We have come across a lot of interesting reading over the years.  Many of us have saved some of these readings.  Sometimes we have been the ones to have written them.
Precious Paws now has a page for these items to be read by anyone who has a few minutes to enjoy them.


"I'll never bring about world peace.
I won't single handedly save the rain forest.
I'm not a brain surgeon and I'll never transplant an organ to save a life.
I don't have the ear of a powerful politician or world power.
I can't end world hunger.
I'm not a celebrity, and God knows I'm not glamorous!
I'm not looked up to by millions around the world.
Very few people even recognize my name.
I'll never win the Nobel prize.
I'll never save the rain forest or end global warming.
There are a lot of things that I'll never do or become.

But today I placed a dog!

It was a small, scared, bundle of flesh and bones that was dropped off in a
shelter by unfeeling people that didn't care what happened to it, but yet
who were responsible for it even having existence in the first place.

I found it a home!

It now has contentment and an abundance of love.
A warm place to sleep and plenty to eat.
Two little boys have a warm fuzzy new friend who will give
them unquestioning devotion and teach them about responsibility and love.
A wife and mother has a new spirit to nurture and care for.
A husband and a father has a companion to sit at his feet at the end of a
hard day of work and help him relax and enjoy life.
And a sense of security, that when he is gone all day at work,
that there is a protector and a guardian in his home to keep watch over his family.

No, I'm not a rocket scientist.
But today, I made a difference!"

By Cheryl Reed
If  I  didn't  have  animals . . . .

I could walk around the yard barefoot in safety.

My house could be carpeted instead of tiled and laminated.

All flat surfaces, clothing, furniture, and cars would be free of hair.

When the doorbell rings, it wouldn't sound like a kennel.

When the doorbell rings, I could get to the door without
wading through fuzzy bodies who beat me there.

I could sit on the couch and my bed the way I wanted, without taking into consideration
how much space several fur bodies would need to get comfortable.

I would not have strange presents under my Christmas tree --
dog bones, stuffed animals ,toys, & treats
nor would I have to explain to people why I wrap them.

I would have money ....and no guilt to go on a real vacation.

I would not be on a first-name basis with 6 veterinarians,
as I put their yet unborn grandkids thru college.

The most used words in my vocabulary would not be:
out, sit, down, come, no, stay, and leave him/her/it ALONE.

My house would not be cordoned off into zones with baby gates or barriers.

My house would not look like a day care center; toys everywhere.

My pockets would not contain things like
poop bags, litter scoop, claw trimmers, treats and an extra leash.

I would no longer have to Spell the words
B-A-L-L-, F-R-I-S-B-E- E, W-A-L-K, or T-R-E-A-T.

I would not have as many leaves INSIDE my house as outside.

I would not look strangely at people who think having
ONE dog/cat ties them down too much.

I'd look forward to spring and the melting of snow instead of dreading
mud season and kitten season

I would not have to answer the question "Why do you have so many dogs/cats/animals? "
from people who will never have the joy in their lives of knowing
they are loved unconditionally by someone as close to an angel as they will ever get.

How empty my life would be.


Litters of Rescued Kitty Tails
My First Years in Rescue

The chronology of litters, 1991-1999, based upon my actual records.  

[2010 insert]  Time has passed and things have changed, but, yet, somehow they are the same.  Everything below was done before there was networking and really, before email was a major communication tool and of course before texting & tweeting.  There are still cats, dogs, kittens and puppies to be saved.  Reliable volunteers come and go, continue to rescue and continue to find it nearly impossible to get out of rescue.  How could you look into the face of an adorable pet and turn your back?   We all have to...  Many, many times each and every year.  Every month and every day.  [end 2010 insert]

In the beginning....
I joined the ranks of volunteers with a well establised rescue organization based out of Pasadena in 1991.  This rescue had been established in 1982.  

Each volunteer has many a story to tell about all the litters of kittens they have rescued over the years.  I have been with this family of caring individuals for several years now.  And I have of course seen my share. . .

