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.
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.
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. :)