Friday, October 31, 2014

BOO!

Happy Halloween Y'All!


Its a cold morning in Rochester, Halloween morning. Dark, and cold.  But they were all waiting for me, for their breakfast.  For a scratch here or there.  I have now earned the trust of three semi-feral cats at my first stop, where I have temporary shelters on a porch of a vacant house - actually a half house apartment.  I trapped the kitten a few weeks back, picture posted as well, and have not seen it since.  But I do see one other kitten there, along with two neutered/spayed adults I did a few months back.  They have never allowed me to come near them, but now they let me scratch their heads, as they gobble the food that will have to last them until the next morning..

I cat call for the remaining cats at the Stout/Grand location from the backyard of my second stop on Parsells, hoping they will hear, cross the street, go through back yards, and make this their new home, but no such luck yet, because when I turned the corner to place food down across the street for those remaining (Neck Wound Kitty, and the red and white kitty), the red kitty came from around the house, and ran to the spot across the street where I continue to leave a plate of food.

Two of my own brats, George and Rufus, wrestling this morning
Update on Blackie - After his 'rescue' from this miserable location, yesterday morning, he was transported to a friend's place in Branchport.  A long drive.  He was placed in a large crate, and is being provided plenty of  food, water, blankets, and whatever he will need to wait out his transition, which could take several weeks, so they advise you to do.  I have asked my friend Sandy to be sure to go out and talk to him constantly, as much as she can - she is retired and lives my dream, in the country, lots of land, beautiful home, and lots of little buildings on her property to care for cats.  I am lucky to have rekindled a once work relationship with her.  She has offered to take in more - and I have two special ones in mind.  I need to get them from Webster/Ferndale, where Webster was rescued from last week.  These are two very petite red and black kitties, and they have nothing there.  In fact, someone removed the plates I had there.  This is a cat hating street, and I need to get them out of there.  I am almost thinking Crazy Marilee is back to her shenanigans.


Blackie's new view, for now
In a happier note:

WEBSTER

Anticipation

Isn't that Carly Simon?  I love that song.  Its apropos for the update I received from my new friend who adopted Webster:

So I had to tell you today was a great breakthrough with Webster.  He  is such a great kitty and had no issues with moving in except I noticed one thing.
From the first day we brought him home he was happy to be held but he never purred.

This was only noticeable to me because all of my other cats purr like motorboats when being held, petted or when they are nervous.
I kept telling a silent Webster each day "I guess you lost your purr box buddy but not to worry we will find it together I promise".

Then came today.....breakthrough.......when I held and hugged him the 1st time this morning I heard lots of purring... I said yeah Webster you found your lost purr box what a beautiful sound!!!!
....and on and on it went!    :)


It warms my heart to know that these animals, for all the days they have roamed the streets, trying to survive another day, can still be loving little creatures if allowed.  Thank you to all of you who have ever adopted a cat that I rescued from the street.

And thank you to those who commented on my 'honor' yesterday.  It came on a day when my defense was low and beat to the ground,  after I had to listen to those horrible people screaming at me, getting in my face, trying to intimidate me, and hearing them tell me how much they hate cats!

Have a GREAT and SPOOKY day~!!!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Hear Ye!! Hear Ye!!


So, after a very emotional day, when I got home yesterday from work, I received the following in the mail:



Let me first say how grateful I am to Walt and Karon Simoni, who never give up trying to give me credit, and get some financial help for me.  They sometimes work tirelessly to get me credit that they feel I deserve.  Walt wrote to the Mayor about me, and they decided to honor his wishes, by honoring me in this way.  I told Walt, he is like a pit bull, when he makes up his mind about something, he goes for it and won’t let go!  So thanks guys, for your tireless efforts on my behalf!

Secondly, I truly am honored to be recognized, in this small way, by Mayor Lovely Warren.  I spoke with her communications director Grace, a ‘lovely’ woman by the way, with three cats of her own, and she had me pick the day (any day) that will be recognized as “Janine Wagner Day” in the City of Rochester.  There will be nothing done, of course, but I will look in the mirror when I wake that morning, and say Congrats to myself, and that will be that.  Oh, and my mother wants to have her boyfriend, Bob the Painter, frame it for me.

