Saturday, October 27, 2007

Half-Sick of Shadows & Taking Action

I went to bed one evening and literally awoke with the following quote in my head:
"I am half-sick of shadows."

In my morning haze, as body and brain race to catch up to the start of day, I couldn't figure out where that line came from until I realized it was from Tennyson's poem, The Lady of Shalott. (Trust me, it's been many years since my college Victorian poetry class.)

It is a pivotal moment in the poem where immediately after the Lady of Shalott sees the knight, Lancelot and decides to break free from her closed world where she has only watched the outside world through the reflections of a mirror, never participating in real life only resigned to weaving a tapestry of what she sees in the mirror. Her decision to do so does not end well, but curse be damned- she had to take action and participate in reality.

Point is I woke with this quote which besides not recognizing it right away, I had no idea why it was relevant to my life, until a few days ago...

With all the outrage over the stray dog used as art, I set up an online fundraising page so that everyone could turn their outrage into real action to help strays in Central America: http://www.firstgiving.com/centralamericanstrays
There was a day when I had 5000 visits, if all those people donated $1, we would have already raised that amount to help The McKee Project, a nonprofit that works with strays in Latin America: http://www.mckeeproject.org/founders.htm
I have a few other ideas about putting together a fundraising event in NYC to raise money to benefit this charity and another charity that would help the poor in Nicaragua, though I've never put together an event before but it's like producing a photo shoot but on a much larger scale and a lot of begging for sponsors & donation which I have no qualms in doing so because it's for a great cause. Might be in over my head, but I have to try.

Anyway, besides this fundraising event idea, I had received a comment from Emma who had advocated compassion for all including the "artist" who used the stray dog as his "art". The comments were getting extremely nasty & ugly and I admit that I too wished ill to all those that did nothing to help the dog. I was thankful that Emma reminded me of compassion. I was led to her blog: Vincent's Left Ear where she inspired me with her compassion & dedication to rescue a dog who had crawled off to die. It was amazing and inspirational. I want to help Emma setup a shelter in Dharamsala to help strays. I have always given to a number of charities, but it is absolutely amazing when you can see the immediate effects of your donation because Emma is just starting out. You can donate on her page to bring immediate aid.

So the relevancy of the quote, "I am half-sick of shadows, said The Lady of Shalott.", cries out to me that it is was good for me to give to charity but that was easy & comfortable for me to do so- now I have to take the bigger step and do what I can to the fullest extent. I need to jump right in and do what I can to actively make a difference which means use my voice, my connections and raise as much money as I can to empower amazing people like Emma & The McKee Project to continue their inspirational work.

There was so much negative criticism from idiots in reference to my stray dog as art post, where people said what's the point of signing a petition or blogging about it and further accusations that we just sit behind our computers and do nothing- the point is that blogging brings awareness and which in turn starts a movement which starts the winds of change. It also connected me to someone halfway across the world who inspired me to want to do more.

Okay, enough proselytizing- this week, I went to produce shopping at The Greenmarket at Union Square. I need to work on buying from local NY farms & organic, so a quick subway ride downtown with three tote bags in hand- veggie shopping I go.

Goose neck gourds- strange...

I'm such the city-girl, I had no idea that this is how brussel sprouts grow- on a stalk!

Alien-looking Romanesco cauliflower...

Gorgeous heirlooms...

Local flowers in season...

Amazing eucalyptus...

Here's my stash of collard greens, giant bunch of carrots, sun-gold cherry tomatoes (they taste like candy), brussel sprouts, big tomatoes and a bevy of apples (two giant green Mutsu/Crispin, four Golden Supremes- so pretty with that slight blush and my new favorite- Honeycrisps, which are the crispest, yummiest apples ever and only in season now!).

From my goodies, I made spicy pasta with collard greens, tomatoes & some Lightlife sausage:

an Asian inspired carrot slaw of apple cider vingar & liquid aminos, crushed peanuts & carrots (I do not have a mandolin, so the potato peeler had to do...):

Brussel sprouts with garlic, lemon & spelt breadcrumbs...

Marinated tempeh with onions & red pepper...

All served with a side of quinoa/flaxseed oil and a big dollop of siracha hot sauce...

