Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Monet

Yesterday was a good day. Richard took the day off and we went to our local art musuem, of which we are members. They currently have a special exhibit-Monet in Normandy. Very, very cool. It was nice to have some fun during this crazy holiday seson.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Kill Vs. No-Kill

Someone I know (via the Net) posted something really hurtful to me in a forum I am active in. She has recently started started volunteering at a local kill shelter. Part of her post read "It's so easy to be a no-kill shelter and look like the good guy - just don't take any animals!" When I responded to her that I was upset by what she wrote she responded that she respects the work that the rescue I volunteer with does but the effect that the local no-kill shelters have on kill shelters in her area upsets her. If a no-kill shelter doesn't have space the cat gets taken to the kill shelter. I fail to see how the fault comes back to the no kill shelter. After all, I sadly know first hand how hard space can be to come by. Shouldn't the blame here be on the owner giving up their cat? On people not spaying and neutering their cats? On our society as whole for not valuing animal life? I'm not sure how the no kill rescue got to be the bad guy. If they didn't exist there would just be more cats being killed.

It amazed me even more when she wrote that the kill shelter she volunteers with doesn't adopt to people who plan on declawing or letting their cats roam freely outside, and she supported their stance. I hate declawing and think cats are safer indoors, but when it comes down to dieing or being declawed I know what choice I would make. Apparently it makes more sense to them to let the cats die inside with their claws intact than to take a chance on giving the cat a longer life in a potentially good home.

Because of my work with a wonderful no kill shelter I have had the chance to have some amazing cats in my life, some with medical or behavior problems who wouldn't have had a chance at a kill shelter. I take it personally when someone attacks something I strongly believe it and I hate blanket statements. I don't blame the workers and volunteers at kill shelters either. The blame comes back to society as a whole and blaming other rescues accomplishes nothing except to cause hostility and discord among the very people who should be working together.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Little Things

I was thinking tonight about how quite often it's little things that make me happy. There are so many more little things in life that bring me joy. Here's a short (In no way complete) list of little things that make me happy:

Hearing my windchimes blowing in the wind on a quite night
Seeing butterflies in our backyard
Richard making my favorite dinner for me
Going to sleep when its raining outside
One of our foster kitties who needs socialization, taking a step forward
Jubilee wanting to sleep in our bed with me
Getting a magazine I love to read in the mail
Richard playing with my hair
Hearing a favorite song
Going to the movies (In the theatre. I love movies but going to the movies is the best.)
Big moments on TV shows I love (Janelle kicking out Will on Big Brother, The Sara and Grissom moment on the CSI season finale)

I think why these little things are so important to me is that they are what life is made of. Life isn't all big production numbers. It's mostly little, every day scenes. These moments all remind us of love or beauty or just plain entertainment. Some remind us of who we are aside from our designated social roles (The world may see me as a crazy cat lady who searches under bushes for lost kittens but I'm also the girl Richard fell in love with and when he plays with my hair or rubs my back it reminds me of that.) others give us a moment of entertainment and fun in the middle of a crazy week (Getting Entertainment Weekly & TV Guide in the mail means non-serious reading for me to look forward to.) and others prove the fruits of our labors (I wanted Jubilee to sleep on our bed for so long with me. For years she didn't want to even be in our bedroom. So every night she climbs up on the bed with me and curls up next to me to sleep it shows me just how far she has come.).

So be on the lookout for those little things. You might be surprised how many little moments of joy you have in your life.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Random Quotes

Here is a random quote page. Go through the quotes available until you find five that speak to you or reflect what you believe or whatever, and post them.

"Treasure the love you have received above all. It will survive long after your gold and good health have vanished."
Og Mandino (1923 - 1996)

Love matters and its what lasts.

"Fear not that thy life shall come to an end, but rather fear that it shall never have a beginning."
John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801 - 1890)

Life is now. There is no warm up, no dress rehearsal. Live it.

"I get up every morning determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult."
E. B. White (1899 - 1985)

This made me giggle. I can relate. I cant stop doing rescue but there are days when all I really want to do is something silly and frivilous, like buy shoes. (Which really would be frivilous and silly since I dont really like to wear shoes.)

"Science may have found a cure for most evils; but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all - the apathy of human beings."
Helen Keller (1880 - 1968), My Religion, 1927

I cannot stand apathy. Care about something!

"The really potent part of love is that it allows you to carry around beliefs about yourself that make you feel special, desirable, precious, innately good. Your lover couldn't have seen [these qualities] in you, even temporarily, if they weren't part of your essential being."
Martha Beck, O Magazine, February 2003

This really made me think. There are so many things I am now, so many qualities I have that I didnt see before I fell in love with Richard. Loving him and being loved by him has made so many parts of me grow and blossom.



Friday, July 28, 2006

The loss of a great volunteer and a friend

We lost a longtime volunteer at our rescue today. Sue was a kitten foster home and our adoption volunteer head. She was with our recue long before we joined. I cant even begin to count how many cats lives she has saved.

The nature of how all this has happened is really upsetting to me. It was completely unexpected. Sue had taken some days off work because of not feeling well. Her boss was concerned when he couldn't reach her and he went the house. There were papers in the driveway and her car was there but there was no answer. He called 911 and when help arrived they found her dead. They think she may have died on Saturday. I just pray that she went quickly with no pain. These kinds of things happen on episodes of CSI, not to friends.

