Friday, October 31, 2008

Au Revoir (did I spell that correctly? I can spell "Adios"...I should've said "Adios")

I have retired from the rescue.


I said it.

I should've written in my blog sooner, but posting the news here was the last piece to make it *so*. I contacted the board, the foster homes, the supporters and my family. Now it's just a matter of writing it here.

I've given everything to this rescue. My heart and my life, but some people didn't think that was enough and sent petty e-mails that I should be doing more. I was copied on an e-mail that I shouldn't have received. (Foiled by technology!) It was awful and it hurt me to the core. How could I give any more?? I worked at this rescue from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m. every day - seven days per week. I spent thousands of dollars of my own money each year. While our volunteers were home with their families, I was in my basement returning phone calls and emails.

It was time to resign before things got worse. I've heard about this sort of petty behaviour happening in rescues or female dominanted charitable groups. I've always been very smug that this would never happen in OUR rescue. Silly Moi.

Since I announced my retirement, the e-mails have been coming in daily from the foster families and other people that heard of my retirement - even former adopters. Some of them made me laugh, and some of them made me cry with joy. I had no idea that I made such a positive impact on this rescue or people's lives. It was wonderful. Really. I can hardly type it without crying now. I've saved every e-mail and will read them when I'm feeling low in the days to come.

I'm going to concentrate on all the GOOD things that I've done within this rescue and not go out with a chip on my shoulder. I hate being around bitter jaded people. You know who they are. They're perpetually angry. That won't be me. Like I've done with the bad days in this rescue, I'm going to move forward and make the most of it.

All my hard work is in 5 big file boxes that I'm going to pass on to the board members tomorrow. Oddly enough, my last foster cat, Mr. Jingles was adopted yesterday. Anybody who has been a reader of my blog will know that I don't believe in coincidences.

God bless the people that enriched my life and made each day beautiful. I wish only the best for the new board members and their future with the rescue.

In the meantime...I'm going to get to know my handsome husband again. (I'm still married, right?)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Frying Pans & Fire

I can always tell when I'm having a bad week when I go 10+ days without writing in my blog. I've sat down at the computer quite a few times but feel like I have nothing but sewage to write about.

Yes, it's been a rough week and a half. Our adoptions have really slowed down, and we seem to be working even harder than usual. We're still not rescuing from the shelter, but have been taking cats from the public. Great for "the public" - bad for the poor babies at the shelter. We did rescue two cats from the shelter as a "Tester", but both died shortly after rescue from Distemper.

D-- told me today that she just wants to put her head in the sand. Move over, D-- ... I'm right behind you.

My foster cat Larry was adopted two days ago...and I have a new guy named "Booker". He came right in and made himself at home. I had to laugh when my housekeepers who are from Guatelmala started calling him "Booger". I am so starved for laughter, I think I might just keep that name for him. "Booger". So if you see a cat on our website named "Booger"... you'll know I had another moment of insanity.

We've been through bad times before and the rollercoaster ride of rescue continues. Why is it when we go through these horrible periods in the rescue that it always feels like "THE WORST- EVER" ?

J-- and one of our new board members "S--" went to Peterborough earlier this week and rescued 14+ older kittens from this guy that needed help. He lives in a very rural area, and people kept dumping the cats on his doorstep. Poor guy couldn't afford to get any of them spayed or neutered, so he had multiple litters going on. According to J and S, he must've had 50+ cats in the house. Holy shit. 50+ cats in a 2 bedroom house? S-- said that the stench was so bad in his home, she started gagging and had to leave. You know that it MUST BE BAD if a cat person is gagging over the smell of cat pee. I thought we were all immune to such odours? All the cats were loaded with fleas. J-- brought the guy a TON of cat food and litter. I was blown away when the guy rejected the FREE litter and said that he doesn't like clumping litter because it's "not healthy". LOLOL!

Oh hell...if I didn't laugh, I'd cry. I've been doing enough crying lately because of the rescue and am happy to be getting out of town for the weekend. My parents are flying from Seattle to Ohio and I'm driving to Ohio to meet them for a little family reunion thingy. Family. Lordie...I'm spending the weekend with family.

Why do I feel like I'm going from the frying pan into the fire?

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Not to Jinx It....But...

It feels really strange typing what I'm about to type. After several weeks of nothing but bad news....

We had TWENTY-SIX adoptions over the weekend! Not only do we have space to rescue more cats, but we are actually desperate to get some more cats into our Petsmart adoption centre locations.

I'm sitting here trying to soak in this most enviable position. Seriously...if I could put this news in a bathtub, I'd be soaking in it right now - with bubbles, and Patrick Dempsey washing my back. After the incredibly shitty terrible week the rescue had last week I actually have the nerve to feel suspicious of this windfall good news.

Really...I was absolutely high as a kite all day today. I was being silly! Whimsical! My husband and children didn't recognize me. I felt a slight pain in the corners of my mouth and realized that it was my face cracking from a sudden smile. We took the dog for a walk tonight and I was skipping!

With all this good news, comes the realization that I can't rescue from our usual shelter. Distemper is still there and they're having to euthanize even the healthy cats and kittens. It's Sunday night and instead of making my usual "Sunday Night Rescue List", I'm avoiding looking at the shelter's website to see all the little faces that will be put down tomorrow.

If I could just figure out a way to get the cats BEFORE they go into the shelter. I feel like sitting in the lobby of the damn place and take them before they enter. I'll be the one in the sunglasses, empty cat crates, and car running.....(Insert Mission Impossible Theme Song here)

Friday, October 03, 2008

A Blast From The Past

The only reason I signed up for Facebook was to spy on my University-aged son and daughter. I never thought I'd end up being Facebook friends with so many of our foster homes and most recently friends from high school. At first it was fun catching up with old friends from high school....

I went to high school in a little upper middleclass college town in Claremont, California. I was voted "Most Likely to Become Goldie Hawn and Marry a Senator". With that type of Bimbo-esque label, I knew that I wanted to be someone important and influential someday. Certainly running a cat rescue organization wasn't on that list.

It was really hard for me to connect with these people from high school. They all seemed to have established careers and wonderful lives. Of course, I'm not that naive - I know things aren't always what they seem. But telling them that I run a cat rescue organization left me feeling a little less than worthy.

They all remembered I was a little bit "animal freaky". I make no apologies for that! Certainly loving animals is a label I'm comfortable with. How do I describe to these people that we started with 5 volunteers and now have 100+ volunteers? Some of the managerial duties we have put IBM executives to shame. How can I NOT come across as a complete freak that I work 14+ hours per day running the rescue for FREE?

I want them to look at our website and see that we're saving lives and we're enriching HUMAN LIVES by allowing people to adopt these amazing little furry creatures. Personally, I can't imagine my life without cats in it. I wonder how many people I've influenced over the years to get their cat spayed or neutered? Or keep a problem cat and work it out? I'll never know and it doesn't really matter.
My life is full. It's full of family, friends and the love of animals. If friends from almost 30 years ago think it's all just too weird....
Tough shit. :)