Wednesday, March 31, 2010


There are very few things cuter than an orange kitten. I put a fun "Name that Kitten" on my Facebook page and had some great suggestions. My favourite was "Radar", thanks to Lisa D. who also reads this blog.

Look at those ears! Can you think of a better name than Radar? I couldn't either. :)

Radar has spent the past few days in The Land Of Dirty Underwear (my son's room) and is out and about with all the other cats today. There's been the usual hissing and overall ugliness from my cats.

I felt so badly because I showed him the basement litterbox and JUST as he was digging and about to use it for the first time, my big black cat Willie came up and hiiiiiiiiiiissed...the ugliest, spitty hiss just as Radar was about to squat. Looks like we might have a little delay in getting him to use the basement litterboxes. *sigh*
Radar meeting "Maggie"

It was a lovely surprise that David took the day off today. MANY thank you's to Kathleen who did my rescue today and made it possible for me to spend this beautiful day with my gorgeous hunk o' man. I called Kathleen at the last minute and asked her to rescue 4 cats. What a treat to have the day off!

I gave Kathleen a small list of cuties to rescue:


"Kittens B"


As I write this blog tonight, Radar is side-stepping with his tail poofed and his back arched - at nobody! There's not another cat in sight and he's having a ball looking like a bad-a$$.

Tomorrow, I have an update on Marvin! ....

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The "Tour" and a Rescue

I was happy to meet two excited foster Moms at the shelter this afternoon to give them the grand tour and rescue a very sweet little Mom and her six newborn kittens:I had to laugh because these two ladies remind me so much of me and some of my friends when we're at the shelter together - DANGEROUS. We end up feeding off of each other's love of the cats. We hold up cats to each other and say things like, "Awwwwwwwwwww......should I? Can't you...? What's one more....?"

As we were leaving the shelter, some toothless guy in a backwards baseball hat arrived with a cat in a carrier saying, "Do you want him? He keeps shitting in my yard and we have a kid, ya know?"

"No. I don't know." (Who says "shitting" to people you don't even know anyway???)

I wanted to be a hero and take the cat. But there were too many others inside that had paid their dues and needed to be out more. I couldn't help but feel sorry for the poor black and white fluffy guy. One minute he's looking for girls, frolicking in the sun and the next minute he's in a dark, cold cage. I wonder what his outcome will be?

As usual, I came home and began to contact people to be the advocate for several of the cats that are at the shelter right now. Today was a euthanasia day and I was saddened to discover several of the cats that I had worked for didn't make it through the day.

The bright spot in the day was receiving a phone call from the body shop. My car was ready to be picked up! No more of my son's "Weed-Mobile". By the time all the damage was assessed, the bill came out to be $11,000.00! Wonder why the insurance companies charge so much for teenagers? *This* is why. I had to laugh - when I picked up my car there were FIVE cat carriers in it. The repair guys must've wondered what kind of bag-o-nuts owns that car! LOL

Not sure if I'm going to the shelter tomorrow. I have an adoption call on Moe (!!!) and although she still needs to talk with her husband, I'm hoping she'll call me tonight and say that she wants to meet the big guy. I felt like telling her, "Get out the French Maid Outfit!! He'll let you have the cat!!!"

Fortunately, I shut my yapper just in time.

Monday, March 29, 2010

A Cup of Rescue and a Teaspoon of Guilt

It was very exciting for me to receive an offer to rescue "Malcom" last night:

Malcom had been at the shelter for THREE months in a tiny cage. He was one of Kim's favourites and despite my best efforts couldn't get him out any sooner. I think Malcom knew that something good was going to happen today. I snapped this picture of him right before he was put in the carrier to leave the shelter. Many thanks to Shannon for stepping up and helping him. (I think she'll be pleasantly surprised - he saw the cat "Bob" the vet clinic cat and was rubbing him happily) I think I gasped out loud when I saw the The World's Cutest Orange Kitten (TWCOK) in a cage. I couldn't resist taking him home as a new foster kitten for myself:

Check out the ears on this little monkey! He looks like he could take flight! :)

I haven't figured out a name for him, but as usual, will default to "Cute Orange Guy." He's probably about 9 weeks old and I love him already. Here comes a heartbreak when he's adopted. :)

In all honesty, I feel badly about taking this cute kitten when there are so many not-so-cute cats that need help more. I don't know how to juggle this emotion sometimes. To ease my guilt, I made a phone call to a wonderful foster Mom while en route home. I thought that maybe if somebody else fosters him I wouldn't feel so guilty about taking such a cute kitten.

