Friday, May 21, 2010

Sweet Pea needs help

Dear readers; after having her four babies at a construction site, being relocated to a foster home, and nursing her babies to glorious health, Sweet Pea has now come to a crossroads in her life. All four kittens have found their forever homes (Manga and Chutney went home together, as did Truffle and Pistou). But we have not found a home for Sweet Pea. If we cannot find a space for her by next Friday at the latest we will have to return her to the outside. Can you help? Please post and forward this appeal.

Sweet Pea is shy. She enjoys petting, brushing, and scratching, but does not want to be picked up. She's a little afraid of people, and would do best in a quieter household. She is not aggressive at all, but she is a hisser. It's just her way! She should be in a home with at least one feline companion. An older male would be perfect. Sweet Pea has made social strides while in our care and could progress more with a patient home. She is spayed, neg/neg, and vaccinated.

I have an actual feralish cat in my own home and, while I regret not being able to pet her, she's become part of our household. She loves to sit with my male cat; she even goes out onto the patio. Cats like this are stuck between two worlds ... can't be adopted because they are too shy for a shelter environement; can't be streeted because that would break our hearts. Poor Sweet Pea was not part of a colony, so she'd be on her own outside.

She loves to sit on the windowsill and bask in the sunlight.


Martha said...

To everyone reading this: I have a cat whose story is very similar to Sweet Pea's. I trapped her and her kittens at the school where I teach, and she was a phenomenal mother. At first, she was very shy and skittish. Now, three years later - yes, she stayed in my house - she is much more friendly, enjoys human and feline company, has friends and foes among the other cats in our house, but she spooks easily, and her street roots come out. Nonetheless, she's a great companion, and life with her is definitely better. I do hope Sweet Pea finds a willing person - if I lived within 500 miles of Hyde Park, I'd be there!

Anonymous said...

Why such a harsh deadline for this beautiful cat? --Amy M.

bundeleh said...

Because we have no place to keep her.

Anonymous said...

Amy M's question is a good one, but the real answer may not be apparent. The problem is that humans, on which all domestic animals depend, often do not live up to their side of the love bargain - they abandon, or neglect to TRN resulting in population explosion. Wonderful people like HPC do a wonderful job for these discards - alas, there are times when overwhelming stats require triage. I know HPC will make a fine outside shelter for poor lil Sweet Pea. She will be OK, way better off than before, just not cosy in Chicago's harsh winter. I know that as this is done, the HPC workers little hearts are hurting. That speaks all the more to the good work they do. Still, I hope SP finds a forever home.

Maine Kitties said...

In rescue, the rescuer is responsible for the life. So Amy's question is valid. I take responsibility for the lives I am able to save and the ones I cannot.

But I cannot imagine taking a cat off the street and putting them back there....especially knowing the cat would be alone.

I, also, know of someone who has an even more "feral" cat than Sweet Pea living in their home.... the cat is content to live on the fringes and the kitty enjoys other feline company....just not of people. But that family/occasional rescuer would never consider tossing her back outside.....after living in the home for so long...even though the kitty is unadoptable.

What ever space this kitty has taken up over the last few weeks, it is hers, so if she must give it up, what makes her life less valuable than another's? Who are we to make that judgement. Yes, we (people) own the space and can make those decisions..but once these distinctions are made, then anyone could justify any kill shelter making space for other/newer animals....

If she was blind, would you still put her out? Or diabetic? Or had one leg missing? People do it every day, I just don't expect that from a rescue. is with great regret that I am withdrawing all of my "occasional" support from Hyde Park Cats and will stop following this blog, which until now, I love to read.

This post has put a very bad taste in my mouth and although it is only my is mine. I am sorry because reading this blog has been a huge enjoyment of mine...until this post.

Hopefully someone will feel sorry for her and adopt her. I wish only the best for her.

Margaret said...

I'm so sorry, HPC and Sweet Pea. I really hope someone can take her in. It is very sad when a situation comes to this point. But the primary thing to remember is that Sweet Pea is alive and well.

If she does have to go back on the street, maybe she can be added to another colony? Perhaps she can make friends there? Not sure if that ever happens.

I wish I had extra space, separate from my own three crazy female kitties who barely tolerate each other. Then I would take in Sweet Pea, and perhaps add another shy kitty companion for her...

I will share this post on my Facebook page. Crossing fingers and paws for sweet Sweet Pea!

Jamesie said...

I have some strong thoughts in mind for the people who are angry about this post, but they don't belong here.

Judging from what has been said, Sweet Pea should be a fantastic cat for somebody who likes to work with cats. I adopted Slim from 1/27, and while there were some setbacks he' a great cat. He may not be overly trusting of humans, but he likes to hang out with the other cats, on the window sill, or on my bed, or just part of the pack that roams the house. He is still changing daily, growing up, becoming more confident around people.

I had a moment to think a about it this morning as I tried to corral him into a bedroom ahead of some workmen's arrival. A month ago he was easy to put back in his room - he was scared enough of me that with just a little direction he'd pop right back into his safe place. This morning it was a game.

I'm pretty sure now that some day I'll be able to just pick up, put him through the door, and call it a day. But for now, knowing that I've turned a scary situation into entertainment makes me very happy.

Ruth said...

Just to explain the Sweet Pea deadline - the person who has been caring for her and her kittens is going overseas, so we need to find another place for her. Lots of our volunteers are students, and they leave town for the summer, so foster places become very tight over that period.

