Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Lillian is falling for Paddy, I think. She says she wants to hold out until the weekend. I think they might be bonding. :)  At first she said 'til the end of the month' (today), now its till the end of the week.  :)

Today I am going to keep this short and sweet.  I've been sort of down lately, and feeling sorry for myself, and something popped up to slap me on the side of the head, and snap me out of it, which is all I needed.  I certainly didn't need for something else to go wrong in my life, so reading the following was the positive reinforcement that I, and many others I am sure, need to hear occasionally.

It was from an advice column:

Q.  How do you suggest one moves on and gets over regret?  Regret for not getting that dream job, regret for not taking that trip around the world, or regret for...  you name it.  I can't help but wonder what my life could have been like had I done those things --- Baltimore.

A.  The silver bullet against regret is to make something valuable of the life you have now.  It doesn't have to be valuable in the eyes of society -- big house, fancy job, Nobel Prize, etc.  -- just valuable in your eyes.  -- for example, knowing you've been helpful to someone who really needed it; being with someone who makes your day brighter; being able to pursue a goal/hobby/passion that feels worthy to you, or merely fulfilling...  the limit isn't your circumstances, but your perspective.

I love that last line ... the limit isn't your circumstances, but your perspective.  Love that.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Paddy.... Again...

First off, thanks to all who commented on Friday's post.  Very kind, and very sweet.  Everyone needs that kind of reassurance occasionally, especially with the kind of thankless job I do each and every day, out in the streets, feeding very hungry cats, and rescuing those that I am able to.  So thank you, your words mean a lot to me.

Next, here are two pictures.  Both of these momma kitties I rescued from the streets.  Both gave birth this weekend!  Pepper was being fostered by Linda, and the other fostered by Sara with Another Chance Pet Rescue.  Thank you girls for giving these precious mommies a home, rather than them give birth on the streets.  Thank you thank you thank you!!!

Pepper from Hayward & her 3 babies!

Alexis from Central and 4 of her 5 babies!

Well, I think the little guy Paddy will be coming back to my home this week.  Poor Lillian has been at her wits end.  She is a true worrier, and just could not handle a little kitten.  Each time I spoke to her, she sounded more and more upset.  Paddy started to use the plants as his litter box, and won't let her near him because he is afraid of being put in the bathroom again, where I had instructed her to place him for a few days so that he could feel a bit more secure in his large surroundings.  So its a wait and see.  I don't run over there when she calls, because I always hope that there will be the one special bonding between the two of them, but its probably not going to happen.  When I spoke to her yesterday, I suggested that maybe it would be a good idea for her to get an older cat, and I immediately thought of my 2+ year old boy Earl, who needs a home, especially a one cat home, or even Daisy who is just over a year now - who has not yet gone to her new digs.  The couple I met last Thursday at Petco and I just haven't connected this weekend.  I hope this past week and half has not scarred little Paddy too much.  Will keep you posted on this!

I finally got an update on the two sweet kitties - Brady and Gus - I brought to Lollipop two weeks ago today.  My friend says: 
"Both of your cats are up for adoption. Their names are now Rigby (black cat) and Leroy (grey). Leroy has some conjunctivitis that is being treated, but both are doing well."

I can't tell you how relieved I was to hear this!  I hadn't heard from her since they were brought in, and I feared the worse.  Thats NINE cats I rescued in the past few months from the miserable streets they were living on that were all adopted out to good homes!  I am so thrilled about this!

And to top it off, I rescued one more this morning who will be going to Lollipop to be fixed up, and placed for adoption!!!!!  Here is Garth:  He is a sweet boy from Stout that I've been feeding.  He would run to my car every morning, the first couple of mornings he was limping, I believe due to glass that is there, broken and spread all over the place.   He is a very very sweet, unneutered male.  Very pretty too!  There are a few out there that don't agree with me taking kitties off the street and bringing them to Lollipop, and you will be happy to know this will be the last of them for a while.  My contact there has assured me that they are still not overcrowded but the time would be now to bring them in before the kittens arrive.  There will be many of those brought into Lollipop very soon, as it is kitten season in full swing now.  I am just glad to know that these cats will not face the dangers of being on the streets any longer, and that they will find good homes to be loved and cared for as they should.  So, thank you Lollipop!

GARTH 4/29/13


Garth Licking Chops


Friday, April 26, 2013


I hurt someone's feelings yesterday with my post.  The woman that took Howard is actually a very kind woman, and I sometimes say things about people in general, not realizing that someone may take it personally, and it may upset them.  When I know I've hurt someone's feelings, I can't tell you the deep depth of sadness I go into, because an animal lover is an animal lover, a compassionate human being, and I would never ever want to hurt their feelings - God, there are so few good people in this world compared to all the mean, the twisted and uncompassionate.  I know its frustrating for her to deal with these cats, and I know her main concern is for Howard, believing that he is in a situation that he may be very unhappy in - being tormented by a sister cat.  So I vented my frustrations about people giving up in general, and I shouldn't have done that, somehow thinking she might take it to heart.  I should have just explained the situation and asked for all the help I/she could get, instead of venting my frustrations toward her, when it was really meant in general.  All I can say is that I I certainly don't want hurt anyone, but my main concern is and always will be to be in the best interest of the cat.   Reading her note to me yesterday made me cry, and she told me point blank she wouldn't be giving the cat back because she loved him, and knowing she probably won't contact me again, I have to move on and pray that all turns out well for her family, and that I will continue to have faith in those that adopt cats from me, or from any rescue organization, and that they will never give up in giving the best possible forever home for that animal, no matter what.

This morning, as I was pouring food and water for the kitties on Second, I heard a tap tap tap on a window a couple of houses down and realized it was someone knocking on the window of the bootleggers house, to get their fix for the morning.  The bootleggers sells anything from beer and cigarettes, to God knows what else.  As I got back into my car parked on the street, I could tell it was a very tall slender very young female.  She darted away after the window closed, and around the corner.  I had to go that way anyway, and I parked at my next stop, in the direction she was heading.  I got out as she crossed the street, and remembered her from two summers ago where I had the confrontation with the people on Grand Avenue, neighbors of when Wally was living there, when I was forced to feed the cats on the side of the road, and she kept threatening to lift them up the second I left.  She was another one that made me cry.   And when I did that, she came back over to me and apologized.  Sincerely.  She said she had been angry at her boyfriend, had been drinking, and took it out on me.  She told me about how she loved cats, and that what I was doing was a good thing.  I will have to find the post from that day and share it with you.  Anyways, here she was, two years later, and obviously once again doing the wrong thing. 

