Monday, May 31, 2010

Erin's Choice

Every time I go to the shelter to do a rescue with a new foster Mom, it renews my purpose and my reason for doing what I do. Today was one of those days.

I drove to the shelter in rush house traffic today to meet Erin. Erin is a lovely young woman, who anxiously wanted to help the cats. Her plan was to rescue a Mom and kittens. Specifically, this little family:

Last week, a staff member had separated the Mom cat from her babies. The kittens were about 5 weeks old and the cage was too small for a Mom & 4 kittens. There were no maternity cages left - just small ones. The Mom had been calling out for her babies last time I was there. It was heart breaking.

I held up one of the kittens to the little Tortie Mom, and she started immediately grooming it and purring. She had remembered them. I felt goosebumps go up my arms as she lovingly licked her baby, maybe even chastising him for not cleaning his own ears in her absence.

We put the little family temporarily back in their cages while I gave Erin a "nickel tour" of the shelter. We stopped suddenly at a cage in the "new arrival" area with a litter of 5 kittens - they were 4 weeks old and had arrived today. They were beautiful. Blue eyes, and desperately trying to nurse on something...anything. They didn't have a Mom and would be euthanized on Wednesday. That was certain.

Too Young + No Mom = Death .. There was no hope for these kittens.

I watched Erin's kind face turn into something that I had seen far too often. It was one of agony, disbelief and a choice she didn't want to make. I knew "the look". The bargaining with yourself, "Could I take the family AND these kittens?" The bargaining is the worst. I had to save her from herself. She had to choose. We had to choose.

It was not certain that the Mom and kittens wouldbe euthanized on Wednesday. They had a chance. The 5 kittens had no chance on Wednesday.

They would surely die alone - no Mommy to comfort them.

When I walked Erin out to her car with the 5 kittens in her carrier, I knew she would probably cry on her way home. I wanted to cry with her. Watching that Mom licking her kitten, only to separate them again was brutal.

I want to save that sweet Mom and her little family so badly. I want to do it for Erin. I want to prove to myself that I haven't become a hardened rescuer.

"Please let them stay alive long enough for me to rescue them.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Breaking Even

When I went to bed last night, I had a long list of cats to rescue. I have an ongoing nightmare after days like today that I go to my car and discover a cat that is still in a carrier and is hungry and thirsty and has no place to go. Then I wake up.

By 10 a.m, my long list of cats to rescue had gone *poof*. We had an adopter back out and there was an emergency with a cat at Petsmart, and that cat had to take the place of a cat who would've been rescued at the shelter today. It sucks, but that's what happens with rescue sometimes. I was watching my "to rescue" list dwindle and my heart sank.

The adopter that backed out was a young woman that Kathleen had been working with the entire week I had been out of town. It was a "courtesy adoption" and not part of the usual rescue adoption process. She was very interested in "Calum":
After a week of emails and screwing around with this woman, Kathleen FINALLY got her to commit to a time and place today. We were all meeting up at the same location in the city. It was exciting - Calum had been at the shelter for such a long time.

Then, the email came in this morning:

" Kathleen, It is my deepest sadness to write this but my boyfriend came home from his shift late tonight and I discussed with him about me picking up Calum. I had already asked him prior and he told me I could do what I want and it was my decision, but now after I told him that I am going ahead with the plans to adopt, he has changed his mind.."

Sooo....screw her. She obviously has no control over her life and the boyfriend calls the shots. Calum was better off at the shelter on death row than in that situation.

When I arrived at the shelter today, I found that a cat I was going to rescue had been euthanized this morning. Imagine me walking up and down the aisles peeking into cage after cage after cage holding my cat carrier. My heart sank when I came to the last cage and she wasn't in it. What else could I do but brush off the dust and find a suitable cat in need for the foster home?

To make a long story short, as I'm leaving the shelter today another rescue calls and says, "We can take Minucho....and one other one..." I turn the car around in the middle of the street and went back to grab Minucho:

....and can you guess who my "other one" was????

C...A....L...U...M!!! After all that crap, Calum ended up being rescued anyway. Many thanks to Debbie who was a hero today in my book!

I also ended up rescuing Ozwald who had been at the shelter for 3 months, bless his little heart:

I also received a call from Guinea Pig Rescue last night and they found out I was going to be at the shelter today, so I left with 2 guinea pigs too!

Seven cats and 2 guinea pigs. Despite the morning downer, it turned out to be a wonderful (and surprising) rescue day.

