Thursday, July 26, 2012

The July Thing.

 I've had 3 adoption calls ALL for the same kitten today.  She's adorable - there's no doubt about that.  But nobody will consider another kitten!  They ALL want THAT kitten!!!   

The calls on the "cat phone" have all seemed more desperate lately.  Even though we have a message that says we're not taking owner/surrenders, we're still receiving a few every day.  Some of these people seem to be on auto-pilot and leaving the same message as they go down a list.  I doubt they even hear my caveat. 
One of the calls was from an educated sounding lady that needs to "rehome" their cat "because of a new baby in the house."  I wanted to call her back just to yell at her and tell her she's stupid. (For lack of a better word)  But I'm guessing the cat is stressed about the new baby and is peeing on stuff.  I can give good counsel on that - I'm good with cat pee issues,  but in the event she's intent on dumping the cat, it's just going to upset me.

So as things get more desperate for cats, I start feeling uglier about the human race.  It's definitely the Mood of July.  It happens every year. 

I received an email from a friend-in-rescue asking about a senior cat at the high-kill shelter.  She had tried to reach a staff member but had received no reply.  She asked for my help contacting somebody.  She wanted to ADOPT him.  Sadly, they killed the cat the SAME day that a small army of shelter staff members decided to write me back.  It wasn't a happy day for the human race. 

Our house still hasn't sold, renovations are in full swing in house #2, and my daughter's wedding is fast approaching.  I'm uncharacteristically disorganized and it's driving me crazy.  I've found myself asking the same questions multiple times and I'm sure our volunteers are wondering what's going on with their fearless leader.  The realtor just called and asked if I could accommodate a house showing at 8:45 pm tonight!!  8:45 in the evening????  I'm in jammies watching reruns of Mad Men by then.  Who the hell wants to buy a house at 8:45????   At some point, I need to be "off the clock", right?

I'm trying to remember that these are First World Problems.  I not only own a house, but I own two.  I have air conditioning and a car to drive.  I need to refocus on the animals that I've promised to help and protect.  That makes me happiest.  Right now, I need some "happy"  :)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

"Being Alive Isn't Good Enough"

I'm devoting today's blog post to an incredible article that I was made aware of  by a fellow blogger at Dog Rescuer's Life.  In fact, it's SO good, that I'm going to leave it up for a few days.  PLEASE read every word.  This blogger has hit the nail on the head and it's what I've been trying to say for years:

"How I Failed As A Rescuer"

Monday, July 23, 2012

Saving The Guilt

I was back at the shelter today and met up with a with a foster Mom.  We ended up rescuing 4 cats.  I'm so grateful that this foster Mom has come back.  She was on a sabbatical from fostering for the past year.  To be honest, I figured she'd never come back after she was stuck with a Mom cat and 6 kittens with ringworm.  UGH!  Bless her heart, she took care of the little family through adoption. 

We went to the "nice" shelter today.  There was one little semi-feral guy in the back that was scheduled for euthanasia because he was deemed unadoptable.  I watched our foster Mom melt as she held the scared kitten in her arms.  He tucked under her chin - his heart racing so fast.  He's now safe.  She's going to work with him.  :)

Going into any shelter isn't exactly a pleasant experience.  The cats are homeless and many grow up there for lack of adoptions.  However, this shelter is air conditioned, the cats are cared for and the staff know each and every one of them.  There are VOLUNTEERS who come into the shelter, brush the cats, and love them.  The staff is proud of what they do for a living.  Everybody is always smiling.  Cats are frolicking and playing with toys. 

I do feel guilty that I didn't rescue from the "high kill" shelter today.  I recently did the math and determined that the AVERAGE veterinary cost PER CAT that I rescue from that shelter is $610.00.  This is mainly due to the Upper Respiratory Virus that seems to take hold of every poor soul in the place.  It doesn't take a math wiz to know that I can't rescue from there every single time.  We're still taking cats from this shelter, but it's financially very difficult, as so many other fledgling rescues have found. 

We're still taking homeless cats from the public - many from the city where the high kill shelter is located - preventing them from going into that disease infested building.  It's a tough juggling act to insure that money is there to take care of them all. 

Why do I always feel like I need to apologize when I don't take cats out of the high kill shelter?  Tomorrow is their vet day - many may die.  If I had taken 4 cats from that shelter it still wouldn't have been enough.  It'll NEVER be enough until that city gets it's head out of it's ass and starts operating like a shelter of the 21st century. 

Until then?  I'll save the guilt for something else. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

July Sucks

I was comparing spreadsheets on July's adoptions from 2011 to 2012. I had been really alarmed by our pitiful adoptions, but found that we're right on target for July.  July is a slow, sad, adoption month.  They're killing cats at the "high kill" shelter because there are too many and it's overcrowded. 

July sucks. 

