Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Threesome

My three foster kittens are really no longer tiny kittens.  Clementine, Doodle and Parker have been with me since before the beginning of summer.  Often when you rescue older kittens, they don't get adopted through the summer months as there becomes a bit of a snatch-n-grab for the little guys.   

They've grown up at my house, and I've bonded with them so much that I'm starting to seek out little Doodle as my "nap buddy".  He lays on my chest and purr's until we both doze off.  We've all become very attached to these guys and they have become very attached to each other. 

Yesterday, Clementine proudly carried in a (very much alive) Chipmunk in her mouth from the "enclosed" cat den.  I won't go into details, but my son and I ended up tearing up the basement trying to recapture the terrified little thing.  When he finally scurried deep into the bowels of the storage part of the basement we had to give up.  Until...

...David and I came in from our evening walk with our geriatric dog Maggie.  We heard a flurry of activity coming from the living room and Doodle growling as he does when he has a play mouse in his mouth.  Several of the cats had poofed tails and I *knew*.   I screamed for David as I found Doodle with the (very much alive) Chipmunk in his mouth. 

I'm running in place screaming.  "DO SOMETHING!!!!"  David casually picks up Doodle, with the Chipmunk still in the mouth and walks out the front door.  David gives Doodle a little shake and he drops the little Chipmunk who scurries away - no doubt trying to find his chipmunk buddies to tell him about his "really bad day!" 

I don't know where this blog post is going tonight.  I wish my little guys would get adopted, but I'm in no hurry.  There's always something fun and exciting with Clementine, Parker and Doodle around.  They're always game to play "Kiss yer Mommy" with me. 

Until they get adopted, I can't foster the next little guy that needs me.  So I wait and hope. 

But I'm not hoping TOO much.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Will the Real Bone-Head Please Stand Up?

I spent a smidgen of the day today scratching my head over a recent comment on yesterday's blog post.  The writer of the comment felt that we shouldn't have rescued the Mom cat and her 4 kittens because one of the kittens was "spitty hissy".  In fact, I was called a "bone-head" for rescuing them!  She felt that there were nicer and more attractive Moms and kittens elsewhere. 

That might be true.  I might be a bone-head to rescue little lives that by their parenthood, aren't flashy orange or calicos, but does this mean that because they are black or have never felt a kind human hand in their short 6 weeks of life that they should die? 

My mission is to work with others and save feline lives by placing cats into loving forever homes.  I don't care if it's from a city shelter, a rural shelter or the streets. 

I'm not going to publish the comment, because I don't want to further humiliate this person for being such a doofus.   It's really hard for me to believe there are people out there that feel that way. 

How could anyone look at these little faces that were rescued and feel as if they should die?

Now tell me....who's the real bone-head? 

(Many warm hugs and thank you's to the loving foster Mom that stepped forward to save this not-so-perfect family.  Your love and care will go a long way.  Rest assured,  the rewards are immeasurable) 

Monday, September 27, 2010

"23" Is Never Enough

Saturday turned out to be a huge rescue day!  I'm proud to say that we rescued 23 cats from the rural shelter.  Organizing a rescue like this took volunteers working together like a well oiled piece of machinery.  Timing was everything. 

We had one foster home take SIX "teenagers".  At first she said she'd take 2 or 3....then she said "might as well make it 4".  Then the last email said, "I wouldn't turn down 5 or 6".  :)

Be very careful what you request - you'll always get what you asked for! 

The following are pictures of SOME of the cats left behind.  I didn't take the pictures and I've included the exact words made by the volunteer when she sent the picture:
Cat 8 Another purring, butting, flopping and rolling machine.
So excited that his legs won't hold him. Solid young male stray. Check out the floor of cage.

Cat 7 More begging and purring

Cat 3  Big tabby male purr machine. Bunting and twisting himself to get petted. Stray. Young with excellent young teeth. Hardly can turn around in tiny cage.

(Beth's note:)  This girl was rescued.  Her nosed is scraped/broken because she was separated from her 4 week old kittens.  She banged her face against the cage bars to try to get to them.  She has been reunited with her kittens.  She groomed them and purr'd.  Yes, I cried. :)

Cat 7 Young male - responsive beyond belief. Twists, rolls. butts. Eyes closed in ecstacy. Not so gorgeous but a real keeper.
Cat 5 He has food - not all do.

