Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Be Thankful

Butterscotch

Butterscotch - Oh, the indignity of it all!

"Why are you forcing me to pose for a picture Janine?"

I often think about not writing this blog - sometimes its hard to come up with something new and interesting, sometimes I ask for advice, and I don't get any - which makes me think that people aren't reading it, or don't want to bother.  Its odd, but since the news story aired, I have less people looking at this blog.  I thought it would be the other way around.  I do get down occasionally, I have so much on my plate, and sometimes feel unappreciated.  But that's just my own stuff.  There are others that I know are reading this, because they e-mail me personally, and comment there.  I thank them for that.  I drove home this morning just plain feeling sorry for myself, and sorry for these cats out there.  At each spot, as I get close, they can hear the rickety vehicle I pull up in, its making all sorts of noises as it gets closer to the 100,000 mile marker.  I have an average of 4 cats at each location, at each of the what....  15 spots?  And its taking me longer, and its not even snowing yet.  I left the house at 4:30 this morning, and didn't get back until 5:50.  I then have to rinse out my wet food containers - refill those, refill the 20 pounds of dry food into the bags, all ready for the next morning.  I then sit here and think of something to say, until its time to begin getting ready for work. 

Many folks have commented on shelters.  I thank you for your wise advice.  I've been sheltering these animals for years now, and its only the few spots that people trash my shelters year after year that I have trouble with rebuilding.  I try to make them as obscure to the eye as possible.  I have made many a shelters in the past, and lately have had a friend make them for me out of styrofoam, when we are lucky enough to find styrofoam, and with the plastic totes.   I was also donated two wooden huts, but those will need to be waterproofed first, although too late, they are out in the elements as we speak.  They were too clunky to remove and place back in the vehicle, so I just brought them to the areas where needed after sticking some straw in them.  I just don't have the time or energy lately to make things perfect.   Every shelter I have the openings face the east, because its a well known fact that not only do we get lake effect snow from the north, but we get most of our storms coming in from the west.  Rarely do we get storms from the east, or south, but we do occasionally.  And the reason why I ask for boards is so that I can place them against the openings, which helps to deter the wind and snow and rain from getting inside. I think my point in mentioning the shelters not being up to snuff for me is that most of the tarps I have are either too small, or are not weatherproof.  If they are too small, they won't cover the backs of the shelters so that when we get a big storm, and snow is coming from EVERY direction, there is not enough security from the tarp to hold the snow out.  Its complicated. You must come see them for yourself. This is also why I need bricks and concrete blocks, to hold the tarps down.  All survived the winds yesterday.  Nothing was too damaged.

I will leave this post with the following poem - I thank all of you who have supported me in one way or another - you have touched my life  - I simply could not do it without you.  I hope you know that.: 
Be Thankful
Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire,
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
Be thankful when you don’t know something
For it gives you the opportunity to learn.
Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations
Because they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be thankful for each new challenge
Because it will build your strength and character.
Be thankful for your mistakes
They will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you’re tired and weary
Because it means you’ve made a difference.
It is easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are
also thankful for the setbacks.
GRATITUDE can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles
and they can become your blessings.
Author Unknown

Monday, November 24, 2014

Batten the Hatches!



This is the kitty rescued by my friend Kristin from Roberts Wesleyan College, with help from the gentleman that resides on the property, and his sister.  Butterscotch was pretty feral, but with time and patience, he is slowly coming around.  He has to be the SWEETEST feral ever, because he snuggles so hard into my chest, neck and face, you would think he was terrified, but he is slowly coming around, as I walk him around the house, we talk to the other cats, we lay on the carpet and he rolls on his back. Yes, I offered to take him and get him socialized.  He reminds me of my deceased Cinnamon.  If anyone is looking for the most cuddliest cat ever, this is your guy.  Please consider, and spread the word.  Butterscotch is about eight months old and fully vetted. Better pictures coming.  





And lets not forget Lacey!  She is the pathetic looking pregnant female rescued from Second, that Nancy has taken in to foster.  She is a TRUE sweetheart.  Spread the word!

Very windy this morning, gusts reaching 50 mph is what they are predicting.  Thank God I had some cement blocks to use to place over the tarps that I placed over the shelters this weekend.  It was a rough morning on Sunday, it took nearly two hours to get some of my spots secured, and I still wasn't happy with them.  When the storms hit, the insides, where the food and water and shelter openings are, they will all be covered in snow.  Its nearly impossible to snowproof these spots.  I would love to have an architect come along sometime, and tell me what i am doing wrong.  Maybe I don't need an architect, just someone who can see this during the day, have a think about it, and come up with a better plan.  I don't know, but I will continue to build each spot up that needs improvement, and get it right.  In the meantime, the cats sit back and most likely are thinking "WTF is she doing, can she PLEASE just put the food down and leave, so that we can eat!!!"

If you will remember Nancy, the nice woman I met at my Short Street shelter, who volunteers at the food cupboard across the street on Saturdays...  she asked if she could ride along with me occassionally in the mornings, and has been on and off since.  She had her male cat fixed a few weeks back, and has a female that is not spayed yet, but will be.  Since she had this male cat fixed, he has been extra - lets say ...  'frisky', and has been aggressively 'romancing' the female ever since.  She is very frustrated, and I don't know what to tell her.  The female is not in heat, nor pregnant, so says Nancy, and will be spayed this week.  But we cannot figure out why this personality change that the cat has had.  Why is he so extra frisky.  Has anyone heard of this?  My cat friends out there??? Any advice you can give?

