Never say never again.

Last year I dove into the world of animal rescue.  Head first to be exact!  After coming home and finding a flyer posted next to the elevators at my condo complex, stating all stray cats would be trapped and taken to the shelter.  The shelter here in Miami is a high kill shelter.  They recently stopped taking in cats, and any strays brought to them are killed. See what I did there? I didn’t say euthanize.  That’s because if you take the word by its meaning, they you will see that you really cannot euthanize a perfectly healthy animal. No, our shelter kills, and it kills a lot.  Sure, their numbers have gone down, but only because they now ship dogs and cats to other shelters and sometimes work with rescues.

Anyway, when I saw this I knew I couldn’t just leave those cats to that fate.  I’ve been covertly feeding them for a couple of years and really knew nothing about where to take them for help.  I took to Facebook, and began my journey.  I hooked up with some good and caring people.  These people had been in rescue for years and knew the ins and outs.  I was able to make some connections and found out there was a program in my area that would help me in getting these cats spayed and neutered.

I was able to find a home for one cat that was feline leukemia positive, as well as four others.  At one point I had ten cats in my apartment.  Yes, ten!  I have six of my own, so the additional four was quite frankly a nightmare.  Of the four, two were about five to six months old, one was shy but the other was quite feral.  At one point I was keeping them in my spare bathroom and the feral one got out.  She gave me a hell of a scratch before she got into the carrier.  The other two were about four months old.

With some help, a home was found for the two older kittens, and I kept the smaller two until a home could be found for them.  This was eight months in the making.  I have had these two girls with me and while I will tell you it has been incredibly stressful at times, I absolutely adored these girls. My journey with them ended last night.  Today they are on their way to a new life.  I can’t even express the sadness I felt knowing that I had to let them go.  It was as though part of my soul was being torn from me, and I think it was.  They took a little piece of me with them, and in turn they left a big piece of themselves with me. Their impact on me will last until I take my final breaths on this earth.  I never wanted to foster, because I knew how hard it would be to let them go.  But they taught me that as hard as it is, when your part is done, you let them go.  You let them go because it was your job to prepare them, to show them how to trust and what it means to be loved.

As sat there in my car with my foster girls, Isis and Astra, and who I eventually came to call Smudge and Mochie, I said to myself, “I can never do this again.  I can’t allow myself to feel like this again.” I could very easily have been a foster failure, but my space dictates that I cannot bring any more cats into my home permanently.  Permanently being the key word here.  You see, as I was saying good-bye to my friend who is taking the girls on to their next stop in their new life, she asked me if I could foster a little kitten.  A tiny baby not even six weeks old yet, until the end of April or mid-May.  I smiled and didn’t even hesitate.   I hope to welcome my new charge this week.

 

Smudge and Mochie

Smudge and Mochie

Smudge Mochie

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Sleeping with the furrybutts

Last night, around midnight I had to get up and use the bathroom. I need to stop drinking water close to bedtime. Anyway, as usual, I had a bed full of furries.   I don’t mind my cats sleeping in my bed, I actually find it hard to sleep unless at least one is there with me.

Maks was against my left (his usual side), Czari on my right, Kiska next to my pillow and Oksana between my legs. Vlad was MIA.  I started to move and thought they would sit up and give me some room to move.  Nope.  They all just lifted their heads and watched me wiggle and squirm my way out from under the covers.  When I finished in the bathroom, I figured I’d get back to the bed and they would be sitting up, right?  Wrong!

I had to wiggle and squirm my way back into bed, as they all just laid there watching me as though I should be shot for interrupting their sleep.   When I was all settled back, they lowered their heads and went back to kitty dreamland.

Nothing is ever dull when you have pets, even getting up to use the bathroom.

Strollerderby!

I’ve had my pet stroller for about 2 weeks now and I’m enjoying being able to take some of my gang out walking with me.  However, I don’t think they feel the same way.

I took Vlad out first.  That first time he seemed very interested in the outside world.  He sat quietly in the stroller and looked around the entire time.  He even saw a squirrel which made him sit up.

The second day, I took Vlad and Kiska.  I managed to fit them both in there quite comfortably.  As we started getting past the busy street, I noticed Kiska just was not having it.  She kept meowing at me the way she does when she’s not pleased about something.  Vlad on the other hand seemed to be moping.  I thought maybe he didn’t like having to share the ride.   I wound up turning around after about 15 minutes. I wasn’t going to force Kiska to be in there if she wasn’t happy.

The next day I took Vlad out again.  This time he just sat in the back corner of the stroller and could have cared less about seeing anything.  Also, when I tried to get him in the stroller and in the harness the next day he just ran from me, so I decided he probably doesn’t enjoy it much.

So that makes 1 kitty not happy riding and 1 meh about riding.

Oksana was next.  It took about 20 minutes for her to really get into it, but she sat quietly and looked out the front of the stroller the entire time.  Did she enjoy it?  I think she did while she was in there, but when I tried to get the harness on her yesterday she ran.  So I’m thinking that’s a no.

So, since Oksana wasn’t in the mood, I decided it was time for Czari to take a turn.  I got the harness on her closed the cover of the stroller and we were off. Now she actually seemed a lot more curious than the others.  She was standing, bobbing her head, taking in the smell of the air and just looking around all over.  I wonder if her being a stray for so long might make her a little more open to the outside world than the others, who really have been indoor cats since they were kittens.  I’ll taking her out again to see if she enjoys it the second time around.

Last but not least, my little guy, Maks.  I’m on the fence about him.  Maks is a very skittish cat.  When anyone knocks on my door he immediately runs upstairs and hides.  I tried taking him out for a walk in the hallway once on a leash and he was just miserable and constantly trying to get back inside.  I think putting him in a stroller may be too traumatic for him, which makes me sad because I think he’d really enjoy riding and seeing some of the outside world.  But, I don’t want to put him through something I know is going to make him so uncomfortable if there is no need to.

As it now stands:

Vlad – On the fence

Oksana – On the fence

Maks – No

Kiska – No

Czarina – Possible yes

This makes me glad I didn’t spend a lot of money on the stroller.  I originally wanted to get a really nice decked out one.  But that would have cost me close to $200.  If they all wind up not wanting to ride the stroller, then I’ll only be out about $50.  Still a lot of money to throw away, but not as bad as $200.  If anything, I can always sell it and get at least $30 from it.