Sunday, July 24, 2011

In Memory of Phillip

Beyond The Rainbow

As much as I loved the life we had and all the times we played,
I was so very tired and knew my time on earth would fade.
I saw a wondrous image then of a place that's trouble-free
Where all of us can meet again to spend eternity.

I saw the most beautiful Rainbow, and on the other side
Were meadows rich and beautiful -- lush and green and wide!
And running through the meadows as far as the eye could see
Were animals of every sort as healthy as could be!
My own tired, failing body was fresh and healed and new
And I wanted to go run with them, but I had something left to do.

I needed to reach out to you, to tell you I'm alright
That this place is truly wonderful, then a bright Glow pierced the night.
Twas the Glow of many Candles shining bright and strong and bold
And I knew then that it held your love in its brilliant shades of gold.

For although we may not be together in the way we used to be,
We are still connected by a cord no eye can see.
So whenever you need to find me, we're never far apart
If you look beyond the Rainbow and listen with your heart.

Joyce writes: Phillip and his brother came to Joa's Arc from Camden County Animal Shelter. Joa's Arc was asked to take these boys because they had deformed eyelids. I was lucky enough to be their foster mom.

Phillip was extra sweet and just loved everyone. Wherever he was all I had to do is yell Phillip and he would come prancing with his extra big feet and extra long tail, and would look up at me with what I swore was a smile on his face. Phillip was adopted by a wonderful woman named Holly who adored Phillip. Holly loved this boy with all her heart. Phillip had surgery to correct his eye issues and did great. A few months later, Phillip needed a dental extraction. Phillip unexpectedly died during recovery.

Needless to say, Holly was devastated. We are all heartbroken that this sweet unique boy left us way too soon. We will never forget Phillip. In his short life he brought much joy and happiness to many people but mostly to Holly. Personally I thank Phillip for bringing me Holly, a sweet compassionate woman who I am blessed to now call my friend.

Goodbye sweet Phillip, we will meet again.
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Saturday, July 23, 2011

More on The First Family

Meet Lakota and "her" 8 kittens!

Their foster mom, Deb, writes, "Lakota and these eight tiny babies came to me through Joa’s Arc. We don’t believe that all eight are biologically Lakota’s kittens, but they all looked the same and needed to get out of their current situation, so it didn’t really matter.

I think Joyce M originally asked me to take a mom and “4 or 5 babies” but when we met, she said she “thought” there might be 7 babies. When I got them home and began counting as they came out of the carrier, there were EIGHT sweet, little orange or buff and white kittens.

I now know to never trust Joyce M’s math again! {Note: LOL. I'm pretty sure the removal of this family was planned, so Lakota and babies were already in a carrier when Joyce arrived at the hoarder's to pick them up. Not to mention, let's be honest, a big pile of orange/buff and white kittens could be hard to count}

The kittens all had crusty eyes and both they and Lakota smelled terrible ... just like I imagined the house would smell like. After some antibiotics and eye ointment, their URI {upper respiratory infection} began to clear up and soon they were looking and smelling like well-cared for kittens are supposed to!

Deb is such a wonderful, wonderful lady and so it's no wonder the kittens are thriving in her care!

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Direct quote from an email I sent regarding the hoarding house and some of the photos:

I was nice, but honest when I responded, "That house is offensive ... And we're not going to get help if we just post photos of sweet cats in clean beds." What I'm putting {out there} is just to help the cats. Sugar-coating things by cropping out all the crap or not mentioning that these cats will die if placement isn't found (which is TRUE) is not going to get them anywhere.

I am still very upset. I understand the {family} being upset, but I'm not the one who created that situation. She {the hoarder} did! My tolerance for dealing with them is slipping away more and more when I see the sad eyes of those cats...

This frustration was a constant - of being nice and being walked all over. Not to mention the harassment we got while seeking help. After posting some of the pictures, a lot of help came forward. Mixed in with that though were some people who were not so nice. We got asked questions like, "What a sick, sick person. Why are you being so nice to her?", "Don't you want to punch her in the face?", "This person is a monster! Why are you dealing with her?" We erased these comments or just didn't respond to them. It definitely got to us though...

On that note - the photos I went through from today... Ugh!

