Monday, January 4, 2010

no good deed goes unpunished...

I apologize in advance for this post, as it will not be the normally chipper and fun post that everyone has come to expect; it's actually time for a reality check, so I am going to explain what the last 5 weeks has been like for ME. Why? Well, I had a very hurtful interaction with someone today because of Blossom and her kittens and I'm pretty damn sure I didn't deserve it. I think people believe that this has been nothing but fun and goodtimes as I frolic with adorable little kittens and share fun stories. Let me dispel that for all of you, though if anyone has ever fostered a cat and kittens, you will understand.

First of all, do I need to talk about the cost? That's the most obvious point. I have been lucky to have some donations from the start, as the Depot store that Blossom came from gave blankets, bowls and some food. And a teacher named Laureen has been kind enough to donate some food, as has another sales rep that visits the Depot, and Yvonne at the Depot (as well as a very kind offer from a woman named Mary). But let me tell you, there has been the cost of dry food, canned food, kitty litter, deodorizer for the litter (so my home doesn't smell like a litter box), and cleaning supplies (as I am constantly cleaning messes, and going through spot remover and mopping supplies). And that's just for Blossom and her kittens! I have two cats of my own that normally live with me, but have been temporarily relocated to my parents home while I take care of Blossom (which, start to finish will be about 3 months). So I still have to feed my own cats as they stay at my parents, on top of the cost of taking care of 5 cats back at my place. I actually have a third cat I own that permanently lives with my parents, and as luck would have it, just before Christmas he got sick and I racked up a $500 vet bill trying to nurse him back to health. Are you feelin' me now, about the cost?

Alright, so let's describe a bit about what it's like to have a litter of kittens living in your house...
I just came home from work an hour ago and do you know what I did before I even had my shoes off? I fed all five cats some canned cat food, which distracts them and keeps them out of my way while I clean two full litter boxes and sweep up the trail of litter that is all over the place, because the kittens think the litterbox is more like a sandbox to play in. And then I get out the cat-friendly, all-purpose cleaner and spray the spot on the floor where they have missed the litter or otherwise just left 'a little something' behind; such is the fun in litter training babies. This takes me about 20 mins, depending on how messy it is. I sweep, scoop, sweep again and mop. As I walk through my house I see all the fun things they got into while I was at work. 5 bored cats meant the loaf of bread I had on the counter was dragged onto the floor, toys are everywhere, as is a piece of foil they somehow got their paws on and tore to pieces. The clothes that were hanging on my doorknob are pulled onto the floor, I would imagine as they attempted to claw and climb their way up. Clearly these were very busy kitties.

This morning, however, started off even better. I now sleep with my door closed, otherwise I have cats waking me up throughout the night..... so my morning begins with me opening my bedroom door and then tripping over kittens as I stumble my way to my kitchen half awake. But before I feed myself, I open a can of food and feed the cats. And then of course it's time to clean two litter boxes, sweep, and mop. I mop often 2-3 times a day, and do the litter at least that many times a day or else live with the smell of 5 cats using the same box. Nothing like starting your day off doing litter, let me tell ya! Makes breakfast seem less appealing.

So by the time I fed them, did some work emails on my computer, showered, dressed, made my lunch and put my boots on to head out the door.... there was another mess. Litter training is still a new concept to these babies and they don't always hit the mark.... so off goes the coat as I stop to clean up another mess... dig out the spray and mop.... etc etc.....

Yes, the babies are cute. Adorable, even, and that's what allows me to put up with them puking up milk on my rug. Keeps me from killin' 'em when they claw their way up the front of my couch and bed (and legs!! ow!). But make no mistake, they are a LOT of work.... and they will leave their mark on my house when they are gone (mostly on my couch with their claws). My furniture will not be the same, but neither will my heart. When I took Blossom and her babies in, I knew what I was getting into, but I knew that there was a cat here that needed someone to show her some compassion, so I opened my heart and home.

What upsets me is when people judge me or speak to me in a less than respectful way. This has been a HARD 5 weeks as I have turned my home into chaos for these cats. I have had to relocate my own cats for 3 months, and guess what? I miss them! I want MY babies back at some point too! In an effort to win the hearts of the Depot associates who looked at me with such suspicious hearts and minds, I created this blog. Do you have any idea how much time and effort it has taken to make and maintain this?? And during all this I was having problems with my heart, had to rush to the doctor and get an EKG and then had to have a holter monitor on for 2 weeks while taking care of these cats, taking care of my own sick cat (and going to the vet's, all sick with worry), juggling my job and the holidays! I didn't feel exceptionally well as I dealt with chest pains and a monitor glued to me around the clock for 2 weeks... but those kittens don't care if I have a heart monitor! They have needs that have to be met, regardless of how I feel. So I sucked it up and carried on.

