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Thursday, 13 August 2015

It's always busy time!

So here, I've made time to blog.  I'm not even going to deride myself for not doing it sooner!  It's been really busy (as always), and that's ok.  There's always more cats to save.  There's always more that need help and rehabilitation. 

Look at this terrifying cat (Heart).  Grr.
Right now, we have a few of the longer-term babies still that are ready for homes but haven't found them yet for various reasons.   The lovely Heart is still with us, but she doesn't travel well at ALL, so it's difficult to get her into carriers to move her to events.  Hard for her to go home if she can't travel to events.  Hopefully, we can figure something out and find her a place to be.  She's a lovely, sweet, affectionate girl after everything she's been through.  She definitely deserves it!  Such a cute little chunky monkey! :)

I got an update from the woman who adopted Rameses as well.   She is SO thrilled with him.   She has a few other cats now, and not only does he get along with them, he also loves her boyfriend!  She says he's one of the nicest cats she's ever met, and I would tend to agree with her.  Of course, she sent me the text message while I was at work, and I'm sure my co-workers thought I was nuts or pmsing or something when I got teary-eye randomly at work.   How can I not be emotional about this guy?  He has the ULTIMATE outcome!  A wonderful forever home with a wonderful person who will NEVER let me know fear or sadness or hunger again.  THIS is why we do rescue!! 

We still have Meggie.  She's a little tortie who came to us from another rescue.  She was DEATHLY ill when she was a bottle feeding kitten, and despite the fact that she was being saved, she didn't know it, and the act of medicating her traumatized her to the point where she would bite or scratch anyone who came near her.  After lots of work and patience, we can now touch her, but we still can't touch her head.  SOON!  Hubby has said it's his mission to make her his buddy, and I think it's working!  He managed to touch her first.   I'm good with that.

We also have Humphrey.   Humphrey came to us as a cute little kitten... Or I should say, a small demonic vicious kitten who would rather eat you than look at you.  He's definitely been a challenge and taken longer than I ever would have imagined.   In fact, he's still not ready by any stretch of the imagination.  I've realized though he is RIDICULOUSLY intelligent, and I tend to find that the really
The Regal Humphrey aka "Humpy" LOL
smart ones don't let go of their reservations quickly.   Funny story about Humphrey though....

So he wasn't neutered.  He DEFINITELY needed it.  We'd started calling him "Humpy" because he was humping everything.  The problem was that balance between getting the neuter and not wanting to ruin any progress we'd made with him.  So, deciding to deal with whatever came, I managed to get him crated up and didn't die in the process, so it was off to Dr. J to get the deed done.  Now I warned EVERYONE at the vet office that Humphrey was NOT going to co-operate.  They couldn't just go in on him because he would either panic and run, or he would panic and bite, and neither one of those situations was something I wanted to happen.  Great!  Everyone's warned and all will go well.   Until... reality hits.   So the vet was pretty confident he could handle Humphrey.  Even though he was warned by myself AND the tech (who told him repeatedly "Treasure said DON'T go in on him go slow"), he decided to go on in and grab Humphrey for his exam. I bet you he'll never do that again, because Humphrey showed him EXACTLY what I was talking about.  He promptly dodged past him, trashed the back end of the clinic, then managed to somehow get the EXTREMELY heavy door to the front open, trashed the front of the clinic, and they were sure he would dodge out the front door too...  Thankfully they managed to get him scruffed just before that.   At which point Humphrey promptly peed ALL OVER the vet.   When I came to pick him up later, the story was relayed to me with much laughter, and I couldn't help but giggle.  To this day, the vet remembers Humphrey.  Bet he will never forget him, either!   Anyways, Humphrey has made immense amounts of progress now that he's finally neutered.  He still won't let me touch him by going in, but he lays on the bed with us, and will come up and "tap" us with his paw, wanting us to know that he's acknowledging us.  I'm in no rush.  I enjoy his pretty face and his antics, and he gets along great with the other cats.  He will come around when he's ready to.

Bailee has made some AMAZING progress as well.   It's very obvious to me the longer I work with him that he WAS badly abused, however, at some point he WAS a very sweet and loving boy who enjoyed the attention and affection of humans.  He has another little girl, Tux, in the room with him, and when she runs for attention, I can see in his eyes the conflict between wanting some of that too, and being paralyzed with fear. He doesn't poop when we come in the room anymore.  In fact, he doesn't even run.  He moves away and watches, intensely curious.  It's awesome because I know it means it won't be long before he comes around. 

We had a bit of a surprise with one of our kittens.  We got him when he was really small.  He and his siblings were fully feral.   Terrified, and not afraid to bite if you scared them.   Well Alfalfa was the one who seemed to come along the quickest...  He was liking people and not running away anymore.   I booked an appointment to have him neutered, but he ended up with an eye infection.   I treated the infection, and booked him again.  The day before he was due for surgery, guess what... another eye infection.  Rinse repeat several more times, and I finally just asked the vet if it was ok to bring him in anyways. He said sure and that he would take a look at it.   During this time, his progress seemed to backslide.  He was getting sketchy and hissy and even struck out a few times.  I could NOT figure out what the heck we were doing wrong, but managed to get him crated up anyways with him hissing, then growling for the ENTIRE car ride to the vet.  He was a mean and nasty little booger the whole time there...  But the vet made a discovery that explained a lot.   Alfie's eye infection was more than that.  He was going blind.  The vet estimated that he had about 20% vision left and was probably only seeing shadows.   Well that certainly explained a LOT!!  No wonder he was backsliding... the signals he was getting would be TERRIFYING for a cat.  For anyone, for that mater.  Armed with that knowledge, we took a different track with Alfie, calling out to him long before we touched him, giving him a lot of verbal cues.  Moving more slowly to allow him to recognize shapes... And suddenly our sweet little boy was back, where he's been ever since!  If anything, he's become MORE sweet and affectionate.   Unfortunately, until he's fully blind and really adapted to that state, he can't really go anywhere.  It would confuse him a lot and would likely regress him.  it is going to be much easier to let him get used to his state and then find him a home.  That's ok, I rather enjoy the little fellow, as do we all, and we're all happy to support him until he's ready.

I'm more than a little pooped now, but I hope to do a new post with some updates on some new baby additions soon! 

As always, if you are interested in any of the cats and kittens I discuss in my blog, please contact NCWL. 

Keep calm and rescue on.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

A Day We Thought Might Never Come

As always, I'm going to berate myself for not actually posting more.  I keep telling myself I should, but then reality strikes, and I barely have time to sit and contemplate half of what's happening to actually translate it into a blog post before the next thing comes along.   I'm just going to have to face the fact that I can blog when I can, and otherwise, I can't feel guilty about it.  

