Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Eve of The Half Century

It's the eve of my 50th birthday and I've been sentimental all day today.  There's no doubt that I would rather be 50 years old than 30 years old.  Although admittedly, I do miss my Size 2 figure and my ability to remember why I walked into a room.   

I honestly thought that by the time I was 50 years old, I'd be the CEO of IBM by now.  I was destined to be a top level executive and be far too busy for children. 

Ha.  Was I wrong!

Strange how things work out.  I couldn't be happier as a mother and running an animal rescue organization.  It's true that my 50 years in this world has taught me that just because somebody is an animal rescuer doesn't mean they are nice.  I've met some really nasty, crappy people in this business.  It doesn't seem fair to me, but it never does.  I've stopped getting my feelings hurt and I'll stick with people who love, care and support me.  The animal rescuers who are unsupportive and nasty?  They'll get theirs in the end - they always do.  Fifty years of experience tells me that.

I've been telling people that I was 50 years old since I was 47.  That way when I REALLY became 50 years old I wouldn't have some meltdown like I did when I was 40.  I'm definitely not going to have a meltdown this time.   The one thing that being 50 has taught doesn't do any good to piss and moan over being a year older.  It comes anyway.

I hope I can have this life for another 50 years.  Finding out that ol' Davey Jones died today of a heart attack at the age of 66 tells me that I need to really enjoy today.  I'm ready to barrel into the next half of my century rescuing more cats, loving my husband, my family, friends and life. 

It's all good.  Really - it is.  :)

Monday, February 27, 2012

Back To The Shelter...

After a month long Sabbatical from rescuing at the "high-kill" shelter, I was back there today with an empty cat carrier in hand.  It was really nice to see the familiar faces.  My fear of staff being angry with me for going to a different shelter to rescue was nonsense - it was like they saw me yesterday.

There were very very few cats at the shelter.  In fact, I was shocked to see  (Don't quote me on that one - I didn't count!)  Anyway, my rescue mission was to pick up this cute guy:

What a sweetheart!  He was completely happy in my arms. :)

I walked into another room and came across this pathetic little thing:

This little guy licked my face like a dog and rubbed his little black lips all over my face.  He's now happily ensconced at "Casa de Turner".  :)  He's bombing around the house and rubbing up on every cat. 

This afternoon, I met with a foster Mom and our "Million $$$ man Oscar The Himalayan". (if you don't know who this guy is, you can read about him here.) We met up at the veterinary referral clinic Opthamologist.  (*sigh*) Not only did our loveable mutant little freak have entropian eyelashes and Cryptorchidism, but he also has cataracts and cysts in his eyes.  Poor little man is only 6 months old.

There's no cheap way for a rescue to get out of a veterinary specialists office cheaply - and I didn't get out cheaply this time either.  But I'm grateful to know that we can adopt out our mutant little Himmie with a few caveats to the adopter.  I don't think I can charge an adoption fee, he's going to need a home that will love the little goofball exactly the way he is.  (I know that *I* sure do!)

Thank you Dominoes Pizza.  I'm putting your number on Speed Dial tonight! 

Friday, February 24, 2012

A Friday Ramble

Wow!  Since yesterday's post, I've been receiving a TON of email from enlightened adopters and "cat-people" who have been having situations with their cat like I described yesterday.  I'm so glad I shared that and maybe it'll help you resolve some issues you've had with your pets.   

We were supposed to be snowed in today.  Stupid Environment Canada - we had some rain and I had MAJOR plans to stay in my jammies today and finish our rescue's Charity tax return.  I keep looking at it, sighing, opening Quickbooks, sighing again and putting it all back.  I can do the return - I've done a charities' return before but it's brutal and I'm not looking forward to it. 

Speaking of charities' returns, I was looking on Craigslist in the Pets section yesterday and was shocked to see that The Organization for the Rescue of Animals (ORA)  has had their Charities Licence revoked.  They've been such a huge public advocate regarding the high-kill shelter.  How on earth can they ask for donations with a charity number and not be able to provide tax receipts?  I guess only the animals suffer.

Maybe I don't know what I'm talking about.  I do know that I worked like hell to get my charity status and you'd better be sure that I'm going to do whatever I can to keep it.  It was just too hard to get the damn thing.

