Friday, September 6, 2013

Two Years and Counting...

Happy Friday!   I'm sitting at the computer today with a calendar that has nothing staring back at me, no cats sitting in my garage or waiting at the clinic and a peaceful Saturday and Sunday on the horizon.   Given that I have some time to actually breathe, my mind realizes that WIFCaP celebrated its 2nd anniversary last month in a whirlwind of  trappings, spays, neuters with a couple rescues sprinkled in for good measure.

Rescued Kitten

I've been sitting here thinking about how and where we started, comparing it to where we are and what we are doing today.

Two years ago, Mrs. Gray, Zeva and the rest of that little family were newly fixed and their feeding station brand spanking new.  Mrs. Gray wouldn't even think about approaching me, let alone allowing me to stroke her, scratch her ears or allow me to spend some eating time with her and her daughter.  Who knew she would become the darling of WIFCaP, a superstar in her own right and a purrfect example of a feral cat living her outdoor dream life?

Mrs. Gray
Two years ago, I was whining on face book about why small grass roots efforts like ours couldn't get 501c3 status because what grass roots effort had the money to pay a lawyer or figure out the tax forms needed to gain such status.  Today, we are enjoying this status thanks to a wonderful foundation that helps the "little guys" that are trying to enter the world of animal advocacy!

Two years ago, I made a pact with myself that unless the donations came in, we could not and would not be able to continue.  Thanks to the wonderful people that I've still never met in person, who trusted us and risked their funds to help us get a start in TNR.  Today, all of those that started with us on the ground floor, are still there along side, encouraging and supporting in every way possible.   The money always comes when we need it and so far, Ive been able to keep my pact...and the work of WIFCaP goes on!

Two years ago when our hair-brained idea gelled and formed into what has become Western Iowa's Feral and Homeless Cat Program, I was hoping we could help cats in the Walnut - Avoca area.   Little did I know that in two years, we have been able to help over 20 communities in an approximate 50 mile radius of Walnut.

It's good to reflect.  It's good to remember, both the good parts and the sad.   While we celebrate the over 500 cats we have medically assisted and over 400 "spa treatments", we mourn the loss of even one small helpless creature.  Unfortunately, it's the losses that stick in our memory and leave a sore spot on our hearts. Its the hard times that force us to stay in the reality of our plight...we cant save them all, but we can give it a dang good try!

Amy, Linda and AVCheryl
I think today also about how thankful I am that God has allowed me good health and lots of energy.   Believe me, this WIFCaP journey is not for the faint of heart or weak of body and spirit.  However,  this is the best "job" I've ever had.   I get a "fat" pay check nearly everyday.  It comes in the form of those that help me...without Cheryl and Doc Schultz at the clinic WIFCaP could not operate at all.   They are my rocks!  Kris is my "level-er", keeping my fanciful mind and heart in check with reality and also being a great helper with marketing and social networking.  ALL of our volunteers...Becky who cares for 3 feeding stations, Cheryl, who feeds and cares for many at True Haven,  Linda who is ready to help at the drop of a hat, Sandy, Adrian and Amy who are the best foster mamas ever!  And all our new volunteers that are eager and waiting in the wings to help with future trappings and events.  It comes in the mailbox whenever there is a package that holds a donated item, coupons to help with food costs or a check that will help us do yet another spa treatment.  But mostly my pay check comes in the form of a frightened furry kitty in a trap, one that I know will now get the medical treatment it needs and deserves.  I never feel badly for them when they are in that cold, metal , scary thing.   They don't know it yet, but their life will now better...and its because of YOU...all of you, who are reading this.

And so we wrap up our first two years in "business".Whether you have donated time, money, items for auction, or even if you have only posted a comment of encouragement...we need you ALL and I, personally want to thank you for sticking with us on the WIFCaP page to see what a small grass roots effort can do! Happy Anniversary EveryOne!!