Foster kitten woke me up at 6:00, but gave me a few minutes more to sleep when provided a food offering.
Got kennels ready for the two cats ready and waiting transport to Fix A Friend Spay Neuter Clinic. One cat had been abandoned by his previous family...they drove away while the little girl cried and called out, "I want my KITTY!" Roaming loose in the neighborhood he was attacked by a large owl and had puncture wounds that would require antibiotics following his clinic visit. The other cat was a serial mama-cat in a feral colony, who apparently failed to present any live kittens because she ate them. Oh my!
On the way to clinic, stopped off at a hoarder household in my 'caseload.' There my vigorous door-knocking went unanswered, but I was acknowledged if not invited in when I stepped into the trailer home. With some difficulty I closed the 'sale' on a choice---"Which girl kitty will I take with me today?" Scooped up a teenage Siamese kitty and tiptoed out, gently pushing a nursing mama cat away from the door. (Made a note to add the little family to the list of cats in the home...)
With the three cats on board, drove to clinic for a late arrival. Consulted with clinic staff and provided intake paperwork already mostly filled out. Named two of the cats, that didn't already have names. Realized that "Mister," the owl-bitten cat, had a name that has been recently used. Memo to self: Add 'Mister' to the list of names to retire, along with Garfield, Oreo, Midnight and Boris (for the Russian Blue kitties).
(The middle of the day was spent taking care of senior parents, household tasks and getting out to the polls.)
Received phone call from clinic to let me know the feral mama cat was quite old and in poor dental and general health. Made calls to her colony caregiver and coordinator to ask their opinion about how to proceed, while clinic staff kept her under anesthesia and tested her for FeLV. Agreed with direct caregivers that the cat should be euthanized, especially considering the lengthy confinement she would likely need....this kitty had not adjusted well and was very stressed by life in a kennel. Took a moment to commune mentally with the cat and wish her well as she crossed over.
Drove to clinic to pick up the two cats and remains of the third. Reminded myself that we have a difficult task and are doing the best we can for the most animals possible. *sigh* Drove home, stopping to drop off 'Mister' at his foster home. Shared directions for recovery and requested follow-up calls from the foster parent. Brought Simonette, the little Siamese kitty, to my home for an overnight visit...Settled her into her kennel.
Realized in the busy-ness of the day, I had neglected to ask the Tuesday cat condo cleaner at 'my' pet store if she was able to do her usual job while also bottlefeeding two kittens. (The answer was understandably, "No.") Made a plan to clean the kennels after dinnertime. Memo to self, recruit substitute condo cleaner volunteers....
Ready for the day to be over, I received a phone call that one of the cats I help care for in a local pet store had a swollen, red eye. Got a take-out dinner to go and drove across town to borrow eye medications to tide us over until a vet appointment the next day. Sitting in the parking lot of the pet store I noticed several people standing around looking at a small 'something' on a grassy median between two paved lanes. One of them picked up the 'thing' in cupped hands and then put it down again. I started walking towards them, thinking 'This must be a baby bird!' And, it was...The people left before I could get their attention, so I didn't find out the bird's story. The little starling or grackle sat quietly, occasionally blinking. I said, "How much more, Lord?" quietly and picked up the bird as I carried him/her to my car and emptied a small cardboard box for him. I had a piece of fleece material among the clean bedding in my car, so that made a nest. Thank goodness for the 'rescue network.' I made one call, to a former foster parent who also volunteered with Skywatch Bird Rescue. She gave me the phone number to call, and miraculously my call was answered. A friendly voice said, "We're just about to close the hospital room....how soon can you be here?" In just a few minutes, I was standing outside the rescue's fence, and with one page of paperwork, the little bird was safely in his rescue home. "That's why I needed to go to Petco tonight," I realized....and drove away to go clean six cat condos.
Thanks to all who helped today, the spay neuter clinic staff, cat foster parents and caregivers, pet store staffers and all our rescue group friends! Special thanks to sister Bobbi and home care CNA Nicole for freeing me up almost ten hours in the morning and evening so this day's tasks could be accomplished! The moral of this story is, "There are no 'typical' days in animal rescue. We take each day as it comes!"
Postscript: I did achieve the personal goal of a shower on this day, though actually it was early the next morning. Before bed I considered the small miracles of the day, especially that I was perfectly placed to help the baby bird. A minute or two earlier or later and I would not have noticed the small bird alone on the grass. Our other motto, "Everything is going according to plan!" Amen!