Sue's best friend (also a rescue volunteer) was over there this morning working on getting all her cats. They had initially only found three and since we knew she had more cats than that we were concerned they had perhaps gotten out in the midst of all the upset. Sue's animals were her babies. She told me once that in her divorce settlement all she fought for was her animals. So taking care of her babies for her now is the least we can do. At last notice all had been caught except two who have hidden behind the washing machine. Her brother and sister in law are working on catching them. All her cats and dogs have to be kept in quarantine until the cause of death is determined. At that time any that her family cant keep we'll work into foster homes.

I saw her less than two weeks ago at an adoptathon (July 16). She wasnt feeling well but stopped in to talk to me about some cats we were working on getting in. I never imagined it would be the last time I would speak to her. Sue and I spent alot of time talking and laughing at adoptathons. I'm so glad I got to know her. I worked with her a great deal rescueing kittens. She was always willing to help in anyway to save an animals life. Sue was a wonderful, fun, caring person and will be greatly missed.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Some Adoptions

Finally a few adoptions. Henley and Ruby both got adopted on Saturday. We got a great application for two of our kittens, Coke & Pepsi. I really wanted these guys to get adopted together so I am thrilled this couple wants both of them together. We're meeting them on Saturday and if all goes well my Tuxedo duo will have a new home. We have two more new babies coming in on Thursday. Button and Butter were pulled from a kill shelter, part of a litter who were very sick. Luckily a woman nursed them back to health and all but these two have been adopted. So they are coming to us. It will free up more space so she can pull some more kitties from the local kill shelter. I still have 21 kittens and momma cats on the waiting list. If Coke and Pepsi go home we will be able to bring someone else in. We'll still have Root Beer (Coke and Pepsi's mom) and Diamond and Emerald (Ruby's mom and brother) left in our kitten foster numbers. Diamond is just about ready to go up for adoption (She was extremely underweight when we got her) and the other two are up for adoption already. We wont be going to another adoptathon till Mid-July (We are actually taking an adopathon weekend off, the first one in over a year.) but most of our adoptions this year have came vis our Website anyway. So hopefully by this time next week we'll have even more kitties at our house, ready for their new homes.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Kitten Season

Isnt kitten season a cheerful sounding name? Kittens are cuddly and cute so it should be a good time, right? Wrong. I hate kitten season. My phone rings off the hook with people who have kittens that need to be rescued and most often those people are willing to help very little. We're a small rescue but people assume we have endless resources and space. I had to shut the waiting list this week as it was at 30 and we have no room anywhere. We've also been hit pretty hard with medical bills. So we need an endless supply of money and about 10 times more foster space. Blah.

The lady who rescued Chamomile and her kittens called me. (Chami was semi-feral when we took her in. She literally clomb the walls and I had this moment of "Dear God, what have I dont agreeing to foster this cat?' Luckily she was young and with time and patience she tamed up really well and is in a wonderul home.) Theres another semi-feral cat with three kittens in her storm drain, same place Chami was last July. She cant take them into her house as her three cats will get upset. (Oh if only my cats had known they had that option!) Only one other rescue (Saying they dont know if they can help or not.) has called her back despite calling all the numbers I gave her. I have no space anywhere. I have kittens in two different dog crates and our bathroom so all my kitten space is filled. All the other foster homes are full and of course not all of them would be keen to foster a semi-feral mom. I also have a mom and kittens on the list before this one who are in a less than safe place. I'm going to at least try and talk this woman into putting a large dog crate on her porch and trying to get the mom and kittens in there. It's safer than a storm drain.

When I'm feeling down I dont post. Not good I know. I should post more then as it helps me a bit but it's hard to get motivated. I have two really cute kittens I have to tell about. I'll do that in the next few days with their pictures. Each has a story, one proving what a sucker I am and the other being pretty miraculous.

This is my third season being the kitten intake coordinator and for the first time I have lost a kitten who was in a foster home. I have had a few who didnt make it home from the vets, being too sick to survive, but this is the first one to die in a foster home.


Adobe came in with his sister, Jabber. They were kittens in a feral colony in a town near here and I agreed we could take them. They both turned out to be Feluk positive. They have been in their foster home since last fall and doing well. Adobe got very sick suddenly and despite the best medical care it was obvious the Feluk was taking him.
God, I hate that disease.

On the upside (Can you tell I am an optimist at heart? I make myself nuts sometimes.) Archie is doing really well. He has hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and it looks like we have got the medication right. He's such a handsome guy and a real sweet boy. Guess I need to get around to posting some pictures of my foster babies one of these days.

Monday, April 17, 2006

The Circle of (Rescue) Life




















Veronica, the beautiful Torbie in the pictures above went to the Rainbow Bridge today. Ronnie (I always called her Ronnie.) came in three years ago, a terrified momma to two friendly kittens-that's the picture on the left. The kittens were adopted quickly but Veronica stayed on. Over the next three years we got to see her come out her shell, to blossom into a sweet, friendly, beautiful cat-that's the picture on the right. She went from a cat you couldn't even pet to the greeter cat of the room. She has just attended her first adoptathon last month and she did well. Ronnie didn't meow, she chirped. She loved wet food and she never met another cat she didn't like. She was a wonderful little girl who was the epitome of gentleness.

