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ALL CATS, INC. -- eNews for December 2003

Sent: November 28, 2003


ALL CREATURES ARE TRULY SPECIAL, INC. (ALL C.A.T.S., INC.)
64 Lumpkin County Park Drive Dahlonega, GA 30533

Mailing Address: P. O. Box 1095, Dawsonville, GA 30534-0022

All Donations are Tax Deductible

Please Send all Mail to the Above Post Office Address. Thank You!

Founded By: Carolyn Keeton Email: Carcats@knology.net

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Welcome to our eNewsletter!

ENEWS - DECEMBER 2003

PLEASE VISIT OUR WEB PORTAL AT: www.allcatsinc.org

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ALL OF US INVOLVED WITH THE SHELTER WISH YOU AND YOUR LOVED ONES THE VERY BEST OF HOLIDAY SEASONS

Dear Friends,

I lie in a hospital bed. I am sick and I am the tired my Grandmother called "bone tired." Chemo has taken most of my energy. It has also taken my immune system, leaving me prey to any virus that cares to come around. I feel all used up. I have nothing more to give. I simply want to sleep and I want to be left alone. I know the animals are in good hands, so no worries there. Demetria and Pat have been caring for them for the last two years while I concentrate my energies on the new shelter in Valley, AL. Some of you have been to it and understand the nature of what we are up against. Neither do I have to worry about the 50+ animals in that shelter. John will take care of those. I am good at rescues and nursing the sick or injured, but right now I can't face another "crisis." At least that is what I think. I should know better by now.

I turn off all the lights, then go sit in a chair by the window. It is getting late and finally everything quiets down. This isn't so bad. It's a beautiful night and these windows actually open, so I can just sit here in the dark and enjoy the moonlight and the smell of the roses and fresh-cut grass from the small garden below. Then I hear it, or did I? I lean my face against the window screen. Yes, there it is again. A voice calling in a stage whisper, "Here, kitty, kitty, kitty. Where are you kitty?"

Looking down, I see a lady leaning on a walker over by the shrubbery. She has a container of some sort in her hand. "Hello, out there," I whisper. "Can I help you?" She looks up and around, but I am in the dark, so she can't see me. But, I can tell I have frightened her. "No," she answers. "I thought I saw a cat and I was going to feed it, but it isn't here now." "Who does she think she is kidding?," I think. You don't bring food outside in the middle of the night because you thought you saw a cat. Being a natural busybody when it comes to animals, I decide to go out and investigate.

That turned out to be more of a task than I had anticipated. First, the night nurse informed me I wasn't to leave my room after "lights out." So I go back to my room, change into street clothes, and then go to the stairs to keep away from the nurse. Wouldn't you know, two people are in the stairwell smoking. "Can we help you?" they ask. "Just stretching my legs," I answer. "Well, if you go outside, you will have to come to the front door to get back in. These doors only open outward at night," one says. "Thanks--I probably would have tried every door in the place, trying to get back in." One of them laughs, "Oh please don't do that. The security guard would have a heart attack if an alarm bell went off." I laugh, too. "I'll remember. Goodnight."

This information gives me something to think about. Obviously the elderly lady has a way out and in without being detected. Right now, my problem was simply to get out without causing any alarm or causing the lady any problems with the staff. After all, anyone who will sneak around in the middle of the night to feed a cat is all right in my book! Finally finding a way out into the courtyard, I see a leg of a walker sticking out from behind a shrub. Running over, I ask frantically," Are you all right? Do I need to get some help? Is there something I can do?" "You can shut up and get behind this here bush so we won't be seen."
"What are we doing?" I ask, half way afraid to hear the answer. "Shhhhhhhh Be still." So I sit. About two seconds later, a security guard opens a door a few feet away, walks across the courtyard, then back, shining a flashlight over the other doors. He then re-enters the building and is out of sight.

