Saturday, February 27, 2010

In The Blink of an Eye

I picked up my little "Patty" from the vets this afternoon after a not-so-perfect romantic few days with David.

"Adorable" barely covers how CUTE she is. Nobody could ever mistake that feminine little face as a boy.

I don't know why I always expect so much when David and I go away for a few days. We no sooner arrived at our hotel than David received something called a "Priority One" emergency at work. He spent the majority of the time on the phone with conference calls and speaking in a geek language that I don't understand.

Perhaps I need to be more grateful that I'm married to someone that cares about earning a living to make wonderful things possible for me and the family. I really should be more flexible and understanding.

I came home to some good news that a pair of siblings were adopted that I had rescued several months earlier. You might remember these two - they were called "kittens X" at the shelter:
When I called the family to congratulate them, I accidently spilled the beans to the young daughters (who had just arrived home) that their foster kittens had been adopted. *ARGH*

Fortunately, I had just the thing for two little girls who missed their foster kittens! David and I scrambled back in the car with sweet little Patty. I think Patty will LOVE being with this family. The girls are gentle and kind. I can't think of a better way of getting over loss of having your foster kittens adopted than another foster kitten! :) the blink of an eye....she's gone. :) Patty was only at my house for 2 hours - not even long enough to use the litterbox.

Unfortunately, there's no shortage of cats at the shelter who need me. I won't bother to put the litterbox away.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Back on Saturday!

My day didn't start out the way I had thought thanks to a Facebook message mixup. I'm always grateful for technology and easily aggravated when it doesn't work out the way I think it should. I remember the days when I would actually pick up the phone and call somebody to confirm an appointment. A land line phone call? Bah!

I picked up little Bonnie Blue at the vets and met up with her foster Mom at a local parking lot. I had an opportunity to wait for 10 minutes and took Bonnie out of her carrier. I wrapped her in a towel because holding her almost seems painful to her. (Maybe it's more painful to me) I've held some emaciated cats in my life - but NEVER have I EVER held a cat so gruesomely (is "gruesomely" a word?) thin.

From the neck up, Bonnie looks like every other cat that comes from the shelter. I held her in my arms wrapped in a towel. She didn't squirm away from me, but her eyes were as wide as saucers as she visually explored the world around her. Whenever she'd exhale, she'd purr the loudest purr! I scratched under her chin and she'd purr so happily. It must feel so good to be touched and loved.

Occasionally, Bonnie's eyes would meet mine as I coo'd to her. The look of gratitude filled her eyes. There's nothing else like that look. I've seen it so many times - it's what keeps me going. I could feel my eyes burn with tears. No matter what the outcome for this girl, I'm so grateful that we rescued her.

I just received a phone call from Dr. S. Unfortunately, my new foster girl Patty needed her eye removed. I have a feeling she'll be in far less pain now and ready to rock 'n' roll like most kittens in no time at all. I can hardly wait to get her home. For now...proper pain medication and antibiotics will give her a good start towards healing. It's been a long time since I've foster a little girl!! Wait until you see her - she's such a feminine looking kitten.

David surprised me with taking a few vacation days on Thursday and Friday. I'm going to leave my precious cats and dog with my sons, and pray they don't burn down the house. David and I are going to do something fun away from home for a few days.

Just a middle-aged couple going rogue as we head out down the highway....playin' some air guitar, fighting over the heater, speeding by "Free Kitten" signs....

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tuesday at the Shelter

It must be some kind of subconscious thing that I end up doing the majority of the rescues on Monday and Tuesday - my least two favourite days of the week. Usually, the act of rescuing perks me up a bit on those otherwise bleak days.

I met a foster Dad at the shelter today to help him pick out a foster cat. He brought two cat carriers with him "just in case". (Who's he kidding?) This time of year affords a lot of deserving adults and young adults to get out of the shelter. In the summer, most of the cats wouldn't stand a chance. His first choice was "Charla":

Charla had been at the shelter for a month because a staff member (who doesn't really like cats) decided he really liked Charla. I think the rest of the staff members were so astounded that he actually had a favourite, they decided to make sure she was kept alive. Charla adores her new foster Dad and was NOT going to be left behind. She purred and rubbed and licked his face. His knees buckled at the cuteness - ahhh.... :)

The big decision turned out to be Cat #2. Cat #2 was listed as "Nathan" on the shelter website:

Upon further inspection, "Nathan" turned out to be a PREGNANT female! (Say what?) It was too late, she had charmed her way into the foster Dad's heart. Besides, he was interested in trying to foster a pregnant Mom. Coincidence that Nathan was really a pregnant female? I think not!

