Friday, December 30, 2011

More Advil, Please

I've been battling a nasty sinus infection and haven't felt up to snuff to really write.  I used to think people who whined about a sinus infection were wimps - until I actually got one.  Holy Moly...

The past two days have been spent organizing the Petsmart Adoption Centres and volunteers beginning on Monday.  I desperately need to get to the shelter for a rescue but have been too sick and too busy to get out that way. 

I enjoyed speaking with one of the Directors of another rescue today.  We exchanged war stories and found that we had lots in common.  I always go with caution with another rescue because not all rescues are as kind as they make themselves out to be.  Some can be downright nasty. 

My latest foster "Lloyd" (also known as "Donnor" on the shelter website) is doing great - he's a great fit with my gang. 

After posting about the euthanasia of "Noel" on Wednesday's blog post, I got a lot of flak from the Crazy Protesters.  Instead of being compassionate, I received not-so-anonymous crappy messages.  Way to be supportive fellow "rescuers"!  It's easy to pass judgment when you sit behind a computer signing senseless online petitions instead of actually doing something. 

I may have felt crummy, but that didn't stop our volunteers who wanted to go to the shelter and rescue several adults!   "Benji" and "Joe" are now safe for those who follow the shelter's Petfinder page:

Benji Before.....

Benji After:



For those who didn't get enough cuteness from those pictures....here's a little more of Benji right after his rescue:

video

Be safe on New Years tomorrow evening!   I think David and I are going to do "The Old Folk's New Years Eve" and stay in with a bottle of Sparkling Cider.  I couldn't be happier.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

"Noel"

I had planned on blogging tonight about the joy and fun that I'm having with our new foster kitten, Lloyd.  David discovered him on a midnight kitchen run with the sink sponge in his mouth.  He was having a great time. 

But instead, I'm incredibly sad and angry. 

I tried so hard to get my sweet white declawed boy out of the shelter.  But I didn't try hard enough:

They euthanized him over Christmas because he was sick.  I feel like there are so many things I did wrong .

I should've taken him when I saw him. 
I should've taken him when I saw that he was getting sick.
I should've advocated for him even more. 

Today?  I had a foster parent contact me that wanted to foster him - even if he was sick. 
Today?  I had an adopter that wanted to meet him tomorrow.

I'm so angry today I can hardly write.

I'm sorry Noel.  I let you down.  The "should haves" and "could haves" are really going to haunt me tonight.

It pisses me off that I have to shoulder this burden when his family dumped him there.  I'm sure they had a great holiday while their cat sat in cold cage alone and sick.  I'm grateful that the shelter worker saw that he was suffering and sent him to the vet where he could be humanely euthanized. 

I'm sorry that I didn't get a chance to save his life. I didn't do enough for him.   I'll probably take a Benadryl so that I can sleep tonight. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Normalizing

Is there anybody who celebrates Christmas who doesn't feel totally and utterly behind on everything right now?  I'm embarrassed to say that I'm wearing yesterday's socks, there are 34 unread emails, 6 adoption calls (yay!), and a half dead Christmas tree in my living room. 

Having David home today really put a crimp in my plans.  I thought he was going back to work today so I tried not to look too panicked when he said he had the day off.  He gummed up my plans by declaring me a "Cat Carrier Hoarder" and counting 23 cat carriers in the basement.  Does he not know that I have more important things on my plate than to dispense with cat carriers?  Apparently not, because while I was on a phone call, he loaded up my SUV with half the carriers and demanded we donate or return them to the shelter.  "Do NOT pull a Ricky Ricardo on me at this time of year!" 

(*cough*)  So we went to the shelter.  Actually...I dropped HIM off at an electronics (geek) store, and I went to the shelter.  I smiled smugly as I loaded up a VERY cute little guy that the shelter named "Donnor":

His new name is "Lloyd" and he's happily exploring my washroom.  :) 

My Christmas decorations took 4 hours to put up and 15 minutes to put away.  Except for the half dead tree in the livingroom, my house looks fairly normal now - and I'm feeling more normal too. 

Call me a Scrooge, but every year I feel the need to put away Chrismtas decorations as soon as Christmas is over.  It's my way of saying, "On to bigger and better things!"  But truthfully, the cats really terrorize my Christmas stuff and I'm sick of looking at cat hair on my Christmas placemats, and my decorations dangling precariously off my tree. 

Tomorrow, David's back to work and the weather is calling for snow and ice tonight.  I'm looking forward to staying home, catching up on everything as we go into TWO Petsmart Adoption Centres on January 2nd.

I promise to be wearing clean socks tomorrow. 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Wishin' For Holiday Miracles

This will probably be my last posting before Christmas, and I wanted to give a quick update on Twinkle. If you haven't followed Twinkle's plight, I encourage you to read about her.  I'm sad to say that Twinkle ended up needing her leg amputated.  If you've recently donated money to our rescue, please know that most of the donations went to her care:

To add insult to injury, the poor little monkey ended up with a terrible upper respiratory infection that she got from the vets office.  Poor little monkey!  Twinkle is on the road to recovery and will be available for adoption soon.  Her foster Mom has been a rock star with her care and as you can see by Twinkle posing on the kitchen table - she's been a bit spoiled too.  (As she should be!)

Yesterday, I blogged about my latest foster kitten "Holly".  I'm not sure why I bothered to name her, because the little sweetie was adopted this morning by a terrific family!   She's already ruling the roost and has a new tabby "brother" adopted from another rescue this morning too. 

