Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Rescuing Cats From the Streets of Rochester

Someone recently said something - something to the effect that the cats I trap and rescue aren't really 'my cats.' Take for instance Maryleigh.  The psychotic woman who lives in a house with God knows what is going on inside.  She screw bolts the doors when she goes inside, and screw bolts the door when she leaves the house.  She claims the cats that are hanging around her house to be her cats.  There are about 10-15 cats and they all look sick.  One that I witnessed last week had fur that was terribly matted, and missing patches of it.  Some looked pregnant, but they could have been full of worms.  Am I to believe that just because she claims they are 'hers', that they are actually hers?  In my opinion, no, they are not her cats.  If you are a responsible pet owner, you will do what you have to do to keep them healthy.  You will feed them, give them water, give them shelter, and most of all, you will get them the medical treatment they need to keep them healthy.  Which means spaying, neutering, and shots, at least once in their lifetime.  If I pick up a cat off the street - rescue it -  that I've been feeding consistently for days/weeks/months/years, and have given them the medical attention they need, I consider that my cat to do what I will with it.  Which is to get it adopted by a loving home.  

These cats face great danger.  Just this morning, I saw three new kittens.  Baby kittens. Two orange ones on Second Street - behind Paul's house, where I just rescued Cloe on Sunday morning.  By the way, Cloe has a puncture wound on her side, and on the exact opposite side is a large lump.  Both painful for her.  She will be going to the clinic today for shots, and have it looked at.  A large animal could have chomped on her.  Who knows.  Another baby kitten was sitting on steps at the boarded up house I feed at, and as soon as I pulled up, it ran across one lane, across a median, and across another lane to the other side.  A baby kitten. If a car was coming, it surely would have been killed. This is no way for an animal to live.  There is too much danger for them.  When I get a chance to grab one off the street, its a blessing.  For me and for them.


Scooter and Rufus Nose to Nose
If I find a pet in need, I will rescue them. There’s no way I can turn a blind eye.  A stray cat doesn’t understand you’re trying to help them, and a pet that’s been lost for a long time may be wary of humans or have aggressive tendencies resulting from their experience on the street. But when you find a stray that’s malnourished or injured, they need your help. A stray cat is not the same as a feral cat. The stray cat is one who is either lost or has been abandoned by someone. Lost pets are usually friendly, although how they react to us can depend on how long they’ve been lost and what sort of trauma has been associated with it. The cat who has been abused while lost can become aggressive or fearful, which makes rescuing them that much harder.  Feral cats are descendants of a once domesticated pet and have never had a home with humans. They are very wary of people and usually stay away from us.   They’ve learned how to fend for themselves, but most stray pets never get to that point and even feral cats can use a helping hand with food and shelter, especially during the winter months.

I guess my point is that when I find a cat like Hermie, the cat that had a large baseball sized hernia hanging from its belly for as long as I have ‘known’ it, and has not been treated for it, it doesn’t belong to Maryleigh or anyone else, EXCEPT for the person that has taken the time to get that cat medical attention, and treated to relieve its suffering.   And that would be me.  So I consider it my cat.  Not Maryleigh’s, or anyone else who lives on these streets where these cats are running wild, pregnant, and sick.  Hermie is doing well right now, eating and healing, learning to trust humans again.   I believe that when an animal in in captivity, learns what its like to have safe shelter, food, warmth and love, its cruelty to put them back out on the street.  That’s why I have such a hard time with TNR.  So I try not to interact with the ones that I have in my trap on my porch overnight.  It breaks my heart.  That’s why I have FOUR extra cats in my house right now.  I just can’t put them back.  They all deserve loving homes.  Skinny Minnie, Cammy, Cloe and Scooter.  And then there are the kittens!  Tootsie was adopted, and now there remains Cleo, Blu, Dot and Stripey.  They go to the clinic today for their first shots. 

Cammie - Rescued
I looked into Cammie’s eyes this morning and they said ‘thank you for saving me.  I was tired, cold, hungry and alone.  I am so happy now in this house, with you giving me love and care. ‘  I would do this again a million times just to see that look in their eyes.

Have a good day.

"If you want to touch the past, touch a rock.
If you want to touch the present, touch a flower.
If you want to touch the future, touch a life."


  1. I loved your post today Janine. It spoke volumes about the SOUL of what you are doing. I agree 100% about these cats being your cats. You are the only one caring for them and obviously a large number of them are abandoned pets not ferals. And thanks to you pulling kittens off the streets and TNRing there are a lot less ferals than there would be. I wish I could help you more by fostering but I am overloaded myself.
    I hope you are able to find a foster for those new kittens you saw this morning before they are killed. Ask and I hope you shall receive!! Keep up the great work!!!!

  2. Aww Cammie looks so happy! And I hope hernia kitty is finally going to get better!

  3. I thank you for all the cats who cannot. You are an angel.