Friday, April 28, 2017


VERY quiet out there today.  I continue to feed about 5-6 cats that I can see on Parsells, at the house next door, where under the bushes I placed two small Styrofoam shelters, a board under and a board over to cover the food dishes.  There is one black cat, a mess, that is so hungry he doesn't care if he is scared of me, he comes over anyways while I am pouring the food.  I don't believe he is neutered, no ear tip.  But I pet him even though his body lowers at my touch.  The younger red one with the white on his chest will also come while I am pouring the food.  I have not seen the older red, poor thing. There is a fluffy tabby that I know of, and I have not seen the fluffy red.

Today is the day Prince and Parker (from Parsells) get adopted from Hearthside Cats.  I am thrilled.  They are being adopted together by a girl I met who was a volunteer for a large rescue fundraiser last year down by the lake.  I went there to meet this girl, and to check out this fundraiser to get ideas, and wound up sitting at the bar by myself trying to talk to someone after scouring the joint.

I am so happy for them.  They have such a wonderful shelter - with so many wonderful cats.  I would love to see them all adopted.

Have a fabulous day!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

It My Lucky Day!

They're baaaaaack.  The walking dead, the zombies of the hood.  Out in full force.  The first encounter was when I set a trap at Syd and Johnny's to try to catch a large fluffy calico cat that's been hanging around for a while now.  I was offered one spot at the clinic today, but it was iffy, and I hadn't heard back to confirm it, so am sort of glad I didn't trap successfully this morning - didn't want to waste a spot.  They are too precious.  So I set the trap, and across the street was a woman who was on the other side of Bay Street walking between 7th and 6th.  I pulled up and rolled my window down to her, asking her not to go over because I was trapping.   Not only are people curious, but this spot has been a known spot for people to relieve themselves if necessary, because its dark and somewhat unnoticeable.  She said 'I'm just waiting for the bus."  Now the bus stop is across the street, I've seen her quite a few times, and do you know how many times I've heard 'the girls' tell me 'they are just waiting for the bus?  Its 4:30 am.  C'mon.  As I drove back after feeding at a couple of spots, I saw her in some guy's truck on the side street next to the auto garage.  uh huh.

The next set of characters always hang on Second Street near bay.  There is a park like setting and they hang there.  That's where the hookers and drugsters are.  A pretty black girl walked past me as I got out to feed kitties on the lot I've now been given permission to feed on by the kind man that lives there.  I said good morning to her.  She seemed different, almost fresh faced, and perky.  Compared to the rest of the folks around there that are out at that time of the morning.  I smiled and said 'you look so pretty!' (you’ve got to say SOMETHING when you are seen hunched down, pouring stuff onto a plate and sliding it under a mailbox at 4:30 am!).  She seemed thrilled when I said that and she said 'thank you!  so do you!' - well, come on now, you don't have to give a compliment back when you are complimented, right?  Because if anyone can see me at that time of the morning, I am not the spiffiest.    But I said thank you and kept doing my thing, as she continued to walk down the street toward the group of guys hanging with their bikes.

Back to cats, so I set a trap on Ferndale and Webster, nothing, and then moved it to the auto garage.  As I said, I had not received a confirmation from the clinic for sure about a spot for me, although they said MAYBE, so I was not as upset in NOT getting a kitty as I would have been if they made room just for me.  Besides, I have two spots in my name for each week beginning this Tuesday.  So as long as I am able to afford the $120 per week, I WILL, dang nabbit!, get two kitties from the streets spayed or neutered. 

(I hope my mother doesn't read this next part...)  I was pulled over this morning on my way to work.  I rolled down my window, flashed my winning smile, batted my blue eyes, and asked the officer what I had done wrong, sweetly of course.  He said 'you were going 55 in a 35...  I said I was????  He asked for my license and registration, and at one point said 'you look familiar to me..'  then asked where I worked, and I said, maybe it was on television?  told him I did cat rescue stuff... He looked at me and said, handing me my license back, 'have a good day and no speeding.'.  :)  As he walked away, I said "I LOVE U"!  :)  ha ha.  No, not funny, cause that is the last thing I need.  But ...  what are you going to do.  My price was paid by the humiliation of having a gazillion people drive past you looking.  SLOW DOWN!  I need to play the lottery today.  Thanks Officer.

I received the sweetest note from a recent adopter.  She adopted Melody.  Here is what she writes, and the picture she shared.


“Yes we are rolling in kitty pot (cat nip) and playing and purring and lots of hugging going on!  Her personality is in full bloom, she is sooo sweet and even plays with her toys in the room w/dad when he watches TV.  She has fit right in and is now officially head of the household.  I call her my little girl and sweetie and mini-Melody, which has kind of morphed into ‘Minnie.’  I hope you are OK with that, I know your rescues are like your babies!  I love her sooooo much, Janine.  I’m hoping to get selfies together to post, but I’m not good at taking pictures but I’ll keep trying!”

This is what makes it all worthwhile.

Please send in your story and pictures!  :)

Have a great 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." 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Beauty Amongst the Ruins

Yesterday started with trapping two cats.  One a black one on Parsells, and another one a red one, on Melville.  They were both boys, and neutered at the clinic.  To those of you that called in to donate, thank you so very much.  I know I chose this path myself, but its come at such a high cost.  But with all the money I've spent myself, I know I've made a difference not only in unnecessary cats and kittens being born by TNR, but also by the rescues I've done that have turned into adoptions and made so many people happy and fulfilled with their lives because of their animal.  And thanks to you now, for helping me to make that difference. 

