Little Gracie is Surfin’ the Web

My Guy leaves the computer in the table so I can write my blog.  He leaves it on the blogger site just for me.  A couple of weeks ago, Wendell (he is a total goober!) walked across the keyboard and the screen changed!

Wendell

Hmmmmmm.  It seems the Wendell has rather big feet.  We did quite a bit of investigation and we now can use Wendell to move around the internet.
(I will be honest, my discovery has slowed down my blog writing.  Hey, it happens.)  So now, I spend hours trolling around the internet.  I have a set path…

First, I check the weather.  It is very important to know when the sun will be out.  I like to stake my window claim early.  My Suzanne has made it quite clear to the other cats that no one is allowed to pick on me so I pretty much get what I want.

Second, I check for Pet Food recalls.  This is very important.  I do not want to be sick and my Guy needs to know when something is bad, bad, bad.   I go straight to the source, the
FDA.

Third, I check for new cute cat videos.  Like the new one with Mystery!  So cute!  Chance and I practice doing cute things in hopes that one day my Suzanne will take a video of us.  I was in the Playtime video but I wasn’t the star.  There needs to be one starring me and maybe Chance (certainly not Wendell).

Fourth, I check for funny dog videos.  (Yes, I do.)  Dogs are funny.  Do not misunderstand…. there is no room for a dog at my house.  I mean, really!!!

Fifth, I go to PetFinders and vote for the Tyra picture.  My Suzanne says that Orange Street Cats could get lots of money of Tyra wins!  And then I check the YouCaring site!  Right now, there is a fundraiser for Mystery.  I can’t donate though…..Suzanne keeps her credit cards under lock and key after the last donation incident.

Sixth, I check Orange Street Cats website.  I like to see the cats that are available for adoption, who is available to foster, and if there any other upcoming events like PetApalooza! I wonder…what is PetApalooza anyway?  Is there going to be a band there? The Mouse Chasers or Milkbone featuring Barky Von Schnauser, maybe?

Lastly, I check my Suzanne’s Facebook page.  One day, I saw a post shared by Dog House Adoptions  (who shared it from Maddie’s Cornerthat explained fostering really, really well.  Remember when Radley posted the Scoop Issue 1 and he reported on the 12 cats in one week?  Remember when Chance posted about fostering?  (We seem to talk about fostering quite a bit here.  I guess it is that important!) This Facebook post that I saw is probably the best, most understandable description I have seen and I would like to share it.

“What does being a pet foster parent mean? Think of it as having a furry house guest who may be around for just a few weeks or several months. It may be a house guest who is like a foreign exchange student- he needs to learn the ropes a little, be educated about the culture and the rules. He may need a little extra TLC. Or this guest might be a fun-loving kid who fits right into your family and never misses a beat.

Fostering is not adopting. It is not forever. You may fall in love with your guest and decide to adopt. “Foster failures”, as they are called, do happen, but no one is going to pressure you to adopt.

Fostering is being a guardian angel. It is giving love and safety to an animal who may never have known these things. It is giving them confidence and joy and helping them get ready for their forever home.

The day your foster joins his new forever family will be like graduation day. Yes, there might be tears but like good teachers who give their students wings to fly, you will have given an animal a chance for a wonderful, happy life. Your heart will smile and swell with pride. You will have touched a life. You will have saved a life. The feelings you’ll feel will flood your soul and fill you up. You will have made a difference! Isn’t that what life is all about?”

See?  Doesn’t that make a whole lot of sense?

So anyway….as followers of my blog and Orange Street Cats, you know that OSC is bursting at the seams….we have some cats that need foster homes.  Some are listed on our website and one was listed in a new featured on Facebook called “Featured Foster of the week”  (I already told my Suzanne that the name is a little blase and needs some spicing up.  She said she would work on that…although an eye roll was involved).  The first cat featured is Mia!  I have never met Mia but I hear that she is very nice and maybe a little shy.  Hey, I get it.  I was the same way and look at me now!  I am a famous blogger.  (What Mom?  I am not famous?  We will see about that!)

Here is Mia’s picture and some information on her.

Mia ready for a foster home!

Mia is a beautiful little tortie. She is one of the 7 apartment cats. She has made some strides however needs some extra time to adjust to living in a house. She plays and allows petting sometimes. She needs a patient foster home who is willing to work with her. She can definitely come around in a new environment. She does like other cats and would be best with pal to help her along in her journey.

Email cats@orangestreetcats.org if you are interested in learning more about Mia or if you have questions about fostering in general.

Well folks…gotta go!  I hear there are some new dog videos that require my attention.

