Friday, December 21, 2012

Attention Mr. Mayor

I never include this kind of propaganda, but the video below totally *rocks* and expresses my sentiments about this "high kill" shelter.  I don't always see eye-to-eye with this group, but whomever produced this video was right on the money this time:

Turn on your sound and let's hope the Mayor of this ass-backward city will do something positive for the animals for a change.



 I understand that this shelter had a large "kill day" yesterday. No rescues were aware that the cats would be killed on an unusual "vet day" and couldn't rescue any of the little souls in time.


Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Sick Ward

I've been SO sick all week!  It happens every year - always the worst time of the year.  It's probably just a cold - but holy crap - it's a cold that has really knocked me on my ass for the past 4 days. 

I'm not half as sick as the poor souls we recently rescued from the high kill shelter last weekend.  Every goddamn time we rescue from that place I throw my hands in the air and say, "I'm *DONE*"  But how could I ever say "no" to a volunteer who wants to help one, two or more from there?

The majority of these cats are brought into this shelter healthy.  If they don't leave the shelter dead, they  usually are  brewing some sort of virus or infection.  Here's the picture I received this morning from a distraught foster parent who chose "Zeke" a week ago.


  Zeke has been to the vets twice in 7 days.  He was left at the vets today to be on IV, and get more intensive care.  He's going to die unless he receives this care.  He stopped eating a week ago - right after rescue.  The blood you see in his nose is due to Calici virus - ulcers are all over his tongue. 
If I lost my cat and picked it up at this shelter 2 days later (they are able to kill them on day #4) and I got stuck with $1000.00+ vet bills  because of a f*cking virus that runs rampant at that shelter, I'd be royally pissed. 

Truthfully?  I *am* royally pissed.  So are the other rescues who want to help the  cats at this shelter.   I received a  lovely donation recently and every dime of it is going to go to help this one cat. 

I feel like billing The City for the care of this cat.  Ha. 

It's been a while since I  vented about this  shelter.  Maybe I was due.  We've rescued 30+ cats and kittens in the past 14 days from the low-kill shelter.  The majority of them were adopted IMMEDIATELY because they were healthy.

Why can't this shelter stop this constant barrage of sickness?  I want to help them.  I desperately want to be on their side.   I want to be enthusiastic when a volunteer wants to rescue a cat from this facility.   There are DOZENS of sweet cats like Zeke in this Animal Services that need rescue.  I don't want to walk away because "I can't afford it."  

/rant

Monday, December 10, 2012

*Home*

It's definitely been a few days of happiness for me and the rescue!   I'm trying to wallow in some rescue happiness while I have it!

After writing about the purebred Bengal named Seamus at the shelter, one of our own foster parents came forward and offered to give Seamus a temporary home.  It was obvious to this doting foster parent that Seamus was not just stressed but very depressed.  My heart sank whens he told me that she thought that Seamus came to realization that he was never going back home again.  God, how I hate hearing that.

But The Seamus' Story wasn't over.   A wonderful couple who read my blog came forward and offered to adopt Seamus! They already have a Bengal of similar age and understand all the Bengal idiosyncrasies.   My heart soared when they updated the foster Mom that he wasn't hiding and greeted them at the door - totally opposite of what the foster Mom experienced!

Seamus knows he's *home*!  Is there any better word than that?  Home! 

Speaking of awesome adoptions, my own foster kitten "Merry" was adopted within 24 hours of her picture on our website!  I hardly got to really know her :)  

Merry was my first foster in a long time.  Honestly, I think she was probably too young for my house.  She promptly tinkled on my new living room rug. (Of course, it's a WHITE RUG - what was I thinking when I bought that stupid thing?)    It wasn't her fault.  I need a foster cat old enough to make it downstairs to the laundry room litterbox.  I don't keep a main floor litterbox. 

Our volunteers were back to the high kill shelter on Saturday and rescued  2 adult cats and 2 older kittens and one tiny little 5 week old dude.  I laughed when I found out they were  ALL tabbies!

I don't think I've stopped smiling :)

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

After the Rescue

As always, it felt sad to be at the shelter yesterday.  Although it was  a "Vet day" that morning, there were still quite a few cats that were  hopeful that their family or a rescue might show up to save their lives. But it's always the EMPTY cages that bother me the most.

It was time  for me to pick a foster for myself.  We're settled into our new home and the cats seem happy.  I may have bitten off more than I could chew with "Merry":
Merry was meowing pitifully in her cage and although I figured she might have a chance at another rescue taking her....why couldn't THAT rescue be ME?  She's 10 weeks of perfect cuteness:

I didn't realize it at the time, but the spots on this girl are pretty amazing.  She definitely has an attitude and I'm terrified that Sherman might teach her some tricks of the trade.

As promised, I also rescued a sweet Persian that we've named "Feliz":


 It never ceases to amaze me what 24 hours worth of love in a foster home can do:

Doesn't that look like THE PERFECT spot for a cat?  I feel like getting a cup of tea and curling up with her in that sunny window! 

Let's hope they stay healthy...

Monday, December 03, 2012

Purebred and Hopeless

I was so happy to receive an email from a foster Mom asking me to rescue a specific cat from the "high kill" shelter.  Although I don't need an excuse to go, I like knowing that I'm taking somebody that would have no other chance:
I look at her little face and wonder what she's like.  Will she be happy to see me?  Will she like my little rescue song?  Apparently, she's very sweet and everybody really likes her.  Poor baby was loaded  with fleas when she came in.  Of course, she's already sick from the shelter, and Persians don't have it easy when they get an upper respiratory infection.  Their stubby noses make it nearly impossible to breathe.  Fortunately, she's going to an experienced foster Mom.

At a not-so-high-kill shelter, there's a purebred Bengal that needs help.  He's  five years old, soooo sweet and handsome:

The shelter contacted me and asked for me to  put the word out that this boy needs out of the shelter.  Bengals can be a tricky breed and this guy doesn't seem too thrilled with other cats but really seems to like dogs!  Go figure!  I certainly wouldn't want him to go to somebody who thinks Bengals look "cool".  He needs somebody who understands the breed.

I don't know what people are thinking spending copious amounts of money on purebred cats and then dumping them at the shelter.  Don't the breeders ask questions of the people who adopt?  I suppose reputable breeders do.

People are surprised that purebred cats are at shelters and being killed due to overcrowding.  They seem to think that it makes sense that the shelters kill the black ones, or the plain ones.  But heaven forbid they kill the purebred cats - the special cats. 

I received an email this morning from a woman asking for help with a cat.  She's moving TOMORROW into a place that doesn't accept cats.  So this guy is going to be homeless tomorrow:


I'm not surprised that this shit happens.  People think that pets are disposable.  They'll just get another one when they're life "sorts itself out." 

In the meantime, that 7 year old tabby guy is killing me.  He has no idea that his life is hanging in the balance.  He's sitting there all warm and happy in his home and soft carpet.  He thinks somebody loves him.  Tomorrow he'll be abandoned in a steel cage.  I wonder how he'll feel when the door *clangs* shut and he's given food that he's never eaten before.  

He'll feel the same way the Persian and Bengal feels.  Hopeless.



Friday, November 30, 2012

The First Snow of the Season

The weather forecasters said we would just have a dusting of snow today.  I don't mind driving in the snow.  For a California girl like me, I find it a bit of an adrenalin rush to drive in my SUV down the highway with white powder gently blowing across the highway.

The forecasters were wrong.

David and I were almost to the shelter for a rescue when the red light on the dash indicated  a flat tire.  We were able to pull into a car repair place and  were practically high-fiving each other that this happened BEFORE we did the rescue and didn't have 10 cats in the car.  The repair of our tire took two hours and the snow was already falling by the time we left the car repair location.

We loaded up a Mom cat and kittens, along with 4 more cats and headed out in Friday rush hour traffic with the first snow  of the season barreling down.  What would usually be a 40 minute drive took us THREE hours.  My bladder was about to burst by the time we arrived at the foster Mom's house.  I think my car door was open as David drove into the driveway.  Damn my menopausal bladder!

