full circle

. . .from an upward battle of struggles and emotions to a journey of healing, growth, and laughter. . .


charitable purpose

It’s easy to blog when I’m unhappy. My posts are poignant, funny, and frequent. Or, maybe I actually suck at blogging because my posts are nearly a year apart. You decide.

In November, 11 months after submitting my application, the tax agency denied awarding charitable status to my rescue but gave me 60 days to respond to their concerns. Over the next four months, I once again worked my ass off {it’s for the cats, it’s for the cats, it’s for the cats} going back and forth with them trying to prove that our purpose was “charitable.” At one point, they even re-wrote our charitable purpose and added something that we didn’t even do. In the end, we received our charitable status in February. While that was wonderful news, it just brought on more work for me. Setting up tax receipts and accounts to various online donation platforms and grant writing were added to my daily tasks of managing our spay/neuter program and EVERYTHING ELSE. I’m getting a headache just remembering the last five months!

{it’s for the cats, it’s for the cats, it’s for the cats it’s for the cats, it’s for the cats, it’s for the cats it’s for the cats, it’s for the cats, it’s for the cats it’s for the cats, it’s for the cats, it’s for the cats it’s for the cats, it’s for the cats, it’s for the cats it’s for the cats, it’s for the cats, it’s for the cats it’s for the cats, it’s for the cats, it’s for the cats it’s for the cats, it’s for the cats, it’s for the cats it’s for the cats, it’s for the cats, it’s for the cats it’s for the cats…}





occupational hazard

In the fall of 2010, I had nine cats in my one-bedroom condo. Because I had wanted to experience all areas of the cat rescue I was volunteering with, I asked to be a foster. Within a day, they gave me a cage full of six kittens (Wilbur and his siblings).

I named Wilbur after the pig in Charlotte’s Web because he was the runt of the litter. He was sickly and developmentally delayed. All his sibs were quickly adopted, but Wilbur was too unhealthy. I already had Clea, Oreo, and Coal, but I was in love with Wilbur. And I needed to see him get better. Then, one day, I was with the president of the rescue, and out loud, I said I was going to keep him. And that’s how he became my foster fail. And maybe he needed me, too, because within months of officially adopting him, he started to get better. Watch Wilbur’s Journey.

Now with four cats (still in a one-bedroom condo), the president subsequently “cut me off” from fostering or adopting any more cats. It has been a running joke between us for the last six years…

Slight detour…

The reason I haven’t blogged all year is that my volunteer project turned into running my own cat rescue. In November 2015, my volunteer group received promise of $15,000 from the city to spay/neuter cats, which was a huge accomplishment for me, as I had submitted a funding proposal in September. However, the city needed to “spend” the money by December 31 for budgeting purposes. At the time, we were only a coalition of groups, without our own charity status, and without a bank account. So, over the next few weeks, I worked my ass off on an application for incorporation, which would qualify us to apply for a bank account. Simultaneously, I worked my ass off on developing a spay/neuter program. By mid-December, I had everything in place. And then the city told me everyone was on vacation, so there would be no cheque until the new year. I wrote my last blog post in January 2016, and then I finally got the cheque in February, and the rest is history. My volunteer work is a full-time job. So, I basically have two full-time jobs, and I look forward to doing nothing on weekends except watch TV and play Facebook games.

Original route…13413629_10155435289182925_6905213759054462905_n

Back in June, I attended a cat behaviour workshop at one of the shelters we partner with, and staff asked if anyone wanted to hold kittens. There were two of us that said yes, so they gave each of us one half of twin kittens. I spent the entire two hours of the workshop with the kitten on my chest.


I fell in love with their exotic markings—spotted tabbies that made them look like cheetahs. I’ve always wanted a Bengal cat, so I was very drawn to these kittens.








I even met their mama, and you could see where they got their markings. (She looks angry in the photo, but she was a purr machine when she was petted.)


I couldn’t stop thinking about getting them. I knew I was crazy for considering it, but I took the adoption application form home. It was an hour’s drive home, and I couldn’t stop thinking about them. I thought about them all night, and all morning on the way to work. By the time I got to work, I knew I was going to do it. But I wouldn’t tell anyone. I mean, six cats? Even I knew that was ridiculous.

Introducing Decker and Diesel


They are entertaining and make me smile every day. But I had forgotten that kittens are so much work! I’m definitely having my tubes tied, haha!!

Diesel and Decker were nine weeks when I got them in June, so they are now seven months.


And we’re all one big happy family!



Adopting multiple cats is an occupational hazard of cat rescue work! But I wouldn’t have it any other way! So there!


how my life has changed since adopting cats

1. I haven’t ironed a single piece of clothing for work. But I do show up with cat hair on everything.
1200329The first part is definitely true. I used to iron my clothes the night before work, or if I forgot, then in the morning, even if it would make me late. Maybe, when I gained weight during The Breakup/depression, the new clothes I bought were less wrinkle-prone, but coincidentally, that was also when I adopted Clea and Oreo. The truth is out there, but I’m not sure which came first—the chicken or the egg.