There was also a shoot this week, I stopped by to visit with an ulterior motive- yummy cupcakes around the corner from the studio...

Yumminess in LES (Lower East Side)...

Babycakes, vegan bakery...

Rushed home to have this treat- glass of soymilk, little brownies & cupcakes (lemon, carrot, vanilla and chocolate) and no, I didn't gobble down the entire plate...

Just a closeup of yummy, moist cupcakey goodness:

We still haven't gotten to trap Jack, but hope to get to do so this week. Here are some pics, he looks a little better and he even cleaned himself in front of us which is a good sign!


And here are a few pics of things that I love about NYC...
Lions & choir boys singing as Columbus looks on:
Art driving past us on 6th avenue- a piece from Richard Serra on it's way somewhere...

And finally, how Booboo relaxes at the end of a long post- laying out on the couch with the latest issue of VegNews.
I am thankful for everything that I have been given.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Last Update On This Blog On Starved Dog As Art

***I have started a fundraising page so that we can all do something where as the people at the exhibit did nothing to help this poor dog. Please make an online donation today to help strays in Central America. We will not sit back and do nothing in the face of animal cruelty. Let us take our collective anger & outrage and turn it into something positive. Let's renew our faith in humanity and make a difference: http://www.firstgiving.com/centralamericanstrays
More about the charity:http://www.mckee-jaco.com/aboutus.htm

Hello All

Just wanted to let you know that Jaime Sancho's petition to boycott the cruel act of an "artist" who used a starved dog as his "art" is going strong- 43,806 signatures so far to denounce this cruelty. Please keep this petition going.

I wanted to redirect you to these blogs for ongoing information :

Reiskek's blog with always current updated information- to remember Natividad, the poor dog
Jaime Sancho's Blog in Spanish with updates (originator of boycott petition)
Sign the Petition to Boycott "Artist" who starved dog as art.
Keep this petition going and pass it along!!

Here is the latest letter from Jaime Sancho in response to the Gallery Codice's Director:
(Translation is a little off through Babelfish but it is very strong in denouncing the cruel act)

ANSWER TO GALERÍA CÓDICE
Juanita BermúdezDirectorManagua, Nicaragua
The international community, and in name of this one more than 30139 people, asks for the exclusion of Mr. Guillermo Vargas "Habacuc" of the Central American Biennial Honduras 2008 by the following reason: I mistreat produced when persecuting, capturing and to tie a famélico street dog, done that you confirm.The rest of the world we did not finish including/understanding like can allow that an artist can recreate his work with the suffering of an animal and that the assistants can celebrate a celebration with a famélico dog like bottom drop curtain.The rest of the world we cannot include/understand as a jury can award the work of Vargas on the basis of the work criterion "of great quality and excellent coherence between idea and execution", according to detailed.In name of the art not all bond. To try to make think that vetoing us to Mr. Guillermo Vargas to want to moor in its gallery a persecuted and famélico dog had been censorship is an error. What it had been is to have common sense, something that evidently they needed. Why not the thought to remain with the animal to adopt it, took care of and it fed from the first moment? It is easy to say now, if certain or no, that the dog, tired and hungry famélico "surprisingly" escaped ahead the noses of a watchman.If the Gallery Codex guards by the quality of the exposed works and allows the exhibition of a mistreated alive being, del already makes al rest clear world as it is the quality of the works exposed in its gallery.Being conceited of which it does not exert censorship, as long as "does not attempt against the elementary principles of the ethics and much less than they imply the life of a living being, is human or animal" and to allow that the denounced facts, causes that the rest of the world we wonder ourselves that you by ethics understand when happen been having has moored itself persecuted, captured, humiliated and tortured a dog, psicológiamente, with implication of being able to be killed, if she is not that she really lost it as said own Vargas. It is his word against the one of this other person who affirms the opposite: Of the Blog de Rodrigo Peñalba http://www.marcaacme.com/...habacuc "According to what I knew, the dog died on the following day by lack of food."Vargas said: "Nobody made the decision to feed the dog that it was" exposing ", collaborating of that way to its death. These affirmations contradict to Juanita Bermúdez (director of the Gallery Codex) when it affirms that the dog "escaped". If Mr. Vargas lies or she does, who stops the case is the same.Another version that denies the explanation of the director: "The dog died after a day in the exhibition, according to confirmed the Nation Marta Leonor González, publisher of the cultural supplement of the Press in Nicaragua." http://www.nacion.com/...aldea1263590And another one: Liliam Schnog, president of the Humanitarian Association for the Protection Animal, said that she does not understand how an animal was let to die of hunger if on a floor there was a phrase done with food.The international community is worried because in century XXI still there are people like the Vargas who mistreat animals, galleries like hers that exposes them and sworn that awards them.It was ensured widely that all the international community is sorry that Natividad Canda was devoured by the Rottweiler, but to try to compare the human mind with the one of the dogs says very little in its favor. It is more, gives to understand us that what Vargas did and what you allowed was by revenge, an adjustment of accounts, which makes worse more, if it fits, the things.Like author of the request online so that the Guillernmo the Vargas "Habacuc" is excluded to participate in the Central American Biennial Honduras 2008 I inform to him into which I will follow ahead and present/display at its moment to the organizers of same the companies who have taken shelter, on the basis of considering simultaneously that Vargas is a maltratador of the sort animal, which I make my request to all the galleries public of the world so that also they veto it.

