Wednesday, August 29, 2012

God's Country

It was nice to be part of a rescue again.  It's not very often that I get to visit a lovely horse farm with the intent of rescuing cats.  The drive was incredible out into the country with a fellow volunteer in the passenger seat.  I could almost smell the leather from the tack barn as we drove into their driveway.  Oh how I miss having horses sometimes! 

Sadly, only a few of the tenants (who board their horses) give a crap about the 15+ cats inhabitating their farm.  Nobody really feeds them and of course, none are fixed.  So NOW that the spring kittens are getting older, everybody's panicking and they're asking for help. 

As usual, before any  rescue I call foster parents and ask for help.  I knew I could take 3 cats comfortably.

But I left with 5. 

Two already have pictures and names:
"Ferguson looks pretty happy to be out of the barn!"

"Forbes is a happy guy too!"

Now that five are out of there, the owners and tenants of the farm have vowed to get the rest fixed in order to avoid things getting out of control. There's such a small window to catch friendly cats before they become untouchable and fertile.

I still have a preference for rescuing out of shelters.  But I feel like I made a huge difference with this farm and may have been able to help them from a situation becoming out of control.  It was hard to take them away from this farm.  The sun was warm and they were all in a bail of hay grooming each other.  They were happy!!  I tried to remember that Canada's winters can be unforgiving and scooped them into carriers. 

I kissed each one and promised them a better life....and I meant it.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Monday Catch-Up

Last week I declared Monday, August 27th my "Back to Reality" day.  I figured 7 days of whining, unpacking and general forgetful behaviour would be forgiven for a 7 day period.  After that, I was sure I'd be labeled a "Flake".  I was so certain that in 7 days all my boxes would be unpacked and I'd be happily skipping around the new house putting up pictures and nesting like a pregnant woman about to give birth.

No such luck.  I only found the box of linens last night.  We've been sleeping without pillowcases all week. 

I finished organizing my office today and feel as if I can make some better decisions about the rescue and an adoption event coming up this Saturday in the city.  (Locating my cages, tables and brochures will be another story.)  Sure, I'm a little worried about having an adoption event on Labour Day weekend, but it's been advertised and the pet store owner is pretty excited about having us, so I'm going to drum up some enthusiasm and adopt out some cats on Saturday!

Wednesday, I'm driving out to farm country and help an upscale horse farm with an overload of cats.  Apparently, they're all friendly and healthy.  It's hard for me to ask for money, but I did ask the owner for a donation to get the cats their initial vaccinations, deworming and defleaing.  I'm not sure how many there are, but they're going to be in a mess soon as many are still pregnant and having kittens.  This isn't exactly "my kind of rescue", but the people seem so supportive and helpful, that I think it's a good idea. 

I was thinking today how easy it is to forget about the plight of discarded cats that live outside when it's a beautiful late summer day.  But it's only a few months away when things get cold and the weather unforgiving.  Although it's awful that cats are euthanized in the shelters, it's a much easier way to die than freezing to death.  Those who feed feral colonies will agree, I'm sure.  

I received a tearful voicemail from a lady that adopted one of our cats in the spring.  Sadly, the kitten is now dying of FIP.  I remember this lady - she was lovely and gave this kitten (and his brother) a wonderful home.  My heart broke as her voice cracked and she started to cry on the voicemail.  I had to replay it again as I thought I heard incorrectly that she wanted me to pay for the euthanasia since I didn't have to pay for the kitten's neuter surgery. 

Seriously?  *sigh*

It's going to be a busy week.  I hope to stay in touch with my blog a little better now that life is giving me some organization...

...and some pillow cases for our pillows!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Cat Den - Part Deux

I unpacked my camera!  It's like Christmas when I found it - so many things about the move and the house that I wanted to document.  Most importantly, I wanted to post some pictures here with the new cat den.  It's actually the same set up - different house and it wraps around the corner of the house.  :) 

We're having some work done at the house today, so I locked the cats out there for safety reasons.  Nobody is happy with "forced fun", as you'll see in these pictures:

I love that this cat den is more open than the last.  We had it wrapped around some small trees and bushes with hope that would add interest.  The cats can go out through a flap in the basement window.  Sadly, nobody is THAT interested in using the cat den right now except for Sherman  

Back to unpacking the rescue's office.... 

Monday, August 20, 2012

It's Over!

I've survived.  Right now, I feel like the only person that ever moved.  Maybe it's because I did three HUGE moves in 9 years.  Too much.  This house is going to be the "pine box" house.  Next time I move - they're carrying me out in a pine box.

