Tuesday, October 23, 2012

This is Feeney:
Feeney was abandoned by his Mother for an unknown reason.  I found him as a tiny kitten, starving to death.  He was starving to the point of climbing up my pant leg in desperation.  A tenant there just had a baby and brought some formula out for him.  He dove in, head first, getting the formula all over him and drank it down like there was no tomorrow. 

I had another tenant who had a cat that looked just like him.  I sent her a pic.  She replied, "Can I have him?"... 

Feeney had to have a bath first.  But he was pretty good about it. 

Here he is now, all grown up and spoiled.  And of course rescued and fixed by Cans For Critters. 

Remember, can contributors are what makes this program work.  Thank you all so very much!  Critters thank you too!  Especially Feeney!

Monday, October 22, 2012

No No

And now meet No No:

As a kitten, No No was pretty rowdy.  Additionally, he is an attention seeker.  This cat will literally throw himself into your arms and flip over like a baby to this day.

No No was passed around to a couple of different homes as a kitten.  No one had time for this demanding boy.  The second owner was going to take him to the pound.  She was a single working lady and in her spare time she had things to do and holding this attention seeker wasn't her priority, though it was his. 

I am not sure why the first owner gave him away but I suspect for the same reason.

However, I know a great lady who loves black cats.  She already had one grown black cat that looks just like this one.  I asked if she would take him if we had him fixed and she agreed. 

Once again we put out a plea for cans and once again our donors came through.  No No went to the clinic and went home with the lady. 

It was she who gave him his name.  She said she was always saying "NO NO, "...  And so his name stuck.  Haha.  He is really a cute, sweet cat. 

No No lives with the other black cat she had along with two large dogs.  He is now full grown and looks identical to her other black cat.  She says she has to roll the cats over to see who is who.  No No has white on his belly. 

So, another happy ending for an animal who may not have escaped the pound and possible/probable euthanasia.  All because people saved cans for us, here is one more animal that was spared from possible death.  THANK YOU ALL!

Sunday, October 21, 2012


Isis Story:

Isis did not have a great start to life.  As a tiny kitten she and another were dumped out at a store.  My daughter brought them home with plans of finding them both good homes.  As often this happens, there were no takers.  Lindsay couldn't bear the thought of taking them to the pound. 

Again, we cashed in cans and we got Isis spayed first. 

For some odd reason, this cat really loves me.  Maybe she knows I am the Cans For Critters Lady? 

This is me holding Isis.  What a baby!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Felix the Cat

Back in the days of remodeling our apartments another cat showed up.  This cat was very friendly so obviously he was not one of Jacks' cats.  But this cat was and is to this day the most pitiful I have seen yet. 

He laid curled up in a ball on an outside mat.  It was getting pretty cold out.  We pulled up to work and saw him and I thought, "Oh no, not another one!".  Yes, it was another cat.  They just never seemed to end there. 

The skinny, short haired black and white cat stood up to greet us and let me first say he was as thin as any we had seen.  But worse, his mouth looked like it had been burned and his eyes were matted half shut and watery.  Of course we fed him.  Oddly, he ate well, even with his mouth appearing burned. 

When he was finished eating I had my husband hold him upside down like a baby, wrapped in a towel so he couldn't scratch us.  I took a damp cloth and cleaned his eyes.  All he did was purr.  He never fought us once. 

We had our very first load of cans by then.  I cashed them in and took Felix to the vet.  He tolerated the worst test very well.  They checked him for feline leukemia by inserting a long needle into his groin area.  I nearly passed out but Felix didn't fight, just purred. 

That test was negative.  They performed more tests and finally got a diagnosis for Felix.  He had viral herpes, not contagious to humans but contagious to cats.  Therefore, I couldn't take him home.  And his mouth was not burned.  The herpes outbreaks had scarred it was all.  They said the less he was stressed, the less outbreaks he would probably en dour.

I decided to have him neutered anyways in hopes of finding him a home with no other cats.  Even though Buttons lived at the apartments now, I could take Felix back there if I had to.  Buttons had already been exposed to him anyways.  But at the last moment, we found Felix a home! 

