Friday, August 28, 2009

SnipPets Annual Spay/Neuter Report and an inspirational tale

The Starfish Story by Loren Eiseley

Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.

One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.

As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean.

He came closer still and called out "Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?"

The young man paused, looked up, and replied "Throwing starfish into the ocean."

"I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?" asked the somewhat startled wise man.

To this, the young man replied, "The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them in, they'll die."

Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, "But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can't possibly make a difference!"

At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said, "I made a difference to that one!"


This inspirational story perfectly illustrates how most animal rescuers feel. You know you can't save them all, but every life counts....and you know you must try to help the ones you can.

I read this when I feel like I am not doing enough and can't seem to make a dent in the pet overpopulation problem. I also refer to my TNR/rescue spreadsheet to see concrete evidence of my spay/neuter efforts. I try to reflect on the births prevented and the suffering alleviated. You MUST look at the positive so that you can push forward and keep on going.

We moved to Lexington last July and started our TNRing and rescuing here in late August, so I figured that it was time for an annual SnipPet kitty report!!

Total cats and kittens spayed/neutered: 60

To celebrate my snipping successes AND raise money for the long list of kitties I have yet to snip, 100% of the sales in my Etsy shop from today thru September will go toward spaying & neutering & vaccinating cats and kittens in my area!! The costs add up quickly, so your purchases will make a HUGE difference in the lives of our furry friends. THANK YOU!!!

Skippy, Sammy, Suki and Scout thank you too :)! Purr, purr, purr....

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Cake Boss inspires some Wedding WIPs!

Ahhhhhh!!! FINALLY! I have actually gotten some sculpting done this week, and it feels GOOD!!

I gleaned some new energy and motivation from watching our favorite new reality show, Cake Boss. I can't tell you how much i love that show! My husband discovered it a few weeks ago and we are totally hooked. Every time we watch it I say, "Fly me to New Jersey!!! I wanna work for the Boss at Carlo's Bakery!!" It's a family bakery filled with creativity, cleverness, a dash of crazy and most of all, lots of CAKE! One of the girls on the show is their expert cake sculptor. She sculpts amazing, detailed decorations with molding chocolate. I really would love to have her job. But since i have ZERO experience with cake decorating (i don't think experience with cake EATING qualifies), I figure that career is not very realistic. I did try to find some classes here in Lexington but didn't have much luck. Then, a lightbulb went off in my muddled brain! What about creating animal cake toppers??! People have suggested this to me in the past, and i have made a few but hadn't really pursued it. Right now the idea really seems to click! I have always adored beautiful cakes and pastries (my favorite movie is Chocolat), and I love weddings and romance. Wedding cake toppers is the perfect way to combine my sculpting skills with other things that I enjoy.
So, here are a few photos of what i've got going on so far....hedgehog, penquin, cat, frog and rabbit brides and grooms! As you can see, all of the grooms have little hand sculpted top hats and the brides will have little veils. I found some beautiful tulle ribbon with lace edging for that. And i just ordered some tiny vintage flowers for accents and bouquets. They are all sunbathing right now. I am hoping they will be dry by tomorrow so i can get started on the painting. I can hardly wait!

I have also started on two pieces for the next Spookytime Jingles update. The first one is a mixed media piece using an antique clock frame. The black cat will be scaring everyone with a big BOO hiss! The second piece is a frog wizard with his own haunted house keepsake box.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A hissing, spitting kitten crew is beginning to blossom....