I sent out a Christmas email to our foster parents and volunteers this afternoon.  I was really at a loss for words (unusual for me!) to express my appreciation for everything they've done for me, the rescue and the cats.  I've always found it strange that dozens of people from different socio-economic levels, education and personalities can come together with great enthusiasm for the mutual love of saving cats. 

I wish every cat could have someone advocating for him or her.  Wouldn't that be a beautiful thing? 

Have a blessed holiday and thank you for reading.  :)  

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Holly Christmas

Now I can see why some people wait to do their Christmas shopping until the week before Christmas.  Wow...the shopping is awesome and I definitely got into the Christmas spirit.  I had some last minute odds and ends to shop for, along with Christmas Eve dinner.  I've been gone all day.  I'm sweaty, my hair is frizzy, and my wallet empty. 

Bring on Christmas!

My new foster kitten "Holly" has been a pure joy.  She was never quarantined and immediately out with everybody:


If you're exhausted, tired and need a smile, I hope you enjoy the following video that I took this morning of Holly:



I've watched it three times and I'm so grateful she's safe and at my house. I can't imagine why someone didn't want this little angel.

Merry Christmas, Holly...it's going to be a good one for you this year, I promise.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Rescue and A Rant

I drove out to the shelter this afternoon with fog and drizzle and was greeted with some cheery artwork on the door to the cat area.  On one hand, I felt happy that there was some cheer within an otherwise gloomy area, but mainly felt sad:

1.  There's a picture of cats near a Christmas tree.  The cats in this shelter don't have a chance to enjoy the holidays.  They're killed if not rescued.  There are no adoptions. 

2.  A Mom cat with kittens????  C'MON - how about a sign that says, "All we want for Christmas is to be spayed or neutered!"  That's a message that needs to be sent to the public who comes in looking for their cats.

Yesterday, I was at the shelter when a couple of young guys (20-something) came in looking for their cat.  I was excited to learn they were looking for a black cat!  (Yahoo...somebody is missing their BLACK cat, right?)  The staff member points out a black cat and then says, "Couldn't be that one - that cat is neutered."  In other words...these guys were looking for their unfixed male cat.  Gee.  I wonder why he ran off? 

Can we educate these dipshits guys please?????

I came home with a 12 week old little girl that I thought was pretty cute:



I can't think of a creative name for her. I used the name "Holly" because it's Christmas season, but am game to hear some good, creative, cute names for her too. Sherman was missing little Chester and seemed happy to have a new friend to terrorize. :)

The white guy that I spoke of yesterday is still there.  He now has an Upper Respiratory Infection and has been moved into the sick room.  He still got up and looked at me with great hope when I walked in.  My heart broke.  He's going to need some nursing care and some love. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Rescue List

It's rare that I show up to the shelter with the intention of rescuing 3 cats and leaving with only 1 cat.  Walking out the door with 1 cat and two empty carriers wasn't the plan of the day. 

I had a specific agenda today.  I had space for 1 teenage male kitten for myself, 1 longer haired friendly cat who likes other cats and dogs for another foster home, and a "rescue anybody as long as he/she gets along with other cats and is adoptable" for somebody else.  Going into the shelter with that kind of list is usually pretty easy, but it wasn't the case today. 

I must've walked up and down the aisles and the cat rooms for 45 minutes.  I'd hold up one cat to another cat.  "Doesn't like other cats" or "Getting sick." or "Possibly pregnant." or a big "Caution" sticker on their cage.   I finally settled on one sweet fluffy girl who had been at the shelter long enough to probably get sick:
Dalilah seemed great with other cats and I had hopes she would be OK with the foster parent's busy house. 

Deciding on who to rescue today was unusually agonizing for me.  Some of the cats looked so depressed they didn't lift their head to greet me.  There was an ADORABLE declawed white guy in Room #2.  I called one foster Mom from the shelter who has a love for white cats.   Everytime I'd walk into the room, he'd get up and looked so expectant that I was his family coming to save him.  "I have to get him out of there."

Some people don't realize that I can't just start loading up cat carriers with rescues.  Foster parents rely on me to make the right choices for their own cats, dogs and family.  If fostering is fun, they'll continue to do it.  I can't guarantee that it's always fun - often it isn't - but I can't just say a "Hail Mary" and load up a shitload of cats for rescue.  Our rescue would crumble under the weight. 

I still have Christmas shopping to do and an important doctor's appointment that I can't miss tomorrow.  I've got a lot of juggling to do but would really like to put "rescue more" on my list.  Unfortunately, it can't be at the top of the list and I hate that.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Saying Goodbye

It doesn't seem fair that my daughter went home tonight AND my foster kitten "Chester" was adopted on the same day.  It's left me feeling rather gloomy and sentimental tonight.    Truthfully, Chester went to a wonderful home - kids, loving parents and he played quietly and gently with their 4 year old daughter.

 Almost 10 years ago, I was bottlefeeding kittens at the same time my daughter left for University.  I couldn't bear to part with BOTH the kittens and my daughter so I ended up adopting the kittens.  Looks like things haven't changed too much.  It was tough saying goodbye to my Chester:

I hope he has a beautiful life with this family.  He's going to be an "only cat", and for that I'm always a little resistant.  Chester plays beautifully by himself and seeks out human attention far more than the other cats.  I think he'll be 100% fine. 

