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Who Approved That?

Rescue Me from the Walk of Shame!

Here at Covered in Cat Hair, we're not 100% about cats! We love all animals...okay, maybe porcupines, not so much.

Next weekend, I'll be joining my cat-sisters, Jennifer and her real life sister, Lauren (who for some reason for the past 3 years, I thought was named, LAURA?!) to the Farm Sancutary's 2010 Walk for Animals which is being held ALL OVER THE UNITED STATES! In fact, if you'd like to join us, or any group near your hometown, hit the link, above, and find a group to join in the fun.

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Farm Sanctuary is a national, non-profit animal protection organization. Each year they rescue, rehabilitate and provide lifelong care for hundreds of animals rescued from factory farms, stockyards and slaughterhouses. In addition to operating the shelters, they work to gain legal protection for animals used in food production and to raise public awareness about factory farm cruelty and cruelty-free alternatives.

Here comes the fun part. I'm asking for SMALL donations to sponsor my athletic enterprise. Right now I have raised NO MONEY. I am completely embarrassed! If for no other reason than to help me save face, would you mind donating like...I dunno...$5 to my walk? If LOTS of you donate, then maybe it will add up and this will not be a WALK OF SHAME!

DONATE HERE if you want to help your poor, shammed cat-saving friend. If you don't donate, I will still like you, but I might eat a burger after the walk just to be spiteful.

P.S. and I'm talking a DOG with me on the walk! Super-Deb is gonna loan me her most precious pup, Jayne Dog! Between actually leaving my house, exercising and being around a dog...this could change my life, FOREVER!

37 Seconds of Fame-My Fabulous Interview on Grouchy Puppy

Between rescuing cats and building a non-profit from the ground up, I also have time for rebuilding the engine of my 10 yr old car, knitting cottage cheese colored mittens for my kittens and cooking complicated cuisine featuring paprika for my man. I'm so completely fabulous that Sharon Castellanos of has decided to interview me and share my fabulousness with the world.

You can read the interview in the “Cleo's Day” section of her web site HERE.

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...or you can skip the whole thing since you already know how fabulous I am...and isn't that enough?

Note: if you're playing the drinking game where you take a shot of vodka for every time I wrote “fabulous” you should be pretty wasted by now! See? I know...

Not on My Watched: 24 Month Old Chubby Sisters, Dumped

©2010 Maria Sandoval. Look at their matching white bibs and paws! I love that!

They sat crouched inside a cat carrier inside a moving car. Suddenly the car stopped and with the engine still running, the door opened. The cats felt their carrier rise into the air giving them a better view of where they had been taken. It was dark, but they could see they were somewhere unfamiliar. They feared it was a trip to the Vet, but usually this only happened during the day. Nothing made sense.

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©2010 Maria Sandoval. Someone wants a belly rub. I'm not sayin' who.

Their person carried them a few feet, at a rapid pace. The cat carrier thumped on the ground, rocking them back and forth. They were terrified, not knowing what was happening. They were so glad they were together. At least it felt safer when they could be next to each other.

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©2010 Maria Sandoval. Lunch is served, though it may be one of your last.

The person made sounds at them, but they didn't understand. Then the person left, jumped into the car and took off. The sisters just sat there, huddling in their cage, wondering why they were trapped and if they were in danger.They just sat there and cried, but no one came.

©2010 Maria Sandoval. Sweet Lady Gray with such pretty green eyes.

Even though they had to go to the bathroom, they had to hold it as long as they could. One of them couldn't wait anymore. She was sorry, but she had to pee. So they both sat in the crate with smelly pee and waited. After many many hours the sun came up and a woman found them. She took them inside and put them into a metal cage with some food and water. They were glad to be out of the cat carrier, but sad to be in a cage.

Then it sank in...they weren't going back home ever again. They got dumped. They didn't know what they did wrong or why they had to be confined. They are good cats and love each other and love people, too. No one even left a note so no one knows if they ever had a name. Now they have lost that, too.