Mystery is a Mystery

There has been a lot of activity around Mystery these days and Little Grace suggested we use her blog to compile the story so it can be viewed in one place.  Thanks Little Grace!

Little Grace: You’re welcome!  This just gives me an excuse to procrastinate on my own blog post.  I am super busy you know!
Yes, I know.  You have discovered a new friend.
Little Grace:  Shhhhhh!  Don’t tell!
We first posted the following update on Facebook on Sunday 6/2…..
Over that last few months, Mystery has made some incredible strides! She started to look up and use the litter box. We celebrate her victories with hearts filled with pride. Last Saturday (5/25), Mystery had a seizure and she was brought to the emergency vet. We were put on watch and wait duty until we could go see Dr. Bishop at Upstate Veterinary Specialties. She had a second seizure the same night. Her recovery time is slow….it is exhausting for her.
We saw Dr. Bishop on 5/29. Dr. Bishop performed some tests as the initial diagnosis phase. We thought she was stable until Foster Mom Diane observed a very BAD seizure on Saturday 6/1. We called the eVet who called Dr. Bishop. She has been put on anti-seizure meds until we can get a firm diagnosis and then treatment plan.
We already know an MRI and spinal tap are in order (already done). As a group, we are committed to Mystery and her care. This is likely going to be costly. That means that we will be tapping into our supporters for help again. We already have a couple of people who have sponsored some funds for Mystery’s diagnosis and treatment plan. Within the next couple of days, when we have our ducks in a row, we will post a fundraising plan (Plan posted!…See YouCaringfundraiser). In the meantime, please pray (or send light and love, Reiki, good thoughts) for Mystery. We certainly cannot continue to help these special babies without you. Thank you.
Well, We finally did get our ducks in a row and created the YouCaring fundraiser.  We have been so pleased to see the love everyone has for sweet Mystery.
When we created the YouCaring fundraiser on Tuesday 6/4, we added this information to the page…..
Mystery: What’s happening right now (late May 2013)
Seven days ago (Sat 5/25), Mystery started to have seizures that have progressively gotten worse.  We got her in right away with her neurologist. The initial tests were inconclusive.  The next step is to do an MRI and spinal tap in order to discover the cause of the seizures which will run about $2,500. We’re doing this for Mystery, to help get a diagnosis so we can give her a fighting chance at life. We’ve scheduled her tests for tomorrow.  If you can, please help Mystery by making a much needed donation today.
More about Mystery…
After an uncertain beginning, little Mystery, the kitten with neurological issues, has astonished us all with her progress over the last year and a half.  At first she was unable to walk, and now she runs, she needed help eating, after a short time she learned to eat on her own, she didn’t know how to play, now she chases the scrunchy ball and she didn’t understand where to ‘go potty’ and now she uses the litter box.  In her short life, learning the simplest kitten activities were a triumph that we all cheered!  It seems that with enough time Mystery could achieve almost anything and eventually become ‘normal’ cat.
The seizures…
Then, just a couple weeks ago, the seizures started.  At first, the seizures seemed scary, until the last one, which was far more intense.   We had already taken her to an appointment with her neurologist and just the day before we learned that the next recommended step for Mystery was to schedule an MRI and a spinal tap so that we could discover the source of the seizures. And that’s what we will do (and did!).
Mystery has come a long way because of our friends who’ve come to the house to cuddle and play with her and because of our caring Facebook friends who often send their well wishes, healing energy and prayers.  As we said above, the plan is to get Mystery the MRI and Spinal tap ASAP (completed Wed 6/5).  We appreciate any donation you can make and are grateful for your kind support.  Thank you for your generosity and thanks for caring about our special little cat named Mystery.
Since these posts, we have had many donations and some incredible words….
“Mystery is needed here to teach us about her gifts.” -Pat Hughes
Note Mystery’s pal Tabitha:
Dear Mystery, you go girl. It’s my turn to nudge you on. When I was beaten and broken and our foster parents were giving me a fighting chance at surviving, you nuzzled me, you played with me and you loved me so. You gave me hope. Even though I moved on to my forever home, I think of you and love you so. Get better my sister, there is do much more in life for you to do for all the little ones you help care for like Luther. Look how you helped him too. Prayers and all my love, your sister always, Ms. Tabitha
“You’re in good hands little one. Prayers to you” -Mel Collins
“Sending love and purrs to get well soon” -Luther, aka Mikey
Note from Tyra:
Mystery – me and my whole furmily are praying so hard for you. I’m trying really hard to get the money to help you Mystery. I will keep trying. Love, Tyra Natalie
We have also gotten many prayers, hearts, warm and positive thoughts from you, our amazing supporters.
As of Wed 6/5, 9:00 PM.  Mystery is was well enough to come home from UVS and is resting comfortably.  We expect to get test results and some initial diagnosis in a few days.  Please continue to watch Facebook for updates.
As always, THANK YOU!

