Wednesday, November 29, 2006

In memory of Tom...

I can't begin to express how vital Tom and Nancy have been to our small operation here. Although Tom's primary dedication has always been to the dogs of the Tompkins County SPCA (especially the fearful ones who needed special attention), he and Nancy have also been friends of Wildrun. Given how many hours they dedicate to the SPCA, I was always amazed how they fit us in their lives as well. They adopted manic little Paddles (now Gizmo) when they came out to our Holiday party a few years back. They of course picked the hard-luck kitten with the most attitude and physical ailments. Tom and Nancy were the cornerstone of our shelter-building party, that cranked out enough cat shelters to last for years. They fostered kittens this summer, and Nancy has always been there for me--painting shelters, sending out email and stumping for adoptive and foster homes.

Tom passed away unexpectedly this past weekend, which is why blogging has been light. Because I've posted on Tom in the past, I see this blog is getting lots of Google-search-hits on his name, and hope that including this information will put searchers in touch with Nancy and his memorial service.

There is a large hole in the Ithaca community today...and beyond...but it is partially filled with dogs and cats who lives were saved by Tom and Nancy, and the countless people whose lives he touched.

ITHACA - Thomas Karl, 58, of 5011 Dubois Rd., Ithaca, died Sunday, November 26, 2006, at his home. He was born in Bergen County, NJ, son of the late William and Rita Karl.

Tom had spent the majority of his life in and around New York City. He moved to upstate NY in 1994 and to Ithaca in 1997. Although he had been a resident of Ithaca for a few years, he had a tremendous impact on the local community. He was an active volunteer and foster parent at the S.P.C.A. and an avid photographer, gardener and birder.

Tom is survived by his partner, Nancy Cusumano of Ithaca; his brother, James (Linda) Karl of Bainbridge; sister, Denise (Robert) Jenkins of Las Vegas; and several nieces and nephews.

Friends may call at the Bangs Funeral Home on Thursday from 4 to 6 p.m. Burial will be at the Maryrest Cemetery, Mahwah, NJ, on Friday at 1 p.m. A Memorial celebration will be held at the S.P.C.A., 1640 Hanshaw Rd., Ithaca, on Wednesday, December 6, 2006, at 3 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations in Tom's memory may be sent to the S.P.C.A., attn: Kerry Burns at the above address.

From Donna of the Tompkins County SPCA, to TC SPCA volunteers:

This is a shock to all of us who knew him, and leaves a hole in our lives and the lives of the animals he loved so. Tom was a faithful dog walker, off-site volunteer, fostered MANY shy and fearful dogs - making them feel secure and loved- and ultimately helping them find their forever home. He and Nancy fostered countless kittens, keeping them safe and healthy. Tom led the way in rescueing dogs from Hurricane Katrina and bringing them to our shelter, and Tom cared completely about this shelter and our mission. Whenever there was a need, he was there. He was such a dear friend, to two legged as well as the four legged.

Post-note: The Tompkins County SPCA is closing early today so staff and volunteers can attend Tom's calling hours. This is a heartfelt thanks to the TC SPCA.

Monday, November 27, 2006

I think Gunsmoke is happy...

...don't you?

Thank you Donna, for opening your home to him. Miles is doing wonderfully in his new home, too.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Do not judge a biography by its length,
Nor by the number of pages in it.
Judge it by the richness of its contents

Sometimes those unfinished are among the most poignant…

Do not judge a song by its duration
Nor by the number of its notes
Judge it by the way it touches and lifts the soul

Sometimes those unfinished are among the most beautiful…

And when something has enriched your life
And when its melody lingers on in your heart
Is it unfinished?
Or is it endless?


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Dixie needs doin'

There are still remnants of colonies that need to be finished up. Here's Dixie, who is becoming more friendly by the day at Valarie's house, and still needs to be spayed. There is also at least a tom and two kittens here:

Thanks, Valarie, for the photos (Dixie would be in the next county if I tried to touch her, I'm sure).

