Friday, August 12, 2016

Looking for More Foster Caregivers

If you were a foster caregiver, this is something you could see every day!

A plea for more caregivers
We're well on our way to another record year, with this year's numbers pulverizing last year's pretty awesome numbers.  The one thing that is holding us back from saving more cats and kittens is open foster homes. We have no open homes right now but our phone is always ringing with requests to help another stray cat. If we had more caregivers, we could have more cats in the foster care program. We need you to help us.

What does a caregiver do? 
Being a caregiver is fairly easy. It does take a bit of your time. Part of the caregiver experience is chores - cleaning litter boxes, washing dishes. Another part is putting on your chauffeur hat and transporting the kitten to the vet (usually 1-2 times) and to our Foster building (usually twice). And finally the best part is playing with kittens. You will find yourself saying over and over and over again, "You are the cutest kitten EVER!" to each and every one of your fosters. Being a caregiver means some chores, some transport, and lots of cuteness. But mostly, it means saving a cat.

Who qualifies as a caregiver? 
Anyone over 18 who is fine driving to St. Paul for vet visits, has a spare room to confine the fosters, and who has a few extra hours a week to spend with their fosters.

What cats go to the Foster program? 
Kittens under 5 months of age, pregnant momma cats, moms with kittens, special needs, and the elderly are all candidates for the Foster program. We need caregivers for all of these cats and kittens.

How do I learn about fostering?
We've got a great support network of caregivers who can help guide you and answer questions. We even have written instruction manual and classroom "training." You won't go this alone. We're here to help you.

In a nutshell
We can provide you with food, litter, medicines, and pretty much any other cat supplies you need. We pay for vet visits. You simply need to transport them there when needed and spend time kissing them, petting them, cooing over them (and.... cleaning litter boxes and washing their dishes). If you've got some time to spare, we'd love to have you.

Okay, being a caregiver isn't all kissing bellies and cuddling with kittens. For the most part and most days, it is fun. But sometimes kittens unexpectedly get sick. There may be more vet visits. There may be some sleepless nights, up caring for a sick kitten. You will clean litter boxes more than you've ever cleaned before. And vacuum more. And pick up toys more. And ask, "Okay, which one of you did this?" more times than you care to count. And worry more. And analyze litter box contents more than you ever thought in a million years you would. And have more cat hair on your clothes than you think could possibly be on the kitten itself. And sleep less.  But it means saving more cats. That can't be stressed enough. The work a foster caregiver does is rewarded when that little face looks up at you and you realize, "He may not be alive right now if I hadn't started fostering."

To apply
You can apply online here:
We'd really love to have you. And so would the cats.

Monday, August 8, 2016

The Dangers of the Great Outdoors

Some people think cats are outdoor creatures. They think their cat is happier living outside. They use the excuse that "They're wild creatures at heart. They need to be outside!" or "I just can't bear to keep him inside. He howls at the door until I let him out." Indeed, a little romp outside can be a nice change of pace.  For some cats, feeling grass under their feet and all the different smells really do make them happy. However, opening the door and letting them roam free is quite dangerous. Anything can get to your cat outside - people, cars, other animals. If you do take your cat outside, the cat should be on a harness and with you at all times. The following two tales really emphasize the importance of not letting your cat roam free outdoors.

Quade was an indoor-outdoor 6 month old kitten. For the past couple of weeks, Quade would return to his house with a new wound somewhere on his body. His owner couldn't figure out what was causing these wounds. A week ago, when Quade returned to his house, he couldn't put any weight on his back leg. The owner then discovered why. The neighbor kids were using Quade as target practice. His previous wounds were caused by BB gunshots. With this last round of target practice, one of the BBs broke Quade's leg. His owner couldn't afford the vet bills and surrendered her kitten to Feline Rescue.

Quade's BB wounds
Quade will have surgery to repair this fracture. The vet brought in a specialist because this fracture is particularly tricky. It's just below the knee. We're gambling that Quade's leg can be fixed.

Addy was another indoor-outdoor cat. Addy's owner didn't like to confine this fun-loving, earthy cat to the house. She thought he could - and would - always be able to look out for himself while outside. Unfortunately, a few days ago, Addy was hit by a car. He was caught in the wheel well and dragged for a few blocks before he fell free of the vehicle. It would seem as though the driver of the car never even slowed down. Addy's injuries are absolutely ghastly and look like something out of a horror movie. One of his paws was completely degloved.

Addy's owner couldn't afford the vet bills and surrendered him to Feline Rescue. Addy's injuries are quite severe and his leg cannot be saved. He will have amputation surgery later this week.
Addy wearing his cone.

Both Addy and Quade could have been spared these painful injuries if they were kept inside. On one hand, they're lucky because they've survived their ordeals. They could have suffered through much
different fates.

Both Addy and Quade have months of recovery and rehabilitation ahead of them. Both cats, despite the pain of their injuries, are sweet and affectionate guys. They know that even though some bad people hurt them, not every person is bad. They will be ready for adoption as soon as they master their rehab classes.

Addy and Quade have another thing in common - their surgeries are quite expensive. To contribute towards Addy's and Quade's vet bills, you can donate via either the "Network for Good" or "Pay Pal" or go to our web site.  Please make sure to enter "Addy's and Quade's vet bills" in the Designation field. Any amount will be thoroughly appreciated.

We're also looking for a caregiver for Addy. He will need to be on kennel rest for a good 3-6 weeks (we can provide the kennel). If you'd like to foster him, please submit a Foster Caregiver Application Form.

Donating by credit card via Network for Good Online:

Donating by PayPal or credit card via PayPal Online:

Donations by personal check can be mailed to:

Feline Rescue, Inc.
Attn: Donations
593 Fairview Ave N
St. Paul, MN 55104

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