Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Rise Above It and Move On

First, I want to thank everyone for opening my eyes to the potential dangers from the neighbours next door. It never occurred to me that they would harm my babies, but - y'all are absolutely right - if someone is willing to poison a squirrel, why wouldn't they harm my cats too? (Yes, I feed squirrels too!)

The good news is - they left this morning for the UK for the month of August. I have an entire 30 days to get things in order for when they come back.

Initially, I killed them with kindness. (I only had 7-8 minutes talking with them) They're gardeners and in my best "snow white" voice asked if they would help me with choosing some fast growing ivy to grow over the cat den. Her answer? "I told my husband when I saw that *thing* (points to cat den)...they're either wealthy or stupid."

I've decided that "all bets are off". I don't think being sweet is going to amount to anything. That's not like me. I'm usually the one that thinks "You get more bees with honey, than you do with vinegar." (I can feel my Grandma smiling at me from heaven for saying one of her quotes.)

I don't trust people who "hate animals". There. I said it.

I'm ready to get on with the business of rescuing again. I still have many boxes to unpack, but my kitchen is set up, toilet paper is on the roll and litterboxes are being used - all the basics are in place and I'm missing the rescue.

What a mistake to go on the shelter website and see these two little guys:

They're scheduled to be euthanized. I don't know if they'll make it through the vet day tomorrow or not. I feel so out of touch.

It's time to rise above the pettiness next door and remember who I am and what I love to do.

...and if those old farts next door don't like it - screw 'em.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Up For Air!

As promised, I'm posting a few pictures of the Cat Den as it was being built. Kris and her husband were wonderful and did a terrific job!

This is the side of our new house and how the cat den is constructed. As you can see, you can stand up in the darn thing and there's a human door too!
The shelves are pretty neat!

This is Kris installing the Plexiglass window on the right so the cats can freely come in and out. So far, nobody is "freely" coming in and out - I'm having to play doorman. I hope they get the concept soon!

My plan is to put cat-friendly plants in there, hammocks, small trees to scratch, etc. to make it more fun. I never thought decorating for a cat den would be so much fun :)

On a sour note, we had an immediate incident with the new neighbours (not the pet friendly neighbours) as the cat den was being installed. When I worked with Kris (and our real estate agent) I worked very hard to insure that the cat den wouldn't be intrusive to our neighbours or even be really that visible to them. Our new neighbours crapped their pants over the cat den. Within 3 minutes they announced that they don't like animals, poison squirrels, and were calling the municipality to see what their rights are about this cat den.

What kind of people poison squirrels - not to mention tell someone they don't know in the first 3 minutes of conversation?

It's hard to believe this benign looking retired british couple could be so hideous, but they were. Moving day, I was in tears. They really took the joy out of the whole experience for me. I hope I didn't move next door to the neighbours from hell - but it's not looking good.

On a happy note: I was told we rescued 18 cats while I was on moving sabatical! Such happy news :) Thank you David S. for making this rescue possible!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

We All Survived

I'm happy to report that we're all moved in to to our new (well...it's new to me) house. David and I haven't killed each other...kids are still alive too. We survived.

I really must be addicted to blogging, because as soon at the internet was up, I'm here typing to you. Unfortunately, I can't upload pictures because so many things are still packed.

We had our "First Barf" and "First Poop" in the house...both from Maggie the dog. Poor little old dog was very upset about the move. Of course, it rained complete with thunder and lightening. She was scared to death and despite all of our reassurances she had some tummy problems.

The cats are doing well. There's been some tense moments as the cats reacquainted themselves. It's like they all have to restablish who is the alpha cat, etc. Lots of hissing, growling, overall ugliness, and slithering around.

You may have wondered why I haven't mentioned the cat den that I've been so excited about in recent posts. The Cat Den is up and running, but the weather has been too crummy for the cats to thoroughly enjoy it. I'd like to do a whole separate post on it, complete with pictures. :)

For now....I have lots of unpacking to do and lots to be grateful for.

I'm only sorry that I'm too tired to enjoy the moment....