That being said, I felt I really had to share some news and updates.   After the loss of Houdini, I was a little lost, but had to quickly get myself back on track so that we could charge ahead and help more cats.  We've had all kinds of interesting cats come in.  Like Twyla, who is a young mom who was pregnant and scared, so scared she would pee herself when she was touched.   She's had her babies and is now the sweetest cat ever.  She was an easy win.  

We got some new touch cases.  One from a local Humane society again - Bailee.  A cat who is older
and was very obviously the victim of some traumatic abuse.  Like our boy Ramses, he would pee when people came in the room, but he one-upped that by pooping too :(  He's made some significant progress though although his abuses are obvious, just this morning or the first time his eyes are totally calm and he was giving me lots of slow blinks.   I think he is recoverable, but will definitely need some more time.  He's a cutie with a chubby little face and at least deserves a chance.  

We also got a terrified ginger tabby from another rescue named Chance.  This poor fellow ended up with a family that neglected him and didn't even bother to get him fixed the whole time they had him, then returned him because he was "stinky".  Seriously?  Of course he smelled, he was spraying!   No adoption process is 100% and unfortunately some slip through the cracks... Thankfully the family returned this fellow to the rescue, and when they saw his behavior wasn't something they could handle, they got in touch with us.  He's still in the early stages, but I think he can come around too.  Now that he's neutered his hormones have the chance to calm down and that should help bring him around.  

We had another sad incident on a personal level.  One of our amazing cats, Duck, who has been a huge help with many of our problem cats, has left for the rainbow bridge.  He fell very ill and unfortunately there was little we could do for him, so we had to make the right choice and let him go.  We've all been extremely upset about this, and even Quark was extremely depressed for a while.  She refused to eat and spent hours searching the house for her buddy.  It was incredibly heartbreaking.   Duck will be greatly missed.   We have placed his remains with Lou's, so that he can be with his spiritual mother for eternity.  RIP Duck. :(

Ramses, cuddled up on the bed.
The one story I really wanted to share though is one that I almost started to think would never happen, and it's the one that reminds us of why it is we do rescue and work with the cats we do.  I'm sure everyone remember Ramses, the beautiful cat who was trapped and left in the trap so long, traumatized and injured.   We spent a lot of time and effort getting him to a place where he was no longer afraid of humans, and even loved people once again.  His fears melted away and he became the most loving cat you could ever imagine.  But I don't know if it was because of his difficult past, or what, but it seemed like anyone who was interested in him just never committed, and he never even got to meet any potential forever families.   We were all sad about it, but had sort of resigned ourselves to the fact that he may never get adopted, although we were happy to have him stay with us for as long as he lived if necessary.  This little boy would never see hardship again if we could help it. 

Extremely hopeful for his chances, and knowing that he'd made an immense amount of progress, I asked Hubby if he thought Ramses would be good to go to an adoption event.   Events can be very overwhelming for sensitive cats, lots of sights, sounds, people moving and wide spaces, foreign environments.  We had to know though if Ramses could handle it, so I packed him up with the other kitties and brought him along.  He quietly let me pack him up (he'd already passed a vet visit with flying colors despite being poked and prodded), so I was hopeful this was a good sign.   As soon as we got to the event, I put down his soft carrier and realized there was a puddle below it.  Of pee.  Ramses had peed himself from fear - uh oh.   I set up the pen and got the cats unpacked, worried about his reaction when I opened his carrier.   He quietly allowed me to take him out and put him in the pen, where he immediately hid (as did several other sketchy cats).  Not a good sign but I had to push things a little, so removed the top from the carrier they were hiding in and hoped for the best.   Eventually Ramses settled down to lay beside me, and started looking around, interested, not scared, about what was going on around him.  Hopeful, I soldiered on.

I got a call from Lori about a lady coming to see Bruiser, a big black and white fellow who is completely laid back and unflappable.  She had unfortunately lost her elderly cat recently, and wanted a cat who would not cause issues with her remaining elder.   Bruiser would be a good fit, so Lori sent her over.  I was waiting for her to arrive and dealing with many lovely people, adopting out several kittens and discussing the history of various cats.   When the lady arrived, I could sense she was a good person, and truly loved cats.  I pointed her to Bruiser and she went to visit him.  But then she looked into the pen, and saw Ramses laying there, looking gorgeous and regal with his lions mane and calm demeanor.  Through the day he'd been allowing strangers, even loud children to pet and cuddle him.  This really made me feel good about his chances, but I wasn't going to get my hopes up too high.... until this lady's eyes met his and I saw a spark.  She asked about him, and I told her his story.  She was shocked and saddened, and asked if she could go into the pen and visit him.  I said absolutely!  She climbed over the pen, approaching him slowly, and lowered herself to sit with him.  She stroked him a few times, then picked him up and put him in her lap.  He cuddled in like he'd been sitting there all his life!   I was shocked and pleased, and the wonderful woman proceeded to spend nearly TWO HOURS with Ramses in her lap, petting him, cooing to him, just enjoying him.  I had NEVER seen him feel so safe and happy.  It was like he belonged there!!   Finally, covered in cat hair, the woman said she would have to think about it and would be in touch with me.  But I could see her hesitation when she set him down, and my heart leaped a little, hoping that I would hear from her sooner than later. 

As the lady left with assurances I would hear from her, we carried on with the event.  It was wonderful and the people at the Pet Valu store were amazing to us as always.   About a half an hour later, though, I looked outside and noticed the lady coming back....   Already?  No, it couldn't be.   I excitedly greeted her as she came back into the store and came back to the cat enclosure.  She rushed up and said she couldn't possibly leave without Ramses.  She had to come back and get him.   My eyes misted over and I immediately got her the required paperwork.  Hearing her talk about her other cats and all the things she'd done for them, I knew that if Ramses went home with this woman, he would live the best life we could possibly wish for him.   She hadn't really planned on bringing anyone home today, so I let her borrow a carrier, anything just to make sure that Ramses would leave with HER.   The look on her face when we loaded him up and she turned the carrier to look at him told me everything I needed to know.   Ramses had found his home.   After everything, the months and months of work, at times when I almost gave up hope... it all led up to this day.  This amazing day where this boy, who otherwise would have had NO chance of life, found his home.   I was in a daze as we finished the paperwork and she paid her fee...   Any adoptions are good, but this adoption.. this was spectacular!   It made the entire day, everything, worthwhile.   I thought the day might never come, but the universe surprised me, and made us all  SO very happy.