I will be getting some pictures of my spots for you this week.  Its also Thanksgiving week, and I have three days in a row off beginning Wednesday, and I am THRILLED!  Beyond belief.  Thanksgiving is about setting aside time to give thanks for one's blessings.  I went to mass yesterday, the service was at the Hochstein School of Music, and my friend Frank, who passed away a year ago, was remembered.  The pastor gave a beautiful sermon about giving thanks, and giving back to people in need.  The following verse was read:

Matthew 25:35-40 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’


Bottom line:  You don’t have to be rich to make a difference. Millions of ordinary people who you pass on the street every day--also gave to charity, for the sake of making the world a better place, one dollar at a time.

Whether you donate money or time, giving back is beneficial--and not just for the recipients.  “it’s better to give than to receive” is true after all.

The same holds true for animals in need.

Have a great day!!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Frustration

I left the house at 4:30 this morning, knowing it would take a bit of extra time to place two of the four pallets donated yesterday.  I didn't get home til after 6.  It was also 18 degrees out.  Very cold.  And snowing.  When I got to the location of Pennsylvania and 4th, Tuffy was there waiting.  As I began to tear down the shelters I have set up there, so that I could rebuild with the pallets (they are purposeful to get the board off the ground when the snow builds - the board is to place the food on).  I began to inspect some of the Styrofoam shelters built for me, and there was ice and water inside them with the straw.  I couldn't figure it out.  One theory is that warm air can't get out and condenses into water.  The shelters are so well insulated and we need to find a way to let that warm air out.  Any ideas?  Any brains out there?

I was extremely frustrated after leaving here, because there are 8-10 cats that wait for me each day, and I had thought they were using the shelters in the back all this time, and obviously they couldn't because the straw was soaked and frozen inside.  Secondly, its hard for me to design just the right set up of shelters.  I am just not brilliant enough to do it myself.  I do the best I can, but there must be a better way.  Needless to say, I was frustrated and heartbroken when I left there.  I still need to place the other two pallets down at Central and Fifth.  There is a lot of growling going on there, because these cats are territorial and don't want to be together.  So some freeze their tails off, others have shelter to go into.  I then need to place more shelters at these locations, but I only have room in my vehicle for either two pallets, or two shelters.  So it takes me days to build up at these locations.  Again, extremely frustrating for me.  OK, I think you get the picture.  I was frustrated!  :)

On a happier note, if you will recall Colton, the little boy who was mocked and bullied for trying to save an injured squirrell (see several past posts - remember you can use the search bar above to find anything related to what you type in - and remember you can click on pictures and they get larger)... below is a picture of what the cafeteria lady gave to him this week.


Such a great story, and such a great way to end this post today.

Have a GREAT day!

Welcoming The New Day
 
While spotting the morning star
welcome dawn with a smile
let your gaze roam along
the pink tinted horizon
embrace the sky and the earth
and whisper softly "I love you".
Then watch the glowing light
of the new day expanding
and hear the answer vibrating
deep within your heart:
"I love you too!"
and one more:
 
"This is the beginning of a new day. You have been given this day to use as you will. You can waste it or use it for good. What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it. When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever; in its place is something that you have left behind...let it be something good." 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

T'hursday Thrills







We had about 2-3 inches overnight, and it was falling pretty heavily when I went out this morning.  Luckily, no wind.  Leaving for work an hour later, no snow falling, but windy.  Funny how it can change in the blink of an eye.  I was watching the news of the weather over yonder in Buffalo, and they actually filmed and recorded lightning and thunder last night, all in the midst of the snow careening down.  CRAZY.

I placed a few shelters this morning, and noticed a cat that I suspect is pregnant.  She was trying to escape from me on a porch with a slotted railing.  She was trying to get her belly through, and could just, barely.  I have a spot at the clinic next Wednesday, just what I want to do, ha.  Its hard to trap at this time of year, for me at least, especially with so much snow already.  So I will try to get her first, and if not, one of the unneutered boys hanging around on Central.  I need pallets and I need boards.  I use the pallets to get the plastic totes off the ground.  They are also good to lift the bottom of a feeding station off the ground.  Its hard for me to kneel, and bend, and try to get the plates and bowls inside in some of these spots.  If we got a significant snowfall, the low openings to the totes will be covered in snow. 

And then you have some of these cats, at these large colony locations, that are still waiting to be fed on the snow covered porches.  Like Tuffy.  He is waiting usually at Pennsylvania and 4th.  I am trying to move them all to behind the house where I have placed some nice shelters with feeding area in between, with a board and tarp covering it, and some of them are taking the hint, but some of them aren’t.  This morning I left them with food on the porch, knowing it would be covered in snow in minutes if they didn’t eat fast enough.  Knowing the cats would be covered in snow also.  I don’t know how they do it.

My Boys, LEO and GEORGE
Above are more pictures of the shelters, and the snow, from days gone by…

And here is a good story/article about feral cats and winter:

Winter can be brutal in upstate New York, where temperatures in the single-digits are common. For animals living outside, sometimes even their fur coats aren't enough to keep them alive. No one is more aware of this than Audrey Kramer, a feral cat caretaker from Rochester.

