Please consider making a donation to Winging Cat Rescue. They have the proper Georgia license that allows them to pull cats from at risk, death row situations at any GA shelter and they are currently part of the team helping me save some of the kitties from Henry County.
You an also make a donation to Kat5. Those ladies have transported over 2000 animals since they started in 2000! They can help us with transports and are the go-to gals to move those animals to safety.
Even if you can only donate $1 and you forward this to 10 people you know who donate $1, then it can really add up.
Most importantly, if you volunteer or run a rescue group and can take in a mama with some kittens or any combination thereof, please contact WCR and they may be able to help you with actually removing the cats from the shelters for you and can work with Kat5 to do the transport. It's not that tough. It just takes a little bit of money and a few emails or calls. The cats come to you vetted and ready to go. You just find them the homes (note: kittens will need to be spayed once they are old enough and that may be an add'l cost. Ask WCR for details).
I'm starting to learn a bit more about some of the shelters in Georgia. Not surprisingly, there's a lot going on. With severe overpopulation, not enough spay/neuters done, more and more animals are brought to the shelters to "get rid of the problem." Sadly, as you may know, most animals don't leave the shelter alive.
I think it would be worthwhile to spotlight some of these shelters and ask everyone to lend them a hand. Donate a dollar or two. It doesn't have to be much if we all pitch in together. Send them a donation of food or even better, find a way to help adopt or foster one or more of these at risk animals.
Right now there are a number of mamas and babies at Henry County Care & Control. Most of them face death if not rescued by Tuesday or Wednesday and that can change if more animals are brought in, then the ones who have been there the longest, are put to sleep...sleep? KILLED. I am not admonishing the people at Henry. I don't know their struggle and frankly I don't have the guts to work at a shelter. I have a feeling they're doing as much, and more, as they can to get the word out about these animals.
There is some confusion about what nursing moms and kittens are at Henry and still in need. Here is a current update. As of today, Saturday 8.15.09 we have 4 families still alive and in need. To make it very clear these families will be held until Wednesday 8.19.09 for any Georgia Dept. of Ag. licensed rescue attempt. Nursing babies and mothers are not up for public adoption and will be released to rescue only.
If you would like to rescue any of these families they must be removed from the shelter Wednesday 8.19.09 at the latest.
***PLEASE REMEMBER THIS IS A COUNTY RUN ANIMAL CONTROL FACILITY WITH NO VET ON STAFF, NO BOARDING OR TRANSPORT, ETC. YOU MUST ENLIST THE HELP OF A LOCAL RESCUE AND MAKE ALL VETTING AND TRANSPORT ARRANGEMENTS ON YOUR OWN PLEASE***
Here are photos and ID numbers of each family:
(This is the family I'm hoping to get adopted out or otherwise put into foster care.)
(I don't know anyone helping these beauties. Please get the word out on them as they need help soon!)
Kate Plus 8:
Tuxedo mom and 5 kittens of her own with 3 additional kits who came in individually and would have had to be put down.
Her kittens are 3 gray and gray tabby males, 1 gray and white female and 1 black and white female. Her foster kits are one solid white teeny weeny, 1 black and white, and 1 solid black screamer. Those kittens are not sexed.
Kate has taken in these additional babies happily. We will be VERY upset to see her life end here, she is the pure expression of Motherly LOVE!
Tabby is behind the two kittens and is here.
**Please Note; When forwarding, crossposting, or re-posting I ask that you leave this message intact exactly as it was written by me. I do not give permission to post my message, part of my message, or my photographs on Craig's List. Thank you for your help and support, and for respecting my wishes.**
Betsy Merchant~ Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Henry County Animal Care and Control 527 Hampton Street McDonough, Georgia 30253 (770) 288-PETS http://www.petfinder.com/shelters/GA67.html Our Hours: Monday-Friday: 9 am-4:30 pm Saturday: 9 am-1 pm Sunday: Closed County Observed Holidays: Closed
The shelter is located at 527 Hampton Street in McDonough. We are located south of Atlanta off I-75. Take exit 218 and head east on 20/81 toward McDonough. Our address is 527 Hwy 20/81 East.
For all other information regarding ordinances, county codes, and other functions of Henry County Animal Care and Control please visit www.hcacc.org
We always make sure that our foster cats are helpful, as well as cute.
Re-posted photo StacySays uploaded so you can see it live, instead of poking around to find it!
I didn't even get a chance to post anything about my new arrivals, Ernie, Nova and Felixia! They're all orange or buff tabbies of different ages and sizes. Today, Ernie, who will be named, Bernie (after Bernie Williams) was adopted by a family who already has two cats; one 18yr old who loves other cats and a 9 yr old who's not sure about that.
For the record, Ernie is a very outgoing, friendly and cute little bug. He's got extra toes and big, baseball mit paws.
We wish Ernie good luck and best wishes for a life full of happiness and love in his new home.
Makin' room for more!
