Mid-January is that time of year when we finally get our lives back into their normal routines after the pleasures of the holidays, when the reality of our New Years resolutions sets in, when we start planning our Spring house projects, and most of all, when we announce the annual Fabulous Felines Wild Love Fundraiser.
Wild Love grew out of our desire to share the spirit of Valentine’s Day with the entire Fabulous Felines community, and to remind ourselves of the power of love and patience to gentle even the wildest of feral cats. Many of the animals in our foster house were once so frightened and wild that we could barely approach them, but over the years, almost all have learned to trust the people who now care for them, with many of them coming up to volunteers eagerly for treats and affection. This year’s Wild Love Sweetheart, Fantasia, exemplifies this transformation: when she came to us from a feral colony, she was frightened and shy. Now, thanks to the power of love and patience, Fantasia has found a forever home!
Wild Love is a simple. Everyone who donates at least $25 between now and the end of February will be entered in a drawing for a special Valentine’s celebration. What makes this year’s Wild Love so special is that, thanks to the extraordinary generosity of local merchants, we will be offering two celebration prizes. So this year, everyone who enters will have double the chance to win! And, since both are so lovely, we cannot bring ourselves to call them a first and second prize, but think of them as two first prizes.
two tickets to see The Hit Men, a unique group of musicians who have honed their skills playing with the Four Seasons, Tommy James, Jim Croce, and others. Appearing at Popejoy Hall at 3:00 PM on March 29;
A DVD of the greatest romantic comedy of all time: Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream – our favorite version, with Kevin Kline, Michelle Pfeiffer, and a simply amazing cast;
And, to share with our feline valentines, a special bag of cat toys and treats.
We always take special pleasure in writing the Fabulous Felines Year End Letter. It gives us a chance to tell all our friends and supporters what we have done through the year, and to thank you for making our work possible. We also find ourselves reflecting on all the joy we receive from these gentle, complex, often surprising animals, and from you, the people who share our love for them.
Project Apollo continues to help a local neighborhood manage a colony of feral cats using Trap, Neuter, and Return (TNR). We are happy to report that some wonderful people in the neighborhood have taken over the daily activities of caring for the cats, and our role has become one of providing food, supplies, veterinary care, and guidance. Although TNR continues to be controversial, we are proud to offer Project Apollo as an example of how neighborhood residents and animal rescue groups can work together to manage feral populations humanely and effectively.
Finally, we continue to manage our small foster house. Although we do not have the resources to provide large-scale intake and adoption services like some of the larger rescues, our work has brought some special cats into our care. These range from companion animals who have lost their homes and are looking for new “forever homes,” to friendly animals who struggle with the effects of abuse or abandonment and need the healing touch of a loving foster, to feral animals who could not be returned to their colonies because of poor health or other reasons. Fortunately, one of our supporters has given us the use of a house for their care. They have also paid for the materials needed for a new floor, to paint every room, and to continue improving the environment for the cats and our volunteers who help with their care. If you are looking for a feline companion to share your home, or would like to foster a cat, please contact us!
Unfortunately, we have lost the live-in attendant at our foster house, and are looking for a volunteer with animal care abilities who would like help care for the cats on a live-in basis. If you know of such a special person, please contact us.
2014 has also been a good fundraising year. Our summer party was the best ever, thanks to a terrific talk from Prof. Ray Hernandez-Duran of the UNM Art and Art History Department, music from jazz guitarist Michael Anthony, and all the people who provided items for our silent auction. Wild Love, our annual Valentines Day fundraiser was also a success, and we are starting to plan the 2015 version – watch our web site for details. Of course, the lifeblood of our little rescue comes from the regular contributions our many supporters make through the United Way, the Combined Federal Campaign, or simply by making regular contributions by check or through PayPal. Thank you!