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Procrastination is My Best Friend

I'm procrastinating.

If I type on the computer, David thinks I'm doing something relative to the move.

"I'm changing addresses, hon!" I call out to him in a "Snow White" voice.

I can hear the tape ripping upstairs as he's taping boxes. Ha. Ha.

I've been packing, de-garbaging, organizing, and sorting for 3 weeks now and I'm completely fed up. Looks like I'm not the only one:

This is "Jeffrey" my foster kitten. What you can't see if that he's sitting on top of 4 huge boxes.

Maggie looks a little ticked off too. But she looks "ticked off" quite elegantly in her pink scarf!
Ever wonder where all your cat toys go? Here's your answer: Everthing I move in the house has copious amounts of cat toys under it, abandoned in a pile of dust with some dried cat pee thrown in. "Look! A pill bottle in the midst" I wonder who didn't get their meds because I couldn't find them?

The packers come tomorrow, and we're going to a hotel. I'm guessing this will be my last blog post for a few days as I move and pray I have internet shortly after I arrive. I'm going to need a brag-fest on my new cat den and will hope I can find my camera to take a few pictures.

Until then....Please don't forget about the cats in the shelter. I haven't.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Happy Place

Don't laugh. But the only thing that is keeping me from going crazy with this move is my future new Cat Den that will be built in the new house. I keep the brochure in my purse and keep looking at the pictures. It's become my "happy place" amidst chaos.

I wrote on my Facebook page that "Marital Bliss" is NOT synonymous with "Moving". That was an understatement. We think so differently about organizing. He's worried about recycling a piece of cardboard the size of matchbook and I'm taking out the junk drawer in the kitchen and dumping it in the garbage can.

Must. Kill. Husband.

We moved a bunch of furniture into storage today for my son who is taking the "old stuff" for his apartment next month. All weekend people showed up as I put freebies on Craigslist. (Note to self: NEVER EVER put free crap on Craigslist again) The house is looking rather bleak and the cats are scurrying around trying to find spots to nap.

I feel extra sorry for my little tabby Thomas Turner. He's kind of a sensitive guy and was abandoned in an apartment when his family moved away and left him. He's been acting so strange today - following us around, purring, and looking very insecure. My poor little man! How can I explain to him that I won't leave him?

The worst moment of the day was moving a large bookcase to find a piece of petrified cat poop under it. My God. How long had it been there and how could I have not noticed a piece of cat CRAP in my living room??? How did a cat squat under a bookcase???

The packers come Wednesday, the movers load the truck on Thursday and they unload on Friday in the new house. It takes 3 days to move all my stuff even though I've given half of it away. David, the boys and I are going to a hotel Wednesday and Thursday night which should set the cats and dog into a fit of insecurity being in an empty house.

Sounds silly, but I hate sleeping without my cats. What will my Newman do without her Mommy and "binkie" to sleep with at night for two days in an empty house?

Despite the chaos around the house, I keep thinking about the cats at the shelter. They aren't far from my heart as I can't rescue right now. I think the rescue I volunteer with is relieved to have a few weeks off as they organize and get some money in the pipeline. The summer months are notoriously slow for adoptions and money flow. When I bring in 25+ cats per week it really takes it's toll on an already burdened rescue.

Anyhooo....We're all surviving despite my bitchin'. I've really appreciated the support from my friends in rescue offering to help with driving and phone calls while I'm otherwise occupied. Funny...but I don't remember moving being so difficult or me being so whiny about it!

I'm leaving now for my "Happy Place":

Ahhh....better. :)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Seven Days...and Counting...

It's one week until the official move-in date of my new house. We have professional movers and packers coming, but because the packers charge $190.00 per hour(!!!) we're packing some things to save ourselves a little bit of money for my new Cat Den that's going to be built the first day we arrive. Seriously, I'm more excited about this thing than I am the new house! Take a peek: Cat Den . Soooo...I have to pack some boxes to help pay for the new cat play thingy....((**Shrug**)) It's going to be HUGE - 8 feet width X 19 feet in length X almost 6 feet tall!

