Friday, July 29, 2011

Good Intentions

It felt like a great idea when David said, "Let's get out of here and go over to this neat town I know near Lake Huron and stay in an awesome B&B...No kids. No cats. Just us." 

I threw some lipstick and underwear in a suitcase and bribed the 20 year old kid to take care of the cats.  We were off for an overnight stay of  antiquing, romance and probably waaaay too much food. 

We no sooner flopped on our 1000 thread count WHITE duvet at the B&B,  (Note:  White duvets are foreign to me.  Once you have pets...white is out.)   to have our phone ringing.  My heart sank.  It was my youngest son:

"Mom.  Phoebe is sick.  She's been vomiting all day, she won't eat - not even Temptation Treats.  She's hiding under your bed and growling."

Argh.  I told him that I was NOT driving 3 hours home, and to take her to the emergency clinic.  Fortunately, our own vet came in for an emergency visit.  X-rays were done, and all due care was taken.  Phoebe seemed fine.  But we needed to be on "high alert" just in case it was an obstruction.

Unless you're from a different world entirely, "high alert for a sick cat" and a romantic night at a B&B are hardly compatible.  We sat and fretted for a few hours about Phoebe.  Do we go home?  Phoebe is David's precious little dilute calico.  She loves him and the feeling is mutual.  Phoebe sleeps on David's hip, stomach or back depending on how David rolls over in the night. 

We came home.  Phoebe is fine.  She's eating.  She's happy.  I'm exhausted.

I've made the mistake to catch up on  Facebook and read about the latest protester's shenanigans on behalf of the shelter where I rescue.  Sadly, they continue to believe that the cats at the shelter are not cared for and not given proper medical care.  What's even sadder is that they're taking credit for the improvements that have been made at the shelter.  Adoptions are going to happen at this shelter.  Maybe not today or tomorrow - but they're being set up.  I hope the protesters are better behaved this time.  They truly made themselves out to be over-the-top jackasses instead of the caring people that I'm sure they are. 

It seems like I'm not the only one with good intentions that are turning out to be a waste of time. :)

Looking forward to some adoptions this weekend!  Lots of things pending....

*Fingers are crossed*

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Scheduling...Rescues....and Happier Days

Happier days are here as our adoption line is starting to ring again and we're at the end of a very very horrific heat wave.  It's hard to believe I lived in Southern California all of my adult life because I really hate the intense heat of summer.  For the first time in my life, I actually had HIVES from the heat! 

We rescued the the littermates of the little "maggot kitten" yesterday!  Unfortunately, those guys also had  But they're now healthy, happy and with a new foster Mom with our rescue who is a veteran with these sort of little guys. 

With this horrible heat, some coward left a Mom and 5 kittens in a box at the front door of the local SPCA.  The Mom and babies were horribly distressed, dehydrated and malnourished.  Nobody was sure how long they had been in a box like that.  Fortunately, a few calls were made and our rescue has this little family too!  Mom is rail thin, but purr's like a motorboat.  Of course, Mom is black and all of her kittens are black too - LOL  Bless their little hearts.  :)

David was supposed to be at a North American Bridge Championship (aka:  "Geek Fest 2011) all week.  Turns out his team didn't do well on the first day and now he's home all week!  Usually, I love it when he's home, but I'm SO busy and am finding that he's really cramping my style with rescue, etc.  My schedule is all goofed up - in fact, I slept until 9:30 this morning!!!!  That's ridiculous!  I guess I'm used to waking up with him while he's getting ready for work. 

I need to get to the shelter today, but am having trouble coordinating between time with "vacation husband".  Heck....I was supposed to kick some a$$ this week while he was away!  I have some cats to rescue and it's driving me crazy to think I can't get to them as quickly as I would like.

We're getting ready to start an "Adoption Madness" month in August.  This will be news to our foster homes, because I haven't sent out the notice yet.  But I'm hoping it'll get some of our little sweeties adopted that have been lingering in the program for a while. 

Lots of good stuff on the horizon.  Just need to get my man back to work to keep me from going insane.  (Love you, sweetie)

Monday, July 25, 2011

From The "Gross" Files

I have a pretty strong stomach.  I'm a Mom and have had diarrhea squirted down the front of me.  I've been pee'd on, pooped on, and barfed on.  So it takes a lot to really give me the heebie-jeebies. 

Now we have our first "Gross File".

Take this perfect little guy that we named "The Captain":
How could this guy be part of "The Gross Files"?? 

When I went to the shelter today to specifically rescue this 4 week old angel, I received a call from the shelter vet tech while enroute: 

Tech:  "Are you coming for the 4 week old orange kitten?"

