Thursday, February 10, 2011

Kitties in Need

I have just volunteered to do either the craziest or the best thing I have ever done in my life.  More likely it will end up being a combination of the two.

It all started when I was reading Kyle Cassidy's blog yesterday.  He was telling the story of these cats who survived a fire in an apartment building in Philadelphia which took place a month ago (if you can believe it) and are still trapped inside the building.  A month of bitterly cold weather, loneliness and most likely near starvation conditions.  You can read about them here: Windermere fire cats.  The residents aren't being allowed in to rescue their pets, nor will they allow cat rescue organizations or anyone else in to help.  They have boarded up the first 2 floors, so the cats can't get out and no one can get in. Worst of all, they are now talking of demolishing the building with these live cats still inside.

I read that story just before bed last night and I was horrified.  I was also moved to tears at the thought of how I would feel if it were my apartment building and my beloved cat(s) trapped inside.  As an apartment dweller, it is definitely something I have worried about, especially since I live many floors above ground.  It wouldn't be easy to get down several flights of stairs carrying one or two cat carriers, if you could even get two frightened cats inside the carriers with fire alarms ringing. 

I had trouble getting to sleep and I had a nightmare (a very rare occurrence for me) which woke me up around 4:30 a.m., when I again started worrying about these poor cats and the people who love them.  The good news today is that people are working to get in the building to rescue cats and hopefully retrieve people's belongings and delay the demolition. 

Serendipity being what it is, when I logged on to my email around 8 a.m. this morning, the first message I opened was from Kate McKinnon, who lives in Tucson, Arizona.  Somehow, she had read about a mother cat and her 5 kittens who were going to be euthanized tomorrow in the Toronto area and needed a foster home.  I figured, why not? I can and did send money to City Kitties in Philadelphia (if you can too, please do - follow the link above) to help with the rescue of the Windermere cats, I can sympathize from afar and write emails to the authorities but these 6 cats I can help locally. I'm single, I have lots of room in my two bedroom apartment and cat raising experience.  I recently lost my beloved cat Max and have been alone here ever since, debating about when to get another cat or two (because you really need two so they can keep each other company when I'm at work during the day). 

Somehow it hadn't crossed my mind that I'd end up with six!??  I tell myself, it's just temporary.  I'm much too young to be a cat lady!  Nevertheless, I made the call right away and tonight I heard back from a very nice woman named Jan who gave me all the details.  Tomorrow afternoon, these little darlings and their mom (whom you can barely see, tucked into the back corner - apparently she is small and quite terrified in her current location, next to a bunch of cages full of barking dogs, poor thing) will be coming to visit.  At least until the kittens are old enough to be separated from their mother in a couple of weeks' time, when at least four of them will hopefully find forever homes.  Two of them just might need to stay here with me. :) 
I'm nervous and excited at the same time.    If you don't like cats, you probably won't want to read this blog for the next little while, I have a feeling it will be very kitten focused for the next few days and weeks, don't you?  And of course, I've got to get busy with that decluttering project in super quick fashion, there are just too many places for a little kitten to hide in my place right now!

Wish me luck!!  And if you know anyone in the Toronto area who would like to adopt a cat or a kitten, please ask them to get in touch with the people at Abbey Cats.  I'll let you know when these little ones are ready to go.


Anonymous said...

You have such a big heart and am so glad you are fostering these cats. They are adorable. Right now I am feeding 2 strays and can't get close to them, but at least they have food in this cold weather.
Jeanette from Blue Bell, Pa.

Lou said...

Lou from City Kitties here--I am so glad the Windermere story spurred you to action locally! Those cats are lucky to have you. And don't worry too much, mom will do a lot of the work for you! Have fun with the kittens, and good luck finding them happy forever homes.

The PSPCA is doing their best to gain access to the building, and we found another missing kitty this morning, so there are some bright spots here.

coolmoon said...

I am so glad that the kitty family has found a home with you. I actually have been a regular reader of your blog for awhile (although I don't always comment). I too, saw the post regarding the Toronto cats, and immediately thought of you - but didn't even think about forwarding it - THANK YOU, KATE for having the common sense to do so. Unfortunately I have a cat allergy, or I would probably BE a cat lady already! I am, however, a dog person, and have rescued 3 dogs to date. Have a wonderful cozy time with those kitties - I see a houseful (mom and at least 2) in your future...

Cynthia of Cynful Creations said...

Thank you, ladies, for commenting on my post. It's great to hear from you!

Lou, I am especially glad to hear there are some bright spots in the Philadelphia situation, I am thinking of you all and wishing you success.