Thursday, May 31, 2012

"Marney" and Co.

It's been a wildly crazy morning - picking up kittens, delivering kittens, and delivering our special pregnant girl "Marney" to her foster Mom.  The staff at the shelter said she was sweet, but I wasn't prepared for how incredibly adorable and sweet this little girl is!!!

Marney has been at the shelter for A MONTH in a tiny cage.  I can't imagine what it's like to be pregnant and have so little space, fresh air, stimulation or even a reason for living.  But Marney is just adorable!  As usual, the sound of my own voice makes me cringe)

If you didn't notice, I guess I got a little distracted during the rescue. *sigh* That little fluffy calico and grey tabby just about killed me.  I should've taken all of them and I'm already regretting it as I type this post.

Apparently, I had missed a FAWN at the shelter by a few minutes.  I think people forget that Animal Services provides OTHER important services other than "killing cats and dogs". 

Anyway, I'm very grateful to the foster Mom that came forward to save her life and also very grateful to the volunteer that pointed her out to me.  It's been an emotional day as I always feel drained when I leave the shelter.  I'll look forward to when my house sells and I can foster again.  

There's just too many that need help....but I guess you already knew that.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Just Another Wednesday

Our adoptions have been very slow over the past few weeks.  I'm sure some of it has to do with long weekends, holidays and TONS of free kittens showing up on the online classified sites.  Gosh, I hate the "Free Kitten" ads.  I only wish people understood how much it will cost them for a free kitten in just a few months. 

I haven't been doing much actual RESCUING lately as our foster spaces have filled up and adoptions have temporarily slowed down.  But I am VERY happy to be rescuing this young lady tomorrow morning:
Marney was brought to my attention by one of my blog readers and she even offered to foster her.  Although fostering a pregnant Mom like Marney wasn't a good choice for this kind volunteer, I am going to rescue her tomorrow morning anyway.  Apparently, she's a shelter favourite.  (She must be, or they would've killed her by now.) Look at the condition of her cage!  Poor little thing must've been so upset to be there.

They take pictures of the cats when they first arrive, so it's not unusual for them to be terrified or messy.  This is what Marney looked like when she first arrived in the triage area:

Bless her little heart.  She deserves so much more and is going to get it!  I can hardly wait to see what her kittens will look like.   One of the volunteers told me that the last time she fostered a white cat, ALL of the kittens came out BLACK!  Hahahhaha!

Gearing up for a big Petsmart Adoption Event AND Garage Sale weekend.  It's truly the Calm Before The Storm.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Is It "Tomorrow" Yet?

It was hard leaving Southern California this time.  Everything looked so beautiful!  My daughter's bridal shower was on a lovely yacht in Newport Beach Harbour.  I was reminded why people covet a Southern California lifestyle and had to remind myself why I wanted to leave it.

We had some urgent situations while I was away - kittens are dying and we just don't know why.  There seems to be no rhyme or reason.  Some are from the shelter, some are born in the foster home.  But they all seem to have horrible anemia and diarrhea.  We're all beginning to wonder if it's the food. 

My God, I sit here and wonder how we'll feel if we've been inadvertently poisoning our kittens when another pet food recall comes around.  I can't fathom it. 

Lots happening this week as we prepare to go into another Petsmart store and we have a HUGE fundraising Garage Sale on Saturday.  Our vet bills have been through the roof lately with all the sick and dying kittens.  We still have kittens at the vet on IV fluids and one at another vet that was euthanized this morning.  The fundraiser couldn't come at a better time.  It's been brutal.

I'm tired tonight.  Between the heat and another house showing this afternoon, my heart isn't into writing today.  Tomorrow is another day and the jet lag will be gone. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Day Before...

The day started with a chipmunk in the house.  I don't know which one of my felines brought the little guy in from the cat den, but he was scared to death shivering in a corner near my refrigerator.  Sherman had him cornered and was reaching for him like a T-Rex on Jurassic Park. I was in a hurry so barricaded the chipmunk so he would stay safe until my return.

The day was down hill after that. 

Yes, the day before a trip to California can never be an easy one.  There's always some kind of emergency - whether it's cat-related or the person that cuts my hair cancels at the last minute.  Regardless, it wouldn't be a day-before-travel-day unless I was a sweaty, grumpy, mess by 8 pm. 