Both boys were placed on the porch for overnight accommodations for release this morning, but a foster reached out to me and asked if I would like her to foster Red.  I told her I was able to put my fingers through the cage and scratch his head, so I figured he would be adoptable.  I told her I would feel it out, maybe let him out of trap in bathroom.  So sure enough, I did.  He went a little crazy, maybe half drugged, and wound up in the litter box in the tub, where he remained until I went to bed.  I got up this morning to find him calmly sitting in the carrier I had replaced the trap with the day before.  I got down on the floor and spoke gently to him, and reached in and scratched his head again.  No problem.  I then went about doing my thing to get ready to leave the house at 4 am.  I heard some scratching and some banging around about half an hour later, and went in to find him hanging from the window, obviously scared, and growling at me.  I got him down, carefully, without touching him, and he went to a corner with ears down.  I slowly turned the carrier over to him and he went right in.  I closed the door, and decided that it was not his time. 

Yes, he was scared, no doubt, but he still had a bit of feral in him and I just couldn't take that chance.  Not yet.  Thank God the warm months are ahead and we have some time for him to start to trust me.  It hurt to let them both back out, but I had to do it.  As I will have to do it again this coming Tuesday, where I have two slots each week thereafter for TNR through the clinic.  And through the remaining months of summer if I have the money to do it.  Again, its $120 per week, which is $480 per month.  Yikes.  My friend was telling me she was going to Ireland this year.  I am so jealous.  I've lost out on so many normal things - like vacations - or even having the money to take them, and sleeping in.  What have I done with my life?  Where did it go?  Where did all the money go that I've made busting my $#%& all these years working a full time job?

WAA WAA WAA...  I know.  But its my blog, and I can whine if I want to.

SAM on Short and the Daffodil

The past few mornings, I get out to feed around Short, and I notice around the shelter a hyacinth and a daffodil in the middle of the field.  I wonder at this simple beauty, where these homeless creatures struggle to survive.  Its amazing to me, so I snapped this picture while Sam was running after me as I was leaving today.  If you click on the picture, you can see the daffodil.  I think that is a piece of garbage in front of it.  I will pick that up tomorrow, as I pick up stuff around there most days.  Gotta keep it clean!

Have a great day!

"It is said that you can't
take it with you;
I say there are two things you can
take with you:
the things you do for others and
the things you do to others."

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

TNR Tuesday!

I was able to snag a cancellation through RCAC today for one spay or neuter, and another at another clinic.  So out I went to set two traps.  On Parsells, for now, I am giving it a break until I want to start trapping the remaining five or so there and bring them to barns.  One is adoptable, a red with white.  I am not ready for this yet.  Its been too stressful for me with the other two shelters I've been dealing with.  I set a trap on Melville, and another on Parsells at my first stop around the corner from the Melville spot.  Off to do the rest of the front nine, then back to check on Parsells #1 first and BLAM.  I gotcha big boy.  I am calling him Buster, as this poor beat up feral black kitty was desperately trying to bust out of the trap.  He will go in for neuter and a shot of convenia, as he has green goo in his eye, so figure he must be suffering from some kind of infection, poor fella.

Then to check the Melville spot, and BOOM.  Gotcha.  Pretty red kitty.  Not sure if boy or girl, but wasn't as wild.  Always wonder if these kitties are feral or not.  Off it will go for spay/neuter and ear tip, and then back on the streets tomorrow morning, the worst part of TNR. 

I have two spots each Tuesday for the month of May at RCAC.

Someone suggested the other day that I publish my address for those of you that do not like to use credit cards.  I think addresses are easy to find these days, if you  have a computer, but if you want to email me at, I would be happy to share it.  I am hoping to begin a campaign for the month of May to sponsor a spay.  Even $5 would help.  It costs me $60 for a cat at RCAC (Rochester Community Animal Clinic on Bay Street) and its extra if you want them treated with an antibiotic. 

All was quiet this morning.  I am grateful to the man who is allowing me to place shelters on his property so and allowing me to TNR the many kitties around there.  I want to do something nice for him.  I know he is disabled, not sure of his disability, but pretty sure he has a computer, so ...  suggestions?

I am trying to coax the four kitties on Pennsylvania down to a new location, and its proving a bit difficult.  This morning, up wheels Will on his bicycle, the homeless man I have befriended, who is actually doing well in a halfway house since being in recovery.  I had to hush him up telling him I was desperately trying to call for the cats to come to this new location.  I have seen no signs of the city on the garden spot.  Yet.

An update on the three cats I adopted out this past week:

Springer is doing great with his four feline siblings - all have blended together fabulously!

Topper (now Piper) is loving life in his new home.  He is the king of his castle!

And Pringles (now Cooper), well, his new feline brother Manley is not quite ready to accept him yet. Manley WAS the king of his castle, but since Pringles came on board, there is a lot of fighting, hissing and growling going on.  His new mom is persevering though, and will let them get it out of their system.  Time will tell!


Speaking of Manley, he was one of a group of kittens I rescued (8) from the Roberts Wesleyan college campus back in 2014 that all had upper respiratory infections.  His original kitten name was Mystic.  He was fostered by a friend who named him that.  He was eventually adopted and you should see the size of him now!  The same woman adopted Pringles on Sunday. MANLEY is HUGE!  Mostly fur.  :)  Manley, you better start liking your new brother!  :)

"I think I could turn and live with the animals, they are so placid and self contained;
I stand and look at them long and long.
They do not sweat and whine about their condition;
They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins;
They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God;
Not one is dissatisfied-not one is demented with the mania of owning things;
Not one kneels to another, nor his kind that lived thousands of years ago;
Not one is responsible or industrious over the whole earth." 
― Walt Whitman

Monday, April 24, 2017


BECCA:  Puppy found in house with other deceased dogs in raid on Bay Street.
Dog fighting at its finest.  They broke her foot so she couldn't run.
Due to that, her shoulder muscle never developed.  She was due for
amputation, but now has to deal with Parvo.
Please say a prayer for Becca.

