Wednesday, July 31, 2013


Today, someone who knows of the foster work that we do, approached me earlier  enquiring about who our latest houseguest might be.   Much like a new Mom, I began gushing about Magnum............about how sweet he is, how easily he has adapted to our home, our easygoing in nature he is, and how affectionate he's been right from the moment he arrived. 

This individual has never adopted a kitty from us, but they have been expressing interest for some time and have said previously that they'd keep in touch with me in the event that they were finally ready to commit, and hopefully we were fostering just the cat for them.  Well after asking me about Magnum, and seeming to be overly interested, as I had previously, I instructed them to visit my blog to check out pictures of him that have been recently shared.  A little later on in the day, this person emailed me with this comment, "He looks like a big, sweet bear but that deformed ear is really kind of gross."

When I explained that that deformed ear was actually the result of Magnum's being left in frigid winter temperatures for long durations of time, the response was "Oh I see, well that's too bad but I still think it's gross and I couldn't stand the thought of accidentally touching it or having to look at it."

I sat back in my chair at the office and thought, really?.  I chose not to respond any further (I didn't trust myself to say anything that even resembled polite), but note to self:  NEVER will this person adopt a foster cat of mine!!!!!!!!!!!!

I also said a silent thanks that this person has never been ready to commit in the past - and may it stay that way.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Everything is going really well here on the foster front.  Magnum has settled in beautifully and our boys grow more used to him with every passing day. 

Soooo I thought I would take a post and share with you some of the recent adoptions from the rescue we volunteer with..............get ready because your smile metre is going to go off the charts with these ones - I guarantee it!!

Emmett Frost


Little Tuna


Friday, July 26, 2013


Magnum had his follow up vet appointment this afternoon after his extractions last week and the vet has reported that his mouth is healing wonderfully!

That's double the great news since we were unable to get any more meds in after Day #3 of being home from the initial surgery.   I want to thank everyone for their terrific suggestions on how to get those antibiotics into him; in the end nothing was working so we decided to just see how it went.  He went back to eating the hard kibble at his own insistence, didn't seem to be having any problems chewing, and there was no odour from his mouth (I checked frequently - brave me), so we figured that since the follow up was just in a few days, we'd let nature take it's course and see what happened.

My husband reported that when the vet went to open Magnum's mouth to check on everything, Magnum fought tooth and nail.  Kind of made me feel better to know that his behaviour with us wasn't just about our technique!

Great start to the weekend!!!

Thursday, July 25, 2013


Tonight this one is all about  two  very special guys that deserve HUGE praise and recognition for their patience, kindness, acceptance (sometimes a little delayed), and overall good natured demeanour's, who have never once in 64 fosters, ever acted out in ways that would be deal breakers for our continued fostering (ie: using places for the bathroom that aren't the litterbox!) - and that's our own boys, Rocky and Silly.

Silly - a.k.a. Daddy's Boy
We love them so much and are both so thankful and amazed that they always rise to meet the challenge of a yet another new kitty in the house. (okay so Rocky takes longer initially but eventually he too comes around).

Rocky - Our Little Fighter
Sooooo I can't help but cringe alot (and feel very guilty), as I've caught Magnum our current foster, settling himself into the one cat bed in our whole house that is Silly's favourite, insisting on eating out of the boys' bowls when he has his own, and running to me whenever he hears me lovingly talking to or calling for either Rock or Sil.  I don't think it's dominance on Magnum's part because he tries to engage both boys in games of play and I even caught him trying to groom Silly (much to Silly's horror!) so we're very certain that he likes them very much, but just so desperately wants to be apart of the family that he's jumping right in with both paws!

Magnum & "The Bed"
Magnum is a confidant kitty, of that there is no doubt.  But there is a fine line in fostering that has you teetering sometimes between welcoming in a soul that needs lots of love and assurance after being abandoned and neglected; and ensuring that any of your own don't feel that they've been replaced or lost your favour. 

Here's hoping we can keep everyone happy........

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Well I can say one thing with total confidance; noone from Ford Modelling Agency is going to be calling Magnum nor I anytime soon looking for models or photographers. He and I have just spent the better part of 45 minutes on a photo shoot in my livingroom and I'm not sure who it was more painful for!!

Just the other day one of the other cat blogs I've begun following, wrote about all the horrible pics that us as parents (foster or otherwise), make our dearly loved fur friends endure while we try to find the right pose, the right lighting, and dare I even say it, the right expression. Well if I thought my previous shots were bad, tonight's were downright pathetic. Good pictures of your foster kitty are a MUST for the rescue's website, because ultimately this is a potential adopters first introduction and impression of this cat, and those photos had better be good in order to lead that person/s to the next step, which is making that phone call to express interest in meeting him/her.

