Friday, August 31, 2012

Ah, such a very short break.

For a couple of days there, my phone wasn't going crazy with email notifications.  No one was calling me.  No facebook tags on puppy dog faces or posts about cats.  It was just so lovingly quiet.

The kittens are doing wonderfully and progressing just perfect.  Their momma couldn't love them more - I doubt they're going to be adopted so much as four fuzzy little foster fails.

Ahhh...and then the emails started rolling back in.

And my boss made me increase the number of days I work, so that now I only have one night off.  My husband has no nights off.  I have a foster app to process, one to encourage, a foster who needs a new pet, BOATLOADS of paperwork to do both for IAF and my own pets, a house that will now never get cleaned, and a ton of pets to follow up on.

Oh, and I think a fundraising event this weekend?

And yardwork for pay in the morning.

And pulling pretty much all of the money out of our savings that I had been hoping to use on a functioning car and you know, a family...

I just called the only orthopedic vet in our area for a quote to repair Penny's luxating patella, and for the love of fuck, we're looking at about $2,000-2,500 all said and done.  To fix a knee popping out of place, that's only popping out of place because of her FIRST incredibly expensive surgery.  And she's about 4 years old, best guess, and could really use a dental cleaning.  Which would be about $500.

Fuck.  Me.

There may need to be a chip-in if I can't find a cheaper vet.  I wish my normal guy did weird surgeries...I adore him.  Maybe he can at least do the dental stuff cheaper.  We tried to give her pain meds for the knee, since she is favoring it every time she goes outside now and hopping around like she can't even use it, but it just made her dopey and SO unhappy.  So I guess it's we-go-broke or dog-goes-dopey...and I hate both of those options.

So we're working more and hoping the money will help us NOT miss rent anymore... hoping for coupons, donations, some kind of aid...and having zero time to really handle anything even if it came our way.

So anyways.  Busy, REALLY busy, but at least no current crises.  Just...not nearly enough hours in the day for all the commitments and everything we're doing to try to make a little extra cash.

That's really it for now.  Gonna maybe put up a new pet of the day for ya, too.

-(stressed out and very broke) Mouse

Friday, August 24, 2012

Happy Kittens, Focused Mouse

Kind of serious-talk time, but I really will get uplifting.  Just read through the somber-Mouse bits first.

So very much has happened to me during these past several months that it seems strange that I've managed to find the time to do any work with animals at all, even my own.  But it turns out - it's all about perspective.

Last night (...I think it was last night?) I had a very, very long phone conversation with the woman who asked me to pick up the kittens.  She is facing despair in the truest and deepest sense, and at some point in rescuing, we all do.  It isn't just rescue, of course - it's everything, it always is - but when we hear sad story after sad story, and have our hearts broken time and time again, it can require something massive to see a silver lining.  To not want to throw your hands in the air and just walk away.  To not just...strangle some people...

We wish there was a way to put the blinders back on and unsee what we have seen.

I'm not trying to be dramatic here.  It's extremely true.  It takes a very special soul to keep going, and it takes a lot of strong friendships to support each other through the roughest of times.

About half an hour ago I heard that the kittens, who I had to put with a bottle-feeding sitter tonight so I could go to work for eight hours, have found a home.  I was kind of shocked, because I had picked those kittens up.  I had fostered them.  I had nitpicked over their care, learned which one likes to eat how, stroked their tummies when they fussed.  It hadn't been very long - but the transfer was arranged for the morning - completely without me being there at all.

OF COURSE I will get to say bye to them, and the new foster will probably even let me visit.  This is a blessing, and it had to happen.

But...I'm going to miss them.  I feel like momma.  One moment your babies are there, and you're feeding them when they cry every hour or two, and the next...they're gone.  That's ludicrous - I can't ACTUALLY compare seeing fosters move on to a mom losing her babies.  That's nothing alike at all, and my heart still breaks for the momma, somewhere in Louisiana, confused's awful.

I KNOW they have to move on.

I just love them.

So to keep from falling into a selfish bout of depression, I did something I did at the end of 2011 - I tallied up the rescues.  In December of 2011, I counted up all the rescues, transfers, rehomings, every pet I could think of that we had helped in some way and made a photo album of them online.  I think I will start making one physically, as well, with little trinkets and memories.  I'm not really the scrapbooking type...but anyways.

The album didn't have that many pets in it, but it had been a busy year and I was still pioneering my way into my own style of guerilla, hardcore rescue.  You know the type.  No...not the nutjobs who break into labs or go batshit on someone who uses a different training style than they do.  The folks who don't sleep until the pet can.  I was still figuring that mess out, but I was so delighted about my little album of success stories.

It was part pat-on-the-back, and part encouragement.  Next year, I'll beat that.  Next year we'll have even MORE happy tails to wag.  Look at my progress - I can help animals, and I can keep on going.

