Sunday, August 22, 2010

Eartipped Cat at Heartland

Heartland called. An eartipped cat had been brought in. Very feral. If I didn't come get the cat, he would die. I e-mailed someone who had trapped kittens nearby, but they said it was not a cat they had trapped. I do not know if the cat is a male or female, it was too feral to tell. But, someone up north said they would take the cat on, so I went and retrieved the poor cat, who was very thin and starved and dehydrated.

I did not think the cat would eat in a trap in a car, but eat the cat did, two cans of food. He's now resting comfortably in a set up at his new location, sound asleep.

While there, to pick the feral up, I was told yet another story about the four other kittens of the seven I took in to Heartland in late May from the 18 kitten Lebanon situation. I'd been told as recently as last week that they were still in foster and had not come back because they had so many there in the shelter already.

That was about different story number nine. I had been concerned since three of the seven were returned from foster care sick, and I was asked to come get them back or they likely would be euthanized.

That was in early June. Ever since, I have been trying to find out the fate of the other four, who seemed to have been lost track of. I suspected the worst all along. Usually, when people tell you a variety of different stories over time, something's not smelling right. They were under a no kill order.

Today I'm told a different story altogether, that they actually were returned mid June, by whomever was fostering them, and quickly adopted out. And yet that was the time the other three were returned to me, and I was rather frantic then to be sure the other four were safe and had not become ill, then killed there. I was told then they were still in foster. I was told one had slight sniffles but was fine. I was told this, that and the other thing about them for months.

I don't know what to believe, there have been so many stories. It makes me sad to think of the Q-tip boys, the two long hair delightful orange kittens, the buff orange boy and the long hair torti, because my suspicions are that they are long dead.

Anyhow, seals my decision that I want out of this business. It is a good decision, for many reasons, the number one reason being that I have too many cats here to support, that there are few homes available now, that when I go out to trap and fix cats there are always amongst them kittens or cats who will die if I don't intercede, causing me to take in more, and because I don't have any community support, like help with cat food, vaccines, transportation, volunteers, etc. I've never been able to find that here. And it is a good decision because I'm currently in debt over helping other people's cats. I've got to get out of debt. I don't like being in debt.

I was going to wait two months to take down my petfinder site, but I believe I will do so September 1st. No sense waiting around. I am not getting adoptions off the site. What I do get is more requests for help due to that site.

I ran another ad for four days and did not get one single call. So, I may be stuck with the cats here, but I can avoid taking on more. I also plan to change my number.

It's too bad, in many ways. The services I've done are grossly needed. But, it needs to be a paid position, or, at the least, an expense paid position, paired with an adoption only group. It's difficult, if not impossible, to do both. Time and money factors are prohibitive of trying to do both alone.

I'm going into the red to help other people and since the switch to the hour away clinic, the downhill debt flop has been rapid. Throw in the cost of flea treating each cat, gas, bait, a zillion other sudden emergency items, and my frugal ways have been unable to overcome the deficit of the last months.

Sometimes, you're just done. And done I am. I will use up the Albany cat grant. No sense wasting that.

I hope to contract out to other groups to trap. That way I have no obligation, as a sole agent does, for the cats and kittens without options run across in trapping. Those then are the responisiblity of the group I contract to for trapping.

I can do contractual trapping for expenses only, if need be, to get out of my tiny little space and see some new space (gas, lodging, bait). And if the group wants to trade me goods for my time and effort, that'd be just fine. That's how I ended up in the gorge, and came home with seven bags of Science Diet after I trapped 44 cats in a little over a day. Next time, I'd plan things a little better so as not to get totally exhausted, however.

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