Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Bluey news

The Blueys have been with me for 43 days now. Yes, they have grown. And are as playful as ever now. My legs are their "tree trunk".  

They seem to like the wooden chair now.

With Uncle Bobby and Uncle Tiger.
This one is Baloo.

Bagheera is the independent one.'s always Baloo with Uncle Bobby.

Uncle Bunny doesn't mind the litter box as his bed.

Bagheera seems to want her privacy.

One big family?

I spent the last 3 hours doing a physical stock-check of our tshirts (that's 52 sets of tshirts) before this weekend's big event - Kathina. We'll be selling our tshirts again. It is usually during Wesak and Kathina that we raise most of our funds. Can't let this chance go by....or we won't have enough to carry on! New stock just arrived yesterday, so I'll be collecting them today. 

Of course, the two Blueys were having a ball while I was stock-checking. They had lots of fun playing with the strings.

Would you believe they actually played tug of war with the strings?

They're too big for their first little playhouse, but that doesn't stop them from inventing another game with it.

Kittens are just so good at setting up rules for games.

When we're done playing, it becomes our bed!

Goodnight, folks!

The Blueys are up for adoption. Two adopters were initially interested, but due to some delay, they have adopted other animals now. There is also a very kind gentleman who is willing to let them be his office pets. I'm very thankful he wants to help me out here since he knows I only offered to foster for a short period and not to adopt, and I am having problems now as Indy is still staying away from home. I don't even know if Indy will ever come back as he has already vacated his porch space and by feline rules, he has no more space in the house now. Every day, rain or shine, I still have to go bring him back for his food. 

Coming back to this very kind man's offer to let the Blueys be his office pets, I'm a little worried about the Blueys being alone in the office at night now that they are still young. Of course, I'll KIV his very kind offer. If we cannot find a home (with a family) for the Blueys, I'll let this kind man have them as his office pets. Punitha has asked me to hang on a bit longer as she'll try to look for a family to adopt the Blueys.   

Meanwhile, if you know of anyone who would like to adopt the Blueys, please let me know. Thank you.  

As I've written before, my offer was only to foster them for a few days or until they are on kibbles. I know the longer they stay with me, the harder it would be for me to part with them eventually. It is also not fair to them as they too would be attached to me, to Bobby and to my house. Somehow, not many have offered to adopt the Blueys. 

Some kittens have a lot of luck in finding good homes. Some don't. It must be some affinity forces at work here? 

Further reflections at 6am this morning:

It comes as no surprise that many people are scared of offering to be fosterers. One would think that in fostering, it is just fostering for a fixed duration, as per agreed. But often, the fosterer has to rehome the animals as well.  And when the fosterer cannot rehome, the fosterer has to adopt? This would mean that the fosterer is also expected to be the rehomer and the adopter? No wonder people are so scared of offering to foster!

I was supposed to only foster Tiger and Indy, but their rescuers dumped them on me, so I ended up adopting them because as time went by, I grew attached to them, and didn't have the heart to part with them. 

Vixey and Wii were spotted by a boy at the playground who alerted my daughter to them. We picked them up, and we ended up adopting them because Vixey had congenital growth problems which needed special nursing care. 

Creamie and Crackers were dumped on me as well. Their "spotter" (yes, the lady who spotted them and kept texting me to pick them up because she refused to do it herself) is also a cat caregiver in her own right, but she decided she would not pick them up. Their eyes were still closed and they were left under the hot sun for hours before I managed to get back from where I was to pick them up. When I picked them up, they were completely dehydrated and almost dead. Yet, the spotter kept going back to the box and texting me to let me know that there weren't moving anymore, etc. (yes, an hourly commentary and update, but she wouldn't pick them up). I was not even in town that day. I only managed to come back after 4-5 hours.  

But let's get back to the issue of fostering cum rehoming cum adopting. I've really been hoping to inculcate a culture of "working together for the animals" through AnimalCare where we each take on smaller tasks of doing what we can so that no one person would be overwhelmed with too much to do. If we pile on too much for one person, it takes a toll on him/her and after awhile, the person just gives up. 

When I first started AnimalCare way back, more than 2 years ago, I asked for volunteers to be:
(1) Fosterers - those who only foster for an agreed duration.
(2) Rehomers - those who try to find homes for animals.
(3) Adopters - those who adopt and give a home to animals.

These were supposed to be three DIFFERENT roles taken on by three DIFFERENT people. That's what I was hoping to achieve. That way, the fosterer (a role we need so badly) would not be put off having too much to do, or having the animal dumped on her/him.  

I would think the rescuer (the person who picked up the animal) should take on the responsibility of finding a home for the animal or else, the rescuer should adopt. Not the fosterer. Fosterers should never be dumped with an animal that he/she had volunteered to FOSTER. It is not the fosterer who picked up the animal in the first place.   

