Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Mess Du Jour

Anyone that has cats knows that they can be little racoons. I went to the shelter today and brought back an adorable brown tabby kitten (don't say it!). He's about 16 weeks old and beyond cute.

He's already made himself at home:

Look beyond the initial mess and you'll see perfect little Coffee mate footprints going all the way down the counter. What you can't see, is the footprints continue all through the house! :)

We must have $500.00 worth of cat toys in the house and he chose a gigantic tub of Costco Coffee Mate.

I'm just glad he had fun. He can have anything he wants. :)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Lesson In Humility

Yesterday was a learning experience for me. It's a lesson that I already knew, but I think it's important that we ALL get refreshers in humility once in a while.

I had the privilege of rescuing an insanely cute black cat from the shelter yesterday and was going to meet up with his new adoptive Dad later that afternoon. It's always a very cool thing for me to introduce a cat to his new "forever family". We were supposed to meet in the parking lot of a veterinary office.

My heart sunk when he got out of his car as his face didn't match the voice on the phone. The voice on the phone was kind, gentle, and intelligent. The guy that got out of the car had a million freaky tattoos and odd piercings. I might have walked to the other side of the street to avoid him.

I took the very frightened cat out of the crate and he nestled into "Sam's" arms. Sam looked up at me with tears in his eyes as he leaned forward to kiss the cat on the head.

"I love you already..." he said in a voice that was cracking. "I'm going to take you home and love you forever. Thank you Beth for saving him for me. He's wonderful and I love him."

Tears poured down his face.

I'm embarrassed to write this post. I am. But it's an important post for all of us who suffer from judging people too harshly.

If that wasn't enough of a lesson, I come home to find the "tree guys" with their chain saws still working away at breaking up the massive tree that fell in my yard the other day after the latest storm. I was initially irritated to see that they hadn't made much progress. What the hell were these meatheads doing for the past 5 hours?

With great animation, they quickly explained that they were in "Squirrel 911". They had found a nest of 3 baby squirrels in the tree that they were tearing apart. I bristled as I listened and was sure they had killed the helpless baby squirrels with a shovel. But no. They stopped work and wrapped the babies up in their shirt and took them to a local veterinarian. The vet gladly took them in and is giving them care until a wildlife centre picks them up.

A special message to the gentle men I met yesterday: "Thank you for opening your heart to the animals. I'm sorry I was too lame and judgmental to initially appreciate you. You matter to me and most importantly - to them.

Monday, April 27, 2009

A Sneak Peek Into the Future

There was a flurry of activity at the shelter today. People were lined up out the door with small boxes in their arms and paperwork in their hands. I'm always suspicious of the boxes, carriers or laundry baskets. That usually means that people are there to dump their family pets and I need to leave fast before I say something stupid.

As usual, I couldn't keep my big mouth shut...

There was a young couple standing in line looking quite upset. Their cat was lost. God, I hate hearing that, because I just knew that these idiots were probably letting their cat out and are now surprised she didn't come back, "because she always comes back". But that wasn't the case this time. Their cat was 10 months old and newly spayed. In fact, they were very concerned because she still had stitches. She wasn't an outdoor cat, but got out from a tiny rip in their window screen.

Me: WUH?

Seriously. In front of me was a responsible pet owner looking for their lost pet at Animal Services? What a concept.

The next guy in line was someone with a dove in beer box with a broken wing. He was so upset when the shelter worker told him that there wasn't much that could be done for the poor bird.

Me: HUH?

Holy shit. Somebody who was bringing in a hurt bird that CARED?

The rest of the people there were updating their dog licences and asking questions about the law pertaining to rabies vaccines, etc.

I went back into the shelter only to find that the shelter wasn't as full as it usually would be on a Monday morning at the end of April. The staff at the shelter "hushed" me, when I started to make a comment that might jinx the serenity at the shelter.

I felt like I might be looking into the future. It was surreal and beautiful. There was a split-second where I saw a future where I could be out of a cat rescue volunteer job.

...and it felt goooood.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Not a Rescue Post...(Sorta)

This post really has nothing to do with rescue. Last night we're all in the basement when we hear a HUGE ***BOOOOM*** coming from upstairs. Poor Maggie (our senior dog)... she came flying downstairs and hid under my desk.