It's strange how leaving some of the cats has taken away so much of the glory of rescuing 23.  Seeing how these cats survive is almost more than I can bear.  Tonight, I'm going to concentrate on the little souls that have been rescued and are in loving homes.

But please look at the faces left behind.  Don't forget about them.  They need help.  Now.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Devil Winds

I'm usually a fan of big weather.  But I came home today to find my favourite fern had been blown off my front porch, my empty garbage cans down the street and the power out.  The fierce winds today reminded me of "The Santa Ana Winds" we used to get in September in  Southern California.  Dry, hot "devil winds" that would wreck havoc with fires and people's moods.

It shouldn't have surprised me when I couldn't get out of my robe this morning until noon due to all the emergency phone calls and emails coming in.  I had people crying over various situations, and angry people seemed to get angrier.  Somewhere around 11:30 this morning, I threw up my arms and begged the powers that be for a break in the action.  You know it's bad when you're exhausted at 11:30 in the morning.

The phone calls started last night with 3 of our Mom cats giving birth at basically the same time.  Questions about placentas, cords, and "the runt", were being called in at a rapid rate.  Crazy stuff. 

At one point today, my cell phone, home phone and private "cat phone" were all ringing at the same time. 

I'm still trying to get a full accounting at the rural shelter.  I put out a plea yesterday for 10-12 week old kittens, but the vet came today to euthanize the cats and I'm not sure who survived and who didn't.  I hate to wait for the aftermath of these things, but I'm hoping that the shelter was able to wait.  I understand they were very full.   I've never been to this shelter when it was packed, but it's a horrible place under the best of circumstances.

As I type this blog post, David called and was on his way home.  He had an exhausting week and I'm looking forward to taking care of him and doing the things couples usually do on the weekend;  movies, hardware store, dinner out, and lawn mowing....

...I'm looking forward to a bit of peace.  But the wind is still blowing...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Breathing Easier

Today was a far less stressful day.  Everything seemed to fall into place.  Phone calls were made, people actually answered their phones and problems were resolved quickly.   Just as I thought I might have a mini-meltdown, the email came in that said, "I can help!", and the issue was checked off the list. 

I wish life could be that way all the time. 

Last night I spoke with a woman who had a complaint.  The conversation lasted 3 minutes and ended with her saying "F you" and hanging up when she didn't get her way.  I'm incredulous that a complete stranger can talk like that to another person.  Y'all know I'm no Baptist Preacher, but....*sigh*

The sad news is that at the piece of shit rural shelter there are an enormous number of 10-12 week old kittens right now.  They're all sitting in their own filth and have no room in which to play.  Some of them are alone in a cage and it's just killing me to think of them there.  If you can help one or two and encourage others to step forward, I'd be forever grateful.  To remind you what we're dealing with:

I'm glad I don't live really close to this place.  I feel like my heart hurts whenever I think about it.  How could anyone with a conscience leave their pet there?  How desperate would you have to be? 

Tonight, I'm having dinner with a couple of fellow rescuers to discuss administrative stuff.  I'm grateful that my head is feeling better and more productive than it did yesterday.  Heaven help me if I had to have a meeting the way I felt yesterday!

Maybe now I can roll up my sleeves and get back to rescuing some cats.  Please let me know if you can help any of the kittens the shelter.  They don't have much hope and I feel like we're their last chance.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

"One of Those Days"

This video pretty much describes what kind of day I had today:

"Smile, Beth! Smile!" :)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Three Loved Cats

People who read my blog regularly, know that I'm a big advocate for rescuing and adopting senior animals. In April this year, I had put out an urgent plea to rescue "Turbo" and "George" who were a bonded twenty year old pair:

Only one person came forward and gave these "kids" another chance. Robin periodically has emailed me over the past few months to give me updates, etc. Sadly, George (orange tabby) passed away a month or two after his rescue. "Turbo" seemed to live up to her name and would live forever - until I received this from Robin this morning:


In April of this year, sight unseen, we took in a 20 year old, who was scheduled to be euthanized in a high kill shelter. Turbo’s owner had died and the family discarded her.

When we got her, a tiny thing of six pounds, her fur was heavily matted. After a visit to the vet, we discovered she had a heart murmur, bad teeth and advanced kidney disease.

