Monday, June 19, 2017

And then there were three

I was at the rescue on Saturday when a distraught family came in with a wee little kitten.  They said they had found it by the side of a busy highway with no mama cat or littermates in sight, scooped it up before it got hit by a car, and brought it in.  The kitten was terribly frightened, and had an odd chunk of fur missing out of one side, and had conjunctivitis, but didn't seem to be injured in any way and didn't have any fleas or ticks or signs of respiratory problems.

Oh boy, another one!  haha.

I set up a crate in the back while another volunteer called the founder.  Could we, somehow, some way, make room for one? more? kitten?

The founder said yes, if a foster could be found.  When no one stepped up, I offered to take it and put it with my ringworm kittens, with the understanding that the new kitten would also be treated for ringworm, in the hopes of avoiding him catching it from the my fosters.  Seeing as I was the only one who had room, if a less than ideal room due to the ringworm, the decision was made to send him home with me to Foster Camp.

And then we did the FeLV/FIV test.  And he tested positive for FIV.  It was a very FAINT positive, but it was a positive.

If he had tested positive for FeLV (leukemia), he could not have stayed at the rescue.  FeLV is contagious and always fatal, and when we have a cat come in who tests positive (which, thankfully, happens VERY rarely these days), the founder has an FeLV rescue group she works with to place the animal.  FIV (feline AIDs) is a little different story, especially with a faint positive.  Kittens are sometimes born with FIV in their system, often from their mama, but manage to shed it as their immune system develops. Even if they don't, it is a less contagious and less, well, fatal disease in cats, and our group has a different rescue that we work with to place FIV-positive cats.

Our veterinarian was called and consulted, and the decision was made to let him come to Foster Camp, with the understanding that he would stay in foster care (and not at the rescue) until it was time for his re-test in six to eight weeks.

Welcome to Foster Camp, Nicky!  (The family who found him named him Nicky, I'm guessing because of the chunk of fur missing from his side.


Look at those paws!: 


He is a wild little thing, all teeth and claws, and having to stick meds in his mouth (de-wormer) and gel in his eyes (conjunctivitis treatment) and give him a BATH (ringworm treatment, as a precaution) and stick him with NEEDLES (testing and vaccinations) are not making him feel any more kindly disposed to humans.  The other kittens are scared of him because he plays AWFULLY rough, but they already are learning to swat back and sometimes just walk away when he's mean. And that's why Foster Camp and the other foster homes are really, really important when singletons come in - they NEED that interaction with other cats while they're still kittens and are learning the ways of socialization, with people AND other animals.


Of course, there is that looming FIV retest hanging over us.  Needless to say, a lot of other rescues would just euthanize a kitten with even a FAINT positive FIV test, but our rescue does not.  And I'm not really worried about it.  Even if the retest does come back positive, there is a rescue who will take him and find him a home, so his life will be saved regardless.

Welcome aboard, little Nicky!  And mind your manners, good sir. :)  (We won't talk about how he pooped in the salad bar yesterday.  ahem.)

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Rescue 911

Okay, first off, just as I thought might happen, within 24 hours of accepting the job yesterday, I have started receiving requests to interview with other companies.

Sorry, dudes!  You snooze, you lose.  HA.

This morning, I went in and cleaned at the rescue. 

This enterprising girl figured out the perfect way to bogart some wet cat food:



This tortie beauty was a little reserved:
 

 Until, that is, I broke out the catnip:


 Former Foster Mama Rio was NOT PLEASED to be at the rescue, but when I reached into her cubby bed and rubbed her ears she purred and purred and purred:



And former Foster Camper Duran Duran would give me no peace until I shared a cheesy cracker with him.  Cinderella is doing fine, also.
 

And then, after the center opened to the public this afternoon, the flood started.  A couple came in and said that a mama cat had "shown up" on their porch with a litter of kittens.  When they called another local rescue, that group told them that they were full, but that the couple should bring the cats directly to us, and we would take them.

Ahem.

This situation happens all. the. time.  The two "big" rescues in  this area (neither one of which I have volunteered for for several years, in case you're wondering), constantly tell callers that they're full, and that the callers should contact us.  Last summer, the one rescue, which has paid staff and a budget ten times ours, even posted a sign on their flippin' front door telling people that they were full and that they should bring animals to our rescue.

Double ahem.

While we do our best to accommodate every animal that comes our way, often double- and triple-booking our foster homes to make room, and to my knowledge we have NEVER turned an animal away, it still puts a strain on all the volunteers and all of our supporters, to know that in a lot of cases, we are the animals' last hope.  

