Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Weekly Geeks 2009-4: Other Passions

I've been out of the loop in the blogosphere for much of 2009, so even though Weekly Geeks started up again in January, this is the first week that I've been able to participate. And this week's topic is fantastic:

What are you passionate about besides reading and blogging? For example, are you crafty (knitting, woodworking, scrapbooking, model building)? Do you cook? Into gaming (computer or board)? Sports (player or spectator)? Photography? Maybe you like geocaching, rock climbing? Or love attending events like renaissance fairs, concerts? Music? Dancing? You get the idea.

Tell us why you're passionate about it. Post photos of what you've made or of yourself doing whatever it is you love doing.

#2. Get us involved. Link to tutorials, recipes, Youtube videos, websites, fan sites, etc, anything that will help us learn more about your interest or how to do your hobby. Maybe you'd like to link to another hobbyist whose work you admire or tell us about a book or magazine related to your interest.

#3. Visit other Weekly Geeks. Link in your post to other Geeks who've peaked your interest in their passion. Or maybe you might find a fellow afincionado among us, link to them.

One of the great joys of my life is the work that my mother and I do as part of a cat rescue organization.

A few years ago we discovered that there were several feral cat colonies near our home. We live close to a dead end street that happens to be a popular drop off point for people to abandon cats. When we starting working with these cats, many of them were in very poor health. I've owned cats my entire life, and seeing cats in such a horrible situation was just heartbreaking. My mother and I both decided that we wanted to do something to help these poor animals.

Feeding Time
We feed the cats daily, in any kind of weather. Right now we're feeding 30-45 cats each day. This translates to roughly four pounds of dry cat food, four large cans of wet food and two liters of fresh water every day.

We also ensure that they have proper veterinary care (including spaying/neutering and vaccinations), and help find homes for kittens or older cats that are adoptable. (Unfortunately, some of the cats we work with are just too wild to be good pets. In that case, the cat is either spayed or neuter and then released.) Local veterinarians donate their time and services at a reduced cost to help keep the cat population under control.

In the past three years, we have helped place over 25 cats and kittens in loving homes, and have gotten at least 30 adult cats spayed or neutered.

We've also adopted four of the cats ourselves. Duchess was living in an abandoned greenhouse when we first found her. Gwen was born to one of our foster cats and has become my constant companion. She often guards my workstation or sits on my lap as I type.

Each time we take a cat in for veterinary care, we need to give that cat a name if it doesn't already have one. I think it would be fun to do literary names this year, so I'm opening the floor to suggestions.

What literary character name would you choose for a cat?

To learn more about feral cat rescue, you can visit Alley Cat Rescue.

Other Weekly Geeks:
Lou and I share two passions, Egyptology and photography.
Booking Mama and Linda are both knitters. I learned to knit last year, after several unsuccessful attempts. (Thank heavens for tutorials on YouTube, or I still wouldn't be able to purl!)
Wendi is also an animal lover and participates in animal rescue.
Robin is new to Weekly Geeks this week and has a wonderful post about the effect music has had on her life.
Dreamybee and I share a passion for gardening. I can't wait for warmer weather so I can tend to my flowers.


  1. This is an amazing thing to do. There is a cat rescue shelter near where I'm living now and when we move into a house I'm planning on volunteering to help there.

    I've always wanted to name my cat Pippin. I'd probably go through all the LotR names first, depending on the coloring or size of the cat. Then I might go with some author names. I can definitely see a cat called Charlotte Bronte or Charles Dickens.

  2. Wow you guys are amazing. I'm on a break right now from fostering but after reading this I really want to get back out there. Both of my girls came from a colony. My third cat Blackie is a stray who lives on my porch.

    Names? Hmmmm. I love the names Wilber and Milo. Kudos to you in you know which books these are from.

  3. I admire you for the work you're doing. I was going to suggest Dickens for a name, but see Meghan beat me to it.

  4. We just brought home a kitten from the humane society and have been thinking of names for him. One of the other young cats we wanted to bring home is named Arwen, which we thought was pretty (and apt, since she's black). I would suggest Harrison (Harriet the Spy), Gonzo (The Gone-Away World), and Tybalt (Romeo & Juliet).

  5. Congratulations to you! I am also a cat enthusiast (currently have four) & am active in our local humane society. Great idea on literary names for cats! Some suggestions: Laura & Mary (Little House books); Meg, Jo, Beth & Amy (Little Women); Athos, Aramis, Porthos, D'Artagnan (Three Musketeers); Heathcliff (Wurthering Heights); Rochester (Jane Eyre); Piglet, Eeyore & Pooh (Winnie the Pooh); Dorothy, Toto, Auntie Em (Wizard of Oz); Tiny Tim, Ebenezer, Scrooge, Cratchitt (A Christmas Carol); Friday, Crusoe (Robinson Crusoe); Scarlett, Rhett, Melanie, Ashley, Prissy, Miss Pittypatt, Tara (Gone with the Wind); Antonia (My Antonia); Charlotte, Wilbur, Templeton (Charlotte's Web); and Tweedledum, Tweedledee (Alice in Wonderland). Good luck with your cats! Kelly (with help from Linda)

  6. I think that you and your mother do an awesome job with the cats. I am as much a doglover as I am catlover, and that little kitten with the flattened ears look so cute!

  7. My...what a lot of cats....ahhhhhh choo.

  8. I love cats!! What a great passion to have!

  9. Thanks for rescuing all the cats! That's really nice work you do. Not only are you helping innocent animals, I'm sure it is very rewarding work. We all need to love our animals!

  10. That's such a great thing to do. I'd name all my pets after Harry Potter characters.

  11. What a great work you are doing for these kitties! I love cats (and dogs - have 3 of each). Bless you for doing this! I have a friend who also takes care of several feral cats - feeds and makes sure they have warm places to sleep in the winter. How about Emma (Jane Austen) for a name?

  12. Aw, that's so nice that you help the kitties!

  13. Wow, that is so cool! When I used to commute into NYC for culinary school, there were wild cats in a parking lot by the train station. I very often brought food along with me to feed them. They were always so hungry.

  14. What a great and worthwhile passion! :)

  15. Thank you, Ruth, for mentioning Alley Cat Rescue and linking to our site. We greatly appreciate it. We also thank you for your compassion for our feral friends. It is not an easy job, as you know, to care for these animals...physically and mentally. Not to mention the time and money you put into making their lives a little more comfortable.

    And one other note to anyone in the MD, Washington, DC area, Alley Cat Rescue is hosting a spay/neuter event on Feb. 24th for Spay Day USA. For more information, please check out our blog.

    Thanks again, Ruth; you're blog looks amazing!

  16. Ruth this is such a wonderful thing you do. I love the photos you posted.