Me:  "Yessssss"

Tech:  "Just so you know, he has maggots coming out of his rectum."

Me:  (tapping on the bluetooth) "Say that again?"

Tech:  "Maggots.  Kitten.  Rectum.  He's covered in ticks too."

Me:  (gagging)"Oh God."

When I arrived at the shelter, the tech had given him all the medical care that was available to her, and I took the little guy to our vet.  Turns out maggots in the bum isn't really that big of a deal and he's otherwise healthy.  The maggots will leave as soon as he poops.

Seriously.  Maggot nightmares are happening tonight.  I can just FEEL it. 

So the gross little guy is now known as "The Captain" thanks to the girls at the vets office.  I held the little guy closely under my chin the entire trip - I was terrified I might see a maggot or something.

But look how precious he is!  You wouldn't have left him at the shelter - and neither could I.

(Additional Note:  I received a phone call from the vet tech a few moments ago.  Two more "maggot kittens" from this litter came into the shelter a few more moments ago.  *Sigh*)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Sweltering Rescue Day - Part Deux

The heat at the shelter was like nothing I had ever felt before in the 8 years I've lived in the Toronto area.  The temp gauge on my car said 45 degrees celcius (113 degrees farenheit) and it had to be hotter in the shelter.  The fans were blowing and the water dishes to the animals were all full.  There really wasn't much else that could be done. 

I hate going to the shelter when the cages have been marked for euthanasia for the next day.  I was surprised to find that very few cats had been "marked" - most who were older, feral or sick.  Until I walked up to a cage with a 4-5 month old brown tabby girl in it.  She was stretching towards the fan and I sadly opened the cage to hold her for a little while.  The least I could do is give her some love before she dies tomorrow.  I held her up to the fan as her fur flew into my face and stuck to my lip gloss.  She started to lick the sweat from my  face, then lick my shoulders. She seemed frantic for love and starved for affection.   She wrapped her paws around my neck and I was *done*.  She was coming home with me. 

My actual purpose for going to the shelter was to rescue "Ella", the "toe sucking cat":  (Many thank you's and hugs to Jennifer and Alison who came forward for this sweet cat!)

She was SOOOOO happy to be out of the shelter!!!  She's currently upstairs in my washroom and grooming up a storm!  Actually, I have 3 cats in that bathroom right now and they're ALL getting along:  Ralphie,  Ella and Tabby Girl!  It's such a bonus to only put out one litterbox instead of farming cats out in every washroom.

I felt really angry today.  I'm sure it was the heat.  It didn't seem right that the animals OR employees who had to work in those conditions, but who am I to bitch on behalf of the employees - they're union. 

I could hear the dogs howling in the back and the cats were unusually quiet.  I left the shelter in tears and that hasn't happened in a long time. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Sweltering Rescue Day!

The day proved to be wonderful despite the horrific heat.  David took the day off today and we headed out to the shelter in the new wheels:

We met, fell in love with AND rescued "Edgar Longbottom":

Hugs and thank you's to Connie who (once again) couldn't resist the urgent plea of a wee one like this.

My voice was ridiculously annoying today, so it won't hurt my feelings should you decide to "mute" my rescue songs. LOL

Next, I'm THRILLED to have rescued my favourite boy "Ralphie":

Many thank you's to "Lory & Co" for coming forward for Ralphie. I think you're going to LOVE LOVE him!

The next video is a special request for help from Kim. This is "Ella" who has been at the shelter too long. She's becoming so stressed and so depressed that she sucks on the pad of her paw.

She broke my heart:

She was in the cage below "Ralphie". Honestly, I felt awful to leave a cat like her behind. She's a gorgeous calico - very sweet - already spayed.

Despite it all, my new wheels handled the trek to the shelter and is no longer a shelter virgin. 

There's already a little bit of cat hair in the back seat.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Exit: The Cool Car

Today is the day that I dreaded for 3 years.  I'm turning in my Cool Car and picking up my new car - an SUV.   How could I possibly complain about getting a new SUV?  I guess I'm not really - but my other car was definitely an awesome car - certainly reeking of "mid-life crisis" than the more conservative SUV that I'm picking up tonight.

In the back seat of my "cool car", there are claw marks from panicked newly rescued cats who stuck their paws out and hung on for dear life.  My record for the number of cats in my little sports car was 32.  Imagine me with 32 cats in a sports car? 

The inside side panels are scratched from pulling cat carriers in and out of the little space that was NEVER intended for cat carriers.  There's a roll of paper towels in the trunk for poop and barf mishaps.  I guess I'll transfer the paper towels into the SUV. 