It's a tough balance for me with my own cats. I can't take a big adult cat like Malcom because my big white cat Ozzy will start to pee in the sinks again. *groan* If I stick with kittens and "teenagers" under 6 months of age, my house remains peaceful:

Unfortunately, "Guilt" is part of the territory when you rescue as often as I do from the shelter. I'm always making choices and leaving somebody behind. I wasn't able to visit with Moe because the guilt was overwhelming and I felt like I let him down on Saturday.

Just for today I'm going to reassure myself that I did the right thing for me, my family and my own cats. I'll enjoy my small rescue and victory and leave the guilt behind because they all need help - the big, the small, the pretty and the ugly.

I'll remind myself that I'm not the one that abandoned and discarded these cats at the shelter.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Frustrating Saturday

My hope for little "Moe" to go to his new home today were dashed by 12:20 this afternoon. His adopter was supposed to meet me at the shelter at noon. David and I paced back and forth and waited. We kept walking out into the lobby to see if she was sitting there. The adopter had my cell phone number, but the phone remained quiet.

I'm not sure why, but I decided to call my voicemail at home and there was a message from her at noon. "Um...Beth...I lost track of time. Sorry about that. Can you meet me out there tomorrow? Don't let Moe be euthanized until I can see him."

WHAT? You "lost track of time"??? I woke up this morning thinking about Moe's adoption. Why weren't you???

I could hardly face Moe who was sitting in his cage looking at me so expectedly. I had taken him out earlier and combed out his coat so he'd look cute for his new Mom. I told him she was coming soon. Shit. I couldn't go back and face him. I feel awful.
I really tried hard to keep a stiff upper lip over this thing with Moe. I'm absolutely furious that someone could be so rude. Certainly she has to know that I might have had something else to do today other than go to the shelter - AGAIN?

Fortunately, David and I had a good trip out there. We talked about important things and held hands.

Although things got pretty mucked up, I was still able to rescue a little girl named "Lizzy" for a foster very happy foster Mom:

Lizzy had been at the shelter for a month and was VERY happy to be saying "Goodbye" to that place. What a sweet little Tortie. :)

To Lizzy, it was an important, life changing day.

To Moe? I haven't forgotten about you.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Friday at the Shelter

I was happy to be back at the shelter today. It was a sunny day and I had a small list of cats to rescue.

It was such a pleasure to meet Anicca at the shelter to help her pick out an "Office Cat". I think more people would love to go to work every day if they could have a cute kitty to snuggle with at their desk. After much deliberation, they chose a very cute little GIRL named "Igor":

I was at the shelter the day that Igor came in. Her family was holding each other and sobbing as they had to let Igor go because she didn't like their baby. Pffft. The kid was 18 months - certainly a tough age for any cat. I was pissed, but didn't say anything.

Shortly after rescue, Anicca sent me the pictures of Igor meeting her new "office family":

She fit in beautifully and they love her! She'll have a wonderful life there.

Sometimes things don't always work out so beautifully, which is exactly what happened with Baby. The couple arrived at the foster home with Baby yesterday and it was immediately apparent that Baby literally HATED other cats. It wasn't just a hiss and a was screaming and attacking. It's hard to believe after you see how CUTE baby is when he's NOT around other cats:

Right now, I don't have a Plan B for Baby. He's going to have to go back to his original family with hope they'll give me more time to find a home for him without other cats. Many thank you's to Dori and her family for giving Baby a try.

On my list of cats to rescue today was "any petite female cat that gets along with other cats". Sounds simple, right? I must've picked up 20 female cats that I had hoped would fit the bill. Each one showed extreme anxiety towards other cats.

The problem is - I don't know if that's REALLY true or not. Today was a euthanasia day at the shelter. Thirty cats died alone in their cages. Maybe the remaining cats had a reason to be anxious, and it wasn't a fair assessment. Needless to say, I'm going back tomorrow to try again.

It's SO hard when the cat is a saboteur of his own rescue. There have been times I've held a cat up to another cat and chanted under my breath: Please don't hate other cats, please don't hate other cats, please don't hate other cats..."

I'm meeting a VERY nice sounding lady tomorrow that contacted me about adopting Moe:

The woman sounds FANTASTIC. She just adopted a senior toy poodle that's blind from a rescue. She wanted to help another little soul that looks like he needs to be loved. *happy sigh*

"Please don't hate small blind dogs, please don't hate small blind dogs, please don't hate small blind dogs..."

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Two Days at Home in a Row

I stayed home again today and enjoyed the 8 hours with an empty laundry hamper and a clean kitchen sink. It doesn't happen often, so I savoured the moment. Although I didn't physically go out and rescue yesterday, it was still a really successful day! Many thanks to Kathleen who did a very long drive yesterday to insure these cats got out safely:

Of course, while Kathleen is at the shelter she couldn't resist taking home a sweet little Mom cat "Sierra" who had just delivered two perfect grey kittens:

I heard that the VERY absent SPCA has rescued quite a few cats from the shelter today. They had been going through some political struggles and this was the first time in more than a month that they rescued cats. They took all the pregnant cats and some kittens.