I can't imagine this blog post being titled anything else...

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Chomping at the Bit

On the days that I don't go into the shelter, I find myself spending far too much time thinking about the cats there. I sit at the computer obsessing about faces I've seen and available foster space.

I guess the key verb is "obsessing". I hate that I can't emotionally forget about it for a day.

I'm doing a rescue tomorrow (for another rescue organization) for two VERY cute brothers:

Note that I only published ONE brother's picture. The reason? They look exactly the same! These guys are adorable. The rescue that is taking them won't be disappointed. They are friendly and really sweet! They came into the shelter already neutered and declawed.

I've received a couple of emails from foster parents who have had their foster cats adopted and are ready for another. (Can I say, "Yahoo!"?) So Saturday, I'm doing another rescue!

I don't usually rescue on the weekends, but David has some geeky Canadian Bridge Championship all weekend and into next week, so I'm basically a single girl for 4 or 5 days. I'm not complaining - although, I'm going to miss him, I've mentally thought about ALL the food David won't eat and am planning on going to those restaurants. Tonight? SUSHI!

But I digress...

Most people would find it really weird that I'm sitting here chomping at the bit to run to the shelter to grab cats so they don't have to spend another night there. I keep sending ridiculous mental vibes to them: "I'm coming tomorrow!" "I'll be there soon!" "Don't worry!"

No doubt Saturday's rescue will turn out to be tomorrow's rescue too. I won't be able to leave them there, and whomever I get can just hang out in the Land of Dirty Underwear. I'm taking the kid for Sushi tonight, so he owes me.

Tonight I'm thinking about the faces....Oh, those sweet little faces.

"I'll be there tomorrow. I promise."

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Pass the Ice Cream, Please

What a great volunteer job. I picked up 7 kittens this morning and played with them off and on all day today. For me, it sure beats giving blood, or pricing clothes at the local Salvation Army.

When I arrived at the shelter, I was greeted by Aaron who usually works maintenance. He said, "Beth, I need your help." Now I just KNEW he wasn't going to ask me to open a jar of pickles. But he led me to this little girl:

"Edith" is a 2 week old calico. She started nursing on my chin, so I called my friend Kathleen who never turns me down to help a chin-nursing-angel-calico. :) Kathleen is going to foster her on a VERY temporary basis, but this little girl needs a place to go...maybe even a real Mommy that can give her what she needs. She was eating some solid food and I bottle fed her at my house. (OMG...I need a grandbaby!)

I put two kittens in The Land of Dirty Underwear, and 5 kittens in one of the washrooms. It was mayhem! I could hear galloping, squealing, more galloping....they had a ball!

I had to pick up six of the adult cats that I rescued yesterday from the vets. Dr. S is so awesome - he spayed all of them for us today! I met a really lovely volunteer at the local Tim Horton's parking lot. It was stupidly hot and transferring newly spayed female cats into cat carriers on an oven-like parking lot was brutal. I've never lost a cat while making the transfer, but I came pretty close to losing Kokie today. I grabbed her by the tail as she broke through the carrier front. She must've been so frightened - not as frightened as I was. We were in farm country, and I never would've found her.

Another foster Mom came by the house this afternoon to pick up her 3 foster kittens. I know she reads this blog and I have to wonder what she was thinking when I introduced her to my oldest son..."Ya know...the one from The Land of Dirty Underwear". Hahaha :)

Tonight, David and I are driving into the city with 4 of the remaining kittens to take them to their foster parents. I'm hoping on the way back we can stop at my favourite ice cream place.

After today, I sure deserve it. :)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

7 + 2 = 9

It was a good rescue day....frustrating...but a good day just the same. I arrived at the shelter to find that the six cats I was rescuing were already vaccinated, flea treated and dewormed for me! Many thanks to Penny (a vet tech at the shelter) who saved the rescue bunches of money by doing that for us.

To save time, I've posted the pictures of the rescues below:





Lacey! (OMG!)

Two others who were not on the shelter website were also rescued! It was a great day for rescue! Looks like I'm going back tomorrow for some kittens. :)

Lots of frustrating stuff happened today that I don't feel like writing about. It always ticks me off when crummy things happen to take the buzz out of an awesome rescue day. But I'm a *rock*... sock it to me baby! :)

I'm going to scroll through those sweet faces above and think about them being safe tonight.