The highlight of the day was finding the little Chipmunk still alive upon my return 3 hours later.  He looked far perkier!  My son and I took a broom handle and taped a big soup spoon to the end of it,  (Seriously.)  and scooped the little guy into a dish towel and put him in the backyard.  Victory!!! 

The worst part was seeing all the crap that had accumulated behind the refrigerator.  Good Gravy, I think that chipmunk had enough to eat and enough cat toys to play with for a year back there!

We had a house showing at 4 pm today that I wasn't planning on having, so had to stop and buy fresh flowers for the table.  Of course, the potential buyers stayed for 5 minutes as I watched them leave from a vantage point down the block.  $40.00 in flowers for a 5 minute showing....blah. 

Yes, I'm going to be a happy camper to get on that plane tomorrow.  David is coming with me and we'll have a couple of days of romance in La Jolla before going to my daughter's Bridal Shower. 

I found a cute picture on Facebook that I wanted to share.  I hope you all share it too.  After paying the rescue's bills, taking complaint calls, and scooping cat poop, I seem to have forgotten that THIS is what I do best:
See you when I get back in a few days :) 

Monday, May 21, 2012

A Canadian Holiday Post

It's a holiday in Canada today.  Being an American, it's hard to understand the big deal with Victoria Day, but whatever you call it, I'm happy with a gorgeous day off with my family.  Yesterday was a baseball game, today was a waterfront lunch and walk in at the waterfront park near where we bought our new house. 

Sadly, the phone hasn't stopped ringing with sick and dying kittens this weekend.  They all seem to have the same thing - diarrhea, loss of weight and basically a fail-to-thrive.  Even the vets seem baffled.  There's no rhyme or reason.  They're not coming from the same place and not in the same foster home.  But the symptoms seem to all be very similar. 

I sat at the Toronto Blue Jay's game yesterday with David and my sons texting a sad foster parent who was losing one of her kittens.  It's awful to feel so far away and unable to do anything.  The poor little lamb passed away during the 5th inning.  My sons started to give me a hard time about texting during the "family time", but when I told them I was trying to console a foster parent with a dead kitten they backed off. 

One foster Mom went to the "high kill" shelter yesterday and rescued a VERY sweet 2 year old fluff ball:

I saw her last time I was there and she was so desperate to get out.  Imagine how happy I was to see that one of our volunteers chose her! 

I didn't realize how desperate I had been for some good news until I saw this picture.  Another foster Mom went to the same shelter on Saturday and rescued a 2 year old grey girl and couldn't leave behind the world's cutest 10 week old orange kitten who was alone in the cage. feels good to rescue. 
Our adoptions this weekend have been very very slow - no doubt due to the holiday. 

There have been TWO MORE instances of the "butcher vet" spaying cats and leaving one or more ovary in.  The rescue is having to pay for the re-spay surgeries from a more qualified veterinarian.  I wonder when or where this will ever end?  I've contacted the other rescues who have used this vet, but what about the people who have paid for his services and wonder why their female is yowling and pee'ing all over the place 6 months later?   Yes, I'm contacting the proper authorities. 

I'm leaving on Wednesday for Southern California for a few days.  My daughter is having her Bridal Shower and I'm definitely not going to miss it.  It feels like a bad time for me to be gone, but I'm always accessible by cell phone if any volunteer needs me.  I know the volunteers often feel guilty about contacting me, but again - that's what I signed up to do! 

BBQ heating up....Corn on the cob for the must be...Victoria Day!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Blessings. Counting Them.

I'm feeling far more relaxed today.  Things weren't necessarily better, but the rant from yesterday's blog post must of helped.  I really held on to the tidbits of good news that came my way in this morning's emails.

I feel so blessed to have received a gift certificate for a SPA from one of our foster parents who thought I deserved a break.  When I received the email with the certificate, I started to cry.  It was a beautiful thing to feel cared about and appreciated.  I can hardly wait to book the appointment and go. 