©2010 Maria Sandoval. She says; "Don't let my life go down the drain...or let crazy-Robin write such tacky subheads under my photo!

Someone loved these spayed, domestic short-haired girls enough to make sure they were fed. They're both quite chubby. They're also just about 2 years old and have been tested negative for FIV and Feline Leukemia. They got their rabies shot and distemper combo shot so they are completely ready to go to a new home.

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©2010 Maria Sandoval. If you scratch my butt, I will approve of that, but please ignore my dandruff. It will go away once I get fed better!

The problem: they need to stay together-AND the Vet won't commit to keeping them for very long. Their next stop will be Henry County Care & Control-otherwise known as DEATH ROW. Once at HCCAC, the cats will get a URI, fleas, ringworm, who knows what...if they get a URI they get put to sleep, if they stay more than a few days, they get put to sleep.

It's the age old threat that still applies. These girls are probably going to die. They are not purebreds. They are not kittens. They are just two cats who love each other and love people, even if they weren't so nice back to them.

We need a RESCUE group to take them into foster care OR we need ONE PERSON to ADOPT BOTH OF THESE CATS.YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE A LICENSED GA RESCUE to help these cats! Since they're at a Vet's office, you can just come and get 'em! Transportation can be arranged.

If you would like to help these girls, please contact:

East Lake Vet Hospital

86 Claire Ct
Mcdonough, GA 30252-4836

or CALL: (770) 914-0735

Please, also cross post and share. This is the ONLY POSTING online for these two cats!!! THE MORE WE GET THE WORD OUT, THE BETTER! THANK YOU!

WHAT THE...?!!!!

Dear Vet-Whoever-You-Are,

You are the lowest form of money-grubbing slug there ever was-what you did for a buck not only sickens me, it makes me FURIOUS! YOU SHOULD LOSE YOUR LICENSE!!!!! AND IF I KNEW WHO YOU WERE I WOULD SEND EVERYONE I KNOW AFTER YOUR BLOATED ASS TO TAKE A BIG CHUNK OUT OF IT!

Why am I so angry?

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Bobbi at Connie's house a few weeks ago.

Bobbi got returned to AID last week. That's really tragic and I'm VERY disappointed in her temporary adopter. They assured us they would GO SLOWY introducing Bobbi to their other cat, but they just couldn't manage it. They couldn't deal with Bobbi hissing-which is normal or the fact that Bobbi went after their other cat. Bobbi has only been in FIVE other temporary homes-each with many cats-over the past MONTH. Do you THINK that MAYBE she needed a few WEEKS to just get her bearings and TRUST in her surroundings? NO. You didn't wait or give her a chance. Like her family before, you gave up on her, too. Not great, but not the end of the world.

This is it. Sit DOWN in your CHAIR. Stop driving or whatever you are doing...

I got an email from Connie tonight. Bobbi has been doing great back at the shelter. Not fighting with the other cats. Getting along fine...then tonight...



WHAT THE...?!!!!!!!


Did I go to sleep, then wake up in a parallel universe full of asshats? I mean, really? WHAT IS GOING ON IN THIS WORLD WHERE THIS MADE SENSE TO SOMEONE? Did the moron who owned Bobbi hold a GUN to the VET'S head and MAKE him declaw the cat? That is the ONLY explanation that makes any sense to me!

I think my head is going to explode.

Meanwhile, Miss Bobbi is going to be SPAYED very very soon-on our dime. No problem. Worth every penny.

As for the Vet...all I have to say is Karma is a BITCH.

Not on My Watch: Dumped & Abandoned.

Are we all getting tired of hearing stories about cats being dumped by their "owners?" I know I am. I feel so much RAGE when I think of people who sneak up to shelters, who dump their cats at the door then take off in a cloud of shame and dust.

There is no excuse for this childish, selfish behavior. Even if they walked in the door and signed over their cats, knowing they would be put down, it would be better. At least the Pound would have a health history on the cat and understand any known behavioral issues-which could give the cats a chance at not being put down as soon. But no. These cats are left in the hands of people who already have too much on their plate.

