Sunday, December 15, 2013

Roy, Abby, and Bella.....the Real story!

Hello my faithful followers!  Little Grace here!  I have what us writers call "writers block".  I put a call out to my fellow Orange Street Cats to see if anyone wanted to tell their story.  Roy has answered my call!  This is the story of Roy, Abby, and Bella.  Enjoy!
Purrs!  ~Little Grace

Me! Roy!
Hi All!  Roy here. I figured since Orange Street Cats wanted a story I could tell you all what really happened with me and my new family.   Abby (her name used to be Lynne) and I were rescued when the nice people at Orange Street Cats (OSC) saved our Mama.   We were the only two kittens left after our siblings found their forever homes. We were getting up there in age (6 1/2 months old).....Pretty soon we’d be considered old....
What we didn't know was that soon we would be able to go home together to our forever home AND we would have a new little sister (who clearly needed to be shown the ropes….)

Our little sister to be, Bella, was found when she was only about 3-4 weeks old.  A nice lady (Aunt Rebecca) heard her crying in a rainstorm and went out to see who was crying.  Aunty R found Bella all by herself with no mommy, no brothers or sisters to keep her company or warm or dry or fed. No wonder she was crying! Aunty R took Bella in (despite being allergic to cats) and warmed her up, gave her some milk and took her to the vet the next day. Bella was really lucky. She only needed someone to help feed her to get her on the right track.
Bella

Aunty R told people at work that she had found Bella and was hoping someone would want to be her new Mom and Dad (she was trying to avoid the sneeze factor). Bella’s picture was passed around and it was oohhed and aaahhed over.   (They really like kittens and cats and even (gasp) dogs in that office.)

Well, our soon to be new Mom had lost her cat “Lucky” a while ago and had talked about being ready for a new cat.  The others in the office suggested she look at Bella....one look at the picture and she was completely won over.  Those big bright eyes and tufts of hair sticking out her ears sure did make her look cute.  (Hey….I am cute too!  Ok, more regal, handsome, stunning….eehhh hemmm…..lost track of the story a bit).

Bella couldn't come home right away because Mom was cat sitting for our cousin Missy.  Missy is a little set in her ways (old fuddy) and would not have been very welcoming. Kind friends, Karen and Tommy, took Bella into their home until we could take her into our home.  Karen and Tommy’s house is full of animals, 2 dogs and 3 other cats,  Bella had a grand old time playing with them!  Here, she met Grover (originally named McGregor) who told her all about Orange Street Cats (Grover was an Orange Street Cat too!) and how he got to be in this awesome house with others to play with.

This is Bella's Pesky look!
Missy went home (finally!) with her mom and now Bella was able to go to her permanent home.  Karen thought Bella might get lonely or scared being the only kitten in the house so she suggested to our (soon to be) Mom and Dad that Bella may do well with a brother or sister and meowed about how great the furry family at OSC is.

Well my Dad was looking at the OSC website with Mom and he took one look at me and decided I was the one! I would be a perfect big brother (handsome guy that I am). Mom and Dad called Chris at OSC and asked if we could get together to meet.  At first, there were some schedule issues but Chris, Mom and Dad worked together and decided we could meet at the adoption day at Miller Animal Hospital. How neat was that? A cool place to meet with lots of friendly people!


Shy Abby!
There was a lot going on and Abby was not as keen to be in the spotlight. She was laying low. Dad took a shine to me right off the bat! (of course….Stunning, you know!)  Mom had wanted to meet Abby and she fell in love with her.   Abby is a little shy yet she is a love who is a “little lady”; never in trouble and never gets caught......

When the nice lady helping Chris said, “Oh! This is Lynne, Roy’s sister”.  Dad (just dripping with sarcasm…he is funny like that!)  said “Thanks a lot.”   She asked “Why do you say that?” and Dad answered “You think my wife will leave here without Roy’s sister?”   What a relief for me - I know I can take care of myself being the big strapping guy I am but Abby is smaller than I am and she is a little shy and timid and doesn't always stick up for herself.  Once I heard that, I could just relax in Dad’s arms knowing we would go home together.....The surprise was we didn't go home! We went to meet our sister Bella and her foster family. Grover’s parents agreed to take all of us in for a few days so we could meet each other and all come home together.  Now there were 6 cats and 2 dogs with only 2 people to cater to our whims and desires.  Wow! Were they busy!!!!

