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 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.'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....)


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.
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 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!  
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 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 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 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 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!

Friday, April 5, 2013

The Beginning....Part 2

Part two of my story!  See Part 1 here
Blinks and Purrs,
Little Grace

September 2010
I have been in this cage for weeks.  There are many people that come take care of us, every morning and every night.  They are nice I guess.  People come to my cage and speak softly to me and sometimes they try to touch me.  I brace myself because I don't understand human touch.  Before this, it was rough and uncaring.  Now, it seems ok but I just don't know.  Sometimes, I don't like how someone smells.   

I am wondering what is supposed to happen.  I don't want to be in this cage forever.  I never get to walk around and stretch.  Some of the other cats have gone.  I have heard the people (Chance calls them "volunteers") say some were adopted and some are in foster homes.  I don't know what that means.  Can one of you volunteers explain it to me?  Zoe has been talking to me again.  She said that it is happening soon.  I thought whatever was supposed to happen already did.  I don't know what she means.  I asked Chance and she doesn't know either. 

Hands! Hands! Grabbing! Wait! Where are you taking me?!  Chance!  Chance!  I don't want to leave you!  I don't want to go back to that place.  Wait!!!!  I am back in a small space, it is dark and I hear talking.  The energy is nervous and that makes me terrified!  What if they bring me back to that place?  I was trying to be good!  I made sure not to make a mess. I hear Chance too.  Thanks goodness, at least she is going with me!  Someone named Iris (a "volunteer" Chance says) is saying that she is taking me and Chance to a foster home.  I still don't know what that is so I am scared!  Maybe it isn't the same place but I am scared anyway.   Iris is talking about a picture that someone saw on the internet of me and Chance and they wanted to foster us together.  Is this what Zoe meant?  Iris said that Chris (Chance says that is another "volunteer") cried when she heard someone wanted to help both of us.  

We are stopped and my cage is moving.  Iris is talking to someone.  Do I know that voice?  It seems somewhat familiar but I can't place it.  I don't think we are going back to that place.  We are moving again.  Chance is crying a little bit, I think just to make her presence known.  I am glad.  It soothes me to hear her.  The new person said her name is Suzanne.  She is going to be our Foster Mom.  I like her voice.  I am still not sure what Foster means.  Suzanne is saying that there are other cats at her house.  That worries me.  How many other cats?  Do I have to eat in piles again?  Do I have to fight for space again?  I don't want to do that anymore.  Zoe said this is it.  This is the someone.  I am curious and nervous and maybe a teeny bit interested.   What is next for me and Chance?

Me in a cage in the Garage

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Beginning.....

I look at my life in two phases, numbing terror and utter joy.  Now, I live in utter joy because of my Suzanne and my Guy.  Before utter joy, I lived numbing terror.  I don't know for sure how long I lived like that.  I don't like to talk about it but I will.  My name is Little Grace and this is my story.

June 2010
It is hot here, in this place.  It is stifling and the smell hurts my eyes and my head.  I have to try to stay off the floor because there is nowhere to walk.  There is no clean place to go to the bathroom.  I try to be invisible.  There are so many of us here.  I don't know everyone, just a few....I am scared all the time.  Some of the others are mean.  There are fights for territory and food.  Eating is hard.  We are fed in piles.  Piles of food. The shy and timid cats like me don't get to eat.  I have to prowl around and eat the regurgitated remains of someone else's dinner.  My teeth have been hurting and I think I may have lost a few.  There is one shining light for me here, in this place.  My best friend Chance really tries to stick by me.  She looks out for me and does her best to shield me from the horrors that are visible and invisible.  I feel there is a change coming so I hold on to hope because life isn't really supposed to be like this, is it?

End of July 2010
There has been some activity here.  Strange people knocking on the door.  I heard words like "animal control" and "condemned".  A cat named Zoe has been talking to me.  I can't see her but I hear her.  She tells me to hang in there because someone is coming for me.  I don't know who Zoe is.

There are some new people walking around here with masks on and long sleeve shirts.  It is hot out and they are wearing long sleeve shirts.  From my hiding place, I can see Marion walk right up to one of them.  Marion is showing them around and pointing out some of our hiding places.  What is going to happen?  Hey...they took Marion!  She calls out to all of us..."Pull yourselves together gang....this is it!"  What does she mean?  I can't see Chance to ask her.  I will just stay here.

Early August 2010
I am so scared!  A big gloved hand just grabbed me and put me in a small space!  I don't know what is happening!  I hear soft voices and I hear loud noises and some yelling.   Where is Chance? Do they have her too? 

I am in a dark room and I am by myself in this space.  A cage? I have my own litter box?  Is that food?  Just for me?  Huh.   Is this what Marion meant?  There are people here, talking and being gentle.  I am scared and confused.  I take a few quick glances around and I see Chance right next to me!  Oh Thank Goodness!  Chance! Chance! I am right here!  She winks at me.  Phew!  I wonder what she has done to her cage because it is a mess.  She piled all her stuff in the back.  I asked her what she was doing.  She said "I want to make them work for it."  Ok, what ever that means.  Do I feel safe?  I don't know. I will take Chance's lead on this one. I feel different.  Is this good? 

The original house