How it began

There are many paths to becoming a feral cat caretaker. Audrey Kramer's path began on Mother's Day 10 years ago, when she found and carefully rounded up a litter of 4-week-old kittens living under her porch.
After she finally found a veterinarian willing to work with her, Kramer tried her hand at trapping the kittens' wild mother. She was elated when she heard the trap door close. Stray Mama's days of motherhood were happily ended when Kramer transported the cat to the veterinary hospital to be spayed, vaccinated, and ear-tipped. Following her recovery, the lucky cat was taken under the wing of an experienced feral cat caretaker who would continue to provide food, water, shelter, and care for as long as Stray Mama lived.

Helping ferals

Once Kramer became involved with feral cats, there was no stopping her. On her own time and dime, she trapped about 40 cats at a local dairy farm. She returned the spayed and neutered cats to the farm and set up feeding stations for them.
Although there was lots of straw in the barn for the cats to burrow into, Kramer also provided straw-filled shelters for those bitter winter nights. On one particular night, Kramer's heart melted when five cats climbed out of one small shelter to greet her.
Although Kramer moved away from the area, she still travels an hour each day to feed the remaining barn cats. If un-fixed cats show up at the farm, it's easier to help them now because there are several non-profit organizations in Rochester helping caretakers like Kramer.

Where are they now?

The four feisty kittens Kramer rescued from under her porch are all doing well. Although Kramer had no experience socializing feral kittens, she had help from her resident male cat, Pookie. He took a particular interest in the rambunctious kittens, regularly playing with them and grooming them. Much to Pookie's delight, Kramer kept two of the kittens, who she named Mac and Arthur. The two other kittens were adopted out, and, after all these years, Stray Mama continues to do well thanks to her dedicated caretaker.

What you can do to help feral cats

In addition to food, water, and shelter, feral cats need to be spayed and neutered so they don't continue to reproduce. You can make a difference. Thanks to many dedicated people and organizations, it's now easy to find assistance to help feral cats. Who knows where the path may take you?

"God hath not promised skies always blue, flower-strewn pathways, all our lives through; God hath not promised sun without rain, joy without sorrow, peace without pain.  But God hath promised strength for the day, rest for the labor, light for the way, grace for the trials, help from above, unfailing sympathy, undying love."

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Antartica?

He's been seen!!!  Now I do believe that Blackie is where he should be.  This is a picture of a cat I rescued from Stout and Grand, where I had been feeding and sheltering for years under a dilapidated porch of a dilapidated house that was now being renovated and eventually rented.  This all happened weeks ago, when my heart was broken by these very very mean people that threw my stuff out and told me to get off their property, that they didn't care about any cats, and we both wound up calling the police, them and me.  Heartbreaking day, as this was the only home Blackie, Neck Wound Kitty, and a few others had known for a couple of years.  When I brought him out to Branchport to a friend's place that has a type of barn shelter for him, I had also planned on getting a few others out there.  After a day of him being in a cage, which is what you do when you introduce a cat to a new location, he escaped and hadn't been seen in a long time.  My friend and her husband bought a web cam and he is now being seen, and using his new shelters and eating.  Living the good life there.  I am pleased.  I've had many heartbreaking situations in the past re-homing cats to barns - said I wouldn't do it again, and in this particular instance, I was devastated that he escaped before his adjustment period.  Blackie, please stay safe.  There are predators in the country that could get you.

Blackie from Stout
So I just looked up world temperatures, and the coldest temperature today on record in the world is in Toronto, with a whopping 14 degrees farenheit.  Guess what, Rochester is 15 degrees farenheit this morning.  Its FREEEEZING out there.  And the poor animals are feeling it.  I was disgusted when I discovered I didn't bring two of the shelters I had in the garage.  I wanted to place them at spots where there are more cats than shelters right now, and I forgot them.  I drove away sad.  They are hardly eating the food - there was still some in most of the bowls I filled yesterday.  Its so cold for them, they just want to burrow somewhere warm.  Its so pitiful.   My toes were frozen, time to put away the pink wellies and get the new weatherproof boots out.  I did bring straw this morning, and filled up a tote that had a dead crow inside it, and it was pretty disgusting, and torn up.  The poor animals on this corner, Ferndale and Webster, had no shelter to use while that bird was in it.  It almost looked like a cat huddled inside, but when I took a second look, sure enough, a big dead crow.

Another success story - do you all remember Candy?  I had been feeding her fopr what seems like years on Hayward, and rescued her in April for adoption by a wonderful couple in Pittsford.  Carol and Mike have both been huge advocates for me, and they adopted both Candy (now Greta), and Miss Abby, the black kitty I rescued around December pf last year.  I think Carol and Mike spoil their cats judging by the size of Greta now!  :)

CANDY - Before


CANDY - After
I met a man yesterday who wanted to donate to me after seeing the news piece on Sunday.  He lives near me, so I stopped over to meet him after work before going home.  His cats name is:  Princess Von Hurstbourne - The man lives on a street named Hurstbourne.  Apparently Princess is a stray that showed up at his house, or (can't remember the story exactly) was a kitten of a cat he and his neighbors have nicknamed Mother, who lives outside.  The neighbor has plastic totes for shelter for mother in her backyard.  I love it.  It everyone would do something like this, there would be less suffering in this world.  LOVE it.  He is a very interesting man, to say the least!