*poof* <----there goes the frustrations!!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Full Speed Ahead

It feels good to be home. I was greeted at the door yesterday by 3 of my cats and our dog Maggie who I'm sure thought we'd NEVER come home. As always, my 19 year old son did a great job looking after the gang. It's not easy - 3 cats take pills, and my foster kitten, Owen became very ill with a shelter cold while I was away.

As usual, Maggie shows us how upset she is that we left her by leaving 5 days worth of poop in the basement. Seriously, she must save it up. Waking up to that this morning, along with jet lag, was ... *cough*...lovely.

While I was away, I was voted onto the rescue's Executive Board. It's really a privilege to be part of the next step with this awesome rescue. But the emails....oy many more emails!

I never stopped watching the Shelter's website, and realized that kitten season came into full swing while I was away. I finally emailed Kim who told me that they had increased the euthanasia days from 2 days per week to 3 days per week. Unfortunately, it's no surprise to me - that's usually what happens this time of year. Now they're euthanizing the cats Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

I asked her if any other rescues had been at the shelter the week while I was away. She said, "No, Beth - nobody else came and it's been a sad, sad week." My heart sunk.

Tomorrow is a rescue day for me. My last load of vacation laundry is in the dryer, so there's no excuse to not get back in the swing of things right away. It's time to get to know the new cats that have arrived at the shelter while I was away. Unfortunately, this is the time of year where "getting to know the cats" is a luxury that has painful consequences for me. They aren't kept alive very long.

Kim is on vacation this week, so I'll be taking pictures for their website. If there are any cats that interest you and you'd like to save his/her life - please don't delay.

The vet came and euthanized a bunch of cats today - and it's a holiday. Heaven forbid he'd take a holiday.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Still in Seattle

I'm still in Seattle typing this blog post on my parent's computer. Why am I such a creature of habit that I have problems typing on some else's computer? It feels awkward, even though I type over 100 words per minute.

I've been in "cat withdrawal", so I went to visit my special cat friend from Sumner, Washington named Hunter. If you've never read about Hunter, I encourage you to do so. It's such a treat to see this big, sweet blind lug. I went into the cat store with many promises to David that I wouldn't buy any more "cat trinkets." (Came out with more cat earrings for $20.00 - hey - it's a DONATION, for heaven's sake!) But I digress...

Hunter's Mom told me that he had cancer. He's 15 years old now and the tumour was inoperable. Hunter still likes to eat, drink, play, and "go to work", so they felt he was doing ok. It was hard to say goodbye to him. It was probably the last time I would see him.

While I've been away, my own foster guy "Owen" has been sick. Gratefully, my son took him to the vets for me. I kept getting text messages from my son about various cats in the house: "I think Newman had a seizure last night"... "I think Willy has an eye infection." ...."Somebody pee'd on that plastic thingy in the bedroom." Joy.

Tomorrow, I'm back to "reality". For some reason, I'm not at all sad about it. I have an awesome "reality" and am happy to be going back to it.

I wonder which cat I'll kiss first?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Back in Black

I had every intention of posting pictures of my rescues today, but they disappeared off the shelter site! Phooey!

(UPDATE Saturday, May 15th) : Many thanks to Debbie at Forgotten Ones Rescue who sent me the pictures of Walley and Brutis:)

It's always very exciting for me to rescue black cats. So few people want them, which sadly means they hold up a space in a foster home for a longer period of time. I rescued two black cats from the shelter today...."Walley" and "Brutis". Both cats had been at the shelter for over 2 months and seemed SO happy to be out. You should've seen their faces when I brought them out to the sunshine. I'm sure they never thought they'd see sunlight again.

I've noticed that within our rescue more black cats have been adopted lately. Maybe word is starting to spread and people are becoming more aware of the plight of these gorgeous cats!

Kim has asked me to post for a very sweet black senior cat that was surrendered to the shelter yesterday. Once again, his owner died and the family dumped the poor guy at the shelter.

Gizmo is 15 years old and somebody loved him dearly. His coat is soft and shiny and he loves attention. He looks REALLY good - hard to believe he's 15 years old. He's still wearing his collar that his Mom gave him. Both of his ears have cauliflower ears - probably due to earmites that are no longer there. Gizmo was supposed to be euthanized this morning, but Kim couldn't do it.

Gizmo has until Tuesday to find a home, or he'll die. No point in sugar coating it.

