Thursday, February 28, 2013

Third Times A Charm!!!

Well, Banjo has been saved.  AFter his first two foster homes, who stuck it out with him only for one night - first home he was chasing cats - which most dogs do anyways - and second home he growled at the foster's other dogs - my friend Kristin put me in touch with a woman who works at her school, and who owns a farm out in Scottsville.  We spoke, and she said she owned over a hundred acres with a farm, livestock, chickens, etc.  She said she has older kids, and also a three year old.  She also had a dog.  I told her everything I knew about this dog and she said that she and her husband wanted to give Banjo a chance.  We drove him to the farm, and there was an immediate connection with everyone.  She called me last night to tell me that her dog Bailey, and Banjo, were running, jumping, playing and loving each other.   I nearly cried.  She sent me a video of the two dogs playing, but I can't get it to play.  As soon as I can figure out something, I will be sure to share.  In her words to me in an e-mail last night:  "I can't attach the video I made of Banjo wandering around his new home with his new best friend, Bailey.  It is telling me that the file is too big.  I will keep trying.  Maybe I can take a new one and send it from my iPod.  He seems to be adjusting very well.  Better than I expected, actually.  We've been doing some remodeling and it has actually worked out well that our new carpet isn't in yet.  That way we can get him all house broken beforehand.     I will e-mail you tomorrow and let you know how his night went.  At this point, we are thrilled!  I will keep trying with the video."

We have had to say goodbye to Banjo three times now, and I pray that this was the last.  Thank you to EVERYONE who scrambled with me to find him a home.  I will keep you posted on his progress as I get it.

On another great note, I wanted to share with you some good news about the kitties that I brought to Lollipop.  Here is what my friend at Lollipop had to say:  "Grady is up for adoption right now. You can check him out on the website!

Bully was up for adoption earlier today, but I noticed a wicked bite wound on his front foot and he gets really upset when we try to touch it. So I made him unavailable, and they are going to put him under and shave it tomorrow so they can clean and treat it.

Talkie was microchipped! Who knew?! The number connected is disconnected (like they usually are unfortunately...), so we have to send an abandonment letter and give the owners a few weeks to get back before she can be made adoptable. She's adjusting really well, though!

They really are sweethearts, and I really believe that you are doing what is best for them regardless of the outcome-- the streets are no place for these sweet kitties."


On a third final note, I share with you the progress being made at the barn in Canandaigua of Stanley and Sadie, the two Parsells kitties I brought out last Sunday:  "Sadie is a lover, and a talker! Stanley is slowly coming around. He knows his name,and when I talk to him he gets up,,stretches,,and he actually came to the door! I have ran my hand down his back,and he was ok with it,but I respect his space. I am hoping to let them out soon. Sadie has been out,but I make her go back in,when I leave the barn."

I am happy to report some GOOD NEWS for a change!!!  Have a great day!!

"Pleasure is spread through the earth in stray gifts to be claimed by whoever shall find."

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Greek Tragedy

Well, an American one at least. 

Banjo, the Newfoundland MIX dog that was rescued from the hood on Sunday morning - the situation was clear to me that he was either abandonded there at one of my spots, lived outdoors his entire life on a heavy, padlocked chain, no socialization with other animals, and most likely was never walked.  Although he did very well when I walked him around the block Sunday afternoon.  Despite his background, this dog remains very very sweet with humans.  Very loyal.  And now, after two people took a chance with him the past two days, didn't give him a chance, as far as I am concerned, and he is now going to be brought to a shelter this morning, where he will most likely be put to sleep at some point, if no one claims him.  All Banjo needed was someone willing to COMMIT, to PROMISE him a good life after time and patience and some basic training.  

Many people have expressed interest in Banjo, but so far no one has been willing to stick it out with him. It’s a very sad situation. I do my best to help ALL animals, its hard enough doing what I do every single day of my life from 5 am. to 6:15 am. feeding over 50 animals, at 16 colonies that I have half assed shelters set up at – one of which is going to be torn down so the poor cats there are highly distressed, not knowing where to go. I will continue to leave food and water for them until there is no house standing there.
If anyone can offer a better idea for Banjo, and be willing to go that extra mile for him before 10 am. this morning, please do so.

On another note, the two babies, Magic and Pumpkin, that I rescued last summer with their mother Vanessa, are being returned to me after four months.  Their person's husband is now allergic.  I will stop there.




Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Little Red Riding Hood

 I was reminded of this story as I sat this morning, sipping my coffee, watching the news, just before heading out to feed the 50+ cats in the hood that I do each and every day of my life.  The newscast began by announcing its breaking news:  "Man shot dead on Second Street overnight.  Still searching for suspects."  I thought to myself, here we go again.  There hasn't been a shooting in the area that I go to - in the dark - every morning, since last summer.  As I drove to each of my spots, getting closer to Second Street, where I just recently rescued Howard/Muffin, and where Nugget still remains, another highly adoptable sweetheart, I had a tiny bit of trepidation, but in all honesty, I am a fearless person.  I am a very bold individual.  I am in all facets of my life.  Ask my friends and family.  I am direct, sometimes too much.  As I drove down Second, I could see the police cars blocking off one end of the street, with yellow tape around the house that the man must have been found outside of.  Who knows if this was drug related, gang related, or what, but normally this has been a quiet street.  Sure, there is a house that is run by bootleggers on this street, you see people pull up in cars, taxis, walk-ups, and knock on the side window in the early hours of the morning, but otherwise, its a quiet street that is streaming with kitties.   So the Big Bad Wolf was out last night.  Unapprehended so far.  I am not afraid of the Big Bad Wolf because I am on my own mission each morning, and I feel safe by my strength and determination.