"Young lady, why don't you go back inside and leave me alone?" she asks and not very kindly either. I can finally see her clearly. She is about the size of "Sophia" on "The Golden Girls" and her tone is about as spunky. "No. I won't go away until I know about the cat. Maybe I can help." "Lord , deliver me from do-gooders," she mutters under her breath. But I just wait, making it clear I won't leave until I have the story. Convinced I won't leave, she starts to relate this amazing story:

"I was sitting out here minding my own business (giving me a hard look) when the 'food man' came thru that door over yonder. It leads to the service parking lot. He propped the door open and I see this little cat out there. I'm real foolish when it comes to cats. Always have been, ever since I found the first one when I was five years old. Anyways, I see this cat, so I call to it. I just wanted to pet it a little; I didn't mean for it to live in here. Everthang needs a little love. Even old women like me. (She laughs a little as she says that; but, to me, it was a very telling statement.) Then the 'food man' comes back and closes the door. I thought it would open outards like most of them, but it don't. So now this here cat is trapped in here, and I can't get it back out without some of them (pointing toward the lobby) seeing. I ask a nurse what would happen to an animal in here, and she said they would call the authorities to take it away. I don't want that to happen, so I stole a towel and a box from the trash and made a little bed under this here bush. I crawled under there and hid all this stuff and it's safe lessen somebody comes along and gives us away."

"How do you get back in?" I ask. She looks at me as if I'm crazy. "You mean to tell me you come out here not knowing how to get back in? Child, are you daft?" "I knew I could follow you back in." "What if I can't go back in without callin' one of them? And I won't do that, by the ways. I'll not let them get this cat." "Then we'll both sleep out here," I answer. "You would do that? Stay out here all night? With me and the cat? You might get cold." "I've been cold before. Won't hurt me. I won't give you away. I'll do whatever it takes to save the cat. Doesn't it have a name?" "Name's Oreo. She's black and white. Not too original, I know. But it serves. My name's Margaret, but Maggie to my friends. You call me Maggie."

I was honored. "Thank you, Maggie. I'm Carolyn. What can I do to help?" "Come to my room tomorrow and we'll discuss it. Room 218." Now I know a dismissal when I hear one, but I didn't know how to get back inside. I had seen the security guard use a key. So, I was forced to ask, "Maggie, how do I get back in?" "Through the door, child, through the door." I go over to the second door, and, sure enough, it opened. She had jammed the lock with a tongue depressor. My kind of person, indeed!
The next day, we discussed the various ways of getting the cat out of the building and to a safe environment. We needed help, and fast. I was to leave in two days.

I called John to bring a carrier. He wanted to know how I expected him to get a carrier into the hospital. "Bring it to the service entrance tonight at 12:15. No earlier, no later. We know where the security guard is at that time," I tell him. That night everything goes as planned, except we can't get the cat into the carrier. We also can't spend a lot of time out here or we will attract attention. So, we stash the carrier under the bush and call it a night. I also have two very bad scratches on the back of my hand, which I hope no one asks me to explain. Maggie is upset, thinking someone will notice all the "traffic," but I try to reassure her by telling her Oreo will be rescued and then she will live at my house. We won't let her be killed. We go to our rooms, thinking we were through for the night. BUT, a little later, Maggie is shaking my shoulder. "Wake up, Carolie. It's raining outside. What are we going to do about Oreo? We can't leave her out in the rain." "O.K., meet you out there in a few minutes."

I still don't know Maggie's route outside so I just use the stairs. No one is on them, thank goodness. I pass by a large garbage can. Yes! I'll take the bag out and use it to cover the carrier. Reaching the bush, there is Oreo, all curled up in the carrier. "Little rascal. Why couldn't you have done that earlier?" I slip the bag around the carrier and make several adjustments, until Maggie is satisfied Oreo won't smother, nor get wet. Going back up the stairs, I meet one of the "smokers." She waits until I am several steps up, then asks, "What are you and the old lady doing out there?" Turning around, I ask, "Do you really want to know, or are you just making conversation?" "Just conversation. You might like to know, the yard man will be back Friday." "Thanks," I say. "We'll be through by then." She nods. "You can tell me then." My turn to nod. We hadn't escaped attention, after all.

I only had one more night here. If need be, I would walk straight through the lobby carrying the cat. I really didn't think anyone would care if we were removing Oreo, but Maggie was worried--so we would do this her way. Also, I think she was having a grand old time thinking we were saving this cat from "the authorities!" This was a big adventure for a 95-year-old woman. I didn't want to deprive her of the pleasure. Nor did I want to mess around and lose the cat.

Next morning, looking out the window, I could see Oreo sitting on a bench, sunning. Oh, no! This could be trouble. I go tell Maggie. "What are we going to do?" she wants to know. "Maggie, we have to tell someone we are going to get her. If we don't, they may see her and call animal control." She is too scared to listen, so I agree to give it a little longer and spent the day watching the garden, making sure I could intervene if someone came for Oreo. No one did. That night, we got her into the carrier and carried her out through the lobby to the truck. Maggie was overcome with excitement. "They didn't get this one. No siree, they didn't get this one."