Ronnie became very ill last week and was taken into our vet where she stayed eight days, running a very high fever. Initially they thought it was lymphoma but a biopsy showed it wasn't. That left us with two other possible diagnosis-FIP or a rare bacteria caused virus. She came home Friday and was a little bit. Saturday she was not doing well and by Sunday she was going downhill. Despite her fever being down she wasn't eating at all. She went back to out vets today and they discovered fluid in her stomach, a symptom of FIP. So at 11:30 this morning she left this earth for the Rainbow Bridge. I spent alot of time sitting with her yesterday, crying over how unfair this all is. Why now, after all this time did she get sick? Why just when she was really ready for a home did this happen? I would love to say I know the definitive answer but I don't. The only thought that has occurred to me was the same as the one that I had when I knew Baby Boy's time on this earth was over. I believe some cats are only here till they learn one important lesson and once they get that this part of their journey is over. For Baby Boy his lesson was that he was truly loved. For Ronnie I think she learned to trust people.

I am so glad that I got to know Ronnie, that we got to be in each others lives. She was happy in her foster home and she enjoyed her life there. She liked being with the other cats and she liked all the cleaners who came and would pet her. I think she was happy with her life. It's only us humans who wished we could have given her more.
















Today Hannah (left) and Hallie (right) went to the vets for their rabies booster and when they came back they moved into our adult foster room. They come from a severe neglect case (along with their brother, Archie who we had already moved into the foster room.) and trust is something we have worked on alot with them. They originally came from the same place as My Rollo and then the woman they went to live with had some sort of breakdown and stopped feeding them. They were all severely malnourished when they came in, to the point of near starvation. They are both scared from the trip to the vets and the move to the larger room. Tonight I lay down on the floor by Hannah and talked to her. I told her how safe she was here. She came out of the bed she was in and curled up next to the me, snuggling, kneading and purring. All I could think was how proud Veronica would be that the love and healing she received continues on. She will be missed by so many people who loved and cared about her. And yes, we will mourn, for the life she had and the life we wished we could have given her.

But we will not stop. To stop would be to dishonor all the lives we have helped before. We never forget them and I believe a bit of their spirit remains in everything we do. Theres a bit more gentleness, a little more empathy and a touch more love in all we do when we remember those lives we have loved and lost. We wont stop because there are so many more Ronnie's that need saving.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Feeings & Looks

We have a wedding to go to on Saturday and we went clothes shopping tonight. How depressing. I just dont feel comforable dressing up anymore because I hate the way I look. Pretty crappy. I used to have great style. I have never been a size 6 and honestly never wanted to be. (I think girls who are the size of Paris Hilton look ghastly.) But I did used to spend alot more time on the way I look. I used to have more money to spend on it too when I was a single girl who had nothing to spend her money on except me. I was pretty materialistic really. I spend loads of money on getting my hair done and on new clothes. I think the money is much better spent now but I do miss how I used to feel. Sexy. Desirable.

I'm confident in different ways now. I can discuss so many different things when it comes to saving the lives of animals. I give advice on cats to people quite often. I do adoptions and talk to all kinds of people about bringing in cats. I like that I have gained all these abilites. I just dont like the feeling that I have lost something. I think sometimes I put so much into rescueing cats I forget it's not a crime to take care of myself, to put some time and effort into making myself look and feel good. That's something I need to work on.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Your Passion

"Your true passion should feel like breathing; it's that natural."-- Oprah Winfrey

Wouldnt you think you would always know what your passion is? It seems like you should be born with that knowledge, or at least have some sense of it from childhood. I didnt. If you had asked me 10 year ago I would have said my passion in life, what I was meant to do was work with children. It's what I planned on doing. But life changes sometimes and somehow once I graduated from college and stopped being a nanny I never worked with kids again, save for one brief stint back with that family. I dont think I really discovered what my passion was till 2002. Even then it didnt shout out at me. Richard and I started volunteering at the rescue and it was quite intimidating at first. I loved animals but didnt have a cat at the time and there was so much I didnt know. But somehow it slowly got to be more and more a huge part of my life. We both got more and more involved, taking on more roles in the organization. We rescued/fostered our first cat and then got out first official foster with our rescue (Baby Boy. I still havent posted his story. It's still so emotional for me. I will. I just need time.) . Once we moved into our own home one bedroom was immediatly made into a foster room for Fred and Barney & then within a months time we had another bedroom & and a bathroom as foster rooms. (Our realtor couldnt figure out why we wanted a house with at least three bedrooms when we have no children. We thoroughly confused her.) We rescued our first kittens that summer and I took over kitten intake. This wasnt just something we were doing one day a week anymore. Our house revolves around rescueing and fostering cats. I didnt go looking for my passion in life. It wasnt like I felt like I was missing something. I wasnt running the streets yelling "Passion! Show me my passion!" But it found me and once it did it fit. I dont think think about how I can be a rescuer. It's who I am. I dont know how not to be.

When you tell people you foster cats they always look at like your just a little crazy. Once they find out that we dont just foster kittens, that our adults are usually ones that need special cats, either due to medical problems or socialization issues they look at you like your alot crazy. All they get is that it's alot of work. I wont lie and say it isnt. At one point last summer we had three seriously ill cats in our house and two in need of major sozialization. The strongest feeling I remember from last summer was just utter exhaustion. It does take it's toll on you. But the rewards are amazing. Those two cats in need of socialization? Well Star and Nimbus have been on the desk with me for most of this, Star laying next to me and Nimbus leaning against my chest. Fred and Barney are doing ok. Their medical issues are chronic but we're on an upswing at the moment and more importantly their happy. We lost Baby Boy last July but the time I had with him outweighed any effort I could have ever put out. I got to be the person who helped heal a soul that was hurt. I got to watch a being that was scared and unsure blossom into a content, confident, alive being and I was part of the reason why. You cant even put a price on that.

