Friday, November 30, 2012

The First Snow of the Season

The weather forecasters said we would just have a dusting of snow today.  I don't mind driving in the snow.  For a California girl like me, I find it a bit of an adrenalin rush to drive in my SUV down the highway with white powder gently blowing across the highway.

The forecasters were wrong.

David and I were almost to the shelter for a rescue when the red light on the dash indicated  a flat tire.  We were able to pull into a car repair place and  were practically high-fiving each other that this happened BEFORE we did the rescue and didn't have 10 cats in the car.  The repair of our tire took two hours and the snow was already falling by the time we left the car repair location.

We loaded up a Mom cat and kittens, along with 4 more cats and headed out in Friday rush hour traffic with the first snow  of the season barreling down.  What would usually be a 40 minute drive took us THREE hours.  My bladder was about to burst by the time we arrived at the foster Mom's house.  I think my car door was open as David drove into the driveway.  Damn my menopausal bladder!

When we arrived home, my 21 year old son had  shoveled the driveway and put a  fire in the fireplace. Pizza was ordered and 3 kittens are safely playing in my spare room as they wait to go into Petsmart tomorrow.

It's hard to believe that we  managed  all that driving without ONE poop in the carrier accident!  (Although admittedly, I almost didn't make it to the foster parent's house! LOL)    I wonder if David will be as enthusiastic to come with me for the next rescue?   A Flat tire?  Snow? Three Hours? 

I need to be at Petsmart tomorrow morning by 9 am.  Santa Pictures and putting cats into the adoption centre will prove to be an exhausting day.  At least Petsmart has a washroom. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Humbug in the "Bah"

I haven't felt much like posting in this blog lately.  It feels like over the past week or so everything I've been doing for the rescue has been incredibly boring or terribly sad.

One of our foster parents was babysitting 3 kittens for a week while another foster parent went on vacation.  She called the the other day and had some concerns about one of them with a "Fat belly and a very thin and boney back".  My heart sank.   We had seen so much FIP lately that I knew it could only be that.  The vet took an x-ray, confirmed the kitten's belly was full of fluid and was he was lovingly euthanized shortly after that. 

I feel awful for BOTH foster parents.  Terrible for the foster Mom who was doing something nice like a 7 day fostering gig and awful for the foster Mom who will return to find her foster kitten gone. 


Last night I did an adoption (I was the meeting spot for foster parent and adopter) at my house.  It was fun to sit by the fire and chat about kittens.  The adopter brought "Jordan" a kitten she had adopted a week ago from us.  Jordan was NOT impressed with Maggie (our 14 year old dog) and promptly bit my finger as I tried to pick him up. 

I've only been doing this for 20'd think I'd remember that picking up an arched-back-spitting kitten is a bad idea.  It was a knee-jerk reaction.  ugh.   Hopefully, I won't need antibiotics.  I've kept the wound clean.  All part of cat rescue, right?

I declared that today would be a huge catching up day.  I had a bunch of pictures to put on our website, emails to answer and a foster list that needed some care.  People forget that even though a cat is in our program, I still have to look after the little guy to insure he/she is fixed at an appropriate time and touch base with the often-neglected foster parents. 

Waking up at 9:30 this morning was NOT a good start to my ambitious plans.  Why on earth am I sleeping in so late?  I've always been an early riser, so I feel like 9:30 is the middle of the afternoon.  I came running downstairs like there was a fire, only to find David sipping coffee in front of a roaring fire, and reading the newspaper.  He  smiled  cheerfully and said he fed the cats and thought I might enjoy sleeping in for a change. 

I mumbled something about needing to get shit stuff done today. 

Wow.  I can be such a jerk. 

Now that I'm fairly caught up - except for the rescue's bookkeeping, I think I have some making up to do at home.  Dinner and a movie tonight - senior citizen's special, perhaps!  *Wink*

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A HodgePodge Of Rambling....

It's 10:00 am and I'm still in my robe working on administrative stuff for the rescue.  Since David's retirement, my schedule has completely changed.  I wake up at 9 am, and go to bed at  about midnight.  I'm not sure what on earth possesses me to wake up at 9 am!  I feel like it's the middle of the day. 