Kindly,
Jaime Sancho

I ask all to continue this petition and keep it alive in remembrance of the sad little starving dog that was used in the name of "art". Please refer to the links above for continued updates & coverage. As I go back to blogging about living an animal-friendly life which means I do not eat animals nor do I wear animals because the torture that factory-farmed animals go through so that people can eat flesh and drink milk, the animals that are mutilated for unnecessary cosmetic testing, the sad lives that circus animals "live" are all as horrible as starving a dog for art. Please consider adopting a vegan lifestyle and denounce animal cruelty in every form. If you would like more information & if you are one that needs to see pictures of the cruelty that animals are subjected to please email me or check out some of these links:

These animals feel as much as our beloved dogs & cats. They know joy and they know fear. Please consider living a more compassionate lifestyle.

Cruelty of Dairy Products & Eggs
Tortured Pigs, Chickens & Cows
Compassion Over Killing
Humane Society of the United Stated
Fur Is Dead

Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight. ~Albert Schweitzer

We have enslaved the rest of the animal creation, and have treated our distant cousins in fur and feathers so badly that beyond doubt, if they were able to formulate a religion, they would depict the Devil in human form. ~William Ralph Inge, Outspoken Essays, 1922

Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages. ~Thomas A. Edison

The question is not, "Can they reason?" nor, "Can they talk?" but rather, "Can they suffer?" ~Jeremy Bentham

Friday, October 19, 2007

Starved Dog As Art Update

***I have started a fundraising page so that we can all do something where as the people at the exhibit did nothing to help this poor dog. Please make an online donation today to help strays in Central America. We will not sit back and do nothing in the face of animal cruelty. Let us take our collective anger & outrage and turn it into something positive. Let's renew our faith in humanity and make a difference: http://www.firstgiving.com/centralamericanstrays
More about the charity:http://www.mckee-jaco.com/aboutus.htmdonation

I have an update, but my stance remains the same- boycott the "artist" for using a poor starving dog tied to a wall as art. Disgusting.

Ever since I saw the images of the poor starving dog tied up to wall as an exhibit in a gallery, I have thought of nothing else. The idea of an "artist" letting a dog starve to death as art was completely appalling. More upsetting was the thought that no one did anything to save the dog, not the gallery owners or employees and not the people who viewed the exhibit. We were led to believe that the dog died. The picture of people standing around as this dog lay there in need is simply incomprehensible. Whether or not the dog died is not the question, the fact that there are a starving sick dog in that desperately needed help and instead chained as art. Those people and their inaction are as despicable as the "artist".

Their inaction forced my action.
I had posted last on the terrible images & my utter outrage. I have not been able to stop thinking of this poor dog. There has been a petition to boycott the "artist" from the Biennale Central America 2008 in Honduras. We have all been voicing our outrage and asking all to sign it. When I discovered the petition, it had 6000 signature by the end of the day it went to 7000. By the next morning it went to 12,000. Two days later it is now at 26,000.