This world is a pretty screwed up place. There is beauty but theres also alot of pain. We as humans inflict so much pain and suffering on each other its amazing we have survived as long as we have. Animals are the victims so many time of our selfishness, stupidty and cruelty. Being a rescuer I get to help just a little bit, to heal some of the hurt in the world. I may not be working towards world peace but I'm working towards healed souls. Is it my passion? How could it not be?

Thursday, March 23, 2006

But how's the food?

I started this last year actually. Richard and I go out to eat once a week. We get fast food every Friday but we actually go out to a restaurant one night during the week. The night used to be Monday's but since our Bible study now meets on Monday the night now varies. Anyway, last year I made a list of several restaurants in the area I wanted to try. I actually had a list of 25 and we ended up trying 13. All but 3 of those were places we ended up really liking. I have a list of 18 this year (4 of those were carried over from last year) and so far we have tried 3.

Taste of Thai -
This place was nice but it definitely made it clear we are not fans of Thai food. We had tried it awhile back at a difference place and were so-so about it. It's just not our fav. But if you are fans of Thai it's worth checking out.

California Pizza Kitchen -
We lived in California and never tried this place. How odd are we? One opened at the mall closest to us and we stopped to look at the menu. It didn't look too bad so we decided to try it. Their white pizza is to die for!

Buffalo’s Cafe - We just went here tonight for dinner and it was really enjoyable. The food was good and reasonably priced. It was a really layed back and relaxed environment too. We'll be back.

I love trying new places. You never know what they will be like. Admittedly sometimes it is disappointmentnt but overall we have enjoyed the places we have tried. We have found alot of places that friends who have lived here much longer than us never knew existed. I try and take joy in the little things in life. Theres alot more of them than the big things.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

My Top 10 "Currents" Meme

1) My current girl crush is ... None
2) My current boy crush is ... Jensen Ackles, though it's really the character he plays on Supernatural.
3) My current fandom is ... BtVS/AtS will always be first with me. CSI is one I enjoy alot and LOTR.
4) My current favorite song is ... Extraordinary by Liz Phair
5) My current favorite movie is ... Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
6) My current pet peeve is ... the slow speed of organizational politics
7) My current weakness is ... pistachios
8) My current biggest flaw is ... procrastination
9) My current favorite book is ... Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
10) My current guilty pleasure is ... Footballers Wives-No redeeming qualities whatsoever but a heck of a lot of fun!

A nice girl like you.....

I was surfing around tonight and ran across another blog that dealt with animal rescue. So much of what the woman's blog said rang so true to me. She works with a small rescue (as do I) which never has enough money (yep) or enough space (yep, yep). She gets frustrated with people and mad at the cruelty and neglect she sees. (oh ya) Rescue can take over your life. I certainly didn't start out thinking I would become as involved as I did. I started really because I lost Oreo, my beloved baby, German Shorthaired Pointer who we adopted when I was 11 years old. She was with me for almost 17 years, turned my husband into an animal lover and was the most amazing baby. She left this world in 2001 and in reading alot of web sites on animal rescue it struck me for the first time how many animals lost their lives every day because they weren't wanted. And here I was, ready to give God years off my life if he would give me just a little more time with Oreo. Ironic, huh? When we first started volunteering with a local cat rescue it was one night a week, only helping out at our main foster home. We started fostering about 6 months later. We fostered very small scale to start with and when we moved into a larger house it grew from there.

Most people don't really get why we do what we do. Why doesnt a nice girl like me have babies instead of cats? The two of us would make wonderful parents. (Um, we are. They have fur but their our babies.) I have gotten some really strange comments when I tell them I volunteer with a cat rescue ("What are you rescuing them from?" is my personal favorite.) and almost everyone feels the need to tell me if they are a cat or dog person (Personally I'm neither. I love both. I have more cats than dogs because that works for us. I work with a cat rescue because it's where we started and the rescue we work with has beliefs and ideals that mesh with ours.) and how they got their own animal. I think it's great the amount of people who adopted their animals but it frustrates me how few people do anything aside from that. We were discussing philospophers the other night in Bible study and how talking without action accomplishes nothing. If more people were willing to foster just one animal we could save so many move lives......

Sitting here on the couch with Coal and Clara next to me and Rollo on the foot stool by my feet I am still amazed by my "not highly adoptable" kitties. People just don't know what they are missing.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Oscar Night

It was a wonderful Oscar night at our house. We got take out Chinese food, played Oscar bingo and made all our predictions of the winners. It was a close one this year. I won-13 right to Richard's 12. I was so glad Reese Witherspoon won for Best Actress and I really wanted Joaquin Phoenix to win for best actor. I am thrilled Crash won as well. I love the Oscars!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

What's On TV

So the Olympics are over. :( I love the Olympics and hate when they end. I loved the snowboarding (Snowcross was my favorite) and was really into the ice dancing this year as well with all the drama (The Italians amazed me!). There were alot of upsets in the women's figure skating which made it exciting if a little heartbreaking. Now we get to get caught up on all the shows we have been taping while the Olympics are on. Wanna know what's on our to watch list?

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
CSI: Miami
CSI: NY
NCIS
Cold Case
Survivor:Exile Island
Without a Trace
Criminal Minds
Touching Evil - Nobody does better mysteries/police drama's than the English.
How I Met Your Mother - The first sitcom to make us laugh in years.
Numb3rs - Much more Richard's show than mine.
Lost - More my show than Richard's.
We're also watching American Idol and The Amazing Race but we're actually up to date on those two.
I also have my shows I tape and watch on my own. I love Medium and Supernatural and I am really into ER at the moment. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed it and started watching re-runs and got hooked again. I tape Ghost Whisperer and Close to Home as well. My biggest guilty pleasure on television is Footballers Wives.