Another sweet guy that I've had a chance to spend time with is "Franklin":

Franklin is REALLY sweet - he's a big, strong panther looking guy and already neutered. He's another cat that's been at the shelter waaaay too long. He was surrendered to the shelter for some lame reason or another.

It's a privilege to rescue these magnificent cats. What a victory to walk out the door with two black cats!

I leave tomorrow morning for 4 days in California to visit my daughter. Then I fly up the coast to Seattle to visit my parents for another 3 days. Neither location has cats, (but spoiled dogs run amuck!) so I might be in withdrawal by the time I get back.

Fortunately, I'll have email. If you can save Gizmo's life please email me through this blog or Kim at .

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Trying to Stay Busy Today

I've been trying to stay away from the news regarding the OSPCA mess. I heard something about it being a "big misunderstanding" and I got pissed and turned off the radio.

All I could think about is "how many cats will die tomorrow at the shelter where I rescue?" This happens ALL the time and these cats don't have ringworm. (Do I sound bitter?)

Bah! Moving on...

I named my new foster guy "Owen" as a tribute to the actor Owen Wilson. My little Owen still has lots of swelling on the bridge of his nose, and it reminded my son of Owen Wilson. Perfect name! He's definitely not as cute as the kittens I've fostered recently, but this guy is really LOW maintenance! He walked through the door....gave high^5's to all the cats, a token hiss to the dog and he was totally fine. In fact, I let him out of The Land of Dirty Underwear and found him two hours later on MY bed in the middle of all the other cats acting like he's lived here forever:

There was a moment where my big white cat Ozzy looked at him...then looked at me as if to say, "Do I need to go pee on something here?"

Owen has started following me around quite a bit too. Every time I turn around, I'm accidently kicking him. Then I have to run after him, crawling under the dining room table to give him kisses. If you have cats, you know the routine. :)

I'm leaving Saturday for California to visit my daughter. I sometimes forget that she's a grown, professional woman in her own apartment. I'm always tempted to give her unsolicited advice and a lecture about birth control. Once a Mom, always a Mom. I'm almost 50 years old and my Mother still tells me that I overcook the green beans.

But I digress...

I'm doing one more rescue tomorrow before I leave. I'm pretty happy about this small rescue, since I get to rescue a couple of cats that have been there a LONG time. I'll write about them tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Better Than "Retail Therapy"

I was determined that when I sat down at the computer today to write this blog post that I'd having something positive and meaningful to say.

That doesn't seem to be the case.

I really appreciate everyone who reads this blog indulging me on my York OSPCA rant yesterday. I'm still as upset and hurt as I was yesterday, so decided to post some great "Update" pictures to soften my heart a bit.

Hope they make you smile.

An update on our little girl Ellie with the electrical burns to her mouth:

Ellie is recovering beautifully and with Foster Dad Steve. The vet took the end of her tongue off, but you'd never know anything was done! She ended up with a shelter cold (figures!) but even that hasn't gotten her down. The picture (above) is of Ellie in the middle of a "Fred and Barney Sandwich". Fred and Barney also came from the shelter :)

I'm THRILLED to report that our 3-legged wonder boy Peter has been the man who came forward to save his life: Steve!

Peter has a home. He was already in his forever home and we didn't know it! Peter took a while to adjust to Steve's dogs and busy house, but Peter looks pretty damn happy on the stairs. :)

I recently wrote about Pongo the Maine Coon that arrived at the shelter with matts in his fur so bad that his skin was ripping and bleeding in places. Pongo has such a sweet little soul and was happily rescued by Julie, his foster Mom. I recently wrote Julie and asked about Pongo. Her email simple said, "I think this says it all..." and had the following picture attached:

I bet that is the first pain-free sleep Pongo has had in months! Doesn't he look happy??? :)

Last week at the shelter there was a REALLY pitiful looking Mom with her ONE baby. Why is it when a Mom cat comes into the shelter with one little baby it seems extra sad?
Julie, (who rescued Pongo) also rescued this little family. Who would've ever guessed that The World's CUTEST Kitten was nestled under her Mom's fur:

Seriously....isn't that the world's cutest kitten???? Oh. My. Gosh.

If the following picture doesn't make you smile, I don't know what will:

This is Steve's dog Riley with *HIS* kittens. I think we should make Riley an honorary foster parent.

Posting those pictures was good therapy for me, and I hope you're feeling better too.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Where's My Candlelight Vigil?

