Wednesday, December 30, 2015

December 30th! Samantha J.!!!

CONGRATULATIONS to Samantha J.!  You are one of the very special folks who have helped me to help them.  I am talking about the 90+ kitties I feed on a daily basis in the 'hood in the Beechwood section of Rochester!~

This morning I had the pleasure of a friend tagging along with me to see what I do.  At the end of the journey, she said 'well it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be' because at most of the locations, only one cat showed its pretty face.  This is not the norm.  For some reason, the past two days, I have not seen my regulars - could it be because of the first snow fall?  Not sure, but lots of wet towels out there today.  Here we go again.  My washer, by the way, is now on its last leg.  Last year had to replace the dryer.  That's good to go.  The washer is ready to fall apart - literally, the sides of it are loose from the middle round thingy.  I lay towels down at some of my locations so that the cats can have some comfort eating rather than standing on ice, or in the snow, and then replace them the next day, which is why I have so much wash. 

My friend, who has a bad back, showed up in flip flops.  Flip flops right now are the only comfort for her, and I thought 'oh man, she is going to be walking on some pretty nasty ground' - I go behind a lot of houses, vacant and lived in, and fields where the shelters are set far back.   I step over dead rats half the time.  This isn't going to be pretty.  Sure enough, she slipped at one point.  She's ok (I hope), but it makes you realize, or it made me realize, that I can NEVER hurt myself.  How would the cats eat their one meal of the day?  I have to be extra careful out there, not only watching for the bad guys, but for the watching the ground I walk on.  Its very slippery, some of the wood porches I have to climb up to.  I still knock on wood each day that I go out.  Crazy.   But oh so grateful for her company today!

Is this the sweetest picture you've seen in a while?  :)  This is Nora, and her daughter Violet, who I adopted out to a wonderful family last week.  These kids never had a pet before, and now they have two!  They have been guests in my house since Sunday (Nora and Violet).  The family went to Quebec for a family visit, and I offered to catsit for them.  Its been fun having them back (even it if it was only three days since I had them) - Violet is still so tiny, but gobbling up a can of wet gravy food twice a day - still not eating dry.  I hope this changes for her soon.  I will miss them when they are gone.  Caught her and her momma this morning drinking out of the faucet. 

Do they not look identical, except for their size!  :)

I have the day off tomorrow, and hopefully can take the time to tell you about each of the 19 locations I go to every day and who is there.  I am updating this blog to show the cats that need rescuing and who is currently in foster care.  I snapped this pic this morning of a sweet little girl on Central and Third who desperately wants a home, and of course there is Parsley that I am just waiting for the right time to grab.

I reflect upon this past year with happiness and sadness, but mostly happiness.  I know I say this a lot, and it might sound like bragging, but I managed to take 80 cats off the streets of Rochester this past year, since the wicked months of last winter until this very week.  That does not include the poor angels I trapped and had to return to the streets.  Most of those were feral cats that would have had a hard time acclimating to a house.  And there aren’t many people with the time or patience to devote to turning a feral cat into a semi feral cat.  Those 80 cats – can you imagine – if cats could talk, and tell you how they feel, they would probably say ‘thank you’ over and over to their new families, and hopefully to me first.  I could not have done it without the individuals and families that gave these cats a chance in the first place. 

I’ve done this for so long, over 20 years now, and have never had the help I’ve received until two years ago when my friend Kristin suggested a fundraiser that raised money for me, and many people came along to support me.  And those people told their friends, and now I have people that drop food off, or donate money to the clinic for the medical care for these cats, mostly for TNR.

Its true, this pursuit costs me over $40 ($40 x 365 days = $14,600) a day now feeding so many cats, and that amount does not include vetting, but with the donations I received, I was covered for about half the year.  The other half is straight out of my always empty pocket.   But that’s OK, this is the life I’ve chosen.  Do I wish I didn’t do this, ummm yes!    Do I wish there weren’t so many stray and homeless animals out there, yes.  I could have chosen to turn my back on these animals, to not look when I am driving down a city street – focus straight ahead and not see these pathetic little creatures peeking out from under a porch, or a bush.  Sometimes I wish I had done that so long ago, I would have been living in a nicer house, gone on vacations, just done more for myself.  But once I saw that first feral colony on First and Bay Streets, I had to do something.  I was driven.  And there ya go!  Here I am today, half my life over, but oh so enriched knowing all the good I’ve done. 

Have a wonderful day!

"Today be thankful and think
how rich you are.
Your family is priceless,
your time is gold,
and your health is wealth"


  1. Your journey just keeps getting more and more amazing. You are averaging 80 cats rescued and adopted per year. I truly cannot imagine that there can be many other people that can match that ANYWHERE in the USA who are not a rescue group. You are simply astounding. I cannot wait to have a drink with you and celebrate this successful year!! And in 2016, the fundraiser will not be held outdoors in July so we all melt - so I am super excited to come up with something completely new and unique. Great work, my friend, great, great work!! - Kristin

    1. I completely agree with everything Kristin has stated above. You are one courageous and generous Trooper Janine! A big thank you from all the Kitties that are and have been fortunate enough to have crossed your path. Thank you Kristin for all you do also to help Janine help the Kitties. Happy Meow Year to all my fellow Cat lovers and please keep the Feed A Cat for X-Mas Campaign going throughout the Winter. We are making a big difference in these unfortunate Cats lives.

      Walt Simoni