That's a heck of a lot of television isn't it? Can you tell I suffer from insomnia? It gives a girl alot of free time to catch up on TV.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Clara

Clara at her original foster home

We stayed at 5 cats for over a year. All our kiddos get along great and even Jubilee comes out and of her throne room occasionally. (Our room is her room. She sees no need to to leave it since her cat tree and everything she wants is there. She's Jubi. We just accept it. If she's happy, we're happy.) When we adopted Rollo and Coal we also took on two more foster cats. We hadnt planned to. There was a remodeling going on at the main foster home so we had to move all the foster cats out of one room. We took 4 cats to foster for just a few days, till the room was all done. Andie and Mandy spent a few days in our bathroom and then went back to the main foster home, until we ended up adopting them a few months later. We had also taken Stella and Clara, who were two of the shyer cats and decided to keep fostering them with plans to possibly adopt them in a few months time. Obviously we ended up adopting Andie and Mandy and alot of other things happened in the next few months time to change our plans. Stella, a beautiful Tortie/Maine Coon Mix, was the first shy cat Richard really worked with. She was also somewhat tempremental and got overwhelmed easily so we really didnt feel our home was the best one for her. A quiter home with a few less cats seemed a better idea, but since she had been with our rescue since 1999 that didnt seem very likely to happen. Low and behold a year after we started fostering her we got a wonderful application to adopt her! We struggled with adopting her out but once we met her new mom we knew it was right. Stella hid when her new mom came to meet her, not even coming out from under the futon and yet her mom wasnt put off. We were shocked when she said she still wanted to adopt her. She knew Stella just needed time to trust her. Adopting Stella out was very hard as we were very attached to her but it worked out so well. Her mom stays in touch with me and often sends me pictures to show how well Stella is doing. She has blossomed so much in her new home and even lets her mom pick her up, something she never let us do. Stella realy got her dream home.

Stella and Clara

It's amazing how the timing of things works out. God really was looking out for me. For the next few months, adopting a cat was not really anywhere in my mind. I was too busy loving my boy and letting him go. I'll need to write a seperate entry on Baby Boy, to tell his story. Clara's story is somewhat entwined with his though so there has to be some mention of him. After Baby Boy left this earth we broke one of our cardinal rules:We let Clara out in the house with out cats. We dont usually mix our cats with our fosters. Baby Boy wanted to be out with our guys some though and since I couldnt deny him anything he spent time out in the house. Since Clara was his roomate she came too. Once he was gone I wasnt going to leave her in the foster room by herself so she came out into the house. Besides which, in the entire time we has been fostering her (over a year and a half now) we had never had anybody apply to adopt her. (Technically that's not entirely true. The wonderful woman who adopted Stella had expressed some interest in adopting Clara, but since she and Stella could be pretty snotty with each other that wasnt a great idea.) So Clara wasnt going anywhere. She knew all our kids, had been with them at the main foster home so once her and Mandy stopped hissing at each other they were all fine. She adores Nilla and the two of them look so cute together-A big white dog and a little black cat. Other people do mix their fosters and own cats, but I never have since I get attached too easily. Anyway, Christmas was coming and Richard kept telling me he had gotten my main present already and it would make me cry. I kept thinking he was going to get me something to memoralize Baby Boy and I wasnt ready for that. I had no idea what he had planned. So Christmas Day comes and my first present is a calendar of black cats. I love black cats so I was thrilled. My last package is flat and thin. A folder. I was compeltely confused now. Then I opened it and there was an adoption contract already filled out with Clara's name. He was right. I cried. He handed me a pen and I signed it and Clara was officially mine. Clara seemed to know things were permanent now. She was out and in the middle of everything all day. I could never have let her go. I have loved her since she was at the main foster home. She's so shy she used to hide but would come out when I called her and let me pet her. She has the softest fur, it feels just like a bunnies, thus her middle name became Bunny. Clara is pretty shy and most strangers will never see her. Richard's parents were over visiting this Summer and Clara shocked us all by coming out of hiding and climbing all over Richard's Dad. Richard told me that's when he decided this was definitely her home. I had known it all along, from the moment she let me pet her all those years ago.

Andie and Mandy

We hadn't planned on adding any more cats to our family after adopting Rollo and Coal, at least not for awhile. Two little girls had other plans however.



Andie was found after a housefire in a local neighborhood. Some neighbors took her to a woman they knew was an animal lover. She was disabled however and the only space she had for Andie was an abandoned trailer. To make matters more complicated Andie was pregnant and quickly gave birth to five kittens. The woman called our rescue and we quickly got Andie and the kittens into our main foster home. Andie was a skinny, frightened kitty but she immediately trusted Richard. She quickly became his shadow. She would sit on his lap while he scooped litter boxes, talk to him as soon as he entered the room and generally made it known that she had chosen him as her daddy. Most of Andie's kittens got adopted fairly quickly. Only two were left, Slim, a handsome gray and white male and Mandy, a very shy little cutie who adored her mommy. Andie and her were tightly bonded, so much so we didn't want to adopt them out separately. We weren't fostering any adoptable cats at this point so we didn't usually go to the adoptathons. One one occasion there was a couple interested in Andie and Mandy and Richard went to meet them. They were less than nice, had no connection with the girls and kept going on and on about how shy there were. I couldn't believe how mad Richard was when he got home afterwards. I had a feeling then these girls weren't going to anyone else's home. I have to give Richard credit, he really did try not to get attached. Of course it didn't work. And finally, when coming home after an adoptathon Andie came running out her carrier, chatting the whole time and jumped up on Richard's look with the most put out expression on her face it was very clear she didn't want to go to anyone else's home at all. We had a big multi adoptathon coming up and I told Richard if the girls didn't get adopted then I was adopting them for him as a late birthday present. He didn't even try and argue.



