Tuesday, June 30, 2009

June 30th? Really??

I didn't want to complain yesterday, but I'm officially on day #2 without a hot water heater. I knew I had to take a cold shower this morning and I was ready to deal with it. But I completely fell apart this afternoon when the repair guys came in and said that they had to tear down a wall and open up the ceiling to install a new water heater and they couldn't get that done today. If I had been 25, I would've flashed him some thigh and begged. Instead, I offered them $100.00 cash and they laughed at me.

Please God, I need hot water. If not for me...but to clean up cat barf in the family room.

On a happy note, "Tuck" is settled into his new foster home and his new foster Mom thinks he's wonderful. The vet said his legs are not broken, but he has some infected joints from the abuse he suffered - nothing that some rest and antibiotics won't cure. I had him at my house for the afternoon and he's just the sweetest little guy. I kept going in to visit him and he always looked so happy and grateful!

I received a lovely email from a foster home this afternoon. She's fostering "Bubbles":

Dear Beth:

I’ve been reading your blogs …..hoping all is well....I just want to thank the Toronto Cat Rescue and especially you Beth and Brenda for bringing us our “Bubbles”.
He is just the greatest and is exactly the type of cat I was hoping for. He has fit in from the first night that we got him (never any trouble). He is very loving, playful and wants to be with us. Bubbles and the Marty (our dog) resemble of a flee commercial they are always together. My six year old is constantly saying that I picked the best cat and my “ never had a cat before” husband is kissing him on his head.
Needless to say we want to keep him. Please let me how to proceed.

Music to my ears! Bubbles is already in his forever home! I remember this foster family well. Her husband "wasn't into cats" (*smirk*). Bubbles was tossed out like garbage, dumped at a shelter and now gets kisses from a family!.... Does it get any better than this? :)

Thank you Magda and family for loving Bubbles forever! :)

I'm organizing a larger rescue on Friday and am hoping to beg for some help. (Although after the water heater incident, I'm wondering if my begging abilities have waned through the years. I either need some better looking thighs or more money.)

To my Canadian Friends:
Happy Canada Day! I'm proud to say that I'm a Wannabe Canadian and am excited each and every day to be part of this wonderful country.

Monday, June 29, 2009

The "R.R. of R"

No wonder veteran rescuers call it "The Rollercoaster Ride of Rescue". (Or maybe it's just me that calls it that.) I had a whole gambit of emotions today. At first I thought it was "The Menopausal Ride of Moodiness", but then realized I had good reason to feel the way that I did. It can't ALL be about hormones, right?

Happily, I was able to reunite two sisters that were abandoned at a church, (along with their brother.) At first I thought I would have to split them up, but an adopter came along and took both home at the last minute. (Many thanks to Heather B. who drove in dead stop traffic today to my house in order to bring one of the sisters home with her, only to find that they BOTH went to a forever home.)

Of course, I cried when the sisters went home together. Then I cried some more when I realized their brother was still at the shelter waiting to die. "I won't leave you Simon!"

I hate that Simon saw me take his sisters and leave him.

Then there is "Tuck":


Tuck was brought into the shelter and was unable to stand. Upon further examination by the shelter staff, they noticed severe swelling and ligature marks around all of Tuck's legs. The staff thinks that 8 month old Tuck had been tortured and hogtied.

When Kim picked up Tuck, he purred and snuggled into her arms. For a cat that had been so brutalized, he shows no signs of distrust. He just wants love and more of it. I took Tuck to the vets today for x-rays.

I can't quite describe the feeling that I had when the realization that this sweet, defenseless cat had been a victim to such a crime. It's the same feeling that I have when I think about someone hurting my children. Yes, I understand how parents can risk everything by pulling a gun at the trial of the man that abused their child.

Give me 5 minutes with the person that hurt Tuck.

