The Kitty Cat Caper

It’s 11:30 p.m. and I won’t be sleeping anytime soon. My adrenaline is surging like a spewing fire hydrant. That’s because I just got home from stealing 4 cats with Loretta, my partner in crime.

woman hiding

Loretta won’t let me take her photo so this will have to do

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not normally a cat snatcher. I’m more a cat trapper…as in trapping feral cats for sterilization. Tonight, however, was different.

Marin Friends of Ferals has relocated over 500 un-adoptable cats to act as mousers that also receive daily food and water. Only 4 times we’ve had to retrieve them for inadequate care. (Read The Great Escape for another cat caper I chronicled.) Tonight’s snatch was equally exhilarating. Except last time we didn’t get caught. Continue reading

The Great Escape

So I recently relocated 4 young ferals as mousers to a property that on the surface seemed perfect. Still, I entertained little nagging doubts about the owner of the 700 acre ranch, winery and B&B. Yes, he said all the right things but was it because he thought it’s what I wanted to hear? I wondered, but ignored my hunch because the place seemed perfect for feral mousers. And it was. But HE surely wasn’t.

trust-your-gut

We acclimate cats for 3 weeks in cages before releasing them. But when Mr. Jackass admitted he let the cats out after 10 days, he confirmed my reservations. Still, he assured me they were fine, eating a lot, everything’s hunky-dory…blah, blah, blah. So yeah, I wanted to believe him.

A couple weeks later I returned to collect our relocation supplies. That’s when I saw the magnitude of ignoring my hunch. Basically, the cats were starving. Turns out he barely fed them in the erroneous belief they’d be better hunters (the opposite of what I instructed). However, nobody can tell this guy anything so I immediately formulated a plan to recover the cats, knowing he’d resist.

whats-the-plan

Continue reading

Until Next Time, Mykonos

So we were in Mykonos trying to positively impact the lives of animals. It was challenging imagining what we’d encounter along the way since we don’t witness much animal suffering in Marin.

sausalito2

Sausalito, Marin County

mykonos harbor

Mykonos harbor

We prepared ourselves as best we could by talking with other rescues in Greece, doing research and meeting beforehand to organize and familiarize ourselves with what awaited.

Still, rarely a day passed in Mykonos without one of us shedding tears. Yes, the island is gorgeous but it harbors an ugly undertone that, frankly, is impossible to condone or dismiss. Unfortunately, animals in distress have become an accepted norm to many Mykonians. Continue reading

It’s All Greek to Me, Part 2

I have to warn you I’m writing this on 5 hours sleep over 2 days. I’m not a great sleeper since the wickedly strong grip of menopause found me. Also, I just returned from Greece on an animal welfare mission. So between that and jet lag, I barely remember my name.

who am I

Normally, I try to inject a bit of humor in my posts but this one may be different. One thing I know: it’s hard to find anything amusing when animals are suffering. I‘m just saying. But I promise our journey in Greece ends on an upbeat note. Don’t worry, you won’t be crying into your Sunday morning coffee as you read this.

Greece Mykonos

Beautiful Mykonos

Continue reading

Mykonos, Here We Come!

Thursday, 9 p.m.

So we’re sitting at SFO waiting for our flight to Greece to take off. And waiting. And waiting. Who knows, we might still be waiting when you read this. Actually, I think it’s miraculous we’re still planning to board the plane for Mykonos and a week-long spay/neuter mission for abandoned animals on the island.

It’s almost comical what we’ve been through so far. But we’re on a mission, literally and figuratively. Nothing will deter us. Besides, when 4 strong-willed women get their minds made up, it’s a losing proposition to think those minds can be changed.

Still, we are definitely getting a hint that we’d best stay home. We’re preferring to believe it’s a test of our devotion to our cause and not that this plane will vanish into the ocean minutes after take off. No, I’m afraid we have other plans. 
Here’s what’s testing us:

All our printers stopped working this week except Pat’s, but her cell phone wouldn’t receive texts; Pat’s toilet broke, then mine too; Lisa was late arriving to my house for a ride to the airport because of an accident on the bridge; our area has 55 mph winds so our plane is delayed 4 hours; I bought an $18 sandwich moments before Air France gave us meal vouchers. 

This morning, customs in Athens rejected all our medical supplies we mailed weeks ago and are being sent back as we sit here. So we have no surgery kits. We ordered them today from Athens at double the price. It’s a mystery whether we’ll get them by Monday. Then we learned air traffic controllers are on strike in Paris where we’ll be changing planes. Oh joy. 

Friday, 11:30 p.m.

Made it to Paris 22 hours after leaving home. Now don’t get me wrong; it gets better. The ATM appeared to accept my card (twice) but I received no cash. Who knows, I could be out $1200 at this point. We then waited 2 hours in line at the airport to get a connecting flight but instead got vouchers for a hotel stay. Trouble was, 3 of us were sent to one hotel and Lisa to another, which we flatly refused. 
We have no change of clothes, as they couldn’t locate all our bags, so we received t-shirts and toiletries. Had to call the front desk when the lights in my room wouldn’t work. Turns out I’m supposed to insert my key card into a slot on an inside wall. Being it was pitch black, how was I supposed to see the slot? I’m dizzy, dead tired and not wearing glasses. I was lucky to still know my name. 

Saturday, 8:00 a.m.

Slept a couple hours then snuck Lisa into the hotel restaurant for the complimentary breakfast. Tried boarding the plane at 7:00 a.m. for Athens but my ticket was repeatedly refused at the kiosk. Turns out they’d changed my seat, which the computer didn’t recognize. So now I’m writing this on our 3 hour flight, which will be followed by a 3 hour boat ride to Mykonos.

It’s been a challenging 33 hours so far and the thought did pass my mind that we’re somehow being tested on this trip. But we’re all still smiling and haven’t wavered in our goal to help as many unaltered and starving animals as we can, no matter the challenge in finally reaching them. 

After all, we are 4 strong-willed women on a mission. 

4:00 p.m. 

Landed 5 hours ago. Pat’s luggage still hasn’t arrived. 

Stuck at the Paris airport 22 hours after takeoff