On a happy October, I wrote a dedication to a couple of special rescuers and an even more special Mom cat and her 8 kittens.  If you missed it, I encourage you to read about it Here.  I'm THRILLED to announce that the Mom "Jolie" was adopted last night!  It was an amazing ending to her very sad story.  This little cat battled ringworm, a roden ulcer and paralyzing URI.  Her new parents are thrilled to pieces with her as we've already had an email:

"Dear Beth & Kim (Note from Beth:  Kim was Jolie's foster Mom

Just wanted to reach out and send you both a great big thanks to you both for such an excellent experience adopting Jolie. The dealings with both of you was beyond great and a pleasure to do so. It would also be my pleasure to recommend Forever Home Cat Rescue to anyone interested in adopting a cat. As for Jolie, she has spent her first night here and sure is a happy little camper J She seems to already be settling in well and enjoying all the new adventuresome places in her/our home. She is eating and drinking well, playing with toys and having a ball. I have taken the day as a work from home day to keep an eye on her and make sure her first day goes well and she’s not alone."

OMG!  He stayed home from work today to be with her!  I love this couple :)

She's going to have a beautiful life.  I wish they could all be so fortunate. 

I've declared this to be a quiet weekend, but that's usually when it's going to be busy.  I think I'm ready for "busy".  (Did I just say that?)

Happy Friday all! 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The "Heat" Goes On

February has been a beautiful month for me.  Very little cat-drama, lots of adoptions and I've been coasting through feeling organized and and content.  It's been blissful having NO sick cats.  But I've had one odd situation that has come up this month....

The rescue has had FOUR cats....FOUR....that have gone into heat after supposedly having spay surgery.  I've been doing cat rescue for many years.  I feel like there's very little a vet could tell me about feline behaviour that I didn't know (silly me!).    In all my years, I've never had this happen and it's happened FOUR a MONTH!

One of our cats was spayed and adopted.  The adopter contacts me and says, "I think she's in heat."  I respond confidently, "Not possible!"  These awesome adopters send me a video of the cat who is obviously in heat!  (Think porn star behaviour)  The vet who did the spay surgery is a friggin' quack - a vet we don't use any longer, so I took her to our A++ vet, who declares the cat in heat and opens her up to find that the stupid FIRST vet leaves BOTH ovaries!!!  ARGH!!!!  This poor cat had TWO spay surgeries - not one.   If you're interested in knowing which vet botched this surgery and live locally, please email me and I'll be happy to tell you.

We've had three more "spayed" cats who have gone into heat - different vets performing the spay surgeries - cats who apparently were already spayed when we rescued them!!  These cats didn't just go into heat - they were pee'ing on things too!  (double *ugh*)  Apparently, if a tiny piece of ovary drops into the abdomen during surgery, the ovary will attach itself to the abdominal wall and try to "reinvent" itself.  Mother nature at her best! 

How could I be doing this for 15+ years and have never had this happen before?  Crazy!

David and I were talking about it and wondering if the proliferation of spay/neuter clinics that have popped up have caused assembly-line-like surgeries where veterinarians are not as careful as they should be? 

Sadly, I'm very aware that this might be the reason these cats who were "already spayed" were dumped at the shelter.  Howling and peeing around the house - and the dimwits figured it was behavioural and didn't bother to go back to the vet. 


I was back at the shelter today rescuing a sweet little girl and delivering her to her foster home.  She was already spayed.....but now I'm suspicious. ;)

Monday, February 20, 2012

To Clarify

Today was "Family Day" in the lovely province of Ontario.  David and I did the usual things couples do when there's a day off - breakfast out, lunch out, and a Starbucks coffee mid-afternoon. When he retires, I might as well just camp out at Weight Watchers.

The phones were quiet, but did have several adoption calls.  Our adoptions over the weekend were fantastic and it looks like we're ready to do another rescue again.  It's been surreal to see the shelters so empty lately.  But I always think, "The Calm Before The Storm..." 