Since the newscast aired on Sunday, I've had five people contact me.  Half are going to drop food off on my porch.  As grateful as I am for the newscast, I do wish that it wasn't aired at 6 pm. on a Sunday night. I don't think the majority of the population was watching Channel 9 at 6 p.m. on Sunday night.  Weren't the Thats just my opinion.  But I am grateful for those five!  At least they will spread the word about the Beechwood kitties. There are just so many that need homes!

Have a great day!

“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.”


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Here We Go Again...

Sharing this.  Webster was rescued by me about a month ago from Webster and Ferndale, I knew he needed to get out of this neighborhood, and he was too sweet to be homeless.  He was already eartipped, one of the ones I had neutered/spayed in a massive sweep last year - and I had a sweet girl that offered to 'take any cat, one that desperately needs to be rescued'.  Well, this is one lucky cat.  His mom ADORES him, and he is living the life.  What a lucky boy my/her Webster is.  And she didn't even change his name!  :)  Success stories - aren't they great?

Webster this morning - cozied up by the fire
This morning.  Uggg.  Snow.  Bitter cold.  Whipping winds.  Slippery roads.  Its here again, winter.  And its not even winter yet.  I think our close friends to the west of us, Buffalo, are getting it worse, but we are feeling the effects of a cold blast throughout the nation.  Can you imagine living in the Dakotas?  Even Minnesota!

The poor babies were all out there this morning, enduring the snow coming down and the cold.  I did the best I could to tighten up their shelters - the first spot on Parsells, there are only totes on a porch.  The floor of the porch was covered in cold snow.  I grabbed one of the two small sheets of wood I had in the truck and placed it over two of the shelters, so that the snow didn't cover the food I poured for them.  Their little feet still having to stand in the cold snow to eat.  At my better shelters, I place towels down so that they have some comfort like that while they eat.  Some of the towels were frozen to the wood floor they eat on, so I had to peel those off this morning and replace dry towels. 

At one location on Second, behind Paul's house, I have a large igloo filled with straw, and a door as a lean to against the back of the house.  There is a tabby that lives behind this door, year round, and right now, she only lays on a rug I placed there this summer.  I am sure its cold for her.  She would rather be snuggled in straw so I have to tighten up that shelters also.  Its hard to do when its dark and when you are trying to be quiet at 5 in the morning.  Especially being alone, as I don't always have someone with me to help.

There are several locations where there just isn't enough shelter.  I have two locations where there are over eight cats at times.  At one on Central this morning, Mr. Skunk was inside the shelter - which consists of several totes making it a semi square, with a board underneath, and a board covering all those, with a tarp covering all that, weighed down by cement blocks.  The skunk was under here where I had to get the empty plates to fill.  Some of these cats are territorial and will chase away intruders that they don't want there, which means the other cats are hoping to eat somewhere, anywhere, so I lay down food by the tree by the road.  In a snowstorm, this will surely be covered in a matter of minutes.  Last year, I had a great shelter built by Kristin and her husband, and that was trashed.  This year, we will make the best of it, with the new shelter nestled in the back of the lot.  This is also where Elvis and Tippy Toes live - both needing adoption, both great cats.  If I could get them out of there, the others could make it their home, sheltered for the winter months.  The skunk?  I have no idea where he went as I was inches from where he was - he is either deskunked, or he knows me by now.  I have not been sprayed this year (there were a ton of skunks out this past summer), thank God.

My needs?  BOARDS.  All types and sizes.  PALLETS - I need just a few to get the boards that I place the food on up off the ground for when the snow rises.  SHELTERS - I thought I had enough, but there are just so many babies out there that need them.

These are pictures from past winters that show you how the boards are used. 








Any and all help I can get is appreciated!

Have a great day!

“I shall pass through this world but once. 
Any good therefore that I can do or any kindness 
that I can show to any human being, 
let me do it now.” 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Giving Thanks!

UPDATE!  I got the following from TWC:  

Hi Janine,

Here is a link for you to personally use for temporary access to our video reports online:


user name: twcaccess

Password:  templogin1434   will allow access through November 30.


I hope all is well with you.

Sincerely,

Ed


Ed Buttaccio

News Director, TWC News

LOVE this pic I captured yesterday - Scooter, George and Mary Jane!
Well, last night around 6 pm. I finally received the call from the reporter telling me that my story was on RNEWS that very second. There I was, in full glory.  The kitties were the stars though.  They managed to splice a full hour and half of taping me, and all the conversations I had with the photographer, and put it into a one minute video on the news.  At least the important stuff got out.  I pray I can get SOME attention for this journey - feeding the homeless and feral cats of Rochester.  Below is a link to the story with a video that I cannot access, so I am waiting to find out how I can so that we can all view it.   Apparently Time Warner does not let you watch their videos unless you are a subscriber, which I am, and pay dearly for too I might add!  :) So, bear with me, JUST NOW they advised they are making the correction, and will also provide me with password to the video.  Also, my e-mail address is misspelled in the article.  I hope that this gets corrected.  In case anyone reading this does not know my e-mail address, its Janinethebean10@yahoo.com.

http://rochester.twcnews.com/content/news/785897/local-woman-recognized-for-helping-stray-cats/

In the meantime, on Friday, on JANINE WAGNER DAY for the CITY OF ROCHESTER (ha ha), I had such an outpouring of love from friends, co-workers, and family.  I received a few checks, cards, some cat food (and even some pasta from the Pasta Queen!) was left on my porch or brought over by a few friends.  Thank you SO much for wanting to help me in my quest to feed these cats out there.  They are so hungry every day.  It was a special day on Friday, and I thank Walt again for his persistence in trying to get me recognized with the proclamation from the Mayor, and to Kristin for her persistence in trying to get me on the news.  A huge thank you to you both!!!


