Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Best of Rescue

Since Sunday, I can't tell you what I've had to eat or drink.  It's been a blurr of excitement and a rescuer's dream.

Our big Adoption Blitz was a huge success.  Something I've never experienced before - 41 (yes, FORTY ONE) adoptions in  a 6 hour time period.  Adopters were actually lined up out the door to take turns meeting the cats in our small adoption area.  Some had printed out cats they had hoped would be there and others just wanted "any sweet cat".

Hard to believe I'm actually typing this, but....we adopted out EVERY cat that we brought that day!  Not one cat was left!!  I had two families FIGHTING over a 12  week old BLACK kitten!  Holy crap!

Adoption screening was easier than I thought it would be.  I turned down a BUNCH of impulse adopters.  The rush of people took us all by surprise and the LACK of phone calls after the event tells me that we made some great decisions for our cats.

With 41 adoptions means more rescues, so we headed out to the shelter yesterday and rescued nearly 30 cats and kittens.  Vet visits and assessments have left us exhausted and exhilarated.    We're trying to get everybody spayed/neutered etc before we go into Petsmart for the month of August.

Last night I had an emergency call from one of our foster parents.  Apparently, some asshole guy dumped  a Mom cat and her 3 kittens in an alley behind her apartment building.  "Can we help?"

Without getting into all the drama, we were able to secure their safety and transport to a foster home in a matter of minutes.  Again - something I'm never usually able to do in the middle of summer!  This poor little family was rescued from raccoons and certain death.

The first of Facebook messages came in from the foster Mom:

"Momma and babies are in their new abode. Momma is a sweetheart. She lay down beside me, let me pet her and purred her heart out...."

And this morning:

"Everyone is fine. They are the happiest bunch ever. This morning, when I opened the door, momma sang me a good morning song and she and all of the kittens ran over to me.
They are all love-muffins. Everyone is eating, everyone is drinking, everyone is using the litter box and the kittens rough-house all the time.
I don't think I have had a more delightful group.
I want to keep them all."

My heart is full and happy this morning.  I wish every rescue day could be like the past 3 days!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Hoop Jumping

David and I just returned from a blissful holiday in New England.  Lots of B&B's, hand holding, hiking and high-fat meals.  It was heavenly. :)  Whenever we go out of town, we  always visit the local  animal shelter, get some information, play with cats and leave a donation.  This time,  we went to North Country Animal League in Vermont.   Typical - they had only black and white cats and black cats left.  But those guys looked happy to see us!  :)

The rescue had been very quiet - a little too quiet - when I left.  The volunteers ended up being very busy and jumping through hoops to get 4 sweet cats  adopted.  It's amazing what we have to do to get cats adopted during the summer months.  Pathetic.  The hardworking volunteers sounded happy to have me back.

I'm doing something this weekend that I've never done before.  Thanks to recent donations and very healthy foster cats,  we're reducing our usual $175.00 adoption fee to $75.00 for a one day only adoption event.  Honestly, I'm scared to death.  I'm afraid of everybody being adopted at such an awesome rate, and I'm also afraid nobody will show up!  The adoption rate includes everything we usually include - spay/neuter surgeries too! 

Obviously, we're losing a ton of money.  But think of the cats that will get homes!  :)

Another local rescue recently published  what they went through at the "high kill shelter" on a vet day.  It was very surreal to read about what they went through.  I felt as if I was experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as my stomach did flip-flops.  I remembered (all too well) and felt the pain of knowing that I couldn't save them all.  Those of you who have been reading this blog for the past 5  years know that I'm not a stranger to what happens at this shelter.  For a moment, I had a sense of relief that another rescue was taking over the torch, so-to-speak. 

The writer of this article usually writes about nonsense stuff - "fur mommies" and "fur babies" and other sophomoric dribble.  But this time it was different.  She wrote from the heart and the pain was  apparent.  It's the kind of pain that only somebody that has been there can  fully understand.  They took a bunch of cats and I wish them the very best with them.  This is not a rescue that I support, but am happy for the cats that are alive. 