I just finished speaking with a lovely sounding lady that came forward to foster "Kaluha":

I'm VERY happy to see Kaluha leave the shelter tomorrow. (Thank you Kathleen for picking him up and saying, "Yes, I can drive!") He's the most macho looking cat I've ever seen. But he's a big fuzzy sweetie inside. He likes to be cradled like a baby and kneads in the air while he looks at you adoringly. I love him. I'm so excited that tonight is his last night in a cage!

I burned dinner tonight and I didn't care. My crappy sons were arguing at dinner and ruined the serenity of the meal, but I didn't care. (Ok, I cared...but I'm trying to make a point here)

The rollercoaster-ride-of-rescue didn't disappoint me. I'm going to bed tonight tired and happy. I've accomplished something important - and for now - that's good enough for me.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

"Yes, I Can!" (Most of the Time)

One of the nicest sentences any rescuer can hear is "Yes, I can!" We're constantly being rejected, stood up, and our plight is often ignored or minimalized. Hearing someone that is willing and able to follow through to help is music to our ears.

I didn't post much last week. I didn't rescue much either. It wasn't for lack of time - but for lack of anyone that seemed to really care to help. It was the same people saying, "Yes, I can!" I heard so many rejections last week that I thought I'd list them here to help me with the feelings of disappointment. As usual, I've copied the comments directly from the email or voicemail:

"I'm sorry Beth, but I just couldn't make it to the shelter. I hope you didn't wait for me long."

"I'm sorry, my husband said "no". I should've asked him before I called you so I didn't waste your time."

"I'm going out of town for 6 days and it's inconvenient for my boyfriend to watch the kitten. Can the shelter keep the kitten from being killed until I get back?"(NO!)

"Sorry I didn't call you back until now. I hope it isn't too late to save "fluffy". (Yes, it's too late...Fluffy was euthanized while you were jerkin' around with whatever.)

Saturday I found myself saying, "No, I can't." I had a family-thing I had to do and I couldn't help with the rescue. I felt badly, but I so rarely say "no", that it almost sounded foreign to say it. During the week, I'm a "Yes Rescue-Girl". On the weekends, I try to be "Family Girl." On the weekends I find my heart isn't always where it should be and I think about the cats, potential foster homes, and calls I should be making.

Instead, this weekend - I bought a new washroom vanity for the house that we bought and leather couches for the family room. It all sounds so trivial and normal. My cell phone kept ringing in the stores and I would look up at my husband and check caller ID. I missed saying "Yes, I can." But it's not good for me to always be available. Sometimes I have to look after myself and family first.

A piece of good news: This weekend I drove past our new house to see a lawn sign in our neighbour's yard: "Cause for Paws" fundraiser. OMG! My new neighbours are ANIMAL PEOPLE! Yipppeeee!!!!

Hell.. I'm all over the place with this post. What on earth am I going to title it?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Some Things to Smile About

With all the politics and hoopla going on with the Toronto Humane Society and the possible strike with Toronto Animal Services, I've been so happy more than ever to be "just rescuing some cats". I'm convinced that politics isn't my place in life. I wish it could be, because I certainly have a big enough yapper.

I was at the shelter today and took 9 cats out of there. It's going to be more difficult to do the "big rescues" because the local vets are having trouble accommodating all the cats that I bring in on a last minute basis. I wish we could convince more veterinary offices to help us. The ones we have are overloaded with reduced rate work from us. Oh well..."rescuing too many cats" - certainly a problem I can live with! :)

I received a fun picture today from the foster Mom for "Kringle". You might remember her as the little pregnant calico that I rescued last week. Her foster Mom woke up to a surprise this morning:

Christmas in June! Five little ones!

I was happy to get some of the urgent cats out of the shelter today - including two black cats! Such a victory to watch black cats leave the shelter. :)

It's no mystery to those who read my blog that I have a thing for the "big cats". I don't mean lions or tigers - I mean BIG cats. I hate seeing them sitting in a small cage and barely able to move around. I was fortunate to be in the position to rescue "any adult cat" for a foster home who would take anyone (Bless her heart!) Sooooo.....