Yesterday, I went into my favourite store (Home Sense!)  to buy new towels.  David wanted to come with me - believe me - that wasn't encouraged!   I came out with 4 new towels and some ridiculous "Kiss the Cat" sign.  Admittedly, it was a huge impulse buy.   Maybe it was my way of showing my newly retired husband that the house is still my domain and I'll buy a frickin' (albeit stupid) cat sign if I want to.  :)

Despite the new changes in my life, I've enjoyed November enormously.  There have been very few rescue pressures and little drama.  The phones are ringing with adoption calls and the neighbourhood is showing signs of Christmas decorating.

My BIG news is that our other house has FINALLY sold!  Soon  we will no longer have the burden of both houses and that could be a major reason for my lighter-than-normal mood. 

As the holidays begin, I always get horribly sentimental about the homeless animals and wonder if they notice that there's less spotlight on them and more on holiday decorating, shopping and family. 

It's time for me to get a foster cat.  It's long overdue and now that we're's time. 

Lately, these blog posts have been a hodgepodge of rambling thoughts.  Looking forward to meeting whomever my new foster guy will be :)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Need More Hours in a Day, Please

This has been a week of not having enough time for anything.  I feel like I've been on the clock for 16 hour days.  Every voicemail has made reference to leaving multiple messages for me and wondering when I'm going to call them back.

One voicemail came in at 10:18 a.m. this morning.  The next voicemail (from the same person) came in at 12:10 wondering why I haven't called.  Gratefully, one of our volunteers returned a bunch of calls for me yesterday as I was starting to get behind!

I've been rescuing quite a bit lately.  I was at the shelter this morning and pulled 3 really sweet kittens for foster parents asking for them.  Since his retirement, David has wanted to come with me on these ventures.  It wasn't until we got home today that he said in an exasperated voice, "We've been on the road for FOUR and A HALF hours!!!"

Duh.  Does he think these kittens catch a cab and deliver themselves to foster homes and vet appointments?  

The inside of my car looks a garbage bin.  There's spilled coffee on the console and A&W paper cups in the cup holders, and Mapquest directions on the floor.  It was a  really long day today and hasn't ended yet.  As I type this, I'm waiting for a call back from a worried foster parent. 

I think I'm going to leave David home tomorrow.  He's been a trooper and gets "The Good Husband" award for hanging out with me and the cats all week.   I'm going back to the shelter in the morning.   Since David's retirement, I've missed my shopping detours between rescuing cats.   I  feel like I need a little dose  of sanity and Home Sense is calling my name. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Oldies But Goodies!

When I had an opportunity to rescue THREE senior cats from the high kill shelter, I jumped at the  opportunity.  Who needs drugs, when you can rescue a three "oldies but goodies" scheduled to die at the shelter?

Two of the cats were well over 12 years old.  They came from the same home where the owner passed away.  Whenever senior humans sound insulted (when they want to adopt) when I ask about their "Plan B" for the cat;...THIS is the reason.  Grandma dies and the family dumps her poor senior cats at the shelter.  I hope the old lady haunts them.  I really do.   The fear and sadness emanating from these cats is immeasurable. 

The  other cat was 12+ years old too.  There was  an urgent plea for this cat by a fellow blogger at Sparkle the Designer Cat.  Because "Sparkle" is a Somali cat, they really wanted to help this little old fella too:
We don't know why he was really there.  He was brought in as a stray and left there unclaimed.  He was to be euthanized.  Fortunately, for this handsome old guy, a lovely woman named Mandi came forward and offered to give him a FOREVER home!

It's been a long time since I've taken a video at the "high kill"  shelter.  I'm so happy I brought my camera!  :)

Sadly, my camera's batteries cut off.  I'm always very cautious when I reach in to a shelter cage to a cat with dilated eyes.  But our frightened boy turned out to be a lover-boy! The updates from his new Mom have been wonderful! He's eating and purring. I couldn't be happier!!

I'm thinking about these sweet older felines tonight and hope that they continue to thrive in their new environments.  I wish they could ALL have a 2nd chance....or 3rd chance...What an important reminder as to why I do this work.  

