Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The New Face of TNR

More Strays, Faster Pregnancies
seems to be the way it's going with our TNR this spring.
So far we've spayed 2 mamas with 5 & 6 week old kitties. Both were pregnant already, while still nursing. That's frightening!
We're trapping more strays this year than in the past. It's one of the delimas of TNR. It's always been our belief that if a cat has a good feeder, someone who has their cats TNR'd and provides food, water and shelter while monitoring the colony for new cats or medical needs, that that cat is pretty lucky. However, when there's a recent release who's sweet, scared, and used to being a pet, the lines get blurred. Not being a shelter, we can't house the cats for any length of time. We have fosters that will do temporary care but with the number of strays we're finding. Shelters are besieged with people giving up their cats and dogs and often can't take another. Many of the areas we cover have been heavily effected by the economy, release of pets is unfortunately, inevitable. If you have a solution to offer, please do.
Out of 5 cats last week, 3 were pregnant, 15 kittens were prevented. One of the mom's, with 6 in her belly was still nursing 2-6 week olds. Two out of 5 cats today were friendly strays.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Spectacular Spruce Up - date

What an incredible weekend! A wonderful outpouring of energy, hard work, friendships forged, similarities shared and lots and lots got done. We had about 10 people each day, some of hours and a couple for both days. It's amazing how much we got done. No pictures now - waiting for the before and after but here's a glimpse of the weekend's events. The first to arrive at about 9:30am were Chuck and three students from Lane Tech. They came for Ellen's Winnebago. It's going to be a Lane Tech student project! Unfortunately, Ellen doesn't get it back all spruced up and road ready ..... but it's going to a good place for it's new life. In trade for the Winnie, Chuck and the boys (sorry guys, I don't remember all your names), moved all the lumber and limestone tiles for the cat houses from the driveway to their new home. They did a great job. Remember Chuck, I want a photo of the finished product! Candy then Christina arrived next and started working on getting the crates ready for kitties. Clean, sanitize, then attach 1" fencing so the kits don't get out of the bars. Linda started when Candy left and she and Christina did a great job finishing 4 crates. Good thing. A mama and a 6 week old kitten arrived the next day and now occupies one of them. Thank You Candy, Christina & Linda!!! Nice to have a fail safe place for the kitties! Can't remember the time frame of who came next but suddenly there were people taking on projects and getting things done. It was great, everyone worked independently and as teams. Some had met before, some not. Sue, holy mackeral, Sue is a powerhouse; she took charge of the back porch project. She started about 11am and worked until 9pm. Then came back the next day and worked another 6-7 hours. She took on the project with relish. The porch was cleared, walls and ceilings were vacummed, primered and painted. Janet joined in on Sunday adding her flair to trim. It was fun picking colors from all the donated paint. Barbara brought 2 of the kids from Maywood Youth Mentoring, Darrian & Kquanis joined in the clearing, cleaning and vaccumig. Barbara brought food too. Elaine had the worst job of the day, rolling paint on an extension from a ladder in a stairwell on a wall with paint peeling off on the roller. Sorry Elaine, I know how frustrating that was - still haven't figured it out but I think the trick is in the sealant too. Ah, there's always mulch (last year, Elaine helped move a huge pile of mulch)! The room looks fabulous. I laid the vinyl today. It's amazing how well it goes with the multi-color room colors. All the paint was donated by Karen, Georgia & Ellen . Jeanne & Linda preped a piece porch furniture for paint. Jeanne painted it a beautiful shade of green. T painted an old enamel topped cabinet the same green then went on to paint an old metal cabinet in 'camoflage' - it looks so cool. The Cat Man came and lent a lot of great tools and painting supplies and helped Kquanis and Darrian tighten the aftercare rack, then K & D primered it. Sheila (who held a kitty for the first time in her long life heald a CatVando kitten last fall and loved it. Quite the cat woman now, since falling in love and sharing gleeful stories about her 2 yard cats) She ripped sheets for traps - we use a lot when trapping. We get sheets donated by Animal Care League and sometimes CatNap from the Heart and they need to be torn by the dozens. Eric did sheets for awhile and even Kelly took a turn with them. Darrian came back Sunday and was a tremendous help filling in wherever he was needed whether it was playing with Bella or bringing things and messages from room to room or filing in on a project or helping lift. He made lunch! The first meal he ever prepared. We had beans with cheese, salsa, cilantro and sour cream and he put it together. It was excellent! Kim brought delicious roll ups on Saturday and worked for a couple of hours. Her huge contribution was during Pre-Spruce Up, Spruce Up. Kim is wonderful - not only incredible with the critters (Bella loves her so much her eyes almost drool) but she understands the complexities of running CatVando out of a home and is always there doing things I ask and doing things she sees need doing. She was back on Tuesday, played with the critters, vacummed and straightened. She's definately one of the spirits of CatVando. I, Ellen, worked here and there, painted a bit on both porches, worked projects, answered questions, took pictures, even painted with Sue until 9pm, and took wonder in the events and changes. It was pretty great. Thank you all for being here, for taking time, for working so hard and so communially. BRAVO!! THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And, You ALL ARE GOING SAILING! Watch for dates and times to pick from. And... the Spruce Up continues. CatVando is expanding at a rapid rate. Cat populations are expanding at an alarming rate. Because of the economy, cats are being abandoned at increased rates, most unsteralized rapidly adding to the already high numbers. Some communities are more saturated than ever but all communities are experiencing an increase. Education is becoming almost equally as important as TNR with the community, the feeders and municipalities. TNR is at it's best when it's community-based, when everyone's on board and understands it's effectiveness and how the whole thing works. At this point, there's a lot of misinformation that needs to be clarified. So........ we're busy with more than TNR & Kitties & Adoptions these days. We're dealing directly with municipalities and you know how much red tape that can involve! Plus, our wonderful VA Hines Project.
The Spruce Up Continues!!!!
Sundays May 3, 10th (Mothers Day), and 24th
11am - 5ish
Lunch at 1pm
Bring friends
Join us for a couple hours or a couple Sundays
just email or call
708 829 6013
Love to All

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Big News! Really Really Big News!

Really Really Really Big News!!!! We are so proud to announce our news! CatVando, Animal Care League and Hines VA Hospital are partnering in a Community-Based TNR program an a program where Veterans build and maintain 'cat houses' to help the cats on the campus of the VA Hospital. We are sooooooooooo excited and proud to be part of this project. More on the history and doings of 'The Cat House Project' (ya gotta love it!) later. I've got to get busy. We're having a Cat Vando Spruce Up this weekend and have to spruce up for the spruce up, gather tools, clear space, etc.
Join Us!
CatVando's Spruce Up
April 18-19
10-3 or thereabouts Saturday and Sunday
bring tools, extra paint, lumber and munchies
we'll provide Yerba Mate ice tea & Limeade
lots of natcho's with beans, cheese and salsa
Campfire Weenie Roast
Saturday late afternoon
bring something to roast over an open fire
We'll provide roasted potatoes
And as a treat for you! A chance to win a
Sunday Sail on Lake Michigan
One hour's work is one chance.
1 hour = 1 chance
9 hours = 9 chances
5 Lucky Winners!
P L E A S E - RSVP - P L E A S E
email to plug into Project List