Meet Princess! 22 pounds of sweet! She was dumped at the shelter due to "allergies". She purred and purred when I picked her up. I love her. I hope the foster family loves her too.

My favourite email of the day came from Dori who rescued "Heckle" today. Heckle has the worst picture. He's a very handsome boy:

From Heckle's foster Mom: "We picked up Heckle.....what a beautiful boy! Even at the shelter he was rubbing all over us! That picture sure didn't do him justice...He's already checking out his new place and is very friendly with everyone...purring up a storm.....I don't think he'll be hiding tonight. The kids already have it figured out that we'll keep him...we'll see.....now to come up with a better name to suit his personality."

It was a beautiful day and I didn't mind the long drive down the highway. The cats were quiet and all seemed to be well with the world.

Let's hope I can keep the serenity until tomorrow.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Rescue Gods

I was actually surprised to see that it had been quite a few days since my last post. My last big rescue had been such a comedy of errors that I was beginning to think it was a full moon. Oddly enough, it seemed that everyone I spoke with was having similar problems!

It's always been a fear of mine that I'd end up losing a cat in transport. Part of rescue means that I often have to do "back seat adoptions" and moving cats from crate to crate in parking lots. I've never lost a cat, thanks to my paranoia about doing so.


During that last big rescue, I had a very cute little 5 month old white girl named "Reanna" in a soft sided crate in the front seat with me. I made the 1 hour trek to the vet with no incidents other than the usual poop in the crate from one of the older kitties in the back.

When I arrived at the vets, I turned off the car and opened all the car windows (it was hot!)as I unloaded the cats and took them into the vets. I think I made about 5 trips, when a man in a commercial truck next to my car lightly said to me, "Are ya missing one?"

I looked under his vehicle, and much to my shock and horror there was Reanna under his truck in a VERY busy parking lot. If she bolted, I would never be able to catch her. The Rescue Gods were looking over both of us, because she willingly came to me. I held her and stood in the parking lot and cried.

The crate was a soft sided zipper style that she managed to push open with her head and leap out the car window. I still feel sick thinking about it.

We've had so many weird things like this happen over the past few days; a kitten getting away from a volunteer and then spending the night in the car, a pregnant cat getting wedged in the mechanism of a dryer...believe it or not, I could go on.

Every time I do a rescue, I write a "rescue list" for Kim at the shelter so that these cats aren't accidently euthanized before I get there. I had a very nice little list last night and had typed it for Kim in email as I usually do.

To my horror, I woke up this morning to find the email still in my Outbox. It was never sent to her. I've been terrified to find out which cats died this morning due to the technological faux pas.

No, I don't really believe in "Rescue Gods". But if I did, I'd ask them where the hell they were last night when that email sat in my Outbox. I'm going to the shelter tomorrow to do that rescue and pray that all the cats from that list are still there.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Seventeen Little Lives

My car is going to be packed with cats in their cat crates tomorrow. I don't know how this happened, but I ended up with a rescue that started with 2 or 3 cats that has blossomed into a rescue where I had to ask for help because I couldn't fit all the crates in my car! It's an exciting day tomorrow!

Here are some of the cats that are spending their last night in a cage at the shelter on death row:

"Barbie is VERY pregnant"

"Dylan" Gotta love that face!

"Honey" is a senior girl - her new family is also taking Peaches & Gizmo (Below):

Peaches & Gizmo are senior cats that were abandoned. They have a home waiting for them tonight!


"MacKenzie" (her brother "Jasper" (above)

Yes, they do euthanize kittens - but not these two

"Kringles" is another Mom-to-be on death row...but tomorrow, she'll be safe!

I'm meeting Louie's new Mommy at the shelter tomorrow!

Three precious babies with their Mom will be rescued tomorrow!

Reanna - I loved this little white girl when I first saw her!

