Sunday, December 28, 2008

Calming the Savage Beast of Puberty

I was scheduled to meet a family at the shelter today who wanted to adopt a cat from Death Row. Because the shelter has no formal adoption program, the only way these cats get out is when they are claimed by their owner, euthanized or rescued. As I've said before, meeting people at the shelter is a great privilege for me. They seem to trust my judgment in helping them choose a new family member. I don't charge an adoption fee, but ask for a donation to the rescue.

There was a little guy at the shelter named "Baylee". He was only about 16 weeks and has some unfortunate markings, blesshislittleheart. Seriously, he's really a homely little kitten - but incredibly sweet.

When the family arrived, they brought their 13 year old son. He was a typical surley teenager wearing a toque and saying very little. I was irritated just looking at him - probably because I have a teenage son who has that "crappy look". I wanted to scream, "Get that crappy look off your face NOW!"...but once again, I digresss...

I took Baylee out of his cage and put him in the arms of this kid. Baylee started purring and flopped over so the kid was cradling him like a baby...and right on cue....Baylee reached up and put a paw gently on this kids cheek.

The "awwwwwwwwwwww's" filled the room. "Homely Baylee" had a forever home. :)

Later that afternoon, I couldn't stand the suspense and called the family a few hours after I got home. The kid answered the phone. I cautiously asked him how things were going with their new kitten. I didn't really expect a decent response. It's like the flood gates opened....holy crap...this kid, that didn't say ONE WORD at the shelter started with a flurry of excitement. His words ran together as I attempted to carefully listen:

"We named him Bob! His litterbox is in my room. We went to WalMart and I spent ALL the money I earned over summer and bought him a ton of toys. He's laying on my bed playing with them right now. He's the SMARTEST CAT I'VE EVER SEEN! I think he even knows tricks already..."

My eyes filled with tears. He spent all of the money he earned on cat toys. I loved this kid. The homely kitten and the awkward teenage boy were meant for each other.

No doubt they would BOTH blossom into something special.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

My Favourite Kind of Christmas Presents...

I couldn't have gotten a better Christmas present this year. My little "Meatball" and "Dexter" were picked up this morning by a wonderful family to give them a home forever.

I love you little good to your new family and don't touch their Christmas tree! (Ha!)

Yesterday, I had the priviledge of meeting a wonderful man at the shelter who wanted to adopt a cat on death row. He was genuinely wonderful (yes, ladies...he's single!) and his daughter had adopted from me a few months ago. He chose Kim's favourite boy "Brady":

This guy is quite the character! Brady is 1 year old and loves to gives hugs and will headbutt your face. I think he's perfect for his new Daddy.
I also was able to rescue "Kerby" and place him into an awesome foster home. What a SWEET boy! He had been at the shelter far too long and I always worry that his time might have been up:

Kerby's shelter picture says so much about these cats. He went from this picture to this:

(I forgive you for pooping in your crate on the way to your foster home, Kerby)

I also had the priviledge of rescuing a VERY sweet Tortie Mom and her 6 newborns. Bless their little hearts. Needless to say, my little BMW was full to the brim with cat crates. there anything anyone could buy me that would make me smile more than I smiled yesterday when I left the shelter with my little gang?
I don't think so. Merry Christmas everybody!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

An Update on "Dexter"

My "Little Ugly Squirt" has gotten MUCH cuter since I last posted. He's still not the handsomest kitten in the world, but he makes up for his lack of looks in the SWEET Department. Holy Moly, he's a sweet little guy. I had some fun taking pictures of him today.

Speaking of pictures...why is it that I'm compelled to post pictures of my cats sitting on my kitchen table on my Christmas placemats, no less? Seriously. Do I have no shame?

Dexter has kept us laughing with all of his drama in front of our foyer mirror. He's a hoot! He goes through great lengths to puff up and look really scary at the "other kitten" in the mirror:He and Meatball are now out and about with all the other cats. I'm a tad worried because I have a husband and two teenage sons stomping about with their heads up their asses in the clouds. I've warned everybody to look for sleeping kittens before they walk up the steps or flop down on the couch. Dexter only weighs 2 lbs - he's easy to miss.