Friday, I got another plea from Betsy at Henry Humane. It was about a Calico Mama and her adorable babies. They were left behind the building, but this time a volunteer SAW the car AND got some of the license plate tag. I hope they find this jerkwad and that something can be done to prosecute them, but that's a lot of hoping.

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©2010 Henry Humane/Betsy Merchant.

Meanwhile, we had the WEEKEND to find a placement for this family or they would have to go to HCCAC and we all know that means the cats will get sick and be put down. I did the math, looked at the calendar and realized I could not take them here. I still have my 6 in two rooms and I am full up. I had to go back to hoping someone would step in.

Thankfull, Ms. Vickie, at Catnip Cottage raised her hand. Another wonderful woman in New Jersey offered to pay for their vet care. They needed someone to transport the cats, about an hour's drive. At last, something I could help with! So I called "our Bobby" and of course he was willing to help.

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It didn't take a miracle, nor did it take a village. It just took five people who cared to stand up and get involved. Is this easy to do? No. Not often enough. But I'm so glad it DOES get done. These cats surely would have died if any one of us had not stepped up. Now these lovely cats have a chance for a wonderful future.

Tomorrow, I'll be doing a piece about Catnip Cottage and the wonderful care they take of their wards. Vickie is a very special lady and helping her reach others who might adopt her cats is the least I can do.

In the meantime, there's a bit more news.

Remember this cat (below)? His owner fell ill with dementia and her son decided he didn't want the declawed cat so he kicked it outside. For the next YEAR this kitty suffered, slowly starving, almost to death, until Mary Jo, one of our newest heroines, made it her duty to get her hands on this cat and foster him, even though she had NOWHERE to put him-no shelter in her area of Atlanta had any openings. She knew he would be alive at her home, but then what? He was so thin the Vet didn't dare give him any vaccines. He needed to get some food on board and rest-but would he ever recover enough to go to a new home?

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Meanwhile, Mary Jo is also taking care of the kitten who was abused with a fish hook. The kitten's name was Hope, but now it's Ariel. Ariel is doing well, but has a slight limp. She's battling a URI (still!), but is reacting well to a new course of antibiotics. Mary Jo wishes she could do more, but that she does anything at all is a big blessing for these cats. They are very lucky to be in her home.

I knew someone here in CT was looking for a cat and thought this poor neglected orange cat might be able to come here if he was well enough to travel. Our friend, Jennifer, who rescues diabetic cats, noticed that this orange cat was "down on his haunches," which can indicate diabetes.

No matter what his health status, someone DID reach out to this cat. Our own BFF, Connie, who is responsible for getting some of our cats over to Animals in Distress, recently lost one of her dear cats and felt she could add another to her family. She is so generous and loving. She really will do anything she can to help out a cat in need...and her home is so wonderful. Any cat who lives with her is lucky. I know this Orange Cat, now named, Sammy, will be happy again. We just need to get him here safely.

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So the last piece of the puzzle is Izzy and her husband, Mark. What do they do to celebrate their wedding anniversary? Why they drive from their home in PA and go to Georgia to pick up cats for me and for another rescuer! You gotta be KIDDING ME? This is beyond generous! This is the ideal transport for us because our cats will be well cared for and arrive as soon as possible! A week from today, Sammy, Little Maria (who is doing very well after her surgery!) and Pauly will arrive!

I'm not sure who I'm more excited to meet. I'm just glad that these cats are going to be all right. I hate to think there are more out there that need us. Sadly, every day I hear about more and more... I just did...

We have one of our toughest cases yet. I can't figure out HOW we'are going to be able to help TWO MORE CATS who were dumped by their jerkwad-owners. While I wait for all the information to arrive, remember just takes a small handful of us to help these cats. We each do a little part and we can get the job done. These big sisters need us. How can we not help them?