The girls didn't get adopted so a week later both Andie and Mandy came home with us. They spent a week in our downstairs bathroom and at the end of the week were out about in our house like they had always been there. (It took Rollo and Coal much longer to be ready to be out all the time. They spent the majority of their first three months in a spare bedroom, having little trips out in the house before they were comfortable enough to stay out all the time. One night Coal just refused to go back in the room and we took this as a sign they were ready. Cats tell us so much about what they need if we only listen.) We really cheated on integrating them into our household since they were from the same foster home and even the same room as Rollo and Coal. They all greeted each other very casually "Oh are you living here now too?", gave each other a few "I know you" sniffs, and settled down to life as brothers and sisters. Mandy was right at a year old when we adopted her so she's the closest to a kitten we have ever adopted. She holds the title of eternal kitten in our household and is just as spoiled as you can imagine any baby would be. Since Andie was so young when she had her (Not even a year old) the girls have barely a years age difference and are great playmates. Mandy has slowly gone from a shy little girl to a very affectionate, cuddly one. She can usually be found either sleeping on the arm of the couch near her Daddy's head or laying across my chest. Andie is a typical Tortie. She is extremely smart, full of personality and extremely personable and outgoing. She greets all visitors to our house and if they fail to greet her back she will tap them on the arm till they respond. She is very cuddly and sweet with me but she is 100% a Daddy's girl. The world revolves around Richard for Andie. If he's late coming home she sulks. If we get a new foster cat and she thinks he's paying attention to them and not her she sulks. If he dares to have his laptop on his lap and not her she sits on my lap and glares at him till he puts the laptop away and she can reclaim his lap. She is a happy cat who got what she wanted most; A home for her and Mandy, with her Daddy.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Rollo and Coal

Rollo and Coal are a bonded pair. I think these pictures I took when they were still in their foster home shows that! They really do walk with their tails intertwined. They absolutely love and adore each other. I have many weaknesses when it comes to cats (Black cats, Tabbys) but bonded pairs is my biggest one. Luckily since the rescue we work with is a small one we have the luxury of keeping the pairs together. We adopt them out together if they are truly bonded or not at all. Rollo and Coal weren't rescued together. They have vastly different pasts.

Rollo came into the rescue in July of 2000, about a year old. He was living with a man who lived in a trailer right by the highway. Supposedly this man loved cats and he had many of them. All of whom he let outdoors. Many of whom got hit by cars. Of course the man did not take them to the vet. No, he shot them. I don't know all the details of the cats lives there but needless to say it was definitely neglecting and abusive. Without going into all the details my boy was rescued by the founder of the rescue. She has rescued more cats than I can imagine and can tell you all their stories but Rollo's she remembers very vividly. She told me the other day she will never forget the look in Rollo's eyes, that their was no life, nothing their. I cant even imagine it as he is one of the most vibrant, life filled kitties I have ever known. He's a smooshie, cuddly boy.

Coal came into the rescue in March of 2001. Coal was a stray cat who came into his foster home as a wild boy. The woman who rescued him swore he wasn't wild but I have heard horror stories of how close to feral he was. He's a big black cat who alot of people think is scary and intimidating looking so I can imagine he didn't have alot of people who were kind to him when he was a stray. At one point his foster mom really thought he would have to become a farm cat as he was just too wild to adopt out.

How exactly my boys found each other and bonded so close I don't know but I do know I owe their foster mom and Coal for saving my boy. Anyone who could ever claim that animals don't love just needs to see Rollo and Coal together. My heart just aches every time I see them together, it's so beautiful.

I wanted my boys for a long time. When we first starter volunteering we were living in an apartment. With Nilla, Jubi and our foster kitty we were already over our animal limit. The first words Richard said to me when we found out we were getting out house were "You can have your boys." They truly are my boys. Rollo is my little boy. He loves other cats. He loves Nilla. He love everyone! Coal is my handsome boy. Coal is a bit more cautious with strange cats and people alike. When we adopted him we knew he wasn't as affectionate as Rollo. I was ok with that. I loved him for him. If we was never really affectionate that was ok. The first time he clomb up on my lap I cried. That fact that he now routinely climbs up on my lap and purrs for me is the greatest gift. They have both blossomed so much since coming into our home. They are best example of why people should adopt shy cats and give them a chance. My boys are the best cats. I cant imagine my life without them.