Thirdly, there are far many others that deserve this recognition more.  There are people out there who have TNR’d thousands of cats in their lifetime, and aren’t recognized in this way, so I share it with all of them.  They have made a huge impact on the city’s population of feral and homeless animals. 

I hope you are able to read it.  If you click on the picture, it will zoom in.  I cried reading it and couldn’t call anyone to read it over the phone because I wasn’t able to read it without crying.  I am such a sap.

This morning, my intentions were to trap Blackie, the most vulnerable of them all, on Stout.   Sure enough, there he was, having spend the entire night with no shelter or food.  He had been used to sleeping in this plastic tote for over a year at least, and it was ripped right from under him yesterday.  Can you imagine, when your world is turned upside down like that?  Think how a cat must feel.  Anyways, I grabbed him, placed him the large carrier I had, and whisked him away from that hellhole.  I did leave some food across the street under a tree, for Neck Wound Kitty or Red, whoever is left there, wondering where they will move to. 




I told Blackie he was going to have a whole new life in the country.  I know he is frightened to death, and I told myself i would never rehome a cat to a barn again after the last few heartbreaking situations, but this had to be done.  He had to be moved from there.  My friend and her husband are going to give him the best possible life he can have.   He will be in a large cage for a while, and then will have a little more freedom, until he knows where he is.  My intentions are to also bring the two remaining cats that are left on Webster and Ferndale, after Webster’s rescue last week.  They are a sweet little black girl and little red girl.  They have NO shelter there, and need to either find homes, or be brought out to live their lives with Blackie.  I will keep you all posted as this progresses.

So, that’s it in a nutshell.  Its been a really crazy, emotional week for me.  Phew.  Glad its almost over.  J


Have a great day!


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

UPDATE to today's post

So I get a call from the guy fixing up/buyer? of the property.   Nope.  Move my stuff or he is cutting it up.  I leave work, go there, get out of the car, and bam, in my face, two black guys screaming at me.  These kind of people, you cannot talk to.  THEN, after no reasoning whatsoever, the wife of one of the guys comes up, gets in my face, SCREAMING.  She then called the police, I called the police, waiting waiting waiting - I felt like we were in a boxing ring - she in one corner, me in the other.  The police pull up, listen to her side of the story first, I patiently waited on the side, tears streaming down my face earlier, but trying to keep my composure to speak rationally to the officer when its my turn.  Of course she was sweet as pie to the officer. She was a raging ______  /lunatic to me.

Bottom line, no more on their property, until I can get the NET officer, Garth Mitchell, to open the garage for me to get the rest of the homemade shelters that were boarded up inside there this past winter, where neck wound kitty has survived in, due to opening the boards slightly to allow these cats safe haven, especially in light of the harsh winter we had.

The people there today were the nastiest, no, not the nastiest - I overheard them saying "I hate cats, I'm allergic to them, etc."

My heart is broken for these cats.  I know that the orange cat will find its way somewhere, but the black cat is lost, innocent, and will be very confused.  I don't know what I should do.  HELP.




This is the only pathetic little spot in this world that this cat asked for to survive.  And its now been taken away from him.  This kind of mentality makes me sick.

Ale or Stout?








Stout.  Its amazing how I can go from sharing wonderful news, to sharing news that saddens my soul, deeply.  I pulled up to Stout and Grand this morning, and once again, after a month, all the stuff was piled to the curb (trash day).  I looked at little Blackie, who has known this to be his only safe haven, under the boarded up porch, for the two years - this boarded up house has been vacant.  He looked totally lost.  Not to mention Neck Wound Kitty, who has taken shelter in the boarded up garage, where I also  have shelters inside of.   I noticed people working inside the house on Saturday, after I had left the community gathering down the street, but I was on such a high from being with those wonderful people, that I just couldn't stop and get beat up by these people.  I knew they were not kind people to begin with, to trash what is obviously housing for animals in need.  I left a note on their door, put back what I could under the porch, and drove away with a very very heavy heart.  I looked around, there is no alternative, no other place to move this stuff.  I just don't know what I will do.  I will pray that they call me and have a change of heart after reading the materials I left for them, some literature from Alley Cat Allies about living with ferals, and the article about me.  These workers, or whoever they are, are obviously getting ready to rent the house again.  Its amazing how these cats can affect the way my day will go - and its always humans that cause this.  These cats, with their pathetic homeless lives, could live in decent places with shelters that we humans make up for them, but you have the heartless people that tear them down.  That's the sadness of it all.  Its an animal suffering, you're allowing an animal to suffer, don't you get it?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Good Stuff