My 6'3" 260 pound husband will be happy to have more room in this car.  We could never take my car on the weekends.  Watching him *squish* in used to amuse me greatly.

I used to think my little Cool Car knew the way to the shelter automatically.  Somehow without thinking, I would just end up there.  Abracadabra! 

So tonight it's on to a new era - a Tanzanite Blue SUV.  The new "Cat Car".  I wonder how many cats will find their way out of being "just another discarded cat", into a Forever Home thanks to a sturdy SUV who will get us all there. 

Maybe I need to go rescue somebody tomorrow and teach this SUV a few lessons. :)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Swinging, Back In The

Thank you for all the well-wishes of great-grandparenthood!  It's certainly not where I had planned to be at 49 years old, but I'm madly in love with this baby and am thrilled that the little man is part of the family.  I can only hope he's not allergic to cats so he can come visit often.  :)

I've fought the blues over the past week and have found that as the adoption calls are becoming more regular, my mood has also lifted!  I was supposed to have major surgery this Wednesday, but I postponed it for a few reasons, but mainly because I just couldn't face being "down" for several weeks.  There's just too much to do and lots of people and cats counting on me. 

I had my first foster parent leave in a huff a few weeks ago.  Normally, I wouldn't mention it, except when she left she also stiffed me for an adoption fee and accused me of all kinds of horse crap.  Who takes adoption money from a cat rescue?  What's next - stealing the poppy money from the veterans?  I knew I was in trouble with this gal from the get-go.  Next time, I'll let my intuition be my guide.  David said, "If you got rid of her for the cost of an adoption fee, count your blessings."  I love that man . 

We have such an awesome group of loving, wonderful, and supportive foster parents now - I couldn't be happier. 

It was an exciting day to meet a foster Mom at the shelter today.  It's her birthday today and she couldn't think of a better way to celebrate than to rescue a couple of cats.  (And she did!)  She rescued a fluffy black and white 8 week old kitten (rowdy little monkey), and a completely docile, sweet orange 4-5 month old kitten.  Loved helping her choose!

The "vet day" was cancelled again!  (Say what????!!!)  I'm over-the-moon happy that it's going towards the end of July and the shelter isn't as crowded as it usually would be this time of year.  Each room has a HUGE fan blowing in it and the cats seem relatively comfortable despite the heat. 

I have a new favourite at the shelter named "Ralphie":

His shelter picture on the Petfinder site is awful, but I found this one of him.  He's 10 months old with white feet.  He kneads in his cage and licks your face like a dog.  I *LOVE* him!!!  He has THE BIGGEST FLUFFIEST tail I've ever seen!!! He looks like a squirrel and purrs the minute you pick him up.   He's been in the shelter for OVER a month.  He needs out - NOW.

I feel like I'm back in the swing of things again.  My lack of passion lately is part of the "Rescue Rollercoaster".  But my passion for rescue is slowly coming back although I still have another month and a half of slower adoptions.  I need to accept the fact that there will be weeks (and months) like this.  Allowing ignorant  people to get me down isn't a good plan either. 

But hey...I'm human, right? 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Birthin' Babies

What happens when a 16 year old girl has a baby and THAT baby (who is now 15 years old) has a baby?

You end up as a 49 year old Great Grandma! 

I'm pleased to say I spent the day yesterday helping to coach and deliver a gorgeous 7.1 pound baby boy named "Jesiah".  I've only been part of this family for 8 years.  It was such a privilege to be present and part of such a beautiful experience.  It was easy to forget that Jesiah's Mom is only 15 years old - she was so brave.  Fortunately, this little man was born into a loving, caring, supportive family. 

I was coo'ing over the baby in ridiculous baby-speak saying, "I love you already, you are absolutely the cutest baby in the world!", when David casually looks over at us and says, "Don't listen to her Jesiah, she says that to every new foster cat that comes in too!"  (He's so bad.)

After being gone for 12 hours yesterday, I came home to 85 emails, and (of course) the adoption calls started (finally) coming back in!  I didn't realize that I hadn't communicated with anyone or anything until about 2 hours after the baby was born!  Thank heaven there were no major emergencies. 

Found this cute before and after picture:
I'm still on a baby-birthin' high.  Between that and adoption calls coming in, I'm feeling invincible.  Might as well enjoy it while it lasts, eh?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Few Updates

Operation:  "Rescue World's Cutest 4 Week Old Kitten" Complete!

