Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Magic Number is 80

I can always tell when I've been on the phone too much. I have two HUGE "phone zits" on my chin that are positioned exactly where my phone touches my chin. I hope the other volunteers can join me in saying, "It's worth it all."

I just added up August's adoptions for the month. (Although I think there are a couple of adoption agreements outstanding...) We've had 80 adoptions for the month of August! EIGHTY!! Think about 80 cats in one room...or 80 cats in cages at the shelter...That's a lot of little lives saved.

Our volunteers are just too awesome; Between hundred's of dollars spent in gasoline driving cats around, setting up a raffle, hours spent at adoption events, countless hours spent on the phone, answering's really paid off. We had a wonderful month! Our average is about 50 cats adopted per month, so 80 cats feels huge! You should see the pile of adoption agreements on my desk. I should throw them on my bed and roll around on them. (but that seems a little weird, even for me)

With the successes come the heartbreak...we've lost several kittens this month to God-knows-what. One of our kittens was in emergency today, in fact. ($$$$) We've seemed to dodge the "Distemper bullet" this season. (*knock on wood*) Doesn't matter what it still hurts.

To show you how dedicated our volunteers are, one of our favourite foster Moms delivered a beautiful baby girl a few days ago and had an adopter come today and take her foster cat home! What a trooper! Seriously...after my first baby, the last thing on my mind would've been a foster cat. God bless her.

Tomorrow is Labour Day and a new month. I'm looking forward to sleeping in, waking up tomorrow and gloating.

80. EIGHT. ZERO. The Big Eighty. 10+10+10+10+10+10+10+10

That's what I'm talkin' about :)

Friday, August 22, 2008

The August Award for....

...."Stupid Reason to Dump Your Cat" goes to this charming Craigslist poster. Here's her post, dated August 21, 2008:

" I love this kitten but I can't keep him anymore. He is the most adorable and affectionate animal you will ever come across. Always wants to be on your lap. Sleeps curled up beside you. Quiet. But he has a very sensitive stomach and throws up on occation. I have my condo on the market and can't have people coming in and there being puke somewhere. I honestly didn't mind cleaning it up once in a while but can't right now. He's fixed. He's awesome. And I don't want to bring him to the humane society..."

(By the way - this cat is NOT a kitten. In the title the "kitten" is 1 year old.) The cat throws up, she doesn't want to find out WHY the cat throws up. She just wants to get rid of the problem because she's selling her condo. Boo Frickity Hoo. She's so stupid - no wonder the cat is throwing up. She's making me sick too.

I'm speechless. Really.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Samantha Chronicles

About a week ago I wrote about a little girl that I lovingly referred to as "Cha-Ching" because I figured she'd cost us a ton of money. The poor little girl had so many fleas, flea bites and flea poop all over her that she had lost all of her hair.
I've decided to periodically post pictures that her foster Mom sends me to update her progress. Her foster Mom is "Jenn" - Jenn is very pregnant and took on this sad looking little cat. I can't picture Jenn trying to bathe this scabby bald cat with her big belly over the bathtub. (Sorry Jenn - you're not THAT big!)
This is Samantha's shelter picture. A cat can't look much more pathetic than this little girl.

Rescue Date: August 11th, 2008

Comment from foster home: "Just wanted to let you know that ChaChing, who is now Samantha, is doing pretty well. Her skin actually looks amazingly good, just a few scabs which should clear up in no time. I'm pretty impressed how good of shape it's in, once I got the flea dirt scabs and sebborhea washed off. She's eating like a pig too :) Now I just have to tame her, she is pretty scared, poor little girl!"
New Pictures of Samantha arrived today, August 18th, 2008. Wow! Look what love, good food and a bath can do!

More thoughts from Samantha's foster Mom: "Just wanted to show everyone how much better Samantha looks in just a week!! Now we just need the hair to grow back! And boy, she still stinks - and farts - out loud!
She is also the craziest lap cat who is teaching me how to work with one hand as she insists on climbing all over me and jamming her head into my belly and face to get some attention, I can't believe the complete turnaround :) Problem now is I can't get her to leave me alone!!"