I don't even know where to begin.  It was a really crazy weekend.  I take a day off on Friday, I pre-plan it a month ahead, and within that month, I start to make plans.  Like spend the day with my niece Brenna - we do lunch, do a little shopping.  Then I think - 'oh, I can start my spring cleaning, de-clutter, and get rid of a ton of stuff on Saturday and Sunday!  AND, I can sleep in (go back to bed after getting home from morning rounds) TWO mornings instead of just one.  But by the time the actual day of vacation rolls around, within that month long time period, I've obtained at least 10 obligations I must meet. 

Friday morning started with taking two very scared, miserable and hungry ferals to a barn in Marion.  After visiting that wonderful barn they will live in for a couple of weeks before they are allowed to roam the 14 acre property, I drove to visit some friends in Walworth.  After that, I came home to make a wonderful creamy cauliflower soup (cashews made it creamy - Bon Appetit).  Yes, cooking is my sanity.  Then off to meet two old neighbors for a drink at 4.  But before I went in to meet them, I played my messages on my cell phone.  A call from the head of the City Garden Permits.  I called back, and was told that I had to move whatever I had on that property, or the County/City was going to remove it Monday - they needed to bait for rats.  My heart sank, and at that moment, my weekend went south.  I knew the monumental work ahead of me, and I reached out for help.  I knew Saturday Sheryl would be with me, but I needed a truck.  Thanks to a wonderful girl named Terri, she drove in from Mendon at 5 am. Saturday morning to help me.  I was out there at 3:30 am. doing all my feedings, and then came back home at 4:30 to pick up Sheryl, who had just arrived, and then back to this spot to meet Terri.  Two weeks prior, Patti and Todd had delivered some beautiful shelters here and we had cleaned up and set up these wonderful HEAVY shelters for the four kitties that have called this lot home for over 7 years now.  I have fought tooth and nail to keep this spot throughout all these years.  And now I had to remove it all.

I moved them, and will pray they stay where they are for good, but coaxing these four cats would and will be a challenge.  They are so confused.  This morning, two did manage to make their way down to this new location, with me doing the constant kissy sound.  The other two, they stayed back and waited for me to lay a plate of food and bowl of water under the tree near the street.  It looks like someone raked on the left side of the lot.  Perhaps the homeowner next door.  The city or county is supposed to be there today to set rat bait.

On a good note, I found a note taped to the old spot on Second and Central, where the disabled man who owns the property and took all my stuff down last week.  The note said to call him and left a number.  I did, and turns out this man is wonderful.  Disabled, he and his spouse (husband) did what they could on a low income for the cats.  He said inside his gates were shelters and beds and food.  I explained to him the importance of getting these cats spayed and neutered and how important it was for me to gain their trust so that I can trap them, and he understood, and after more conversation, he said I could use a certain corner of his lot.  I nearly cried.  This was certainly my high point in a very dismal weekend.  The next morning, I moved the temporary shelters across the busy street back over to his lot, and begin again the arduous task of getting these cats to trust me again. 

There is so much more I have to say about so many things, but I must get to work.  I can’t forget to tell you about Springer, Topper and Pringles!  More on that tomorrow. 

Have a great day.

"The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them:  that's the essence of inhumanity."

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Gotcha, Gotcha, Gotcha

Wow, talk about stress.

For those of you who are not familiar with trapping, here is how my morning went step by step.

3:30 a.m.:  Out the door, place mackerel on newspaper in four traps, place traps in back of Jeep.  Head to 386 Parsells in hopes of trapping four cats so that two can go to one barn and another two can go to another – both expecting them.  This is AFTER they are vetted today at a clinic that is expecting them also.  Place two traps on porch, and two on the ground next to the house.  Drive off to begin my normal routine of feeding cats at 16 other locations. 

3:50 am.:  Head back to check on traps.  Raccoon in trap on ground.  Go let him out – reset smelly food, reset trap.  Leave to feed more kitties. 

4:10 am.:  Head back to check on traps.  Same raccoon in trap on porch.  Go let him out – Take trap away because newspaper is shredded inside, and I don’t think kitties are going to go for this trap.  Drive off to do more.


4:45 am.:  Drive back, GOTCHA.  Fluffy grey feral kitty.  Hissing.  Cover him up, and drive off to do just a few more spots.

5:15 am.:  Finished up with all my locations:  Rebuild shelter for the 8 or so on Central and Second.  They are so confused.  They now will have to cross two lanes of street to get to their food.  Although I did leave dry under the mailbox for them.  I tried to make the kissy sound for as long as I could from across the street, trying to lure them over.  Thank God no druggies were out this morning to disturb me.  I did leave a note on the step of this man’s house, pleading with him to allow me to feed there.  I will share it below.  Head back to check on traps.  One kitty in trap.  Cover him up with blanket, place gently in Jeep.  Drive home to get ready for tomorrow’s feedings (no more dry food after today – another trip to Walmart tomorrow for $100+ just for dry food), get ready for work (I spiff up for work!)

6:50 a.m.:  Head back to Parsells to check on remaining trap.  POW!.WHAMMM!  ZWAPP!. (I know, what is WRONG with me?  What can I say, I like Batman words....)  😁  Got another.  All going to vet where they will be spayed/neutered, ear-tipped, defleaed and dewormed.