Yes, the little angel from yesterday's post is happy with SEVEN other kittens her own age and a nursing Mom.  Mom acted like the new arrival was one of the gang and all is happy and well.  I looked at that little face this morning and realized that only a face that cute would get me out of bed that early, drive to the shelter, and meet a foster Mom more than 45 minutes away.  :)

I received an adorable rescue picture on Mittens yesterday:
How incredibly sweet is this picture?  She's holding on for dear life and has NO idea what a wonderful future awaits her! 

I don't usually rally a rescue for the purebreds at the shelter.  Generally, they don't have a hard time getting out, but there's a VERY VERY sweet Himalayan at the shelter that has caught my eye and she's BEYOND adorable and nobody has come forward for her:

I love love love her!!!  Check out her colouring!  Strange, eh?  PLUS....if you look closely at her mouth, you'll see she has a bottom tooth that sticks straight out!  She snuggles too!  (I guess that's enough exclamation get the point)  

The phones remain quiet and I'm hesitant to rescue too many until things pick up.  We've got quite a few kittens that are getting bigger and bigger and without regular adoptions, things get a little tight.  I really need another venue to feature our cats. 

Maybe it's time to knock on a few doors again.


Monday, July 11, 2011

Another Monday in July

I procrastinated going to the shelter this morning.  I just had one little soul to rescue and that makes it very difficult for me when I can only take one.  Since the rescue was a "requested cat", I had hoped it would be easier.  Surprisingly, the "vet day" was cancelled on both Friday AND today so the shelter was quite full.  Not "bursting at the seams", but definitely getting full.

I almost had to look at the calendar....July 11th....cancelling euthanasia days??  Wow!!!

The lucky little girl was "Hannah".  So before anybody screams, "Tabby favouritism!" her foster-Mom-to-be requested her:
 I've never seen so many tabbies at the shelter.  As Kim said, "They're all waiting for you to rescue them, Beth".  Ugh!  :)

There was one little soul in particular that caught my eye as I walked through the aisles of "lost souls".  She's 4 weeks old and obviously doesn't understand why on earth she's not with her Mommy:

The staff told me that when the guy dropped her off, he said he had considered "just putting her under the exhaust pipe" rather than bringing her to the shelter. WTF?

Because "misery loves company", I thought I'd video tape a few sweet faces from one of the cat rooms:

The loud mewing that you hear in the background of that video is that 4 week old kitten. :(  

While I was there, somebody came in to claim their cat.  The cat had been at the shelter for FIVE days and posted on a popular lost pet site.  I can't imagine waiting 5 days to pick up my cat, but maybe they were on holidays, right? 

The good news is, rescues are still coming in to take cats, but the shelter is now full.  In fact, in the short time I was at the shelter today, 3 stray cats were brought in at separate times.  Nobody seems to care that the cats could be euthanized after 3 days.  "Not my cat.  Not my problem." 

Just another Monday at the shelter....

Sunday, July 10, 2011

What is A "Normal" Morning?

I rarely post anything on Sundays, but received the following mail from a foster Mom this morning that pretty much summed up my life with my cats.   Thank goodness it's not just me!!   I thought you'd be able to relate to it too: 

Only people with cats can truly appreciate how waking up to ‘issues’ just seems normal.

3:30am wake up to kittens wrestling (screaming) – get up put outside bedroom and close door

5:00am wake up to birds chirping – get up close window and blind

7:45am wake up walk into hallway – see what looks like cat puke in hallway and kitty tunnel – ugh.

7:50 – fed 9 frenzy cats – 3 on Chef’s dinner (Timbit eats a whole can himself), 1 on high fibre, who wants everything but, 5 on shredded salmon (nope Bear won’t eat this AM) *Amazingly both Crash and Grease Monkey have come downstairs to join everyone else – good sign??

8:10 – Lanee pukes big time on my new sleeper sofa – run to remove covering and put in laundry.

8:20 - clean up all dishes and wash and sweep floor.

8:30 – clean all litter boxes – yep someone has diarrhea

8:40 – go clean up tunnel and hallway puke – NOOOO it is diarrhea not puke – gag!!! Now whooooo is it – Crash? BoPeep?

8:45 – put tunnel outside to scrub – grab a cup of coffee

8:50 – Sit down think about my life and bawl….

9:00 – look behind me to a noise – there is Grease Monkey cocking his head at me blinking and putting his paw on glass,

9:01 – I laugh!

(Reposted with permission....thank you so much!)

Friday, July 08, 2011

Searching Out the Positive!

What a good Friday it is! Forgotten Ones Cat Rescue saw my post about adorable plump Mittens and contacted me last night about rescuing her. I'm over the moon! She's safe and out of the shelter as I type this.  Many thank you's to Kim, Dean, and Debbie who made it possible for her to get out of the shelter today!! 

