Sunday, October 28, 2012


Tomorrow is going to end up being a huge rescue day.  As I sit at my computer and figure out available foster space, it's a fine juggle between "available foster space" and "have enough cats for an adoption event this coming weekend".

The weather is supposed to be awful, so I'm going to grab a coffee and head out early.  There's going to be traffic and problematic parking in the city, but I'm anxious to rescue.  It's been far too long.  

I had a terrible adoption call this weekend that really tried my patience.  As somebody who regularly speaks with the public, I work hard at trying to make people feel OK if they're turned down for adoption.  Turning down a prospective adopter is usually very difficult.  It takes diplomacy and tact....

...but "diplomacy and tact" wasn't on the docket today:

(After all the nice-chat is over, we get down to business)

Beth:  So have you ever had a cat before?

Kevin:  Oh sure!  We had a cat until recently...

Beth:  Oh?  What happened?

Kevin:  Gave it away because we bought this fucking puppy that chased the cat and it really pissed off the cat royally.

Beth:  So you gave away your cat....

Kevin:  Yes!  But to The Humane Society so they wouldn't kill him.

Beth:  (stammering)

Kevin:  Fucking puppy was a nutcase so we ended up giving him away too!  Imagine that we could've kept the cat after all!  What bad luck!

Beth:  So you've given away two pets this year?

Kevin:  We've had 3 cats in the past few years, but they just didn't work well with us, so we had to find them new homes too.

(At this point, I'm thinking "Candid Camera......gotta be Candid Camera...)

Beth:  I don't want an adopter that is going to dump one of our cats.  We want an adopter that will honour a 20 year commitment to the cat.

Kevin:  Nobody can do that.  Things change in life, lady.

Beth:  Sure they do, but...

Kevin:  Oh, I get it're one of THOSE crazy cat ladies.

Beth:  No.  I just want good homes for the cats we rescue.  We make a commitment to each and every cat.  I promise them.... We're called "FOREVER Home Cat Rescue for a reason."

Kevin:  You're a fucking nutty bitch.  There's plenty of cats out there that need homes, I'll get one of those. 


I didn't get a chance for a retort, but hung up angrily and feared for the poor cat that he'd end up with.  I feel like posting this blog post on  Craigslist to warn other people.  But I suppose there are desperate people out there who won't mind dumping their cat with a "gem" like Kevin. 

In the meantime, I can only hope that Kevin doesn't reproduce. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Tuesday Chatter

I thought I'd  heard everything.  I'm sitting here dumbfounded at the ridiculous reasons that people use to dump a cat or (in this case) return a cat.

I received a call this afternoon from a young woman who adopted an 8 week old kitten from us about a week ago.  Apparently, the kitten "wants to gouge her eyes out". 


This adopter was really paranoid and was no doubt suffering some form of mental illness.  The kitten is darling and the volunteer who screened the adopter would have missed this if she was in a more lucid state at the time of adoption.   I can't get this kitten back in our care fast enough.  I'm frightened for the little guy and want him back *now*.

As I've always said, dealing with people is the best AND the worst part of running an animal rescue organization. 

I received a donation today from the woman that adopted our sweet boy "Clinton"  - he was the cat dumped at the shelter for being "too affectionate".  Her handwritten note started with, "Dear Beth, how can I tell you how grateful we are for people like you?"  She went on to say how much she loved Clinton, etc.  My heart soared with  every word.

There are so many people like me out there trying to make a difference for the cats.  I see them every day.  We're all out there juggling our lives, getting hurt and living for notes like the one that I received today. 

I've had a lot of difficult situations since I've returned from my daughter's wedding.  I think I'd better keep that note handy to remind myself why I do this work. :)

Monday, October 22, 2012

I Cried.

I have no idea why I'm so surprised when the rescue runs so beautifully while I'm away.  We had more than 20 adoptions in the five days of my absence and 2 more today!  Maybe I need to go away more often.

The wedding was amazing and exceeded my expectations.  Yes, I cried.  I was totally  fine until my two handsome sons escorted me down the aisle.  When did they become taller than me?  Memories kept coming back to me - diaper changes,  Barbie Lunchboxes, cheerleading meetings, and University graduation. 

 I thought David looked VERY handsome walking Katy down the aisle...more tears from me...