Jaime Sancho had been moved to action to start this petition. It has grown and I am thankful. I had emailed Jaime in hopes to get more information about the event. The event took place on August 16th, 2007 at Galeria Codice in Managua, Nicaragua. I promised Jaime that we would do all we can to get some media coverage on this outrage. Jaime had in turned sent a letter to the Honduran ambassador of Spain to boycott this "artist". I just emailed the gallery very politely asking for more information about the event, etc so that I could properly write about it (meanwhile what I wanted to say to them was that they were heartless f*cks that should one day be made to go through what that poor dog went through). Surprisingly, the director emailed me back within a half hour with a press release that she will be releasing to the local news & the national Costa Rican paper.

Here is the letter translated through Babelfish- not a perfect translation, but good enough to read their thinly veiled explanation that conveniently the dog "escaped" the morning after the exhibition:

EXPLANATION OF GALERIA CODICE Managua, 19 of October Gallery Codice from its creation in 1991, has promoted the Central American, but specially the Nicaraguans visual arts, as much in the national level, like in regional and the international. In Codice they have exposed great Central American teachers, as well as consolidated and emergenging artists. The contemporary languages of the universal art also have had space in Codice, reason why periodically it welcomes samples of conceptual art. With that spirit, Thursday 16 of August just last No.1 Exhibition appeared, of the Costa Rican artist, Guillermo Vargas, known artistically as HABACUC. One of the exposed works consisted of presenting/displaying a famélico dog that Habacuc gathered off the street, and during the exhibition he appeared moored with a nylon cord, that was subject as well to another cord that hung of two nails in a corner of the Gallery. Habucuc named the dog "Natividad" in tribute to the Nicaraguan Natividad Canda (24 years) that died devoured by two Rottweiler dogs in a factory of San Jose, Costa Rica, the dawn of Thursday 10 of November of 2005. The dog remained in the premises three days, from the 5pm afternoon of Wednesday 15 of August. He was loose all along in the inner patio, except the 3 hours that the sample lasted, was fed regularly with dog food that the same Habucuc brought. Surprise, to the dawn of Friday 17, the dog escaped happening through the iron iron doors of the main entrance of the building, while the nocturnal watchman who finished feeding cleaned it the outer sidewalk of the same one. The Gallery Codice reserves the right of guarding by the quality of the exposed works, respecting at any moment the creativity of the artist and it has never tried to exert no type of censorship, as long as they do not attempt against the elementary principles of the ethics and much less than they imply the life of a living being, is human or animal. I thought to remain with "Natividad", but he preferred to return to his own habitat. I celebrate the one that so many people in the international level have been annoying by the declarations offered by Habacuc, in which she maintained that its intention was to let die to the starvation dog, which is of its absolute responsibility. When fulfilling informing the truth into the facts, I hope that all those same people have also elevated their voice of repudio when Natividad Canda was devoured by the Rottweiler. Kindly, Juanita Bermúdez Director Gallery Codice Managua, Nicaragua

Bottom line: The "artist"- Guilermo Habacuc Vargas, Galeria Codice & all those people at the exhibition did nothing and let a sick starving animal be tied up to a gallery wall as an exhibit- they deserve no kindness. Even if the dog did not die and so conveniently "escaped" the next day, those people had a chance to help but did not. I would like to believe that one day all those complicit in this horrible exhibit will meet the same justice in their hour of need: chained up and sick- their misery & starvation displayed in the name of art with no help in sight.

I just received more information from the director of the gallery who has informed me that the dog had been fed regularly by the artist and the dog really did escape. I asked what they had intended to do after the exhibit and she said that she intended to take the dog to her farm.

I also asked this: didn’t any viewers protest & try to release the dog during the exhibit if they thought that the dog was really being starved to death?

Her reply: no one protested nor tried to release the dog. Most of the audience were young artists who surely assumed that the dog was not going to starve. Next day, when the dog was already gone, two or three young women artists came to offer to adopt the dog.

Do you believe her or not? Let me know what you think.

