Tuesday, October 21, 2014


"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us."  


Purina Weight Circles (on the sides of all Purina Brand Cat Food bags, including Kit'n'Kaboodle

Triple AAA Batteries

Wooden Boards

It is wet out there this morning.  I was soaked by the time I pulled up to the house after leaving it at 4:45 am., to stop at 15 different locations where I feed cats.  There weren’t many around – they don’t like the rain and, its supposed to go all day.  But I made the best of it - darting here, darting there.  At one of my spots, on Third and Central, I darted to the front porch where there are two little tote shelters, and dishes that are always empty waiting to be filled, and usually four cats here at this location waiting for me to fill them.  As I darted, I noticed something odd – a board covering/blocking the entryway – I thought, maybe the wind blew it down.  It would normally cover both little shelters.  As I went to move it, I peered over it and saw movement!  I shined my flashlight and sure enough, it was a person laying there.  Not only was I startled, but this young guy was doubly startled, obviously being woken out of a sound sleep with someone standing over him with a flashlight. I’ve come across homeless people before, sleeping, actually at this very same house, but on the back porch, so it didn’t completely shock me to see this.  I told him it was OK, but that he was sleeping at my cat feeding station!  I told him what I was doing, and what I did, in this area.  I asked him his name, he said Angel, and asked him why he wasn’t home sleeping.  He said he was trying to get into a shelter.  I asked him his age, he said 24.  I asked him if he was on drugs, he said no.  I said don’t you have family, he said yes, but they were having problems.  I said it can’t be that bad that you aren’t home sleeping, with them.   He started to hold his hand to his mouth, still obviously startled.  I asked him why he was holding his hand to his mouth, he said he was cold.  I asked him if he wanted a blanket, he said yes.  I gave him a Scooby Doo blanket, and asked him to leave it there, and to put the boards back the way they were.  My motherly instinct came out and I felt sorry for this kid.  He looked like a nice young boy.  I went to place food down at the back, and left.

I know, I am nosy.  I have a co-worker that says I should have been a detective.  I am very inquisitive.  I like to know everything.  Knowledge is power.  J

Here is an example of good community relations for the homeless/feral cats that I feed.  I wish I had this at all my locations.  There is a woman that lives on Grand Avenue, she is involved in the church that owns the property and has graciously allowed me to feed and shelter these cats that I feed, and she is employed by an inner city teen empowerment center, and she reached out to me early in the year when she left me a note where I feed to call her.  I did, she told me she feeds ferals at her house down the street, and tries to shelter them also.  She has had several neutered and spayed also. She asked if I could make the shelters  more presentable.  I've been trying, but need to continue to work on this.  Its hard to do this by yourself in the dark at 5:20 in the morning.  So I need a bit more help here.  I did call her and left a message to check an see if things looked ok, and she wrote me the following:

Evenin', Janine.  

Following up from our call.  

Two things...

(1)   I went over to check out the set up & it seems to be looking neater & more like a mini-hotel structure.  The lattice fence thing, though, isn't working.  (I'm sure you saw that it blew over).  I can see it all looking so much better once your friend completes the new structures.   
As far as the bench, I don't think it works as a structure without doing damage to it.  Already, where there was a board lying on it (I assume to keep the food dry underneath), there is damage to the finish.  With as much work as it took to make it look nice again, we were hoping to get a few years without having to refinish it.

(2)  We are having a block fall get-together in the park on this coming Saturday 10/25 (see attached flyer)​.  It would be great to meet you in person, if you'd want to come by.  We'll be taking a little time for people to go around & introduce themselves, & then a few of the neighbors will talk about what our hopes are for the block, why & how people can be empowered/involved, etc. 

I will include in my piece about the feral cats who live in the neighborhood & do a mini-education & celebrate the fact that you were able to spay/neuter & return 8 of them who are now our neighbors.  It would be great if you were there in person, if that works for you.

So... the ask:  needless to say, for Saturday, we'd really like that bench freed up, and would prefer that you find a way to integrate that shelter with the rest over in the corner by the fence permanently.  

I need to ask you to understand that many, maybe most of the people on our block have very little.  In fact, we will also be talking about slumlord activism because some of our neighbors are living in structures that are not worth their dignity.  I know very well that this is what you're trying to do for the kitties...  to give them shelter for the well-being of their physical survival, but also their dignity, sense of safety, community, etc.  (I just ordered some shelters so that my feral family have places to stay in my backyard since the shelter that got them through last winter is now closed off).

Having our little park, as simple as it is...  people in our neighborhood deserve to have something that looks nice & put together, something pretty to look at/sit in.  We are not bourgeois people who complain at every instance of litter or blemish.  But we have worked hard to have something NICE that we can feel proud of.  

We can definitely (I believe) do both...  have a pretty park AND be good neighbors to the neutered ferals.  I KNOW what you do is a great blessing and an arduous undertaking with stunning, beautiful commitment, and that you ARE trying to meet us halfway.  Thank you for that.  But we're really asking you to meet us also by finding an alternative to the bench.

I do hope you'll stop through on Saturday. My guess is that we'd do the "fellowship" part somewhere around 3:30/3:45pm, if that helps to know.

Thanks again so much, Janine.

I responded back that I would continue to try to fix up the space, and that I would be happy to attend the gathering this Saturday.  I told her I was not good at public speaking and told her that I had hoped she was not planning on me doing that.   I am reaching out here to see if any of my rescue friends, who are good  at public speaking, and educating people, would go with me.  I would so appreciate it.

One final note.  The photo at the top - my friend Deb makes these lovely little wool creatures and she can do any design you ask her to do.  Please see the picture to the right of the posts and click on that to purchase!   All proceeds are donated to animal causes.  She doesn't keep a dime.  Please help her out!  And me!  :)

Have a great day!

"My life shall touch a dozen lives
Before this day is done
Leave countless marks of good or ill,
E'er sets the evening sun.

This the wish I always wish,
The prayer I always pray;
Lord may my life help others lives 
It touches by the way." 


  1. Where is your BIG yellow raincoat? You need the kind that the crossing guards wear and they have hoods or hats like that too! We don't need you getting sick!!!

  2. Funny you say that... I don't OWN a big yellow raincoat, nor anything else that repels rain! I know, its pretty sad.

  3. A trick I learned about public speaking was to read what I had to say. Looking around above heads slightly. Answer questions the same way. I would lock up an could not even speak till using these tools. Careful out there hope ur using LED lights instead of Mag light. :)