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Never blog at 1:00 am after two glasses of wine.

Just over a week ago, Mark mentioned that the neighbor's cat was hanging around. A few nights later I noticed her waiting for me at around 2:00 am when I checked the cat facility. She was standing in the middle of the road when I came out, switching her tail, a pretty orange and white longhaired girl.

And so she was the next night, when I chased her out of the road so an oncoming car would not hit her. Instead of running toward home, she ran up the driveway under Mark's car.

And there she was again, the following night.

And then, as she switched her tail at me and gave a little meow the fourth night, I suddenly (with incredible dawning remembrance) realized this cat had a tail.

The neighbor's cat does not. The neighbor's cat is a Manxy little girl.

And she was no she. This cat is a He, or so I assume with those big cheeks now that I have looked more closely at "her."

So here is our annual frost-brought Tom Cat, who has stopped his wanderings to visit our porch for Nicki's dry-food leavings. Is he a displaced Tom who traveled here on his own? Or a dumped cat? Well, he's no feral, because he meows, and hangs out within only 15 feet of me.


It's been a tough week for many people I know. It has been harder on other people than me, which has made my own gripes seem lighter in comparison. My own complaints become tiny things compared to other people who are truly dealing with difficulties this month. I wish I had more options of offering help.

There are times when you wish you indeed had a magic wand that could cure ills. But Harry Potter we ain't.

This orange and white fluffy cat with the switching tail appears only after 1:00 am...and is here faithfully, every night. His white fur glows in the darkness, and his fur is so light and fluffy it is like a halo around him.

He adds one more dilemma to my life.

Normally, I would consider it a big dilemma. Yet another cat. Another damned unexpected cat.

But in the larger scheme of things, he is such a little thing. Such a small problem to be solved, when others are facing more insurmountable hurdles.

So I have given him a name.

I have named him Angel.

Tonight I talked to him. He was perched in the darkness on the fence of the Cat Garden where several feline souls (and a fox or two) are buried. Switching his tail. Defying death. Being...well....a cat. He's a handsome fellow, with a story I'll never know. Not feral, when I finally set a trap for him, he'll probably push against my hands for a scritch, and follow up with a hearty swat, being a free soul.

"Angel" seems to fit him. Well, perhaps "Angel" just fit the moment, and he happened along at that moment.

I hope he brings along good luck to those who need it now. I'd like to pretend he's not just cat, because there are a few people who could use a miracle or two.

Some people could use an angel tonight.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Adopter photos!

Zsu Zsu and Jasper, formerly Ginnie and Whiffen, now living with Stephanie (her eye looks great, Stephanie) (Hey, Valarie, this is the little kitten your neighbor brought you that was found at the side of the road):

And little Zoey, Gretchen's kitten, growing up with buddy Haley:

Friday, November 17, 2006

From scrawny to loved...

Tara and her kittens were rescued just about a year ago Here is her story, and here is Tara's Petfinder photo.

And here is Tara now. She is one happy, warm, loved cat:

Tara (who has a new and beautiful name that I always forget)has a guardian who was smitten by the buff kittens and sent an inquiry today. But the buff kittens (named Tuffy and Buffy by my vet's office--or is it the other way around?) just went to their new home this evening.

Thank you, Tali, for sending her photo!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Billee and Gunsmoke are coming back.

Anyone want to foster a really really nice adult cat for a week or two? Both cats are cat-friendly. Their adoptive home needs to return them.

Monday, November 13, 2006

We have been adopted.... Donna and Tim of Totalily Water Gardens. Donna has long been involved in animal rescue. She and Tim just made us (as well as other local animal shelters) beautiful beds to keep our cats off the floor.

And not only do they make the cats veeeerrrrry happy, they also make them easier to photograph. Check this out (you really need to click to enlarge and see this cat in his full glory):

FINALLY a photo that does beautiful Fluffy justice! The more they lounge, the better my photo portofolio grows. I am so happy! The beds may not make them simply more comfortable...they may help get them homes!

