Thursday, January 03, 2008

"The Crazy Cat Lady"

I take exception to being called "The Crazy Cat Lady" (TCCL). My house is immaculate, my litterboxes are clean, I wear make up and try to look presentable. Sure, one of my cats likes to pee in the sinks, there are always cats lying around on the kitchen counters, and I have cat hair stuck to my lipstick most of the time, but other than that....

People ask me all the time, "How did you get into rescuing cats?" I suppose I was always rescuing something. As a kid, I "rescued" a guinea pig out of a Kmart who looked sad. I remember telling my parents that there was a guinea pig at Kmart who looked depressed and had "burned ears from the fluorescent lights." Suckers! (I brought 2 guinea pigs home that day so the one with the burned ears wouldn't be lonely) I rescued a couple of kittens out of a barn when I was 13 years old. I was sure they would freeze to death in the Wisconsin winter. "Patty Lou and Becky Sue" lived to be 23 years old. I grew up with those little kitties.

As an adult, I volunteered with The Cat Protection Society in Newport Beach, California. I was a foster parent for orphaned kittens. My history as a lousy foster parent was apparent even then - I kept 4 of the kittens I was fostering. The Cat Protection Society was run by a bunch of wealthy old ladies. They were a militant bunch and not very friendly or grateful to the foster parents. I stuck it out with them....it felt GREAT to be doing something to help.

When I moved to Toronto, I knew that I wanted to get back into fostering, so I contacted a local cat rescue group. Once again, this group treated their foster parents like dirt and I quit. Surely, there had to be a cat rescue organization that would appreciate their volunteers!!! I contacted yet ANOTHER group and found the one that I'm still with today. It originally was run by a lady who had some mental health issues. She abandoned the group and and I "inherited" 30 foster cats, 15 foster homes and a $10,000.00 vet bill. Four years later, we have over 100+ foster cats in our program, 65 foster homes and our bills are paid! (yay!)

So that's the not-so-brief history of this "CCL". I drive a station wagon that can't fit in the garage half the time because it's full of cat carriers, extra litterboxes, and cases of cat food.

I wish I drove a sports car...a red one... but how would I fit all the rescued cats from the shelter in a freakin' sports car?

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Beth,

Love it!! And can sympathize with all the carriers - I couldn't open the door to the basement last night - blocked by crates :)

jen

Social Mange said...

*LOLOL* I love it! At least you wear makeup and stuff, I just can't be bothered anymore *g*.
I own a station wagon so I can lug all the animal stuff...and get a discount at my local pet store because of volume purchasing!

mylittlelife said...

I think you are a Cat's Fairy Godmother!! We and they are lucky to have you...us!! ;)

We should take pics of our foster cats,make calenders and proceeds of a sale would be put toward vet fees. (just like those cutie fireman!) Just a thought...

Camille said...

Really inspirational blog entry here. I am a volunteer with 2 rescue groups Annex and TCR. I adopted my Gin and Tonic from Annex and I felt great about the adoption process that I am now a full-time volunteer.

it's amazing how you turned around a debt of cat rescue to a profitable rewarding organization. my goal is to open a cat sanctuary or a cat cafe as they have in hong kong.

3 cats with mom
http://3catswithmom.blogspot.com