So I sat down tonight and I went through my photo albums on facebook and collected everyone I could think of.  I counted the feline leukemia kittens and the colony of TNRs they came from because they weren't in the 2011 album, and I wasn't quite sure when that had happened.  Probably in late 2011.  I feel like it might have been chilly at the time.  But I am counting them anyways, because they deserve to be counted, and we have gone through so very much with them this year.

So I tallied.  And guys...

I have helped 33 animals this year...
and it's only August.

Even if you took out the feleukers and TNR, that's still 15 pets.  In 8 months.

Holy shit.

I tripled the pets I reached out to this year so far, even around working multiple jobs, losing a pregnancy, and everything else that has hit us this year.  And that isn't even counting any pets adopted out through IAF.  JUST ones that my husband and I physically and personally helped, and played an active, crucial role in.

  • One rehoming - Suka the pittie, who is now a service dog.
  • Two found animals returned - Bentley the beagle, and a Corgi with no collar.
  • TEN rescues - the four Louisiana kittens, and the six feleukers (RIP Dove and Traveler)
  • Twelve TNRs - In one massive event executed almost entirely by us and aforementioned friend
  • Eight transports - Seven dogs from Canton to local homes and fosters, and one pup with a broken jaw from San Anton to Austin.
If anything can lift your spirits when you have to say goodbye to four tiny lives you grew pretty attached to, well, looking at that big of a picture is one fuck of a help.  I have gone from volunteering where help was needed to actively rescuing, being a manager in a rescue and driving a fostering program, and just...holy shit, guys, I helped thirty-three animals survive, find where they belong, live healthy, and get to help.  In the past eight months.

And in the months after this, I am going to continue to do everything I can, give everything I can, and learn everything I can.

I have never felt more like I know who I am and why I am here than looking at this sheet of paper and remembering that I do have a purpose, and those blinders can never go back on.  I wear pants with kitten milk stains.  I don't shut my mouth about BSL.  I answer the phone when I am asleep, get out of bed, and go pick up and feed starving animals.  I quarantine a room, sanitizing everything down to changing clothes at the door, to care for kittens with a lethal disease as long as they can before it hits them.  I stop on the side of the road for dogs, no matter where I am going.  I drive across the state to take a dog off a euth list and put it in a yard and a home.  I am Mouse, and homecheck is a regular word in my vocabulary.

When in my life could I ever have thought I was meant for anything else?


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Wow! It's been a WHILE!

But I'm back!

And posting from my other blogger account, because well, it's just easier that way.

I took a break from blogging for a long time, but there is just SO MUCH going on that I gotta write about it somewhere!  I don't really remember where I left off last time I dropped off the face of the earth, so some updates about me, my fosters, and the state of things around heyawh (the best I can do typing "here" in a goofy accent).

I am now a foster coordinator!
Yup.  That happened.  Since May I have been in the position of FC for a local rescue - not the one I worked with before, although I have not limited my work with other rescues in any means.  This one is foster-based, so I'm really pulling the cart here.  My duties are handling animal surrender and aid requests, selecting intakes, approving and recruiting fosters, and being a liaison between fosters and our other departments or supplies as needed.

And paperwork.

A lot of paperwork.

I just now this month feel like I've really got the job working for me, instead of it working me over.  I still have quite a bit to do, but it doesn't seem impossible or daunting anymore.  For the purposes of this blog, rescue shall be referred to as IAF.

Did I mention before that I have nine cats in my house?
Well now there are 13.

There's my cat, Base, who has rhino and gets snotty sometimes.  Then there's Ghost, a momma pulled from a hoarder situation.  Those two are both actually mine, and the only cats in the house that actually belong to me.

Then there are Batman, Chewy, and Luke - Ghost's babies that STILL have not found homes.  Partially my fault for loving them so fucking much.  But they're breaking my things.  So...they can get adopted any time now plskthxbai.

Oh, and they aren't babies anymore.  They are kitty putty.  Long, lean, spotted kitty putty that melts in your arms and goes for shoulder rides.

THEN there are Kitty System, Freddy, Cowbell, and Pickles - our resident feleukers.  Also still have not found adoptive homes, and were also emergency rescues belonging to GLC.  ...KS thinks he's a rabbit.

And then oh, today...

We just picked up four 4-day-old kittens.
And by "picked up," I mean they went for an interstate drive via the walls of a trailer home that was being moved.  Poor momma...coming back to not know where the fuck her house with her babies is...

All four are being bottle fed by yours truly and, while I'm at work tonight, a friend with bfing experience.  Which is oddly difficult to come by, truthfully.  Even the vet students I know can tell you HOW to bottle feed but have never actually DONE it.  They're doing good, though.  Two orange tabbies, one cream tabby, and one tortie.  Hopefully they'll find a more permanent bottle feeder/foster in the next day but suddenly I'm running short on hope (AND SLEEP) on that one...

Let's see, what else is new?

I know!  How about a picture, and I'll save the crazy stories for later, when they come up, instead of dumping it all down at once?

Now you just can't tell me that isn't the sweetest thing you have ever seen.  It makes my heart melt.  <3