Tomorrow is "Garbage Day".  In the city where I live, they allow 6 "garbage cans" (every other week) which doesn't include recycling.  It occurred to me that the majority of our garbage is cat poop.  No wonder the garbage guys FLING the cans back into our yard after dumping it.  They must get so ticked to open up garbage cans filled with cat crap. 

We had another house showing tonight.  The longer the house is for sale, the more relaxed I'm getting about the cats.  Although I still put litterboxes away, etc., I'm not taking out all the cats in carriers any longer.  With the weather being so beautiful, I'm putting some of them out in the "Cat Den", some in carriers and my little epileptic girl "Newman" gets to stay inside and be the princess that she is.  Phoebe and Pella hide under the bed as soon as they see the carriers come out, so I leave them in the house too.  I'm tired of digging out unhappy cats from under the bed.

On another happy note, our 14 year old dog Maggie who was given Four Weeks to live has surpassed the 4 week mark with flying colours.  She's doing so well and continues to enjoy life the way she always has.  She's still taking brisk nightly walks, barking at other dogs and stealing the cat's Temptation Treats.  I snapped this sweet picture of Maggie, my son "Will" and "Butters" napping this afternoon:

Looks like I need to count my blessings a little more often. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Feeling The Burn

I left the house at 8:15 this morning with the other commuters to be at Petsmart as they opened.  I had to deal with a major mess there and was happy to see two of our other volunteers there with smiling faces to greet me.  They have no idea how their smiles gave me strength and support during a very difficult situation.

It's been a tragic couple of days.  I've been treading water and knew without a doubt that there would be days like this when I started the rescue.  Kitten season brings out the worst in me.  I'm watching our bank balance drop exponentially which only happens during kitten season.  Those little dudes are expensive when they get sick. 

I feel like if I had 24 hours without anything going wrong, I'd be OK.  But I never seem to catch my breath between each crisis.   I had an adopter call me this afternoon  and leave a nasty message, that he tried to call me last week about the kitten he adopted a two months ago that now has worms.  His vet bill is $400.00 and he wants his money and a phone call back.  "I didn't call you back because you're a moronic douche"  (But I'll call him back tonight).

There's something about these days that kick you in the head over and over again until you're finally numb.  I think I'm reaching that "numb" part. :)

I feel badly for the foster parents after a blog post like this.  I get emails that start with, "I know you've had a rough few days and I hate to bring this up but....."   It really truly is OK!  I signed up for this.  If I didn't rant and vent here, where could I?   

On top of everything else, our house still hasn't sold and we stand a very good chance to own both houses in another 30 days.  I've had to turn that stress mess over to David because I don't think I want to take on that problem too.  Those of you who have read my blog over the past 4 years know that with rescue brings periodic meltdowns. 

I'm not melting down yet....but am definitely feeling the burn.   

Monday, May 14, 2012

An Average Monday?

I was back at the "high kill" shelter this morning.  Last night I received a Facebook message from a favourite friend-in-rescue that was ready to adopt a "needy" cat from this shelter.  He gave me criteria and allowed me to pick for him.

It's never easy to make this choice on the day before a euthanasia day, but because he has other cats his criteria was specific:

1.  Female under 1 year old
2.  Submissive - not an alpha/diva
3.  Black or tabby OK
4.  Hard luck case is great:  Underweight, scabs, rough around the edges

In other words:  Somebody that needed him!  (Be still my heart!) 

When I first saw "Kesha", I knew she would be a great fit.  She was underweight, in the shelter's sick room and there was little doubt that they would consider her for euthanasia tomorrow morning.  I held her up to other cats - some where hissing, some were swatting towards her.  I held my breath praying that she wouldn't sabatoge her rescue.

....and she didn't! 

I didn't realize how much weight she had lost at the shelter until I looked at this intake picture of her.  It doesn't look like the same cat that I rescued.  Bless her little heart.  I put her in the front seat with me and she folded front paws under her delicately.  She lifted her face into the beam of warm sunlight.  I smiled and was so glad she Hit the Jackpot today :)

My Rescue-Warm-And-Fuzzy-Feeling didn't last long....

