Tag Archives: feral cats


The Wonder Kitty II, is a bean bag kitten, and is on my lap being petted for luck. The best of luck was given from Snowflake The First to my fellow volunteers spaying and neutering thousands of feral cats.

It was the right choice to leave him with these valiant volunteers. Note to ear-tippers who take off the top of the right ear while the cat is anesthetized to allow caretakers to know who has been spayed/neutered. Believe me, you cannot ever catch these crafty felines twice. I tipped II’s ear with sharp scissors. He is made of bean bags and batting so he never felt a thing. He is very soft and soothing. I gave an infant neighbor his little brother, who loves it.

We do things to make life livable, sometimes bearable when there is sickness or losses in the family. I was a consultant who spent weekends volunteering for the projects I created. I made an Animals section of day-to-day projects and while all the other managers had two projects per month I had 14. After a few years a new director fired me, saying they didn’t need people like me anymore. Yes, she said that, at a public event in front of the Councilman’s guests.

I left Snowflake with my fellow volunteers, who were loyal to the cause and to each other. Snow II is on my lap, I got my chops there with volunteers, management and feral cats. Mange? Get Dee. Ringworm? Get Dee. Tapeworms? Get Dee. Get it? You don’t want to know what happens when a feral cat or kitten awakens from surgery. Get ’em in, watch their breathing and release when ready. I even made a “Dee’s Kitty Wake-Up List” to show that cats had come out of anesthesia and were just napping. They just changed the name from mine a year ago. I thanked them for allowing me to make a change to their routine but didn’t need credit for doing so. Take care of your family and pets. Don’t feed your dog chocolate. Dee


Get Dee!

In my younger years I did a lot of volunteering at local animal shelters, and spent one day a month, for six years, helping to spay/neuter 2,500 feral cats.

The transport coordinator was happier with personing the ER van than dealing with volunteers so I set up my systems. After many years they re-named Dee’s Kitty Wake-Up List with a better title, finally. We had cleaners of traps, transporters, breathers who learned to use Dee’s Kitty Wake-Up List to make sure they were napping and not still under anesthesia, and of course the all-important ER. All shots and fluids came from there. I once had to resuscitate a young kitten for two hours using acupressure. It scared the heck out of me thinking that he could die. He lived. I called out his number and a volunteer ran to get his carrier and he was awake.

I made a few jokes in my volunteer training each month, and SFSPCA asked me for a re-do and filmed it. What do you do if an anesthetized cat starts peeing on you? Reach out your arms! The video was me with Snowflake The Wonder Kitty (a white bean bag kitty that I bought for training that had about as much muscle control as our anesthetized patients, and I had “tipping” do his ear). Snowflake is how I taught them how to load the sleeping patients into their carriers. I’ve still never seen the film.

No-one wants to carry around a 15 lb. feral cat, AWAKE. Heavens, I’ve seen cute feral kittens at eight weeks run around inside a crate like banshees!

Get Dee! Have her take this one to Surgery. It has tapeworms and needs a Dr’s order for Droncit! Another has ringworm. Get Dee! Another has mange. Get Dee! Before he wakes up. As we were in a warm climate I never wore surgical gloves.

I was so worn out after 8-9 hours that at first I let my dog and two cats sniff me. I was told never to do that, to get undressed before coming into the house and wash my clothing immediately. Two problems way back then. I had a carport and neighbors may have had a problem with my stripping outdoors. Second, I had no washer/dryer so just put them in a plastic bag until I could get to the laundromat. I did shower first thing.

Oh well, at least you know I was the “go to” gal. My volunteers loved me and while the organization wasn’t big on thank you’s, I was. Most of our events were in the back parking lot of vet clinics. Our team set up tents and handmade benches, by innovative volunteers, on which to set the carriers, and provided towels for each carrier. Every feral had two identical numbers that needed to be matched. Their caretakers would get up at three in the morning and one regularly caught more than thirty per month!

I would wait until after our setup and before Surgery was ready to go then peruse the strip mall and see if there was any food. “What’s going on back there?” I told them we have 174 cats today. Inevitably they paraded out with free water, donuts, sodas, whatever they had on hand when I told them we were all volunteers. A go-to gal indeed.

No more kitties. I don’t live there anymore and anywhere else I go they shoot feral cats. They do not reduce the population by spay/neuter. My husband is deathly allergic to cats, and fish, so I’ve lost both. Ah, well, no good deed goes unpunished. Volunteer! Dee

A Resume

My name is Dee.

The summary of my life experiences includes consulting and arts, education, government roles that shaped my life experience.

I’ve a B.A. and two culinary degrees. I love to cook and make new and favorite meals. My college degree and interests allow me to help others.

For over 20 years I’ve volunteered for shelter animals and spayed/neutered over 2,500 feral cats. I’m not afraid to get my hands dirty, but will not eat a donated donut after I touch my first cat. “Hey Dee, this one has ringworm, this one has mange.” Yeah, that was my day every month for six years. It was both exhausting in punishing heat, yet rewarding in knowing I did a good deed.