I've had several people recently ask me to post Lost Dog information on my blog, or "Needs Help" on my blog.  One of the reasons I don't do it, is that this isn't the best forum for it.  This isn't a blog about our rescue either.  But it's supposed to be a blog about my life in cat rescue.  It's the same reason I don't put advertisements there too.  (Over the years I've been offered click-thru payment advertising to earn money.) I do talk alot about Forever Home Cat Rescue and have even begged for donations, but that's because the rescue IS a major part of my life.  I hope this makes sense.

I thought about writing a blog for our rescue's website, but I don't think anybody is really that interested so I didn't do it.  :)

Rescues from the high-kill shelter have been HUGE thanks to several wonderful people who have really worked their a$$es off to make it happen.  The rescues aren't mine, but I'm definitely watching it all unfold.  It's so nice to feel like you're really doing something and watching the shelter empty out as you take 7 or 8 cats.  I love this time of year!  Then comes summer and you take out 3 cats and there are 7 people in the waiting area waiting in line to dump their cats, and 50 cats total come in during the day.  Anybody who has read this blog over the years knows I've experienced it over and over and it's very painful.  

I can't imagine after all the negative publicity that this shelter has received over the past year why they haven't moved forward with the first steps towards opening for adoptions.  Maybe they have and I don't know?  You'd think the city would ask,  "Um...we have a shelter that just kills the animals and doesn't allow for adoptions?"  You'd think they would be embarrassed that they have such a redneck situation going on.

Ugh.  I'm burned out on trying to answer that question, and as a rescue, I'm tired of being their only solution to this problem.  Forgive the negativity....just venting a bit. 

Part 4 of The Family Day experience commences in 5 minutes:  Dog Walking.  Although walking a 14 year old dog is more like "Dog Shuffling".  For tonight, I'm OK with that.

Friday, February 17, 2012


After much deliberation, we decided to rename my recent foster to "Lucas".  Honestly, I'm not sure what fits this guy, but I don't think "Sherman Part 2" would get him adopted any faster.

Lucas has certainly made himself at home.  He has a new BFF in "Sherman":

It's almost like Lucas walked into our home and Sherman was waiting to say, "Hey new guy!  Let me show you all the sh*t they let you do and nobody yells at you!"  *sigh*  Lucas definitely has Sherman-like terrorist qualities.

Lucas was a great help to me today while I did the rescue's bookkeeping:

  While I was eating my lunch at my desk today, I took a phone call and turned my back to my desk to get something out of the filing cabinet....

Obviously, Lucas was trying to help me with my lunch portion size:

I don't think this guy has slept.  Every time I look at him, he's playing, galloping, leaping, prancing, swatting, or jumping.  He's pulled the tablecloth down off my dining room table, and has eaten the dog food.   There's a "Busy Ball" in the house that I swear is constantly in motion:  "Gallop...gallop...gallop...riiiiing....riiiiing.....gallop...gallop...riiing...riiiiing..."  This guy is *EVERYWHERE*.  

He also licks my ear and purrs the moment I pick him up.  His front paws "knead" with joy that he's being touched and loved. He has the biggest feet I've ever seen, which makes him extra clumsy and endearing.

Can you tell I'm really loving this one already? I wonder if David has figured out there's a new tabby in the house?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Introduction

I was back at the shelter this afternoon.  My house was just a little too quiet after my last foster was adopted and there was a 5 month tabby boy with my name on him.  I think I'm going to name him "Pete", but am wondering if that name is going to stick.

Pete had been at the shelter since before Christmas.  I did something I never do, but when I brought him home I opened the carrier and let him out.  No introductions.  Nothing.  Everybody else seems to do it without a bunch of drama, so I decided to give it a try. 

Pete's been under my bed since his arrival, but heard me sing the "dinner song"  (don't ask.) and came right out. motivated!

I've mentioned this in prior posts, but I must say once again how VERY stressful it is to introduce a new cat to the others.  Good Lord, my stomach is in knots.  I really empathize with adopters who are bringing a new cat home permanently and have to go through the introduction process.  There are moments where I think "What the hell am I doing?? Everything was peaceful until I brought so-and-so home."

But I press on and give comfort to others in the same boat.

We had a prior adopter call today.  She adopted a cat from us months ago and sadly the poor little darling was diagnosed with FIP.  FIP is fatal and the cat wasn't doing well.  I offered my heartfelt condolences and we talked quite some time.  It wasn't until we were about to hang up the phone that the adopter told me that she felt that I should pay for her cat's euthanasia. 

