Friday, September 28, 2012

Ah Chew!

Tis the season for colds.  When we get a cold, or get sick, we can go to a doctor.  Or we can go to a store and get some meds to make us feel better.  When cats get sick, they can't go to their local wooden shelter and open the medicine cabinet to get something to relieve them.  I am starting to see sick cats again.  The summer was pretty easy on them, but with the change in weather, and I am not sure how this happens, some seem to be getting ill.   The worst part of TNR'g for me is releasing sweet cats back out onto the street.  There is a very sweet grey cat on Third that is just like my Smokey, he craves attention when I arrive there in the morning, and would make the finest furry baby for someone.  I have wanted to get him off the street for a long while there, and it broke my heart to have to release him when I did.  Yesterday morning I had the flashlight out and shined it on his face, and his eyes were all watery.  Another cat was sneezing.  These poor animals will once again suffer through a winter season, if they make it. 

That is why I must get these shelters secure and cozy for them.  I brought a board yesterday morning to place under the large board I moved to the vacant lot near the bulldozed house.  It provides stabilty for the water dish and plates of food that are being covered by the large board.  Of course, when I pulled up to this spot yesterday morning, there was crazy Marilee standing there staring at the newly renovated house on the corner at 5:30 in the morning.  She is a middle aged woman, thin, short hair, somewhat sweet and fairly attractive.  She truly does care for the cats, but she is off her rocker, for sure.   We spoke about the demolished house, and how I was trying to rebuild a shelter in the lot, and she asked if I had gotten permission from the person who you never see who lives in the spooky house next door, where the windows are covered in blue plastic tarp, to allow the board to lean against their dilapidated fence.  I told her no, but that I wasn't worried about it.  We just had a short conversation because she talks about crazy stuff and I am always in a hurry to get my route done.

My mornings have been somewhat uneventful.  I also ran into the homeless guy I mentioned about a month ago shortly after the shooting on Short Street.  We had a nice conversation (as nice as you can get when you are under a streetlamp at 5:30 in the morning) and we wished each other a good day.  There are people along the way that come out of their house to leave and always wave and shout 'goodmorning' to me.  There really are nice people, who think what I do is kind, but really dont' want to be bothered to do it themselves, or don't have the means to do it.  Who does?  I am a true nutcase, I know, and other than two other people I know that do this in different ways, I am pretty unique.  And thats not a compliment to myself!  But I keep shuffling along, and try to cherish these next 23 hours of my day.

Have a good weekend everyone.

Thursday, September 27, 2012


I am keepng this light today.  I love to read, and I found this little story amusing.   I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

The Halloween Story:  The Black Cat's Message

 I came home late one night after work and found my wife Ethel puttering about the kitchen with a big yellow cat at her heels.     

 “And who is this?” I asked jovially.       

“This is our new cat,” said Ethel, giving me a hug and a kiss to welcome me home.  “She just appeared at the kitchen door and wanted to come in.  None of the neighbors know where she came from, so I guess she’s ours.  It will be nice to have some company around the house.”     

I bent down and scratched the yellow cat under the chin.  She purred and stretched.       “Well, I think our income can stretch far enough to feed three,” I said.      

My son had taken over my job at the mercantile and my wife and I were enjoying a leisurely old age.  I liked to keep busy though, and so I spent a few hours every day cutting and hauling wood to be used at the mill.        

I went out to milk the cow, and when I came back in, Ethel gave the cat some cream in a saucer.        

We sat on the porch after dinner, and the cat sat with us.        

 “You are a very nice kitty,” I said to her.  She purred loudly.       

“Donald,” Ethel said.  She sounded worried.  I turned to look at her.  “The neighbors acted rather oddly when I told them about the cat.  They seemed to think she was a ghost or a witch of some sort, transformed into a cat.  They told me to get rid of her.”         

“A witch?” I asked, and laughed heartily.  “Are you a witch, little cat?”       

The cat yawned and stretched.  Reluctantly, Ethel started to laugh with me.  It seemed such a ludicrous notion.  We sat watching the beautiful sunset, and then took ourselves to bed.        

The cat quickly became an essential part of our household.  She would purr us awake each morning, and would beg for cream when I brought in the morning’s milking.  She followed Ethel around supervising her work during the day and would sit by the fire at night while we read aloud.      

The days became shorter as autumn approached, and often I would work until nearly sunset, cutting and hauling wood.  One night in October, I didn’t finish hauling my last load until dusk.  As soon as I had piled the last log, I started down the road, hoping to get home before dark since I had not brought a lantern with me.  I rounded a corner and saw a group of black cats standing in the middle of the road.  They were nearly invisible in the growing dark.          

As I drew nearer, I saw that they were carrying a stretcher between them.  I stopped and rubbed my eyes.  That was impossible.  When I looked again, the stretcher was still there, and there was a little dead cat lying on it.       

I was astonished.  It must be a trick of the light, I thought.  Then one of the cats called out, “Sir, please tell Aunt Kan that Polly Grundy is dead.”      

My mouth dropped open in shock.  I shook my head hard, not believing my ears.  How ridiculous, I thought.  Cats don’t talk.       

I hurried past the little group, carefully looking the other way.  I must be working too hard, I thought.  But I couldn’t help wondering who Aunt Kan might be.  And why did the cat want me to tell her Polly Grundy was dead?  Was Polly Grundy the cat on the stretcher? 

Suddenly, I was confronted by a small black cat.  It was standing directly in front of me.  I stopped and looked down at it.  It looked back at me with large green eyes that seemed to glow in the fading light.       

“I have a message for Aunt Kan,” the cat said.  “Tell her that Polly Grundy is dead.”      

The cat stalked passed me and went to join the other cats grouped around the stretcher.        I was completely nonplussed.  This was getting very spooky.  Talking cats and a dead Polly Grundy.  And who was Aunt Kan?  I hurried away as fast as I could walk.  Around me, the woods were getting darker and darker.  I did not want to stay in that wood with a group of talking cats.  Not that I really believed the cats had spoken.  It was all a strange, waking dream brought on by too much work.      

Behind me, the cats gave a strange shriek and called out together:  “Old man!  Tell Aunt Kan that Polly Grundy is dead!”     

I’d had enough.  I sprinted for home as fast as I could go, and didn’t stop until I had reached the safety of my porch.  I paused to catch my breath.  I did not want to explain to Ethel that I was seeing and hearing impossible things.  She would dose me with caster oil and call the doctor.       

When I was sufficiently composed, I went into the house and tried to act normally.  I should have known it wouldn’t work.  Ethel and I had been married for thirty years, and she knew me inside and out.  She didn’t say anything until after I’d finished the chores.  Then she sat me down in front of the fire and brought me my supper.  After I’d take a few bites and started to relax, she said, “Tell me all about it, Donald.”    

“I don’t want to worry you,” I said, reluctant to talk about what I had seen and heard on the way home.         

The yellow cat was lying by the fire.  She looked up when she heard my voice, and came to sit by my chair.  I offered her a morsel of food, which she accepted daintily.      

“I’ll worry more if you don’t tell me,” said Ethel.      

“I think maybe something is wrong with my brain,” I said slowly.  “While I was walking home, I thought I saw a group of black cats carrying a stretcher with a dead cat on it.  Then I thought I heard the cats talking to me.  They asked me to tell Aunt Kan that Polly Grundy was dead.”     

The yellow cat leapt up onto the window sill.  “Polly Grundy is dead?” she cried.  “Then I am the Queen of the Witches!”     

She switched her tail and the window flew open with a bang.  The yellow cat leapt through it and disappeared into the night, never to return.       