(Naughty word and poor grammar alert!!)

I was hoping to start this blog with a "Yee-Hah" and a fist pump, but instead I feel obligated to be completely pissed off over what's happened at the OntarioSPCA this morning. Please read about it HERE. To summarize, 350 animals (not just cats) but all the animals at the the SPCA will be euthanized over the next 2 days due to a ringworm outbreak at the shelter.

Seriously. Ringworm. It's like Athlete's Foot, and completely treatable.

Animal advocates and rescues are ready to burn torches and pound on the doors of the OSPCA in protest. I couldn't log onto Facebook, or open my email without folks asking me to do something..."Outraged"....etc etc.

I was driving in the car today with my little rescue of 3 kittens and an adult cat and I got really angry. I spent $20.00 in gas today to rescue these little guys and drive them more than an hour from my home to safety. There was NOTHING wrong with these guys, yet they were going to die anyway.

Let's face it: 350 animals is NOTHING compared to what happens at the shelter where I rescue. Nobody is holding candlelight vigils for these cats! Until rescues were permitted at this shelter, it wasn't unusual for 350 cats and kittens to be euthanized each and every week in the summer months.

Some idiot contacts the media because he sees a picture of HIS CAT at the OSPCA and he's worried that this cat will be euthanized. He's upset because he didn't surrender his cat to a "kill shelter", but he thought they'd find it a home. Well "BooHoo, Buttercup." You should've taken care of your responsibilities. The cat isn't yours anymore.

Don't get me wrong. I'm so very very sad about these animals dying needlessly. But 20+ cats died this morning at the shelter where I rescue and NOTHING was wrong with them. They didn't have a chance to be adopted. They were killed because "their time was up."

I was so damn happy until I read the paper this morning. Last night the veterinary clinic that I wrote about (yesterday) came into the shelter and rescued TWENTY-SEVEN nursing Mom cats with their kittens to take to their clinic and put up for adoption. That was EVERY nursing Mom cat and kitten in the shelter. They also took 2 cockatiels, and 2 guinea pigs.

This is a veterinarian who uses her education for good. She isn't at the OSPCA killing 350 animals with a simple fucking fungus infection. She saved lives!!! Why aren't we lining up at her door to give her business?? Why aren't we telling the world how awesome she is??

Soooooo.....yeah....I rescued 3 sweet black kittens. The shelter already killed 2 of the kittens out of the litter because they ended up with a shelter cold:

I also rescued my little buddy "Rufus":

Rufus was on the euthanasia list twice. He's safe and his foster Mom seemed very happy to have him tonight.

We can all continue to be angry at the public animal welfare agencies who carelessly care for the public's discarded animals. We're angry when they don't care for them the way we think they should. But let's not forget about the people who abandoned them there in the first place.

Maybe we should stand in the lobby of these places and burn a frickin' candle every time an animal is carelessly surrendered due to moving, a baby, allergies, a new boyfriend...etc..

So where's the candlelight vigil for the cats that die every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at the shelter where *I* rescue? These cats are there for no other reason than there's no adoption program, and nobody wanted them.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The More the Merrier

The rescue roller coaster has certainly earned it's name today. Overall, it was a productive good day. I went to the shelter with a small rescue list - just 3 - but to those three cats, it made the difference between life and death.

I received an email from another rescue organization last night about my favourite little girl Chase. She asked if I liked Chase (YES!!), and if Chase is a nice cat, (OMG...YES!). Chase is one of those cats that made me feel guilty every time I'd go into the shelter. She was in the dog holding area where the staff often puts bigger cats and she was between a barking dog and a big ol' turkey. Chase didn't care - she just wanted to be loved. The director of the other rescue organization reads my blog and couldn't stop thinking about Chase, after she read the story. (*goosebumps*)

Every time I'd call Chase's name, she'd come running to the front. She's a little bowling ball - chubby with tiny little legs. I couldn't stop kissing her today...finally, the guilt is over! I rescued Chase and met with the other rescue and gave her to them. They're a top notch rescue, so I know she'll be in good hands.

I also rescued "Pongo":

Pongo is a Maine Coone that was brought into the shelter and put into Quarantine for biting his finder. What they didn't say, is that Pongo had such severe matts to his fur that his skin was ripping and bleeding. If somebody picked ME up in that condition, I'd bite 'em too. It must've been brutally painful. He's been at the shelter for more than a month in that condition. He couldn't even walk. He just flopped over.