Before I get on to today's post, I forgot to mention Mylene, a new friend of mine, who is very big into animal rescue - she does a LOT of trapping, and helps several rescue groups that need her.  I had requested last week someone to attend the community gathering on Grand and Baldwin with me, and since really no one responded, or was able to, I asked Mylene, and she didn't hesitate.  I was honored to have her there with me, to represent and defend the cats, if needed.  And it wasn't.  And we BOTH had a great time.  Thank you Mylene, for spending your precious time with me on a Saturday afternoon, for the kitties!



This kind of stuff makes me cry.  Happy cries!  This is from Webster's new mom, and photos she took with her sick child at home.  I am so grateful to be able to get these cats off the streets, and I am sure they are grateful to be saved.  :)

"He is doing great and a total keeper~
My husband accidentally did not close bathroom door all the way yesterday morning so he actually came out and went exploring.

He has not hid in bathroom since or wanted his carrier. He likes to explore and seems to love company does not like to be alone much,
He discovered our 3 season room and my bed and seems to like to explore and really likes the kids.
He is doing great with all the others only my one little guy Ron who has a Napoleon complex is still a little growly with him but he will come around.
I had them all eat some wet food together last night and so far he has been going in all the rooms with them and they seem to be getting used to each other.

My other daughter Callaway (Callie) is home sick today so I am going into work late when my husband can get home to watch her rest of day.
Webster is laying on her now keeping her company on the couch.

He LOVES cat toys which is so nice since he was on streets as I had one cat I took in who had no idea what a toy was or even how to climb up on a chair so I could tell he was treated badly at his last home. This little guy is very playful and loves to be comfy!

Thank you so much for rescuing him~ we just adore him."



And these words are always a good reminder from beloved Andy Rooney:

"I've learned.... That the best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person.

I've learned.... That when you're in love, it shows.

I've learned.... That just one person saying to me, "You've made my day!" makes my day.

I've learned.... That having a child fall asleep in your arms is one of the most peaceful feelings in the world.

I've learned.... That being kind is more important than being right.

I've learned.... That you should never say no to a gift from a child.

I've learned.... That I can always pray for someone when I don't have the strength to help him in some other way.

I've learned.... That no matter how serious your life requires you to be, everyone needs a friend to act goofy with.

I've learned.... That sometimes all a person needs is a hand to hold and a heart to understand.

I've learned.... That simple walks with my father around the block on summer nights when I was a child did wonders for me as an adult.

I've learned.... That life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.

I've learned.... That we should be glad God doesn't give us everything we ask for.

I've learned.... That money doesn't buy class.

I've learned.... That it's those small daily happenings that make life so spectacular.

I've learned... That under everyone's hard shell is someone who wants to be appreciated and loved.

I've learned.... That the Lord didn't do it all in one day. What makes me think I can?

I've learned.... That to ignore the facts does not change the facts.

I've learned.... That when you plan to get even with someone, you are only letting that person continue to hurt you.

I've learned.... That love, not time, heals all wounds.

I've learned.... That the easiest way for me to grow as a person is to surround myself with people smarter than I am.

I've learned.... That everyone you meet deserves to be greeted with a smile.

I've learned.... That there's nothing sweeter than sleeping with your babies and feeling their breath on your cheeks.

I've learned.... That no one is perfect until you fall in love with them.

I've learned.... That life is tough, but I'm tougher.

I've learned.... That opportunities are never lost; someone will take the ones you miss.

I've learned.... That when you harbor bitterness, happiness will dock elsewhere.

I've learned.... That I wish I could have told my Dad that I love him one more time before he passed away.

I've learned.... That one should keep his words both soft and tender, because tomorrow he may have to eat them.

