Thursday, December 30, 2010


We've had an absolutely lovely Christmas as a family - we hope the same for everyone else as well. There's been more a sense of calm here at home as we've enjoyed almost a week's vacation now with the boys.

As we prepare to ring in another new year, we pray for the well being of kitties everywhere and an abundance of love and protection to be showered down upon each and everyone of them. We also pray for rescues and rescue workers who give so much of themselves to help those animals that have sadly been neglected, abandoned and abused - may each of you be blessed with the strength, courage and abilities to assist those who so desperately need your loving arms of protection.

Here are some additional photo's that we hope will make you smile as they did us - Happy New Year!:

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


If you've been secretly hoping that my next entry would have been proclaiming that Buster and The Boys (especially Rocky), have found common ground and all is well at the Safe Haven Hotel - guess again.

Strangely enough, everyone seems to cohabitate just fine all day long. They sleep in their respective beds, all appearing like little angels, content and innocent they seem. Why, they even appear to all take to their feeding bowls (everyone within close proximity of one another) without even so much as a hiccup at the direct line of sight they have of each other - but then nightfall comes and its like the little darlings suddenly become like little demons (and you know who is worse than the others!!).

Last night I had to literally lock Buster out of our bedroom after being awoken 4 times during the night to his bullying shenanigans focused on Silly. No sooner would I fall back to sleep than up he'd come once again, and I'd crack open one eye to find our Silly yet again pinned up against a corner or within the door jam where Buster seems to most enjoy cornering him in. Finally, it was closing our boys in with us, and closing Buster outside, with all being silent just long enough for...........yup you guessed it, for me to just start to fall back to sleep, and then voila! - Buster began crying, scratching, and actually trying to reach the doorknob of our door to get back in!

I cannot begin to figure this boy out. He doesn't seem to enjoy the kids' company at all, and yet he's begging to be let back in around them when I've arranged it so that he can have the whole house to roam! If that wasn't confusing enough, the other morning I came out of our home office to the arch enemies (believe me when I tell you that there is absolutely no love loss between these two very alpha males who both think they are King Daddio), doing goodness knows what!!! You tell me, am I losing the plot or am I being driven there??

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


I meant to complete an entry alot sooner than this but with hectic work schedules, the other aspects of the rescue that I'm involved in on a volunteer basis, and of course all the stuff that is apart of the Christmas season (eg: baking, sending cards & parcels, etc, etc), time has gotten away from me and I just realized it was way past time to write!!

Now that Buster has been with us for afew weeks, we have firmly determined that his behaviour has been dominant in nature and that really and truly, this little boy would much prefer to be an only kitty. It's quite literally been a battle of wills between him and Rocky, as two very alpha male personalties duked it out to see who would get to be top cat. Those sparring matches have been many and as we probably could have predicted, Rocky has won virtually all of them. Knowing my little crank meister Rockstar the way I do, if this much time has elapsed and he's not accepted a new foster - well, he's not going to. Believe me when I also tell you that I think I speak for Rocky when I say that he truly hates Buster...........Rocky will not be challenged on any terms and especially on his own turf! As he hisses and spits and postures for the millioneth time, there are moments when his glaring looks in my direction are almost of the "Mommy, would you get this guy out of here already"!!!!! variety.

And what about Silly you might be wondering, well he spends the majority of his time trying to steer clear of Buster when he's on the "hunt" - since it would appear that my easygoing Ambassador hasn't got the guts for confrontation and would much rather just let Buster have his way.

Where is Buster in all this? Well the poor darling is not truly happy here either I'm afraid. He sleeps a great deal of the time and when he's not bugging someone, he almost has this frustrated look on his face - he too really wishes for a place where he can be Numero Uno and feel secure and happy enough to seek out more attention from his human friends.

The good news is that steps are underway to find Buster that one kitty only foster home! We're disappointed that its not working out the way we had hoped, but fostering also requires that your able to accept those instances when the house "mix" just doesn't work and decisions have to be made that are in the best interest of everyone.

Soooo more than likely Buster will be moved in the near future, but I couldn't resist sharing another photo of this handsome boy in the meantime - enjoy. :))

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Buster's stay with us is now into its second week. He's a great cat overall, quiet, low maintenance, easy to handle (he actually loves to be picked up and kissed), and has excellent litterbox and eating habits - always mucho importante when it's your foster's first few days or weeks, and you still hold your breath a little as you evaluate him or her, hoping that physically there will be no major signs of distress or suffering from previous mistreatment.

We are however experiencing some interesting "habits" with Buster that we weren't totally prepared for. It would appear that he's taken a real liking to hubby and I, so much so that it would seem he really wants to um.....uh.....hmmmm....display affection toward us in the not so common manner of - okay I'll say it, humping. Yes our latest houseguest loves to climb up on the bed after we've gotten settled or in some cases, are sound asleep, and proceed to hump our legs (or get "jazzy" as my better half strangely refers to it). We're hoping that we can either A) break him of the habit or B) that he'll grow tired of exhibiting such affection and be content with the old snuggle routine instead. There is a slim chance that it could be medically related to something else, but for now we'll monitor it and see how things go.

Great news in the strides department is that he slept on our bed this afternoon for hours, for the very first time.........the above picture captures pretty well I think, just what an adorable picture that made for. The better news is that so far, he and Rocky are still "working things out" and noone has been injured or maimed - yet! *L*

Never a dull moment at The Safe Haven Hotel.......:))

Friday, November 26, 2010


The one other aspect of fostering that we love equally as much as helping these kitties initially, is keeping in touch with adoptive families who are kind enough to keep us updated long after the adoption is final, and allow us a glimpse into the happiness that surrounds them and their new family member as they embark on a life together.

This evening's entry is a tenderhearted tribute to one such previous foster and his family who treasured him. He entered their lives and has forever etched his pawprint on their hearts.

Jazz was a gorgeous long haired, smokey grey male that was a complete darling in every sense of the word. We fostered him afew years ago, for quite some time before "H's" family decided to adopt him. Sadly, not long after joining them, health issues began to arise. But like the fighter he was, he battled back from all of them and continued to be a loving and precious member of their family. Sadly, his health issues reached serious proportions just in the last few weeks, and yesterday I received word that Jazz's loved ones felt it was time to end his struggles and allow him the peace that he so rightly deserved.

We will never truly understand in this life why it is that some of us live, long healthy lives, and yet others are here for only a brief time and seem to suffer so much. If love alone were the piece of the puzzle that could save all those we care for so deeply, we would never have to find the ways in which to say goodbye to our Jazz's.

We with H's family, are saddened tonight as we come to term with Jazz's passing, but we rejoice in knowing that he was loved and deeply cared for and will forever be remembered for the special kitty that he was. You are missed already dear friend, and we look forward to the time when we will see you again.

Rest well sweet one...........

Saturday, November 20, 2010


I'm writing again so soon simply because if I don't record what's been going on here since 7:00am this morning, I might be inclined not to believe it myself later on!

Firstly, we've named our new little houseguest.......Buster. It wasn't without its debates, and your suggestions for new names were greatly appreciated and all tried out, however, in the end Buster just seemed to come from nowhere and appears to be the perfect fit!

We decided that having been quarantined since last Wednesday night, this morning was a good time to begin the introductions and see what we were all in for. I'm not even remotely kidding or exaggerating when I share with you what we were faced with after only 30 minutes of Buster's emergence from his "private quarters" (as we like to lovingly refer to them)............