Ethel had to dump an entire bucket of water over my head to revive me from my faint.        ‘The good news,” she told me when I sat up, dripping and swearing because the water was ice cold, “is that you have nothing wrong with your brain.  The bad news is that our cat has just left us to become the Queen of the Witches.  We’ll have to get another cat.”     

“Oh no,” I said immediately.  “I’ve had enough of cats.”    

We got a dog. 


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

In God We Trust

Update on yesterday's demolition:
Orangie on House Before Demolish
After fretting about the house being demolished yesterday, where I feed about five cats daily on the porch that once was, I received an offer from the girl I told you about days ago, Maree.  This little itty bitty (but a very pretty itty bitty!) thing offered to meet me somewhere, drive together and move the board to the empty lot location that is my only other option.  Thank you Maree!  We met, drove there together on my lunch from work, and while Maree waited in the car for me, I knocked on the open door of the house that the board was in its garage (is that proper wording???).  A young man came to the door – he was obviously working on the inside of the newly renovated house in the middle of a very poor section of the city – looks a bit odd.  I asked him if I could take the board, he had no problem and even offered to carry it for me – I couldn’t have done it myself.  We shook hands, I told him what I do and he thought that was commendable.  Maree and I went over to the lot first to move the board against a chain link fence and my plan was to come back in the morning to bring a board to place under to set the food dishes on so that they wouldn’t be sinking in the long grass.  We then went over to talk to the workers in the demolished house lot.  We asked one of the men about my cat carrier I had placed on the porch there on Sunday, with straw stuffed in it and a towel over it to keep the wind out.  He said it was gone, demolished with the house.  I kind of scolded him and he said he would scold the other guy there, as he was the one that did it.  I asked him if he checked the inside of the house before demolishing, and he said he and a city inspector went through it and found three dead cats, chased out three live ones, and a couple of raccoons.  I was grateful that they checked first, but sad for the dead cats.  You have to wonder how they died.  This morning I brought a board to place under the other, and a shelter that Maree’s husband made for me to place there.  Its really pathetic, but will do for now.

Sparkles & Limpy 2
A lick on your cheek, a rub against your ankle, a slow, soft blink … these are just a few of the ways a cat tells you it loves and trusts you,  In the outdoor stray/feral world, they mostly distrust you.   Over the years, many cats have come to trust me, but its taken a long while for some of my old timers.  Big Red now runs to my car to greet me and follows me all the way to the dishes, Red, after having me try to unsuccessfully throw him into a carrier to go to a new home, distrusted me for a long time – he took off not to be seen for months, and then stayed far away from me when he was back.  He now waits for me to come each day, and waits for his pat pats.  Orangie – I had him neutered last fall, and he stayed as far away from me as he could get until Ieft, now lets me pick him up.  But this morning I earned another cat’s trust.  Limpy #2.  He is the cat that was injured on 4th and Pennsylvania, and for a long time, Laura had tried to trap him, get him neutered, and have his foot looked at, but he never fell for the bait.  So he limped on and on.  Then one day he didn’t limp. All the while, he stayed as far as possible away from human contact.  He would wait until I was in my car to go get the food I left for him and Sparkles.  He has been getting closer and closer lately, until this morning he actually let me pet him!  Such a great feeling!  The best proof of love is trust.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Cats, Rats & Demolished Houses!

It was rather warm and breezy this morning. The kind of breeze where I knew most of the paper bowls and plates I use at some/most of my spots would be blown all over the place. I have to replenish my stock of bowls and plates every two weeks. I used to go to the dollar store and get whatever bowls I could find for a buck, but those get expensive, especially with how many I would need to leave for each kitty hungrily awaiting their breakfast. At my second spot on Stout Street, the three kitties hungrily gobbled their food and as I was driving away, a rat scurried across the road to the house next door. Eeuw. Yuck. I am glad that I don’t have the compulsion to feed them too. Although they are God’s creatures too!

As I drove to my fifth spot, on Webster, the abandoned house I’ve been forced to place the food down at for lack of another sheltered spot because of the house being restored on the corner of Ferndale where they used to be sheltered and fed, I gasped as I came up it. There was a big dozer in front, and no house behind. They tore the house down, along with the carrier shelter I placed there on Sunday morning. A wave of sadness swept over me. Those poor cats. Poor little Orangie, and his gang. I went to the lot next door and placed a couple of paper bowls down under a tree in back and filled them up. Little Orangie ran up to it and started to gobble the food down. I saw one or two others, out of the usual four or five that are normally waiting. I pray they weren’t in the house when it happened and were hurt. As I was leaving I went over to the garage that belongs to this newly restored house, yet still unoccupied, and took a look (the door to the garage is kind of caved in) and saw a very large heavy board that would be a perfect start of a new shelter in the empty, city-owned lot next door. But so heavy I could not move it myself. I need help. Any takers? It would unfortunately have to be done early morning when I am out. And I need to do it quick because rain is expected tomorrow morning. I must do something by tomorrow, there is nothing sheltering these cats from the weather.

Domesticated animals are dependent on us for everything that is important in their lives: when and whether they eat or drink, when and where they sleep or relieve themselves, whether they get any affection or exercise, etc. We MUST continue to eradicate the homeless population of cats and dogs in this world. But lets first start with our own hometown, which for me is Rochester. But I can’t do it alone. I wish every single person would take a stance and accept responsibility for just one cat or dog. Get them neutered, shelter them and love them. Just one per person, minimum. That’s all I am asking.

Monday, September 24, 2012

20 Pounds

That’s how much dry food I am using on a daily basis for the homeless kitties. Think about that. To me, its astounding. And that is just pouring platefuls here and there. At my first stop, its four paper plates full, at the next, its one plus a small paper salad bowl, at the next, its three platefuls, at the next, its three small bowls, at the next, it’s a bowl and a plate, and on and on. Four is the most I fill, but its usually how many cats I am feeding that I am filling up a bowl or plate. Some of them have to share. On top of their dry food, I plop a little wet. I am using around 19 Friskie-sized cans per day also. And that is just a small bit for these cats. Some may say that is spoiling them, but you know what, if you had to live in the conditions that these cats do, why not. Do you know how many cats are now following me back to my car? I have one that I pick up and hold, let him purr, scratch him gently, and have to put him back out. I feel terrible when I drive away. I have one cat that runs after my car. I have to stop at the corner to place a bowl of food down for him because he has too much competition at the previous spot where he was waiting for me. Its heartbreaking.

I distributed some cat shelters that folks have made for me. Thank you Bob and your friend that helped you build the hut, and thank you Maree and Joe. I also had some donated large cat carriers that were slightly broken, I added some straw into them, and covered them with a towel to keep the wind out of the vents on the side. I always face the openings towards the east, as most storms come from the west. I will be continuing to add shelters as I go along, there are many that are needed. Kristin has been holding two at her place until I need them. Thank you Kristin and Darrin. And thank you Jill for proving boards for me that I will get from Nancy this week. They will make great coverings to help keep the wind, snow or rain out. Keep in mind, there are an average of three or four cats per stop that I make, that’s average. Some shelters are just too small to hold more than one, so I need more. I will continue to assess my spots and keep you informed.

Scooter, Pumpkin, Butters
 On the homefront, I look at little Butters, Vanessa, and two babies, and think to myself, oh how lucky you are. And Vanessa’s babies would not have made it outside. They are tiny delicate creatures that would have no natural defenses to protect themselves. And Vanessa would be on her next pregnancy for sure. I wish someone would adopt or foster them. Its so crowded in my house with these extra babies. Butters has really gotten under my skin. He is so cuddly and sweet, and saunters right up to my face at night and cuddles in. And Vanessa’s two babies have a hard time getting up on my bed, they are so little, and when you hear them trying, and sliding back down, you just have to pick them up and place them on the bed. They love to sleep with me too. So sweet. I took some pictures – its really hard to tell how little these kittens are but in person, they are still tiny and so fragile.  Be sure to click on the pictures to zoom in a bit!