While in route with Kesha in the car, I received a tearful call from a foster Mom whose foster kitten had passed away.  She said he had been playing, etc, but found him passed away peacefully.  When humans have babies, we have ultrasounds and prenatal health checks to determine the health of the baby.  With kittens, sometimes it's the roll of the dice.  She's a veteran foster parent and this is the first time this has happened to her.  I think she's been fortunate, as I'm sure some of the kitten-foster-parents who are reading this will agree.
 Tomorrow, we're having another "Agent Open House" and I'll need to load up the cats and dog and be out of the house for almost 3 hours tomorrow morning.  What on earth will I do for 3 hours???   I'll bring my cell phone, foster list, and a roll of paper towels...we have several cats that poop the moment that they get into their carriers.  Good Time Tuesday...the title of tomorrow's blog post, I'm sure.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Back To "That Place"

Today was one of those glorious days that make you believe there's nothing terrible going on in the world.  I had to go out to the "high kill" shelter today to rescue a little girl the staff named "Novene":
We had a foster parent ask for Novene and although I hadn't rescued at this shelter in some time, I sure didn't mind getting this little girl out of there. 

I opened the sunroof on my car and headed out to the shelter.  The warm sun on my face gave me some courage as I could feel the familiar dread as I exited the highway.  Nothing has changed in the shelter.  Lots of empty cages - perhaps many were euthanized today?  Who knows.  I'm grateful that the sweet little face of Novene was there to greet me as I walked into the room:

Of course, as soon as I turned off the camera she came right out of the box and purr'd the moment I picked her up.  She's sick (as EVERY f**king cat is that comes out of this God forsaken place).  For once, I'd like to rescue somebody that doesn't look like they've been through hell. 

The foster parent that is taking Novene has a thing for fluffy calicos and I'm sure she won't be disappointed with her.  Novene is about 6 or 7 years old and definitely needs another chance at life.  She's a doll and totally needs a new name!  "Novene" sounds like a medication that I might take to fall asleep.

I stopped at a busy foster Mom's home and picked up two kittens to put into Petsmart for adoption.  Adoptions there haven't been what I had expected, but things do start to slow down as "free" kittens come on the online classifieds. 

Looking forward to a beautiful weekend with my sweetheart.  I haven't seen my friend The Groundhog since the other day, but to David's horror, I put out some grapes near the hole and they've been eaten.  I don't know why he was horrified that I fed the groundhog!  We've been married a long time now and he should know me better than that!  :) 

Happy Friday all - the adoption line is ringing lots and lots of this afternoon!  (Hurray!)

Wednesday, May 09, 2012


Summer is coming, because I'm getting a bazillion requests from foster parents who are going on vacation and need to move their cats or kittens into new locations for a week or two.  May the juggling act begin!  It's always tough to do, but I'm a proud non-overrescuer, so finding a spot isn't usually a hideous experience - yet.  I figure by July, I'll be crying in my Cat Chow for additional foster space.

I have a short not-so-short story to tell and am trying to figure out the way I want to explain it.  There are a couple of layers to the story and I wanted to make sure that I do a good job:

About 3 weeks ago, we adopted a very cute little guy named Ramone to a fabulous family:
After about a week into his adoption I received a call from his new Mom "Dahlia" who said Ramone was sick.  The symptoms were strange and I was worried.  I suggested a vet in her area which is also my own vet and favourite person. 

But Ramone kept getting sicker.  And sicker.

Another week went by and Dahlia contacted me about Ramone.  Apparently, he had been in and out of the vets for several weeks.  She was at a loss and needed some guidance.

Never once did Dahlia yell at me about "adopting out a sick cat to her".

Never once did Dahlia demand ask the rescue for money.

Today she called from the vet.  Ramone was dying.  He was finally diagnosed with congenital kidney failure.  The vet was recommending euthaniasia and she didn't want to do this until she spoke with me.  I spoke with her and the vet.  It was best for Ramone.

Dahlia didn't tell me I ran a "shitty rescue", or complained that she lost an adoption fee.


She asked me how to tell her children about Ramone's passing.  She wants to become a volunteer driver for our rescue. She thanked me for emotionally supporting her through the past few weeks. 

I hadn't cried for the loss of a cat in a long time.  But I didn't cry for Ramone's loved passing.  I cried in gratitude for Dahlia and her love, care and being a 100% *class act*.  I didn't think a person like Dahlia existed anymore and I was losing hope.

