Here's how it started:
April: I went to the very first visit of a long-term petsitting gig to find the back door of the home had been KICKED IN by a burgular. The storm door was left propped open, also the refrigerator door. (What?) Only a few things were missing, among them the hours and hours I spent with the police and the handyman who came to fix the broken door. Not to mention my peace of mind, and that of the pets.....one of which was a blind cat.
THEN, in May I found out ON FACEBOOK that the petsitting client from April was not coming home.....EVER.....and I was expected to find (unpaid) foster and/or adoptive homes for her pets OVER THE MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND. Life began to descend into the surreal.
At some point in June I received a phone call from a feral colony caregiver. Here's how the call went---(Caregiver) 'I thought there were just a few kittens behind Rucker John's restaurant, but there are NINE, with two mother cats!' (expectant silence) (Me) 'Shoot me now!'
One at a time, the caregiver plucked the little sickly kittens from their environment by the scruffs of their necks, dropped them into small carriers and called me to pick them up. I was able to stabilize the he first four, ill with upper respiratory infections and ringworm, and get them to the sainted Karen K., foster mom to the stars. At this time they are all in their forever homes. HOORAY!
The next four, when plucked from their outdoor environment in July, seemed healthier but also had ringworm. And then there was 'Lastly,' the little light as air kitten we all thought could not possibly survive after he was alone outdoors for a week of 100 degree weather. But he did survive, and that became the miracle and high point of the summer. (Note to my Mom: I apologize for taking these kittens in, and for not telling you about them until now, when they are either adopted or ready to be. You probably knew something was wrong, as I was so stressed through the summer.....and it didn't end with these little hard-luck story kittens!)
I continued to volunteer at Pet Supermarket, calling in substitutes when I worried about bringing the respiratory infections from home to the kittens at the store. I cheered for every cat and kitten that found a new home during this busy season....making room for more to be brought from the shelter. Especially thrilling was the adoption of two large (!) adult cats, Jade & Leonidas. They had an application to be adopted into the same home....they only had to wait two weeks until their new parent came back from vacation, in late July. I found time, somehow, to transport the two cats from a boarding kennel to Pet Supermarket, and all was well.....or so I thought! The cats' adopter took one cat from the pet store where I had brought the cats, and said she would be 'right back' for the second one. SHE NEVER CAME BACK! In the midst of caring for ill kittens, I found myself turning into a private eye, and spending a whole weekend tracking down the absconding adopter. Thinking about this I can't help but shake my head wonderingly. It just doesn't make sense. Keeping track of my time spent dealing with this situation, I'm up around 55 hours, and the end is not yet in sight. Come to find out the adopter gave us an 'alternate name' and false address, along with many more untrue statements. We're not done with her, have actually just made a good start on the case in more than a month. *sigh*
Any spare time in August was spent on kittens and detective work, and the case of 'Hattie's Hip.' A cat living in the trailer park I have worked in for more than five years was run over by an ATV. She suffered a broken pelvis, and several days were spent figuring out how to get her vet care, and find her an indoor 'forever' home. (Thanks to so many loyal volunteers who work without any thought of recognition or compensation, Hattie is recovering and living a 'cat's life of luxury'! We brought her 'home' from the vet during a raging rainstorm. I said, 'Guess what, Hattie....You're IN a house, and it's raining OUTSIDE! )
At the end of the month came the 'capper' for this summer's CRAZY events. Through the rescue grapevine came word that a dog belonging to a NY state rescue group, originally from the Columbus Co. shelter, had been dumped in the New Hanover County shelter. Not just dumped there, but labeled as dog aggressive by the foster parent, so it would be very hard to get him out. By the time I figured out what was going on, with my mind on overload, the dog was already scheduled to be killed. I spent most of a Saturday morning at the shelter waiting for the foster parent. He'd assured the rescue group he'd be there to get the dog out and give him to me. At this point I was not at all surprised when the foster parent was a no-show! It wasn't until Monday that Barley was safely out of the shelter. In the week he boarded locally, NO signs of aggression were noted by his caregivers. Who knows why his foster family turned him in. This is another 'head-shaker!' Not surprisingly, considering the summer's other events, we weren't able to find a transporter to take him even halfway to Fayetteville. So I drove him there....and what a lovely ride that was. (You're a GOOD DOG, Barley. Don't ever let anybody tell you different!)
Today, September 4th was NOT particularly crazy, just another day in rescue.....I took a tower of kennels out to the parking lot and scrubbed them, letting them dry in the sun. Visited a cat who's gone to live in a most wonderful, secure indoor-outdoor home. Never seen better, taller fences or more serene cats wandering among herb plants and hibiscus flowers. Returned to the pet store to put the clean, dry kennels back into the store, reinstalling the food dishes, litterboxes and 'sneeze guards.' Just another day, but with one difference. Last night I started a new Facebook group, to help with 'odd jobs' that are needed by our rescue group, Adopt-an-ANGEL. With a little help, and thanks to the great team of daily caregivers at Pet Supermarket, I am attempting once more to find BALANCE, and to reclaim my life. I plan to limit myself to six volunteer hours per week, or one hour a day, with one day off each week. Your well-wishes are appreciated.....and don't forget to send along an example of 'Rescue Craziness' you've experienced! THANKS!