He has not growled, hissed, arched his back in a territorial posture or even so much as hinted at being dominant, aggressive or pushy. In fact, he sauntered out of his room, had a leisurely jaunt through the upstairs of the house, proceeded to the main level and then through the basement, stopped at Rocky's food bowl for a quick bite (why not when food presents itself?), and then oh so naturally proceeded to hop up on the sofa and voila!..........looked at me as much to say "Awwww finally, this will do nicely".

He has greeted Rocky and Silly both with enthusiasm and friendliness and has already tried to engage Sylvester in play (Rocky he's realized will take abit longer to win over). Oh and did I mention that I'm in total shock?, that we are in total shock?......I mean I've had some pretty easygoing fosters in my time, but all this within 30 minutes - I think we've absolutely set some sort of a record here.

Who in their right mind would let go of a cat so handsome and so amazing as this? What a fool who thought that they were getting the upper hand by dropping Buster off at a shelter; clearly he's having the last laugh.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

MEET ??????

I'm all for proper introductions but unfortunately at the moment we're at a loss as to what this little boy's new name should be. We'd be happy to take suggestions, so please feel free to let me know if anything jumps out at you name wise as you look at his picture.

He arrived last night after having spent close to 3 months in a shelter cage - I just shudder when I think of it. What always amazes me the most about these darlings, is that in spite of having endured the hell of daily life on death row in a shelter, those lucky enough to make it to the other side can be and often are, some of the gentlest, sweetest, most laid back kitties one could ever hope to meet. This boy is no far he presents himself as extremely quiet, calm and extremely easy going - amazing when you think of how rotten they've been treated.

I'll have more shortly as we get to know him better and of course, once he's had full exposure to Rockstar and his jealousy filled saber tooth tiger impression.......I wish there was a way to warn him in advance of what he's in for! *L*

We're so excited to have this new little guy here and hope that he enjoys being with us.

Monday, November 15, 2010


Since Rascal's adoption two weeks ago now, we've kept in very close contact with our little boy's new family to ensure that everyone was adjusting okay.

Imagine my happiness this morning when I went into work and discovered this picture sent along with an email that read: "I just wanted to send you this picture of rascal with pilkey cause they sleep together on my bed and I kiss rascal everyday"

This makes all the tears, all the worrying, and all the sacrifice more than worth it. To see this beautiful little boy with his own forever family, and new forever friend in Pilkey, is all we need to be able to really let go now in the knowledge that he's happy and loved and..........home.

There's a vacant sign once again at The Safe Haven Hotel.

Monday, November 8, 2010


Rascal has been gone exactly 1 week tonight. It's been an incredibly difficult 7 days - the sadness, the longing, the worry, but I'm so happy to report that his new family has kept in very close contact this past week, and not only is Rascal doing great (except for a stress cold which he developed a couple of days ago), but his new roommate Pilky is warming up quickly and even appears to be taking on the protective older brother role - *YAY*!!!! It makes us feel so much better to know that he's being so well cared for and loved, and that most important of all, he's happy. We're looking forward to pictures so of course we'll be posting some here for everyone to see when they do arrive.

In the meantime, our home has returned to a quieter, strangely relaxed state, something that is noticeably absent when a foster is within our midst. It's not that our little houseguests cause alot of mayhem *L*, but rather that there's a real noticeable difference in Rocky & Silly when its just the two of them versus when there's a trois. Case in point, I draw your attention below......

Honestly, I ask you.......does this not look just too good to be true? Both our boys not only slumbering, but TOGETHER?????

We're all waiting anxiously for our next houseguest. Maybe they figure its best to get in all the R&R that they can while the gettings good! - one never knows what to expect character wise from the next set of four paws and a tail that comes through the front door meowing "I'm Here"!!!!!!!

Sunday, October 31, 2010


It's hard to believe I'm actually typing this entry - but yes, Rascal has been adopted and will be going to his new forever home tomorrow.

In a few more weeks it would have been 6 months since he came to stay with us. How I have grown to love and adore him in that time, and how I really agonized over whether to even seriously entertain this family as a possible forever one. But in meeting them, all of the excuses, reasonable doubt, and mental roadblocks I put up in the path of his being adopted, would not be able to declare victory. This family are everything I could have hoped for in a forever one for our little boy, and although I am deeply saddened at the prospect of bidding him goodbye, I'm also of the firm belief that he couldn't be going to a nicer, more responsible, more kitty cat loving environment if I had handpicked them myself.

So tonight's bedtime snuggles will be the last for he and I. By this time Tuesday, he will be finally settling in to his own home where he will be loved and treasured and have his very own family. And I in turn will be once again be setting the wheel in motion to see who needs our help next......

I believe that everything happens for a reason.

Saturday, October 30, 2010


This past week has been a very difficult one in more ways than naught, but with the downs has come some very precious ups - not the least of which are moments such as the one below, when I'm everso gently reminded of the things that are most important.

Rocky, as cranky, demanding, moody and stubborn as he can be, can also be just what I need, exactly when I need it. As I sat at the desk in our home office earlier this week, with my tears of frustration and anxiety welling up in my eyes, Rocky came along and cried to be lifted up in front of me (because he is a "wobbly" kitty he cannot make it from the floor to the desk on his own). Once up here, he sat looking at me for a moment or two, and then suddenly proceeded to lay down and stretch out. As I stroked his coat and felt under his chin for his soft, gentle purr, it was as if he was saying, "It's alright Mommy, don't cry".......

Those that love us unconditionally and without reservation,are one of the greatest gifts that was ever given in my opinion and that's even more true I think, of the animals that bless our lives. For alot of people, their pets and/or fosters are what keep them keep'in on - how precious it is indeed to have them loving us when we are faced with the instances when we find it difficult to love ourselves.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


About a month ago, I noticed afew small (what appeared to be) feline acne bumps on Silly's chin. Nooooo problem, I had had occasion to deal with them in the past with our Martel many years ago, and had found that after expressing the points and washing them with antibiotic soap (prescribed by a vet at the time), they normally clear up quickly and without much todo. Shortly thereafter, I noticed that Rocky also had a small number under his chin as well. Strange I thought, that both of them would be affected at exactly the same time - and Rascal it appeared, was unaffected.

Initially I attended to their chins with less than normal perseverance. I could name a dozen excuses of why that was so, but the fact of the matter is that at the time, I didn't see it as a big deal and thought that they would simply clear up pretty much on their own. Boy, would I look back on those first couple of weeks and kick myself repeatedly (not to mention feel a horrible sense of guilt) of having been so lazy and laid back about it.

The short version of this story has Rocky and Silly's feline acne getting progressively worse. By the time I realized this however, it was looking VERY nasty under both their chins (aren't you glad I spared you pictures!) - and truth be told, I was playing major catch up trying to battle back. Just to be on the safe side I changed their plastic dishes to ceramic, treated everyone with Revolution (just in case), and up'd the application of the antibiotic soap. You guessed it, it wasn't going to be enough and eventually a trip to our vet was required to A) ensure it wasn't anything more serious and B) to figure how what was the best course of action to treat both of them.