As for cat hair, well, I actually try NOT to show up at work with it on my clothes, but sometimes, no matter how hard and often you use a lint brush (and I have THE BEST one), there is always a stray or four to be seen.

2. When something is on the floor, instead of picking it up, I just walk around it.
This happened the other day, which is what prompted me to make this list. Why pick it up when it will just end up on the floor again? How many times have I had to pick up the garbage strewn on my kitchen floor only to have to pick it up again because Coal loves to get in the plastic temporary garbage bag and tear it apart? Just for fun. Because he can.

3. I keep the toilet paper under the sink.
IMG_0008_400It is a common practice among cat lovers to take photos or videos of their cats unrolling or chewing up the toilet paper instead of rushing to grab the roll to salvage what’s left. (And in fact, it is an acceptable/good practice to take photos of anything bad rather than stopping the behaviour, because we love our cat photos.) In my house, Coal is the only one who has ever targeted the toilet paper. He stopped doing it when he got older in my old apartment. But when we moved into our condo five years ago, he acquired a renewed sense of TP madness. I once got creative and bought a toilet paper guard (yes, there really is such a thing. It’s apparently a baby safety item!). That worked for a good few months. Of course, my visitors were annoyed (it’s not hard to open, people), but my cats take priority. And then Coal outsmarted me and figured out how to unlock the guard. And so, now, the toilet paper is in the cupboard under the bathroom sink. Thankfully, I can reach for it from the toilet seat.

4. My tolerance for dust and cat hair is beyond high.
I used to be such a neat freak. Not Monica-crazy-OCD clean, but enough that my apartment was never full of clutter, laundry was always folded, and dishes were done as I cooked (ok, maybe a little OCD). When we moved into our brand new condo, it was such a treat because it was so sparkly clean, I had a dishwasher and insuite laundry, and I didn’t have to go outside to get to the garbage/recycling bins. And then little by little, there was always a dust monster or two even after I vacuumed, tiny particles of litter under my feet, and dried cat food on the walls. Everywhere I go, there is cat hair. Even when I cook, I’ll find a stray cat hair on my plate. HOW DID IT GET THERE?!!!! When I have people over, I have to spend a week cleaning, just for one evening. That’s why I don’t have people over very often. It’s too much freaking work! I’d rather just sit on my FURniture alone and watch TV.

5. I don’t shower on weekends because I don’t need to impress my cats.
Ok, I admit that sometimes I don’t shower on weekdays either. I frequently sleep through my alarm, so I’m usually late for work. And my hair is sooo long now that I can curl it on days I don’t shower or put it up in a messy bun and not worry about it. But weekends are the best. My cats don’t care and wouldn’t even know the difference between smelly me and non-smelly me.

6. I yell a lot more.
944946Coal and his protégé Wilbur are the naughtiest kittens you’ll meet in my house. I yell at them a lot. And sometimes, I use the wrong name. That’s when you know you have too many cats. Maybe I can attach the spray bottle to my new selfie stick…

7. I talk about cats all the time.
I have always liked cats, preferred cats, wanted cats. Dogs, not so much. I had no affinity towards them and would stay clear of them on the street. I especially hated it when they would jump on me and lick me. Yeach! But since I got my mogwoppits, my feelings towards other animals (dogs, lol) have transitioned from tolerance to love. I now stop and pet dogs, let them lick my hand, let them jump on me. The key change is a love of all animals and my advocacy against abuse and cruelty, including the “food” industry. But, back to cats. Yes, I talk about them all the time, I watch cat videos every chance I get, and I post photos every day. And if you don’t like that, you can meow off.

8. I do a lot more laundry.
When I have to. Because Coal has taken to peeing on my bed if the litter box isn’t clean enough by his standards. Recently, in one week, I had to put my bedding in the laundry three times! But while I do a lot more laundry, I don’t always fold it right away. Sometimes, I’m just too tired.

9. My camera happy trigger finger is ready at all times.
It used to be my real camera; now, it’s my smartphone. It’s always ready, I’m always ready, but sometimes, the kitties are too quick, and they move or change positions in the moment right before I take the photo. I used to print photos for albums, but now thank goodness for social media. {All photos in this post are courtesy of social media albums.}

10. I am content to be alone, as long as I have my cats next to me.
As I’ve alluded to many times before, The Breakup was the death of me. I wish I had adopted a cat right after that. But it was a year and a half before I did. I adopted Clea and Oreo, and then two months later, I sought out Coal. My life changed. I was finally healing. And in fact, I wrote about them when I first started this blog. And a year later, Wilbur came into my world (Wilbur was my foster fail).

I spent two years alone—I didn’t date, I didn’t talk to any of my old flames, I didn’t care. I realized that I was content to be alone. For the rest of my life. I didn’t need a man, and I didn’t even want one. If I was never in a relationship again, I was fine with that. I only needed myself to feel whole.

But I would die if I didn’t have my cats. ❤