©2010 Maria Sandoval.

I hope that tomorrow, you'll see my post about these chubby girls-the latest victims of the recession, you'll be inspired to be a part of their rescue. There really is no other feeling like knowing YOU DID IT. YOU SAVED THEIR LIFE. It will lift your spirits and make your heart soar.

Somehow the puzzle pieces have to fit to make it happen. More soon...

Foster Cat Journal: Question of the Day

For those of you wondering what the heck happened to me and why I didn't post this past week, it can be summed up thusly: Kitten Associates is (somewhat) Open for Business!

After weeks of preparation and endless head-scratching on how to set Adoption Policies, I finally have enough cobbled together where we can start promoting our group and sharing the kittens we have for adoption. Yes, the time has come!

Kitten Associates brand new main page. You can visit us at:

This week I started getting Pre-Adoption Applications. I ask many questions on my Ap in the hopes I can understand potential adopters better and figure out if they'll be a good match for my kittens. I've been accused of being too picky or asking for too much. Maybe that's true, but I'd rather be able to sleep at night, knowing I did what I felt was right, instead of just trying to move animals out the door. I don't have a shelter and I'm not "open admissions" so I have the luxury of taking time...just not too much or the kittens will be too big.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. How cute is Cinnie?!

Speaking of size, the girls were big enough to be spayed this week, so I got myself over to H.O.P.E at a way-too-early 7:30AM drop off time (okay, it's 8AM, but I got there early). The person doing admissions and I had a little snitty conversation about what to feed the cats. Apparently, dry food is good for cleaning cats teeth (one of the biggest mis-truths out there) and dry food “has special vitamins and minerals that kittens need for optimum health.” Really? And what vitamins and minerals are these? Corn? Wheat? Sugar? I was so shocked...then she said I should be working with my Vet to make sure my cats aren't suffering or getting the wrong nutrition. As if VETS know about nutrition! My Own Vets both told me they did not get much of anything regarding nutrition when they were in school. I really wanted to slap this woman in the face, but since this is a low cost S/N Clinic, I had to bite my tongue-which would have had better nutrition in it than some of those kibble foods..blah. Hey, it's great for dogs, but dogs are not cats. I only wished Margaret Gates from FNES had been there with me to let this woman have it.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Sugar Pie shows off her hunting skillz.

The kittens are home now and doing well. I de-wormed them again and all of a sudden, they're starting to get a little padding on their frame-finally. They have been too skinny (probably because of the dry food I refuse to feed them...hmpf!), but now they feel REALLY soft (from the grain-free and raw food they get) and chubby. I love it.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Yodel and her goofy little expression.

So my next task is to find homes. I've gotten many applications on Honey B. and Sugar Pie and I'm sorting through them. I already said; No, to a family-who felt I was being unfair saying no when I suggested they adopt a 5 or 6 month old kitten to a 1 yr or older cat because they have FOUR KIDS and a DOG. One of the kids is 3. Although they were a great family, just not for a tiny kitten. I think it would be too much on the cat and if the littlest child got hurt or bitten, then what?

It leaves me with a nagging question: How do I find homes where they won't EVER give up on these kittens? Where they will take good care of them for the rest of their life? Where they won't balk if it costs $1000.00 for Vet care should the cat fall ill. Where, if they break up with their boyfriend or husband or whatever, they won't give up the cat, too? I know. I can't solve all the issues, but how do I cut it down so that the fewest cats are at risk of ever being returned?

Two days ago I got a call from the adopter of two of Santa's Team, kittens. These were Donner and Dancer, the two kittens I felt went to the wrong home, who I tried to get back-unsuccessfully. Now they want to give up Dancer because she is "too shy." The one person in the family-an 18 yr old daughter, who was working with the kitten, has moved out and now the kitten only hides...this was one of the reasons, I wanted the cat back months ago.

So I told the person, I would help him either work out the behavior issues so he can keep the cat or he would have to return it to where he adopted it from...and that I no longer have a relationship with this group. He said he would call me back.

