Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Representing Me

I had a lot of people that felt traumatized after I mentioned the 3 kittens represented on my blog banner that had been euthanized about 3 years ago.  Believe me - I was traumatized to find out I was too late to rescue them.  So I decided to change my banner.

I cautiously asked David what he thought of my new banner.  He winced and said, "Is THAT supposed to be better than the dead kitten banner?"  Good Grief.  He has a way with words. 

This IS a picture of one of the cat rooms where I rescue.  I didn't want just any ol' picture, and certainly not some cute "fluffy kitten" picture.  I wanted a picture that represented what I do and where I go.  Maybe I should've taken a picture of the hardened hairball barf in the corner of my living room that everybody is pretending not to see.  That sums up my life perfectly these days. :) 

I found a really special picture last Sunday on Post Secret
Wouldn't you like to have coffee with the person who posted THAT secret??  I know I would!!  I thought I was the only one that felt that way. 
So yeah....the new banner is a little gloomy.  But so is going into the shelter.


Faith J. said...

I love the new header (I liked your old header too). But what I really love is your blog's name. It really says it all. This is real life, in stark black-and-white, with all its sadness too.

Daisy said...

I think the banner is perfect; it is strong and also poignant.

Random Felines said...

OK - sorry, had to snicker a little about the hairball comment. I know it can be hard. I think sometimes we have to work hard to make people realize what motives us to do what we do - and if it takes people being traumatized a little to take a stand, then I say so be it. Keep up the good fight!!

Kea said...

It's stark in more ways than one, no question there, but I think it makes its point, which is what it's supposed to do.

A couple of thoughts...I don't see a link to Forever Home Cat Rescue here on your blog (in a prominent spot). That would be useful, I think, to newcomers to your blog who haven't seen the rescue site.

What might be nice, too, if you ever feel like it, is a couple of before rescue/after TLC pics on the rescue site (like a "happy endings/beginnings" section) or even here, on your sidebar. One or two, maybe. That also gets the point across, IMO. My Chumley certainly had quite the before and after pic! LOL.

Hope you don't mind the suggestions, I'm just tossing out ideas at random. :-)

Rhonda said...

Wellllll .... Kind of a shock to see the cages, in depressing gray, like a prison block, instead of those adorable colourful kittens (despite their unhappy end). BUT, you're right - this is the reality, unfortunate cats stuffed into cages in a prison block from which many (most?) will not exit happily. Why not keep it, at least for a while, and see what the reaction is?! I for one will still visit your blog every day!

Anonymous said...

Sorry to say this Beth, but I much preferred the other banner.

Devon said...

I love the new banner. It's not the prettiest of images, but neither is the shelter. It's an excellent look into the lives or rescuers.

Crystal said...

The new banner made me gasp the same way I hold my breath and wipe away the tears each time I enter the shelter; it sucks but it truly depicts the reality of rescuing cats from a high kill shelter.

Thank you for always telling it the way it matter how shocking the truth may be!!

elle said...

I like the new banner too. I liked the old one as well; I know I was shocked and saddened when I found out that the kittens had been euthanized but my understanding is that they are three of many many kittens that are euthanized at that animal control each year and I find that more traumatizing than seeing their sweet faces.

I understand the need to be sensitive and accommodating to the feelings of people who are being introduced to cat rescuing, and I wouldn't want to see images of dead animals on your blog (that's excessive and can be very disturbing for animal lovers in particular) but I also feel it's a disservice to paint a picture where everything is rainbows and sunshine and cute little (rescued) kittens. This is the unfortunate reality of the situation and it's not your job (or any other cat rescuers') to apologize for it.

At the same time, I agree with Kea, I really enjoy seeing the before and after pictures of the cats that you and your foster families rescue; it's all about achieving a happy medium, I suppose :)

Anonymous said...

well i must admit Beth that I liked the old banner better because of the cute kittens....however I did not know that those kitties did NOT get rescued. I thought it painted the positive side of rescue (the JOY.)

The new banner however represents the reality of the situation as someone above indicated. It is STARK... It is SAD. And that is why you do your utmost to get the little ones out of there. The tiny little black and white ones that we took out Good Friday were so terrified that they bit me when they got home..... 5 days later they run to me when I enter the room, cuddle when i sit on the floor and play with their buddies....

So does your banner cause a little discomfort?? Probably but hopefully it also causes them to think.... Baby animals do not belong in this environment... No one belongs here.... Lets not forget and lets encourage the people we speak to, GET YOUR CATS FIXED....

ABBY said...

Have been reading your site now for some time and this is my first posting. We work with cat rescue (one where I adopted my heart kitty Abby) and I do see the good and bad about cat rescue. Your banner is very thought provoking and it shows the true side of what you do. I love the title of your blog it is perfect.