Howard on Second
Apart from that, the stray that has been hanging on my porch to eat, and takes shelter during storms, Leo, was brought to the vet yesterday because he had a very bad wound on his tail, near his hind end.  A shot of medicine, and he is good to go.  I must find him a home.  He is a real snuggler.  I lay down on the floor in my bathroom with him last night and he sank right down into my face for some loving.  But I must let him back out today.  I am hoping to have him neutered on Friday.

Banjo, the dog that I rescued Sunday morning, was brought to a new home for fostering yesterday morning.  It was determined that he is a Newfoundland.  A very very pretty dog.  He will be groomed, supposedly, on Friday, and I can't wait to see what he looks like after that.  I am hoping I will have a picture to show you, if the foster mom produces one. - NOTE:  Banjo is now being brought to Lollipop today.  The new foster mother didn't like him chasing her cats.

The barn cats are settling in nicely since I brought the two - Stanley and Sadie from Parsells - out to the barn in Canandaigua on Sunday.  I missed them when I pulled up today.   And I will find out about Grady, Bully, Sparkles and Talkie and how they are doing at their new home at Lollipop, waiting to go up for adoption. 

Central and Third New Kitty

Its been a really crazy weekend, and I am hoping for a peaceful week.  Wish me luck!  :)

"Life is simple.  Its just not easy."

Monday, February 25, 2013

House of the Discarded

I borrowed the title from another blog, but it is quite apropos for my house this morning.  Meet Banjo, who was rescued by me yesterday morning after I found him wrapped up by a thick heavy long chain around a pole that was in front of one of my spots.  He must have been there for hours.  I called 911 immediately, but they once again assured me that no one would be able to get there until after 8 am. when animal services opened up.  But they also told me they would try to send a police officer by, in my hopes that he could do something better than that.  Sure enough, as soon as I moved on to my next spot, after leaving a dish of water for the dog, I saw a flashing light and went back to greet the cop that had arrived.  He was nice, but again told me there was nothing he could do, but promised that animal services would be on the scene as soon as they were able this morning.  Well, after leaving food for him, and going back to finish my rounds, I thought to myself, that dog might go to animal services on Verona Street, and if no one claims him, he will surely be put to sleep.  I thought, he has a better chance at Lollipop, so I am going to swing back by and grab him, take him home and see what happens.  My first thought after thinking about it was that this dog was abandoned there.  From the looks of him, he is a young male, very thin, you can feel his hip bones and ribs very easily.  He was clearly an outside dog only.  Very dirty boy.  He was brushed and loved when he arrived back to my house.  His collar and chain were thrown in the trash.  May he never be chained again.

It was a tough day though, with my dog Thunder, who doesn't like other dogs.  They were separated the entire day, which was no small feat.  Banjo in the basement, and Thunder being reminded all day that he is still our boy.  My friend Sue, who runs Susie Q Pet Rescue in Livonia reached out to me last night after I posted on Facebook that afternoon, who might have a foster for Banjo.  Sure enough, its panned out and he is going to a new home this morning.

I could go on and on with this story, but have to get to the next so that I can begin my work day.  I rescued Stanley and Sadie from Parsells yesterday, and I drove them straightaway to a barn out in Canandaigua.  I met the lovely owner and she had plenty of critters, and was thrilled to get them both.  They will be acclimated in cages this week and then I pray they become accustomed to their new home.  I had to keep telling myself that its better for them than on the city streets, as I often doubt myself and whats best for the cats.  I share pictures of some of the critters that Mary Ann has on her farm, the kitties new playmates! 

And on one final note, I rescued two more kitties to take to Lollipop this morning for adoption.  They are two sweet sweet girls that I have been feeding for years on the streets - Talkie from Garson, and Sparkles from Pennsylvania.  I told them, after I got them settled in their carriers, that they will never have to spend another day on the streets fighting for their lives again.  They were quite calm after that.

So as you can see, I was quite busy this morning.  I really do need a break!

Friday, February 22, 2013

A Girl's Gotta Do What A Girl's Gotta Do

Let me begin by telling you about Third Street.  I pulled up this morning and noticed my stuff had been dissheveled on the porch where I feed Grady and Bully, and several other cats that don't come up until I leave.  I had left a message yesterday to call me before they trashed my stuff (which they didn't) - there was an orange netting around the house with abestos removal sign, the first signal that the house will be torn down.  I knew I had to find some alternative situation, and fast.