Pumpkin Butter!

 "Nothing is worth more than this day."  (AMEN).

Friday, September 21, 2012

Living on a Prayer

Sorry, I have the Jon Bon Jovi song is stuck in my head - and couldn't think of a good title for today's post, but I do suppose you could say that living on a prayer is how I live!  Of course, going into the hood every day is living on a prayer.  I've been blessed that nothing bad has ever happened to me.  I think most people in those neighborhoods respect what I am doing, so they don't bother me, except for 7th Street.  Have I mentioned that since I left the note for the Devil Man on Webster, my plates have remained there untouched?  On the other hand, I am not a good planner, I try not to plan too far ahead, and people that do drive me crazy, like my mother...  she will be calling me a month before Thanksgiving, and every other day will remind me of what I am supposed to be making and bringing over for the dinner.  When she travels, she starts packing a month ahead of time.  I suppose thats a good thing, instead of last minute, like me, but thats not me, and I do things on the spur of the moment.  So thats living on a prayer too I supposed.  Thats me.

I wanted to share a very amusing little story I received yesterday.  I like to check up on cats that I rescue and adopt out.  If you will recall 'Buddy', who I adopted out I think in the springtime, to a nice couple who already had one cat named Magic who was the master of her domaine.  They decided they were going to introduce the two the way they were told would be ideal, and that was several weeks of keeping them apart and introducing them slowly.  We've kept in touch throughout the year, and here is the latest on 'Buddy', who is now named Winston.

"Hi Janine,

Everyone is fine!! But so much has happen since we last communicated.

Magic was not well last month she was limping, but I couldn't figure out why (and she was a real peach to deal with...NOT!!!) I swear that cat is a complete drama queen. Anyways, she was milking the whole thing I mean whining like a real baby - - - for weeks. She was so mean to Winston (he would curl up between Rodney and I all night). They are getting along now, again! Below is a picture of my solution to her meanness...give her space.

Winston my dear baby boy, where would we be without you?! We now call him "Winston Stiff-Tail the 3rd" he's a real gentleman (somewhat of an aristocrat). He love his VEGGIES, corn, lettuce you name it...if it's green he wants some, he's still skinny (slim for the lady cats that visit him at night by the front window - a real Romeo!). He's got a few favorite spots around the house that he loves to hang out at and love talking to the squires.

He love my closet! (see picture)

We still play our game (he meows then me, then him, then me...until he doesn't want to play anymore) and he meets me at the door everyday.

I hope all is well with you. "

GREAT STORY!  I would love to share more, so if you've adopted a kitty from me in the past, write me and give me updates!

Have a great safe warm and dry weekend everyone! 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Spiders, Tigers and Bears, Oh My!

It was a brisk cold morning here in Rochester – I still put on my shorts (I refuse to give up summer), but pulled out a long sleeved top from my drawer to ward off the chill that was in the air.    This morning, I went about distributing some straw that a lovely woman I’ve met who is Australian, Maree, brought over to me the other day along with some homemade shelters her husband made out of those really nice coolers.  He is in the hotel industry, and apparently people leave all kinds of stuff, and he had these and cut out holes, and they are already insulated, so voila!  More shelters for the kitties!  I also picked up a large tall wooden dresser (drawerless) from the curb yesterday, and brought that to the back of the lot where I feed Sparkles and Limpy #2 (who does not limp anymore) for shelter.  I layed it on the ground, empty drawer side down, and slid in a board on top of the slats, and threw some of the straw in that.  It will be a very cozy shelter for one or two kitties, although there is a large opening at the top, which I have to figure out.  For now though, on these cool days, I hope they find it warm and inviting.  I also placed some straw in the new hut on Short Street that Bob built for me.  I am hoping at least a kitty can squeeze in there, but I will have to get more shelter there, as there are five kitties there depending on the food.  This morning there was a black baby, a black/copper mama (who I believe has been fixed), a black and white year old (most likely male), an orange, and a striped tabby that is very talkative.  These are the regulars, although not daily.

I still need to get shelters at many of my spots, and I have a good start, thanks to Bob, Kristin and Maree.  Sad to say, the ones that were donated to me last year have been destroyed.  I left a message on the porch of the Latino man next door to the lot where I feed on Seventh Street yesterday morning and it said ‘Please bring the board you said you have to the lot like you promised me.  Janine.’  He didn’t.  I will have to go knocking on his door during the day on my lunch because if I can get a board from him, maybe it will stop whoever is taking them, as he is just next door, and remember Maria had said she thought it was one of this guy’s friend taking the boards, although I have a feeling its been him all along.  Who knows.  Would iove to place a camera there.   Maria has one board left and is moving this week or next so I need to get it from her soon.  I just don’t want to place it back there and have someone take it. 

Mr. Kitty was waiting for me again this morning.  He is such a good boy and would make someone a great pet.  He had his ear tipped on Tuesday at Lollipop and was let back Wednesday morning.  He’s had his shots, so he is ready for a home.    The female I harbored overnight Tuesday after her surgery at Lollipop, and had to let go yesterday morning back into the hood, was not around this morning.  I actually have never seen her before, but she obviously knows where the food stash is, and is also now spayed.  That’s a good thing.  I must get a shelter to this location also.  There are about four or five cats here. 

It’s the season for spiders.  They are out everywhere.  I am posting a picture of one I took from two years ago on Niagara Street.  I had to step around this gigantic air-breathing arthopod for weeks until it went away.  I actually am fascinated with spiders, and bugs of all kinds, but they still creep me out!   The first time I ever went to Australia, I encountered one of the creepiest spiders – the Huntsman Spider. 

I had the willies for weeks!  Another memorable experience with spiders was when I was half asleep, and felt something crawling across my face.  I slapped my face trying to get whatever it was off, and turned on the light, only to find the most hairiest, grossest spider ever!  I saved it and called an entomologist who confirmed that it was NOT a wolf spider, like I thought it was.   Lastly, I remember being in the Texas outback years ago for a work sales meeting, and I had left the screen open to a little balcony, and that night I saw some of the largest Daddy Long Legs I’ve ever seen. 

Well, that picture is stretching it a bit, but they seriously were the size of my hand, no lie!  I knew they were harmless, but talk about creepy!  Thinking they were crawling on me during my sleep!  Hows that for a creepy ending?  J  Have a great, bug-free day!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


I am still waiting on the scoop from Laura about two of the three kitties that were brought in to Lollipop yesterday morning after we trapped, in the pouring rain I might add.  Oh, so, not fun.  The one I know about I harbored overnight on my porch, in a carrier.  She was a sweet little thing, although a bit feral.  One girl spayed, never to have babies, a gazillion more to go.  The hardest part of TNR for me is letting them go.  I hate to place them back in dangerous environments, which in my opinion can be from the heart of an inner city to the countryside.  Danger lurks everywhere.  But let her go I did.  I hope she observed well, and remembers well where the food is that I placed down in front of her before I opened the door and she took off like a bolt.

