Thursday, March 16, 2017

Wednesday & Thursday Mornings!

Objects in mirror appear larger than they are! :)
This shows you how it was Wednesday morning, knee deep
Wednesday morning was one of the hardest mornings I can remember in all the hours, days, years and decades I've been feeding and sheltering cats.  Two decades I started this crazy thing feeding cats behind Laraine's Lunch Basket on Culver and Main, and its grown beyond that to 16 locations in the Beechwood section of Rochester.  I now feed over 100 cats, that I can see, and count.  And let me tell you, Laraine was not a nice person.  She hated cats and she hated me.  It was not a pleasant experience from the get go, but I rescued so many cats that year, and from behind that restaurant.  I vowed never to eat there or get catering from there again.

I say ONE of the hardest mornings, but it is just that.  Just one of them.  I can't remember, that's the problem!  I do KNOW that I've had to face mornings like these before, maybe once a year?  Its winter, right?  We do get blizzards!  It was just extreme enough to forget all the others and gripe about this one.  Probably because it was brutal on my body this time. 

I got cortisone shots on both knees last week, and was walking like I was 18 again, until today.  I feel like I walked through - lets see...  3 feet of snow x 17 shelters = how many feet of snow?  It's a lot.  Many of my shelters are located at the back of very large lots in the city.  Even if the shelters were just beyond the sidewalk, you still have to climb through a momentous amount of snow from curb to sidewalk due to the plow coming by and hard packing the snow there.

Sadly, when I arrived at each spot, and buried my shovel in the snow to dig out the surrounding area of each shelter, I found snow pretty deep inside the shelters.  Most of my shelters are situated so that they are protected against the weather coming from the west, which is where most of our storms come from.  This time, most of the winds that were whipping throughout this storm were coming from the north, and sideways at that.  The boards, or tarps that sort of cover the entrances to the shelters inside just didn't do the trick.  Nor did I see footprints.  Nor did I see cats.  The food that was left on the plates were snow covered. 

I did the best I could, and will do it all over again tomorrow because we probably had another four to six inches come down after I left.  Which, by the way, I left my house at 3:30, and arrived home at 6:20 - A.M.  That was a tough morning.

I am hoping to see some little faces tomorrow, and dig a little more snow again, but I keep in mind that spring is just around the corner, and new challenges are ahead.  That's what keeps my determination going, the challenges to protect these cats.  I will continue the good fight, with whatever and whoever that may be to keep them safe.

Thursday morning:

I had a surprise this morning!  When I got out of bed at 3, I had a text waiting for me from a woman who recently adopted Callie and Princess.  She drove in from Walworth and was just around the corner, wanting to go with me on my rounds.  Half asleep, I scrambled to get myself situated, coffee going, and messaged her back to come on in.  Little did I know she wasn’t just around the corner, she was down the street, and down another street, fearing she’d get stuck on my road, which I can’t blame her!  I didn’t see a plow all day yesterday until evening.  In fact, a fireman got stuck in his car on my corner, if you can believe that.  He finally got unstuck, and still, no plows.  So, going to pick her up, I tried to prepare her has best as I could what she could expect on this morning ride with me.  I don’t think she knew quite what she was getting herself into. 

There is beauty out there too...
Ripples in the snow

Most people that read this blog really can’t picture exactly what I do.  They think I just drive around and plop food down for cats, but there is so much more to it than that.  The footage taken of me back in 2014 captures a tiny bit of the reality, at one location, with me trudging through snow, and so does a piece I think Time Warner news did a few years back in the wintertime.  But when you add that up to 17 locations, there really is a lot of work involved, and its methodical.  And when you are trapping, its 10xs harder.  And in a storm like the one we’ve had the past two days, it’s a nightmare.

So MaryEllen and I set out at 3:30 this morning, and it took me another three hours again to get to all my stops.  After the third stop, I told my sweet friend to just stay in the car – the conditions were worse than yesterday – the second stop was nearly waist deep and plodding through thick snow like that is rough.  My clothes were snow covered now and it was just the beginning of my route!  The winds were brutal yesterday and we had another six inches come down, at the very least.  I was grateful for her company.

I'm out of time complaining, but I will say this.  I barely saw any cats this morning, they’ve endured a lot and if I think it was hard to get through that snow to the shelters, can you imagine how it is/was for these creatures with their tiny little legs?

All I can say is, please spring, please show your pretty face to us.

Have a nice day.

“The sky is not my limit...I am.” 

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