i have already heard back from the friend about the flea cat..apparently the family is happy he may have a place to go but want him out of mom's house by saturday because next week new carpets are going in.
so ok..no point in getting frustrated with the friend...she is just the messenger...no point in getting frustrated with the cat or his current owner cuz neither one of them have any say in all of this.
no point in getting frustrated with the family cuz i know they are probably quite busy and stressed as the sandwich generation juggling kids/parents/work/and apparently new carpet installations at grandma's.
and no point in getting frustrated with CARES and all of the other rescues and shelters who give out my personal cell phone number and address to anyone wanting to get rid of a senior animal..but i am a bit frustrated by this cuz i never do that to others.
and mostly i am frustrated because we lost several animals in the past couple of weeks and have taken in several more. multiple new animals in a short period of time cause a lot of extra stress for us so i like to have a time line and plan in place that i think we can manage first...BEFORE the animal suddenly arrives. sad sam was moved again this afternoon to a medical room pen...the quietest place that we have because he is still highly stressed and he still won't eat. so quite frankly i don't feel like jumping thru someone elses limited time window hoops to help the pet of an elderly and vulnerable lady and save her 15 year old cat who not only was unlucky enough to get fleas....but doesn't happen to be my responsibilty...(yet.)
big sigh..whatever...i actually am now responsible to both him and her because i already said at one point, i would be (but i wanted it to be more to my convenience..esp. because i happen to be back to work on saturday this week and i am currently tired, stressed and busy.) i think really i am frustrated because apparently i am the only one in this whole unhappy equation who has to stretch to meet the needs of this cat.
just tell me when and where to jump and let me know how high.
the friend kindly asked how much money it would cost to bring this cat here...i can't put a price tag on saving any animal let alone an old flea bag cat who belonged to a sick elderly lady. i said there is no cost to bring the cat here...ok, in retrospect i should have said......no cost to them, but a great deal of cost to the cat and me.
sorry, i am just being kind of bitchy now...crying myself a rescue river cuz none of the people involved could handle 10 seconds of standing in rescue surrounded by all of the other discarded animals here...they probably innocently think one more won't matter in the least because this is what i am supposed to be doing.
the problem is this one more does matter a great deal and i want to be prepared and ready to take good and responsible care of him.
i said to call me back on friday..my vacation and free time is over...if sad sam isn't settling and eating on his own by then...i am not taking in someone new who also could have a mental meltdown..i won't have time to worry and dick around force feeding and de-stressing two traumatized cats..that is just too risky so they will sadly have to euthanize him.
i did make it clear...i won't be pushed into taking him if i can't take decent care of him.
rescue is sucking big time today....and one way or another...probably even more on saturday.
hah! long answer to a short question!
we set this up so i would not get the calls and the emails because i will try to help every animal we possibly can. so when we set this up.... there was a process put in place for admissions thru the website so i wouldn't get the calls or have to deal with or even know whose neck was on the chopping block next. it was an act of self and saints protection.
unfortunately..it doesn't always work out that way. nicole is still fielding a fair amount of vet and owner surrender requests. but the public shelters are usually looking for immediate answers...esp. when possible euthanizations are being decided and they can and will get a yes or no answer from me or a negotiated time frame of help within minutes instead of the hours or the days that it takes the group to decide....and that time lag was frustrating and not realistic for them to have to wait thru.
when the calls go thru the proper channels..they go to nicole and she deals with the ones that she can and then if she thinks they are a possibility..she sends them on to the rest. sometimes like with the cats in the cage in the garage that are esp. upsetting that she receives....she calls me directly and forwards the emails directly to me.
if the calls come to my phone..then all bets are off..esp. with shelters and pounds because those animals are always not only our very first priority but they are the ones who usually need help the very most and i will try to help them or at least negotiate alternatives for them. an example of this is the husky at animal control with the tumors who we will cover the vet care on, or the hip dysplagic/blind or deaf dogs who with more time because we agreed to be the back up are eventually able to find a home, or the white husky mix at the pound that i went to see awhile ago who wasn't as badly crippled with pain once her meds had a chance to kick in, or that idiot dog who got sick in the pound and needing possible expensive surgery after eating a pot scrubber but went back to the pound for adoption when he was better (after he had puked the thing up!) unfortunately...the board can't do these kind of things with the shelters that i sometimes can do...they simply don't have the experience or medical background to even know when to take them or when to offer other alternatives.
even the process i set up with the spca..that all requests for admission to saints go thru one single manager only who then contacts me for critical animals..doesn't always work. all of the shelters have my number and so do most of their staff, (i have worked with many of them for years)..so they may call about an animal about to be surrendered, that they don't want to be surrendered because the animal is not in any way even close to being adoptable (ie that senior rotti lacey who lynne found a great home for) and they don't want to have to take them in just to euthanize the next day cuz that is horribly upsetting for everybody. esp. the staff....or the occasional call i get from a cruelty officer..just checking out if we might have room for an animal they are following and may have to seize but who also is not going to make it thru the system because they are just too wrecked...they want to know if just maybe we might be able to help and give that animal a much needed space...or like brad pitt the pig..late on sunday afternoon, the spca has a call on a pig in the river and no where to take him when they get him out....so guess who they sometimes call direcly?
and i am not going to fault these folks for slipping under the process wire occasionally and calling me directly...they are calling for a last ditch chance for an animal that just doesn't fit anywhere else..they need to be able to feel like they tried everything that they could....they have a really difficult and heartbreaking job.
this saving animals thing is so complicated and personal...not just for me...but for the cruelty officers and the managers and front line shelter staff and volunteers who are the ones with the senior and special needs animals who they have become invested in and bonded with..sitting right in front of their face.
even so..i am not making excuses here...there are animals like this flea cat who probably shouldn't come here simply because we are so full.
had this particular cat's advocate NOT been given my personal number by the other rescue and had been given the proper web contact info...it would have gone to the group...and it would have probaly been a no because the group not only knows we are full but are not biased by my personal feelings as far as elderly humans and elderly animals living together for lifetimes are concerned..nor by my sense of injustice at how our callous home supported healthcare system puts these animals at such risk.
so basically. the short version... the system only works if i don't get the calls..we all know i have a proven track record of having difficulty saying no...not just to the animals...but also to the other people involved. i do it, i do say no and i do often try to negotiate other solutions..but just as many times as i don't take them...i will take them because that is what i do....i rescue animals.
the system only works if people actually use it..myself included..i am not sending a request on to the board that i already know all of the facts about and have already decided if we can help them or not. the real trick to all of this is to keep me completely in the dark.
in desperation...lately i have been thinking i should just surrender my phone to the board..that might well stop me from getting the calls!
sorry for the long and convoluted answer but it is a long and convoluted issue.