The rescue effort continues. I'm on pins and needles wondering if this potential adopter is going to become a committed adopter. To make matters more complicated (not really worse?!), the ACO at the Shelter needed a mama to help nurse a newly stray/rescued kitten, who would have starved otherwise. Mama stepped in to help out!
Photo by Henry County Care & Control
So now I need either someone to adopt all four cats or, at least someone to adopt Mama and maybe one kitten, then we can move the remaining kittens into foster care. We'll find something for them. Just don't know what yet. It feels like we just dumped the contents of a jigsaw puzzle onto the table. We have all the pieces, we just don't know how they are going to fit together. I can't use a hammer to make them fit, though I'm sorely tempted! I'm reduced to crossing my fingers and hoping for the best until I get further news
I had a chat with our Director last night. I was hoping to keep her out of this since our group is "full up" and I know that, but she was wonderful and supportive and assured me that if we needed to do the rescue, as long as I take them in to foster, that we will get them homes. No problem. I can't tell you how scary it is to put yourself out on the line like this...the mama could be FeLuk or FIV+...the babies, too...then what can of worms have I opened? BUT. If I don't stick my neck out, we know what might happen. Not an option.
Our group grows to four. What the heck. In for a dime. In for a dollar. I gotta get ready 'cause I have a potential adopter coming to meet Malibu. Hope she takes two kittens. I think I'm going to need the room for more soon.
I'm really choked up right now. After three years of writing stories about my life with cats and feeling fine about basically talking to myself, (I think I had about 20 visitors a day if I was lucky) I am humbled and surprised to learn that people not only read my words, but find some inspiration and hope in them.
I want to particularly thank Michelle, Stephanie and Anne for their heartfelt comments regarding the post about my Mother. It's a great gift to read your stories about your life. We share our suffering-how we got there is a different path, but we know the sting of difficult relationships and it binds us together.
To all the good people who have been supportive of my crazy desire to save every single cat from death, THANK YOU SO MUCH! Thank you for following Tweetie's story and for learning that even a troubled feral kitten can one day be a shining star! Thank you for enjoying my stories and goofy photos. I love to share them with all of you and it provides me an outlet for those days when cat rescue or my own cats drive me to the edge of despair.
I do not feel worthy of the virtual hug you've given me, but I'm determined to earn it each and every day. I have many more stories to share, so I better get back to it.
Until then, know, from the bottom of my cold, shriveled heart that I am very grateful to you for visiting Covered in Cat Hair and taking the time to let me know you're rooting for me!
Thank you very much and Good Night.
Henry County Animal Care & Control, where Zabby was rescued from, is bustin' at the seams. This post by Betsy Merchant tugged at my heartstrings-as so many of them do.
I'm just a little nobody, but I have a few good friends who know a few good friends. It doesn't hurt to ask for help, as long as I'm not being obnoxious to those few good friends, right?
We got a nibble of interest on this kind mama and her babies. A warm hearted woman all the way in NW Indiana took a liking to the kitties. After suffering the loss of two of her cats, she may feel she's willing to give a home to a new family. I don't know IF she'll actually end up adopting Mama & both babies, but that is the hope.
Photo by Henry County Care & Control
If we can get her to green light this adoption, she'll have little to do. After hours of emails back and forth, we've been able to work it out with the super nice contact we have at Henry to talk to her Director about allowing us to transport the cats, all together, to Indiana and their new home. Normally this is not allowed and I can see why. The cats have to be spayed first and get all their shots and tests. The kittens won't have to be spayed, but all the test and shots and a two week quarantine is necessary before moving them across state lines.
We can work out the transport and we might be able to find a foster situation for them for the two weeks we need them to be quarantined. Sounds fairly simple, but if we don't get this adoption to happen, then, on Monday, time runs out and the cats may all be euthanized.
I feel sick to my stomach about this. I've written about it before and I've talked about my frustrations. I so want to help change the situation in these struggling shelters. I know saving one or two doesn't really help-of course it helps the ones that are saved, but it is said it's like trying to empty the ocean with a spoon.
Photo by Henry County Care & Control
It makes me realize just how LUCKY my own cats are-to have such a loving home, dedicated to their needs and comforts. When I think about all those poor innocents, stuck in a cage-with little chance of ever getting out alive, it just breaks my heart in two.
I'm too close to this story to accept it if they're put down. I'm not going to tell myself it's ok and we'll save the next one. I can't do that. IT IS NOT OKAY FOR THEM TO DIE. IT IS NOT OK! If it means I get them to Connecticut and foster them here in my spare bathroom, then that's what I will do-even if I'm taking in another mama and five kittens in a few days. These cats are going to be the lottery winners at Henry and beat the odds that are against them.
I am not going to let them die.
The kittens arrived a few hours ago. They're all orangey-buff tabbies. I can barely tell them apart. I got them settled and took a few photos which I'll upload in a bit. I'm distracted. Kittens, yes, great. I hear thudding coming from the foster room above me, but my thoughts are elsewhere.