When we arrived home, my 21 year old son had  shoveled the driveway and put a  fire in the fireplace. Pizza was ordered and 3 kittens are safely playing in my spare room as they wait to go into Petsmart tomorrow.

It's hard to believe that we  managed  all that driving without ONE poop in the carrier accident!  (Although admittedly, I almost didn't make it to the foster parent's house! LOL)    I wonder if David will be as enthusiastic to come with me for the next rescue?   A Flat tire?  Snow? Three Hours? 

I need to be at Petsmart tomorrow morning by 9 am.  Santa Pictures and putting cats into the adoption centre will prove to be an exhausting day.  At least Petsmart has a washroom. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Humbug in the "Bah"

I haven't felt much like posting in this blog lately.  It feels like over the past week or so everything I've been doing for the rescue has been incredibly boring or terribly sad.

One of our foster parents was babysitting 3 kittens for a week while another foster parent went on vacation.  She called the the other day and had some concerns about one of them with a "Fat belly and a very thin and boney back".  My heart sank.   We had seen so much FIP lately that I knew it could only be that.  The vet took an x-ray, confirmed the kitten's belly was full of fluid and was he was lovingly euthanized shortly after that. 

I feel awful for BOTH foster parents.  Terrible for the foster Mom who was doing something nice like a 7 day fostering gig and awful for the foster Mom who will return to find her foster kitten gone. 

Blah...blah...blah...blah.

Last night I did an adoption (I was the meeting spot for foster parent and adopter) at my house.  It was fun to sit by the fire and chat about kittens.  The adopter brought "Jordan" a kitten she had adopted a week ago from us.  Jordan was NOT impressed with Maggie (our 14 year old dog) and promptly bit my finger as I tried to pick him up. 

I've only been doing this for 20 years....you'd think I'd remember that picking up an arched-back-spitting kitten is a bad idea.  It was a knee-jerk reaction.  ugh.   Hopefully, I won't need antibiotics.  I've kept the wound clean.  All part of cat rescue, right?

I declared that today would be a huge catching up day.  I had a bunch of pictures to put on our website, emails to answer and a foster list that needed some care.  People forget that even though a cat is in our program, I still have to look after the little guy to insure he/she is fixed at an appropriate time and touch base with the often-neglected foster parents. 

Waking up at 9:30 this morning was NOT a good start to my ambitious plans.  Why on earth am I sleeping in so late?  I've always been an early riser, so I feel like 9:30 is the middle of the afternoon.  I came running downstairs like there was a fire, only to find David sipping coffee in front of a roaring fire, and reading the newspaper.  He  smiled  cheerfully and said he fed the cats and thought I might enjoy sleeping in for a change. 

I mumbled something about needing to get shit stuff done today. 

Wow.  I can be such a jerk. 

Now that I'm fairly caught up - except for the rescue's bookkeeping, I think I have some making up to do at home.  Dinner and a movie tonight - senior citizen's special, perhaps!  *Wink*

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A HodgePodge Of Rambling....

It's 10:00 am and I'm still in my robe working on administrative stuff for the rescue.  Since David's retirement, my schedule has completely changed.  I wake up at 9 am, and go to bed at  about midnight.  I'm not sure what on earth possesses me to wake up at 9 am!  I feel like it's the middle of the day. 

Yesterday, I went into my favourite store (Home Sense!)  to buy new towels.  David wanted to come with me - believe me - that wasn't encouraged!   I came out with 4 new towels and some ridiculous "Kiss the Cat" sign.  Admittedly, it was a huge impulse buy.   Maybe it was my way of showing my newly retired husband that the house is still my domain and I'll buy a frickin' (albeit stupid) cat sign if I want to.  :)

Despite the new changes in my life, I've enjoyed November enormously.  There have been very few rescue pressures and little drama.  The phones are ringing with adoption calls and the neighbourhood is showing signs of Christmas decorating.

My BIG news is that our other house has FINALLY sold!  Soon  we will no longer have the burden of both houses and that could be a major reason for my lighter-than-normal mood. 

As the holidays begin, I always get horribly sentimental about the homeless animals and wonder if they notice that there's less spotlight on them and more on holiday decorating, shopping and family. 

It's time for me to get a foster cat.  It's long overdue and now that we're settled...it's time. 

Lately, these blog posts have been a hodgepodge of rambling thoughts.  Looking forward to meeting whomever my new foster guy will be :)


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Need More Hours in a Day, Please

This has been a week of not having enough time for anything.  I feel like I've been on the clock for 16 hour days.  Every voicemail has made reference to leaving multiple messages for me and wondering when I'm going to call them back.

One voicemail came in at 10:18 a.m. this morning.  The next voicemail (from the same person) came in at 12:10 wondering why I haven't called.  Gratefully, one of our volunteers returned a bunch of calls for me yesterday as I was starting to get behind!

I've been rescuing quite a bit lately.  I was at the shelter this morning and pulled 3 really sweet kittens for foster parents asking for them.  Since his retirement, David has wanted to come with me on these ventures.  It wasn't until we got home today that he said in an exasperated voice, "We've been on the road for FOUR and A HALF hours!!!"

Duh.  Does he think these kittens catch a cab and deliver themselves to foster homes and vet appointments?  

The inside of my car looks a garbage bin.  There's spilled coffee on the console and A&W paper cups in the cup holders, and Mapquest directions on the floor.  It was a  really long day today and hasn't ended yet.  As I type this, I'm waiting for a call back from a worried foster parent. 

I think I'm going to leave David home tomorrow.  He's been a trooper and gets "The Good Husband" award for hanging out with me and the cats all week.   I'm going back to the shelter in the morning.   Since David's retirement, I've missed my shopping detours between rescuing cats.   I  feel like I need a little dose  of sanity and Home Sense is calling my name. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Oldies But Goodies!

When I had an opportunity to rescue THREE senior cats from the high kill shelter, I jumped at the  opportunity.  Who needs drugs, when you can rescue a three "oldies but goodies" scheduled to die at the shelter?

Two of the cats were well over 12 years old.  They came from the same home where the owner passed away.  Whenever senior humans sound insulted (when they want to adopt) when I ask about their "Plan B" for the cat;...THIS is the reason.  Grandma dies and the family dumps her poor senior cats at the shelter.  I hope the old lady haunts them.  I really do.   The fear and sadness emanating from these cats is immeasurable. 

The  other cat was 12+ years old too.  There was  an urgent plea for this cat by a fellow blogger at Sparkle the Designer Cat.  Because "Sparkle" is a Somali cat, they really wanted to help this little old fella too:
We don't know why he was really there.  He was brought in as a stray and left there unclaimed.  He was to be euthanized.  Fortunately, for this handsome old guy, a lovely woman named Mandi came forward and offered to give him a FOREVER home!

It's been a long time since I've taken a video at the "high kill"  shelter.  I'm so happy I brought my camera!  :)



Sadly, my camera's batteries cut off.  I'm always very cautious when I reach in to a shelter cage to a cat with dilated eyes.  But our frightened boy turned out to be a lover-boy! The updates from his new Mom have been wonderful! He's eating and purring. I couldn't be happier!!

I'm thinking about these sweet older felines tonight and hope that they continue to thrive in their new environments.  I wish they could ALL have a 2nd chance....or 3rd chance...What an important reminder as to why I do this work.  

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Finding Some Energy

I still have so much to do today but desperately need a day off.  I don't think I've ever worked so hard as I did at our last adoption event.  I think I was there twice a day, every day - only coming home to feed my own pets.

There was no "easy adoption" last weekend.  Every adoption needed more than the usual careful thought or had a special circumstance, situation or an adopter that didn't feel quite right for the cat they wanted to adopt. 

We had 18 adoptions.  I was on the phone the next day calling all  of them to insure that everything was ok.  Maybe I was just tired.  I always  worry more when I'm tired.  

Gratefully, David was in Montreal for the weekend for a geek-fest Bridge Tournament.  This allowed me some guilt-free time to spend at the adoption event.  He proudly came home with a trophy, but I was  too tired to give it any big fanfare. 

The staff at Petsmart reminded me that we have Santa Pictures coming up in a few weeks at their store.  It's a big fundraiser and I wanted to cry when I  heard that another weekend could be spent at the store.  I think I may have to pass on this one and leave it to our dedicated volunteers.  We desperately need the money so I'm not comfortable passing it up. 