I had assumed it was thunder. I was close...Lightning had struck one of my favourite old trees in the front yard. Nobody was hurt and the tree fell away from the house. Amazing that the "For Sale" sign remained intact! The tree trunk was fried, and live electrical wires were buzzing around the street.

We didn't have power for about 6 hours. David tried to give our oldest son $20.00 to "get lost". (hahhaha...he might be old...but he's still a romantic)

Last year, there was a whole family of raccoons up in that tree. I sat and watched them for such a long time. I was in awe of the Mama Raccoon's scolding of the young ones. I was comforted that Mother Raccoons get pissed off at their kids too.

Oh well. Life goes on. I'm going to the shelter to do a rescue tomorrow. I've been trying all afternoon to reach people to confirm, but it's been slow. I suppose everybody is out and about after being stuck inside with the storm. Tomorrow, I'm rescuing PennySue:

She's been at the shelter far too long. PennySue is the tiniest little girl - probably weighs about 5 lbs soaking wet. She's such a little lady.

I'm comforted in knowing that tonight is her last night in that cage. Tomorrow, she's going to "Kate's house" and will be loved and a home. :)

Friday, April 24, 2009


I was at the shelter last week when Toby first arrived at the shelter. He was in the "new arrivals" holding area and looking rather relaxed and interested in the comings and goings of the shelter.

His owner had been in an assisted living arrangement with Toby until she became ill and had to move into Hospice.
In one day, Toby lost his "Mom" and his home, as the nursing staff brought Toby to the shelter.
Within a few days, he looked like the picture that you see. He became very depressed, and knew that his life had changed for the worse. I'm sure Toby wondered what had happened. Did he do something wrong?

Thankfully, a volunteer stepped forward to offer a place for Toby to start his life over. It was a great privilege for me to drive all the way back out to the shelter just for Toby. Taking him out of the cage and kissing his little face made me smile like I haven't smiled in a long time. I rescued 20 cats yesterday, but it didn't compare to rescuing Toby.

Thank you Heather (and her Mom too!) for meeting me today to pick up Toby. It was really wonderful to watch you drive off with Toby. You were both smiling like you had the best present in the world.

I think Toby feels the same way. :)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Hi Ho....Hi Ho....It's Off to the Shelter I Go!

I knew it would be a wonderful day when I saw the sun shining in my window this morning. I hate to sound like a "PollyAnna", but it was one of those feel good days.

Going out to the shelter was a pleasure - No traffic, no spilling my coffee on my shirt. It was the Apocalypse!

I didn't realize how big the rescue really was until I did a head count. Three of the rescued cats went with Kathleen to a local vet, and I took the rest in my car. With two nursing Moms and their 11 babies total, I was able to rescue TWENTY little souls today! What a wonderful feeling to drive away from the shelter knowing that I emptied quite a few cages.

I've received a ton of e-mails about the Mom and kittens without eyes. Of course, I couldn't leave them! I brought the little family to their new foster Mom who was ready and happy to have them. We took a good look at the babies and there were some with eyes and some without. Regardless, they were beyond cute and Mommy was happy to be out of that effing shelter.

Call me "insensitive", but I'm dying to name one of the kittens "Popeye". He only has one eye!

Of course, the day wouldn't be complete unless somebody pooped in their crate. They didn't disappoint me. It was the white Mom cat...I could hear her two day old babies meowing pitifully and I was imagining them rolling in it - poop stuck to their tiny feet and face. I frantically tried to grab some Wendy's napkins to stretch back into the crate....Ahhh...the things I do while I'm driving.

"Sorry officer/doctor/coroner, I was cleaning crap from a cat crate so the kittens wouldn't roll in it."

The rescue took me 5 hours, so when I came home I realized the breakfast dishes were in the sink, and there was nothing thawed out for dinner. I didn't care. Because of the efforts of unselfish volunteers, 20 sweet cats who had no hope - now have a chance at a beautiful life.

It doesn't get much better than this.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Rainy Days, Mondays, and Depends Undergarments

What is it about rainy days and Mondays? I really hate the Carpenters for writing that damn song. It's like a jinx or something.