    During the later months of 1991 one of our volunteers had 13 bottle babies at her home.  I helped her, she worked with me and taught me how to bottle feed & care for orphaned kittens.  I took one of these kittens home to be mine.       
    The tails of the summer of 1992:   My first litter of four week old kittens.  This was one of those classic "trapped between walls" stories.  "Little Joe", "Squeaker", "Pinky", & "Lucky".  Sqeaker was the one who squeaked to the point of rescue for all.  
    Some rescues came from unique sources in 1993.   A gentleman who had adopted from the rescue group contacted us about  a stray in his neighborhood who had had a litter.  The rescue was unable to provide a trap at that time.  Around-about October of '93, he called to say the mom had had another litter and this time she had abandoned them.  And so I had my first two bottle babies.  With regrets "Sheba" passed away at six weeks of age.  Her brother, "Cloudy" was adopted in December.  Before the end of the year I was able to trap the stray feral mom and her two female kittens from her first litter (now at breeding age).  The rescue group paid to have them spayed, vaccinated & blood tested.  They were released back to their neighborhood two days before the 1994 earthquake.  Oops, sorry ladies.
    On a quick break away from our adoption center one Saturday  I went to Target.  Outside was a young boy selling kittens for $2.00 each.  I gave him $10.00 for the two he had left and asked him to wait in the shade, with the kittens, while I finished  shopping.  The black & white six week olds were given the names of "Target"  & "Freckles".  
    Where do I begin & how do I keep the story of "George" & "Georgette" short.  The daughter of one of our volunteers was walking past a very run down, dirty, etc. trailer park.  Inside she saw two boys beating kittens with baseball bats.  She and her friend ran in and snatched the two kittens who were alive.  The boys were reported to the police but as there was no evidence when the police got there the boys were simply warned.  The two kittens were barely two weeks old.  Trust me this is a very simplified version of all that transpired in the rescue of these kittens.
    Two sad stories of litters from Rosamond California mark 1994.  Four black kittens named after the T.V. show "Blossom" and five assorted Tabby kittens found in the parking lot at their American Legion Hall.  Since their adoptions in 1994 we have heard from six families that their six had passed away due to FIP.  FIP and it's usual frustration!!!  Both litters originally tested negative for FIP!    One of the owners of a Legion kitten, Ashley, contacted me as she feared her cat had FIP.  It did, it was in bad shape and  needed to be put to sleep.  So the owner wouldn't have to go see the vet alone I drove her.  You see, she had adopted one of the "Blossom" kittens months earlier and had lost that one to FIP.  Her "Blossom" kitten was in my care as she was fading.  The owner was scared to leave "Blossom" aka Missy home alone.  Missy went downhill really fast leaving both the owner and I to face making a very difficult decision for the welfare of the kitten. . . This was the most difficult visit to the vet that I have ever had to make.  Before going,  Missy, and I spent a beautiful &  peaceful hour sitting in my backyard in the warm March sunshine.
    The year of small bundles in strange places.   1995.    The Dryer Bunch; "Kenmore" and his three sisters, were birthed in a dryer.    The Church group consisted of two separate litters.  The church was their real life safe haven.  A desert fire had broken out in Lancaster.  It burned all the way around the church but never touched the church.  A couple of days later screaming little kittens were heard from under the church.  No mom cats were ever found.  The fire traveled so fast it is believed that the mothers perished in the fire.  
    Petco in Glendale called me twice in 1996 with bottle babies to care for.  "Eilon, Taran & Felice" were about ten days old, found in a cardboard box sitting on a sidewalk.  "Doli" was about four days old, brought in by someone who didn't know what kind of animal it was.  But, Doli was way too clean.  No dirt, no fleas, she was soft and smelled sweet.  I have a feeling there's another truth here.  During the time I was bottle-feeding these four along came a cute black & white kitten wandering around my yard.  These five formed their own support group.
    Once family knows you're involved in cat rescue, look out.   In 1996 my mom's sister in Alhambra found a litter of five in a cardboard box in the alley behind her apartment building.  We named them after the brothers and sisters of the family.  One of my own males quickly decided he was their surrogate Godfather.  
    Motion picture studios are inundated with strays.  "Duchess & Marie" were found at Paramount.  Their looks did not fit the usual studio cat rescue profile.  They are Rag doll/Siamese Lynx point mixes.  And talk about dirty!  I have never seen so many fleas in my life.  These ladies were about six weeks old when trapped and it took four hours, per cat, of bathing and flea combing to remove all fleas (we didn't have Advantage in those days).  As soon as I turned the water on them I was reminded of the Hitchcock shower scene.  Several hours later they were ready for the silver screen.
    Feral colony cats are the hardest to place.  It took a while but all six 1996 Anapet project kittens I took in placed.
    Let's see, where am I, oh yeah, 1997.  I had three early, February,  kittens ("Bunny", "Junie", & "Tuffie").  Tuffie, bless is heart was still here come October.  The silly blockhead had won a place in my heart.  He is now one of my own.  In December I had to put down one of mine; Nimbus, the old man, was fifteen.
      Let's rush through a couple of years:  During 1997 I cared for and placed ten (most memorable were PV & her "Partridge Family" named kittens).  1998 brought 17 to my home ( Popo, the Five-Herbs, & a  very shy Almond).  To date for 1999 I have cared for 10.  My bottle babies this year being "Misty & Stormy", rescued by my son & his girlfriend, and "The All G.G. family" rescue "Geepers" (who I believe I am going to keep as my own - "Merry Xmas to Me"!).  Kitten season 1999 also brought the Battle of Ringworm aka Dermatomycosis Fungus.  No matter how you say it it's a pain in the *## !