Ramses.... working with you taught me so much about myself.  You challenged my patience, my abilities, and what I thought I knew about troubled cats.  You taught me so much that I will in turn use to help other cats who have come from backgrounds just like you, and I promise I won't give up on them either.  I mean this in the best way possible, beautiful boy, I hope never to see you again except in pictures of you being happy and cherished in your very own home.   I love you and I couldn't be MORE happy for you.  You DESERVE this!  All cats deserve this, but for all you've been through, you really really deserve this.  I'm sorry people were terrible to you, and I'm sorry that people can be cruel and heartless.  But I am glad there are also people out there like your new mom who can make you forget those horrible things happened and show you a live filled with love and care.  I'm glad I was privileged to have a part to play in bringing you back from the mental hell you were in, and to show you that it was possible to feel safe and loved.  The whole family worked hard to show you affection and to show you a different way.  Now, I can sleep knowing that for the rest of your days, it's the ONLY way you will ever know.  As it should be.  I'm so glad this day came.

If you are interested in learning more about the amazing cats and kittens we have for adoption at NCWL, please check us out on Facebook, or visit our website.   Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Every One Deserves To Be Remembered

It's been a really long time since I posted.   I know I keep saying that I'm going to do it more, but, lately it just hasn't been possible.  Between work and tons of sick, desperate cats, it's been quite a haul and there's really been no time for anything other than doing what I have to do and sleeping.  There's been some awesome news.  Lots of progress with kitties like Heather, Ramses, Nightingale, and others.  But there's also been some losses... and those are the moments that make rescue really, really hard sometimes.

We lost quite a few cats.  My heart breaks a little with every one.  I try to be strong, but sometimes I have to just give in and cry it out.  If I don't, it all just builds up and comes out in ways I don't want it to.   The breakneck pace of things hasn't really helped, either.  Stress begets stress.  It's not a saying that I know of, but it should be.  But a few short days ago, something happened that forced it all out, like it or not...

It's taken me quite a while to even get the gumption to post this, I guess because I didn't want to talk about it, and I've been so busy burying my head in being busy, the holidays, and family, that I didn't really want to unpack this to deal with, but my baby boy Houdini really deserves to be memorialized.  A few weeks ago, we had to make the tough call to put Houdini down.   It was a Saturday night, and the family was watching a tv show together.   I looked over and saw that Houdini was having trouble breathing and when I went to investigate further, I knew absolutely that he was in trouble.  I made the call to Lori, and then I ran out the door with him and the girls in tow and rushed off to the emergency vet.  I could tell even then that the prognosis would not be good, but we had to do everything we could......  I'd become very attached to Houdini, and it had been tossed around in the family that he would be staying.   I guess to really understand our attachment to this little guy, I should share more of his story.
Houdini at the shelter.  Poor dirty scared little boy :( 

Houdini was in a high kill shelter, and his prospects weren't good.  He was marked as a feral (generally a death sentence unless someone steps up to rescue them promptly).   He was terrified, and we don't know exactly what he'd been through, but whatever it had been, none of it had been good.   Lori couldn't leave him there (as is her way, bless her!!), and asked if we could work with him.  I very rarely refuse her, and this little guy really needed the help.  She pulled him along with a few other feral kittens, and once he got to us, the work began. 

Houdini was SO terrified of people, he wouldn't even consider allowing touch.  He hissed, scratched, fussed, and ran away as soon as opportunity would arise.   As the other ferals rescued with him one by one drank the "people kool-aid", I wondered if we'd ever get Houdini over the hump.  Patience and persistence, and soon enough, he was allowing touch, and even beginning to enjoy it.  Once he was socialized enough, he went into a store, waiting to find his forever home.    Unfortunately, it wasn't meant to be then.   We got a call from the store that Houdini was sick, and could we please come and get him.  Of course, I headed out to collect the poor guy to bring him home and nurse him back to health.  Vet visit #1, prescription meds, and rest.   He got better, and back he went to the store.   Unfortunately, although he had some interest, he was overlooked time and again, and once again, we got a call from the store that he was ill.  Off again I went to collect him, and off again to the vet for more meds and more rest and care.   Not that we minded.  By this point, we had all really come to adore the little fellow.  He had a great personality!   So friendly, and most of all, amusing as anything!  He loved to play with the oddest things, and instead of holding his tail straight up, he held it forward like an arrow pointing what direction he was going in all the time.   He was chatty, too, and followed me around the house yapping up a storm.  He really bonded with our resident, Trouble, and aside from being buddies, he was something of a doppelganger for her.   It was so cute watching the "twins" play with their strange toys (among Trouble's favorite things being plastic beads and the lids from cans - we take them away but she always finds more), and generally amusing everyone.   
Happy-feet Houdini!

We started just taking Houdini to events, hoping that he would find his forever family at one of them.  He was always well-behaved, purred at the right times, was cuddly, but when we packed up and went home, he always seemed relieved.   I still hoped he would find the right place, but he was becoming more and more attached to me, and after events he was stuck to me like glue.  I expressed concern to Lori that he might be getting a little too attached to me specifically, and we discussed perhaps transferring him to a different foster just to see how he'd act... but it didn't happen.  Frankly, I had really come to enjoy him meeting me at the door when I got home from work, and HEAVEN FORBID I go into a room and not let him in.  The ruckus he made at the door was enough to wake the dead.   So he was my little Shadow, but we kept taking him to events and hoping for the best....

One event, we finally thought things had come together.  This wonderful couple was very interested in Houdini, and wanted to take him for a trial!   We were all SO happy!  He'd been overlooked so many times, and they were lovely people.  If he was finally going to have a forever home, all we could do was celebrate!  The couple did the paperwork, left their trial fee, and took Houdini home.  I hoped as I fell asleep that night to receive a phone call about how wonderful he was and how happy they were with him.  Unfortunately that is the complete opposite of the call I got.   The couple called and said that Houdini is a lovely boy, but he wouldn't eat, wouldn't drink, and worst of all, cried ALL NIGHT LONG.   It was beyond just being uncomfortable in a new place and needing to settle down.  The wife told me that the sound me made was like hearing a baby wail in pain or anguish.  They asked if they could bring him back.   Shocked, saddened and sort of disappointed for the poor guy (and for these lovely people, they certainly didn't expect that!!), I absolutely agreed for him to come back to my place, and I discussed them meeting some of the other fosters we had at the home to see if they felt someone else might be more suitable.   They agreed, and later that day, they arrived on my doorstep with Houdini in a carrier.  As they came into the front hall and put the carrier down, I called out to Houdini and he started FREAKING in the carrier.   I told the lady to just go ahead and open it, and I've never seen a cat fly out of a carrier to fast.... right past the lady and everyone else and up into my arms.  He literally put his little feet around my neck and hugged me like I'd never been cat-hugged before!   He was purring so loud and was rubbing on my face so vigorously I couldn't talk for a moment.   The lovely couple just looked at me and said that he looked like he'd come home and was happy there.   I realized at that moment that chances were that he would not be going to another home, and that he was home.   I was trying REALLY hard not to admit it though, but I think everyone sort of realized that that was the way it would be.   Time for a family meeting and to see what to do.  We already have residents, and although Houdini fit in with our little group, adding another cat is also adding the potential for more vet bills and responsibility, and it's not a decision to be made lightly.   We had to talk a little more and see how things went, but as far as Houdini was concerned, he wasn't going ANYWHERE.  