I was happy to go out to the shelter today to do a small rescue. I had heard there was a Mom cat with her ELEVEN kittens. It was like "Freak day" at the shelter! Many of these little guys were born without eyes! They had empty sockets. Bless their little hearts - they didn't know they were blind - they were snuggling and partying like normal kittens:

Finding a foster home to take a Mom with eleven kittens is generally impossible. I was permitted to take 5 of the kittens and leave Mom with 6. Still a huge litter, eh? Call me weird, but I really like the freaky cats. :)

I also rescued a ridiculously cute 12 week old black kitten named "Henry" for a new foster Mom:

She seemed to be thrilled with him and he's safe and warm in her apartment along with her cat named Silas. I love rescuing black cats. :)

It rained the entire day today, so traffic was a nightmare. I was on the road for 5 hours, which would usually take me about 3 hours to do the same shelter run. I knew I had to pee after my last drop off at the vets, but I figured I'd be able to make it home - no problemo. 47 year old bladder did not appreciate the delay. Along with the rain dripping on my windshield and dead stop traffic, I was eyeing my empty Tim Horton's coffee cup with great appreciation. Rather than consider the risk of a traffic accident with my pants down - not to mention that I am NOT a man that can pee in a cup, I called my friend Kathleen and asked her to help me get my mind off my uncomfortable situation. Of course, all she did was tell me funny stories. Damn her!

As the"rainy days and Mondays" would have it, I get a phone call from our real estate agent this afternoon who wants to show my house in 2 hours. I had to come home and get the cats out, put away water dishes, litterboxes, food bowls, and load up the car again with 3 of the cats and the dog to drive around in the rain for an hour.

This time, I used the washroom before I left.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Preaching to the Choir

We survived a weekend of "Potential Buyer Infestation". As you can see by the picture to the left, my foster cat Dimitri seems pretty relaxed about it. Ahhh...kittens!

I'm thrilled to announce that nobody is scheduled to view the house tomorrow and I can have a seemingly normal Monday of going to the shelter to do a small rescue.

As usual, a bunch of pinheads came into the shelter over the weekend and dumped their cats there, so the shelter is VERY full and Monday will be a big euthanasia day. Kim is asking for help with Moms and babies.
I wish people knew that when their cat has 5 kittens, that means 5 of MY kittens die in the shelter. Nobody seems to understand that. Think of it this way: Even if you find homes for your kittens, they take the place of kittens that could be rescued from the shelter. People are adopting YOUR kittens (that should've never been conceived in the first place!!

I suppose I'm preaching to the choir. People who read this blog already know to spay and neuter their cats.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Cat Shuffle

In two days, I've gone from being "Cat Rescue Woman Extraordinaire", to playing "Shuffle the Pets" at my house. Ever since I listed my house for sale, I've had a really hard time keeping up with the day to day goings at the rescue and shelter.

It's really been a living nightmare to take all the cats and 1 dog out of the house during each showing. I have to hide litterboxes, food bowls, scratching posts and make the house look like no pets have ever lived there. To be honest, I'm really fed up with the whole process and it's only been a few days. This is my home! In this home, is my life and in my life are my cats and my dog.

Today, I'm sitting in my car under a tree with 3 cats in crates (these are my sensitive cats - the rest went out into the garage) and my dog barking out the window. I'm waiting for the people to leave my house when my cell phone rings and it's my real estate agent:

Agent: Hey have a problem.

Me: YOU have a problem? I've been driving around for 3 hours with 3 cats and a dog that passes gas in the car.

Agent: There's still a cat in the house. A black one.

Me: Oh no! Willy! I forgot to put Willy in the garage! Can you just pick him up and put him in the garage?

Agent: I'm allergic and I don't know how to pick him up. He's rolling around on the floor and I think he wants me to scratch his belly. I'm trying to show your house, but the people who want to see the house won't come inside if there's a cat.

Me: &$%(*@!!!!

So I had to go back home, greet the agent and a disgruntled couple who was waiting to get inside to get my wayward cat.

Poor Willy. He probably woke up from a nap, looked around and saw that EVERYBODY was gone. "Xanadu!" I could almost picture Willy running around the house with scissors, jumping on the beds, leaving the lights on....he must've been thrilled to be alone.

I did manage to make some calls today and Brenda is doing a rescue tomorrow, bless her heart.