Sooooo my dear Chester:  I'll miss you little guy.  Tomorrow I'm going to the shelter to find somebody else that needs me.  You were really the best little house guest I could've ever had.  Love you....

Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday Nesting

It's always a happy day when my daughter from Southern California comes to visit.  I pick her up from the airport today at 3:30 and I feel like I should be motherly and baking something.  (Maybe I'll just squirt Gingerbread Febreeze through the house.)  As I laid in bed this morning, I  realized that this will be our last Christmas together sans husband.  What a way to start the day with memories of a little girl in red Mary Jane's and tears streaming down my face.  UGH.

I took a picture of The Sherminator last night as we've  I officially decided to make him A Turner.  David still doesn't know we adopted him, but his picture is off the rescue's website and he's not leaving.


Sherman was SO happy and thanked me profusely by having his own little party in my guest washroom:

My youngest son promised that when he moves out he's taking Sherman with him.  Where have I heard that before? 

Surprisingly, the rescue's phones are still ringing and we have adoptions still pending.  I figured that we'd slow down by now, but that doesn't seem the case.  I guess everybody wants to give a homeless cat a home for the holidays.  It'll be interesting to see how busy we are in January.

Yesterday, we received a call from the shelter asking us to take a 4 week old kitten that had just arrived.  Many thank you's to the volunteer who ran out to the shelter to pick up this little dude.  His name is "Tiny Tim" and I'm sure you'll agree that it's a name that's entirely appropriate:


Wow.  I'm totally having an estrogen-filled-maternal-nesting-thing going on today.  If I could burp that kitten and put a diaper on him, I probably would. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

O' Happy Days!

It's been a while since I felt like I was really *doing something* at the shelter.  Yes, I do rescue from there but sometimes I leave with cats and feel like I haven't done all that I could do.  Today was really a terrific rescue day. 

It isn't often that I get to rescue a BLACK SENIOR cat and I'm pleased to say that "Rosie" is now Forever Home:
Rescuing a black senior cat feels like I rescued 10 cats.  This sweetheart really beat the odds.  She's a sassy thing and I think her new Mom was thrilled with her. 

I also rescued a couple more cuties "Beau" and "Carli"

I also rescued "Snickers" who is only about 12 weeks old:
I think the vet was smitten with Snickers!  He rubbed his little black lips all over the vet's face.  It was SOO cute. 

The best rescue of the day was "Morla".   Morla was brought into the shelter with the tips of her ears burned off by frostbite.  I'm sure you'll hear the enthusiasm in my voice today:



I wish every day could feel like this one!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Today was a bit of a down day (NOT "downer) for me.  My sons borrowed my car and I found myself with an unexpected "admin day".  I'm terribly behind on my tax receipts, so today was the day!

I received an email today about a cat from the shelter named "Bubba":
What the picture doesn't show you is that Bubba is a "two-hander" - he weighs at least 20 pounds.  So when an adoption call came in for Bubba I was quick to tell them that he was "full figured" first.  That didn't bother Jean!  She loves big cats, and after being approved for adoption by me, she drove to the shelter within the hour and met Bubba. Bubba curled his cute little fat head in her hand and it was *love* and Bubba had a home.

Tomorrow, I'm picking up a little girl named "Morla":

Morla is about 4-5 years old and came into the shelter with the tips of her ears off from frostbite.  I think she has a sad story to tell, but you wouldn't know it.  She's genuinely a sweetheart.  I think I want to rename her "Peachy".  Somehow, that feels better than "Morla". 

I asked a foster Mom to rescue the little black and white girl that I posted about yesterday:

I'm happy to report that "Tippy" is snuggled and enjoying every moment of happiness she deserves in her new foster home:

Look at her paw - she's kneading in happiness!!!  Many thank you's to "Beth C" who ran out this morning to pick her up. 
It was a busy day today for this rescuer who never left the house - but in all honesty,  I don't think I'd be happy as an "Armchair Rescuer". 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Bonafide Pity Party!

I went back to the shelter today to rescue an adorable grey brother and sister pair that I saw on Sunday.  The sister was missing one eye and seemed to be having a hard time in the shelter.  I was glad I took them. 

A sweet 5 month old girl caught my eye today too:
When I picked her up, she started nursing in my neck....*sigh*....I'll have to go back again and get her.  I don't know where I'm going to put her - but I'm gunna git her :)

I walked through the "sick room" today and wondered who wouldn't be there tomorrow after the vet leaves.  Nobody looked terribly sick - just the usual Upper Respiratory stuff, but they all looked desperate and my heart hurt when I left.  The little black and white girl was in that room, and I put a "HOLD" on her.  Hopefully, she'll be there tomorrow.

Sorry for the doom and gloom.  I'm not sure why - our adoptions have been awesome (we had FIVE cats adopted TODAY!)  and I've had very little cat-related drama lately.  It's sad that I've been letting some do nothing idiots people get to me - people who don't understand animal rescue and the decisions that have to be made for the greater good of the rescue.  There have been some days recently where I feel very fragile and am very aware that I'm merely just a  another VOLUNTEER.  I don't deserve to be dragged through the coals - certainly not by people whom have no clue what it means to run an all volunteer animal rescue.