Hopefully, they will live a long life in a barn in Marion, where three others went.  I need to count how many were rescued since the last trapping – within two weeks its something like 15?  Three of those are now being adopted. 

There are still at least five more – two red with white, one very fluffy red, one black (who allowed me to touch him), and another very fluffy tabby – Maine coon looking.  I will continue as long as I have to, as long as I can pay for the vetting, and as long as I have the vet appointments.

Here is the note I left for the man, with edits from some of you!  Thank you very much!:

Dear Mr. Plakosh,

Let me introduce myself.  My name is Janine Wagner, and I am a one woman rescue organization, mainly cats. I am writing this letter to humbly ask if you would allow me to continue to feed and shelter the cats on your property, temporarily, until I can trap them and find them homes.  My intentions are good if you would kindly allow me to explain my actions.

Late last year I noticed kittens running down your driveway near the road, and back under your fence. Since then, I began to notice many other cats. My plan was to rescue the kittens, and get the other adults spayed and neutered. As you may be aware, this kind of action doesn’t happen overnight, especially if you are a one woman rescue organization. It requires trapping them, getting veterinarian appointments, time and money. I operate out of my own pocket for food, travel, spaying/neutering and spend $250 a week feeding the stray cats around the area. I go to 14 feeding stations 7 days a week/52 weeks a year. I am trying my best to help your neighborhood, and at the same time help the animals have a safe haven, as well as keeping mice away.

I honestly did not know the property was privately owned.  I thought it belonged to the city. I became worried with the winter looming so I began to provide shelter for all the cats. The shelters allow me to set traps. I have since rescued three cats from this location and found them good homes. If the cats were too feral I had then TNR’d (trapped, neuter and returned).There are still several more that will reproduce if they are not spayed and neutered. In order for me to keep on trapping.  I need them to maintain their trust in me and it is necessary that I feed and house them in familiar territory, for me to trap them.  I will then place them in other territories or when possible, find them homes.  I humbly ask that you allow me to carry on feeding and housing these cats, on your property, so that I can continue to TNR and rescue those that I can. There is nowhere else for them to go. Please, please allow me to continue the work I started. Isn’t there some arrangement we can work out at least temporarily?

So that's how my morning started.  How about you???  I know one person is in Florida, smelling the ocean.  I am so jealous.  :(

Have a nice day. PS, today is my Friday - 'vacation' day.  Right.


Tail tucked between your legs,
 Confusion in your eyes 
I know it's hard to understand
That someone heard your cries.

When loneliness is all you know
And pain is all you feel
And no one can be trusted
And hunger's all too real.

That's the time the Lord sees you
And lets you know He's there
That's when He sends His messengers
The hearts that love and care.

Yes, rescuers are angels
You cannot see their wings
They keep them neatly folded
As they do their caring things.

The medicine to make you well,
Good food to make you strong.
And finally to help you learn
That hugs are never wrong.

The perfect place then must be found
The home where you can live
Secure and safe and happy
With joy to get and give.

When you reach your Forever Home,
Your place to feel whole.
The angels smile and off they go
To save another sole.

Author Unknown

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Wash Your Hands!

I wash my hands a million times a day.  If I am not at a sink, like in a car, I have my hand wipes.  I am so conscientious of germs, you might consider me a 'germaphobe.'  Touching money, leaving a grocery store after gripping a cart, getting gas, typing on a keyboard!, shaking hands, and last but not the very least, feeding cats in the morning!  The grossest things are out there!  Remember last year when I squirted myself in the face with slug juice after stepping on one by mistake?  GROSS!

In the meantime, I have been returning home each morning lately very down.  I am fighting such battles out there.  This jerk on the corner of Second and Central removed the plates I placed yesterday for the seven or eight cats I feed on that corner, the Mailbox Kitties.  This morning, I placed the bowls somewhere else on the ground, and left a note saying something like, Dear Eugene, Do you really want to be this cruel to the cats?  I am only trying to help them, rescue them, protect them.  You are thwarting my efforts.  Please reconsider.

How can a human being do this to a helpless homeless animal.  He has this huge plot of land, and does nothing with it.  Is this how he wants to be remembered in his final years on this earth, someone that displaced so many animals?  I remember when these older kittens were baby kittens, running under the fence on his property.  I couldn't get them - I just placed bowls of food on the side of the road where I saw them playing.

Now I want to write him a letter.  I am going to draft something for him today and mail it.  The cats are now leery of me again, so I can't get close enough, especially the one that has come around to my petting him, because they are so confused - where have their sleeping shelters gone?  Why is the food left in a different spot...  I am just so disheartened.

Then we have Parsells.  Thankfully, I have been offered three spots at a clinic tomorrow.  I will set three traps, but really am not sure about getting all three, especially with rain in the forecast.  I have a place for them to go - a barn situation just waiting.

I had two people reach out yesterday who want to adopt my remaining rescues, Pringles and Topper.  I am so thrilled, beyond belief.  And Springer is still being 'tested' out.  I am hoping that all three get adopted so that I can rescue more!

“Humanity's true moral test, its fundamental test…consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals.” 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Its Not All Doom and Gloom!

TOPPER (available!)
I know its been gloomy lately, but its not always like that.  Although I have to say, during these troubled times, for me and the cats, I just want to give up.  If murder were legal...........  oh wait, I shouldn't say that. 

I did receive the dreaded call last evening (and what a way to have a good night's sleep, eh?) that Quentin, the man that bought the house on Parsells and is renovating to have tenants move in, said no longer.  No longer will he allow me to feed the cats on the porch.  I did not answer the phone, like I usually don't if I don't recognize the number, and am glad I didn't.  I don't know what I would have said.