... For the next five months, until September 17, we had the privledge of knowing and loving the amazing cat who came with the name of Turbo.

She didn’t want to leave the spare room she stayed in, so every day we would spend a couple of hours with her. As soon as we went in, she happily hopped onto our lap, purring away. Every day we made sure there was Turbo time!

(When she became ill) Reluctantly, we had our wonderful vet come to the house to help Turbo cross to the Rainbow Bridge. Her last moments were spent on my lap. I know nothing of her life prior to coming to live with us, but I know that we were lucky to have had these months with her. Rest in peace sweet Turbo.

I take comfort knowing she didn’t die in the shelter, that she had months of love, and died with dignity, in a loving home. Don’t we all wish that for ourselves and the ones we love, especially if we live to be 96 (20 cat years).

Adopt a senior cat – it may break your heart but you won’t regret it."

I'm sure y'all are thinking what I'm thinking: "Thank you for loving her."

On a happier note, I laughed out loud when I received an "After" picture of "Moe". Moe was a favourite ripped eared guy that I fell in love with at the shelter:

I remember crying with joy after his subsequent rescue and adoption when I received the following picture of Moe on his FIRST night in his new home:

Then I received the following picture on my Facebook page yesterday:

Looks like Moe has been....*ahem*... savouring every moment of his new life and family.

Three Loved Cats. I wish I could always post about cats who are loved. In fact, I'd really like to be out of volunteer job because there were NO cats that didn't have love.

Just thinking.

Monday, September 20, 2010

"Rosie" and Her Mom

I hadn't been to the high volume shelter in weeks, but when I had an opportunity to rescue a pregnant Mom (by request), I couldn't get out there fast enough.

I had the privilege of getting to know a new foster Mom and her 11 year old daughter, Rosie. They wanted to be foster parents together and experience the birth process. What a beautiful idea for something Mother and daughter could do together. Even her daughter's name was respectfully on the foster application next to her Mother's.

I had the shelter to myself on Sunday. Nobody was in the cat area and the cages had recently been cleaned. The cats had been fed and it was quiet. Gratefully, the cages were not marked for euthanasia yet, but I've been going there long enough to know who would be marked to die by looking at their cage cards.

There were quite a few pregnant cats that had come in over the weekend. The first one I picked up hated other cats and lashed out at the cage nearby. I sadly put her back knowing that she would die just because she wasn't suitable in the foster home who already has a cat.

Then I came to "Kendra's" cage. She purred the moment I picked her up and happily sniffed at the hissing cat next to her. Her picture (below) shows her with a towel, but she didn't have one yesterday. Her big pregnant belly sat uncomfortably on the metal cage.

When I met the mother/daughter team at the local Wendy's parking lot in the city, I knew who they were right away. The 11 year old was a darling little thing with bright red hair and freckles. She beamed when I handed her the cat carrier. I don't think I could've given Rosie anything that would've made her happier than this once discarded pregnant Tortoiseshell Mom cat.

With determination, Rosie declared that she was going to let Kendra sit with her while she did her homework, and take good care of her. There was no doubt in my mind that she was in good hands with Rosie. Her excitement and happiness was contagious and I found myself remembering why I do this important volunteer work.

Thank you, Rosie and many thanks to her Mom for showing her daughter about compassion, empathy and the love of animals.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Wagons Ho!

"The Move List" at the rescue has been growing again. I know the cats are dying in shelters as we scramble to move mismatched cats from one foster home into another (more appropriate) foster home. The juggling act becomes tiresome and stressful. I wish cats could come with a tag that said, "I want to be the only cat", or "I hate kids", or "I'll pee on your bed if you leave me alone too long."

Until cats come from the shelter with a tag that tells us what kind of home they need or want to be in, there will be "The Move List."

Fortunately, I screened a new foster Mom who has asked for a pregnant Mom cat and/or a nursing Mom. Imagine my excitement when she said she had TWO spare bedrooms and could take both. I sent out an email to some folks that might be interested in establishing a driving chain to rescue a pregnant Mom and nursing Mom to deliver to the new foster home 2.5 hours away. With my daughter in town, I knew it would be too much for me to do.

The emails started coming back in....

"Sure Beth, I can do it! Just not on Wednesday night."