Olympic Moment

I just have to comment on the Olympics. I am such an Olympic junkie! I love, love, love ice skating. I love the snow boarding and speed skating. I am absolutely heartbroken that Michelle Kwan had to pull out of the competition. I have watched her since she was a little girl and have always loved to watch her perform. I will always feel she was robbed in Nagano. She was the epitome of grace, strength and elegance at those games and her performance was flawless. While I hate that she wont be competing I am in awe of her graciousness, her honesty and her integrity. She could have stayed and skated. It was her right to do so. But she loves the sport and the Olympics too much to do that, so like the graceful athlete she is she stepped aside. I shed tears watching the announcement and in the retrospective of her career that followed. I have always loved what a fighter she is. How many other skaters have retired from professional skating since the first Olympics she attended? But not Michelle. I admire that so much and I relate as I am so bad at quitting myself. She has said a few times she wouldn't rule out another Olympics. She would be 29 at the next Winter Games. No woman that age has ever won a gold medal in skating. I guess we'll have to wait and see. But I wouldn't count her out till she decides she's done. She's a fighter after all.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Jubilee

We started volunteering at a local cat rescue in the summer of 2002. I wanted a cat. Richard wasn't sold on the idea as he had never had a cat. At the time Nilla was being treated for heartworms so we couldnt add another animal till she got the all clear anyway. So we had time to meet some of the cats and get to know them. We started helping out at the main foster home, cleaning litter boxes, feeding the cats and playing with them. I wanted a black cat as my childhood kitty had been black and I know they are not easily adopted (Alot of people still have really dumb ideas when it comes to black cats.) None stood out to me as my cat. There was one we considered named *Simon, a gray tabby but we werent completely sure.

Then a kitty was returned from her home. She had been in her home since she was a kitten and now the couple was getting divorced. The husband had suddenly become allergic to the cat and neither of the people wanted her. So back she came to a foster home. We only have a few cages there, since for the most part the cats are free to roam, but we have a few for returns, cats who hate other cats, medical cases, ect. Millie was a 2 year old brown tabby. She came back to her foster home absolutely scared. She huddled in a cage and looked like she was trying to pretend none of this was happening. The first week we were there to clean we left her alone, hoping she would be a bit more settled down by our next visit. The next week we cleaned her cube out and she was just as scared. I talked to her in a soft voice, wrapped a soft blanket around her and told her it would keep her safe. She snuggled her head into my hand and I was lost. It is the one and only time I have gone home and cried. Nilla was due for a vet check the next week and Richard immediatly said if she was ok then Millie could come home with us. I set about thinking of a new name for her. A new life deserves a new name and names are very important to me. I am admittedly a huge comic book fan. I love the X-Men and my favorite character has always been Jubilee. It also happend to be the Queen's Golden Jubilee year and a Jubilee was a celebration. So Millie was to be renamed Jubilation Lee. Nilla checked out fine at the vet and Jubilee came home with us the next weekend. She spent her first week in our small bathroom with little visits out in the house to get her used to the surroundings. By the end of the first week she was ready to be out and about in the house. She was fine with Nilla and she settled down really well. Jubilee is the perfect cat. She doesnt jump on the counter, she doesnt get into things and she is pretty self sufficient.

Three years after coming to live with us she is a very sweet, affectioate cat. She is also the most stubborn creature on the face of the earth. I researched cat food when we adopted her and discovered how important wet food is to a cats diet so I wanted her to eat it. Richard got a great kick out of watching me pull my hair out trying to get her to eat food food. For years the only wet food she would touch was supermarket junk food. Finally, we found one premium food (Merrick) she will eat. We all rejoiced. Jubilee is our number one cat. We dont love her any more than the others but there is just something very special about her. Initially she was pretty aloof and tempremental. Now she sleeps beside me almost every night. She tolerates our other cats but she spends most of her time in our bedroom. Since she's the Queen she has her food seperate from the others in there. Spoiled? You bet!

(*Simon was actually adopted about a week after we adopted Jubi. It worked out well as he hates other cats so he went to a single kitty home. We all got happy endings.)


Nilla

My stories about my kids always start with one. Oreo. I got Oreo when I was 11 from a shetler in NJ. She was with me for almost 17 years. We lost her, my baby dog right before we moved to NC. She was the most amazing baby. People who didnt even like dogs loved Oreo. She had survived Parvo as a puppy (She never reached her full size because of it) and was the first animal Richard ever loved. It was extremely hard to get another dog after losing her. I still cant see a German Shorthaired Pointer without getting emotional. I agonized over getting another dog. I wanted one but it just was so hard. I kept looking at dogs on Petfinder but I just couldnt do it. Then I saw Nilla. I have a soft spot for active/hyper dogs and I had always wanted a Dalmatian. She was a Dalamtian/Lab mix. At the time she was named Alexis, was almost 6 months old and was in a low kill shelter. Low kill still doesnt mean no kill and her days were numbered. We were getting ready to go to Chicago for a work trip. We spoke to the shelter and planned on picking her up on our way back. We drove back from Chicago as fast as we could and arrived not long before they were to close. Nilla came bounding out and it was love at first sight. She was playful, sweet and just as active as Oreo had been as a puppy. (Oreo was named after Oreo Cookies and Cream Ice Cream, so to keep up the theme I wanted another Ice Cream name. Vanilla Bean fit perfectly.) Her first Christmas was so much fun. Nilla is very smart and she loved unwrapping presents. We videod her first Christmas just like proud new parents. I strongly believe Oreo had a hand in us getting Nilla. She is one of the most easygoing babies. She loves people, loves cats and is amazingly loving. She's our princess.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Thursday, Just Thursday

So I made my 3rd new recipe last night. Not a success. Aw well. I tried. That's what this year is about for me. Letting go of fear and trying new things. That's not an easy thing but I'm working on it. It's all baby steps right now but baby steps are still steps.