Just prior to this, I saw Seven, the prostitute that I've known for years, the one that two summers ago I called the police on her (unbeknownst to her) when she was very far into her pregnancy because she was drunk out of her mind and being loud walking on Bay Street at 5:30 in the morning, and I was sick for that child in her belly.  I thought maybe there was a law about being that drunk when you are that pregnant.  Anyways, that baby in her belly is now close to two years old, and his name is Walter, a cute little boy, I see her strolling him around occasionally at 5:30 am. in the hood.  I can only pray he is being looked after.  She asked for a ride to a few streets away, and when she got in, she was barely coherent.  She wreaked of booze and cigarettes, and could barely keep her eyes open.  I thought to myself, after seeing the second girl --- these poor women.  Aren't they tired of doing things like this over and over and over again.  Don't they want to get out of their ruts, their horrible lives, and be good mothers, good citizens?  How could I help them?  I helped Wally and Miss B., to a certain extent, but I don't have the time or knowhow as to how to help women like that.  I know Seven needs a rehab, but how do people with nothing get something like that?  Its sad, thats all I can say.  Very very sad.  And another generation grows up in desperate poverty.

Sorry for the downer today.  This is just some of the stuff that I deal with but I have a ton of optimism in me and will not falter!  Carpe-diem!

“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come.
We have only today. Let us begin.”

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Howard... Again.

 I am being asked to find Howard another home, after less than two months of his adoption, because the other cat in the household hates him.  If I could get rid of at least two of my own cats that stalk and are mean to at least two other cats in my house, life would be grand.  If I could hope that maybe down the road, I'll get another cat to replace that cat that I gave up after two months because my other cat hates him, I would hope that they would get along, but if they don't, I'll just get rid of the new cat.  I am hoping and praying that someone will come along and want to adopt poor little Harold FOR LIFE.  He doesn't deserve to be passed around like this.  When I rescued this little guy, he was about six months old and had been living under a porch on Second Street, in the hood, in the city of Rochester.  He looked forward to my daily arrival to give him food and water and a pat on the head, until the day I said 'you've got to come with me mister, its just too cold and messy out here for a little guy like you."

I just want to SCREAM when someone adopts a cat, and has one or a million reasons why they can't now keep them.  There is never a 'good' reason.  It scares me too, because when I adopt out a cat, I rescue another.  And if they are all coming back to me, then its the cats that suffer in the long run.  The ones that won't be rescued.  On top of that, it would be very hard for the cat to readjust to a new environment again, and then to a new adopter's home after that.

Adopters do not conceptualize adoption as the beginning of a relationship that will take time to stabilize and/or as something that can be improved.  Replacing the expectation of “happily ever after” with an understanding that “marriages take work” could reduce returns by changing adopter expectations.  Such a change also might increase adopters’ willingness to seek out advice during this adjustment period.  Bottom line, when you adopt a cat from anyone, you must be totally willing to do anything to make this animal's life a good one, no matter what.  You are the human, they are the innocent animal who's life depend on you.

Update on Paddy:  Lillian followed my instructions, and Paddy is now hopefully in a more smaller, secure room, so that he can get used to his surroundings and new human in a more secure environment.  She also told me she wouldn't normally keep her bedroom door open, but she did the night before and little Paddy did hop up,looking for the food that she hid to get him up from the basement most likely, but he is coming out of his shell.  She held him, he purred, and all was well, for a short time.  When I talked to her, he was back in hiding, but upstairs, and I had no doubt that he would be back in her arms in no time that day.

We got three females yesterday, two were pregnant and all were spayed.  Its obviously upsetting to take life like that, but if there is no one offering or able to step up to the plate and care for the pregnant cats, please don't judge me or others that do this.

Nearly one year old Daisy went to Petco last night for hopeful adoption, and a couple came by and showed interest.  I might be making mistakes when I tell people that they can 'try her out' because they have a three year old female that hasn't been socialized with another cats since they adopted her out from Lollipop over a year ago, and its only upsetting to the cats, and to me, again, thinking I am one less cat and have room for another, and then go rescue that sweet little one I feed every day, only to just be adding one more when they are returned.  We'll see how things go, if they contact me to give the go ahead (I told them to think about it and let me know), I will bring her over for house inspection and leave her there, with my heart breaking, once again.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Harold and Other Tails

Well, thanks to Laura's help, three kitties were trapped this morning and on their way to the clinic.  She was not sure if two of them were the pregnant ones, I pray they were.  Whether a feral or stray, the fact is that most of those cats have not been sterilized unless trap-neuter-return (TNR) is done.  If not, its those cats that are responsible for the flood of homeless cats and kittens streaming into shelters, which are then are forced to euthanize many adoptable adult cats during kitten season. This season, usually running May to October, forces shelters to euthanize adult cats due to the large number of incoming kittens.  Its terribly sad.  I have always hated the process, but have done it many many times over the years - the part I hate is letting them back out into the wild, but I have turned around and found many of them homes time and time again, eventually.  But I am SO grateful for the amount of cats that have been sterilized under my watch.  There would be hundreds more I would be feeding if not.

The latest on Paddy:  He still has not come out for Lillian, but she knows he ate, and batted a ball around.  I will call her sometime today to hear the latest, and if worst comes to worse, I will go over there after work and sit quietly in her basement and call for him, get him upstairs, and enclose him in a smaller room.  Thanks to all who gave their advice.  I also want to add that Paddy was chosen by Lillian, I don't think it would have been wise to suggest an older cat for her, especially with none there at Petco that day, and I was desperately trying to place at least one of my four kitties that need homes.  She seems in good health and young in spirit, and I believe they will both grow old together, if it works!!!

I wanted to quickly share with you the latest from Harold's new Mom:

Harold - catnapping
"It makes me sad to hear about the "returns"... we adopted Chloe from someone who had had her for 3 years and suddenly couldn't deal with the allergies anymore (I must say, Chloe sheds more than any other cat I have ever had... she has to be awful to be around if you are allergic). But we absolutely love her to death and are so happy to have her. The previous owners' loss is our gain!!