Thank you Donna and Tim! Many times over.

I did it. I ordered this...

Isn't it purty? It was $489.00 (ouch!). But that included shipping, and baked powder-coated wire. It's about $200 cheaper than a similar cage I was looking at from another company. I can use it right now for the cat who is downstairs in my barn (who needs a heating pad, etc. since the downstairs of the cat facility is not heated). I can also use it as a relocation cage for barn cats, because it will fit for transport in my truck, and a cat could live in the cage with a den box comfortably for two weeks. And if I ever need a larger off-site adoption cage...there you go. It can be used for one cat (take out the recessed cat pan and there is a hole between the levels) or two.

Ultimately I would like to replace my current standard dog crates with cages like these, but they are expensive. Still, they look much nicer, they are easier to clean, kittens won't be able to squeeze out, etc. etc. etc. You get what you pay for. Here are my current cages (not a good shot):

Here is the site. Look at all these kitty condos. Give me a few thousand dollars and boy, could I have fun!

Can you imagine how much it costs to fit out a full animal shelter with cages? Talk about "ouch!"

But oh, can you imagine a nice row of these cages, both upstairs and downstairs? And all those dog crates gone? Sigh.

Some day.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

You really will be missing something

...if you don't watch this. Be sure to read the post first, before watching the video.

Dec. 9 new date for holiday party

(Whoops! Update! It may be the 10th. I'm getting a lot of "the 9th is bad emails..."

Martha, the winemaker who normally helps host our annual holiday party along with her partner Hilary, couldn't make December 2nd, so I switched the party to Saturday, December 9. I'll be sending out invitations this week.

With the invitations I'll be sending a piece of fabric for a personal prayer flag to be flown in our cat garden for the winter. If people can't make it, they can decorate their own and send it back, with their own prayers for peace, for their community, or for a person or animal, and we'll hang them in our little grove on Saturday and Sunday.

Or you can bring it along to the party, and make yours here (or make others while you are here). I'll have a table set up with blank flags, ink, stamps, pens, etc. If you like, you can make more here to take home to fly in your own garden or porch.

The cat facility will open around 1:00 pm. The downstairs is decorated, and people usually hang out there for awhile, then go up to visit with the cats. The house is also open, and toward evening things turn into a potluck which has been known to run until midnight. Owego's River Row is a beautiful place to shop for the holiday, so it's a good excuse to either run over there before or after visiting us, if you are from the Ithaca or Binghamton areas and normally don't make it there.

Every friend of Wildrun, whether fosterer, adopter, volunteer, family, or blog reader, is welcome, however you must RSVP so we know you are coming and can send you an invitation.

December 9! Put it on your calendar, and even if you can't make it, if you would like us to send you a flag, let me know!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

We are still here, really!

I hate it when days go by without a post. The company I work with was acquired (with mutual agreement and well-wishes) by another company. This doesn't change my job much, but did mean a different computer, a different email don't realize how much an email system becomes a part of you until you have to switch to another! So here are some kitties (I hope I have some photos in My Pictures):

Dustin, such a pretty girl...

Wild-eyed Charlie...

Dude ("Runs with Sissors") and Bebe...

And Bebe again!...they are getting big.

Hopefully normal posting will resume tomorrow!

Monday, November 06, 2006

America Recycles Day, Tompkins County... pictures....

This was our booth. Mark scored this cute little VCR/monitor all-in-one that someone was discarding, so I had the Neighborhood Cats mass trapping video running continously.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

I'm home and headed to table at the Mall.

It's the Tompkins County celebration of America Recycles Day (which is actually November 15th) at the Pyramid Mall, and since we adopt out recycled cats, and have a managed colony right near the transfer station, we were invited to table. I'm betting Kat, who cares for that colony during the week, will be there. If you are in the area, stop by to say "hi" and see all the other great exhibits. I'd type more and add links but I have an issue with my right thumb that is QUITE annoying. Hopefully I can fill you in more tonight.

Blackbird was adopted!