So as a foster parent volunteering in a rescue with no shelter and thus relying totally on the website to showcase (perhaps not the best word) your rescued kitty, there's a tad bit of pressure to make magic. This is where I will admit that tonight I'm sure both my husband, Magnum and my two other cats are completely convinced that I have lost the plot...........I must have clicked that shutter at least 30 times and all the while I was whistling, calling, moving, and bending to try and get that "perfect" picture! At one point I even had the nerve to say to my husband, "Can you please just make him do what I want"!?

That's when I knew I'd better hurry up and get this over with - for all our sakes! *Fingers crossed that these pics are the right stuff*

Saturday, July 20, 2013


Sometimes I don't see myself as a "true" rescue volunteer. I don't work in the shelter system, I don't do TNRing on a regular basis, I don't assist with colonies, and I don't persevere in the political minefield of "behind the scenes" rescue work. To be honest, I've dabbled in almost all of these area's at one time or another in all the years I've been trying to help kitties, but in the end, I've found that I just don't have the stomach for most of it.

I often ask myself if I've taken the easy road in fostering? Although I welcome each cat that's brought to the Safe Haven with all the love and care I can extend, I won't even peruse the shelter website that most of our cats are rescued from, because I can't bear to look at the faces of all those that I can't take; knowing that their fate is a very grim one at best. So sometimes I feel like abit of a fraud if you will, sitting here in my nice comfortable home, working with one foster at a time, enjoying the fruits that come from watching them settle and then thrive in this atmosphere, and then..........well it's adoption time and I start all over again. I don't have a hundred voicemails from people needing help with their cats, I don't have my email inbox overloaded with requests or pleas, and I don't have cats/kittens dropped at my door by those too cowardly to take responsibility for their own problems. I don't spend my evenings and weekends running from one cat related urgency to another, and I don't even keep in touch with many (if any), fellow cat rescue volunteers on a regular basis.

The adopters that have given Fonzie & Fergus (the two orange males that were adopted afew weeks ago) their forever home, keep telling me how lovely and wonderful I am. Of course I'm deeply touched by their kind words, but for the most part I believe them to be totally undeserving. I sent afew emails with pictures of the boys attached, I spoke to afew people, and I searched for a way to help.....not exactly moving mountains in my opinion.

I help cats and people find each other; and it's all I really love doing; I'm just not sure if I can be placed in the same group with all those who are in the trenches of this work every day.

Here are the latest shots of Fonzie and Fergus in their new home -

The Boys


Safe & Sound
Elliott & His New Brother Oliver (The Lab)


Thursday, July 18, 2013


We got some great suggestions (thanks everyone!!), of ways in which to get around Magnum's hostility of being pilled. We arrived home last night from work with arsenal's in hand........a big blanket, pill pockets and REALLY yummy wet food. We did not wish a repeat of Evil Magnum that we were introduced to yesterday morning - this isn't him actually, but you get the idea.

Pill pockets were up first. He loved them.......except that he decided that the ones without the pills were far yummier than the ones with. We tried that twice, 2nd attempt went much like the first; he was thoroughly enjoying snacking on them but he was not going to be fooled into eating the ones with the pills in them.

Next up, we tried wrapping him in the large blanket tightly in order that we could keep his feet out of the issue, and hopefully quickly pry open his mouth to drop pills in lightening fast. Again, twice we tried and twice, believe it or not, he broke out of the blanket (or at least one of his front paws did), both times he swatted the pill right out of my hand and clear across the room!

So we opted for the last resort. Crushed the pills down to powder in wet food and presented as a very tasty treat. He ate every last morsel :))

In hindsight I don't think it was Magnum making this a difficult situation at all - rather it was US creating issues where there didn't need to be any. In the end, he kind of looked up at me after eating as if to say, "You should have went that way to start".

64 fosters or so later, and I'm still learning......gotta love it.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


We picked up Magnum from the vet last night and I'm delighted (and so relieved), to report that his two teeth extractions went off without any issues at all! It was also determined that his remaining teeth are in great condition (an added bonus), AND that he's approximately 5 years old..........(that's a HUGE YAY potential adoption wise).

He's on soft food for the next little while since his mouth will be abit tender, and has some antibiotics and pain meds for the next little while as well. The only downside in all of this is that we've discovered this morning that Magnum HATES to be pilled. I mean the growling, spitting, swatting type of hate.........a complete 360 degree turn from the normally, big, lovable, easygoing sweetheart he is as a rule.