Anyone who really knows me knows I like a tidy, clutter-free house.  I always think, after a long time away from my house and as I am driving back, ahhh... home sweet home.  I live in the same little house I've had for a little over 20 years now.  I always thought it would be my starter, but time, and money slipped away and here I am still.  But its a very homey home.  I need everything from electrical work, new flooring, new furniture, new wall-to-wall in my converted attic bedroom, outside paint, new roof on garage and most likely house roof very soon.  But on a Saturday morning around 11, after I've spent two good solid hours of stripping beds, shaking rugs, cleaning around litter boxes, getting on my knees scrubbing the kitchen floor by hand, cleaning bathrooms, dusting, vacuuming, and doing at least two loads of laundry, I light a pumpkin spice scented candle and stand back to observe how beautiful my home looks, despite needing all of the above.  The only trick is to keep my house from smelling like cat urine!  I have two cats that have some behavior issues - they are peeing in inappropriate places.  So, I wind up washing pillows, blankets, mattress covers, etc. on a weekly basis or as it occurs.  This is my MaryJane and Boris.  Boris has FIV and kidney disfunction, Mary Jane is just a brat.  But they've both been through some major upheavals with my bringing in these three kittens - Butters, Pumpkin and Magic - and Mom Vanessa.  Not to mention all the others over the years.  The other cats have also dealt with this, but obviously MaryJane and Boris are acting out more than the others.

I tell you this because I was at Tops this past weekend in search of on sale Dad's cat food that my friend Carole had told me about, and being the second Tops store I had gone to - the first was sold out of it - the second had only two bags on the shelf - I went in search of a manager to find out if they had any in the back.  I spoke to a woman who worked there, and she went in the back with another worker and they brought me out three more bags.  It was a pretty good deal - on sale for $7.99 compared to $9.99.  As I always tell people who see the amounts of cat food I buy what I do - feed over 50 cats daily - I told this girl (in her 30s or 40s) and she told me she had just lost her cat.  She told me that the cat was spraying and ruining her furniture with its claws.  She told me she brought it to Lollipop, and that they told her because they had just gotten in a large amount of cats, that this cat would be put down.  She went on to say that this cat slept with her and cuddled on her neck at night, and that it was only one and half years old.  She acted as if she had to have the cat put to sleep because of some dreaded disease at first, and seemed miffed at Lollipop.  I wanted to punch her right in the face.  I had to hold my tongue though because she took my name and number down and told me she would call me if she found any damaged bags to sell me at a discount.  Seriously, when I walked away from her, I wanted to vomit.  I would NEVER give up my cats due to them acting out.  NEVER.  There are times I WANT to, but I still would never.  I compare myself to a mother with a human child, I am like a bear protecting cats, all cats.  Thats why I am fearless on the streets - DON'T MESS WITH MY CATS!

Picture below is of Thunder and the kittens in a now messy bedroom.  :) 

So, thats my story for today.  The sun is out, hopefully there are some full bellies out there because of me.  I know some raccoons are well fed, because I had to chase two giant ones away this morning on Third. 

"A wise person can see more from the bottom of a well than a fool can from a mountain top."

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Rain in Spain is Falling Mainly on the Plain...

Update:  I did go over to 7th street yesterday during work hours after discovering that morning that my board was missing again.  I first saw Maria, the woman who has let me take her boards from her open garage to use as shelter for the cats in the empty lot sort of across from her rented house.  I told her about the theft of my board the previous day.  Maria didn't seem as enthused with helping me as she seemed when I first met her, but she did offer that I could take her last board she had.  She also told me she was moving again, by the end of this month.  I took a half board she had and told her I would take the full one but wanted to see how long the half board lasted over there.  I was fuming talking to her, and she pointed to a house next door where the man has known I've fed there for years, but didn't seem bothered.  He is the same man, the same house, that I called Humane Society about several years ago because I was told by Theresa who lived across the street at the time that he was trapping cats and feeding them to his dogs.  He also had a shed full of rabbits, and he now has several chickens and I am sure a rabbit or two.  Not sure what he does with them, but as long as I don't hear suffering or pain, I will not be climbing over his high fence to see.  I do know the police and humane society did go there after I had called.  I don't know the outcome.

Anyways, after Maria pointed out the house and told me an adult was carrying the board, but that he didn't live there, and that the man that did live there wasn't home, sure enough, I turned around and the man that did live there was walking toward a corner  parking lot at the corner to speak to another spanish speaking man.  I waltzed right over to the both of them and said 'excuse me...  you know who I am, I feed the cats, do you know who has been or have you been taking the boards?' and he said - in broken english - that 'no, he hadn't, but he had one that he would bring over.'  RIGHT.  OK.  I hugged him (ya gotta do it!), and said thank you.  Meanwhile, I met another man who lived across the street, and I yelled over if he had seen anyone walking away with a large board, and he walked toward me and said he used to not like what I was doing, but said he had a change of heart when all the rats and mice were not around anymore.  I shook his hand, introduced myself, he said they call him 'Bear', and I thanked him to keep any eye out as this was the cats only shelter covering for their food.  He said he would.  I felt good leaving.  This morning, the board from next door was not placed there, but the half board was still there.  I am miffed, but its pouring out all day today, so will go back tomorrow and knock on the Spanish guy's door to ask him where his board is he said he would give me!!

Today was Trap, Neuter, Return through Lollipop day, and Laura set up her spots on Short, Second and Third, and I set two traps at the last stop I make, on Parsells.  After several return trips, no one was biting.  I then went on the rest of my rounds, and it was getting time to get ready to head home to ready myself for work, and not wanting to disappoint, and waste spots at Lollipop, I went and got one of the traps I had set and went to another location where I sometimes feed three or more cats that are sitting by the road on Pennsylvania.  I set one there and decided I would go get Miss Kitty on Central Park, who I think might already by fixed, but isn't ear tipped, but I would place her in a carrier and we could transfer to a box trap that Laura had an extra one of in her van.  Anyways, Miss Kitty was hanging around that location after I fed her good, and I grabbed her by the scruff, placed her in the carrier, and brought her to Laura.  Lo and behold, after a short exam by Laura, Miss Kitty is a MR. Kitty.  How embarrasing.  I do know what boy cats feel like!  (mind you, I do most of my feeling in the dark these days).  I could have sworn I checked her/him and thought it was a girl!.  She said she would take him anyways and have him eartipped.  So, sadly, MR. Kitty, scared as he was, would be vaccinated and eartipped, and will be released, even though he is a very very sweet boy.  His picture is on my post from yesterday.  I then went back to the recently placed trap, waited a little bit, and none of these cats were around (again, it was raining steadily), so I gathered up the trap and went to the Parsells location and there in the second trap was a beautiful fluffy kitty inside, not happy at all!  I covered her (I think its a her) trap with a blanket and she calmed down.  Good catch if it was a girl!  I brought her to Laura.  I am anxious to know if Laura got any kitties.  I hope so!

I wanted to tell you about an interaction I had with someone over this past weekend at Tops, but am running out of time.  Stay tuned!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Weekend Update!


Cats on Chamberlain

Miss Kitty on Central

Cats on Second

Orangie on Webster
Some great things happened this weekend.  I finally met someone who had been reading my blog and was bound and determined to help me with the cats any way that he could.  He actually drove to one of my spots, Short Street, where I've lost the use of feeding under the porch of Mr. Barnett's house, and have been feeding a bunch of kitties for years now.  This man, Bob, met me at 5:45 am. and brought the nicest little hut that he built by hand.  He also gave me some tarps to use for some of my spots that I will need to cover to keep dry.  It was so good to meet Bob.  We had been corresponding and he has such great compassion and enthusiasm for these cats and went above and beyond to create some shelters for me, including some tote shelters.  Thank you Bob.  I am so lucky to have met you.

Also, - Pet Pride NY has graciously been helping me out for a while now also.  Every few months, they call and say they have some food for me, and I go there and pick up a bounty.  This food will usually last me close to a week - both canned and dry - that they get as damaged from stores, and I am sure Norma, who runs this wonderful establishment, throws in her own few pennies also.  This weekend, she had a surplus and I got enough dry to last me a good two weeks.  I am so grateful to you and your team Norma.  And by the way, the kitties you have at your awesome no-kill shelter are as sweet as can be.  I went in the kitten room and held each and every one of them.  So precious.  I can't thank you enough.  Really, I can't.

