Burger & Brew Fest

This Saturday, May 21, Purrfect Cat will maintain a booth at Burger & Brew Fest 2016. The event is hosted by Fremont Chamber of Commerce and celebrates—obviously, burgers and beer.  The site explains it all better than I can.

We will be there to show off photos of our current foster kittens, explain our adoption process, and hopefully make more people aware of our low-cost spay and neuter program.

Barclays

Important Changes

Since 2012, our Flagship has been a retail space in Newpark Mall.  Purrfect Cat spent years selling low-cost vouchers and doing adoptions in corners of pet food stores and on tables temporarily set-up in public spaces; until the management team of Newpark Mall gave us a vacant store for a song.  We spent two years downstairs by Sears, then we moved upstairs near Burlington, where we have remained since.

The store is ideal.  We have come to see it as our home.  But it’s not actually ours.  And with regret, the mall needs that space to temporarily house another business while their store is being remodeled.  There is a lot of activity going on at Newpark Mall at the moment; and as anyone who has ever renovated knows, everything takes more time and money than what you think it will.

This being the case, we’re not sure how long we may have to relocate. So the most logical short-term solution is to return to mobile adoption events.  We have just worked out a deal to maintain our Newpark Mall hours (Friday 4 to 7, Saturday & Sunday 12 to 3) at Waggin’ Tails in Union City  starting the first weekend in June. We will let you know of other locations and times when they become available.

In the meantime, please check in frequently here and on our facebook page for updates. This happens at the worst possible time for us, just as the spring kittens are becoming old enough to be adoptable, so we want to be sure that those looking to adopt can actually find us.  Our last day at Newpark Mall will be Friday May 27.

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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.