"Bonnie Blue" was another pitiful little soul that I had been watching each time I would go into the shelter:She came into the shelter obviously starving. She had lost 1/2 of her hair due probably due to malnutrition. Picking her up was like holding a skeleton. As sad as it sounds, after each euthanasia day, I always expected her cage to be empty. But despite the odds, Bonnie Blue continued to survive at the shelter. When I found out that others had been thinking about Bonnie, I decided to make a few calls. The rescue generously gave the thumbs up to rescue Bonnie and a foster home came forward to help her.

Currently, Bonnie is at the vets until tomorrow. She weighs 4 lbs, which is 3 lbs more than I thought she'd weigh! Her body temp is subnormal, which is typical of a cat who has been starving. It'll be interesting to see how this all plays out. Regardless, she won't die in the shelter and has a chance to blossom.

It's not my imagination that I've rescued a few at-risk cats recently. I'm always astounded at the kindness of the organization for which I volunteer and the people that care enough to help these little angels.

Tomorrow isn't a rescue day, but I'm meeting with another volunteer to work on a project that will ultimately help more cats get out of this shelter. There isn't much time left before kitten season starts, but at least I'm not sitting around waiting for somebody else to do something.

Monday, February 22, 2010

A Rescue With a Touch of Drama

I was VERY excited to pick up our 3-legged wonder, Peter today and take him to Steve's. I'm not sure what I expected. I've seen amputated limbs before, so I certainly expected to see a pitiful looking cat. I should've had faith in Dr. S. He's such a good surgeon and cats do so well post-operative when he's the surgeon. Peter looked WONDERFUL! His eyes were bright and Dr. S indicated that he ate well right after surgery. If somebody lopped off my leg, I don't think my eyes would be "bright". Dr. S said his leg was loaded with gangrene. Thank heaven's we did what we did.

Steve looked happy to see his new house guest - dogs were barking, cats were lined up outside of the guest room door to see "the new guy".

I figured we'd have to gently carry him out of his carrier and lay him down in a little cat bed that Steve had set up right next to his litterbox. Certainly, he wouldn't be walking for a while. Right?

Like a bolt of lightening, Peter not only walked out of the carrier, but he RAN!

My plan was to snap a picture so y'all could see his incision etc. I snapped the following picture, and was going to delete it because it was blurry - but then you wouldn't be able to see this boy run:

I also rescued a VERY cute 1 year old girl named "Cindy" today. I know the foster Mom reads this blog, so am not going to say what Cindy looks like so I can add a little excitement with the foster parents. (Oh c'mon - life's more fun when you're surprised!)

As I'm walking up and down the rows of cats, the vet technician tells me that a 9 week old kitten just came in 2 hours ago with a bulging eye and if I'm interested I can take her or they'll have to euthanize her. "Umm...any guess how long it took me to decide?" :)

After I brought "Patty" to the vets, Animal Control contacted me - the "owner" of the kitten wanted to claim her. (!!!) Apparently, she got outside (at 9 weeks old!) and they were "saving up to get her to the vet to fix her eye." Holy shit crap. SAVE UP? I was terrified the shelter would make me bring her back. Making a long story short....this turned into to a cruelty case, so I'm now waiting to make sure that this dimwit signs surrender papers so that little "Patty" can get the much needed medical care that she needs.

I hate to judge people. But sometimes I do. There have been times in my life where I couldn't afford to buy food for myself and I drove without car insurance. But my cats were always spayed and neutered. I made payments to the vet to insure that my cats were healthy and received medical care. I want to think she was "pure trash" and I saved this kitten from a life of a painful ruptured eye and litters of kittens. But who am I to judge?

I can't help but think I was in the right place at the right time for this kitten. wasn't a coincidence. Ask "Peter".

Friday, February 19, 2010

An Update On "Peter"

The news wasn't unexpected for Peter's recovery. I'm not sure why, but I had great hope when the vet said there was no fracture in his leg that maybe I was overly dramatic and it wasn't as bad as I had thought.

I was wrong.

I no sooner hit the "Publish" button on my last blog post when I received a phone call from the vet. Peter's right front leg had suffered major trauma and he had MASSIVE nerve damage. The trauma could've been from being hit by a car or being kicked repeatedly.

Regardless, the treatment would be the same. Peter would need his leg completely amputated.

As I type this blog post, Peter's resting comfortably after his surgery. The vet said his leg was in VERY bad shape and there was really no choice at all but to remove it. He said Peter must have been in an enormous amount of pain - similar to someone taking a metal rod and poking into the root of your tooth.

I have a feeling that the loss of that leg is going to be a huge pain relief for our boy. If all goes well he'll be recovering at Steve's house with him and his menagerie. He'll have a 1 eyed cat and now a 3-legged cat - and as Steve said, "Good enough to start his own Feline Special Olympics." Hahahhahaha!