Don't I look regal?
We were able to stay there for three days and got to know each other.  Then, Mommy came to pick us up. We drove home and there was a whole new house to explore.  For a while, we only got to see 3 rooms. We even had our own water fountain in our room.  Our big sister Lady, (more on her later on) has her own water fountain also.  There are extra water bowls all over the house!
At first, we got a little jealous of Bella because she got to have more of Mommy’s attention because she was little and then she got sick- we almost lost her twice.  The nice doctor at Chatham Animal Hospital, Dr. Amanda, helped take care of Bella.  After a lot of love and time Bella is much better now - she’s still a pesky sister though.

Abby, Me, Bella
Abby took her time getting used to the new place.  She didn't believe this was real.  She wondered if this was her forever home. Once Bella was better, Mommy started to find ways to make Abby feel special. She got brushed and petted first, she got her food first and she got to sleep with Mommy in the best spot.
Abby

Mommy lets all of us sleep on the bed with her and Daddy. Bella and Abby still get scared when there is thunder and lightning and Mommy likes to pet them all night long.


Grandma giving me a ride!
After a few weeks, we got to explore the rest of the house. Now, we have chairs to sit on so we can look out of the front windows - the birds and bunnies are a nice distraction.  We have a couple of other beds and we get to watch the bird feeders in the back yard.  The kitchen door has a view of the deck and we got to see a squirrel come to the window - it’s tail looked a lot like Bella’s. Mom didn't take to kindly to my idea of having Bella and the squirrel meet, it didn't matter that indoors was the plan. Sheesh - what did she think- I’d let Bella go out when I can’t?  As if!

We also got a grandma in this deal. She spoils us a lot (especially when mom isn't looking).

Dad and I spend great quality time together. Dad wanted someone to play with outside and I don’t go outside.  He wanted a (gasp!) dog!  You know the kind of 4 legged furry thing that barks?!  Since we three “rescues” (We have come to learn that "rescue" means love!) worked out so well, Dad decided to look for a playmate at all the rescue groups. 


Me and my Dad!

Dad went to meet Lady and he instantly fell in like (That’s right!  He likes her, I KNOW he loves us).
He asked Mom to go meet her too. Well, Lady came for a week to see if she would get used to us and if we would tolerate her. All things considered, it’s ok. Bella likes to get Lady going - sprinting and running by as quick as a jack rabbit so of course Lady has to make chase (Ugh! Dogs!)


Me and Lady
Abby and I saunter right past Lady and she doesn't move. I think Bella just likes to get her going (I told you she was pesky!)

So now 15 months later, we have a furry and fuzzy home of 6, the 4 of us and Mom and Dad.   Who could ask for anything better?


What is the moral of this story?  Share the love, adopt a rescue!

Us on our tree!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The story of Curtis and "Keebie"

Hi All- Little Grace here!  Been a while.  I made a call out to all Orange Street Cats to share their story and Curtis stepped right up!    Here is Curtis's story.  It is guaranteed to make you smile.  New to Orange Street Cats?  See this post, this post, and this one to learn about the beginning!  See here for an inside look at OSC.
Blinks and Purrs!

Madonna feeding her babies

My name is Curtis and this is my story. My cat mom, Madonna, was one of the 88 cats rescued from that awful Orange Street home in the summer of 2010. Madonna had 5 kittens. I was not born in the house (luckily). My foster Mom, turned adopted Mom, reminds me often just how lucky I am.  Some of my siblings did not make it.   I am the orange and white one with my foot on the dinner plate (cute from the very beginning!).

My human Mom really, really wanted me but the good people at Orange Street wanted to be sure we were not sick before we went to our foster or adopted homes.   Mom kept checking in and finally that nice lady, Chris, came to our home and gave my Mom a chance.   My Mom had already rescued 2 other sisters and raised them from a week old. (They are a bit aloof but hey…they’re girls)


Sisters: Mileek and Joey
 I also met a really cool older cat named Tiger. He just loved kittens. He really seemed to thrive and get younger when kittens arrived.  He was 22. (he’s gone now and we sure do miss him) We learned a lot from him and think of him often.