This is the part about rescue I have the hardest time with - dealing with this kind of thing.  It's a tough one, because she was grieving and a very nice lady.  Tough one, because there's no way I feel obligated to pay for a euthanasia on a cat that was adopted months ago. 

But I press on...

The house is quiet as "Pete" (or whatever we're calling this little dude) muddles through the house and figures out where his place belongs in the hierarchy. 

Funny....because I feel the same way most of the time. :)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Hearts and Kisses

Happy Valentine's Day!
 I grabbed this picture from the kind folks at Annex Cat Rescue - pretty cute, eh?   Of course, it's a tabby and I'm in love :)

Today was a busy day!  I had a meeting at an Animal Services location and drove to a different shelter to do a rescue.  My intent was to pick up a very cute orange and white guy for a new foster Mom.  It's funny how things don't always work out the way we think they should.

The new foster Mom is a lively 86 year old lady that really wanted to foster an orange and white cat from the shelter.  She was quite specific. :)  I felt awful when I got to the shelter and found the orange and white guy I intended to rescue was very very nippy. 

The staff directed me to a fat 4 year old grey girl who had been at the shelter since October.  She was depressed and VERY loving.  Her chubby little body had dandruff from stress and dry skin.  She needed love and lots of it. 

She was PERFECT for this senior lady!!

As I drove a very distressed "Tabitha" to her new foster Mom, I prayed silently she wouldn't poop, pee or barf in her carrier.... When we arrived, "Tabitha"  confidently trotted around the apartment and obediently flopped at her foster Mom's feet for belly rubs.  My heart was full and happy.  But would she like the chubby grey girl?

 I carefully thanked her for saving Tabitha as she gently pat the cat's chubby belly.  She looked up at me with tears in her eyes and said, "I think we saved each other".

I think so too. :)

Happy Valentines' Day

Monday, February 13, 2012

Shhhh....Quiet Monday

I woke up this morning with a leap!  Mondays are notoriously busy for me and the rescue - especially after a large weekend adoption event!  I jumped into the the shower as any working gal would and ran downstairs to my office.

"Strange.  The phones are quiet."

"10:30 am.  No emails and one phone call about a neuter appointment."

I found myself with the luxury of time and met with a foster Mom at a vet clinic who was taking newly rescued Spencer to be neutered.  It was a happy/sad moment for me.  Happy because it was discovered that Spencer was already neutered!  But sad because he had obviously been abandoned outside.  There was no microchip and lots of lost ads had been put up for months for this guy.  The poor little man.  I wish he could tell me about what happened.  He's a very gentle, sweet guy. 

The day continued to be very quiet.  The rescue's bookkeeping was caught up and laundry folded.  I definitely can *do lazy*, but Monday feels like it should be busy.

But I think I was the only one that felt that way:

Sherman's idea of the perfect Monday.
The Great White knows how to "do Monday".
The adoption event this weekend was a huge success! Friday, EVERY SINGLE CAT was adopted by noon! The rest of the weekend wasn't quite as successful due to some pretty nasty weather. But our volunteers STILL went out in the afternoon and set up the adoption event in one of the Petsmart stores despite the awful conditions. (I love to brag about our volunteers)

I probably should never say that it "wasn't successful". Any time we can talk with people and get the word out about animals who need homes it's a good day.

So that's my Monday. There's no doubt in my mind that things will be crazy again at JUST the moment that I need some peace. So I'll try to enjoy it while I can today. Live in the moment, right?

Friday, February 10, 2012

What Goes Down....Comes Back Up?

A crappy day yesterday seems like distant memory when I'm able to spend 6 hours at a Petsmart Store and completely adopt out EVERY cat we had there today!  It was just me and one other volunteer and we definitely rocked the adoption event!  Honestly?  I don't know if we have enough cats booked to come in tomorrow to make it worth blazing through the snow and ice tomorrow. 

Many thank you's to Shelley who set up the event today by herself and really made all this happen.

