Life and Love with FIV

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Frank

Frank, not a fan of eye meds or photo ops

A week ago, we told you about the plight of Frank, the pet who was abandoned by his owner in the frigid cold of winter.  His predicament was all the more unfortunate when he was found to be FIV positive.

That said, a diagnosis of FIV is hardly the end of the world for any cat.  There is a lot of prejudice and misinformation out there that unfairly limits the options available to FIV cats.  For Frank’s sake and for others like him, we’d like to take a moment to sort out the facts.

What is FIV?

FIV, or Feline Immunodeficiency Virus, compromises a cat’s immune system and makes him/her susceptible to illness and infection.  It’s colloquially referred to as “cat HIV” given that the two viruses are related, but this loaded choice of words causes unnecessary alarm.

Facts and Myths About FIV

  • FIV cannot be transmitted to humans, just as HIV cannot be transmitted to a cat.
  • FIV positive cats can live perfectly normal lives for many, long years.
  • Studies have shown that the risk of FIV transmission between cats is very low.  In fact, FIV positive and negative cats can happily live out their lives together without ever seeing the virus spread.  One of the most famous examples of this are the Internet celebrities Cole & Marmalade.  Many Cat Busters rescues have demonstrated this time and time again and we have known vets who themselves own both FIV positive and negative cats.
  • FIV cannot be transmitted through casual contact, such as shared litterboxes, food bowls, or bedding, as the virus cannot survive long outside of the cat’s body and is easily destroyed by drying, light, heat and basic detergents.  It is not spread through grooming, snuggling, mating or even mild scuffles between cats.  Kittens rarely acquire the condition from an FIV positive mother.
  • The primary and most likely method of transmission is through a deep bite wound that breaks skin, accompanied by bleeding gums.  We’re talking serious battle scars here… your typical slap-fight between cohabiting kitties won’t do it.

Adopt a FIV Cat

Sadly, the stigma of FIV keeps many wonderful cats from being adopted.  Some shelters and owners resort to euthanizing cats after a FIV diagnosis — this is an extreme and utterly unnecessary measure.

Chin

Frank approves of chin scratches

Frank is a sweetheart and a good boy.  He loves hugs, tummy rubs and chin scritches.  He dutifully uses his litterbox to do his business.  He’s not a fan of the eye ointment he has to take for a few more days, but doesn’t make a fuss.  Even going to the vet isn’t a big deal.  After just one day, Frank quickly figured out that he needs to stand back a minute while his foster mom sweeps around the litterbox; he knows that cuddles can wait until after that little chore is done.  He plays with his growing collection of toys and goes nuts for catnip.  Even though the owner who discarded him complained that he meowed too much at night, he has been quiet at bedtime.

Sounds like a perfectly normal cat, doesn’t he?  That’s because he is.  Frank deserves a forever home, just like all our rescues.

The current foster home is a temporary arrangement: unfortunately, one of the resident cats is immensely aggravated by Frank’s arrival so the foster mom has to keep them in separate parts of the house where they can’t see or smell each other.  This is not an ideal arrangement, but everyone is making do for now.

If you would like to foster Frank long term, or better yet, adopt him, please contact us through our contact form on this website or message us via Facebook.

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A Second Chance for a Cat Dumped on a Doorstep

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Last week, Cat Busters Animal Rescue was called in response to a heartless case of abandonment.

The individual who reached out to us had come home from work one evening to find an empty, filthy cat house buried in snow on her doorstep and a hand-scrawled note.  The message — from a former neighbor who had moved away more than half-a-year ago — essentially stated, here’s my cat, find a good home for him.  In a sick twist of irony, the cat house had previously been donated brand new to the cat’s “owner” …by the person who received this note.

The personable language of the message could not cover up the fact that this was straightforward animal cruelty.  The cat was nowhere in sight and he had been tossed away like garbage in the dead of winter.  Left behind with the soiled cat house was a near-empty bag of cat food.  Continue reading

Comedy for Cats: The 8th Annual Purrfect Gala

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As we all know, cats rule the InternetNyan Cat, Keyboard CatI Can Has Cheezburger?, Maru, Business Cat, and of course Grumpy Cat are among the countless feline contributions to comedy.  So it seems fitting for comedy to give back to the furballs who need the most help: Cat Busters’ rescues.

On Sunday, November 12, 2017 from 4:00 to 9:00pm, Cat Busters Animal Rescue will be hosting its 8th Annual Purrfect Gala at Statlers Lounge (487 Church Street).  This year’s spectacular entertainment lineup showcases a group of young, talented comedians who have performed stand-up and improv shows across Canada.  They will keep the laughs coming while we also run our silent auction (with an array of exciting items to bid on) and the donation drive.  All proceeds go toward essential rescue and vetting costs.

