Robin Olson's blog

Not on My Watch: One, Two, Three: BUST!

Seven Vet trips in six days, barfing, mooshy poop, stench, worms shooting out of one kitten's butt-yeah, I'm ready for MORE, baby! Bring it!

Now that the Crazy Kitten Clan is almost done being spayed or neutered and we're getting applications in on some of the kittens, I started to feel a bit “itchy.” Who was I going to take in next?

There are a few kittens in the periphery and a cat, but with some juggling, hopefully it will work out if I decide to, umm, err...rescue a few more cats? Come on! I need my FIX!

Why go shopping out of a drab Holiday guide when you can save a life out of a “cat-”a-log. Sorry for the PUN! What a thrill, in a way of course (I can't save many or all), but a thrill to just take in a deep breath and say; “YES! Pull those guys out of that shelter. I have NO idea if I will find them homes or find out they are sick or have behavior problems. I just NEED to do this and it seems to get a bit easier every time I do it.

This MORNING I got an email from Betsy at Henry County-YES, the same place that euthanized three sweet kittens I was about to rescue. Who would it serve if I just cut them off and never helped them again?

Then I saw this:



...and read this: Mommy is just as loving and sweet as she can be and will have little chance to get out once the kits are pulled from her. The babies are weaning now and are ready to go to the kitten room.

She has 4 beautiful babies, the family is in an isolated area for nursing moms and everyone is healthy.

This family needs to be rescued from the shelter THIS WEEK. Friday December 4th they will be split up and mom most likely will not make it out once she goes the adoption room. IF the room is full she might be euthanized since she is past her ready date.


Mama. I am not gonna let you down!

I contacted my lifeline to GA Shelters, Barb Lowe and Winging Cat Rescue and asked her if she could help me. Barb is ALWAYS busy pulling cats from shelters and always has a lot on her plate. Did Barb put me off? HELL NO! Barb made a call. A few minutes later...

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Everyone is SAFE and OUT OF HENRY COUNTY! Mama had her combo test. Negative/Negative: the words we love to hear!

Next up...FUNDRAISING to get their Vet bill paid and transport to Connecticut! Get your wallet 'cause I'm gonna be asking you to pull a few bucks out it!

Hey! I'm doing the hard work and taking the risk. I just want your CASH!

Will let you know when fundraising ChipIn Widget goes live!

Foster Cat Journal: More on Gingerbread


Apparently, some people would pay big bucks to get their hands on a fertile tri-colored male kitten! Unfortunately, that was never a thought that crossed our minds when our Vet called yesterday to tell us our little foster kitten was a very rare find. We've got “Spay/Neuter” so deeply ingrained in our noggins that there was no way we'd allow this guy to stay intact!

That said...hmmm...guess we could have waited a bit longer to think about that! We DO need funds to build a shelter, you know!

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Doesn't matter now. The “deed” has been done. Gingerbread is ready to go to his forever home and tomorrow afternoon someone is coming to visit him! Will it be his turn to get adopted or should I put him on Ebay? (KIDDING!) He's a sweet little fella. I just pried him off my lap so I could post this.

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Sweet dreams, little guy. Tomorrow is gonna be a big day!

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Foster Cat Journal: 1 in 7,000,000

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This is my foster baby, Gingerbread.

Yesterday, she went to our Vet to be spayed.

Although a Vet and a Vet Tech in GA gave her an exam and wrote up a Health Certificate for transport, they missed something about this cute little Calico.


Apparently, our Vet was, to say the least, a bit surprised when he was about to perform the spay and noticed Gingerbread was a boy. The odds of tri-colored cat being a male are 1:7,000,000!!!

Looks like my dreams of winning the Lottery were a bit off target, but heck, I'll take it!

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Not on My Watch: News, Part 2, What Was I Thinking?!!!

They're HERE!!!!!!!!!

If any of you have been paying attention, you might notice that I was going to get TEN kittens from Jasper Co. “Myles Standish” got adopted while he was still in Georgia and so did a few others! Karen Bryant, the ACO at Jasper offered to give me a few other kittens to fill up the transport.

Our “bonus” kittens are: Mistletoe, a knockout Tortie and Figgy Puddin' who we also call, “Wonder Woman” because she's got big personality in a teenie tiny body. Her tail is stubby and always sticking straight up. She can kick any kitten's ass, even if she barely weighs two pounds and is the smallest of the bunch.

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I'm working on answering a gillion emails from potential adopters, scheduling adopter visits and adoptions, preparing for our Adoption Event on Saturday and doing Vet runs EVERY DAY from Monday through Saturday of this week. It's BRUTAL, but it's for kittens, so I gotta do it.

This is why I haven't been writing much! In fact, I need to get upstairs and feed the kittens. Will try to catch everyone up on more crazy crap as soon as I can.

