Friday, March 16, 2018

Catch Me If You Can!


With great trepidation, I journeyed out this morning knowing I was going to try to catch a cat.  A cat that was very sick, a cat that I did not know its history, a cat that I had  no idea what I was going to do with, and a cat that I did not know if it would bite me when I put my hands on it.  The bite being my greatest fear.  I’ve been bitten twice in my life.    And both times it hurt something awful.  And I’ve seen some pretty nasty gashes on others as well.  As I headed out, the snow was falling lightly.  By the time I reached the spot on Pennsylvania where this kitty was hanging out, the snow was coming down heavy.    Mind you, its now 5 am., which is the normal time I arrive at this location after leaving the house at 3:45 each morning.  I have perfect timing, IF I am not shoveling.  I usually make it back home by 5:30 on a good day.  And ask anyone who has ridden with me – I know EXACTLY how much water I need – having to stop TWICE during the route to refill into a smaller jug from a larger jug that is too heavy to carry, and too tall to pour from -  and I usually use it to the last drop by the time I complete my last stop, AND I know EXACTLY how much dry and wet food I need as well.  Call me OCD. I am sure my friends will, that’s for sure.

So I grab the carrier, and all my gear, and headed back to the rat infested spot where this black kitty has been hanging, along with two reds, two calicos, and a muted tortie.  The latter have followed me from down the street when I got kicked out from that lot a year or so ago.  I pulled down the board, and proceeded to grab the plates (and shake out the towel I have laying inside for the cats to stand on for warmth and dryness when they eat, shake it out because of the dirt the rats leave behind when they chow down after I leave, which is hopefully after the cats have had their fill).  I layed the empty plates out just so to head the black cat in the right direction so that I would have easy access to grab it by its scruff (back of neck) and gingerly place it in the carrier.  To ‘throw’ it would be even more traumatic, which I’ve had to do with others.   Sometimes these cats are so big, and muscular (like Parsley was) that there is no skin or fat to scrunch up to carry them to the carrier so you quickly grab them and ‘throw’ them in the carrier when rescuing.

In he went, and without a word, rode with me to finish up my spots (there are three left after this location).  He was quiet except for a few meows  during the ride back home.  His meows reminded me of my Leo.  Leo is a love.  I love Leo.  I love black cats.  Leo loves me.  Leo is obsesses with me actually.  Black cats make the best cats in the world.  I don’t know how they got such a bad rap.    When we arrived home, he was placed in a spare bathroom off my bedroom, and I opened the door to the carrier, already having the food, litter and water ready for him.  He came out and GOBBLED the food, with gobs of drool coming from his mouth.  He sneezed, and smelled.  Boy did he smell.  His fur was missing in places on his body, and he scratched something wild.  This lUNNEUTERED ittle boy has some obstruction in his mouth, and major irritation by what ever on his skin.  I called the vet and made an appointment for him for 11:45 am. today at Caring for Cats.  The first thing the cat will have is a leukemia test.  That will decide his fate, and the rest of his treatment, unfortunately.

LEO and Smokey (😭 )


I also then began to recall a black cat that I had named Blackie #2 that I had been feeding on and off at Baldwin and Grand for many years and had been missing the past year.  Blackie #1 was a cat I fed on Grand and Stout for ages before the house where underneath the porch his home was bought and being renovated by some very nasty people.  Thankfully, Sandra and Jim Felice offered to take Blackie and move him to the country where they lived, and where he now loved beyond words, and lives like a king.  Blackie would scratch me, but run to me at the same time knowing I had food.  This was just like Blackie #2  when I would see him around occasionally, the last place being on Parsells across from Baldwin, down a ways from the shelter on Baldwin and Grand.  That was late last fall.   I am thinking this is the same cat!  The same cat I had tried to trap for SO long on Baldwin, knowing he was unneutered.   But now he was injured and sick, and needed my help.  He wouldn’t fight me this time. 

(He would not sit still for a photo!  I must have taken 50 pictures and none better than this shot).

Looking very sickly...  poor boy....

So prayers for this little guy, and his future.  If anyone would like to help out with his care, please feel free to call Caring for Cats – under my name – at 585-865-5220.  Thank you so much.

We can’t rescue them all, but we can rescue them one at a time.