Last week, I received an e-mail from a girl who works at Lollypop Farm, our local Humane Society.  She had approached me several months ago to be part of their barn cat program.  Where I would be able to get some kitties that I couldnt' adopt out myself into barns that are Lollipop approved (people call them asking if they have kitties that aren't adoptable that might want to go to barn situations).  Anyway, she became a follower of my blog, and made me an offer that I've had to really think about.  I will let you do the reading - the following are excerpts of what our e-mails contained:

"We've developed the barn cat program a little more here at Lollypop, but after reading your blog I'm not convinced that this is the solution for those cats. I tend to feel like instead of being a mouser outdoors and fighting the cold, they deserve and would probably greatly enjoy a cushy life! How would you feel about bringing some of them in to Lollypop as strays? They would go on a five day stray hold, and in the winter we often have plenty of space. Even if you just brought in one or two at a time, there are never any guarentees but at least they would have a fantastic shot at a great home. Something a lot of people don't understand about Lollypop is that once the animals go up for adoption they don't have a time limit. They will stay up there until they are adopted. We've had cats living in offices here for up to a year, just waiting for the best home! Anyway, something to think about....   You certainly articulate well the plight of these creatures, and motivate me as a reader to want to branch out for a solution... obviously what we're doing currently as an animal rescue community isn't an end all solution!  We will get there! Thanks for being an advocate, and please take care!"

Well, of course at first I was thrilled, but I had a lot of questions!  And here are some of her replies to those...

"Let me just run through some basics on how we decide if a cat is NOT adoptable.  If a cat has a medical condition that we can't fix here, they are generally euthanized. Examples of this would be diabetes, chronic upper respiratory infection or diarrhea (chronic meaning that the problem has lasted over six months and it is hopeless-- usually they go into foster care after this instead of euthanasia).  Most of the time, Lollypop is great about providing extensive veterinary care in these situations. We have animals who have had amputations, leg pins, lungworm, etc. who have been here for months upon months, and they are given all the time they need to get better for adoption.  Another reason animals would go up for adoption would be behavioral issues. If cats are aggressive, or if during their time here they spray all over or go to the bathroom outside the box. This, again, isn't immediate means for euthanasia, rather the cat would probably be admitted into the barn cat program (especially since they have outdoor experience)."

Toward the end of our conversations, she assured me that she would be keeping an eye on the cats I bring in, and would call me if any were deemed unadoptable (I wouldn't be bringing in any that aren't besides), and I could pay a fee to take them back. 

Grady Finally Rescued 2/22/13

Bully Finally Rescued 2/22/13
 Now, keep in mind, Grady and Bully are very nice cats.  I've been trying for a long long time to find them a home, and with my home already being overcrowded, and with the only 'home' they've known for years being torn down, I scooped them up this morning, and they will be going to Lollipop.  For those that don't agree with this, it was not a light decision, once again, for me, but I have confidence that they are going to be adopted out into loving homes very soon.  I believe they won't be euthanized.  They are wonderful cats.  All I knew this morning was that they will face a traumatic situation once the work begins on this house, and I have no where to place their food anymore.  The plastic tote shelters were removed and placed on the adjoining lot.  The boards and bowls were also moved this morning.  I had to do something.  I pray I've made the right decision.  I am going to miss them terribly.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Truth and Nothing But The Truth!

I know some of you don't read my blog regularly because it contains a lot of sadness most times, and I know this because you've told me!  And I feel bad for that, I try not to make it look as bleak as it really is, but I can't hide the truth really.  What you see is what you get.  What I see is what I get.  I know there are better days ahead, especially when the weather takes a turn for the better, but for now, its really miserable out there, and this morning was right up there with the worst, due to the high wind, blowing snow, and very cold temperature. 

My thanks to all of you for your comments about yesterday's ordeal at the Emergency Vet clinic.  Keep in mind, this is the second time they've done this to me.  I don't know if it was the fact that I mention that I do rescue/feed/shelter the homeless cats in the Beechwood section of the city, and they figure I can take care of the cat, or what, but they've turned me away twice now.  Each of those times I am crying when I bring the cat in because I know the cat will be euthanized, at some point, and that does break my heart.  So here is this crazy woman coming in looking like I do at 6 am. with a cat in a carrier, what else must they think?  Let me mention again, they do do good for people who have no where else to go with their very sick or injured pets when thier own vet place  is closed, but again, you will pay for it.  For years for some people.

My heart broke again when I pulled up to the abandoned house on Third, where I've been feeding  for years, and where I've rescued and found homes for so so many....  including Mikey and Gracie, who my mother has taken in.  The house was surrounded by an orange plastic/rubber fence with a sign saying something about asbestos.  That was a sure sign that the house is going to be torn down.  This is where Grady and Bully hang, and two black and another grey hang also.  I have two plastic tote shelters, a large lean-to with straw under it, and straw under the porch with boards covering that.  I sat there in disbelief, meanwhile looking all around realizing there wasn't another abandoned house nearby to move anything to.  I don't know what I will do, but in the meantime, I left a note on the back of a paper plate and stuck it in some crates that the workers left on the porch asking for them to call me on my cell before they remove anything.  I pray they do.  This is what I deal with constantly.  And its the cats that suffer.