OSC: An Inside Look

Hi all….Suzanne here…..Little Grace’s mom.  Little Grace has been working on a nice post for the blog and got side-tracked.  She will explain in her new post which is coming up in just a couple of days.

Lot’s of stuff happening here at Orange Street Cats!  As you may already know, we areoverrun ensconced in kittens!  There is only 1 day left to our YouCaring.com fundraiser and we still need $489 to reach our goal.  Dig around the couch cushions, dump your purse on the table…..any spare change?  We will gladly take it off your hands.  If you are not comfortable with YouCaring or Paypal, you can also mail a check to: Orange Street Cats,139 Potic Creek Road, Earlton, NY 12058

One of our supporters posted a picture of her cat Tyra in the Petfinders funniest cat contest.  She chose OSC as the beneficiary of the funds if Tyra wins (Sooooo amazing!).  As of today, Tyra is in 4th place out of 1800 entries.  You can vote once a day until June 22nd!.  If Tyra wins, OSC gets $4500.  We sure could use that money.

We started a Kitten Shower Event on Facebook with our updated Amazon Wishlist. (In case you hadn’t heard….we have kittens!).  Check it out!

We will be at Curtis Lumber Petapalooza, Ballston Spa location in June.  Keep an eye out for information about that HUGE event.  Our weekly events can be found on our website or on our Facebook page.

Oh, what else, what else….

Some of you have asked….”What goes on behind the scenes at Orange Street Cats?”  I will tell you…

Robin! Available for Adoption

There are 4 or so full time volunteers.  These full time volunteers also have full time jobs and families.  We have a few part-time volunteers and many friends and supporters who help us.  We are a small group with lots of heart and determination.  We are not a shelter.  All the cats are in foster care.  On the website, you are really only seeing the cats that are available for adoption, soon to be available or in need of foster care.  We do have more cats than is shown.  Needless to say, we are often bursting at the seams, always is need of new foster families and often in need of supplies and money (what rescue group isn’t?).  These are just some of the things that we all are doing on a daily basis…

We plan and execute at least 3 adoption days a month (1st, 2nd, and 3rd Saturday of each month).  We manage Facebook, our website, PetFinder, voice mails  emails, the finances, the vet visits, foster family coordination, cat care, cat emergencies, bottle feeding, supply management, record-keeping, cat laundry (oh the piles!), fundraising, marketing, event planning (bowl-a-thon, yard sales, craft fairs, etc), education for ourselves (webinars, networking), education for our followers (“I found a cat in my yard, what can I do?”), lots of follow-up, assisting other groups and oh, so much more!  See?….Heart and determination.

So sometimes, if you leave a voice message, it can take a couple of days (or more…) to get a call back.  Emails aren’t always responded to right away.  Facebook isn’t always updated in a timely fashion.  Our Twitter account….well, let’s not talk about Twitter.  We are always (and I mean always) in need of help.  Our #1 need is foster families and #2 is volunteers to help with adoption days, special events, social media (anyone out there have experience in managing a not-for-profit Twitter account?).  This work is not always easy.  We have loses and heartbreaks.  There can be tears and sadness.  Things do not always go as planned (e-vet anyone?).  There are times when we have to say no.  (We do not take that lightly).  You know what makes this work worthwhile?  The joy of saving one cat (and many, many more). The joy of seeing a cat find his/her new family.  The joy of seeing a cat overcome a hurdle or illness.  The joy of seeing the mutual love of cats on the faces of all we meet.  The positive energy from our supporters, followers, and friends (you!).  The love all our volunteers have for the cats, the work, and the mission.  This is Orange Street Cats. No….WE are Orange Street Cats.

So….Thank You!  For the continued support.  We absolutely appreciate you!

If you are interested in becoming a foster family or volunteering, please email us at cats@orangestreetcats.org.  We will get back to you…..in a day or 2

Chance Talks Fostering

Hi!  Little Grace here!  Chance wants to talk to everyone about fostering.  She is my best friend so I will happily let her take over the blog.  As you will read, I had to intervene a couple of times.  You don’t know who Chance is?  See this post and this one and this one.
Blinks and Purrs!
Little Grace

Hi!  I am Chance!  My Suzanne calls me Chanty or Chant Chant.  My Guy calls me Chickety Chant.   I am an original Orange Street Cat.  I am only one of the 88 cats that Orange Street Cats rescued.  It was tough at that “other place”.  That is all I want to say about that.  You know why?  I don’t have to live there anymore!  This place….my new home is….there aren’t any words really to describe it.  It is a new world!  It is warm and safe and happy and calm.  We have fun.  We talk and play and nap.  My Suzanne and My Guy just get me, ya know?  They know my favorite toys.