Life moves on without me. I'll just be glad when it's a more normal life. I'm already tired of trying to cover up that piece of ripped wallpaper in the kitchen. (Bad boy, Wilbur!)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Slow Down the Roller Coaster - I Want To Get Off!

I can tell that it's kitten season when I'm feeling overwhelmed and angry when I go into the shelter. The little faces haunt me long after I leave the building. I rescued 5 darling cats today and placed them with excited new foster parents. I also met a nice couple at the shelter that wanted to rescue "Luie" and I found myself becoming increasingly more impatient with them as their questions became harder for me to answer:

"Can you guarantee me that our cats won't get sick if we bring Luie home and he gets a shelter cold?" (No. )

David and I just listed our big house for sale. As the kids are leaving the nest (thank god), we're finding the empty rooms and space too much for us. So we're selling the house and buying a slightly smaller house nearby. Needless to say, I'm not rescuing any new foster cats for myself because we'll have people parading in and out. Lord only knows what I'm going to do with the cats that I have when people are viewing the house!

It sucks to go into the shelter and know that you can't take someone home. Oh, the desperate little faces!

My friend Kathleen had to say goodbye to her senior girl "Rita" today. I remember when Kathleen rescued Rita from the shelter several years ago. She was such a scrawny, matted little thing that turned into a gorgeous cat. Kathleen loved that little old lady so much. Saying goodbye is so hard. In an odd way, it was nice to grieve with Kathleen. I was grateful that Rita had people who loved her enough to "mortgage the farm" to save her life. But no amount of money would make things better and it was time to lovingly say good bye.

Can you tell it's been an emotional roller coaster kind of day? I am really looking forward to writing something amusing and whimsical. (I don't even have a good "cat poop story" to tell!) I think I'm going to have to really search long and hard for something funny, because right now I keep thinking of this little guy that I thought I had rescued during the last rescue:
It turns out that I rescued a DIFFERENT cat. This poor guy is still there!! Now I feel responsible for him because I published his cute little tabby face on my blog.


Saturday, April 11, 2009

....Not Feeling Very "Spring Happy"....

Note from Beth: There's a few swear words in this post, so please don't read this post today if this offends you.

I arranged for a very nice sounding young man to go out to the shelter to meet "Emilio". I couldn't be there to help him, but the shelter staff was happy to show him off. Justin took Emilio home and it was a wonderful match.

I suppose I should be happy and grateful that another cat got out of the shelter today. But when I called Justin to see how Emilio was doing, he told me that the shelter was totally full. All four rooms at the shelter were "wall-to-wall cats".

That means on Monday (there is NO "Easter Monday" for the vet) will be a horrible "euthanasia day" at the shelter. God forbid the fucking vet would take a day off from making his $70.00 per cat kill rate. *argh*
It's not the vet's fault. I want to blame him, but it isn't his fault. If he didn't make money doing it, somebody else would.

Everybody just keeps dumping their responsibilities off on the City employees to take care of their problems. I'm moving....having a baby....the cat pee'd on my kid's allergic.... my boyfriend doesn't like him....blah blah blah.

Are these the same people who blame the teachers when their kids start taking drugs?

While you're eating your Easter dinner tomorrow night, there will be many sweet cats in metal cages at the shelter eating their last meal. They'll be tucked in for the night and Monday morning they'll die.

I'm so pissed off I could scream.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

I'm Sorry....Sooooo Sorry....

Despite my best effort at not doing anything yesterday, I went back to the shelter and rescued another 9 cats. A Mom + her 5 newborn kittens, and 3 others. :) I really didn't intend to drive all over the place, but as usual with rescue that's exactly what happened.

Did you ever have a day that you felt like you needed to apologize to everybody you met? That's the kind of day I had yesterday. Seriously...I was so tired and burned out that my social skills went out the window.

So I figured I might as well apologize to everybody here and save myself some time:

1. I'm sorry that I didn't call you back. I was too tired from being in the car from 9 a.m. - 3 pm, then on the phone from 5 pm until 10 pm. . It's not that I didn't care - I just was too tired to make any sense or solve any problems.

2. To the other drivers: I'm sorry for cutting you off, driving too fast, and not hearing you honk. I had to pee and I couldn't find a Tim Horton's.