And for those of you who donated money to get these kittens transported and vetted, know that they are all doing well and ruining my life! I mean, are doing well and having an GREAT time enjoying cage free life!

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Not on My Watch: Lots of News Part 1

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Barely 10 days ago, Will, who was hit by a car arrived and went to his new family the next day. Joining him on the transport to CT were two little girls; Pip and Purrsimmon. When I first saw them I was pop-eyed by how beautiful they were!

Not related, these girls were born just a week apart. They both have stunning markings, a soft coat and a sweet personality to match. It was going to be tough to let these two out of my hands!

They came to be in the care of our friend, Dr. Anderson of the Cat Clinic of Greenville, SC. Purrsimmon was in bad shape when she was found in the parking lot of Walmart. She was covered with fleas, had conjuctivitis, and a URI. Dr. Anderson did a lot to get her stabilized and over two weeks, little “Purr” grew stronger and healthier. By the time she got to my home in CT, she was doing well.

Pip was in even worse shape. She was found by a good samaritan, who found her by a dumpster, alone, just like Purrsimmon. The nice lady took her to a Vet and got her care right away, but could not keep her and Dr. Anderson stepped up to help out. Poor Pip was so badly flea infested that she was anemic and weak. At barely a pound and a low body temperature, it was surely touch and go for Pip for quite awhile.

As you can see, both girls look great and healthy. Once the girls we posted on Petfinder it was mere hours before we had applications pouring in for both kittens. Two lucky families stepped up and gave each girl a home.

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Before Pip could leave, she was due for an FVRCP shot (distemper combo.) so I got her to visit Dr Larry. I couldn't read Dr. Anderson's notes and they translated them for me. It was there, we found out that, indeed, Pip did NOT need any shots, so Dr. Larry spent a few minutes examining her to make sure she was all right. His diagnosis: Insufferable Cuteness!

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Purrsimmon will be the only kitty in her new home and will be given the royal treatment by her adoring new Mama, Caitlin and Caitlin's family. Pip is going home today! Right now she's in my office as I write this, so she doesn't have to spend the day alone.

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Pip's parents are determined that they will TOILET train her!!!! Her new dad, says he's done this before and her new mom is already filling the house with new toys and a bed for her little “princess” who she coo's and ooo's over every time she sees her!

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I wish I could have spent more time with these special ladies, but with the arrival of the Crazy Clan (9 kittens from Georgia) on Friday, I've had little time for much of anything! More on that shortly!

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Foster Cat Journal: OMG!

I promise to write a REAL update as soon as I can, but for right now all I can manage is to tell you that the kittens we rescued from Georgia arrived last night at 11PM. If you want to see something completely insane, release 9 HUNGRY, FREAKED OUT, TIRED, PENT UP kittens into a SMALL ROOM!

Imagine these kittens have also been locked up in cages at a shelter for weeks on end-some, most of their short lives. I've never seen so much bouncing, jumping, hopping and flat out running (then slamming into each other) in my life. The air was electrified by the release of all their fears as they tried to figure out in the space of a few seconds- where they were, where the food was, what where these things (toys!) all over the place and where did they go to the bathroom.

It was exhausting just watching them-which was about all I could do. I grabbed a few and bathed the stuck cat litter off them and I petted a few as they raced by.

Speaking of exhausted-that would be me and that would be why I can't write much more. I was up until 2am, then got up early to find out what they had done to the foster room while I was asleep. I imagined a 6 foot hole in a wall with smoke billowing out of it and everything in the room, shredded to tiny pieces.

Oops. Gotta go. Am bringing three kittens to Jennifer's house and I don't want to be late!

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Thanks to All of You

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

I'm very thankful to all of you for your help, comments and support during the past year. With you, we've been able to pull off, well, a few miracles for some very lucky and deserving cats.

With you, we've raised money to "bust" kittens out of High Kill Shelters, support rescue groups, struggling from the bad economy and find a way to get medical care to a cat hit by a car and two cats who needed life-saving surgery.

Each time I stick my neck out and say; "Not on My Watch" and take in another rescued kitten or cat, I find I'm a bit stronger and more able to do what I do because YOU are there with me. My only hope is that I'm giving something back to all of you.

Since May of this year, 61 cats have been rescued and adopted through this web site and my own fostering efforts. Add to that the MANY cats we've put the word out for who have been rescued and adopted, too and that's easily over 150! Not bad for a BLOG!

My goals to help are endless. Next year I hope we do double this number or triple. The number of animals I can take in is finite, but the number WE can all help together is limitless.

So THANK YOU. Have a great Thanksgiving and let's get back to work and bust out more kittens from Kill shelters soon!

With Love to all,


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Not on My Watch: The Best Thing

The best thing that ever happened to Will, a year old run-of-the-mill white and brown tabby, was that he was hit by a car. If that fateful moment had passed uneventfully, the car swerved or Will's timing had been a bit better, not only would we have no story, Will probably would have died.