Thank you for giving me some of my faith in humanity back.  Enjoy your time at "The Bridge", Ramone.  We lost another kitten in foster care this morning and I hope you find each other.   

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

A Day of "Cute"

It was a day of 100% cuteness!  If you haven't had a day like that lately, I encourage you to be in awe of the cuteness that I was able to partake in today.

First, I picked up 3 kittens that were rescued from a nearby barn.  I was to drive them into the city to their new foster home.  Kittens are kittens...they're ALL cute, right?  Oh man...but these guys DEFINE cute:

I suppose when I put them on the website they'll be snapped up in a hurry.  I wish they could all be so fortunate. 

A few moments before I sat down to write in my blog, I noticed our 14 year old dog Maggie seemed extra interested in going outside.  The cats were frozen in place by the windows and I looked...and...looked...
I didn't see anything at first until I squinted and saw out by my storage shed....

What a cute little dude!  I have no idea what that is, but he's bigger than a rabbit and looks like a beaver!  I've never seen one and I just stood there for a long time watching him.  After he mosied around the back of the storage shed, I walked carefully out there to find *nothing*!  But I did see a big ol' hole going UNDER the shed.  I wonder if there's baby *somethingies* out there.  Whatever he is, he's very cute. 

I really love nature and find a big thrill in even the smallest of things.  Sometimes when David and I go on our evening walks we stop and stare at the squirrels.  It's fun to make up little stories about them....Is that one going home?  Demanding her "kids get home on the double"?'s silly, but it's fun.  

I should probably be living in a dense forest someplace and enjoying the deer, bunnies, and squirrels. 

But then again...I'd probably get NOTHING done all day :)

Monday, May 07, 2012

A Monday Update

Saturday was a terrific day for adoptions.  It wasn't too busy and it wasn't too slow...just a nice steady stream of really terrific people that came out to adopt some cats.  Sadly, none of our bigger kittens or adults were adopted.  I think it was a little slower than usual because another rescue was at a Petsmart nearby offering adoption fees at almost half of what ours is.  It's is business...and their cats need homes too. 

I was looking at the Facebook page that is advocating for a change at the high-kill shelter.  I've called them "The Crazy Protesters", but I'm feeling as if they aren't quite as over-the-top anymore.  Of course, there is one or two that I find frustrating to say the least, but they're looking more organized and less "kooky".  I respect that they are moving forward to try to make a difference. 

I was sad to read that somebody posted about a found cat in the area of the shelter and one of the women told her "Whatever you do, don't take the cat to the shelter - they'll kill it!" 
Despite all the problems that this shelter has, they DO reunite owners and their pets!  How awful that somebody could be looking for their cat and were told not to take it to the shelter.  Hopefully, they filed a "found cat" report anyway.

I've been spending a lot more time reading about the no-kill movement.  I'm not ready to offer an opinion, but anything that involves NOT killing animals deserves our attention.  It's great to see "kill" shelters becoming "no kill" shelters.  I always chuckle when I read their stats that indicate that some of these shelters get 100 strays per month or per year.  The big shelter that we've rescued from would be THRILLED with those stats.  In the summer, it's not unusual to get 100 cats in their shelter in a matter of a few days. 

Bah....I'm not getting into THAT controversy today.  I'm still on the fence with my opinion.

Here's an incredible thing:  I just received THE SEVENTH call about a cat going into heat AFTER she has been spayed.  That STUPID, WRECKLESS, NEGLIGENT vet who has performed these "spay" surgeries has cost our rescue thousands of $$'s in redoing spay surgeries.  It's all so sad that these cats have to go back and be spayed again.  Each time our vet is finding ovaries intact.  The vet who is performing these negligent surgeries and charging us needs to have his licence reviewed - to put it mildly.  We only used this vet for about 1 month last year before we realized he was a butcher.  But we're still getting these calls.  I wish I had the time to really go after this guy, but I don't.   

Aren't I a basket of happiness today?  :)

Saturday, May 05, 2012

The Saturday Bathrobe

It's early.  While others in the house sleep, I'm getting ready for a big adoption event.  I'm sitting here thinking of the other volunteers - some who worked all week - who are also coming out for the event to help see some cats into their homes that we hope to be forever.