Huge piece of good news: I'm fairly certain that the donations that came in for Peter are going to be enough to cover his x-rays AND his surgery!! Thank you. Thank you all again for helping this deserving cat. I asked for a miracle and I got one....

...or maybe this is really Peter's Miracle. Only the best for him will do from now on.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Good Rescue Day

This is one of those weeks where my car heads off in the direction of the shelter automatically. I arranged to meet two different families at the shelter this morning to see about adoption!

I love meeting new people and helping them choose the right cat for their home. Both families were very apprehensive about being at a place where euthanasia is practiced. They know that whomever they don't choose, has a good chance of not making it out. My job is to make sure that they adhere to the rules of the shelter, find a GREAT cat and make sure that they don't get so overwhelmed that they walk out before they pick out someone. (It's happened before)

Family #1 found a darling little guy almost immediately. His name at the shelter is "Sir Butter Kitty":

This guy was SOOOOOOO sweet. He wasn't even interested in exploring when I took him out of the cage and put him on the ground. He flopped over on his side for belly rubs. Awwww!

Family #2 showed up right on time - 30 minutes after Family #1 - and immediately gravitated to "Tatem":

Silver Tabbies like Tatem are pretty rare - and he's just as sweet as pie! He snuggled right up into their arms. I figured that this was the fastest adoption in history and I would be leaving.

Imagine my surprise when Family #2 also chose "Tico"!!!

They had a feeling about Tico, and Tico certainly didn't mind Tatem. So this butterball boy (probably 25 pounds) found a forever home. It brought tears to my eyes to see him stretch when he came out of the cage. A 25 lb cat could barely turn around in his cage.

I also rescued "Gavin" for another foster Mom who came forward to save his life:

This youngster just looks like he wants to paaaarty! He has a pink nose that I could kiss all day! "Put away your knick-knacks - here comes Gavin!"

An update on Peter: Believe it or not, we don't know much. He had a leg x-ray which showed no fracture. The vet is going to x-ray his scapula (shoulder blade) tonight. The vet also indicated that it's possible Peter has MASSIVE nerve damage and may never walk properly. They're unsure about the pain...yada, yada, yada.

Why does it ALWAYS have to be so complicated? Why can't they just say, "Yep, his leg is broken, this is what we need to do..." I visited with Peter today while I was at the vets. He looked delightfully stoned from the pain meds. :)

The bills are adding up for this guy..thank heavens for the donations. We need 'em! :)

It was a good rescue day! I always feel productive and useful when I walk into the shelter and help 3 cats find permanent homes. The lady that adopted Sir Butter Kitty was petting him thoughtfully as she looked up at me and said, "I need him as much as he needs me. "

Isn't that what it's all about?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

For the Love of "Peter"

I went back to the shelter this morning to pick up Peter. The Animal Control officer had picked him up last night from the vets office and brought him back so I could pick him up from there.

It was nice to see Peter with a baby blanket in his cage. He didn't look too impressed, but I think his pain threshold had been reached. Peter had been without pain medication for the past few days, and with all the moving around in a box and transportation to and from the vets yesterday, he looked like he was probably hurting.

I left Peter with my favourite veterinarian this morning. I was disappointed to find out that there were quite a few emergency surgeries going on and the vet felt he may not be able to even x-ray Peter's leg until tomorrow. *argh*! But he promised me that Peter would be pain-free, so I'll just have to be patient. (Maybe some of those pain meds for meeee?)

My worry about the rescue's apprehension regarding such an expensive rescued cat were unfounded. As usual, they were gracious and understanding. It's one of the reasons I chose this particular group in which to volunteer.

I don't know when I've been more pleasantly surprised then when the emails and comments started coming in with people willing to help with Peter's veterinary bills. I was completely speechless and over the moon with joy! When I rescued Peter this morning, I looked at his face as I was driving him to the vets and thought, "You have NO idea how many people care about you." I'm still in awe. It's hard to put properly into words. For some reason, when I become emotional, I lose the ability to think of decent adjectives.

If you'd like to make a donation to Peter's veterinary care, you can go to the Toronto Cat Rescue Website and click on the "Canada Helps" icon. Or you can send directly to the address below:

Toronto Cat Rescue
PO Box 41175
Rockwood Postal Outlet
Mississauga, ON L4W5C9

Please indicate somewhere that this is for "Peter's New Beginning".

I'll keep sending pictures and updates on this fortunate boy.

Again, thank you all so very much for your generosity. When "animal folk" get together, there are no limits what we can do!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Almost Home - Peter's New Beginning

I thought today would be a pretty ordinary rescue day. I really looked forward to it, because I would be able to rescue FOUR cats. It's exciting when people contact me or the rescue and are ready for another foster cat.

