View Full Version : Come meet some of my shelter kitties

04-08-2006, 10:56 PM
Since I am spending so much of my life in this place I thought I would share it with you all. Of course my heart never goes home from here. I wish everyday of my life that I had never walked into this place and gotten myself involved. I can't walk away from any of these faces as each and every one has touched me in some way (some leaving scars! :p ).
Just a brief overview,
A girl named Melissa and I started working here a week apart. We both had the same goals for the shelter. There were approximately 200 cats in the three bedroom house and every single one was caged and never let out. NOT ANYMORE!!! One of our greatest accomplishments was to totally open two rooms! We had to do this slowly because some of the cats were so cage crazy that they didn't know what to do with freedom. :( A few of the cats had been there since they were kittens and were now 1 and 2 years old and had never been allowed out of their cages.
The only cats that are caged now are ones that are very sick or have bad attitudes and need to be monitored. We open all cages when we get there in the morning and the cats run all day. Those cats are only put back in cages when we leave for the night so we don't have any bad fights with no one there to break it up. :rolleyes:
It was believed that caging was to help stop the spread of illness and disease but after many arguments we finally won over with our theory that mentally happy cats will heal faster than depressed caged ones. Yes, we still have sickness but it has seriously decreased since they get freedom. Just because someone has a URI does not get him/her locked back up. By the time the symptoms are showing everyone has already been exposed anyway. We have found that it also seems to be helping build some immunity.

We were told to do what we wanted because we were being so stubborn and we were also told that we would have to live with the consequences. The board was convinced that some disiease would come through and wipe out a bunch of cats. If that happens then so be it because I will always be convinced that the time of happiness and freedom is far better than dying in a small metal box right next to my toilet! I am very happy and proud to say that so far the last 8 months has really proved them wrong!! :)

Now here are a few of my shelter kitties

We took the doors off of the old cages and stacked them making cubby holes for the kitties to snuggle in. They love this window seat!

This is one of the stands that the cages fit into. It is three shelves high and the cats love climbing up there and lounging.

I want to introduce you to a few kitties that have really touched me. I will let you meet them in the next post.

04-08-2006, 11:15 PM
This is Blanca. She is a whopper!!! She came in very feral about two years ago with six small kittens. Her babies have gone on to be adopted but Blanca is still with us. She was left in a cage for those two years and no one can touch her to this day but now she is in an open room and plays constantly with the other cats. I am determined to win her over one day!


This little boy came in as a feral kitten and was as wild as a buck! I had a soft spot for him because he is an orange tabby! They always made me clean his cage so I could bleed everyday! I soon realized that he was bored out of his mind. He wasn't mean he just wanted to play very roughly. He is now living in an open room and will roll over and give belly. He would only do this for me for a long time but now he has become a lot more people oriented and finally stands a chance at adoption.
Meet my dear buddy Loco

Now here is another one that I would bring home in a minute if he didn't stress so much with lots of other kitties. He has a mouth deformity that makes him look like he's smiling all the time. He is a declawed senior that freaks out real easy. If a cat tiff breaks out anywhere in the shelter Lips will stand on his hind legs like some overgrown crazy squirrel and start singing! We call him the cowardly lion. He only stops when I go give him a hug and tell him it's ok. He and I have a very special bond and I love this old man to death! His real name is Trooper but we call him Lips.

Here is another very special boy. His name is Ziggy and he's nuts! He is the one eyed wonder!!! Ziggy doesn't know the meaning of too much love and attention. He has to have constant companionship or he would go crazy. He loves everyone, dogs, and cats. He doesn't care as long as he is not alone. Ziggy can stand on the floor and jump straight up into your arms and is notorious for launching himself onto your shoulders from any high spot. If Ziggy could possibly get in your skin with you he would! He is such a goofball that anyone with a heart can't help but fall madly in love with him. He climbs up the screen door into his room and hangs on and we have to open and close the door and give him rides. :rolleyes:
He has been turned down many times because people find his missing eye "repulsive". I hate people!!!
This is Ziggy!!

This is one of our volunteers and I am sharing this picture to let you see what I get a couple of hundred times a day. It is fun but it sure makes cleaning the room a pain!

Well, that is just a few of my cat friends that I wanted to share. See why I can't leave them?

04-08-2006, 11:56 PM
What a job! It must be like going home when you go to work, all those lovely cats. :)

04-08-2006, 11:59 PM
I just stopped by to lurk a bit before going to bed, but I just HAVE to reply to your thread Lisa.

I cannot express how happy I am to read that you, along with others, won to let these precious cats out of their cages. I can only imagine what it must be like for them to be locked up, with no interaction with the others, in a cold steel cage for years. It is too sad to think about it. I had LES just reading about it.

They all look so happy now lounging around with the others. I can see how easily you fell in love with your job. That last picture is so darn heartwarming to see.

I just don't understand how ANYONE can say that Ziggy looks repulsive with his missing eye. He has just a sweet face. If I lived closer, he would definitely be part of my crew.

Thank you Lisa, for sharing part of your life with us and for doing such a bang up job and freeing all those kitties. :D
It's quite clear to see that you made a huge difference for the better in that shelter.

YOU GO GIRL!!!!!!!!!! :D :D

Prairie Purrs
04-09-2006, 12:05 AM
What a wonderful thing you've done, getting these kitties out of the cages! They obviously love to look out the window and cuddle. :D It's sad to see so many beautiful cats without homes of their own, but you're doing so much to make their lives better.