These little packets above have become both a saving grace and a nightmare all rolled into one. We are now on our 2nd round of antibiotics and their chins have only started (in the last few days) to even resemble some sort of healing. What's made their presence in our home so awful is that Rocky and Silly both have become extremely afraid of having their chins washed (mainly due to how painful both had become), and these little pills, as small and as un-menacing as they look, are making poor Silly feel so sick to his stomach that I can practically see the waves of nausea on my poor little boy's face everytime I try to feed him and he just about gags. We have also discovered that Silly HATES to be pilled, and finds this part of our regular routine at the moment probably worse than all the other nasty stuff we have to do twice a day at present.

When someone said "You live and learn", they weren't kidding. I pray that the acne doesn't reappear after this round of pills, and may I never again be so negligent in my responsibility to care for my boys - I'm positive at this point that Silly for one, is absolutely wishing he had the ability to inflict as much discomfort and unpleasantness on me right now as I've had to on him in the last few weeks.

And how is Rascal you might wonder?...............he hasn't gotten even one bump under his chin and has spent the last few weeks observing the goings on with the same amount of quizzical wonder that he approaches everything he's not sure of - it's that expression that says: "Geez I wonder what all the fuss is about" *L*

Saturday, October 16, 2010


We arrived home from vacation yesterday around dinnertime, and we were so excited to see the boys!! We had missed them a great deal, and I for one, was worried about how they were being cared for and handling our being gone, etc. Rocky is currently on anti-seizure meds which have to be administered twice a day - I began to panic when out housesitter reported by only Day #2, that our little wobbly tabby was not cooperating and that consumption of the wet/pill concoction was not being consumed! Luckily, hubby (being the calmer of the two of us when emergencies present themselves), was able to spend time on the phone providing our housesitter with idea's on how to coax (trick is probably a better word) Rocky into submission. Unfortunately it really is a battle of wills with our little guy, he's stubborn, catankerus, and very bossy - he doesn't take well to being bossed around - and having recognized this early on in our relationship with him, we've always led him to believe that everything he does is his idea.

Thankfully, our catsitter was able to convince Rocky that taking the pill in a little wet food was his idea and a smart one at that, since the only other option was to starve to death for the next 7 days when he realized his dry food was being witheld until he was in full compliance, and he was smart enough to catch on very quickly, small he may be in size, but his very large appetite was not going to welcome a hunger strike while Mom & Dad were away!

Needless to say, arriving home had us met with lots of purrs, rubbing and running around (always a sure sign that everyone is happy to see us). We prepared ourselves for abit of nose snubbing at bedtime but thankfully the boys were so happy to have us home that they decided collectively it seemed, to refrain from further actions to make us feel even more guilty.

We also came home to discover that there's been yet another potential adopter interested in Rascal evidently. So we take a big breath and wait anxiously to see if this one is "the one"..............

The picture captured - our Silly sitting smack dab between's Daddy's legs the evening of our arrival home - do you think he missed him???

Thursday, October 7, 2010


I'm just about to hit the hay because we have to be up at 3:45am tomorrow morning for a 4:50am pickup to the airport..........yes we're bidding our boys goodbye for a week and heading Southwest.

The catsitter is all arranged and will be sleeping over so I hope that it provides the kids abit of extra comfort of having someone in the house while we're gone, even though its a stranger. We've been zipping from one end of the house to the other for hours now trying to get everything done and pack everything needed, and the whole while Rocky, Silly & Rascal have been quietly watching and getting more and more suspicious.

I'm feeling like the world's worst Mommy right now........leaving my kids in the care of a stranger for a week while I go off to relax. Believe me if I had it my way, I'd absolutely take them all with me. Instead I get to have that extra bit of guilt trip thrown in for good measure just so they remind me about how I'm leaving them behind.

Their little faces are just short of this right about now....

Sunday, October 3, 2010


I love being home with the boys on weekends. During the week everything feels so rushed and busy and stressful, that sometimes I look at them and feel such guilt because I/we don't have enough time it would seem to spend with them properly. One of us or both of us work late, we leave early, or we come home with a million things on our plate, exhausted, or preoccupied, and the boys don't seem to get the attention that I wish we could pour out to them every day. Such are the evils of working full time in demanding occupations - so when weekends come, I make it a point to try and stay home as much as possible so that I can flourish them with all the kisses, petting, and cuddles that they might have received less of during the week.

In spending yesterday with them, I watched as they lazed around, seemingly totally relaxed and thoroughly enjoying our time together, and my thoughts were turned to another kitty that at present is not so lucky.....
There has been a little adorable tabby male (very young) whose been hanging around our neighbourhood for the past few weeks. My neighbours immediately brought him to our attention since they know about our involvement in rescue work, and one afternoon we brought him indoors and placed him in our spare room with the intent of taking him in to have him neutered and vaccinated and hopefully placed in foster care. Well the attempt failed quickly and miserably as it seemed pretty evident that he wasn't enjoying being taken in from outside (I'm sure the un neutered part had alot to do with that), and he also seemed to find the presence of our boys on the other side of the door, extremely worrisome. So we placed him back outside with the promise to feed him, all the while hoping that he was someone's kitty who was given free reign to roam where he wanted.

Seeing him yesterday (and in previous instances), we're now convinced that his home are the streets. He is super friendly, VERY CUTE and extremely approachable - but he is also very skinny, very hungry and sadly, very much on his own.

This is the cruel reality of rescue work that I have always tried to keep my thoughts turned from; the kitties that are lucky enough to be rescued and thus protected, vs all those that never get that chance. Being the type of person that I am, I am easily consumed by the tragedies of life that are so completely overwhelming, it feels as though a band aid is being placed on the largest, deepest, most painful wound imaginable - and that it will never be enough.

Well now my thoughts are for this little guy whose spending all day and all night outside and as the weather turns colder, how those days and nights will become harder and harder for him. I've already put through a enquiry with the rescue to see if we can't find him a spot, but in the meantime I've begun looking for him now and worrying about where he is and is he safe.

Rascal, Rocky & Silly, as well as the countless others we've fostered, not to mention the even countless more that have been and are saved every day, are all the lucky ones. Ones who fell into the line of sight of a rescue worker and were in an instant, rescued from imminent death and blessed with hope.

My prayer this morning is that there will be a way to help this little boy be placed in the direct line of that same hope. I learned a long time ago that I can't stop the painful consequences that come from anyone else's actions, but I can hope for the ability to do what I can to be apart of the solution.

Monday, September 27, 2010


Someone from my neighbourhood approached me about adopting. They came by to meet our boys and I wasn't as anxious for Rascal (this person has a dog so I knew right away that Rascal wasn't the right fit), as I was for the other kitties in foster care waiting for their forever homes; thinking that I might just have a future "Dad" in my very livingroom! He loved them all (how could you not?), and we chatted abit about the fostering program, the cats that are rescued, and about how the adoption process works. This gentleman was very well spoken, obviously educated, was polite, well groomed and most important of all, asked all the right questions. I gave him the rescue's website and he went home to view some of the kitties online and was going to let me know if he saw anyone he was interested in.

A few hours later I got a call from him (which really meant he was interested right?), and then it went like this:

Neighbour: "So it appears that all your rescue cats are already fixed"

Me: "Yes we don't adopt out cats without ensuring their spay or neuter is already complete and the only instance where that isn't true is with kittens and even then measures are taken to ensure that that process is completed when they come of age"

Neighbour: "Hmm, well can you tell me which rescue I could go to get an adult cat that isn't fixed?"

