Doing Our Part

It’s understandable, but sometimes very frustrating for us, that our reach throughout the community and our resources, are very different from what some members of the public perceive. This weekend that point was driven home for me in three very different conversations.

The first person I spoke with assumed our group was affiliated with a larger organization of some kind and asked me if we were sponsored by state or county. I told him “neither.” He followed up with “But you’re part of SPCA, right?” I said we were not. It went on this way for a minute or two.  The confusion stemmed from our location in Newpark Mall itself. The guy was surprised that a small, donation-funded group like ours could manage to maintain a comfortable, [reasonably] well organized store as we do.

I explained to him that we are lucky enough to have not only dedicated volunteers who keep that store functioning as it should, but a management team overseeing the mall who value our presence there.  We maintain our store, clean it, pay the utilities, do our own repairs; but we could never afford rent on that space without Management’s generosity.

The above conversation stemmed from confusion and did not result in frustration, but the next two exchanges were vexing.  First was someone needing help with a group of free roaming cats that threatened to overtake an apartment complex.  A few abandoned cats, unspayed and allowed to reproduce, a few more dumped by people who see the others; and it soon grows beyond what one person can deal with.  I offered low-cost spay & neuter vouchers, resources for traps, the names of a couple of feral organizations. . . and that’s all. They extended their thanks, but I could feel their disappointment at the limitations of what we can do.

The final conversation was the most frustrating—and infuriating, of all.  Last month we took in two pregnant cats.  They would live in our foster homes, deliver, nurse and wean their kittens, then be returned to where the came from once they were both spayed.  The kittens would remain with us until adopted. This weekend, the woman we took one of the pregnant cats from, came into the store and announced she did not want it back.  This is an adult cat who is not very social and will most likely be hard to adopt.  Not a foster cat we would take on without serious consideration.

More than one person had explained our program to this woman (I was one of them) so there is no chance she misunderstood what was expected of her.  We agreed to do our part and now she is refusing to do hers.  I called her a liar to her face, which is—by any measure—not the best approach, but in my head I called her far worse.  Damn near every day, a member of Purrfect Cat Rescue goes out on limb for someone needing help, but our ability to do so is reliant upon the members of the community who do the same for us.  This woman is not a member of the “community,” just a member of the public; and I suspect she does not understand the difference.

Thanks to all who do understand the difference and make our work possible.  Your reward for sticking with us is the photos below.

Kitten Season

Spring this year has brought us a lot of odd weather: rain; days as hot as midsummer; nights as cold as winter; and more rain.  Spring also brought us kittens, and in a way we do not usually get them—still within their mothers.   When we sell our low-cost vouchers to the public,  they often tell us that the cat might be pregnant.  Depending on how far into the pregnancy she is, a spay can still be safely performed. After a certain point, though, it becomes more complicated, and potentially dangerous.

Two cats came to us at that very point in their gestation so we made the choice to not have a spay/abort performed.  Instead, we placed them temporarily in the homes of two Purrfect Cat officers. There they can have their kittens, nurse and ween them, and eventually, the kittens as well as one mother will be up for adoption. The remaining mother cat will be returned to the family who found her once she is spayed.

Given that there are never enough homes (foster or forever) for all the kittens needing our help, enabling the birth of any is not our usual protocol, but it seemed the right choice in this particular case.  We hope to share these kittens’ journey from birth to adoption with the public, turning a debatable move on our part into an opportunity to educate.

kitten

Both sets of kittens were born this week. Over the next two months, we will update you with pictures, stories, and hopefully some useful information, too.  By late May or early June, these kittens will be ready for adoption.  By then, “kitten season” will be in full swing so we would welcome new foster homes.  If you know of anyone interested in opening their homes to adoptable cats and kittens, let us know, either through our facebook page or at thepurrfectcats@gmail.com.

 

Maddie’s Pet Adoption Days

It is once again that time of year—the one weekend when hundreds of shelters and rescues across the country get paid for every animal they adopt.  Maddie’s Fund® is the organization responsible for it and most of the people who have read this blog in past are already familiar with Maddie and the foundation she inspired.   For those not familiar, you can read my original thoughts on the subject here.

Our Maddie’s Adoption Days event will be held at our store at Newpark Mall this Saturday May 31 and Sunday June 1.  We’ll be there from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

catcollage

Orbit

With kitten season around the corner, we want to give a little extra attention to some of teen-aged cats. Today we feature Orbit who just celebrated her first birthday.  She is a sweet little thing that likes to be pet and cuddled a bit, but there is still plenty of kitten enthusiasm in her, along with a bit of dog— Orbit loves to play fetch.   She’s particular about which toys she plays with; but when she finds one she likes, she not only chases it, she retrieves it.

Come to Newpark Mall this weekend to visit with Orbit and hear more from her foster caregiver.

Orbit I

Orbit II

 

In Support of TNR

Those of us who work to curb the population of free-roaming cats know there is no perfect solution, but I keep insisting that TNR, while not perfect, is the best solution anyone has come up with.  Anyone. Period.  This article hits on a few points.

Constantin&Charlie

Constantin and Charlie, two of my favorite TNR cats.  Best friends living the best possible life this world currently affords them.

Teen-Agers

When kitten season is in full swing, our adoption events are visited by lots of enthusiastic people wanting to play with kittens, tell us about theirs, and quite often—adopt one.   This time of year, things are slower, and the cats seen in our Newpark store are mostly the teenagers.

The teen-aged cats don’t play nearly as much in their cages, chase each other, or hang upside down like the kittens.  Mostly, they just nap.  Because of this, they are often passed right by which is a shame, because this is quite possibly the best age to adopt a cat at.  They’re still plenty young to enjoy playing and being silly, but they’re old enough to understand when you discipline them, and they are old enough to have started to develop their personality.  You have a better idea if they cat you are adopting is going to be a lap cat,  one who likes to be pet but not held, or a live wire, running all over the house like it’s still a month-old kitten.

Patches, Fiona and Alistair are just a few of these teen cats available right now. All available for viewing Saturday and Sunday from 12 to 3 p.m. at Newpark Mall.  Come by and give them pet, you won’t regret it.

patches  Fiona (800x600)

Alistair II (800x600)

CatSnip

Project CatSnip began in 2008 when the feral cat coordinator for Purrfect Cat stumbled upon a colony of feral cats.  To begin with, she estimated there were twenty or so cats in the colony.  As trapping and neutering of the colony progressed, it was discovered that it was an ever-expanding colony—basically, a dumping ground for the unwanted.  Over the next ten months, more than 40 cats were trapped, neutered and returned to the colony; and a few of the more social cats were placed in foster homes so they could eventually be seen at our adoption events.

At that time, PCR promoted CatSnip at adoption clinics and our (then) relatively new website, and we received many donations from people interested in helping feral-specific cats.  In the time since, our site has fallen into neglect because of some technical issues and the loss of a couple of key volunteers.  As a result, programs like CatSnip have not received the attention and support they deserve and require.

We will be working in future to completely revamp purrfectcatrescue.org, but in the meantime, anyone interested in contributing to Project CatSnip—both to keep existing colonies well-fed, and to help spay and neuter cats in recently discovered colonies—can send their donations to the following address.  All contributions will be forwarded to our Feral Cat Coordinator and allocated for the support of CatSnip.

CatSnip
c/o Purrfect Cat Rescue
PO Box 7958
Fremont CA 94537-7958

Some of the original cats who inspired CatSnip.

snip4

snip3

snip1