I realized another thing this morning, as I pulled up to Third Street, the stop just before Central and Second, the mailbox kitties...  I realized that I am very bad at defending myself when it comes to the cats.  I sound like an idiot.  For some reason, I cannot get out an intelligent, plausible, reasonable, knowledgeable answer when I am confronted with something negative about the cats...  I mean, look, I practically cried on the phone the first time I had to speak with Quentin!  And he could hear it in my voice, it was that obvious!  I care so deeply about the cats that I care for that I just can't sound like a professional!  I want to list the reasons as to WHY I am feeding the cats, and WHY they deserve to have me feed them, and WHY they deserve to have shelter, and WHY they are not as bad as 'you people', YES, 'YOU PEOPLE' think they are!~  But I just can't.  I can't think of intelligent answers as to why.  And here I've been doing this for 20 years now.  And I still sound like an idiot.

I also found out that the property on the corner of Second and Central belongs to this very eccentric man named Eugene, and I believe this man bought this property for a dollar! back in 2005.  I have no right to it, but I still placed food bowls this morning for the seven cats that this man displaced, and I will continue to do so.  I scouted around looking for what I could do next there, but just can't think.  I have too much to think about.

Parsells, I am hoping to continue to have help by getting clinic appointments for the remaining six cats, by trapping first, and then  getting them to barns.  They are so confused.  I did place food dishes under the bushes at the house next door this morning.  There.  For the next three days they are calling for rain, so I have to figure out another alternative.  I just have too much on my plate.  I am setting up shelter a few houses down on the street behind and calling for them, but the dogs in the back yard right there bark their crazy heads off.

But to sign off with a good note...  Springer, the cutie I trapped on Parsells two weeks ago, is in a loving home this morning, since yesterday, on a trial basis.  The nice girl has a few other kitties and fingers crossed, they are all getting along.  The last note I received from her last night was that he just laid on her on the couch.  :)  Sweet! 

Another great bit of news...  the first two cats I grabbed from this hell house on Parsells last week after Hearthside Cats offered to take them ...  they are going to be adopted!  YES!  Prince and Parker are going to be adopted together!!!  I can't tell you how happy this makes me, I fed them for so many years, and each and every morning would leave feeling heartbroken that I couldn't take them.  THANK YOU Hearthside for making this possible! 


Now to get our other babies adopted, so that we can rescue more!

PRINGLES (available!)
Have a great day.

"When God Pushes You 
To The Edge Of Difficulty
Trust Him Fully
Because Two Things
Can Happen
Either He'll Catch
You When You Fall,
He Will Teach You
How To Fly"

Monday, April 17, 2017

Gone Again...

First off, they did it again.  Another shelter home for homeless cats.  On Central Park.  It was the eccentric man that lives next door.  The address of this man is 290 Central Park.  I am wondering how I can handle this.  This is where what started out to be the Mailbox kitties.  The closer that winter became, the more I knew I had to do something to help protect these cats.  So I began to place shelters under a tarp that hung over half moon stakes that must have once been a garden, several year ago for  sure.  Several times - the blizzard, the windstorm – I had to rebuild as the tarps blew, the weightless Styrofoam boxes blew, and now this.  Everything gone.  I  found my tarps, and all the shelter were piled up in front of his house.  I need to find out who owns this property that is vacant next door.  It is on the corner of Central and Second.  The north side of the street.  I need to find a place for these cats to take shelter in.  Thank God we are in our warm months here in Rochester.

Parker and Prince
Other than that, it was a mellow weekend.  I went out to a wonderful shelter in Avon, called Hearthside Cats.  A girl named Ashley helps to run the place, all strictly volunteers.  I wish she had more help, and I wish Hearthside had a better location.  Its in an old auto shop/garage, and no windows.  The cats are very well taken care of, but I hate to see cats caged.  There is good reason for this, as Ashley pointed out to me as we toured.  I also helped with litter boxes, which was a job in itself.  I wish someone wealthy could donate a house to this wonderful organization.    There is not a lot of activity there, the girls take shifts.  Do cats get lonely?  Do cats miss seeing the outside, from where they came from?  Again, I wish someone would leave their house for this wonderful organization.  Or something similar.  They do such good!  Parker and Prince are in the same cage, and Petals and Petunia are just next to them in separate cages.  I just wanted to take them all home.  

Parsells update:  I have not yet heard from Quentin about the plates I am still leaving on the porch, as no one has moved in yet, obviously, but I know time is ticking.  I counted six cats there waiting for me.  I heard from a man that was willing to help trap and get the kitties to Cornell for free spaying by the students there.  He then said he would take two for his barn.  I also saw a post on Keller's Kats from a woman who offered to take four for her barn, but she has not returned my call. So things are completely up in the air.  Say a prayer.

On Sunday, I had a group show up with beautiful new shelters.  We rebuilt three locations!  Thank you to Patti, Todd, Kristin and Sheryl (who's birthday it is today!).  I will get pictures when I can.  I am so completely grateful for their help.  The shelters that these replaced were terrible.  Those poor animals, shouldn't have had to live in those conditions.  I just didn't know how bad they were.  Again, thanks to Karla, from Keller's Kats, who had the forethought to ask for help for me from her 'fans.'  :)

One note, the Baldwin red kitty that I practically trip over each morning when I feed there, that I tried to rescue way back, and when he got out of the carrier in my bathroom went berserk, like a feral would, has a sound coming from him, the only way I can describe it is that it sounds like a rattle in his chest?  Anyone know what this might be?