The couple had two children and no other pets.  One child was a baby.  Felix couldn't stay indoors because he kept getting in the crib with the baby and it worried the Mother.  But they fixed him up a carrier under an awning with warm blankets, food, water and even his litter box so he didn't have to potty in the snow. 

Felix had a good supply of drops in case of another outbreak.  They cleared up his eyes quickly.  And he always let them treat him without a fuss.  Felix seemed very grateful. 

Unfortunately they moved and I didn't keep track of Felix but they said they were taking him and not to worry.  But I left the door open for Felix by making it clear if they ever had to give him up, call me. 

I never thought to get a picture of Felix because I never thought we would get this far with our Cans For Critters. 

The cans we cashed in for Felix went a long way in providing treatment, neuter, rabies shot and medicine.  Again, we thank our can contributors so very much!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Midnight's Story:

The black cat was a stray and appeared to have been on his own for quite some time.  He showed up on a 5 acre mountain top.  The retired couple put food out for him daily but he would only eat when they were out of sight. 

As a Tom Cat, Midnight came and went.  He was unable to really put on any weight this way.  But eventually he figured out these folks were not going to hurt him and he stopped running from them.  He was constantly coming home beat up too. 

The retired couple lives on a fixed income.  Neutering the cat was not a priority for them.  Priorities were mortgage, food, ect...  So, we decided our priority WAS to neuter him and once again, we cashed in cans and once again we had the funds to do it.  So very thankful to our can donors! 

After Midnight was neutered he left home one last time.  Apparently he did not get the memo!  lol 

Now Midnight no longer leaves home.  His roommate is Bell, AKA scruffy mentioned here in this blog.  He has people who love him, his best friend is the dog, he sleeps indoors if he wants to, even in the bed.  There is a child there he adores.  No one else can hold him but her.  She can do anything she wants to him.  Sweet. 

Here he is today, fat, spoiled and healthy:

Saturday, October 13, 2012


At the time we were busy catching Jack's cats for spays and neuters, a female cat showed up in very bad shape.  She came to our apartments in desperate search of food, much like Jack's cats had done.  And it was obvious she had kittens hidden somewhere.  But she was not a member of the feral colony, though she was semi feral and very timid.  A little food and we were able to pet her.  Like the rest had done, she came every morning for her breakfast.

We noticed her going under a house across from the apartments.  I knew her kittens must be there.  And they were.  We saw them playing one day.  So what was this cat's story?  I had to know. 

After talking to Jack and the neighbors, I learned this cat and another used to belong to someone on the block.  The owner was an elderly woman who had passed away.  Her children came for her belongings but just left the cats behind.  One cat died.  The other learned to survive on her own. 

I also learned this cat always has kittens but sadly, they wander out to the busy road and always get killed.  How devastating for this Mother cat, trying her best to nurse and care for her babies to see this ending every single time.  This had to stop!

I decided to trap her and spay her, then release her back to her kittens.  They were big enough to eat now and I took cat food to the house they were at.  The lady who lived there wasn't exactly thrilled I was feeding them but I assured her I would catch them eventually and find them homes and the Mother would not have anymore. 

I took this cat to a separate vet who was running a special for spays.  I paid for it myself as this was before we started saving cans.  At the end of the day I went back to get her.  The vet mentioned she was a sweet cat.  I told the vet more about the cat and that I was releasing her back where she came from.  The vet said no, there was a mistake.  She thought it was MY personal cat and used metal stitches that had to be surgically removed in two weeks.  She could not continue nursing.  This was not good news...

I took the cat we now called Peaches back to the kittens but I left her in the carrier.  I set a trap next to it with food in hopes she would call them.  There were three kittens.  I was able to catch two. 

The two kittens went to foster care and the people kept them.  I tried to catch the third one but I couldn't.  Then I got a call from Jack.  The desperate kitten had made its way to his house but someone had poured hot liquid on it and it was badly burned.  I have no idea how this could have happened or who could do such a thing.  I cried for the kitten.  The next day I found it dead. 

Meanwhile here was Peaches who had metal stitches.  Of course I took her home.  I had no choice.  She didn't understand to use a litter box so we had to put her outside.  My other cats were really mean to her and she was forced to live down in a ditch pipe.  I have never seen it take so long for a cat to be accepted in a group.  It took a year!  But finally Peaches got a friend and she came up.  It was our latest addition Circles.  He is my good boy!

