Archive for the ‘Save Our Strays News’ Category

SOS News! Fun Fundraisers!

Saturday, January 3rd, 2009

On a “business” note, I just wanted to let everyone know about some really cool new items SOS is selling to raise money for the animals.

Thanks to Linda Turner, one of our awesome new volunteers, we have catnip bags for sale! At just $1 each, they’re a steal! One bag provides hours of fun for your cat!

We’ve also got a TON of new designs in car magnets. The top-seller so far is one that shows a cool cat in sunglasses and says “Cattitude” - something all cat lovers know and love! $5 each, very durable.

And, we also have Entertainment Coupon Books! There really are a LOT of great valuable coupons in these books - especially for dining out and fast food, but lots more too.  At $20 each, they pay for themselves very quickly. At our office, we all pitched in money to buy a “shared” book to keep at the office - so we paid about $2 each and there are plenty of coupons to go around.

If you’re interested in any of these items, contact Jen at silkypaws “at” donet.com.

So excited, I just can’t hide it!

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

November 25th, 2008

Cue the 80s synthesized music, because I feel like dancin’!

The Senior and Special Needs Shelter (SSNS - because everything important and cool needs to have an abbreviation) project is officially underway! If you’ve visited the SOS homepage recently, you’ll know that “one of our volunteers” is turning the 2nd floor of her house into a shelter for special cats who have a hard time getting adopted. Well, you probably guessed it - that volunteer is me! I have a special soft spot in my heart for those kitties who find themselves homeless in their illness or old age.

Many people are afraid to adopt them because they: 1) worry about the expense of caring for an ill or elderly pet, 2) don’t want to get attached to a pet who might not live for very long, or 3) don’t feel they can take on the time and energy commitment an ill or elderly pet might require. So, when our rescue takes them in, they end up lingering in the “system” for a long time. Sometimes they end up being moved from foster home to foster home because the fostering system isn’t really designed to be so long-term, and all this being shuffled around can cause anxiety and insecurity in a cat. While they remain in one of our foster homes, that’s one less space for another cat in need of rescue as well.

So why not just euthanize them if they’re old and/or sick? Because many of these cats are capable of having full, quality lives in spite of age or illness - so euthanizing them would be for convenience only, which is something SOS and I don’t believe in doing. Thus, the SSNS idea was hatched!

My husband and I don’t have children yet, and we live in a home with more space than just the two of us can possibly use. Our entire 2nd floor was sitting empty. So what better place for the SSNS? The only problem is that the 2nd floor is entirely carpeted - not ideal for cats who are prone to “accidents”. We’d also like to make some modifications like steps/ramps leading up to window perches and furniture for the cats who can no longer jump or climb. And these changes will require money - not a lot, but more than my husband and I can afford to spare on our own at the moment. The first step of the project then, is collecting funds to help make this cage-free shelter as comfortable and clean and cheerful as any cat could want! This may very well be the last home for some of these cats, after all - we don’t want them to spend their final days institutionalized or warehoused.

I say the project is underway because the first funds were collected today, and many of the necessary supplies such as litter boxes, beds, cat furniture, dishes etc. have been gathered. We have a way to go yet, but taking the first step feels great!

As usual in rescue though, the cart is before the horse. Or, I should say, the cats are before the shelter! The SSNS already has its first residents - four special girls I’d like to introduce to you to help you understand why giving these cats a place to feel loved and secure is so important to me.

The first resident to come to us was Ellie. Ellie is a younger cat, although her actual age is unknown because she was found as a stray. We thought she was a kitten at first because she’s tiny, but her teeth tell a different story and place her at at least four or five years old. She’s a beautiful little blue-gray cat with long, silky fur and big golden eyes. Unfortunately, Ellie suffered a serious head injury before she came to us, which knocked out the teeth on one side of her mouth and left her with brain damage. Maybe she was hit by a car, or kicked by a mean person, who knows? She suffers severe seizures and requires daily medication to keep them under control. She also has a neurologic tic that causes her to scratch her head, just on one side, but to the point that it bleeds and needs to be cleaned and medicated daily to prevent infection. In spite of all this, you will never meet a cat who is happier and more full of life than Ellie! She plays like a kitten still, even chases her own tail. She loves to sit in the window and watch the birds and squirrels, but above all else she loves to snuggle on your chest with her head tucked under your chin.

Next to join us was Leema, an elderly cat of about 15-17 whose former owners were elderly themselves and no longer able to care for her. She’s also tiny, weighing in at about 4 pounds, and she has very striking tuxedo markings. Leema is remarkably healthy for her age and very talkative and friendly, but has been overlooked for adoption for the past year that she’s been with us. She really seems to enjoy the quiet life she has here at the SSNS, sleeping in the sun patches on the floor and occasionally even playing with Ellie when the mood strikes her.

The next residents joined us as a pair, as that’s how they’ve lived their whole lives - together. Crissy and Bessie are elderly girls of 12 & 14 or so, and their owner passed away, leaving them in the care of her nephew. Unfortunately, his wife turned out to be allergic to them, so he couldn’t keep them and they found themselves in need of somewhere to go to avoid euthanasia. Crissy, a brown tabby, has some arthritis and has trouble keeping weight on, and is prone to diarrhea when stressed. Bessie is marked like a black and white cow, and seems to suffer some pain from arthritis at times as well (if you pick her up the wrong way - otherwise she seems just fine). Both girls, although they move a little slowly, will purr and purr if you pay attention to them and LOVE to eat!

For now, until we make the necessary changes, the SSNS is at capacity. As the changes are made though, we expect to be able to help more cats like these four - and we can’t wait! Check back for updates on our progress - I’ll keep you posted!

Until next time,

This crazy cat lady