Monday, December 28, 2009
David is sitting at the emergency vet clinic as I type this to pick up Travis and take him to our regular vet while we're gone. I'm going to worry like crazy until I know Travis is OK.
*IF* I make my flight, I'll be back after the New Year. It's hard to believe I've been writing this blog for two years now.
I've posted the following video on my Facebook page. If you make it through without crying, you're a bigger person that I am. It has a happy ending - I promise. As you might imagine, I can really relate to this, and would LOVE to make a cat-related video like this:
Happy New Year and blessings to all.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
I don't want to leave tomorrow. Glad my parents have free long distance. I'm going to be calling about him - a lot!
Friday, December 25, 2009
But it wasn't meant to be...
Christmas Eve started out OK! The turkey was in the oven, presents were wrapped and table was set:
I was proud of myself. Buying the covered butterdish was the best $10.00 I've ever spent.
Since everything was in order, I went upstairs to put the drops in Travis' eyes. Blood was pouring out of his right eye. He screamed in pain when I picked him up. I tried to pry his eye open, but only saw something that resembled raw hamburger. I knew Travis' eye had ruptured.
My Christmas guests were due to arrive in 1 hour. I had 4 separate dishes on the stove cooking. As fear turned into hysteria, my younger son rose to the occasion - he drove Travis to the Emergency Vet for me. I wrote out everything for the vet - medications, vet visits, testing etc.
But the bottom line was: Travis lost his eye and was in great pain. They put him on "opiates" for pain, fluids, antibiotics, etc and we prayed he wouldn't lose his other eye too. There's lots of swelling in his remaining eye, but the vets are working around the clock to save it.
When the phone rang this evening and I saw on Caller ID that it was the emergency clinic, my heart stopped. The vet that's treating him is a darling young woman. She hesitantly started asking me questions... "Um...sooo... Travis is a foster cat? ... I love him....but I already have 5 cats....How does one adopt Travis? He's the sweetest little man! "
I wonder if this nightmare will end with an adoption for Travis by his emergency vet?
I missed my little guy this morning. He would've loved the mounds of Christmas paper, bows, and empty boxes. It would've been like having a child in the house again. For now? I'll save his "Santa Paws" gift for when he's feeling better.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
There will be 3 cats that have a home for Christmas. (Yay!) One of them is spending the night at my house tonight in the "Land of Dirty Underwear" (aka: My son's room) until her new Dad can pick her up tomorrow evening.
I came home this morning to a darling Christmas card filled with pictures of "Oscar" a kitten that I had rescued and is now adopted. Imagine Oscar in every kind of cute pose possible.... so much thought and kindness went into that card and I was overwhelmed. (overwhelmed = cried like a baby)
Going to the grocery store on the night before Christmas Eve was paralyzing to someone like me. I hate crowds and usually go to great lengths to avoid them. I pulled into the driveway feeling VERY Scrooge-like to find a little package on my front doorstep. It was from my friend and fellow rescuer Michelle. She had left me a voicemail saying "I hope I left the package on your doorstep and not the "Squirrel Killer's" house...I peaked through the window and saw a cat, so that's a good sign." Hahahahha!
In the bag was a t-shirt that simply said "Be the Change". I cried again. Maybe I connected with more cats at the shelter today than I realized. Sometimes I feel so unworthy of such kindness.
Over the past few weeks I've received a couple of "Cat in Christmas Tree" pictures from foster parents and adopters. The best one wasn't sent to me at all - I stole it off a foster parent's Facebook page. (I know she won't mind)
This is Abby's first Christmas. Looks like she's making the best of the situation!
I've been very sentimental today and pray that I can continue to "Be the Change" and set a good example. Until then....
....hold your pets tightly tonight. Kiss your loved ones. Thank you for being there for me.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all...
Monday, December 21, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
Her Christmas presents came in the form of two little senior cats named Irma & Meyer. Sandy contacted me yesterday and offered to give both of these senior cats a forever home. It sounded too good to be true. Sometimes people get caught up in the moment and never actually follow through.
But not Sandy.
When I picked up Irma and Meyer today, their cages had been marked for euthanasia this morning. The cages around them were now empty and being cleaned for the next homeless cats to arrive.
Meyer purr'd all the way to the meeting spot in Toronto. Despite his 20 years, he lifted his nose to smell the fresh air and seemed to enjoy listening to my corny Christmas music. I stuck my index finger through the front of Irma's carrier. She reached out delicately and put her dirty paw over my finger. Her claws came out gently to hold me in place. For a moment, I removed my finger to scratch my nose and returned it to Irma. She placed her paw over my finger again. It wasn't a coincidence.
Sandy arrived with cozy cat carriers lined with blankets. It must've looked like heaven to cats who had only seen a sheet of newspaper. She kissed Irma first and Meyer second. She introduced herself to her new family members and gave ME a donation for future rescues.