Houdini sleeping in one of his silly little ways.
After that, he was even MORE clingy and even MORE my shadow.  If he couldn't come into the bedroom at night to sleep with me, the ruckus and destruction he caused was unreal.   I let myself get comfortable with him being my little buddy, and how could we not completely enjoy this incredibly loving, wonderful, funny little guy!   The family all sort of agreed and we were getting ready to make the step and actually adopt this boy (we already had in our hearts, we just hadn't made it "official" yet, but anyone who knew us knew it was a done deal).   This is when tragedy struck.............

At the vet's office, they had rushed Houdini away for testing, xrays, and to give him meds to make him more comfortable.  The girls and I were pacing, trying to do anything we could to keep from fretting.  They were being really strong and good, it was me who was the mess.  When the vet came back to talk to us, putting Houdini's xray up on the display, my heart completely sank, and before he even said a word, I could feel the tears warming my cheeks, and I knew what he was going to say.   The diagnosis was FIP.... Houdini's lungs were so filled with fluid he couldn't breathe, and the pressure it was putting on his heart was causing him immense pain.   There was absolutely nothing that could be done to save him.   The vet called Lori and explained to her the situation, and she had to make the tough call I knew there was no choice but to make.... we had to agree to end Houdini's suffering.   Anything else would have been selfish, wasteful, and pointless, not to mention making him suffer that much more.  She gave me permission to stay with him (the vet requires this), and apologized several times for what she had to do.  I COMPLETELY understood, and would never blame her.  It was the right call, as completely heartbreaking as it was.  The girls caught the gist of what the vet was saying, and they were quietly crying too.  We all knew what was next.  

Houdini always smiled while snoozing.
The wonderful vet techs brought Houdini into the room with us so we could have some private time to say goodbye.  They were so wonderful and respectful.  The girls and I cried a bit, cuddled Houdini and told him how much we loved him.   In that moment, I was so choked up, but it warmed my heart a bit to see the look of complete love and trust in his eyes at that moment.  Yes, he was on pain meds and that was making him a little wonky, but he COMPLETELY trusted us and the situation and I could just tell he knew that we would do what was best for him.   The look in his eyes made me cry harder.  The girls cried harder...   But we calmed ourselves down because we all wanted Houdini's last moments on the earth to be a sharing of love, not sorrow.  Sorrow could come later.     I looked down at those loving, trusting pools of his eyes, and I couldn't help but remember the terrified, hissing, spitting, traumatized kitten he was when he came to us.  He would rather have chewed off his own foot than to spend even one moment in the company of people.   Now, all he wanted was to be around people, be loved, cuddled, played with, and he trusted us so totally.   I knew in that moment that he was good and understood with what we had to do, and that he was letting us know in that look. I had to go with that trust and honor it, and when the vet came back in and asked if we were ready, we all reached out and put our hands on Houdini so that he had love and contact.  He started to purr VERY loudly, and he kept purring right until he took his last sighing breath.  When it was done, we just sat with him, quiet, no longer in pain, and stroked his soft fur.   We all sobbed, more quietly now, it almost felt wrong to really cry loudly.   When we left and got into the car, I broke down completely, sobbing, crying, loudly, wetly.   The girls were sobbing too but I cried the hardest.  They touched me and hugged me and knew why I was sad.   I said goodbye to my cat.  He wasn't "my" cat, but really, in so many ways, he was.  So much time and effort went into earning his trust.  It just felt wrong and tragic for it to end this way.    I railed at the universe for a little bit, but realized quickly, I have a whole bunch of other cats who need me, just the way Houdini did.   They still need me to help guide them to trust, to show them humans aren't awful, to show them. It helped to solidify and remind me that this is what it's all about.  This little guy could have just died at the high kill shelter... scared, angry, alone, unloved, dirty and sad.   Instead, he died surrounded by love, care, and everything a kitty could ever want in his life.  He lived a GOOD life, as short as it was.  One filled with that love, filled with play, filled with care....   That MATTERS.   It was a short life, but we made a difference in that one life, all of us.  Lori by choosing to save him.  Our family by working with him.  The wonderful people at the stores we have our cats at, by promoting him, caring for him, doing their part to find him a home. Even that nice couple who tried to give him a home.  Everyone who'd touched his life from the moment Lori pulled him had made his life better.   This is why we do what we do.  This is what it's all about.

Houdini's final moments.   Love and Trust.
I think about Houdini a lot, still.   Our Trouble looks so much like him, and one of the fosters we have is also very reminiscent of him.  Sometimes from the corner of my eye I see her run by and I wait for his little chirps and chatter that said he'd found me in the house.....   It does hurt, just briefly, but then I think that we can make that difference for another cat.  And now, in my mind, every cat I work with that is in that awful place mentally, I tell myself that I am doing this to honor Houdini.   Every baby we save, everyone we help is a testament and an honor to him, his memory, and all the other cats who's lives have been made different and better by the work we do.  Instead of letting it keep me sad, I'm going to continue to embrace it as a motivation to keep doing what we do, even when it's hard.  Even when there's setbacks.  Even when sometimes we lose one (which is inevitable). 

Thank you, my little buddy boy.  My little chatter man.  My kitty "boyfriend".   Thank you for being in my life, and loving us, trusting us, and for reminding us why we do this.  Thank you for everything, little love, and we will see you at the Rainbow Bridge!  I know that you are enjoying life there, chatting, chirping and amusing just the way you always did and delighted us so much!   You will be missed, but most importantly, you will be remembered with love.  

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Time goes marching on....

Paris, London, and Orlando relaxing on the bed.
This seems to be almost like a trap, this promise I keep making to myself to make time to blog, because I WANT to often, but I become so incredibly busy with the things I have to accomplish and the time just slips away.  There's been a lot that's happened since my last post, and I'll do my best to share it all without rambling - lol!

Ramses is progressing well.  Since my last post, he doesn't hiss or trigger as much, and not once has he spun around to nip... not even a love nip!  This is huge progress, although when he does get startled or triggered, he still panics a bit.  Bis is with him, and he's actually shocked us by starting to allow us to touch him briefly.  He adores Ramses, and when Ramses seeks attention, it makes him curious, and he will allow some contact.  Maybe there is hope for him after all, although I don't think he'll ever be a cuddly cat or one who wants to climb in your lap.
Orlando - the gremlin?