I wonder how many cats died at Animal Control in the past month because of politics at the SPCA?

An update on Baby : First, I want to apologize for the very depressing blog post last night. I always write from my heart and rarely edit my posts for that reason.

Three amazing volunteers stepped forward to help Baby. It's a little preliminary, but I've had the foster Mom connect with Baby's family. I haven't heard what the outcome is yet. Y'all know I don't believe in coincidences, but the foster family only lives a few blocks from Baby's family. My fingers and toes are crossed that we can help him. I won't do it at the risk of burning out a valuable foster Mom. So let's hope Baby is OK with her brood.

I'm going out to the shelter tomorrow for a rescue and meeting one of my favourite foster Moms there. This particular foster Mom has been fostering with the rescue for 6 years and has never been to the shelter!! She's has approval from her cat-loving boss to adopt an "office cat". He or she will be the spoiled cat of a comfortable office and be loved all day long. Not too shabby of a life for a discarded cat from the shelter. Needless to say, the foster Mom is going to get The Tour of the shelter and won't leave without a cat. :) It'll be interesting to see who she chooses.

I'm looking forward to spending the morning at the shelter. Another foster Mom called me to rescue her a little female. Her foster cat was adopted last night. Thank you for not "taking a break" between foster cats. They need us so badly right now. It's a euthanasia day in the morning before I arrive, so there are many sweet faces who will not be there to greet me. The shelter is becoming so full.

Tomorrow? Thanks to some loving unselfish people, there will be some fortunate cats that will leave that place on a new adventure for a second chance at life.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Couple & "Baby"

I met a couple named Nancy & Neil at the shelter yesterday. We arrived at basically the same time. I was bringing in empty cat carriers for the rescue and in the arms of Nancy was a cat wrapped up - his head poking up with curiosity. He was wrapped in a sheet and was purring and kneading on the lady's chest. I sat down in the reception area with them to get his story.

Turns out that the cat belonged to Neil's mother who is currently in palliative care. I gently explained to them that there are no adoptions and not much hope for an 8 year old cat. They were devastated. They've tried to find him a home, but nobody could help. The wife looked at me with tears in her eyes and asked if I could help him. They can't keep the cat permanently because both of them are quite allergic. I told them how things work at the rescue and with no guarantees I would ask about foster space and help. They were so appreciative.

The cat's name is "Baby". Something passed between me and Baby yesterday. I don't know what it was, but I could feel *deeply* what Baby was feeling. I really and truly felt like Baby was happy because he thought Nancy and Neil were taking him to see his "Mom". He didn't know his Mom was dying, and he had been very worried.

It sounds so strange to say that publically. It doesn't happen very often. But I really *felt* what he was feeling.

They didn't leave Baby at the shelter. They took Baby home with them and I told them I would try hard to help him. They think they can manage their allergies for 1 week. They have him in an *unfinished* basement. Because there are no windows or light, he's sitting in the dark on the cement. He's a VERY big boy - probably 24 pounds and declawed. (always a bonus!) He looks quite healthy and seems extremely sweet. Since Neil's mother was moved into hospice (about a week ago) Baby has been pulling his hair out on one side. He has never done that before.

Shelters all over North America are filled with stories like Baby's. But the thought of him sitting in a dark basement, grieving for the loss of the only family he's ever known just about kills me. So here I am with hope anybody who reads the blog will put the word out for Baby.

I have one week before Baby becomes another casualty of the shelter.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Weary Update

I have quite a few updates tonight. I spent the majority of the morning putting out "brush fires" and couldn't leave for the shelter until the afternoon. I'm tired tonight!! I hope I make sense...

An Update on Marvin: I won't go into detail here. But things did not work out with the pro bono veterinarian. Marvin was moved to another veterinarian tonight and doing well despite it all. Everybody who meets Marvin is in love with him! Whomever let this little boy end up in the shelter really missed out on an amazing cat.

