A year ago a local news story changed my life. The details of 69 cats rescued from hoarder hell prompted swift action. Nothing drives me crazier than seeing the suffering of animals but I dreaded going to shelter to help. I’m used to working with small groups or one cat at a time, not hundreds. But this was one time writing a check was not enough so I began volunteering at the New Rochelle Humane Society.
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I blogged about the hoarder story on May 21, 2014. and began a weekly shelter volunteer blog; Notes From Shelter. This little guy, Gray Boy was my muse, sadly died only weeks after being rescued.
My goal was to help get all the cats adopted and be on my way. Ha, wishful thinking. It’s not so easy getting cats adopted and I found myself getting deeply involved with all the cats and not just the hoarders’. A year later, only three remain at the shelter including sweet Marco, whom we’ve featured several times and inexplicably eludes adoption.
So many others have come and gone. So many stories I have yet to tell. Week after week I’d return home from the shelter dirty from sitting on floors with cats, exhausted, wondering if was making a difference. As I tried to sleep, visions of their sad faces behind bars tormented me. My effort felt minuscule compared to the never ending need. It was and still is never enough. It’s only when we look back and catalog change, is there a glimmer of accomplishment. Hundreds of hours, hundreds of photos, 50 blog posts (check out our shelter stories category) and the unexpected joy of creating adoption PSAs. Each one as unique as the cat.
I’m posting a few pics of the hoarder and other cats that entered my life however briefly. My muse the late Gray Boy was the brightest light. His spirit is longgone and far away but I’m reminded of him every time a new cat occupies his former cage. Another gray cat from another hoarder found her home with us. Nou Nou is our daily reminder that the most unadoptable cats can turn out purrfectly adoptable.
Many purrs of thanks to all the readers who faithfully share our adoption posts and graphics every week. You are my heroes. Right now, there is an emergency and I need your help. Sadly, I know we can’t help or save every cat but I was crying all day. A cat we featured two months ago, the ginger and cream boy, Radish (blog post) has a bite hold until May 27 and is on a kill list. Yes, even the best no-kill shelters have to put down a cat on occasion. Radish has bitten several people, badly. He’s always been fine with me but was never vetted. Apparently he was so aggressive he would require sedation for a vet check, but it’s not in the shelter budget. My husband and I are considering options. We can’t afford another cat on any level but feel we need to do something. If the root cause of the aggression is medical (I suspect it is) it may require thousands of dollars in treatment with no guarantees. If we remove him from the shelter, they will not take him back. Fundraiser anyone? Is Radish worth saving? Please email me firstname.lastname@example.org with any suggestions or leave a comment. Or donate to our emergency vet fund.