    Keep in mind these are MY litter tales.  From 1991 to 1999.  Each volunteer and director at each and every rescue have stories, stories, stories...

You Gotta Love Them

Relatives or friends or people who just happen to drop in.  They come in many versions.......

1.    The cat smart people:  They bring gifts wrapped in wrapping paper with tape only.  No bows, no fancies.  They know that when the door opens, they must do the cat dance steps in and move quickly so that the cat does not get out.  They know to not sit on a cat.  They know to put the toilet seat down in the bathroom.  They know not to be putting bad things into the bathroom trash can where the cat will play with them.  They know not to open the oven door without looking around.  They know not to let the cat into the microwave, oven or refrigerator.  They also know that cats on counters and tables means a friendly house.  They know that they will go home wearing cat hairs and have dressed for the occasion.

2.    The non-cat people:  They forgot that you have a cat or two or three or four.  They are afraid of cats.  They don't know what to say or do to them.  They will leave the oven door open and the toilet seat up without even thinking.  These cannot be your friends.  Maybe they will go home early, but, don't count on it.  Time to put the cat in your bedroom for safety.

3.    The people with allergies:  Why did you invite them?  Offer them antihistamines.  If they accept, they may really have allergies.  Are you sure that they are just not afraid of cats?  Amazing, but, usually putting the cats away makes them feel better.  Do they not know that there is cat hair all over the couch, chairs, etc?

If you want to keep guests entertained, just talk about your cats all night.  Show pictures.  Show them the cats web page.  They will be so entertained that they may never visit again.  On the other hand, if they are really cool cat people, they will have photos of their babies that you can ooh and aah over too.

Author Unknown
Encouraging    words
"Rescuers   Need   Rescue,   Too,"  

By Chandra Moira Beal

Animal rescue is deeply rewarding yet extremely difficult work.  To survive in this realm, one must find healthy ways to cope with the emotional challenges.

Here are 10 points to ponder.

> >1.  You can't save them all.  Even if you spent every hour of every day working to save animals, you still wouldn't be able to save them all.  Take comfort in knowing that you are not alone in your efforts.

> >2.  Work smarter, not harder.  Manage your rescue efforts like a business.  Organize tasks to make the best use of time.  For example, time spent recruiting more volunteers may make more sense in the long run than trying to do more yourself.  If you find yourself pulled in many directions, you might be more effective if you focus on one rescue facility, one geographic locale, or one species or breed.

> >3.  Just say no. Many people feel guilty when they can't take care of everything that comes up.  Be realistic about how much you can handle!  If you're feeling overwhelmed, it's okay to say, "I can't right now."  Delegate to others when possible, and ask for help when you need it.

> >4.  You are making a difference.  Whenever you question whether you're helping very much, remember the old parable about the man walking on the beach, picking up starfish who have washed ashore and tossing them gently, one by one, back into the ocean.  Another man approaches, notices that there are starfish on the beach for as far as the eye can see, and asks, "What difference can you possibly make when there are so many?"  Looking at the creature in his had, the first man replies, "I can make all the difference in the world to THIS starfish."

> >5.  Celebrate victories.  There are happy endings to many rescue stories.  Rejoice in what is working.  Of course, seeing an animal go home with a loving family is the greatest reward of all.

> >6.  Small kindnesses do count.  It's common to think that small efforts don't mean as much as large victories, but stopping to pet an animal, even for just one minute is worth doing.  Your touch may be the only friendly attention he or she receives that day.  Grooming, holding and comforting, or intoning softly that you care, are activities that many shelters don't have time for.