We need a Santa.  Anybody?  Bueller?

I think it's time to take the day for myself.  I've been living on Halloween candy and coffee for almost a week now.  I've  hit the ground running since I returned from my daughter's wedding.  My roots are dark and my nails need a manicure.  We have two new foster parents that need phone calls and I'm anxious to do another rescue to fill in the spaces for cats recently adopted. 

Next week.  For SURE next week I'm going to take a day for myself!  :)


Thursday, November 01, 2012

Where Does the Money Go?

 It's been a wonderful rescue week with 8 more out of shelters. Two kittens were rescued from the high kill shelter.  The rest were from the public or the other low-kill shelter. 

I've politely taken some flak when I stopped rescuing so many from the high kill shelter.  Occasionally I get a bitter troll who attempts to put an anonymous comment on my blog about my lack of interest there.  It's always the same person - she obviously doesn't know that her last name and ISP show up. 

Believe me - it isn't a lack of interest in helping these poor souls.   ANY foster home that wishes to take a cat from any shelter can do so.  They all need homes.  High kill - low kill - no kill or the random cat living under the porch.  Who am I to say who is the most deserving?  They all are! 

I read an article from the supervisor of the high kill shelter who indicated that the number of euthanasias are down 40% or something like that.  Certainly it wasn't due to ADOPTIONS since the shelter doesn't permit adoptions.  It's due to a number of reasons, but one of the reasons are the hard working volunteer cat rescuers who are rescuing cats from this facility and paying $1000's in vet bills, force feeding kittens and holding them while they die. 

Maybe I just got fed up with making their numbers look better than they really are.  Maybe I got tired of begging for money every other day because I kept rescuing cats that I knew would quickly become desperately ill. 

Believe me, I'm not making any money.  In fact, we're like every other rescue -  we're broke!   But I have happier volunteers now.  Some will only rescue from the high kill facility and others are happy to have a break from the constant stream of sick cats.  I'm ok with that - there will always be money for those cats from the high kill facility.   It's hard to become ambitious about fostering when every cat you take gets horribly ill.  

So what am I doing with any extra money?

Monday, I rescued a sweet cat for a senior lady who is dying of lung cancer.  Her 16 year old  cat passed away a few weeks ago and she couldn't imagine NOT having a cat for whatever time she has left.  Our rescue is paying for all future vet costs for this adorable, affectionate cat. (if there are any)  He will never be for adoption unless she passes.  "Dexter" is giving her so much joy.  I called to check on them both yesterday and she kept me on the phone for almost an hour - her voice was animated and engaged.  Isn't that why we have cats, dogs, guinea pigs, horses etc?  They give us joy?  Isn't that what this is about?

We have two senior ladies that we're helping in this way.   We are giving them a chance to love a cat for whatever time they have.  They can't afford vet bills  and I'm certainly not going to allow adopters to come into their homes and take away their beloved "Foster cat" from their arms.  But these ladies are safe and secure knowing that "their cat" is going to be cared for when they pass on.

I'm not expecting a lot of people to agree with me.  But I really enjoy helping cats AND people.  It feels like a good fit for me.  Allowing the cats to bring the kind of joy to others as they have to me is what I love the most.   

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Kevin

Tomorrow is going to end up being a huge rescue day.  As I sit at my computer and figure out available foster space, it's a fine juggle between "available foster space" and "have enough cats for an adoption event this coming weekend".

The weather is supposed to be awful, so I'm going to grab a coffee and head out early.  There's going to be traffic and problematic parking in the city, but I'm anxious to rescue.  It's been far too long.  

I had a terrible adoption call this weekend that really tried my patience.  As somebody who regularly speaks with the public, I work hard at trying to make people feel OK if they're turned down for adoption.  Turning down a prospective adopter is usually very difficult.  It takes diplomacy and tact....

...but "diplomacy and tact" wasn't on the docket today:

(After all the nice-chat is over, we get down to business)

Beth:  So have you ever had a cat before?

Kevin:  Oh sure!  We had a cat until recently...

Beth:  Oh?  What happened?

Kevin:  Gave it away because we bought this fucking puppy that chased the cat and it really pissed off the cat royally.

Beth:  So you gave away your cat....

Kevin:  Yes!  But to The Humane Society so they wouldn't kill him.

Beth:  (stammering)

Kevin:  Fucking puppy was a nutcase so we ended up giving him away too!  Imagine that we could've kept the cat after all!  What bad luck!

Beth:  So you've given away two pets this year?

Kevin:  We've had 3 cats in the past few years, but they just didn't work well with us, so we had to find them new homes too.

(At this point, I'm thinking "Candid Camera......gotta be Candid Camera...)

Beth:  I don't want an adopter that is going to dump one of our cats.  We want an adopter that will honour a 20 year commitment to the cat.

Kevin:  Nobody can do that.  Things change in life, lady.

Beth:  Sure they do, but...

Kevin:  Oh, I get it now...you're one of THOSE crazy cat ladies.

Beth:  No.  I just want good homes for the cats we rescue.  We make a commitment to each and every cat.  I promise them.... We're called "FOREVER Home Cat Rescue for a reason."

Kevin:  You're a fucking nutty bitch.  There's plenty of cats out there that need homes, I'll get one of those. 

***click***

I didn't get a chance for a retort, but hung up angrily and feared for the poor cat that he'd end up with.  I feel like posting this blog post on  Craigslist to warn other people.  But I suppose there are desperate people out there who won't mind dumping their cat with a "gem" like Kevin. 

In the meantime, I can only hope that Kevin doesn't reproduce. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Tuesday Chatter

I thought I'd  heard everything.  I'm sitting here dumbfounded at the ridiculous reasons that people use to dump a cat or (in this case) return a cat.

I received a call this afternoon from a young woman who adopted an 8 week old kitten from us about a week ago.  Apparently, the kitten "wants to gouge her eyes out". 

Seriously. 

This adopter was really paranoid and was no doubt suffering some form of mental illness.  The kitten is darling and the volunteer who screened the adopter would have missed this if she was in a more lucid state at the time of adoption.   I can't get this kitten back in our care fast enough.  I'm frightened for the little guy and want him back *now*.

As I've always said, dealing with people is the best AND the worst part of running an animal rescue organization. 

I received a donation today from the woman that adopted our sweet boy "Clinton"  - he was the cat dumped at the shelter for being "too affectionate".  Her handwritten note started with, "Dear Beth, how can I tell you how grateful we are for people like you?"  She went on to say how much she loved Clinton, etc.  My heart soared with  every word.

There are so many people like me out there trying to make a difference for the cats.  I see them every day.  We're all out there juggling our lives, getting hurt and living for notes like the one that I received today. 

I've had a lot of difficult situations since I've returned from my daughter's wedding.  I think I'd better keep that note handy to remind myself why I do this work. :)




Monday, October 22, 2012

I Cried.

I have no idea why I'm so surprised when the rescue runs so beautifully while I'm away.  We had more than 20 adoptions in the five days of my absence and 2 more today!  Maybe I need to go away more often.

The wedding was amazing and exceeded my expectations.  Yes, I cried.  I was totally  fine until my two handsome sons escorted me down the aisle.  When did they become taller than me?  Memories kept coming back to me - diaper changes,  Barbie Lunchboxes, cheerleading meetings, and University graduation. 

 I thought David looked VERY handsome walking Katy down the aisle...more tears from me...



Thank heavens for cell phone cameras!  In the old days we had to wait until the photographer coughed up the pictures.  I think these pictures  were on Facebook before the end of the night!  :)

My own cats and geriatric Maggie did well while I was gone.  In the first 30 seconds of being home, Maggie pee'd on the carpet in front of me.  Nothing like a good dose of "guilt" for being gone to make you feel welcome by your own pets.  :)

The newlyweds are off to Maui and we  returned to  Autumn colour.  I'm glad to be be home, but feel older than when I left.  The Petsmart manager was surprised to hear that I have a 28 year old daughter that's married.  (She's going to be my new best friend! LOL!)

