Winds were whipping out there today! I was prepared to have half my shelters blown away. But luckily only had to batten down a few tarps here and there.
For anyone that is not familiar with what I do – for the past 20+ years now, I’ve been getting up and going out into the cover of darkness at 4 am. to feed hungry homeless stray and feral cats in the Beechwood section of Rochester – its near the public market. I cover from Culver/Parsells, all the way down to Niagara Street, close to Portland. I have 16 shelters set up for cats that house an average of 5 – some more than that. One of my spots I’ve counted 15 cats, and there are not enough shelters there because they have, and will in the future, been taken away because they are on a house that has been vacant for some time. But these cats have nothing else, so I provide what I can for them at this location.
I go through nearly 30 pounds of dry food a day, and nearly 54 of the 5.5 oz. cans of wet food, EVERY DAY. Up until maybe three years ago, when I started having a fundraiser each year – and raised awareness to what I do, I did all of this myself out of my own pocket. I still do, but have had more drop offs of food, and donations from campaigns, like the Feed a Cat for Christmas campaign, that really help me out.
Each shelter has either plastic totes, or Styrofoam boxes painted dark brown or black so they are not so obvious, and pallets and boards and tarps to cover them. To see the little faces come out of these shelters in the morning makes me feel good. When the City removed and destroyed two of the shelter locations this past summer, I was devastated – for the cats. This was their only home. I have since rebuilt, but with all these shelters, they could be gone in an instant.
There is one location that is on the demolition list for 2017. The house could be gone tomorrow. I now need to start again, looking for a new spot right near there, so that I can try to get the cats over to it. I will need to build up a shelter, and it’s a lot of work doing it, and getting them to come to it. They will be so confused. Its terrible to lose a spot (feed and shelter area).
I also trap neuter and return cats to the street so that they won’t reproduce. I bring them to a clinic nearby. It costs me $65 per cat to do this. I hate doing this – to return a cat to the streets to fend for itself, but there aren’t enough people out there willing to help a cat. I also rescue those that I can. I think I’ve rescued at least 60 this year. Kristin, my friend, will have to help me with this total.
It’s a (dreaded) labor of love that I do this – I’ve sacrificed a lot in my life because of it – but I know they are hungry and waiting for me each day so I begrudgingly get up and go out, no matter what the weather, because they are on the clock! I sometimes have to bring a shovel to dig out their little huts out so that I can get in and pour food, empty a frozen ice bowl of water, pat a tiny head. I wish I had more like me, I could have some rest. But for now, with your encouragement and help with food donations, I carry on.
Here are the angels I've rescued recently that are needing a permanent home: (CLICK on Picture to see up close!)
|Mr. Fluffypants #2|
|Bacardi does not come with the human. :)|
|Peaches - does not come with a human toe|
They are all being fostered right now, but are all in desperate need for a permanent home. Please consider. Also, please consider foster for one of the angels out on the streets.
Have a GREAT day!
"You were given two ears and one mouth. This is because it is more important to listen than to speak. There is a difference between simply listening to people and listening with deep interest.
Listening with interest signifies that you really care. When listening to someone, keep eye contact and create mental pictures to help you remember the conversation. Ask this person for updates the next time you meet."
LOVE THESE DITTIES!