Harold - helping Mom in the office
Anyway... on to Harold... he has been making progress in leaps and bounds!! As you can see in some of the pictures, he sometimes sprawls out on the desk while I am on the computer... he has also been jumping up on the beds more. He doesn't stay for too long... if he hears a noise, or Chloe comes in the room, he jumps down. He is still just skittish... we thought that he wouldn't be scared of anything after living out on the mean streets, but he doesn't like noises or strangers or anything new. We are hoping he will calm down eventually. He finally discovered how much fun the "string on a stick" can be... now he plays with that quite a bit. He loves loves loves his mousies.... he bats them around and flips them in the air and somehow they all end up underneath a bookcase downstairs. Billy fished about 6 of them out the other night, and they were all back under there last night. He plays by himself, and he and Chloe chase each other around... there is an occasional hiss or swat (always from Chloe, never from Harold) but they seem to be having fun. The best news is.... he has not kept me up at night with his lonely chirping for the last two nights!!! I have no idea where he sleeps, but he's not wandering around the house at all hours anymore. He's right there when I wake up; I'm just not sure where he comes from. He really is sweet... just needs to chill out a little more... Brady is quickly becoming his favorite. He is still a little apprehensive around Billy. And I like to think that he loves me the second best! :)

Harold - helping big brother Brady with homework!

One negative note... I noticed last night that he has WORMS! Gahhhh!!! I need to get him to the vet anyway; this will just make me get him there IMMEDIATELY!"

So there you have it.  Thank you Kim, Billy and Brady, for giving Harold a chance!!!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tuesday Tails

For anyone that knows me well, they know I HATE talking on the phone.  Despise it.  Although get a few glasses of wine into me and I will tell you my life story on the phone, all within a short length of time mind you...   When I got home from work yesterday, I immediately called Lillian, the woman who adopted my little five month old kitty Paddy on Sunday.  She was in near hysterics when she heard my voice.  This poor woman, first of all, reminds me of my grandmother.  My grandmother used to fuss and worry about her cats more than anything or anybody.  Poor Lillian worked herself up into a frenzy over Paddy because there were many times she could not find him.  All he was doing was being a kitten, he was in a new environment, didn't know this woman or her voice from a hole in the ground, and he was scared.  She had her neighbors worked up, over looking for him, she tore apart furniture, she unhooked her dryer, she lost her car keys while doing this, and something else major that I forgot she told me - she just didn't elaborate on that because I think she was embarrassed.  I assured her that it was going to take TIME (I assured her over and over and over again) for this adjustment, and that she needed to go about her day, as if he wasn't there, and he would eventually come out.  I also instructed her that she must remove the food she placed for him in the basement (she leaves the door ajar to the very clean basement) and lift it up at night.  I promised her that in the morning, if she would open a can of wet food, tap it into a ceramic or glass dish, he would be at her feet, and at that time, she should quietly go over to the basement door and close it.  I told her to keep him upstairs so that he can get used to the main floor until he gets used to her.  (I repeated these instructions to her over and over).  What could have been a five minute call lasted 20 minutes!  I felt so bad for her.  I thought at any second she was going to ask me to come get him and take him back, so I didn't give her much time to talk, I just kept repeating positive stuff to her, and she agreed.  SO!  To that end, I will be calling her later today, before I leave work, and see if my instructions worked!  HA!  My poor little Paddy..  scared to death.  My first reaction is to take him back, but I know I mustn't do that!

7th Street Feeding Station
Tomorrow I will be trying to trap a pregnant cat, or Laura will be helping, but when I pulled up there this morning to leave a small bit of food down for the five or so cats that hang there, I discovered another pregnant cat!  Its not as full term as the other, but its definitely pregnant.  So, I am hoping for two spots at the clinic tomorrow.  Stay tuned.  Its so sad, it really is.  But thank God the weather is getting a bit better.  My camera failed again this morning, or I would have had some really great pictures.  I have two red kitties that I would love to remove from the streets, both very sweet.

Rescued from 2nd - 'Parker' has been adopted
I also heard from my friend at Lollipop with an update on Gus and Brady, the two kitties I brought in a week ago Monday.  She assured me they were alive, but not much else.  I am hoping she is going to find out more and let me know.  One at a time, we will get help for these kitties that live in the hood.  :)

"I ask not for a lighter burden, but for broader shoulders."

Monday, April 22, 2013

My Little Paddy

Well, I was offered a chance to show my little ones at Petco on Saturday, thanks to Julie of Another Chance Pet Rescue http://www.anotherchancepetrescue.org/, due to a shortage of kitties right now because they are awaiting hundreds of kittens to reach the adoptable age.  They've had so many pregnant kitties the past couple of months, and the babes are still too young to be adopted.  Of course they have many gorgeous, wonderful older kitties waiting for homes, they had a couple of cages available at their weekly adoption event, and I brought in Daisy and Paddy.  I got a call a few hours after dropping them off (I had a hair appointment and couldn't stick around) that there was a woman there holding Paddy and asking about him.  I rushed back there and met her and she seems like a very sweet kind woman.  We spoke for a while, I told her all about him, and she said she would like to adopt him!  I was sad at first, but then realized that as much as I've fallen in love with Paddy, I must give him up so that I can continue to rescue others.  I spent the last night with him that night and brought him over to her house on Sunday afternoon.  I walked in and she had an immaculate, beautiful home, probably built in the late 80s, something I would love because of the newness, and ranch style, and a very large, immaculate, dry and clean one roomed basement.  Certainly not the track she was on, the houses are just too close for my comfort.  My one salvation for where I live now is that I am on a corner lot.  And across from me is a large grassy park next to a church, where they have their church picnics once or twice a year.   Anyways, Paddy was scared, and so was Lillian, the sweet older lady that adopted him.   I will be calling her after work today to see how things went.  Life is different for all of us.  I was leaving Paddy with a woman who would not allow him to sleep with her, and she didn't have any other cats for companionship for him, so I was a little concerned how he would be, but I have to remember that cats adapt, especially when young, and had to have faith that she would love him like I did. 

Fluffy kitten on Seventh Street

I have an appointment for the pregnant kitty on Sixth to be spayed on Wednesday, if I can trap her.  Habitat for Cats were kind enough to get me a spot at their Wednesday clinic right away due to her condition.  Say prayers I can get her.  How terrible will it be if she goes off and has those kittens on her own, in the wild, in the cruel elements of the city of Rochester.

I tried to take photos this morning of some of the very sweet kitties that are still out there, but I have had some really bad luck with my crappy camera, and need to start rethinking this.  I do like to document what I see out there, but have not had good luck, especially with my rotten Kodak camera.  If anyone has an old, yet reliable camera laying around, I'll take it!  :) 

" The world is full of people looking for spectacular happiness while they snub contentment."

Friday, April 19, 2013

Friday Treat!