I've had my eye on a very sweet neutered boy at the shelter with a VERY broken leg over the past few days. I figured he would be euthanized with this morning's "vet day", so was surprised to see him there:

You can tell in the picture his front right leg is in pretty bad shape.

One of the reception staff came into the back to announce that "Peter" owner was there to claim him! (The percentage of cats being claimed by their owners is very low, so when an owner actually finds their cat, it's really exciting.) The man puts Peter in a box and pays the $101.00 to the city for the impound fees.

THEN....the reception staff tells him that Peter is in a lot of pain and he'll need to go to the vets right away. The man looks at her and says, "No. I'm not taking him to the vets. I'll just wrap it up myself."

Holy Crap. He's going to wrap a compound fracture himself?

I'm hearing all this going on and am desperately trying to keep my mouth shut. Fortunately, the shelter would contact the SPCA and have them call on this guy to insure that he takes the cat to the vet.

Done deal, right? WRONG!

An hour later, I'm still at the shelter and this moron comes back with the cat in the box and tells the receptionist, "This is not my cat. Sorry."

Oh. My. God.

I couldn't stand it and I went into the lobby and took a peek in the box. "Peter" looked up at me with his mangled leg dangling and he started to purr. I could feel my eyes burning and I knew the tears weren't far off.

The vet tech at the shelter tells me that Peter has been in pain far too long and that he would be "sent out" to a vet clinic immediately for euthanasia. Peter was out of time.

I sat in my car for a few minutes in the shelter parking lot. I frantically started dialing numbers of people whose numbers I had memorized. I was crying. The injustice that this cat was *almost home* was more than I could stand.

Understandably, I can really get hurt while at the shelter, but once I leave the intense hurt will some times dissipate. Not this time. I drove the newly rescued cats to the veterinary clinic for their spay and neuters and started to cry when I saw the vet. He was disgusted with Peter's story, as was I.

When I arrived home, I called the shelter and asked them to give me 1 hour - ONE HOUR to try to find someone to help Peter. He was already at the vets, but they could give me one hour before he was euthanzed. Peter would no doubt need his leg amputated. He would need a foster home that could help him medically, and have a place where he could recover.

I went to Facebook and begged: "I have ONE hour to help a very sweet deserving cat with a broken leg. The shelter has given me 1 hour to find placement for him or he'll be euthanized. Please let me know if you can help. It's 1:30 pm now....There isn't much time left for this sweet boy. He was purring when I left him and I cried all the way home."

The messages and prayers started coming in immediately. Many thanks to Jenn L., Allison, Renee, Kate and Brandon who all came forward and asked the important questions and offered to help.

Then my phone rang.

It was Steve. Steve is the man that adopted my little blind Travis and Bucky. He saw my plea on Facebook and wanted to help Peter. Steve was the perfect solution for Peter! He's retired and has a small sunny spare room for Peter to recover. Bless his crazy heart!

I called the shelter and Peter is safe. :) All this transpired in less than 45 minutes. For one cat. I'm picking him up and taking him to the vets tomorrow.

Can somebody tell me how to explain all this to the rescue in which I volunteer? Peter is going to be an expensive cat....maybe I need to set up a donation fund for him....Any help for Peter's surgery would really help take the edge off things. Ahh...I'll deal with that tomorrow...

For now? Tomorrow is a new beginning for Peter - thanks to a lot of people who cared enough to save his life.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day (to me!)

I'm not a big believer in Valentine's Day. Every day is Valentine's Day with David, so to me - it's just another day. :)

Today was particularly outstanding!

The wonderful couple that adopted Boris came this evening to pick him up. As always there's a feeling of dread with a touch of guilt sprinkled in when a foster cat is adopted and leaves for his new home. The couple that adopted Boris heard about Cute Black Guy that I had rescued on Friday and wanted to meet him. They fell in love with him!!

I decided to let Cute Black Guy go home with them and Boris. His quarantine period wasn't nearly up, but they were educated completely on Upper Respiratory Infections. I really wanted Cute Black Guy to go home with this couple. They told me that if he gets sick they had the $$ to take him to the vets and they wanted to give him a home. They were willing to take on any responsibility that came their way.

Looks like I'm going to be going back to the shelter next week for another foster cat!

This morning I received an email from a family who were interested in "Chandler" and "Melon" who are still at the shelter. Kim had taken them off the euthanasia list twice, so I'm certain they didn't stand much of a chance for this Tuesday's euthanasia's list:

Within 5 minutes of receiving the forwarded email I called this family. Their last cat passed away at the ripe old age of 18 years old. I couldn't ask for a better home for these two boys to go. But would they adopt? I don't believe in coincidences, so imagine my surprise when I called them that they were just walking out the door to visit some shelters about adopting.