David's first full day of post-wedding retirement was spent in Petsmart with me, running cat medications to foster homes and racking leaves.

I think  we're ALL going to be OK. *happy  smile*


Monday, October 15, 2012

Wedding Belles...err...Bells

It's the evening before I leave for Southern California for my daughter's wedding.  It's been a  day of nostalgia as I faced my husband's first day of retirement and packed my mother-of-the-bride dress.  Tears seem to happen readily today. 

Our favourite Petsitter came over to get the lowdown on the gang and insure that the routine is maintained.  I'm always a little embarrassed to go over everybody's eating schedules and routines.  I asked Paula (the pet sitter) if we were her only crazy clients.  I had hoped she would laugh and say "Naaaah.....this is NOTHING!"   But instead she just smirked.  :)   Things are much better than it was a  few years ago - I had pages and pages of directions! 

The guest room bed has clean sheets and bedding and is ready for Paula the Pet Sitter...I hope she doesn't mind a LITTLE cat hair:


 How do cats know where to go EXACTLY where they aren't supposed to be?

It's going to be a four crazy, emotional days for me.  Our volunteers have told me not to worry about things.   I never really do - the  rescue is in good hands without me.

My prime mission for the week is to be able to make it through the wedding without making a fool out of myself and sobbing.  An "ugly wedding cry" will not make for good photography.

Have a great week all! 



Friday, October 12, 2012

Changes Are Coming...a Little Too Fast

Friday.  It's really Friday.  Maybe I've been in denial that today is David's last day as a working Canadian citizen.  He'll officially be retired.  It's strange that I haven't really told anybody.  I think I've just been trying to figure out how he will fit into my life as a post-working-guy.

Last night we had a scare and ran our 6 year old brown tabby boy  "Thomas Turner" into the emergency vet clinic.  When Thomas didn't come downstairs for Temptation Treats we  knew  something was wrong and found him completely *flat* on the guest bedroom bed.  After close examination, we noticed that his EYEBALLS - not the tissues  surrounding his eyes - were filled with blood.  Nothing is simple, or cheap.  

This morning we have  $1000.00 less in the ol' bank account, and Thomas seems fine.  Nobody knows what happened to him or why.  Couldn't I at least have a diagnosis, please? 

Every breadwinner who retires has an initial panic about money.  I was waiting for  David to flip out. But without question, he reminded me of his devotion to me and the cats when he didn't blink an eye when expensive tests were ordered.   I'm sure he was silently thinking, "Holy Crap....what if ALL the cats get sick?"  LOL

On top of everything else, my daughter gets married next week and we're all traveling to Newport Beach, California for the event.   We've paid for the wedding, but the "vacation expenses"  will be high.  I think my sons are planning a trip to Disneyland next week.  *sigh*

Maybe it's me that feels panicked.  I have a wonderful life with the rescue and am worried about how David will fit into that life.   We have lots of big life changes coming up.  It's strange that some of my old friends from high school have children still in elementary/primary school.  MY husband is retiring, we have married kids, grandkids and a GREAT grandchild. 

With all that goes on in life, there are two things I can count on:   David, and an unending supply of cats.  Gratefully, both of them seem to need me. 


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The New Computer

I turned off my computer for the night as I usually do.  The morning brings my usual routine of turning on the computer, making coffee and "feeding the herd".   But this time, when I clicked the blue button to turn on my computer, I didn't hear the usual "rrrrrrrrRRRR" of the start up.

After five years, my beloved, comfortable computer was finally dead. 

Most people are excited about getting a new computer.  I dreaded it.  There was a new Microsoft browser out there and I had LOTS of stuff on my old computer that I needed.  Ahhh...thoughts  of knowing where everything is at a click of my mouse was going to be a distant memory.

The laptop arrived without much fanfare.  David and my son were far more excited to get me set up to as close as the original state as I could be.  Files were transferred but now found in different places.  Foster parents were sending me pictures of their foster cats and I couldn't find the appropriate photo software to edit them.

Only *I* would whine about getting a new computer.  How completely ungrateful. 

But with an internet-based business as our rescue, a working, fast computer is mandatory.  I feel like everything is taking longer than it should.   Typing this blog post has been an exercise in patience as my fingers fiddle with the smaller laptop keyboard. 

As I'm bookmarking Facebook, Petfinder, and my photo software, I'm feeling far more relaxed as the familiar faces pop up on the browser.  My technological life will soon be back to normal.  In the meantime, I'm going to summon some gratitude that the worst problem I have today is familiarizing myself with the new laptop. 

Friday, October 05, 2012

Meet Armando!

It's the Friday before Thanksgiving here in Canada.  It feels like everybody is too busy to worry about rescuing or adopting a cat right now.  I stopped by our Petsmart store this afternoon and it's totally quiet!  UGH! 

Last time I was at the shelter, I met a very cute feral kitten and was told that he would be euthanized due to temperament.  Fortunately, they were able to put him on hold for me while we worked on finding a foster home for him.   A seven week old kitten usually comes around very quickly in foster care!   As usual, one of our fabulous volunteers came forward to help this little dude.

It was my pleasure to rescue him today:



I hope this video makes you smile.   I held him on the way to his new foster Mom's house.  He was purring.

Happy Friday :)

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Do I Need "Excitement"?

As I completed an agonizing 3 hours of bookeeping and updating for the rescue this afternoon, I realized that I've been really missing the more exciting parts of rescue.  I'm not sure exactly what constitutes "excitement" in cat rescue.

Dumpster diving for kittens?

Death row rescuing?

Crawling under porches to dig out little frightened cat families looking for warmth?

As I sat behind my desk this afternoon clicking "Enter" and hearing the familiar *ping pong* of the Quickbooks programme, I became vaguely aware that I've become more of a pencil pusher than a rescuer these days.  Don't get me wrong - I've been to the shelter twice this week already, so I *am* rescuing. 

No wonder so many rescues are in a state of financial and emotional disaster.  We all get into this for the animals, and many of us end up feeling resentful for doing nothing else but glorified bookkeeping.  Those of us who AREN'T doing proper bookkeeping and administrative duties find that their rescue is in a constant state of financial turmoil and disorganization.  

Everytime I think I've found a balance, I find the otherside is tipping a little more than the other. 

One element of my rescue mentality has changed over the years:  "I no longer need to be the biggest and best rescue." 

I want to make a difference in people's lives.  I want adopters to feel like they got a fair shake and that they dealt with a professional organization that cares about the animals AND the people.  I want our volunteers to have FUN and know they're making a difference in this world. 

As I keep mentally reciting that mantra:  "Have fun.  Rescue Cats.  Have Fun. Rescue Cats..."  I went over our Adopted Cats list and realize that by early next month....

....we will be at our 

1000th Adoption!

  NOW I'm excited!

Monday, October 01, 2012

How Much Wood....?

I hate it when the phone rings too early.  Especially when I see my son's caller ID on the phone.  I answered cautiously, poised for another trip to the emergency room.   This time he said, "Mom, I'm sending you a picture.  Check your email."

Earlier in the spring, I had posted a picture of an animal that I was unsure of what the darn thing was.  Apparently, it's a Groundhog or a Woodchuck.  You can see his picture here.   Apparently, our little friend is baaaaack with a vengeance:



So this little guy must've REALLY busy last night.  Remember - this is a house we have that's FOR SALE!  I'm afraid to show David.  He thought we should've taken steps in the spring to move the Groundhog.  But he was so cute and I had already named him "Woody"!   

I don't know what we're going to do.  I called Animal Services, and apparently, they only kill them - they don't MOVE them and had no advice.  Killing Woody isn't an option.  I'm actually wondering if we have a "Woodette" and that's damage done by little ones born in the spring.  Little bastards!

I was back at the shelter this morning and rescued 8 deserving cats and kittens!   I took two of the young adults to a new foster home and brought 6 to Petsmart. (Already had been quarantined)  I no sooner had gotten the kittens settled into their cages when an amazing lady showed up and wanted to adopt one of the black kittens that I had just put into the store!   Great way to start the month. 

We had 3 adult cats adopted this weekend!  I certainly wish it could be this way every week.  I don't think things have slowed down from the summer kitten season.  Sadly, they still seem to be coming into the shelter. 