I got a call from Kim last night asking me to help with a cat named "Corky" at the shelter. She said that Corky kept slamming his face against the door of the cage and his eyes and the top of his head were swollen and bleeding. I'm convinced, just like us, cats get claustrophobia. Kim wasn't working today, but she said there's be a sign on the cage so I'd know which cat I should take.

I walked through the aisles of cages and came to this:

Needless to say, Corky came home with me :) He licked my face and didn't stop purring. He's about 5 months old and has a pink nose. I love him already. :)

Some very exciting news: A large veterinary office contacted me. They run a decent size rescue out of their clinic. They had heard through one of our awesome foster homes what happens at this high-kill shelter and they want to help the nursing Moms and kittens! As I type this blog post, they're meeting with Kim at the shelter to take a tour and pick up the little families! I wish I could be there for the meeting, but the timing didn't work out for me.

Tomorrow is another rescue day and am anxious to get the list of the cats to rescue. I'm not really involved with picking these cats, but am hoping that some of my favourites will be on that list. The shelter wasn't overly full today, so I'm praying the euthanasia day will be small tomorrow. I guess people didn't want to surrender Mom's cat on Mother's Day.

It was really nice working with other rescues today. It keeps me out of isolation and it's an opportunity to tell new groups about the plight at this particular shelter. I have an ongoing fantasy that there are no cats at the shelter to rescue, and 10 different rescue groups start fighting over one litter of kittens that were brought in....

How cool would that be?

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Josh and Howard's New Mom (On Mother's Day!)

Josh and Howard have a new Mommy today. They just left for their new home with a lovely young woman who is dedicated to loving them forever.

What more could a foster Mom want on Mother's Day than a beautiful life for her foster kids?

You don't need to have given birth to enjoy the moments of being a Mom.

I feel blessed for every day that I have with my own kids, my fur-kids and my foster-fur kids.

Have a wonderful life, Josh and Howard. I love you guys.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Friday Updates & Miscellaneous

Somehow, Fridays have become a day for miscellaneous stuff going on. I've reread other Friday posts and have found them to be a little disorganized. But that's me - "a little disorganized".

First, let me say that little Ellie is doing well. She's currently at the vets being assessed, and it's unknown if she'll need surgery. She definitely needs medical care - antibiotics, pain meds etc. Everybody loves her at the clinic. (Ask me if I'm surprised!)


A nice Before and After picture of "Graham":

Graham before.....

Ridiculously CUTE Graham...AFTER!

This has to be one of the cutest "after" pictures I've ever posted. Seriously.

When I was at the shelter yesterday, I walked through an area called "Dog Holding". It's where they put new dogs that arrive at the shelter, and it's also where they put some of the big cats or bonded pairs of cats. I like to visit that area, because of my love of the big cats.

Much to my surprise, I walked around the corner and ran into THIS guy:

I think I screamed out loud when I saw him. LOL! Sometimes I forget that this is animal control. They deal with ALL animals - not just dogs and cats. This turkey was brought into the shelter because he was I'll just say it: "He was humping. Everything." While I was there, this character was poofed out and trying very hard to get the attention of any girl turkeys that just might be lingering at the shelter too. Surprisingly, he was REALLY sweet! I was scratching his head and petting him. What's wrong with me that I really really liked this turkey???

"Beth'" How does that sound? (*smirk*)

From the Inbox:

So you know it's not just me, I received the following email from a friend of mine who rescued a couple of cats from the shelter. (Edited for length):

"...The little buff coloured boy was the first to puke. Actually he was also the second. He must have thought the blanket in the carrier was cashmere because he very carefully emptied his stomach onto his sister’s head...(Toby)yodelled for a good 45 seconds before puking in the front of the carrier and out it’s metal door. Clearly he HATES puke because he immediately went as far back in the carrier as he could go…….and had a giant smelly dump. Now you gotta feel for a guy that stuck in a carrier between turds and tossed cookies. Toby decided quickly that wallowing in his own puke while trying to escape his confinement would be well worth it. I’m happy to report that he failed in his attempt but he did mange to get the contents of the carrier all over himself..."

Why read Harlequin Romance novels when you've got these kind of emails?
I'm finding that my new little guy "Josh" is probably too sweet for my house. He and Howard don't play together as much as I thought they would. But I did capture this moment was cuteness in a ray of sunshine this morning:

It's been a really productive rescue week. Thank you for joining me on the rescue rollercoaster ride.