>^..^< >^..^< >^..^< >^..^< >^..^<
Abby Ping Jinx Boo Gracie

Deb said...

I think it's good. It tells it like it is. Hugs, Deb=^..^=x5

Anonymous said...

I also preferred the other banner. It was subtle and poignant -- only a regular reader knew the story behind it, as you told it maybe twice a year. To quote my favourite advice columnist, "If you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen." If you decide to retire it permanently, I hope you make it available for those of us who found it inspirational.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how the picture would look if "House of the Discarded" was written on the rear wall instead of across the whole picture?

A Cat's Tale said...

The kitty girl that is on my lap, purring, and making me type one handed came straight out of the euth room with only a few hours to spare. Where would she be if I was too traumatized to rescue her?

While the kittens were awfully cute, and I already knew they didn't get saved, I think your current banner speaks volumes. Rescue reality. It's not for the faint of heart.

Bless you Beth for all of the heart ache you endure saving these precious little lives.

Beth said...

You aren't the only one that feels that way. You are doing exactly what I have wanted to do for decades, but never actually took the steps to make it happen. I am really glad I "found" you and that by Saturday we will have adopted two of your rescues inside of a week! :)

Allison at Novice Life said...

I like this banner; I liked the old one too. As hard as they are to look at, it is the cold hard truth and the more awareness it brings, the better!

And I agree also, your blog name says it all.

Joe Realtor said...

I didn't know the story to the other picture. This one will probably make some people feel uncomfortable because it's reality - right there in front of them. Not as feel good as fluffy kittens. Maybe it'll help motivate an owner or two to get their cats fixed.

Just a note or two... is it possible with whatever editor your using to have a permanent link to your rescue and a few other important sites on the left side of the page? It would get more attention there rather than nestled among the other links on the right hand side.

Mycatsayshi said...

I really like this banner. I noticed it immediately when I logged on and it made an impression. For the life of me, I can't remember you old banner.

Is it stark? Yes. But it is honest.

Hope you keep it Beth.

Lots of love,
Ellie and me

Gatita said...

To me, the previous banner was very upsetting (I was familiar with the 3 kitten story). The new one, although gruesome, tells it the way it is: hard reality of the shelter and the need to do all we can to keep those cages empty!

Fisher and Staff said...

We are pretty much in awe of whatever you do with your blog site. One big reason is, we are not out there in the trenches living with the stark realities of animal rescue workers. You are awesome and your work is awesome. 1,000 purrs to you!

Fisher and Staff said...

Oh, one more thing. My staff was shocked that maybe other people besides her live with fur ball chuck-ups that others cannot see. I don't know why, but it made her feel better.

JamieLynn said...

Um, hi Beth.
I don't normally do blogs. In fact, I don't normally do internet or technology that often at all.
Except postsecret. I'm addicted to it. Badly enough that I send secrets in whenever I feel the exceedingly strong need.
I rescued a kitten from a local shelter in the beginning of April. She was the third kitten I'd been able to find a home for before she could get sicker or euthanized, and instead of finding her a home with someone else, I decided to keep her as my own and named her Verona.
There's a point to this, I promise.
Verona became, (after healing from her UTI, and gaining healthy weight) one of the most loving, playful, caring, happy kittens I've ever seen. She's laying next to me curled into my side as I write this, in fact.
Verona is beautiful, a gorgeous white color with blue eyes, hard of hearing but soft at heart. I couldn't believe how horrible her early months had been, and I've been doing everything I can since then to spoil her rotten, in an attempt to try to make up for it somehow.
She's more than paid me back. The first postsecret I sent in that didn't focus on depression, or hurt, or sadness or fear was about her. About how saving her, saving all of those kittens at the shelter, was saving me too. I got a little mad when the gorilla glue I used to stick the drawing I did of her ended up showing up on the cardboard, but it said exactly what I wanted it to say, so I sent the secret it.
It made it on the site.
That was nice-- I was really excited at the time. A few months later (as in, right now) I decided to look my secret up and see if people had thought anything of it-- on the postsecret chat it had gotten some criticism, (somehow people associated the card with the idea of a hoarder?) but I thought maybe somebody out there had understood, had gotten the message. That somebody else felt that way too, about helping animals find homes.
Your blog, and what you're doing, is amazing. It's a beautiful thing, and you're really helping to create change by doing it.
Thank you, for getting it when others don't. I wouldn't have said "no" to some Tim Hortons coffee, should I ever make my way up north :)

=3 Your Newest Fan +Verona

House of the Discarded said...

JamieLynn & "Verona"! THank you so much for being part of my journey. You thrilled me to pieces by emailing me.