I've learned.... That a smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.

I've learned.... That I can't choose how I feel, but I can choose what I do about it.

I've learned.... That when your newly born grandchild holds your little finger in his little fist, that you're hooked for life.

I've learned.... That everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you're climbing it.

I've learned ... That it is best to give advice in only two circumstances; when it is requested and when it is a life threatening situation.

I've learned.... That the less time I have to work with, the more things I get done."

- Andy Rooney -

Monday, October 27, 2014

Happy Monday! Today is a Beautiful Day!

ALERT:  I saw, and fed, a tailess purebred Siamese cat this morning on Central and Fifth - it had a pink diamond studded collar.  Please spread the word. I wish I had my camera, but who needs one with that description.  Maybe someone can find the owner, or an ad placed for it missing?

Last week I had the honor of being invited to a community gathering at one of my spots, where I have shelters for about eight cats that I feed each morning - and have been for at least two to three years now, rain, shine, blizzard, lightning, I am here each morning at 5 am, and these cats know me, they wait for me, and they are very hungry.  On Saturday, I had the honor to attend this community gathering, and I have to say, as nervous as I was about being around people that I had never met, and most of them disliking cats, I can't tell you how gratifying it was to me, and what a learning experience it was for me, to meet these kind folks.  Most of them are poor, but rich in personality and love.  Love for their neighborhood, for their children, and for their fellow man.  I said I would stay for half an hour, but was there for an hour and a half.  I fell in love with the children.  As you can see in one picture, some of them fell in love with me.  I sat with them and wrote down each of their names.  They loved that I was paying attention to them, and making each of them feel special in this small way.  DeMaria, Kimonis, Nyree, Leonis, Zyonna, Malike, and Devon, a 10th grader at Aquinas, who was already looking into out-of-state colleges.  I was so impressed with each and every one of these kids.  The family next door to the lot came over, they are from Somalia, and some of the kindest people I've met.  They see me out there most mornings, in the dark, feeding the kitties.

Every one was asked to go around in a circle and introduce themselves, and tell what they wanted for this community.  When it came time for me, I introduced myself as someone who comes in the cover of darkness each day, and feeds these cats, making sure they are not multiplying.  I told them how grateful I was to allow me to use their beautiful lot for this purpose.  I told them my goal was to end the suffering of these animals in this tiny corner of my world, their corner too.   And I thanked them for having me there.  I am grateful to Jennifer, who reached out to me to attend.  I left there with a new sense of spirit.




Baldwin and Grand Shelter

Good thing you can't zoom in here.  Not a great pic of me...  :)
On Saturday, I adopted out all three remaining kittens.  WOWOW!  AND, I adopted out the cat I rescued from Webster and Goodman on Friday morning, named him Webster, and a wonderful family came and got him, sight unseen.

WEBSTER - Lovin' life off the streets...

What great luck, eh?  My mother took little Henry, who she is 'fostering' (yea, right Mom),
Henry

and she loves him to pieces already, and another great couple, that Kristin referred to me, took little Roger and Patches.

Roger

Patches w/Sparkles in the background
They came there with the intention of adopting only Roger, but I convinced them how lonely Patches would be once Henry was gone in a few hours, and they took the bait.  I don't think they are regretting it.  They have sent me pics on my cell phone, but am waiting for everyone to send me pics on the computer, so I can share them here.  I am overwhelmed how lucky these animals are!   And I am less overwhelmed than I have been in a long time, kittenless.  As much as I love kittens, they are a handful.  I can concentrate on my own brood for a few minutes now.  :)  They missed their mama's attention!

"Everything happens for a reason, live it, love it, learn from it!  Make your smile change the word, but don't let the world
change your smile."

Friday, October 24, 2014

Another One Bites the Dust!

Hi Webster!


Meet Webster.  Webster was rescued from Webster and Ferndale this morning.  I have been very blessed, rescuing quite a few adult cats from the streets this past year, and finding them homes.  I am waiting for my friend to tally up how many so far, at last count back in August, it was over 40, and I am sure its gone up quite a bit since then.