Have a great day!

UPDATE:  I just had to name this little one...  in honor or St. Patrick's Day, his name will be Connor!

Image result for st patricks day poems

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Two Hours

It was brutal out this morning.  I try not to speak negatively about what I do, I always try to remain positive.  But when you are shoveling out shelters, day after day - two day in a row to be exact - it tends to wear down on you.  Today, I shoveled out shelters that were covered with new snow since I left them yesterday morning.  We got at least another 4-5 inches.  The winds picked up in the afternoon and kicked that snow around to create drifts that were past my knees.  Its hard walking to the back of city fields when the paths you created since the last storm are covered over, and you have to create new ones the very next day.  Brutal.  And the cats have to crawl through it as well.  

The weatherman says we’ve had over 100 inches of snow so far this winter.  And there is a new storm brewing for next week.  What is that…  9 feet of snow?  I pray it doesn’t happen on Monday when I need to set traps down for kitties to get spayed and neutered.  I should not have agreed to start this early in the year.  I do not like to keep cats in traps overnight when its this cold out (they spend the night on my porch after surgery, to heal and recover from anesthesia, and to ensure they get some food in them hopefully, as well).  What was I thinking? 

Good news:  Do you remember this picture I posted last fall?  His face was half gone.  Well, this cat has now miraculously healed.  I had tried to grab him, and then trap him, when he was on Melville, to no avail.  Well, he is a regular now on Parsells and he has completely healed.  Its amazing how the body works.   He doesn't run from me either - just another of the dozen or so cats waiting for their turn now...   

The black cat was at the shelter on Pennsylvania this morning – he sleeps inside the wooden hut, and comes out when he hears me pouring food.  He is starving – you can tell.  He may have a blockage, he may have a wound or abcess – he has saliva hanging from his mouth, and his fur is unkempt.  I have decided to bring a carrier with me tomorrow morning.  I am always nervous with cats I don’t know, but I think he is so desperate, he may not fight me when I go to grab him by the scruff and place him in carrier.  Again, I am petrified each time that I will get bit.  I will have to maneuver the food so that his back is to me.  Wish me luck.  Poor baby.  Hopefully off he will go to the clinic on Bay Street when its opens, or to the emergency hospital in Brighton.  I’m not sure which.  Uggh.  

Sick kitty on Garson
If you will remember the pretty white cat that I ‘rescued’ on Short a few years ago..  I had heard a soft crying inside one of the huts that was there (before the City came along and trashed my stuff).  There was a beautiful cat inside it, and it had wounds too severe to save it.  And the one on Niagara, and the one on Central, and the one on Second..  there are so many cats out there suffering.  I am thankful these cats find their way to my shelters, and I am glad I am able to offer it some help.  Here we go again.

Have a nice day.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018


And the hits just keep on coming!  We got another four inches of snow this morning, and it continues to come down heavy.  I brought the shovel, and my first few stops were iffy as to needing to shovel, but by the time I got to the seventh stop on Garson, I knew shoveling was needed.  I’m tired of shoveling!  Luckily, its not that cold out – a balmy 20 something degrees.  Extra lucky because there is no wind blowing. 

The sick black cat was at the Pennsylvania spot today.  The rats had made a mess of the towel that I placed there - I am continually replacing the towels there almost daily.  They are disgusting and I must eradicate them.  I am hoping dry ice will do the trick, and I’ve had a friend Joel offer to help with that.  Now to get the dry ice, move the shelter a bit to get underneath, and bury the ice down the holes the rats have made.  The black kitty is hurting, you can tell, and he has drool coming out of his mouth when he is trying to eat.  Poor baby.  I made a mental note that this will be one of the spots I will place a trap at on Monday.  Pray he’s there and goes in.  If not, I have to figure something else out.  Monday is my first TNR day of the year.  I have four spots.  Wish me luck.  There are SO many out there that need help, especially with spay and neuter.  Two come right up to me, and both need neutering.  A sweet little black kitty who goes from one location to another.  He is the kitty that in the early winter, I picked him up from in between shelters on Niagara Street, placed him on my lap, and drove him to the next shelter during a storm.  I was hoping he would stay there and take cover.  I’ve seen him all over ever since then, and I am hoping I will see him on Monday and I can get him done as one of the four.   He is adoptable!  