I feel some sense of relief from her response, but I still find the "art" inhumane:
Petition to Boycott the"artist" from the Biennale Central America 2008 Honduras
Latest Update on this and continued coverage here...

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Starving Dog as Art- The Utter Outrage

***I have started a fundraising page so that we can all do something where as the people at the exhibit did nothing to help this poor dog. Please make an online donation today to help strays in Central America. We will not sit back and do nothing in the face of animal cruelty. Let us take our collective anger & outrage and turn it into something positive. Let's renew our faith in humanity and make a difference: http://www.firstgiving.com/centralamericanstrays
More about the charity:http://www.mckee-jaco.com/aboutus.htm

Wanted to share this & ask everyone to sign this http://www.petitiononline.com/13031953/petition.html(it is in Spanish). The petition is to boycott an “artist” who used a starved dog as his “art exhibit”. I cannot comprehend the gallery owners or anyone allowing this. It makes my stomach turn.

Please sign the petition to boycott the artist. His name is Guillermo Habacuc Vargas. He took a starving dog off the street and tied it up in a gallery as his exhibit. He felt that the dog would have eventually died on the streets so it was okay to let it continue starving. This sickens me so much- I can’t comprehend how so many people stood by and did nothing. They were complicit in this dog’s death. How did anyone not try to help? Apparently the “artist” did not allow anyone to give the dog food or water (how did anyone not do anything ???). He justifies that the dog would have died anyway- except that he could have saved that poor animal and countless others who were there & involved could have saved the dog. I hope he gets what he deserves one day- a slow agonizing death from thirst & starvation as people stand around to watch his death as they mingle, have drinks & make small talk. What this “artist” has done is so reprehensible and I cannot comprehend how this was allowed to happen. What is next? More copycat "artists"- homeless starving people chained up in a gallery to die as art?

Has cruelty & death become so commonplace that people let this dog die for “art”? Or that people have become so complacent that no one speaks out or does anything when something as horrible as this is happening in front of them? I would have broken all sorts of laws to rescue this poor dog. This is such an outrage that I can barely find the words to express myself properly.

Please sign this petition to boycott this “artist” representing his country in the Biennal Central America Honduras 2008 exhibition. I can't believe that this man has not been arrested for his horrible crime and the gallery owners as well as the participants who did nothing to help.

Here are images of the event- people actually sipping their drinks around the “exhibit”- so sad & disturbing:


My heart breaks over this poor dog. He is surely in a better place than in the cruel world that would offer up his torture & death as art. I would like to believe that there is such thing as karmic retribution for the "artist" and all those who did nothing to help. Rest in peace little one.
Latest Update on this and continued coverage here...

***I have started a fundraising page so that we can all do something where as the people at the exhibit did nothing to help this poor dog. Please make an online donation today to help strays in Central America. We will not sit back and do nothing in the face of animal cruelty. Let us take our collective anger & outrage and turn it into something positive. Let's renew our faith in humanity and make a difference: http://www.firstgiving.com/centralamericanstrays
More about the charity:http://www.mckee-jaco.com/aboutus.htm

Everyone has the right to express their anger at the situation, but please exercise restraint when it comes to language and descriptive acts- as with all of you, I am very upset by this, but being vegan, I have been reminded to embrace compassion (which I admit that I forgot when first confronted by this horible act). Of course I denounce this act, but let's denounce this act with restrained language- thank you.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Living Chic, Vegan & Green!

So today is Blog Action Day and since bloggers around the world are blogging about & for the environment in different ways, here is my small contribution for the day and I'm excited to be a part of the action.

The biggest impact that you can have on global warming is going vegan. That fact comes from the UN report stating that livestock production is more detrimental to the environment than all total combined emissions from the transportation sector. Living a vegan lifestyle is the best thing you can do for the earth- so simple, yet curiously not a message that Al Gore or other "environmentalists" ever shout out loud because they are not ready to go there. How sad.

I'm sure you've heard this all before but here are some things that I do to lessen my footprint:
  • Recycle, recycle, recycle (I am a recycling fiend. I have gone through yucky trash at one of my photo shoots to pull out the cans & bottles because I forgot to set out a recycling bag which honestly, people never pay attention and still dump trash in the recycling...)