I received a note from a total stranger yesterday who was interested in a cat, a cat that needed to be rescued, and she was willing to do it.  That’s a rarity.  J  This person originally received a picture of Sweet Pea from a friend of a girl who reads my blog and is on my e-mail list.  I’ve never met the girl originator either, but already know she’s a great girl from our years of correspondence.  Its amazing what the internet can do.  I hate it and I love it.  I told her about Sweet Pea being adopted, and offered Princess, the sweet little thing that met me every morning at 4th and Penn, and let me hold her in my lap each morning.  I have not seen her in a while, hoping she was picked up and is being loved by someone.  In the meantime, as embarrassed as I am admitting this, I’ve been feeding back at Ferndale and Webster at the house on the corner where the Spanish people lived, had allowed me to feed at their driveway, then told me I couldn’t it anymore.  They have moved, and the house is vacant. This is back in the day of crazy Merilee and the Devil Man.  If you will all recall from past posts.  If you ever want to read about it, type in those names in the search bar above.  Anyways, there is a sweet red, eartipped, a sweet black kitty, that I had fixed after she had obviously recently given birth, a month or so ago, and Webster, this guy.  He is the reason I originally started again because I had seen him on the side of the road as I was heading to the ‘back nine’, the second half of my feeding spots on the west side of Goodman.   So after explaining to this girl, telling her how I would love to find him a home because of how sweet he is, she said “I’ll take him!”

What a lucky boy!  He is very shy right now, won’t come out of his carrier, but sticks his head out the entire time I am with him, and lets me pet him, but still shy.  He will come around. He doesn’t know how lucky he has it!  His new mom will pick him up tomorrow.  HURRAY!  Another one off the street!

Someone mentioned straw vs. hay on yesterday’s post, and where to purchase it.  Here is what the experts say: 
 Straw and hay may look similar, but they’re very different when it comes to insulating your feral cat shelters.
Hay is used for animal feed—it draws and holds moisture, which you don’t want in your cat shelter.
Straw, the dry leftover stalks from harvested crops, repels moisture, making it ideal for keeping cats and other animals warm and comfy all winter long.
If you’re able to do a side by side comparison, the easiest way to tell whether you’re buying straw or hay is the price difference: while cost varies by region, hay should be two to three times more expensive than straw.
Straw is also usually tough, thick, lightweight, and yellow or golden in color, while hay is heavy and green. But hay comes in a number of varieties, so if you aren’t sure – ask the clerk!
So, where can you find straw? Check out these locations in your area to see if they carry straw for animal bedding:
  • Pet supply stores
  • Farm, livestock, or agricultural supply stores or catalogs
  • Garden centers
  • Try asking your veterinarian for local suppliers.
  • If you live in a farming community, ask your neighbors!
What do I do with it? Loosely pack the straw on the inside bottom of the shelter—filling the shelter to the quarter or halfway point—to insulate it. Hands down, straw makes the best bedding.
Caregivers’ tip: Straw usually comes in bales, but you only need a fraction of a bale to line your cat shelter. Consider sharing a bale with other caregivers or holding a shelter building event in your community. The good news is that, when cared for properly, straw can last decades. Store straw off the ground (for instance, on a wood pallet) and keep it dry by storing indoors.
On another great note – the girl that adopted Autumn last week, and renamed her Bonnie, is willing to foster some kittens.  She originally was going to foster the three I have presently – Roger, Henry and Patches, but they are hopefully going to be meet and greet kittens this weekend, so I’ve been holding off on handing them over to her.  Last minute yesterday, my friend Kristin told me about MORE kittens at this Roberts Wesleyan College situation, and told me about a six week old kitten, and two ten week old kittens that were still there, and living outside.  I asked Bonnie’s mother if she would be willing to foster them, and she said yes!!!  So, more kitten pictures coming, and more kittens needing adoption soon!  Spread the good word!  J

Have a GREAT day!

"Fight one more round. When your feet are so tired that you have to shuffle back to the center of the ring, fight one more round. When your arms are so tired that you can hardly lift your hands to come on guard, fight one more round. When your nose is bleeding and your eyes are black and you are so tired you wish your opponent would crack you one in the jaw and put you to sleep, fight one more round - remembering that the man who always fights one more round is never whipped."