Lets get these angels adopted!

That's it for today.  I wish everyone a good day!

"You must be the change you wish to see
in this world."

Friday, April 14, 2017

Sponsor a Spay for May!

It was a much quieter morning out there. 

Turns out, the person who was able to take in more kitties for her barn is going away, so trapping this weekend won't work.  We would have needed to take kitties somewhere immediately.  And we trap at 5 am.  Secondly, the only other person helping me trap with a drop trap has plans until the end of month, so I am SOL.  I counted four today still left on Parsells there - a very fluffy young kitty, the old red with white on chest kitty, another tabby young kitty, and the white with tabby markings young kitty.  I did not see the red fluffy one.  Nor the black one.  That's six.  I did leave food, and the guy has not said anything to me yet.  But I can understand the way he sees it also.  I can't be intruding on anyone if they move in.  That's where I stop.  I have to.

Another downer is that I have no TNR spots for the clinic this month.  So many kitties going unneutered in my area of town.  In May, I can start up again.  At $60 a pop.  If anyone would like to help sponsor a spay for May, that would be awesome.  You can call the clinic at 585-288-0600 and ask them to credit my account...  JanineTheBean Rescue, Inc.  Its tax exempt, and you will have prevented many kittens being born.  Win Win!

TOPPER - Adopt Me!

PRINGLES - Adopt Me!

SPENCER - Adopt Me!
All these guys need homes!

Speaking of fosters, I want to wish my friend Melissa a Happy National Foster Day!  She is one of my awesome fosters - out of the three I have faithfully - who takes in my special needs kitties, mostly kittens.  She does wonders getting them acclimated to being indoors - and helping to socialize these soon to be feral kittens if they were not rescued and fostered  by her.  She has done so much good for so many cats.  Melissa wanted to share the following:

"Most people say they won't foster pets because they'll fall in love with it and won't wan t to give it up to an adopter.  But know that your unselfishness will help save the next life - from euthanasia to a sad, short life on the streets.  Please consider fostering for Janine."

Thanks Melissa, for your unselfishness and compassion!  Now lets get Springer adopted!  (Springer has someone interested in him, fingers crossed!)  XO

Speaking of rescue, this little guy above on the right, unneutered, has been allowing me to pet him.  He is next.  I will be able to scruff him and place in carrier, but need either a) a foster, or b) a spot for low cost neuter.  He is GORGEOUS.  Fluffy and gorgeous. 

That's it for today.  WHAT A WEEK!  PS, total cats since a week ago Tuesday...  12?  12 more off the streets!  Woo hoo!

Have a great day!

Thursday, April 13, 2017


I got her!  :)  Another rescue from Parsells!

I am SO thrilled!  She will go to Hearthside Cats this morning.  They offered to take in four adoptables, and this makes four.  She was TNRd when she was about six months old.  Wild.  Her shelter was across the street behind the house where John and Kevin lived.  They were so nice to allow me to continue to shelter there, until they moved out, and the landlord had a property management company come in and clean up.  Cleaned up my shelters is what they did.  Trashed everything.  Displaced at least seven cats living there.  This is when I had no other choice but to go down the street a ways and find that vacant house with the porch.  And here we are today.

There are about four more cats to go.  I am hoping all goes according to plan and Karla will come this weekend to help.  I am praying there are still barn homes for these four!

I have to say something about fostering.  I have three reliable fosters right now, and I am just so grateful to them.  I would love to shower them with gifts, but I can't afford it.  I do, however, think there should be a national day for fosters.  It should be called National Cat Fostering Day.  Or something like that?  This would be a day where you shower your fosters with love and praise.

One foster, in particular, was heaven sent, I just know it.  I don't know how she found me, but I wouldn't have found her without her reaching out to me.  She lives all the way out in Calendonia, and each trip I make to bring her a new kitty makes me long for the country life.  I love open space, country.  Maybe in my next life?


Kim wrote the following just after she got Topper to foster for me.  She reports he is healing from his facial wounds.

Foster world

  I guess it must be official, I am a real foster. I know this because when I told my husband that I was going to bring home the next foster, he didn’t give me a dirty look, or try to talk me out of it he just said, “what is it?”

Huh? I waited a minute and told him it was a cat, speaking to him clearly and enunciating like English wasn’t his first language. “I know that” he said, “but usually you tell me all about it”. He spent the next 3 minutes asking me questions: what color, dark or light stripes, how old, where was he found and “oh he does look a bit like Dasher” when I should him the picture of Charlie.

Huh? Who is this man and what did you do with my husband??

I guess I won this one. Huh.

So, Charlie was coming to stay for a while, such a pretty boy-with an eye infection that needs ointment twice a day, oh boy.

 When I asked Janine how was anyone ever going to get eye ointment in this just rescued kitty that had trust issues, Janine assured me he had no trust issues, that he was loving and sweet and gentle. Huh.

 I guess these new kitties hide in the far corner, under the bed, for other reasons I have yet to figure out. (Love you Janine!!)

Next thing I know…..sorry, No Charlie for you.  Charlie is so pretty and so special he gets to bypass fostering.  Good for him and good for me cause I could have fallen for that pretty, chubby boy.

So now I wait, until unexpectedly, a trap neuter not released finds his way into the trap.  This one is haggard and worn and tired looking with a face that has been beat up. But he was smart enough to give hints to Janine that he is available for love to the right person. Two days later, Topper, formally known as Marky Mark comes to my house to take up residence in the far corner under the bed. It must be warmer or quieter back there.