In fact, in Petsmarts all over North America volunteers are getting their unwanted, discarded cats ready to find homes they hope to be forever too. 

I would love to stay in my robe this morning and read the newspaper. It's been an awful Week #2 and David is finally home from Geekfest 2012 his Bridge Tournament.  All over North America, there are other volunteers who are probably thinking that they'd like to stay in their robes too. 

Then I think of the people who dumped the cats in shelters or by the side of the road and thinking about them in their robes and reading the newspaper this morning and I get angry.  They'll go out for breakfast this morning and not think about the animal that they left behind in the shelter or in a field or farm. 

I lift my coffee mug in a toast to those who care.  Those who gave up their coveted Saturday to set up cages, bring in their foster cats, scoop poop and listen to adopters tell stories of cats who have passed.  Many thank you's to those who picked up the pieces for those without responsibility. 

I wish ALL of you the very best today.  May you have lots of adoptions and feel wonderful about the work you're doing.  Look at those furry little faces and pink noses and know that they need you.  It's going to be a good adoption day.

You bring the cats and I'll bring the donuts.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Where's The Waaaaahmbulance?




I didn't run a cat rescue today.  I ran a frickin' COMPLAINT DEPARTMENT.  It was one of those awful days that no matter how cheerful I answered the cat rescue phone line, there was somebody ticked off on the other end.  I had a call from someone who adopted a cat a month ago who was complaining that her cat had a runny eye.  Another call from someone whose kitten wasn't using the litterbox and it was my fault.  One call was from a former adopter who adopted a cat 3 months ago....yada yada yada. 

Certainly I don't mind giving advice or helping people.  I consider that part of my job!  But it was tough that it was all in a few hours. 

I was trying to organize the adoption event and move kittens from one foster home into 4 different foster homes.  For me, it takes a lot of concentration to insure I'm placing cats in the right places with the foster parents who can best handle the age group or needs.

In one hour, I have TWO showings on my house.  Right now, cleaning the house and loading up the cats and dog into the car seems like a walk in the park compared to the day I've had.  In fact, it sounds rather lovely to have an excuse to not be near the phone for a couple of hours. 

Despite all the problems of the day, I still really love what I do.  I've been feeling a little isolated lately especially when day-to-day issues have to be resolved.  I don't have a rescue partner to ask and right now I'm really missing that connection. 

Tomorrow will be a better day....clicking my heels three times...

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Procrastinating the "To Do" List

There's probably a million different things I should be doing right now, but writing in my blog seems to have taken top of the "to do" list.  More than likely,  it's my way of procrastinating. 

The rescue has moved out of one Petsmart yesterday and is preparing to move into another one tonight.  Although every store is supposed to have the same rules and regulations, they all seem to work a little differently.   You add the stress of this with a HUGE adoption event this weekend and that has to equal mega stress. 

You'd have to be in my shoes to know all that has to be done to move out of one Petsmart store and into another one.  Cats have to be vetted and placed.  Paperwork has to be in order and cages need to be cleaned.  Of course, no matter how well we clean the cages it's never quite good enough for the next rescue who is going in.  LOL 

Moving cats into foster homes that have been in Petsmart "long enough" is another important task.  Who determines that?  Probably me. 

Honestly, I couldn't do half of what I do without the other volunteers.  I've been meaning to sit down and write a note of appreciation - and perhaps THAT is what needs to go to the top of the "To Do" list. 

I finally have an opportunity to go out for dinner with several friends this evening and had a moment of despair when the real estate agent called me and said there was a request for somebody to view our house.  Gratefully, they rescheduled for tomorrow night.  I never get a chance to hang out with friends and it was important to me. 

David called yesterday and said that "Geekfest 2012"  (Canadian Bridge Championships) was not going well this year and part of me was happy that there's a chance he'll be home early.  I'm such a selfish wife.  :)

Time to feed the cats, Maggie and head out to Petsmart to set up for a new month.  I'm looking forward to having dinner with friends and playing with kittens.  Of course, what Petsmart entrance wouldn't be complete without some friendly bitching about the condition of the cages that the prior rescue left them in?  (*LOL*)'s all good, right?