The Artemis Project Helping Homeless Animals in NYC Winter Newsletter 2011
Your support has made the difference for many animals since the Artemis Project began in 2001. We work exclusively with Lincoln Square Veterinary Hospital (LSVH) at 140 W. 67th St.in Manhattan. By donating to Artemis, you have helped to bring joy to many people and a fresh start for many stray and abused animals. Thank you for your kindness.
IN THIS ISSUE: Orion
This newsletter focuses on foster homes. Some animals don't adapt well to life in a clinic. They become aggressive or depressed. Animals like these need foster homes to regain their equilibrium so they can eventually get their forever homes. Dorian Rence
Orion Sometimes a foster home just isn't in the cards. Then you improvise. Orion is a big, friendly marmalade male from Queens. An NYPD officer brought him in to Artemis. Orion was just too friendly to leave on the street. Orion passed all his blood tests with flying colors. However, the vet found a bite wound on his neck. New York City Rabies Protocol is very strict. He would be quarantined for six months, no human interaction allowed. Poor Orion! Half a year in solitary confinement could make anybody go bonkers. Volunteers and staff scrambled to come up with a plan. Orion would be isolated in a room but have access to four interlocking cages. Volunteers would visit everyday. Orion was a touch junkie yet he couldn't be touched. Volunteers brought in back scratchers. We made petting sticks. Orion rolled on his side and purred. Orion needed exercise and stimulation. We brought in treats and tossed them into the far nooks and crannies of his cages for him to find. The only thing Orion liked better than eating food was hunting it. His muscles rippled as he jumped from cage to cage. Still, Orion had a lot of time to fill between volunteer visits. Someone brought in a fan. Someone else brought in a boom
box and CDs of classical music. Orion was soon overqualified for the post of music critic at the New York Times. Half a year eventually passed. Orion's quarantine was lifted. We had a party with cupcakes and cider for the humans and vile-smelling tuna for Orion. Everybody had a great time. Few could have survived such an ordeal with their spirits intact. Orion is one in a million. Orion recently got his forever home. I hope his new family realizes they've just hit the jackpot.
Delilah Delilah is a 14-year-old calico. Her owner was about to surrender her to Animal Care and Control. She wanted to trade her in for a kitten. Fourteen-year-old cats don't last long in a kill-shelter. A Good Samaritan brought her to us. Delilah was thin and stressed, but healthy. Poor Delilah! After living all those years in a home, she found herself in a cage surrounded by noisy dogs. Volunteers tried to entice her out, but most of the time she hunkered down in the back. We featured Delilah in our Summer Newsletter. Her story touched Rebecca. It seemed so unfair that some people treat animals like they're objects to be traded in for newer models. She wanted to foster Delilah. Delilah's Big Day arrived. Rebecca took her to her apartment in Queens. She sent us remarkable photos of Delilah Gone Wild. Delilah was playing like a kitten and she glowed with happiness.
This fall, Rebecca brought Delilah in to LSVH for a check-up. The vets found a malignant mass. The prognosis was bleak. Months of chemo would buy her little time. I needed to know what Rebecca wanted to do. With tears streaming down her face, Rebecca said Delilah felt good and was having the time of her life. Rebecca didn't think months of chemo were a good trade-off. She would do everything in her power to make Delilah's remaining time beautiful. And then she said something that surprised me. "I don't want Delilah to end her life as a foster. I want to adopt her." It was my turn to cry.
