, and the way in which everyone considers everyone else's kitties their own as well. If there's a heaven on Earth, it's right here in the Cat Blogosphere!

Sample Earthrights environmental image:Please see all 8 images at
Earthrights Fundraiser
for Lilly Lu & Moki



Moki The Wobbly Cat said...

Artsy Catsy,

Words can't express enough our thanks. We are so touched. The intro on your blog, to the fundraiser was as beautiful as your artwork. Thank you so much for helping us to help Moki. He is such a special guy and this means a great deal to us!

Marilynn said...

My house is about 3 years old, and they're still tearing down trees and building new streets and houses around here. The tap water smelled and tasted terrible, my hair looked awful, even after washing it, etc. So I had a rather large (not to mention expensive!) water softener/filter system installed, with an additional filtered water source at the kitchen sink, which also feeds into the line that is used to put ice cubes and water through the door on the fridge. THIS is the water (and ice cubes, too!) that I drink and that I put in Grace & Company's drinking water dish -- double-filtered water. I sure hope it's enough; it's going into my body, too!

Gemini and Ichiro said...

We have read about the drinking water. As a complementary healthcare provider such things make me so angry and frustrated.

We will have to see what we can do at least about getting a notecard. Financial straights seem to abound lately! And here I am, an acupuncturist--if they came to me, they wouldn't need their pills would they?

admin said...

yup, the pharmacy manufacturers often do mean things only to gain high revenue:( so sad indeed...

Artsy Catsy, you all have been totally wonderful to help our furryfriends, Lilly & Moki; we Meaouwy Troops will beg our mommie Felinesopher to spread the word of your post today,

good job buddies!

Cecil the Cougar: said...

Fanks for spreading the word about Lilly and Moki. Moki's story has more than touched the hearts of everyone in my household.

Kimo and Sabi said...

Our beans give us bottled water cuz they say we shouldn't have to drink da stinky water if they don't!

Come visit us tomorrow to see da answer to how many puppies was in da photo.

Dr Tweety of da Fab Five said...

Tank you Rocky. Dis waz a furry good postee. We drinks filtered water, but like you say, iz it takin' out da medz?? & all da disezez out dere...
We wishee we could help da other kitteez, but da Delilah'z billz fur her seesurez & den Auntie Stinkie's medz, we iz not sure. Mebbe we can around da firstee of da month. But we can certainly send many, MANY purrzez.
Dr Tweety