> >7.  Find outlets for emotional release.  Rescue work can be physically exhausting, emotionally draining and spiritually challenging.  Don't dismiss your feelings or think you're a wimp for being affected by it all.  Talk to someone you trust about what you're experiencing.  Cry when you need to.  Write your feelings in a journal or start a blog.  Text or Twitter your feelings.  Channel your emotions into action by writing to the editor of your newspaper, TV station or your local representatives about the need for animal protection legislation.

> >8.  Take care of yourself.  Make time to do whatever makes you feel good.  Take a relaxing bath, or go out to dinner or let someone else do the cooking.  You need to recharge your batteries in order to maintain mental and physical health.

> >9.  Don't downplay your compassion.  When people ask me why I rescue animals, often I'm tempted to say, "Oh, it's not big deal" or "Somebody's got to do it," when in reality I rescue animals because I care so deeply about them.  Compassion is healthy, normal and necessary for this work.  Let people know how important this cause is to you.  You just might inspire others to become involved.

> >10. Never give up.  When you get discouraged, it is tempting to throw in the towel.  Despite all your hard work, you may not see real change in your lifetime.  Still, giving up won't make it any better.  Take a break, and come back fighting.  And remember the man and the starfish.
Copyright 1997,   S L Smith

From kittenhood you lived your life upon unforgiving streets.
Tough existence for a cat, though you never asked for peace
And now all I can offer you is the needless final peace.

Think of a world where every litter’s planned.
Where every cat is wanted in every town and land
Why are so many homeless? It’s hard to understand
Why every shelter has cats and strays.
Praying for adoption within their seven days.
Accusing us of negligence in each compelling feline gaze.
If I took you to a shelter you wouldn’t stand a chance
When even cuddly kitties don’t get a second glance;
And you just growl and hiss and spit while they all purr and prance.
I hope God understands why I cannot offer more
Than a filling bowl of cat food placed outside my door
And a blanket in the garage so you can rest your weary paws.
You are a wild spirit but you could live inside with me.
You need my protection, and you still could be happy.

To neuter and to nurture, that is my responsibility.
And now you’re old the time has come to bring you final rest.
That you let me pick you up at last, I feel that I am blessed
Though I know it’s just because you’re too weak to resist.
I pray that God has mercy on me and will understand,
That for this wild creature I’ve done the best I can,
 Not to just love you from a distance, my wild street kitty friend.

For all the other kitties that live upon the street,
I pray someone will neuter/spay them and give them food to eat, a home
And a helping hand right at the end to ease them into sleep
So they will not be alone, so they will feel loved.
Does Your Cat Own You?

See how many YES answers apply to you.

1.    Do you select your friends based on how well your cats like them?
2.    Does your desire to collect cats intensify during times of stress?
3.    Do you buy more than 50 pounds of cat litter a month?
4.    Do you think it's cute when your cat swings on your drapes or licks your    butter?
5.    Do you admit to non-cat owners how many cats you really have?
6.    Do you sleep in the same position all night because it annoys your cats when you move?
7.    Do you kiss your cat on the whiskers?
8.    Do you feed your cat tidbits from the table with your fork?
9.    Does your cat sleep on your head?
10.    Do you like it?
11.    Do you have more than four opened but rejected cans of cat food in the refrigerator?
12.    Do you watch bad TV because the cat is sleeping on the remote?
13.    Will you stand at the open door indefinitely in the freezing rain while your cat sniffs the door, deciding whether to go out or come in?
14.    Would you rather spend a night at home with your cat than go out on a bad date?
15.    Do you give your cat presents and a stocking at Christmas?
16.    Do you put off making the bed until the cat gets up?

Author Unknown
VIN, Pet Care Forum, Cat Forum
"The Mewsletter", August 23, 1998

Puppy Shoppe
The best way to put the puppymillers out of business
is NOT to buy from a pet store.
PLEASE share our Holiday Poem  . . .

Merry Christmas
From Ye Olde Puppy Shoppe !!!

We love our puppy customers -
They're our #1 bread and butter,
Especially right now at Christmas time
With their MasterCards all a-flutter.

Oh sure, they've heard about puppymills -
They don't live in a cave.
The tree-huggers dreamed THAT whole thing up.
They're really quite depraved!

All OUR pups came from "Local Breeders".
These signs around TELL you so;
We paint em up and hang em high
Cause we want you to know!