The boys have been joined by a girl.....  Her name is Heather.  We were contacted by another rescue because apparently Heather has acted up and was striking out and attempting to bite her foster and other volunteers.    Most rescues are just not set up to deal with major behavior problems (not many people want to subject themselves to the possibility of a cat attack - OUCH!), and we were happy to take her on.  
I put her in with the boys because I thought they might all help each other.  I have been evaluating her behavior, and she does seem to get highly stimulated when she's really excited, but so far she's only whipped around to nip once, and she didn't actually make contact.  I think that despite her being twitchy, probably from a past trauma, she is recoverable.  So we will work with her, and in the meantime I will enjoy her pretty face, and the boys really seem to have taken to her.  It's a win-win. 
Orlando Ham-Fists posting for a pic!

Tia's kittens have gotten big!  They are 5 weeks old, and all little rock stars in their own right.  Orlando is most especially a little poser, and starts striking poses as soon as he sees the phone.  Not only does he have hamfists, but he flat out is a ham.  It should be interesting, I think there may be a battle when he's ready to be adopted.  There's a LOT of interest.   Paris and London are also adorable, and amuse us endlessly with their antics.  Mind you, it's less amusing at 3 am, and I will assure you, polys have more claws as well as toes!  Time to trim their claws.. again!

We acquired two other kittens a few weeks ago.  We got a call from one of the stores where we have cats... apparently someone left two kittens in a box outside, taped up with a few holes poked in it, and a note asking someone to take care of them, and listing their names, Olaf and Elsa.  They are absolutely wonderful kittens, and although it makes me angry that someone dumped them, I'm just glad they ended up in a good place.  They are now fully vetted, and available for adoption.  It's been a nice treat having kittens come in we didn't have to "fix", no behavior issues at all.   There's been lots of interest in both of them, and I'm confident they will find forever homes very soon!
Elsa - box kitty!

We have a few other kittens around, Jem, Seri, Houdini, and Duster.  Duster is very much like Bis, still very wild and needing work.  Poor Houdini (who Hubby calls boomerang because he's been back many times) was sick again, but is now on several types of meds and is improving steadily.  Here's to hoping that he gets better and out to a forever home soon.  He's a doll!    Seri is an HAC kitten who had been sick, but is now better and ready to be adopted.  She went to an event yesterday (as did the others who were ready), and no bites on anyone except Jem.  SHE may have found her forever home, and is going on a trial this week.  I hope it sticks, she really took to the girl who is taking her, and I have a feeling that once she's there, she'll be staying.   I love those kinds of endings.
Olaf - the other box kitty!

Another kitten, Bermuda, has faded a bit, and we took her in to the vet the other day.  She was fine one day, and not the next.  We aren't sure what's up with her yet, but we are taking the best care of her, and should have her blood work results soon. I'm confident she will get amazing care from our vets when they have a good idea of what's going on with her.  Poor little monkey.  Kittens are so volatile, health wise.  It's very hard when they are fine one day and not fine the next.  You beat yourself up and ask yourself if you missed something, if you could have done more.  Poor Lori is feeling down too because she lost a kitten this morning, and despite the fact that he was incredibly ill and it was something of a miracle that he lasted as long as he did, it doesn't soften the blow any.  This is the hard part about rescue, and I have infinite respect for her and everyone who carries on despite the fact that sometimes, it really freaking hurts!  You wish you could just have a magic wand to wave to make them all better.  Lacking that, you are pretty helpless and just do all that you can.  That's really all anyone can ask, and for many of these cats, even a few hours of loving care is more than they had, and infinitely better than drawing their last breath in the high kill shelter, surrounded by sterile cages, frightened and sick cats, and terrifying sights and sounds.  In the end, sometimes a peaceful end is all we can give them.  It's hard to think about it when you're hurting, but it does have meaning and makes those little lives not be lost in vain.
London the troublemaker!

On a funnier note, one of our resident cats has taken issue with Hubby, for some reason, and keeps leaving him gooey presents in his shoes.  While it's unpleasant and requires cleanup (thank goodness for Virkon!), I have to say it is worth a giggle now and again (although I usually have to clean it up lol).  We think it might be Duck, as he takes after his grandmatron, Lou aka Gardenia, and thinks he rules the roost. Several times Hubby has had to remind him that while he's high on the food chain in the cat realm, we two-leggeds are the boss, and we think he's taken exception to that.  It's either him or Trouble, who is like a jealous girlfriend when it comes to Hubby, and is rather put out that she can't sleep with him for a little longer, while Tia and her kittens are in our room.  It's a mystery that we shall solve, but for now, it keeps us on our (hopefully not gooey) toes.

If you are interested in adopting any of the cats and kittens I talk about in my blog, please check out Neveah's Charity of West Lincoln's Website, and contact Lori.  She's awesome and always willing to help match you up with your ultimate fur-baby!

Monday, 25 August 2014

Celebrating the new.....

Wow.  It's been a long while since I last wrote a blog post.  When I started this blog, I was intending to write in it regularly... making it a part of my own essential "me" time, but that hasn't really necessarily happened.  Regardless of that, I do enjoy it, and hope that those reading it enjoy it as well.  There's just so much going on, it's hard to know where to start.  Basically all the news is good news anyways, so I suppose I can just started with the newest news!
Orlando at the top, using Paris as a pillow with London Below

Tia, the gorgeous polydactyl Lori pulled for us (well really, for Hubby) from HAS who we suspected to be pregnant.... well, she wasn't fixed and was outside.. OF COURSE she was.  She had her babies just over a week ago, and it was fun holding our breath to see how many of the babies (if any) would end up being polys, aside from just how many she would have.  It added an extra layer of excitement to the waiting.  Well, we now have our answer!   Tia gave birth to three extremely feisty and healthy little kittens!  Two girls and one boy... and that boy has a SPECIAL surprise.  He's a Poly just like mommy!!!  Little boy, now named Orlando, and his two sisters, London (grey and white tabby) and Paris (dilute tabico), are growing fast, and have been developing even quicker than imagined!  That's the difference when mom is well-fed throughout pregnancy, I suppose.  On the day of their 1 week birthday, theirs eyes were already open!  It was insane.  They are absolutely adorable, and healthy and bawdy.  I will be posting up lots of pictures of them before they go to forever homes.   And man, those paws on Orlando, they're like little meathooks!  Huge!  We are so pleased all is well with this little family.  They certainly are special!