I haven't heard from him since.

Now I wonder...will the cat be given up, given to a shelter, let outside? I have no idea. This is what I face times 6 more cats...

This is the tough stuff. How to find great homes for little kittens who need more work than adults, more love (maybe?) and certainly careful guidance so they group up to be outstanding companions.

Where are you wonderful families and folks? Where are you? What question do I need the answer to to KNOW you will do right by my fosters?

Not on My Watch: To KoKo's Owners-You Lousy Piece of Shit!

I'm sick and tired of assholes dumping their “problem” cats upon innocent animal shelters, Vets, mom & pop rescue groups. They're all targets for COWARDS, who refuse to STEP UP and DO the RIGHT THING for their animals. Instead, under the cover of darkness, they sneak up to the door of these places, DUMP their dog or cat, then take off. Some times they leave a note. I bet it's to make them feel better for the shitty thing they're about to do. “Well, I'll leave a note so they'll be sure to know I'm DUMPING the cat, not that the cat got left her by some freak accident.”

This afternoon, I was contacted by our friend, Betsy at Henry County Care & Control in McDonough, GA. She had just finished crying. Betsy has been helping rescue animals from Henry County for decades. She's seen it all and more, yet she's still brokenhearted by people's cruelty to animals.

A cat named KoKo, was brought to Henry County via Animal Control. On Saturday, the cat was DUMPED at the doorstep of a local Vet. They weren't even OPEN so the cat sat there for a day in a crate in the blistering heat! Once the Vet found the cat, they called Animal Control and now the poor thing is on Death Row at HCACC. They are full up! They don't have room to add countless animals to their facility.


KoKo is a brown tabby. Nothing exotic. Not a cute little kitten. Just another cat, whose owners are scum of the Earth. Now this cat has a few days left to live. She can compete for the very few available placements with a rescue or hope that some kind soul will adopt her and give her a DECENT home.

Why did the cat get dumped? Was she aggressive? NO! Was she...I don't know. I can't THINK of any reasons why I'd give up my CATS!!!! I would work with them to find out how to fix whatever behaviors they exhibit that bother me-even if they're doing what is natural to them. Sure, it's tough when the cat pees on the floor, or worse, on your clothes or bed, but when you figure out WHY, then it's better not only for you, but for the cat, too.

So KoKo had little cutesy-pie notes in her carrier. If you read them, your head will burn up and explode...okay, maybe not, but you'll certainly see the bullshit from a mile away and your blood pressure will go up for sure!

This so called “family” adopted KoKo when she was a kitten, since they know her birthday. Oh boy, they drove an entire hour and a half to get her, but apparently, when things didn't work out, they couldn't drive a few minutes to a f-ing VET!

Ahh, the good old “we can't afford the Vet” line-another classic. Did you try to TALK to your VET and work something out? I bet if you got off your lazy, selfish ass you might have found out that the Vet would have taken small payments over time or given you a break, but apparently, that long long, exhausting drive must have been the ONLY thing you did to make an effort for your cat. It's just TOO MUCH to ask that you, the caretaker of this animal, decide that the best thing to do is NOT ask ANY local rescue for help, NOT contact ANYONE, just tip toe up to the door of the Vet, like a common thief and dump your cat! SHAME ON YOU!

I love the way the note is written first hand, as though poor KoKo had written the plea for help, herself. Look at the charming little postscripts! How nice to tell the VICTIM (Vet) who found her that she had some shots. You're so (NOT) nice! Who wouldn't just LOVE the person who wrote this CRAP!!!

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What a faux-thoughtful letter. What nice handwriting. It must have taken hours of careful preparation to write this CRAP. You're not fooling anyone-COWARD!

Poor KoKo. Scared and dumped in a cage. She has no idea what she did to deserve this fate.