We don't put a price on honesty,
But this pup will cost eight hundred dollars.
You don't think that we make the big bucks
Selling fish food and martingale collars !

But back to our Christmas Greeting
And why we wish you all Good Cheer;
You see, you are $pecial folks to us
At this festive time of year.

We love you because you're lazy,
Though very well-connected.
You just won't take the time to find
A breeder who's respected.

You so rarely do your homework.
(Santa, send us MORE trusting fellas
With no time to learn about Legg Perthes
Or Luxating Patellas !)

Zoonotic's not a word you learned
Playing Scrabble or at school ?
Color Mutant Alopecia ? Duh !
We LOVE it, man, you're COOL !!!

Cryptorchids must be flowers from Hawaii you say ?
We will sure not tell you better.
And you don't need to know Brucellosis,
my friend,
Unless, of course, you get er !!!

You think that CERF-ing's
what cool dudes do
Somewhere out in California ?
And OFA's just another old workplace law ?
We're sure not going to warn you !

But should we stumble upon someone
Who IS savvy in any way,
We'll just start extolling the wonderful work
Of the grand ole USDA !!!

We love you cause you just don't care -
You buy it because you want it.
You can lay your cash on OUR counter, ma'am,
If you've got it, you OUGHT to flaunt it !!!

We love the things you DON'T ask !!!
It makes our job so easy.
If you saw the sights behind the scene
You'd probably get quite queasy.

You'll never see the breeding dogs
Who suffer on the wire,
Or pups die of hyperthermia
When their truck gets a flat tire.

We'll keep you from our back room, too,
And put a padlock on the freezer.
Those tiny puppies stiff and cold
Would not be a crowd pleaser.

We hope you have a vet you like -
That pup's probably gonna need him.
Ivomec wears off in thirty days -
That's how long we've guaranteed him !!!

Who cares when you get that blue slip home
And find out that it wasn't true.
Your Local Breeder's way out in Kansas ?
HO! HO! HO! That joke's on you !!!

So come and see us, one and all -
Join in our Christmas Cheer !
We've strung the tinsel all around.
If we could, we'd serve you beer !

We've got the carols playing
And a Santa, for good reason;
We're all scrubbed up and looking good
So you'll make our Christmas season.

As you walk away with your new pup
We'll shed a happy Christmas tear.
Don't change ONE THING about yourself-
Just DO come back next year !!!

(ca-ching, ca-ching)

Author Unknown

Cats / Dogs

by Kathleen Parsons

Taking care of Rescue cats
 Is something I do best.
 I know because I've done it,
and I've surely passed the test.

The cats I've bathed, the food I've fed,
The vacuuming I've done,
And all to watch a frightened soul
Sit dreaming in the sun.

 My own cats I've neglected, well, not really
 But I tell them every day,
That I love and cherish each of them
Though a new cat's come to stay.

I know they understand this,
for in their eyes I see
The love that I have given them
Come shining back to me.

Some people think I'm crazy,
 Some others think I'm great
 But very few can understand
 What really is at stake.

If I can love and help a cat
To find a better way,
My own life is much richer,
I look forward to each day.

So now you know my secret,
It's there for all to see
The love I give, the life I save,
I do it all for ME.
Is this really how the mainstream world sees rescuers?

" Shock  and  Paw "

By Larry Smith, AlterNet

Everything was going well until the kitty litter question.

We had been in the Petco for hours. Many hours. Enough hours that people began assuming my girlfriend and I were volunteers....I've been a cat owner for almost three decades. But as I walked into the Petco I realized that I've never actually gone shopping for one.....I thought I had a pretty good handle on the cat world. Entering the matrix of [the rescue organization at this Petco] it was apparent I did not.  These people were different.  I quickly learned that it takes a special type of cat lover to volunteer at a no-kill shelter. They give up their time to hang out with cats that turn up sick, abused, unwanted or worse... And at the end of the day, every cat needs to be shuttled off to the home where it's being
boarded. Yes, boarded - like little, furry exchange students. These people are cat-obsessed, but then again so are we....We walked into...Petco, where a world of hopeful cats stacked neatly in metal cages awaited us. Each cat has a little index card with its name and other notable facts....On weekends, the place is packed with singles and couples, kids and parents, the young and the old, all looking to add a little fur to their lives. It all seems simple enough. There are lots of people standing around talking in little cat voices; there are lots of cats hoping to bust out of their cages. Supply. Demand.