So.  When this couple came in, without so much as a phone call or an email first, and announced that they had a feral mama cat and her kittens in a carrier in the back of their van out in the parking lot, we started scrambling.  One of the volunteers started calling our fosters, while I asked the couple to bring in the cats so I could take a look.

Mama cat was completely feral - hissing and spitting and terribly frightened. Sadly, trying to foster adult ferals or make them into housepets almost never ends well - it stresses them awfully and they often end up refusing to eat.  I advised the couple to make an appointment to get her spayed and told them that I would help them catch and transport the cat once they had an appointment,but that for now, she should go back to her neighborhood where she has been living. It's not an ideal situation, but at least her kittens are young enough to become socialized and will not be having kittens of their own six months from now, and mama cat won't be miserable trying to be something that's not in her nature.

The kiitens? Are adorable, as all kittens are.  They all have conjunctivitis, but that is treatable, and a foster home stepped up who could take them in, so once again our rescue made room when there was no room at the inn and all of the other rescues said they were full.

 










Kitten season, man!  It's EXHAUSTING.  And extremely CUTE. :)



Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Pounding the Pavement

I've continued to fill out application after application after application.  By Monday, reasoning that any income coming in was better than NO income, I started applying for retail jobs.  Petco.  Christmas Tree Shops.  Tractor Supply.  Dollar Tree.  This afternoon, I stopped by a local construction outfit and filled out an application for a paving flagger, reasoning that at the very least I'd have a good tan by the end of the summer.  I printed out a ton of resumes in anticipation of a job fair coming up this Friday.

You know what comes next, right?   Today, I received a job offer.  It's the job I interviewed for last Wednesday - the interview that lasted for an hour and a half.  I joked with friends afterward about having just been a part of the Spanish Inquisition, but the grueling process paid off - I got the job!  Good benefits, PENSION PLAN, and working with good people in a fully staffed office.  No nights, no weekends, no holidays, no working alone, and no walk-ins.  Hallelujah!  Pending a successful background check, etc., which I just sailed through with flying colors at that OTHER company (ahem), I should be back to work in a few weeks.

And I don't feel too freaking shabby right now.  A person of my age, trying to break into a new technical field, receiving TWO job offers in six weeks?   F*CK YEAH. 

I got a job!  Give me my medal. :)


Saturday, June 10, 2017

Bath Time for Foster Campers! (well, sorta)

Yesterday, the Spring session of Foster Campers (Mama Rio, Cinderella and Duran Duran) went to the adoption center to find their new families, and so the Summer Session of Foster Camp could start, with two of three kittens I rescued a week and a half ago, who had been staying with the founder of the rescue.  (The third kitten, the one with the badly injured eye, is holding his own, but is still under veterinary care for being underweight.)  In a complicated swap of foster kittens necessitated by several new groups of kitten coming in, these guys came to me.  And they came with a bonus: Ringworm! Yaaaay!  Time for a lime-sulfur dip, babies!

Come on in, guys! The water's fine!





 No more, laydee!  Don't do that to me no more! :


 A little food makes everything better:


The two cutie patooties when they're not all wet:


Welcome to Foster Camp, guys!  I promise that not all days will be bath days. :)

Monday, June 05, 2017

Gotta Get Away

Last Friday, I felt so overwhelmed  by everything that's going on lately on the job front that I knew I had to get away.  So I hopped in the car and headed for Gorge Country.  I was so stressed and depressed that halfway there I had to pull over in a rest area, crawl into the back of the car, and sleep for half an hour, but I pressed on.  When I am frightened, my first impulse is always to run. :)

And hiking always makes me feel better, or at least less frantic, for a couple of hours.












I can't say that the hike eased my mind completely, but it calmed me down for the day. 

And on the job front:  I have submitted 19 applications in the last week.  I have one interview scheduled on Wednesday morning, and I have a solid lead on another position, plus several of my applications are currently under review.    I am scrambling like mad to find another job.

And here's something that I have to laugh at:  Back when my mom was alive, she would occassionally gift me with a self-help book.  I'd always laugh, and say something like, "what?!  You think I'm in need of help?!", but I knew she meant well.  I remember Dr. Phil was a particular favorite of hers.  Most of those books I've given away over the years, but the other night, as I was sitting here at home feeling helpless and depressed,  I looked over at my bookshelf, and there was one of mom's books.  "I Will Not Be Broken", by Jerry Smith.  I laughed, and picked it up, and started reading it, and after a few pages I grabbed a highlighter and started marking passages, and I'll be damned if reading that book hasn't helped.  Thanks, mom!  I love you!

So yeah, a lot of mood swings lately, and a lot of fear, but I'm pressing on.  What the heck else am I going to do?