Going back up the stairs, we meet the same woman. "We got the cat" I tell her. She nods. "Are you Carolyn of All C.A.T.S.?" she asks. Amazed, I wonder how she could possibly know that. "I thought you looked familiar," she said. "You helped my grandmother with some strays a few years ago in Atlanta. Do you remember Mrs. Chandler on West Paces Ferry?" "Two Siamese and a Calico," I answer. Holding out a $20 bill, she says, "Well, this is for you. Wish it could be more, but it's the best I can do. Maybe it will buy that cat some food for a few days." "Thank you very much. The cat's name is Oreo. A black and white female."

She waits until I have taken a few steps up. "Yeah, I know. I told animal control the cat was already gone. I came in early today to watch out for them. I stayed out front, in my uniform, just in case. It was the least I could do, not only for the cat, but also for my Grandmother. Do you understand?" Yes, indeed. I certainly did understand.

I went back to visit Maggie two days later. She brightened when I came into the room. "We sure saved that cat, didn't we, Carolie? Yes siree, we sure saved that cat!" Maggie died that night, still flushed from her victory.

Oreo turned out to be pregnant. We now have five beautiful kittens, four black and fuzzy, one slick gray and white. Yes, Maggie. You sure did good!

Note from Pat: Since the shelter was full, Carolyn had to take Oreo and the kittens to her husband's house in Alabama. They very much need to see a vet for check-ups, shots and worming for the kittens and, soon, spaying for Oreo. If you can help with any of these expenses, please send your donation (made out to "Carolyn Keeton") to 4907 23rd. Boulevard, Valley AL 36854.

Following are the financial results for October:

Labor $3872
Veterinary $391.19
Garbage $120
Utility Bill $86.17
Food $128.56
Supplies $0
Stamps $49.48
Misc. $ 9.20*

*Bank Service Charge

Total expenses were $4,656.60. Donations for October totaled $4,775.90. This means that we lessened our 2003 shortfall by $119.30. At the end of the month, we were $607.15 away from being even!! December is traditionally our best donation month; together we can completely wipe out this deficit and turn it into a plus.


VET EXPENSE UPDATE

We have received donations toward vet expense totaling $155 from Avis Buchanan, Mary Jane Johnson and Tonya Graney. Donations earmarked for this purpose are very much needed and appreciated and may be made by:

* Sending us a check made out to Murrayville Veterinary Clinic for whatever amount you wish to contribute OR
* Sending a check made out to ALL C.A.T.S., Inc. indicating the donation is to be used for general veterinary expense.
* Send a check directly to Murrayville Veterinary Clinic, P.O. Box 406, Murrayville, GA 30564. Be sure to indicate that it is to be applied to the All C.A.T.S., Inc. account.
* To donate online, visit our web portal (www.allcatsinc.org), and click on Vet Expenses under our How You Can Help menu
* Then, select Veterinary Expenses and you'll be able to pay online instantly using your credit card and/or checking account.

If you wish your donation to be used for a specific veterinary procedure, please so indicate on the check or in a note accompanying it.


STAMP REPORT

Since our last report we received 94.3% of the stamps needed to send out this newsletter from Nancy Caravello, Jeanni and Nick Wiseman, Benjamin Jones, Marsha Walton, Carolyn Lowe, Judy Ciccarello, Linda Wrigley, Jamie Reagin, Mardi Hoofnagle, and Robert Salzman. This is a huge improvement from October-thank you so much. Let's try for 100% in December.


IN MEMORY

From Anne Roberts "in memory of BOGEY."

From Laura Mitchell "in memory of my sweet little black kitty, NIKKI, who died in July. She was my quiet little companion for almost 10 years."

From Mildred Foster "in memory of my daughter's (Elaine Coleman) dog, SHADOW, who had to be put to sleep recently. She was 19 years old. She was a very sweet, loving dog; and we all miss her so much. She lived a very happy life and was just a little spoiled. She loved peanut butter on bread; and, when I spent the night with them or babysat her, I would give her part of my toast. She always looked forward to that. She was a rescued animal from the Cobb County Humane Society."

From the Spring Ridge B-Z Tennis Team "to honor the memory of MARJORIE MOORE STRATER, mother of our friend and teammate, Nan Ross."