  • Avoid disposable plates & utensils like the plague. It's so wasteful & unnecessary- I understand the convenience factor, but not really because it doesn't take that much more time to do the dishes. If you absolutely must purchase disposable utensils & plates, buy biodegradable & sustainable products made from sugar cane fibers, corn & potatoes online at The Green Office.
  • Avoid straws & disposable wooden chopsticks when eating out. (When dining at an Asian restaurant, I have ask for real chopsticks if not, I opt for a fork. Eating sushi with a fork is not ideal, but it gets the job done. My other idea was to get a a pair of cute travel chopsticks in a case to bring with me...)
  • Buy paper products (toilet paper, tissues, printing paper) made with recycled post consumer content and avoid paper products whitened with bleach.

  • Don't waste water. (The water that I wash my veggies in is saved for watering the plants and I do not leave that water running while I brush my teeth! And because I am a good procrastinator, I make sure I have a full load of laundry before I do the wash and wash everything in cold-saves energy.)
  • Shut everything off at night. Put everything imaginable with a plug on a power strip & shut that power strip off at night to avoid those energy vampires because even when it's seemingly off, that cable box is still sucking energy...
  • Use compact fluorescent light bulbs.
  • Use environmentally friendly, animal friendly & animal-free cleaning products like Method and Ecover.
  • Bring my own eco-chic bags when shopping. I love my super cute, green wonder string bag that holds so much more than you can imagine from Ecobags. It doesn't take much space rolled up and I bring it everywhere.
  • Avoiding conspicuous consumption by buying less things that are not necessities.
  • However, if one must actually indulge, buy eco-friendly products like this great bag I just bought made from recycled & discarded old sailcloth & rubber from sailboats by Red Flag Design. Mine is grey with green handles and the bags are one-of-a kind because they made from reclaimed sails the material is marked by it's voyage on the seas. The image is from Branch a really cool store which sells wonderful sustainable products- oops, had to change that pic because the pic I had was one of the few bags that contained leather and that's not the one I would be interested in which was pointed out to me through one of my lovely comments below- thanks!.


  • Use biodegradable- environmentally friendly kitty litter like Feline Pine made from recycled pine trees. It's so much better for everyone involved than clay & crystal litters. The clay & silica dust are harmful for kitty's lungs & yours.
  • Not that I am recommending this for anyone, but I make Booboo's favorite toy from her own fur. Yes, Booboo plays with sustainable toys. I got the idea from a boiled wool mouse that Fcat bought her before I went vegan. Booboo's got a lot of fur so I started making little rolled up furballs which I ball up with soap & hot water. She loves them because they bounce & fly through the air as she swats & chases them.

So there you have it, a few of the many things that I & Booboo do to live a more environmentally friendly life. Every single action has a consequence, let's be more conscientious and start a chain reaction to save the world & ourselves.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Lots of Casting & One Stray

It's been a busy casting week for me. Lots & lots of models to see- always looking for good hair and all types. Here are a few tried & true girls with gorgeous hair & great personalities to boot:



Though my latest obsession is this one redhead that I cannot stop thinking about:

This bewildered little face belongs to an orange tabby that I saw four days ago & haven't stopped thinking about him since. Fcat & I were going to Grandma's house in Queens for dinner. We were about a block away from Grandma's when I spotted an orange cat curled up & sleeping on the stoop of what looked like an abandoned house. I'm not sure if I can convey to you how sad the scene was. A cat sleeping sweetly in front of a house should have been a nice image but it was terribly sad because the cat's fur was all straggly-looking and the house seemed decrepit & abandoned. So what should have been a sweet image was instead a horrible mockery of what might have been, that's what made it so poignant and so heart-wrenching. My first thought was that the owners of the house moved sometime ago & left their cat behind. When I approached the cat it barely opened it's eyes.

Immediately, I rushed off to the supermarket three blocks away and instructed Fcat to go to one of the restaurants on the corner to ask for a cup of water. I was certain that orange kitty had not eaten or drank anything for days. My heart was racing and I couldn't buy that food fast enough. When I returned, Fcat informed me that kitty had gotten skittish when he approached the cat with the water. It was still on the front patio of the house but in a far corner. I opened the food & moved the water closer to the kitty. Kitty got scared & dove under the bushes in front of the patio. We were late for dinner so we left kitty to his own devices.