Black Kitty

Then there is Swirly on Second and Central.  He runs to me, rubs up against me, lets me pick him up briefly, and I do believe he will make a wonderful and faithful companion someday, so he may be my next rescue.  He’s a year old and still kittenish looking.  Beautiful grey and white markings.


My heart breaks every day.  I can only do what I can do.  I need more people to foster, and then I can get as many off the street as possible.  Please consider foster and adoption!

And don’t forget about Hermie and Parsley who will be moved this Saturday to a new location.  This new location will allow them a better chance to be met and will give them more room to move about.  I am so excited for them! 

Lastly, another update on Muffin, who has been renamed Mr. Hawkins! 

         "I wanted to give you another update on Mr. Hawkins. He is the sweetest cat!  My daughter brought up Oscar, a 4 year old little black cat who loves Jade, and he has been making friends with Hawkins.  They run around the house together all night long!  He’ll be staying as Hawkins’ emotional support friend.  Oscar, by the way has some balance issues, so I’m going to be the house with all the special needs animals- but I’m happy with that.  Anyways, Hawkins comes out in the evening and purrs, rubs up against our legs, and leans right into us.  He lets me pick him up.  He likes my counters, I found him the other day on top of my crockpot :) He is very social and I think he’s happy.

        His relationship with Jade is making progress little by little.  She doesn’t bark at him anymore.  I’ve had “his” bedroom door open all day and she goes in and out.  He swatted her this morning (he’s finally letting her know not to mess with him) and she has respected that.  He even came out from under the bed a couple of times to sit in the chair or on top of the desk.  They’ve really made so much progress since he first came home! I’ve thought about bringing in the trainer that the vet recommended, but everyday seems to bring more acceptance between them, so for now I am going to keep walking around with pockets full of treats for both of them and lots of positive reinforcement.

        Some day I’m going to email you and tell you they’re both hanging out with us on the couch!"

Have a great day!

Image result for quotes on hope

Tuesday, March 13, 2018


Thank you Walt for reminding me that I have a GoFund me out there that you started!  I am not good at self promotion (just my blog!), so I will just add the tag to click on for donations, and let everyone know that any donations towards this fund will not be to help FINANCE the 'cat mobile', but to help run it/maintain it.  Gas, etc.  Please do not feel obligated to donate!  To those that have, THANK YOU!!!

And again, thank you WALT for all you do for me!  :)

On the homefront:  More snow coming.  EEEEEEK!  C'mon Old Man Winter!  GO AWAY!

Scenes from this morning at my first few shelters:  (click on to view up close)



PARSELLS #3 (Harvey and Huey kin)

CENTRAL (adoptable Tabby & Tuxedo kitties)

MELVILLE (adoptable grey boy)

Have a nice day.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Phew! I need a Vacation!

BLU - My Houseguest This Weekend!

Man oh Man.  My weekends just fly by lately.  And with the time change, I had less time to accomplish what I had intended to accomplish, which I didn’t accomplish at all.  And that task was to clean out my magazines.   Hi, my name is Janine, and I am a magazine hoarder.  Uggh.  I get these free magazines sent to me, and I love to cook, so I can’t throw away a magazine thinking I might miss a recipe, or a good article.  And I never have spare time to sit and read, I am ALWAYS on the go, when I am not cooking and cleaning on the weekends, so they build up.  So, that is my project.  Clean out the magazines stacked on my porch, and the piles on my desk in my office at home.

Peanut Butter Pie - DELISH


And every tax season – IF I actually get a refund,  I try to change my house up a bit.  This year it was a new chair and rug for living room, new end tables, lamps and quilt for my bed in my bedroom.  I know that seems like a lot, but I hunt for bargains too.  I can’t go on vacation, I can’t even take a single day off from getting up going out and feeding cats every morning, so I have to treat myself somehow, right???

