The Homeless Cat Management Team (HCMT) held their last clinic of the year today, and I was glad to transport several kittens to meet their destiny, as well as transport two other cats to their forever home. In all I put over 100 miles on my car, and my regulars were a little unhappy with me being gone all day long, but that’s how we get things “fixed”.
Above one of the cat rescuers in the group brought these three kittens to me—though one is the mom with those gorgeous amber eyes, she is barely more than a kitten herself, but she is strikingly beautiful with her white bib and mittens. She and her female kitten will go back to their foster home, but the solid gray boy will be going to his forever home directly from the clinic. Congratulations, “Cat C”! Below you can see the two kittens as well as their mom. It’s a good thing Aunt Amby wasn’t at the clinic, or that mom cat would have been in her backpack…
These two black kittens are the ones I managed to grab two months ago and took them to their foster home. They are pretty civil now and were of age and weight to be spayed, then will return to their foster home until space opens up in an offsite adoption place where kittens are often quickly adopted.
The foster home, veterinary care and adoption for these cats and many more were arranged by the Pittsburgh Feral Cat Movement, the group of people who rescue and foster for HCMT and Frankie’s Friends who I write about so often. Part of the goal in reducing the number of homeless cats living outdoors is to remove any kittens young enough to be socialized as well as friendly cats, but only if a rescuer and foster home are willing and able to help them. This network of individuals is assisted by HCMT and Frankie’s Friends with donations of food, money and supplies from donors to the organizations (see below how you can help this).
When I left the clinic 85 cats had been registered for surgery, many people bringing multiple cats from colonies. The woman after me had five cats that had belonged to her neighbor who had passed away; these cats had lived outdoors and had been running wild since then, and their rescuer had trapped them for spay and neuter. Three beautiful kittens looked like a set: white with black spots, with tabby spots and with calico spots. Another woman had 13 cats that her church’s ministry had brought for the person who was trying to care for them.
Giuseppe checks to be sure our little donation bag had everything it needed: some cans of food Emeraude didn’t like and some toys, treats and things we thought the clinic could use that I’d brought in my swag bag from the CWA conference. I’ve been distributing the things among rescuers when I have the time.
We had one heck of a snow at the beginning of the day which does interesting things to traffic in Pittsburgh with all our hills and bridges, which freeze and play games with cars and trucks in a matter of minutes. After years of experience I know which streets and interstates to avoid when the snow flies and the winds blow so travel was circuitous to say the least. And there was even a football game, and I have to hand it to the volunteers at the clinic for showing up in this sports-crazy city—so the Steelers are playing the Miami Dolphins? There are cats to be fixed, we have our priorities!
Finally, two tabby girls went from city hustle and bustle to country living. I drove them from the heart of Lawrenceville out to a rural area about 20 minutes from my house; a friend has a farm right down the road from this couple who live on 50 acres. They take cats who are more feral than socialized, and in fact are the people who now care for Callie, née Margarita, who’d been rescued with her kittens from an abandoned building. They have also rescued dogs, horses, ponies, donkeys and sometimes mini horses and mini donkeys too.
Here you see Barr, a former race horse rescued from the track, and Sabrina, a paint pony who simply wasn’t wanted anymore by her person. Barr was friendly and wanted pets, where Sabrina was silly and played hard to get, but she couldn’t be any cuter.
Thanks to everyone who spent several very cold days trapping cats, and who transported and volunteered at today’s clinic. And thanks to all of those who have dozens of other foster cats who have been or who will be spayed and neutered and found wonderful homes. All this takes a lot of people over three counties to organize, but in the end it means hundreds of unwanted kittens simply won’t be born, and hundreds of cats who find themselves living on the street have veterinary care and a chance at a forever home.
You can help support this effort, not by driving around all day, but by donating either cash to help cover costs for a clinic, or a gift card to purchase food and litter for cats both in the clinic and those cared for outdoors through the winter.
Your Reward for Helping Homeless Cats through Frankie’s Friends and Homeless Cat Management Team
How you can help homeless cats and their caretakers
Just this past weekend a dozen or more people spent Friday and Saturday trapping cats—one person trapped as many as ten, others seven or eight each, kittens, adults—for the no-charge spay/neuter clinic for feral cats on Sunday. Over 100 cats were registered, four veterinarians volunteered their time for a very long day in surgery and shifts of volunteers prepped cats for surgery and cleaned them up afterward, watching them in recovery and packing them up to leave.
That’s 100 cats who will never produce another kitten. Imagine the impact on feline populations just this one clinic has! Then think of the fact that free or low-cost clinics are held about every three weeks all through the year, the kittens pulled from the streets and fostered to find forever homes, the friendly adults fostered and rehomed if possible, and the impact all this work has on feline populations.
From the rescues taken in to find another home to the cats who end up living outdoors because there is no home for them dedicated individuals volunteer their time, expertise and money to feed and provide shelter for all these cats, in all seasons, every day of the year. Right now we are headed for the often deadly winter months where sturdy straw-filled shelters are needed to be built and maintained for cats living outdoors, and often critical emergency veterinary care is needed for kittens born in the cold, and cats suffering injuries caused by or made worse by wintery weather along with the usual street injuries and, unfortunately, abuse.