I went to bed last night thinking a sweet little Siamese would be euthanized this morning:

I had an adoption call for Ariah last night and for a moment was excited that she might have a chance. Unfortunately, the lovely lady that I spoke with needed a guarantee that Ariah was healthy. I can never guarantee anything when a cat is coming out of the shelter without a complete veterinary exam. So I went to bed thinking that poor Ariah would be euthanized this morning. I woke up to an email from a favourite foster Mom who offered to take Ariah!! I scrambled and was certain it was too late. Fortunately, Kim was on the ball and took Ariah off the euthanasia list, and I was able to rescue her today! Talk about an emotional rollercoaster ride. :)

I also rescued "Mike" (formerly "Dewey") today:

Before I chose Mike, I walked up and down the cages trying to find the right match for a foster Mom and her own cats. It isn't always easy. Some cats seem very sweet until you take them out of the cage and they hate other cats. "Mike" wasn't the most handsome cat in the shelter, but certainly the most mellow and sweet! I tested him with several other hissy cats and he just acted like he wanted to be friends. Perfect! When I brought him to the vets for his neuter, he came out of his carrier like he owned the place. He rubbed against the clinic cat and sat right up on the clinic counter. I love cats like that!

I dropped off "Elmo" (I renamed him "Kurt Russell" Hahaha!) tonight with his foster family. This was their first foster cat and seemed so excited to get Kurt Russell. Kurt didn't disappoint them. There we were in the parking lot at Wendy's and Kurt Russell was purring and rubbing like he had known them his whole life. Much to my amusement when they got in the car, the husband sat in the backseat with Kurt Russell so he wouldn't feel lonely. Isn't that the SWEETEST thing? What an awesome foster family. Thanks to them coming forward, that little guy has a chance at life.

Back to the shelter tomorrow! I was supposed to have a much bigger rescue today, but things slowly fell apart with timing. Looks like the remaining cats will be picked up tomorrow.

More updates tomorrow....I'm pooped! :)

Monday, March 22, 2010

A Rescue and a #2 Fiasco

The morning threatened rain as I drove out to the shelter for a rescue. I hate it when it rains during a rescue. Lugging crying cats in carriers out of the shelter and loading them in the car makes things very uncomfortable.

There's a little guy at the shelter named "Elmo" that caught my attention - or maybe I should say he demanded my attention. Every time I walked by his little paw came out and hooked my new sweater. He is a 6 month old brown tabby. The foster Mom was looking for a teenager-type to play with her two teenager-type females. This guy is a party boy - I don't think she'll have to worry about a shrinking violet with Elmo. :)

I also rescued a VERY handsome declawed guy named "Donald". (Unfortunately, I wasn't able to capture the pictures off the shelter website) Donald is a HUGE orange and white guy. He really gave me a run for my money en route to his foster Mom:

As I'm almost to the arrival spot for Donald, I could hear his meows had changed slightly. He I turned quickly to discover he had somehow managed to partially open his crate and was stuck HALFWAY out and UPSIDE DOWN. He was dangling off the car's seat. I think I screamed out loud as I pulled over on a side street. By the time I pulled over and got out of the car, Donald was squatting on the floor of the car with diarrhea. Oh. My. Gosh! I usually have paper towels or something like that in my car. But I wasn't driving my car, so I found some Tim Horton's paper sacks and ended up flinging diarrhea all over the place.

The only plus side to this whole story, is that I was driving my son's car. Yes, the son who recently wrecked MY car. Needless to say, I cleaned it up...but...not too much. *evil laugh*

I also rescued these three little angels:

They were perfect little darlings through the whole trip. As always, I feel like Santa when I take them to their new foster home. These little guys are about 4-5 weeks old. I can't help but wonder if there's a Mom cat who is frantically looking for them.

Much to my delight, I logged onto Facebook when I got home and saw an "After" picture of these guys that must've been taken 1 hour after they arrived:

Do you see the halos over their heads? Neither do I, but I'm sure they're there somewhere. Pretty soon, they'll be sprouting horns. :)

I'll have some updates tomorrow and will probably be back at the shelter for another rescue. I'm still so sick...hard to believe it's day #8 of feeling like crap. David and I went to the walk-in clinic last night for antibiotics. I have a feeling that this is just a virus that's going to have to run it's course.

Fortunately, there's nothing like the smell of fresh cat poop in your car to clear your sinuses.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Goodbye To "Doug"

My little "Doug" has just gone off to his new home. I always take it as a good sign when the foster cat greets the family at the front door. Not only did Doug greet the family, but he also spent the entire time with them in my family room playing. All good stuff!

Of course, an adoption wouldn't be complete without a bit of drama. Doug made quite a fuss getting into his carrier. I hate when that happens. I want him to understand that he's going into a WONDERFUL home that has a 7 year old little girl that is going to love him. There's also another cat named "Buddy" that desperately wants a friend to play with him.

But nooooooooo....Doug had to make me feel guilty by scratching at the carrier and begging to get out. I could feel my eyes start to burn with tears, but there was no doubt that I was doing the right thing for Doug.

For those of you who foster ANY companion animal; never underestimate how brave you are! It takes courage to let them go, and courage to bring in a new foster knowing that you might be hurt when they leave.