The Saga of Sebastian Sebastian came in to Artemis a year ago. I knew three things about him: he'd been found in a tree in Harlem; he was big, young, and healthy; and he was drop-dead gorgeous. Sebastian was lean and lanky. His cream-colored body was sprinkled with gold on his head and tail. It was his blue eyes that clued us in to his Siamese connection. People took him home twice in his first two weeks with us. He was also returned twice. I began hearing ugly rumors. "Sebastian is a lunatic!"..."He's food-aggressive!"...and the dreaded, "Sebastian will no longer be allowed out during office hours." I went to investigate. I opened his cage and Sebastian promptly grabbed my arm in a death-grip and sank a tooth into my soft, pink flesh. This wasn't promising. I asked staff about his food-aggression. They told me about the day they scrambled all over the clinic, trying to wrest away two latex gloves before Sebastian could eat them. The gloves had briefly held a tuna sandwich. Some even swore his eyes glowed red when he ate. I asked why he was no longer allowed out in the back during office hours. They told me Sebastian had been out in the back when he heard a commotion in the front. He managed to somehow wedge himself through a small slot and into the waiting room where he ran up a lady's leg. Sebastian needed an intervention, and fast. With a heavy heart, I took him home to foster him in my small, cat-crammed apartment. Nothing went according to plan. My cats hated him. He loved to play and he loved to play rough. Sebastian would fling his 13 pounds on top of them. My days
were punctuated with screams from my poor, elderly cats. That's when I got a water pistol. At first, I allowed Sebastian unrestricted night-time access to my bedroom. That didn't last long. He liked to launch himself from the air conditioner onto my head. I shut the door to protect myself but I never knew what I would find when I awoke. One morning I found the garbage can up-ended and trash strewn throughout the apartment. Another time I found my shower curtain and rod in a heap in my tub. Sebastian also liked to attack ankles. I wore snow boots around the apartment for most of the summer. Still, I began to like him in spite of it all. This cat simply had no
The Saga of Sebastian (cont.) idea how to relate to people or other cats. He didn't understand the most basic gestures: a beckoning hand, a pat on a chair. He didn't even know about petting. I remember his first purr. Even my cat Euripides began to soften. They would curl up and groom each other. Under all that craziness, I could see Sebastian had a good heart. Sebastian still had some rough edges but I felt he'd improved enough to post him on www.artemis.petfinder.com. We described him as "quirky." It wasn't long before Matt in Toronto contacted us. He'd lost his Siamese a year before and had just begun thinking about getting another cat. Something clicked when he saw Sebastian. On paper, Matt was a match. He had no other animals and no children. He didn't want a lap cat and he liked quirky. His references checked out. And he was willing to make the 8-hour drive down from Toronto. Still, I was unsure. I didn't want him to
make the long trip down for nothing. I had to make sure Matt knew what he was getting into. The deal was sealed when Matt said," I look forward to working with Sebastian." It was the day Matt was to arrive. I was nervous. Sebastian was in a feisty mood and I'd had to use the water pistol several times. The doorbell rang and Matt stepped in. Matt and Sebastian got acquainted. I couldn't believe my eyes when Sebastian began licking Matt's hand. And then, just like that, with no prodding, he calmly walked into the carrier. I zipped it up and Sebastian was off to his new life in Canada. I called Matt the next day. He said the long trip was uneventful. There wasn't one peep out of Sebastian. When they arrived, Sebastian calmly inspected his new digs, licked Matt, and fell asleep, his head resting on Matt's hand. This wild child had finally found a home.
Adoptable Animals Cosmo is our sweet, senior boy whose family reluctantly surrendered him under doctor's orders, due to their young daughter's asthma. Cosmo, wise with 14 years under his belt, is super friendly, laid-back, and affectionate. Dushka's mom had to move back to her home country due to personal reasons, leaving sweet Dushka behind. Dushka is currently in foster care, and her foster parents report that she is "attentive, affectionate, and playful."
Cosmo Skittles Dushka
Willow Willow was found under a stoop in Brooklyn. She is a sweet, head-butting, shoulder-climbing girl with lots of love to give! Her coat is silky, with a stunning silver-blue color. Skittles fell in with bad company when he was living on the streets: he came to us with a bonedeep gash in his elbow. Now safe, secure, and fully mended, the handsome young cat is ready to take on the hearts of more nurturing companions. He is full of fun, with a whole lot of energy to burn.
Charlie Charlie was a stray cat living in a park in Upper Manhattan. He is extremely affectionate, with lots of purring, headbutting, and he makes biscuits everywhere!
Old Man Jimmy Old Man Jimmy is our squishy, jowly, squinty old man. He was rescued from the streets, and is just a bundle of pure orange love!
Visit www.artemis.petfinder.com to find out more about these animals.
The Artemis Project 318 West 77th Street, #1B New York, NY 10024
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Find us on the web at www.artemis.petfinder.com
People sometimes ask me why I want to help the animals when people are in so much need. I think about stories like Rebecca’s and Matt’s. Animals enrich the tapestry of our lives. Artemis isn't just about the animals, it's about people, too. Your gifts to the Artemis Project provide food, medical care, and shelter for Artemis animals. Visit our online donation page or mail in your donation. Either way you give, every dollar provides our animals a chance to live to the fullest. Thank you. Visit: http://bit.ly/ArtemisDonation or http://bit.ly/ArtemisOnlineDonations (Facebook) Donations are 100% tax-deductible. We are grateful for your support. If you prefer to mail your gift, please mail this page along with your check to: The Artemis Project 318 West 77th Street, #1B New York, NY 10024 Enclosed is my gift of:
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Please visit www.artemis.petfinder.com if you are interested in our adoptable animals!
Artemis Project newsletter, December 2011