And feed cats I do!  I get up at 2 am. every single morning, lounge around for an hour to wake my mind and body up, and head out into the cold and darkness – to feed stray and feral cats.  Many cats.  I have 19 locations I drive to.  I get in and out of my car with dry and wet food, and water.  Most times a bath sized towel to lay down under the plates so that the kitties can have something warm to stand on when they eat.  The food and water goes under the roof of shelters I’ve built around the city for these cats.  19 shelters to be exact.  These shelters can house an average of five kitties.  Some are large wooden shelters, and some are plastic or Styrofoam, but all go under a tarp that is positioned with a large board under it over the shelters.  To hold the snow, and keep the rain out.  I get out of my truck randomly and place a bowl of food and water for kitties I see on my way to each stop, knowing this could be their only meal.  Am I crazy?  Yes, I really am.  Who else does this???  There are a few of us, but not many! 

I’ve been seeing a few sick cats lately.  My heart breaks for them.    Like the mama cat of the six kittens I rescued on the side of Syd and Johnny’s garage on Bay Street a few years back.  She began as a black fluffball, very healthy looking, but something is wrong with her fur on the back end.  If I had more antibiotics, I would slip it in her food to see if that would help.  Whatever her ailment.  I know vets would frown on this, but I can’t just grab a feral/semi-feral cat and bring it to the vet.  There is also a black cat I’ve been seeing coming out of a shelter on Pennsylvania, he’s got something going on also.  He’s a cat I’ve never seen before.  He lets me touch him, but with a growl.  He seems starving, and not able to eat comfortably.  I haven’t seen him in two mornings now. 

I have also not seen Big Red since the last snowfall.  Some of you, or one of you may say ‘well if you had only rescued him when you had the chance.’  Well, I have had the chance to rescue many many cats over the years, but haven’t, due to one reason or another.   And I actually HAVE rescued many many cats over the years, I would have to say close to 1000 when I think back on it.  When I first started out – 20 years ago?  It started with maybe 10 the first year, 20 the next, 30 some years, and 120+ this past year alone!   Kristin started the count for me four or five years ago.  The cats I have in my home are cats I rescued that had one issue or another.  They were on my route, I could see them declining, I would rescue them, get them vetted, but never got them adopted out.  No one wants the sick ones, no one wants the not so pretty ones.  So I wound up keeping them, what else could I do? 

Buttons on Couch with me Yesterday!

Buttons this Morning!

Buttons is one example.  I rescued her 3 or 4 years ago?  (gotta check this blog – do a search and I can find anything that’s happened for nearly 10 years past).  She was, and still is, a timid kitty, and she was scared to death of her own shadow.  She stayed mostly upstairs in my house, only coming down for a nibble of food in the dark, or when I am not home.  She went to the vet last week to get rechecked after having blood drawn for Bartonella (sp?) disease, and when she got back from the vet, you would think she would go into hiding even more.  Well, for some odd reason, after all these years, she has been hanging out with me downstairs ever since.  And yesterday, total breakthrough.  She actually jumped up on the couch and sat with me.  I was shocked.  I don’t know what got into her, but I am very happy she is now joining the rest of the clan!



Both are now playing!

Buttons baby boy Baby Buttons has been missing from this same colony – where Sam and Mr. Whiskers and Millie still hang.    Baby Buttons was getting thinner and thinner and getting closer and closer to me, and then one day, he was gone.  Its been at least two months now.  Its heartbreaking knowing I COULD have done something, but didn’t.  But I can’t always DO something.  I just can’t.  There are too many other factors going on in my life.  If I just had more people stepping up to foster.  I know I have one waiting in the wings – she offered to take Big Red, but I still had Parsley and Hermie to worry about and wanted to make sure they went somewhere where they could thrive.  And I knew this girl had a place where they could.  Big windows, lots of room.  Where they are now, there is a bed that takes up much of the room, and when anyone other than their foster enters the room, they hide.  I’ve been a bad ‘mom’ due to the fact that I’ve only gone to visit them once.  And when I did, they did not want to come out from under the bed for me.  I tried to DRAG Parsley, as he was closer to the edge than Hermie was, but it didn’t work so well.   The latest report is that they run to their foster mom when she enters the room, even to the point of sitting on her lap!  That is where they need to be with me, and other potential adopters.  Let me be clear.  I am extremely grateful to their current foster mom.  But she is also a rescuer, and will have room for more kitties off the street.  So I am grateful as well to the kind person offering the wonderful room for Hermie and Parlsey.  They will be able to be more easily shown at their new place.  So, fingers crossed all goes as planned.  Stay tuned.