With all the boxes around the house, it a freakin' playground for the cats. There's a cat asleep on most of the boxes and few have already been pee'd on. *sigh*

I did my last rescue before the move a few days ago. I rescued a butterball orange guy named "Hagen" and a very cute grey and white girl named "Sarah". It seemed weird only taking two cats, but adoptions are so slow this time of year and foster homes are asking for cats to be moved for various reasons.

David and I did "Cat Delivery" last night. It was a beautiful night and driving into the city was extra pleasant. Nobody pooped in their crates and despite "Chirp's" constant protests about being in the car, everything went fine. :)

Bloggin' is going to be rather boring over the next week or two. I won't be rescuing and it hurts to think of the cats that will die because I can't be there to help.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Even Though It Hurts...

I hate it when Kim from the shelter is on holidays all week. She's the one that tells me which cats are marked for euthanasia and is able to tell me about their personalities. Don't get me wrong - there are other dedicated people at the shelter that help me too! But Kim is the only one that I can call at 10:00 pm and ask her to take somebody off the euthanasia list for the next day.

My favourite pair of human sisters took the long trek to the shelter today to rescue "Noodle" for me. They had never been there before and traffic was horrible. The shelter was already closed by the time they arrived. Fortunately, they're resourceful gals - and they ended up finding someone to let them in so they could complete the rescue.

Unfortunately, because the shelter was already closed, the cages were marked (for euthanasia) for the next morning.

I could hear the desperation in their voices when they called me from the shelter. I knew how they felt, as I had been there so many times before. Walking the cages...seeing the cat's faces with the fucking "X" on the front of the cages. How I've learned to hate that letter. Many of the cats are eating their last meal for the night, or grooming themselves for families that will never come back to save them.

The ladies came home with Noodle and another buff coloured guy. I'm not sure who this fortunate buff coloured gent is, but I know that his cage was marked with the "X". He's a very lucky cat whomever he is.

Thank you Alison and Jennifer for going out there today. Noodle thanks you too:

I know Alison and Jennifer will go to bed tonight thinking about the cats they left behind.

I also know that there are two cats tonight that will go to sleep tonight being spoiled rotten by these two kind women who took time away from their beautiful Sunday to put their hearts on the line.

Many thank you's to ALL of you who put their hearts on the line every day to help.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Pearl, Spirit and 3 Days at the Shelter

When Pearl first arrived at the shelter she was a beautiful, white, girl with 7 toes on each foot. I remember when she came in at the end of May. She was engaging and at the front of the cage. It didn't take long for Pearl to look like this:That's what happens when they sit in a shelter cage. Pearl lost everything - her family and her home. She became ill at the shelter and the staff tried so hard to save her life despite the fact the the shelter was very overcrowded. Pearl recovered and the staff waited for rescue.

I rescued Pearl yesterday and her foster Mom sent me the following picture. Pearl had been out of the shelter for 4 hours when this picture was taken:

Yeah. I cried when I got the picture. :)

"Spirit" is another sweetie pie that I fell in love with at the shelter. It's no surprise to those who read this blog that I love the big butterball cats. Spirit was no exception:

Spirit was so big she didn't fit into a cat cage, so they had to put her in a large dog run:

I was so excited when a favourite foster Mom contacted me and said she had a friend who would foster Spirit! I drove all the way out to the shelter that day just to get her. I couldn't let my girl stay one more day in that cage!
Spirit was struttin' her stuff coming out of that cage. I'm looking forward to getting some new pictures of her from the foster family. (Did I mention that I love that little girl?)

The following are some pictures I VERY quickly snapped at the shelter yesterday. I was overly emotional yesterday because it was the day before the vet came to euthanize them. I'm happy to report that the cats in the pictures below are still alive - although not for too much longer. I thought these were good pictures that represent what *I* see every time I go there to do a rescue.

While I was at the shelter on Monday, somebody left a box at the front door. I took a picture of the actual box and put a can of cat food next to it so you could see the size:

.....and in the box?

She was in the box next to her dead brother. Barely alive herself.