There is a REALLY nice stray cat that is in my neighborhood, pure black, big boy, not fixed (I am planning to get him done soon) - LEO was abandoned, I believe, by the only renters in the neighborhood, down the street, last summer.  Scum.  Anyway, I have been letting Leo in to spend the night almost every night due to the extreme cold temps for over a month now.  I will post a picture for any of you that love big black cats!  And REALLY friendly, I can't stress enough.  A true lap cat.  Wants to be held.  Anybody?

"You cannot always have happiness, but you can always give happiness."

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Good Samaritan ??

I have had a very bad morning.  When I went to feed at my Pennsylvania and Fourth spot, where Sparkles comes running to me, and where an orange cat was seen looking very sickly recently, with one eye either closed or missing, and where Limpy #2 hangs often, as I exposed the inside of the shelter, Limpy #2 came out looking for food, and breathing very labored.  He couldn't take a breath without sneezing, and coughing and very congested.  Also, this cat is a skeleton.  I suspect, after observing him for months now, that he is in his last stage of leukemia.  But as always with every cat that I am concerned about, I am always in a hurry, and think to myself, 'they'll be fine, I will just keep an eye on them'.  Well, this morning, it was almost as if he said to me ' please, take me - help me'. 

I picked him up and without a struggle, he stayed in my arms until I could get him home to a carrier, which I had forgotten to put back in the car since I rescued Daisy Saturday morning.  I knew Limpy was very sick, and I brought him to the Emergency Vet Services on White Spruce Boulevard, where for the second time in a row, turned me away.  They told me they don't take strays.  Now remember, when I get to the point with animals that I am ready to end their suffering, I myself am a mess. To pull the plug - to end someone or something's life is a very difficult thing to do.  I don't make these decisions lightly.  I have too many cats at my own house at this moment, and where am I going with this very very sick cat at 6 in the morning.  I finally called my vet when they opened, and they asked if I could drop him off, as I had to be at work, and the doctor had very limited time this morning.  I gave him a better name too, I named him Ginger.  He deserved that.  I know the girls there will comfort him in his last moments.

They know I would not make a decision like this without knowing it is the best.  I still can't believe that the Emergency Vet did this again.  I know they've done some good for people, like my friend Julie's cat Sushi, who had a gazillions dollar surgery recently, and saved her life, but for people trying to do the right thing to help an animal, to be turned away is cruelty in my opinion.  I was told to put it back on the street.  And if they do decide to help an animal they rape you financially.  We live in a sick world. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Morality - Is it Right or Wrong?

At this point in my life I have formed pretty solid opinions on what I feel is good, bad, right and wrong – but in these frigid temperatures, after we received several inches of snow yesterday, after my route in the morning, and with winds whipping the snow, covering the food I had left, and instantly freezing the water I placed, this morning left me with a conflicting opinion on whats right for the homeless cats out there. At a few of my spots, I could hear cats crying from a distance, at one the kitten was crying as it was waiting for me to change the snowy icy towel to a warm soft dry one, and place food and water down, and at a few others I could hear the cries of cats in the distance, the more feral ones that are not using the shelters I’ve provided as its so territorial out there. Even some of the less feral kitties aren’t using the shelters, I don’t think some of them are smart enough. I know they are literally freezing to death out there. I will never forget the red kitty I picked up on Third that was just under the porch of the boarded up house where I’ve placed bales of straw each year, it was as stiff as a board, frozen solid. I’ve rescued many cats where the tips of their ears are rigid, which most of the time would mean frostbite. I thought to myself, all these cats that I’ve TNR’d over the many years I’ve done this. How hard its been for me to release them, but I had no where else to bring them. Except for the shelter, where they would surely be killed. But my problem is again, is it better to release them and allow them to suffer in the brutal conditions that they have to live in, or to end their sad lives in a more humane way. If someone can explain to me the difference there, I would love to hear it. I am the one out there each cold morning every winter, listening to their cries, seeing their footprints in the foot high snow as they’ve tried to make their way to find food and shelter. You tell me whats better.

On another good note, meet Howard. Howard came from Second Street, and every morning, Howard would greet me, and after my feedings, would run back to my car with me. It was heartbreaking to leave him Saturday morning, and he came willingly. He is about 8-9 mos. old and is sweet. I must find him a home.

Another good note. Last week I posted a picture on my e-mail to everyone about an 8 year old dog, a Rottie, that was seized from an elderly woman’s home that needed a new home. Cassidy was adopted Saturday by my good friend Nancy, who just recently lost her dog Riley. I can’t tell you now good it feels to be able to connect people with animals, and all through the internet! As much as I curse the computer, the amount of good it does is amazing. I will get a picture of Cassidy to share.

The next two pictures are of Grady from Third who needs a home. I took them this morning.

 This is of a new big boy hanging around Central.  He needs a home too!

"Remember,. people will judge you by your actions, not your intentions.  You may have a heart of gold, but so does a hard-boiled egg."

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Beauty - in the Eye of the Beholder?

