Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Helio Needs Blood Transfusion & Prayers

donation Miami homeless pets

Helio, a handsome, big green eyed, gray tabby, is fighting for his life.

One of the first ten kittens rescued by founder Christine Michaels, now seven years old, he is suddenly gravely ill with severe anemia.

homeless cats community cats stray cats TNR Miami
Helio (pronounced "Eh leo") as a kitten at 4 months

Healthy and playful one day, he started to show signs of loss of appetite, lethargy and sleeping in the closet. Three major red flags of a health issue.  Upon examination at the veterinary clinic, the vet observed his white gums. After a comprehensive blood test it showed Helio had severe anemia.  The X-ray did not show any anomalies. So after a Vitamin B12 shot, IV fluid, and some appetizing canned cat food prescribed, Helio was sent home. Unfortunately he refused to eat at home. And after three days he returned to the vet. Further blood tests showed his blood platelet count dropped even lower.  His condition was now critical.

The next day Helio was admitted to the emergency pet hospital at MVS. Miami Veterinary Specialists provides 24 hour pet medical care. Hooked up to IVs and machines, Helio shows no signs of responsiveness, typical for a cat that is afraid of strange environment. He was lying in the corner, his body inward and sullen, eyes suspect, sheepish, and scared at the same time... a quiet living hell. Only when Christine came to visit did he muster every ounce of strength to stand and greet her. She opened the cage and his bowed insistent on petting and head butts.  Helio would not stop crying. He was grateful to see a friendly face.  At the same time he was pleading to get out.  Our hearts were torn as she had to say goodbye, but Christine repeated a familiar phrase "Ill be back, I promise I'll be back." The vet observing shared that Helio understood Christine and it seemed to give Helio hope.  The vet said there is hope for Helio.

pet emergency care MVS Miami Veterinary Specialists
Helio cries for affection

A key treatment was a blood transfusion.  According to the vet most pets respond well to one transfusion, however, Helio did not improve with the first transfusion. The vet indicated a second or third transfusion may be needed but not a guarantee he would live.  As each transfusion costs $900 (for all costs related to the treatment), payments must be made upfront at the hospital.  Some families are forced to choose euthanasia when they lack the funds. How tragic!

The vet awaited our answer.  Of course we would try again.  Helio was a survivor, a rescue kitten from the streets of downtown Miami. Money could always be raised. We wanted to set an example that pets as family members, deserve the same respect and dignity of life as human family members.  Money should not determine whether a pet lives or dies if there is a chance he will survive. 


So a fundraiser was started to help Helio and to offset the cost of hospitalization and treatments now totaling close to $4,000. Copies of all vet bills are also uploaded.

Visit the YouCaring website. Remember no amount is too small and greatly appreciated!

Or you may make direct donation via PayPal to

The heartbreak was becoming unbearable for Christine and caretakers. Helio has many nicknames:
  • Cutie Patooty because of his cute sleeping poses, moreso than his siblings. 
  • Curious George because of his big eyes and curious, baby face.
  • Bocelli after Andrea Bocelli because he literally serenades his pet owner for attention and affection.

Yes, Helio is a very special cat. Sadly his mother Cosette who has been pictured on a number of blog posts and on social media, had died suddenly this summer.  It is strongly believed she was poisoned.  This is just another undertaking, another battle, another part of our mission in educating residents and communities about stray cats and the law against animal cruelty. Helio was her only kitten.  In this effort we fight for all homeless cats who deserve a chance to live out their

You may follow Helio's progress on this website and on Facebook and Twitter.

 Feel free to share his story.

Thank you for sharing! Thank you for caring!

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  1. Dang, we sure hate that and send prayers. Dad will send some green papers.

  2. We are purring for Helio and hope he will be well.

  3. So sorry Christine about Cosette. Breaks my heart to hear how she may have lost her life. Why oh why can't people understand these stray and feral kitties never asked to be homeless. I am so so sorry Helio is not well and hoping the additional transfusions help!