Tiger
Just when I thought this place could not get any more fun, that nice lady, Chris, told Mom that my brother Caleb (Mom calls him Keebie) was not doing so well.  He was very shy and just did not seem to be flourishing. Mom was really not sure; there were already 5 of us here. She agreed to foster Keebie and see if he adapted. Keebie was very shy.  Mom would hold him and he would curl up in a ball and hide his head.  It took awhile for him to come out of his shell and I stayed right by his side the whole time.

Me and "Keebie"
I was so happy to see my brother and soon he felt right at home (so much so that Mom officially adopted him too!)  He really is very special! He works hard bringing socks up from the laundry all day long.  (I keep telling him that’s women’s work). He insists on helping Mom because he is so grateful (ecstatic, thrilled, joyous....Keebie said to use all these words) she took him in.

We have a human brother too, Dan (He has really cool friends).   Every day, Dan stops and greets us. Old Tiger was his cat and now that Tiger has passed, we try to make him laugh so he won’t feel sad.   

After a day of sock gathering
Dan’s socks are the target of Keebie’s obsession!  He brings them up from the laundry every day!  

It may seem like a full house here but we are all very different and special in our own way.   Our Mom wouldn't part with any of us. (I've heard her say it).  

Our story ended happily but there are many more cats that deserve a good home and would give you so much love in return (and maybe do some laundry).

So please, if you have a warm place and a big heart, think about being a foster parent or better yet adopting a cat!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Little Grace 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.  

Thursday, June 6, 2013

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 YouCaring fundraiser). 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!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

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 are overrun 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  


(Little Grace is staring at me with the "How dare you take over my blog!" expression.  Whoops!  Signing off!)
Gabrielle.  Available for Adoption

Monday, April 22, 2013

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.  See this 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

Me!



Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Beginning....Part 3.... The New Beginning


Hi!  Little Grace here.  This is part 3 of my story.  See part 1 here and part 2 here.  In part 2, I wrote about the picture that Suzanne and Guy saw on the internet.  I found the picture and added it to this post.
Enjoy!
Blinks and Purrs,
Little Grace

THE picture that brought us here
Chance and I have been in our foster room for a couple of days now.  When Suzanne brought us here,  Guy greeted us and he seems nice.  He is tall though.  I am a little unsure.
We have a room all to ourselves!  There is a big bed that I like to hide under.  That is where I went as soon as I was let out of that tiny cage.  When Chance was let out, she quickly checked out the 2 big windows, cried a few times and then joined me under the bed. 

Suzanne and Guy laid down on the floor to talk to us while we were under the bed.  I think the first day, they spend hours with us just talking and letting us get used to their smell and voices.  That night, Chance and I came out from under the bed and explored.  We have 2 big windows that look out into the front and side yard.  I could smell other cats but didn't encounter any.  There is a big litter box for just me and Chance.  Wow!  We have food bowls and fresh water.  There is also a basket in the corner with things in it.  Chance said they are toys. Never heard of "toys".   I peeked to see what was on the big bed.  There are blankets and small beds and a big pillow.  Lots of warm places.  
I only come out when it is dark in the room.  It seems to me, when it is dark, there are no humans.  That is the safest time.  When it is light, there is always a chance that a human will open the door!  

Guy brought in these white circle things that making pinging sounds.  Chance calls them ping pong balls.  Oh how these things bounce around!  At dark time, I chase those things around......so fun!  Chance joins me sometimes and we have 2 going pinging all over the room!  Suzanne calls this playing.  Sometimes she says funny things.

A few weeks later, late October 2010
Chance and I have been here in this room a while now.  I like it.  I like it here.  Suzanne talks to me and I blink at her.  I have let her pet me just a little.   I don't like hands coming at me and she has figured this out.  She only pets me on my back. I usually stay under the bed when humans are in the room but Chance will join them.  I am not ready yet.  When it is quiet, I will sometimes join Chance on the bed.  One time, I was so tired....I didn't even hear the door open and Suzanne got a picture of us!  
Caught!
Guy brought in a green fluffy thing on a stick and blaahhhhh.....I love it!  He swings it around on the floor and I just want to jump on it.  Guy "plays" with us for hours (I finally understand what playing is!) with the green stick toy.  Chance and I get crazy chasing after it.