Disappointment galore though when it came to feeding on Seventh Street this morning.  Yes, they took my wonderful board that protected the food and blanket from the elements for these three cats that live there.  I hate whoever keeps doing this.  That board was so precious to me.  I don't know where I will find another, and its supposed to rain all day tomorrow and through the night.  I have nothing to cover their food.  I will have to leave work sometime this morning to quickly go there to see if I can seek out Maria in hopes that she has another board. 

Also, the man I refer to as the Devil Man, who trashes the food and water I place for around 5 cats on Webster and Ferndale each morning has been at it again.  It was going good for a while.  Finally, yesterday morning, I left him the following message written on the back of a paper plate:  "To a sad and lonely man, why don't you put your efforts into making your life better instead of trying to destroy others.  I am not going away.  Neither are the cats.  Janine."  The bowl and plates were there this morning.  The note wasn't.  Hmm.  Wonder if it hit home.  Not sure.  But eventually I will need to place shelter on the porch of this rundown, city-owned abandoned house.  So, in one respect, my feeding and caring for over 50+ cats got a little easier because of Bob and Pet Pride, and on the other hand, made worse by these mean mean people that have no compassion for these animals.

Tomorrow, I have a chance at TNR'g four cats.  Wish me, and Laura, luck!  Have a great day.  PS, I hope you enjoy the pictures I took this morning of some of my spot, and of Pumpkin, the little one I rescued a few weeks ago with his brother Magic and their Momma, Vanessa.

Friday, September 14, 2012

24 Hours

I was thinking about the hours in the day this morning.  Every single morning, as soon as I finish up with stopping at the last stop to feed the cats, after a whole hour goes by while I am doing it, from 5:15 am. to 6:15 am., I breathe a sigh of relief.  And I turn all that off and concentrate on the next 23 hours of my day.  And I thank God for those 23 hours I have before I have to do it all over again.  I don't think most people think in those terms.  I am extremely cognizant of this because it gives me a chance to renew my spirit, knowing I've filled some very empty bellies out there.  And knowing I still have a life outside of that, to care for my house, my own critters at home, go to work, be productive, or just simply read a book.  I am so grateful for that.

When I got home last night, late, after an after work function our staff had to attend, I found a bag of Dad's cat food.  Thank you to whoever left that for me!  I know this sounds pretty lame, but that was the highlight of my day!  Thats nearly $10 that I won't have to dig deep into my pocket to come up with for the homeless kitties.  Its amazing the people I've met and become friends with through this blog.  Even those I've never met, from across the country, that I've chatted with and they've been kind enough to make a donation, or just send me encouraging words.  I am so grateful for all of you.  If you've been reading this far, and this long, you are truly an angel on this earth and you will be rewarded for your compassionate heart.

I leave you for the day with the following poem, one of my favorites.  I hope you enjoy it.

A Tear And A Smile

I would not exchange the sorrows of my heart
For the joys of the multitude.
And I would not have the tears that sadness makes
To flow from my every part turn into laughter.

I would that my life remain a tear and a smile.

A tear to purify my heart and give me understanding
Of life's secrets and hidden things.
A smile to draw me nigh to the sons of my kind and
To be a symbol of my glorification of the gods.

A tear to unite me with those of broken heart;
A smile to be a sign of my joy in existence.

I would rather that I died in yearning and longing than that I live Weary and despairing.

I want the hunger for love and beauty to be in the
Depths of my spirit,for I have seen those who are
Satisfied the most wretched of people.
I have heard the sigh of those in yearning and Longing, and it is sweeter than the sweetest melody.

With evening's coming the flower folds her petals
And sleeps, embracingher longing.
At morning's approach she opens her lips to meet
The sun's kiss.

The life of a flower is longing and fulfilment.
A tear and a smile.

The waters of the sea become vapor and rise and come
Together and area cloud.

And the cloud floats above the hills and valleys
Until it meets the gentle breeze, then falls weeping
To the fields and joins with brooks and rivers to Return to the sea, its home.

The life of clouds is a parting and a meeting.
A tear and a smile.

And so does the spirit become separated from
The greater spirit to move in the world of matter
And pass as a cloud over the mountain of sorrow
And the plains of joy to meet the breeze of death
And return whence it came.

To the ocean of Love and Beauty----to God.

Khalil Gibran

Thursday, September 13, 2012

By the Light of the Silvery Moon

In a hurry today, I've got a plateful here at work.  God, when will I ever strike it rich...

Its pitch dark out in the mornings when I go.  This past summer it started to get light soon after I left the house at 5:15.  Now, its 6:15 and its you can barely see light beginning on the horizon.  So, most of what I am doing is in the dark, with the help of a crappy, tiny LED flashlight.  There was a sliver of a moon this morning as I got out at close to my last stop, and it was so pretty.  There was a star next to it.  I was thinking about the people that are 'night owls'.  They miss so much of the morning.  Someone mentioned to me that they loved to take trips in the early mornings, he is a biker, and he said that there is nothing like driving with little traffic, and watching the sun come up.  Its true.  I am not a night owl.  I love the mornings, and even if I could sleep in, it wouldn't be for too long.

I was lucky enough to be able to pick up and hold three kitties this morning.  Big Red, at my third stop, Orangie at my sixth stop, and Miss Kitty, at 11th stop.  Big Red would make the sweetest adult kitty for someone.  He just wants a home, to be loved, and someone's lap to sit on.  Little Orangie, he is a frisky young male, and as sweet as can be.  He runs to my car and follows me to the spot where I place the food, sometimes tripping over each other to get there.  And Miss Kitty, as regal as can be, and as sweet as can be.  All need homes.  I must get some more pictures of them. 

There is a little older black kitten at my Short Street stop who will allow me enough to let me touch it, and then it flits away, and then runs back, obviously starving.  I don't know where it came from, or who's baby it is, but I must build a shelter for that spot.  Thats where Mr. Barnett kicked me out of feeding under his porch due to the rats.  So now I have a board across the street from his house in an open field that needs a good shelter from the storms we shall soon have.

I have five locations where I will need to build shelter now.  These either have someone renovating the house, will be torn down, is in open field, is going to be shown for purchase, and the last will be a replacement for the owner asking me to move from his porch last spring due to city inspector fining him for having cat shelters or something like that on his porch.  Nonsense.  He was told to clean up the porch of this gutted house.  Since repairs, he hasn't been back since.  I will set up shop there again with plastic totes and boards and towels to keep them somewhat dry and warm this winter.  Big Red lives here.  Red lives at the house around the corner where the renovation is going on.  Miss Kitty is at the house where the electric has been turned on and the neighbor told me the bank is showing the property.  The other is where Sparkles and Limpy #2 are - that house is being readied to be torn down, one of these days.  I have a spot lined up in back of the property for when that happens, and when the snow starts.  I will just need shelter and boards for that also.  For all of my spots I need to be able to feed and shelter.  I had a lot of vandalism last year so I need to replace stuff at most of my spots. 

But, life is still good.  I remain optimistic. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


I went into Wegmans this morning to buy extra cat food, as I am constantly running out mid-week due to the amount of cats I am placing down each morning.  Minus the fat free Saltines I bought, I spent another $60 on two 16 pound bags of dry food, a box of 24-cans of Friskies wet, and 24 large cans of BuJu wet food.  This will get me through the next few days, with a few cans of wet food left.  This feeding business costs me a fortune, as you can see.  Because Saturday, I will be spending another $100 to make it through maybe four days of food for the homeless cats.  I really need a financial break soon.