There is effectively one person we all have to thank for making this night of comedy possible: our friend and volunteer, Colleen Sibeon.  A comedian herself, she will be performing onstage while also introducing the audience to her fellow performers.  We talked to Colleen about the gala and what it took behind-the-scenes to pull this extraordinary event together.

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How did you first hear about Cat Busters Animal Rescue?

Through Adrienne Bentley [Cat Busters’ CEO].  We live in the same building and have become friends over encounters on puppy bathroom breaks and bus rides.  I told her I am a standup, she told me about this event and the rest, as they say, is guacamole… wait, that’s not quite right…

You helped put together the roster of entertainers for the gala.  Tell us about some of this year’s performers.  What can we expect to see?

Well, you’ll see funny folks with big ol’ hearts saying funny things!  I met these talented bunch of comics through Chantel Marostica (one of the funniest people alive) and am very excited to be performing with them.  It will be a taste of an upcoming show we’re all performing at called Queer and Present Danger.  And Chantel Marostica???  What can’t I say about this incredible comic/human?  They are a champion for LGBTQ comics creating shows like QAPD and Church Street Comedy.  They have performed all over the country and we are VERY lucky to have them.  I can’t not laugh when Chantel is on stage!  Seriously.  I’ve tried.  And failed.  Many times.

I am so thrilled to be able to do what I love to help a wonderful cause that I believe in so much, as a lifelong animal lover and pet owner.  Opportunities like this don’t come along often and I’m so grateful to Cat Busters for having me.

Everyone donates their time and resources to make the gala a reality each year.  Why do you suppose these talented people agree to help Cat Busters?  How do you pitch the gala to them?

They are just lovely, kind people.  Period.  There wasn’t much of a “pitch” LOL.  I simply asked who wanted to use their talent to support this great cause and they offered… because they rock!  Easy peasy.

The gala is chock full of fun and entertainment.  What are you most looking forward to on Sunday night?

CHANTEL!  I can’t get enough!  Oh and I’m looking forward to seeing Adrienne.  We’ve been buds for a while now and I’m curious to see what silliness she’ll bring to the stage.

Comedy seems an apt entertainment choice for a Cat Busters gala given that cat people are a quirky, hilarious bunch.  Got any recent cat lady jokes or cat memes you’d like to share?

This is a personal fave:

Hard for us to believe, but this is our 8th annual fundraising gala.  If you could book anything or anyone for the 10th gala, what/who might it be?

Tom Jones.  I just want him to sing “What’s New Pussycat” all night.  Hilarious.

Mischief Managed

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You know how some cats just defy getting caught on camera, like Bigfoot? You try to take a nice photo for Instagram but they’re all fuzzy blurs of fur?

Mischief, a little gray tabby who will be the star of our Adoption Day this Saturday, Sept 16, is seriously cute but we can’t even show you because she is true to her name and won’t sit still for a photo op!

Mischief is the only healthy kitten from a litter of five born in late June.  Her mother, Jade, and five other strays were rescued from the Cabbagetown area earlier that month.  On Facebook, you may have seen photos of Jade (the likely mother of six kittens Cat Busters took in last summer), Pearl (believed to be Jade’s daughter), Polly (the mother of four kittens, now being nursed by Jade), Frick and Frack (who has happily been adopted already).  We are still trying to bring in two adult males from the same site.

From the time she was able to play, Mischief has been… well… mischievous.  At five weeks old, she was already climbing on furniture.  She even tried to carry a big yogurt container (empty though!) by mouth, the feline equivalent of a baby trying to drag a bucket!  Come see this bundle of energy and joy for yourself!

Cat Busters Animal Rescue – Adoption Day
Saturday, September 16, 2017
10:00am to 2:00pm
Pet Valu – Cabbagetown
240 Carlton Street, M5A 2L1

 

Lost Kitty Needs Your Help!

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Attention, dear friends!  This sweetheart has gone missing and despite his owner’s best efforts, has not been seen for 2 weeks.  He may find his way back on his own — it happens — but otherwise, please keep your eyes peeled and do that amazing thing you do and spread the word, far and wide!  We’ve attached his owner’s original flyer for contact details and more info on Cal.

Here’s hoping this kitty comes home safe and sound ♥♥♥

Name: Cal
Last Seen: June 27th
Area: Wolfrey Avenue, between Broadview and Bowden

Description: small adult male, long-haired orange tabby, missing an upper canine, microchipped, doesn’t wear a collar (more like he’s an expert at wriggling it off), a one-time feral so you’ll have to earn his trust with treats first before catching him

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The Great Canadian Giving Challenge!

facebook-cover-2017We always say that every dollar raised can make a difference in our rescues’ lives.  But sometimes $1 can raise $10,000!