Here is a picture of Peaches and Circles.  Looks like true love to me!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Kitty Beds...

Two of our rescued kitties have to live outside as they don't understand what a litter box is for.  They have always lived outside.  And one is semi feral anyways. 

Living in Tennessee, we do have some winter months.  The cold can be very harsh.  I hated to leave them in the freezing temps with no way to keep warm.  The older they get, the more vulnerable they are to the cold effects.  OK, just call them spoiled...

During the summer months I look for electric blankets at thrift stores.  I have two cat houses here.  The cats don't get along well.  Fluffy is a bit of a bully.  So we turn one cat house backwards, much like a duplex with one door in front, and one in back.  We padded each with an old quilt.  Then we spread the blanket evenly in both and put the lids back on.  When the weather is really cold we turn the blanket on for them.  They love it! 

Here is Peaches snuggled up in hers:

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The story of Meanie, Mama Dog, Max and Buddy starts here.

The house up on the hill was always a little creepy looking.  There was an old van that sat there for years, full of what appeared to be garbage.  One day we noticed the van was gone.  And there were four dogs perched on the hill, intently watching the cars go by.  The dogs stayed on watch for weeks.  We decided to check on them.  We would just take some food and water up there in case they were in need.  But this was no easy task...

We pulled up and the four dogs came running, barking, and two appeared very aggressive.  Afraid to get out of the car, we tore the dog food bag open and dumped it out the window.  Sure enough, they were hungry.  We had no way to put water out though but there was a small creek not far away.  When we were leaving, the largest dog ran barking after us to help chase us away.  We named him Meanie.

We continued this routine for some time.  We could see other dog food bags on the ground and we knew other people were also trying to feed them.  The dogs were not fat but not too thin either.  So the whole situation was odd but it appeared the community was all pitching in to help. 

I started collecting scraps for them from my favorite local eatery as well as our own leftovers.  I purchased a large bag of rice and made them special dinners.  I was going to be brave and take them all separate bowls.  This time I was getting out of the car.  I had to. 

Meanie came running up barking first, followed by a friendly little dog we called Buddy.  There was an older black dog and a medium sized mixed breed.  I pretended I wasn't afraid and I took the lids off the bowls and placed one in front of each dog.  Meanie was interested but not coming too close.  But the other three began to eat and Meanie timidly started to eat too.  Funny, he tried to take the bowl and run with it but I yelled no and he put it down and continued to eat. 

After a few times doing this I wasn't afraid anymore.  It did appear the house was empty and the dogs abandoned.  Still, they were in pretty good shape considering. 

Buddy was a sweet little dog.  Max was pretty friendly too.  The black female we later learned was the Mama Dog was also nice.  Meanie made a lot of noise and growled a lot but as time went on we noticed he was a very scared dog.  If the wind blew, he ran. 

The conditions of the house were terrible.  A picture speaks a thousand words so let me just show you.
And there was garbage everywhere.  I got brave and went to the front porch.  The smell of urine and feces was overwhelming.  But I saw something interesting.  There was a large tub of fresh water.  A clue somehow...  Yet the house was vacant.

One day I saw a car up there.  I went up and met a man who said this is his Mother's house.  She had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's and had to go to a facility to live.  The son lived far away and could only come once a week or so to put food and water out.  And yes, he noticed other folks had been making dog food drops as well. 

We continued to take scraps a couple times a week.  Eventually Meanie stopped acting mean.  When he has scraps he lets me pet him but he is terrified.  Instead of the Meanie we thought he was, he is more like the cowardly lion from Oz. 

New neighbors moved next door and started a horse farm.  They also had a donkey and some goats and I saw an old dog and a cat.  I took food one day and Buddy was gone.  Turns out he was in their bed asleep.  Indeed he found himself a home.  And what a blessing the new neighbors became for all of the dogs. 

I met Tim and Lorrie finally and learned they wanted to adopt Buddy.  And Max followed Buddy everywhere so they said Max could stay as well.  We made arrangements with our humane society partner to get dog food when possible (and when not we just buy it) and Lorrie and Tim agreed to feed them. 