Howard and Rufus (a few months ago) wrestling in my kitchen, with Smokey looking on
This morning I had the honor of a law enforcement officer accompany me on my rounds!  This girl found me on the internet and started to read this blog, and reached out to me!  She wanted to see what I actually did, and now she knows!  She might think I am certifiably crazy, but it was so good to have her go with me.  Its actually exciting to describe each location to someone, tell them about the cats I've rescued at each spot, and tell them about who I feed there now.  Ive had the honor of three other people in my over all these years go with me, and what brave souls you are.  I didn't get a chance to really talk to the girl this morning as she had to be at work close to the end of my rounds, but I hope she wasn't too scared.  She was out of her element in these neighborhoods, as she works for the county.  It really does take a strong person to do what I do, so I commend those of you who have gone out there with me.  Thank you, and come again!  :)

Daisy - needs adoption

It was fairly quiet this morning, most kitties saw a new person and stayed back, but I knew they were there.  We are supposed to get a strong storm system passing through today, with rain, falling temperatures and high winds, so I brought some boards to cover the bowls I've been placing behind a house on Sixth where the owner is fixing up the house with intent to sell or rent, so I hope they don't blow over.  There are at least five cats waiting for me there daily, one very pregnant.

Leo - needs adoption

On Garson, the owner once again came by and moved my stuff to the curb.  I moved it right back.  My thought on this is I have no respect for someone like this.  I can respect someone that says hey, c'mon, my family is going to live here, if you could just find another place by a certain date, blah blah blah, but to intentionally go out of your way to deprive an animal its food, and the house is gutted inside, thats another story.  I will continue to feed the two cats that are there daily waiting for me, one friendly but skittish, and the other is Neck Wound Kitty that I've been feeding for years, who suffers from some kind of skin condition, and is now suffering from upper respiratory infection.  Its so hard to see the sick ones.

Thanks to those that commented on my post yesterday.  When I ask for advice, I am thankful for the few that do respond.  It was very good advice for Howard, and I am passing that on.  As far as Harold, if you have time, here is the latest update on Harold :)  Kim is very descriptive!  And she and her family are troopers.  Thank you Kim for your perseverance!

"...in the last week or so, things with Harold are going really well! He comes out from his hiding place (under our bed) a lot more often during the day... he even has come to the top of the stairs the last two days when I have gotten home from work! Chloe always runs to greet me... Harold's not quite there yet... but the fact that he hears me come in the door and comes out of his 'safe zone' is a step in the right direction. He and Chloe seem to be getting along much better also. She rarely hisses at him now, and when she does, it is totally out of the blue. They must like being around each other, because if I am upstairs, and come down to the kitchen or living room, they both trot up from our lower level (family room) together. Or sometimes I will look down the stairs into our living room, and they are both laying there... several feet apart, mind you... but in the same vicinity. There have been a few mini-chase sessions... usually only across the living room, or under the dining room table... but last night, they were really getting into it! Up the stairs, down the stairs... skidding around the kitchen floor... all over the place. They were also 'playing' in Chloe's box (one of her all-time favorite places). It's just a Xerox paper box with no top... she was inside of it, and he was outside of it, and they were swatting at each other through a little slot on the side. Now, maybe they weren't exactly PLAYING... but they went back and forth for a good 5-10 minutes, and no blood was drawn, so it was all good. Same with the chasing... maybe it wasn't ALL in fun... but there was no hissing or growling and they wore themselves out so I was happy. He still does not like laps or the couch. He prefers to come into whatever room I am in, chirp to let me know he is there, then flop over on his side so I can scratch his head or belly or back. When he comes into our bedroom, I pet him on the floor for a few minutes and then pick him up and set him on the bed. He stays for a minute or two, then hops down. However... major breakthrough today.... I was home alone for a few hours and decided to take a little rest since I have not been feeling well. I grabbed a comforter and went to lay down under it when Harold came in... I picked him up and set him on top of the comforter and sloooowly eased myself under it (he still gets spooked at fast movements or noises... more on that in a minute). He flopped over on his side like he always does, but this time he stayed for almost half an hour. He actually fell sound asleep! He was kind of half propped up with his head on my leg and just conked out. Brady is doing his nightly reading right now, and I just tried to put Harold up with him, but Chloe wasn't having any of it... she might be jealous. Anyway, I will continue to keep putting him up on the bed and try to get it through his giant head that that is where he NEEDS to sleep and SHOULD be sleeping. I actually have no idea where he sleeps when he is not under our bed... I find him dozing on the floor in various parts of the house. Which is odd... we have more than enough couches, chairs, a cat bed... hopefully he'll get it one of these days. So, he does still seem skittish... if we move too quickly around him, or make a loud noise by mistake, he jumps and starts to run away, but he never takes more than a step or two. That is about the same as he has been since Day One. He still does his nightly LOUD, CHIRPING rounds... but he seems to be starting later (earlier?) each night... now he usually doesn't start until 4:00 or 5:00. He still just seems slightly unsettled... like he can never quite sit still for any length of time... I swear he's got a touch of ADD or hyperactivity or something. Still no interest in fishing pole or laser pointer (he kind of looks at it like "really? That's a little red light... do you think I'm an idiot?" while Chloe will chase it around for an hour) but he LOVES chasing toy mice around... the more catnip the better. I have the Feliway diffuser plugged in in our upstairs hallway... it's closest to where he spends most of his time, between the bedrooms and office and bathroom (he always follows us in there... weird). I don't know if that is making a difference, or he is just gradually getting used to things, or what. I will just keep doing what I am doing and see where we get. Incidentally... he seems to like Brady more than he likes Billy. I am his favorite, but only because I spend the most time with him. He is very comfortable with Brady. and Brady has learned the signs of when Harold has had enough... he got one nasty scratch on his hand and that was all it took. :)

Have a great weekend everyone!  
"You don't get harmony when everyone sings the same note."

Paddy - needs adoption

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Another Day in the Hood

Things have been quiet this week.  Thank God, knock on wood.  Its normally that way, really, its very rare I get a scare.  Generally speaking, most people in these neighborhoods are nice, and they know me by what I've been doing for all these years in their neighborhood.  I had one guy stop the other day while I was feeding on Webster Avenue, roll his window down and yell out that he was the guy on 7th street, and that he appreciated what I was doing, because he said he didn't see any more rats around his street.

