Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Annual Meltdown

Every year I have what I call a "meltdown" regarding the shelter. I think it's due to the fact that I'm brave and professional the rest of the 364 days and can handle most of what comes my way.

I had Monday and Tuesday visits to the shelter to do adoptions and rescues. So many had died on Monday morning. I could *feel* the death and the heat was unimaginable in the back by the cat holding area. There's no air conditioning. The staff that works back there were sweating as they tried to clean the cages. But the cats had it the worst - steel cages held the heat and the poor things looked miserable. I couldn't help but think that the ones that died that morning were lucky.

I didn't get to rescue "Buddy". He was gone. I met the young family on Monday morning and gave them the bad news. After the initial disappointment, they chose a darling guy named "Oscar" who had been at the shelter far longer than he should have:

Oscar had been out in the garage and was already neutered and declawed. As always, it's a victory when a black cat gets out of there. The family had already adopted a cat from this shelter last week and I was excited to get a report. They didn't let me down - I got this email shortly after Oscar arrived in their home:

"Hey Beth,It was great meeting you again! Thought I would drop you a line to tell you how the homecoming was. After about an hour of grooming, Oscar is starting to be back to a handsome fella and not so burly. Hope and him are still not all that sure of each other but I truly believe that is just a time thing. Oddly enough like Hope; Oscar's first place that he found to relax and enjoy is my bedroom. He is resting and is very content up there!! Hope seemed to find comfort in the same place for the first few days. I didnt have the heart to keep them separated but they are both leaving each other alone and are very relaxed and happy. Hope is playing with her toys and being her energetic youthful self and Oscar is kicking back and relaxing...which he rightfully deserves. Oh my you should of seen the hair that came off of him...LOL tons and tons! But I think he feels much better now after getting rid of it, getting cleaned up and having a bite to eat. I even believe I heard a few purrs...... :) It is very quiet hear right now and in all honesty I truly believe you had a great idea showing us Oscar. He is shy but he fits right in with us :) I truly do appreciate you meeting us both times and finding two wonderfully amazing additions for are family!! They are both are perfect in there own ways!! Send me your address and I will mail you some pictures that I am sure you would love!! Thanks so much Beth!!"

A current foster Mom contacted me about *adopting* "Dodger" - the little orange guy with a club foot! I'm VERY excited and relieved and the staff moved Dodger to a safer area out in the garage so he won't be euthanized. I did find out that Dodger is a little girl. Oops! :)

It's a dark time of year for the shelter. I'm really clinging to the scraps of happiness that comes my way. They're few and far between - but I'm clingin'...

6 comments:

RHz said...

The cat rescue that I help run here in NJ does only emergency situations and strays/ferals. We only get cats from the shelters if one of the workers there, or the SPCA president, want to get the cat(s) out. However, we were lucky enough to hit a very slow period about 2 or 3 years ago and we did shelter rescues then.

Beth, I just don't know how you do it day after day in there. I wanted to vomit every time I went in there, and I think I left in tears every single time. I truly commend you for going in there. I know all rescues deal with heartbreak, etc, but I don't think I could ever go in and rescue from the shelter on a daily basis. I want to save them all and it just never works out that way. I know the ones we saved count and I'm glad we did save them, but I know how you feel when you have to remember the ones that were left behind because it was out of your control. Makes you want to go home and hug your babies a lot tighter.

Lot and lots of hugs to you.

House of the Discarded said...

RHz: Thank you for the hugs - I needed them! :) Gratefully, I don't have to go into the shelter every day. I certainly would if people would come forward to help more often. But for now - it's about 2 or 3 times per week.

Khyra The Siberian Husky And Sometimes Her Mom said...

Yes, I don't know how woo do it either...

Mom gets all leaky at the emails she reads about khanines that don't have much time left...

And then when she sees her transport passengers that were lukhky enough to get out of some real hellhole 'shelters' in the south....

WELL, let's just say AGAIN, she doesn't know how woo do it!

Hugz&Khysses,
Khyra

House of the Discarded said...

Khyra: *Woof* to you, Khyra and lots of ear rubs! :)

Anonymous said...

I'm so happy for Oscar and Dodger, but want to cry thinking of all those lonely cats sweltering in hot, stuffy cages on deathrow!
:(
Hopefully these are just the dark hours before the dawn...

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm new to your blog and was just wondering why the shelter didn't put Buddy on hold for the people who were interested in him....