Early last Thursday morning, i got four frantic messages from a feral cat caretaker about four kittens that she found sleeping on a chair on her apartment's patio. She was afraid that someone would see them and take them to animal control. After much debate and tears (because i had really wanted to take a short break after getting all of my other fosters adopted), I decided to take them in. But i made her promise that she would help me find homes for them and that she would get the mother cat trapped and bring her to me so that i could get her spayed. I really need the people that I help to step up and do their part so i am trying to get that point across. So, she delivered the kittens to me on Friday morning and shooooowee, they were a hissing, spitting, lunging, wild mess! I took them to the vet and my amazing doctor and her techs managed to get a capstar in each of them to kill their fleas, draw blood for a combo test and do a brief exam. As i was leaving, Dr. Stacey said, "May the force by with you!" Ha! Ha! She knew i had my work cut out for me. BUT i knew that since they were only 5 or 6 weeks old that they would eventually come around. They were just terrified of all of us. I worked with them for hours on end on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and then finally on Monday, two of them were purring and feeling comfortable. Woohoo for that! It's so fun (and a huge relief!) when you get them conquered and they succumb to the love :). The 3rd one, the only girl, is still timid but she hears the other two purring and comes over for some affection too. As for the 4th bugger, he is a chubby little grumpster. He does NOT want to give in. It cracks me up because i will pick him up and force head rubs and kisses on him and he just growls and grumbles. And so, my adventure with this new little gang begins.
As for their mother, Socks, the caretaker delivered her to me on Sunday night and I had arranged for her to be spayed on Monday at a vet who is willing to do it at a reduced price. I just couldn't wait to have her done at the monthly $10 clinic, unfortunately. Here are some photos of Socks after her successful surgery and the kittens...tentatively named Sammy, Scout, Skippy and Suki!!

Sweet little Sammy!

Spunky Scout!

Growly, grumbly Skippy :)!

Shy baby Suki!

As i was writing this, i got a message from my vet asking if I could take in 4 kittens that someone brought in and left with them. Their mother was killed and they need to be bottle fed. SOOOO sad. And the same caretaker that gave me my current foster kittens, is begging me to take 5 more that are at the stockyards. Ahhhhhhhh!!! Sometimes i just want to put my head in the sand. Why can't people understand how important it is to spay and neuter? It seems like such a simple request.

More later....i have been determined to get some artwork done, and i am on a roll at the moment. It is such a good escape from cat crazy reality.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Jack Sprat, Vinny and Meadow

Just thought I'd share a few kitty photos today. I have ended up keeping Jack's name as has simply stuck. You all gave me SUCH great name suggestions, so i am going to keep those for future kitties :).

Vinny is being adopted tomorrow afternoon! We will be so sad to see him go, but his new mom is wonderful and she is extremely excited to give him a loving home. Meadow is going to her new dad's house on the 30th. Woohoo for these two! We have a potential adopter for Jack Sprat, so things are rolling along.

Of course, it seems that as soon as i get one crew on the move, another crew awaits :(. I got 4 panicked messages this morning from a girl i have been helping with spaying and neutering for a year now. There are 4 kittens on her patio. Apparently a new female adult showed up a few weeks ago and you can imagine the rest of the story. Ugh. I will need to get the mama caught and spayed ASAP, and it looks like the kittens may be coming here.

Stay tuned....
and enjoy these warm fuzzies!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Successful cat trapping weekend and an itty bitty visitor!

This past weekend was the monthly feral cat spay/neuter clinic in Lexington. I was debating exactly where to trap since i have many areas on my radar. Then, last week, i got a call from a man, Don, that I have helped before and the decision was made. Dear, kind Don is the one who is blind and whose wife, Jean, is confined to a wheelchair (posted about them in the spring). They are so compassionate and wonderful and always want to try to do the right thing for the cats that are constantly wandering into their yard for food and shelter. We had gotten the situation relatively under control a few months ago, but then his frustrating neighbor (who won't let us spay his female cat!!! nightmare!) dumped 4 teenage kittens outside to wander and multiply. In addition, he has 3 tomcats that also roam freely. Don and Jean were in a panic at the thought of even more mouths to feed. They are on a fixed income and do the best they can. So, i headed over there on Friday around noon to start our trapping adventure. By 1:00, I had 2 of the kittens trapped and left another trap for the rest of the afternoon. By 5:30, another kitten had fallen for the mackerel feast. I returned at 7:00 to set 2 more traps and bam! Last kitten caught! After that, Don and Jean and I sat on their front porch and waited for some of the adults to arrive. Finally, at 8:45, a black and white spotted kitty caught a whiff of fish bait and couldn't resist. I was SO happy to have all 5 traps occupied!!! Woohoo! I can't stand to come home without my goals met, so i was quite satisfied :).

It was way too hot in our garage for the kitties, so they got to enjoy an air conditioned evening in our laundry room. Well, they didn't exactly "enjoy" it....they meowed like a chorus all night long....but at least they were cool and comfortable. I took them to the spay/neuter clinic on Saturday morning and everything went great. The adult was a male and the kittens....2 girls and 2 boys. I released everyone on Sunday and they were extremely thrilled to be back in their own environment!