Whew...that last paragraph felt GOOOOD to write.  :)

So I'll go put dinner in the oven and keep pressing forward.  There are Christmas plans to be made and my daughter arrives from California on Friday for a short 3 days.  Certainly nobody can find fault in me for trying to have some semblance of a life. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

An Update On Monty

Monty was a sad little guy when he was rescued. He was placed into several foster homes and seemed to have trouble adjusting.   Our experienced foster Mom Michelle M. took on Monty and loved and nurtured him for a year.  During the year, two potential adopters came to meet him and on both occasions Monty headed for
the hills and hid under the foster Mom's bed and wouldn't come out. It's always a sad moment for any foster parent when you have to dig a unhappy cat out from under the bed. "How will Monty ever find a Forever Home?"

Until one day...

Bernice called the rescue line and was interested in adopting Monty. As an adoption screener you want to give people an accurate picture of the cat. So I was thrilled that Bernice wanted to meet Monty!! Understandably, Bernice wasn't sure
about our orange boy. But Monty was sure about HER! He came over to her and stretched out on his side. "Pick me! Pick me!" Monty seem to exclaim. Bernice took Monty home and we held our collective breaths that it was a Forever Home.
The next day Bernice wrote to say how much she had loved him. After all that time, Monty flourished and we could once again breathe.

One of the greatest moments of my cat rescue "Career" is receiving a video of our "sad little boy Monty".   A very thoughtful adopter sent Michelle the following video and with her permission I'm posting it here. 

video

Many hugs and thank you's to Michelle and to Monty's new Mom "Bernice" for giving Monty an opportunity to know love again.

You make my life meaningful.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Something To Think About

I was listening to Christmas Carols on a Buffalo, New York radio station.  They were having a HUGE adoption and donation blitz for the local SPCA.  It was impressive.  They adopted 52 cats today and the public was really rallying around them.  After every 3rd Christmas Carol, they would do a public service announcement about the SPCA.

There was definitely a twinge of jealousy happening.  I thought about our cats and wished we had something similar.  Then the Adoption Coordinator said, "Just $25.00 per month does so much for the animals..." and I stopped.

Sure.  $25.00 X 12 months is awesome!  But this shelter has  EMPLOYEES.  They have paid people to take care of the animals.  What's the percentage of your $25.00 that really goes to the animal's care? 

Yes, I know this is a touchy subject and I expect to get some crappy emails. 

My own, sweet parents give to their local SPCA in Seattle Washington.  They adopted a dog from a small dog rescue but STILL give to the big ol' mighty SPCA.  They don't send it to our little rescue.  I work 50+ hours per week for free and there are MANY MANY other people who do what I do and barely scrape by to pay their vet bills.   

So where am I going with this?  Give to the LITTLE rescues.  Your money will go so much further!  It won't go to somebody's salary.  It'll go to vet bills.  I have nothing against the big shelters who are trying to help the animals.  Honest to goodness, I don't.  But if you have $25.00 and want to spend it somewhere - give it to a small rescue!  ALL of the money will go to the animals. 

I rejoice every time I get a donation.  *I* get the money.  Not a paid administrator or staff member.  It's just me and I shout out to David over the top of my computer screen, "Oh thank God...we can pay the vet this month!" 

It's not just me - there are thousands of us out there working the work...walking the walk...and kissing the kitties.  We're doing it all and making it happen - for the cats. 

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Afternoons at the Shelter

Going to the shelter in the afternoon is SO completely different than in the morning.  In the morning, the cats are noisy and desperate.  They haven't eaten for 24 hours and although the staff is busy cleaning the cages, many of the cages are still disheveled with empty food bowls  as the staff move through the rooms. 

In the afternoon, the cats have been fed and are quiet.  Many of them are curled up asleep in their litterboxes and others come up to the front of their cages yawning lazily.  I have mixed feelings about the afternoon - the vet comes tomorrow and the cages are marked for euthanasia.  Walking through the rooms and knowing that the sweet furry faces are facing their last hours on earth is horrendous.

I went in today to rescue two cats and left with five.  Two of the kittens remain in my older son's room - The Land of Dirty Underwear - and the other three are being delivered to a foster parent tonight.  The two kittens came out of their carrier and looked around my son's room cautiously.  One of them looked around the messy room and back up to me. If he could talk he would've said, "You call THIS rescuing? I know my rights - take me back to the shelter!"  :)
 
I've been waiting to hear about an adopter for my little "Chester".  I haven't said much about him, but he's really a joyful, happy boy:
It's SO nice when a foster cat comes into your home, makes himself part of the family without a bunch of fanfare.

Tomorrow is going to be a bad "vet day".  The shelter was almost full.  Believe it or not TWENTY...yes, T-W-E-N-T-Y cats were brought in yesterday.  I guess people were lined up out the door to dump cats there.  There was a Siamese cat that had just been brought in because the owner committed suicide. 

I still have some foster space available, so will keep doing what I can, but it always feels so desperate the closer we get to Christmas.    

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

An Update On "Twinkle"

If you haven't read about Twinkle, please read here. All I can say is, "I'm glad I'm not fostering her." She'd become a Turner the minute she came into the house! 

Twinkle is doing well despite her disability.  The vet has put her leg into a cast with hope to stretch the deformed tendon so an amputation isn't necessary.  She isn't out of the woods yet:

That last picture cracks me up.  Look at the ATTITUDE on that kitten's face!  I saw her at the vet today and she was sporting a beautiful new yellow cast!  The foster Mom has to bring her in weekly to have the cast changed.  Certainly a pain in the neck for anybody who has a life outside of cat rescue!  Ahhh...the devotion these foster parents give their charges.