As this year comes to an end, we find ourselves especially grateful for the blessings that have come to us from Abby, one of our foster cats. Abby was not only born feral, but also has only one eye due to what we believe was an infection she suffered while still in her mother’s womb. In spite of her troubled origins, she has responded to the love she received from our volunteers and has become quite friendly, greeting our volunteers every day at the foster house. So, we were frightened and upset when poor little Abby (she only weighs six pounds) began vomiting blood. We took her to the hospital, and found that she had swallowed something that damaged her intestines. Our Abby was very close to dying, but thanks to a wonderful veterinary care team and the generosity of our supporters, we have been able to save her life. She is recovering from major surgery, and continues to charm us with her gentleness, courage, and will to live. Abby once again has reminded us why we do this work.
But, our work is expensive – little Abby’s care has cost over $5,000, and she is only one of many cats we are trying to help. So we end this letter by thanking you for your support over the years, and asking for your continued help in the future. In particular, we hope you will consider Fabulous Felines in your end of year giving. And, if you would like to volunteer for Fabulous Felines, please contact us!
Thank you for everything, and may all the blessings of this holiday season and the love of both human and animal friends fill your lives.
All the best,
Merry, all our volunteers, and most of all, the cats at Fabulous Felines.
Abby, is very special to us. She was rescued from a feral colony, and is blind in one eye due to an infection she contracted while in her mother’s womb. In spite of her handicap and being born into a feral colony, Abby has turned out to be extremely sweet and affectionate. Although she does not like to be picked up, she loves attention, and always comes up to volunteers to be petted.
On October 13, we saw her vomiting blood, and rushed her to the vet’s. The initial diagnosis was either FIP (Feline Infectious Peritonitis) or intestinal cancer, so we were very worried. The veterinarian recommended exploratory surgery to make a final diagnosis and possibly treat her condition. Happily, the surgeon found that it was neither FIP nor cancer. Apparently, little Abby had eaten something she shouldn’t have (a “linear foreign object,” like string), and its passage through her bowels damaged the side of the intestine, created scar tissue, and caused a hernia. The surgeon repaired the damage, and sent her home with a feeding tube inserted in her neck, and a bag of medicine.
Because we could not return her to the foster house in her condition, Merry brought her home, turning the guest room into a convalescent hospital. The feeding tube was there in case she stopped eating, but Abby ate heartily. We did use the tube to give her her medicines, but were very happy when the Doctor finally removed it, along with all her stitches and bandages. Little Abby is now 100% pure, healthy cat! She is exploring her surroundings and winning hearts – just like our old Abby.
Little Abby’s story underscores the importance of proper veterinary care. Although the initial diagnosis was grave, and many people would have chosen euthenasia, we wanted to give her a chance, and are so happy we did. Because of cases like Abby’s, Fabulous Felines has a policy of doing whatever we can to return sick cats to health. Thanks to our wonderful veterinarians, we did get a large charity discount, but costs will still exceed $5,000, a large amount for a small charity.
Fabulous Felines is very pleased to announce that Katrina Crandall, a Fabulous Felines supporter and Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant, is hosting a fundraiser and donation drive this month!
Our volunteers (contact us to become one!) are incredibly generous in giving of their time and talents, and we couldn’t do our work without them. Here is an opportunity to help us reward them for their generosity. For $35, you can donate a Mary Kay Satin Hands Set to one of our hard-working volunteers. These sets will be welcome gifts to the caretakers, who need to wash their hands frequently, often causing dry, cracked skin.
In addition to rewarding the people who give selflessly of their time and keep the organization and programs running smoothly, 100% of net proceeds from the purchase will be donated to Fabulous Felines to support our work!
To donate a Satin Hands Set, go to Katrina’s Mary Kay Site before October 31, so we can provide these gifts to volunteers in time for the holidays. Be sure to specify that the set is for Fabulous Felines in the comment box when you checkout.
Thank you so much for your support and generosity!
I’m not sure if it is a function of my age or simply a personal awkwardness where social media are concerned, but your humble web master has long struggled to get the most out of the Fabulous Felines Facebook page. Fortunately, one of our wonderful volunteers, Miranda, has taken on the task of rejuvenating our entire Facebook page – and she has done a wonderful job!
Miranda has added photos, profiles of our adoptable cats, and features like “Lord Greystoke’s Tip of the Day” (Named after one of our personal rescue cats, a handsome grey tuxedo cat).