The Story of Oliver

Oliver in his first few days here at NorthStar VETS.Oliver NorthStar, who is now about two-and-a-half years old, is our male, neutered, domestic short-hair, hospital cat. Ollie first came to us as a kitten on June 5th, 2013 at approximately two months of age. A Good Samaritan had found him and brought him here, even though we do not generally accept these types of cases.

On presentation, it was clear that he had a bad upper respiratory infection and gastrointestinal problems. When examined, we noted that (despite being stray) he was very tame and easily handled, but had moderate nasal discharge, was sneezing with some harsh upper airway noise, and had some bloody stool suspicious for parasites or other intestinal infection. Despite his issues, he was a really nice cat! We treated him initially for his upper respiratory infection and waited to see if he had an owner who missed him. He was never claimed.

Oliver dressed up for workAfter a few days, he was hospitalized and given some basic supportive care for his symptoms while we attempted to contact the local Animal Control with the hope that they would pick him up for transport to a local shelter for continued care. Unfortunately, Animal Control was unable to take him. We debated for some time about dropping him off at a local shelter ourselves, but were unable to find one that had room to take him.

We felt strongly that he had a good prognosis with some time and TLC, so Oliver continued to sit in our care for several weeks. Luckily, his symptoms resolved with treatment. After being here for more than a month, he started becoming a part of the family with his sweet temperament and affectionate nature. Many of us got attached to this adorable cat with an amazing personality, so we decided to treat him extensively for the problems he had. After much pleading from the entire staff, our Chief of Staff, Dr. Stobie, agreed to let us keep him as a hospital cat and become the new mascot for NorthStar VETS.

Oliver looking out the windowAfter a course of antibiotics, he improved, but his upper respiratory signs did not resolve completely. There was still one more health challenge for him to overcome. He was diagnosed with a nasopharyngeal polyp which was removed by our team. After two months of being a foster, he was finally transitioned into being our hospital cat.

At this time, he had no official name, and that is where our extended family of clients came in. We held a two-part social media contest to come up with names for the new guy, and then vote on the best one. Oliver NorthStar was the winning name, and the rest is history.

Oliver checking out a bird in the lobbyFor those who remember Robbie, our long-time hospital cat prior to Oliver, you will remember he was a good ambassador in our lobby. He would greet every client and seemed to have no fear of dogs. Oliver has filled that role perfectly. You will often find him staring at leaves out the window, basking in the sun on the waiting room couches, or hanging out in pharmacy. You may even catch him trying to sneak into the back of the hospital searching for treats. His favorite hobbies are to watch birds in the waiting room and stalk other cat carriers. If a cat carrier is open, he will walk in and take a nap. Or he will sit on top of a cat carrier when one of our patients is waiting to be seen. He has even been so bold as to take advantage of a client crocheting by sleeping in her project while she worked!

Oliver in a client's knitting projectSo next time you come to NorthStar VETS, make sure to look for Ollie and say hello!
Oliver sitting on a patient's crate

Jennifer Kim, DVM, DACVIM (Oncology)Jennifer Kim, DVM, DACVIM (Oncology)
Dr. Kim grew up in New York and received her BA from the University of Pennsylvania. After two years at the National Cancer Institute performing cancer genetic research, she attended veterinary school at Tufts University. Dr. Kim completed a rotating internship at the Animal Medical Center in Manhattan, New York, and an oncology internship at Cornell University. She began at NorthStar VETS as an emergency clinician in 2005 and returned in 2010 to treat oncology patients after completing her residency in medical oncology at Michigan State University School of Veterinary Medicine. In her free time, Dr. Kim is an avid foodie and knitter.

Stacey Rebello, DVM, MSStacey Rebello, DVM, MS
Dr. Rebello is a New Jersey native who completed her undergraduate degree in biology at Fairfield University while working as a technician at a local veterinary clinic. She earned a master of science degree in theriogenology, studying equine placentitis and placental drug transfer at the University of Florida. She continued her studies at UF and was awarded her doctor of veterinary medicine degree in 2008. Dr. Rebello returned to New Jersey for an internship in small animal medicine and surgery at Garden State Veterinary Specialists in Tinton Falls. She joined the NorthStar VETS emergency department in 2009, where her clinical interests include trauma care and perioperative management of surgical emergencies.

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