Attached is a picture of a friend of mine who lives and works in NYC, who attended a culinary function/ribbon cutting for a children's hospital and he was asked to bring his dog Bailey to welcome the guests.  Isn't he adorable?  I was thinking, animals are a big part of making people happy, and we should have them in every nursing facility, every hospital, every school, police station, fire station, etc.  Just think how many homeless animals we could save if this were the case!

I want to share with you a note I received, and am hoping you can help me dispense some advice.  Howard, who I rescued from the hood maybe four months ago, and adopted out to a nice couple on Conesus Lake, who already had a female cat that they had just adopted, and found out it was pregnant and had her babies, is being terrorized by this new mother cat.  Even before she gave birth, she was mean to Howard.  Here is what Debbie writes:

"Hi, I am really concerned for Howard. Skittles is still being really mean towards Howard. He won't even use the kitty litter in the hallway be cuz she attacks him. He has started pooping in the tub so yesterday I put a kitty litter container in the tub. But she truly lives in fear and tonight was trying to get out the window.. We love Howard but this isn't fair to him. Any suggestions. At this point he is even afraid of the kittens."

CAN SOMEONE HELP ME?  I just can't take Howard back!

On my rounds this morning, I noticed two things that bothered me.  First was a new cat hanging around my Stout Street location.  He is a beautiful, unneutered buff red male, and very sweet, and was also very hungry.  Where do these cats come from?  Secondly, on Sixth, where the shelter has been torn down and the house being readied for sale, I believe, and where I relocated the bowls to the back of the house, for now, and I have to figure out where I am going to relocate these at least five cats I feed there, there was a very pregnant female.  Its very upsetting to see this, and to know you are leaving and she could have her babies any second, and on it goes, cats giving birth to more prospective birth giving cats.  Its not a cat that comes up to me, it sits a distance away and waits for me to leave so that it can eat.  So, I must do something, and soon, but need to think about it due to my limited resources.

Yesterday, I had Leo, the neighborhood stray, fixed.  He spent many a nights this past winter in my bathroom.  I had to let him out this morning (he jumps out the window), because of the fact that I cannot bring any more cats into my house, even though he is the most loving kitty I know.   As much as I don't believe in outdoor cats, I know that this is one that is not in as much danger as all the other kitties I feed in the hood.  He is a pampered homeless cat.  He has a nice cushy chair to sleep in on my porch when he chooses to.  I wish I could find him a home, along with little 5-month old Paddy, and almost year old Daisy, and two year old Earl.  They are all wonderful kitties and need a good home.



"Don't live down to expectations.  Go out there and
do something remarkable."

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


It’s my life and it’s now or never.
I’m not going live forever.
I just want live while I’m alive.

As I get older, I am reflecting on life more and more.  The older you get the closer to death you get, its an inevitable part of life, and I accept that.  So that means, to me, to celebrate each moment of the day, even if you are at a low point in your life.  I am grateful to be an optimist because no matter how bad my day went, I always look forward to the next.  I always keep hope that I can help just one more animal, that I can comfort just one more person who needs comforting, as we are all in the same boat. 

‘True friends’ are people who stick by me no matter what. They are there in grief and all my moments of celebration, too. I lean on them. They don’t judge me; in fact, they allow me to be a fallible human with quirks, fears and all the stuff that makes me vulnerable and imperfect. They see my best and my worst, and they “like” me anyways!

Life brings challenges because I am a spiritual being living in a human form.  It’s not easy being human.  In fact, it’s very difficult at times. Just when I think I’m on track, as if out of nowhere, I feel uninspired or off course. What is that? My spirit knows what I need even if my mind doesn’t always agree because my ego is very convincing, otherwise. The big challenges are the ones that create DRAMA and force me to look closer at the aspects of my being that need fine tuning and character development.

I can choose peace and happiness over stress, moment to moment. Those who know me well know that I’ve had lots of practice doing this! I choose to be happy, no matter what’s going on in my life.
Life works itself out. The only problems that can’t be solved are the ones that kill you, and I haven’t had any of those yet. I know that the things that are most difficult make me more resilient. As long as I embrace change, and I don’t resist what is, everything works out fine.  I have learned to bounce. I value resiliency more than almost anything, and I define this as the ability to bounce back from adversity. It's also a blessing to see that circumstances don’t define me but rather reveal my true nature.

Thanks for listening.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

All Quiet on the Homefront!

I want to thank everyone who commented yesterday about thier concern for my safety after the recent events this past weekend.  All has remained calm since then.  I am now taking extra precaution as I drive down these city streets, and pull up to each of the locations that I feed at.  A friend in law enforcement also shared with me some good advice, which reiterated what I already do, but its good to be reminded, even in day to day living, and it pertains to us all.  Here is what she shared:

#1- If you see someone suspicious, like that individual was, keep driving and come back to that spot after another stop or two. Or pull over and just watch them. If they are up to no good, which that maggot was, he/she will fumble around and will turn around & attempt to see what you are doing. Also, and maybe most important, call the police anytime you see someone like that and say you see someone acting suspicious. At least then the scumbag will split when he sees police cars and know you are not screwing around, that you will call every single time you see something suspicious.

#2- Usually the majority of population will greet you back if you say hello. If they do not, do NOT shrug it off. Most criminals that plan on randomly victimizing people, will not exchange any words if you pass them. You don't have to be afraid of these people, just be prepared. Always, always have a plan. Always be able to see the route you took in (ie: the driveway, sidewalk you walked up, etc.) to see who may be approaching. Always have a means of defense (ie:pepper spray, car keys in your hand, hell buy a bat & bring it w/you!) Make plenty of noise- yelling, set the alarm off in your car if it has one, get one of those air horns- whatever will create a lot of noise. You want to wake everyone in that neighborhood up. Not sure what size pepper spray you have, but if you want a bigger one, just let me know. The bigger containers have a few more feet of range and obviously a lot more spray in them.

#3- If something like that happens again and you see him approaching, be on the defensive immediately. Start spraying & yelling before he gets anywhere near you because someone that is up at that hour, acting like that, isn't delivering newspapers or on their way to church.

Really really great advice.  I will be getting some pepper spray, for sure.

"Instead of complaining that the rosebush is full of thorns,
be happy that the thorn bush has roses.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Its a Mad Mad World

Life sure is crazy in the neighborhoods I feed cats in.  I had a scare each morning this weekend.  I have to reiterate the fact that I would like nothing better than to know that there aren't starving and in need cats on the streets in these neighborhoods, and that I wouldn't have to subject my self to unnecessary danger - unnecessary because there is danger enough in daily living, i.e. driving a car, other crazies, etc., and I would like nothing better than to not have to get out of bed every single morning of my life at 4 am. and brave the outdoor elements and stop at 16 different locations and get out and place food and water down for the waiting cats.  But waiting they are, and I couldn't in all good conscience stop feeding them.  Not on my clock.  I know how hungry they are, and how much they depend on first the sound of my car, and second my voice, and third, for some, my gentle pet and pat.