Here is the only photo I took. This is the adult male we trapped and another one of the toms.

I am taking care of a fellow foster mom's kitten for a few days. His name is Ralphie, and he is the cutest little ol' boy! Poor thing was rescued out of a drain at an apartment complex and has a bebe pellet embedded underneath his skin!!!! Can you imagine???!!! What kind of person shoots a kitten with a bebe gun?? Honestly, people never cease to shock me. Ralphie is amazingly sweet and relaxed considering what he has been through. He is very thin but his appetite is good, and he is going to be just fine. He even has a permanent home already lined up.

Check out his eyeliner! Too cute!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Princess Pekingese

Shoowee, i just got home from delivering little Lulu to her new home. It about did me in. I was a wreck all day and then started crying about an hour before i had to leave. Then, as i peeled her away from her brother, i lost it again. Ugh, why do i have to get so emotional???! Thankfully, Lulu's new family was extremely nice and fell in love with her even more when they saw her in person. I just get so worked up because there are never any guarantees when you let them go. You just have to use your best judgment and take a leap of faith. I'll never, ever forget that one eyed sweet pea and her tough tiny spirit!

As for my artwork....haven't been getting much of that done lately and need to get focused again! I did finish the commissioned pekingese princess piece that i have been working on for quite some time. I had a hard time getting decent photos of her because of the size and shape of the sculpture, but here she is anyway....

Monday, August 10, 2009

Thrills with the Grill and Kitty update

Brian and I bought our very first grill on Saturday and tested it out last night! We had so much fun prepping our food and then standing together watching it cook. We are such dorks!! We can't help it....simple pleasures make us very happy :). It was so easy and dinner was scrumptious!! Brian had good, basic burgers, and I made a portobello mushroom, eggplant and red pepper sandwich with melted mozzarella...YUMM-Y! We also made corn on the cob medallions grilled in parchment. I saw the recipe in Martha Stewart's magazine and it was truly delectable.

As for kitten/cat news....
I listed my foster furkids on Craig's list since i wasn't having any luck with Petfinder and email blasts and I still haven't gotten up the nerve to do the PetSmart adoptions. A lady contacted me about Lulu, our one eyed baby. Her daughter fell in love with her photo. They were willing to fill out my application (unlike many people...big red flag on that!) and it sounds like the are big animal lovers. They have 2 dogs, 3 cats and a hamster. I am supposed to deliver Lulu to her new home tomorrow. I know i am going to be a wreck....parting with these little ones kills me every time.

Vinny, Lulu and Meadow graduated from our kitten room yesterday morning. They had their second round of shots on Saturday and are totally healthy and well adjusted, so i decided they could explore the house and meet our cats. Here is Vinny getting settled in quite easily :).

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Cloaks of Love....

I have been feeling overwhelmed and heavy hearted about the homeless kitty situation lately, so i decided to paint this rabbit and cat with a theme of love and compassion. Animals offer us their hearts and ask for very little in return....we need to respect, honor and protect them to the best of our abilities. Kindness is so simple, so basic and yet so powerful.

These two sculptures will be available on the 10th for the Pfatt Marketplace update. A substantial percentage of the sale of each piece will go toward one of my favorite cat rescue groups....details will be on my Pfatt page.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A KittySnip for a fellow cat lady :)!!!

You guys came up with SUCH great names for our newest stray kitty!! Seriously, I LOVED them all and am going to have to keep them on hand for future cats. I haven't been able to decide on a permanent name yet (i seem to be riddled with indecision these days!!), so I chose my giveaway winner with the random integer picker on the internet. Jenny Carter of Alley Cat Rescue is the lucky lady! Jenny is a fellow artist and cat rescuer. She is always busy trapping and snipping the feral kitties in her neighborhood. Thank goodness for her dedication and relentless efforts! Here are two of her current feral kitten rescues. She is working hard to tame them and eventually find homes for them. Jenny, thanks for everything you do for our precious furry friends! Just let me know which KittySnip from my shop you'd like to adopt...taming and feeding is not required :).