Because I'm (still) trying to sell our house, I've been hesitant to take any new foster cats to my home.  I can barely handle what I already have going on.  It's too painful to look at the High Kill Shelter's Website and see all the cats I can't save right now.  We're still rescuing from there, but *I* personally, can't take anybody and there are some "Turner Tabby" sweeties that are making me feel as if I'm the one pushing the syringe into their veins:

There are so many sad little souls that will die tomorrow morning when the vet arrives.  I guess this happens in shelters all over the place.  But at least the other shelters have adoptions - the nice, healthy cats have a chance. 

I guess this is just another one of *those* blog posts.  I'm looking forward to the end of summer.  Hell, I'm looking forward to moving so that I can foster somebody that needs me.  For now?  I'm muddling through July and praying for those who never had a chance to know what it's like to be loved.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Just Sherman

I'm just too damn tired for a decent blog post tonight, so thought "The Sherminator" might be somewhat entertaining.  Lots going on and too pooped to put my thoughts in order to share.

I came home from the grocery store and left a plastic bag on the counter only to hear a frantic scramble:

REALLY stuck!
Sherman is a great help in the kitchen too.  We made Strawberry Shortcake together:

"Me Likey Strawberries!"

My son tells me he's taking Sherman when he moves into his own apartment. "I don't think so. Sherman loves his Mommy!"

Monday, July 16, 2012

Early Week Updates

We had a volunteer out at the "high kill" shelter over the weekend and rescued a couple of cute kittens.  I always have to brace myself for rescues from this place because each cat rescued means that the cost of their care will exceed the adoption fee that I receive.  One was already sneezing on the way home.  *sigh* 

The volunteer stopped at my house on her way home to pick up some medication for the kitten, since I always have a stockpile of antibiotics.  I peered into the carrier at the little faces and was glad they were safe.  It's so easy to forget about these innocent animals since I haven't been to that shelter in some time. 

Apparently, they are still killing little families of kittens and adults as the shelter is very overcrowded.  We tried to rescue several others that were on their site, but sadly, they were already dead.  Our volunteer was told that they're putting in air conditioning in the shelter in October.  They told me that LAST year.  Apparently, there's a rumour that they are taking one of the back rooms in the shelter to put 12 adult cats to (ultimately) be available for adoption to the PUBLIC.  If it's true, it's a good start. 

If I sound skeptical, it's because I am.  I want to be wrong - really badly. 

I received a call from the public asking for help with a pregnant Mom cat that was left in an apartment building.  The couple love cats but couldn't take the cat into their home for a variety of reasons.  Sadly, the superintendent of the apartment building took the pregnant Mom cat to the "high kill shelter".  When the neighbour called the shelter to check on her, he found she had delivered her kittens that same day AND would be euthanized Tuesday (tomorrow).

He was desperate.  Maybe he was the one that unknowingly took her to the "high kill" shelter.  We'll never know. 

I didn't have space for a new Mom cat, so I did something that I don't do very often - I called a larger rescue and asked if they had space.  Many thank you's to Toronto Cat Rescue who came forward to save this little family's lives.  As I type this, they have not been rescued, but a foster home has been located and the neighbour who cares has offered to help with transport.

David and I are celebrating our wedding anniversary today.  I think about that crazy guy that I fell in love with that wasn't really into cats and now sleeps with 4 of them -  I couldn't do this without his daily love and support.  What a great life we have!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A Happier Post

Did I say yesterday that I haven't been rescuing anybody?  Sure, *I* haven't....but our rescue is still helping the cats that need us. 

Six week old baby found yesterday in a box next to a dumpster.  But now *safe*

This little girl was hanging around a playground for a week with the kids.  She just wanted somebody to take her home.  She's safe now with us.

So maybe I was a little dramatic when I said I wasn't rescuing. *WE* are rescuing the cats that need us. I felt a lot better when I realized that things were still happening around me. I've been feeling very isolated in my own little chaotic misery lately. On a happy note....remember our 14 year old dog Maggie that was diagnosed with liver cancer and 4 weeks to live? (If you missed that post, you can read about it HERE.   Tomorrow, it will be THREE MONTHS since that diagnosis.

We took Maggie over to the new house last night to see her new back yard.  We never thought she'd live long enough to see our new home.  Boy, were we wrong!!    (I wish the video showed the house - but at least you'll get to see the garage (for ample cat carrier storage),  and please note "The first Pee-Pee" in the new yard at 30 seconds)

Watch the video a few times. It'll make you smile.  Until it's her time - we'll love her to pieces.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Is It Tuesday Already?

I feel like it's been months since I've rescued any cats.  The summer moves along, cats are dying in the shelters and those that manage to survive outside are little breeding machines.  With my life in "First World" chaos, those little needy faces in the shelter seem so far away from my life right now.