They were so excited to meet these two cats that after their adoption screening with me, they immediately went to the shelter and adopted BOTH of them! No more euthanasia list for these two. Thank God. I'm so happy :)

Yesterday, David and I played "Cat Taxi" and delivered "Indy" to his new foster home. You might remember Indy by my snowy-day rescue last week: (Indy before)

Indy was so frightened at the shelter, but he purr'd and rubbed against my hand. I really had a *feeling* about him. Part of me was worried because I knew the foster Mom really wanted a sucky-sweet foster cat. What if he remained too frightened? I didn't want the foster Mom to be disappointed.

But then.....the email & picture came in:

"Hi Beth- It was great meeting you today!
So--- I have a new best friend. It certainly didnt take him long to get himself out from behind the couch and to first sit beside me and then on my lap as I was trying to do my report cards.. (needless to say, I didnt get much done)- so, he started kneading and head butting me.. He was still a little tentative, but it was such an urge for him to be close and affectionate that he busted through his fear and hopped onto my lap.. right now, he's sitting beside me all cozy and stretched out.. AW! And:he's absolutely gorgeous.."

Of course, I cried when I saw his picture and the wonderful emails. Look how HAPPY he is!!!

Tonight I count my blessings. I've met some lovely people this weekend and had the privilege of helping some deserving cats find homes.

Who needs candy and flowers? I've had the best Valentine's Day - ever :)

Friday, February 12, 2010


I can't think of any better way to medicate myself after one of my foster cats gets adopted than to get another foster cat:

Cute Black Guy is about 12 weeks old. It was a tough decision to take him, because his Mom is still at the shelter. His Mom is already VERY pregnant and doesn't stand much of a chance of rescue.

I knelt down to his Mom and asked permission to take her baby for a better life. (They had been in separate cages) I don't know why I did that, because I started to cry. As I wiped away the tears, I gently held up Cute Black Guy to her and asked, "Do you want to say goodbye to your baby?"

Why do I torture myself like that?

This is Cute Black Guy's Mom - I can only pray there is hope for her before the next euthanasia day. Somebody dumped them both off together. They probably got rid of her first litter - all but the black one, and she got pregnant again and they got fed up and dumped her. Ignorant idiots.

It's disgusting how many pregnant cats there are at the shelter. Seriously. I think there are more than a dozen right now and it's FEBRUARY!

Today was a euthanasia day and 20+ cats were killed. Again - it's FEBRUARY. What's the summer going to be like if 20 cats go down in ONE DAY during the winter?

It was sad at the shelter today. I left feeling like I wasn't medicated with the "thrill of the rescue" at all.

But....I've got Cute Black Guy who desperately needed a home and for that - I'm grateful.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Until Sunday....

A really wonderful couple came out tonight and is adopting my Boris. I really wanted to find a reason to not like them and keep Boris for myself, but alas - they were lovely!

The couple is going out of town until Sunday, so I have my baby boy for another few days. It'll be a tough couple of days to have him around when I know he's leaving, so I'll have to start detaching.

Boris was absolutely perfect and snuggled at the right times and was playful the next. They're adopting a second kitten from the rescue so that there will be a pair.

Boris will have a brother!

It's 8:45 pm as I type this....Grey's Anatomy comes on in 15 minutes. I can't think of anything better on a Thursday night than to snuggle with my foster kitten. We only have a few days left together.

So much for "detaching". *sigh*

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A Snowy Rescue

When I know someone wants to help a cat at the shelter, I don't want to wait to go. The thought of the cat staying one more night in the shelter when he has a place to go drives me crazy. That's what happened this morning.

The weather was horrible - lots of snow and slippery roads. I sat at the window looking out and kept talking to myself..."The cat will be fine one more sense in risking my life...yada yada yada..."

I never listen to reason. It was silly to even try. Off I went to the shelter with a mission AND a list to rescue one lucky cat with the following criteria:

1) Domestic Short Hair

2) Grey

3)"Sucky and Sweet"

4) Gets along with other cats

5) male preferred

(Funny how that list resembles my husband...Hahahaha!)

Fortunately, there was only one sweet guy that met ALL the criteria - "Indy"

I kissed Indy told him he was going to be safe and that he was going to the vets right away. See how this makes no sense? He went from one cage into another cage AND was being neutered. (Kind of a good news-bad news thing) Surely it could've waited until the weather was better.

