It’s kitten season again! The shelter is housing a dozen and about a dozen more are being fostered by some of our most generous volunteers. See how precious they are… and remember… they ALL need a safe and loving home.

Well, here I am, back again with a Contest

I’ve taken the advice I received and decided to post when the timing works. And so, here I am. 🙂

I’ve been researching fundraising ideas for the shelter. A small group of the volunteers met a few weeks back, and discussed ways we thought we could improve conditions and chances for adoption at the shelter. We formed a Cleanup Day and decided to carry it out quarterly.

Our first cleanup day was about two weeks ago. It was a lot of work – 12 solid hours the first day and another 8 the next. We’re not finished but we did a bang-up job, if I may say so myself, and the cats were quite intrigued.

We thought they’d be afraid. After all, we certainly upset their normal, peaceful routine. We moved everything, scrubbed and powerwashed their cages, the floor, their toys and climbers. They weren’t fazed in the least. Instead, they watched intently. Eyeballing everything that went on, each clearly hoping to be the first to check out what we did when the opportunity arose.

The place smells better, looks better and, hopefully, by the time we’re finished with this first-in-a-long-time cleaning, we’ll be able to make potential adoptive families eager to adopt and to bring friends by to do the same.

So beyond the cleaning, we decided to work out ideas for fundraising and adoptions. We’ve yet to come up with a new and exciting adoption event idea, but we have a potentially profitable fundraising idea – magazines. Yup. Simple, plain ole magazines. A person renews their subscription or orders a new one and the shelter receives 40% of the sale. Sounds like a win-win plan to me! 🙂

As for adoption events – or even other fundraising ideas – I’m open to suggestion. And to make it interesting, I’ll make it into a contest.  Whoever comes up with the best and most usable adoption event idea, or fundraising campaign idea will get to pick a magazine of their choice from the above campaign and it will be my gift – to the winner and to the shelter. Another win-win. Now THAT’s what I call a successful campaign. 🙂

Kitten update!

The news couldn’t be better for the two kittens I’m fostering. They have a home. A wonderfully loving home – TOGETHER! Friends of ours stopped by the other evening. They’d had a beautiful cat years ago and were now – though I was unaware – in the ‘market’ for another. Well, when they saw these little guys, it was like the Fate’s said, “Here you go! Spread the love and be happy!”

They will give these little guys as many hugs and kisses as we’ve given them during these formative days. It’s going to be hard to say goodbye to them but at least I know they’ll be heading off on a wonderful and happy life journey. We’ll have them here until the mid to end of May, though, so by then they might have to pry these kittens from my hands. 🙂 It’s okay. I’ve done and will continue to do what’s necessary to ensure these guys are as social and affectionate as cats can be. I couldn’t be happier to know they’re going together to this particular home.

And in other news… I posted my query to my romance writer’s discussion board and received some fantastic feedback. I wish I’d posted it before I sent it to agents, but there you have it – the way my Gemini mind works is not always logical. So… I’ve revised my query and am ready to send it to the next round of agents when/if my final query and contest entry come back with R’s like the rest of them did.

And in yet other news… the weather here is finally spring-like and I cannot wait to get out into the glorious sunshine. My hope today is that Daughter and I can spend the early afternoon in the park for lunch and some studies. I think photography class should be switched to today so we can take some early spring photos of the park and marina.

Yup. Even with rejections flowing in… life can indeed be good.

Ain’t enough hours in the day…

I didn’t even check to see when I posted here last. I know it’s been a while, though… too long, actually. Life getting in the way and all that.

So what’s been happening here? Well… rejections are flowing in. runny-eggs Two are still out but… well… the odds aren’t so great, now are they? Ah, well. All part of the process.

Besides that, I’m focusing on my newest wip and while it’s slow-going, I don’t mind so much. If I’ve learned anything with the past three stories I’ve written it’s this – better to take time planning than waste time revising.

Meanwhile, it’s kitten season again and the shelter is filling up once more. Just last week, some very kind heart called us to say she rescued 6 kittens who had been stuffed into a paper bag and tossed into a commercial garbage dumpster. Thanks to this wonderful lady who heard their cries and stopped to do something about it, these kittens – all six – are in foster homes where they’re safe, loved and being bottle fed. Soon… if we foster parents can bring ourselves to allow it… they’ll leave our homes and go to new ones. To their very own special families. Until then, we’re feeding them around the clock (I have two, and two other volunteers each have two) and just simply adoring them.

Yes. Giving them up is going to be a very difficult thing to do.

bobby-1  gregg2


So… what’s new by you? Have some good news to share? I’d love to hear it. Especially now after receiving not one but two rejections in one day. hissyfit

Muddled thoughts of a Gemini

I know I haven’t been here in a while and, honestly, I can’t say why. The days are just flying by and the hours in each seem to have gotten shorter.

I’ve been working on the plot of my new story and still have April 1st as my goal to start writing it. That’s something I’ve learned from my previous work – a simple yet rounded bit of plotting works well for me. I’m that cross between plotter and pantser. And April 1st is when I hope to put plotting aside and start a month of pounding out some pantser pages.