Thank heavens for cell phone cameras!  In the old days we had to wait until the photographer coughed up the pictures.  I think these pictures  were on Facebook before the end of the night!  :)

My own cats and geriatric Maggie did well while I was gone.  In the first 30 seconds of being home, Maggie pee'd on the carpet in front of me.  Nothing like a good dose of "guilt" for being gone to make you feel welcome by your own pets.  :)

The newlyweds are off to Maui and we  returned to  Autumn colour.  I'm glad to be be home, but feel older than when I left.  The Petsmart manager was surprised to hear that I have a 28 year old daughter that's married.  (She's going to be my new best friend! LOL!)

David's first full day of post-wedding retirement was spent in Petsmart with me, running cat medications to foster homes and racking leaves.

I think  we're ALL going to be OK. *happy  smile*

Monday, October 15, 2012

Wedding Belles...err...Bells

It's the evening before I leave for Southern California for my daughter's wedding.  It's been a  day of nostalgia as I faced my husband's first day of retirement and packed my mother-of-the-bride dress.  Tears seem to happen readily today. 

Our favourite Petsitter came over to get the lowdown on the gang and insure that the routine is maintained.  I'm always a little embarrassed to go over everybody's eating schedules and routines.  I asked Paula (the pet sitter) if we were her only crazy clients.  I had hoped she would laugh and say "Naaaah.....this is NOTHING!"   But instead she just smirked.  :)   Things are much better than it was a  few years ago - I had pages and pages of directions! 

The guest room bed has clean sheets and bedding and is ready for Paula the Pet Sitter...I hope she doesn't mind a LITTLE cat hair:

 How do cats know where to go EXACTLY where they aren't supposed to be?

It's going to be a four crazy, emotional days for me.  Our volunteers have told me not to worry about things.   I never really do - the  rescue is in good hands without me.

My prime mission for the week is to be able to make it through the wedding without making a fool out of myself and sobbing.  An "ugly wedding cry" will not make for good photography.

Have a great week all! 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Changes Are Coming...a Little Too Fast

Friday.  It's really Friday.  Maybe I've been in denial that today is David's last day as a working Canadian citizen.  He'll officially be retired.  It's strange that I haven't really told anybody.  I think I've just been trying to figure out how he will fit into my life as a post-working-guy.

Last night we had a scare and ran our 6 year old brown tabby boy  "Thomas Turner" into the emergency vet clinic.  When Thomas didn't come downstairs for Temptation Treats we  knew  something was wrong and found him completely *flat* on the guest bedroom bed.  After close examination, we noticed that his EYEBALLS - not the tissues  surrounding his eyes - were filled with blood.  Nothing is simple, or cheap.  

This morning we have  $1000.00 less in the ol' bank account, and Thomas seems fine.  Nobody knows what happened to him or why.  Couldn't I at least have a diagnosis, please? 

Every breadwinner who retires has an initial panic about money.  I was waiting for  David to flip out. But without question, he reminded me of his devotion to me and the cats when he didn't blink an eye when expensive tests were ordered.   I'm sure he was silently thinking, "Holy Crap....what if ALL the cats get sick?"  LOL

On top of everything else, my daughter gets married next week and we're all traveling to Newport Beach, California for the event.   We've paid for the wedding, but the "vacation expenses"  will be high.  I think my sons are planning a trip to Disneyland next week.  *sigh*

Maybe it's me that feels panicked.  I have a wonderful life with the rescue and am worried about how David will fit into that life.   We have lots of big life changes coming up.  It's strange that some of my old friends from high school have children still in elementary/primary school.  MY husband is retiring, we have married kids, grandkids and a GREAT grandchild. 

With all that goes on in life, there are two things I can count on:   David, and an unending supply of cats.  Gratefully, both of them seem to need me. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The New Computer

I turned off my computer for the night as I usually do.  The morning brings my usual routine of turning on the computer, making coffee and "feeding the herd".   But this time, when I clicked the blue button to turn on my computer, I didn't hear the usual "rrrrrrrrRRRR" of the start up.

After five years, my beloved, comfortable computer was finally dead. 

Most people are excited about getting a new computer.  I dreaded it.  There was a new Microsoft browser out there and I had LOTS of stuff on my old computer that I needed.  Ahhh...thoughts  of knowing where everything is at a click of my mouse was going to be a distant memory.

The laptop arrived without much fanfare.  David and my son were far more excited to get me set up to as close as the original state as I could be.  Files were transferred but now found in different places.  Foster parents were sending me pictures of their foster cats and I couldn't find the appropriate photo software to edit them.