Me: "I'm sorry?"

Neighbour: "Is that an unusual question?"

Me: "Why would you want a cat that is unaltered?"

Neighbour: "Because I think it's an animal's God given right to be able to pro create just as humans are and I don't agree with taking that right away from them because we as humans think we rule the earth and everything on it"

Me: "Are you kidding?"

Neighbour: "Am I what?"

Me: "You have to be kidding because noone, especially not a person I've just gotten finished explaining the cat over population and irresponsible pet ownership problem to, could be of such a mindset. Did you not see the countless list of cats on the rescue's website that are waiting for homes?"

Neighbour: "It's not your right to deny these animals their ability to reproduce. Just because I allow my cat to have or make babies doesn't mean I'm a bad owner"

Me: "What does it make you then?"

Neighbour: "Pardon?"

Me: "Well you just said leaving your cat purposely unaltered doesn't mean your a bad owner. I'm just wondering what you think it does classify you as then?"

Neighbour: "I'm not sure I understand the question?"

Me: "Very understandable since it's obvious you don't understand the problem."

Neighbour: "So back to my original question. Do you know where I can find cats for adoption that aren't already fixed?"

Me: "No I don't and to be honest, even if I did I wouldn't tell you."

Sunday, September 26, 2010


Another rescue volunteer has a male foster that looks so muuch like Rascal, it's pretty neat to put their two pictures side by side - even more so knowing that there not from the same litter. They are approximately the same age, both have dabs of white splashed in the same places, both have the same facial expressions and both are similar in tempermant. This foster Mom has been fostering her little guy for close to a year and it appears as though his forever home is imminent, since he had someone meet him that has fallen in love.

I don't want to think about how I will feel if Rascal is here close to a year and a forever family should appear. Someone put the question to me just the other day, and I became quite uncomfortable; preferring instead to change the subject instead of contemplate how it will feel to let him go after that much time with him as a member of our family.

In talking with my husband just the other night, I made the comment that I couldn't believe that a cat so cute and adorable, was still waiting for his forever home; to which he replied........."Well, when you haven't seen something for yourself, sometimes it's hard to realize what your missing out on".

All the cats in shelters and foster homes the world over deserve that loving indidual/s that will cherish them - but of course each of us feels that our rescue or foster kitty should be next to be chosen. That's how I'm feeling today, that it's such a travesty that Rascal is still waiting, and in all honesty, a little anxious about how much harder it will be to part with him if the waiting continues for too much longer.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

THE GREAT THING ABOUT SURPRISES...... may think you have an idea about how excited and happy it's going to make you, but more often than not, the surprises that bring us that much joy are always far better than our dreams could lead us to believe; (well at least they always have been for me) and this one was no exception.

After almost 5 months of sharing our home with us, Rascal spent the better part of yesterday afternoon snuggled up beside me on the loveseat as I took in a movie. He was pressed in against my leg as close as he could get, and even felt comfortable enough to extend his front paw so that it was touching me while he slept. What was even more wonderful to watch, is that twice he got down for reasons known only to him, and twice he came back - only to resume his previous position. It may not seem like such a big deal to others, but this is one of those joys in fostering that you'd most likely only understand if you've experienced it or something as special like it, yourself.

He was a "snuggler" with us at night on our bed pretty much from the onset when he first arrived, but since then he's always preferred to nap during the day with Silly and/or Rocky, and has never seemed to have the sense of security to get up besides us (and so incredibly close), when it's been daytime.

How we love this little boy and the precious moments such as these that will ultimately lead to beautiful memories.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


We decided that last night was as good a time as any to do the whole "Revolution" administering thing with the boys. Previously Rocky & Silly have never been overly thrilled with having this wet stuff placed on their bodies, but no reaction we've encountered with them could have ever prepared us for Rascal's.

Because this little boy isn't overly thrilled with being held (okay that's being genereous, he actually really hates it), we knew we had to be swift and quick but unfortunately we were a little delayed in that area (let's chalk it up to old age shall we) - and before I could get the capsule properly punctured, Rascal was fighting in my husband's arms so thoroughly that you would have been certain we were trying to administer a lethal injection and not a teeney, weeney bit of liquid onto the back of his neck! After leaving nasty scratches down Daddy's one arm and across his chest, he flew through the air and took off running once hitting the ground, as if he was being chased by the biggest dog imaginable.
Watching us both try to round him up was quite comical at best.........picture two adults basically bumping into each other like something out of the three stooges, and this little cat evading all capture - and you pretty much have the next 10 minutes of this scene. We finally did manage to administer that little capsule, but not without some huffing, puffing, tripping and a few choice words muttered under our breath - I can't even begin to describe how much we're looking forward to the next time.

Rascal? Well he spent the remainder of the evening hiding under the coffee table, giving us the "you two are evil" looks and refusing all efforts of apology. He didn't even sleep with us last night, and this morning was still somewhat aloof, there was no "Monkey Man" (his nickname) loving going on that's for sure.

The moral of this story?............when it's flea treatment time - have a serious reconaissance plan in place because furry kids will take whatever means necessary to escape and remain at large to avoid at all costs! *LOL*

Monday, September 13, 2010


When I'm home on weekends, I love my cheerios. I don't eat them during the week, but come Saturday morning I actually find myself, as I make my way down to the kitchen, really looking forward to finding the box and silently praying that we (A: have milk and B: that it isn't expired).

The boys also love weekend mornings because as soon as they see my bowl and hear the clatter of the spoon, they know it's "milk" time. Although I'm well aware of the unhealthy aspects of milk and cats, it's become abit of a tradition if you will, that the boys each get afew licks to wet their palette each Saturday and Sunday morning after Mommy's had her share. This past weekend was no different - Silly always gets to go first because he's practically on top of me as I try to eat each spoonful, it's so bad that I have to hold my bowl up practically over my head while he balances his two front paws on my one knee and takes more than the occasional swipe at my bowl! It's so adorable to hear how he purrs as he laps it up - (I always think to myself that he must have been one of the world's cutest kittens). Rascal is a close second, although he doesn't get so aggressive (preferring to wait patiently right beside Silly for his turn), he's learning quickly from his housemates, and is now letting out those meows that would make you want to give him anything he wants (their such con artists!!!). Rocky, well Rocky being his typical finicky self, sits back with the saddest look on his face, always last to join in because of his jealousy, he prefers to pout for abit first, ensuring that you really go the distance to coax him over for some.

Normally, no one boy gets too much - I'm careful to monitor and take it back up and to the sink before it's completely finished by anybody; well, usually. This past Sunday morning, we had had our little routine, but truth be told, Rascal had had a little more than "the usual" due to the fact that I got distracted by something and left him alone with the bowl a wee bit too long.