I hope my mother isn't reading this today, because of the events that happened both mornings.  On Saturday, as I pulled up to one spot, I noticed a younger black man with a black hoodie and black pants walking toward me, on the sidewalk.  I got out, said goodmorning to him, as I always say to anyone that I see, and he sort of just kept walking without a word.  I went behind the house to place food and water down while the kitties sat there waiting, with my back to the open driveway, and then noticed the cats running away.  I finished quickly, turned around and saw this guy walking toward me toward up the driveway.  When I saw him he took off running, around the front of the house to the side, and gone.  I quickly went out to the front of the house and yelled something to him, like 'what the F are you doing?' but he was no where to be seen, I quickly dialed 911.  Now, I know that what I do - I take my own life into my own hands doing this.  And I know that what he did was not a punishable offense, but he for sure wasn't coming around the back to say hello to me.  I was shaken by this.  I sat and waited for the cops, and when they did finally come by, I told them the same thing, and they were going to have a look for him regardless.  OK, fine.  So my plan was to leave a half hour later the next morning so that it would be lighter out when I made this stop.

On Sunday, at one of my stops, at which I have never had any trouble, I started to get back into the car after placing food and water down, I heard a loud noise, indescribable, and the next thing I heard glass breaking, and then saw a person hurling headfirst out the glass door on the porch to my right.  I couldn't believe what was happening in front of my eyes.   Did she jump through the door, or was she pushed?  I then saw a  woman get up, run down the steps to the street, turn and run toward my car, run right past my car, jumped into another car, and sped off.   I immediately called 911, and my body shook, my stomach in a knot.  I kept waiting for someone else to come out, as I saw a television glow flickering in the downstairs apartment.  I must have waited for five minutes with no cop in sight, so took off to continue my rounds, until 10 minutes later 911 called me and asked me to go back as the cops were waiting for me.  I went back and this cop, very non-chalantly stated that this was normal, common, that sometimes these criminals are making a statement by breaking glass etc.  I told him there were people in the apartment upstairs that had heard it, and the cop said that no one reported this incident, which is apparently so common in these crime ridden neighborhoods.  He said he would knock on the door, but if no one answered, he couldnt' do anything.  He agreed with me that it was crazy what I saw, but said he has seen so much that it didn't surprise him.  The cop then thanked me for reporting it, and I wished him a good day and drove off, still shaken.

What is wrong with our society today?  Its a very scary world out there.  People just don't care anymore.

(Update from yesterday:  I rescued another two kitties and they are going to Lollipop this morning for eventual adoption!  My friend from Lollipop advised me that they are still low on cats - thank God, and I could bring in a few more.  Meet Gus, from Second, who reminds me so much of my beloved Boris, who is up in kitty heaven, because of his coat.  Very wirey, but this is one sweet sweet boy that survived the brutal winter living in a plastic tote shelter on a porch.  I am so happy he was waiting for me this morning.   The second rescue is Brady, from Stout.  This sweet black kitty runs to me each morning, and competes for his food with another not so friendly black kitty, and a very shy red one.  It was his time.  He is going to make a wonderful companion for someone!)  Yay!!!



Friday, April 12, 2013


"The world is a dangerous place, not because of those that do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing."

Its a deluge out there this morning, and cold.  It was 35 degrees.  I changed a lot of wet towels yesterday, this morning, and will have to do it again tomorrow.  My poor washing machine.  I wonder when spring will ever get here.  I did, however, feed a lot of hungry little babies. 

Of note, I see an average of two cats now at each of my 16 spots.  I skip two spots on Parsells every other day because there is still food there, except when it rains, as the towels become wet, and I want the cats to have some small window of comfort when they come eat in the morning.  I know, call me crazy.  At Sixth, where the owner has removed the shelters I had on the porch as he is getting ready to fix the place up for either sale or rent, I am placing bowls on the side of the house on the driveway, and have a board leaning against the house to shield the rain.  There are about five cats waiting for me to leave from here each morning.  At Baldwin, there is a very very sweet white (yet very dirty) adult cat that greets me, and I would like to get him adopted.   He is obviously a stray, and needs a home.  There is another   young red one on Webster.  He is shy, but will come close enough to sniff my hand when I extend it toward him.  On Second, there is a very sweet grey kitty, that has always reminded me of my Barney, who passed last year, he has the same wirey type of fur, and he lives in a box on a porch.  He comes out of his cocoon each morning dry and warm, but craving a pet and scratch.  I need to find him a home also.  At each of my locations there are cats watching in the shadows, waiting for me to leave them food. 

I have a few updates - one from Michelle, who took in Red (Angel) and Lucy from Second.  It hurts me to say it, but this didn't work out well.  I have successfully relocated cats to two different barn situations in the past and both have worked out beautifully.  Somehow, Red got out a window at one of the stables at the Fingerlakes Race Track.  He has been seen, the food is being eaten, but Lucy is also gone, and has not been seen.  I am heartsick over this.  Its a situation where I wish I had just left them where they were.  I pray they are not scared and have lost their way.  I pray they come around. 

At the other barn situation, where Stanley, Sylvester and Sadie went to, they are thriving, except Sadie is now pregnant.  She is the beautiful Siamese little girl that I was convinced was spayed.  I had fed them all on Parsells for so long, and she never got pregnant.  I am not sure who the father is, because both of the boys I know for a fact are neutered.  Mary Ann will keep a close eye, and let me know when she gives birth.  She advised she would be bringing the kittens to Lollipop unless homes can be found, along with Sadie, to be spayed.  I feel terrible about that.  She is really a gorgeous kitty, and will have really beautiful kittens. 