We had a few batches of feral kittens Lori pulled en masse to try to avert a major vet day about a month ago.  It's kept us full, but these little darlings were all pretty much feral born and had no hope if they'd have stayed at HAS, and most of the other rescues don't deal with ferals too often (with some exceptions - thanks to them!).  All except one have drunk the "humans are great" kool aid, and although they are all fighting a bit of a cold at the moment, they will be good as new asap, and will be ready to go to their adoptive homes!  Whoever ends up with these little darlings are all going to be happier families for it.  They are all wonderful little cats, despite their feral birth.  You would never know they were born feral, unless someone told you.  It feels good to know these little sweethearts have a shot at the spoiled lives they deserve.   I can't wait!  Don't get me wrong, I'm going to miss the little buggers, but it's always nice to see them go into homes and get to shine on their own.
Orlando blinking his newly opened eyes.

We were contacted by another local rescue group, Hamilton Street Cats, to provide temporary housing for two feral cats who were taken from a colony for a TNR program they do.  These ladies are awesome, and are doing this 100% under their own steam... No way I could say no to giving a couple lovely ladies who lived the hard life a cushy place to convalesce  for a while.  Both were scared at first, but one in particular showed that she's a social lady at heart.   She has a unique story that deserves it's own blog post, really, but suffice it to say she'd been through a lot and deserved a break.  We named them Peony and Pollyanna.   All went well with their recovery, but one day I came home to make a sad discovery.  Poor Peony had passed, and with no obvious signs of struggle or distress.  It upset me immensely because I felt like I'd failed her somehow, and reviewed my actions to see if I could have done more.  Reality is though, these things happen unfortunately, and as it turns out, many of the cats that were TNR'ed from that colony became sick after their surgeries, and some died.  There is a good liklihood that the cats were poisoned shortly before being picked up.  It's disgusting, and sad, and horrible, but unfortunately it happens.  I had to reconcile that I had done everything I could to make her comfortable, but that I couldn't have known without any signs.   Poor Peony.

The story is much better for Pollyanna.  She's a complete and total little lover!!!  She's so friendly I was very quick to tell HSC that she is absolutely home-able, and so she won't be returning to the streets!  She will stay with us until we can get her out to some adoption events through some rescues who have offered to help, and she will never have to want or suffer ever again...  She will be the pampered princess she deserves to be!!   I am so excited about it, and in the meantime, our older Daughter is happy to have her visiting in her room.  It's the best kind of scenario for a lady like Polly.

I'm sure many are wondering about the big orange tabby we got from one of the local Humane Societies.  This poor guy was left in a trap for over 24 hours before being brought to the shelter, and it still infuriates me when I think about it... .but, fortunately, we've made lots of progress with him, and I am fully confident that someday he will be able to live out a completely wonderful life in a forever home.   We discovered that he was not fearful of just ANY humans... but specifically, WOMEN humans.  All humans give him a scare, but females in particular absolutely terrify him.  Thanks so much to the stupid, selfish, ignorant woman who trapped him.   We found this out as I was having Hubby help me feed him, and he very much enjoys going in to visit the lovely Ramses.  Hubby brought the food in, and Ramses quickly moved right past his inhibitions and bold as anything walked up and rubbed against his legs!  This is HUGE, as he has not really made many overt movements to get CLOSER to humans.  This was a massive breakthrough!  Although, I have been working very hard to gain his trust.  Sitting quietly in the room, being totally non-threatening, just exposing him to human, female interactions without it ending in misery and terror for him.  It's slowly working.  Just the other day, when I came in the room, he meowed, but instead of breaking down, he walked nearby me and rubbed up against a table, looking at me.  He actually MADE EYE CONTACT without peeing himself or panicking.   With those little tidbits, we can move forward, as every day we see more and more glimmers of the cat he really is, hiding inside all that fear.  Peeling back the layers, I know we will find a wonderful, lovely, typical big 'ol orange tabby Cyrno De Bergerac.  I also made the decision to put Bis in with him.  We weren't sure if Bis was male or female for sure, because we still haven't been able to handle the cat well, and being black it's hard to tell unless you get right in there, so to speak. However, Bis is definitely male, and had to be separated from Nightingale, who's sort of been a surrogate mom to him, before things got past motherly LOL.   In the meantime, he's keeping Ramses company, and although Ramses was a little nervous at first, Bis is also helping to bring him out of his shell.
Ramses Before and After

The last time I peeked in, the two were cuddled up in a little fur ball in the middle of the room.   This is also huge for Ramses, who feels very exposed and rarely lays out in his room.  He's usually under something or on top of something.  Hopefully with the combination of Bis teaching him how to be a cat again, and the work we are doing to remind him of what it's like to be loved by humans, he will make much faster progress now.  Stay tuned and I promise to keep everyone up to date on what's going on.

Nightingale has come a long way.  With her own kittens gone, she's turning into a kitten herself, practically.   She's not the growling, terrified, panicky cat she was when she arrived.  She's filled out nicely, and although we are still going to investigate further what kind of damage was done to her back end, as she gets stronger and healthier, she is more and more able to move around.  She's very wobbly, and is sort of like a motorcycle in that she can only stay really upright when she's moving (she falls over when she stops), she actually gets around incredibly well, and has even ventured to get up the cat perch a few times.  She falls more than she makes it, but the mere fact that she is trying and keeps trying is nothing short of inspirational.  She's a GORGEOUS cat, and her sweet, gentle, loving nature will give someone incredible companionship. 

Thankfully, kitten season is starting to slow down, and we can work to get some more adults out into forever homes.  Kittens are lovely, but adult cats are too, and should never be overlooked just because they aren't as "cute".  With an adult, you know what you're dealing with.  Kittens can be a crap shoot.  If you are looking to adopt a cat, please consider a wonderful adult, too.

As always, if you are interested in any of the cats and kittens I talk about in my blog, please contact Neveah's Charity of West Lincoln.  Lori is amazing and will absolutely help you find the cat of your dreams :)  If you can't adopt, please consider donating.  You can also check out the amazing online auction we have going on for a few more weeks.  All proceeds go to the cats!  Thanks everyone!

Monday, 4 August 2014

Sometimes your heart breaks....

People outside of rescue ask me all the time how I can handle being in rescue, because I often see cats that are the results of the worst people can be and do.

Fancy, a rescue from HAS

I know people do these things.   It's an unfortunate circumstance of human nature, but we can do pretty awful things to the creatures in our world... not to mention to other humans.  I was going to do an update post, but I think more than anything, I need to just talk about some of the things I need to get off my chest.

Rescue can be VERY hard.  I've cried so many times seeing the horrible situations these precious little animals find themselves in, and know that somebody DID that to them, and of course it makes me sad, it makes me angry too.  I could go and rant and rave to the world, but I think that people are already well aware of the hideousness that can be contained within the human psyche.  I always prefer to try to focus on hope, and on healing, and keep things in the positive... if all I did was think about the bad, I don't think I could do this.  Many days it feels like it will never end, and that things will never improve or change.  It's a big task we set ourselves, in all kinds of animal rescue... helping animals recover from what is almost 100% of the time a horrible situation caused by HUMANS.  In all likelihood, even under the most ideal conditions, we will never fully eradicate this. 