Seriously....I have a 5 scratching trees in the house, and a zillion cat toys. Why do they insist on treating my kitchen table like an amusement park?

Willy looks like he's making a new friend in Dexter. Bless his little heart. Thank goodness I can just shake somebody's hand when I meet them for the first time.

I need to take some better pictures of Dexter. Right now every picture is blurry, because the little guy is feeling better and running around like mad. It's hard to tell, but Dex has some VERY short legs - almost munchkin-like. I'm wondering if he's a product of that icky "Munchkin" backyard breeder who dumps the kittens who don't make the grade at the shelter.
Maybe we should've called him "Stumpy" :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Different Kind of Frustration :)

Today has been a frustrating day and it's only noon. I found out that my car needs snow tires and the dealership kindly offered me a "Snow Package" at a "discounted rate of $4000.00" Holy shit. Really? $4000.00 for snow tires? Being a Southern California girl, I've never purchased snow tires, so this is a new revelation for me.

Right now, I'm glad I don't have anywhere to go today. The kittens are frolicking upstairs. I can hear periodic galloping coming from the guest room. I'm glad they're buddies. They're both still really congested, but have huge energy levels.

My CRF (Chronic Renal Failure) cat Bob, seems to be hanging in there. I haven't said much about Bob in past posts, because it really hurts too much to know that I'm going to lose him soon. His kidney's are more than 70% gone and it's a matter of time. Oddly enough, he's become more playful, vocal and mischievious after his diagnosis. With this condition, comes copious amounts of urine right next to the litterbox. Lovely. Every day I have to pick up the litterbox and clean it as the urine suctions the pee underneath.

Ahhh...I should've called this blog "The Blog of Too Much Information".

It's kind of nice to see fresh snow in the ground, have a fire in the fireplace, Christmas music playing while I skip around the house cleaning cat pee off the baseboards. I wonder if June Cleaver had this problem? Ozzy. You're chappin' my hide this morning. This is a picture of Ozzy this morning - I had put up a really cute little Christmas-tree-like-thingy in my foyer and Ozzy was really INTO sniffing it. I'm on "pee alert" now. *sigh*

We're suppose to have a new HD t.v. delivered this morning, and now the delivery guy is an hour late. (David and I aren't exchanging presents this year - we decided to get a new HD t.v. for our bedroom instead.) What the hell is the point of having a 4 hour window of time for delivery if you're STILL going to be LATE? *ARGH*!!!

I've been calling David every 30 minutes or so with periodic "Frustration Updates". Might as well drag him into my lousy day. Isn't this what a loving marriage is about? (*smirk*)

I've looked back at my "Days of Frustration" past and this one isn't nearly as bad as the old days. No kittens have died. No foster homes are asking me to move their foster cats. No adopters are calling to complain. I'm feeling slightly better about my choice to merely foster for now.

Here's a random picture of cuteness of Phoebe (dilute calico) and Bob that I took this morning. Cats are amazing - I bought this really neat bed for them, but nobody would use it until I put it in a cardboard box!!

I can't think of a better way to spend a day with snow on the ground than playing with kittens? (after I clean the cat pee, pay for snow tires, wait for the delivery guy and finish the laundry)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Little Ugly Squirt

I wasn't kidding in the last post when I said that Dexter was a homely little guy. He actually got a lot uglier after I took him to the vets this morning to have his ears cleaned. This picture gives new meaning to the cliche` "...only a mother could love..."

Through the whole ordeal with the vet digging the crap out of his ears, Dexter didn't stop purring.

Speaking of "crap in the ears".. OMG...It's been a long time since I had a foster cat with earmites. The stuff that came out of his ears was nauseating. Of course, the little booger flung it all over me when he shook his head.

I don't get it. I'm a mother of 3 children (now adults) - I really thought there are very few bodily functions that I couldn't handle. But I've discovered that earmites really make me gag. There's something about microscopic bugs that give me the "heebs". As I type this, I have to stop and scratch.

But I digress...