Another of my recent rescue's from Central Park, Harold, is still holding his own.  His 'mom' is giving it all she's got.  Here is the latest:     "He is doing okay...     great in some regards and not so hot in others.  He seems to be very comfortable and "at home"...   he still does not like to get up on the bed or couch or our laps.  As much as he loves being petted and scratched, he won't get up on anything to get attention...   we have to sit on the floor with him.  Still eating and litterboxing like a rock star...   very at ease with Brady...  at one point over school break, there were 5 kids here and he let them all pet him at the same time.  He can be a tiny bit skittish with Billy, but not outright scared or anything.  We did manage to block of the crawlspace from the inside, so he can't get in there and hide all day anymore.  However...   he finds little cracks and crevices to wedge himself into.  One day, he was under Brady's bed way back in the corner...   just sleeping...   Another day, we literally lost him for about 8 hours.  We had shut Brady's door at that point (because we didn't want him hiding; we wanted him out and about) and the crawlspace was blocked...   we searched EVERYWHERE and were freaking out...   then, all of a sudden, I turned around and there he was.  We still don't know where he came from.  He goes under our bed now...   it's not in a corner like Brady's, but he still hides under there.  He just does not like being out during the day.  He usually emerges anywhere between 7 and 9pm...  hangs out, follows us around, we play with him...   We go to bed anywhere from 10 to midnight and he is usually fine (and quiet) then.  But, about 2 or 3 in the morning, he starts meowing and wandering around.  That goes on until about 6 or so, when I get up.  He is out and about until 8 or 9, then disappears again.  I am gone until 2 most days, and Billy is in and out all day.  Harold rarely comes out when we are home...   he did come out today around 3 for half an hour or so...  then back to wherever his hiding place is.  He looks out the windows occasionally....   I think I have mentioned that we have 2 sliding glass doors in different areas of the house, and he could care less about them.  We have a large bay window with a wide ledge that he sits on now and then...  not much interest there either.  The window in the bathroom that he was isolated in is still open (just the storm is down and I have a towel on the sill) and he goes in there and sometimes jumps up there and sometimes doesn't...   we have had other windows in the house open with the warmer weather, and he doesn't seem to want to be up in them either.  He doesn't act like he wants to go out...  he's just not interested in much of anything.  He doesn't like (or maybe doesn't understand) the laser pointer...  is afraid of strings and things....   the only thing he seems to really love are his toy mice and fishies with catnip inside of them.  He and Chloe are getting along...  she hardly hisses at all anymore, and is back to being fine with us again too.  The whole meowing in the middle of the night thing is so odd...   it's not even like he is really looking for us...  we have been sleeping with the door closed, and he scratches at it and I ignore him...  he goes away after a few seconds, comes back in 5-10 minutes, and repeats that from about 2am to 6am.  But even in the morning when we are getting ready or having breakfast or just hanging around, he chirps and follows us, but it's not like he stays around us...  he gets a few seconds of attention and then he walks away from us and disappears and eventually comes back.  He is so friendly, but only to a certain extent...  it's weird.  I don't even feel like I am able to explain it properly.  I did buy the Feliway diffuser...   we will see how that works.  I just want him to sleep at night (so *I* can sleep at night) and be happy...   I don't think he is UNhappy, but it just seems like there is something missing in his life and we can't figure out what it is." 

If any of you have any more advice to give, we both would welcome it!  Have a GREAT weekend!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Home Sweet Home!

I am facing some personal challenges in my life these days, as I know we all do, some more than others, and as I got back onto the saddle this morning, as I was leaving my house to go feed in the hood after not having to do it for four days in a row, and with this weather being so miserable, still, the thought of having to do it all over again, to go out in the rain, pick up soaking towels, see the little faces of these sweet angels waiting for their morning meal, I felt this overwhelming sadness wash over me, and I thought, oh God, do I have to do this all over again...  and I did it, and it took me forever, one location, the owner of the home has opened his boarded up house and fixing it up to either rent or sell, and has removed all my sweet shelter I had on its porch for at least five cats through the winter, so I had to find a dry spot nearby and lay some bowls down and shelter those because of the rains we are having.  Once again, these cats 'homes' are disrupted and they have no place to go.  They are confused.  Its very sad for them when this happens.    The point I am making here is that on the way back home to get ready for tomorrow's feeding, and get ready to go to work, after seeing all the little babies I really did miss, and really did think about each morning, that sadness I had felt the hour and half before that had washed away.  I was thankful for the chance that morning to do it.  I was thankful that I could pick up a soaking wet towel and replace it with a dry one, I was thankful I could fill an empty dish with food and clean out a very dirty water bowl.  It just felt good.    So maybe if you are feeling down, call me, come help me, it might just give you the lift you need.  I know it did for me.  There is just something about feeding an empty belly, someone elses, that is just plain rewarding!

I was in San Diego this past weekend, where its always sunny, and the temperatures are always mild.  Everyone is beautiful there, and the prices of just about everything is outrageous.  I went for work and work it was.  I asked the locals about the homeless animal situation, and was told that there are for certain homeless cats in the poorer neighborhoods, but that there were a ton of rescue organizations and shelters, and I took some comfort with the fact that with the mild weather they have there, life on the street wasn't as dire as it is here in Rochester.  The highlight of my trip was a chance to hear John Legend speak at the conference I attended, and then to hear him play five tunes.  This man is awesome!

I will have some updates for you tomorrow!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Its a Girl! Its a Boy, No, Its ..... Super Cat!

Rare King Cheetah Cub

African Lion Cub

If you will recall, last fall I spotted four or five little baby kittens running around the Parsells/Grand/Baldwin streets area.  They were completely wild, and I had no hopes of getting them.  I never saw them after a couple of times.  I wound up making a little shelter under a tree bench in a vacant lot on the opposite corner of where I saw them, and fed there daily throughout the winter.  Laura, sometime in January, wound up getting two of the kittens there.  Meanwhile, she had them neutered/spayed, and returned one recently.  In the meantime, one of the little guys - I believe only three survived, and never see the mom throughout this entire winter - has been gaining trust in me, and now allows me to pick him up each morning and hold him, and scratch him, and I can hear him purr.  Laura mentioned recently that if I can get the little guy, she will take him as a companion to his sibling that she has.  I did it!  I got the little bugger this morning.  Cute as a button, but very scared.  Remember, these are feral cats.  They were born outdoors.  They lived there the first months of their lives.  Sad, but hopefully this has a happy ending for this little guy.  He's scared to death sitting on my porch in the carrier until Laura picks him up sometime today.  Hooray!

I received a note from Lollipop Farms yesterday with the following update on the only cat that had not been adopted from the last update I had received.  Talkie (aka Sunny) was one of the old timers I rescued and brought to Lollipop in the last sweep, and turns out that Talkie had a microchip and had actually been brought in one other time.  The 'owner' was contacted and they legally have to give some time before they can adopt out the cat, and finally that time period was over, Talkie was shown, and was adopted!  Here is what my friend at LF says:

"Just writing with a final update! Sunny (who turned out to be a BOY!) was adopted a little while ago by someone who is bringing him to Massachusetts! Even our clinic staff thought he was a girl for the longest time... so weird!"

