Thursday, January 31, 2013

Ho-Hum. Seriously. Ho-Hum.

It was really wonderful to have a reprieve from the frigid air yesterday.  The thermostat said 14 degrees celcius (57 degrees Fahrenheit) and watching the squirrels frolicking yesterday as if it were Spring was a lovely change.  I imagine that the homeless cats who live outside felt the same way. 

Today, I woke up to blustery gusts of freezing wind and my heart hurts for the cats outside that are (no doubt) huddled under cars and dumpsters.  I wish I could enjoy cold weather like other people.  I end up worrying about animals outside.  My 140 year old house bravely stood up to the wind last night as my cats snuggled into the quilts on our bed.  It isn't fair.

I feel like I've been glued to the computer over the past few days.  Between closing out the books on 2012 for the rescue, adding more cats to our website AND going into Petsmart two days early, it's been an insane couple of days.  I'm always so grateful for our volunteers.  There's no way I could do everything myself. 

I'm spending the afternoon picking up cats and kittens from volunteer foster parents and bringing them to our Petsmart Adoption Centre.   It's a stressful time for both foster parents and the cats.  We have some foster parents that say "NO WAY is my foster baby going into a Petsmart store."  I'm way ok with that - we're a foster-home based rescue FIRST.  Petsmart is a luxury :) 

David and I rescued 8 cats over the weekend.  It's hard to believe that I used to rescue 20+ cats alone, because rescuing 8 seemed like a big deal to me.  I love that David's retired and can help me.  Certainly it's nice to have somebody to moan and groan with when  a startled cat poops in his carrier.  :)

At the risk of an already dull blog post this morning, I'm going to push the "Publish" button and hope for something interesting to write about tomorrow.   Lack of sleep last night has dulled the mind!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Thinking about Dexter

There are so many things I don't say about my life in cat rescue.  Things I wish I could say but I'm not an "anonymous" blogger.  :)

I woke up to my cell phone ringing by the bed a few days ago.  It was 8:30 in the morning.  Nothing good happens at that hour and by the time I cleared my blurry eyes the call had gone to voicemail.  I remained in bed  and listened to the message.  At first all I  heard was a foster parent trying to announce her name through tears.

My heart broke.

"Dexter died last night of a cardiac embolism"
The worst part is that the foster parent had JUST adopted him.  This particular foster parent has been fostering with me for TEN YEARS.  She never adopted one....until now.

At least Dexter died in his Forever Home.  He was truly loved. 

Sometimes I wish this blog could just have cute cat pictures or videos.  Certainly I have enough material with just The Sherminator:

The last picture was taken when we had an alarm company installation yesterday.  Sherman wouldn't leave this guy alone and insisted on sitting on his paperwork, biting the ends of his pen and knocking his brochures to the ground.  Fortunately, the installer had 2 cats of his own and was amused with Sherman.

For a long time I  had wondered which cat was playing in the toilet.  Sitting on a wet toilet seat when I occasionally use my son's washroom is disturbing.  I could never catch the little bugger that's playing in the toilet until yesterday....

It feels good to talk about something that makes me laugh. Cat rescue is a lot of things - but usually not funny.   As I've always said, it's one big emotional rollercoaster.

 I'll try to focus on "funny" today, but my heart will be thinking about Dexter and his Mom. This is a cat rescue after all. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The *Unusually* Rude

I'm back from my four day family visit with The Parents.  It's always nice to see them, but just like any trip that takes me away from home, I'm happiest when I arrive through my front door.  As always, my son took care of the family pets and our hardworking volunteers took care of the rescue in my absence.  It's definitely getting easier to leave knowing that everything will be *handled*. 

Very few things in rescue make me visibly angrier than when an adopter mistreats one of our volunteers.  While I was away, we had an adopter not show up to an appointment to meet one of our kittens in their home.  No phone call.  Nothing.  Just didn't show up.   People don't realize that our volunteers  MAKE TIME for the appointment.  They  clean their house, and fret about their beloved foster leaving their care.