Little Dexter is doing "ok". The vet said I was under-medicating him. That's a surprise! I'm notorious for OVER-medicating my foster cats. I'd be squirting the liquid Clavamox into their mouths and mumble, "Get better, damn you so you can be adopted!" This little guy is quite a lover.

I'm going to save these pictures so I can remember what a little ugly squirt he was.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Saturday's Rescues!

I need to start keeping track of the cats I rescue from the shelter. I didn't do it with my last rescue org. and I've always been sorry. I know one foster Mom who diligently keeps a scrapbook of all of her foster cats. This blog will be a helpful reminder too.

I rescued a VERY cute guy named "Calvin" yesterday. His new family had contacted the shelter and wanted to adopt him "sight unseen". He was a sweetheart!

This family drove all the way from Gravenhurst up north (2+ hours?) just to pick him up at my house. They weren't disappointed. Calvin rubbed up against her face and purred. What a gem of a boy! They already had a 13 year old cat and were very happy to adopt an older gent like Calvin. Bless their little hearts. I wish you well, sweet Calvin. You were one of the fortunate ones. Your new Mommy seems VERY nice.

Of course, I couldn't go to the shelter without rescuing a little guy for myself. Besides, Meatball needed a friend while he was sick in my guestroom. This is "Dexter". His name at the shelter was Randy and I couldn't figure out why it didn't suit him. I'm still not sure if "Dexter" fits either.

Yes, he's as pitiful looking in real life as he is in this picture. Poor little guy was really sick, so he and "Meatie" are hangin' with the homies in the guestroom. Dex is a sweetheart - about 8 weeks old. He came into the shelter after somebody had shaved him. Why they did it, I don't know. He's REALLY emaciated. It's like holding a tiny skeleton. He looked SO happy to see some toys! He has earmites which kind of make me gag. Don't ask me why - but anything that has microscopic bugs makes me puke. Tomorrow Dex goes to the vets!

It's been a busy weekend with cat transporting and phone calls. It felt good to get my hands "dirty" a little bit. Tonight I'm nursing a nasty cold, so am not feeling very poetic with regards to writing. Why do I always get sick around the holidays?

I wish I could give my little guys in the guestroom upstairs some chicken soup.

Friday, December 12, 2008

A Spicy Little Meatball!

The first time I laid eyes on Meatball wasn't the day I actually rescued him. I was at the shelter to rescue another cat for someone else and I still had a houseful of cats. His name at the shelter was "Macky" and he was a live wire! His eyes begged me to rescue him (not to mention his paws sticking out of the cage!)

As it turns out, Kenny and Spenny were adopted, so I literally fled to the shelter to rescue my little 12 week old hellion.
I put Meatball in my washroom and came back an hour later to check on him. I found him swinging from my shower curtain. The little bugger! Before I could catch him, the shower curtain came crashing down on the floor! I knew my home was going to be a proverbial playground for this guy.
I really should've named him "Flash Gordon". I swear, he goes from one thing to another...leaping on the other cats...leaping on the couch...he runs....he leaps...and I'm worn out just watching him! Can you imagine a kitten like this in a home with NO cat friends to play with? OMG.

Unfortunately, I woke up this morning to a sick little Meatball. He was definitely not himself and his body was hot. I wrapped him up in a blanket and started rocking him in the rocking chair. Good Lord, what was I thinking? hahahaha! Good thing we didn't have any diapers in the house, or I would've been changing him too.

By noon, he was VERY sick and I was was becoming more and more alarmed. He was mouth breathing, and lethargic. Although I could've taken him to the rescue's vet, I called my own vet and got him in right away. He had a high fever (duh!). After some proper medical treatment and my $250.00 credit card payment, Meatball is back home and on the mend.

Call me selfish, but I'm sort of enjoying the "quiet Meatball". He's snuggly and doesn't want to go anywhere other than my arms.

Lord help my Christmas tree when this little guy is feeling better!

Welcome to my house, Little Meatball. We're very glad you're here and I'll love you with all my heart for whatever time you have until your "forever family" comes along to take my place.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


It never ceases to keep me in a state of awe when I rescue a cat from the shelter and see the immediate transformation in him or her. People think they're such "dumb animals" and don't realize the depression, sense of abandonment, and utter desperation they feel when left at the shelter.

