Monday, November 25, 2013

Oh No! I Did it Again!!! & FIRE!!!

I thought I had seen it all.  Last year when I saw a body lying in the middle of the street on Grand Avenue I remember thinking that is going to be hard to beat. Well this morning I beat that one.

Right in the middle of two of my feeding places a house was on fire, smack dab in the middle of two of my spots.  It was not a small fire either. This one was big enough to have at least five fire trucks, police blocking off the streets and at least one ambulance. So many of these old houses were once grand residences in Rochester. Now they are in a poor state and all too often they are now falling victim to the hazards of fire.

My kitties were nowhere to be seen and who could blame them. The sight of this big house fire is enough to frighten me but for the cats it must be really horrifying. When I was there it was completely out of control and the police and firemen were just getting there. With the police blocking off the streets, I had to take a few detours to get to those feeding spots.

On Baldwin Street, after driving around the block, getting out amongst a dozen rescue vehicles, I left the food and water for the hiding cats, and spotted a man standing next to the lot watching all the action. I introduced myself and told him what I was doing.  He told me he was from Africa and lived there with his family at the house right next to the lot I feed in.  I cannot begin to imagine how he felt about it all. He told me his son woke him and said 'Daddy, theres a fire!"  

I am sure most of you have seen this story on the television news this morning and you will have heard reports of it on the radio news as you drive to work. Nothing can convey just how horrible these fires really are. Now I am home and I heard there were 8 people living in that house, 3 adults and 5 children. They are now without a place to live - they've lost their home and their possessions.  If the wind had been as bad as it was this past weekend, the homes next door would be experiencing the same thing. The shelters I have for the cats are OK but I don't know when they will come back if they come back at all.

Its a reminder that we are once again in the fire season. People have to heat their houses and with that goes the risk of fire. A quick word of thanks to the men of the Rochester Police Dept. They were busy blocking off the streets around this fire and a couple of times I found myself caught in their way. They were very polite and courteous to me. They could have been angry and really got in my face but they didn't. They just quietly directed me in the best way out.

On another note:   Some people might think I am stupid, and a lot of the times, when I think this, I convince myself that I am.  There is a cat on Second that I've been feeding for a long time now, and I thought she was pregnant, but then thought, no wait a minute, is she eartipped?  Or not?  You have to be in my shoes in the dark in the morning - its not always easy to spot a cat that's been eartipped.  Well, on Friday morning as I was placing food down, which she waits for each morning because she is so hungry, I felt her belly and could have sworn I felt the silhouette of a baby inside her.  I grabbed her by the scruff, walked her to the car, opened the carrier, placed her in, and she shot like a bolt of lightning out the back, where I hadn't noticed the latch was undone.  OK, so, I scold myself for not being careful, I go back behind the house to finish up feeding, and she comes back again!  So, I grabbed her by the scruff, walked her back to the car, and placed her in the carrier.  She did it again.  This time she ran down the street. I thought to myself, she will never trust me again, and I left there feeling horrible.  I thought, surely, she will have her babies after that traumatizing experience, and I could have prevented it.  I had someone lined up to take her too, and birth her babies.  OK, so next morning.  Cats must forget quickly, at least this one did, because sure enough, she comes sidling up to me again, and this time I placed her in the carrier knowing the latch in the back was secure, and she wasn't going anywhere!  Well, I brought her to Diane, who was waiting for her at 6 am.  Diane brought her down to a room, came back and said 'Janine, this cat is not pregnant, and she is eartipped!'.  I felt like a fool.  And in the light, I could see she was, but if you see this ear, because her ear was tipped so long ago, fur has grown over the cut part.  So, there!  :)

After an application of flea treatment, I placed her back in the carrier and said 'ok, I will return her to the street.'  Well, not five seconds out of the driveway, I thought 'I am NOT returning this sweet little girl back to the cold and misery that she  has been living in,  and I brought her home!  Can't believe I did it again.  And I named her Ruby!  Here she is! 

Ruby is the sweetest little girl.  After cowering in a corner, being in a house for the first time in a very long time, who knows if ever, she has learned how to use the litter box, and now waits for me to come in and rub her tummy.  I will be bringing her to the vet to see what her bulge might be, and have her tested, and if all goes well, she will be ready for adoption!  She is a very sweet little girl.  Please help spread the news!


  1. Ruby is so pretty Janine, unreal how you do this under all the obstacles, snow, rain Fire........what a hero. The ear tipping is often hard to notice, even on the kittys that we adopt and have inside, depends who does it I guess.... all ear tips are not created equal, be so much help if they were a certain "Lop off" for us to see easily in the dark early mornings when these kittys are active.

  2. Pretty girl! I can't believe she's already letting you rub her tummy. She definitely had a home at some point in her life.