The adopter took my email address and promised pictures of Doug with his new brother (partner-in-crime) "Buddy". I hope he remembers, because I care. I always will.

Have a beautiful life, Doug. :)

Friday, March 19, 2010

A Joyful Day

I'm pleased to report that little Marvin has been rescued! I wish I had rescue pictures for you, but I was merely the "interim" driver today. Many thanks to Kathleen and Carolyn who did the majority of the driving to get this little guy into the caring hands of the vet. The traffic today on every highway was UN-REAL - certainly horse and carriage would've been faster.

Now for the big news: After reading my urgent plea about Marvin yesterday, I received an email from Joanne who is a friend-in-rescue. She was able to secure a wonderful vet (someone I know) who is going to help Marvin without cost, and charge us her cost for any hard expenses (i.e. anesthesia, medicines). I'm absolutely over the moon about this news! He's still going to be an expensive guy, but it means he won't be as expensive as we originally thought!

I honestly don't know what to say. I'm in awe and am humbled by your generosity for this little guy in need. Thank you. Thank you all so very much. Any donations can still be made through the Toronto Cat Rescue website: and click on the Canada Helps button.

Although not as dramatic of a rescue, but certainly as important - we were able to rescue little "Julie" today too:
Julie's foster Mom sent me an email right after Julie arrived to her house:

"She's here! My response is late because I was just shmoozing with her in my bedroom. I have to say WHAT A DOLL!!!!! We're going to call her Daisy. She instantly made herself at home in my bedroom. She jumped up on the bed and was "cooing" and prancing around as if to say "WHAT is this? It is SO soft! It is so warm! It feel so good on my little feet. It is fantastic!!! I'm never getting up! ever!" Then she flopped onto the douvet to get herself some much deserved head pets and belly rubs. All signs of the skittish little kitty you were describing instantly melted away as soon as she touched the soft bedding!"

Why do these kind of emails make me cry??? Maybe because this sweet 4 lb kitten was sitting on ONE SHEET of frickin' newspaper in a cage the size of a microwave for TWO MONTHS. Now she's being loved again. She has a chance again.

Animal loving people rallying to the call for help. People doing what they are able to do: Taking pictures, Emailing, Phone calls, driving, sending money, donating time.

Does rescue get any better than this? Isn't this what it's all about? My heart is full of joy tonight.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Back to the Shelter and an Urgent Plea

Despite still feeling horribly, I couldn't deny that I missed being at the shelter, and when a very nice sounding man came forward and offered to give Charleston a forever home...well...I couldn't say "no".

I don't know if some of you have some sort of rescue ESP, but as I drove out to the shelter, I received two phone calls from foster parents who wanted cats! Not only did Charleston get out of the shelter today, but this pretty little girl named "Juliana" also was rescued: One little guy named "Little Barnaby" will be rescued on Saturday. He still needs to complete his 3 days "stray time". Blah.

Charleston is having a fast and furious neuter this afternoon and going to his new home tonight. Many thanks to Kate and Garrett for playing stork for me and delivering him. I'm absolutely exhausted and so grateful for the help tonight.


I received an email from Kim this about a little guy named "Marvin":

One of the animal control officers picked up Marvin after he had been hit by a car. The officer thinks he has a broken hip, but unsure where the break actually is. Marvin is about 6 months old and I had the privilege of meeting Marvin today while at the shelter.

Oh. My. Gosh. Kim was right about Marvin.

When you *look* at Marvin he starts to purr and knead! You can see by his picture that he was kneading when his picture was taken too! Kim doesn't think Marvin has much of a chance of getting out of the shelter, but I felt like we've had some wonderful miracles lately and that maybe Marvin had a chance. Of course, not only does Marvin need a place to go, but he'll probably need surgery too. ($$)

If you can help Marvin with a foster home, forever home, or with medical expenses post-rescue, please let me know.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Trying To Do *Something*

This is day #4 of some kind of viral/flu thing that has really kept me flat. The weather has been gorgeous and I haven't managed to go outside the front door except to get the mail. I haven't been sick enough to stay in bed all day, but sick enough to be productive for about 30-45 minutes at a time. The breakfast dishes can wait.

However, rescue can't stop completely because I'm sick. I decided to post on Craigslist with some pictures of the shelter's most urgent. I wasn't asking for foster homes, but was hopeful to get qualified adopters from the ad.

I've received an email from a VERY nice sounding man interested in "Charleston":

It's hard to get people to fully understand that this is a city pound and there are NO public adoptions. Cats come in - but they don't come out unless they are claimed by their owner or rescued. The local SPCA takes a few, but they're in some kind of political drama over there and have stopped rescuing cats. Charleston has been there a long time and I really want him to find a nice home. He's such a lovey-dovey boy. :)

I found a fabulous statement on somebody else's blog from poet & musician Gil Scott-Heron, "Nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something..."

