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Hurricane Katrina

Photo Friday: Alone

March 2, 2007

Photo Friday: Alone

This was taken during my second trip doing post-Katrina animal rescue. To see the subject of this photo, focus between the lower center window frame. She was very much alone when we found her and very pregnant. I could tell she was friendly, but wary of strangers. Unfortunately, our traps were full, so we couldn’t bring her back that night. I did take note of where we were and a few days later an animal rescue friend caught her. After that she wasn’t alone anymore.

I posted this photo partially because it was a happy ending and partially to shed light to an ongoing situation in New Orleans right now. To quote from the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary Spring 2007 newsletter:

"Cats who survived the hurricane but were not rescued have given birth to new generations who are now entirely feral. Under houses, behind the debris and forlorn cars, thousands of cats are spread across miles and miles of wasteland – unfixed and breeding. [snip] Cats are very capable creatures, even in these dreadful conditions. And the mathematics of a cat population explosion are mind-boggling."

Best Friends Animal Society, with the support of the Louisiana SPCA and the Humane Society of the United States, has launched a trap/neuter/return campaign across affected areas of New Orleans. Also involved are Spay/Louisiana (a spay/neuter voucher program for local communities), the Southern Animal Foundation and Animal Rescue New Orleans.

To learn more go to:

Photographed in New Orleans, Louisiana on December 18, 2005.

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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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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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Hurricane Katrina Animal Relief Video

December 4, 2005

Katrina DogI found a video tonight that is worth watching by everyone who loves animals! Personally, it brought back so many memories from New Orleans and provided plenty of tears.

It documents animal rescue in the aftermath of Katrina and Rita. It’s set to music (“The Reason” by Hoobastank) and runs for a few minutes. You’ll need Windows Media Player to view it.


To watch the video:

  • Visit
  • Click on Hurricane Katrina Relief link on the left.
  • Then click Watch Katrina Relief Video in the pop-up window.

On a personal note: I used to despise that song, but after watching it in this perspective, I can now enjoy it.

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