Hang in there .... it's October...it's bound to slow down soon.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Not a Typical Day In Cat Rescue

I no sooner pushed the "Publish" button on yesterday's blog post when the phone rang.  I was already stress with my sweet "soulmate cat" Newman in surgery, but I wasn't expecting complete chaos on the other end of the phone when I answered.  All I could hear was a man screaming.

It was the voice of my son.

The second voice I heard was his girlfriend's voice:  "Mrs. Turner,  I've called an ambulance for Patrick, he's in agonizing pain in his head and can't walk.  Can you come to the hospital?"

What you don't know is when Patrick was a teenager, he fell 45 feet (approximately 4 storeys)  onto the cement when a carnival ride collapsed.  He had recovered from a massive brain injury, but we always had the caveat that he could be predisposed to an aneurysm per his neuro-surgeon. 

I won't go into all the details, but after a CT scan, spinal tap and 8 hours in the emergency, they didn't know what was wrong. 

I would periodically leave the emergency room to check on Newman's surgery at the vets and ask one of our volunteers to take over the rescue's phone lines and emails.  I thought I had everything covered and even remembered there was a house showing at our other house for sale that needed to be cancelled!  I took a deep breath.

The cell phone rang in my hand as I sat outside of the hospital for a few moments in the sunshine.  It was the vet at another affiliated vet clinic.  One of our foster kittens was there and he wanted authorization to do an x-ray.  He suspected FIP.

I went back into the emergency room to be with my son and waited for another opportunity to walk outside to check on my own cat and the sick foster cat.  Another two hours went by and the doctor came in to do the spinal tap. 

With coffee in hand, I called the rescue's vet.  The kitten was dying.  It was FIP and he asked for permission to euthanize.  My heart sank.  It was just too much.  Newman, my son and a dying kitten?  I had a moment of complete selfish anguish.  Why can't I have just ONE DAY to deal with matters of my own life?  I put my hands into fists and closed my eyes.

Then I realized...Rescue IS my life, and sadly authorized the euthanisia of "Oz". 

My son and my Newman are both recovering.  I, on the other hand, spent today trying to recover from a Thursday I won't soon forget.

Kiss your loved ones....human and furry...tonight. 



Thursday, September 27, 2012

Thursday Thoughts

I didn't sleep last night.  I tossed and turned and fretted about my own 10 year old cat "Newman" who is having dental surgery this morning.  Realistically, cats have dental surgery every day and most people drop them off at the vets, pick them up at the end of the day, pay the bill and go home. 

Not me.

I was thinking this morning how nice it would be if every cat had an opportunity to have somebody love them SO MUCH that their family didn't sleep the night before they have 3 teeth pulled.  I suppose that's what I wish for every cat.  That somebody loves them as much as I love my Newman. 

There's been an unusual number of calls on our rescue's phone line over the past few weeks with people finding litters of kittens or a cat suddenly appearing at a back door.  Strangely enough, the calls are ALL coming from the same city and the same area.  It's driving me crazy to think that people are moving away and leaving their cats to fend for themselves.  Cowards. 

Because these telephone calls are all coming from the same city as the high kill shelter, I'm wondering if people think that the cats have a better chance of survival if left outside than to end up at that shelter.  Every person that's called has said, "I don't want to take him/her to (the shelter) because they'll kill him/her."   It's great that there's been lots of press and education about this shelter.  But it's not so great that people are hesitant to bring lost cats or abandoned pets there. 

There are a lot of things worse than being euthanized at the shelter.  Ask the volunteers who take care of feral colonies, or people who have witnessed torture of animals. 

So yes.  I wish every cat had a home and not just any home...but a home where somebody loses sleep with worry for them.  That's a lot to ask. 

Today, I'll be waiting by the phone to hear how my little Newman did with her surgery.  Until she's back home, a little piece of me will be missing. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

From The Crapper

This must've been the most quiet Monday in history.  I woke up expecting the usual deluge of adoption calls, spay/neuter appointment requests, etc.  But there was only one call.  It was a complaint.

I always try to return complaint calls as quickly as I return the adoption calls.  It isn't easy.  People forget that I'm unpaid and am often returning calls at 9 am with my first cup of coffee in my robe.  If I could guess, I'd say 99% of  the rescue's few complaint calls are over post-adoption diarrhea. 

God, I'm sick of hearing about diarrhea.  Cats get diarrhea.  We get diarrhea.  I don't know why - food? stress? parasites?  Regardless, it makes adopters go crazy.  The problem is, a cat could have ZERO tummy problems before adoption, but I have no clue what they're feeding the cat once they leave our care.  They might have gotten into the garbage, or failed to kitten-proof the house.  Cats can be like raccoons and they'll eat stuff they shouldn't.

This morning, a woman had adopted two kittens from us.  Apparently, they were "shitting all over the house".  (Her words - NOT mine!)  The visual of "shitting all over the house" was alarming, so I called immediately only to find that she wants us to pay a $500.00+ vet bill for....D-I-A-R-R-H-E-A.  No, I'm not paying $500.00 for kittens with the squirts.  Take care of your own cats. 

It has suddenly occurred to me that I haven't posted since last week Wednesday and I'm talking about poop.  But I *do* have some really terrific news:

Clinton, the "too affectionate" cat that we rescued last week was adopted today!!!!  A lovely lady read about his ridiculous abandonment and gave him an A+++ home.  How's THAT for a fast adoption!?

Looks like we're going to have another rescue day soon....  :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Rescuing Update

After a weekend of 19 adoptions, I've had the privilege of doing more rescuing than usual.  It's strange how I haven't been doing the actual rescuing as much as I used to.  I miss it sometimes. 

 Our volunteers went to the "high kill" shelter over the weekend and rescued 6 cats.

 Monday we rescued 3 Mom cats and 14 kittens.

 Tuesday was 1 tiny kitten and a 6 month old orange bruiser.


Today, we rescued 1 kitten (because the "tiny kitten" from Tuesday needed a friend) and we also rescued "Clinton".  Clinton was surrendered to the shelter because he was listed as "Too Affectionate".  Seriously.  Clinton didn't disappoint.  He walked into his foster home like he lived there forever.

Today, we also rescued a sweet Mom cat from outside.  Her family moved away from her and left her sitting on the front porch.  Bastards.  "Dear God, please don't let her be pregnant too."


With all the rescuing comes questions, vet visits and juggling.  Three of the cats have already been to the vets for not eating, a possible urinary tract infection, and an upper respiratory virus.  Of course, they came from the "high kill" shelter where it seems like eveybody gets sick and city seems hell bent on bankrupting small rescues like ours.  These cats might end up costing more than their future adoption fees.  We cross our fingers for the remaining cats, but at least they didn't come out of that shelter.  They stand a better chance. 

I always get anxious when we rescue this many at once.  Rescuing was a lot more fun when I wasn't responsible for paying the bills. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

A (Much) Happier Day!

I think I'm still recovering from an insane Petsmart Adoption weekend.   I know I brag about our volunteers quite a bit on this blog.  But holy crap, we really do have the best volunteers.   Friday night, there was a highway closure and one of our volunteers drove for THREE hours just to get there with her foster cats for her shift. 

We're not a huge rescue, but we had every Petsmart shift covered from open to close for all three days of the event.   We had NINETEEN adoptions!!!  Every adult cat was adopted, and EVERY black cat and all but one black and white cat was adopted.  It was crazy - nobody adopted the flashy calicos and the one adorable orange and white guy we had. 

I met a really lovely senior couple at the event.  They only wanted a declawed cat, which we didn't have at the event.  So I went to the shelter this morning and picked up a really homely 4 year old declawed guy named "Louie".  The staff at the shelter told me that Louie was getting depressed and they were so happy I was taking him.   I delivered Louie to their front door and felt a bit like Santa Claus might delivering a very special present.  The couple thought Louie was very handsome and were thrilled.  Louie found the sofa and the huge picture window in the living room.  It was a wonderful moment and I always get teary-eyed to witness it.