My friend Mary brought me the above - her husband Mike is a master carpenter, and has made a ton of these reindeer out of twigs and sticks.  Aren't they adorable?  He needs to start selling them!



Above is the latest rescue.  Butterscotch was brought to me by Kristin who needed to remove some cats from a neighbor's house, and I offered to take him because he is a real sweetheart.  Semi feral, but getting better each day.  That situation was a nightmare and we needed to get the cats out of the house there.  I know he looks mad in this picture, but Butterscotch is the sweetest animal I have ever known.  His purrer is the loudest!

I don't have a lot of time this morning, but if any new readers are checking this blog out, I urge you to go back a bit and read some more interesting stuff about what I do.   I sometimes don't have enough time to write on what the blog is intended for - the cats on the street, but its all related somehow.

Have a great day!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Taking a break today.

Have a nice day!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Open Mouth, Insert Foot


Speaking of the four cats that were brought to my neighbor who adopted Autumn the kitten a few weeks back, and who offered to foster more kittens, and who received four cats a week and half or so ago, the ones we now refer to as the Roberts Wesleyan College cats - I want to clarify that they were not 'dumped' on her.  My neighbor had offered to foster kittens, but these were older kittens and also feral, so I don't think she was prepared for the feral bit.  She thought she might get some nice and cuddly little kittens.  She had offered, and I should have used the word 'dumped'.  It was insensitive of me, and also insensitive to refer to the caretaker on the college's property as being mentally unstable.  I think things just got over his head, but what a caring heart on this man.  I believe we all make mistakes in the things we say at times in life, and we judge others too quickly.

Having kittens, or even older kittens, or even adult cats that you are fostering can be stressful, unless you are willing to put the time into getting them to trust you, and then introducing them to the rest of your own clan, so that you don't have to spend extra time with one group or another.  Sometimes, tempers, and blood pressure can flare when things aren't going as planned.  So, in the heat of the moment, I say things that might hurt or offend others, and I do apologize for that.  We all have the best intentions for cats that need our help, whether they are sweet and cuddly, or need a bit of help in socialization.  They cannot help that they were born outdoors, and only learned to trust one person who was caring for them (I am speaking of the Roberts Wesleyan College cats now), and then brought to another location where that person doesn't have the time, or the patience.  And that is due to a number of reasons also.  But bottom line, we have to be kind to all animals, including the humans!  And I used the wrong expression and didn't mean to hurt or offend anyone involved in this scenario.

Every once in a while, I screw up and offend someone.  Its true, we must choose our words carefully in every situation of our lives, because humans are sensitive.  I am overly sensitive myself, right Mom?   Its true. I don't always choose my words carefully enough.  So, please accept my truly sincere apology.



I would love to leave on the door the following, for the man that owns a dog that he has been breeding over and over and over again through the year that I've been feeding and sheltering cats on a vacant lot in the city.  Her body is pitiful and tired looking after all the litters she has had to endure - only to have her babies taken from her and sold.  I wonder if it would make a difference.

A Dog's Plea

Treat me kindly, my beloved friend, for no heart in all the world is more grateful for kindness than the loving heart of me.
Do not break my spirit with a stick, for though I might lick your hand between blows, your patience and understanding will more quickly teach me the things you would have me learn.
Speak to me often, for your voice is the world’s sweetest music, as you must know by the fierce wagging of my tail when the sound of your footstep falls upon my waiting ear.
Please take  me inside when it is cold and wet, for I am a domesticated animal, no longer accustomed to bitter elements. I ask no greater glory than the privilege of sitting at your feet beside the hearth.
Keep my pan filled with fresh water, for I cannot tell you when I suffer thirst.
Feed me clean food that I might stay well, to romp and play and do your bidding, to walk by your side and stand ready, willing and able to protect you with my life, should your life be in danger.
And, my friend, when I am very old, and I no longer enjoy good health, hearing and sight, do not make heroic efforts to keep me going. I am not having any fun.
Please see that my trusting life is taken gently so I may leave this Earth knowing with the last breath I draw that my fate was always
Have a nice day!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Mr. DeMille, I'm Ready For My Close Up



I had a news camera in my face all morning.  Yes, indeedy.  I did.  A nice - handsome I might add - guy named Scott from RNEWS (Channel 9 Time Warner) http://rochester.twcnews.com/ followed me all around this morning, filming, interviewing, watching, absorbing just what I do each day.  And the kitties were all out in full swing.  They were the stars!   Can't wait to see what they put together. I think they will have to splice one hour into one minute, not sure, but hopefully they will capture the plight of these animals.  Now, keep in mind, the winds were whipping, so my hair looked BAD, and Scott caught me in some unflattering positions, bending down trying to get bowls that were pushed back in their shelters for me to fill, with my big ole butt high in the air.  Oh man...  fifteen, even ten years ago I wouldn't have minded so much.  :)  So, if you catch the newscast (Friday at 6 pm.), don't look at me.  :)

I touched on a lot of good points for the interview.  Scott was not only touched by what he saw, but also blown away knowing the neighborhoods I feed in.  He said he's worked the overnight shift for 20 years and has covered many a homicides in that area.  He was blown away.  I told him that I was known by many around there as the cat lady, and that from homeless people, homeless cats, to drug dealers and prostitutes, and I had respect from most of them for what I do there.  Not to mention, 5 am. is a pretty quiet time in those areas!