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It's ironic that Will would have died not being struck, but by being a free roaming, homeless cat. He'd already slimmed down to seven pounds. At the rate he was going, if no one stepped in to help him, Will might not have survived the winter.

But The Fates were kind, by striking him down on Willard Street (Will’s namesake) in Greenville, South Carolina early in the morning of November 4th. Perhaps someone racing to get to work hit Will, stopped and saved him at that moment or someone saw him in distress and took him to Greenville County Animal Care Services. We just don't know. What we do know is Will met a lady named Andrea who works at GCACS.

Though GCACS could not help Will be medically treated, for budget or whatever reason, Andrea was determined to find someone who could. She did not want to have to euthanized such a friendly cat. She sent out an email that found its' way to me. I'm not even sure how she knew my address. I can't even find her original email.

Nevertheless, I took a breath and thought about what I could do. I am 900? miles away? The only people I know in Greenville, SC are...wait..a VET and a good friend to cats named Jenna!

Though some of you may know what happened next, I need to acknowledge these people-Dr. Anderson, of Cat Clinic of Greenville, SC, drove to GCACS to rescue Will, then gave him a physical exam and determined that he had an injury to his right eye and to his palette. Being in a sorry state, Will got cleaned up and was given all the tests and shots he needed, all the while, Will was “making muffins” and purring. Will didn't care if he was injured, he just wanted to love and be loved.

Our friend, Jenna made numerous trips to visit Will and update us on his progress, as Will began to heal. She was Will's voice and it was Jenna who contacted Dr. Anderson and arranged for Will to receive care in the first place.

Without these ladies, we know what would have happened.

Fate stepped in again. This time one of our dear readers, Clare, offered to adopt Will, never once meeting him—completely trusting that everyone's comments about how sweet Will was were true. Through seemingly endless emails back and forth, I arranged transport and Jenna got Will, along with two kittens to the drop off spot so the transport could get them to CT.

Will, Pip and Purrsimmon arrived on Saturday. Sam was kind enough to pick them up since I was still at the Cat Writers' Conference. Seemingly unscathed by the long journey, the moment Will arrived, he was relaxed, purring and ready for some cuddling. He never hid, hissed or complained. He is easy going and laid back and oh so cute!

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When I met Will, I could tell he was “all that and then some.” He liked to be held. He didn't mind the kittens using his tail as a toy. He even groomed, napped and played with the little girls. They looked to him as a surrogate mother.

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I didn't have much time to get to know Will; just a few hours. In that time, I too, was captivated by his sweet nature. While I looked forward to Clare and her daughters coming, it was mixed with some sadness. It also hit me-here's another cat who would have so easily be euthanized because he needed medical care and was in a place that could not provide it to him. How can that be? I can't understand that anyone would put money over life like that. It's tragic.

How could you say, “No” to this face???

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At 5pm, on November 22nd, a giant pickup truck pulled into the driveway. Three slight, English ladies came running to my door. One of them was Clare, though I didn't get a look at her because she was already hugging me hard, on the verge of tears. Rescuing Will was more than just adopting any old cat. This was the first time Clare felt like she stuck her neck out and got deeply involved (instead of making a donation or helping socialize our shy kittens) when an animal needed help. It was also the first time Clare ever adopted a stray!

All of Clare's cats are purebred Burmese.

Before you pass judgement-and you shouldn't, you should know that Clare wanted cats who are known for being friendly. It was an honest, good-hearted decision to adopt purebreds and those cats need homes, too, but something had changed in Clare. She saw stories of the heartbreaking life shelter cats endure. Instead of looking away, so looked. She allowed herself to feel so bad that she couldn't sit still until she took action. She didn't need or want another cat, but she DID need to say; “Not on My Watch!” and she DID need to do something about it.

So she made some room in her life for one more. She took a leap of faith in everyone who knew and loved Will and realized that without even meeting him, she loved him, too.

As Clare and her daughters entered the foster room, Will was at the door, ready to greet them. There were squeals of delight and oooohs and ahhhhhs and “he's so beautiful!” You couldn't even see Will through all the hands petting him and fussing over him.

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Everyone took turns holding Will as they got to know him better. He got belly rubs and hugs, pats and kisses. He glowed. I could tell that Will was home in the arms of these good people. Clare and I got choked up a few times-especially when she promised me that she would NEVER adopt a purebred cat again. From now on she'll only adopt shelter cats.

It's an amazing feeling to look into the eyes of this sweet cat and know his journey and know that the best thing that ever happened to him used to be that he got hit by a car.

Now I'd have to say that the best thing that happened to Will is yet to come.