The trek to the shelter went much faster than usual.  I took a volunteer with me who had never been to this shelter.  She left with THREE nursing Mom cats and their kittens.  She has a really neat set up for these little families and took a picture of one of the little groups:
Each family gets their own spacious area, and as the kittens grow and become more active, they all get more room.   This particular Mom cat is really neat looking, isn't she?  Love her smokey/black colour. 
I want to hit the "Send" button on this post before anything negative comes up.  It's been such a happy few days and I want to wallow in it for a while. 

Did I mention that we have THE BEST volunteers?  Our rescue and the cats are so fortunate to have them. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Too Much Dust to "Brush Off"

I wish I had written in my blog yesterday.  I really hate writing two downer blog posts in a row, but such is the life of a rescuer sometimes. 

We received the sad news that one of our kittens named "Dori" was diagnosed with FIP.  Thank heavens the foster Mom was alert to the signs - huge belly and skeletal-like body.  X-rays and a needle biopsy confirmed it this morning.  Dori was starting to sleep all the time.  She was eating, but not much.  Because cats are often called "The Great Pretenders", it was hard to know if she was really hurting but faking it. 

Regardless, there's nothing that can be done for a kitten with FIP.  It's fatal. 

So with tears in my eyes I authorized another kitten to be euthanized.

It took everything I had to say "Yes, it's OK.  I give my permission for euthanasia."  But when the vet said that according to Ontario Veterinary College I had to say those words a SECOND time to his receptionist for legal purposes, I lost control and started to really cry.  Saying it twice was too much and too painful.  

I'm grateful that I was able to busy myself with adoption event stuff.  We have a large Petsmart event coming up this weekend and organizing cage space and cats is definitely NOT my strongsuit.  Fortunately, we have quite a few volunteers who can organize these events far better than I can.  "I'll bring the cats!  You tell me where to put 'em and how many to bring!" 

It's been a tough week for our rescue.  I feel emotionally and financially drained.  I think this adoption event will be just the ticket for me.  Chatting, smiling and adopting out cats.  It's what I do best. 

Adopted cats mean it'll be time for another rescue. Rescuing is the 2nd best thing that I do.  :)


Monday, September 10, 2012

Another Cursed Monday

Once again, we faced another start of the work week where I had to tell a loving foster Mom that her beloved foster cat passed away.  After spending more than $2000.00 dollars on this sweetheart and days in a hospital, we finally got word from the vet that "Porkchop" is no longer with us. 
I hate that he died alone while the vet was closed and I hate that the $2000.00 that the rescue spent didn't save him.  There are no regrets about spending the money.  Any REPUTABLE rescue organization would do that.  I had to tap into our emergency money, but that's what it's for, right?  With our emergency money depleted, I'm going to have to do some juggling and pray that some fundraising will help. 

As a rescuer, there's never much time to grieve.  Porkchop's passing means there's an open space in a foster home and another cat waiting for a chance to live.  I'm so grateful that his foster Mom feels the same way.  So often foster parents run for the hills when their foster cat dies.  Sometimes it's just too damn painful to put yourself out there again. 

It's been a gorgeous day.  That's been my saving grace today after getting pre-coffee bad news.  The sun has been pouring through my office window with a cooler (dare I say "Autumn-like"?) breeze coming through.  I've been extremely productive and even had time to stain a new screen door for our front door.  The rescue's administrative stuff is now up to date and there might even be time for a 30 minute siesta before I start dinner. 

I almost hate the idea of taking that 30 minute nap.  I've been too busy until now to think about our little "Porky".  But he deserves to be thought about.  I don't want him to be "just another RIP in the rescue".   I'll spend some time thinking about him at our last adoption event and how he sucked on his foster Mom's ear.  Porkchop was such a character. 

He's going to be missed.




Thursday, September 06, 2012

The Cell Phone Slave

I had a moment of panic 15 minutes after I left my house this morning.  NO cell phone!  I knew where I had left it - on the kitchen counter.  I could see it there as plain as day, waiting for me to pick it up as I walked out the door.  Thanks to "Bluetooth", normally I make many calls while enroute somewhere.  I'm productive, quick and people appreciate the fast response time from me.  Instead, I sat helpless at the stop light.  I was certain that my cell phone was buzzing over and over again on my kitchen counter. 

What kind of emergencies was I missing today?

How would I check the rescue's adoption line?

My anxiety quickly manifested into a blissful feeling of freedom. 

I could feel my shoulders relax as I pulled into the local pet store.  I had my nails done in total peace and serenity.  I had the nerve to feel annoyed with the noisy toddler another unlucky client was forced to bring with her.  For the moment - I didn't care.  The world could wait.  Let the cell phone buzz!!

My anxiety quickly returned as I drove toward my home and realized that I needed to stop at the grocery store.  Another 30 minutes?  Could I wait another 30 minutes?  Should I go home first, check messages then go back out to the grocery store?  How ridiculous.  Of course, I can go into the grocery store and pick up a few things. 

As I literally ran through the grocery store with my cart, I practiced my speech - telling our beloved foster parents and adopters why I was seemingly so negligent:

"I'm sorry!  I didn't have my cell phone with me!  What's happened?  What can I do?  What needs to be done?  Is there blood?  Have you called the vet?"

I parked in the driveway and ran to the front door with the house key in hand.  There was no time to lose - emergencies were waiting!  I grasped for the cell phone and pushed the green button to put light on the keypad. 

It said "New Voicemails"

I knew it!  I pressed the keys and listened intently...

....it was one of our vet's office.  We owe $5,068.97 for the month of August and can they bill my credit card for the expense?

Let the anxiety begin (again).

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Out With The Bad.....

Part of animal rescue is accepting the good with the bad.  But today was a downright shitty day.  Waking up to authorizing the euthanasia of our darling "Tater Tot" brought my day to a standstill:

Tater was great at our adoption event!  Happy, playful and energetic.  By Monday night, he was obviously sick.  By this morning, he was dying.  We did a viral test to put the foster parent's minds at ease and it was negative.  Now we'll just have to guess as to why our little "dumpster kitten" died. 

But with rescue, "standstill" isn't always possible.  I drove out to meet another foster Mom and picked up our big ol' (former) Tom cat named "Manny".  Apparently, a family at Petsmart fell in love with him and is willing to give him a FOREVER HOME.  The Animal Services originally wanted to include this guy as part of their barn cat program citing that he wasn't adoptable.  Boy, were they wrong!    We called him Mr. Big Cheeks .  It was a happy moment for me and for the foster Mom that took a chance on him. 

Maybe it's the terrible weather today, but I've been unable to shake losing our Tater Tot.  Even watching a happy family take Manny home today wasn't enough.  I wish there had been a more definitive reason for him becoming so ill.  The problem with experienced rescuers, is that we ALL think we're smarter than veterinarians sometimes and we second guess ourselves. 

My oldest son is coming out tonight to pick up "his two cats":  Parker and Butters.  They've only ever lived with me, and I'm feeling nostalgic about letting them go with him.  Will my son remember "Snack Time" at 9 pm?  Will he scoop the litterbox?   He adores these two cats and is 24 years old.  I still feel uneasy and hope that those feelings will pass.  Whenever my son visits us, Parker and Butters RUN to him.  They adore him and it was the agreement when we adopted them:  When my son moved out - he would take Parker and Butters. 

Tomorrow will be a better day.  (I wish I had a nickel for every time I ended a blog post with THAT statement!)

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Birthin' Babies

Ahhhh yes....Labour Day Weekend!  Last night I asked David to set the alarm for 6:30 am.  He said that it should be illegal to set the alarm for 6:30 on a Saturday.  But today is an adoption event!  

Yesterday despite a lot of obstacles, we rescued a darling little calico from a construction site.  Bless her heart, she was VERY VERY pregnant.  It's hard to believe (at the end of August) that I even had a foster home available for her.  But the universe agreed and she's safe and sound...

She must've known she was safe, because within hours of her rescue....

Calico #1

Calico #2
It's still early and I'm waiting to hear about more little lives that have come into the world during the night. I can't what would've happened to this little family had she tried to give birth at the construction site.

Labour Day isn't the perfect weekend to have an adoption event, but we were invited to participate and I really hate to turn something like that down.  Even if adoptions are slow, it'll be nice to hang out with other volunteers and share a common goal. 