Next thing I know I hear the worst sounds and it's our Rascal - being sick, and you guessed it, it was all milk. Unfortunately it wasn't just once episode, but about five, all strewn throughout the downstairs of the house. As I dashed back and forth between the kitchen and the livngroom/diningroom for more paper towel, all the while trying to ensure I kept him in my line of sight so there weren't accidents in places I didn't know about, I began to see visions of my husband (who was out of the house early that morning and wouldn't be back until later that night). "Daddy" is an amazing Father to the boys and loves them so much, sometimes it brings tears to my eyes to watch him interact with them, but the one thing that he is a total weak knee'd pansy about is cat vomit. I always thought it was an act (you know how men love to get out of things), until one evening Rocky presented us with a very large hairball that was tossed up right after dinner (are you getting the visual here?) - well I was in the middle of multi tasking and asked hubby to take care of it.
I come back into the room to find Daddy practically green, sweating profusely holding out the paper towel with the kitty sickness in it, pushing it toward me, like I'm supposed to rescue him from a fate worse than death! It was after that that he explains he'll do anything, but (and I'm quoting), "Please don't make me clean up cat vomit"

So as I followed along behind Rascal the other morning as he tossed his cookies, I could't help but begin to snicker as I thought about moi husband, and what his reaction would be to this latest Kitty Parent episode..............I think the picture below is a more than adequate depiction!!

PS: And no I'm not married to Popeye the Sailorman :)

Saturday, September 11, 2010


A Testimony..........declaration or statement of fact (as per the Oxford Dictionary)

These three boys (Rocky, Silly & Rascal respectively), have all known first hand the shelter experience. They each know what it feels like to face death square in the eye because of someone else's actions, and each of them knows only too well what it feels like to be frightened.

For anyone who is of the mindset that cats and/or kittens who end up in the shelter system are "damaged goods", "irrevocably lost" or "without hope", may the the following pictures bear witness to you that nothing could be farther from the truth.

May God bless the rescue workers the world over........

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


I was reading the paper this past weekend, thoroughly enjoying some quiet, "me" time. I love to read and it seems that squeezing the paper in between books, my National Geographic and all the other stuff, is getting harder and harder. So, when I found myself with a half hour to spare, it presented itself as a nice opportunity to relax.

There I was reading away, catching up on the news of the day, when I suddenly felt two little front paws reaching up and pressing against my knee. I move the paper out of the way and what do I find?.........but little Rascal stretching up for love! (Why is it they love to be loved when your in the full throes of something else??). I loved him a little and resumed reading, only to have him reach up and continue to stay like that - so now I'm juggling that particular section of the paper with one hand, and petting his velvety soft little head with the other. Next thing I know, he jumps up on my lap!!!!

Okay, this is interesting (I say to myself), let's see how this unfolds. He circles my lap afew times, all the while rubbing his head on my arm and the purr motor is in overdrive - don't you just love that sound! Me, I'm sitting as still as a statue, pretending to be fully engrossed in reading so as not to alert him to the fact that he's now actually on my lap - and what happens next? HE CURLS UP ON MY LAP!!!!!!!

He didn't stay more than a minute or two but it was absolutely wonderful and I am so thrilled. We may make a lap kitty out of him yet and my next mission is to actually snap a picture so that I can prove to everyone else (and myself), that it actually did happen!!

Just had to share since it's the littlest things that bring the most joy. :)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


After 4 months of being with us, the proof is in the pudding (or so they say). It's pretty clear at this point that our Rascal is not a lap cat. I thought we were making real progress when in the past 4 weeks or so, he actually jumped up on my lap when I had been loving him on the floor, and got up to sit in a chair because my creaky old bones were screaming help from that position! *L* - but infact I think it was just him having forgotten himself for a moment and once he realized where he was and what he had done, he was down just as quickly as he'd gotten up.

It's also pretty clear that he hates to be picked up. It's not the actual act of picking him up that our little licorice coloured boy seems to detest, but the actual snuggle part when he realizes that you want to cuddle him up there. He begins to squirm almost instantly and within a minute he's letting out these painful little meows, that would have anyone listening thinking I was doing some type of bodily harm to him.

But in spite of his aversions to these two things, he absolutely loves to snuggle up and cuddle. Usually at night and usually after we've gone to bed. For whatever reason, his favourite spot is smack dab in the middle of my husband's legs, and without either of us hearing him, he strolls in, hops up, and before we know it - voila!, he's curled up like a little ball of dough. There's only one problem with this whole scenario - whilst Rascal may be having the nightime naps of his life, he is slowly crippling hubby with his demands for snoozing space between the legs. No matter how many times in the night hubby might awaken and move Rascal out of that space, by morning, he's right back there and slips away just as the alarm goes off.

Every morning for the past 4-6 weeks now "Daddy" has been bitterly complaining of how much his back is hurting and it's all thanks to our little houseguest who, despite there being a zillion places to snooze throughout the house, including two pillows above our heads, NONE it would seem, are more comfortable, more alluring or more tantalizing than right between Daddy's legs!

Initially I was abit worried about my husband's back but that has now gone all the way from concern to humorous, to cringing when I hear him moaning and starting to complain about that "little black bugger" (his words not mine), back to trying to contain my snickers of amusement. It's made all the more difficult when I find Rascal smiling up at me from the floor in the morning's, and I could swear I see a glint in his eye and the infamous yawn of contentment almost as if he's saying.......... "Oh Mommy, how I love it here!"

Let's hope "the back" holds out until his forever home shows up or we could all be looking for new accomodations! *L*

Sunday, August 29, 2010


Allow me to present Connor (aka "Seymour")........there is just no denying that THIS is one handsome cat! I'm convinced that he's right up there with Clooney, Pitt and Connery (although I'll admit that the first two have never done much to rock my personal world).

Connor was a foster that stayed with us for a short time before being adopted by the most incredible couple. Truly, if there are those "golden" adopters, C&R are at the top of that category. They even provided a vet reference at the outset which was of course, completely glowing in nature!

Connor has been with them afew years now and his life includes not only access to the beautiful outdoors on their property north of the city (where they keep very close eye on their kitties and ensure everyone is in by 8:00pm in the evenings), but he also lives in the lap of luxury because he gets to vacation his winters away at their Florida home, where he is once again allowed to enjoy the grounds, but of course under supervision as well.

He is the alpha male in their home - no big surprise there I'm sure right?; but in addition he is one VERY spoiled alpha male - he rules the roost and makes no bones about who is boss. If you've ever heard the expression, It's My Way Or The Highway........well Connor lives by that and he expects everyone else that he graces with his presence to know it and never forget it! *L* I think his strong personality (as I lovingly refer to it), is due to his orange genes. I've written before about my love for orange & white kitties (the creamsicle lot as I call them), but pure orange boys (and orange cats are predominantly always male), have a very "unique" (if I can use that word) way about them.

They tend to be as hot tempered, and unpredictable as their human counterparts and Connor is no exception. He loves C&R completely, but he also reminds them on a pretty constant basis that he considers himself The King, he allows them to enjoy his company, and if ever they should decide to change things NOT to his liking, he won't hesitate for one second to let them know about it!!

I call them Redheads because that's exactly what they are and they have the fire to prove it. Regardless, Connor and his family love each other completely and it warms the hearts of me and my husband every time we hear about his latest adventures. He is loved, spoiled and catered to beyond measure.............. and wouldn't you agree with Connor, that that is EXACTLY as it should be!

Saturday, August 28, 2010


Reading a fellow rescue volunteer's blog, there were comments from a follower who said, "These kitties are so lucky to have you".

We were having company for dinner tonight (former adopters from us actually who have become dear friends), and as I flew through the house doing housework in preparation earlier today, I found myself thinking about the give and take between us and the kitties we've fostered. There's no doubt on the surface it appears to be give and take..........the kitties get shelter and a safe place to call home until they are adopted, and we as a foster parents get to help in saving their little lives.