Oddly enough I am really into American Idol this year. I have always avoided it since it's such a huge thing were we live-Clay Aiken land. So many people here just live and breathe the show it's hard to not be turned off by it. (My favorite moment was when we went to a local restraunt with my inlaws who were visiting from England. The waiter of course had to tell us we were sitting in Clay Aiken's favorite booth and took great delight in telling my mother in law she was sitting in the exact spot Clay himself sat last time he was here. I dont think he knew what to do when she told him she didnt know who that was.) For some reason this year we watched the auditions and have had alot of fun with it. We missed last nights episode (way too much DVR'd) so I've been reading the recap. Looks like my favorites go through. Yae!

We had had tons of applications to adopt for cats lately. My Chamomile (more about her later) went home last Wednesday to one of the best homes we have ever adopted to. Serenity is meeting her new family on Saturday. We have sevral people lined up to come to the adoptathon on Sunday so hopefully Jazzy (who was returned from her home last week after 5 years....grrr) will find a new family as well. I love this time of year when we have adult cats getting adopted. Oddly enough, I the kitten lady (I'm the Kitten Intake Coordinator) have never adopted a kitten myself and I much prefer when we adopt out adults. It's a heck of alot harder emotionally letting go of an adult cat than it is a kitten. Most kittens come and go pretty quickly (Chami and Serenity are the only cats left over from kitten season at our house and they were both momma kitties.) so you dont get too attached and you dont usually really have to work with them too much. But an adult who you have to work with is another story. In Chamomile's case she needed major socialization. We had her since August and she wasnt ready to even be put up for adoption till January. You spend alot of time with a cat like that and it's so hard to let them go. In a way fostering is setting yourself up for a broken heart but I cant imagine not doing it. Speaking of cats, I still need to show off my own babies. I'll do that in my next post.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Zzzzzzssssss

Sleeping has never been easy for me. I have insomnia alot of the time and am always struggling to try and keep some sort of normal sleep pattern. I occasionally think about how bizarre it is that trying to get sleep is a goal for me. Most people just sleep. I have to work at it. How weird is that?
I'm thinking about all this now as I am tired. I slept last night but woke up every few hours and then woke up for good before 6. Hopefully I'll be able to sleep tonight. I need to be awake and with it tomorrow as we may be having a couple come to meet Chamomile, one of our foster kitties, who is interested in adopting her. Chami is very shy but so sweet, nothing like the little wild girl who clomb the walls when we first got her in August. So fingers crossed that it works out.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

My Big 32 List-In Progress

So I am trying to work on My Big 32 List. The French Toast Girl inspired me with her Big 34 List. I like the idea of making a list of things I want to achieve, some in the near future and others ongoing. Only problem is I am having trouble coming up with enough things for my list! So I am posting it as is for now and will come back and edit it when I have the list complete.

1. Get in touch with a specific childhood friend.
2. Try out 25 new recipes this year.
3. Drink more water, ideally 8 glasses a day but start slow with 4 a day.

4. Hang photos around the house. We have almost no pictures up in our house and we have a ton to choose from.

5. Sing more.

6. Knit some blankets for the cats carriers.

7. Get involved in some sort of exercise, maybe yoga.

8. Paint at least one room in the house. Preferably our bedroom but may start with a bathroom.

9. Get all our holiday items neatly organized.

10. Journal at least weekly.

11. Read The Lord of the Rings:The Fellowship of the Ring
. I love all the LOTR movies and now I want to read the book.
12. Read The Diary of Anne Frank
. Can you believe I never had to read this in school? We went to a theatre production last year and it was very powerful.
13. Read The Little Prince

14. Make it to a church service at least once a month.

15. Be on time with all my
Angelbaby gifts/cards.


That's all I have for now....I'll add and update when I have thought of more.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Hello There!

So here we go. My first post in my blog. I figured it was a good way to start 2006. I feel I need to write more and figured since I spend more time on the computer than anywhere else I stand a better chance of actually accomplishing it if I do it online.

A little about me:

I'm 31, going to be 32 this next Tuesday. (How did that happen? I swear I just graduated from high school yesterday.)

I'm married to the love of my life. It's been 8 and a half years now and yes, I honestly love him even more than the day we married. Richard is absolutely amazing. He makes me laugh and he loves me for me. Richard is from the North of England and the rest of his family still lives in England. We usually have guests in the form of his parents about once a year. None of our extended family lives anywhere near us.

We have one dog, named Vanilla Bean (Nilla for short) and she is our baby. I'll tell you her story later.

We rescue cats. Thus, the name of this blog. We have 6 of our cats (The last one to be added was Clara. She was out foster kitty and Richard adopted her for me as a Christmas present. No, animals are not presents but this was a bit different. Clara was not going anywhere. I wanted her and we planned on adopting her at some point anyway but Richard making it official for Christmas was a big surprise. She's the best present ever!) who I will introduce in a bit. We also foster cats for a local rescue (Which means there is usually a cat on my desk) and so alot of other things with the rescue. It's a big part of our lives.

I dont work outside of the home due to health problems.

I'm a Christian and my faith is very important to me. I have church issues due to things that have happened in my past and I'm slowly working through them. I dont know that there will ever be a time I wont have some issues (I hate saying that as it sounds so negative.) but I am happy that I am finally in a church where I am comfortable.

My little sister is pregnant with her first baby. :)

I'm a redhead.

I have lived all over but if you ask me where I am from my answer will be Texas. Currently we're living in North Carolina and we both love it. We just bought our first house in 2003.

I love games-board games, computer games, Nintendo. You name it, I'll play it. And I'll probably beat it too. ;)

I am a movie junkie! I watch all kinds of movies and keep a list of all the ones I watch.


So there you have it. Me in a few paragraphs. I'll be back with more.