Yesterday, we had  an adopter stay at a foster parent's house until after 11 pm - FOUR HOURS!  In the end, she pulled out catnip and the cat became overly stimulated  and bit her really hard - drawing blood.   Needless to say, she didn't take the cat home.  But c'mon - FOUR HOURS?  I had to wonder how long she would've stayed if the cat hadn't bit her.  (*snicker*)

I suppose this blog post isn't a plug for fostering.  But I must say that in the 20 years that I've been doing this, I think that we've only had about 5 unpleasant incidents like this.  People are generally kind, courteous and very very polite.   I have no qualms about telling an adopter that the "interview is over" -  especially if they aren't going to adopt. 

The good news is - we had NINE adoptions while I was gone for the 4 days!   I was busy updating the files and working the administrative crap stuff today.  So much going on and the rescue phones have been busy. 

As I'm about to push "Publish" on this blog post, I hesitate because of the negative comments (above) regarding fostering.  But I've always given honest viewpoints in this blog and will continue to push "Publish" without soft-pedaling the text.  

I couldn't complete this post without saying how much I appreciate those of you who give an opportunity for a 2nd (or 3rd or 4th...) chance for  any  animal to be loved once again.  Every foster parent who gives their time, their home, and their heart to the unloved, unwanted and homeless animals deserve to be treated with respect, care and kindness.  In our rescue, I wouldn't have it any other way.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

More Unwanted

I'm leaving tomorrow for 5 days -  Heading to Seattle to visit my parents.  I wish it wasn't such a hassle to get out of town - I'd travel more often.  Fortunately, my youngest son is babysitting cats and our senior dog.    David is coming with me.  It'll be nice to see my parents and just as nice to see "Buddy", their overly spoiled Rat Terrier. 

I had a disgusting moment today when I heard that there is a woman who is currently searching the online classified for kittens to use for her birds of prey - for food.  I wonder how many people she's fooled into giving her sweet defenseless kittens only to be used to train  her red tailed hawks.   We've all heard the rumours about people collecting kittens to use for snake food.  But kittens to be used  to train hawks??  That's a new one for me.  Those of you in the Greater Toronto Area - please  spread the word about this  woman. 

We rescued a Mom cat and two kittens today.  They came from the public - something I so rarely do.  When I arrived at their "home", it was a nice young man that (for a variety of reasons) could  no longer care for this little family.  It was the Mom cat's 7th litter.  SEVENTH litter  and she is only 2 years old.  Disgusting.  I kissed her little calico face and whispered to her "You'll never have to do this again." When I picked her up, it's very  apparent that she's  pregnant again.  *sigh*  I hope I'm wrong -  a vet will be able to tell  me.  But it sure looks that way to me. 

I'm feeling a bit melancholy tonight.  I think going into other people's homes and seeing firsthand their lack of care for their animals saddens me.  What would this guy have done if I hadn't bailed him out?  He had the Mom cat since she was a kitten  and didn't seem remotely sad that she was leaving his home.  I just don't understand that. 

While I'm away, our volunteers will be back to the shelter to rescue.  I like to hear who they end up with and to  hear their enthusiasm.  It's contagious!  

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Stack

As I type this, Boo-Boo is still at the shelter.  I never heard back from the woman who showed interest in her.  Fortunately, she will not be euthanized at this shelter unless she becomes unadoptable or seriously ill.  But she continues to become  depressed in a cage and I think she's adorable - in a homely-fat-cat -sorta-way.   Many thank you's to all who inquired about her.   I won't give up on her until she's out of a cage.

I rarely get really angry at any of my cats or dog.  But when I heard a huge CRASH yesterday in the kitchen, I knew that nothing good had happened. 

I was right.