"I can help for part of the trip, but only on Wednesday after 8:45 pm"

"Good news, Beth! Tuesday works for me between 1 pm and 3 pm"

I wanted to cry. :)

Thanks to Crystal and Kelly who made two LONG driving trips to get these little families into their foster home tonight.

Unfortunately, one of the kittens that were rescued from the rural (sh*thole shelter) had such bad pneumonia from the filthy conditions, passed away at the vets this afternoon. "I'm sorry little one that I couldn't rescue you sooner." Have I mentioned how much I hate that place?

I love when my daughter is here. Since I live with 3 men in the house, it becomes a true "Girl's Week" and nothing is off limits to discuss. We've been on the road a lot, and I keep looking for opportunities to move or drive cats while we're out doing "girl stuff".

She leaves Saturday morning which will leave me feeling despondent, but content to get on with my life of pee on the toilet seats, the smell of Axe body spray, and Call of Duty blasting from the family room.

Besides...I've got a mental rescue list a mile long. (More foster homes, please)

Monday, September 13, 2010


I was over the moon happy yesterday, as I watched my beautiful 26 year old daughter emerge from the airport last night. Our week together is going to go quickly as it usually does. I really hate that she chose to remain in Southern California when I left for Toronto, but she's grown to be a resourceful, independent Registered Nurse that works in Labour and Delivery at a well known hospital in Newport Beach.

Since she doesn't have a cat of her own, you can imagine that she's in complete cat bliss at my house - as documented in the video below with two of my foster cats:

I've received two adoption calls in ONE day yesterday. One for Parker and the other for Doodle. I'm not sure if I can let Parker go. My 22 year old son adores him and wants to take him with him after he completes Police training and moves away. (*sniff*)

The timing for their potential adoptions couldn't be worse. Right now, I have my own little chick-a-dees under one roof, and the thought of losing two family members (albeit "temporary family members) makes me feel a bit melancholy and anxious. I'm nesting, cooking, and David has taken the week off to be on "entertainment committee".

Rescue has to go on despite my busy schedule this week, but am doing more delegating than actually rescuing. As long as *somebody* is rescuing, that's OK by me!

In the meantime, I'm wallowing in the bliss of motherhood. I'm listening to stories that begin with "Remember when.." and end with howls of laughter at my expense. I feel like I'm slowly entering the world of my own mother as my kids reminisce about cats we used to have, and times where I lost my temper.

"What goes around, comes around"....and I'm loving it.

Friday, September 10, 2010

A Friday Mix

It's another victory for the rescuers! What was an urgent plea for two cats a few days ago - Click here to read - turned into a rescue for a PAIR. I found out after the posting that the 15 year old black cat, and the 7 year old heavily matted white cat were surrendered to the shelter as a pair from the same home.

As I type this blog post, they are being rescued from that horrific shelter!!! There's quite a few people responsible for their rescue. Quite a few unselfish people took time from their day (and pocketbooks) to make sure these sweet cats had a place to go.

Rewind: When I called the rural shelter this morning to let them know somebody was coming for them, the worker said in an incredulous voice: "WHAT? The FAT white one and the OLD one? Why do you want to rescue THEM? I can't guarantee that I'll even be at the shelter at 1:00. Nobody's been cleaned or fed yet - I'm busy."

Nice. Real nice. One person works the shelter. When she's busy, everybody sits in their own excrement with empty stomachs. God, how I hate that place.

While others were busy rescuing the senior pair, I was picking up another cat who had been rescued some time ago from that same shelter and taking her into the city to her new foster Mom. I love meeting new people and her foster Mom didn't blink an eye that the kitten was so thin, and her coat so dull. Her hands were so gentle and her voice so kind as she touched the kitten. Good stuff :)

***Begin Rant Here***

On another note, I've been thinking about dropping my Facebook account. I'm friends with many other animal rescue folks, and for that I've loved being able to easily communicate with people and groups. So what's the problem? Pictures. Pictures are the problem. Every time I log into my Facebook account, I'm inundated with horrific animal pictures and videos.

I know everybody's heart is in the right place, but this morning's picture involved a picture of a cat with an arrow shot through him.

*End Rant Here*

I'm going to end this post with wishing everyone a Happy Friday. Life is good and I'm seeing a slowing of the kittens coming into the shelter. (Or is it my imagination?)

I feel good things starting to happen...