Have a nice day.

"Feeling gratitude
and not expressing
it is like wrapping
a present and
not giving it."

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Chapter on Chewy!

Once again, we have a guest post from Joel, our great story writer.  Thanks Joel, for another exciting chapter of A Guardian Angel!  This time, Joel writes about one of my most recent rescue - Chewy!

Chewy Rescued!~

A Guardian Angel - Chapter One - Chewy's story

   What would the cats Janine cares for think of her ? What would it be like to eavesdrop on them on a cold winters night ?

  Chewy - a small calico female with a patchwork of white, orange and black fur crouched beneath one of the many human made shelters arranged along the tall wooden fence that bordered the little park at Second and Central streets. She had gotten this name because of her nervous tendency to chew on her paw pads every few minutes when she wasn't hunting for food. She even chewed them in her sleep. She couldn't help it - they itched constantly - the maddening tingly sensation was creeping into her conscious thoughts even now as she peered out from the deep shadows under the human made shelters boxy enclosure over her head. She had suffered much as of late, her itchy paws were just the latest annoyance to be added to the long list of her life's woes.

She had been born a little over two years ago in one of these very shelters in the seedy little park that she called home. She had been the runt of the litter, and now barely tipped the scales at three pounds even though she was fully grown. Barely big enough to fight the rats that sometimes stole whatever meager scraps she managed to find, her life was a continuous series of hungry days and hungry nights. Sometimes she feared that the grumbles from her chronically empty belly were loud enough for the ratty looking humans that wandered this neighborhood at all hours of the night to hear and that they would suddenly emerge from their stupors and take after her. Luckily for her - so far none of them had paid her any attention - and for that she was grateful. But there was one who did - the human female that stopped along the trash strewn edge of Central ave and put out food and water for the local colony that called the corner park property home. Chewy had come to look forward to hearing the rumbly, grumbly motor of the human females car come sliding along Central and pulling to a halt with its wheels squealing like a trapped mouse a few seconds before it came to a stop. It wasn't shiny or vibrating with thundering music like some of the humans cars, and she got the feeling it was kind of an old, well worn human car - but she was glad to see it every morning just the same. She had been in that car once already, but could remember almost nothing about the experience other than she had been brought back to this same location missing the tip of one ear. She had been happy to be home at the time, and free of the little metal cage she was in, but things had become so much harder for her since then.

Now she could hardly wait to hear its grumbly motor this cold and snowy morning. This had been an especially troubling week for her. She had gotten trapped by an errant falling board in the basement of the seedy abandoned church on Second Street while rooting around for something to eat. She was too small and did not have the strength to move the heavy board once it had fallen across the hole she'd used to gain entry. She'd spent a miserable two whole days and nights trapped there until a group of foraging rats had ganged up together and moved the board out of the way for themselves. The second they had disappeared into the gloomy confines of the church basement she had bolted out through the hole into the frigid air outside. That was just about an hour ago, and now here she was crouched in the icy cold shallow snow and crispy dead leaves under the shelter, her diminutive nose twitching slightly as she sniffed the dry winter air for any signs of food. She could smell the sharp and pungent odor of the marking scents used by the other cats that prowled these grounds, as well as the sour tang of rat piss. She hated that smell more than anything - it reminded her that even after the human female came and left food, she would have to fight the rats for it if she wanted to eat.

She had decided today would be different. Hardly believing she could be so brave and bold - she had made up her mind to do something so against her nature that it made her shiver harder than the negative 10 degree wind chill warranted. She was planning on giving herself up to the human female that came to feed them. She had overheard some of the neighborhood cats talking in hushed whispers about the human female taking some of the locals away in a trap, and that sometimes they came back healed from their sickness or injuries. There was also a rumor gradually spreading from other far flung colonies of wild cats that this same human female had been helping them by finding them homes with other humans that actually wanted to invite a cat into their homes and take care of them - forever! She could not believe a human would ever do something like that for her - but she was going to try. It had been almost brutally cold all week, and her little body could barely generate enough heat to keep her shivering at bay. Chewy fully intended to run out to the human female when she got out to leave the food and water and cry for help.