Yesterday I sent out an e-mail with the picture of the kitty on Tuesday's post, the kitty that Laura picked up from Chamberlain on Sunday when she helped shovel my feeding spots in the city.  The e-mail was asking if anyone could adopt or at least foster this beauty.  I had an quite a few responses for Carmela (as she is being called for now) after I sent that out.  Carmela is certainly a beautiful cat.  She's not your typical 'run of the mill' grey, tuxedo or tabby cat like the kitties I've posted about that need homes out there.  She is fluffy, white, and beautiful.  I remember a kitty named Laura that was stunningly gorgeous that I rescued a year ago, pregnant, and I got an overwhelming number of responses for her.  Why is it that these beautiful cats find homes more easily than the more plain ones? 

Don’t people know that all of these cats deserve a home, no more or no less than the pretty ones?   The same is true in our society as humans.  We tend to be less kind to those that aren’t as pretty, or as young, or as educated or as well off financially as we are.  Humans don’t’ deserve that, nor do the animals!  I tend to go for the ugly and disabled cats first.  They usually wind up being the most grateful and loving of them all.

God bless these people though, the ones that do adopt or foster.  We just need more of them! 

This morning was uneventful on my route.  I have seen the red kitty on Pennsylvania twice now since the morning I saw it looking very sickly.  That morning it got close enough to me - it was starving - to allow me to see it up close, but the two times since he has run and won't allow me to look at him.  Its dark out there still so its hard to see him.  There were FIVE cats at my first stop on Parsells.  I've seen FIVE at my Sixth Street shelter. it seems their numbers are doubling!  In between Hayward and Baldwin I spotted a cat this morning.  I got out, as usual, and placed a bowl of food and water down for it - thinking its a stray or feral and very hungry - and it came jaunting over to me, allowing me to pet him, and it had a collar on him.  I then felt his behind, and sure enough, its an unneutered male!  What is wrong with these people!!!  You can collar a cat and call it yours, but you don't take responsiblity for it!

I heard through a few grapevines recently that there is going to be a low-cost clinic opening up in this neighborhood sometime this year, and obviously was thrilled by this news, if it happens, but if an when it does, word needs to get out to each and every homeowner about this clinic, and the responsiblity they have to ensure their cats are spayed and neutered to prevent the sorrow I see daily with sick and injured cats, and newborn kittens trying to survive.

I have the day off from work tomorrow and boy do I need it!   I will keep you posted, and thanks for reading!

"I will explain to you as much of life as I can, but you must remember that there is a part of life for which you are the explanation."

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Vacation Day

Hello Dear Readers. 

I am taking a holiday today from my blog, though not from my daily feedings.  It was a mild morning though for all the kitties out there.  They are fed and safe for today!  :)

"The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, aware."

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Glamour Girls Need Not Apply

 Each morning, after I get up at 4 to head out at 5 to feed homeless cats in the Beechwood section of the city of Rochester, I do all my girlie stuff, and apply my makeup, mostly to save me time before I head to work, but also for that slight chance I run into some good looking cop or someone – God forbid my face isn’t done up! The clothes I wear are not very becoming – sweats, t-shirt, my pink Wellies, and several layers of jackets. Each morning, it never fails. I come back home with either a splinter from the wood boards, I break a nail, or I have a cat scratch. There are two kitties that get overly excited waiting for me to distribute their share of food and they swipe at my hand. One is Grady, and I just think he gets overly excited because Bullie, the cat that used to bully him, is now the bullier, the one being bullied. I think Grady just had had enough, and reversed the situation. But Grady gets a bit aggressive now with Bully hanging over his shoulder, so it makes Grady upset. Grady needs a home with a more docile companion – just like the kitty I rescued a month or two ago that I am still trying to find a home for – Earl. Of course then there are the days its raining, or snowing heavily, there goes the hair. Bad hair day ahead!

We’ve had a nasty winter here in Rochester so far. Last night, the winds were whipping! My mind went racing to each of the shelters I’ve set up, and which were the vulnerable ones, and there were many. I thought I would have a mess to clean up. And I did at a few. The shelter on Baldwin, where the kittens are – even though I see only one now since Laura rescued two of them – the plastic tote shelter had disseminated and had blown to the other side of the property. Luckily, I had a bag of straw so I quickly packed that again, and set a heavy concrete block on top of that. I hurried to replace the towel and bowls that had blown away, because little kitty was off in the distance watching, waiting for me to leave so it could eat.

I attach several pictures of various shelters and kitties I took yesterday morning. The first two though, are of a kitty that Laura rescued yesterday morning after she helped shovel some of my spots. This kitty, we believe, is the momma to a few kittens I recently rescued, from the Garson area. She is a beauty. If anyone can foster this beauty, she needs to get there ASAP. Laura has a few sick kitties with upper respiratory infections, and we don’t want this pretty girl to get one. If anyone can foster, please let me know. Please pass this on if you can!

The next three pictures are of Muffin, who really needs to get off the street.  He's a sweet young boy, about 9-10 months old.  Very cuddly.  Please consider Muffin. 

The next picture is of a sweet grey boy who I believe is sick.  He is a Barney lookalike - very course hair, he has been through a lot, and still maintains his sweetness.  His home is this plastic tote.  Please consider this sweet boy.

"Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we're here
we should dance."