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Cat Writers' Association Conference: Angel Eyes Fitzgerald

Aside from the fact that I seem to have forgotten to pack my deodorant (thank God for baby powder) and, with perfect timing have developed contact dermatitis over half of my body (fortunately the part I can scratch in public, if necessary), I'm having a great time at the CWA Conference!

There are oodles of upbeat, perky writers, editors, agents and publishers, all willing to share their experiences with newbie ("kitten") attendees, such as myself.

I've met some very awesome folks; some whom I hope to work with one day and some, well, one, who just took my breath away. Yes, dear readers, while I should do my duty and talk all about the breakout sessions, my meetings with two agents and three editors, I can really only talk about one thing right now.

Yes, Dr. Kevin "Cutie Pie" Fitzgerald.

I can't help it. I saw him for REAL, as in alive, in person, da flesh. I honestly did a queer little girlie shriek when I saw him and this was while I was in a meeting with an Agent!( Smooth move on my part, I know!) I only saw him walk past the room. I saw his back. I saw that big mop of delicious hair. It was him all right and it was everything I could do to NOT jump up out of my seat and chase him down the hall and beg him to take me to Colorado with him (even though I'm scared of heights, I'm not Irish, and I'm just a schlub. Although, it never hurts to offer your undying love to a stranger, just in case he'd like a lifetime companion or maybe just someone to quietly and lovingly look across the room at him once in awhile.).

The second time I saw Dr. SC (Super-Cutie) was right before our dinner and his "presentation" (stand up comedy routine!). I herded one of my new friends into the dining room seconds after I saw him enter the room. I figured if two of us chased after him, somehow it would seem cooler, less like we were needy, trembling, (drooling?) losers (okay, just me, not my friend, she never even SAW Dr. SC on TV so she'd have no desire for drooling.), as if I just walked into the room and saw him there. He turned to us and I welcomed him to our group and we introduced ourselves. He reached out to shake my hand and drat! I had a vodka and orange juice in my right hand! Of ALL the times to have a COLD, WET hand, this was NOT what I had dreamed. I dramatically wiped my hand on my pants and took his hand in mine. It was a nice handshake. Not too firm or limp like a dead fish (I hate that, don't you?). He LOOKED me right in the eyes and since he's quite tall and I am quite not tall, he was kind enough to bend down a bit.

It was all I could do to not pass out when I saw his eyes. They sparkled. Or maybe it was just his sweet personality shining through? His eyes are clear, vivid blue and against the backdrop of his thick white mane (which is quite long, dusting slightly over his shoulders) and white mustache, it makes them appear even brighter, almost lit from within.

I asked him about doing standup comedy and he was very supportive and interested when I told him I'd been doing some standup at a local coffee house. He told me to practice in front of a video camera to help me get comfortable with my timing and to just get out and do my thing at clubs.

It wasn't so much what he said, but the way he said things. He was attentive and kind and willing to have a conversation, not too famous to talk to the "regular" folks. I got the sense that he deeply cares about people and maybe that way down deep his heart is a bit broken, but he's okay with that. He seems to be a sweet, sweet man and with everything else he has going for him, he is also FAR more handsome in person.

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I got my photo taken with him and he PUT HIS ARM AROUND ME and held me in close! He must have done this a gillion times before with so many other gushing fans, but he did it with sincerity. He knows what it means to us to have a moment with him and he is courteous about that.

He also made us laugh our collective ass off.

And he's a Vet.

And he's just plain brilliant.

AND his MOTHER lives with him and he's taking care of her.

What the HELL is wrong with this guy? There's gotta be something! Maybe he's bad in bed? Or a lousy kisser? Or maybe he really doesn't like CATS??!!!

I wonder if someday he'll go on Oprah and tell us what it is and we'll all be shocked. Like-Oh he's really bald and been married for 25 years, but he keeps his wife locked in a room-YES-like what Mr. Rochester does in "Jane Eyre"! That's gotta be it. It's gotta be!

'cuase if it's not...the most perfect guy in the world is downstairs in this hotel right now and all I can do is scratch at my contact dermatitis and wish to God I weighed 50 lbs less, was 6 inches taller and had a roll of duct tape and some rope.

This is Why I Hate White Plains, NY

Of all the places I've ever traveled to, there's only ONE where I get lost EVERY TIME-White Plains, NY. I don't know why. It might be that I-287 slices the city in half, the roads are not set up on a grid, but rather some antediluvian animal path. Perhaps if I navigate by sense of smell, I'd be in better shape?


This is how I'm going to get to my hotel tonight. After I get myself there, I need to get OUT and drive 3.1 miles to the Conference hotel. You tell me something is WRONG with a city's layout when it's 3.1 miles TO some location and it's 4.4 miles BACK to the point of departure!!!!

And no. I'm not going to make a comment about the shape of the path. It's just too obvious!!!!

Wish me luck!

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