We may call this Trap-Neuter-Return or TNR or simply rescue. It’s far more than just grabbing homeless cats and spaying or neutering them, returning them to their outdoor home, and as long as people continue abandoning cats the need for all this work will continue as well. Often there’s a network of assistance behind what rescuers do to help them with this rescue and care for outdoor cats, offering food and materials if they can’t afford it on their own and low-cost veterinary care for a cat they’ve rescued or a foster or outdoor cat they are caring for.
The Homeless Cat Management Team (HCMT) and Frankie’s Friends provide that network of care to rescuers in the Pittsburgh area, loaning out traps, networking rescuers, providing low-cost or free spay/neuter clinics at least monthly and making low-cost emergency veterinary care available to rescuers as well as distributing food and even shelters to those who are caring for rescues in their homes or community cats living outdoors.
Here’s where you come in
There are two ways you can help this effort by making even a small tax-deductible donation to Frankie’s Friends for HCMT and their network of rescuers and caretakers through a donated gift card or with cash, and I’ll give you a $10 gift certificate to my Etsy shop for you to use for your holiday shopping, to give as a gift, or keep for later, good for $10.00 off your order of $25.00 or more. And don’t forget that both cash and gift cards are fully tax-deductible as charitable contributions unless you are receiving a gift from the organization you are donating to—but you’re not receiving a gift from Frankie’s Friends, that comes from me, and I’m doing this of my own free will and get no benefit from Homeless Cat Management Team or Frankie’s Friends for it.
Donate gift cards electronically
Help HCMT and Frankie’s Friends continue to provide much-needed food and supplies to rescuers and caretakers by donating a gift card for pet supplies and they can purchase food and supplies tailored for the animals they are caring for. Petco, PetSmart and WalMart are each convenient to the HCMT clinic in Tarentum where the TNR clinics are held and the veterinary care happens, and where the materials are collected and distributed, so gift cards from these three would be most appreciated.
Here’s what you do:
1. Go to the Petco, PetSmart or WalMart website and purchase an electronic gift card for at least $10.00.
2. Designate it as a gift to “Frankie’s Friends”.
3. In their “notes” section (most have one for gifts), note that this is through “The Creative Cat Holiday Cheer for Homeless Cats”, or just “The Creative Cat” so Frankie’s Friends knows where it came from.
4. To complete the gift card, here is their contact information:
Mailing Address: Frankie’s Friends Cat Rescue, P.O. Box 161, Tarentum, PA 15084
Phone Number: 724-889-7011
5. Email your confirmation to me, or simply email me that you donated a gift card through the Holiday Cheer program. Please let me know if you’d like to be acknowledged publicly at the end of the campaign with just your name, no donation amount. Your name will not be used without your permission to publish it.
6. Frankie’s Friends will email me to confirm your donation.
7. I will reply to your email with your numbered gift certificate attached.
If you’re not comfortable purchasing it on the internet, you can purchase it in person and mail it to them using the address above. Simply include a note that it’s part of “The Creative Cat Holiday Cheer for Homeless Cats”, or just “The Creative Cat”, and make sure you include your email address. They will contact me when they receive it and I will send your gift certificate.
Make a donation
A cash donation will help support the low-cost veterinary care that has saved many lives and, most importantly, prevented the births of many kittens. And Frankie’s Friends also treats dogs in many of their low-cost clinics in Tarentum and in the mobile van, so you are helping prevent puppies as well, and also helping rescued dogs with low-cost veterinary care.
Here’s what you do:
1. Go to the Frankie’s Friends website and make a donation of at least $10.00.
2. The donation is made through PayPal which has a “notes” section. Note that this is through “The Creative Cat Holiday Cheer for Homeless Cats”, or just “The Creative Cat”.
3. Email your confirmation to me, or simply email me that you donated cash through the Holiday Cheer program. Please let me know if you’d like to be acknowledged publicly at the end of the campaign with just your name, no donation amount. Your name will not be used without your permission to publish it.
4. Frankie’s Friends will email me to confirm your donation.
5. I will reply to your email with your numbered gift certificate attached.
How to use your gift certificate
Your gift certificate will have a code that will be active for use in my Etsy shop until December 31, 2013. This code is entered at checkout for your $10.00 discount. But if you are shopping elsewhere on one of my pages or you’d like to use the discount toward a commissioned portrait or in person, you’ll just need to give me your name and the certificate number and I’ll either manually discount your order or refund $10.00 to you.
Feel free to use your certificate for your holiday shopping, for your post-holiday shopping, or to give as a gift. For my own accounting purposes, I’d like to keep all the transactions within this calendar year.
I will have a link to this post in the right-hand sidebar of my home page until December 31, 2013 and I will also have a link to it in the footer of at least one post each day.
You can visit my Etsy shop to browse what’s there right now, and keep in mind that I add new products regularly, especially one-of-a-kind handmade items. Also visit my page here on The Creative Cat that explains about “Ordering Custom Artwork” where you can have a custom print made of a sketch, painting or photograph you like.
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Thanks to everyone who has donated so far this year through other donation opportunities on The Creative Cat! All together, donors gave a total of $350 to help with Finn, Tommy and Trooper, and others who donated the purchase price of artwork they bought from me through the year gave a total of $400. Now let’s give these cats, their rescuers and Frankie’s Friends a holiday to celebrate.
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And thanks also to those of you who are out there rescuing, including the people who saved the kitten found on craigslist to have a gumband around his private parts for a homemade neuter…who knows what may have happened to him if one person hadn’t seen the conversation and a chain of people hadn’t responded. These cats are in good hands!
Browse some rescued cats and kittens!
All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.
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