I could not stop thinking about that poor little cat all through dinner. Conversation was like white noise, I didn't hear a word that was spoken because my head was filled with kitty concern. When we finally left Grandma's house about three hours later, we walked quickly down the block to see if the kitty was still there. That's when I realized that the house was not abandoned because there was the strange glow of television behind the white-out windows. Could this sad kitty actually belong to the owners of this sad-looking house? Made sense perhaps. And kitty was still there, except the food had been polished off & water was had. I opened another can of food & had snuck out a larger container of water from Grandma's.

Well, trying to make this long story shorter but I can't seem to- we saw a woman two doors down and I went to ask her about the orange cat. He didn't belong to anyone but there were some women on the block that fed all the strays under the bush by the house- which was not abandoned, but she did agree that she didn't understand why her neighbors didn't fix their house. When that's all she had to tell me, that orange kitty did not have a home.

Once I returned home, I emailed the rescue group that I used to volunteer with and asked them for help in trapping & fostering the kitty. The next morning no response and I getting antsy. I went online and found another rescue group based in Queens closer to my Grandma's neighborhood and I sent them an email asking them to help. I simply asked these groups if they could help trap & foster the kitty and I would pay all it's vet & food costs. Saturday evening came & my old rescue group said that they were overrun & couldn't help. So I told them that I would trap it myself & find it a home. They did give me a good tip on how to deal with people whose property the cat was hanging out on.

Sunday morning, I awoke thinking about how hungry orange kitty was and made a plan to go see him in the late afternoon. Meanwhile, I never go out to Queens to visit my grandmother- i usually have her come out to visit me in Manhattan, but for kitty- I trekked out.

Kitty was in the same area- sleeping by the bushes on the patio. I opened some wet food & left some water. At that point, people were coming out of the decrepit house & I raced over to talk to them. The wife was in a rush and directed me to her husband, who stood on the stoop- towering over me & looking defensive. We discussed orange kitty which he said was not his cat but that he fed it & some of the women down the block feed it & a bunch of other cats. I asked if I could trap orange kitty & find it a proper home. He started hemming & hawing. He repeated again that he feeds the cat (this was the phenomena that I got a tip on- apparently, people feel ownership over cats even if they are just throwing them scraps). I said that I brought more food & water. He gestured that he had water for it over there and I pointed out to him that the water in the styrofoam cup was what I had brought over on Friday. Well then I played the card that I was told to play- that the cat needed vet care and would he be willing to take it to the vet because if he wasn't then, I simply wanted to trap the cat so I could take it to the vet. It was like magic. Suddenly, he told me that I could do whatever I wanted. And that was that.

I returned home that evening to figure out how I was going to trap a kitty in Queens. Had already researched a vet's clinic two blocks away from where kitty was. Fcat had promised that he would help me trap kitty even though we have never done anything like this before.

Monday morning, I received a phone call from the other rescue group Save Kitty Foundation. They had checked out the house and saw a grey kitty- which they almost put into their carrier until a woman opened her door & the cat went running inside. No orange kitty spotted but I'm sure that's because it was sleeping by the bushes. We are still playing phone tag, but I'm just so thankful that they tried to help. I'm sure with their help- orange kitty will be in a home in no time. I have already enlisted my best-friend, JK to be foster mom.

Anyway, sorry to tell you the longest story ever without a proper ending, but I believe that I am making progress. I have named orange kitty, Jack as in Jack O'Lantern because he's orange & his eyes glow (most orange tabbies are male, but Jack could be a Jackie). I hope to get him before Halloween which can be a dangerous holiday for outdoor cats, especially black ones because crazy miscreants do all sorts of horrible things.

I believe that Jack has had a rough time and he deserves a loving home. He looks like he's never played before in his life. It seems as though he wants contact but is afraid. I am determined to find him a warm & safe home. I am so swamped with work, but there are things that speak to you that you just cannot deny- obsession thy name is Jack.
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