Anyway, as I was at the checkout, the girl that was checking me out said boy thats a lot of cat food and I said 'well I feed homeless cats in the inner city every day" and she mumbled something like 'how sweet' and said how she had cats begging for food at her house but she shoos them away 'cause she is afraid of them."  I wanted to ring her neck.  I've heard this before from a few people, and its just total ignorance.  She told me a cat scratched her once and she doesn't like them ever since.  I told her she shouldn't be judging them all on one instance.  I held my tongue to a certain degree because I am sort of a regular there on my way to work and I didn't want to make things awkward the next time I see her.  But I am sure she will remember me after that. 

Here is another thing I wanted to share - this is an article written by columnist Nestor Ramos that was in this past weekend's newspaper - its dead on.  I wish it could be read by everyone, including all authorities, because to me, it makes so much sense.  Something must be done someday, and soon.

 Dogs not neutered? That's nuts

My father’s dogs were all pit bulls.

They were sweet dogs, though some were better behaved than others. They weren’t fighting dogs, and if their purpose was to protect his very modest one-bedroom apartment, they were extreme overkill.

No, they were companions. He fed them ice cream from his spoon and they sat with him on the couch. I loved going over to visit, and taking the dogs for walks. They were great with kids — patient and affectionate.

So I know that breeding and rearing play a big part in whether a pit bull is a menace or a friend. I don’t think pit bulls are inherently nasty or vicious or mean-spirited.

The real problem isn’t the dogs — it’s the people who see them as status symbols; who abuse them and train them to fight; who breed them irresponsibly and fail to socialize them. In some sense, the dogs are victims, too.

But I still think something needs to change. It’s hard to look at the pictures of Jayden Forrester, the little girl mauled last week by a pit bull, and come to any other conclusion.

I’m not in favor of the all-out ban that many cities around the country have enacted. I’ve known too many pit bulls that were sweet, well-behaved pets to advocate ripping them out of good homes and euthanizing them.

Instead, I’m going Bob Barker on you: I’m proposing a spaying and neutering requirement.

According to a 2009 study, about 92 percent of fatal dog attacks involved male dogs; and 94 percent of those dogs were not neutered.

Now, most dog attacks aren’t fatal, though I have to believe that statistic is telling. And I know that any dog can snap. That little girl could have been attacked by a labradoodle. But it wouldn’t have done as much damage. If dogs are weapons, some are peashooters and others are bazookas. And it’s pretty hard to get your hands on a loaded bazooka.

As the statistic above evidences, neutering a dog goes a long way toward disarming the bazooka. It would also cripple the dogfighting industry, which relies on backyard breeding processes that are, at best, dubious. Police could simply confiscate any unneutered male. Then it’s off to Lollypop Farm, where they’ll be put up — fixed — for adoption.

Would a neutering requirement be hard to enforce? Maybe, though it’s usually pretty easy to tell whether a dog has been neutered (identifying whether a female has been spayed would be much harder, of course). And limiting the rule to pit bulls probably isn’t possible, either.

Responsible owners already have their dogs fixed anyway — Lollypop Farm actually requires it before adopting out any dogs or cats, for example. Any exceptions to that rule, such as for licensed breeders or show dogs, could be addressed in clear, limited exemptions.

Is it perfect? Of course not. Enforcement would be laughably selective — police wouldn’t be scouring the neighborhoods around Highland Park for Bichon Frise testicles. But so what? These aren’t people, and breed profiling isn’t the same as racial profiling. Cops can stop-and-frisk Noodles with impunity.

Instead of eradicating a breed with so many wonderful qualities, a neutering order of some kind potentially takes the weapons out of the wrong hands. It would punish irresponsible owners by fining them and taking their dogs away.
And maybe it would keep the next little girl out of the hospital.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


My dog Thunder has bladder cancer.  He has been really good this past summer, with little signs of sickness.  I first noticed that he had blood in his urine early spring and he would have occasional accidents in the house, which never happened before since he was rescued and adopted maybe five years ago.   Over the summer, he piddled on things that were easily cleanable, like my linoleum kitchen flooring, etc.  Not fun to clean up, but manageable.  No matter how many times you let him out to 'go', he still had that accident overnight.  Not to mention the 2:30 am. EVERY MORNING letting him out for a quick one.  This past week he has been having accidents every morning, sometimes twice a day now.  My mother bought him diapers, with disposable pads when he was first diagnosed, but he is a 100 pound dog, and these diapers barely go around his waist now.  He is a big boy.  I am sure they are uncomfortable for him, but I am going to have to try doing this daily, so I don't have to come home to, nor wake up to, his accidents every day.

And then there are my messes to clean up.  This morning, as I was driving away from my home in the pitch dark at 5:15, a little bunny ran out in front of my car, and I slammed on my brakes, and the plastic bag of 8 pounds of dry food I set on the seat to be ready for my first spot went flying to the floor.  When I picked it up, it had a hole right on the side of it, dead middle.  I knew it would be leaking food all over until I used up that half of the bag.  Later, when I finished with that bag and went for the other one, I noticed that zip lock closure had come undone, and when I slammed on the brakes earlier, half of that 8 pound bag of dry food was all over the floor.  This is NOT the first time this has happened.  I consider myself the biggest clutz of all time.  If its liquid, I will spill it.  If its powder, it will land on me, if its coffee, for sure it will spill all over my car interior, and on my blouse.  If its glass, I will cut myself.  I am just accident prone.

I did not see the tiny orange and white kittens this morning on Parsells.  But the kittens in my house right now, with their Mommy Vanessa, are little rascals.  Cute as buttons.  I have given them temporary names of Magic (the black one) and Pumpkin (the orange one).  They all three have the run of the house during the day, which lessens the guilt.  I must find them homes, including Butters, as I have four too many right now.  Please spread the word. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Kittens Galore!

I have to be a Debbie Downer to begin the week here.  I try to sugar coat, and not dwell on the sad stuff most times when I write, but my heart breaks into pieces most days, and this weekend was hard.  Sunday morning, as I was just finishing my rounds at my last stop, which by the way, Dave, the older gentleman that offered to sweep up the glass on the porch where I feed, never did.  Anyway, I glanced across the street from this location, and saw two tiny baby kittens, both red and white, sitting there on the steps, watching me.  They were huddled together.  I quickly got a dish of wet food and brought it over to them, not too close as they would run away, and set it down on the sidewalk.  I then pulled away and parked just down a ways to observe and see if they would go eat it.  After awhile, they still hadn't.  I was thinking they were so young that maybe they didn't know 'human' food yet, if they ever would at all.  To think that these two innocent creatures - just babies - would be out there again all day on the street was just devastating.  But in the line of business I am in with this cat feeding, I have to put this out of my mind quickly or it would drive me mad.  I drove away and just said a prayer that they would be safe.  I still can't understand how people in these neighborhoods can allow this.  How they can turn a blind eye to this.  I thought to my self I would try to trap these babies, and they would surely have to go somewhere to a shelter, I just can't take anymore in.  When will I do this, I don't know.  Its very hard just feeding all these cats in the morning, let alone stopping to trap.  My joints ache, I don't get enough sleep, I am beside myself.  If only someone could share my route with me, life would be more manageable. 

"To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else."

Friday, September 7, 2012


Nothing new really out there today.  I am still going to be booted from one of my spots.  Don't know where Red and Boots will go.  And the man who doesn't want me feeding under his porch due to the rats, this morning I moved a board to a field across from his house and placed the food and water down.  Its a step toward something, what that is I don't know.