Who named this guy "Rusty" anyway?
I'm glad I'm posting these pictures tonight! It's exciting for me to know that tomorrow something GOOD is going to happen to them.
There's hope.

There's a future.

I'm a happy girl.

Care to wager on who poops in their crate tomorrow?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Mid-Week Update

I've been busy with rescue over the past few days. I've managed to get a total of 14 cats out yesterday and today. Before I pat myself on the back too much, I learned that two other volunteers from our rescue went into the shelter over the weekend while I was gone and rescued 27 cats!

This time of year, it's always quite a victory to rescue that many cats. The shelter is overflowing and despite the large number rescued more come in each day. I was so happy to rescue several cats today that had been in the shelter far longer than they should've been. Two of them went to their forever homes.

It's such a privilege to play "Stork". I took "Willie" an ornery 16 week old black and white kitten to his new home today near my house. The world's cutest 3 year old little girl answered the door. She was beaming. As I took Willie out of the crate, she declared his name was now "Gucci" and she would "wuv him forevah...and evah." I could've taken that little girl home with me.

The funny part about Willie is that while I was driving from the shelter, the little guy somehow got out of his cat carrier! All of a sudden he LEAPS on my shoulder from behind me! I must've screamed out loud, because he jumped a foot in the air too. The other cats I rescued were hissing from the surge of anxiety and excitement, while Willie climbed up on my dashboard and hung on for dear life. I pulled over and managed to get him back in his crate - (the little booger.)
"Willie" looking innocent

I've posted below a "before" and "after" picture of Bruno. You might remember him from prior posts. He has the cutest markings:
"Bruno" before...

"Bruno" who is obviously in distress because his Temptation Treats are late being served to him. The nerve of his new family!

I've been remiss in posting pictures and updating on my own foster cats. My own little guys are awesome and desperately need to get neutered. I don't know if it's them or my sons, but there feels like enough testosterone in the house to grow hair on MY chest.

It's time to get those boys snipped...

The cats. Not the kids.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Post-Holiday Thoughts

I'm always a little disappointed when I go on holidays and don't get a "cat fix" while I'm away. When I go to these little towns, I sort of half-heartedly expect to see a cat sitting on a counter at an antique store or a gift shop. But I was jonesin' to kiss a cat when I returned and my little gang at home was just the ticket!

When I'm in another province or state I always seek out a local cat rescue and make a small donation to them. I remember a lady from Denver, Colorado did that for me years ago and I thought it was such a neat idea, I decided to incorporate that into my holidays. I found a nice sounding rescue in Summerland, BC called CritterAid. I love hearing how other rescues operate and vice versa.

As always, I came home to a variety of emails from foster homes and prior adopters. I thought you might enjoy a smidgen of what my Inbox looked like when I returned. If you see your own email in there - don't be offended - It's listed in here in fun and admiration for what you do. I've changed the cat name to "Fluffy" to protect the anonymity of the cat. *wink*

"Fluffy's poop is REALLY green - mutant green....should I be worried"

"It really hurts when a foster cat is adopted....when can I rescue another one?"

" Two days of kitty kisses, hugs, cuddling, spooning and belly rubs with the new love of my life...." (Post adoption email)

"Beth....apparently very rude...after a Craiglist response...." (Note from Beth: *snicker*)

"Fluffy puked up a bunch of shit. I don't know what it is, so I'm sending a picture."

"Do you know anybody that can bottlefeed a litter of 8 kittens?"

And my personal favourite:

"The cat's farts smell like asparagus. We don't have any in the house. Why do you think his toots smell like that?"

I couldn't make these up if I tried.

It's good to be home. :)

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

More "Before and "After Pictures

Things are going well on the home sales/buying front. We had our Home Inspection today and I scouted for litterbox locations. There were none. I can only imagine a poop & pee frenzy during that first week while we try to sort it all out. *sigh*

I'm leaving tomorrow morning for a not-so-romantic getaway to B.C. to meet up with my hunk o'man who is playing in the Canadian Bridge Championships. (Yes, I married a geek.) My parents are flying in from Seattle and my daughter is coming up from California. It's going to be great fun.

