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Celebration Station

A Ruby in the Rough

March 10, 2006

RubyThere are a couple of felines that found a special place in my heart. Ruby, the adorable kitty in these photos, is one of them. One of our star volunteers, Alice, named her.

Recognize her? She is the cat staring wide-eyed out of the humane trap that Craig and I caught one evening. You can see the photo of her in the blog post I made on January 25th.

Little Ruby was so sweet and used to "make biscuits" as soon as you started petting her. For the first few days, however, the cat area staff thought she was feral (wild). She was not feral, obviously. A lot of cats who we once thought were feral came out of their shells in just a few days. It amazed me every time, too.

RubyAnyway, I digress. Back to Ruby. During the Super Adoption event, she won the hearts of a mom and son family. The son was so gentle with her and I was very happy with the match. They had another kitty named Sapphire, so they wanted to keep her name. It was fate! She went home with them that day and I’m sure she’s spoiled and loved.

I will shamefully admit that letting her go to another family was rough, even though it is a perfect home for her. She wasn’t even my cat! I just trapped her and cared for her for a few days. Part of rescue work is letting go, however, and working at Celebration Station for 2 1/2 months taught me quite well on how to do just that. Rescue, care for, kiss them on their furry little head goodbye – all in a few days. No one ever claimed it would be easy, though, right?

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New Furbaby

January 20, 2006

I just had to mention that I personally adopted a kitty. Yes, this makes 3! I find it amazing that, even after all the times I’ve been over here in Louisiana doing pet rescue, I have only adopted one animal! So, without further ado, meet Noni.


Her photo was taken by Clay Myers from Best Friends Animal Society while he was here at Celebration Station. There are other photos, some of her and some of her and I together, but I am unsure if they will be published in their newsletter at some point, so I don’t want to step on someones’ toes.

Noni’s story is like many other Katrina animals. She was an owner surrender, literally handed over to me while I was out on a food/water/rescue mission during my time here before I came back over for the long haul. Another volunteer and I were looking for a cat in a ruined neighborhood and there was a couple across the street from an address we were scouting who asked us what we were looking for. We described the cat we were looking for and I noticed Noni (her real name) was hanging around their yard. I enquired about her and the husband said that she was their cat. He offered her to me and told me to take her instead! She was so sweet and I noticed she was pregnant, so I couldn’t say no. His wife scooped her up and placed her in my arms.

As he was doing this, he also mentioned that she had had two previous litters. I didn’t hesitate in promising him that I would find her a great home. Noni and I bonded immediately, but I didn’t make arrangements to adopt her before my short two-day break during the holidays. She was there when I returned and I knew then that it was meant to be, so I officially adopted her. She lives near my desk in Kitty City and will meet her sister and brother (Celeste and Kanji) when I return home.

Photo credit goes to Clay Myers.

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A “Typical” Day

January 7, 2006

Someone asked what an average day is like here for us in “Kitty City” at Celebration Station. The simple answer is: there is no such thing as an average day here. There are set routines that we follow for the daily AM and PM feedings and meds, but other than that, most of the day is very fly by the seat of your pants.

However, with that said, I will attempt to describe an “average” day here. We begin at 7:00 am, when Mike and I get cats (both feral and domestic) crated for their vet visit. By the time we get them loaded and out the door, an hour has passed. Next, we intake and find cages for all the cats that trappers bring to us throughout the evening. When that’s done, it’s about lunch time. After lunch, I make sure all the intake forms are entered into the system and all the new cats have what they need and are happy and content. Lately, we’ve been receiving several owner relinquished cats per day and they come at all hours of the day, so those are intaked and found cages at that time.

Throughout the day, we both handle visits from the public looking for their lost cats, stealth volunteers wanting more specific information, Celebration Station volunteers, questions from staff and other requests. We also oversee the food/water volunteers and the volunteers who help out by cleaning dirty cages, crates, litterpans and food bowls.

Around or after dinner time, the cats that were at the vet return and we check all their paperwork and put them back into their cages, which takes on average an hour and a half. Some of the cats come back FIV and FELV positive, so they are moved into their respective isolation room. At this time, the volunteers come back to start the PM feeding/watering on all of the cats. This is also about the time that I sit down at the computer and finish all the intake forms, update my “Master Cat List” and file everything away.

Mike and I make the rounds before bed figuring out who needs to go to the vet in the morning and which feral cats are ready for release. There are usually a lot of people coming in and out around this time and we usually have to push back our duties until it quiets down. By the time we are done with everything for the day it’s about 1:00 am. Some nights, when trappers (both dog and cat) are out late, we receive quite a few cats who have been trapped in dog traps, and we are up later intaking them and getting them comfortable for the evening.

The days are very busy, but are fun and enjoyable despite the high stress levels. We crack jokes to keep our spirits up and take small breaks while we eat to chit chat. I am never bored and I learn something new every day. Very, very soon I should have my laptop and will start adding photos with my posts, along with updating my photo albums. 🙂

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