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

The Unwanted

I'm beginning to wonder if I've been posting too many urgent cats lately. I didn't get one nibble on the two cats I posted yesterday.

So they remain in that horrible place, waiting a horrible fate - alone and unwanted.

I was told today that the little white female cat is so heavily matted she can't move. Her entire body is like a helmet. could somebody do this to her?

I suppose we could say, "there's lots of horrible things going on the world." That's true. But this is my world. I can only work in one little corner of it. Most of us aren't like Angelina Jolie who can make a difference worldwide.

I found the picture of the ribbon "In Memory of the Unwanted" on Facebook today. It really had an impact on me and those that I've been trying to help. A friend in rescue called me today and found 2 four month old kittens on his neighbour's front porch. At least they'll have a chance now, and have been stopped from making more kittens in another month or two.

As often happens, I'm not sure where this blog post is going tonight. But I know I can't stop thinking about the 2 cats sitting at the shelter. They're both owner surrenders and I'm sure they're waiting for the nightmare to end.

I wonder what it must feel like to be so heavily matted that your skin pulls and tears every time you try to move.

I wonder what it feels like to think that every time the door opens your family might be there to take you back home. (Or that it might be time to die.)

There are a lot of cats and dogs that are feeling hopeless tonight. Some are sleeping on wire cage bottoms, cold cement, or in their own litterbox. But right now, I'm thinking about two....

...just two.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

How Could Anyone...?

I received an urgent message along with some pictures of the cats in the rural shelter where I've been rescuing. Fortunately, some have been rescued, but there are others that desperately need help.

The following two pictures are of cats that are "owner surrenders". How could anyone with a beating heart leave them in that horrible place?


This little white girl is 7 years old and spayed. I don't know why her family abandoned her in this sh*t hole, but there she sits in her litterbox wondering if her family will ever come back for her. She's very friendly.


This is Willow. She's 15 years old (not a typo), and was abandoned by her family there. She's terribly depressed and wants to go home. She's been spayed and is very friendly. How could ANYONE abandoned a 15 year old cat in a place like that???

Does anyone have a home for Willow?

My heart is breaking for these two cats. We have a volunteer driver going out to the shelter tomorrow (Wednesday). If you can help them, please email me right away.

They don't have much time left. Please help.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

From The Inbox

Periodically, I like to post a few snippets of what comes into my email Inbox. Have a wonderful and safe long weekend. :)

"Her eyes are always full of green scum and she is always drooling and her nose hasshnot upon it.

"Why should I have to wipe a cat's ass?"

"I want to foster a nice cat, but a mean one would be ok too as long as he'll let me sleep at night."

"Beth, I am not interested in what you think would be helpful. Don’t send any further correspondence to me."

"Why do you charge an adoption fee? Wouldn't you adopt out more cats if they were free?"

"Would it hurt a cat if I dyed the tips of her fur pink?"

"I'm 10 years old and I love cats. Tell my Mom to buy me a cat."

"My apartment already feels empty without the big guy. I am ready to take on my next foster-cat roommate, Beth!

(From my 19 year old son) "I cleaned the poop in the basement, but it was still warm and I gagged."

Thursday, September 02, 2010

The Little Victories

I was pretty excited to pick up a litter of 5 kittens from the vets this morning and take them to their new foster Mom. These little guys were rescued from the rural shelter and had been sitting in their own poop and pee for more than 2 weeks. They were born to a feral Mom and when I first saw them two weeks ago were delightfully hissy and spitty.

What is it about me that thinks it's the cutest thing EVER to see a 4 week old kitten hissing and spitting?

When I arrived to the vets, the vet assistant had them out playing in an exam room. Watching them gallop around was such a delight! They had barely been able to move in the carrier that they lived in with their mother:

The new foster Mom was SO excited to receive her new babies. I had screened Areej myself and knew she was a loving and experienced foster Mom. These babies would be in good hands. We walked upstairs and the kittens were given an entire "Great Room" full of windows and sunshine.

Imagine my horror when I saw that this beautiful room is covered in gorgeous WHITE carpet! Five kittens galloping around WHITE carpet! It was the same feeling I had when my (then) 18 month old son teetered around the China Department at the local department store.

The foster Mom seemed relaxed, and I felt my shoulders release the tension as the first kitten hopped into the litterbox and used it like a champ!

Ahh, the little victories!