If KoKo really HAD written the note, I think this is what she would have said:

Dear Vet,

I got adopted by real assholes. They feed me lousy food and pay me little attention. One of them kicks me if I do anything they don't like, so I'm not so sure I can trust people. I'm not very happy where I live, in fact, I hate it. I've been feeling sick for a long time and they ignore me. I tried to get their attention by pooping on the floor, but they just yelled and rubbed my nose in it. I started peeing, too, but that was because my bladder burns real bad and I can't hold it in. I wish they would feed me better food and take me to the cat doctor so I could feel good again.

When no one cared about me, I finally gave up and just pooped and peed everywhere I could. One of them said he would kill me, so the other one said she would “deal with me” whatever that means.

So here I am, at your doorstep. I guess I got away from those horrible people, but now I'm in a jam. I don't have a place to live and I heard if I don't have one, either I will slowly starve to death living outdoors or I will be put to death at those places where they keep all the animals people give up on. I wish I could talk. I would only tell you that if you could help me feel better, I would be such a good friend to you. I would give you kisses and sleep on your lap and tell you I love you, in my way, but something tells me, maybe it's too late for me...

...but at least I'm away from those assholes.

Sincerely yours,


P.S. Please change my name so I can forget my awful past.


But wait! There's more! One note was simply not enough! Betsy believes this one was probably written by the same person, but used the hand they don't normally write with so it looks like a kid wrote it. If a kid really DID write this, then their parents should be tossed in JAIL for abuse!

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The bullshit parade continues! Maybe if they spent the time it took to write these notes to CALL their VET and work something out, this would not have happened!

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Betsy tells me that KoKo has PERFECT litter box habits. She's probably not sick and if she had a behavior issue with the other cats she lived with, that could have been resolved-IF ANYONE HAD BOTHERED TO GET OF THEIR LAZY ASS AND TRY TO HELP THIS CAT.


WE NEED TO FIND A RESCUE PLACEMENT OR ADOPTER FOR THIS POOR, 2 year old CAT. INFO ON HOW TO HELP HER IS BELOW. As always, go with your heart. If you can't help her out, then help get the word out to everyone you know. Let's show KoKo that not all people SUCK-just the ones she lived with.

PLEASE REFER TO THIS ID# 8/16-3406 when contacting HCC&C.

Nice tabby “M” I see! Lovely girl!

We are very rescue friendly and are more than happy to work with any rescue group as long as the group has a valid Georgia Department of Agriculture license! Any rescue group, whether in or out of state, that takes pets from Georgia shelters, is required, by Georgia law, to have a rescue license issued by the Georgia Department of Agriculture's Animal Protection Division. Having tax exempt status is not the same as a license. For more information on obtaining a license, please call (404) 656-4914.


Henry County Animal Care and Control

527 Hampton Street

McDonough, Georgia 30253

(770) 288-7401

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

UPDATE: A number of good people have offered to provide donations to sponsor KoKo if she's given a good foster home or placement at a never-Kill shelter. If you're with a rescue group and can help her, contact me and I'll send donations your way.

And then it hit me...

I have NO idea how I got enough votes in the Best Cause Related Blog category since I didn't vote for myself, nor did I ask anyone to vote for me in this category! So it brings a question to mind...who is out there who believes so much in what I do that they would put me alongside other folks who focus on a Cause?

What's even more curious to guys are right! I'm glad you know me better than I know myself. Heck, YEAH, I'm all about the CAUSE. This isn't a blog just about my cats or fun cat products or the latest cat news, though I DO include those things here on Covered in Cat Hair. Where my heart has led me, is to reaching out and helping as many cats as I can, regardless of where they are located or how old or young they might be.

When I started this blog over four years ago, it was supposed to be a vehicle for my book project, entitled: Covered in Cat Hair: Mostly True Stories of a Life Spent with Cats. I imagined an Editor at a major publishing house would “discover” me and offer me a book contract since I have lots of great stories written. I'd sit in my office, surrounded by annoying cats and write, write, write, then look forward to going to the local bookstore to see the finished product on the shelf.