On top of all that, I have two spots at the clinic this morning.  One female that I believe is pregnant, and a boy.  The female, Tuxie, is sort of feral, and she's been in my bathroom overnight.  She is actually handle able.  She will be going back to a girl who has been fostering all four cats that were 'dumped' on her a week or so ago, for her to foster and try to socialize her for adoption.  Its a long story, but it is one of the Robert's Wesleyan cats - this sis the same girl that recently adopted Autumn/Bonnie from me.  She will hold on to two of them  and the other two more feral will be gone today, someone is coming to get them, and they will go somewhere until their neuter/spay appointments next week.   The other two she is willing to work on, to socialize, and hopefully get them adopted.   

My question is - and believe me - I've read all the manuals about socializing feral cats/kittens.  My question is CAN it be done, even though they say it can't be after they get to a certain age.  I know it takes a lot of patience and a lot of time.  But what are some of the little things you can do to make a good start at it?

I took the time to grab one of them, and hold it for a long time, and gently talk to it, and pet it, and believe it or not, it began to purr, after it stopped shaking.  I know it can be done, with a lot of patience and a lot of love.  But in the meantime, when you have someone who is not willing, or make the time, what can you do? 

So, thats it in a nutshell.  Its getting colder out there, and it actually snowed a bit while out this morning.  I must get these poor animals off the streets, but in the meantime, I must get their shelters secure, so that they have somewhere to go to to get some rest, some sleep, some peace, some security.  There are just so many.

There will be times in your life when you have to choose between being loved and being respected. 

Always pick being respected. 

Love without respect is always fleeting…


but respect can grow into real lasting love

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

15 Seconds





If you had 15 seconds to talk to a news reporter, and what you say will be aired on a local television station, and you were being interviewed about homeless/feral cats, what would you say?

Someone reached out to a local news channel to do a story about me – trying to capitalize on the Proclamation given to me by Mayor Warren on the Janine Wagner Day in the City of Rochester on Friday, November 14th.  I believe they would want to know what I do with the city cats each day to warrant this. 


As you all know, I feed way over 60 cats each morning, with an average of five cats at each of the 15 spots I go to in the Beechwood section of Rochester, and you all know I try to give them shelter, and I do the best I can in getting them spayed and neutered, and I average about 60+ cats a year that I rescue and find homes for.  AND I do it all out of my own pocket.  I don’t get donations on a regular basis, so it does cost me an average of $$120 per week to feed these cats – I go through 20 pounds of dry food alone each day. 

How would you condense advice on what is needed to help with the plight of these homeless animals, and to control the overpopulation of them, what would you say?  Besides the obvious – spay and neuter!

My first thought was that the City of Rochester needs to educate the people that live in it – a commercial – yes, put the money into a commercial that will be aired on all channels, at all hours, with pictures of local cats, and shelters, and rescue groups, and phone numbers on who they can contact to help TNR (trap neuter return) the cats that are overpopulating their own neighborhoods, and how to build a shelter out a plastic tote for the winter months, and feeding them in their own backyards.  Something that simple.  IF everyone took care of this problem, their own problem, I wouldn’t have to do this.  Think of how many people this might reach, this might affect, in a positive way.

One other thing to touch on would be the following excerpt from the following website, shared with me this morning - this is so true of what I just went through on Garson and Stout - and there is still a cat waiting for me there each morning:

http://www.feralcatcaretakers.org/CareChall/CaretakersChallenges.html

Imagine that you are a caretaker and have been feeding and caring for a colony of 20 cats for the past five years in an undeveloped location somewhere in the city. You have devoted your time and resources to their survival and they are your passion and joy. All of a sudden, fences appear, places are boarded up and signs are posted that construction will begin on a certain date. Strangers and equipment are showing up daily and you know that the lives of the 20 beloved cats you have cared for so lovingly are now in jeopardy. The thought of them being homeless and destroyed or injured is beyond comprehension. You know, that you must fight for their survival and find a new place for them. But who can give a home to 20 feral cats? Property development and construction managers may tell you to "get rid of the cats or they will be destroyed during construction." You may have 30 days, if you are lucky. The feelings of vulnerability, fear and grief can overwhelm even the most experienced caretaker.

These destructive circumstances are prevalent in all our cities and occur daily. As the cries go out for help, there is little that can be done under the present confines of our laws and the scarcity of facilities available for feral cats and kittens. Currently, the caretaker and their feral cats have no rights and there are few safe places to take them. 

Feral cat sanctuaries are urgently needed as a safe destination. They can be established on modestly priced acreage away from the cities. The sanctuary would become the home for ferals that have no other place to welcome them and they could live out their lives in a safe and secure environment. The sanctuary could also serve as a center for workshops as well as educating the public and school children about the humane care of feral cats.

There is a pressing need for feral cat sanctuaries.

What would you say to the public, if given the chance? 