One of my own foster homes came forward for Mittens too.  Sooooo...that means I have an open foster spot and can go back to the shelter! 

The shelter euthanasia rate is WAY down for this time of year.  I've never heard of the numbers being so low for early July!  Kim has her "rescue room" back and I can tell that the employees seem more unbeat.  I won't say that things are perfect, but they're certainly on the right track.  I heard that one rescue took 18 cats this week!!  Wahooo!

Sooooo...for 16 seconds of Friday cuteness, I present my own foster kitten "Sherman":

Lordie, I hope he's adopted soon. We're all getting WAY too attached!

Happy Friday!!

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Counting the Days Until October

The only phone calls I've received lately have been people wanting to surrender their cats or former adopters ready to get their kitten spayed or neutered.  Holy Moly, the adoptions are slooooow! 

I've tried to take the painfully slow days and turn them into opportunities to catch up and "pimp" some adoptions.  (Thanks Renee - love that word!!)  April, May and June the adoptions came in easily  - without much effort.   July and August?  I'm scrambling for adoptions.

I scrolled through the shelter's Petfinder Page (Click here to see it) and felt sick to my stomach.  Four pages of cats and kittens.  I know the shelter must've been full for the vet day today.

We lost an older kitten this morning to an unknown cause.  The poor foster parents were horrified to find the poor little guy passed away on their kitchen floor.  I've had a lot of awful things happen, but have been grateful to have been spared (so far) from finding something like that.  I know they're experiencing a lot of guilt over it..."What if's?", etc...but there's just SO MANY things that can go wrong with these guys that it's hard to know what it could've been.  Regardless, it still frickin' hurts.

There's a cat at the shelter that really has my heart.  Her name  is "Mittens":

I love her!  She's a big girl in a VERY VERY Tiny cage.  She can't turn around very well, and she's so sweet.  I want to save her so badly and am hopeful another rescue will see this post and fall in love with her too.  She doesn't look like this picture any more.  She looks very very sad.  When I come up to the cage, she has stopped lifting her head.  The staff love her and want to help her too.  I don't want her to give up hope.

After rereading this blog post, I must apologize for the "downer".  I feel like it's been a while since I've had an uplifting post, but that's the way it is in the Summer. 

October....where are you? 

Monday, July 04, 2011

When The Wall Comes Tumbling Down

There are some days where I feel like the term "When it Rains, it Pours" was made for me.   I woke up as I usually do and it was like the Crap Gods decended on me!!

We spent more than $4500.00 on plumbing repairs a few days ago, only to wake up to a flooded basement AGAIN this morning.  It was SO flooded that I couldn't get to my washer and dryer.  I had a rescue to do today and I couldn't even get to the cat carriers.

Sadly, one of our kittens died after being attacked by a foster parent's dog.  It was an awful situation and the kitten was leaving shortly for his Forever Home.  I really don't want to go into this any further.  It's very painful for all of those involved and nothing could've predicted or prevented it. 

When a day starts out this badly, it doesn't take much to make even the little things feel like huge ordeals.  You know the drill ....stubbing your toe, breaking your glasses, or bad hair. 

On the "Good news" sector of the day, I'm happy to report that Animal Control cancelled the euthanasia day on Friday - the shelter was in good shape despite it being the end of June!  (Say what???!!!)  Lots of cats scheduled to be RESCUED today too!  I used to report of the intense heat in the shelter during the summer, but am also happy to say that there are tons of HUGE fans and a portable air conditioner.  The cats looked comfortable as discarded shelter cats can be.  But that was a huge step in the right direction. 

I rescued a darling kitten that had just arrived today.  She's a feminine fluffy little blue/cream tortoiseshell.  Gosh, she was sweet....

We also rescued "Tabitha" today:
I want to add a special thank you to our veterinary clinic AND the volunteer driver who is taking the kitten and Tabitha to their foster homes tonight.  I called both the vet clinic AND the driver today in a mini-meltdown after my plans to put the cats in my washroom this afternoon dissipated with the plumbing issues.  The veterinary clinic offered to let me keep the cats there for the afternoon for free, and our wonderful volunteer driver offered to pick them up directly from the vet's office despite the traffic nightmare. 

I'm blessed with another friend who has continually watched my back despite some pretty rough recently obstacles. 

Many thank you's to those that worked hard to make my life easier today - you know who you are.   I really and truly appreciate it.

As I type this blog post, the plumber is busy working in the basement.  My pocketbook will be a little emptier as a result, but my heart feels full with a great rescue and a leg up from friends.