Many of you have probably wondered how we are able to catch so many feral cats. I’ll bet you thought it was through the use of humane traps.
But now the truth comes out. We have a marathon runner on our Board and she chases the cats down until she catches them.
We want to congratulate our Board member, volunteer, and co-founder of Black and Orange Cat Foundation, Bobbie Timmons, for completing the half-marathon (that’s 13.1 miles for all you non-runners) portion of the Columbus Marathon this past Sunday, October 17. Bobbie finished in two hours and fifty-three minutes. That’s her in the photo in the pink shirt and black pants.
So now you know our secret. No cat gets away from B and O with Bobbie on board. Run, Bobbie, run.
I wanted to take a moment and tell everyone about one of the best cat trappers in central Ohio (and probably the state)–and he volunteers with Black and Orange Cat Foundation.
Allen Young first started helping B and O with trapping cats a few years ago after we took a cat in that was hanging around his mom’s apartment. Allen asked if he could trap cats for our weekly clinic appointments and, of course, I said yes. Allen finished trapping the cats out at Crager Brothers Trucking (I had dropped the ball on that because I got too busy with other projects). He also took on the small burg of Arnold since his dad lived there. Additionally, Allen has tackled some of the most heavily cat populated areas in Plain City, including North Avenue, Converse, and Shepper (where he is working right now with his friend, Robin Clay). Allen keeps a running tab on the number of cats he has personally trapped. You’d have to ask him what number he has reached, because I’ve lost count. I am sure he is in the hundreds by now.
Allen does all of this in between working. Sometimes, he will drop cats off to me for clinic appointments late at night when he is getting off work or while he is on a pizza delivery run. I can call Allen any time and ask him to trek around Plain City to help a little old lady trap a cat and he never says no. He just takes off with his traps and some tuna and within hours (sometimes only minutes), he is calling me to tell me he caught the cat. He uses his own gas and his own car to do all of this.
Allen has to be the best cat trapper I know (even better than me and I am pretty good). He gets so excited when he catches that elusive cat. He has such passion about stopping the overpopulation problem and helping feral cats have a better life. I wish we had more cat trappers like Allen.
Not only does Allen trap cats, however, he also gets involved with other activities that B and O participates in (and even things we do not–he is just a good person). Allen helped Carol and Chuck Gaul with the clean up of their burned house and then the very next day attended the Blessing of the Animals in Goodale Park to honor their kitties that were killed in the fire. He also attends our fundraisers and has gone out of his way to help us in any way possible. Additionally, Allen twists a few arms to get donations for us. If he wasn’t a B and O volunteer, he could easily be a Mafia member–people seldom tell him no.
Allen has dropped off pamphlets to people with “Free Kittens” signs. He has lectured people about giving kittens away to people they don’t know. He can tick off a list of why you should get your cat spayed or neutered. He is the walking poster child for the benefits of feline sterilization.
And he loves dogs, too!
Allen has also been a volunteer with the Union County Humane Society, walking dogs, running errands, and just being there whenever they needed his help.
So if you are looking for the best cat trapper and animal lover in the state of Ohio, you don’t have far to look. We have him on the streets of Plain City, watching over our ferals and helping B and O make a difference in the lives of hundreds of cats.
No, Linda has not decided to replace her kitties with an elephant (we’d like to see the size of that litter pan!). Instead, Linda Stanek, children’s author and a friend to Black and Orange’s kitty population, has written a new book about Beco, the Columbus Zoo’s baby elephant. Beco’s Big Year: A Baby Elephant Turns One, which is due out this year, documents Beco’s first year of life. The book also provides information about the plight of elephants around the world.
Linda, who is a huge animal lover (obviously, since her first book was The Pig and Miss Prudence), contacted us last year about being a foster mom for Black and Orange. We quickly lined her up with two kitties, Frankie and Chloe, who she promptly fell in love with and decided to adopt. We lose more fosters that way! But it is a good way to lose them.
Then this past fall, Linda contacted Black and Orange about a mama kitty and her litter of kittens who had taken up residence on Linda’s porch. We helped with vet care and everyone found a great home, including little Cubby, the black kitten of the litter, who stayed with Linda (we know Linda has a fondness for black cats-her former kitty before Frankie and Chloe was from ebony royalty).
Please check out Linda’s web site and learn more about her books and even the craft of writing on her blog, “Get to Writing.”
We want to thank Linda for supporting Black and Orange and giving two of our former kitties such a great home.
One of our super volunteers, Kristin Ramsdell, submitted this photo for the Online Spay Day 2010 photo contest. Kristin does so much for Black and Orange from cleaning cages at PetSmart to fostering our kitties and manning our table at adoption events. Kristin is also the person who took it upon herself to save Lydia when she was lost outside for three weeks.
Beyond her rescue endeavors, Kristin is also a wonderful photographer. When I take pictures of the foster cats for Petfinder, they are usually running to try to get away from me or I’ve caught them, unsuspecting, doing something cute. Kristin’s photos of the fosters she and Christina care for are works of art. Take a look at the pictures of Stewie, Maggie, and Lydia on Petfinder and I am sure you’ll see what I mean. The cats are looking at her with soulful expressions or contemplating views from the cat tree. They always look peaceful and profound.
So vote for Suki and help spread the word about our volunteer photographer’s talents!
To Vote for Suki: Suki Must Win
Thank you, Kristin, for another gorgeous photo to help Black and Orange’s kitties!
Kristin, one of our volunteers and cat rescuer extraordinaire, took it upon herself to go looking for Miss Lydia this evening. She was planning to hang up posters to help locate Lydia, but instead found her.
She didn’t have to look far. Lydia was next door to the building she had escaped from. Using tuna as bait and an empty cat carrier, Kristin was able to catch Lydia, who was so frightened after being outside for three weeks that she was unsure about befriending any stranger.
Lydia is now safely inside–a bit thinner, a bit dirtier, and starving (she ate as much food as Kristin would let her have), but alive and back in our care.
And once again, I am crying, but for good reasons.
I figured I would need some help to find Lydia and I just want to thank Kristin for going above and beyond to rescue our little girl. As one of our other volunteers told me, she had faith that we would rescue Lydia for a second time. And thanks to Kristin, we did.
We recently learned that one of our volunteers, Christina, was a 1984 Easter Seals poster child and was featured with Columbus, Ohio television news celebrity, Jimmy Crum (who my grandmother loved–if Jimmy Crum said it, it was gospel) on a Columbus Dispatch “TeleView” guide. If you look closely at the photo above, you can see where Jimmy Crum signed the guide for Christina.
I have to say that when I first discovered this about Christina, I was startled, because honestly, I never think of her as having any type of handicap. She does so much for Black and Orange–fostering kitties, cleaning cages at PetSmart, helping at adoption and fundraising events, and just going above and beyond for the stray and abandoned cats that come into our care–that she seems like a power house of energy. Nothing slows her down.
I now realize where Christina’s compassion comes from for she must have faced enormous challenges growing up, challenges most of us would find insurmountable. And yet, every time I see her she is smiling and happy and ready to take on the world for the next dog or cat in need.