Monday, February 11, 2013

Kindness of Strangers

It was a brutal weekend here in Rochester, and for most of the northeast for that matter.  Parts of Rochester received over a foot of snow, and on my daily cat feeding route, it surely was a foot.  It was very heavy, very compact snow.  The storm began on Friday, and as I shoveled at home every hour on the hour, I knew it would be tough going for me the next morning.  The same for the cats.  But out I trudged, with 16 pounds of dry food - enough to feed over 30-40 cats, four containers of wet food, and four containers of hot water, and plenty of dry towels.  And don't forget the shovel.  At each of my 16 locations, I had to either shovel a path, if the shelter was close to the road, or trudge through trying to make a path in knee high snow to the shelter, and dig around that.  These poor animals cannot even move in this.  So I did the best I could.  What normally takes me one hour in the morning, on a good day, took me nearly two and a half hours on Saturday morning.  Phew.  My back was breaking by the time I got home.  Weak at the knees, for sure!

On Sunday morning, as I pulled up to Baldwin, where the two kittens that Laura rescued came from, and I believe two of their siblings still are, along with mom, I noticed that someone had shoveled two pathways around the shelter.  I also saw torn bread.  I thought to myself, oh my, someone actually cares about these animals!  They shoveled a path from the sidewalk, to the shelter, and another cross path that the kitties run to when I come.  I was astounded, and I felt so good.  The three pictures below are of the shelter on Baldwin, and you can see the paths that were shoveled, along with the dry towel and food I place down.

As I got to a few other spots along the way, I noticed that they were shoveled!  I thought, coincidence?  Maybe this Tim that lives next door to the abandoned house on Pennsylvania was kind enough to shovel for Sparkles, very injured kitty, and emaciated Limpy #2, the kitties that hang there for me each morning?  Then as I got to Central, I thought..............  LAURA!  This is the kind work of Laura!  She had e-mailed me asking if she could help shovel, and as I wouldn't expect anyone to get up and help me do this, I told her no, but thank you so much for offering.  I just couldn't believe it. 

Not that Laura is a stranger to me anymore.  She began as someone who was an expert trapper and was enlisted by Julie from Another Chance Pet Rescue to help in my Lollipop TNR endeavor last spring/summer.  I didn't really get to know Laura until recently, and I adore her now.  She has been a big help in trapping kitties for me, and to think that she selflessly went out and shovelled a few of my spots, well, its overwhelming.  I can't tell you how many wonderful people I have met throughout the years I've been feeding/sheltering and rescuing cats.  Just yesterday, neighbors that I barely know dropped off a couple of cats of wet food.  She told me she knew I did some kind of cat thing in the mornings, but didn't know the extent to which I do.  In fact, it still blows my mind how long I've been doing this.  And how much I still rely on the kindness of my fellow human beings, to show me a little recognition in that what I am doing is good, and to help me in any form they can.

So thank you!  Each and every one of you!  XO! 

Friday, February 8, 2013

In Sickness and In Health

There are many cats out there that are in pretty good health, despite the extremes that they have to endure to stay alive.  Then there are the not so fortunate.  I can remember times where I've seen an injured animal and in one particular instance, it was so sick and disoriented, wandering down a city street, I was able to stop my car, get out and easily grab it, place it in my back seat wrapped in a blanket, and drove straight to animal emergency to have it euthanized.  Other times, I've been able to trap these sick cats, and have humanely ended their suffering. I've picked up many dead cats off the street, even frozen ones, and humanely had them buried.  Then there are the ones that I just cannot get, and can only pray that their suffering will end quick. 

This morning, at my Pennsylvania street shelter, as I placed the food down for the waiting Injured Kitty #2 (I call him that because early last year, he was limping pretty bad, for months, and Laura tried to trap him, but he just wouldn't fall for it - he eventually stopped limping, and I wound up winning his trust after many leary months of trying to get him - he still isn't neutered), and Sparkles who runs to me each morning - I heard a cry and looked over to see an orange cat, one that I've seen before - that is afraid and doesnt' allow me to get too close before he runs off.   Anyway, he wound up inching closer as I placed food and water down, he was hungry, and under the board he came and I shined the flashlight on him, and he is very sick.  I don't know if he is now missing an eye, or that it is so swollen you can't see it.  His breathing was very heavy and congested.   Mr. Injured Kitty #2 is also not looking good.  He is skin and bone.  But sweet enough for me to grab him if I have to.  Although I have no where to take him but to a shelter to end his suffering.   I will try to get this red kitty tomorrow morning by bringing a trap.  With the snow we are supposed to get by then, I am not sure if I will be successful.  My heart was broken when I left there.  I suffer emotionally as much as they are suffering physically. 

A survey conducted by PetSmartCharities found that Americans are not fully aware of the problem of pet homelessness. Only 29 percent of the 3,000 surveyed knew about pet homelessness, and 75 percent guessed there are less than one million homeless pets in America, whereas the real number is closer to eight million. Another survey showed about forty percent believed the number of homeless pets euthanized each year to be less than one million, but the true number is closer to four million. Estimates from the Human Society of the United States, confirm the above numbers.