Walking downstairs, I saw a scatter of cats with *poofed* tails.  Only Sherman remained at the scene  of the crime.  On the floor was my favourite vintage etched mirror.  I spent (what I thought was)  a small fortune on it and it had been laying on the kitchen counter waiting to be hung later this evening.  There was glass everywhere and Sherman looked ridiculously guilty.  My favourite mirror - oh how I LOVED that stupid mirror!!  I'm so angry with Sherman!
It's hard to be angry with something that cute.  *sigh*

I spent the majority of the day closing out 2012 in my office.  The amount of paper that accumulates with this rescue astounds me!  Adoption files, veterinary files, tax stuff, foster applications....blah blah blah!  But looking at my "stack" of adoption agreements from 2012 was a proud moment for me. 
That  stack represents more than 600 cats who are now  Forever Home in 2012!  SIX HUNDRED!  I leafed through the names and fondly remembered most of the cats.  It's strange how quickly I can forget cats that had such meaning to me 8 months ago. 

I wish I had taken a picture of the OTHER stack on the floor near the adoption agreements.  That's the Veterinary bills for 2012.  It's twice the size of the adoption stack. 

C'est la vie!

Thursday, January 10, 2013


I was back at the low-kill shelter this afternoon.  I knew I wouldn't leave with any cats today, but was there to make some choices for our foster parents.  We're fortunate enough to have a volunteer driver that will pick up the cats from the shelter this  evening and deliver them to their foster homes.

My shoulders sank when I saw that "Boo-Boo" was still there.  Boo-Boo is a homely overweight black and white girl whose  owner died  and the family left her there.  She came in with a very handsome brother who was quickly adopted.  (YES...*ADOPTED*....they have adoptions at this shelter...what a brilliant idea! (end sarcasm) 

Over Christmas, the shelter was loaded with people hoping to take a cat home for the holidays.  But nobody was noticing "Boo-Boo". She sat in her cage wondering what happened to her "mom"  and her brother. 

Even though they have adoptions at this shelter, Boo-Boo's plight was starting to really get to me.

As I type this blog post, I've been doing some matchmaking on Boo-Boo's behalf.   One of our adopters  who called in is looking for a particular type of cat and I think Boo-Boo might just be her girl.  I'm sitting here on pins and needles waiting for a call back to find out if the family wants to go to the shelter to meet Boo-Boo. 

Our rescue won't get any adoption money for BooBoo, but the thought of this chubby girl with tiny feet going to a home is making the effort worthwhile.  It's always worthwhile, right?

Sooooo...why haven't I rescued Boo-Boo and put her in a foster home?  I haven't had an available  foster home that can take her!  But I like her so much that I'm about to bring her home myself.  "Bowling Ball Cats" are a huge favourite of mine!   (Bowling Ball Cats = Chubby, round body with tiny legs and pea-sized head) 

I also wanted to thank those of you who sent encouraging notes privately and public comments about this blog.  I've definitely missed writing.  We had 98 (!!!)  adoptions during the month of December and I wanted to blog about it so badly.  LOL 

4:30 call yet about Boo-Boo.  UGH!   (

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Still Alive in 2013

It's been a LONG time since I've written in this blog.  I don't think I've ever gone this long without writing.  Certainly I would usually do a "year end" wrap up and a 'Happy New Year' thing.  I'm not really sure what's changed for me. 

I've been writing in this blog diligently since 2008.  It was intended to be a blog about my life in cat rescue.  It was never supposed to be an ongoing rant about the shitty shelter I was rescuing from, but I was looking at the videos posted and the comments I made (and were made about me) and realized that even *I*  was getting bored with the despair and lack of control that I had about the shelter.

When I started a more positive rescuing experience for myself and the rescue, I didn't realize what a shit storm of ugliness from (of course)  anonymous  posters who thought I had abandoned the high kill  shelter.   But that really  wasn't so.  One staff member from the shelter told me to STOP RESCUING from the shelter if I was going to bitch about the illness in my blog.  :) 

When my rescues became more positive  and encouraging, they also became boring for the reader and myself  - the writer!  "Yes, I rescued 5 cats from the low-kill shelter, they're healthy, cute and friendly."  

So I thought that perhaps it was time to discontinue the blog. 

I stepped on a huge pile of cat barf this morning in my bare feet on the way to the washroom.   It was during that not-so-delightful-half-asleep moment that I realized perhaps I have  more to offer this blog.  It might end up being more of the same, but I'm hoping it'll continue to give those few some insight to what we do and encourage those who are in the same boat.

It's been 5 years.  More to come....