In the mornings, it is bright because the sun streams in the windows!  Suzanne comes in and opens the curtains so we can enjoy the sun all day.   I sit in the window for a long time.  There are birds and squirrels and all kinds of things to look at out there.  It is amazing....I am safe in here yet I can still enjoy what is happening out there.  What is that I am feeling?  Warmth?  Is this what Chance calls love?

Suzanne keeps talking about going to adoption day and that we have to get ready.  Chance said that means we have to go back in to the carriers.  I don't want to do that!  I like it here.  Why can't I just stay here?  Suzanne explains things to me a lot.  I think she just likes to hear herself talk but I actually listen to her.  Chance translates for me.  She has talked a lot about being a foster Mom.  Chance said foster is just temporary and adopted means permanent.  So I guess that means that Suzanne and Guy are just temporary.  That makes me feel sad.  Chance said that for us to find our permanent, we have to go to adoption day.  Suzanne has said that Orange Street Cats is going to work really hard to get me and Chance adopted together.   I believe her.  

March 2011
Suzanne says that Chance and I have come a long way in a few months.  We have free reign of the house. We eat and play with the other cats.  I still like to go into my room at night.  I have so much joy here.  I feel safe and loved.  I have learned a lot and I am not afraid as much.  Here are 2 things that I have know for sure.....One: Adoption days stink!  I hate getting in the carrier.  I hate driving in the car.  I hate being in a crate.  Suzanne and Guy are always there with us but still!  People look at us and there is talking and poking fingers.  Suzanne tells us every time "maybe today is your day".  The other thing is I know is.....Suzanne and Guy are the one's.  I know it.  Chance knows it. Zoe tells me this is "the place", "the someone".  Too bad Suzanne and Guy don't know it yet. 
What?  We aren't going to adoption day tomorrow?  Why?  My heart is soaring! I have no words, just purrs.  Chance helped me translate, this is what Suzanne and Guy said...

Me and my new sister Bitsy
"Chance, Little Grace....you two belong here with us.  You are part of our family now.  Our hearts break when we imagine someone else taking you home.  We want you here.  We love you and we will always take care of you.  You don't have to be afraid anymore.  You don't have to be separated.  Would you like to be part of our family?"  Purrrrr, Purrrr, Purrrr.  My Suzanne and My Guy. Utter Joy.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

"The Scoop"...Trappin' and Savin'


We have had such wonderful feedback on our blog that some of the other cats want in on the action.  Radley has been nominated by the cats in the Blue room to be a regular guest blogger and author of the soon to be feature called "The Scoop".  He will bring all of the Orange Street Cats news to the world!   Ehh hemmm, got a bit carried away.  Please welcome Radley with open paws!  
Blinks and Purrs-
Little Grace

Original Orange Street Cat Radley here reporting from the Blue Room with The SCOOP!


Facebook friends from across the globe ask, “So just how many cats did you people pull from peril last week?” Good questions friends!  Let me give you the run down by day:

Monday, April 1, (no-April-fooling!) 
The day began when trusty trappers Debra and Cathy teamed up with Diane (Foster Mom ....hugs! ) to coordinate a day long campaign to go and get seven cats that were left in a condemned apartment after their mom was hospitalized, never to return.  Scotty, Sissie, Don, Dominic, Mia, GiGi and Sarafina were trapped (with some pretty clever maneuvers by Cathy and Debra) and transported to a safe house where they are now being cared for and await vet appointments for shots and likely spay/neuter surgeries.

(Sound of a siren in the back ground) 
Calling all fosters and all kind cat people with an extra room in their house and extra love in their heart – this is a fine time to let us know that you will take in a foster cat.  It has done wonders for me!  Email the humans at cats@orangestreetcats.org for more information!

