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Cat Rescue...

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I just wanted to say that I really admire all of you who are out in the trenches every day doing cat rescue. You are certainly a special breed.

I could never do it. I know there are thousands and thousands of cats that need help. I love cats, but guess I need to protect myself. I know that's selfish.

A month ago I was riding my bike when I saw something in the road up ahead. I thought it was probably a dead squirrel, but then I saw it move. I got closer and realized it was a kitten...probably only five or six weeks old. His one front leg was almost completely torn off. It was hanging by the skin and I could see the bone. I had to pick him up and get him out of the street. I didn't want to hurt him anymore than he already was hurt, but I had no choice but to move him. With that a fellow animal lover came along in a pick up truck. After loading my bike into the truck we took off for the vet. She operated and he came through the surgery fine, but died a short while later. Actually, that was four weeks ago today. I'm still thinking about that poor little kitten. How I wish this story could have had a happy ending. He had been through so much and I wanted him to have a long and happy life.

I guess I just don't want to deal with unhappy endings. I could not turn my back on an animal I happened to come across, but I could never go out looking for them or working at a shelter, etc. I couldn't even foster them because then I'd feel terrible giving them up.

I really don't know how you all do it...day in and day out.
post #2 of 10
Yea I'm the same way. If I found an injured animal I would probably take it to the shelter because I can't really afford to pay the vet bill for a cat that isn't mine. But I do have a very soft spot for animals.

We went to PetsMart today and I saw a cat that came right to the class and bumped her head on it as if she wanted me to scratch her head. I wanted her to come home with me. That and a little orange kitten. My hubby said no because we already have two.
post #3 of 10
I foster cats and people ask how i can give them up, and i find it quite easy. I see it as i am only looking after them temporarily until their forever home can be found, i am only aunty and not mum and as they are kept separate from mine, i find it a bit easier not to get attached. I find it very rewarding to foster, and know that thanks to your love and time, you have helped a cat get a brilliant home - i fostered a very nervous cat last year, you couldnt touch him and we thought he might have to be a farm cat. 5 months of love and attention later and we found him what i thought was a perfect home. He has been in his new home for 3 months now, and she can stroke him, pick him up and even trust him to go outside, that is why i do it. I am lucky though that because i only foster and dont trap etc, i generally tend to only get healthy cats (i have only had one foster cat out of 8 die)
post #4 of 10
Thanks, it can be difficult to foster. But it is also very rewarding as Booktigger said.

Not everyone is cut out to be a foster home, or work in rescue. I do it on a much smaller scale than most. But you don't need to feel bad for not doing rescue. Honestly, if everyone would spay or neuter their pets, instead of letting them have litters, there would not be all these extra unwanted pets in need of rescue! So being a good, responsible pet owner helps the cause.

And every foster cat or kitten needs a good forever home. If you can help by providing that, you have helped. The next time you "need" a pet, get a rescued animal. And spread the word to friends and family about spay/neuter, and adopting rescues.
post #5 of 10
I have been working with abused cats for years now. I am not even sure how it started, it just did. I guess I feel badly for the older ones, that have had to endure so much torment from sick individuals, or the kittens that are cast aside like an old shoe that doesn't fit anymore. Some of the injuries Mike and I have seen on these cats make us weep. But we give them the best life we can for as long as their heart can hold-out. Many of my cats have been victims of cruelty, abandonment or worse. But I really can't see doing anything else, and I feel privileged that God has led me down this path-
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
I remember a while back when you mentioned a cat you had that had been cut. I just don't understand what motivates people to be so cruel. I don't like even hearing about it. I find some of the shows on the Animal Planet really disturbing and just can't watch. I think the greatest gift we've given our kids is a kindness for animals. They're all grown and "softies" when it comes to cats especially. My one son has taken in five. It's funny the way some cats just know where to go. A mother cat showed up with two kittens and never left. Another hung around their yard. She was declawed, never left, and they finally took her in too. Another one he found as a kitten in a parking lot. My other son has one of the feral kittens that our feral had before we caught her and had her fixed. He would have taken the injured kitten I found too.