I didn't feel good about being part of the human race that day. I'm happy to report that the puppy will make a full recovery and will eventually find a home.
It's been a busy 3 days. I'm going to hold on to the wonderful thoughts of Pearl & Spirit - among others. I'm not sure how I'm going to find time over the next 2 weeks to do as much rescue with my move coming on so quickly. But I'll have to manage.

They need me. They need all of us.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

A Bit Weary

I've been way busier than I like to be for the past few days. Normally, I'd say it was a GREAT kind of busy - two trips to the shelter and another tomorrow. But with my pending move in 2 weeks, I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed.

I woke up this morning to my email being down. Technology and I are not friends. Hitting the "Enter" button 20 times in a row didn't seem to bring the server back up, so I called my husband at work (aka: Home Tech Support) to cry (aka "Complain") and ask (aka "beg") for help . After a short temper tantrum, I had a moment of calm and complete clarity:

"No Email. I didn't have to check email today!" I was suddenly free and relaxed to enjoy the large rescue that I had put together. I managed to rescue more than 20 cats this week (I'm too tired to count tonight.) :)

The smile for the day is a big boy named "Kitty" that I recently rescued. He was left at the shelter because his family moved away and left him. He was placed into a wonderful foster home who has loved him as her own:
"Kitty" before....
"Kitty" after...look what 2 weeks of love can do!

Tomorrow should be a much easier day. I have so many things I'd like to share on this blog, but time hasn't been kind to me lately. To give you an idea, I actually had people calling me last night at 10: 30, 11:45 and MIDNIGHT to see about rescuing cats. No, I didn't answer the phone, but I'm incredulous that someone would think I would want to talk intelligently about cat rescue at midnight.

Speaking of "intelligence"....I just reread this post. I'm certain a Grade 3 student could write something more interesting than I did tonight. It's 9:45 pm...I'm pushing the "Publish" button on this post and heading off to bed.

I hope I dream about something other than cat rescue tonight, but I doubt it. :)

Friday, July 03, 2009

Feast or Famine

I felt like it was my birthday today. Unexpectedly, I had TWO awesome volunteers come forward and drive out to the shelter today, pick up cats and take them to their foster home and to the vets for me. Oh. My. Gosh!! It was so weird to leave the shelter with only a litter of kittens that the foster Mom would pick up at my house an hour later! Thank you Stacy and Thank you David & Sheilah!

We rescued 14 cats and kittens today in total. (Including a couple that adopted "Herman" before I showed up today - I wish I could've met them.) The shelter wasn't as full as it usually is and I don't want to jinx it by saying much else. There's VERY little illness in the shelter other than some minor sniffles. Ahhh...it almost feels like Christmas!

Which reminds me....I heard there was a local cat rescue that is actually "rescuing" cats from Craigslist. They're doing it because they don't want to spend money on vet bills because cats get sick coming out of the shelter. Well *DUH*. Shelter cats DO get sick sometimes. If you can't afford vet bills - STOP RESCUING. Getting kittens from irresponsible people who don't get their cats spayed or neutered off Craigslist ISN'T rescue!!! It's bailing people out so that they continue the cycle of making more kittens. You may disagree with me, but kittens are being euthanized at the shelter because no rescue steps forward for them. Hearing a so-called "rescue" cherry picking cats off Craigslist really pisses me off.

**Stepping off the Soapbox**

As of 4:00 pm today, I have hot water!! I haven't had hot water in my home since Sunday and things were getting ugly around here. My hairy legs and sink full of dirty dishes were really starting to get to me. When the technicians FINALLY showed up and installed the hot water heater, I did a happy dance and have been turning on the hot water periodically for the past 30 minutes - just the feeeeel of it!

I'm looking forward to the weekend and will be following up with people who haven't gotten back to me about fostering or adopting. I've promised myself that I'll spend an hour each day doing something to get ready for the move in 3 weeks.

Tonight...I'm feeling very grateful for the care and support of my friends in rescue. (and for the hot water too!) It's going to be a fabulous weekend. I can feel it.