Swept out with the furniture.
The next call came mid-afternoon from a local animal control officer about kittens that were left behind an apartment complex! OSC cat guy Erik grabbed a few carriers and sped off to the scene. (Go Erik, Go!) What he found when he got there was a grumpy building manager who finally let him through to the back court yard.  Erik was able to find a momma cat and her kitten – just one kitten. After frantically searching through the discarded rubble he confirmed that there were no other kittens.  He got momma and baby out of the cold, into the carriers and brought them to safety.  They were able to slowly get warm and have a small snack.  Erik was watching "The Bible" when he got the call, so he decided to name the boy kitten Samson and mom, Delilah.  They are doing well so far and will need full vet care. (Oh and that Samson...just a furry grey fuzzball!)

Moving on to Tuesday, April 2!  
A recently rescued OSC cat, named Black Kitty (BK), and Pippin, a buff colored 8 month old kitten, came our way in need of a new home. The story is sad because they were loved but there was a serious adjustment issue for BK. OSC always makes it clear that if there is an unforeseen issue, post adoption, that we will happily take the cat back. (Foster Mom Chris said it is in the contract!)  Their person made a courageous and difficult decision and entrusted OSC with finding them a forever home. (Which....hello...we are really good at!) They are fully vetted.  (Phew!)

OK – that’s eleven cats and kittens.  Nothing happened Wednesday, but on Thursday April 4…
Street cat was found with one paw swollen three times the size of the others! OSC got the call about Elliot and dug deep in their collective reserve because this street cat was in so much pain he had a hard time getting out of the way of the cars.  So the OSC crew got him and brought him directly to the wonderful Dr. Jenny Gavin at the Capitol District Emergency Veterinary Clinic where the report was that he had an abscess and terribly infected paw.  Dr. Gavin and her top notch team wasted no time, got that paw clipped and cleaned, did some routine medical care and gave this stinky, rather filthy fellow a tubby. He’s healing up well and is on antibiotics.  He still needs his shots and neuter surgery.

So there you have it, four days and twelve cats!  I will keep you posted on how they are doing.  
In the meantime, please consider supporting us by coming to the Bowl-A-Thon this Sunday – it’s going to be a hoot  and the OSC folks sure could use your help to make this event a huge success.  Biggie, Elvis, and I are all ready to cheer the bowlers on!

Signing off for now, I’m Radley and that’s The Scoop.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Bowl-A-Thon 2013


The OSC humans want to write about the Bowl-A-Thon, so I offered my blog immediately.  Orange Street Cats saved me and Chance and I would do anything to help them.  Not to worry....my story will continue this week! Read on! 

Blinks and Purrs- 
Little Grace

We are gettin' a little crazy in 2013.  A Bowl-A-Thon! This is something new for us and we are so excited!  As an OSC follower, you know our number one focus is the cats.  We are a small group with a big heart. We have recently had crazy week of intake and as always, funds are tight!  Oh and spring means Kitten season!  Gaaaaaaakk!!!!  We need you and your support!  Come have some fun with us on Sunday.  Maybe win a prize, buy some delicious baked goods, and meet the volunteers that drive Orange Street Cats to success.  Best of all....meet your fellow supporters!

Our President, Iris, and new volunteers Ilene and Samantha have come together and planned a great event.  Bowling, door prizes, 50/50, an auction, a bake sale and a DJ!  The day is coming quick!  Get your teams together and register.  You don't want to bowl?  That is ok!  Come to the event, participate in the 50/50,the auction and cheer on the teams!  

Check out the flyer and register through our website.

The event is being held Sunday, April 14th, from 12 to 3 at the Playdium Bowling Center in Albany.  Orange Street Cats has the whole place!  Even Steve Caporizzo posted our event on his Pet Connection Facebook page.

As you may have seen on Facebook, the cats even got involved.  Radley composed a song and Elvis, Biggie, and Radley plan to have a Blue foster room cheering section.  

Can't come to the event?  You can still help!  You can donate via our website, purchase items for us through our Amazon's Wish List, come to an adoption event,adopt one of our cats, and share our posts, pictures, and blog with your friends!

As always, we thank you for your continued support.  Hope to see you all on Sunday!