Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Finally Safe

Being dumped on the street is certainly one of the most devastating things that can happen in a pet’s life. A once loved and pampered animal loses everything it has known in a heartbeat. Whether the owners are genuinely unable or outright unwilling to keep the pet is irrelevant. The point is that these abandoned and suddenly unwanted pets abruptly find themselves outside all alone, without any warning and with absolutely no idea of what’s going on. They lose their safety, food source and warm homes out of the blue, beyond any cause they can fathom. Right now, I get the impression that people are dumping their cats more than ever before. That’s exactly what happened to unsuspecting Erasmo.

This handsome boy was, at some point, someone’s beloved pet and was heartlessly dumped on the street. It’s no wonder he couldn’t understand – I can’t get the hang of it either. Someone had had him for months or possibly years and all of a sudden they just left him behind, thinking he could fend for himself? Well, he couldn’t. He became confused, frightened and was crying all of the time, seeking out human companionship. Hungry, scared and terribly upset, he was the living image of despair. Plus due to his being black, it made his chances of survival even worse.

It’s widely known that black cats’ lives are at special risk just because of their color. Sadly, there are numerous reports of people being wickedly cruel to ebony coated kitties. Superstitions about black felines persist unabated throughout the modern world, probably due to their mysterious look and dark appearance. Why is it so difficult to understand that a cat of any color is just a cat and therefore not able to influence fortune? But since prejudices are hard to change, it was clear that Erasmo needed to be rescued off the street very quickly. A friend of mine took him into foster care as soon as we heard of his plight. If we had waited, he probably wouldn’t be alive today.

Erasmo has been living at his foster home with nine other kitties for a few months now, he’s gained a lot of weight and seems quite content. He is a wonderful kitty, affectionate, cuddly and sweet as can be. The look in his eyes is sometimes serious and kind of distant, as if he knows and remembers something we don’t, yet his self confidence and self esteem are growing with each passing day. He will be brought to my shelter as soon as possible and I’m sure he’ll shine and flourish here for many years to come. I’ve already taken in many new kitties this summer, but when it comes to saving lives, nothing else matters.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Another Unwanted Beauty

Just when I thought I had more than enough cats to take care of, and that no new kitty would melt my heart, I saw Temperance… Another endangered baby, another sad story that pulls on people’s heartstrings. This beautiful, two month old kitten was evidently considered to be too many mouths to feed by her mother’s owners. I guess they regarded her as useless and worthless, not deserving to be loved, or to be given a chance. They just wanted to dispose of her, and they did.

Tempe ended up in the front yard of a girl who was living abroad and only came to town for a brief visit, so the tiny kitten was put for adoption immediately. The clock was ticking, her time was running out and not one person was interested. In spite of her cute little face, she was just one of many kitties looking for a new home. She wasn’t merely a sweet baby; she was a living being, a kitten that should be given the best life possible, including lots of love and attention, good food, the proper veterinary care and a fully committed owner. It must be a local phenomenon – people were drawing hearts under her photos and commenting that they have a kitty that looked exactly like her, without offering any constructive suggestions on a home for this little one. Everyone wished they could help her, but nobody stood up to bat, as usual. Taking in another kitty would mean too many responsibilities, maybe? It’s so much easier to ostensibly love someone else’s pet…

As there were no other options available and the time was short, I had to step up for her. Tempe arrived at her foster home, one she would share with nine other kitties, at the last possible moment. She was very cheerful, lively and playful from the beginning, yet not overly friendly towards the other cats. However, all of them accepted her without any hesitation. Their kindness and tolerance have turned her into a mellow, loving kitty much quicker than expected. She is now as lovable and sweet as they come. Despite everything that she’s been through, Tempe is growing into a happy, confident, well adjusted cat that will be a great addition to my tribe.

Friday, August 17, 2012

And We Keep Going

It’s been a very busy, trying and nerve wracking three months since the repairs at Felix shelter have started. A lot has been done up until now, but there’s still quite a lot left to finish. Repairing the shelter has cost much more than expected, I guess that all of us had underestimated the scope of the damage to the shelter caused by this last, unusually cold and brutal winter. You can never tell until they start opening things up. However hard it may be, we need to fix everything as quickly as possible before the weather starts to take a turn for the worse.

Construction workers have gathered all of the old roof tiles that could be used again, but there was still not enough, so we have had to purchase more than 500 new ones. As we’re facing a lack of funds, these new roof tiles have been bought with borrowed money. Please, take a look at my project and help us with whatever you can afford to donate!

Gutters are yet to be purchased and a lot more gutter material will ultimately be needed than we first anticipated. The new gutters will be longer than the old ones in order to take water that runs down the slope of the roof away from the yard. The old gutters were constantly flooding the yard and turning the lawn into a swamp. I don’t believe my kitties ever enjoyed wading through the slop and trudging through the thick mud.

The old and completely worn out concrete path between the house and the entrance gate has been removed and the top layer of the ground stripped away to get the whole yard leveled. Steel frames have been set in place already; pouring the concrete is the next step.

In closing, I do have some great news - thanks to the tremendous generosity of a very nice lady who wishes to remain anonymous, we now have enough money to install the new septic tank, thus fixing our sewage problems once and for all! I lack the words to express my gratitude. The sun is beginning to shine on Felix shelter!