Once I find my camera I'll take some pictures of the new cat den.  They wrapped the cage around the side of the house and enclosed some bushes and some climbable mini-trees.  I woke up this morning to the chatter of black squirrels scolding my cats who were in the cat den.  Sherman and Parker were frozen in excitement.  Success! 

I'm feeling guilty this afternoon because I have boxes upon boxes to unpack, but here I am writing in my blog.  PLUS I went shopping at The Container Store this morning.  I think I'm just burned out and need to do something fun.  We found a huge bouquet of flowers on the front porch yesterday morning with a darling "Welcome Home" card from our new neighbours. 

Don't know how I did it, but I managed to do adoption calls and take foster home inquiries during the move.  There was a point in the 2-day move where I had the phone under my chin, carrying a box and chatting merrily about one of our adoptable cats.  I think the rescue had about 6 hours in downtime between offices, internet connection and phones.  Not too shabby!

David and I are back in our king size bed again. (post house staging) We've been falling into bed at night with such exhaustion that we haven't had a chance to fully enjoy the additional space.  All I know is that as much as I love my husband, I'm SO FREAKIN' GLAD he's *over there* on the otherside of the bed.  Too much togetherness is for the under 25 years old set.  :)  The cats seem happy to spread out too.

Looking forward to being back into some form of routine.  I didn't unpack even one box today, so that's not a good start.  :)  But I *am* cooking dinner!   God help me if I eat one more piece of pizza or McDonald's.  Puke. 

I hope the oven works...

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

48 Hours

For the next 48 hours, we are without our beloved Cat Den.  Kris at Habitat Haven showed up promptly at 8:00 am this morning and took down the den and is now installing it at our new house as I type this blog post.

My cats are having withdrawals and it's mayhem at my house. 

We have a house showing this morning and the some of the cats must remain in the house during the showing since we can't put them out in the cat den.  It's 11 am, and my once clean hair is skinned back in a pony tail and I'm sweaty.  I have to be back at the new house by 1:00 because Ikea is delivering some stuff for my son's room. 

Yesterday, I ran into a former adopter at a local pet store.  Lynn is a lovely human being and she adopted our Gabby and Ramone.  She wanted me to come over to visit them before I moved.  I hesitated.  She lives only 3 minutes from the pet store and I knew she wanted me to come over right away.  How could I make time?  Too much to do....but I decided to go anyway.  Maybe the diversion would be good for me. 

What I didn't expect is that I burst into tears the moment I saw them!

They looked cared for and happy.  Their coats were shiny and there was no doubt that they were adored.  Ramone playfully bit me and I sang my little "Gabba-Gabba" song to Gabby.  I think she remembered!  I wiped my eyes in embarrassment.  I don't know where that came from.  Maybe just from the stress of the past few weeks.  But I was SO glad I saw them again. 

48 hours and I'll be in our new house - complete with cat den.  THEN the work begins!  Until then, dealing with 10 cats "flipping out" over the lack of cat den is going to be brutal.  Maybe they can go over for a visit tonight.  Hm.  Or maybe not.  :)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Meltdown Central

I was still half asleep when David leaned over to kiss me goodbye.   He gently whispered in my ear, "Sweetheart, don't look out the front window, there's a really big dead raccoon that's been hit by a car in front of the house."

I sat straight up in bed.  "How do you know it's really dead? What if it needs medical care??"  I ran to the window and sighed.  Poor guy was gone.  No doubt was the Daddy for half the raccoons born in the neighbourhood.  Animal Services picked up his body a few minutes ago.  I said a silent prayer and worried that some other little raccoon might be missing him.  Do raccoons have best friends?  I hate that I'm such sap and think of this stuff.

It wasn't a pleasant start to the day.

The day hasn't gotten much better as I'm waiting for the Cable company.  They gave me an EIGHT HOUR window of time of arrival.  How the hell do people who have real jobs deal with that?  Ridiculous!!

We officially move into our new home on Friday.  The "Cat Den" people are coming Wednesday to dismantle the cat den and put it up at our new house.  It could be a rough two days without it.  My cats love their cat den!

I've spent the past 2 or 3 weeks doing nothing but complaining, stressing and scratching the surface of things that need to be done.  We have one volunteer that had a 40th birthday party and instead of receiving gifts she asked for donations to our rescue!   She's been patiently waiting for me to connect with her to give me money and I've been unable to manage a secure time to be home!   I'm so embarrassed.

I have so many missing "thank you's" that I've neglected to say to people.  That's probably driving me crazier than anything.  It's such a worry that people may think I've been rude or neglectful.  On top of everything else,  I think I lost an adoption cheque.  It was paperclipped to the adoption agreement.  The adoption agreement is here but the cheque is gone.  I'll have to reimburse the rescue for that if it doesn't turn up. 