I think this little girl gives the term "Labour of Love" a whole new meaning. :) Jenn: You rock!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

En Passant

It's been really fun this week to answer the rescue phone line and hear more adoption inquiries than surrender calls. My voice has definitely taken the brunt of it and I'm in the middle of nasty laryngitis. I can still talk -barely - it's just a huge effort and my throat is sore. It's kind of surreal that I quit smoking and end up with throat problems. Life ain't fair sometimes.

We also have some new foster homes, which has been rather exciting! I love talking with new foster homes. To hear the anticipation in their voice about getting their new cat. They want to make a difference in the world, God-love-'em. Hearing them gets me excited all over again. It's contagious!

One of my foster cats "Dylan" was adopted a few days ago by a a very sweet yuppie newlywed couple. He LOVES cats and she had never had a cat before. She was worried because he was "biting" (aka: "playing"). She looked tense and asked questions about shedding. (Those kind of questions are red flags in my book) I told her to relax and E-N-J-O-Y him! I took them into my kitchen and showed them 3 of my cats sprawled out on the kitchen counter napping. I gestured dramatically, "I think people worry too much about cats on the kitchen counters and forget to have fun with them. " I told her that Dylan's the only cat they're going to have, so they might as well spoil him rotten. She blushed when I told her that Dylan would probably still be around when their future children are in high school. That seemed to seal the deal - they took Dylan home for a 7 day Trial Adoption. I put a Cat Hair Roller for their clothes in a little bag and gave it to them as a send off. The e-mails are coming in with cute pictures of Dylan sleeping on their pillow (none on the kitchen counters yet) and I'm guessing that Dylan's in his forever home.

My sons are getting WAY too attached to Andy & Buster (my other foster cats). I guess I am too. Lordie, they're a cute little pair - Rowdy as hell, but a cute little pair. :) The screens on my windows are starting to shred, and Buster likes to take flying leaps onto my back. He's quite a character!

We moved my older son into his house near the University on Saturday and I asked him to foster a cat for me. He admitted that it would be fun, but he has FOUR roommates and couldn't guarantee that doors wouldn't be left open, etc....he's right, of course. But I had hope of him taking a real problem child foster cat. This cat would be PERFECT in a rowdy house full of guys. Hell, the cat could probably poop all over the place and nobody would see it until they moved out in April. (Mental Note: NEVER rent to 2nd year University Students)

I can feel a good week coming on. Even if it's not a good week, I'm ready to take it on anyway.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


I should've checked my horoscope to see if money was coming my way. It's been crazy financially the past few days with the rescue. I came home from my vacation to find that the rescue was a DISASTER financially! ('s always a disaster, but I was REALLY scared this time) The vet had billed my credit card (mutually agreed upon way of paying the rescue's vet bills) over $5000.00 in one week! Good gravy blood ran cold.

Whenever things like this happen I roll up my sleeves and get organized. I started going through the enormous pile of crap on my desk and filed...and filed...and filed. Son-of-a-gun - I found a wad of cash totally $350.00! Where had THIS been all this time?? Even though I was alone, I was pretty embarrassed.

D--and J--have never let me forget that they found a cheque in my garage nestled in an old file folder while we were setting up for a garage sale.

The next little financial miracle was the adoption event on Saturday. We had TWENTY-ONE cats adopted yesterday! (one was a trial adoption, and she's being returned because their resident cat started pee'ing on the bed. A sure sign of a deal breaker and that it's not going to work out) PLUS I was given a cheque for $900.00+ for a garage sale last weekend that I forgot we had!

I looked at our bank account a few moments ago and discovered the last deposit I made had a keying error and it was in my favour for $360.00! Holy crap! IN MY FAVOUR?? Nothing is EVER in my favour. If there's a keying error, it's usually $360.00 zapped out of my account and out of my life forever.

So we're not out of debt - not by a long shot. We're still broke, but the emergency I was having was squelched by some little financial miracles. Turns out I don't have to ask David for money. I don't have to stop rescuing this week. We're still in business by the skin of my teeth. ("Skin of my teeth"? Is that really a saying?)

