Monday, December 29, 2008

So much to do...

and so little time. I'm feeling overwhelmed and yet not doing much about it. Awful, I know! I need to do write ups, send out some cards still and finish up so writing for a few emails. I'm not sure where or when I'm going to get the time, but I sure hope to ... I need to. But I procrastinate a lot - maybe that's something to work on in the new year. :) 2009 is just around the corner! Crazy! The last week and the first one of every month are a bit hectic for me, but I'm trying to enjoy this month's end.

I saw this picture today and wanted to put it somewhere:

Check out more of the website, PostSecret.

The card and "secret" also made me want to write. It's the holidays (AH!!!) and that time between Christmas and New Years that looks so long on a calendar (a whole week!) and yet passes by so quickly with visits, dinner, guests, gift giving and cheerful phone calls or cards to check on loved one. This time is packed with good feelings ... and some very lonely ones too. I've never been one to be caught under the mistletoe or get some crazy kiss on New Years. Sure, I've been friends, but the girls I've known forever are all pretty much paired up at this point and I don't think there's any time you feel like more of a third wheel than when you're tagging a long with coupled friends for the holidays. Big romance hasn't found me and that's what this PostSecret made me think of. It's a lonely wish, sad too and yet still very hopeful, I think.

I am so happy with so many things in my life right now and yet I feel unfulfilled too. I don't think I need to be in a relationship to feel good. I'm not throwing myself at guys and I certainly don't want to be with just anyone strictly so that I'm with someone. So, I know I don't need to be in a relationship ... but I'd like to find myself in a special one.

I hope that person ends up with someone really special before next year and picks out a tree to share. I hope I do too.

Sunday, December 28, 2008


Meet sweet adorable Darwin. I just love those kitties who look like they have masks on and he definitely does in the photo of him: the white neck with the brown tabby face. Too cute!

Darwin is located in Utah at Best Friends Animal Society and here is what Darwin’s profile says:

Breed: Domestic short hair
Gender: Male
Age: Adult
Size: Medium

Darwin is a giver.

He lived in a hoarding situation with more than 800 cats in the hot Nevada desert, in Pahrump. Even though food, water and shelter were scarce, Darwin always allowed his fellow hoarding victims to go ahead of him to get to the basics. Talk about a gentleman and a friend!

Now that he's been rescued, he is still kind-hearted. Darwin loves playing with the other cats. And he loves toys! What a treat! He didn't know what toys were until coming to Best Friends.

When people come to visit, Darwin still lets his cat friends "go first" for petting and attention. And after he's seen everyone else has "gotten theirs," he'll go up to a visitor for some serious one-on-one time. Darwin loves being petted. He thinks all people are really great.

Darwin gets along well with everyone, although at first he may be a little shy around dogs.

If anyone deserves a forever home, it's this guy!

Monday, December 22, 2008


Recently I’ve been doing some research regarding feral cats. When I posted this fact out to some rescue/feral networks I know of asking for advice, I got back one particular email that I thought was interesting, informative and definitely sparked my curiosity as I had not heard of the sterilization drug before – one would think, as I did, that if there was such a “wonder” drug out there, it would be very popular and well known … even if it was really expensive for more independent trappers or colony caretakers.

Here is the email I received so you know what I’m talking about: (Note- I’ve altered some of the email to protect the person it came from just in case they’ve sent out the same email to other people)
FeralStat is a medicine which stops the females from going into heat. You just add a small amount of FeralStat once a week to the wet food when feeding a colony to stop the females from going into heat. FeralStat does not harm males or kittens that eat it.

FeralStat is great for situations like if you have several females in the colony which you cannot catch to spay or if is simply overwhelming or impossible to get someone to trap/neuter/release the colony. It cost about $65 for a 4-month supply (cheaper than feeding more cats). Sometimes it is impossible to get someone to help with trapping and releasing so FeralStat is a good option to prevent more kittens.

And the attached information went on to say: “FeralStat™ is a synthetic progestin that has FDA approval for off-label use as a feline oral contraceptive to postpone estrus in cats. In other words, it keeps female cats from coming into heat … Although it is designed for female cats, FeralStat™ has been given to male cats, pregnant females, and kittens who are sharing the food supply with no report of negative side effects.”

Again, my initial thought was: ingenious! Followed by: why haven’t I heard of this before? So, with the question of a sterilization drug in mind, I emailed our senior veterinary technician at my place of employment. I asked if she could please provide me with whatever information she could on the subject since I did not know anything about the drug.

She wrote me back saying:
I have never heard about this drug before and am in the process of researching it. I will also talk to Dr. C about it on Monday. So far, all I can find is a lot of mixed reviews. It has not been approved for cats by the ACC&D yet and there is not enough research on it to provide a lot of medical data. There is the belief that it can cause some long term problems in feral cats such as diabetes mellitus, mammary swelling and tumors, uterine disease, pyometra, and skin disorders. Contrary to the article sent to you, the ACC&D states that it has also not been FDA approved. There is also the argument out there that the long term risks are worth it to help lower the population of feral cats by not allowing reproduction and keep them from suffering death by starvation, weather and environmental changes, disease, hit by cars, etc. Here is the statement issued by the ACC&D and one other article.