3. To the cats I rescued yesterday: I'm sorry that I forgot to put towels in two of the crates and you had to sit on plastic.

4. I'm sorry that I didn't make a nutritious meal for my family last night. I managed grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup. Be happy and shaddap.

5. I'm sorry for saying "shaddap".

6. To my youngest son: I'm sorry that I didn't ask about your Presentation in Environmental Studies yesterday.

7. To the new foster homes & Adopters that I delivered cats to yesterday: I'm sorry that I was sweaty, hurried and had spilled coffee down the front of my shirt when I arrived yesterday. Seriously, I don't always look that way.

8. To my wonderful, handsome husband: I'm sorry I fell asleep at 10:15 last night. *ugh*

9. I'm sorry I took a nap from 3pm-4 pm yesterday instead of doing the laundry.

I think that just about covers the apologies du jour. It was "one of those days" yesterday and I'm pleased to report that today is much better. I've returned phone calls, caught up on e-mails and am happy to say that the roots on my hair are no longer dark.


10. I'm sorry that my hair looked like shit yesterday.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

The Cat Lady - In Motion

Because I didn't rescue yesterday, I made up for lost time today. I was able to rescue 10 little souls today. Two of them were going to forever homes right away! Of course, the highlight of the day was the meet up with a new foster Mom, her husband and 3 sons at the shelter. Although it was overwhelming for them, they managed to save two lives:
Yes, it was a good rescue day today. Here's some more pictures of some sweeties whose lives were saved because unselfish people opened their homes and their hearts to save them today:

Who couldn't love a face like Bosco's? (Above) Holy Moly - isn't he cute?

Just like people, all cats differ on how they handle the shelter experience. Mildred, (pictured above) was dumped at the shelter by her family. The reason? "We don't want". That's all they said. There are still two others at the shelter from that family - I'm going to work hard to get all three out. Right now - it's just Mildred. Bless her heart.

You might wonder why I didn't foster little Pounce (above) myself. He looks like my kinda guy. Fortunately for Pounce - he has a forever home and doesn't even have to go to a foster home!

Poor William (above) His shelter experience must've really sucked. I took him to his new home today and he slithered under the computer desk. He'll be OK. I'm just grateful he'll get a chance to be loved one more time.

I was cruising down the highway with 10 cat crates in my sports car. I must look like a total freak. I'm driving along, eating my hummus and crackers, playing some old Led Zeppelin, when this young guy drives along beside me in his car. I'm trying to look cool - a little flirty, but not too flirty. My head bobs in rhythm to the music, "Yeah....I'm happenin"...Then I realize - he's looking at all the cat crates in my car!! I felt like I had hummus in my teeth and sped up to avoid his incredulous look.

My life in a nutshell, I guess. I was never that cool - what made me think I could be cool with 10 cats in the car and Hummus in my teeth?

I should've asked him if he wanted to foster a cat.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Notes From Beyond

This is the first Monday I haven't been running out to the shelter in a long time. I'm rather relieved because it's freakin' SNOWING outside. I'm organizing a rescue for tomorrow, so my quiet day is going to be short lived.
The shelter has started to become very busy again, so the vet is coming to euthanize cats 3 times per week, instead of 2 times per week.

Just think - there once was a day I loved Spring. It has a different meaning to me now.

On a happier note, over the past few weeks I've received e-mails from foster parents regarding their foster cats. I thought you might enjoy them too:

"Otherwise, the raccoons (Note from Beth: "Raccoons aka "Foster cats) are doing well.. One day last week when I got home from work, I thought I'd been robbed. But then common sense kicked in and I realized that robbers wouldn't open all my lower kitchen cupboards, dump the garbage on the floor and spread it all over. I guess they've learned how to open the kitchen cupboards."

"I’ve been referring to my newest permanent cat (a 5-month-old pale orange tabby named Casper) as “a little shithead”. Up until now it was a metaphorical term of endearment. But 15 minutes ago he jumped up into my lap for a cuddle. He had shit all over the top of his head. Really. How do they do that? Needless to say he wasn’t happy about getting cleaned up. Wrapping him in a towel only sort of worked. A straitjacket would have been preferable. Do they make those for cats?"