Today there was a misunderstanding and miscommunication as to who had spoken for kittens and who hadn't. I got a call from a store associate who had assumed she was getting one of the kittens when I had already made arrangements for them all. This was the first I had heard *directly* from her, and I thought one had already been saved for her by another associate. She was understandably upset, as I am sure she had her heart set on it. I tried to explain that this was the first I had heard of her and FROM her, as she had not contacted me directly herself, either by phone, email or this blog. Others who had spoken to me for a kitten have made efforts to stay in touch with me, ask for pictures of the kittens, updates, videos, and have donated food to help me out.

The conversation turned tense as the associate was disappointed and upset, and I tried to apologize for the miscommunication, explaining that I truly hadn't known that she wanted a kitten and that if I had I would have saved one for her, no problem. But what upset me most was that this associate hung up on me while we were speaking on the phone, while I was mid-sentence and apologizing. Hung. Up.

Was there a miscommunication? Yes. Misunderstanding? Absolutely. I will even take some of the responsibility... I clearly didn't understand the single voicemail message I had heard several weeks ago, but I thought I HAD heard it correctly, so I acted accordingly. Am I the only one to blame? I don't think so.... why have I only been contacted now, weeks later? No comments on the blog? No direct contact? No email?

I am very sorry if you were disappointed, but I think hanging up on me was rude. And considering all I have done and will continue to do for another 4 weeks with the kittens and at least 8 for Blossom, I really don't think I deserved to be treated like that. There are plenty of other kittens that can be adopted from shelters... lots of other options.

And as a point, everyone was SO worried about Blossom when she was pregnant and living at the store.. but has anyone talked about adopting her? Has everybody forgotten about the poor girl who needed a home first? People are fighting over the kittens because they are tiny and cute... but what about Blossom? She seems to have been forgotten in all this mess, and she has the greatest need of all. People seem to have room in their homes for kittens but not a cat?

I have been trying to find a home for her too and may have someone interested. However, nobody really wants a cat who needs to be fixed, so I will be assuming the cost of getting her shots and having her spayed. That will up the chances of her finding a home, which is good for her and good for me. She needs a permanent home, and I need to bring my own kitties home too.

If you would like to make a donation towards the cost, it would be greatly appreciated. Click the button below.

I'm sorry for the rant, but I needed people to know just what it's like behind the adorable pictures and videos you have seen. I think it's all too easy to sit in judgment of someone when you don't really understand what's going on; I did my very best to please everyone, but obviously that's impossible. All I wanted to do was volunteer to take in a cat in need and to find homes for them all, without the need for anyone going to a shelter. I am doing what I can with what I have, but as the saying goes... no good deed goes unpunished.


  1. Hung up on you?? That is probably the rudest, most disrespectful thing someone can do to another in a phone conversation.

    Clearly the person who treated you as a lesser doesn't deserve one of these kittens. The Human Society and animal shelters all screen potential pet owners so I hope her self centered attitude and sense of entitlement shows itself if this person tries to adopt from one of these agencies.

    It is sad that people aren't more interested in Blossom as she seems like the sweetest, little cat. People do realize that the kittens won't stay tiny forever, right? I do hope that you soon find people fighting over Blossom the way they've been clammoring for her babies.

    I know I am not alone when I applaud your selfless efforts in taking Blossom in and fostering her and her babies. It's unfortunate that the loudest voices are those that insult rather than congratulate.

    Keep up the great work!

  2. Hello from Texas!
    I also commend you for opening your heart and helping a mother and babies out when it looked like no one else has. I found your blog through StumbleUpon, and had bookmarked it as so to read up on the adventures of Blossom and her babes. Thank you for putting forth the effort into making this blog, as well as helping out the cats. I hope that Blossom finds an owner that is as caring and compassionate as you have been. Thank you for doing something.
    I hope my little donation helps them and you out. :]

  3. Melissa 1: I appreciate your support and comments; it has been frustrating, but everyone has different ways of dealing with things. I am trying to be compassionate and understand that this girl was just hurt and disappointed because she had her heart set on a kitten. Misunderstandings happen and hopefully she will consider adopting elsewhere as there are so many cats in need..

    Melissa 2: thank you SO MUCH for your kind donation!!! I was wondering how a Melissa in Texas found me! :-) Such generosity from a complete stranger warms my heart and restores my faith in people. thank you.