This weekend was one of the most brutal, weather-wise, and physically challenging to my achy old body. The temperatures were extreme both Friday and Saturday, with the wind creating chills well below -10. There were times during the route both mornings where I could have screamed in pain, but my mouth was too numb to. The shelters did not fare so well either, with the wind whipping the snow inside them. I felt horrible. There was one shelter on Niagara, that was not well designed. I can’t fix it because the snow is too heavy to move the shelters underneath the boards and tarps. So I make-shifted it by filling the gaps with towels, etc. Entrances should ALWAYS be facing east. Never south, never north, never west. Here in upstate New York, most of our storms come from the west. We do get our fair share of ‘lake effect’ storms from Lake Ontario, which is to the north, but again, if your entrance is facing east, it won’t be so bad with the snow getting inside. This shelter here is temporary for these 7 or 8 cats because the owner of the building, when it gets warmer, will be by to trash them. He could care less, and has no heart or compassion for the homeless animals. But its still early winter, and I must make this shelter the best it can be to house these cats from the extreme weather we are sure to get more of.
Thank you to those that donated hand warmers. They saved my feet many a morning this past week. Who needs toe warmers when you have hand warmers. And I have plenty, so thank you to those of you wanting to donate them. I also want to thank those of you that came to the rescue offering shelters. I got many totes, unfinished, from caring people. They just need to be assembled into warm little huts for the needy. And there are a lot of needy critters out there. Lets not forget the opossums too! I received a few calls from folks that needed shelters for their neighborhood cats. One in particular, a woman in the city trying her best to help the strays, and without a lot of means. I brought her my only two shelters I had, that weren’t even assembled, but they were nice Styrofoam ones that only needed a hole carved out at one end to all a cat inside it. Filled with straw, we placed it with a board in the middle and a tarp on the top. It too was not a great set up, and I am hoping she was able to figure something more stable out. I can only do so much to help others. I have so many other concerns out there! Including the three adult rescues I recently took under my wing! Who are all doing fabulous by the way. I had a woman come over Saturday and meet Milo, and is very interested, but must her older girl kitty in to the vet first because of a litter issue she is having. Also, a woman reached out to me about Elsa, but wouldn’t be able to take her until she returns from Florida in March. She just lost her old boy kitty to cancer. Something for me to consider as well.
The REALLY not so great part of my weekend was watching my boy Smokey slowly dying. He was diagnosed with advanced kidney failure last week. I swear, it came on so suddenly. I noticed him losing weight, but other than that he seemed pretty normal. I rescued him over 10 years ago, as an adult kitty, so he could be well over 12 or 13 years of age. We administered fluids, he was given two doses (three days apart) of appetite stimulants, but nothing worked. I tried squirting water in his mouth – opened every can of different wet food, KMR, nothing. He gagged. All he could do was walk a few feet, and then crouch and put his head down and stay in that position for long periods of time. I rescued him from Heberd Street in the city, one of my first rescues. There was a garage there that had a small opening, he would go in and out of it. I would reach under and place the food and water, and a kitty bed for him. This went on for months until the mean owner of the VACANT garage came by and shut it. With my stuff in it. Poor Smokey. By now, he had a head wound, and I said that’s it. I had gained his trust, and I swooped him up. He tested positive for FIV, so I could not adopt him out, but that was OK. He turned out to be one of my favorites, always following me around, and wanting to lay with me. So easy going with the other cats. He loved his belly scratches.
His appointment is late this afternoon. I will say my final goodbye even though this weekend was filled with them. My beautiful boy. Fang boy. See ya round the bend!
|LEO and SMOKEY|
|SMOKEY and COSMO (RIP)|
|PUDDLES and SMOKEY|
|SMOKEY and TOONCES (RIP)|
"My eyes are getting heavy now, my time has come to leave,
but one thing I must tell you as you stay behind to grieve...
You always did your best for me, your love it knew no end,
I really was a lucky cat
to have you as my Friend.
I see how much you miss me now,
your days seem bleak and bare,
I know you well, your heart is big,
you still have love to share.
So please don't sit and cry for me,
we'll meet around the bend,
til then another lucky cat
is waiting for a Friend."