Too funny.  I guess I need to go back and take an anatomy course.  Thats like the third time I got the sex of a cat mixed up!

I heard from Harold's 'mom', however long she may be, and I will let you judge for yourself, and PLEASE throw in a few more bits of advice.  She is a good good person, trying to do the right thing.  I just wish Harold would cooperate!

"Let's see what the latest is...
Well, we haven't been around much during the day because of school vacation, and last night we stayed overnight at a local hotel, so poor Harold has been on his own quite a bit. I have been keeping the light in the basement crawlspace on during the day to see if that makes a difference... I could bring a radio and maybe a strobe light down there if it will keep him awake all day... ;)

I just got home around 10:00 tonight, and when I walked in the door, he came running from upstairs in a panic (he is still a little skittish) so at least I know he was making his nightly rounds. I followed him downstairs, sat on the floor with him for a few minutes, and then came upstairs to the office, and he followed me. He is laying on the floor right next to me, chirping away... and Chloe is sitting up on the desk growling at him (or maybe me... not sure). He gets up every few minutes... wanders around... comes back... Billy and Brady are away tonight, so I am going to close the door to my bedroom (Chloe will have to find someplace else to sleep!) and turn on a white noise machine so I can get some sleep... I will get out the laser pointer and try to tire him out a little bit first! The way our house is set up (it's a split level which I hate for many reasons, only one of which is trying to keep cats separated) makes it impossible to close him in any room other than the downstairs bathroom, which (as I mentioned in a previous email) worked for the first several nights and then he got sick of it and scratched and clawed to get out. Even if I could block off the basement (ground level where our family room is), that would prevent Chloe from getting down there where her litterbox is... and I really don't want to start relocating litterboxes! I wish I could give him his own room! I think that would solve everything!

I am going to look into the links that you copied below and see if I can figure anything else out... aren't cats supposed to sleep for 18 hours a day or something??? I really don't want to return him... I know you made that offer the day we picked him up, but I feel so horribly guilty... I just think we should have stuck with our original plan and taken a young female... but we didn't, so I am really trying to make the best of our 'mistake'. He is sweet... still a little jumpy and hasn't totally warmed up to Billy... and Chloe will just have to suck it up... I want to do the right thing but we shall see what happens... so he will be staying here for now!

Keep your fingers crossed for me! I'll let you know how things are going in a day or two.
Thank you for all the advice! Let's hope it works!"

This may be my last post for a while.  I am on vacation tomorrow, and then travelling, for work, for the next five days, and have to express my gratitude to Laura for taking most of my rounds in the morning.  She is a brave soul, not that at that time of the morning there is much to worry about.  Bravery comes in many forms, fear comes in many forms.  There is fear of darkness number one!  But the outcome of both is so gratifying.  To know you've fed the many cats out there that have no home, most that fear humans, but filling their bellies for at least a half a day is just so rewarding.  Summer is coming, along with the raccoons, who will gobble up the cat food, so its important that they get that one meal a day in the morning.   Until then, as they say, Godspeed!

"The tragedy of life is not so much what we suffer
but rather what we miss."

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


Thanks Everyone for your advice yesterday.  I have and will pass on more to the family, but have not heard back from them yet from my e-mail to them yesterday, offering as a last chance to take Harold back.  Will keep you posted!

The following was written by a friend the day after my birthday last week, after I had posted that someone had removed my shelter from their vacant house porch.  I thought it was clever (and he thinks he is too...  :)), and share with you.

It’s the day after your Birthday
And all thru the hood
Not a new kitty was seen
Not even the jerk’s

But the bowls were removed
And placed on the curb
Why would he do that
It makes us perturbed

Some people realize
And some people don’t
That the best part of life
Is caring for those who can’t for themselves

The next picture is of BUTTERS!  and his pal.  Butters was rescued by me and adopted several months later by a nice family who already shared their home with the kitty on the right, and several dogs.  After a rough first couple of weeks with Butters, they finally fell in love with him, and he obviously fell in love with his new sister, Lovey!  :)

Butters and Lovey

Butters and Lovey

Remember Pumpkin and Magic?  These two boysI rescued from Pennsylvania Street last July when they were barely two or three months old, along with their mom Vanessa, who I still have.  After months of caring for them, they were adopted out at five months old, to a woman whose husband wound up allergic, and she returned them about a month ago.  My house was overloaded and Pet Pride of NY, which is a wonderful no kill shelter in Victor run by a WONDERUL woman named Norma offered to take them in and get them adopted.  They would surely be seen more than in my possession.  After much heartbreak, I gave them up.  Jessica had just lost her beloved cat Gxir and was looking for another two to add to her family of now one kitty.  Within a day of giving up Pumpkin and Magic, she asked me if I had any kitties that would be suitable for her, and I thought immediately of Pumpkin and Magic at the shelter.  Jessica knew of the situation and didn't care, and went and adopted them both!  Well, they are settling in very nicely in their new home with Jessica and her mom Sharyn.  I feel like they are staying in the family by being adopted by these two wonderful women.  Thank you so much for loving them!  The following are a few excerpts of what Jess has to say about them:

"Oh my gosh are they cute!  So snuggly and sweet and gentle.  Magic is really coming out of his shell and is making more eye contact with me.  He now presses into my hand when I pet his head instead of ducking away.  I was a little concerned about that at the shelter, but he's like a different cat now, following me around.  I had a wonderful snuggle with him in bed with big, loud purrs (from him, not me!) and then he moved over and let Pumpkin get his snuggles, who curled up in front of me, his paws kneading my chest.  It's 10:15 pm and Sierra still hasn't figured out they're downstairs!  ha!  She's not the savviest of cats.  They have their blankies on the couch when I'm in bed with my door closed and litter boxes, etc.  Cross your fingers for me that Sierra won't be too mean and pee all over when she does find them.  I think she was enjoying being the only cat."

and later...

"Last night went very well.  Magic has really come out of his shell and seeks my attention now. He's like a different cat from the one I saw in the shelter yesterday. They have a love seat they slept on last night, each on his own pillow and blankie. They follow me around like puppies and like to watch the toilet flush. Haha! They're just little lovebugs and so gentle and sweet. And they left my stuff alone in my craft room last night! So far, anyway. We just love them!  If Sierra knows they're here, she hasn't let on."


"When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, "I used everything you gave me."