Thursday, January 10, 2013

Our Resolution is Not to Lose Weight!

A Review of 2012, Hope for 2013

The ball has dropped, the fireworks are bursting in the air, the clinking of glasses, the hugging and kissing and well wishes encircle the globe like a giant wave. It lasts only minutes. Then suddenly we return to routines, the daily grind and the dreaded.....Resolutions!  What's our resolution? Well, it's definitely not to lose weight. That would be too easy!

Before we share our resolution at Riverfront Cats, first we reflect on the past year. The reality is the mountain soars high and along the way naysayers dart out attempting to knock you down, coming from all sides like in a video game. But we don't have a console with laser beam to zap them instantly.  Often in the rescue and pet education world there are bitter battles and tragic times. Some people will say "why bother?". Then we are reminded of a saying:

When the world says, "Give up,"
Hope whispers, "Try it one more time."
~Author Unknown

So we try it one more day, one more week, one more year. It's all worth it. A dying kitten is nursed to health, an abandoned cat is rescued and placed in a new home. It may not be thousands, but we made a difference!

A weekly routine consists of walking outside, feeding and checking on the Riverfront Cats and other community cats, trapping new cats, rescuing kittens, shuttling back and forth to vet clinics, attending all-day adoption events,  answering daily phone calls, visiting potential adopters, writing, blogging and leveraging social media...below are some lows and highs that stand out in 2012. And along the way we try to have some fun.

January 2012
Christine learned about the Loews Hotel cat crisis in Orlando December of last year and announced it January of this year.   Christine was amazed at the immediate response and instant unification and support from cat bloggers and cat lovers around the country.  These were complete strangers who came together for a common good. While cat advocates may have lost the battle to keep the cats at their "home", we kept moving forward and never gave up. We turned to Plan B. Heroes like CARE Feline TNR (an organization in Orlando) painstakingly rescued the cats from the kill-shelter and relocated them to new "adoptive" backyard homes. Relocation is a risky process. Some run away. Thankfully most of the Loews Hotel cats have accepted their new homes.You can follow their stories at

Spring 2012
Several new cats were discovered here at the Riverfront Cat site. Two were clearly dumped (it is illegal to relocate any cat--pets or strays), others were strays.  The two strays were very ill and one losing his eyesight. Both feral.  Both had to be put to sleep. Others like Charlie, while initially skiddish, warmed up to us. Fanny, another dumpee, we discovered was spayed as evidenced by her ear tip. She also appears tame. But we are still waiting for a volunteer to take her inside to socialize her. Her chocolate milk mustache is so endearing.
Fanny is extremely clean and tame for an outdoor cat.
We would love to bring her indoors and socialize her

June 2012
Attending conferences like Blog Paws introduced new ideas and opportunities to raise awareness for homeless cats and pets.Christine was thrilled to meet some famous Cat Ladies and start writing for, a national pet website aimed to help pet parents.

August 2012
Charlie was fostered and adopted by Nina, one of our volunteer caretakers. A big HIGH. Then Nina and Charlie moved to the Middle East.  This was a huge loss as dedicated volunteers like Nina are rare. But the silver lining is that Nina and Felipe are model examples of pet parenting and planning. Charlie was now their pet, a lifetime commitment and they went to great lengths to finalize travel arrangements for his safe transport to the United Arab Emirates.  Nina and Felipe spent close to $2,000 for customs, airfare and cattery fees. There was no question. It had to be done.  Now we enjoy following the adventures of Charlie and his big move to Abu Dhabi. This is a peak high and a story we will continue to spotlight.

Nina gives Charlie a kiss

October 2012
Christine receives a call about a kitten with a bad leg residing up the Miami River. Little Sophie dragged a leg out of hip socket. She bravely underwent a first surgery weighing one pound in an attempt to save the leg and a second surgery to amputate her hind leg, weighing only two pounds.  The vet bill is astronomical and we are still collecting donations to pay off the credit card bill.  Thankfully little Sophie is recuperating nicely and has adjusted to her missing leg.  Her zooming hops across the room is a match for Speedy Gonzalez and her constant purring is a sign that all is well in the world for this once stray kitten. Another small victory.