Anonymous said...

Dear Maine Kitties
I understand your heartache. Just look at all the armloads of kittens, subject of the last several weeks of posts. Do you know that the typical HPC rescuer lives in a Chicago apartment subject to animal restrictive lease agreement? So, what are the rescuers to do – stop rescuing because their homes are full?

HPC stated mission is TN[R]. An animal is more likely to survive the TN if the R is not immediate. The secondary mission is to find as many homes for these sweet charges as possible.

Maine Kitties, really truly imagine “Luka In The Ruins”. I couldn’t really imagine it here in a green suburb of New York so I went to Chicago, and took an evening feed run with HPC.
Luka’s building was one of hundreds of abandoned boarded up, falling down buildings in an infamously dangerous area of South Side Chicago – you may have seen similar in the shooting deaths of teenagers, recently on TV. HPC rescuers put themselves there in all kinds of weather, at dawn, and dusk and even dark. They put themselves at terrible risk for these animals. This is NOT “in their own backyard”, such as my own easy feral community.

Without R as a possibility, large scale rescue is impossible. Should rescue dry up all discards will be left to the street; the animal misery index will soar, and the fine citizenry will call ACC; then the awful E prevails.

MK - I hope you reconsider. HPC is alleviating problems of others making. It breaks my own heart to know what your harsh assessment of them is doing to their own hearts. Throw your ire at the abandoners, the abusers. Help with education!

Let us realize this. I, for example, pride myself by maintaining one feral community in my backyard. Good me!!!!! HPCs do that as individuals – AND seek to help thousands (1000s) of other animals! Their commitment ends up like a second job – for free? No - in fact, for additional expenses. Let’s not add more burden to them by inferring they are heartless.

I now leave to help with an “Adoptathon Extravaganza” at our SPCA – we sent a bus down to Virginia to pick up 120 dogs off Euthanasia lines at High Kill Shelters in the south, and have a two day event to adopt them out. (We have done this successfully several times already) My point is that someone – whose heart must be very caring just to take that terrible bus trip – must also select the dogs that come. That means he/she must have selected who stays in the line.

Again, he/she must also have selected who stays in that Euthanasia line. This is the truth that confronts those that care enough to actually help.

bundeleh said...

Our organization was begun with the express mission of TNR. In a perfect world no cat would be outside but we don't live anywhere near that world.

We do our best for each individual cat, which means making individual decisions.

If we do return SP to the outside, she will go back to where we found her. She has a regular feeder there (Donna) and several other people in that building who know her and care for her.

It's not really possible to introduce a new cat to a colony--this will most likely just result in SP running away and not being under our eye anymore.

We would build a little shelter under the ramp where she had her babies. We'd use styrofoam and hay to make it quite cozy. With a shelter and Donna feeding her regularly, and now that she's spayed and vaxed, she'd be OK. We would monitor her, pick her up again for her shots as needed, and stay on the lookout for a home for her.

Of course we would prefer to see her in a home, and we've been trying our best to get her a home. But times are tough here in Chicago. Many cats are losing their homes to eviction and foreclosure here on the South Side. We just have to accept that sometimes our best has to be good enough.

Mireille said...

Dear Maine Kitties,

I understand that your reaction comes from a desire to see all these beautiful creatures find a place where they can be safe and well cared for. This goes to your credit. However, I find it unfair that you would think we haven't done everything we could to ensure that Sweet Pea finds a home. This call is not simply an FYI, it's a call for help and one last desperate attempt to find a solution in order to avoid putting her back on the street. Emphasis on "avoid". The whole point is to find a more satisfactory solution! Would we have taken Sweet Pea in, had she not just had a litter? I can't answer that. Given the circumstances, it wasn't a choice. We had to take her in, if only for the sake of her babies (and she did a fantastic job caring for them). And we are now trying to do right by her, but there are very few fosterers available at the moment, and most people simply do not want to adopt a shy feralish cat, even though I think she has great potential. So what are we to do?
I have been fostering Sweet Pea for about 2 months now, and I am going abroad in a few days, so it's not that I want to kick her out of my apartment; there are simply no alternatives here. My traveling is one of the reasons why I chose to foster (which usually involves short-term "guests") rather than get my own cat right away (which would be a selfish thing for me to do at this time). In this particular case, should I choose to forgo seeing my family (and my sick father) just so Sweet Pea can have a home? I do what I can. Same for Hyde Park Cats. Actually, I came to realize in the course of this year that what we fosterers do is but the tip of the iceberg. An essential part, of course, but the people who are truly involved in the cat rescue operations and the running of this *very small* structure that is HPC spend considerable time, effort and money caring for the cats. They have my utmost admiration for the fantastic job they are doing! I am sorry you don't feel that way and I am not trying to change your mind. Only I find your condemnation a little too hasty and I just had to put in my two cents!

Anonymous said...

Mirelle, have a wonderful trip home. I hope you find your father mending, but at the least, he will have the love of your visit.

Anonymous said...

If I understood correctly, today is Sweet, Sweet Pea's deadline to find a home. Thanks Mireille for your loving care for kitty, and to HPC for all their hard work.
I was wondering if there's any news on SP finding a home? I never met her but I loved her story, what a sweet loving momcat

ScottM said...

Ditto. I been wondering about SP as well. Hopefully things have worked out.

Wish I had space for her in our menagerie.