Monday, September 1, 2014

Big City Little Kitty has retired.

This is my farewell post.
I've had a great 6 years in cat rescue, and it's time for me to move on. I am very proud of the work I have done, and am grateful to have met so many amazing people in animal rescue along the way. Each cat and kitten I have worked with over the years has blessed me, and I am happy I had the opportunity to help them. Here's a little walk down memory lane...
In 2008, I became a volunteer at the NYCACC. 
I worked in the adoption room one morning a week, and took photos for the website on another day. I met so many cats and kittens, some who made it out, but most never left. 
I started fostering while at ACC. My first time fostering, I took in 7 kittens, the "BSG litter." Each kitten was named for a character from Battlestar Galactica. 
Helo, Hera and Apollo were the older kittens
The younger ones were Starbuck and Colonel Tigh,
and Athena.
All were adopted within 2 weeks. 
Ebony was next. She was put on a "DOH hold" at the shelter because she had scratched the person who took her and put her in a box to bring to the shelter. She was very scared, but when I held her she would melt. City Critters pulled her from the shelter for me, I fostered her, she was a total mush, and she was adopted right away.
Then, I went to the shelter at the beginning of the holiday break, 2008, and took in my first bottle baby, Kara Thrace, and Lincoln, a kitten with a broken leg. 
Kara had just been dropped off, and only had the day to find a foster home. 
Lincoln was in a stack of crates lined up at the door for euthanasia. Several shelter workers were rooting for him, and begged me to take him. I picked him up right off the line, brought him and Kara to work with me, where his new mama claimed him the moment I walked in. After work we went to get him an x-ray and a cast. 
 Kara grew up healthy and Lincoln healed well and fast. They were both adopted and are living the good life.
 Lucas was next, and this is probably the best kitten bath picture ever, taken by Eva Prokop
I wasn't able to continue volunteering at the shelter. I held cats who were scheduled for euthanasia for their last snuggle, and told each one they were loved. I saw too many cats who never had a chance, and too many who just ran out of time. This experience is what led me to Trap-Neuter-Release, TNR, in 2009.
 I volunteered for Empty Cages Collective, and took the TNR workshop provided by Neighborhood Cats to become certified to do TNR and gain access to low-cost spay-neuter services. Then, I went out to do TNR and fostering on my own. 
 I performed TNR and fostered the friendlies in my neighborhood and helped friends in the TNR/cat rescue community. One of the most notable projects I worked on with North Brooklyn Cats is the Greasy Paws, a story that started in 2009,
and continued through 2014, with Hitch's relocation.
 I managed a warehouse colony, "The Bakery," in LIC from 2009 to 2014, I did several projects on my own, worked with friends and coached new trappers. I took in friendlies along the way. 
Kittens from the Bakery, the "LOST litter," were named after LOST characters. 
They were Kate and Sawyer

and Dharma.
 Scotty was my next guest, and he was a socialization challenge that ended better than I could have ever imagined. He was terrified when he arrived
 but by day 24 he was a snuggly mush. 
 He was adopted by a good friend of mine, and I get regular updates of his mushy happiness.
Then came the Calico sisters, five seriously ill kittens. One didn't make it, and four went through hell and back before becoming healthy and finding their furrever homes
I lost Minniconjou within the first couple of days, may she rest in peace.
The others were with me for several months.
(yes, she's my icon picture:)
and Santee
The 3 little Indians also spent some time here: Hunkpapa, Lakota and Sioux.
And who could ever forget Marco, the kitten who was bone skinny and not eating, 
 but after a lot of nursing care (and syringe feeding - hence, the bib)...
 turned around and nailed his happy ending (this photo provided by his mama).
Charlie showed up at my warehouse colony.
Burlap and Dungaree were from the fabric store TNR project,
as were Argyle and Corduroy a few months later (picture provided by their mama).
Evie happened to be abandoned at a vet while I was I took her in, and found her a new home (twice). 
 And there was Houdini, the Most Interesting Cat in the World.
While coaching a new trapper in Sunnyside, I took in the Shona kittens, who have become quite famous on the internet, due to this gem! 
They nursed from their feral mama in my home, mama was returned to her colony and the kittens found furrever homes.

The "Sandy Kittens," Lakshmi and Ganesha, blew in with Hurricane Sandy.
The Bushwick kittens breezed through on their way to their new homes.
Sweet Lucky came to share his love for life, curiosity and adventurous spirit before he passed away. This was a painful loss. Rest peacefully, sweet boy. 
Shortly after Lucky passed, Spin, The Little Kitten with the Big Heart, left us too. 
Words can not describe how special he was to me, and everyone who met him. He was a gift. His heart stopped, and mine shattered into pieces. Sleep well, little Spinner. 
Raptor was brought to an adoption event. She was teeny-tiny, but screaming like a dinosaur! 
She was the sweetest girl. 
And she grew up to be absolutely gorgeous. She had some struggles getting adopted, but finally found her purrfect home. 
(Pic by Eva Prokop)
Buster found me! He was on the street in front of my apartment, I asked him if he was feral or friendly, and he walked up and told me his whole story. He had a rough road, but he's living the dream in his furrever home!
PALMer was so tiny he fit in the palm of my hand. He had a home lined up, but needed some neo-natal care, and to be neutered.
This guy was a joy to have around, WHAT a character!
And last, but certainly not least, Sidney. Or, as Sherrie would say, "Sid the Kid." Sid was a scared little guy in desperate need of socialization. It was tough, but he aced it! He's now living it up with his mama and his friends in his furrever home. 
Retiring from cat rescue was a long, thought out decision. There are some things I need to do in order to achieve some life goals, and the steps I need to take to achieve them need to be a priority. Working with cats has brought me a lot of joy, and has been very rewarding. It's not easy, and sometimes it's more than one can take, but it's always worth it. I see a lot of people getting involved with TNR and fostering, and I hope that continues. I'm always amazed at the selflessness I see in animal rescue, you are all truly wonderful. 
And to the kitties, thanks for all the love:)
Big City Little Kitty