That's my mantra for the day. I'm going to repeat that every morning when I wake up. Maybe I can make a difference - even when I'm sick.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


At the risk of sounding like one of those parents who whip out a billfold of pictures laded with an assortment of kid photos in every possible cute position, I've decided to post some pictures of my foster kid "Doug" ( in every possible cute position, of course)

When Doug first arrived, I had a moment of panic because my own cats started really picking on him. (Many thanks to Susan who offered to take Doug if things couldn't be worked out)

Usually, when I get a foster cat they explore, greet my cats, use the litterbox and have a snack. Not Doug. He slithered down the stairs to the basement and hid under the guestroom bed.

Did I make a mistake? Would he be one of those "timid" or "shy" cats where I'd have to use another creative adjective to describe him in his bio for the adoption page?

I would go downstairs and scoop up Doug in my arms and kiss him. He wasn't skittish in the least bit! In fact, he LOVED to be kissed and held. I would bring him upstairs and we'd walk around the house together. "Theeeere's Mommy's bedroom....There's the T.V....Theeeere's the upstairs litterbox...." Within 5 days, Doug was part of the family. Not only was Doug part of the family, he's become my little shadow and follows me everywhere I go. Heaven forbid I try to close the door to the washroom. He sits outside the shower until I'm finished. Believe me, if Doug could hold the towel for me, he would. Doug is 5 months old of pure teenager (Only Doug won't wreck my car.) - complete with the big feet and skinny body. He's one of these cats that doesn't cause any trouble and is always game for a kiss. I'm so glad I stuck it out with him. Shame on me for being so impatient.

Sometimes it pays to take your own advice.

Monday, March 15, 2010

A Moment of Reprieve

Usually, Monday is a rescue day for me. But I'm home sick thanks to an affectionate husband who gave me his flu. I'm not really sick enough to be in bed all day, but due to the recent inattention of the youngest son, my car is at the dealer being repaired.

The story of the car gets better...err..worse. I receive a frantic call on Sunday afternoon from the same kid. He hit ANOTHER curb and screwed up his own car! He basically eliminated 50% of the family's transportation in a weekend. My car repair cost will be $4000.00, and his will be $1000.00.

If you're thinking about having kids, or another my last two blog posts - twice. It's great birth control. *sigh*

I'll rent a car tomorrow. Staying home today was probably good for me to try to get better.

In the meantime, I was able to catch up on some emails and received a lovely follow up story on a cat named "River". River was a cat that was rescued in June last year. I wrote in my blog that she had one of the saddest pictures I had ever seen:

She was adopted by a lovely sounding lady and I really never heard anything else until yesterday: (edited for length)

"Dear Beth:

We have never met, but I thought I'd introduce myself to you as I recently adopted one of "your" rescue cats from Hamilton's high-kill shelter - River. I am over the moon with River. She is the most wonderful little girl.

I wanted to write you, first of all, because I understand you were the one who was there when River was brought in so you have had a special interest in her. I also understand that you described River as one of the saddest cases you'd ever seen when she arrived - and that is saying something, given your long-standing devotion to animal rescue! So I thought you'd like to know - and see - how River has turned out.

I wanted to tell you about an article I wrote about River for Vitality Magazine (an alternative health magazine you may be familiar with?) - March 2010 issue. It is called The Story of River and it is for the inaugural Pet Health column, which I pitched to the editor a while back...

Thank you for being part of bringing River to me. She's my little honey. I cannot imagine my life without her now, or who could have given her up with such disregard."

She attached this picture:

After receiving the email and pictures, I forgot all about my recent kid problems. It was incredible to wallow in the joy and to focus on the bigger picture. My cars will be repaired and my son will go off to University in the fall.

My life is a good one. I wonder if "River" knows that she saved me today. :)

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Cool Car

It's weird when you wake up in the morning anticipating exactly how your day is going to go, but it doesn't work out at all the way you had planned. Maybe I'm getting old and set in my ways.

Yesterday, while I was at the shelter I rescued a darling little senior girl named "Gertie":

What a surprise to have a foster home come forward for her! She's such a little lovechop. :)

I had anticipated taking her to meet her foster family today, but the vet called and said Gertie had one infected tooth that "REALLY" needed to come out. Soooo...Gertie remains at the vets.

Maybe it's just as well, since my car is out of commission today...

My sons are under the impression that I drive a "cool car" and often ask me if they can drive it on dates, quick errands etc. - even though they both have their own cars. I'm not stupid - I'm sure they drive it too fast, with the stereo up too loud and act like idiots. Sure enough - I get "the call":

Son: Mom. Don't panic. Everything is OK, but two of your tires blew out and the car is in the ditch.