We as a community need to start to address the lack of awareness around the number of homeless pets in Rochester, and across the world for that matter, and the number of homeless pets that are euthanized each year. While these topics are sad, part of the problem is simply lack of awareness, so getting the information out in the public eye is part of the solution.  And we need to find a solution.  So lets spread the word, lets spread ANY word, even if its just this blog - do your part  - share it with everyone!  Maybe, just maybe, someone can figure this out!

Have a great weekend.

"Base your life on principle and most of your decisions
are already made."

Thursday, February 7, 2013

State of Affairs

Oh So Many cats out there this morning. My first spot on Parsells, where crazy Lisa was messing with my stuff a few months ago, there was more than the usual one kitty waiting for me. At my next spot just a few houses down, the Three Muscateers were waiting for me, as usual. One is very fluffy Black and White, looks EXACTLY like Sylvester the cat in the cartoon, the other is the opposite colors, and very fluffy. The third is a pretty little orange and white kitty. Then there is a beautiful very light, almost white kitty that has the same coloring as a Siamese with a collar that greets me each day. When I pull up to this spot, the three of them (not the red) come out from under a latticed porch in the front of the house, and run to the back to wait for me to bring them their cherished wet food, fresh water and dry food. I don’t know if there is a heating duct somewhere under there, because otherwise there are three very nice huts in the back for them, that I am not sure they are using.

Just around the corner on Stout is the black kitty that is not as friendly to me, and another kitty that is friendly, waiting for me. This is where I boarded the windows up of this garage with no door, that is detached from a vacant house on the corner, the same house that I called Animal Control and my police friend to check out due to a very friendly, overbred pit bull that had no shelter, water or food in the outdoors where it was kept. These scumbags moved out long ago and the house of horrors has not been occupied since.

Then around the corner is Talkie, Neck Wound kitty (I’ve got to think of a better name!), and Lucille. Talkie gobbles that water down – they need their water in the winter, as well as the summer. The water turns to ice in a matter of minutes in temperatures like we have now. So they gulp that fast. Bugsy has a habit of being there in the morning, and usually I plop him in the car and drive him around the corner to Hayward, but he was shy this morning and wound up running with my car all the way over to the next spot. It was very cute, he was keeping up with me while I was driving, running on the sidewalk next to my car. At this next spot was Boots, a black cat with tortoise markings, another kitty that hangs, but this time there was a white kitty too. Very dirty, but very friendly. There are three bowls here, and not enough to feed them all, so I went back to the car and got another paper plate and poured more food down for the white kitty.

Next is Baldwin, where I see at least one baby kitten, if not two. Its dark, and they hide until I leave. At the next spot is Webster/Ferndale, where I spotted the little white dog two mornings ago. No sign of him again, but I can’t help but wonder, what are these people living in a house that has a condemned sign on it. “not to be occupied’ or something like that. Does anyone know the city violations and what this sign means?

On Short, where there is a very nice shelter set up, I rarely see a cat inside, although one could be in the wooden hut there, but they usually go scampering out when I pull up.

I got to thinking…. If there were a shelter such as the one that Kristin and Darrin built, out of a coffee table, and the nice heavy wooden huts that were built by Bob, Kristin and Darrin, and my friend Mary’s husband Mike. They are sturdy heavy shelters that could house up two at least five cats. If these shelters were placed all over the city, and were kept up (i.e. keep adding straw to it each year ) by the communities, we would have better ‘living conditions’ for these homeless cats, instead of them under porches, abandoned houses, etc.

Each of the rest of the eight more locations I went to were pretty much uneventful except for on Sixth Street, I saw at least five young cats come scampering off the porch, where I have shelter set up. This is the same location from where I recently rescued Hercules, and Mr. Whiskers. I was glad to see that the shelter is being used, but so sad to see how many more cats there are out there. Each new one I saw this morning had no ear tipping, which means they are producing babies.

I seem to be running out of food by the time all is done each morning. There are more and more cats out there and something must be done. I will need help this spring to trap, neuter and return, and its going to cost money to do each cat. Lollipop’s grant that was extended to me last year is done. Each cat will cost $50 to neuter and get shots. But we must keep this up if we are ever going to get this problem under control.

"You may delay, but time will not."

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


After the recent dog neglect cases that have crossed my path, the last one just yesterday, I've been thinking alot about it.  My friend Kristin is a do-er in the sense that she is formulating her thoughts on this subject and would like to present it to the Mayor of Rochester, and she is hoping that he will follow the path of several other mayors across the country, like for instance in Baltimore.

Abused animals cannot speak for themselves, and if those of us who care about the humane treatment of living beings don’t speak up on their behalf, no one will.  For example the woman shoveling her driveway, across from where the dog was stranded in the fenced in lot next door to its 'owners' house for hours where she replied to me "I mind my own business."  By the way, the dog was not there this morning.

Animal cruelty is not just an animal control or law enforcement problem.  It's something that requires the eyes and ears and voices of many members of a community.

The following is a script from The Huffington Post that tells about this newly formed commision, thanks to a kind and compassionate man in office there:  I pray that we can get something like this here in Rochester. 