We went there looking for kittens after we heard a few had been born. While on the ground, looking under the bed and flashing the camera (to try to catch a photo of the cats I couldn't see), I heard a clicking noise - a lot of clicking noise and it was coming from right by my ear. I turn my head and there were these black bugs on the ground where I just had my head near and by the food dishes. Here's one of the dishes, the one my head was by:

See the little black dots by the food dish? Yea, those were some of the bugs. There were more in the corner and by the other food dish in the room too. Oh, and this was one of the first visits that we went and the cats upstairs actually had some food and water in their dishes before we got there, so a great big THANK YOU to everyone who has been donating food. It's really appreciated and being put to good use.

It was super hot today, but the windows are rarely open or a fan on because of the smell. The neighbors complain, which is understandable. It is incredible! The cats were really suffering though, some of them were even open mouth breathing and we called animal control to tell them to remind {the hoarder} she must keep the fans on no matter what.

We're being nice for the cats, we're sharing what we have to for the cats ... and the help coming forward is so appreciated. We cannot say that enough. It's taking time, but we are helping these cats.

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Friday, July 8, 2011

Entering The House

Today I entered the house Joyce told me about. We have, thankfully, already removed a couple cats, like the first family I wrote about.

I took a camera with me in order to take photos of cats to try to get more adopted out - pictures always help and definitely make the situation more real. It's actually the first suggestion I made to Joyce when she asked how we can start helping the cats - to get names and pictures of their faces out to the public so we could get their help.

I also brought a camera because I really don't think anyone would believe me when we said just how full this house is! If we're to find more help for these cats, the big help that we really need, we've got to take photos to show rescues what these cats are currently living in.

The owners of the home and these cats have obviously been in over their head for some time now and in need of help. Many of the hoarding situations you see in the media result in death for the animals, whether from continuing to live in these conditions or from the local shelter not being able to contain them (be it the huge quantity all at once or the sicknesses hoarded animals often carry). We want something more for these cats - we want to save these cats! All of them.

Thankfully, we're not the only ones with this goal in mind ... we've got some great individuals that want to help too, including the local animal control officers. There's also a low cost spay and neuter clinic that fixed about 25 of the cats so far and great people like Debbie and Kelly willing to foster.

Today, we had a carrier full of kittens waiting for us when we got to the house because a really nice woman, Kelly, offered to foster a group. I hope she can handle 10 because that's what was rounded up! Prepare yourself, Kelly - this crew is all yours now!

A bunch of other cats were surrounding the carrier when we got there (note the first pic) - sniffing it, laying on it, looking into it. There were other cats curled up in carriers we had left there too. There were cats everywhere - on the sofa, on the table, on the kitchen counters, on the kitchen chairs, smooshed in the windows (which were mostly covered over so no one could see in), stretched out on top of a couple refrigerators, etc ... and these are just the cats downstairs. We weren't allowed upstairs.

Here are some photos from the house today:

I was really surprised at how friendly some of the cats were - a lot of them.

However, I told Joyce that the hoarder's house I did almost 10 years ago was a lot like that too - the cats you saw at first were mostly friendly, mostly healthy ... until you started removing them, then the cats would hide or you got down to the cats that were less social.

Well, after leaving the house and waiting for the 10 kittens' foster mom to show up, I noticed one of the kittens had a bump and sore on her little arm. I hadn't noticed it at first until I started looking at the kittens one by one. That'll need to be looked into... and I'm a little nervous about what else we might find in the house if this is how we're starting out. Tweet This

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The First Family

This family was removed from the hoarder's house today!

Take a look at this big brood - this is the first family to be lucky enough to get out of the hoarder's house and they are all now safe in foster care in the Mt. Laurel, NJ, area.

Obviously, all of these kittens are not her's, but the mom, Lakota, was lactating and taking care of this sizable crew already. Not to mention, we wanted to get as many out as possible!

More details coming soon. For now, we're really thankful that their foster family was so open to taking them on and that this first family is now somewhere safe, warm, clean and much less stressful. Tweet This

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

House of Cats

Joyce went into a house today and sent me this photo. There are cats everywhere!

She said it is a serious case of hoarding and that she needed advice on what to do to help the cats. We talked briefly. Ugh... poor cats!

More details to follow up soon. Tweet This