Maybe the tide is turning...maybe it was just a momentary reprieve. Regardless, I'm grateful for the little financial miracles. Because this is the next cat we're being asked to rescue...

I think we should name her "Cha-Ching" :) This one might pay off Dr. S's student loans before we're through. But how can we resist?

Look at that sad little face...."We're comin'...little....'Cha-Ching'!
UPDATE: "Strawberry" has been rescued! She's safe and sound at our vets! (you didn't REALLY think I was going to call her 'Cha-Ching', did you?)

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Everybody Has an "Ozzy" in the House

Anybody who has multiple cats in the house, has an "Ozzy". Ozzy is my own problem child. Like any problem child, I find myself really endeared to this bad boy. Ozzy doesn't know his name is "Ozzy"....he thinks it's "NO-NO!" Seriously. He thinks his name is "No-No".

Ozzy is a polydactyal - he's really a freaky looking guy with all those extra toes. One of his toes grows repeatedly into the pad in his feet, so he needs to have his nails trimmed regularly.

Last night, it took 4 adults to hold 18 lb Ozzy down to trim his nails. This cat is ALL muscle and was like a fish flopping out of the water while we had the nail trimmer out.
We all ended up with battle scars. Scratches, bites, white hair all over the place - it was a war zone.

We managed to trim ONE nail.

Ozzy is great about riding in the car, so I took him to the vets today to have his freaky nails trimmed. Dr. S was such an expert and snipped away. It took him about 15 seconds.

Ozzy is also my "Pee-Pee" boy. I'm happy to say he's on medication for it. But for months, he pee'd in every sink, pee'd on every baseboard, and every plastic bag laying around. The medication is successful, thank God. But giving him a tiny little pill every morning is another matter. The little booger won't even take the pill in a cat treat! How does he know it's there??

I'm convinced that Ozzy greets the new foster cats by saying, "HEEEY, new guy! You can pee anywhere you want and nobody gets mad at you!"

For all of Ozzy's faults, he's my "Family Ambassador". He's the cat that I let meet new foster cats first. He doesn't care of anybody hisses at him, or takes a swipe. He just wants to eat their food and poop in their litterbox. Ozzy is the cat that is my bar for checking out whether a new foster cat likes other cats.

If Ozzy had been living at somebody else's house, I'm sure they would've gotten rid of him by now. I can't imagine Ozzy not being in my life. He was a shelter cat that was going to be euthanized. He was a foster cat that I couldn't part with. He's my little "No-NO".

I write this to give encouragement to anyone that has an "Ozzy". It's cats like Ozzy that make you smile when times are tough and you're feeling low. He's the cat that my sons hug and kiss when they're feeling bad too.
So what if he licks the butter on the Easter dinner table?

I love this guy.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Life Goes On...For Some

I don't know where the time goes. It's already well into August and this is my first blog post of the month. Granted, I've been on holidays for 10 days - maybe I'll cut myself some slack. :)

As usual, everything moved along beautifully while I was gone. I know it's so hard on the volunteers who work full time during the day to return phone calls and e-mails. It's a hard job when you DON'T work full time during the day.

I went to the shelter today and rescued a couple of cats. It was grim in there, I tell ya. It's been a while since I've been out to the shelter. It's been even longer since I left in tears. But today must've been "the day". It was just overwhelming. There were so many of every colour, age and all were looking at me and pleading for help. Their little paws came out from the cages.

For many of them, today was their last day alive. The vet comes tomorrow.

I left in tears today. Halfway to the highway I got pissed. Is there anything that can be done to reach people about spaying and neutering? Or to let people know that these beautiful creatures have feelings? I drove too fast down the road. I kept hoping that the faster I'd drive, the more anguish I could let out. I kept changing the music on the radio with hope to find something that didn't make me feel sad or angry. It didn't work.

As I type this, I wonder when I'm going to stop writing about this. It seems like I write about the same old shit every time I go to the shelter. But look at this sweet little girl....she's going to die tomorrow morning - there was an "X" on her cage. She's wearing a collar with a bell.

Somebody loved her....