We also had one of our special needs cats adopted through one of our foster homes.  We did a mini-fundraiser for Jared back in NOvember who ended up having very expensive knee surgery. Poor Jared would have to be forever on pain medications.  That didn't seem to deter an incredible adopter from giving Jared a fabulous Forever Home! Because Jared was mega-special needs, I waived the adoption fee in lieu of a donation. The adopter paid the adoption fee anyway! :) Bonus!

I also heard about a friendly cat that was obviously dumped in a neighbourhood.  Because the temperature was supposed to drop to -25 tonight, I really felt compelled to meet this guy with hope of rescuing him.  I couldn't leave Petsmart, so one of our volunteers went out to assess him for me:

Although nobody could be sure, but it's possible he's already been neutered.  Anyway, our red head is now safe and warm.  He won't have to worry about freezing tonight.  I wish they could all be so fortunate. 

I'll be thinking of the cats that are cold and have no place to go tonight.  But I'll also be thinking of the soon-to-be-rescued cats that now have a chance thanks to so many adoptions today. 
I think I can sleep well tonight. 


Thursday, February 09, 2012


As usual, "What goes up...must come down".  It's been a rough few days.  It's not that adoptions have been bad, or we've had problems with foster parents or cats.  In fact, adoptions have been great and as usual, our volunteers are awesome!

I think these big adoption events make me really rattled.  There's always huge expectations and and I'm spread too thin.  I have problems saying 'no' to the Petsmart stores so now I'm supposed to be in two places at once.  When will I learn that I can't make everybody happy? :)

We have a couple of really cute kittens on our site right now and it's like a feeding frenzy at Sea World.  I've had more than 20 phone calls on them today.  People are getting pissed and I'm tired of answering the phones.  The sad part?  In a few short months there will be more than enough kittens and many will die in the shelters. 

I'm keeping this blog post short tonight.  I'm is coming and I had pizza last night.  I wonder if they'll kick me out of Weight Watchers? :)

"Cow" is our latest rescue.  Does anybody else think he's homely?  He's the world's sweetest little boy, but just a tiny bit "ooogly".  :)

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Tuesday Updates

It's always such a treat to take a little romantic-shopping trip with David.  I'm so appreciative to have volunteers who look out for the rescue while I'm nurturing my relationship. (Thank you, Susan!)   I believe rescuers end up getting so caught up in rescue and the animals that they forget about their significant others who need some love too. 

I had a VERY interesting thing happen yesterday.  I decided to get a facial at the hotel where we were staying.  I was relaxed and listening to some wonderful music as the young woman massaged my temples.  She stopped suddenly and said that she is very intuitive and sees "pictures".  I lazily opened my eyes.  I'm not much of a talker while I'm spending money on a facial so wasn't thrilled she was interrupting my Jon Hamm fantasy.  She said that the picture she intuitively received about me was unusual and was hoping if she shared it with me I could give her some insight.  She said: "I see a heart in a steel cage with bars.  Does this mean anything to you?"  I think I sat straight up on the table.  Strange how she could "see" that about me. 

We were back at the shelter today and rescued a couple of sweethearts.  The shelter kindly had both cats spayed and neutered for us and they were lovingly placed into our foster care this afternoon.  Both cats had been at the shelter since early September.  There's no doubt in my mind that rescue was urgent for these guys. 

I just received a text message from a foster parent who took one of these cats this afternoon.  Apparently, he fell asleep on the roommate's lap.  My first thought?  "It must be wonderful to have a lap to sleep on after all this time in a cage!"

There's a large adoption event going on at all North American Petsmart stores this weekend.  We're busy preparing our cats and kittens with hope they'll be adopted this weekend.  I feel like I'm still recuperating from a crazy January and now I'm back to a crazy weekend.  I guess it's all good when it involves adoptions. 

Sadly, we had two kittens pass away after they were adopted last week.  Sure, it happens.  Sure it happens in every rescue, shelter, SPCA - everywhere despite our best efforts to take all the right precautions.  But consoling crying adopters is agonizing.  One of the kittens passed away after being chosen by a 7 year old little girl for her birthday.  The kitten died on this little girl's birthday.  My was heart broken into a bunch of little pieces.  Nobody did anything wrong.  It was just one of those awful things that I consider part of my job and part of rescue. 