Me: TWO? Are you ok?

Son: Oh sure. I'm fine. But the rims are busted and there was a "BOOM" when the tires blew out.

***Fast forward to the car dealership...

Dealer: Um...Mrs. Turner...whomever drove your car REALLY screwed up the tires. They were driving too fast and hit something really hard to cause this kind of damage. I have no idea what else is wrong with the car until we look at it. It'll be ready next week.

Me: Must. Kill. Son.

***While this has nothing to do with cat rescue, I sure feel better writing about it. I've decided that teenage boys basically have no brain at all, and I don't think that anyone with a teenage son will disagree with me.

Although I love my car, I think it's ridiculous to have a "cool car" for cat rescue. Maybe I was having a midlife crisis when I bought it two years ago, or maybe I felt like I deserved a "cool car". Regardless, it's really lame to have something that doesn't really fit in with my lifestyle.

Although I could probably solve the problem simply with a $.99 rainbow sticker on the back windshield and a "I love my cats" bumper sticker.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Everybody Deserves a Chance

I promised Kim that I'd go to the shelter periodically this week to take pictures of all the new arrivals while she's in Mexico on holidays. I think there were more than 30+ cats to take pictures of and put on Petfinder. I've thoroughly screwed up the order the cats were in on Petfinder, but at least they're on there.

I've always admired Kim for many reasons, but I also think it's awesome that she puts even the "scary feral" cats on the Petfinder site too. Her reason? "Everybody deserves a chance."


As I'm opening cages and snapping pictures, I quickly look at the cage cards to see if they're "Owner Surrender", "Trapped Cat" or brought in as a stray. The trapped cats can often be quite feral. I opened one cage and the poor guy lunged at me. Scared the crap out of me! He was on a lower cage so I was crouched down and fell backwards. I was really relieved nobody saw that. I bet it was VERY amusing!

It's been a LONG TIME since I've been bitten, so I decided to leave the feral guys to Kim. I felt badly that I didn't post them online tonight. They DO deserve a chance, and what if they aren't really feral? I have a female tabby that would go freakin' nuts in a cage like that. I've seen her lunge at the vet over nail trim. Hahahhaa!

Last weekend, I attended a meeting with some of the ladies from the rescue. I had never met the ladies we call "Trappers", and had never been more impressed. Trapping is hard work and often thankless. Most of the cats hate your guts and don't want your help. (At least they THINK they don't want your help) Those ladies are devoted and awesome. They are truly in the trenches of cat rescue. I couldn't do it. I like "I love you and thank you for rescuing me" part of rescue.

Which reminds me... last night, while I was waiting at a Wendy's parking lot with little Trinity I arrived about 30 minutes early before her new foster family was due to arrive. I took her out of her carrier and set her on my lap. Trinity had been in the shelter for several months. She snuggled into my arms and stretched fully out on my stomach and chest. She proceeded to start to knead on my neck and nurse on my earlobe. OMG. Talk about gratitude! She stopped periodically and looked at me adoringly. By the time the foster parents arrived, I didn't want to give her up! Hahaha!

While I was at the shelter a couple with baby in hands were surrendering their "Beloved cat". The lady was sobbing and they were hugging each other. The reason? The cat was becoming aggressive towards the child. The baby was about 14 months old. That's a tough age for any cat. She was a sweet grey tabby - 3 years old. *sigh* I really want to help her. Now that I know she doesn't like kids, maybe the rescue can place her in the proper home. She was a cutie.

Yes, I believe every animal deserves a chance. Not all of them get a chance and that's the part that turns my stomach.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Staying Busy

I went back to the shelter today to rescue a VERY cute little pregnant girl named "Bria":She was HUGE and no doubt will deliver soon. Her foster Mom was so happy to have her. I bet she'll have some cute kittens! I can hardly wait to see pictures of them when they arrive.

We had another referral and a new foster Mom that stepped forward and offered to rescue a "Friendly female who likes other cats". All the way to the shelter I had prayed that "Trinity" would like other cats. She had been at the shelter for such a long time and this seemed to be a wonderful opportunity to get her out of there:

I carefully held Trinity up to a couple of hissy unneutered male cats and a few hissy female cats. She just looked at them like "What's your problem, bud?" Bingo! She would be good to go and I put her in the crate. As I type this post, she's in my downstairs washroom. I had put a bunch of cozy blankets on the ceramic floor with her litterbox. She comes out of the carrier and slithers under the wash basin. NO blankets under there. *sigh*

While I was at the shelter, Siamese Rescue was there are rescued "Ally" a VERY old little blind Snowshoe:
I was really hoping somebody would step forward to rescue her. She is such a delicate little lovebucket. She was the only cat I had ever met that could hiss AND purr at the same time! LOL She would hiss when you opened her cage because she couldn't see you, but would purr with hope you were a good guy to get her the hell out of there!