June signals the start of the Great Canadian Giving Challenge, when every dollar you donate through canadahelps.org or givingchallenge.ca becomes an automatic entry for your favourite charity to win $10,000.  The more you give, the more chances the charity will win.

Cat Busters is one of the registered charities you will find there.  We’ve always been transparent about where our funds go and more often than not, our volunteers have paid for essentials like vet bills and medications themselves.  Every last penny goes toward the care of the animals we take in.  Your donations have made it possible for us to save hundreds of animals over the years.

If you support our mission and would like us to keep going, please consider adding us to your list of favourite charities at canadahelps.org and pledge those magical dollars that might one day turn into a whole lot more!

Thanking Our Volunteers!

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Here in Canada, we are celebrating National Volunteer Week, to recognize the invaluable contributions of our volunteers — without them, Cat Busters simply cannot exist — and to raise awareness and interest in volunteering.

There are innumerable ways in which people can help us help our rescues.  The hardest jobs are also the most rewarding, such as rescuing, fostering or fundraising.  Yet we mean it when we say that no job is too small to make a difference.  When the entire endeavor depends on people pitching in — whether it’s with one mouse click to Share our Facebook posts, one dollar donated toward our cause, or one hour of your free time — it becomes immediately apparent how important each and every gesture makes up the larger whole.  It becomes part of a movement to save the lives of literally hundreds of animals.  With your help, perhaps we can even reach thousands.

For National Volunteer Week 2017, we would like to shine a spotlight on one of our most recent recruits, Jan Maitland.

Are there any cats in your household?

I am owned by two cats.

How did you hear about Cat Busters Animal Rescue?

I heard about Cat Busters from [the CEO,] Adrienne.  I live in the same complex as Mary Anne [Morrison, CFO].

What prompted you to get involved?

Adrienne was leaving from Mary Anne’s place with a cat in a cat carrier.  I stopped her to ask her about her cat.  She told me about Cat Busters and told me that they were looking for volunteers.  We exchanged numbers as I said I was interested in being a volunteer, as I am a cat lover.  Adrienne gave me Diane [Patterson, COO]’s number as she was a lot closer to me than she was.  We set up a time and I came and met the cats.  

Have you volunteered for non-profits before?

I am currently volunteering with a non-profit organization where I used to work.  I have learned that both people and cats are individuals and need different approaches.  That lesson was reinforced by where I worked before I retired. 

What do you do as a volunteer?

I play with and socialize with the cats.  I also give them treats which they enjoy and helps me get to know them.

How do you balance your time between volunteering and other priorities?

I am retired so I have more time available.  I still see friends and go to appointments. 

What would you like other prospective volunteers to know about Cat Busters?

Cats are lovingly treated and given lots of attention.  

When adopted they can still be in contact with Cat Busters and if it is not a good match they can exchange for a different cat.  If it is wonderful match, they can also let Cat Busters know.  

If someone wants a cat, they can pick a cat, pay the adoption fee and get the cat later.  Cats get medical attention and won’t be adopted until healthy.  

Volunteers are given advice about dealing with cats.  All they would need to do is ask. Often Diane comes into the room to do cleaning etc. and is available for consultation.  It gave me an opportunity to get to know a good number of cats and I really enjoy that.  Diane and I get along well and each likes how the other one treats the cats.  

Rescue Adoptions for Pet Appreciation Weekend (PAW)

animal-1301835_1280[UPDATE: please note that the Laird location that we previously reported has been cancelled for this event.  We apologize for any inconvenience.]

We’re kicking off our 2017 series of events with a kiss: find your purrfect Valentine this Saturday, February 11, 2017 at two Pet Valu locations across Toronto.  Meet our rescues who are ready for their forever homes.

As part of Pet Appreciation Weekend (PAW), our volunteers will be on hand to answer your questions about adoption and fostering at the Jones & Danforth and Cabbagetown locations of Pet Valu.

This is also an opportunity for you to contribute in other ways: shopping at Pet Valu will result in contributions to the Pet Food Bank Program, which in turn will be making much needed donations to local charities like Cat Busters!

Please see our News & Events page for further details.

It’s Time for the Seventh Annual Purrfect Gala!

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Once a year, we let our hair down, lint roller the cat hairs off our clothes, and go out for a fabulous round of entertainment and fun.  We invite you to join us for a memorable evening of live music, comedy, a silent auction and a donation drive!  Who says charity and fundraising can’t be a blast?

Our 7th annual Purrfect Gala takes place this year on Sunday, November 6, 2016 between 3:30 and 8:30pm at Statlers Lounge (487 Church Street).

All proceeds go toward essential rescue and vetting costs.  You’ll be helping us enormously with the animals we rescue.  And with the holidays around the corner, the silent auction is a perfect opportunity to pick up some great gifts while supporting a good cause.  Have a pint with us and celebrate!