Friday, September 20, 2013

Taking the Time

We were back at the low/no kill shelter and rescued a really cute pregnant Mom cat, 3 kittens and another big tubby cute adult girl.  My rescue partner and I took another volunteer with us and it was nice to see things from her viewpoint.

She noticed how all the employees seemed happy and the cats well adjusted.  There were volunteers circling around the cats, holding them and brushing them.  Even the bunnies were out in a pen and being loved!  It feels good to go there.  They need help - the cages are often full.  A woman came into the shelter today after finding 2 five week old kittens and the staff sat with her and gave her advice on caring for them.

I'm pretending like I don't have administrative work to do today.  I keep waving my hand over the mountain of adoption agreements "Abracadabra!" but it's all still there.

There's been some drama with our Free Pet Insurance that I've been dealing with lately.  To add to the confusion, I've called the wrong adopter and gave her incorrect information...unraveling THAT mess is going to be horrific.  I don't think I can procrastinate any longer.  I need to suck it up and make my mea culpas. 

I wish people knew what is really involved in running a decent rescue.  It certainly isn't without mistakes.  (See above!)  I wish I could do more rescuing and less data entry.  Or more helping people and less "information desk" type stuff.  I spend hours going over every vet bill...and finding mistakes!  But all that takes time.  Yesterday, I think I found about $270.00 in vet bill errors.  Sometimes I have to Google the name of medications just to be sure I was billed for the right meds.  LOL

Every once in a while I feel a little overwhelmed with all the little (yet important) stuff that I have to do that doesn't really involve the cats.   

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Volunteer Driver

There have been two Facebook pages that claim to want to help the cats at the "high kill" shelter.  One I call "The Sane People" and the other I call "The Crazy Doom and Gloom People".  I've written many times about the over-the-top Crazies, so won't go into again now.  But when an urgent plea came out on The Sane People's Facebook page that a volunteer driver was needed to take SIX cats from the high kill shelter and drive them about 45 minutes to a No-Kill facility - well, you could practically hear the crickets from "The Crazy's usual Doom and Gloom Page".    One kind person on The Sane page was going to take time off work to help the cats! 

All those whiners and complainers said NOTHING when an opportunity came to help 6 cats get out of the shelter.  Furious and too busy to really make time to do it, I decided to do the simple drive myself....

The staff at the "high kill" shelter had picked out the cats that had been there the longest.  They were permitted to choose 3 kittens and 3 adult cats.  But when it came time to choose the last adult, they had a problem.  They had already chosen a black cat to be saved, but there was another VERY sweet girl that should go too - problem was....she was black too. 

The choice?  Pick  a 2nd black cat that had been in a tiny metal cage for TWO MONTHS through illness, euthanasia days and heat or a VERY DEPRESSED dilute calico who had been through all the same things, but one week less time.

At the risk of the no-kill shelter not rescuing again because they ended up with two black cats (and two black kittens too)  that don't get adopted quickly, with a heavy heart, I chose the depressed dilute calico.

This was the little girl I left behind:

 You could see how I was torn?  She's so sweet and has been through so much.  She needs to be rescued.  Badly.

 I won't sleep tonight thinking about her.

When I arrived at the humane society that offered to help these 6 cats, I was greeted with open arms and they seemed happy to see the little group.  I was expecting criticism that perhaps the kittens that were chosen were just a little too big, but that wasn't the case.  They oooo'd and aaaah'd at how cute everybody was.

The cats were given HUGE cages with comfy blankets and "perches" to sit up high.  I watched the big black boy that we rescued stretch his legs after more than 2 months in a tiny, metal cage.   All I could think about was the little black girl that I left behind at the "high kill" shelter and wished she could've gone too.

She would've liked it there. 
(AN UPDATE:  The little black girl in the video has been rescued!)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


I've really been out of sorts lately.  My daughter was here visiting which always puts me in the very best of moods.  We had a wonderful family time - shopping, eating, coffee, shopping, (Did I say "shopping"?)  After she left I've been very *off*.

We had a very large adoption event last weekend.  Just about 40 cats were adopted in total, and that number in itself should've had me singing happy songs from the rafters.  But my daughter was here and I wasn't able to properly participate in the  event.  I feel like I led the troops to battle, but never stepped foot on the field. 

Our usual high level of organization wasn't quite up to speed either.  We're so fortunate to have strong volunteers who picked up MY slack, but I still felt guilty as my cell phone rang with questions and I'm in the mall  shopping, or in a nice restaurant eating, or laughing, or doing anything fun while they dealt with a weekend of insanity. 

After the umpteenth dirty look from my family for taking these calls I started to get really angry.  "YES, I have other responsibilities this weekend and YES there are people who are picking up the slack for ME so I can be here with ALL of YOU!"   (I'm not talking about my daughter - she was very understanding.)  But the men in the family?  ARGH!!!!   

I showed up to the event on Sunday afternoon to insure that all the cats were picked up by foster parents or taken where they needed to go.  I explained to the family that I would be back in a few hours.  It felt like 15 minutes when my cell phone rang..."Mom, where are you?  It's been almost THREE hours!!!!"  


I ended up with more than a dozen cats that needed a place to go after the event.  I had five stops to make all over the city with upset, crying, pooping cats in the car and a family waiting for me at a restaurant.  