The last picture is a delight--that's a lapful of love. :D And wish I could scoop up Ziggy. He sounds like a honey!

04-09-2006, 01:13 AM
Bless you for your hard work you did getting those kitties out of the cages and for everything you do for them! You must be so strong to be able to deal with all of the problems and heart aches that come your way but you make such a difference in those kitties lives. I just love the pictures, especially the one of Blanca. I have a special spot in my heart for calicos! She's gorgeous! Hope you can win her over! ;)

04-09-2006, 05:12 AM
When I saw this first picture I actually burst out crying. To think of all those kitties FINALLY feeling freedom.............LES

The Orangie here looks just like my Lucas! And I personally want those gorgeous white cats AND Ziggy!!!!!

Do you get a good number of adoptions??

04-09-2006, 07:24 AM
Thanks guys! See I have been busy while my computer was down. ;)

I still cry when I think back to what it used to be like for the kitties. I have been able to witness some of the most incredible personality changes. Cats that were never even considered adoptable are now lap babies! There are still some that are feral or semi feral but they are happy as can be now that they can intermingle and play with the other kitties. It really has been an amazing thing to watch and be a part of.

Jen, unfortunately our adoption rate isn't great. :( Most of our adoptions are done through PetSmart. We have tried and tried to get people to the shelter but we don't get many. We do really good with dog adoptions at the shelter but there are just so many cats in this rural area that nobody wants anymore. They almost think it's funny to have to "pay" for a cat.
Our "highly adoptables" go to PetSmart but the ones that stay at the shelter are the ones that stress too much in the store environment. They are very lovable and adoptable but they need to be adopted from the shelter and go straight to a home environment.

We have had 4.5 acres of beautiful land donated to us by a Railroad Co. but there simply is no money coming in to start a new building. I think if we can get a shiny new building with a few bells and whistles people will come. Right now our paychecks bounce and the pharmacy won't give us any more meds. We are on the brink of closing the doors daily but God always seems to provide enough to keep it barely going. I have faith that this will somehow work out. Our director has 4 mortgages on her house just to keep the shelter running.
For every 1 adoption 2 or 3 more come through the door and kitten season is upon us. We are packed to the gills now and there are still about 200 more cats in foster care! :eek: Faith and prayers are about all we survive on. Its a sad situation but I guess its like that everywhere. :(

04-09-2006, 07:56 AM
Does this shelter have a petfinder.com website?? If so, can you post a link? If not I would suggest it as a really good idea.

you (and the others) have done a fabulous job!! I will keep you all right on the top of my prayer list. Thos kitties in the window are really tugging at my heart.

smokey the elder
04-09-2006, 08:15 AM
Wow! Now that is some catpile! They look so much happier!

04-09-2006, 09:01 AM
Thanks for giving them the attention they desperately need. Nice to hear their stories.

I'd take that Ziggy, he's my kind of boy.

Best of Luck.

04-09-2006, 09:06 AM
It's so easy to see that they all need love and attention so deperately!! Wish all these beautiful kitties would get a furrever home, but it's good to know that they have you and the volunteers to care for them!


04-09-2006, 09:33 AM
And the Sda Thing is that these Cats have done nothing wrong.
Its the Stupid Irresposible Guardians who should be locked up,not these Poor Cats.
We are praying for them all.
Especially Ziggy.

04-09-2006, 09:38 AM
I'm so happy you and the other volunteer finally convinced the others to free those poor kitties. I used to volunteer with a shelter (if it could be called that :( :rolleyes: ) that also crammed 3-4 in cages for sometimes years. One poor guy that I had trapped years ago, was caged for so long when he was finally freed from his prison (to make room for more) he couldn't even walk! :mad: His muscles had atrophied from non-use. He blossomed after being able to rebuild his body and got adopted out. One year I made shelves for as many cages as I could so the cats would have more room and some small degree of excersize getting up & down from them.All out of my pocket which I could ill afford to do, but I felt so bad for the cats forced to stay in environments like that. I was mighty P.O.d to find a week or so later the shelves were removed and thrown out! I decided hard as it was, that this place was never going to change due to the nasty woman running it, so I left to do my own thing. Your shelter kitties look so happy & content now. Great job! :) Ziggy has won my heart...can you send him to me? :confused:

04-09-2006, 09:50 AM
Awww, Lisa ~ Thank you for all you are doing for these babies. I'll put on my thinking cap and see if I can think of some fund raiser ideas. I do remember something I got involved in when I was a Brownie or Girl Scout. I can't remember what the badge was, but my troop adopted a shelter as a project and we held car washes to raise funds. Any of the volunteers have ties to a Girl or Boy Scout Troop?

I'll keep thinking on it. You've made so many wonderful changes there. Keep up the good work.

04-09-2006, 10:10 AM
What a wonderful group of kitties! How delightful it must be for you AND for them to get to live and play in their new open enviroment. They all look so happy now. Bless you for changing the lives of so many animals. :)

I wish you could send Blanca my way! What a lovely tortie girl! I wish I had more room for more kitties; of course, if I did, my home would be a sea of black and orange and white spots :p I love every color of kitty but there's something about calicos and torties than just makes me melt every time I see one :)