The No-Kill effort is something that people in the rescue community widely advocate, and many are working to see Hamilton become a no-kill facility (with little to no traction).  In many communities who have adopted the no-kill mandate, conditions have improved immensely for animals that are put into shelter situations, and the options in these areas grow.   I am a strong believer in this effort.   But I also know that it's not going to eliminate the need for animals to be rescued... and it's definitely not going to eliminate the darker side of human nature.  People will continue to do horrible things to each other and to animals.   It's a sad fact of life.   I can't bring myself to pretend that the NEED for rescue or for animal cruelty laws will ever change..

There will always be low-income areas, where people don't have (or don't know they have) access to low cost spay/neuter, or know their rights concerning having pets in homes, or be able to afford to get Fritzy medication for his allergies.  There will always be ignorance, and cruelty, and neglect.  For as long as we live in modern society, these things will be a factor.  There will always be a need for rescue.....

And rescuers... what a passionate, inspirational bunch of people.  They come from all backgrounds and have all types of methods, but when it all comes down to it, they want to rescue cats.  Many pay out of their own pockets, take much time from their own busy schedules, and they willingly accept the chance that their hearts may be broken because the cat they tried to help didn't make it, or couldn't be helped.  This is a chance they willingly take, because rescuers know that when things DO go well, and even when they don't, they made a difference in the life of an animal, if even for a little while.  THAT is what we do it for.  THAT is the ultimate reward. 

Something that saddens me, is that human nature element of things.   Rescuers are people..   They all have the same purpose, but not all have the same methods, and not all share the same philosophies and beliefs about the specifics.  It's almost like politics... Some are hard right, some are hard left, and many are in the center about things, and sometimes this causes issues and infighting.   I may be criticized for writing this, but it's inevitable when you get such a diverse group together, and give them a communication platform like Facebook, altercations will happen.  It's nobody's fault, really, and I understand human psychology enough to know that it's inevitable.  But I think the tensions of this incredibly intense kitten season has made everyone a little edgier and trigger-happy than usual, and it does boil over into these communications.  That's when it's time for everyone to step back and say "whoa....folks, what's going on here?"

We are all doing this for the same purpose.  Not everyone will agree on the methods.  Everyone is desperately trying to do their best to play a part in making things better.  None of us have unlimited resources or abilities.  If we did, I'm sure this problem would already be solved.   We all contribute what we can, when we can, and it continually blows my mind when people make out like what's been done isn't enough.   "Thank you XXX for saving this cat, but why didn't you save that other one TOO?".....  What?  Really!?  Step back and ask yourself, don't you think that if XXXX could have saved THAT cat too, they would have?   Rescues are VOLUNTEER organizations run on DONATED MONEY, and that is NOT easy to come by.  If it was easy, every person who cared about it would run a rescue.  We are not miracle workers.  We can't make vet care, foster homes, and food fall from the sky by doing a sacred cat dance to the gods.  Does anyone seriously think for ONE moment that every cat that we couldn't save doesn't haunt us in our dreams at night?  Does anyone think for a second that we aren't sad when we can't save them all?  The positively HERCULEAN efforts of the amazing people who run these rescues isn't enough for some people it seems, and it's really really SAD!  THAT makes me want to cry as much as the thought of the cats we couldn't save!   We all bear our hearts open to be continually sliced open, then poured over with iodine.... we do the very best we can, and it's still not good enough?  They often put their lives aside to do the work they do... and it's not good enough?   All I can say to those who are critical of the people doing something is... STOP.  If you can't appreciate the efforts made, if you can't be thankful for what IS done, STOP being critical and start doing what YOU can to help.  Want to see more cats saved, foster.  If you can't foster or you already do, help recruit more fosters.  Do what you CAN.  Being critical and nit-picky about how rescues save cats or what cats they save DOES NOTHING TO HELP THE CAUSE - THE CATS.  If you don't like the way that the rescues are doing things, and have a better way to do it, please feel free to start your own!  This isn't like small businesses where new kids on the block are competition.  HECK NO!  I guarantee there's not a rescue in the world who is sad when MORE groups come together for the common cause.  We just CANNOT forget what the purpose is, even though it's stressful, even though it's HARD to see that not every single cat can be saved.  It's certainly NOT for a lack of trying.  Watching the efforts rescues go to to pull enough cats to avert a vet day, seeing the planning and coordination and shuffling these people do to try to accommodate yet one more cat or sick kitten when they are already bursting at the seams...   Maybe not everyone can see this effort, but it's time to start APPRECIATING this effort a little more.  Even one cat pulled is ONE MORE CAT SAVED!!!  And for some small rescues, even taking on one extra cat can stretch resources.  How can anyone fail to consider that these people also have to take into account the animals they already HAVE in their care, and they have already committed to providing them with all their needs until they find forever homes?  Cats certainly don't get adopted at the rate they are taken in, even by the most successful rescues.  Capacity is an issue, and any responsible rescue will not exceed their capacity.   They do what they can, when they can.  I just can't understand why that isn't enough for some people.
Another disturbing trend is the criticism of the "everyday guy" who dumps their cat or doesn't get it fixed because they're poor or don't know any better.   Yes, these people exist.  I've been poor.  I've struggled.  I've had to scrimp and save to buy food, or pet food, or get things done.  It's a reality of life.  But most of these people are NOT the enemy.  They don't realize the larger picture of the impact of that one small act of putting their cat outside because they have to move somewhere it can't go.  To them, it's just one cat.  We in rescue see the bigger picture... we deal with it every day.  We are so deep in the trenches we can't see anything else.  But we have to remember that not everyone in the world is as immersed, or as passionate, about this as we are.  That doesn't mean they don't care, or that they wouldn't if they knew better!  It just means that they can't see things with our cat-colored glasses. You catch more flies with honey.  If we educate people, and instead of excluding them and pointing fingers at them, we find ways to help make them PART of the solution.  Help them to find the resources that are available.. teach them a better way, even one person at a time, this is how ideas spread.  I have yet to meet someone who was uneducated NOT be receptive to the message of rescue once they know those resources exist.  MOST PEOPLE ARE NOT AWARE OF RESCUES!!  They think rescue, they think the local SPCA.  Rescues, volunteer groups on limited budgets, don't advertise themselves...  With what money?   But talking to people about solutions and doing so in a way that they can feel involved, even if it's just spreading the word.  We start doing that by dealing with EACH OTHER in a respectful way, in a way that promotes the positives...  Not divisiveness. 