My current job is making sure my husband is the best that he can be, consulting for him personally (volunteer), reading and assessing legal papers, dealing with life and taking care of our home and dog Zoe. I always wanted to help and not be the star. I married a star.

Hobbies are writing a blog, this one. Calling the Coast Guard on the Coast Guard for a ship fire training exercise. Making snacks and dinner for others. Taking care of friends/neighbors in need. Petting dogs and cats and giving away treats. Art and museums are in there as well.

Status: Retired.

Dear Sir or Madam, you could not pay me enough to take me away from my retirement job. I love my job and bosses too much. Cheers! Dee

Ephemeral Thoughts

I just thought of something to write and forgot it instantly, but at least my dog makes people happy. At her old age of near ten she engages kids and parents, neighbors, friends and even strangers. I never call them strangers, only friends we’ve not yet met.

Always brighter with Zoe and my husband around, I want to be happy. I’ve tried to do volunteer work here, after 20 years experience in kennel and cattery care, public relations, feral cats, development, special events and volunteer management. I’ve been turned down by hospice care because my dog eats a raw food diet.

All of our days are numbered. I’d like to make a difference in mine. I like to think my writing helps a bit as no one has cared a bit about ferals in the last three states I’ve lived in!

Please think about what you always wanted to do, and didn’t. Think about how your current life, job, circumstance can make that dream come true, and volunteer to do it. Cook and deliver to the food bank. Deliver meals. Work at a hospital with veterans (Happy Veterans’ Day) or help spay and neuter feral cats.

Happy Veterans’ Day! Dee

Harleys, Horns and Sirens

That’s what we hear from high up. A purple Harley parked yesterday and I said “Nice ride.” Then I told him what we hear and he apologized for the noise.

No need, I said, that purr has gotten some to adopt feral kittens with a loud purr and name them… Harley.

The Harleys are cool, not so much at 2:00 a.m. but much better than sirens and the inevitable mad honking horns. Dee

Failed Girl Scout

Yes, I failed my sewing badge at age eight, and my “leader” called all the girls over to laugh at my handiwork. A couple of months later I did well selling cookies, but they don’t let the girls go door-to-door in this day and age.

What was missing? I’m a really good cook but when we went camping and were told to bring a bar of soap and soap our pans I soaped the inside, thinking that we were making sure the pans were clean before we cooked our hot dogs. Once again, our leader pointed out my error (not an error at all in my book, today) and had all the other girls come over and laugh at how stupid I was. Four months was enough to know this wasn’t a positive educational experience.

Leadership was missing. I’ve taken those lessons, turned them around and used them to lead volunteers and non-profit organizations. I look for strengths and encourage them, and correct mistakes without making the person look dumb.

My husband was a geek from day one, turned out to be a gifted physicist and software engineer and leader. And I also give him good scores on EQ (emotional intelligence quotient) most of the time which means he’s not a nerd always.

The difference is that he’s always called my soc/psych and consulting skills “soft skills” whereas physics and math are hard skills. It turns out we’re doing similar things as he has moved out of hard-core coding the past few years. He’s developing and moving serious software through to production, and doing it by hiring people and honing their skills, teaching automated test-driven development to make a product that will be bug-free and last for years.

Many years ago I developed volunteers and we spayed and neutered over 2,000 feral cats in southern California. We took our dog in for her shots the other day and were talking about needed treatments. I told her that if I found a cat on the grooming table with tapeworms I’d take it back to the OR and recorder to order Droncit as this cat was smart enough not to be trapped twice so responding to every present medical issue was essential. For the first few months they’d question me and I’d say “little grains of rice that move” and after that they trusted me but had to record it. Then I’d take it to ICU, a SUV where fluids and flea and other treatments were dispensed and we’d watch all the cats in their crates until they awakened from anesthesia.

I even invented the Dee’s Kitty Wake-Up List that helps the breathers document their health. It’s still in place, renovated and after over 10 years no longer attributed to me. That’s a good thing.

Honesty and persistence, and no less than quality work given the client, company and staff. That’s the only way to go. We’re problem solvers who would drive each other nuts if we worked together all day long.

I knew the first time my husband opened the car door for me and took my hand that we’d be together forever and as I’ve gotten to know him over the years I know that he doesn’t compromise on honesty, persistence, quality work and leadership. Luckily we agree on all those principles.

So, it doesn’t matter that I don’t sew, but I do cook and keep everything clean and can probably thank the scout “leader” who did everything in her power to ridicule me, plus some great teachers and parents to allow me to look back on this humiliation with wisdom and not anger. And if I had money and a foundation to give money, certain organizations that do great work on a shoestring budget and use volunteers wisely and make a difference would be first on my list. Cheers, Dee