Monday, November 10, 2014

Now You See Me, Now You Don't

There are so many kitties that disappear under my scope - the two on Webster and Ferndale, both are neutered/spayed, I had one done just a month or two ago, she had recently just given birth - they've both disappeared.  There are new kitties I am pouring food for each morning there, they stay far in the distance, waiting for me to leave.   I have two shelters tucked away in a corner there, just because my heart goes out to these cats who have nothing.  But I can't make this spot more elaborate as its too open to the public, and this house is a vacant place, the Puerto Rican couple have moved out, for some reason. Its a very nice house though.  The people on this street hate cats - and this is also where Crazy Merilee lives, just a street over.  I am sure if she knew I was feeding the cats there again, she would destroy the shelters and trash the food.  Plus, she would call the NET office on me again.  She is nuts.  I was going to grab the two - one red, one black - and bring them out to my friend's house where I brought Blackie - but I haven't seen them now in nearly a week.  You have to wonder what has happened to these cats. 

Speaking of Blackie, now we see him!  Sandra reports:

"Fabulous news! I am sitting in my living room watching Blackie sitting on my back porch! As I told you, we have been putting bowls of food on the front and back porches along with fresh water. Tonight he was looking in the French doors in the back as I walked towards them with the food. He took off but not far because I filed the bowl, turned around and came in (after making kissy sounds) and when I turned around he was at the bowl. I am SO excited! !!!!  He's been out there for about 20 minutes now so I am hoping he considers this his home now.  I'm positive it was him! Very skittish. Ran away when he saw me watching him but came right back. I think he is hanging out with a large tiger that has been hanging around. Jim will have the house finished Monday or Tuesday and then we will be ready for a couple of more boarders!"

I feel such relief. 
Kristin called me yesterday and asked if I had a young, sweet, affectionate kitty available for adoption, and after racking my brain, thinking of all the sweethearts on the street, and knowing that they would take time for adjustment living in a home, some faster than others, I thought of Lacey, the pretty white kitty that was pregnant, and generally a hot mess when I rescued her, and is being fostered by Nancy.  So, fingers crossed this works out!  Lacey has turned into the most beautiful and affectionate of kitties.  Nancy promised to get a picture of her, so hopefully I will have one tomorrow.  Fingers crossed!

Patches and Roger

Roger and Patches
Lastly, little Roger and Patches, the kittens that were adopted together a few weeks ago, are doing wonderful in their new home.  What a wonderful feeling to know these angels are now in a good home, instead of a life on the street.

Have a great day!


 
 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Vacation!

From work.  Today.  Its never a day off from feeding the 60+ cats I feed every day though.   I wish.

My wish is that you scroll through past posts, click on the pictures so that you can see them full screen size, and think about those cats. They are sweet, they need homes, and winter is coming. 

Please, spread the word about these poor creatures.

Have a good day!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

You'd Be Surprised...

This picture below is of little Autumn, one of the kittens rescued from Roberts Wesleyan College , who's been adopted, and renamed Bonnie.  Her new mom shared this picture.  This is her first 'selfie' (or is that a photobomb by her canine brother?)  :)



Yes, you'd be surprised....

That I get over 3000 hits a day on this blog - someone has to be reading it, yet I get less than a handful of the same people who donate food to me on occasion, one regularly, like every other week.  Of that handful, a couple of folks call to donate money to the clinic occasionally for a cat to be spayed or neutered.  And of that handful, a few help me with plastic totes or other materials for shelters.

I am feeding over 60 cats every day - I go through 18-20 pounds of dry food - that's $10+ every single day.  That does not include the five yogurt large sized tubs of wet food that I feed each day to these hungry babies.  This is well over $100 a week - $400 a month, and the rest, you do the math.  This does not include the $50 for the spay neuter for the feral or homeless cats that I return to the streets the next morning.

Do I get discouraged?  Yes.  Do I sound like I am whining, or complaining?  Yes.  And I HATE for people to know I whine and complain.  But doing what I do is HARD.  To go out each morning, have all these cats run to you because after all these days/months/years, they begin to trust you, and come to 'love' you, and know you are to be trusted,  and then have to leave them there, to fight another day, its HARD.

I own a small house (well, the bank does) and have lived in it since 1994 or something like that, after my step dad passed away, and left me a small amount of money to afford a down payment.  My first house.  My dream was to live in it, my career to soar, my life to become bigger and better, and then I would move someday to my dream in the country, a country house.  Well, that never happened, my career did not soar, and I began to feed homeless cats in the city.  Not only that, but there were cats in my own sweet neighborhood that I noticed were homeless.  I've been feeding Annabelle for years now on my porch, have sheltered her through the winters, and I could never leave her.  I wait for the day that I don't feed the cats in the city anymore, and that Annabelle stops coming around, and maybe then, I can move on to something new. 

But until then, I continue to fight the fight, day after day after day.  I could really use some help, in every way possible (mentally too!  J) – please pick up a bag of cat food the next time you are at the store for the cats.  Please click on the DONATE button on the right of this blog, and donate what you can for the cats, please see my wish list on Amazon, for the cats.  Please share this blog, in hopes that someone will want a cat on the street that is waiting to be given a home, to be given a chance at a better life.  After all, its all for the cats.  It helps me to help them.  Thank you, and have a great day!

"I shall pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it for I shall not pass this way again."