My favorite toys!

They know how I like to play.  They know what makes me purr and what makes me mad.  They let me be me, ya know?  Just me.  They get me.  AND they let me be clean-up crew….

Sometimes, my Suzanne comes home from somewhere with a new toy for me!   She greets me every morning and makes a point to have special time with just me.  Sometimes she picks me up and says “I know you hate this but I love it!”  I struggle a little bit just for effect but I actually do like it.  Don’t tell her!!!!  She tells me that she is proud of me and that I am brave.  She thanks me for helping and protecting Little Grace.  What she doesn’t know is that Little Grace helps and protects me too.  My favorite things to do in this order: Eating, Sleeping, playing.  My least favorite things: Getting my nails clipped, someone touching my belly, and empty food bowls.  Ok, I am done now.

Little Grace: Chance you are supposed to talk about fostering, remember?

Oh!  Right!  I got carried away.  Did you see my toy picture?  In case anyone is wondering, I like soft toys that I can carry around.  You can mail them to me at…

Little Grace: Chance!  We are here to discuss Orange Street Cats, not your toy addiction.   Focus……today’s topic please?

Yes!  Yes!  Of course!  Fostering.

I am an expert on fostering because I was a foster cat.  So was Little Grace and Cleo and Wendell.  I know a lot of others too.  Fiona, Gypsy (twice, now that is a story!), Friday, Mavis, AW.  All foster cats.  You see, being a foster cat means that I have a safe and “normal” place to be where I can learn how to be a cat in a regular household.  Being in a cage (or crate as my Mom is telling me to write) is not where I learned about warm beds, toys, and loving hands.  I learned these things as a foster cat.  In a cage (I mean crate) I was a rescue cat.  As a rescue cat, I was mostly safe but kinda scared.  I saw some regular faces and they were always nice to me but they came to take care of many of us.  They did care about us but they had a job to do, keep us safe, fed, and clean while they tried so hard to figure out the next steps.  Please do not
misunderstand, the volunteers saved me as a rescue cat.  My Suzanne and My Guy saved me as a foster cat.

As a foster cat, I learned how to trust the humans.  I mean really trust them.  I learned about different house noises like the vacuum, the dryer, the dishwasher, doors opening and closing, the shower, the furnace, stuff like that.  I also learned about light time and dark time (Mom said day time and night time, I don’t understand the reference).  Humans go to work at certain times and come home at certain times.  I learned how to eat properly in a safe environment and not to “help myself” to someone else’s food.  I also learned what my Mom calls “manners”.  My Suzanne taught me that it was not ok to use my nails to scratch on stuff.  I was given a cardboard scratching thing that I destroy  (I mean love!)  All these things and much, much more, I learned as a foster cat, not a rescue cat.  So you see….I am an expert!

I am sure my Mom can tell you about the experience from a human perspective.  So …Suzanne….tell us in just a few sentences because I am in the spotlight here!

Suzanne:  Thank you Chance.  Fostering for me has been very rewarding and special.  Knowing that you have helped a cat become more of who she (or he) was destined to be is special.  The daily “wins” are tremendous.  This has been a learning experience for me too.  Each cat is so different!  I have learned patience and to really “listen” to the needs of each cat.  All my fosters have been a joy.  Yes, there are some that you keep.  I don’t consider that a foster failure.  I consider it another step in my journey as a human.  Ok Chance?

Yes. Great. Where is the part where you tell everyone that I am your favorite?  Never mind, I will tell them.  I am her favorite!

So here is the deal….remember Radley’s post “The Scoop”?  Well, Orange Street Cats has several cats in the pipeline that need foster families.  There are at least 8 that are ready or very soon to be ready.  Most are teenagers or adult cats.  Some are well on their way and may need only a couple of weeks.  There are a couple that will need more work.  Foster timing varies….every cat is different!  I have seen ones that were in foster for 2 weeks and some for 5 months (ehhh hemmm, that was me and little Grace).  All you need to do is commit to helping
a cat or two!  You will need a safe space like an office, extra bedroom, or playroom (Orange Street Cats cats are not allowed outside!).  You will need to care for the cat and bring him/her to adoption day events.  Orange Street Cats pays for food, litter, and vet care.  Seethis for more information. So…..what do you think?  Do you have room in your house and in your heart?  Maybe you can be the turning point in a cats life.  Foster! Foster! Foster!

Until next time, my new friends (take another look at the toy picture…soft toys….)
-Chance