Thank you all so very much for your indispensable help! Your support and encouragement help keep us going!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Sleep Tight, My Little Fighter

It’s with profound regret and utmost sorrow that I sadly announce the passing of my baby girl Nana. She lost her brave, exhausting battle against the all-consuming virus this morning. In spite of being tiny and weak, she fought it valiantly until the end. She died quietly at the vet’s, cuddling in my arms.

Although her death was somewhat expected, I’m devastated by the loss of my precious, beautiful girl. Even when it was clear that nothing could be done, I hoped beyond hope for a miracle. I think that it's hope that helps us float over despair a bit longer while facing tragedy, but the pain is still far too hard to bear, all the same.

I found Nana wandering the streets some days ago, lost, alone, emaciated and utterly weak. Her legs and tail were stick thin, she had virtually no muscle tissue, no fat at all on her body, and yet she was full of love. She was affectionate and cuddly to boot, she started purring the minute I touched her. But she was also very sick and has been under treatment for days. The vet tried everything he could think of, but nothing seemed to help. My lovely little wisp of a girl was just getting weaker and weaker.

I think she knew her time was short and all she wanted was to be held and cuddled. She fought with all of her might, holding nothing back, but her exhausted little body couldn’t allow her to carry on. I wonder how long she had been on the street and how many people just passed her by, not wanting to disrupt their busy lives? I did my best to help her recover, but we both knew that she wouldn’t make it and that she could only hang on for just a short while. Tragically, help had come just a little too late.

If there’s any possible consolation, she didn’t suffer and didn’t pass alone. She knew she was wanted and loved, for the first time in her life. She found out how it felt to be warm, fed, safe and cared for, if only for a short time. She was given her very first name of her own and she will be forever purring in our hearts, never to be forgotten.

Rest easy, little Nana, and sleep tight. You will always be missed.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Heading Towards a Bright Future

Can you imagine how it feels to be born unwanted? How it feels to be hungry, scared and not loved or important to anyone? Motherhood is supposed to be joyful and delightful, but from Alethe’s point of view, it must have been scary and full of worries. This little Mom and her babies’ future definitely looked shaky and uncertain a few weeks ago.

Alethe’s five kittens were born unwanted, to an unwanted Mom, just inside of a pizzeria in Belgrade. She went in seeking any kind of safe shelter she could find to deliver her babies. They were not welcomed with open arms and pampered, just the opposite; they were in danger from the very beginning. Their exhausted and extremely skinny Mother couldn’t possibly take care of them all by herself. She wasn’t even capable of protecting her little ones; she wasn’t defending them at all, but seemed to have been begging people not to harm her babies. Undoubtedly, their start to life was incredibly hard.

This sad little kitty family wasn’t thrown out of the pizzeria immediately. The owner unwillingly agreed to let them stay for a couple of days. He had promised that he wouldn’t kick them out, but his word turned out to be unreliable. He made a reprehensible decision to get rid of the burden and was quickly at the point of taking them to who-knows-where, when they were picked up. They were brought to me the next day.

And that’s how five tiny kittens and their desperate Mom were given a chance to live and a new lease on life. The kittens might have forgotten where they started from up until now, but sweet, brave Alethe will always remember. This valiant little Mom has gained a lot of weight since she arrived at my shelter and she’s thriving, experiencing joy, safety, love and contentment. Her babies are getting bigger and stronger every day; they’re eating, sleeping and playing with each other. All of them are decisive and bold, but each has his or her own distinct personality. Although tiny, they’ve already proven to be real survivors.

The sight of these chubby little creatures running around, satiated, worry free and happy, makes me smile from ear to ear. I don’t want to imagine what would’ve happened to them if they hadn't come here. These furballs of joy have their entire lives ahead of them and I’m really glad our paths have crossed. Their cute tiny faces and carefree antics are living proof that miracles do happen sometimes. For Alethe and her family, one miracle was all they needed.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

There's Always Room For One More

Even the cutest and most adoptable kitten may be having a hard time finding a home when the kitten season is as bountiful as this one. At a certain time of the year, there’s a flood of homeless cats and kittens that are in need of care, love and a safe place to be. When unwanted kittens are plentiful, I believe that feelings of helplessness and hopelessness fill the hearts of all cat lovers. There are just too few adopters and a lot of kitties in jeopardy; sadly, we cannot save them all but still we can save some. Gala is one of those lucky ones.

She surely wasn’t more than a month old when she was found at the park, in the bushes, all alone. She had probably been born in the house and dumped as soon as she started to eat solid food. Her previous owners must’ve considered themselves to be really empathetic and warm hearted, as they didn’t kick her out while she was still nursing from her mother. At the age of four weeks, Gala wasn’t quite sure how to eat on her own, but it was evidently meant to be someone else’s worry.

A nice lady who found Gala bottle fed her for two days, but she couldn’t keep her since she already had a cat and he was very aggressive towards the new kitten. The little one had to find another home urgently. Luckily for Gala, a friend of mine stepped up and took her into foster care. This calico beauty has been there for a couple of weeks and she’s already doubled in size. She's found some new friends, and has become everyone’s favorite, she is undoubtedly spoiled rotten! I can only imagine what it will be like when she comes here…

The first few months of a kitten’s life set the pace for the future and Gala is obviously starting off on the right paw. While all of the kittens are charming and beautiful, there is something about her that is extra captivating. Her energy is boundless and she looks radiant. Disarmingly cute, she is doing whatever she wants whenever she pleases and seems to enjoy doing it. This little ankle-biting terror is impossible to resist!