We made several attempts at pilling him ourselves, my husband normally has no problem doing it solo with either our own boys or previous fosters, but after about 10 minutes of listening to him and Magnum literally wrestling, I decided perhaps the female touch was required. Oh how wrong I holding Magnum only seemed to exasperate the situation! So then we tried putting the one pill in his wet food, which would have worked great except he ate around it. I then crushed it up and put it back in but he decided he wasn't all that hungry afterall........rrrrrghhhhhhhhhhhh.

So, we had to leave for work. With both of us exhausted and frustrated, out we went with everyone without food for the day. We're hoping that by the time we get home later today, they will all be starving (including Magnum!), and he won't much care what he's gotta swallow med wise to get abit of food in his belly!.

Did I mention he's a big boy (tips the scales at 14 pounds), so perhaps I need to lift a few weights at lunch today to prepare for tonight???????

Monday, July 15, 2013


There's alot of not nice stuff in rescue work. I don't write about it much here because most of it is just plain ugly and I don't want to revisit that type of garbage on a regular basis. If you're in rescue, you most likely know exactly what I'm referring to and it doesn't always centre around the cats themselves. In the last couple of weeks, there's been some unpleasant, the kind that makes the bile rise in the back of my throat and has me thinking some very unkind thoughts. Remember the Gong Show? - was on in the late 70's I think, where people came on with said talent, stood before a panel of 3 celebrity judges and were either embraced or gonged off? Well the issues I've come up against in recent days have me wanting to use that big huge pallet to gong "stuff" into oblivion - enough said.

As a result, I've had my share of moments in the years since we started doing this work where I've thought seriously about throwing in the towel. But it always seems that just when I'm giving it the most serious of consideration, is also the exact moment when I'll meet yet another really lovely adopter, or fellow rescue volunteer, or I'll have the chance to be involved in rescuing yet another incredible kitty, OR someone will share a really great rescue story with me and voila, I let that thought go and soldier on.

I was sent these pics today by some of those lovely adopters I make frequent mention of. People who truly are angels here on earth for opening up their homes to cats that were really in need:

Americus - Our Florida Miracle Kitten


Remember Amerius? A teeney, weeney kitten about the age of 2 weeks when discovered by former adopters of ours on a skid of mulch at the local Walmart in Florida, while they were vacationing at their winter home?

Elliott (aka Fergus) w/His New Canine Brother Harley


And there's Fergus, now named Elliott of the "Fergus/Fonzie duo who both found themselves brought in from the mean streets for TNRing (separetly), became instant friends and then were lovingly adopted by a couple who have two dogs. I put out a plea for them a couple of weeks ago and now here we are two weeks their new home with their new friends.

The Whole Gang Together!!

These (and countless others), make me VERY GLAD that I haven't quit. That I haven't allowed the unpleasant side of this work, (which unfortunately I know will always be there), win. These stories are what keep me going and I hope they put smiles on your faces like they did on mine.

Saturday, July 13, 2013


Okay I admit it, I'm not very good at relaxing. I'm one of those people who spends the first 2-3 days of vacation initially, frantically wondering what I'm going to do with myself and then getting somewhat grumpy when I realize that vacation means doing pretty much nothing (or anything other than work). Saturday's are even worse for me because it's my one day of the week that requires all my housework to be done (and I HATE housework!!!), as well as try and mentally prepare for Sunday's, ensure I have my work clothes for Monday picked out and ironed (another thing I absolutely loathe - the ironing part I mean), so I often catch myself running around the house on Saturday's, zipping from one chore to the next, oftentimes taking on two at a time, and usually being three jobs ahead when I'm on job #1. So you probably get the picture............I'm not your Oscar type, I'm totally Felix.

It's no wonder than that many a Saturday I'll come across the boys giving me visual reminders of what I'm supposed to be doing on weekends, and just how easy it is (or so they make it seem).

Ahhh my sweet boy Silly, doesn't his expression say it all. I saw him like that and I actually said aloud, "I know, I know, I'm a freak!" To which he did a little stretch as if to reply "You'll get no argument from me on that one".

Then if that wasn't bad enough, not 10 minutes after putting fresh sheets on our bed, I find Magnum......

Oh yes, I could have sworn I heard him say; "Geez Mommy you really gotta try this!"

The moral of the story? I don't need to spend hundreds of dollars on psychotherapists, self help books or subscriptions to mags on relaxing. I think my furry friends have got all the answers.