Two years down the road, I know I have failed to create the community I envisaged. Very often, the rescuer pleads the fosterer to "Please help, just for a week or two", but after the two weeks, "Can you hang on a little longer?". And after one month, "Can you adopt?". Or worse, the rescuer does not answer your calls anymore after that and you find yourself "stuck" (for lack of a better word) with the animals, whom you undoubtedly would have grown very fond of by then.

So, fosterers end up with more and more animals until they reach a point in time where they throw up their hands and say "ENOUGH!" and that's that.

When I asked my friend, Lydia, to help rehabilitate Amber Horsey (who needed amputation), she asked for my assurance that I would not dump Amber Horsey on her. Amber Horsey was not even my rescue, but that of Joanne. I was merely helping with the medical/surgery fee and the rehabilitation as it involved amputation. Lydia said "only one month". I sourced for a friend to take Amber Horsey into his shelter after one month and he agreed. I had made contingency plans so that I would be able to honour my word with Lydia. 

After one month, I asked Lydia if she needed me to take back Amber Horsey and Lydia said to give her another month as Amber wasn't quite ready yet. 

Another month passed, and I followed up. Lydia said to hang on as she wanted to help Amber for a little while more. Finally, Lydia told me she had decided she would free me from my word as she had decided to take on the task of rehoming Amber Horsey herself. I also told her I could no longer ask my friend to reserve the place at his shelter for so long. Other animals needed that place, too.  

I think, ultimately, it all boils down to keeping our word. It would be so much easier if all of us kept our word, our promises. 

It would certainly be better for the animals, too.

As for the commenter in this post who has asked me to adopt the Blueys, thank you very much for your well-intentioned suggestion. I wish I could but I have already explained why I cannot:

Yes, some people have 30 or 40. Why, Meiji has 128 dogs and she manages single-handedly! If we want to compare, why compare with those who have 30, why not compare with those who have hundreds? So, where do you draw the line?

The bottom line is, there is NO basis for comparison. It is not right to compare because we are all different and we have our individual limitations, don't we? 

We can only do so much and if only people would respect that, life would be so much better....for everyone, especially the animals.    


rini said...

how i hate to give away kittens or cats .... it is painful to have to give away , rite .....

please look for an adopter that can take good care of them ... like u do...

how i wish i can adopt them n other cats too ( i know you've heard a lot of this ... how ppl wish to adopt but they couldnt do so) ....but really how i wish i can help.. huhuhu...

blueys are so cute ...and so attached with your dog n cats....

Anonymous said...

Keep them. When you move to the new place, everyone will be equal and have to start all over again. INDY will come back and he will find his place again.

I have adopted so many strayed (30 in total I believed. I still have 10). They fight, they adjusted, they made friends ... and eventually they are just one big happy family. Especially when there are bad news ... like moving from the US to NL ... they become close, they seems to forgive one another. Just like human beings, the more they are exposed to others (races?) the more they accept differences.

Do not forget animal dies too. Soon your household would be smaller for whatever reasons. For the past 20 years My cats-family is constantly fluctuating. The largest was 15. They are managed. They did not murder one another.

KEEP them. IF I were in Malaysia I would have adopted them without any reservations. I would adopt them just because they need a home.

KEEP them. You would not regret it. I am very sure. There are so much uncertainty with this office pet deal. Why add more worries to yourself? Indy will come back and move with the family.

ManekiNeko said...

Dear Anonymous, I know you have the Blueys' best interests at heart, but how about some compassion for Dr. Chan? You say that if you were in Malaysia, you would adopt them "without any reservations, just because they need a home."

If you were to adopt every cat in the KL area who needs a home, you would find yourself with many thousands of pets! The scale of the problem is staggering.

Please click the link to the older post explaining why Dr. Chan has put the kittens up for adoption. It's not simply because one cat (Indy) is wandering off. Others are spraying, her family members are fed up, etc. I think each of us has a certain number of cats for which we feel we can care effectively. Our limits might be spatial, financial, temporal, emotional or all the above, but in fairness to each other and the existing pet cats, I think we need to honour these limits.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous,

You said you have adopted 30 strays in your life. If you have been following Dr Chan's blog, you would have noticed that Dr Chan has been a surrogate mother to hundreds of stray cats and dogs the past 2 years.

She gives her heart and soul to every single animal that comes to her for help. She has never turned her back on any stray animal before.

I am sure Dr Chan would not hesitate to adopt the Blueys if the conditions in her home are better. As it is right now, Indy is constantly running away from home and her other alpha cats are spraying all over the house.

Dr Chan, please do not be disturbed by these people who do not empathise with your situation at home.

You need to take care of your self and learn to say No to these emotional blackmailers who dump their animals on you.