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Finding Some Energy

I still have so much to do today but desperately need a day off.  I don't think I've ever worked so hard as I did at our last adoption event.  I think I was there twice a day, every day - only coming home to feed my own pets.

There was no "easy adoption" last weekend.  Every adoption needed more than the usual careful thought or had a special circumstance, situation or an adopter that didn't feel quite right for the cat they wanted to adopt. 

We had 18 adoptions.  I was on the phone the next day calling all  of them to insure that everything was ok.  Maybe I was just tired.  I always  worry more when I'm tired.  

Gratefully, David was in Montreal for the weekend for a geek-fest Bridge Tournament.  This allowed me some guilt-free time to spend at the adoption event.  He proudly came home with a trophy, but I was  too tired to give it any big fanfare. 

The staff at Petsmart reminded me that we have Santa Pictures coming up in a few weeks at their store.  It's a big fundraiser and I wanted to cry when I  heard that another weekend could be spent at the store.  I think I may have to pass on this one and leave it to our dedicated volunteers.  We desperately need the money so I'm not comfortable passing it up. 

We need a Santa.  Anybody?  Bueller?

I think it's time to take the day for myself.  I've been living on Halloween candy and coffee for almost a week now.  I've  hit the ground running since I returned from my daughter's wedding.  My roots are dark and my nails need a manicure.  We have two new foster parents that need phone calls and I'm anxious to do another rescue to fill in the spaces for cats recently adopted. 

Next week.  For SURE next week I'm going to take a day for myself!  :)

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Where Does the Money Go?

 It's been a wonderful rescue week with 8 more out of shelters. Two kittens were rescued from the high kill shelter.  The rest were from the public or the other low-kill shelter. 

I've politely taken some flak when I stopped rescuing so many from the high kill shelter.  Occasionally I get a bitter troll who attempts to put an anonymous comment on my blog about my lack of interest there.  It's always the same person - she obviously doesn't know that her last name and ISP show up. 

Believe me - it isn't a lack of interest in helping these poor souls.   ANY foster home that wishes to take a cat from any shelter can do so.  They all need homes.  High kill - low kill - no kill or the random cat living under the porch.  Who am I to say who is the most deserving?  They all are! 

I read an article from the supervisor of the high kill shelter who indicated that the number of euthanasias are down 40% or something like that.  Certainly it wasn't due to ADOPTIONS since the shelter doesn't permit adoptions.  It's due to a number of reasons, but one of the reasons are the hard working volunteer cat rescuers who are rescuing cats from this facility and paying $1000's in vet bills, force feeding kittens and holding them while they die. 

Maybe I just got fed up with making their numbers look better than they really are.  Maybe I got tired of begging for money every other day because I kept rescuing cats that I knew would quickly become desperately ill. 

Believe me, I'm not making any money.  In fact, we're like every other rescue -  we're broke!   But I have happier volunteers now.  Some will only rescue from the high kill facility and others are happy to have a break from the constant stream of sick cats.  I'm ok with that - there will always be money for those cats from the high kill facility.   It's hard to become ambitious about fostering when every cat you take gets horribly ill.  

So what am I doing with any extra money?

Monday, I rescued a sweet cat for a senior lady who is dying of lung cancer.  Her 16 year old  cat passed away a few weeks ago and she couldn't imagine NOT having a cat for whatever time she has left.  Our rescue is paying for all future vet costs for this adorable, affectionate cat. (if there are any)  He will never be for adoption unless she passes.  "Dexter" is giving her so much joy.  I called to check on them both yesterday and she kept me on the phone for almost an hour - her voice was animated and engaged.  Isn't that why we have cats, dogs, guinea pigs, horses etc?  They give us joy?  Isn't that what this is about?

We have two senior ladies that we're helping in this way.   We are giving them a chance to love a cat for whatever time they have.  They can't afford vet bills  and I'm certainly not going to allow adopters to come into their homes and take away their beloved "Foster cat" from their arms.  But these ladies are safe and secure knowing that "their cat" is going to be cared for when they pass on.

I'm not expecting a lot of people to agree with me.  But I really enjoy helping cats AND people.  It feels like a good fit for me.  Allowing the cats to bring the kind of joy to others as they have to me is what I love the most.