Meanwhile, we’ve been attending a variety of homeschooling activities – which, not surprisingly pick up as the weather gets less frigid. We’ve watched holocaust movies and discussed World War II. We’ve watched David Copperfield and Oliver Twist, and turned them into lessons about 19th Century England. I’ve finally learned how to turn a simple event into an opportunity for learning and realize that every day life has more lessons in it than anything we could possibly plan.

Take the shelter, for instance. The lessons there are immeasurable. Daughter is learning so much from volunteering – not only about compassion and responsibility, but also about human strengths and weaknesses. She’s learning, sadly, that more often than not, when people see something curious, they stand back and leave it for someone else to investigate or fix. Even when stepping in can save a life. Or possibly save a life. I guess we’ll never know for sure.

We lost two newborn kittens last night. That’s what this is all about. The mother rejected them and everyone, apparently, thought it was just an anomaly… a mother cat not feeding her babies. Surely, they thought, it’s just at this moment she’s not doing so. Sadly, that just wasn’t the case and no matter what we did during our shift… it was simply too late.

Mother Nature is a cruel, cruel bitch at times but never more so than when an innocent is made to suffer. I don’t know that we could have done anything to save these kittens, in fact, on many levels I know we couldn’t have. Still…  and maybe this is partly the writer in me asking… but I’ll always wonder, ‘what if’.

There’s a kitten in the house

I am an animal lover through and through. Taking in this abandoned kitten was inevitable from the moment I ripped open the box in which she’d been dumped at the shelter. I was going to foster her, socialize her so she could easy go into a loving home. There was no question.

Yes. My intention was to foster the last three kittens I took home from the shelter, and now, more than a year later, they are as much a part of my family as I am. It was no wonder, then, that everyone I spoke to about fostering this one laughed at me.

“It’s true,” I said. “I’m not keeping her, I’m just fostering her.”

“Uh-huh” was the standard chuckling reply.

In truth, I have considered keeping her. But that would mean FIVE cats in my house. One for each room. 😀

Uh… no.

Put aside the fact that she fits inside every nook and cranny there is in my little house. Forget the fact we keep repeating one line all day and night, “Where’s the baby?” Forget the messy kitten coolie and baby-fine talons… um… nails… that slice through skin like a hot knife through butta (hey, I’m a New Yorker). Forget the endless heart-wrenching cries at 4am when baby is hungry… and forget the hissing and attitudes of the ‘elder’ cats in the house.

Forget all that because this kitten is precious. And yes, she’s already cozied up into my heart.

But I can’t keep her. I have four already and we have a neat little routine going. Besides, she’s here for one reason – to be taught what it means to be part of a family so that she can be part of one herself. And guess what? She has a home. Sight-unseen, someone has eagerly agreed to take her and so, come Monday, I’ll say goodbye to my fragile little calico and know, somewhere in my sad little heart, that she’ll be happy and very well cared for.

I’ll also know that I was the one lucky enough to receive her first ever head-butt. And I taught her to feel safe enough to love.

Whiskers on kittens…

A few of our charming shelter cats
Clockwise from top left – Minnie and Ginger, Ava, Charlie, Max

For a few hours a week, my daughter and I volunteer at an animal shelter. It’s not funded by large donors and no one works there for pay. Although, as an animal lover, I’d have to say the pay is in the kisses and full body rubs these kitties often give. Of course, a couple of our shelter cats would sooner dice you like a cross shredder than rub against or kiss you, but they’ve had difficult lives, so we… give them their space.

There are so many different personalities among cats. Getting to know them all is like getting to know a whole group of people. They have different desires and different needs. In the end, however, they all just want the basics – security and love. Teddy is one of the tougher cats. Don’t pet Teddy. Don’t talk to Teddy. Come to think of it… don’t even LOOK at Teddy. 🙂 Actually, he’s just a big boy who wants to be left alone. Then there’s his polar opposite – Twister. He’s a big boy, too. Solid and heavy. But he’s got the squeakiest meow you’ll ever hear. His big size makes him appear intimidating, but manly Twister wants only to be held like a baby, with his paws resting on your shoulders, his head nestled into your neck, and your arms supporting his furry little butt.

I could go on and on about our beautiful shelter cats, and I probably will one day. But for today, I’ll let them speak for themselves… (check your volume, some videos have music)



If you’re interested, and how could you not be… 😉 …here’s a link to more short videos of these precious babies (including Twister!)…

More Videos!

When I first started volunteering there, I thought it would be sad. All those big, bright eyes looking into mine, hoping for a home. But you know what? They’re content. They play, eat, sleep and are safely indoors. The only thing they’re missing is a warm human to snuggle up to in the wee hours of the night and to nudge awake just before dawn. They each need a home of their own, but we give them all we can while they’re in the place they, temporarily, call home.

Check out more of these beauties…

Bios and pictures!

Don’t forget to click the ‘back’ button so you can return to me and tell me what you think… and which cat or kitten you’d like to adopt! 🙂

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