If anyone is caring for cats outdoors, on the fence for rescuing them, this arctic weather will help them make up their minds—no living thing without protection can live in this cold. Plenty of rescuers did just that last night and today, and a friend who manages a feral colony at her workplace as well as helping many others trap cats for spay/neuter and veterinary care had her eye on two little kittens, new to her colony, who first showed up when the weather grew cold, and she knew at that age they were at even more risk than a seasoned adult.
Many of us used to rescue on our own, outside trying to lure a cat into a trap or carrier, but with social networking and cell phones that can text and post on Facebook, we can not only rescue, we can give the play by play, and people who are online can comment in between, almost like a conversation! Rescuer Margo did just that yesterday as she successfully lured the two kittens to two traps and then brought them in. Margo tells it beginning with Friday when she first saw the two kittens:
In my little feral group I have 3 girls (all fixed) that are “regulars” (always a couple more that come and go). They are Momma (the mom of the kittens I trapped 5-6 years ago), Auntie (Momma’s sister), and Baby (she is one of the kittens from that 1st litter that I couldn’t catch, caught her 1 year later and TNR’d her). Momma and Baby are always together, and Auntie is more of a loner.
When I went out to feed on Friday, only Baby was out there (which is not normal). So I went back out around 10:45 to check on them, and saw a little black kitten in the feeding station eating…it scurried under the garage when it saw me. So I went back out at 11:45, still no Momma, and then I looked under the garage, and saw the Siamese. I kept going back out, all the way up to 6pm and never saw my Momma cat… Then Saturday morning I went out and Momma was back with Baby! Another girl from the group, Kristine, came to my work to try and trap the kittens (I had to work Saturday morning). She set up traps and waited from 8:30-12:30….no luck. But we did notice that the kittens were “late risers” and didn’t even come out from under the garage until about 10:30/11.
So, Sunday morning I came back to the shop at about 11am, when I pulled up I saw the 2 kittens outside playing! I knew this was a good sign.
11:52 a.m.: They are so freaking cute….sitting on a flake of straw enjoying the sun!
When they saw me they darted under the garage. I set the traps and started with just regular canned food…..of course Baby came out and was ready to eat…so I had to keep her away from the traps. I sat in my car and waited and waited….I checked on the area a couple of times, at one point the two of them were enjoying the sun on a flake of straw that was partially under the garage… I was really getting worried that I wasn’t going to get them.
11:55 a.m.: I’m running up to giant eagle for sardines….
I headed to the store for the fried chicken and sardines…re-baited the traps, and waited…..and waited….
12:40 p.m.: They are back under the garage…..I just dumped sardine juice and fried chicken pieces all over the traps….I will be worried sick if I don’t get them tonight.
I even called my mom and asked her to bring me 2 more pieces of fried chicken and sardines packed in oil.
12:52 p.m.: I can’t believe they are back under garage 🙁
While I was waiting for her to come, I thought I saw some motion at the trap that was a little out of sight… I hopped out of the car and went around the building, the little black one was in there!
1:05 p.m.: Just got the black one!!!
Grabbed a sheet, covered him, and moved him to the car!
1:06 p.m.: It’s yours Bernadette E. Kazmarski!!! LOL!!! (No.)
Got back in the car and was debating moving the other trap to where the other one was…
1:08 p.m.: My heart is racing and I swear I have dry mouth!!
Just as I was about to….the Siamese started checking out the trap…
1:08 p.m.: OMG Siamese is at trap…..
I was DYING!!!! I swear, my heart was RACING….
1:09 p.m.: Please please go in….please
She checked it out, and slowly made her way in, stopping to sample the fried chicken and the sardine pieces….
1:09 P.M.: Part way in
I was so scared that she would turn around and scurry out….and then…SHE WAS IN! So I hopped out, covered the trap and got her in the truck too!
1:11 P.M.: GOT THEMMMMMM!!???
Thankfully my friend Carol was able to foster them, so they are now set up at her house, getting ready to be socialized!!!!!!
The first time I trapped cats was about 6 years ago when a cat at work that had kittens. That’s when I started to learn about “ferals” and about how many kittens a cat could have and the importance of spaying/neutering and what TNR was.
On Monday Margo also decided to bring in Auntie and set her up in the “spare” bathroom at work. Margo called for her, she came right up, so Margo scooped her up and “popped her into the crate”, then took her to temporary room.
Thanks to everyone who chased down and caught those cats living outdoors before this weather and for doing the best you could to catch the ones who wouldn’t come in. And for making shelters and getting them in place in time, for finding heated water bowls and non-electric heating pads for food and water and shelters, and for going out in the cold a few times each day to provide food and water and make sure those cats were okay. And for caring for them in all weather, but especially for showing them extra kindness when the temperatures drop below zero!
Who has Margo Rescued and Fostered? Finn, Among Many Others
Finn wants to have his own iPad for Christmas, all wrapped up under his own tree in his own forever home.
Look at Finn now! You’ve met him before, and in fact several of you donated for his care. Look at what that did for this friendly and affectionate orange cat!
From the Giant Eagle parking lot to your couch? He’s approximately 6-7 years old, neutered and up-to-date on shots. He is ready to be a part of someone’s family! He would do best in a home with no small children (under 6); his rescuer thinks that he’d be stressed by lots of screaming or quick movements may scare him. He’s extremely affectionate, loves to look out the window, and loves catnip! Please share and help Finn find the perfect home for the holidays. (Application and home visit will be required). Contact [email protected]
Yes, you can still donate to help homeless cats and their caretakers and get a gift certificate!
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. Last month we were preparing for the often deadly winter months, and now they are here. 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.
Many of the shelters made so far have gone to an emergency situation north of Pittsburgh where about 100 cats are living in a trailer park being fed by residents. The residents had no idea they could find low-cost help but now they will be trapping the cats for spay and neuter in the upcoming HCMT clinics. The volunteers are also providing food and will be working with these people on an ongoing basis until the colony is under control. They are glad for the help!
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” 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
Email: [email protected]
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”.
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.
What your donation supports
Below are two of the cats you’ll be supporting. Both are unowned, one rescued, the other in a managed colony. Despite the fact they don’t live in a regular home with a human to take care of their needs, they will receive the care they need.
Cats Who Came In From the Cold
A random slideshow of kittens and cats rescued from stray and feral colonies to find forever homes. Kittens are always pulled if there is a foster home for them, and friendly adults too if there is a foster home. They are spayed or neutered and given whatever vaccinations and veterinary care they need, then made available for adoption. A few of them are foster failures too…
All photos in this post were provided by the rescuers and are not available for use without permission.
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.