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Gimme Shelter!



This morning was rather uneventful.  Yesterday, after picking up Claude, the kitty I had neutered at the clinic, I released him (and I forgot to get his picture!) when he was still a little groggy from the anesthesia, much to my dismay.  As you know, I have a hard time letting cats back out onto the streets, the ones that are sweet are much harder, but there aren’t enough homes for them, or I mean, there aren’t enough people to give them a chance!

He was there this morning, waiting on me, hungry.  As I walked up to the shelter in the back of the lot, shining my LED flashlight, I could see him come out of the plastic tote with straw in it, where he must have spent the night.  Its so awesome to see them use these shelters, but so sad at the same time.  He should be on someone’s bed at night.

The woman I met a while back, the one that volunteers at the food cupboard on Short Street on Saturdays, that was placing food down occasionally for the kitties at my shelter, unbeknownst to me, Nancy, continue to go along with me occasionally in the morning, to feed the many cats that I feed every single day…………….  Every……………………….  Single……………………………. Day……………………  J

Anyways, she lives in an apartment building on the corner of Goodman and East Main, right where you turn into the public market.  Each time she goes I have to pick her up.  Almost each time, I see a cat as I am driving from her building, in a parking lot of an old restaurant that used to be there, Charlies.  I’ve seen two different cats there now.  Each time, I get out of my car, and place a bowl of food and water down where they can see it, because they RUN and HIDE when they see me seeing them.  Nancy has told me she has gone back to check on the bowls during the day (she does not work), and has left food there for them also.  Today, as we drove to the first feeding spot, I asked her if she would consider placing a shelter behind her building for the winter for these cats.  She thought about it, and at the end of our ride, she said she will ask her landlord, who is a ‘nice man’, and even asked me if a certain closed off part of the building would be a good spot.  I told her yes, she would need some boards, and some plastic totes with straw, etc., but that it would be a good home for a cat that has nothing.  She agreed.  She will talk to her landlord.  I told her if every homeowner would place a shelter for an animal at their house, the world would be such a better place.  Take responsibility for JUST ONE ANIMAL!
 
Tuffy

Brady - RESCUED!

Here is some good information on sheltering cats from Alley Cat Allies:

Some colonies find shelter for themselves in a shed or under a building where their safety is uncertain. You might want to consider building a shelter for the cats. It can keep them safe from the elements and help you control their location and deter them from neighbors’ properties.
 A good size for a shelter is at least 2x3’ and at least 18” high. Larger shelters are not necessarily better, since heat disperses quickly, leaving the inside as cold as the outside. A space just big enough for three to five cats to huddle is best. Cats generally use shelters during winter months more than others. Consider size for transport in your vehicle to and from the colony site as well. Again, camouflage the shelter as much as possible using dark green or brown paint. Anything that stands out could be mistaken for trash and could bring unwanted attention to the cats.

  • Feral Cat Shelter Options Gallery
    Alley Cat Allies' list of shelter ideas, including shelters for sale, pulls from organizations and individuals all over the country and is sorted by ease of set-up.
  • Tips
    - Ask for scrap lumber from building supply stores or contractors, often available at little or no cost.
    - Place an ad asking for used dog houses. This can net several free shelters that, with minor improvements, can be made suitable for cats (usually insulation needs to be added and the door made smaller).
    - Host a shelter building party. Get together with other caregivers and/or your local feral cat organization’s supporters to build the houses together. Contact a local Boy or Girl Scout or other youth organization and ask interested youth to complete a service project to help build shelters.
  • Some things to keep in mind for your shelter

    Maintenance: Shelters should be checked regularly to ensure their optimum quality and function. When deciding what kind of shelter to use, remember that some of the low-cost suggestions will need to be checked and replaced more frequently than some of the more permanent and professionally built shelters.

    Doorway: Make sure that the door is only big enough for cats. The door should be 6-8" wide to keep out wildlife and larger predators. The opening should have a flap or an L-shaped entryway to keep cold air from blowing in. If neither option is possible, make sure the door faces away from prevailing winds or faces a wall. Some caregivers prefer shelters that have two doors so cats cannot be cornered.