I was also a bit disappointed that this information promoting FeralStat happened to come from an individual that works with a shelter and a spay/neuter van. Yes, such a solution is most definitely a step up from simply trapping and killing, but is it really safe? Is it really a good option to use, let alone advise people of? I mean, according to what my vet tech friend said (“ There is also the argument out there that the long term risks are worth it to help lower the population of feral cats by not allowing reproduction and keep them from suffering death by starvation, weather and environmental changes, disease, hit by cars, etc.”), their very excuses for using it despite the suspected side effects are the same vague, silly excuses used when trying to argue why trap & kill is better than letting the cats continue to suffer living lives outside – they’re just going to die awful, painful deaths anyway, best just to kill them now. Bull$hit!

As a victim of a vaccine that has continued to be used because “well, it’s good for most”, I felt a need to write a blog entry about this in case anyone else was given this disturbing, possibly very off-based information. It sounds like that this drug, in the long run, may be wonderful for colonies and colony caretakers (especially ones that have the “un-trappable” cat running around like most do), but dangerous for the individual cats long-term well being. Just because it’s good for most, preventing heat cycles and thus litters of kittens, doesn’t mean that it should automatically be sought out or given out.

Should I get any more updates from our senior tech at work, I’ll certainly share them. For now, I hope anyone considering the pros/cons of FeralStat gives this entry and the information provided to me some very good thought.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Can I Ask a Favor ...

My Sundays Are For Cats post is a bit random this week. I didn't really have a kitty in mind and yet one cat apparently decided to do me a favor and show up just yesterday!

I'm busy entertaining my cousin who was visiting and my mom called me yesterday saying that she heard this crying in the garage. At first she thought it was just one of our barn cats, but the crying was persistent and usually the barn cats aren't in that garage so close to the house anyway. So my mom went investigating and like a person lost for days in a desert running towards an oasis, a kitty my mom had never seen before came charging at her! Of course, my mom called me about this poor, starving cat who had been eating for an hour flat and was so sweet - letting her pick her right up.

Once off the phone, I started to think about what to do. My parents definitely don't need another barn cat, let alone a sweety like this one. Barn cats should be happy outside, not dying to be held :) After spotting what I believed was my boss's car in our parking lot, I went on out front and found him even though it was my day off: "Hey, how was your vacation? Uh, can I ask a favor??" And I got the okay to bring the kitty here!

And here is the cutie:

Seriously, how cute is she?! She's super pretty and now named Rhiannan. She actually looks surprisingly like another rare-looking kitty we just recently got here at work, Dove ... everyone keeps making the connection and I love Dove, but Rhiannan is a bit prettier, I think: she's got some orange mixed into her coloring. She's a big talker too, meowing and squeaking whenever anyone walks by her cage - which is rare since she's in a holding room right now. Only a few weeks though and I'm sure she'll be adopted quickly after that.

I'm not sure where she came from, but Rhiannan is very affectionate and somehow either found her way through acres and acres of woods to our garage or from the road, around the lake and across the field - either way, her appearance is quite random. I'm thankful that she's so mouthy though and kept yelling until my mom couldn't ignore it anymore. Because of it, Rhiannan's now inside, warm and safe. Today might have been unusually warm, but the temperature is supposed to drop again as soon as tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Almost every week I receive an email filled with little faces about to be killed in the shelter in GA that I got One-Eyed Jack, Finn and Daisy from. I'll admit I don't know much about the actual shelter, but the contact I have down there has picked out nothing but wonderful, desperate dogs for me. Anyway, I try desperately not to look at these emails, but, masochist me, I did a few weeks ago. Amongst all the faces, there was one dog with sad eyes:

I couldn't save him - I couldn't save any of them myself. I still had Daisy and though she had someone interested in her, she was still with me. Not to mention, Jack and Finn were supposed to be coming to visit. My mom would shoot me if I asked to add another dog into the formula on top of theirs, my foster and adopted out dogs coming to visit!!! lol

The Friday after that email, my Cheyenne passed away and the following weekend, my Daisy was going home. Talk about feeling lonely! Just because my parents have two other dogs, Kyleigh and Sadie, doesn't mean I wasn't feeling the emptiness. It was awful.

In flipping through my email a few days after Cheyenne's passing, there was an email from GA. Because of Thanksgiving that week, the animals at the shelter would be put to sleep earlier in the week and could anyone help with such short notice?? I opened the email, sad that these dogs would have such a short time for the email to make its away around to maybe save some of them. The first photoed dog? That sad eyed boy! What are the chances that the big dog with the sad eyes would be one of the lucky ones spared the week before?! It was crazy! But there he was!