Happy Friday :)

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Small, But Mighty Rescue Day

Whew! What a day! There are some days where I feel like I do nothing but rescue. It's 5 pm as I start this blog post, and I just finished emptying the dishwasher and loading the breakfast dishes. Does it sound like I'm complaining?

I went back to the shelter today to rescue my favourite little girl "Ellie" with the electrical burns in her mouth. I'm happy to report that she's safe and at our vet's office. Funny thing about cats - here she is with the inside of her mouth sore enough to make the vet gasp, but she leans over and starts play biting my hand! Yes...I love the bad ones! :)
Look at that precious, grubby little face!!!!! I think she hasn't figured out how to eat with her tongue the way it is. What you can't see, and I tried hard to get a picture, is a hole at the bottom of her chin where the electrical charge must've left her body. There's a scab on it now, so it looks like it's healing. It'll be interesting to see what the vet has to say.

I also rescued two 4 week old kittens - the noisiest little things I've ever seen! One was a calico (that figures!) and a little tabby. They had just arrived at the shelter, but didn't have to do the stray time because they were so tiny.

My other favourite boy named "Mulberry" was rescued today. I didn't say much about Mulberry, but he's an 8 month old charmer:

No matter how many times you make kissing sounds, he'll come RUNNING to you and lick your lips. He's the CUTEST little guy. At the vet's office, he came out of his carrier and flopped over in a huge ray of warm sunshine. Why do small things like this always make me cry? Mulberry arrived at the shelter wearing that collar. I didn't take it off of him, because I think collars give ordinary looking black cats a little zing. :)

I also rescued another 8 month old guy posted as "Urgent":

Decland had been in a tiny shelter cage for more than 2 months. He's a total favourite at the shelter and curls up into a little ball when you hold him. He looked very overwhelmed by the expanse of the veterinarian's lobby. But he slithered around and seemed happy for the leg stretch. Stretching must feel so good when you've been in a shelter cage for so long and can't fully stretch out.

I've been to the shelter every day this week and am disheartened to see how many kittens and nursing Moms are starting to arrive each day. It's a whole new crop of cats each time I arrive. I need to get more rescues involved with helping the cats from this shelter. (They don't have a problem with the dogs -they have rescues helping them.) But with the cats, there are an obscene number. I don't know where to begin, but am hopeful rescue people spread the word to help the cats here.

Tomorrow is a euthanasia day, and I wish I didn't feel guilty for not rescuing tomorrow. But I our foster homes are starting to fill up. I can only rescue as many cats as we have available foster space.

The words I hate to hear this time of year? "I'm taking a break from fostering for a while."

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

When It's Hard to See the Good News

I was really surprised when I did the math today. Total rescued....EIGHTEEN cats and kittens! You'd think with 18 cats and kittens rescued today that would've put a huge dent in the numbers of cats at the shelter. Not so. Most of these guys were kittens, and it really didn't free up any cage space.

But still....18 little souls. :)

I met one new foster Mom and her boyfriend at the shelter today. She chose a litter of 4 kittens:

I knew she didn't want to stay at the shelter very long. Not everybody has the stomach for being there.

The shelter is filling up like crazy. I feel so panicked.

I've had a lot of emails from people recently about why there are no adoptions at this shelter. I think I need to periodically explain this, since not everyone has read this blog over the past few years:

I rescue from a city pound (Animal Control) who has signed a non-compete agreement with the local SPCA that shares a building with Animal Control. Only the SPCA next door is permitted to have adoptions. The SPCA is under NO obligation to take cats from Animal Control for adoption. In fact, they haven't taken any cats in weeks.

When a person surrenders their cat to this shelter, they check a box on the surrender form that asks if they want, "Sleep Only" or "Adoption/or Sleep" (adoption not guaranteed). So here's the kicker: The cats aren't sleepin', and they aren't adopted!!! So "Mr. and Mrs. Jones" who want to surrender their cat due to allergies are hopeful that when they leave their cat there, that he will be adopted. How can that happen?

I'm sure you can imagine what it must feel like when a rescue person - like me - walks into this shelter to rescue cats and we're (pretty much) their only hope of survival. If the cats aren't claimed by their owner, they can (and will be) killed unless they are rescued.

The look of desperation in the eyes of these cats while I walk the cages is extremely painful. It's one of the reasons I go on angry rants on this's the PRIMARY reason I needed to start writing in this blog.