I was saddened to find out the shelter killed two kittens yesterday that I was going to rescue today.  I'm not sure what they're thinking by killing kittens in DECEMBER.  I have foster homes begging for kittens right now.  I'm really too angry to say anything more.  I was really upset yesterday over it and felt very responsible for not taking them Monday.

I guess they all can't be as fortunate as Twinkle. 

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Imperfections

My spaghetti sauce is cooking on the stove and the smell of garlic and carbohydrates permeate the rooms of the house.  It leaves me feeling a little nostalgic and wondering if there's anything else on this blog I can possibly say?

I've been writing now for 4 years and almost 800 posts.  I think there are some that rely on my blog to see what's going on at the shelter and others who find cat rescue interesting or inspiring.  But for the most part, it's really just a look at my life in cat rescue.  I never expected anybody to really read this blog!  Believe it or not, it was just something I did for myself as a diary of my life.  I've definitely been an "open book" and disclose (maybe too much) about myself and my life. 

You'd be surprised at the shitty comments that I decide not to post.  For some reason, people think that because I do animal rescue that I must be perfect, thoughtful, patient and kind at all times.  I can't imagine why anyone would think that.  Recently, I posted about two kittens that I rescued and was saddened to have left the Mom behind to die at the shelter.  Funny thing is....the nasty comment that I received on that post never asked if the Mom was healthy or feral?  The kittens weren't with her - they were in another room and definitely old enough to be on their own.  Sometimes I really hate opening myself up for criticism like that.

I suppose there's a lot I *don't* say in this blog.  When the crazy protesters came along causing lots of problems with the shelter where I rescue, I began to censor myself which changed the way I wrote.  To be honest, writing in this blog hasn't been the same since.  Every time I wrote something, I would find it torn apart on the Crazy Protesters' Facebook page.   I'm grateful that they seemed to have turned their ambitions to something more realistic.  Maybe because I stopped giving them so much ammunition?  

I think *I* still need to write and express myself here.  Every day, I fight becoming one of  "those jaded rescuers".  I want to think that the majority of the adopters that contact me are good people and their intentions honourable.  I shake my head as I hang up the phone with yet another owner wanting to dump their cat and remember that I'm imperfect too. 

"Imperfect" might be the understatement of the year. 

Monday, December 05, 2011

The Pressure Builds

The first 3 days of December were exciting!  We had 13 (THIRTEEN!) adoptions and the phone continues to ring for cats.  Needless to say, I was back to the shelter this afternoon rescuing...


I left the little tortie's brother at the shelter and I need to work on placement for him.  He's VERY sweet and I'm hopeful that somebody can help him. 

We also rescued an 8 week old tabby (!!) who had a prolapsed rectum.  I'm hopeful this won't cause undue stress to the foster parents or a huge vet bill.  We've certainly had our share recently. 

I went to the grocery store today and in the pharmacy section there was one of those automatic blood pressure cuffs.  Generally, I only use those things to kill time while waiting for a prescription.  But I've been feeling a little crummy and "off" lately so stuck my arm through the cuff and waited.  For a moment, I thought I had won the lottery as the red lights flashed a scary blood pressure of 180/100. 

I knew I had been under a lot of stress lately, but didn't realize it was that bad.  I've been just taking Advil for headaches and trying to get lots of sleep.  I thought only old people had high blood pressure.  Has it come to this?  Maybe I need a holiday in the Bahamas. I've heard that works miracles.  :)

There are quite a few declawed cats and some REALLY sweet black cats at the shelter.  I'm definitely going back later in the week to do another rescue.  The vet comes tomorrow to kill some of them and I'm already feeling badly that I didn't rescue more today.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Pee On My Snowman

Yesterday I decided would be the day to put up my indoor Christmas decorations.  I had Christmas music playing and forced myself into some holiday spirit as I pryed open the green and red plastic boxes that were dragged up earlier by my sons. 

As I opened the first box, the familiar stench of dried, old cat pee hit my nose like a ton of bricks.

"NO!!!  Who pee'd on my Snowman?????" I screamed.

Cats scattered for a moment and came slithering back.  Did each one look guilty or was that my imagination?  How on earth did pee get IN the box with the lid over it?  Did I pack it away last year with pee on it?

I really liked that snowman.  It wasn't anything special - no sentimental value.  But I liked it. 

The way I describe things, you'd think my house was a festival of pee.  Not so!  But I do occasionally find the random crystalized drops of pee in places that I wouldn't expect.  A few days ago, I found a little bit of pee on top of my scale in my washroom.  "What on earth....?"

Such is life with multiple cats.  I think people with one cat don't have that occasional problem, but I know better. 

Tomorrow is our adoption event and my cats were in an excited flurry over the box of adoption agreements, spay/neuter agreements, toys, cat dishes, pens, Temptation Treats and other goodies to make the event more enjoyable.  After the snowman incident, I pulled everything out of the box.  I won't be attending the event and I need to know that nobody in my house took it upon themselves to pee in THAT box. 

Buy why would they?  There's Temptation Treats in that box - Sacrilege!!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

It's About the Love...

When the phone rings at midnight it's never good news.  David's out of town and I was sure I was going to have to deal with some tragedy on my own. 

But that wasn't the case at all.