We gave one kitten away and I was disappointed that the people didn't care for him the way we would have done. He got out and was lost. I've always felt that I let that kitten down. My husband and I said that we'd never give another cat we found away (unless it was to family). We've adopted a couple of cats from PetSmart. I was kind of surprised that no one ever called to find out how we were doing with them. We just walked in and adopted them. They didn't know anything about us. I know the volunteers are all good people doing their best for these animals, but it still surprised me that there was no follow-up. I just could never foster an animal and not know if they got a good home. Besides, I now always assume the best home is my home.

I think people that hoard cats are like us only to a greater degree. We can't get too involved or you'd be hearing about us on the evening news. So, I just want to thank all of you who are doing the painful work and really making a difference in these animals' lives.
post #7 of 10
What a tragic story about the kitten, DayDreamnWorld! While you don't have the heart to foster or work in a shelter, you did have it in you to stop and help that kitten. There are far too many people in this world who wouldn't have done that! Unbelievable as that sounds, it's true- I once was first-on-scene at a terrible rollover where a mother, the driver, was DOI, and her daughter had severe injuries, including a compound fracture of her lower leg. I needed help holding the little girl down, since when she'd go frantic & agitated, the bone would show and the blood would really spurt. Anyway, out of a large crowd of bystanders, only one person stepped up to help, no matter how hard I begged - a tourist from Sweden named Andrus. He helped hold her for me (she was 11 yrs. and was bigger than I was) until the paramedics came. If only Hissy or TNR1 or DawnofSierra, or any one of the many wonderful TCS'rs here would have been driving by that day.......the girl suffered permanent damage to her leg, and the doctors told me that if the leg had been stabilized in time, she might have been okay...
post #8 of 10
Well, that is very sad about the girl. I'm glad you were there to help!

Sometimes at my agency, one family keeps the kittens until they are old enough to leave their Mom, then they go to a new home until adopted. So it is possible the people adopting them out only had a few days with them. Or they foster so many they don't have time to follow up.

I called once on Festus' brother and sister who were adopted together. It was good to hear that the kittens were sleeping in bed with the adoptive couple and their two cats. And "my" kittens were very social with the couple's friends. But I have also sent on 4 other cats for adoption that went to another home before they were adopted, so I don't have the paperwork with a contact number. (I work full time, and can't always go to the adoption shows. Another lady is disabled and can't work, but can take the cats to the shows on saturdays, and spend lots of time with the cats everyday until they are adopted!) Other Moms foster such high volumes, they are probably too busy cleaning litterboxes to call!

But if you don't get a call, that doesn't mean someone didn't really love that baby while they had him or her. Or that they don't think of him or her, and hope s/he found a happy home.
post #9 of 10
I have to admit, i am terrible for remembering to ring up and see how they are - i dont feel a need to ring the day after, so i try and ring up a week after they have gone, but sometimes end up forgetting! Would have loved to know how my first foster cat is doing, but i was never given contact details for his new family, as the first charity i fostered for took the fosters when they were ready for homing (apart from the last one), but the new charity lets me decide if the people are good enough, which i am glad about cos it makes it easier to keep in touch.
post #10 of 10
I don't believe if you don't follow-up you didn't really love that cat or kitten. I have been fostering cats for a couple years now and I love every single cat and kitten that comes to my home. I still remember the name of every single cat and kitten that has come and gone from my house. Sometimes I follow-up sometimes I don't. I work full-time and have 6 cats and a dog of my own and have anywhere from 1-6 adult foster cats and have actually had as many as 13 under 6 week old kittens. Between working, scooping litterboxes, changing water, feeding, vet apts., giving medicine, reviewing applications, interviewing people, having people come over to look at cats, baking for bake sales, preparing fundraisers and doing adoptathons I just don't always have the time to follow-up.

I think fostering is the most rewarding thing I have ever done in my life. It breaks my heart everytime I let a cat go but I have the choice of saying yes or no to who they go to and at least am comforted to know they went to a good home. I also let them go because I know there is another cat in line that needs my help. The more I let go the more I can help. Yes some of them are sick, some are abused, some a malnurished, some are broken, and yes some even die but if I am not willing to take that sick dying cat in it will be euthanized, die in a cage in a shelter or on the streets. At least that cat, whether it is for one hour or one year, it will get to die in a home where it is loved.

I think if you are able to take on one, just one cat to foster the reward is so great. Helping just one makes all the difference in the world to that one cat.
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