"Hi Beth, I know this sounds gross, but there is something purple hanging out of my cat's butt. Is that normal?"

"Beth, can you get me another foster cat? My kids are fighting over who gets to sleep with Sampson. If we have two, my life will be peaceful again."

"I came home from work to find the cat sucking on my kitchen towel. Is that normal? Wouldn't he get bacteria in his mouth? What if I need to dry my dishes? Do you think I should buy him a baby bottle so he can nurse if he wants to?" (Note from Beth: This cat is 4 years old...

Ahhh.....I love you guys :)

Friday, April 03, 2009

When Will I Learn?

I have my iPod sorted from A-Z, and I can always tell what my day is like in the car by how far I get on the songs on my iPod. For example, from home to the shelter I usually get the the "F" songs. Today, I went from A-Z and then looped again from A-Z. I finally realized I was sick of hearing the same songs and switched to the radio.

It was was POURING all day today and I had a rescue. I loaded up a Mom cat with her 2 babies, a pregnant Mom, an 8 week old kitten, and 2 other adults and headed out in the rain. Of course, the traffic was horrible.

Why is it I'm the only person that drives normally when it rains?

Soooo.....I'm not sure why I bother to talk to the dimwits who are surrendering their pets at the shelter. I wrote about this not too long ago - you'd think I'd learn. I always get pissed off and it takes me a long time to shake the anger.

I was just leaving the shelter with the cats when I see this redneck walking up with his daughter and a very cute, but scared cat in a carrier. (This is the part where I need to learn to shut my mouth)

Me: Aww...(gesturing at the crate) Who is this cutie?

Redneck: We're moving and can't keep him.

Me: Oh shucks (Hmm....did I really say "shucks"?) don't worry about moving with cats! They do beautifully! (sounding chipper and happy) I moved from Southern California with my cats and they adapted just fine!

Redneck: I can't.

Me: Why?

Redneck: Just can't move with him.

Me: You know he'll be killed here, right?

Redneck: Can't help it. Besides, this isn't my decision alone.


Hey Pal...why don't you grow some balls and make a decision for what's right for the cat that you promised to love forever? You amputated his toes, now you're going to dump him? Why don't you set a good example for your daughter on how to treat animals? You're starting another generation of people who don't know about RESPONSIBILITY to their pets!

The reality is....I walked away. I'll go back and rescue his cat next week. He's been neutered and declawed. He looks like a sweet guy. Good thing the cat came in before kitten season came into full swing, or he might not have gotten out of there.

I really hope this guy leaves Ontario thinking that his cat has been killed at the shelter and he's responsible. I hope he stays awake at night thinking about it. But he probably won't.

Instead, I'm the one that drove around all day thinking about HIS cat and will go to bed tonight thinking about HIS cat.

Where the hell is the justice?

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Being a Hero to One Cat - Part Two

So our new enthusiastic foster Mom made it through the shelter today with flying colours! She didn't cry (and neither did I!) I recognized the signs of being her overwhelmed with choices of cats to foster, so we narrowed it down to two young male cats.

I'm sure nobody will be surprised to hear that she ended up taking BOTH boys to foster! "Waldo" and "Quigley" are now safe and sound at the vets and being prepared for their neuters as I type. Tomorrow, they'll be spoiled rotten at her house. Waldo is a very handsome grey tabby boy and Quigley is an ornery little orange guy. Both of those cats were turning themselves upside down, inside out, rubbing, purring, paws out of the cage - ANYTHING to coerce her into picking him. "Pick me! Pick me!" I'm so grateful she took both.

I was able to rescue a darling little Mom and 4 kittens, and 6 others. You may recognize her from another blog post.

She's such a good Mommy and her foster family will be picking up her and babies this evening.

It's too bad I got my big fat head in this picture. I was trying so hard to get a good shot of one of the kittens. This little guy is 10 days old and actually HISSED at me! What a little booger! I love him already. Why do I love the bad ones? It's a good thing somebody else is fostering them. was a good rescue day. I feel energized and enthusiastic. Thank heavens for the help I received today to make this rescue happen.

Monday: 8 cats rescued

Today: 7 cats + 4 kittens rescued!

Unless my math is screwed up, that's 19 cats saved this week.

For today...I feel like I've made a difference.