    Protection from the Elements: You can ensure that the cats are protected by making shelters waterproof, windproof (especially in cold climates), and elevated off the ground. Discarded pallets from shipping firms or hardware, farm supplies, or pet stores are a good option for elevation. The space beneath the shelters should be blocked from drafts. Insulation is a good material to use.

    Bedding: Straw resists the wet and keeps a shelter warm, and is the best choice for insulation and bedding. Be sure to use straw—not hay—for feral cat shelters. Do NOT use blankets, carpeting, fake sheepskin, or any material that holds moisture. You can also use hardwood shavings (not cedar or pine), but keep in mind that softwood shavings are not suitable due to possible toxicity. Some caregivers in locations with long, cold winters use Mylar blankets as bedding. Mylar is a product that retains body heat. The generic term for Mylar is Polyester Film or Plastic Sheet. These sheets can be purchased from survival and outdoor stores as thermal safety blankets, or online at websites such as Amazon.com.

    Camouflage: Shelters should blend in with their surroundings so that they are not obtrusive to neighbors. Cover them with leaves or other brush or paint them a dark color. Moving shelters into wooded areas away from buildings, parking lots, and other high-traffic areas is also a good idea for cat safety and to avoid neighbor complaints.

    Deter Wildlife: Wildlife may decide to make their home in the shelters you provide for the cats. Reducing the shelter door to an opening 6” wide may solve this predicament. Do not use repellants because most of them will repel the cats as well. Some caregivers have resorted to providing additional shelters, accepting that some will be used by wildlife.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Happy Hump Day!

WISH LIST:

Tarps
Triple A Batteries
Wooden Boards
Cat Food (wet and dry)

As promised,here are some pictures of my last adoption Sparkles, in his new home, and with his new mom! He was one of the four kittens I rescued.  I still have three left everyone, spread the word! Sparkles was renamed Osiris.  I am not sure the meaning of the name, but I am sure it fits him!




Below is a picture of Sweetie, now named Lucy, in her new home.  Thanks Maria, my pasta queen, for sending me this latest picture.  I am so proud to see 'after' pictures of the babies I've rescued from the streets.  It makes me feel so good.


I had two spots at the clinic today for trap, neuter and return (TNR), and I headed out loaded with a trap, a carrier, and a pouch of tuna.  I set the trap at the last place I TNR's last week, on Parsells, hoping to get another of the three or four kittens there.  Remember, I got one of the kittens there last week, and I haven't seen that kitten since.  :(  I raced off to feed at the next spot, with the intention of racing back to the trap set.  I did, and trapped a kitty that I've already done before.  And no sign of the others.  I reset it again, knowing this cat would not go back in, but no luck when I returned again.  I went ahead and fed at my locations on the 'front nine', and headed to the 'back nine' to set the trap at Central and 5th, where there are a few leery 'customers' waiting for me each morning.  This is also where my intention was to grab one of the unneutered boys at that spot that trust me, and shove it into the carrier.  I set the trap, raced off to the next spot (where my homeless friend from yesterday was sleeping - no sign of him this morning!), and raced back to see what I had in the trap, and I had Tippy Toe in the trap, a long haired beauty that has already long been neutered.  Brat.  I opened the trap door, he meandered out slowly, and I knew I would have no luck with the rest.  Sure enough, Claude, a black and white cat with funny ears came sidling up to me, and I grabbed him and shoved him into the carrier.  So, scared Claude will be neutered today (yes, I did check 'back there' before I picked him up).   I called the clinic to let them know I could not fill the other spot I had, as hard as I tried!

A friend Carol donated some wooden doors she found on the side of a road, and I've been putting them to good use.  The shelter on Short that was disassembled last week needed to be rebuilt in the other lot next door, and I brought a second door there this morning, along with a small tarp to cover.  But its not good enough.  The shelter I mean.   I am not doing well rebuilding these myself. I need more tarps, either small or large.  I need heavy bricks or concrete blocks to hold these down in the ferocious winds we get all year round.  Rochester really has its share of storms - wind, snow, we get it all, and we get them a lot!