I don't know why, but I think the cats know when they're safe. He settled into the carrier and seemed more than happy to be at the vets and investigate. Whenever a cat has been in a cage for a long period of time, I always let them out to walk around the vets for a big streeeeetch... Tomorrow, he'll go to his foster home to settle in.

(Quick note: I'm intentionally not talking about whatever is going on at the SPCA. Obviously, I don't have all the information. The news isn't using the word "cruelty", but I heard otherwise. Time for me to back out. I'm not comfortable talking politics and it conflicts with my plans and commitment to get more cats out of that shelter. )

Yes. I have plans. :)

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

I'm Stunned.

I'm not sure which is more shocking....

a) Finding copious amounts of diarrhea and pee in my basement (the only carpet in the house, of course)

b) Hearing that the Hamilton/Burlington SPCA is being investigated on CRUELTY charges, misappropriation of monies and are requesting the resignation of current board members.

The allegations are from current and past SPCA members. The news has not indicated whom is doing all the talking.

I've watched some local t.v. tonight and a veterinarian (the one that euthanizes the animals next door at Animal Control) was up in arms about "what's going on at the SPCA". Interesting that it's the guy that is paid to euthanize animals at the shelter

There's a meeting tonight in Hamilton regarding the allegations. This is all news to me and there isn't a lot of information right now. I'm still pretty stunned and will be watching very closely for updates.

I'm hoping this is an opportunity to somehow shed some light on the plight of the animals that I try so hard to save. For now? I'm staying quiet and see how this plays out.

Update: 9 pm - Not much on the news tonight. The Hamilton Spectator seems to think it's more of a financial dispute than cruelty. I sure hope so. I would hate to think this has anything to do with the animals being hurt. Would be nice to post about something else tomorrow. I really hate posting about this kind of sh*t.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Monday, Monday

I was VERY excited to get to the shelter this morning to rescue the the Himmies that were brought in together as "strays". (Many thanks to Renata that came forward to foster them) These two never relaxed at the shelter. They were in separate cages and I often wondered if they would feel better to be together.

When I brought them to the vet's office, I insisted that they be put in a cage together. (Yes, they were not spayed or neutered - YET. They're getting fixed tomorrow) I had hoped for a wonderful reunion of licking and purring!

Nah. They could've cared less. *shrug* At least I tried. :)

When I arrived at the shelter this morning, I was so happy to see that Piglet and Rascal had been rescued on Saturday!

A very nice woman (who came in through my blog) has offered to foster them! They're currently in another foster home until Shannon can be screened as a foster parent. I'm so happy they're out! Two senior cats rescued - it! Love it!

I came home to another email from a foster Mom who listed some cats at the shelter that she may be interested in fostering. I love lists. It really helps when I need to find the right fit in a house that already has a cat. However, tomorrow is a euthanasia day and I need to make sure none of those cats are on the euthanasia list for tomorrow.

The only problem with lists is that it makes me have to choose. I go down the list: You? You? or You? I guess it's nothing new - with or without a list. It's all about choosing the right fit when I'm picking out a cat for somebody else to foster.

An Update on Boris: My little love-chop is doing fine. He spent the night at the vets after he scared the bejezzuz out of me by not walking and dragging his hind legs. The vet said he "passed large stool" (translation: "took a huge dump") and is home doing fine. It's nice to have the little guy back. He's on the rescue website and available for adoption now. *sniff

Looking forward to hair, nails and other self indulgences tomorrow. :)

Saturday, February 06, 2010

A Saturday Rant

I don't blog on the weekends much, but I found the SPCA's Mission, Vision, and Value statement on their website:

The Hamilton/Burlington SPCA is a private not-for-profit animal welfare organization dedicated to the prevention of cruelty to animals, the rescue and adoption of homeless pets, providing support to keep pets in loving homes, and the development of respect, compassion and empathy for every living creature.

The Hamilton/Burlington SPCA will be the community leader in animal welfare - more specifically - animal protection, advocacy, adoption, and education.
We will be a recognized asset to our community and will contribute leadership within the animal welfare movement at the community, provincial and national levels.

We value a society where all life is cherished and respected. We value the bond of trust and love between humans and animals.
We value the necessity to educate our children, our youth and our citizens to respect all living creatures.
We value strong legislation protecting animals from cruelty and exploitation.
We value courage, commitment and passion in those working to make the world a better place for all animals.

I guess they "adopt and rescue homeless animals" as long as they don't compete with them?

"Empathy for every living creature?"

"We value a society where all life is cherished and respected" (Really??)

I want to see this non-compete agreement - really badly. Because this mission, vision and values statement is a joke.

Friday, February 05, 2010

A Friday Update

I was happy to be part of a rescue of two insanely cute brothers today:

Truth be known, I really went to see if I could convince the foster home who was picking up these two potential hellions if she would take "just one more".