On the other end of the phone was my beautiful 27 year old daughter screaming with excitement that she's getting married!  Her boyfriend of 3+ years had proposed and "the ring is GORGEOUS, Mom!" 

My baby's getting married.  Back to Weight Watchers and lots of trips to California for wedding planning.

I was full of sappy sentimentality while driving out to the shelter.  I don't remember really driving out to the shelter - I must've been on autopilot.  I rescued 4 cats today - one of them named "Hartley" who is an ADORABLE black kitten.  Hartley isn't going to our rescue, but I was more than happy to rescue him for another rescue's volunteer.  It's always fun to meet other people who "get it".  Rescue can be so isolating.  Jill had a lovely room set up for him - fresh food, water, a cozy bed, a heater and lots of sunshine beaming through the window.  I wanted to stay and play with him too.  :)

I grabbed a 16 week old orange kitten for myself.  I'm still trying to decide what I'm going to name the little sweetie.  It's Mark Twain's 176th birthday today - maybe it should be "Huckleberry"!  I'm open for suggestions.  Nothing seems quite right - yet.

For tonight, I'll sit with my little orange guy, missing my sweetie and thinking about white dresses....

After all, it's about love, right?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Rainy Days and Tuesdays

Many thank you's for the emails and understanding of my meltdown yesterday. 

Tomorrow is a rescue day which usually lifts my spirits.  I'm going to try to NOT listen to Christmas music on the way to the shelter.  What is it about listening to Christmas songs that really make the trek to the shelter even more painful?  I remember feeling this way last year too. 

I've had so many wonderful rescue stories to tell lately, but haven't been able to sit down and write them out.  I think that comes with stress which has been overwhelming the past few days. 

With the rescue scheduled to go into TWO Petsmarts in January, I'm going to need a few more temporary foster homes willing to quarantine cats and kittens to go into stores.  Sadly, it's right at Christmas which means a little extra begging.  When has it ever been beneath me to beg?  :)

(I think I felt my face crack when I smiled a moment ago) 

If you follow the shelter website, you may have noticed a big ol' Maine Coon on their site named "Odin":

It was an exciting day when I heard that the sister of one of our (fabulous) volunteer drivers was interested in adopting him.  Unfortunately, as we all know, life gets in the way and she had to cancel the possibility of adopting Odin.  It was the 11th hour for Odin, and I was surprised to find that he was still alive when I walked into the shelter the next morning!  That was all Kelly (our volunteer driver) needed to go into action and find a home for this sweet fluffy guy.  I'm happy to report that we rescued Odin and is now living an incredible life with a Forever Home.  It was a scary couple of days, because Odin would've been killed the following vet day.  (In fact, I still can't figure out how he managed to remain alive)

I can't imagine a world without Odin.   I'm so grateful that he's still with us and happy.  I wish they could all live a life like that. 

Pizza delivery will be arriving in a few minutes.  Things are starting to look up.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Faking Through A Crummy Day

I've had some really terrific news over the weekend.  We've been accepted as a full time partner in another Petsmart store!  We're involved with 3 stores now,  on a rotating basis which should really help our adoptions.  There's going to be more work, organization and anxiety involved, but it'll all be worth it in the end.

Our adoptions for the month of November have been incredible - even without the extra store publicity.  :)

It was a fairly crummy day and it's not over yet.  David is in Europe for the week and I'm using the time to do some extra evening rescue work. 

In all honesty?  My day was so crummy today that I don't feel like writing in my blog, and I certainly don't feel like faking through cheerful news.  Usually, I use this venue to rant a little (or a lot), but I think I need to put today behind me as soon as possible.  Somehow, I think if I start spewing out what's going on at this moment, I wouldn't stop. 

You know it goes...one step forward....then another....

Friday, November 25, 2011

Brushing Off the Emotional Dust

I received a call from the shelter last night.  Can I save 2 grey and white kittens marked for euthanasia tomorrow?  I'm appalled that they're killing kittens in eff'ing (almost) DECEMBER, for Christ's sake.  (Excuse the language)

Then the next question came....and this one hurt most of all...."Can you save their Mom too?" 

You can't imagine how badly it hurts to say, "I can't save the Mom too." 

I went to the shelter this morning and picked up the babies.  The Mom's empty cage nearby.  My heart broke into a million pieces.  I silently vowed to find THE BEST home for her kittens, and cursed the person who dumped the family there in the first place. 

I also rescued a 3rd grey and white kitten too.  Many thank you's to Susan who took this little guy at the last minute. 

Lots of juggling today - including taking a video of our latest little "Special Needs" girl that I call "Twinkle":
The call came from the shelter earlier this week - they were going to kill her because she had an injury or neuro damage to her front left paw.  "Can you come get her?"  Sure.  We can come get her.  A volunteer dropped everything to pick up this little girl because the staff found it appropriate to kill her. 

Do I sound bitter today? I guess I am.  The shelter seemed virtually empty today and I couldn't muster enough courage to ask how many were euthanized this morning. 

So once again, I find myself brushing off the emotional dust and dealing with other people's mistakes.  I have to wonder what the vet bill will end up being for little Twinkle:


But right now....I don't really care.  I'm just glad she's safe.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Three Cheers For Admin Days

I took advantage of my son borrowing my car for the day to declare today "An Admin Day".   If I don't take days to do paperwork, update our website, and spreadsheets, I end up with 7 month old unneutered kittens still in foster care.  (Yikes!)