UPDATE:  I just received a donation from AUSTRALIA!!!  Thank you Jennifer!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Scenes From the Dark Side

Updated on Blackie from Sandra:  Todays news, which made me feel A LOT better: All the wet food was gone and a lot of the dry. Something was in your cage again last night, because they dragged straw pieces in on their feet. But the best news is that a shelter that Jim made last year with the 2 plastic bin, insulation,etc., and had left out all last winter because we thought we had a stray but it had never been used, WAS USED LAST NIGHT!!!! The bedding inside was mashed down and was muddy with cat prints! That gives me more hope than anything! We weren't able to find the reliable trail cam that Jim wants to buy, so we may have to order it which will take a couple of days. I will keep you updated!



I LOVE PEANUT BUTTER!



PEANUT BUTTER (needs a home!  very sweet!!!!)

ELVIS IS IN THE HOUSE!!

ELVIS (needs a home!!!  very sweet!)

Pictures taken this morning of a few shelters and the many cats I encounter:


Pretty Girl on Webster I need to get off the streets, quick  (very sweet!)

Tippy Toes on Central

Pennsylvania (Tuffy in foreground, kitten in background)

Fluffernutter from Central (was on Pennsylvania this am)

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania

Central

Shelter on Central

"You've got to take the good with the bad, 
smile with the sad, love what you've got, 
and remember what you had. Always forgive, 
but never forget. Learn from mistakes, 
but never regret."

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Tap Tap Tap

Its funny how you get to know the sounds out in the darkness of the hood in the morning.  when i am on Second Street, behind Paul's, I always here a tap tap tap sound, and know immediately its coming from two houses down, where the bootlegger lives, and you know its someone wanting cigarettes, booze, or whatever they buy there all hours of the night.  On Seventh, I hear the rooster crowing.  On Webster, I hear the crying sound of the cats waiting for their food.

Not much to report today.  I came down with a nasty cold, and just plain don't feel well.  Not even in the mood for wine after work, which is when you know I really don't feel good.  :)

The kitties were out in full swing this morning, waiting for breakfast.  Its mild out today - maybe in the 50's when I was out - 4:45 am. to 5:50 am. - supposed to be in the 60s during the day.  It'll go downhill the remainder of the week, rain and cold.  I am trying my best to shelter these poor animals.  I have temporary set ups at two of my 16 locations.  Temporary because I don't know if the owners of the place will come by these vacant homes, and destroy them.  They ARE home, however, to the cats that are waiting for me at these locations.  I have made progress with the cats at the first place, they are trusting me more and more.  I am now seeing the mother of the two kittens that were born here - the kittens being about six months of age. I need to get mom and kitten spayed/neutered soon.  At this second temporary location, I was hoping to get the petite red and the petite black kitties into the same place I brought Blackie to.  But now I am second guessing that decision.

No word on Blackie.  My heart aches for him.

Have a good day.


"Not to hurt our humble brethren (the animals) is our first duty to them, but to stop there is not enough. We have a higher mission--to be of service to them whenever they require it... If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men."
        --Saint Francis of Assisi 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Dancin in the Dark

George says HI!

Midnight says HI!

Smokey aka FANG says HI!

Not much dancin, more like prancin.  Sunday morning, and this morning, I redesigned and secured a few of my spots/shelters.  My wish list?  TARPS, BOARDS of all sizes, and AAA BATTERIES.  The headlamp I use in the dark, I just changed the batteries two weeks ago, with DURACELL no less, and its already dim.  I have three of them, and they all are dim dim dim.  Batteries are expensive.  Tarps, I need the larger sized tarps, the darker the better, and boards, all sizes are needed.  I thank Carol for the doors she dropped of a few weeks ago, and even my roofer provided me with one of those big pieces of wood the roofers use.


I had my share of sadness this weekend.  Little Henry, or as my mother calls him Henry T (as in an old Ford car?) has been very ill the past five days or so.  My mother adoptrede him last weekend, and noticed the change in his behavior, lack of playing, eating, etc.  She finally broughtt him to vet and they did blood work, gave him fluids, and said it could be a viral thing and there’s not much more they can do except to monitor him.  We split THAT bill – being $187 – oh, they did give him a $44 shot of clavamox along with it.  On Sunday morning, Mom called to tell me Henry was running around the house like a madman that morning.  So, whatever he had, it finally eased up, and he is doing well, and scheduled for snip snip tomorrow at County Line.  J  We truly thought he was a goner though, each morning I would dread the early morning call from Mom to give me a progress report.  Thinking the worst....




Saturday morning, I was told that Blackie escaped his cage out in Branchport.  He’s been gone ever since.  I have such mixed feelings about this.  As much as you want to place these cats in more serene environments, more protected, more safe and secure, you wonder if you are doing the right thing.  So far, it has not turned out well for me with rehoming cats.  Sure, I do wish my friends had been more careful, but Blackie bolted out like lightning when they opened the cage to feed him.  I was numb on Saturday after I was told.  Its heartbreaking to know this little boy is completely lost out there – not knowing where he is, or never seeing his ‘companion’ cats again, nor me, with my kissing sound I made every morning for years since I’ve been feeding him.  They did say the next morning there were signs of the food being eaten, and they are securing the spot with extra straw bales, leaving the blankets in the open cage, calling for him.  But my heart is aching for him.  I will regret doing this, and the others, until the day I die.  Please say a prayer for Blackie.

Please don’t forget my wish list:

Food (wet and dry)
Tarps
Boards
AAA Batteries


Have a good day.



Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7