But then in my usual fashion, I thought about it abit more and dug abit deeper, asking myself the question, if I had to break it down, what percentage would I say is give and what percentage is take? The give here would be 10% in my books and the take, well the take is more like 90%.

As I spent time with Rocky, Silly and Rascal this afternoon, I thought about what they give us in direct corralation to what we give them - there impact our lives is far more significant in my opinion. They trust and love us unconditionally (in most cases), and they help us to be better people as they teach us to respect their unique personalities and characteristics, and to learn little by little something new about each of them individually. For me personally, they always help to show me the art of patience, being easygoing and taking things as they come - if you've every noticed, animals lives are not dictated by clocks and calendars - they enjoy each moment as it comes.

The rewards we receive (which I prefer to refer to as blessings), are so incredible and fostering for us has been not only our utmost pleasure, but each kitty has been an honour to welcome in - there is deep appreciation for the ways these little furbabies enrich our lives.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


From the moment a new foster arrives in our home, my mindset is one of protection. I find myself almost immediately thinking of them as if they were our own, at least in all the ways that matter – to provide them with shelter, with food, to offer a gentle hand and a kind heart, and most important of all, to protect them.

I will be honest in saying that in the past, when a potential adopter has called to enquire about whoever our little houseguest may be at that time, I have cringed somewhat when I’ve learned that they’ve had small children, and even moreso when it's small boys. Immediately there would be images flashing through my mind, none of which would give me the warm and fuzzies, and words like torment, torture and teasing would not be far behind. That was however, until an incredible little boy named Cole and his two friends, Fred & Ginger, proved me completely wrong…………………

It’s more than safe to say that Cole has adored Fred & Ginger, and Fred & Ginger have adored Cole. Theirs was a relationship that has been filled with tenderness, contentment, and an abundance of love. There has been an unconditional bond between them, the kind that would touch even the toughest of souls. Cole’s Mom described their relationship best when she shared with me the following - Cole loved having his picture taken with them and even taking pictures of them himself. They were endlessly amusing and comforting to him. Fred was especially taken with Cole as he was with him and he always slept right beside him at night, practically on top of him and Cole wouldn't have it any other way. He was always so gentle with them and would often just lay on the floor beside them when he first woke up. Fred was always in his room "helping" him get dressed in the mornings and often when he was supposed to be doing something, like getting ready for school, he would be easily distracted and I would find him playing with them. Whenever he was upset, he would tell us that just having the cats cuddled up with him and being able to pet their soft fur really calmed him.

Cole’s tender hearted love for his furry friends has been even more poignant and has touched me even more deeply because his life as a child was forever changed when in 2005 at the age of 4, Cole was diagnosed with Stage IV Neuroblastoma cancer ( For the next 5 years he battled in the fields of this disease and exhibited a strength and courage that I and countless others stand in awe of. Sadly, afew weeks ago on August 1st, at the age of 9 years, Cole made his journey from this world, returning home to our Heavenly Father. Fred & Ginger, now separated from their special friend, and missing him I'm sure, are being loved by Cole's parents and loving them in return.

I am convinced now that there is a very special companionship that can and does lie between children and animals, and the wonderful relationship that brought such smiles, fun, happiness, and comfort to Cole when Fred & Ginger came into his life, is undeniable evidence of that love in its most beautiful form. I will be forever grateful to this amazing little boy for teaching me about that love by his precious example, and about the joys that can be found in life, in the smallest of moments.

And when that next enquiring phone call comes, and the person indicates that they have a small child or children, I will think upon Cole, Fred & Ginger together, and I will say with a smile, “Yes, please bring him or her, we would love to have them meet our little friend”.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Having "slept on it", I realize in hindsight that my comments in the first part of this blog entry may have seemed insensitive or callous - it wasn't meant to be the case so of course I feel the need to clarify for anyone who may read it and subsequently, feels offended.

One of the most difficult parts of being involved in rescue work no matter what facet of it you are in, is that you cannot help but see the needless suffering of so many that you cannot help, and the irresponsibility of so many people who are a huge factor in the pet overpopulation because they don't spay & neuter their pets AND they don't respect the lives of animals.

That said, I know that there are just as many people who really wish they could help, but for whatever reason they cannot. As in all things, I respect the right to choose, and realize that just because not everyone is involved, doesn't mean that everyone doesn't care.

Rescue work is a very emotional boat - you cannot help but feel a whole host of things as you step into it and become fully immersed. It's rewarding and incredibly fulfilling, but it can also be very painful at times as you see all those who die needlessly because of disregard, lack of caring, and ignorance.

The first part of this entry was typed by the hand of frustration at countless aspects of this situation which cannot and will not be changed overnight. As someone completely passionate about animal welfare and with a deep love for cats, sometimes knowledge is power, and sometimes it's just sad and disheartening.

Monday, August 16, 2010


I'm reflecting again tonight on the incredible importance that rescue groups (such as the one that my husband and I volunteer with), have and I know that I've written about that importance here before, but I feel strongly enough about it, that I'm going to write about it again tonight.

Constantly I run into or hear through email, from people who are full of praise and kind words for those of us involved in rescue work - specifically for those of us who go into the hell holes called shelters and other such places to actually pluck the cats and kittens from the worst fate imaginable, and for those of us who open up our homes and (our lives), to offer these same little beings, a safe refuge until an amazing thing called adoption can happen to them. That's wonderful, and the praise and thankfulness that people express is not lost on me or on other rescue workers.........but what is lost on me is those same people who then in the next breath say "But I could never do what you do"; followed closely by the infamous mound of reasonings, "My cat/s would never accept another animal", "I don't have the funds to take care of an animal", "I don't have the time to dedicate", (or my all time favourite).........."I would become too attached and want to keep them all".

Do any of those people even begin to realize I wonder, that there's not one of those same reasons that each person who is actively involved in rescue couldn't use to stop him or herself from being involved? Do they think that WE don't get attached, that WE don't struggle with feelings of guilt about if every animal in our home is getting his/her fair share of attention due to 1 kitty more that needs a safe place to stay more than we need for a carefree conscious, do they think that WE don't want to keep every single one of those that passes over the threshold of our front door and becomes (for a time), as much ours as our own are?
The point here is that the answer to all those reasons/excuses/explanations/ is a resounding YES, YES, YES!!!!! But instead of walking away, volunteers in rescue groups the world over put their own fears, worries, concerns and yes (selfishness) - there I said it, on the very back burner and they step up to the plate to help.

It can be with time, it can be with money, it can be with love, but the heart of the matter is that because they do, lives are saved and lives are changed - the cat/kitten's AND theirs too.

What you will find if you look close enough, is that inside every carrier is a life. One that is wishing for kindness, wishing for tenderness, wishing for compassion, and yes, wishing for LOVE. Isn't that what all of God's creatures are searching for on this journey called life? How I pray that there will come a day when more people will stop to see what's really in a carrier...............

**In loving memory of my peanut and babygirl, "Miss Remy" - who was and always will be my little pearl inside a carrier**

Sunday, August 15, 2010


A couple of more weeks and it will be September. It's hard to believe that another Summer is almost behind us and soon it will be back to umbrella's, sweaters and ultimately, winter coats......... (uh, don't you just hate those last two words?).