We continue to have many adult animals available for adoption. To contact our adoption coordinator, Bronwyn Harris, please either telephone 770 427 6584 or e-mail her at 1animallover@msn.com if you are interested in adopting one of our animals.


THANK YOU

To Ann Wilson for sending along several bottles of animal medicine. We definitely appreciate it.

To Carol Clenney for her sponsorship of one of our shelter kitties.

To Jennifer and Sasha DeWeese for their continued sponsorship of COOKIE.

To Pattie Reber for once again sending a donation to cover the cost of our garbage pick-up.

Please remember that sponsorship of a shelter animal or any other type of regular donation you would care to make may be set up as a regular withdrawal from the credit card of your choice. If you wish to do this, send an e-mail to otter@allcatsinc.org or pat@allcatsinc.org telling us what you would like to do. Instructions will be sent to you.


WEB PORTAL

If you haven't already done so, we hope that you will visit our web portal as our Web Developer (Kel Kyle) has made it easy for you to: make donations to our various needs and purchase products that will help in our fundraising efforts. If you are not already subscribed to our enews, you may subscribe there and help us save money on postage. Don't forget to let us know that we can take you off our snail mail list. Also, if you are Internet active and want to read enews online, you can download any or all of our 2002-3 enewsletters. Just click on the button that says enews!

Please note that while you are not required to join to view our new portal and its contents, we do encourage you to sign up for membership (FREE); and then you'll be able to share your stories with us online, create and post replies in our Forum, view photos of our animals, search the Internet, read headline news (U.S. & World), catch up on your local or regional weather forecast and more! Visit our web portal (http://www.allcatsinc.org) and sign up today!!


THINGS YOU CAN DO TO HELP OUR ANIMALS (Many items would be great Holiday Presents.)

1. A special, extra donation for general operating expenses.
2. A donation earmarked for our electric bill (amount varies) and/or garbage bill (always $120).
3. Those of you who take or send food and/or supplies to the shelter-continue and accelerate if possible.
4. A special veterinary fund donation (see above).
5. Gift card for Home Depot for buying many cleaning supplies-buckets, brooms, etc.
6. Gift card for any other store at which we can buy items needed at the shelter. Wal-Mart, Kroger, PetSmart and Ingles cards are especially welcome.
7. Send extra stamps-so that we can report beginning another streak in which we receive 100% of the number needed to send out a newsletter.
8. Purchase AND delivery to the shelter of treated lumber--can be any length. Also, treated plywood,
9. Purchase AND delivery to the shelter of 3" and 2-1/2" hinges.
10. Purchase AND delivery to the shelter of Dogloos, especially XLarge.
11. Any type of animal medicine.
12. Purchase AND delivery to the shelter of bleach, detergent, Glad tall kitchen bags, paper plates, Pine-Sol, brooms, scrub buckets, dishwashing liquid, canned and dry cat food, dry dog food, cat and dog treats, paper towels. USE ABOVE PHYSICAL ADDRESS OF THE SHELTER TO SEND US ANY ITEMS TOO LARGE FOR A POST OFFICE BOX.


SPRING 2004 FUNDRAISER

For this effort to be a success, we are going to need a lot of your help. First and foremost is to find the best possible place to have the sale. We need a high traffic place so that enough people will come by and one that is large enough to hold the many, many sale items AND to allow us to efficiently work at sale preparation. We also need to be able to reserve the spot a few months in advance of the sale.

We need any of you who are interested to immediately start working on this. Feel free to go ahead on your own. Or, if you wish, e-mail pat@allcatsinc.org or call Dixie Tailor at 770 512 0954 and we will put you in touch with each other so that you may form a committee.

We will need several other committees-more about that later.


FYI

A fundraising idea from the Autumn 2003 Paws to Think Magazine sponsored by Cash For Critters. Collect empty ink jet and laser cartridges. They pay $2-4 for ink jets and $1-12 for lasers. They also pay the shipping costs. If you are interested in doing this, please call 1-866-301-7027, e-mail them at info@cashforcritters.com or check out their website: www.cashforcritters.com.


ONE LAST THING

A very long-time and great friend of the shelter, Caryl Bryan, would like to start her own sanctuary for cats in North Georgia. She is in need of advice on how to write grant requests and to what organizations they may be written. If anyone would be able to assist her, please e-mail her at caryl@oracle20-20.com or call her at 770 924 1756.



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