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.