2 days later, after much sweet talking, Topper comes out from under the bed when I am still in the room. He is all over me, purring and rubbing and crawling into my lap. We loved, we played, we talked for an hour, and it was wonderful and magical and Topper is looking better. His face is healing, there were more scratches than I had originally thought, but they are healing, and he will be beautiful.  I snuggle him and tell him how special he is and that no one will ever hurt him again. 

The next day I go to feed and cuddle Topper…. He looks at me from the far corner under the bed, and totally ignores me, like last night never happened.  Like he had forgotten who I was and what we meant to each other…..I haven’t been treated like this since I was single and had some really good/bad first dates!!!

So, we start again. It takes all day to coax him out.  And he is loving and gentle and sweet and he loves a little kitty massage on his head and his shoulders and his back. Lets just see if he ignores me tomorrow after that treatment!

Thank you Kim for helping to save the life of so many kitties!

"You won't change the world by
saving an animal.
But you will change that animal's world."

Wednesday, April 12, 2017


There's nothing quite like that feeling.  When you can rescue an animal that has needed to be rescued for a long time.  This morning I rescued Petal from Parsells.  Another cat that needed to be taken off the street badly.  A former TNR.  She has fur missing behind each ear, indicating that she may have mites.  Bad.  She walked up to me as I poured the food, and I just grabbed her and placed her gently in the carrier.  She is scared to death, but as I placed food in the carrier for her, and took her picture, and then covered her up, I walked away silently saying, you will never have to suffer again Petal.  Life is good for you now.  Trust in me.  I started to get teary eyed, like I do when I rescue each and every cat.  I am a sap.  There are still at least four or five more that I feed there.  One is all black (I don't think he is neutered), one is red with white - older and sick, one is red and very fluffy, one of the older kittens I TNRd, and the other is the kitten, or mother - a white with brown tabby spots.


I wonder how that saying came to be?  Like a maple tree?  Dripping sap?  Tears flowing?  Sap?  Hmmm..

I couldn't have done this today without Hearthside Cats, a wonderful rescue group that's been around for ages.  I remember them 20 years ago when me and an old boyfriend adopted from them when they were on Conesus Lake.  An older kitten that didn't have the use of its legs.  We named him Cassidy.  As in Hop-a-Long...  This is the next little girl that Hearthside offered to take in.  She wasn't around the morning.  I will name her Petunia.  I remember her when she was just a baby kitten.  Feral then.  She has come to trust me enough to pick her up.  Another former TNR.  


WISH LIST:  Camouflage Tarps!  10' x 12' - I purchased one yesterday, but they are $20 at Home Depot in Henrietta.  I need two more.  I also love the white or clear plastic Chinese takeout dishes.  They are perfect for water or food.  I don't need the lids.  I am all set with heavy plates, and towels/blankets.  Thank you!

Pringles went to his foster home yesterday.  The girls - Abby and Olivia - already love him.  Check this picture out taken of him with Abby!  HE IS READY FOR ADOPTION!

Speaking of Abby, her Girl Scout troop built shelters for the homeless kitties!  What great work they did!  Thank you Troop 60601!  I will be placing them at a location soon so that the kitties on the streets can have a new house to sleep in!~

Have a great day all!

"In rescuing animals I lost my mind,
but found my soul."

Tuesday, April 11, 2017


I learned an interesting fact recently.  I was talking to a friend who is an exterminator and he had a call recently to estimate work on a store/residence on the corner of Goodman and Short Street.  He told me the store and apartment above it was infested with rats.  I thought, hmmmmm....  so that's where the rats came from. ...  and the city thought it was because of my shelter.  That property on the corner was always disgusting.  If you keep a dirty store and home, and your property is not cared for, you will have rats!

Pringles is doing great.  In my bathroom.  Going to foster AFTER I continue to treat his ears for mites.  He also had tape worm.  Gross.  Unneutered male - between 1-2 years old.  Can you imagine?  This little tyke, so pretty too, walking around with these diseases and bugs...  do you know how many of them out there are suffering this same thing?  So sad.  That's why its imperative to continue to get them off the street, to save them.  To spay and neuter so that they are not producing any more street babies.

Recently, a nice man name Joel rode with me to see what I do.  I always appreciate company, and he was good company.  He is a good writer and wanted to write about his experience with me, and here it is.  He was pretty spot on about me and my habits, as Saturday Sheryl can tell you!

Guardian Angel - The Ride Along

"Before you judge a man - walk a mile in his shoes"

The poet Mary T Lathrop wrote that verse as part of one of her poems back in the eighteen hundreds. I am a big believer in that philosophy, and I try to keep that in mind as I go through life.
And so it was that I found myself awake and dressing groggily at 3 AM on a Thursday morning, in preparation for walking a mile in Janine Wagners shoes.

Well - technically not IN her shoes, but along behind her as she made her rounds.
I arrived at her house promptly at 4:00 AM (yes - 4 AM. Luckily, being an amateur astronomer helped prevent me from nodding off as we wind our way through the back streets of Rochester) After going over a few "rules of the ride-along" (always walk behind her- the cats don’t know you, you carry the water jug for me, don’t slam the car door getting in or out, minimal talking outside the car…) I piled into the backseat of her Jeep and we were off on her daily journey.

She does this every day. This is my first time. I'm a feral caregiver virgin - so to speak.
My head is full of images and impressions – I don’t know how to put this on paper. Maybe the best way to convey what it was like is to just mind-dump the raw stream of consciousness from my experience. So here we go !