Today, the Baltimore Mayor's Office signed into law the Anti-Animal Abuse Advisory Commission, a board that will work to help the city of Baltimore prevent and prosecute animal cruelty, including dog fighting.

This is the first anti-animal abuse advisory commission of its kind, and we hope this will be a model for other cities to follow. We have long recognized the dangerous potential for animal cruelty to lead to more serious crimes, and this commission is poised to go a long way toward eradicating crimes toward animals and humans alike.

The commission, which started out as a task force more than a year ago in response to the fatal burning of a dog named Phoenix, has already made great strides. Phoenix's horrific ordeal thrust Baltimore into the limelight, and instead of dodging the issue, the city decided to confront animal cruelty head-on by creating a task force to address animal abuse. Representatives from the State Attorney's office, Baltimore City Council, the Mayor's office, BARCS (Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter), and MDSPCA (Maryland Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), along with the ASPCA (the only national animal welfare organization to have a seat on the commission), have met and drafted a report that outlines a campaign to eradicate animal abuse. The 64-page report includes recommendations for investigating animal cruelty cases, training law enforcement and other professionals who respond to animal cruelty incidents, and drafting anti-animal cruelty legislation.

The ASPCA is eager to help turn the new Commission's goals into reality. We are impressed by the strong commitment made thus far by everyone involved in this commission, and we are especially appreciative of Caroline Griffin, who chaired the commission through its year as a task force -- her leadership and perseverance helped see this through.

As Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake summed up during today's signing of the commission into law: "Animal cruelty is more than just a legal issue, it's a community issue. If you improve animal welfare in a community, you improve public safety for everyone."

As horrified as we were to learn about what happened to Phoenix, we know that she did not die in vain. The city of Baltimore has shown its commitment to stopping these violent injustices against animals, and the ASPCA will continue to provide both local and national resources to help Baltimore meet its commitment for a more humane world.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


I am hopping, smokin mad!  I pulled up to one of my spots this morning around 5:30 am,, on Ferndale and Webster, and as I was placing food in the awesome shelter that was built for me by Darrin and Kristin, both school teachers with creative minds, who built the shelter out of a coffee table and added boards and such to create the most secure, warm shelter that could house well over five cats, if they all got along!  Anyways, as I am placing this down in this vacant city lot that is fenced in on three sides, the open side is the road, I noticed a dog in the corner of this lot I was in.  It was a small white unkempt looking dog, pictured here:
As I got closer, it began to bark, and to growl, so I kept my distance.  I remembered the house on the other side of the fence on Ferndale had a dog that I would occasionally hear barking at early hours, and remember it was a small dog like this so I decided it had just wandered from the neighboring property and didn't know how to get back.  I thought for sure the owner would call for it or come get it so I took this picture and went off to do the rest of my feedings.  As I drove past the house, a woman across the street was shoveling her driveway.  I got out and asked who's dog it might be, she pointed to the house across the street.  I then asked if she saw any neglect or anything like that and she replied "I mind my own business" and I calmly replied, "you can't turn a blind eye to neglect, we are these animals voices, and they need our help."  She shook her head as she continued to brush off her car, and muttered about me feeding the cats at the corner house since day one or something like that...  I wished her a good day and drove off.  I decided to come by on my way home  from the feedings to check to see if the dog was still there, and sure enough it was.  The house that I thought it belonged to was dark still so I stopped and got out and brought over a large towel, placed that on the ground along with a plate of cat food and a dish of water.  I wanted to provide some comfort for the poor thing, freezing like that.  I then decided I would give it ONE more chance to go back home, and was going to drive by on my way to work.  I did, and it was STILL there.  This time, I pulled up in the driveway of the house I thought it belonged to, got out, walked up the steps to the porch and was going to knock and saw a sign in the window that said something like 'this building should not be occupied', and immediately thought these people had moved out and left their dog!

I dialed 911 and as I was explaining the situation and the sign on the house, the door opens!  Its a middle aged black woman who said she just let it out and it wandered over there.  I said, 'that dog has been out since AT LEAST 5 am.", I told her I know this because I feed the cats in the area and the dog had been out at that time and she said "you need to stop feeding those cats cause I am allergic to them" and I said well you obviously aren't letting them in your house and I will not stop feeding them and that I have permission to do so and that she needed to take care of her dog!" to which she closed the door on me.    I am sick and tired of animal neglect!!!  I may have to take a drive over there to see if the dog is in the corner of that lot still.  If so, I won't hesitate to contact animal control.  What is wrong with everyone, has this world gone mad???

The following are various pictures I took this morning at a few of my stops.  I saw another baby kitten on Baldwin this morning.  It waits from a distance for me to place a dry towel, and fresh food and water down and as soon as I get in the car, it runs for it.  I am hoping the other kitten left, and mama are still around, and safe.
Garson Kitties

Garson Kitty

Sparkles is the pregnant mama that I had spayed over a year ago on Pennsylvania.  She has really turned into a sweetheart with me, and comes running each and every morning, rolling over onto her back.  She used to swat at me and not let me pet her, but she is much better now - a sweet sweet girl that I would love to find a home for.