What's standing between that 3-by-3 cage and cat vomit all over your carpet? The volunteers. And when it comes to the pussy, they ain't playing. The volunteers can be divided into four classifications:

* Alpha volunteers:  The diehards. They run things. They rescue and name the cats (though some alphas find naming the cats sort of wrong because it pre-assigns a name, look, feel, and, naturally, personality to the cats). They decide who gets what cat and later deliver that cat to your home. They are all women.

* Beta volunteers:  They do some of the above, but with somewhat less intensity than the alphas. They are quick to chime in with advice - from the best brand of dry food to organic hairball solutions. They receive birthday cards in the shape of a cat.

* Zeta volunteers:  They get nervous when you ask them a question, like, "Can I hold this cat," and direct you to an alpha or beta, trying their best to stay out of harm's way. They clean the cages. They hum a lot. These are exclusively gay men.

* Dorothys: The lady adorned with a pair of fake cat ears who sits in a chair and yelps, "Pennies, nickels, dimes for the kitties! Pennies, nickels, dimes for the kitties!" She is maybe 100 years old and always wears a purple sweater. She is very present.

You'd think that the job of the volunteers would be (assuming you don't look like the kind of person who would eat, torture, or molest a cat ) to move the animals along. Not so fast, Jack. First, we need to ask you a few simple questions. This is your interview. The volunteers start with some softballs   ("Q: Do you have windows without screens that the cat might jump through, careening down 30 stories to his certain death?   A: No).   Then it gets a little trickier   (Q: How do you feel about declawing?   A: Well, I did just blow $2K on a couch ... I mean, I feel it is wrong and inhumane").   They want to know if we'd be
attentive parents.   (Them: Do you work long hours?   Us: No! We both lost our jobs recently! We're home all the time! No latchkey kitties here!   Them: Excellent.)

And then there's this:

Them: What are your thoughts on kitty litter?
Us: We like it.
Them: Uh-huh.                                                      
Us: But we don't eat it.
Them: How do you feel about clumping?                   
Us: What?
Them: How do you feel about the litter that clumps?  
Us: Oh, we don't like the clumping kind.
Them: Why not?                                                   
Us: It's gross.
Them: Uh-huh (as they then scribble down some notes on our four page application)

Get a question wrong and you're in deep doo-doo. I suspect we could get a firearm with a lot less sweat....   Three visits, eight hours, $175, one 25-minute conversation about the miracle of making cat food from scratch, 126 individual conversations with 42 cats in 3-by-3 cages and one home visit, and we scored too. Wayne and the Lady Bunny - amazing siblings born four months earlier in the mean streets during the worst winter in years - were home.

Now if they would just come out from under the bed.

Larry Smith has written for ESPN magazine, the New York Times,
Teen People and other publications.
This story was originally published in Salon.

WHY?   Why do we do It?
Why we do!

"I am an Animal Rescue Organization Volunteer"

Everything we do, every keystroke, every piece of paper, every photo, every lift of a little finger makes a difference.  Most rescuers never plan to rescue for a lot of years.  Most rescuers put in ten or more years.  We are called crazy cat ladies / gents and we smile.   We are called wacky dog folks and we smile.  We know.  We know why and we know why we do ALL of it and put up with the remarks.

Have you ever gone into a shelter and rescued an animal, ever rescued one off the street or from an abuse situation? Have you ever volunteered in a kill shelter? Ever spent time walking the dogs there or spent time with the cats and kittens? Have you ever tenderly looked into their eyes knowing the kindness you show them might be the last they ever know? Have you ever been ecstatic with joy at finding a good home for an animal that was on death row? Have you ever felt the peace of fostering a shelter animal, buying it crucial time? Have you ever felt the anguish knowing that pet overpopulation is killing dogs, puppies, cats and kittens each second in this country? Have you ever prayed on your knees and begged God that our leaders would want to do something to change it?

Rescue people have....we have walked down the aisles of dogs and cats desperate for any human contact, a look, a touch, just to be noticed. We've seen dogs and cats begging and pleading for their lives. Dogs and cats suffering the heartbreak of abandonment. We have witnessed their incredible, unspeakable suffering. Believe me, they know what is happening to them. To witness it is almost unbearable. To work to try to save them is what we dedicate ourselves to, we live our cause. We have taken a lucky one out to foster and find a home for, and had to walk past the rows of eyes pleading and begging. We have heard the cries and yelps begging us to not leave them behind. Have you ever lain awake at night haunted by their eyes, faces....their voices? Lain awake sobbing for the ones you could not save? Cry till your eyes burn for the ones too terrified to meet your gaze, huddled in a cold corner?