Adoptions are great, rescues are good, and my relationship has been nurtured.  I'm feeling a momentary sense of peace and know this is just the calm before the storm of kitten season in the next few months.  I really enjoy this time of year for our foster homes who have been patient for their adult cat adoptions. 

Tonight?  It's all good and I'm going to wallow in least for tonight. :) 

Saturday, February 04, 2012

The Box

David and I went to Costco today.   Despite the fact we have hundreds of dollars of cat toys around the house, the preference was obvious:

It started with "Parker" and "Thomas Turner"

Sherman found it to be a delightful Saturday evening snack.

Barbie was going for a tactical take over and Sherman was not impressed.

But nobody messes with "The Great White"

Saturday night at The Turner's.  Yahoo :)

Friday, February 03, 2012

Have Fun. Rescue Some Cats.

I was listening to a radio programme the other day where the discussion involved volunteering.  The lead person indicated that it's imperative that If you volunteer, you get something in return out of it.

I thought about that for a while and wondered what MY "return" was.  I work 40+ hours per week for free, for animals that rip my furniture, snag my clothes and barf on my carpets.  I've had adopters swear at me, and one (former) foster parent steal adoption money from the rescue.   I've had kittens die in my hands and loving volunteers cry on my shoulder.  What the hell is MY "return"?

My personal rescue motto is:  "Have fun.  Rescue some cats". 

If I'm not having fun in some way, I wouldn't do this.  Anybody who reads this blog knows that there are MANY MANY dark days and "fun" seems very distant.    Some days I get hurt so badly I feel like throwing in the towel.  I still don't know what keeps me going during those darker days.   We have one wonderful foster Mom that has been fostering with me for years who ended up with her last 4 foster cats getting VERY she's got Ringworm in her house.   Where's the fun for her?  Argh. 

"Have Fun.  Rescue some cats" seems almost too simplistic of a mantra.  But I repeat it often and strange as it sounds, it seems to help keep me centered when I'm discouraged or sad.  Maybe because it brings me back to basics.  "Having Fun and Rescuing Some Cats" was the reason I started this rescue.  I wanted to bring nice, loving people together with cats who need homes.   Very few things make me happier than watching a wonderful, loving person adopt a once discarded, abandoned cat who otherwise had no hope.  

I've noticed that my blog posts this week have been void of any real drama.  But I never know what the next week has in store for me.  But for now....I'm going to "Have fun and Rescue Some Cats."

Yeah.  That's right. :)

Thursday, February 02, 2012


I was back at the new shelter today with 2 excited foster parents.  Between us, we rescued seven more cats - for a total of 14 cats over the past 24 hours.  The shelter staff were so excited and it was wonderful to be treated like *a somebody*.  I managed to grab a couple of pictures of the new rescues:

I left one cat at the shelter as the city offered to spay her for me.  (Yes, you read that correctly)  I'll pick her up on Monday. 

So I'm sitting here listening to a little bit of old Burt Bacharach with a fresh haircut and feeling a nice sense of peace for a change.  I know that this kind of peace is short-lived, but I'm going to savour every moment of it.   

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

New Kid On the Block

Today I rescued 7 cats from a shelter that I had never been to before.   It was a strange experience to be at a shelter where I didn't know the staff or the routines.  But  like any shelter, the cats needed homes and the staff were thrilled to see a rescue come in to help. 

At the shelter where I usually rescue, I could almost count the minutes until a newly rescued cat got sick.  I know where the washroom is, and what staff member was helpful and who wasn't. 

This shelter allowed me to come in and rescue after calling people in the industry and finding out that our rescue is reputable and I'm not a hoarder.   I was impressed that they cared enough about their cats to find out where they were going and what I was doing with them. 

It's still too new to say that I can continue to rescue there, but so far it feels like a decent partnership where there isn't a bunch of political bullshit that is preventing me from actually rescuing cats. 

Sadly, there seems to be more than enough cats everywhere for everybody to rescue.  Believe me, I'd be happy to be out of a volunteer job.  "Sorry Beth, but there are no cats for you to rescue today.  Come back next week." 

Tonight, there are 7 more cats that are out of a cage and into a loving foster home.  I'm going back tomorrow to rescue a few more cuties that need us.  

This time?   I'm going to find out where the bathroom is.