Monday, February 25, 2008

Cats n' old cars

Oh yeah, its Monday. Ssarted out this am to trap one of the sick street cats I saw the other day. Got the trap set and ready, got a place ready for the sick critter away from the others in the event s/he has something infections, got in the car (24 year old Mercedes) food and trap in the ready and mid turn about a block from my house at 5:15 this am, the car died... Dead. Couldn't start it. Who would have thought that I could push a car at 61 years old! Fortunately, one of the neighbors came out and helped push it to it's current parking place and walked home - so glad it died only a block away - the thought of walking in my neighborhood at 5:30 am isn't my cup of tea. But that's over, the back and front colonies are fed and here I sit. But not for long. Won't be taking the dogs to the Forest Preserve for their morning run - it's the yard today. Then, more work on the 501 app and the usual events of the day.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Form 1023 Assist???

Good Day All! This morning's feed presented a new cat that appears ill. He or she is new to that colony (I feed about 7 street colonies at about 5am each morn - I feed early so they aren't exposed and neither am I!). Anyway, this poor baby looked colder than most and rather than eat, he (I'm assuming) was licking the butts of the cats that were eating. Most of these cats have already been TNR'd. Going to take a trap and try to bring him to the vet then the infirmary (currently, my bathroom) - going to be a challenge - there's about 7 other cats that feed on that corner. After 3 years and many out of pocket dollars, I'm finally forming my own nfp to help with the expense of street cat care. I'm having trouble with the Form 1023 which is language that's foriegn to me! I've got all but the financials done. One problem I'm having is where to put vet and s/n clinic expense. Should I put in Part V - C or Part IX - 22 or Part IX - 23. Anybody have the answer to that one???? I've called the department that puts these forms out and haven't really gotten a clear answer... tho they've been very helpful with the rest. On another note: I'm meeting with the Village official that oversees Animal Control this week. Now that TNR is legal in this county (Cook), I'm hoping for a collaboration and community wide effort to care for the street cats. When I first met with this man a couple of years ago, I told him I saw the cats as an opportunity to teach our youth compassion and respect. That surprised him! The current method for feline control is through erradication. What does that teach? If something bothers you, kill it. Google 'The Link' and you'll find numerous articles about the link between animal abuse and violence. I live in an economically depressed area. Lots of gangs, drugs and dog fights. Too many (about 3/4 of the kids in early grammar school) children are desensitized by their exposure to these dog fights. It is my intent to bring these children together with these cats so they understand how the cats aren't much different than we are - we're all living, breathing beings - all deserving of love and care.... Those children need to experience the 'heart' of these beings so they too can have an opportunity to heal. But first, the Form 1023! On another note: It would be nice to connect with other street cat and or kid workers to share our success, share our knowledge and resources and have a laugh or two in between! Have a great day! Spend even a minute or two locating and watching a bird, a tree, or the sky - take a comfortable, slow, deep breath and connect. Namaste'

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Beginning

Hello and Welcome to CatVando! The history and activities of my life since TNR, and those of us in street cat care, know how much life changes when caring for the little critters. I've always loved animals, had animals and I work with animals (behavorial and pysical trauma with flower essences and healing touch), and I'm a born caregiver with a wide breath of experience in the wholistic and scientific health field. When I moved to my new home, I thought my hands on caregiving days were done. Not. The former resident had passed after 35 years. It was November, there were 2 cats outside the house that had obviously lived on the enclosed porch and basement. I came over every other day to feed. By the time I moved in, I was feeding 11. Within the first 4-5 months, I had 19 cats spayed or neutered out of my yard. Well, that was three years ago - many balls and uterri (?) later, plus several visits to the vets and many many bags of kibble later. Those first 19 taught me about the plight of street cats, since then, I've s/n and vetted over 100 cats. I'm a small part of a strong growing group of people dedicated to what called TNR. We Trap, Neuter or spay, Release street cats to their home territory. The cats are also vacinnated and given Rabis shots, many are tested for feline disease and microchipped (by law). It's more involved than that and there are some excellent websites on the subject that I'll post after I get permission. (Just wanted to get this up!) This website isn't about the specifics of TNR, this website is about my experience with TNR and my newly forming CatVando NFP Corp for street cat care. That's it for now folks! Stay tuned for info on cats, health, TNR, forming a nfp, photos, nature, links, collaborations with other people and shelters and MORE!