We told the home owners son not to worry, we would take over.  He meant well but once a week was just not enough.  He didn't have the gas to take care of the dogs and go see his Mother and his Mother had to come first, of course. 

Though Mama Dog and Meanie are considered to be in "foster care", I consider them to belong to me.  They seem to know that. 

Max, Mama Dog and Meanie had all been previously fixed but not Buddy.  We had a can drive, Tim and Lorrie contributed to that as well, and we paid to have Buddy neutered.  Unfortunately, he takes off now and then for days at a time and Max goes with him but HOPEFULLY he will be home for his appointment next week. 

Here are the dogs:

Mama Dog:
She needs to lay off the carbs! 

And Max:
This is Buddy, same as on my avatar:

And at last, my favorite, Meanie:
Not a bad ending but really, Meanie and Mama Dog would appreciate a good home.  We are considering purchasing a small farm and if so we will take them.  But if anyone would like to adopt them we will consider it to the right home.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Cans For Critters would like to introduce Circles! 

Yes, I know, that is a strange name for a cat.  You see, Circles was one of the feral kittens born at Jack's.  We had previously trapped him and his brother when they were quite small and had them neutered, then released back to the colony.  The foster home was full and we had no takers. 

Each day I went to visit the colony and I always took them a treat to eat, just so I could do a basic "inventory".  This particular kitten had a love for chicken.  Though he was wild and VERY afraid of me, he would run down the hill on "chicken" day to grab a bite and run back up, circle around and come down again.  So cute! 

But one day I came and Circles' brother was gone.  Circles was especially afraid of me, the wind and all else that day.  I don't know what happened to his brother but we had kittens disappear there before.  Jack suspected they were eaten by raccoons.  I went home and got a cat carrier and some chicken. 

Husband:  "What are you doing with the cat carrier?". 

Wife (me):  "Umm, there is a problem at Jack's...". 


Wife:  "Yeah, OK, gotta go, see you later.  Love you!". 

I figured I would deal with the husband later.  I happen to know Tim has a soft spot for the kitties.  And I didn't know if I could catch him or not. 

At Jack's I set my carrier up and stood with my foot by the door, ready to kick it closed if I could catch Circles.  I began tossing chicken to the cats per usual routine.  Sure enough, Circles ran down the hill, grabbed a bite and ran up again.  I then put the remaining chicken in the carrier and a few chunks by the door.  The other cats ate the chicken by the door.  Circles circled down and ran in the carrier and I slammed the door shut.  He was so terrified he never ate another bite of his beloved chicken.  I assured him on the way home he would be very happy with me and not to worry. 

At the same time my neighbor was on vacation and I was caring for her animals.  She had a domestic kitten about the same age as Circles.  I picked her cat up and took him to my house too.  I had an idea.  Perhaps if I locked them both in a room her cat would show Circles how to use a litter box.  It worked! 

Oddly, Tim didn't say too much about it.  He is a pretty good guy. 

This is Circles today.  He is a very large cat.  He has lost most of his wild traits but is afraid of strangers.  We have become his parents now and he sleeps right in the middle of our bed.  My neighbor's cat comes around every day and they remember each other well.  They are friends and it is cute to watch them socialize. 

Tomorrow I am going to tell the story of Meanie, Buddy, Mama Dog and Max.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Buttons Journey

Meet Buttons!  He has a unique story.  I believe he may have been dumped originally because he showed up over at Jack's but he was not feral.  We have some apartments down the street and he followed me there.  A tenant offered to care for him so we hauled cans in and had him neutered.  Then we returned him to the apartments. 

Buttons never wanted to go inside her apartment.  He loved being out.  He sort of belonged to the apartment complex as the mascot.  The tenants all knew Buttons.  But one tenant had two small children and decided (without asking me first) to get them a sandbox.  Naturally Buttons, being a cat, assumed they had given him a giant litter box...  And the next thing we knew, Buttons was missing.