Only *I* would whine about getting a new computer.  How completely ungrateful. 

But with an internet-based business as our rescue, a working, fast computer is mandatory.  I feel like everything is taking longer than it should.   Typing this blog post has been an exercise in patience as my fingers fiddle with the smaller laptop keyboard. 

As I'm bookmarking Facebook, Petfinder, and my photo software, I'm feeling far more relaxed as the familiar faces pop up on the browser.  My technological life will soon be back to normal.  In the meantime, I'm going to summon some gratitude that the worst problem I have today is familiarizing myself with the new laptop. 

Friday, October 05, 2012

Meet Armando!

It's the Friday before Thanksgiving here in Canada.  It feels like everybody is too busy to worry about rescuing or adopting a cat right now.  I stopped by our Petsmart store this afternoon and it's totally quiet!  UGH! 

Last time I was at the shelter, I met a very cute feral kitten and was told that he would be euthanized due to temperament.  Fortunately, they were able to put him on hold for me while we worked on finding a foster home for him.   A seven week old kitten usually comes around very quickly in foster care!   As usual, one of our fabulous volunteers came forward to help this little dude.

It was my pleasure to rescue him today:

I hope this video makes you smile.   I held him on the way to his new foster Mom's house.  He was purring.

Happy Friday :)

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Do I Need "Excitement"?

As I completed an agonizing 3 hours of bookeeping and updating for the rescue this afternoon, I realized that I've been really missing the more exciting parts of rescue.  I'm not sure exactly what constitutes "excitement" in cat rescue.

Dumpster diving for kittens?

Death row rescuing?

Crawling under porches to dig out little frightened cat families looking for warmth?

As I sat behind my desk this afternoon clicking "Enter" and hearing the familiar *ping pong* of the Quickbooks programme, I became vaguely aware that I've become more of a pencil pusher than a rescuer these days.  Don't get me wrong - I've been to the shelter twice this week already, so I *am* rescuing. 

No wonder so many rescues are in a state of financial and emotional disaster.  We all get into this for the animals, and many of us end up feeling resentful for doing nothing else but glorified bookkeeping.  Those of us who AREN'T doing proper bookkeeping and administrative duties find that their rescue is in a constant state of financial turmoil and disorganization.  

Everytime I think I've found a balance, I find the otherside is tipping a little more than the other. 

One element of my rescue mentality has changed over the years:  "I no longer need to be the biggest and best rescue." 

I want to make a difference in people's lives.  I want adopters to feel like they got a fair shake and that they dealt with a professional organization that cares about the animals AND the people.  I want our volunteers to have FUN and know they're making a difference in this world. 

As I keep mentally reciting that mantra:  "Have fun.  Rescue Cats.  Have Fun. Rescue Cats..."  I went over our Adopted Cats list and realize that by early next month....

....we will be at our 

1000th Adoption!

  NOW I'm excited!

Monday, October 01, 2012

How Much Wood....?

I hate it when the phone rings too early.  Especially when I see my son's caller ID on the phone.  I answered cautiously, poised for another trip to the emergency room.   This time he said, "Mom, I'm sending you a picture.  Check your email."

Earlier in the spring, I had posted a picture of an animal that I was unsure of what the darn thing was.  Apparently, it's a Groundhog or a Woodchuck.  You can see his picture here.   Apparently, our little friend is baaaaack with a vengeance:

So this little guy must've REALLY busy last night.  Remember - this is a house we have that's FOR SALE!  I'm afraid to show David.  He thought we should've taken steps in the spring to move the Groundhog.  But he was so cute and I had already named him "Woody"!   

I don't know what we're going to do.  I called Animal Services, and apparently, they only kill them - they don't MOVE them and had no advice.  Killing Woody isn't an option.  I'm actually wondering if we have a "Woodette" and that's damage done by little ones born in the spring.  Little bastards!

I was back at the shelter this morning and rescued 8 deserving cats and kittens!   I took two of the young adults to a new foster home and brought 6 to Petsmart. (Already had been quarantined)  I no sooner had gotten the kittens settled into their cages when an amazing lady showed up and wanted to adopt one of the black kittens that I had just put into the store!   Great way to start the month. 

We had 3 adult cats adopted this weekend!  I certainly wish it could be this way every week.  I don't think things have slowed down from the summer kitten season.  Sadly, they still seem to be coming into the shelter. 

Hang in there .... it's's bound to slow down soon.