The phone rang off the hook for adoption calls yesterday.  But oddly enough, I ended up with four adopters calling who were named "Jennifer".  Those who know me, know I'm pretty organized, so it was very unlike me to end up calling the same Jennifer THREE times over 3 different cats.  Holy God, I felt like such a doofus.  She must've thought I was a complete idiot. 

I had some Kodak Moments for my little foster guy "Phil":
It wasn't until I took a few more pictures that I realized that this guy ALWAYS has "the deer in the headlights" look:

It's not that Phil is startled or anything - he's always looks...um...a bit goofy.  It seems that I have a knack for picking out the goofy guys to foster.  Phil has turned out to be my little shadow and rarely leaves my side. 

I'm still wearing my slippers from this morning, but am happy for the work that was accomplished today.  David has clean socks and underwear, and the dishwasher has been emptied.  I'll try to put on some lipstick before my man gets home. Maybe he'll notice the Christmas wreath on the front door.  :)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

"The Governor"

Last night I received a call from another rescue who needed some help with transport of 4 cats from the shelter.  Although I'm very busy with my own rescue, I  hate the idea of 4 cats sitting in cages when they could be safe in foster homes. 

At the same time, I received a Facebook message from a friend who was interested in a very handsome big-headed tomcat at the shelter named "Simon". 

Ahhhhh....now I have FIVE good reasons to go to the shelter!

I practically skipped into the building knowing that I had an opportunity to meet and greet a big ol' tomcat.  I love those guys.  They're hard to get out of the shelter sometimes.  Somehow, foster parents often equate tom cats with spraying. 

But I was too late....

My heart sank when I found that Simon had been killed only a few hours before I arrived.  I put up with so much emotional shit when I go into that shelter, but THIS is the one thing that drives me crazy more than anything else.  I had a probable home for this guy.  He was so sweet.  I was The Governor and I missed the execution.  I hate it.  I hate it.

With a heavy heart, I drove the 4 rescued cats to a predetermined vet clinic.  I tried so hard to be happy for them. 

This afternoon, I had a VERY sweet young woman come to meet my foster kitten "Bradley".  She's going to pick him up on Friday night and take him home.   She has a female cat and it's unknown how she'll react to Bradley.  But "Brad" is a pretty happy-go-lucky fella and not much hurts his feelings:
As usual, I find myself brushing off the dust and moving forward.  Some days are harder than others, and I'm sure I'll go to bed tonight thinking about Simon and what his life might have been like as a happy, loved cat.

Monday, November 21, 2011

I Have Nothing Figured Out

I was looking at our "adopted" spreadsheet and realized that the last 3 cats that were adopted were black and white!!  Is that possible?  Seriously - in August, I reduced the adoption fee by 20% on all black or  black and white cats and not ONE was adopted.  Suddenly, three get adopted. 

Don't get me wrong - I'm THRILLED when any of our cats are adopted!  But the black and white cats are often left behind with the black ones.  I have to wonder if there's a popular commercial or t.v. programme that features a black and white cat on right now. 

Thanks to a toiletpaper ad, everybody wanted a white, fluffy kitten for a while. 

I put a probable Maine Coon kitten on our website for adoption late last night.  I went to the grocery store this morning, and came home to EIGHT phone calls about the same kitten!  Holy crap....we have so many cute kittens!  Ask me about somebody else for cryin' out loud! 

Two nights ago, I put "Noah" (Norwegian Forest Cat)  on our website for adoption and I thought the phone would be ringing off the hook....but not one call:

Noah Before:
Noah After:


The highlight of my weekend was having an adopter call for "Diana":

We all know Diana is adorable, but she's definitely an ordinary black and white cat.  This family drove almost an hour (ONE WAY!)  to meet Diana and take her home!  They just *knew* she was "the one"!!!

Just when I think I have people figured out....I realized that I don't have anybody figured out at all!

But then again, *I'm* the one thinking about taking "The Sherminator" off the adoption page.. :)

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Vet Bill Cometh

Thank you all so much for your kind emails, comments and thoughts for my Maggie.  As you can see from the picture below, she's resting comfortably and getting all kinds of spoiling and attention.  We even took her to Starbucks on the way home from the vet's office for her cup of whipped cream.  Nothing is too extravagant for our girl! 

I always find it ironic that when a loved one (human or furry) is ill or having surgery, THEY are the ones that get the awesome pain meds.  I could certainly use whatever Maggie has for pain right about now. 

I'm hopeful our holiday fundraiser will be a good one tomorrow.  Our vet bills have been scary lately, as one of the cats in our program needed very expensive knee surgery:
 "Jared" is "the million $$ man" and is doing very well post-surgically.  The same vet performed  Maggie's surgery and did an excellent job! 

(Note:  As I typed this blog post, Jared's foster Mom called and said Jared did "something" to his knee and she's rushing him back to the vets...UGH!)
I always laugh when I look at the rescue's bank account after a big adoption event.  For a couple of days, it feels like we actually DO have money.  For a few moments, I feel like one of those people who won the lottery and is rolling around $100 dollar bills on their bed.

 But then the vet bills come in....and in....and more come in...then the phone calls from former adopters arrive who are ready to spay and neuter their adopted kittens....

I pity the next person who tells me we're charging "too much" for an adoption fee.  :)


  

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Serious Business!