Over the course of the Summer, Rascal has found his place within our family and has even managed (dare I write it), to win over Rocky aka, Stinkerboy, to a large degree. You know a foster has been with us for quite some time when Rocky stops growling all together when they stroll by, one of the last intimidation methods he holds onto - almost as if to convince himself that if he holds out long enough, he can once again do his "happy dance" sooner rather than later. That's his seeing the back end of yet another kitty as they too are carried out the front door to their forever home; it beats out by far, lazy lounge filled days on our bed, his favourite snack, and Christmas morning (when he gets to find his favourite piece of wrapping paper which he proceeds to lay on all day) all in one!

As my own personal test when thinking about how long a foster has been with us, I get up my courage and ultimately do the "name game". Unless a foster comes to us as an owner surrender, rescuing from a high volume shelter means that the names they are given are usually dictated by staff for identification purposes. As if sitting on death row at a shelter wasn't enough, these poor little creatures also find themselves losing the last little shred of who they were - with homelessness, comes no identity.

We try to find names that suite our houseguests, but because noone is usually with us very long, it's never one they recognize and that for us is the time metre we use to gage how long our latest friend has waited for their forever home. They don't know their name = So they haven't waited that long for a forever home = Noone has become overly attached to anyone else just YET.

The other morning when I was almost done preparing to leave for work, I made my way to the basement to clean litterboxes, found my courage somewhere between the bag and the scooper, and I called Rascal. Not with cute sounds or other such noises, but by actually using his name. Two calls of "Rascal, Raaaaascal" - and he came running; tail high as a kite, eyes as a big as smarties, ears perked up and ready................he knows his name.

When his forever family comes, I hope they like the name Rascal......and I also hope that they won't think the tears I'll inevitably shed as the journey with his new family begins, will be strange.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


I've put off doing another entry simply because I didn't think I had anything noteworthy to report - that was until someone else helped me to see that was actually to the contrary. I had been asked recently about fostering, more specifically, what kind of a "time committment" is required when taking in a rescued cat/kitten............

At first I was completely enthusiastic, not only because I was talking about something that I absolutely love, but because I thought these initial questions were due to someone's interest in perhaps becoming a foster parent themselves. I wanted to rush past the initial stuff just so I could get to the good part...........the part about the excitement and anticipation that comes with welcoming in a new cat or kitten, the thrill of watching them experience freedom of movement outside of a tiny metal cage or a carrier for what could be the first time in weeks or months, and the pure joy of seeing the display of thankfulness on their tiny faces as they purr and become more and more relaxed; - but unfortunately, I didn't get to the "good part"

The someone enquiring gave me a reply of one sentence that left me with no doubt in my mind whatsoever, that we weren't going to get to the good part - that one sentence went like this "How could you take in a strange animal for an unspecified amount of time, not knowing when you'll be rid of it - why your practically raising that black cat you have."

Well, yes, come to think of it, if you put it like that - I guess, we are raising Rascal. And if raising him means that I get to keep him from falling into the hands of someone that won't love, adore and appreciate him for the wonderful kitty that he is..........................well then we'll be raising him right through adolescence, adulthood, and into his golden years - at least that way I can ensure he never has words like "It" and "Rid" in the same sentence as him.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


Our Sylvester, "Silly" for short. I know I've written about him before here, but I'm not sure if the love that lays between him and my husband was adequately conveyed. Because of the way in which it warms my heart so, I thought I would share once's a perfect example of the love that is freely exchanged here in our home.

My husband and Silly share an extremely special bond. Silly literally sulks once Daddy has left in the mornings to go to work and really doesn't perk back up again until he hears that key in the door at the end of the day and Daddy has returned.

Silly has sent Daddy to the hospital emergency department with bite wounds so severe that serious infection was a real concern, but it was all a terrible misunderstanding or so I'm told, (like so many of the clashes between these two), and before you know it, their loving each other once again. This kitty has a very special place in my husband's heart - and vice versa I'm sure.
Even though Silly can and is a very unpredictable kitty when it comes to his threshold for affection, has us constantly on guard around doors for his "dashing" abilities, and commands our attention on a regular basis with his "yowling" at nightime when he has a toy or other object that he's dragging from across the house to show us, I know that his presence and his character has enriched our lives twofold.

Somewhere I imagine there is someone who believes that Silly is either homeless or thankful we are that he was meant to take a different journey and that we have been blessed to have it be in our lives.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


As Rascal rests all stretched out on our livingroom floor with a warm July breeze blowing over him gently, we sit back and shake our heads in amazement that he is still with us.
Below is my having captured him transfixed by a squirrel taunting him from a nearby tree in our I wish every person considering adopting, could come by and meet him - how they would all be fighting to take him home!

Once again it's all because he's a black kitty - don't you know they are bad luck?! *L* I actually can't even say that with a straight I'd like to have a word or two with the ding a ling that started that fable!!
This next picture is him incognito..............stalking Rocky & Silly during the course of one of their many games of chase - (he thinks the grocery bag has him well hidden from their line of sight).

Rascal is the kind of kitty that you would never tire of kissing, squishing, holding, kissing some more, and loving - he's just that adorable and cute beyond description. We know because he's been staying with us almost 2 months and we do it almost every day - lucky, lucky us!!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


We're currently working on our backyard (I know on the hottest day of the year), and as you can see, Rascal & Silly are hard at work as well - at relaxing.

All I can think to myself as I discover them resting yet again, is how wonderful it must be to be a cat and have this much time for napping.

We're so grateful that we can offer our furboys shelter and coolness from this heat wave but we can't help but think of the countless kitties in our midst who not only don't have a soft, cool place to escape this heat, but who roam our city streets in search of food and water.

Treasure the love you have with your little friends, and may each of us do all that we can to help those among us who cannot help themselves.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


We are falling more in love with Rascal every day - I admit that it's going to be very, very difficult to bid him goodbye when the time comes; and I don't believe that I'll be the only one holding back hubby and our little monkey seem to become closer and closer every day. Today my husband called me at work to tell me how Rascal had fallen asleep on his foot and was as content as a clam

Our love for him isn't just because he's gentle and adorable and a complete darling in every way imaginable, but also because he has the cutest way of doing just one more thing that makes us smile and go "awwwww"..................
Take this for example - which for whatever reason is where he likes to begin his bedtime

He has found the bathmat (yes THAT bathmat!) which he seems to enjoy snoozing on - that would be cute enough in and of itself if it wasn't that he actually gets up in behind the shower curtain to do it! These pictures are his expression when I've ever so slowly drawn back the curtain to discover him there.

Let me guess?????............are you saying "awwwwwwwww"

Friday, June 25, 2010


I had another adoption call for Rascal this past week and I turned the family down - again. You might wonder to yourself (as I have internally at times), as to what exactly it is we're doing.

Here we are, fostering yet another black cat who we've already had with us for close to 6 weeks, and I've turned away not just one potential forever family.........but two??? If you've read some of my previous posts or visited the main page of the rescue group's website, you'll know that black cats are the hardest to find forever homes for. I won't dredge back up how ridiculous I think people's perceptions and superstitions are regarding this whole "black cat" thing, suffice it to say that - it's alive and well today, just look at how many black cats and kittens are sitting in foster care and shelters city or nationwide, and you'll get the message.