That being said, I would to ask for help for a little girl named "Ellie":

Ellie is 14 weeks old and was brought into the shelter with severe burns on her chin and tongue - probably from chewing on an electrical wire. She's in so much pain, but she's still eating. I don't know if she'll need part of her tongue removed or not...but I want to save her. She's such a dear and purrs despite the pain she must feel. The shelter will euthanize her on Friday.

I'm sorry for the downer blog tonight. You know it must be pretty bleak at the shelter right now if I'm not overly excited about rescuing 18 cats.

But I'm going back tomorrow to rescue two more. I'm not giving up.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010


I mentioned in yesterday's post that I rescued another little tabby guy. What is it with me and tabbies? As I was walking the cages looking at all the cats that came in over the weekend, I think I gasped out loud when I saw him.

If you look closely at the picture on the left, you'll see a pink lipstick mark right on his sweet little baby lips! :)

So far, "Josh" has fit in beautifully with everybody. He adores Howard. These two played together nonstop for more than 2 hours this afternoon. My older son called me this morning while I was having my hair colou...err...done, and said, Mom, this guy is like the Spawn of Satan - I woke up this morning to him knawing on my thumb like it was a chicken bone!"

Good boy, Josh! Good boy!

I wish kittens like Josh could tell a story. Some cats come into the shelter and we know why the cat is there. Others, it seems obvious - they look beaten up by life. But these single kittens sitting alone in a just kills me - tabby or whatever! At least when there's a litter of kittens, they have each other to play with. When I first saw Josh, he was playing with a piece of kibble from his breakfast.

If I were to guess Josh's story? I would say that he was somebody's "Free Kitten" that was brought home and not really wanted. They brought him to the shelter thinking that the folks at the shelter would find him a home.

But nobody told them that the shelter doesn't have an adoption program.

Don't get me started....

Monday, May 03, 2010

"Rescue Monday"

I could easily say that "no two rescues are the same." But the closer we come to kitten season, it becomes harder to distinguish between the rescues. I find myself wondering when some cats were rescued while foster homes are telling me that the 2 week quarantine period is up. "How could that be...didn't we just rescue him two DAYS ago?"

Today was one of those days. I walked into the shelter to find a Mom cat that was obviously hopelessly feral with the sweetest little litter of six kittens:
It's hard to see them, but they're fluffy and there's a bunch of little Torties in there, I think. I haven't been able to get close enough. Sadly, this Mom cat will die tomorrow. Her kittens will die with her unless we can find somebody to take all six. I have a lead on someone that sounds very nice, so I'm hopeful we can save her babies tomorrow after Mom is gone.

She's such a good Mom and it rips my heart into a million pieces that she has to die because somebody abandoned her at some point in her life.

On a happier note, I rescued a HUGE shelter favourite today - "Graham":

I didn't go in to rescue Graham today, but I couldn't leave him behind one more time. Graham is one of those cats with huge doe eyes and lays on his back and kneads in the air with his paws. He has been at the shelter for 2 and a half months waiting for rescue, but not euthanized because he's so sweet.

When I brought Graham to the veterinary clinic today, he sniffed at "Bob" the clinic cat and licked the top of his head. Love that boy!

I also rescued a cute little girl named "Tortalini":

Tortalini could never be mistaken for a boy - she has a little girl's delicate face and she's very sweet - only 4 months old. :)

I'm embarrassed to say that I also nabbed a 6 week old brown tabby kitten who is safely ensconced in "The Land of Dirty Underwear". I was going to take a picture of him, but he was nestled sound asleep in a big pile of dirty t-shirts on my son's floor. He looked peaceful and happy, but I just couldn't bring myself to post a picture of a kitten on my blog in the middle of a pile of dirty clothes. I'm sure you understand. :)

I can't resist a brown tabby kitten sitting alone in a cage. I don't know what I'm going to do with him, but he's a party-kinda-boy and has already met "Howard". He and Howard instantly started to play together. It was like two 4 year old boys in the park! "HEY new guy! Let's play!"

The adoption events from the weekend were successful despite the poor weather. I'm not sure how to measure the success - cats were adopted into loving homes - ALWAYS a good thing. I suppose my measurement for success is the answer to: "How many cats can I rescue on Monday?"

Time to check in my newest foster - maybe he's off the pile of dirty t-shirts. Probably not - they seem to like it best there.