Three years ago today, my Mother died. Three years ago tomorrow, I found her body. Not a fun confession, but compared to all the others regarding my Mother's life, it not as bad. Like everyone else, my relationship with my Mother was complex. Often it was difficult, but with time softening my memories and the fact that I finally know the truth about some things; I'm to a place where I'm starting to just miss her.
Circa 2001. Mother at The Last Post in Falls Village, CT
My Mother introduced me to cats. When she was about to give birth to my brother, I was sent to stay with some friends of hers who lived on a farm. In my Mother's journal from those days she writes; "Robin thrives with Mary Ann, cats, horses, dogs etc. Her suggestion for naming the baby: Candy. Shows how her mind works. Like Mama, like daughter."
She also got me my first kitten when I was just four years old. Her name was Sarafina (my little Angel) -a pure white kitten with blue eyes. Sadly, we moved not long after we adopted Sarafina and we were separated during the move. My Mother told me that she was staying at a Vet's in Ohio until we were unpacked. I kept asking about the kitten. Then one day, my Mother told me she got sick and had died! She never even had a chance to grow up. I never knew if that was the truth or not. It was not out of the question for my Mother to lie. Of course, I was devastated.
While I'm in a confessing mood, I can add that the biggest point of contention between us wasn't about my relationships or my career path or my weight; it was about cats. As far back as when I was in my teens, I remember my Mother being against taking the cats to the Vet. She thought it was cruel to make them suffer! When my brother's cat got sick, I took him to the Vet and cared for him. He was very very ill but I never gave up. Eventually Yukio, our big lug of a cat, got better for a few more years before he passed away at just nine years old.
As an adult, our conflicts grew worse. It started out to be charming that my Mother felt she needed to feed every creature that came to her door. She put food out for birds, squirrels, raccoons and any cat who came by. At any given time there were scraps of food or seeds on the deck. Once in awhile I'd see a friendly stray or neighbor's cat munching away a bowl of dry food.
We gave many of these cats nicknames. One was called, OJ. He was a big orange tom. He was always covered in scratches from fighting. He was intact, I'm sure. One day he disappeared and never came back. My Mother was very upset for a long time. She could have taken the cat in, but she felt he deserved his "freedom" whatever the cost.
She continued with this attitude, which I didn't pay much attention to, until she began to feed a new big orange tom cat she named; Bob Dole. Bob got his name from his injuries. He showed up at her door with a serious leg wound. I nagged at her to get him to the Vet. For once she agreed to get me off her back. Bob got the treatment he needed, but that was it. Bob was not neutered. Again, a conflict. My Mother didn't want to take anything away from Bob that would effect his FREEDOM. She was SO BIG on that term. I'm sure it had nothing to do with Bob and everything to do with her. She felt trapped in her life with my Father and probably with her kids, too. Knowing Bob was out there populating the neighborhood was fine with her. He could do as he pleased even if she could not.
I had to tread carefully and pick my battles. It was "too expensive" to get Bob fixed, so I worked out a trade with my Vet. He would do it for free if I trained his wife on how to use the computer. Great! She couldn't argue with me now, even though I knew she was pissed when I figured away around her argument. I got Bob neutered, all his shots, then Dr. Larry said his teeth looked really bad. I knew this was not going to go over with my Mother.
As best I could, I brought up the topic of Bob's teeth with my Mother and she said NO WAY. Too much money. Not going to make the cat suffer-though apparently it was FINE to make him suffer with a painful mouth.
We also had a big fight over another stray, a small gray cat. One day my Mom says the cat's EYE is hanging out of her head. Too bad. "I guess nature will take its' course."
That's it? No taking the cat to the Vet? I bullied my Mother until she promised to let me know when I might be able to get my hands on the cat. The next day she called me and I drove over to get the kitty. If you look back a few posts, you'll see a photo of that kitty-her name was Sasha and she not only needed her eye removed, she was SO FULL of parasites that after she got treated, she was pooping worms like they had never seen before!
The worst was how she treated her own cat, Blue; a chocolate point siamese. Blue got a urinary blockage and my mother let him suffer and die. When I found out, I was so angry I didn't speak to her for many months. In my heart, I could never forgive what she did. I could never understand WHY someone who literally had the IQ of a GENIUS, could not get her mind around the fact that she was responsible for this life and feeding it and cleaning the litter pan wasn't enough. She had the money to help the cat. That wasn't even an issue.
A rare photo of Me with Mum. 2001.
So this is my private, now public shame. My own Mother, who I did my best to love; who I'm not sure how she felt about me, could have easily been arrested for cruelty to animals. I feel like I have to make up for the suffering she caused and you can bet that every time I look at Bob and see his shiny coat and hear his deep purr, I feel like, at least I could save him. I couldn't save my Mother from her private Hell and I can assure you, it WAS HELL for her in this life, but I can do this one thing. Maybe in some twisted way, I'm doing for my Mother, what she could not find the courage to do for herself-get involved with the suffering of another being and be willing to face the consequences of that, whatever it costs.
I'm left feeling confused and sad, ashamed and distraught. I can't change the past. I can only do what's best for the animals in my life now, and every day from now on, and hope that it's enough.