Believe me.  I didn't have it half as bad as some of the volunteers over the weekend.  We had tiny orphaned kittens dying in a foster home, and an unhappy, hissing adult cat that got loose in the Petsmart store and I wasn't there to help clean up after the event.

 I need to say, "It was just one of THOSE weekends" and get on with life.   Somehow, I haven't been able to shake it, so  I had hoped writing about it would work.  It helps, but I'm tired and catching up.  David and better not mention his lack of clean underwear or the dried cat hairball at the bottom of the stairs.  I'll get to it...dammit.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Big Boy

I hadn't been to the "high kill" shelter in quite some time, but couldn't say "no" when the opportunity to rescue a big fatty boy black and white cat that had survived numerous "vet days" for 3 weeks.

A couple that adopted our OTHER big boy  Brando  (who had been abandoned at the same shelter) reached out to us about rescuing this other sad guy:

Apparently, their beloved cat "Daisy" passed away unexpectedly which left Brando feeling lonely.  This amazing couple decided they wanted to rescue a special boy that needed them and THIS big dude was the lucky one to leave the shelter today!

It was 35 degrees Celsius with a humidex of 43 degrees today.  (95 degrees and 109 degrees Fahrenheit)  Without air conditioning, this shelter quickly becomes unbearable.  Sweat poured from my menopausal face as I arrived at the shelter with an extra large cat carrier to retrieve our boy:
When I put him in my car, I pointed his carrier to my car's air conditioning.  I watched his face brighten as he lifted his chin and allowed the ice cube air blow into his fur.   Never did I appreciate air conditioning more than I did at that moment.

 He was greeted with open arms by my feline gang as our big boy waited patiently for his new Dad to pick him up.  He's going to have an awesome life.

If he were mine?  I'd name him "Bob".  Bob Big Boy  :)

Monday, September 09, 2013

Could They Be Any More Offensive?

We were back at the shelter today and managed to rescue 25 cats and kittens.  I'm seriously exhausted but always feel like we've accomplished something by taking that many.  The staff at the shelter seemed happy to see us come AND go.  ;)  I love rescuing like that - it's truly fun :)

It's been a while since I've mentioned the nuts that post regularly on Facebook about wanting change at the "high kill" shelter.   I used to call them "The Crazy Protesters", but they seemed to have settled down a bit and use the social media venues to stir up the insanity. 

They want to be taken seriously by city council members and the staff at the shelter....but then they post  shit like this - publicly: (I've removed the shelter name and the name of the poster)


Hello Manager  and all the wonderful caring people in (the shelter). Try this to accomplish change in the killing routine you hate so much


Tell everyone that tries to enter with an animal that you all find it much too upsetting to continue watching their animals get sick and killed and you REFUSE to continue another day!

Send them back home with a list of all the rescues to contact to beg them all to take the animal off their hands!

When that fails for them, tell them to kill their own animals from now on!

And give them the contact info for the Mayor and council to complain!

This might get you some of those changes you all say you want.


Yes indeed - you just read that one of those crazies suggested that the city's residents should kill their own  pets if they can't get help from the shelter or the rescues.  They posted that in a public forum! 

They wonder why they're not taken seriously?   I'm sure I'll laugh about it tomorrow - but for tonight, I'm completely offended.



Thursday, September 05, 2013

I Was Due!

Part of running any foster-based animal rescue organization is the constant juggling of cats, money, foster parents, and volunteers.  The majority of the time, things run smoothly with occasional burps in the process.  I've never been one of those rescues that can rescue 20 cats and figure it out later where to put them, which has greatly reduced the juggling - and complexity of my life.  But I was due for an anxiety filled day. 

While one cat was being adopted yesterday, I received an email from a foster parent that said her cat had to be moved.   I thought the timing was perfect, until I realized that the foster parent with the newly adopted cat could no longer foster now that school had started.  Blast! 

We had a very kind family yesterday call me in tears as their son's allergies were becoming too much and sweet "Tootsie" would need to come back to us.  The foster parent who had Tootsie is always amenable to take back her fosters, but she currently has quite a few right now AND our adoption event on the OTHER SIDE of town starts in 10 days.  Where could I juggle Tootsie with the least amount of stress on her so that she could go to our adoption event?

Sadly, another foster parent broke her ankle and arrangements had to be made for pick up and drop off of her foster cat for spay surgery tomorrow - going into and out of the city...on a Friday.

When an emergency call came in for a probable pregnant Mom cat, I was thrilled that we actually had foster space available for her!  The foster parent lives 2 hours away (she allows Mom to deliver her babies safely and keeps and loves them through weaning and returns the family to the rescue).  The logistics of arranging transport was HUGE.  I also had to insure that there was a vet near the new out-of-area foster parent.  The finder of the Mom cat decided to take the Mom to the vet just to insure she was healthy before transport.

Everything was in place....but there was one glitch.  The Mom cat wasn't pregnant!!!  Now she's going to be spayed and go to a local foster home!  So phone calls have to be made today that the Mom cat doesn't need transport, an overnight vet boarding at the halfway point,  etc etc.    

Usually, all this stuff happens in the course of a week or two.  This happened yesterday.  I'm certain that I'm forgetting something. 

But the good news?  We have an opening for a sweet, pregnant Mom cat that needs us. :)