So it seems to be another summer of jumping through hoops.  We're loaded with cats in our program and there are others waiting for our help.   Wish us luck on Sunday.  If you come visit?  I'll be the volunteer gripping the adoption fee collections with white knuckles. 

Friday, July 12, 2013


Anybody who is cat rescue will tell you that we really feel the pressure when a family member calls you for help when they've found a cat.  I feel the pressure when our volunteer's family members  ask for help too.  But this time?  It was my turn.

The call came from David's cousin & family.  They have a cottage in northern Ontario and had found a young black cat.  (Of course, it was black!)  "What do we do?"?  I told them we could help them, but it was kitten season....yada yada yada....could they please  hang on to the guy and I'll do my best as quickly as I can.   They don't like cats.  Didn't want a cat.  Period.

I asked them to show some compassion for this cat.  They have's important.    

A few more emails arrived from the Mrs. that "Spencer" (he has a name now!) would be staying in their boathouse and "Mr." (staying anonymous here) was not happy about having a cat in his boathouse.  Seriously?  Was it really that hard to keep this guy in an empty boathouse until I could figure it all out?

I was so happy when the email arrived that they found a foster home for Spencer!  It was well within the borders of our rescue, and I couldn't be more thrilled that this was  all working out.   The email continued,  "....but the foster home won't work because the dog doesn't like him."

Oh. My. Gosh.  Back to work on finding placement for Spencer.

A few days went by and I kept my head low.   I was hoping that they'd get this sorted out on their own.  But nothing could prepare me for the email I received next....

"...I am heartbroken.  We took him to the vets....he was dehydrated....lots  of money...we put him down." 

The words jumped off the page.  My heart pounded as questions flew through my head.   
They had him euthanized because he was dehydrated?  
Why didn't I do more?   
Why did I let them flail around and figure things out on their own?  
What kind vet killed  a dehydrated cat?  
*I* would've paid for his I.V.!   
I could have done something! 


I failed.  I failed big time on this.  They reached out for help and I had hoped it would all go away.  Maybe they would fall in  love with Spencer, or  find a family to love him.  I knew they weren't animal people.... 

They  had sent me a picture of him when they first found him.
Now I'm the one that's heartbroken.  I'm so sorry, Spencer.  I really failed you. 

Sunday, July 07, 2013

I Hate July

I had vowed to be a little more chatty with my blog, but lately it hasn't been easy to update.  July really sucks for most rescues.  While many people are going to cottages and holidays,  I sit by the adoption phone line and try to work some miracles for our cats and foster parents.

I don't like the way I feel. Our local SPCA had a huge adoption blitz and lowered their adoption rates to almost nothing. I think 46 cats and kittens were adopted during that time. My phones didn't ring. I should be THRILLED for the cats that were adopted. Believe me - I really am! They all need a home! But I have volunteers that I have to be accountable to and kittens that are growing up in their foster homes. I can't be the only small rescue that feels competitive and helpless. Fortunately, my friend called me out on it and said, "Beth, look at the last few years adoptions in July...what were they?"

 She was right.  July sucks every year. 

On a happier note, our  Kismet is doing very well!  If you didn't read about her, please click on the link.  It's a very sad story with a great ending:

 She's in a foster home where she's being adored.  Sadly, she'll have to have another surgery to be spayed.  She was so full of infection, that the vet was going to stay cautious and wait.  Good call.

For me?  I have a new foster kitten named "Dunkin':

Typical of me, I'm already in love, and as I type this, he's  sitting on a pad of paper next to my laptop and playing with a pen.  He doesn't leave my side and I'm already beginning to wonder how I'll ever let him go.  But he's a black kitten, so maybe I won't have to.  LOL 

We have some adoptions pending today so I have my fingers crossed.  But then's July and I won't hold my breath.