Sophie post hind leg amputation

Christine also attended BarkWorld, another pet conference in Atlanta, GA. Here she added to her knowledge of writing and blogging and had a chance to wear cat ears all day long! Even the hotel staff wanted to wear ears.  It was a great opportunity to reconnect with fellow bloggers and have a rare moment of fun!(Note: Christine paid for the trip with her personal funds).

Deb Barnes, hotel staffer, Christine, and Debbie Glovatsky

Ingrid King, Deb Barnes, Christine Michaels

December 2012
The new cat feeding stations we installed in October suddenly disappeared on Christmas. Our hearts were broken. This was not the way to end a year.  However just days later...

Figaro & Luciano were adopted!  Kittens grow up fast and it's very hard to find homes for them beyond five or six months.  Both brothers were adopted together by a loving family in Hialeah.

Other milestone:
At Riverfront Cats our specialty and passions are feral cats and black cats--the most misunderstood of the cat family. Adult black cats are the most difficult to find homes for. Therefore we are thrilled to report that several adult black cats were adopted. Tiffany, Evie, Peter Peter, and Sweetie & Berrie. 

Evie adopted at 3 years old

What We Need, What We Hope For in 2013

and it's not losing weight!

While the negative may outweigh the positives in our daily struggles, these words come to mind:

Once you choose hope, anything's possible.  ~Christopher Reeve

At Riverfront Cats, we choose hope!

Like all nonprofits, Riverfront Cats  requires the usual donations of funds and cat food and supplies. But what we really need is human capital. Not much. Just an hour a week. Yet finding volunteers has been our biggest challenge, more difficult than collecting donations or losing weight! It's true!  We have hope. Here is our wish list for 2013:

  1. Writer- an eloquent, strong writer to write posts for our big brother blog site Education is the key to reversing the trend of homeless pets of both dogs and cats.  Both educational and humorous content is our goal for balance. A weekly post is all we need.
  2. Graphic Designer--If you take an average photograph and tweak the coloring, the shades, add some clip art, a catchy phrase or title, one can attract more readers, more followers to learn about cats, take an interest in cats, adopt or foster cats, and spread the word about cats. This is our biggest need of all.
  3. Excellent Photographer--Cats are mystical, exotic creatures. Their expressions and body language speak volumes.  A photographer will help capture the essence of cats and carry it over into our communications, marketing and education efforts and to teach "cat".
  4. Foster parents--this job is more demanding but also very rewarding. Whether you like dogs or cats, or both, foster parents are needed to save healthy pets from being dropped off at county shelter and euthanized.
  5. Moral support--this is easy. In the world of rescue and education, the obstacles are exceedingly high, frustrations mounting that it's easy to feel defeated. The biggest boost and what keeps us going daily, are your thoughtful comments.  Please continue to leave comments on this blog (you can register to the right), on our Facebook page and Twitter.  Your encouraging comments uplift our deflated spirits in difficult times. We could not do this without your moral support!
Alright so these are not resolutions. Such a "do or die "word. We prefer "wish list". It gives us hope! Please contact us is you have any interest or questions in helping.
Here's a to a brighter 2013!


  1. That feeding station is too adorable! Ours are not so funky and cute, however, they have been known to "walk". We have been forced to drill holes into several, and use bike chains to attatch them to trees and hefty bushes. So far, it has been enough to discourage anyone taking them.

  2. Great article Christine... sometimes you do wonder if any of it matters. Are we making a difference to for cats or are all our efforts just a drop in the bucket. Then, you take one look at these precious creatures and you know we most continue to try. Every drop can add up to an ocean. I wish success to cat caretakers everywhere in 2013 and beyond.

  3. Hi Nancy!
    Thank you for sharing your experience. We will have to do the same and take into account adding chains in the design of future houses.

  4. Hi Deb. Yes it's a question we often ask ourselves especially when a nonprofit like ours is so small with limited funds--is it worth it? But I know better having worked at small companies, nonprofits too. We can make a difference and at Riverfront Cats, upon reflecting the past year, I am so uplifted as to how much we accomplished with one dedicated part-time person and couple more helping hands. Focusing on the positive!