I had the priviledge of rescuing a VERY cute guy from the shelter that had been there for a while. His name was "Bozz" and thankfully was so ridiculously sweet the staff at the shelter could never see to marking him for euthanasia.

The picture Kim took when Bozz arrived at the shelter speaks volumes for every "pet" that arrives there:
Somebody saw Bozz's picture on the shelter site. (You can see the pictures of these cats for yourself - the link is in my "Sites I Really Like" section.") Her name is Cindy and she has her own "diva cat" named Willow. She wanted to rescue Bozz and give him a home sight unseen! Holy Moly! I love these kind of calls! I feel like the freakin' Stork!!! I brought Bozz home with me for the afternoon to hang out until it was time to leave to meet his new Mommy and his new sister Willow.

As God is my witness, these are the pictures taken in my washroom within 5 minutes of his arrival from the shelter:

It doesn't look like the same cat. He's relaxed. He's happy. He's SAFE!! I don't know how he knows he's safe. Could it be the baby talk I'm babbling at him? Could it be that I'm smooching him, brushing him, and promising him anything that he wants? Within 10 minutes of these pictures, he flopped over on his back for belly rubs. I felt like calling Cindy and telling her she couldn't have Bozz. :)

We arrived at Cindy's lovely home and without a doubt, Cindy was thrilled with her new boy. I wish I could say the same for Willow. Willow gave a "spitty hiss" and fled for higher ground. Bozz didn't care.

I don't know how....but Bozz knew he was home. You're welcome big was my pleasure.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Letter to Kenny & Spenny

Dear Little Boys,

Thank you for being such wonderful houseguests. You brought such joy to our family in the short time that you were here.

Your new Mommy seems very nice! The whole adoption went very fast - so fast that I can hardly believe that you're really gone. I'm so grateful that you'll have a forever home together!

Who is going to bite my toes in the morning? How will I ever manage to use the washroom by myself now that you're gone? I was really looking forward to your first Christmas at our house, but fortunately your new Mommy already has her Christmas tree up, so you can make a mess out of HER tree! :)

I've been so emotional over the past few days, that I find it strange that I'm "OK" with you boys being adopted. Maybe it's because I really liked the lady that adopted you. *shrug*
The only thing I didn't like about this woman is that she didn't want to let you on the kitchen counters. I think I shocked her when I told her, "Look. You don't have human children - spoil the shit out of these guys and ENJOY them!"
I was glad to see her be silly with you and kiss you both when she arrived tonight to pick you up.
Little ones - I love you. I hope your new Mommy writes me and sends me pictures like she promised. You made us laugh and gave me something to talk about with my teenage son.
I pray that you'll have the very best life....
Your foster Mom - Beth

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Ordinary People

I've been so emotional lately. It's starting to piss me off. David sent me some baby shower pictures from a couple that was infertile for 10 years - their baby is due in 8 weeks. I started to cry and I didn't even know these people!

Imagine how I felt yesterday: I arranged to meet a couple at the shelter. Carol and Norm wanted to rescue a cat that was going to be euthanized. When they arrived, they walked up and down the cages and agonized over each one. Carol looked at me with big tears in her eyes. There were so many and she could only take one. My biggest concern when this happens is that people will feel so overwhelmed and walk out with ZERO cats. It's happened. Folks feel like they can't make a difference by adopting just one.

There was NO way they were going to leave without a cat - at least not in my book. They came across a very ordinary little grey tabby named "Natalia". Norm took Natalia out of her cage and this little 6 month old cat began to knead in the air. She was so grateful for any affection. Norm kissed the end of her nose and called for his wife. Boooya!! Carol started to cry again when she held Natalia. Natalia rubbed her little grey tabby face all over Carol's, as Carol commented on how beautiful she was.

To me, Natalia was a very ordinary cat and Carol and Norm seemed like such an ordinary couple. But yesterday, they did an extraordinary thing. They gave a home to a cat that had no hope.