Friday, July 12, 2013


So I just came across this blog post on AdoptMe Canada's Cat & Kitten blog about how PJ Pets is now adopting out cats & kittens from shelters versus selling cats/kittens while those in shelters face euthanization!  Thanks to all of their efforts to ensure that this by-law is complied with; allowing more cats and kittens to find loving forever homes and thus, their second chance!

Please click on the link below to read more :))

AdoptMe Canada's Cat & Kitten Blog! Cat/Kitten Adoption, Toronto, GTA, ON: Pj Pets....

Thursday, July 11, 2013


We have a vet visit scheduled for Magnum on Monday. Unfortunately he'll have to stay overnight since he requires some dental work. Evidently, a brief examination at Animal Control led someone to say that he needs at least two of his teeth extracted.

I've tried to sneak a peek inside his mouth when he's been yawning and I've noticed that both is upper and lower front fangs (or canines as they are called), on the one side are both gone, and the rest of what I saw didn't look so good. That's not totally surprising given his age and his having been outside, eating goodness knows what - a horrible diet isn't exactly conducive to good teeth!, but still it's unfortunate.

I'm somewhat anxious about his surgery. It's always concerning when a cat has to be put out, but especially one that's older can be even abit more dicey. I'm also disappointed that his trip will likely stress him and he'll probably think that he's been abandoned again when he finds himself sitting back in one of those cramped, little boxes they call cages. This is one of those instances when you wish you could talk to them, explain what's going on, and they'd actually understand.

Tuesday will be a great day when we can hopefully pick him back up for the trek home (pending no complications).

Here's hoping.

Monday, July 8, 2013


Did you know that black cats are more likely to be euthanized first in shelters, last to be adopted, AND carry with them the stigma that somehow they are either unfriendly or bad luck?  Did you know that an older black cat coming into the shelter system has even less of a chance of making it out alive?

Everything above is fact with the exception of the part regarding them being unfriendly or bad luck.................that, as many an English Granny would say, is just poppycock!

Magnum I would hazard a strong guess, has absolutely no idea just close he came to not "making it".   He doesn't and never will, but I do, and so do countless other rescue volunteers the world over.  That is why my heart swells even more when I see him already so happy and content..................some would say it makes for a great story, but in this instance, it makes for even better reality.

Magnum & Silly - Napping Together

Sunday, July 7, 2013


Magnum has now been with almost 72 hours but you would think he'd been here all along with these next shots.  

No big deal you say?  Yeah you might be right EXCEPT that these shots are in my livingroom on our loveseat - with both of our own boys very nearby; and I for one am thoroughly delighted!! :) :) :)

Saturday, July 6, 2013


We've decided to call our new friend, Magnum.  After almost 48 hours of getting to know one another, we thought this was a pretty fitting name for one amazing cat.

Every time I'm around him, the only word that keeps popping into my head is resilient.  Estimates are that he is somewhere in the neighbourhood of 6-9 years of age, and in a four week span of time, he's gone from being picked up by Animal Control, to sitting on death row of a shelter (where he spent the majority of his time), to then being transported to a vet for examination, then picked up again and brought into Toronto, than took another 1 hour journey with us to reach our home.  He's gone from a home to the streets, to a shelter, to another home.............and this is for a boy who is abit older, abit wiser, and judging by his one horribly crinkled ear due to extreme weather exposure, had already been through some very unpleasant stuff.

But at the end of the day, we are still seeing one very loving, affectionate, easy going kitty - even after all of that.  We let him out earlier today so that he could have an opportunity to scope out the whole house while our own boys could watch but not participate.  Magnum made two walkabouts and then suddenly walked into the kitchen, laid down on the floor and began purring; his expression being one of, "Okay, this will do nicely".

I don't think it gets any easier than that.........

Thursday, July 4, 2013


Tonight the Safe Haven has welcomed in a new houseguest.  Actual facts on his history prior tonight are very few at best.  His right crinkled ear from the effects of frigid winter temperatures leads us to believe that he's spent alot of time outdoors, and not by his own choosing.  But by the same token, he has exhibited strong signs of being very affectionate and friendly, so at some point, he was shown love.

The most important thing is that tonight his second chance has begun, and judging by his behaviour thus far, we're fairly certain that in some small way he knows he's finally reached a safe harbour.

As always, we're deeply humbled by the opportunity to be apart of this new beginning for him, and give great thanks to all of the others ("J", "K" and everyone in between), who work so tirelessly to help so many.