Have you ever seen a dog fighting the leash, desperately scrambling not to be taken to the
euthanasia room in a shelter? Have you ever heard puppies screaming inside a gas chamber?  No I don't think you have.   Most of the comments you read here come from the hearts of rescuers.  We know first hand the tragedy.

This we do without question and we are told how much we are appreciated. Blink twice and we are insulted, we are criticized, we are misunderstood, we are obsessive, compulsive, possessive, bitchy and an ass at times. Rescuers will act without thinking of the reaction to the action-word or deed. We disagree, even with each other. At those times we find rescue difficult and we ask ourselves why. Rescuers wear their hearts on their sleeves and at times fail to see the big picture. Everything becomes stressful and a point of contention.

But late at night, when all is quiet and we can stay awake no longer... we have our pets curled up with us ... our own and our fosters... Why do we endure this?  Why?!  Because we see the faces of those we save. Because we see the faces of those we have held as they die. Because we see the faces of those left in the shelters or out on the streets. Because we know there is just one more person out there, there has to be!, looking for just the right pet. We know we do it for the pets because of two words ...... UNCONDITIONAL LOVE.  The pets love us unconditionally and they deserve the respect that such generosity deserves.

So, YES  "I AM an animal rescue organization volunteer!!!"

mistyblue + Paula

Stroll placidly amid the noise and haste and remember what peace there may be in a long tranquil nap. As far as possible, without being in any way humble, be on good terms with all creatures – with the obvious exception of dogs. Meow your desires loudly and clearly and occasionally listen to others, even your human, for she may be calling you for diner. Avoid the company of fleas they are vexations to both spirit and body. Enjoy your achievements – particularly wallpaper lovingly scratched and pieces of string thoroughly chased. Keep interest in your career, there will always be a need for good mousers in the changing fortunes of time. Be yourself; especially do not feign affection – except when you need a warm lap to sleep on. Neither be cynical about love of cream, for through your charmed and enchanted existence it is as perennial as the grass it comes from.

Take kindly the council of the years and rejoice in the fact that you have nine lives.

Nurture arrogance of spirit to shield you from sudden misfortune such as getting stuck up a tree. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born out of getting less than twenty hours sleep in a day. Beyond a wholesome discipline be gentle with yourself and groom yourself frequently. You are a cat of the universe, so much greater than humans and dogs; you have a right to be served. And even though you may sleep through most of it, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. With all its snacks, adventures and peaceful dreams, it is truly a beautiful world. Be content. Continue to be happy.

(From The Secret Diary of Adrian Cat by Stuart & Linda Macfarlane)
A  Different  Point  of  View

I'm being taken somewhere but I don't know where.
It's dark inside this box.
I hear a door and know we're in some kind of building.
I hear dogs barking and cats crying. It's very hot.
Someone is opening the box.
It's the girl that found me in the street and brought me here.

I used to have a home. I felt loved there.
Then something happened.
They opened the door and put me outside.
Then they closed the door.
I couldn't get back in. I don't understand.
The girl is crying now. She picks me up and holds me. It feels good.

I'm placed in a cage.
It's not that small, but I don't like it.
The girl leaves me here.
I look around and see other cats, just like me, in cages.
What is this place?
Where is my family and why wouldn't they let me back inside?
Another cat looks at me. He's very sad.
I don't think he was ever loved.

Maybe it's better that way.

I've been here for hours. People walk past me and they coo and sigh,
but they leave too. I think I know what's happening.
This is where we're put when no one else wants us.
Why did my family take me in the first place?
Underneath me is a new mother nursing three kittens, or are there four?
Why are they here? The kittens are barely a week old.

The girl who held me comes back and opens my cage.
She holds me again, and again, it feels good.
She puts me back and gives me a blanket and some food.
There is a tear in her eye. She's sad.
She wants to help, but there isn't much she can do.

It's dark now. Someone comes in and takes an older cat from his cage.
From somewhere in the building, I here him crying. He doesn't come back.
I've been here three days now. Every day, they bring in more cats.
Where did they all come from? I'm scared.
The mother only has two kittens now. Two of them are dead.
The dogs keep barking, but I can't see them. People keep walking past.
Some of them stop and stare at me. Once, I was held. But I'm still in this cage.
I feel lonely and frightened.
More cats are taken away and they never come back.
I hear them cry, and then it's silent.
I don't understand. Why don't people do something?
They have the power to stop this.
But they don't. Don't I count?
Doesn't my life matter?