August 2017 - Chewy still on the streets
So she shivered and waited, waited and shivered, her breath making tiny plums of white vapor that condensed on the underside of the shelters floor above her. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, her sensitive eyes spotted two bright spots far down Central Ave coming toward her. Her little heart began to beat faster as the lights grew bigger and brighter, and at last she heard the distinctive deep grumble of the cars motor. It was her! The human female was coming to put out food and water. She raised herself up off her belly, ready to emerge from under the shelter and plow through the snow toward the human to make her plea. She had no idea if humans could understand cat - but she would try her best.

She watched with wide eyes as the humans car stopped across the street, its wheels making that intermittent mouse-squeak sound - but her keen vision suddenly became aware of something else. Coming down the street from the opposite direction from the old car was one of the local ratty looking humans that she had seen from time to time over the past year. She watched with a sinking feeling in her heart as the man made a beeline straight toward the other humans car. Now why in the name of cats did he have to pick NOW to bug the human female before she could get a chance to plead her case for getting off this frozen street ? She watched as the cars window opened with a labored whine, and the human inside began conversing with the man standing stooped over next to the cars door.  She hesitated, caught like a mouse under a paw between her fear of facing two humans and the burning emptiness in her belly. But she couldn't bear the thought of going another minute being this cold and hungry - so she threw instinct and caution to the bitter wind. Steeling herself, she stepped out into the snow and began making her way toward the impossibly high looking snowbanks at the edge of the street.

To be continued …

He always leave us in suspense!  :)  Hopefully the REAL ending for Chewy is to be adopted into a loving home.

Have a great day!

"True happiness is... to enjoy
the present, without anxious
dependence upon the future."

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Fostering Saves Lives!

Click on pics to zoom in!

Another update on Muffin:

"I came home tonight and went into Tyler’s room to see Mr. Muffins Hawkins and he came right out and wanted to be loved on. I pet him for a bit and scooped him up to take him to the living room kennel. Jade barked, I called her and gave her treats. Cheese worked the best. She’s smart though so she decided she was going to bark and bark so she could get more cheese. I had to get a little stern with her, and she only wants me to be happy with her. I know my girl thought and I know she won’t hurt him, so I tried something new. The kennel door open, me between them with treats and petting and they both relaxed- especially Mr. Muffins Hawkins, he wound up going to sleep. We are getting there, slowly but surely."

And finally:

I love the blog and have a new update for you!

"Tonight I brought him out and put him in the kennel again. I opened the door a little like last night, the dog barked a few times, he hissed a bit and I closed the door for a few minutes while I calmed Jade down and gave her some treats. I opened the door again and Hawkins kept trying to push out, so I took a chance and opened it. He ran out and under the bed in the spare room. We got Jades leash and put it on her so she couldn’t chase him. Two awesome things happened: 1) She stopped barking at him and was extremely easy to redirect. I think it bothered her more that he was locked in a kennel than he was a new cat.  Around 7 Jade and I went in my bedroom and she went right to sleep. 2) About half an hour after I went in the bedroom, I heard running up and down the hallway. I went out and there he was sitting st the end of the hallway, I walked into the kitchen and he followed me, then ran in the bedroom and jumped on the bed, then into the living room and onto the couch.  He kept pausing to flop himself in the floor and roll on his back......this boy was oozing confidence! I’m telling you he was like a different cat.   So tomorrow he will be in one of the bedrooms during the day when we aren’t home because Jade hasn’t been in her kennel for over a month (and I don’t want her thinking she has to go back in because of him) but once we get home I’ll put the leash on her and let him out to run around again. 

It’s funny that he decided to push us into the next step- Tyler says he tricked me into letting him out of the kennel- but what a wonderful trick it’s turned out to be!"

Another update - MILO!

"Hi Janine, just wanted to let you know Milo is doing great. He’s my boy!
Hope all is going well,



I absolutely LOVE these pictures!  Remember, this little girl is a kitty I never thought I would be able to rescue.  She is coming along nicely, and hopefully will be adopted in May!  :)  thank you Amanda, for fostering! 

Fostering creates happy endings!  Fostering saves lives!!!  



Update - the kitty I rescued last fall:  Since Simon returned home yesterday morning, after being missing for a month - has made himself right at home again - he was very dirty and had lost a lot of weight since he'd been gone - oh the tales he could tell!!

Have a nice day!