Yes, it's only temporary, but there doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day to do all that I need to do.  David comes home from dinner and we're back out all evening for either a house showing on the old house or to see how the renovations are moving along in the new house.  Like I said - "First World" problems.

I started reading a book while I was in the car waiting for our house to be shown.  It's called "The Bond" - "Our Kindship with Animals, Our Call to Defend Them" by Wayne Pacelle the President of The HSUS.  Regardless of what you think about the Humane Society of the United States or Wayne Pacelle, the book (so far) has been terrific.  He made sense of what I'm compelled to do.   At least my rescuing is limited to domestic animals.  There are people out there rescuing mountain lions.  It could be worse.  :)

Although our adoptions remain slow for July (compared to last year), I received a TERRIFIC adoption call on one of our adult cats today.  It was perfect and I'm praying that our "Minka" goes to a forever home soon.  She's a lovely girl, but certainly a "nothing special" 2 year old tabby.  I never get tired of these kind of adoption calls.

I'm so grateful that our volunteers have been patient with me. One of my biggest concerns is that they feel ignored or don't want to call me out of fear that they're bothering me.  Lately, almost every phone call or email from our volunteers have started out with, "I know you're really busy but...."

The best thing I've done for myself lately is putting that message on the rescue's voicemail saying that "due to the high volume of unwanted discarded cats in the shelters, we're not accepting owner surrender cats at this time..."  I get ZERO calls from the public who want to dump their cats.  It's been a Godsend.  No more imbeciles asking me to take their 14 year old cat because they had a baby!  No more selfish assholes asking me to take their 10 year old black cat because they're moving.  It's wonderful to know that every time that phone rings it's somebody I *want* to speak with! 

My 30 minute daily naps are a thing of the past and I'm desperately overcaffeinated most of the time.  I probably look like a crack addict as my shaky caffeine induced hands put another cup of coffee up to my lips.  I fall into bed at night, steal the covers from David and hope that I can fall asleep quickly.  My mind is way too busy, but know that it's temporary thing. 

I haven't forgotten about the discarded cats at the shelter.  They still need me.  They still need us. 

Friday, July 06, 2012


It isn't easy to distract me from our rescue.  Illness, surgeries and divorce has never changed anything in the way I follow up with foster parents or adopters.  But the latest real estate fiasco on our home has caused such distress that I'm finding doing normal stuff very difficult!

Yes, we had an accepted offer on our house.  However, our real estate agent had neglected to put in the listing (even though we told her) some important information about our 100+ year old home.  Sadly, the agent realized her error too late and now our buyer is in a panic and doesn't want the house.  We're in limbo for another 5 days until she can formally decide.  To add to the drama the buyer left for Cuba.  I'm furious that somebody that is representing ME could be so neglectful. 

The contractor who is doing the renovations on our new (140+ year old) home has discovered some problems.   It's like something out of an HGTV segment! 

After he groggily woke up at 2 pm, my 21 year old son asked me  "Why are YOU in such a BAD mood??"


Yes, I'm distracted, but the adoption lines are still being answered and calls are being returned.  I'm grateful that we're not living in the home with the renovations so everything seems relatively normal otherwise.  The cats are nonplussed about the drama that doesn't really effect them at all. 

Parker & Thomas
Looks like I'm not the only one distracted:

Thankfully, this blog has come through for me again and has allowed me to vent - I feel much better!!  It'll all get better soon!   Happy Friday :)

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Rolling the Dice

As the primary administrator of an animal rescue organization, I find myself rolling the dice far more often than I'm comfortable doing.  Rolling the dice involves making uncomfortable choices not only with veterinary decisions, but also with other financial compromises.

We were out of Petsmart rotation on June 30th, with an abundance of kittens AND on a holiday weekend, it seemed ridiculous to have an adoption event on the last two days of the month.  Canadians are usually off to cottages and away for this long weekend.  I rolled the dice and spent $100.00 on advertising for a two day event.

Not only did we have an enormous number of adoptions - but THREE black cats were adopted along with TWO adult cat adoptions!  Honestly?  I couldn't have been happier with the outcome of the event.  Silly me - I think we could've accommodated more cats for the two days!  It's such a buzz to know that I made the right decision.  It certainly could've ended differently with the rescue spending $100.00 in advertising only to sit around a frickin' Petsmart for 2 days with no adoptions. 

We finally received an offer on our house last night.  It was a completely crappy offer and as I type this post we're still going back and forth.  The funniest part about her initial offer for our house is that she included our CAT DEN in the offer!  She's obviously a cat person and wants it.  LOL  Anyway, if she can meet our price, she can have the cat den and we'll install another one in the new house. 

Needless to say, tensions are high and I find myself rolling the dice on this too. 

I'm looking forward to being bored, but I don't see that happening any time soon.