Of course, my heart always frets about the cats in the shelter while I'm away.

I thought I'd leave you with some adorable "Before and After" pictures with hope that holds you over until I return:

"Brutus" before...

"Brutus" after....


"Bo" after.....

"Luke" before...

"Luke" after...

"Brett" before...

"Brett" after....

"Ginger" before...

"Ginger" after...

"Lily" before....

"Lily" after...
Thank you....thank you all so much for everything you do to make it possible for these sweet cats to have a happy life.
"See you" next week :)

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Sunday At the Shelter

It was strange to be at the shelter on a Sunday. For me, Sundays are usually filled with family, leisurely breakfasts and reading the newspaper in my robe until noon. Instead, I was at the shelter.

Last night, I felt a little pitiful about the rescue. I only had 1 cat on the docket and I knew it was going to be extra difficult to be there because it was a euthanasia day on Monday. Thanks to many wonderful volunteers, by the time I left for the shelter, I had THIRTEEN to rescue!

The orange kitten (above) was rescued by a current foster Mom who gave him a forever home - sight unseen. (It never ceases to amaze me that people trust me to pick out a cat for them!)

I was happy to play "stork" when I delivered Murphy (pic below) to a darling family with 3 kids. Murphy was a VERY vocal kitten and I was ready to slit my wrists by the time I arrived at their house. Gratefully, he was happy to let the kids pick him up and kiss him. He purr'd and purr'd. It was all good stuff. :)

"Murphy" - a quiet moment, praise be.
The next picture gets my vote for one of the most PITIFUL pictures. I'm so glad she's safe and in a loving foster home tonight. She had the most delicate little feet....

"River" - (bless her little heart)

I was extra excited to rescue TWO Moms with their kittens. Both of these Moms were so sweet and would knead in the air when you talked to them. I'm so grateful to the foster Mom that stepped up to the plate and took both families. It was beyond the call of duty. Both families wouldn't have made it through the day tomorrow.

She has 4 kittens - it kills me when they sit in their litterbox. :(

A little Tabbico with her two tabby babies...in a loving foster home tonight!


People are always surprised to see a purebred cat. You have no idea how many there are at the shelter. This little girl went to a forever home tonight. She's only 1 year old and has callouses on the bottom of her feet from being in a cage - probably her whole short life - a rejected breeder's cat. Bastards!

I also rescued a VERY cute little black cat that I originally reported had been rescued. She's going to a forever home tonight too.

It was a good rescue day today. I wish every day could be like this one. I'm comforted in knowing that this little group of 13 are safe tonight. I didn't leave the shelter in tears this time. I felt like maybe - just maybe - I had made a small dent in the population at that shelter.

At least for tonight, that's what I'll keep telling myself.

Friday, June 05, 2009

A Quiet Place to Poop

We've finally sold our house and bought another one. The torture of keeping my house spotless and pretending like I have no pets is almost over. We're moving at the end of July and I'm really looking forward to getting back to normal - whatever-the-hell-that is.

I was walking my dog "Maggie" tonight and had a moment of complete anxiety. Where will I put all the litterboxes? Seriously, our current house has perfect hiding spots for litterboxes - the kind that all cats (except for Pee-Pee Ozzy) seem to really like.

The new house...where? where? WHERE will I put the litterboxes? Mentally, I walked through the house and each time come up blank. I'm meeting the realtor on Tuesday morning for a home inspection. I bet I don't even pay attention to the inspector - I'll be looking for key litterbox locations. I can see it now:

Inspector: Mrs. Turner, this house is in violation of many fire codes and we anticipate it will self destruct in T-Minus 12 months.

Me: Oooo! Here's a spot near the laundry room for a litterbox! We can have a Cat Den built in the back yard around *this* tree.....