I tried to spend some time with the male Himalayan that seemed so frightened. I sat on the concrete floor and opened his cage. When I do this, I always say a silent prayer that the cat doesn't escape or I'm not bitten, because I hate causing extra problems for the staff:
He came in as a "stray" along with his sister:

Yup. Yup. Two "stray" Himalayans walkin' down the road. What people will do to avoid paying a surrender fee! Holy crap.

Update at 8:10 pm Friday night: I heard that someone from our rescue is taking these two Himalayans - great news!

Whomever brought this pair into the shelter, easily got them into a cat carrier. I really think they'll be fine once they're in a home environment. Some cats don't do well in a shelter environment. He hissed at me, but I cautiously touched him. He looks so sad and frightened. I'm sure he wondered what happened to his home. I wonder if these were breeders cats that were dumped. I guess we'll never find out.

Even though they are on Kim's website nobody has called about them. Purebred Himalayans! They were taken off the euthanasia list for today, but I doubt the shelter will be able to keep them much longer. I hope somebody comes forward for them soon.

As usual, the SPCA had put "on hold" two of the cutest kittens. There was a note on their cages that they would pick up the kittens on Sunday. Bah. Sunday. There was a little tabby guy that I would've taken home in a heartbeat. Now he's sitting in a cage at Animal Control until Sunday, so they can transfer him to another cage to eventually be adopted.

My little Boris is still at the vets and on IV. He hasn't pooped and Dr. S said it's a "wait and see" situation. I'm scared. What if they're waiting too long? The vet said his eyes look bright and he's eating. I miss the little guy. I hope he can come home tomorrow. Yes, I'm getting FAR too attached.

That's the Friday update. I'm still working on putting together some ideas on how to get more of these cats out of the shelter. It won't be long until it's kitten season, (!!!) so if I'm going to do something, I'd better get crackin'.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Coffee, Cat Sh*t, and a Rescue

A few months back during a moment of self pity, I blogged that I felt like I was too busy to make time for some "girl/cat talk". One friend in particular emailed me right away and said, "Hey Beth...I'll have coffee and talk about cat shit with you!" I laughed out loud at the visual of two women drinking coffee and talking about cat shit, but in reality, that's what the conversations between women who love their pets end up talking about. Although I'm a delicate flower (!!) where matters of the bowel are concerned, I was excited about the prospect of talking cat shit with someone who understood. (I can't believe I kept a straight face while I typed the "delicate flower" part...)

We finally met at a Tim Horton's today and had a ball. We didn't just talk about cats, but ended up talking about careers, kids, "yes, size matters", and other relevant newsworthy events. It felt good. :)

Before I left for coffee, I received an email from Susan who wanted to rescue a little guy named "Rinkles":

Coffee, Cat Shit, AND a rescue in the same day? Yessirree! I'm game! I picked up little Rinkles at the shelter this afternoon. He has a HUGE scar on his back from some kind of old injury. I don't know how old it can be, since the little guy is about 4 1/2 months old.

I came home tonight to a sick little Boris. He acted like he wanted to eat, but would flop over on his side. But when I fed him by hand he would eat with great excitement. Odd. I carried him to the litterbox, but when he climbed out he fell over. "uh oh". I rushed him to the vets this afternoon, and Dr. S thinks he could have a bowel obstruction. Boris is still at the vets tonight on IV, and getting X-rays.

It was a crummy ending to a great day. Looks like all the talk about cat sh*t, will come in handy after all.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Pink Collars and Other Stuff

I went to the shelter today to assess a couple of Himalayans that are on the shelter website. They're very frightened and it isn't always a slam dunk to rescue cats like this. The male is very frightened. Who wouldn't be?

The part that surprised me the most about my visit today was the enormous number of PINK collars hanging from the cages. I counted 8 of them! When a cat is brought in as a stray and wearing a collar, they hang the collar from the cage:
This is "Miriam". She's trying to get as close to me as she can. She has her little face pressed to the cage bars - it's gut wrenching. She's SO sweet. I took pictures of her today because my friend in rescue may have somebody interested in helping her. My fingers are crossed for Miriam!

I find the whole pink collar thing really unsettling. There's even a really cute male cat with a hot pink collar on his cage.

A piece of good news: Last night, I interviewed a nice sounding family interested in adopting a declawed cat. They went to the shelter today and adopted my LuLu:

When Lulu first came in, she was SO hissy and nasty! She had a big "Caution" on her cage and I honestly thought that maybe she wouldn't make it. But I received an email from her new Mommy tonight:

...We changed her name to cleo she is doing great! She is getting along with my boy cat so well she is following him around and she is even playing with a ball she is so affectionate I love her!!...