It's like that facebook experiment, where they showed more negative stories than positive ones for a  week, and people got depressed?  It's the same general idea when showing your "brand" to the public... We, as rescuers, need to pull together and show a united front.  Set aside egos and differences, and focus on the fact that there's a lot of work to do, and the longer we sit and point fingers amongst ourselves, the longer that work is left undone.  Concentrating our efforts on the changes we CAN make, doing what CAN be done, and appreciating what is done by others.. those elements are the key to moving forward the agenda that brings ALL of us together.  Let's keep our eyes on the prize people!

And do those of you who run rescues, all of them.  THANK YOU.  Thank you for taking on the stress of organizing a bunch of volunteers, who can be like herding cats, and are still human afterall.  Thank you for making the effort to bring in money, and deal with the organizational side of things, and doing the bits that not everyone can.  THANK YOU for keeping track of vet records, making appointments, and dealing with fosters.  THANK YOU for having to make tough decisions, and still carrying forward.  THANK YOU for taking on the difficulties that can be involved in dealing with cats, the potential heartbreak, the 2 am emergency phonecalls, and the disappointments when you did your best and nothing helped.  The burden you bear is something I have respect for, because you're STILL doing it, and you keep carrying on even through tears.  Please don't stop.

To the foster parents, THANK YOU!  Thank you for cleaning up poop and pee and litterboxes... Thank you for toughing through being sick to take that cat to the vet for it's spay, thank you for taking time out of your life to give that cat his medication, and being bitten in the process.  Thank you for bandaging up that scratch you got from a scared cat, smiling, and soldiering on.  Thank you for being willing to let go of a beloved foster to go to a forever home, even though you're sad and will miss them because they were a piece of your heart.   THANK YOU for being there with them, when they draw their last breath, because even though you did everything you could, mother nature takes some anyways and you can't save them all, no matter how hard you try.  THANK YOU for every tear you've shed to make a difference in an animal's life. 

To other volunteers, THANK YOU!  Don't think everything you do doesn't make a difference.   Even sharing a post on facebook can mean the difference for a cat in need.  DOING something is always better than just talking about it.  Even the little things cannot be overlooked, because every brick is needed to hold up a wall, and volunteers are extra bricks needed to keep it strong.

We're all here for the same purpose.   It doesn't hurt to feel  like our effort is worthwhile.  We don't do this to make other people happy, we do this for cats, and for the feeling it gives us.  It can be hard enough without negativity.  Let's lift each other up.   It's going to be a long hard kitten season.  We could all use a helping hand. 

Friday, 25 July 2014

It's all about the cats

Robin at the cage at the store.  Not too thrilled, but she settled in!
Well, I know it's been a while since my last post.  Work sent me to Seattle for training for a week, but our youngest was AMAZING while I was gone, and took care of all the cats (measuring their meals, giving their meds, you name it, she did it), and we are so proud of her!   In that time though, of course, lots happened.....

Nightingale's kittens as well as Meesha all left the nest to go into stores for adoption.   Kestrel, Chickadee and Robin have all been adopted!  Sparrow and Raven will be adopted soon, I'm sure, they are absolutely adorable!  Now that they are gone, we can start moving on working on miss Nightingale.   She's such a lovely girl, and so playful and loving now.  Hard to believe when she came all she did was hiss and growl in terror..

Heart is doing very well!  She's almost ready.  Our youngest has been working with her and has done an incredible job breaking her of her habit to nip from overstimulation, and has completely moved her past her fear of people.  I couldn't have done it better myself!  Heart is almost ready for adoption, we just have a few more things to do around getting her easy to handle for carriers and whatnot.   Generally exposure therapy and repetition, with a good dose of positive reinforcement does the trick.  She's a smart girl, I'm very confident she'll figure it out quickly!

"Hamfisted" Tia!  Isn't she cute??
The orange tabby male, now named Rameses, poor angel, we really are working literally from the ground floor with him.  He does allow some love and touch, but gets overwhelmed extremely quickly and goes into complete terror mode.  I've decided to change directions with him, and treat him like I would a fully feral cat, instead of only a traumatized former pet, because when he's in the full grip of his fear, he IS a feral cat in many ways, and reacts with many of the same behaviors.   However, he DOES want to be around people, I just don't think he knows how to past his trust issues right now.    I've started just going into the room, not speaking or approaching him, but reading a book or doing something still and quiet for longer and longer times in his presence.   At first, he WAILS, like a baby crying, but unlike any sound I've ever really heard at all.....   But he calms down more quickly each time we go through the exercise.  I believe he's going to be with us for a long while, because working from the ground up is a time-consuming process, and you can't rush the animals through it.  They have to work through it at their own pace.   I'm ok with that, and I think everyone else is too.  EVERYONE is pulling for this guy, and after all he's been through, he deserves nothing less than our absolute best effort to help him live a wonderful, fulfilling life.  No life lived trapped in the cage of fear is fulfilling.   Hang in there, little buddy, we're here for you. 

One of the kittens pulled this week!
Our Polydactyl mama (hubby requested the pull) is indeed pregnant, and is growing daily.  She has three extra toes on both her front paws, and OMG she's adorable!  Super sweet, she was definitely a pet.  No idea why anyone wouldn't want her!  Those ham-fists are SOOOOOOO cute!  And she can grip things with them just like an opposable thumb (makes her NOT so graceful for jumping, though LOL).   Hubby is teaching her how to give high fives, and she's starting to make friends with Nightingale.  It would be sweet if they could be buddies.  Both are SOOO loving!  I'll definitely post progress on her as she's closer to her due date.  As it is she probably has at least a few weeks left.

Lori, being the wonderful lady she is, pulled a BUNCH of kittens from HAS this week in hopes of helping to avert another vet day.  Guess where some of those kittens ended up?   They have been having fun tearing around in the office and generally trashing the joint, but they are adorable and we don't mind at all.  A couple of them are quite terrified, and might need a few weeks work, but the rest are sweet, ,cute and ready to go.  I love it when a plan comes together, they are all going to an adoption event this weekend, and with luck, next week will find them ALL in wonderful forever homes!

I finally had to make the call on Bis, and he will be going to a barn home.  He's very comfortable with people, but like Dusk and Dawn, wants NO interaction with them at all.  That's ok.  I'm fairly sure he wasn't from a litter with the other kittens, he was feral born and raised through and through.  At least we know that he will be safe where we send him, and he can live life enjoying being cared for, yet still having his freedom.  NEVER a bad thing. 
Another pulled kitten, he has such cute markings!

As always, if you are looking to adopt any of the wonderful cats and kittens I talk about, check out Neveah's Charity of West Lincoln.  If you can't adopt, donate, or volunteer!  Every little bit makes a difference for a rescue!  Thank you for reading.  I know this was rather uneventful, but I'm still catching up! LOL!