But I still couldn't see her wings.
I could hardly wait to call her a few hours later to see how Irma and Meyer were doing. Both cats were exploring and strrreeeeeeeetching. They had napped in a sunny window, happily sniffed and greeted the other 4 senior cats in the house. It turns out that Irma (at approximately 14 years old) is the YOUNGEST of her cats! I could hear Sandy voice raise in delight with each cute movement of Irma and Meyer: "*There* you are, Meyer! Are you having a nice stretch?"
Her kind voice made me want to live there too.
Tonight? I'm filled with such joy and hope.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
I arrived home with "Promise" and put her in my son's room for the afternoon until I could meet up with her foster Mom. "Promise" lived up to her name....she was full of sweetness and crawled into my arms and held on for life:What a sweet little girl. I hope her foster family will enjoy her. I loved her.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
To make matters worse, I had emailed a staff member at the shelter to ask about the two senior cats I had posted "Myer" and "Irma". I wanted to know if they were feeling well and if they survived the Tuesday euthanasia. Her response:
This won't feel like a rescue to me. This will feel like I'm playing God and I don't do that well.
There are a lot of declawed cats at the shelter:
I don't say this often, but I don't know how I can leave tomorrow with only one cat. How will I be able to choose the one? I have to spend time with EACH of them to determine the right fit for the foster home.
I wonder who will be the one that ends up snuggled into a warm bed tomorrow night?
I wonder who will be the one that ends up being loved, patted and kissed tomorrow night?
How will I choose just one tomorrow? Heaven help me.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
After she leaves this afternoon, it'll be time to get back to rescue business. Christmas is coming, and adoptions slow down - foster homes are going out of town. It's not really a good time to rescue, but it hurts to think of the cats that have no home or are going to die alone.
Sorry for the melancholy blog post this morning. Geez!
On another note, there's another guy at the shelter that I would love to see find a forever home:
Chunk weighed in at the shelter at a whopping 35 lbs! It's certainly a different kind of animal abuse. I wanted to laugh and I wanted to cry when I saw him. I've never experienced that kind of emotion so quickly. Somebody must've loved him at one point - he was neutered and declawed.
Chunk can walk 5 steps then he has to stop and rest. He LOVES belly rubs - probably because he can't scratch himself. In fact, he came to the shelter so matted because he can't groom himself either. All that being said, he has to be the world's sweetest guy! He purrs constantly and loves everybody! Last I heard, the shelter was considering making him a permanent shelter cat. Whatever happens, this guy needs to be on a diet. (Sorry for stating the obvious) I wanted to take him home the moment that I saw him.
My foster kitten "Travis" has to go to the vets this morning. Poor little guy has an Upper Respiratory Infection that isn't responding well to the meds I've been giving him. He seems to be getting worse and his poor eyes are sealed shut with goop until I clean them out.
I'll work on some happy news - sooooon! :)
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Sadly, one of my recent rescues passed away yesterday afternoon. His name was "Boots" at the shelter, but the foster parents renamed him "Gizmo". Gizmo had what appeared to be a simple upper respiratory infection. After he went to the vet, the vet discovered that he had a broken back and broken ribs, plus a number of other problems that would mean Gizmo would never recover. We had him humanely euthanized yesterday.
Bless his heart - He was in good company at The Rainbow Bridge.
There are two seniors at the shelter right now. Thank God it's winter and the staff can hold them from euthanasia a little while longer with hope of rescue. If this had been summer, they would have been dead in the 3 days. These two did NOT come in together, so they don't have to be rescued together.
"Irma" is a sweet little thing. She's very petite! I love her little flat face. She's a delicate little flower and shouldn't be in this eff'ing shelter. She should be enjoying her retirement years on somebody's lap.
Meyer is a major favourie of mine. He was brought in as a stray, which could possibly be the truth. He looked like he had been outdoors. The staff at the shelter estimated him to be about TWENTY YEARS OLD! He had been neutered and declawed. He's a skinny, boney guy with very sweet temprement. He's eating, pooping and otherwise seems ok for a 20 year old cat.
I adopted a 20 year old cat once. I had him for 6 months before he passed away in my arms at the vet. He truly brought wisdom to the house. The other cats respected him and nobody so much as hissed or looked at him sideways.
Having this cat was one of the most beautiful experiences of my life.
Only in the slow months of winter at the shelter do I really have the time to help these poor senior cats. It's sad when kittens are at the shelter, but it's even sadder when these old timers are there because they know.
Folks feel sorry for these guys, but they don't want to take them home because they're worried about vet bills. True enough. My philosophy on taking home a senior cat: "Love them for whatever time they have left. When they start to fail...let them go. It's more than they ever would've had if you hadn't come along."
Isn't that the way it should be?