Its chilly this morning at 4:00 AM, but thank god there is now wind. Its only 28 degrees when I left home, but I have my best winter jacket from LL Bean zipped up so no problem. I get in the back of the jeep and see on the seat to my right is a big pile of clean fluffy towels, presumably to be used in the shelters so the cats don’t have to sit on wet, dirty ground. The whole car smells lightly of household pets - that humid wet dog smell - but I don’t mind. I kinda like that smell. She hands me a heavy plastic jug full of warm water which I set on the floor between my feet. The warm jug feels great on my cool pant legs. I think how smart that is that she puts warm water in there so it wont freeze right away in winter after she pours it out for the cats. 

As we roll through the dead quiet city streets to her first stop I stare out at the harsh shadows cast by the orange yellow streetlights of the nighttime city world. It reminds me of one of those gritty noir crime movies shot in a steamy back alley of NYC. Shortly we arrive at the first stop and she grabs a HUGE bag of dry food (I think its maybe little friskies...) and we carefully open the doors and get out into the calm night air. Of course I forget to close the back door quietly and she reminds me to not slam the door. Got it. Sorry Beanie. (I call her Jeanie Beanie in my head - I always give people funny nicknames so I don’t forget their real name)

I walk carefully behind her, carrying the water jug. I have my own headlamp, I use them all the time when I'm out with my telescope, but I don’t need it. My night vision is very good, having been sharpened over several years working in the dark observing the night sky. I squat behind her at the first feeding spot - an old garage in front of an abandoned house and spin the cap off the big water jug. I see shadowy forms approaching - one, two. One of them is a cute little silvery grey cat. It does not seem very skittish. It brushes past my knee as she pours out the dry food on a paper plate and allows me to briefly pet its cool soft head. She tells me its name but I quickly forget - lost in the sensations of touching an almost wild animal.

I hand the water jug to her and she splashes a little into the plastic bowl, rinsing out the grit and dirt, then fills it up with warm water. She hands the jug back and I put the cap back on. She squeezes out a big blob of wet cat food from a plastic container on top of the mound of dry food - plop. Then its back to the car rumbling softly at the curb side. I remember to close the door very softly after getting in - just pull it gently until I hear the *snick* of the latch. Its not closed tight, but as she says - no one’s fallen out yet. I don’t forget after that. I close it softly and quietly every time at all the stops. I'm a good little ride-along. 

At the next stop I get caught daydreaming a bit as I’m watching the cats hurry towards us, their short little legs a blur as they scurry across the street. She has to call my name so I hand over the water jug. Sorry again Beanie. But once again after that first time, I pay strict attention, and the water is passed back and forth without incident like clockwork. On to the next stop. 

Along the way I listen as she describes the local home owners, and the interactions she has both good and bad with the human denizens of this shadow world. I hear firsthand accounts of some of the characters I have read about in her blog, and I cant help thinking how special it is to hear about it in her own voice. Its like sitting with a popular author and listening to them describe one of your favorite characters. 

By the 4th or 5th stop I have the rhythm down. Pull up to the curb. Grab the jug and ease out of the left rear seat. Keep hold of the door frame and ease it shut, listen for the latch to *snick*. Follow her to the feeding spot, take the cap off water jug. I see them coming now. Eyes reflecting her headlamp in brilliant orbs of yellow and green. Rinse out the water dish with a quick splash from the jug and a swirl. I smell old cat pee, fresh air, and even a skunk at one of the stops. What’s a skunk doing in the middle of this urban sprawl ? She shows me a water bowl with a thick layer of dirt and grit. “Raccoons” she says. “They leave behind such a mess.” 

At one of the last few stops I get to see the two little hutch shelters I built, all in one piece and undamaged. No warping from the wet weather. Good job. The deck stain I used is keeping them in good shape. At the stop on the corner of Central where the big Quonset hut shelter stretches next to the weird collection of art sculptures I spy potential interference as she is placing the last dish of food under the battered old army green mailbox. A women is walking slowly toward us, hollering toward us questions about what we doin and don’t ‘choo run now. I warn her that we have trouble coming, but she says she knows the women and don’t worry about it.  

As we are finishing up and headed back to the car she intercepts us and I watch a little chagrined as she makes a minor error in street etiquette. She informs the visitor that she has no money or cigarettes today. BEFORE the interloper has a chance to ask the standard questions. The stranger is not too far gone to notice this presumption. She launches into a profanity laced tirade about why we are coming at her like that when she aint asked us nothing yet ‘cept what we doin. After several apologies we manage to get back in the jeep, only to have the stranger ask the one question we had tried to head off. Have you got a cigarette ? She explains patiently that we don’t. Luckily a car pulls around the corner, and the interloper is distracted by the new car. We make our escape. 

Over to the garage now. Big pile of tires around the back, her shelters are next to the pile. The cats that come running here look like part of the same family. They group together, head-butting in greeting and sliding alongside each other in obvious affection. A couple of them look very young – maybe less than a year. As she pours food and I spin the cap of the water jug she notices a dead rat – its light grey body now just a flattened, cardboard thin circle of matted fur. I grab a stick and fling the dead thing over the stack of tires. Glad I could help. 

On to the last stop. I get to meet Big Red # 2 and two more black and white cats. One of them is the cat that had the hurt foot. He walks better now, but has a upper respiratory infection. She tells me stay in the car while she slips him a separate gob of wet food with medicine hidden inside. He wolfs it down without hesitation. Our last good deed for the day complete, we head back to her house. Total time spent about one and a half hours. My head is now overflowing with images, smells, sounds, stories. I hope I can write it all out later to make the readers feel what its like to ride along with her. I know I will think of her often as I wake up in my nice warm house to get ready for another working day. 

God bless you Beanie ….

Have a great day all!

"Remember that everyone you meet is afraid of something, loves something and has lost something."