Fortunately for me and the rescue,we have the best volunteers around.  As I type this, two of our volunteers are driving into the city to pick up kittens and take them into Petsmart for me.  I'm truly blessed at every turn and need to remember that as I have these mini-meltdowns. 

It's a good thing I'm distracted.  The $7000.00+ vet bill I just received from ONE veterinarian didn't phase me as it usually would.  :)  I'm feeling better now as I type this, and I think I'll go make another pot of coffee and keep cleaning out cupboards. 

Maybe I should start counting my blessings too. 

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

A "Too Busy" Tuesday

Yesterday was a Provincial holiday in Ontario, and although it was a holiday for most of us, I felt like I was missing out on important "things to do" by not treating the day like an ordinary Monday.  I woke up today feeling like I was behind on everything.  What good is a holiday if I'm stressed about everything when the holiday is over?

In keeping with our vow to maintain a fabulous marriage, David and I decided to spend the night away from home on Sunday night.  My son takes care of the cats and geriatric dog while we're gone, so it's pretty special to be able to have some spontaneity and take off like that.  We went to dinner, the movies and back to our hotel.  No scooping litterboxes or feeding cats for 24 hours.  Lovely. :)

 I had a laundry list of things to do today so the day started way too early.  I was back at the shelter this morning and rescued 3 sweethearts that looked like they needed a Forever Home. We had a black cat adoption this weekend, so I wanted to rescue somebody else that would be considered hard to adopt.  I walked the cages thinking, "Who is the ugliest in here?"  Yes, I found somebody but I'm not going to say who :)

I met with a lovely couple at our veterinary clinic who lives in a rural area.  They had been feeding and caring for two kittens that had been dumped I took them too.  (the cats...not the couple. hahaa!)   This is why living in a rural area wouldn't work for me.  I couldn't stand how many animals get abandoned and I'm sure as soon as local folks found out that I was "cat friendly", I'd find dozens on the property.  Maybe that isn't fair to generalize that way, but it's certainly been my experience.

Back to Petsmart to insure that everybody is ok there.  I met one of our younger volunteers while I was there and that was a treat!  She was such a sweet girl and I couldn't help but think, "What an AWESOME volunteer job to play with kittens for a few hours each week!"

It's 3:15 as I type this blog post and I'm  now realizing that there is absolutely NOTHING to cook for dinner in the house.  How could I spend over $250.00 for food yesterday and not have a thing to cook for dinner??  Holy crap.  I need to stop judging my value as a wife by what I cook for dinner.  Certainly David doesn't care.

Tomorrow will be a more detailed day - hopefully, less scrambling.  Would love some time to cross my T's and dot my i's.  Heck...I'll just settle for a dinner with fresh vegetables in it. 

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

To Be....Or Not To Be?

It's very unlike me to not update my blog until now.  You know I must be sick, exhausted, and swamped to let it go a little too long without writing.  The truth is, I'm sick, exhausted, swamped AND I haven't had much to report or write about lately.  I'm beginning to sound like a habitual whiner with tales of my housing woes, etc.  :)

Adoptions have picked up this week and I'm heading out towards Guelph this to pick up a couple of kittens to put into Petsmart.  It's our turn for August.  Setting up in Petsmart is never fun, but it does give our cats some new opportunities to be adopted.  I sure hate to add an additional responsibility this month to my list of tasks - emotional and physical. 

I've been giving some thought to ending my blog, but don't want to do anything while I'm so tired and emotional.  I might end up being sorry.  But I have to wonder:  I've been writing this for 4 and a half years!  What else can I say that hasn't been said?

We received a call from the "low-kill" shelter that said they would be forced to euthanize a big (otherwise) sweet cat that HATES other cats.  This guy doesn't just hiss or growl...he goes on full attack.  Can we help by 5 pm today?  I put out an urgent plea for an "only cat" home.  Those type of foster homes are like GOLD.  I was more than a little shocked when  a lovely young woman came forward and agreed to take him for 30 days and assess him.  Her boyfriend is allergic but even he was willing to stay on meds for 30 days. 

So now the pressure is on to find this guy a home in 30 days during the slowest time of the year.  He's 6 years old and declawed.  He's been INSANELY SWEET SWEET SWEET with his foster Mom so he's fine as an only cat: 

We rescued him at 3 pm....2 hours to spare!  So I think we'll waive his adoption fee for "donation only" to get this sweet guy moved on.  We need the adoption money, but we need a home for him more.

It's time for me to shower-up and get things moving and grooving for the day.  I definitely could use some motivation and adoption excitement.  Maybe our big grey boy will find a home today!  :)