Keep that coffee coming...

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

God's Country

It was nice to be part of a rescue again.  It's not very often that I get to visit a lovely horse farm with the intent of rescuing cats.  The drive was incredible out into the country with a fellow volunteer in the passenger seat.  I could almost smell the leather from the tack barn as we drove into their driveway.  Oh how I miss having horses sometimes! 

Sadly, only a few of the tenants (who board their horses) give a crap about the 15+ cats inhabitating their farm.  Nobody really feeds them and of course, none are fixed.  So NOW that the spring kittens are getting older, everybody's panicking and they're asking for help. 

As usual, before any  rescue I call foster parents and ask for help.  I knew I could take 3 cats comfortably.

But I left with 5. 

Two already have pictures and names:
"Ferguson looks pretty happy to be out of the barn!"

"Forbes is a happy guy too!"

Now that five are out of there, the owners and tenants of the farm have vowed to get the rest fixed in order to avoid things getting out of control. There's such a small window to catch friendly cats before they become untouchable and fertile.

I still have a preference for rescuing out of shelters.  But I feel like I made a huge difference with this farm and may have been able to help them from a situation becoming out of control.  It was hard to take them away from this farm.  The sun was warm and they were all in a bail of hay grooming each other.  They were happy!!  I tried to remember that Canada's winters can be unforgiving and scooped them into carriers. 

I kissed each one and promised them a better life....and I meant it.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Monday Catch-Up

Last week I declared Monday, August 27th my "Back to Reality" day.  I figured 7 days of whining, unpacking and general forgetful behaviour would be forgiven for a 7 day period.  After that, I was sure I'd be labeled a "Flake".  I was so certain that in 7 days all my boxes would be unpacked and I'd be happily skipping around the new house putting up pictures and nesting like a pregnant woman about to give birth.

No such luck.  I only found the box of linens last night.  We've been sleeping without pillowcases all week. 

I finished organizing my office today and feel as if I can make some better decisions about the rescue and an adoption event coming up this Saturday in the city.  (Locating my cages, tables and brochures will be another story.)  Sure, I'm a little worried about having an adoption event on Labour Day weekend, but it's been advertised and the pet store owner is pretty excited about having us, so I'm going to drum up some enthusiasm and adopt out some cats on Saturday!

Wednesday, I'm driving out to farm country and help an upscale horse farm with an overload of cats.  Apparently, they're all friendly and healthy.  It's hard for me to ask for money, but I did ask the owner for a donation to get the cats their initial vaccinations, deworming and defleaing.  I'm not sure how many there are, but they're going to be in a mess soon as many are still pregnant and having kittens.  This isn't exactly "my kind of rescue", but the people seem so supportive and helpful, that I think it's a good idea. 

I was thinking today how easy it is to forget about the plight of discarded cats that live outside when it's a beautiful late summer day.  But it's only a few months away when things get cold and the weather unforgiving.  Although it's awful that cats are euthanized in the shelters, it's a much easier way to die than freezing to death.  Those who feed feral colonies will agree, I'm sure.  

I received a tearful voicemail from a lady that adopted one of our cats in the spring.  Sadly, the kitten is now dying of FIP.  I remember this lady - she was lovely and gave this kitten (and his brother) a wonderful home.  My heart broke as her voice cracked and she started to cry on the voicemail.  I had to replay it again as I thought I heard incorrectly that she wanted me to pay for the euthanasia since I didn't have to pay for the kitten's neuter surgery. 

Seriously?  *sigh*

It's going to be a busy week.  I hope to stay in touch with my blog a little better now that life is giving me some organization...

...and some pillow cases for our pillows!




Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Cat Den - Part Deux

I unpacked my camera!  It's like Christmas when I found it - so many things about the move and the house that I wanted to document.  Most importantly, I wanted to post some pictures here with the new cat den.  It's actually the same set up - different house and it wraps around the corner of the house.  :) 

We're having some work done at the house today, so I locked the cats out there for safety reasons.  Nobody is happy with "forced fun", as you'll see in these pictures:



I love that this cat den is more open than the last.  We had it wrapped around some small trees and bushes with hope that would add interest.  The cats can go out through a flap in the basement window.  Sadly, nobody is THAT interested in using the cat den right now except for Sherman  

Back to unpacking the rescue's office.... 

Monday, August 20, 2012

It's Over!

I've survived.  Right now, I feel like the only person that ever moved.  Maybe it's because I did three HUGE moves in 9 years.  Too much.  This house is going to be the "pine box" house.  Next time I move - they're carrying me out in a pine box.

Once I find my camera I'll take some pictures of the new cat den.  They wrapped the cage around the side of the house and enclosed some bushes and some climbable mini-trees.  I woke up this morning to the chatter of black squirrels scolding my cats who were in the cat den.  Sherman and Parker were frozen in excitement.  Success! 

I'm feeling guilty this afternoon because I have boxes upon boxes to unpack, but here I am writing in my blog.  PLUS I went shopping at The Container Store this morning.  I think I'm just burned out and need to do something fun.  We found a huge bouquet of flowers on the front porch yesterday morning with a darling "Welcome Home" card from our new neighbours. 

Don't know how I did it, but I managed to do adoption calls and take foster home inquiries during the move.  There was a point in the 2-day move where I had the phone under my chin, carrying a box and chatting merrily about one of our adoptable cats.  I think the rescue had about 6 hours in downtime between offices, internet connection and phones.  Not too shabby!

David and I are back in our king size bed again. (post house staging) We've been falling into bed at night with such exhaustion that we haven't had a chance to fully enjoy the additional space.  All I know is that as much as I love my husband, I'm SO FREAKIN' GLAD he's *over there* on the otherside of the bed.  Too much togetherness is for the under 25 years old set.  :)  The cats seem happy to spread out too.

Looking forward to being back into some form of routine.  I didn't unpack even one box today, so that's not a good start.  :)  But I *am* cooking dinner!   God help me if I eat one more piece of pizza or McDonald's.  Puke. 

I hope the oven works...

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

48 Hours

For the next 48 hours, we are without our beloved Cat Den.  Kris at Habitat Haven showed up promptly at 8:00 am this morning and took down the den and is now installing it at our new house as I type this blog post.

My cats are having withdrawals and it's mayhem at my house. 

We have a house showing this morning and the some of the cats must remain in the house during the showing since we can't put them out in the cat den.  It's 11 am, and my once clean hair is skinned back in a pony tail and I'm sweaty.  I have to be back at the new house by 1:00 because Ikea is delivering some stuff for my son's room. 

Yesterday, I ran into a former adopter at a local pet store.  Lynn is a lovely human being and she adopted our Gabby and Ramone.  She wanted me to come over to visit them before I moved.  I hesitated.  She lives only 3 minutes from the pet store and I knew she wanted me to come over right away.  How could I make time?  Too much to do....but I decided to go anyway.  Maybe the diversion would be good for me. 

What I didn't expect is that I burst into tears the moment I saw them!

They looked cared for and happy.  Their coats were shiny and there was no doubt that they were adored.  Ramone playfully bit me and I sang my little "Gabba-Gabba" song to Gabby.  I think she remembered!  I wiped my eyes in embarrassment.  I don't know where that came from.  Maybe just from the stress of the past few weeks.  But I was SO glad I saw them again. 

48 hours and I'll be in our new house - complete with cat den.  THEN the work begins!  Until then, dealing with 10 cats "flipping out" over the lack of cat den is going to be brutal.  Maybe they can go over for a visit tonight.  Hm.  Or maybe not.  :)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Meltdown Central

I was still half asleep when David leaned over to kiss me goodbye.   He gently whispered in my ear, "Sweetheart, don't look out the front window, there's a really big dead raccoon that's been hit by a car in front of the house."

I sat straight up in bed.  "How do you know it's really dead? What if it needs medical care??"  I ran to the window and sighed.  Poor guy was gone.  No doubt was the Daddy for half the raccoons born in the neighbourhood.  Animal Services picked up his body a few minutes ago.  I said a silent prayer and worried that some other little raccoon might be missing him.  Do raccoons have best friends?  I hate that I'm such sap and think of this stuff.