David is out of town (where else would a husband be during key life decisions?), so I'm on my own. Is it possible that I bought a house where there is NO decent place to put litterboxes?? Holy crap...am I going to have to build a frickin' room so the cats have a quiet place to poop?

It even occurred to me that there isn't a decent counter to put all the cat food bowls! I can't put them on the floor, because the dog eats the cat food and gets diarrhea. Wilbur can't eat on the same counter as Butters, because Butters has food dominance issues...and...

Where the hell is my husband when I need him? Who does he think he is to go off and earn a living so we can buy a new house that has no place for the cats to poop???

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

A Mini-Update on Waffles




Many thanks to Waffle's foster Mom who made it possible for this little missy to spend a day at "The Spa" and now has no more painful matts and a gorgeous lion's cut.

She'll always be my special big girl :)

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Supporting The Truth--Whatever-The-Hell-It-Is

I swore that when I started this blog, I would refrain from anything political, but I've taken so much grief via email about my last post Politics that I couldn't resist but post a well written , thought out response (with permission) here:

"I read your blog about the THS article and just wanted to share my opinion as a long time volunteer/foster parent there. The story was completely sensationalized. Yes they are understaffed and disorganized, but the people there do amazing work and the animals are well taken care of.

All day every day negligent owners dump their "beloved" pets there when they are not able or willing to provide the necessary medical care. These animals are not kept alive to lower euthanasia rates for political agendas, nor are they thrown into a cage to die a slow agonizing death. I would encourage your readers to check out the Medical Miracles page of the THS website. While these are extreme cases, they are not rare.

As part of my role at the THS, I help take care and feed over 150 kittens in their clinic. Whenever I have seen a kitten in distress the vets do not hesitate to euthanize if they feel it is just a matter of time before they go. I have taken palliative fosters and the decision when to let them go was made by me - not management.

With over 500 animals in the shelter at any given time (they have close to 1100 right now!) it is an impossible task to keep cages and kennels pristine. The dogs are walked a minimum of 3 times a day. They do not live in filth as the pictures suggest.

I will not be protesting on June 20, instead I will be in the kitten nursery feeding and cuddling orphan kittens.

Yes the place needs changes, but I can go to sleep every night knowing that animals there receive more love, attention and medical treatment than their shitty owners gave them."

Let it be known that I'm supporting THE TRUTH - nothing less.

Today I was at the shelter and helped a young woman that wanted to save a 10 year old "nuttin' special" tabby. He has a forever home now. Tomorrow, I'm going to the shelter to rescue some more cats.

It might be a short term solution, but I'll leave it to the others on the bandwagon to resolve the long term solution. For now...it's me, 7 cat carriers and a full tank of gas.

Monday, June 01, 2009


Many of you know already about the allegations made at the Toronto Humane Society after an expose` from an awesome reporter with big balls to do it: Killing Them With Kindness . I've probably been sent the article from well meaning folks at least 2 dozen times. I'm happy to know that there are people looking into the allegations, signing petitions, etc etc.

The fact of the matter is: I'm not a political person. It's not that I don't care. I'm sure that many wrongs can be made right if only I would get involved politically.

I'm afraid that if I really dig deeper in some of this shit, I'd end up getting so ticked off that I'd quit rescuing all together. I'd rather keep plugging away and making a difference one animal at a time. I don't care if it's a dog, cat, squirrel or guinea pig.

Sure what happened at Toronto Humane Society is horrible - if it's all true. I'm sorry to see that they took pictures of dog poop all over the cages. Anybody who has pets knows that a mess like that can happen shortly after you clean.

Needless to say, I think there are two sides to every story and I reserve judgment until I see all the facts. You won't see me with a picket sign outside of THS. If I let cats die at the shelter because I'm out picketing, I'm no better than some of the imbeciles at THS.

Sure this is short-term thinking. But you go into the shelter and tell the cats they're being put to sleep because *I* have to picket downtown.

Bah. I just don't have the time for that crap. But I'm sure grateful that there are some who do.