I had a person contact me yesterday about adopting one of the kittens, and I was going to bring the kittens over to their house after work yesterday for her to pick one, or two (she was interested in Patches along with a male) out, and for some reason, I just had a funny feeling.  I had not spoken to her, and we really hadnt had a conversation, either by phone or e-mail, so I didn't know much about this person.  I asked her to call me at work, which she did, and she did seem very pleasant.  I told her my requirements, before bring them over, about not letting them outside, and no declawing.  She told me she had both her other cats declawed, and would most likely declaw the kittens because the others 'had no defense without their nails' if they get into a scuffle, etc.  I told her, as nice as I could, that I couldn't allow the adoption.  Don't get me wrong, she seems like a very nice lady, but uneducated to the pain and suffering a declawed cat endures, not only during and after surgery, but for the rest of its natural life.  If you aren't familiar with this, please read:  www.declawing.com

So, I must continue to spread the word about these kittens, they need homes fast.  They are very bored in my small room that they remain in, and are very lonely.  Its hard for me to give them time and attention when I work full time, and have things to do after work!  

"There are those who dream and wish,
and there are those who dream and work."

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Angel

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






MY WISH LIST:

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." 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Success!

Kingsley

If you go back to Thursdays post, you will see a cat named Kingsley who I TNR'd.  I let him back out on Thursday morning, and he was waiting for me on Friday morning, still as sweet as can be.  Well, Friday, I got a request that a kind couple, who have been making some awesome shelters for me, want to adopt him!  They instructed me to pick him up on my route Saturday morning – I did – he was there waiting for me, and I scooped him up, put him in my carrier, and back to the house we go!  He must have been VERY confused, but what a lucky guy, eh?  Another homeless cat off the street!
 
HENRY

ROGER

PATCHES

On another great note, Saturday a family came over to look at the four kittens I have, wanting to adopt one, and off they went with Sparkles.  I couldn’t be more happier.  I do wish they had taken two, but the girl that will actually have Sparkles has a condition that keeps her at home, so he will never lonely.  From the first reports, she is already in love with him.

Just this morning, I received an e-mail from another girl, who may be interested in adopting TWO more!  Fingers crossed!~ 

I was just telling a co-worker this morning – that makes nearly TWELVE kittens in a month – adopted!!  Remember the eight from Roberts Wesleyan College, and then the new four.  Pretty good I would say.  It will be nice to be kittenless for a while though, I have to say.  Even my friend Kristin, who had been nursing two baby kittens for the past several weeks, got both adopted this weekend!

This morning, as I drove around to all my spots, pouring water, food and patting a head or two here and there, I thought of a poem that I recently read – posted by Pet Pride of New York, a local no-kill shelter/adoption agency that has taken in a few of my kittens, who gave a public nod to me recently on Facebook on National Feral Cat day last week.  I thought of this this morning as I noticed many kitties on my route staying far enough away, until I drove away, to have their one and only meal  of the day.  Here is is:

I sit beneath the bushes as she fills my dish each day,
I only venture out to eat when she has gone away,
I know it will upset her when I turn away and hide,
As every day she tries her best to get me by her side.
I wish that I could let her know that I don’t want to run,
And hope that she will understand it’s nothing that She’s done.
I’d like to have her stroke me and pat my weary head,
But fear will overcome and I’ll run and hide instead.
For all the kindly people who feed the strays each day,
I pray the Lord will care for them as they have cared for me.


My heart was touched when I read this.  But sometimes, even feral cats will slowly become semi-feral, and then allow me to pet them.  I’ve had it happen over and over again, and its so gratifying to see the transformation from fear, to trust.

Another friend shared the following with me, which also was very endearing.  He could see my struggles that I deal with – the ones that I share on this blog – and its something I am sure is true for all of us, being human, getting older, and living in a harsh world:

You may see me struggle 
but you won't see me fall. 
Regardless if I'm weak or not 
I'm going to stand tall. 
Everyone says life is easy 
but truly living it is not.
Times get hard, 
people struggle
and constantly get put on the spot. 
I'm going to wear the biggest smile 
even though I want to cry. 
I'm going to fight to live 
even though I'm destined to die. 
And even though it's hard 
and I may struggle through it all. 
You may see me struggle...
but you will NEVER see me fall


I wish you all a great day!