So how is it that I could turn away two separate enquiries for Rascal from what sounded like wonderful people in both instances? Well, it goes like this:
Neither of these families had any other pets and neither were prepared to adopt another cat immediately in order that Rascal could have a friend. We have been observing and getting to know Rascal for weeks now, and although he can't sit us down and tell us what kind of a home he'd like to go to, I think it's safe to say that our guts tells us it's not one where he would be an only kitty. He is far too friendly, social and interactive for that to be the case. I learned the hard way - actually the hardest way possible, a number of years ago, that following your gut in fostering is essential. Essential for the happiness of your foster, and essential for you to rest easy in knowing you made the right decision for that little soul that was in your care.

I call this my "Caesar" lesson.....
Caesar was a 5 yr old long haired cold black male that came to us from the shelter after his family dumped him there due to a new baby *NICE*
For the first 10 days that we had Caesar, he hissed, he spit, and he growled. He backed himself into every corner of our bathroom and proceeded to let out menacing sounds that make Rocky's temper tantrums almost laughable - well almost. He would not look at us, let us touch him, and he made it abundantly clear that he was one VERY angry and VERY ticked off cat!
At the three month mark, although still somewhat skittish, he had accepted the fact that his previous forever family was gone and that he had to make the best of where he now found himself. Gradually he allowed us to love him, to pet him, to talk softly to him, and yes, even at times would allow us to sit beside him. It was ALOT of patience, and hard work, but it was worth every second to see him settle in and settle down.

Shortly thereafter, a family with teenagers (3 to be exact), called wanting to meet him. I spent literally a full hour on two different phone conversations taking great pains to explain to them, the stress that he had endured to come around, and that I wasn't sure what his reception would be to them or to the prospect of being removed from his now familiar environment. But they were adamant and persistent, and so I agreed.
They drove a considerable distance in a snowstorm to meet him. They were nice enough but Caesar was terrified and would barely poke his nose out from behind our sofa. After about 10 mins of being there, they expressed their desire to take him home. I was taken off guard and felt confused, uncertain and pressured. I'll never forget trying to weigh what was the right thing to do and was this, Caesar's chance at forever happiness?

I agreed, getting him the carrier was a nightmare, getting them out the door listening to him howling was beyond heartbreaking, and watching them drive away knowing how scared he would be that evening - well that was enough to make me want to hide under my own bed.

Three weeks later, Caesar wss dead. The family's vet indicated that he had developed a serious urinary infection which there was little chance of him recovering from and which was likely due to the extreme stress he endured as a result of going to yet another new environment, the family blamed us, insinuating that we had knowingly allowed them to adopt a sick cat, and us, well were were just devastated that Caesar hadn't found his happiness at all - what he had found was a way to escape the misery he thought he had once again been forced to endure.

That whole experience has never left me, nor has the invaluable lesson I learned about listening to your instincts, to your gut, and keeping the well being of your foster at the forefront of your concerns. Caesar may very well be alive today if I had followed the feelings that were deep inside me to refuse those people - because I didn't, his unhappiness cost him everything.

The people enquiring for Rascal all sounded lovely, and I'm sure that there is a kitty out there that will find his/her forever happiness with each of them........but my heart told me that Rascal wasn't the one.

Saturday, June 19, 2010


In the midst of my regular house cleaning frenzy, I found that Rascal was a great help to me...........from his perch atop our..........KITCHEN COUNTER!

Silly's food is on this counter and he as well as Rascal are up and down all the time because they love to watch the birds outside the kitchen window, but this was the first time I have ever encountered one of our kiddlings actually blatantly laying there as if it was the most natural thing in the world!

Is it just me or doesn't he have an especially coy look about him as he meets my astonished reaction - almost as if to say, "What Mommy, I'm helping you by overseeing your cleaning to ensure you don't miss any spots"

We try to draw the line at letting them lay on the counter since this is the place where, um, we, um, prepare food! but obviously Rascal knows who the big pushover in this family is and it's not the guy whose at work today!!!!

Hopefully there are foster Mom's & Dad's out there with more willpower than me or we're all in big trouble! *L*

Thursday, June 17, 2010


If it is even possible (which I highly doubt it is), Rascal is getting cuter and cuter with every passing day........

We have discovered that when he is in a "baby" mood (I'm sure some of you know what I'm referring to by calling it that) and wants to be cuddled and loved and cooed to softly, he also seeks out something to suckle on. It's mostly been one of our fingers or our hand, but sometimes it's even the inside of my arm...........tonight however, I discovered him on the bathroom mat (yes THAT MAT!!!)- trying to suckle on a little cloth throw toy.

Whether he does it while we're loving him or we've come upon him as he seeks out something else to comfort him, our hearts are tugged by the realization of what a little baby this sweet boy still is in many ways. It also saddens us somewhat because we believe it is a sign that he didn't have the chance to be properly weaned from his Mommy and therefore seeks out that which he was robbed of too soon.

It may be that he outgrows this habit but I think in many ways it would be very sweet if it remained with him. He can play rough, acts fearless in the face of so much, tries to pretend and be as "grown up" as Rocky & Silly, and yet underneath it all he's still just a weanie one. This is a special time in his life and ultimately in ours, as we are given the opportunity to witness first hand the precious gift of life that when so young and innocent, can and is so incredibly beautiful to watch unfold..........

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Just today I was thinking about what my next entry here could be.........Rascal is still very much with us and as these next few photo's will reveal, he's as much a little character/charmer as he was from the minute he climbed out of the carrier upon arriving!

I had to literally make a running dash for the camera to capture the first scene - otherwise noone would believe me when I wrote about what a little mischief man this boy is. If your still wondering what exactly your looking at, that's Rocky relaxing on the back of our loveseat in the livingroom (which is one of HIS spots), and Rascal sneaking up on him (or so he thinks) to have a sniff of his fur - or to annoy him, whichever will get him in the least amount of trouble.
Surprisingly, Rocky didn't stir except for a low, deep growl and the slight tilt of his head, as much to say, "OK pal, your treading on very thin ice here - one more move and your toast"!

The next two shots are of "darling" Rascal (can those two words even go together?). He settles down on the opposite end of the loveseat as if to profess, "What!, I wasn't doing anything".......and so is life at the Safe Haven Hotel currently with our latest houseguest.

I had one adoption call for Rascal earlier this week but unfortunately the potential adopters weren't a good fit so it's still the waiting game.

I joked with another volunteer at the rescue that short of a potential adopter having a recommend from the Savior Himself - fat chance of getting to take this little cutie pahtootie home!!! :) :)

Friday, June 4, 2010


I was talking to a fellow foster Mom the other day and we began discussing our Rocky.............well actually, truth be told, she was enquring if he was as menacing as ever and I was describing some of his day to day antics!! The literal stomping of his feet if he doesn't get what he wants fast enough, his deep, ferocious growl that he tries to intimidate fosters with, and his stalking technique which would do any panther or tiger proud

Well I'd like to think that with every tough guy there is a soft corner, maybe not seen often or readily admitted to, but it's there nonetheless...........

This is Rocky's - time spent cuddling with us in bed which he loves to do first thing in the morning and ONLY if there is noone else trying to hone in on his personal space or heaven forbid, HIS bed!

For anyone out there that has a foster or perhaps a permanent member of your family that you believe will never soften or become lovable, you need look no further than at our Rocky Rockstar to know that ALL THINGS are possible. I have yet to meet a kitty that is tougher, with more attitude, or whose army sergeant attributes are more in full force - and yet, even he has moments where he melts like butter in a warm saucepan and all it takes to produce such a reaction is a little thing called............L.O.V.E.