I am posting my very first post I did years ago on this blog - not being lazy, just running out of time, and I believe its important to read for those who've never read that far back!  Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

The Beginning: My Mornings in the Hood

Let me begin this by telling you the origin and purpose of this blog. Who doesn't have a blog these days?? But as I left the house this morning at 5:45 am., doing what I've been doing for the last 10-15 years, before most of you are not even swatting at your alarm clock to shut off, I am feeding between 15-25 cats a day. Why? I often wonder, but the race to help innocent animals is clearly overtaking me. I've spent countless hours, and countless dollars doing this. My dream in life is to have every animal, dog and cat, spayed and neutered, and have a warm and loving home to live in. I firmly believe that if each individual in this country took some responsibility, we could wipe out the homeless and feral populations of cats, and unwanted dogs. If we just reach out to rescue organizations and reach in our pockets for $40, we could spay and neuter one animal,and that would be one unnessary animal that gets euthanized at a shelter, or starves to death outside, or gets hit by a car. And if we could each find in our hearts a spot for just one animal, it would give those millions of cats or dogs a home. But thats not going to happen, so I must continue my quest. I also hope I hear from others like me, who do things from as little as adopting a pet, to feeding strays and/or ferals like me. I would love to connect and get ideas from others. It will renew my dwindling spirit.

I can't take you as far back to 15 years ago where it all began behind Lorraine's restaurant on Culver Road, where I crawled under service trucks to feed and shelter stray cats for close to 8 years, rescued and found homes for many, including my own. I found my Sweet Boris almost four years ago, on a winter January morning with minus zero temperatures, after him coming up to me finally nudging my chin after about two weeks, knowing he could trust me. My sweet boy now has kidney disease, and is in kidney failure, and whittling away to nothing. But he still jumps up on the bed when I get in each and every night to cuddle with me under the covers, nuzzling his nose to mine, staring deeply into my eyes, then the purr as loud as the engine of a truck begins, and the drooling is just around the corner.

From then its taken off to about 9 feeding spots today. I know. Crazy.

Lets begin last Sunday. I awoke to a beautiful morning, was out about 6 am., and I was setting down my usual food and water on a filthy porch strewn with drug paraphalia, bird droppings, childrens shoes, pieces of wood from the door being kicked in, at a grafiteed, boarded up house on 7th street. It was set for demolition the next day, this I knew by the gigantic piece of machinery in the driveway. As I was doing this, I heard the most dreaded sounds you can hear, faint mews coming from in the house. I went to the Jeep to get Kings, my trusted lookout, and asked him to come back with me with the flashlight. We crawled through the kicked in door and proceeded to look around, holding our breaths at the rancid smell, and hearing the scurrying of cats around the dilapitated house. We noticed a mattress in one room, but it was very dark from being boarded up, and we couldn't hear anything, so I was hoping that I was hearing things.

We went back to the car and I just had to call 311, I couldn't just leave it alone. They told me to call the number of the Animal Shelter that opened at 7 after I explained my situation. I went home, had my breakfast, and called at 7:05, to find a recording. I called 311 back and got a very nice operator this time, who took the time to get ALL of my information, told me the shelter was not open to the public until noon, but that officers did start early, and she would relay the message personally. Within the next 30 minutes I received a call from an angel, Officer Elaine Lalka. She asked me to meet her at the house within 45 minutes. Once there, she summoned two Rochester police officers so that she could legally enter the house. Once she came out, she was carrying 5 newborn kittens that didn't even have their eyes open. She had found them in the mattress! The mattress in the picture of the demolished house! She lovingly placed them in her carrier, and told me that they may have to be euthanized if I couldn't take them, but I knew that I couldn't, and that would be the most humane thing to do in this already overcrowded world of homeless animals. I moved my feeding area to the back of the lot, hoping the wrecking crew wouldn't hurt it, and praying for the adult cats left in the house and that they would get out. I also left a note for the crew for the next morning warning them of cats in the house! I drove home sad, but rejoicing in the fact that I saved five babies from a horrible death. Within 30 minutes of being home, I received a call from Officer Lolka that the kittens were going to be on their way to Another Chance Pet Rescue where they would nurse them and care for them. God does show himself in many situations like this to me. I am so grateful.

Tuesday 5:45 am: - off to the Ballet Cats (Rochester City Ballet building on University Ave) where Kings and I cleaned up some trash behind the dumpster on Sunday, where I have to crawl in every other day to feed and check on the shelters we have back there, a little easier to navigate, and doesn't stink so much. They come a running when they hear and see my car. Fed them, then proceeded to my second spot that I go to every other day, which is Hayward Avenue, off East Main. As I turned from East Main onto Chamberlain, I spotted a cat, which I proceeded to pull over, get out and place a bowl of food and water down for it, but from a distance, it was paying no attention as it was licking itself. Hopefully it will eat before it rains today! I then went to my normal spot where I placed food and fresh water (I think a racoon lurks because the water is always filthy!) and spotted a cat I've never seen before watching me. I then took off for my next spot, corner of Central and Goodman, where I still haven't seen my Smokey #1 around in a while. There is a new stray hanging around there. But before I got out of my car, I spotted something in the road, so put my car in reverse, and backed up to discover another dead cat. Someone, as usual, had hit it and left it there. I got out, got a crisp clean children's beach towel from the back, and wrapped it gently around the kitty, and placed it in my back seat. Had to open the windows, the fumes were terrible. Off I went to feed at Smokey #1 spot, and then had to stop on the corners of 2nd and Central, as there are two sweet kitties there now waiting for me each morning, and then onto Hebard Avenue, where Smokey #2 was dumped last winter by a woman who didn't want him because he was spraying her house. I didn't see any of my kitties there, but placed a bit of food down for them under the garage where some of them use as shelter, and thank God its there, especially during our brutal winter we had, and the storms we get in the spring, that is until the owner fixes the door and then we have a problem! Then onto Niagara Street, where Sasha was let back after being neutered last Wednesday, and did not place any food down, just water, as I am going to try to trap there tomorrow because Habitat for Cats is allowing me Wednesdays in May to do TNR - Trap Neuter and Return - on any kitties I can. Then onto the second to final spot, 7th Avenue, where the house was finally demolished yesterday. What a site. No sign of kitties. They are scared to death from losing their home. I pray for them.

I promise that my close to daily postings won't be so long. There were just some things I had to clarify before I began this unknown journey. I have many people I will thank along the way. All of the Angels in my life. I will also be posting pictures, as soon as I can figure out how to do it!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Playing God - Comments

I was thinking about some of my old posts this morning, and on this particular one from March.  It was a bit controversial, and I had 13 comments!  I noticed it because someone anonymously commented on it just today.  I would have missed this if I hadn't looked.  It just shows how so many people look the other way and don't take action on the problems of society.  But I hope this person who commented today is able to do the right thing, no matter the hardship.  If anyone has any advice for her, please speak up!  Thanks for your comments, everyone!

Friday, March 16, 2012 Playing God

I had the opportunity to trap, neuter, return yesterday. Thanks to Sue from Another Chance Ranch (see her link in yesterday's post), she was able to get me two spots at her clinic in Batavia. I decided I needed to get two cats off the street that I highly suspected were pregnant, both being the above kitties, Laura and Sparkles.

Through a friend of a friend, someone offered to help with the transportation in getting these cats to Sue, who was driving in from South Livonia and then onto Batavia. This person picked up the cats in the morning, because I had to be at work, and drove them to Henrietta to meet Sue for her next hour drive to the clinic. Late yesterday I was informed that these two females were indeed pregnant, both full term. They were spayed regardless - which means their kittens were aborted. Now, as much as that saddens me, I can't tell you how elated I am to know that I got these two in the nick of time. They would have had their kittens on the street, where not only other critters would have eaten them, but most of the kittens born would not survive. Sparkles had five kittens inside her. Not sure about Laura. If I had had a home for these cats to go to, this would be a different story. But I did not have that choice. The woman who transported was very upset, and told me I shouldn't be playing God, and she will never help me transport again.