Thursday, December 10, 2009
I did a small rescue this morning and rescued a cute orange guy named "Phoenix" for a foster home plus the "little man" that captured my heart over the past few days:
I renamed Gregory "Sherman" and brought him home with me. It was against my better judgment to take on another foster cat when my daughter is arriving tomorrow from Southern California for a few days, PLUS my back isn't 100% back to normal, but I just couldn't leave him again. Our eyes met...and...I packed him up.
I came home to an email from a favourite foster Mom who announced that her foster kitten "Tuggs" had been adopted. I called her and asked if she'd take "Sherman". Bless her heart... in this freezing weather she and her husband met me in a Wendy's parking lot to pick him up tonight.
Sherman wasn't with me long, but he made a lasting impression. :)
Some disappointing news:
I received an email today from the woman that adopted "Beanie":
I was wondering if you could assist me, Beanie has been wonderful, but after 3 days my allergies are killing me!!!! I’ve tried the allerpet and will keep trying this out for at least a week, I knew I had allergies but my last cat my roommate had didn’t seem to bother me so much, maybe because she was a long haired cat with totally different textured hair. This cat has been absolutely amazing, very well behaved, he does meow a bit but that doesn’t bother me, but he has also been sneezing (I hope that doesn’t mean anything)….if I did have to give him back Beth (it breaks my heart, but I may have to)….will someone be able to foster him, or adopt him, please advise of my options….anyone would love him, he adjusts sooooo well.."
I don't remember her saying a thing about allergies, but maybe I was just too excited that Beanie would be in a forever home so quickly. I gave her some good advice via email regarding her allergies. But we might be back to the drawing board on this one. At least he won't be going back to the shelter, but his forever home might have to wait. I didn't give up on Beanie last time and I won't give up on him this time.
Let's hope the weather warms up tomorrow. It really hurts to think of any little animal out there tonight. I wish I could enjoy the cozy nights like everybody else.
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
I think "Lars" is the perfect name for this handsome, blonde, Scandinavian prince! :)
"Animals have a funny way of choosing their owner and Gordon has decided that
he is Fraser's cat, needless to say my three and a half year old is
thrilled. There is a race into the bedroom for story time and Gordon stays
with Fraser until he falls asleep. At the end of the evening when we head
to bed he goes back to bed with Fraser or sits and guards his door. When
tears are shed Gordon comes flying out to see what's wrong and won't leave
his side until everything is okay...."
Isn't that precious? He's protecting their son. God bless them both.
These sweet little ones were SO close to being euthanized....they were "Urgent".
Their after picture is pretty cute. Most cats stop grooming while they're at the shelter. Would you want to wash your hair or wear make up if you lived in jail? Cats don't want to groom either. So these guys were pretty stinky! :)
Tomorrow, I'm going to post some special needs cats that really need help badly - just like the ones above. Maybe somebody can see it in their heart to change the life of one of them.
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
This is my little "Beanie" moments after his rescue. Isn't he cute? I suppose I could write a whole blog post on this, but his rescue doesn't end here....
Some wonderful person saw my plea on my blog for Beanie and posted on Craigslist that Beanie needed help. Whomever posted for him, didn't know he had been rescued the same day. Believe it or not, I received an ADOPTION CALL on Beanie just a few hours after he had been rescued. God bless "K"...she loaded up the car an took Beanie to his new home. Beanie went to a wonderful home and I couldn't be happier.
You read correctly - not only was Beanie rescued, but he was adopted too. :) What a buzz!
Today, we managed to get FOUR cats out of the shelter. 3 of them that were rescued today, plus 2 rescued yesterday are hanging out in various rooms and bathrooms throughout my house. I'm driving them into the city to meet up with foster families in a Wendy's parking lot tonight.
All I hear from the different floors of my house is meowing...some frantic...some pitiful...some excited. My own cats are camped out in front of the doors. Seriously...7:30 can't come fast enough!
Here are a few pictures of the sweeties rescued over the past few days. (I don't have all their pictures)
I've enjoyed the high of the rescue over the past few days. I only pray that they all stay healthy and their new foster families are happy with them. I've done my very best to make the best matches for the volunteers, but it isn't always absolute.
Monday, December 07, 2009
"Talon" was rescued a few days ago. I had put out a plea for her and Dori and her wonderful husband came forward and rescued this little girl despite the fact that they already had two foster cats in their care.
It was very clear to Dori that "Talon" (Whom they renamed "Chloe") wasn't well. This beautiful white cat had been at the shelter for almost a month. She lived through many "Euthanasia Days", and a nasty upper respiratory infection. How could she be sick? She was eating well and looked great the day she was rescued.
"Chloe" was failing and she was failing fast. The foster family took her to the vets where she was diagnosed with late kidney failure. Chloe was dying. I think Chloe's instincts kicked in and she looked well while at the shelter. As soon as she was safe - she let herself go.
