This morning when I stepped inside the new enclosure, I immediately sat on the ground. Two of the cats came over to give me a sniff then they darted off into the corner to hide. I opened up their cans of food and poured out dry- checked the litterpans for action (none) not surprising and then just let them be. I know they are safe, they are dry, warm and eventually they will come to know they are loved. Three people are anxiously waiting to adopt one- I had a family show up yesterday and against my better judgement, I took them inside to meet the kitties. Didn’t work at all and I told them that as we were walking to the building. They had only been here for twenty minutes (the cats) so nothing happened that I didn’t expect. But they had twin girls 12 years old that wanted to see the cats and the dad was the handyman who made all this possible- so I broke my cardinal rule. They did get to pet and see my cats on the way out of the yard so it wasn’t a total bust.
Patience was still inside this morning! Yay, so it is escape-proof (either that or she just liked being in there all alone she thought “Why bother?”
Here is the finished project:
Have to have a bathroom break
They said that they will let me know no later than tomorrow as the request has to go through the proper channels. I was told they had issues with dog and cat people in the past and so they just cut everyone off. I tried to impress on them that they won’t have any issues with us should they decide to start donating to our sanctuary. Told them we have trucks and trailers at our disposal and quite a bit of storage area for food. I would have to sign a Hold Harmless statement before they would start donating which is no issue. Any food donated to our sanctuary is put through our scrunity first (checking for damaged bags, expiration dates etc… All I can do now is wait and pray and hope.
We have been hampered in our plans by nasty weather, thick mud and even our 4WD with mud tires can’t pull our trailer out of the backyard because of all the mud. So Plan B was put into effect. Instead of hauling that cumbersome dog kennel over here- we are going to (tomorrow) turn the stalls into a cat enclosure. We did a quick trip to Home Depot and as we shopped for chicken wire, rubber/vinyl matting flooring and other supplies needed for this project- I talked to all who worked there about the 10 in Need. The result is we got 10% off the order some special items thrown in at a reduced cost, and we were able to get everything needed to turn these stalls into a cat enclosure for under $400.00 which is darn good because quite soon the Kitty is going to need to be fed again.
The plan is to make a chicken wire enclosure-using the small mesh wire so the coons can’t even get a paw into the wire- and use this to enclose the entire stall/barn. I bought some vinyl flooring so we can make a master litterpan without the waste going into the dirt and causing a major stink over time. It will be a big sandbox. We will use 2×2 and 2×4′s to block access to the outside from the rafters (there is space between the rafters and the roof that cats could get out of. We will build them platforms and tunnels etc (over time) and it should be a really nice place for them.
We are looking to transporting cats and their equipment on Sunday. I will take photos as we progress so you can see what the devil I am talking about. Right now I am so tired, I can’t see straight. Tomorrow I meet with the claims advisor of a local store to see if I can get them to donate food and litter to our sanctuary. If you could just pray that I don’t blow this interview, I would appreciate it. I am so much better with the written word than I am talking with people. I can talk to cats all day long- but that doesn’t count I suppose. I will do the best I can to represent our sanctuary and let this person know the important work we do-
Now I am going to crawl under the covers with Trinnie and Denver keeping my feet warm and shut my eyes and hope sleep claims me soon.
We hired a handyman and he was amazing and a cat lover to boot! He helped us clear out the stalls. Now all we have to do is hire someone to dump a load of sand in these stalls to level them out, put down the wooden floor and we are ready to receive the ten seniors.
The new pad
This morning, I went out and took a good look at our place trying to determine the best place to put these cats. Even though our horses are long gone, the run-in stalls are still up. It will take some cleaning and organizing, but I believe we can slide one end of this 10′x20′ dog kennel into Traveler’s old stall. This will give them a solid roof over most of the kennel- then we will put another roof over that to keep the weather (and predators) away from these awesome seniors. But it gives them protection against the wind and a place in the summer to get out of the heat. We will have to put a roof over the kennel right away as our place is close to the woods and we have coons, possums, skunks, foxes and even cougars from time to time. I will haul our sacrificial sofa off to the dump- it is currently residing in one of the stalls after the cats have torn it to shreds.
So that’s the plan Stan- a busy time for all!
Just returned from the rescuer’s home. I have to give this woman props- she has been able to place 40 of her 50 rescues (which is not easy to do!) The ten kitties left are all over 9 years old. They have been living inside this very large dog kennel for over two years now. Some of the cats were of course in hiding as they are feral, but her other cats were pretty sociable and not in bad shape. There was one with heavy ear mites and another had a suspicious bump on her head and one had a runny nose, but considering the weather they have had to endure lately, they were in good weight and looked pretty good.
Mike and I have been discussing how we can do this and the shed idea was quickly discarded. It is prohibitively expensive to buy these sheds (that would be big enough for ten cats) plus there is a transport fee and an installation fee and the bottom line is, the cats would be left in a dark place and that isn’t good- unless we run electricity to it. So we nixed that idea fairly quickly.
I can get the kennel from the woman at a pretty low cost and the only way I can see this working is to put a proper roof on it. The wire at the top keeps them inside, but not the rain or snow out-because the tarps just become full of water and have to be dumped. Half the water ends up in the cats enclosure and makes a mess.
So now that I have seen this enclosure, Mike and I need to do some discussing and figuring to see if this works. I hope it will because the timeline on these beautiful cats is now 2 weeks-
Here is their current shelter:
Early this morning my phone rang. It was an old friend of mine who rescues dogs. She told me of a lady who has been rescuing over 50 years and recently suffered a major financial setback. She has to find homes for all her rescues and to her credit, she has done so, except for ten senior cats she can’t find places for. Fran asked me if there was any way I could park a covered dog kennel on our land and take these ten kitties. On further investigation, the kennel is open on all sides, but covered with a tarp to serve as a roof. Not ideal for the high winds and extreme rain we get here for a dog, let alone ten senior kitties! You don’t keep senior kitties outside, it’s just not a wise idea, yet for this woman this is her only option beside euthanasia.
Mike and I talked about it a little bit. The only way I could help is to take the part of our old jacuzzi platform- fix the leaky roof above then build an insulated, vented cat enclosure fully enclosed to protect these cats from the weather. Although the jacuzzi is in a protected area between two barns, it still would be labor-intensive to convert this space into something these cats can live out their days in.
I feel for this woman, I do but I can’t commit to this project because we wouldn’t be able to do the work ourselves and would have to hire someone to fix the roof and build the enclosure.
I just find myself especially recently asking over and over in the course of rescue- “Why is it cats don’t count?” If these were dogs, there would be news stories and television coverage and each dog would find a home, but because they are cats, they are disposable and hardly worth mentioning.
This woman is elderly and broken-hearted about her current situation but unable to find the proper place for ten of her oldest rescues. It’s heartbreaking. I just have to stop caring so much but I can’t.