I emailed my contact in GA, Lisa. I still had Daisy, but my contact in GA said transport wasn't even available until after Daisy would actually be in her new home ... and of the handful of dogs I asked about (because you can never set your heart on one in case they were already saved), the big guy was the most desperate. A "shelter favorite" she said. If I paid for him then to get his medical check, he'd be saved and on his way to me after Daisy was adopted. I did it! And though he was a dirty, smelly, un-neutered mess when he first arrived (big shout out to my parents for being awesome and cleaning him up since he came early while I was working), he's a great boy!

He might be a bit funny looking, but he's adorable once you get to know him. He is housebroken, very playful, "sits" when asked, leans against you for love and hasn't tried to eat any of the cats (or people!) yet ... and with the size of his jaws & skull, I'm thinking he could physically make a meal out of just about anything. :o)

In hindsight, this all makes my heart hurt a bit ... and yet I try to feel a bit better thinking that Cheyenne let me save him. We've named him "Bear" and my mom is pretty insistent that she wants him to stay forever, but I don't know about that just yet.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Thank You, American Bulldog Rescue

I needed the laugh :)

K-9 Rescue Barbie

This Christmas season, give the latest, hottest new Barbie -- K-9 Rescue Barbie. She comes with her own Ford Aerostar van, and various size dog crates inside. She has a cell phone that's barely working due to over use and underpayment.

Barbie herself is decked out in jeans, grungy athletic shoes, and a t-shirt that says "Dogs are Better Than Any Other Living Thing on Earth". She comes with a road atlas of every town and state in all of North America, and a compass on the dashboard of the van. She also has a map of every McDonald's in the world.

Optional is the special Rescue Dog Barbie laptop computer with the names and addresses of every other dog rescue person on earth, in case she gets somewhere and a contact fails to show up.

Running buddy, "Lucky", the three-legged, blind Shih Tzu doll is available for an additional $49.95.

For $89.95, you can complete the set with "Pissed off husband at home, Ken," and the various foster dogs at $20 each.

Prices for accessories are:

  • Fake snow falling on Barbie's van: $12.95
  • Flat tire for Barbie's van: (see Barbie's Road Service")
  • Barbie's First Aid Kit: (human): $11.75, (canine): $69.50
  • Barbie's Speeding Ticket: $95 (Mississippi--$195)
  • Barbie's coat-that-she-had-to-buy-in-Minnesota: $85
  • Barbie's Vet Bill for Lucky in Vaughn, New Mexico: $63.45
  • Barbie's contact, Rhonda, who she had to give gas money to in Mesa Verde,Texas: $20
  • Barbie's bill to get her contact, Luis, out of jail in Bakersfield, California: $500
  • Barbie's bill to get Luis's dogs out of the pound in Bakersfield, California: $265
  • Barbie's hotel/kennel bill in Laughlin, Nevada, while she waits for her contact:$532
  • Barbie's overalls that she has to buy while in Minden, Nebraska, hunting down lost coonhounds: $49.95
  • Pizza for Barbie's suspicious looking hitch-hiker with sick puppy: $15
  • Vet bill for hitch-hikers sick puppy in Des Moines, Iowa: $143.29
  • Barbie's doggie wheelchair for "Klause" the rescue dachshund in Leavenworth, Kansas: $143
  • And Barbie's van detailing/fumigation from hauling parvo/kennel cough puppies: $187
  • Barbie's resume to get new job when she gets home from run: $29.95

And let us not forget her sister doll - Cat Rescue Barbie, who comes with
the same equipment, (substitute "cat" for "dog"), also:

  • Folding ladder in vehicle: $129.95
  • Have-a-heart trap: $29.95
  • Cans of tuna for baiting trap: $11.95
  • Long handled fishing net: $39.95
  • Case of Simple Solution: $259.95
  • Black light (to detect cat urine): $29.95
  • Tee shirt that says "The More I Know About Men, The More I Love My Cat" $19.95
  • Running buddy "Jeep" - 3-legged tailless cat named after vehicle that claimed her missing appendages: $89.95
  • Vet bill for Jeep $397.95
  • Friend Edith, 87-year-old feral colony feeder, who calls begging favors when her arthritis acts up and she can't get out. $59.95
  • Food for Edith's colony cats (after all, Edith is on Social Security) $139.95
  • Friend Margie, do-gooder with pristine home and one spoiled cat, whose idea of being a rescuer is to pick up strays and take them to Barbie for rehab, vetting, fostering, and placement. $89.95
  • Vet bills for Margie's rescues $892.95
  • Mother Sadie, who calls weekly to ask Barbie when she is going to get rid of all those smelly cats and give her some grandchildren already $89.95 (telephone extra)
  • Shrink who talks Barbie out of killing above-mentioned persons each week $500
  • Vet who makes house calls and doesn't blink at unannounced visits and odd-hour consultations: *priceless*

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