Chloe had an appointment at our vet to be lovingly euthanized this evening. But she couldn't hold on....Dori kept her warm and loved her until her last moments. She died at their home this afternoon.
At least she died with someone who loved her. I'm sure she found the Rainbow Bridge and was in good company.
Many thank you's and hugs to Dori and her husband for taking in this beautiful girl. You're heroes in my book.
Sunday, December 06, 2009
Being a typical happy, rowdy kitten! Of course, I love him already.
Travis loves sitting with David while he's on the computer. He's a total "people cat". Whomever adopts him will be very fortunate...
For now? We're the fortunate ones to have him in our lives. What joy!
Friday, December 04, 2009
First, I have to update you on the adoption of my little Bucky (now known as "Pippin"):
An Email from Steve:
"Pippin had a great time at the pub last night – he thoroughly enjoyed himself and wasn’t the least bit nervous. There was one minor snag: the pub has a fireplace that hasn’t been used for ages. Pippin decided to climb up inside the chimney. When he got back down, he was totally covered in soot. I had to take him into the bathroom and give him a thorough bath, which he didn’t care for too much. Luckily I had two large bath towels in the carrier, so I was able to dry him down and keep him warm until it was time to go. We were there for about six hours, which was a lot longer than I’d originally expected – I only stayed that long because he was having such a good time."
I started to cringe about my little Buck-Buck at the Pub until I got the pictures:
As you can see, Pippin is terrified and cringing in fear. :)They even forced him to tend bar! :) :)
I can see that my little Pippin is going to have a wonderful life and be an active part of Steve's life. What foster parent could ask for anything more?
Secondly, I wanted to update you on "Tinkerbelle" who is now known as Paisley. Originally, I was going to foster Paisley, but I decided that she might be a better fit in a different foster home. Although they had a rough first 2 hours with her rowdy behaviour, it looks like I made the right call. Paisley BEFORE........and Paisley AFTER:
As you can see, Paisley is terrified of the family dog too. (Why am I so sarcastic today?)
Sooooooooo.....my new foster kitten is "Rowan" that I renamed "Travis". I'll have to get some pictures posted over the weekend. He's fitting in nicely and already out and about with my cats. He and Thomas Turner were having a ball running around this morning. I couldn't help but think that Travis would be dead if Steve hadn't adopted my foster kitten, "Bucky". Thanks to Steve adopting my kitten, I could rescue another....and so on...
"Beanie" is still at the shelter and I don't think he can be there much longer. He really needs help and I'm going to work hard this weekend to get him out. If anybody can help him, you know where to reach me....
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
I feel like it's incredibly selfish of me to be "down" while there are cats sitting in cages waiting to die. I kept thinking about it last night while I laid on ice. So much to do - my daughter arrives in a week, and I need to make Christmas happen.
How can I do it all? I probably can't, so I rescued some cats today anyway. :)
This is Tinkerbelle. She had been at the shelter since November 8th. I was really worried about her being there another day. She's at my house in FULL party mode. Holy smokes - all I hear is hissing from the other cats, and her galloping around. I tried to quarantine her in my son's room, but she busted out quickly and wanted to be part of the family right away. She's only about 16 weeks :)
"Rowan" was brought into the shelter because he had been hit by a car. He's only about 14-16 weeks old and sure doesn't look like he had been hit by a car! He's a snuggly, mellow little guy. He's in my son's room for a few more hours before I meet his foster family in a parking lot later tonight. Tinkerbelle immediately body slammed him, so I knew he might not be a good fit in "Turner's Party House for Cats." He's really a lover - not a fighter.
"Boots" is another sweetie. He looks rather menacing in his picture, but he hung on for dear life when I pulled him out of his cage. He was already neutered and declawed. I don't know what on earth has happened to him, but he is COVERED in fleas and burrs. His coat is so matted, I don't know how he could walk. He's at the vets tonight getting shaved. I bet he'll feel like a million bucks when he's done.
As I'm typing, an email came in from an awesome foster Mom who is also fostering Merlin and Miller:
"Dear Beth: If Talon is still available, we will take her. We can pick her up tomorrow (Thurs.) morning if you can ask them to have her ready. My husband doesn't think Merlin and Miller will be with us long."YES!!!!!!!!!! I love "surprise rescues"! I'm so happy that Talon is going to such a great foster home. Thank you Dori for going to get her tomorrow!
While I was at the vets today, I spent some time with my buddy "Humble". Humble weighed in at the vets at 17 lbs. He's a BIG tom cat and a mooshy lovebug. The staff at the vets love him. He's waiting for his foster family to come back from holidays, then he can go into their home. :)It was very hard for me to leave Beanie. I wish somebody would come forward and help him. He's such a NICE, NICE boy! Kim asked me today, "Anybody come forward for Beanie?" His situation is getting really urgent.
*sigh* One day at a time....one cat at a time....