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.