Nothing makes my heart soar than a mature black cat getting out of the shelter! :)

I've decided that there's one sure fire way to make sure your foster cat gets sick: Send pictures of him for the website. Sure enough - I sent pictures of Boris last night because he's ready to be adopted. Boris wakes up with a fever and is now on antibiotics. He's not eating and of course, I'm worried.

Other than my sick little guy, it was a good day to be part of rescue :)

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

What I Know

I'm so surprised and delighted to receive so many emails, comments in support of figuring out a better way to get the cats out of the shelter. There were many questions about the shelter where I rescue, so I thought I'd answer them here. Rather than pretending that I have all the answers, this is information that *I know*.

1. Animal Control (where I rescue) is a city run pound. They cannot refuse to take in animals because the shelter is too full. Euthanasia is necessary at this point in time.

2. Animal Control shares a building with the SPCA. The SPCA has a beautiful adoption room where they adopt cats and dogs. Their price list to adopt a cat or kitten is as follows:

Cat $220.00
Kitten $240.00 under 6 months

3. The SPCA does take cats from Animal Control. It's been my experience that the majority of cats they take are "highly adoptable". The SPCA gets "first pick" over any rescue that comes in. It's been my experience that they "cherry pick" cats and will take all the orange kittens from a litter and leave the black ones to be euthanized.
The SPCA also takes "owner surrenders", which means this takes a spot from a cat over in Animal Control.
I don't know the numbers, but the SPCA takes a small fraction of cats from Animal Control

4. The SPCA does not euthanize animals due to overcrowding. When the SPCA is full, they send people who want to surrender their beloved pets to Animal Control.

**For those of you who wanted to know why Animal Control doesn't have a formal adoption program:

5. At some point, Animal Control signed a "Non-compete agreement" with SPCA and agreed that they will NOT permit adoptions so that ALL adoptions will be going through SPCA. (I hope I phrased that properly)

6. Until rescues came along, ALL the cats were euthanized, except the ones that were claimed by their owner. There was no way out for these animals.

7. Animal Control used to have a little adoption centre, but it closed due to lack of funds. I wish I knew more about this. I remember the centre, because I was rescuing then. But it never occurred to me that this was something special - I was just starting out.

8. Yes, other rescues do help Animal Control - but very few and those that do, only take 1 or 2 cats at a time. Many the rescues were troubled by the high cost of veterinary care due to sickness in the shelter.

9. It's a privilege to be rescuing from Animal Control. They do NOT have to let me or any other rescue in to take cats. It's one of the reasons why I'm against "kicking political ass." My presence there is VERY optional.
There is NO cost for me to take a cat from the shelter. In fact, the staff are often kind enough to vaccinate, deworm, and flea treat before I rescue a cat in order to save the rescue money.

10. There is one paid employee in the shelter that promotes the cats on a Petfinder website. When adoption calls come in for these cats, she refers them to me to be screened. If all goes well, the adopter is permitted to adopt the cat without cost. Because the cats are not vetted and are often not already spayed or neutered, I will get vet references to insure that this will be done.

11. Animal Control is required to keep stray cats for THREE DAYS before they can either be taken by a rescue, SPCA, or euthanized. This does not apply to owner surrendered cats. They can be euthanized immediately or rescued.

I don't have all the answers to all the questions. I do know that I guard my reputation and presence at the shelter carefully. I've received some emails that folks think I'm finished rescuing - NOT true!

In fact, I'm trying really hard to figure out a way to rescue more. :)

Take a look at the picture that I use in my title "House of the Discarded". I've saved that picture for 2 years. Those beautiful kittens were euthanized at Animal Control and I couldn't save them. I've kept the picture to remind myself why I do what I do.

Monday, February 01, 2010

A Rescue and Too Much Thinking

It felt good to be at the shelter today and rescue "Rugbee" for another foster home:

His picture doesn't do him justice - he has the cutest little face and a diesel purr that melted my heart! He's going to Alison and Jennifer's home, so I hope he's ready to be spoiled :)

I'm VERY excited to have received an adoption inquiry for Barebum Betty this morning!

I'm not 100% sure what happened with Betty, but I do know that she's very sweet. :) I sure hope it works out for her. I'm certain everybody will agree this little girl needs a new start and lots of love.

I woke up in the middle of the night last night thinking about the shelter and the fact that they are not permitted to open it to the public for adoptions. It's like Auschwitz over there (please forgive me if that comparison is offensive to wasn't my intent) - the cats come in and have no way to get out. Although I've known about this for years, I sat up in bed and kept mulling it over and over.

I love saving the cats and there's no reason I can't continue to do so, but maybe it's time I stop being just another finger in this leaking dam.