It wasn't a pleasant start to the day.

The day hasn't gotten much better as I'm waiting for the Cable company.  They gave me an EIGHT HOUR window of time of arrival.  How the hell do people who have real jobs deal with that?  Ridiculous!!

We officially move into our new home on Friday.  The "Cat Den" people are coming Wednesday to dismantle the cat den and put it up at our new house.  It could be a rough two days without it.  My cats love their cat den!

I've spent the past 2 or 3 weeks doing nothing but complaining, stressing and scratching the surface of things that need to be done.  We have one volunteer that had a 40th birthday party and instead of receiving gifts she asked for donations to our rescue!   She's been patiently waiting for me to connect with her to give me money and I've been unable to manage a secure time to be home!   I'm so embarrassed.

I have so many missing "thank you's" that I've neglected to say to people.  That's probably driving me crazier than anything.  It's such a worry that people may think I've been rude or neglectful.  On top of everything else,  I think I lost an adoption cheque.  It was paperclipped to the adoption agreement.  The adoption agreement is here but the cheque is gone.  I'll have to reimburse the rescue for that if it doesn't turn up. 

Fortunately for me and the rescue,we have the best volunteers around.  As I type this, two of our volunteers are driving into the city to pick up kittens and take them into Petsmart for me.  I'm truly blessed at every turn and need to remember that as I have these mini-meltdowns. 

It's a good thing I'm distracted.  The $7000.00+ vet bill I just received from ONE veterinarian didn't phase me as it usually would.  :)  I'm feeling better now as I type this, and I think I'll go make another pot of coffee and keep cleaning out cupboards. 

Maybe I should start counting my blessings too. 



Tuesday, August 07, 2012

A "Too Busy" Tuesday

Yesterday was a Provincial holiday in Ontario, and although it was a holiday for most of us, I felt like I was missing out on important "things to do" by not treating the day like an ordinary Monday.  I woke up today feeling like I was behind on everything.  What good is a holiday if I'm stressed about everything when the holiday is over?

In keeping with our vow to maintain a fabulous marriage, David and I decided to spend the night away from home on Sunday night.  My son takes care of the cats and geriatric dog while we're gone, so it's pretty special to be able to have some spontaneity and take off like that.  We went to dinner, the movies and back to our hotel.  No scooping litterboxes or feeding cats for 24 hours.  Lovely. :)

 I had a laundry list of things to do today so the day started way too early.  I was back at the shelter this morning and rescued 3 sweethearts that looked like they needed a Forever Home. We had a black cat adoption this weekend, so I wanted to rescue somebody else that would be considered hard to adopt.  I walked the cages thinking, "Who is the ugliest in here?"  Yes, I found somebody but I'm not going to say who :)

I met with a lovely couple at our veterinary clinic who lives in a rural area.  They had been feeding and caring for two kittens that had been dumped off....so I took them too.  (the cats...not the couple. hahaa!)   This is why living in a rural area wouldn't work for me.  I couldn't stand how many animals get abandoned and I'm sure as soon as local folks found out that I was "cat friendly", I'd find dozens on the property.  Maybe that isn't fair to generalize that way, but it's certainly been my experience.

Back to Petsmart to insure that everybody is ok there.  I met one of our younger volunteers while I was there and that was a treat!  She was such a sweet girl and I couldn't help but think, "What an AWESOME volunteer job to play with kittens for a few hours each week!"

It's 3:15 as I type this blog post and I'm  now realizing that there is absolutely NOTHING to cook for dinner in the house.  How could I spend over $250.00 for food yesterday and not have a thing to cook for dinner??  Holy crap.  I need to stop judging my value as a wife by what I cook for dinner.  Certainly David doesn't care.

Tomorrow will be a more detailed day - hopefully, less scrambling.  Would love some time to cross my T's and dot my i's.  Heck...I'll just settle for a dinner with fresh vegetables in it. 



Wednesday, August 01, 2012

To Be....Or Not To Be?

It's very unlike me to not update my blog until now.  You know I must be sick, exhausted, and swamped to let it go a little too long without writing.  The truth is, I'm sick, exhausted, swamped AND I haven't had much to report or write about lately.  I'm beginning to sound like a habitual whiner with tales of my housing woes, etc.  :)

Adoptions have picked up this week and I'm heading out towards Guelph this to pick up a couple of kittens to put into Petsmart.  It's our turn for August.  Setting up in Petsmart is never fun, but it does give our cats some new opportunities to be adopted.  I sure hate to add an additional responsibility this month to my list of tasks - emotional and physical. 

I've been giving some thought to ending my blog, but don't want to do anything while I'm so tired and emotional.  I might end up being sorry.  But I have to wonder:  I've been writing this for 4 and a half years!  What else can I say that hasn't been said?

We received a call from the "low-kill" shelter that said they would be forced to euthanize a big (otherwise) sweet cat that HATES other cats.  This guy doesn't just hiss or growl...he goes on full attack.  Can we help by 5 pm today?  I put out an urgent plea for an "only cat" home.  Those type of foster homes are like GOLD.  I was more than a little shocked when  a lovely young woman came forward and agreed to take him for 30 days and assess him.  Her boyfriend is allergic but even he was willing to stay on meds for 30 days. 

So now the pressure is on to find this guy a home in 30 days during the slowest time of the year.  He's 6 years old and declawed.  He's been INSANELY SWEET SWEET SWEET with his foster Mom so he's fine as an only cat: 

We rescued him at 3 pm....2 hours to spare!  So I think we'll waive his adoption fee for "donation only" to get this sweet guy moved on.  We need the adoption money, but we need a home for him more.

It's time for me to shower-up and get things moving and grooving for the day.  I definitely could use some motivation and adoption excitement.  Maybe our big grey boy will find a home today!  :)

 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The July Thing.

 I've had 3 adoption calls ALL for the same kitten today.  She's adorable - there's no doubt about that.  But nobody will consider another kitten!  They ALL want THAT kitten!!!   

The calls on the "cat phone" have all seemed more desperate lately.  Even though we have a message that says we're not taking owner/surrenders, we're still receiving a few every day.  Some of these people seem to be on auto-pilot and leaving the same message as they go down a list.  I doubt they even hear my caveat. 
One of the calls was from an educated sounding lady that needs to "rehome" their cat "because of a new baby in the house."  I wanted to call her back just to yell at her and tell her she's stupid. (For lack of a better word)  But I'm guessing the cat is stressed about the new baby and is peeing on stuff.  I can give good counsel on that - I'm good with cat pee issues,  but in the event she's intent on dumping the cat, it's just going to upset me.

So as things get more desperate for cats, I start feeling uglier about the human race.  It's definitely the Mood of July.  It happens every year. 

I received an email from a friend-in-rescue asking about a senior cat at the high-kill shelter.  She had tried to reach a staff member but had received no reply.  She asked for my help contacting somebody.  She wanted to ADOPT him.  Sadly, they killed the cat the SAME day that a small army of shelter staff members decided to write me back.  It wasn't a happy day for the human race. 

Our house still hasn't sold, renovations are in full swing in house #2, and my daughter's wedding is fast approaching.  I'm uncharacteristically disorganized and it's driving me crazy.  I've found myself asking the same questions multiple times and I'm sure our volunteers are wondering what's going on with their fearless leader.  The realtor just called and asked if I could accommodate a house showing at 8:45 pm tonight!!  8:45 in the evening????  I'm in jammies watching reruns of Mad Men by then.  Who the hell wants to buy a house at 8:45????   At some point, I need to be "off the clock", right?

I'm trying to remember that these are First World Problems.  I not only own a house, but I own two.  I have air conditioning and a car to drive.  I need to refocus on the animals that I've promised to help and protect.  That makes me happiest.  Right now, I need some "happy"  :)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

"Being Alive Isn't Good Enough"

I'm devoting today's blog post to an incredible article that I was made aware of  by a fellow blogger at Dog Rescuer's Life.  In fact, it's SO good, that I'm going to leave it up for a few days.  PLEASE read every word.  This blogger has hit the nail on the head and it's what I've been trying to say for years:

"How I Failed As A Rescuer"