In one day, Natalia went from this discarded piece of garbage that somebody didn't want....

To a beloved member of a family....a real family...HER family.

Of course, I started to cry when these pictures came into my e-mail last night. Natalia's new name is "Peaches" because she has "beautiful peach stripes". These people and this cat aren't "ordinary" any longer. They offered their love, their home and their hearts to a little cat that had nothing and nobody.

They're all extraordinary in my book. (need tissues...STAT!)

Sunday, December 07, 2008

The Love of a Mother...

It's always hard when my daughter goes back home. I feel like part of me leaves when she gets on the plane. But I need to pat myself on the back. She's a beautiful, independent, educated young woman. What more could I want?

I was fortunate enough to have a friend from the former rescue help me with a rescue of a really cute Snowshoe Mom and her kittens. The Snowshoe Mom was a real doll and the family that adopted her was thrilled.
Her kittens however....are another story. Bless their little hearts - they apparently had a black and white Dad who was obviously a travelin' man. Poor babies ended up with some unfortunate markings and are REALLY homely: (May lightening strike me for saying such a thing!)

My friend is keeping the two "ooogly" ("oogly" = ugly) kittens in her washroom for a week until they can go into a Petsmart store. Lord help ''s probably the only way they'll get adopted. They certainly aren't photogenic, nor are they that affectionate. *sigh* Oh well, at least they're safe and somebody will take them home and love them forever.

I couldn't help but think about the Snowshoe Mom tonight and wondering if she's missing her kids like I'm missing mine tonight. Maybe she's happy to have her own space after her and her kittens shared a tiny cage. Maybe she's thinking, "Thank heavens they're off to find their own lives!" or maybe she's wondering what happened to her babies.

Tonight? I'm wondering what happened to my "babies":

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

A Daughter, A Boyfriend and Meatball

My baby is arriving from Southern California today. She's not really a "baby". She's 24, a Registered Nurse and a lovely, independent young woman. Like the rest of my crew, I think she's coming in for a "kitty fix". She sounds more excited to see "The Redheads" than she is me! hahaa!

I always thought Katy would become a veterinarian. She's certainly bright and compassionate enough. But when the time came to decide she couldn't see herself "hurting" an animal. Even if it was for the animal's benefit. Yah. I get that. So no veterinarian in the family - yet.

Katy's new boyfriend is allergic to cats. Despite my lectures throughout her teenage years, "Never date anyone that you wouldn't want to eventually marry", she's latched on to a very nice guy that unfortunately is HIGHLY allergic to cats. Damn. I can only wait this relationship out and pray that he either gets on the Benadryl-bandwagon or they break up. I can't imagine Katy without a cat in her life.

The boyfriend loves animals and has the cutest little dog named "Meatball". God, I love that name. I'm going to name the next foster cat "Meatball". Katy sent me a picture of herself with Meatball. I'm in love.

I realize it's totally lame to post a picture of somebody else's dog in my cat rescue blog. But you have to admit, that is one cute dog, right?

Katy called me on the way to the airport this morning and asked which of the kitties would be sleeping with her tonight.

Like mother - like daughter. :)

Monday, December 01, 2008

What's in a Kiss?

I love kissing my cats. Cats don't care if you have bad breath or smudged mascara. I might be fooling myself, but I really think my cats like to be kissed. It's part of who I am with my cats. I kiss 'em when I pick them up. I kiss 'em before I put them back down.

I find it amusing when a new foster cat gets kissed the first time. They always look really confused but they come back for more. Even my 17 year old son gets into smoochin' the foster cats: (I hope he isn't ticked at me for posting these pictures of him kissing the kittens. If guys only knew what a turn-on it is for girls to see a guy so vulnerable as kissing a kitten! Swoon!)

We want our foster cats to know that they're part of the family for however long they're with us. They get kissed just like the rest of the gang, so they might as well grin and bear it:

Let the torture begin! (Don't you wonder what they REALLY think?)

I've been "caught in the act" by people who aren't animal-people. They look at me with such disgust. Seriously. If they knew how much joy a pet can give you....*sigh*...

But I'm preaching to the choir, right?