It's dark again.
Someone comes to me and takes me from my cage.
I'm placed on a cold metal table. There is a girl with me.
She's holding a needle. And she's crying.
I guess it's my turn now.
I won't be coming back


This is Mary

These are Mary's Kittens

In 2005, a then 6 month old, pregnant cat was found wandering the streets.  She was very sweet, but didn't want to be petted.  She kept following the children of a friend of ours and so the family took her in.  That's when they discovered she was very pregnant.  AND !....
She had been shot three times with a BB gun.  There was one lodged on the top of her head, one in a back leg and one near the base of her tail.  All of which were infected.  But no time for that....within 24 hours she had a litter of 5 sweet babies to care for (only 4 in photo above).  Our friends contacted us and we got "Mary" in to the vet.  Once the kittens were 5 weeks old the vet went in surgically and removed the 3 BBs.  (that's a post surgical photo of Mary above)  All of Mary's kittens were adopted and, we are so happy, so was Mary.

This is Monique

Monique likes to talk, talk & talk.  She was adopted twice and returned twice because she talked too much.  She is the reason our Adoption Application now has a section, to make you think, on the "Reasons You Would Give Up / Return Your Adopted Cat".  It is the experiences, over the years, that have caused our Adoption Application and Contract to grow longer and more complex. (the same holds true for dogs too)  All with the intent of finding the right and the best home for each pet we rescue.  Monique was finally adopted by a loving family with small children.  Monique made the purrfect quest at their tea parties.

This is Shaggy!

Shaggy lost her home, but, she didn't lose her love for people.  This sweet girl was a loving and loyal companion to her family for 12 years.  Just when Shaggy should have been settling into a secure and happy old age, they dumped her at the pound and left her to die.  Shaggy was just the perfect dog!  A big happy bear of a dog.  She was good around all sizes of other dogs.  She was good with cats and children.  Already command trained.  Happy, healthy and ready to prove that older dogs often make the best pets.  But she was dumped and older dogs just don't stand a chance at the pound.  Through the online social networking of at least three rescue organizations Shaggy was saved.  It took a few weeks but a new family for Shaggy was found.  And they had a doggie buddy for her.

(2001 - 2001)

I saw Galvin's face early one morning on my computer at work.  I saw the terror and loneliness in this kitten's eyes.  I wanted to save him from his impending death.  He deserved to have a chance at life and I was going to give it to him.

 I waited for my boss to leave for lunch, finally, my opportunity to make the call.  I was so excited that I was going to save his life. The shelter worker said, "Hold on, let me check his Impound number status", and he put me on hold.  He came back and said, "I am so sorry, they killed him an hour ago".   I felt a cold chill go from my head to my toes, he was dead?  I was going to save him, and he was dead!  I started sobbing and said "Thank you for letting me know" and I hung up the phone.

 If I had only called when I first saw his face, he would be alive.  It haunts me to this day, if I had only called sooner. I let him down, just like the people who took him to the shelter. I will never forget Galvin. I cry every time I see his picture. We never knew each other, but I only wish he knew that he did die with someone caring, someone wanting to give him a chance at life.

Please adopt a shelter cat. Do not forget about them.  Do it for Galvin!

By Georgyne

This is GIZMO

On June 9, 1996, Paula and I were leaving from having had dinner at Granada's Mexican Restaurant in Burbank, CA. There was a dead cat in the middle of Victory Blvd.  People were on the sidewalk looking at this dead cat that had just been hit. Next to the dead cat was a young black cat, this was his mommy. Paula pulled over and I lured this kitty to me. We put him in the car and went home.

I came back the next day and trapped his brother and a rabbit.  I also slithered under a house to get the three babies that the mommy cat left behind.  It was pretty disgusting. We found out the owners had moved and left their pets behind. A rabbit under a house???

Paula fostered the black kitten, Gizmo, until he was adopted two months later. This morning (June 2014) Gizmo's mom gave me the date I had said he was rescued and the date he was adopted by she and her husband. Gizmo's mom also took this picture (above) just for me this morning.  So I could see what he looks like now. Gizmo is now 18 1/2 years old. He is still gorgeous.

This is why I do rescue.