One of the most controversial issues is whether or not to spay a rescued pregnant cat. While some people are repulsed at the thought of killing kittens, others believe the question begs a larger issue, that of the overpopulation problem.

Stray female cats have an uncanny knack of finding shelter immediately before giving birth, and will suddenly appear at a doorstep, seeking human help. Other female strays will find themselves cast out into the streets, punished for getting pregnant, because their owners failed to spay them and keep them indoors. Or the owner, in an attempt to salve their conscience, will surrender the pregnant female to a shelter, as a "found" stray, or summarily dump her at the door of a known rescuer. All too often, these pregnant females are kittens themselves. It is fairly common for a cat to have its first period between four and six months of age, and to give birth as early as at six or seven months. The survival of the mother cat, and any kittens that live is rare.

Animal rescue groups, humane societies, and TNR groups are overwhelmed in trying to stop the birth of new kittens, and "kitten season," is met with dread by these groups. Dread, because they know that this year's kitten crop will be responsible for the deaths of last year's kittens, or older cats, at shelters. There simply isn't enough space to house them all, and something must give. It's a matter of supply and demand. In a world that loves kittens, kittens are a dime a dozen.

The pros of this are:

1.Spaying a rescued pregnant cat will help contain the overpopulation problem. There are simply too few homes for the huge number of homeless cats.

2.Spaying a pregnant rescued cat will help prevent the deaths of living cats and kittens. Even though a pregnant female cat might be adopted by the finder, with good homes waiting for her kittens, each of those kittens will indirectly be responsible for the death of a shelter cat or kitten that might have been adopted into one of those homes.

3. Very young cats and very old cats rarely enjoy the kind of physical condition that would warrant allowing them to give birth. Birthing and nursing a litter of kittens would easily take their last ounce of strength, and could kill them. This truth is even more evident in the case of pregnant strays, who may have already borne dozens of litters of kittens. (A female cat is capable of having at least three litters of kittens each year.) The kindest and most compassionate action anyone could take with one of these cats is to spay/abort her. I have to believe this, as much as it bothers me.

There will never be an end to this issue until cat owners become responsible, by spaying and neutering their cats. As more kittens are born each year, more stray cats will appear, and the cat overpopulation problem cycle continues. That is why this issue is just a small part of a greater issue: Spay and Neuter.

Posted by Janine at 9:31 AM 13 comments:

AnonymousMarch 16, 2012 9:56 AM

If only the VETs would charge less then maybe folks could AFFORD to have this done! To euthanize a cat costs $150 - WTF - it's one shot! So altho people enjoy pets - they're costly thanks to ULTA EXPENSIVE medical care (as you WELL know!) SUCKS!


RepliesAnonymousMarch 16, 2012 10:15 AM

You need to check around for a more reasonable vet. My vet doesn't charge that much for euthanization. And spay/neuters are reasonable too - well worth it. People shouldn't take a pet if they can't afford to properly care for it.


AnonymousMarch 18, 2012 6:23 AM

well ...they paid their money to become a professional and they can choose what they do to help some issues...Most of em view it as a business and they are gonna do what they have to do to STAY in business...



Linda FrazoMarch 16, 2012 9:56 AM

Not for nothing Janine....the lady was quick to judge you but did she step up and offer to take the pregnant mother into her home and take responsibility for her and the kittens? I bet not. There are heartbreaks every day when you make a commitment to rescue. There are just too many homeless cats and not enough good humans for them. You made the best decision you could for these cats.


AnonymousMarch 16, 2012 10:10 AM

Janine, I totally support what you're able to do; while it's not ideal, it's the best decision. The transporter knew these kitties were probably pregnant - it is sad but sometimes the best choices are the hardest. Keep it up Janine - you know I'm there for you. Nancy C.


AnonymousMarch 16, 2012 10:33 AM

Janine--what you do is show the rest of us how and what we should be with our pets. I support you 100%.



AnonymousMarch 16, 2012 12:42 PM

I am the transporter and while I agree with spaying and neutering and "not taking a pet unless you can afford them" I am not so naive as to think that all of the above doesn't happen. What this blog doesn't tell you is that I was never told that these cats would be spayed if they were pregnant. I was not given the opportunity to say I would foster if they were. I, in fact texted to tell her that I had a possible foster for a friendly pregnant female cat. This was not what I "signed up for". I had no idea that fully formed, full term kittens would be aborted,

I have been BEGGING to offer my assistance to both Janine and another person who works with rescues. I have 3 dogs all with special needs and a kitten whom I bottle fed from 5 days old (who was actually the only survivor of a litter of 5 I had) who also has special needs! All of my pets were rescues! I have been a volunteer with a phenomenal local rescue for almost a year.

So those of you who are judging me, the transporter, you need to step back and take note of the fact that you are judging someone who you do not know. Just because I can not personally take part in the aborting of full term kittens does NOT make me a bad person. In my opinion it does have a flavor of playing God but I can see BOTH sides of this. A dead kitten or a dead cat-I can not make the choice and I'm willing to bet that everyone of you who is judging ME couldn't do what Janine does either or she wouldn't be doing this all by herself!!



JanineMarch 16, 2012 12:48 PM

Well said Vicki. Thanks for that. Janine


AnonymousMarch 16, 2012 1:00 PM

I'm sorry - I didn't know all the facts. And I agree with what you said about Janine. I've ridden with her a few times and taken in 5 of her rescues -- I could NEVER do do she does on a daily basis!! Nancy C.


RepliesAnonymousMarch 16, 2012 1:51 PM

Thank you...




AnonymousMarch 17, 2012 7:16 AM

As difficult as it was, I think it was the best choice. You have stopped the cycle for two more cats. It is sad but like you said until people spay/neuter their pets, this is going to continue. I give you a lot of credit....and I wish I lived near you as I would offer assistance. Rose


Linda frazoMarch 18, 2012 1:29 AM

If i could click LIKE on the above statement I would!!


AnonymousSeptember 6, 2012 12:52 AM

I am in the same situation right now. A irresponsible neighbor has again abandoned two cats to outdoors, and one of them was killed two days ago hit by a car. I noticed this other one running around at night, and discovered she was pregnant. The supposidly owner said today, that she doesn't care if her cat is outdoors when my other neighbor asked her if she knew she was pregnant? This same woman has had this cat litter a previous litter recently, after last fall I gave to her all the info she needed to get cats spayed even for free. So now, we have another loose cat who needs help. I live in an apartment complex with 8 of my own cats from rescues...I cannot and will not take in anymore. I tried calling all around for help but someone told me I should bring her into the SPCA to get her spayed right now! At first I said no, but after awhile looking at the situation and consequences of a homeless cat trying to take care of babies outdoors next to a busy street, I am considering taking her up on her offer to abort the babies. Who will come forth to help when everywhere people are overloaded with cats already?? So, now I am worried about the little mom, and even having to think about where she could find a safe home for herself let alone all her babies! I have done so much cat rescuing myself in 2008-2009, so I know how involved it all is. Now I am still burdoned, (labor of love) with my 8 babies who I can't even afford to feed. I am afraid to try to go ahead with that plan to bring her in to get spayed at this stage, but it sickens me to think what it will be like after and when she has her babies....where will they go and be safe? ect....People are so irresponible and careless these days, and are just too selfish to spend a little money on the cats to spay them that goes a long way for the good of everybody. What to do and how to help is what I am faced with again.