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Digging Out. Part 2 of 2.

Annette is a lady who lives in Pennsylvania. She saw me on TV when I was interviewed about our “Kitties for Kids” program. Even though there are rescues nearby, she called me for help. She has three cats who are NOT spayed or neutered. Now she has TWO litters of kittens; one of six kittens and one of seven! Can I help?

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©2013 Caitlin S. The mama with her 8-week old kittens.

It would be easy to vilify her, but when the “deed” is done there's no point. I didn’t think I could do anything. I couldn’t take them and assumed, as always, no other rescues would jump in to take them either. Annette doesn’t have a computer, so I looked up local rescues and gave her their information and suggested she contact them. I asked her if the kittens had gotten any vet care. Her answer was, NO, no money, no vet.

I started to worry. The eight-week old litter really needed to get vaccinated and get de-wormed, etc. My head started to spin. I told Annette it was a long shot, but I’d post about her request on Facebook, adding that without a photo of cute kittens it would be tough to get help.

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©2013 Caitlin S. Mama.

Within ONE DAY of asking for help to get the word out that we needed a foster home, my intrepid, beloved, Facebook-friends got to work and found Caitlin. Caitlin lives in Pennsylvania, not too far from Annette and she was eager to help. She and I sorted out the details. I emailed her a list of what to do for the kittens. She contacted all her friends who are with rescues and had vet care lined up at a low cost clinic.

Before I even asked her, Caitlin realized she HAD to get the mama cat spayed, too, so she drove a few hours to Annette’s and took one of the families: a mom and her six kittens. Mama will go back to Annette after she is spayed, but at least this way it’s DONE and we no longer have to worry about more kittens being born.

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©2013 Caitlin S.

The second mama and litter of two-week old kittens will also be taken care of in a few weeks when the kittens are old enough to be weaned. This was too good to be true.

Annette called me, crying, after she worked out the pickup details with Caitlin. She blessed me and said she would pray for me and that she felt like I was sent to her, just like an Angel, for helping her find a safe place for her thirteen kittens.

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©2013 Caitlin S.

My initial reaction was to push away her words. I didn’t do the driving or offer my home. I just stitched together the team who could save more lives. It didn’t seem like it was deserved, but when I thought about it I realized those kittens would have not had a chance at a decent life if I hadn’t made an effort on their behalf—not to mention Annette’s home was going to be overrun with inbred cats VERY SOON if nothing was done.

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©2013 Caitlin S.

Though I don’t get paid for good deeds and my bank doesn’t care about anything other than that I can cover the mortgage payments, it was enough to help me dry my tears and keep going a little bit longer.

The other day, Caitlin sent me photos of the kittens. She said they were all well taken care of and had not been let outdoors. They were all very sweet and cute and she was happy to be able to foster them and would keep me updated to their progress. Caitlin is a dream come true for stepping up to help these kittens and I told her as much.

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©2013 Caitlin S.

I’m slowly getting back on my feet. I found a place here in town that has counselors who can see me for free, if need be. I realize that my dark feelings will wax and wane but I have to be better at not beating myself up if I have to shut down for a few days. I don’t have resources to go away on a vacation, so I have to work out how to take a break and still keep things going on in my home. The cats always get fed, the litter pan always cleaned, but other than that I need to just stop, rest and recover my broken heart.

Knowing that this family is safe will do a lot to help me do that.


So happy to hear you are coping a bit better.  Grierf takes time.  Don't be afraid to stop and regroup. <3

Thanks for your great posting today. 

  • Take advantage of some counseling.  I did when I needed it and it makes a huge difference in your life.
  • Don't beat yourself up - take life one day at time.
  • You performed another miracle getting those cats to the someone who could spay the mothers and foster the kittens.  Just the look on the faces of those kittens made my day.
  • Take time outs from your problems and take care of yourself.  I've been grounded three times by depression (each time it took me three weeks to get back to some normal functioning) until the shrink realized I needed to be on medication permantly.
  • By the way, you could have not picked a better name for your blog - any cat lover eventually gets "covered in cat hair" no matter how often they groom their animals.

You are an angel, Robin and it just reinforces that, yes, we all do have the power to make a difference, however small or large a roll we play. I hope your heart will heal as best as it can. I think of you and your other residents frequently and know that life can never be the same, but that can't stop you from living, trying, caring, and even laughing and smiling again.

God Bless you and Caitlin and Annette too for seeking help!  I love kitty success stories.  Glad that you are doing a bit better, take care of yourself and keep writing, it is SO good for you to get it out of your head!

even if you think you don't need it, I bet it would do you some good.  Nothing wrong with going in and saying hi, and spending an hour talking with someone.. even if nothing comes of it, sometimes just reaching out makes all the difference and reminds you that there is more out there.. 

Great story and great work on your part. You've become a matchmaker! Also, glad to see you've found that free counsiling is available. How could there not be? I hope you give them a try. It's not like you get a cookie for acting strong and doing it all without help.

You make a huge difference - even making those connections for people is something.  And those babies are the cutest little things :) 

Grief takes time to get over and even though you didn't personally lose someone you have lost your feeling of safety and security, that is something to adjust to and get through.  Be kind to yourself.

You're absolutely right -- the trauma you have endured would fell many people, so if anything, you should indulge in a little self-congratulation for having maintained your sanity, compassion and humanity through it all.  Look around -- many don't!

What a wonderful and amazing thing you've helped to facilitate in saving these precious treasures' lives, health and wellbeing!  They are adorable, as all kittens are.  May they and their moms have long, happy, healthy and LOVED lives in responsible and protective care.  Their being well cared for should definitely bring a glow to your life! :)

I guess my sister and I can consider ourselves to be in the rescue business — small-timers, but still — thanks to you! We're happy to play middle man any time we can help. Remember that when you're helping cats, you're also helping other people to help cats, and not just the desperate folks like Annette. There's a waterfall effect of good feeling and positive life changes that you are not even noticing. It doesn't pay the bills, but it's one more thing hidden away in your spiritual bank account. May it give you new energy and purpose... and also some luck!

BTW, I hope that when you were watching all those old movies, you included "It's a Wonderful Life." We watch it every Christmas and, although it's a holiday movie, I'm always appalled at how dark and pessimistic much of it is. It makes the happy ending all the more stunning because there are times when you really get why George jumped in that river. There's so much to think about in that movie, which so many consider holiday fluff.

Lots of luck tomorrow!

What a wonderful story!  Made my day ... and just think about all the other people's day that you have brightened with news like this.  Annette is not the only person praying for you ...


You are in my thoughts and I'm sending you positive, healing energy.  The work you do is important and inspiring. 

Please know that you are loved and cared for.  I'm lighting a candle to St. Anthony for you tonight.  He helps us find what is lost, whether it's car keys or our direction.  St. Anthony was my mom's favorite saint because he always came through for her.

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