David took the day off today. He has a nasty cold and decided to work from home. The whole day I felt like I had to look busy. It's really ridiculous, but he was really cramping my style. He's coughing and looks pitiful while he worked from his computer. The cats were THRILLED he was home today. When I came home, there were 3 cats sitting on his desk. :)

The shelter was packed today with new arrivals. I didn't bring my camera so will go back tomorrow and post new pictures. They all looked so frightened and many were under the sheet of newspaper that is given them. The vet comes Friday to euthanize the unfortunate ones. I hope I can get in and out of there before the cages are marked again.

It just hurts too much.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Look What Love Can Do!

I love Before and After pictures. It's weird how they come in on the same day.

Hang in there - I'm saving THE BEST one for last!




Rocky's new Mommy sent this update to his foster Mom:

"....As far as personality goes I have not met a sweeter cat, nor a more hilarious one. He is very doglike in that he comes when I call him (it's a fun game to play because I hear his feet hit the floor and he literally runs to me from across the apartment) and he actually, literally, fetches. He's on a special blend of organic cat food that has made his coat so soft and so shiny. He sleeps on my chest every night, and as he was learning to do with you, gives "hugs" that now reach all the way around my neck. During the day he likes to sleep in a basket by feet beneath my desk - on his back with his legs spread all over the place. I've never seen anything like it!
I will always be grateful to you for picking him up (at the shelter). We are inseparable now and I owe that to your generosity!"

Second is my own little foster guy named "Doug":


"DOUG....AFTER!" Hmmm...not much of a change. Why do my foster cats always look so pissed off in their pictures?

Last...but NOT least is my favourite girl "Bonnie Blue". Some of you who read my blog might remember this emaciated little face from her shelter picture - she had so much hair loss from malnutrition and was literally a skeleton:

"Bonnie Blue...BEFORE"

"BONNIE BLUE....AFTER!" This is a picture taken only TWO WEEKS after her rescue."
Bonnie's foster Mom also sent us a You Tube link starring our Bonnie Blue! If the pictures didn't make you cry, the short video will.

I have to look at all these sweet faces and say, "LOOK WHAT LOVE CAN DO!"

Shouldn't it always be about love in everything we do? :)

Monday, March 08, 2010

Say "Cheese"

I was really apprehensive about going to the shelter today. Kim is out of town for a week, so I offered to go in and take pictures of the recent arrivals to put on the shelter website. Usually, my major coping mechanism when I go into the shelter is to not look into the eyes of the cats or to handle them unless I'm going to rescue.

The timing had to be just right. I didn't want to take pictures of the cats in the morning, because their cages were dirty and they would be hungry so it would be really hard to get decent pictures. I didn't want to go really late in the afternoon, because tomorrow is a euthanasia day, and the cages would be "marked" on the cats that are to die the next day. I decided that 1 pm would be just about right!

I begged enlisted my friend Kathleen to come with me to play secretary as I took pictures of all the cats, she'd mark down the ID#'s and descriptions so that I could try to take decent pictures. I was armed with a new spiral notebook, and my camera was fully charged.

Imagine my surprise when there were only a few new arrivals from the entire weekend! Maybe it was the great weather and nobody wanted to take the time to dump their cats on a nice day.

As I walked into the cat rooms, imagine my horror as I saw that some of the cat cages had been marked already for the "vet day" tomorrow. The vet tech who usually marks the cages for the vet left early and had already done her job. CRAP. I did NOT want to see these cats the day before they are supposed to die.

Kathleen and I looked into every cage that was marked. Most were feral and some were very very sick. I didn't see any that I felt were really and truly adoptable. Thank God for the winter months - in another 30 days it will be an entirely different story. The only ones that really bothered me were two buff sisters that were together. One was marked for euthanasia because she was very sick and the other sister was to remain alive. They were snuggled together lovingly. Today is their last day together. Kathleen and I couldn't look any more. It was just too painful.

Fortunately, I was able to walk away with rescuing two cats for two foster homes who stepped forward to help:


MARLA! (whom I renamed "Jana")

Kathleen couldn't resist a VERY cute neutered/declawed boy named "Louie" that had been in the shelter for more than a month waiting rescue. Usually he would've been euthanized within 3 days, but since he was already fixed and declawed, the staff decided that he was a good candidate for rescue. They were right:

LOUIE! (renamed "Barney"!)

I'm not sure I'll be so fortunate with the slim picture taking later in the week, but it's going to be nice to hit the "Delete" button on 3 pictures that are currently on the shelter's Petfinder site because they've been rescued.