His owner questioned one of her children about Buttons.  The child said a white man took Buttons away.  He was race specific because his Mom had both black and white friends.  We knew he was telling the truth.  But where was Buttons?  What had they done to him?  The children's Mother denied knowing anything about Buttons or the guy who took him.  But we knew she was lying. 

We had flyer's made with Buttons picture and another tenant in the complex said she had seen a cat that looked just like him a few days prior at WALMART!  Unfortunately she didn't know he was missing at the time or she would have brought him home.  And so our search began...

The Walmart he was seen at had heavy road construction.  There was a lot of detours and very heavy traffic.  We passed out flyer's to all the shops there as well as to several Walmart employees.  Yes, he had been seen!  But not in days...  Where was he?  We went to Walmart every day searching and no Buttons anywhere.  Finally we put an ad in the newspaper along with his pic.  You will notice he sleeps in the most unusual way...  And that pose is what identified him.

The woman called and said she thought she had Buttons!  He showed up at her house and she was so kind to him.  She gave him food and water.  Then he took a nap and she saw the way he laid and remembered seeing that picture in the paper!  His owner went and before she could get out of her car Buttons saw her and jumped out of the lady's lap and ran to her!  Everyone cried and I cried when they told me.  Buttons was trying to get home and had gone the long way around the construction.  He must have been exhausted, starving and thirsty when he stopped at her house that lucky day.  I cannot imagine how terrible his journey must have been.  He had been missing for two weeks by then!

Buttons had to stay inside the apartment while I insisted the tenant responsible for dumping him must move out immediately.  I threatened to evict her if she refused.  It took a while but we got her out.  Finally Buttons was free to go outside once again.  And to this day he is there.  Yay Buttons!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Cans For The Critters

Hello.  My name is Jeannie Baitinger and I am an animal rights activist.  I have found a way to provide services for animals in need.  You can too!  It doesn't cost anyone a dime. 

I guess it all started with a feral cat colony.  We were on a job when the thinnest Mama cat we had ever seen showed up.  Though she was wild, she was also pretty desperate for food.  We tossed her part of our lunch and she wolfed it down.  Everyday our new friend showed up and everyday we fed her. 

Soon more cats from the colony came.  All were rail thin, most nursing Mothers.  One day I quietly followed one home.  I went up a long driveway and there were cats galore.  They scattered at my presence and I noted lots and lots of kittens.  I knocked on the door and met Jack.

Jack is an elderly man who lives on just $700 a month.  $300 of that goes to rent alone.  Jack said he tried to buy cat food as often as possible but always runs out before the next check.  He admitted he has gone without his medications trying to feed the cat colony.  According to Jack, the cats just showed up one by one... 

I contacted several local animal organizations for help.  Help came in a big way.  Jack was granted 11 free spay or neuter certificates.  Two organizations provided traps and a lady came to help me.  We were able to trap and fix 11 cats within just a few days with cat food I bought for Jack's cats. 

But there were so many more.  Jack estimated around 40 cats total including kittens.  We were able to trap and catch all of the kittens and a friend took them into foster care.  Most died, why we don't really know.  The rest were adopted.  But how to get the rest fixed I did not know.  Then I got an idea...

I asked a reporter to put the story in the newspaper.  We asked the public to donate directly to the clinic to spay and neuter Jack's cats.  The money poured in to my delight, and we were able to fix every single one of them!  One of the organizations offered Jack free cat food when they had it.  To this day they have never turned us down.  All of the cats are fat and sassy now and it has taken a lot of stress off of Jack. 

I realized there are a lot of needy animals out there and I wanted to keep helping them.  We started saving aluminum cans and we asked our neighbors, family, friends, etc to save them for us too.  And boy did they! 

Meet Scruffy!  She was abandoned on the streets where we had another job.  Her only means of survival was a pit bull friend who lived outside and shared his food with her.  I asked why no one wanted her and they said because she kept having puppies.  We cashed in a huge load of cans and got her spayed.  She didn't have an easy time.  It turned out she had 9 puppies inside.  But the result was a nice retired couple took her in.  She is their baby now.  She sleeps in the bed and goes everywhere they go.  They named her Bell and she is now indeed the Bell of the ball!
She is just one of many, many success stories of animals we have helped by just saving cans.  I will post another success story tomorrow.