Yet here I sit, surrounded by annoying cats, writing, not published, other than a few little things here and there, but making connections to many people across the Country, who, like me, want to make a difference in saving cats (and dogs!) lives, but maybe aren't so perfect at how they go about it. They just want to do something, anything, but more than donating to a charity, then not seeing the results of that donation. They are willing to take a risk, get their hands dirty, be willing to not know the outcome will be a happy ending, but do it anyway.

Slowly, but surely, you all have found me, as I have found you. Many of us have worked together creating some amazing rescues-whether it was with our $5 donation or by offering to foster cats for weeks at a time. Whatever you did, you were wiling to dive in and trust that we could do it-then all of a sudden we DID. We DID IT and we keep doing it.

For every life we save, we can turn to each other and say “THANK YOU for taking part in this wonderful and bittersweet challenge to save every cat and kitten we can and rejoice in the human bond we are making with each other.”

So, whoever voted for my Blog, in a category I did not expect, I thank you most sincerely for seeing in me, what I did not see in myself and for encouraging my efforts and making them seem so very worthwhile at the moment I'm about to embark on a bigger journey and form my own Non-Profit Organization!

You guys are the BEST! Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!

Make Yourself at Home. Really.

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©2010 Robin AF Olson. Blitzen cleverly finds a new place to nap. Right next to my office chair.

I had a pad of drawing paper sitting on a box near my desk. Of course this is Blitzen's new favorite place to nap. The problem I have with it is while I'm writing, he'll sneak his paw out and tap me on the arm or push against my leg, then next thing I know he's sitting on my lap!

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©2010 Robin AF Olson. Blitzen appears to be asleep, but he's a trickster. In a second he will reach out his paw and start to tap me while I'm trying to work.

I keep moving him back to the pad, but he won't sit still for too long. I finally broke down and got a cat bed to stack on to of the box and the pad of paper. This, of course, has encouraged him to start walking on my desk and keyboard qp5390uq345;la320$$@q40u9!

See what I mean?!

Not on My Watch: When Fate Steps In...and WTF?!

All right. Someone needs to make sense of what's been happening in my life and explain it to me. I've been lucky to be part of some amazing cat rescues the past few weeks---First there was our Black Adult Mama Cat, now named Freya, who had no chance at Henry Co. Care & Control, but who, after I posted a plea for her, through the help of a lot of great folks, was able to get busted out and off to new, loving home. Then I found Chester, the 21 yr old kitty, who got away from his family and was lost for 5 days. I found him-saved his life. As of just yesterday, Chester is still doing well and more and more like his “old” self every day.

Then there was the Calico Mama, so friendly and loving, but who had no hope to be free from Death Row. Fate stepped in for her and I was able to help be part of the team of folks who got her out of the shelter and into loving foster care. She was adopted before she even made it out of the shelter and will be in her new home in another week or so.

It wasn't enough. Her two cowbaby kittens needed a rescue as well. This one I handled on my own and these babies are coming to me. Within hours of their rescue, I found out about four more kittens who had just arrived at the shelter and who face the same odds of getting out alive. I rescued them, too, but now I'm “full up” and can't take any more to foster.

That's a lot of saves for ONE person with no shelter and just a few bucks in her pocket. But...

Yesterday I saved my first HUMAN and things got even crazier after that happened!

Sam and I had a client meeting at a local coffee shop at noon. We were starving for something to eat and to finally get paid for our web design project we had just finished. Our client walked in the door, but looked strange. He had a bruise under his left eye and on the bridge of his nose. I made a joke as he sat down and asked him what happened.

He said; “You know...” and could not finish the sentence. He kept saying the same thing and gesturing in frustration. Then it hit me, the injury was NEW and he was either having a stroke or something else was going on!!!