My heart feels heavy today, as I left my 14 year old dog Maggie at the vets for surgery today.  It was considered a "high-risk" surgery due to her age, but the poor old girl had a mouth of infected, rotten teeth that needed to be taken care of.  I feel completely negligent that I didn't notice she was having trouble eating until I gave her a TimBit (small donut hole) and she yelped.  It's awful to be so busy that you don't take proper care of the ones you love.

My son works at Starbucks and whenever David and I go there, we bring Maggie.  My son dutifully brings out a small cup of whipped cream for her.  It's VERY serious business for Maggie!
I really cherish the time this old gal has given me and my family.  I don't think we have lots of time left with her, but I'm going to do my damnest to make sure that she knows we love her every minute of her life.

After dropping off Maggie at the vets for her surgery, I went on to the shelter and rescued a couple of kittens.  One little grey/white 4 month girl that wasn't on the shelter website yet, and "Tonka":
Eight week old "Tonka" arrived at the shelter with a terrible eye infection.  She's been given proper medication and her eye looks great now!  Holy crap, is she CUTE!  She was covered in poop when I arrived at her foster parent's home.  She never stopped purring when we had to put her poopy feet in water.  I think she knew she was safe!

But the name "Tonka" has to go!  :)

Our rescue is part of a big Holiday Fundraising Bazaar this Saturday at a local church.  Fortunately, we have such a kick a$$ fundraising committee, I don't have to work at the event!  I'm actually going to be a SHOPPER, which is something I do VERY well. 

Glad there's *something* I do well, because right now, I'm feeling pretty hopeless where my Maggie is concerned.  I can hardly wait to pick her up tonight. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

"We Dun Good"

Typing anything today has been an exercise in futility.  My new little foster guy "Phil" has decided that my keyboard and in between my hands is the very best place to be.  It's taken me twice as long to do anything today than it usually does!  "We've" erased important emails, added to text and I've had cap locks on several times today.  Why don't I just put him on the ground?  (I don't think I need to answer that - those of you who read this blog certainly understand)

I'm VERY happy to report that I rescued Noah today. Lots of you asked about this gorgeous 22 pound Norwegian Forest cat. Many thank you's to the city shelter where we rescue who provided great veterinary care for him so that our rescue didn't have to foot the bill:

This guy really is impressive in person too!

I also received an awesome "Before" and "After" picture from a foster Mom who took in a couple of really sad looking little waifs from the shelter.

Here's (obviously) the Before picture:

And.....AFTER:

As my grandmother would say,  "Ya dun good on this!" 
"Phil" and I are so proud. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Gearing Up For a Good Week

It was a very successful adoption weekend and I'm full of good news!  We had more than 15+ cats adopted over the weekend - not just from Petsmart, but from our foster homes too.  (I would certainly hate to think what would happen if we put all of our eggs in the Petsmart-basket. )

We had a very close call with one of our kittens on Saturday.  I met with a terrific couple with a large dog who wanted to adopt one of our kittens.  They brought their dog into the store and we sat in an adoption room to insure that the dog would be ok with the kitten and vice versa.  It seemed like a great match!  The dog was licking him, and the kitten seemed 100% ok.  Apparently, the couple took the kitten out of his carrier in the car.  The dog viciously lunged at the kitten.  Thank God, the couple had fast reflexes and the kitten was OK. Thankfully, the couple brought the kitten back.  They were all very upset.  It could've been so much worse. 

If any of you "dog people"  know  how this could be prevented in the future, please let me know.  I really thought we did full due diligence and all was well.  The dog was wonderful with the kitten in the adoption room.  *sigh*

Speaking of Petsmart, we've been approved to be an adoption partner at another one of their stores!  We'll be rotating on a monthly basis with one other rescue.  We open in January there, and couldn't be happier with this opportunity.  Lots to do in December to get ready!!

I'm also happy to say that Hubert for whom I put out an urgent plea last week was rescued today by another rescue! In fact, I was speaking with Kim at the shelter last night and found out that more than 20+ cats were rescued out of the shelter today! I can only hope that the vet day was cancelled  for tomorrow.

This feels like the start of a good week....

Friday, November 11, 2011

Why I Do This....

The cages and tables are set up for our big adoption event tomorrow.  But I'm not really writing about that. 

Tonight, I wanted to write about a special "Before" and "After" picture, along with an email I received with the "after" picture.  It started with the recent adoption of Monty:


With the writer's permission, I'm copying her email word-for-word.  My purpose for doing so, is to bring understanding of the importance of these wonderful animals in our lives:

"Hey beth!

No complaints over here, I'm just emailing to let you know how 'monty' aka 'sheldon' is. I originally thought of naming him cornelius but it didn't stick. I've just been calling him shelly, or sheldy. He sleeps in my arms and yells at me if I stop holding him. Are you sure you didn't give me a dog? He follows me around and literally will throw himself at me for food. The first day I left him alone in the bedroom, he was so happy when I got home he jumped into my arms. He also tries to stop me from leaving. Hell jump up onto the coat rack and dive bomb onto my shoulders. He's a little goof ball. I'd really like to thank you for suggesting this guy to me.

Ill be honest, I've had depression for years and coming home to him makes me the happiest person on the face of the planet. I do have another cat (as you know) but she's nowhere near as cuddly and I think this is what I really needed.

You rock!

No.  I think *YOU* rock!   Monty's "After" picture will make me smile for days.

Thank you for reminding me why I do this (often) gut wrenching work. 

Happy Friday....