Thankfully, my Mother was an Emergency Medical Technician Crew Chief, and I learned a few things from her. I asked my client to smile. He did. Nice and symmetrical-but it was a grimace of frustration. Okay, no drooping facial things going on, so maybe not a stroke, but he cannot speak any more! He gestured for paper so we grabbed a note pad, we couldn't read his writing. I looked around and noticed a bicycle cop-who, I'm sorry but I can't take them seriously, and told him something was wrong and we needed an ambulance.

This is crazy. I don't know my client that well and I didn't want to overreact when maybe he was diabetic and needed sugar or gosh, I knew he had a clear airway, was breathing basically ok, was agitated (if I couldn't talk I would be, too), but what was wrong with him? I hoped he would not be mad at me for jumping to get him on an ambulance when maybe he just needed a cookie?...I managed to get his phone. I apologized for going through his private stuff, but he wrote his wife's name down and I found it as a "favorite" on his iPhone. Another cop showed up as I reached his wife.

The Cop wanted to talk to me, but I had to talk to her first. I didn't have time to rehearse what to say, so it came out weird. First, I was calling on her husband's phone and she didn't know this woman using her husband's phone! In a shaky voice I told her what my Mother said to me when my father had a stroke. She said he had “an event”...then I told her he could not speak and she started to cry. She was an hour away, but thankfully had a friend who could drive her to the local hospital. I got off the phone and talked to the Officer.

We were all trying to figure out our Client's address-Sam had that since he had the invoice in his hand that we were not going to get paid for that day (hey, these are desperate times!) and it had the info on it. Finally an EMT showed up and started to assess things. About 10 minutes later, a huge mob of folks showed up. More cops, some official looking woman in a suit with a badge attached to her belt, 3 or 4 more EMTs. Meanwhile the folks in the cafe are wondering what is going on and the staff is worried that he fell on their property!

My poor client. I rubbed his back and told him it was going to be okay and to not worry. That we caught it soon and he would be in good hands. He is friends with surgeons at the same hospital so I knew he would get extra good attention. I just wanted him OUT of the cafe so he could get the help he needed, fast!

I asked one of the Officers if I should go with my client or follow in the car, but he reminded me that not being a family member, they would pretty much ignore me. Since they had everything worked out and knew how to reach me and Sam, we decided it was best to just let them take our Client and leave it at that.

After they left, a few of the staff came over and asked us if we wanted anything. Sam and I just sat there with our eyes full of tears and said “no thank you.”

Then Sam turned to me and said; “That was the WORST client meeting I've ever had!”

Yah think?

I didn't want to leave him, but I had another meeting to get to. I went to dish big time dirt on the shhhh...Director of the group I used to be with and the person I was meeting didn't have a cell phone so I couldn't call to cancel. Suddenly, I didn't want to dish dirt or get into my car and drive off. Life just felt so fragile. He was our client, a few years older than we are. He seems in good health, has a wicked sharp mind and loving family. How quickly all that can change. It's very sobering.

I ended up having a good chat with this top secret person. I heard some interesting things and realized that my leaving that group was what I needed to do. Now I have the freedom to really make a difference and find my own way in the world...

But that was before I got the call asking me if I was maybe interested in taking over a shelter and running it as my own. It is staffed with volunteers. Has been around for a long time. They don't even do fundraising. They have plenty of money! And no, I was not sleeping and having a nice dream. The offer, though not a serious one at this point, is a sincere one. I can just step in and do my thing...or maybe I can't, but it's a SHELTER with only cages for new arrivals and they really are NO KILL. They don't put down for space reasons or healthy animals. What the heck?! This can't be!

It's kinda like the OTHER thing that happened yesterday between the tornado warnings and violent thunderstorms...I could not sleep. I went to bed crying, knowing a few more sweet babies were going to be euthanized at 7am. I didn't want to tell you guys about it. It's bad enough that I knew. It was late at night when I got the message. There was no time to find a rescue, so I laid there and wept for them.

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©2010 Henry Co. Care & Control

But it's okay. Don't you cry for them, too. Good old Fate was keeping me awake, I guess. 'Cause something miraculous happened. I pulled off the one thing I was sure I could not...


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