Tufcat Shelter Build, 24 April 2010

shelterdayThank you so much for giving up your Saturday and venturing all the way out to UWC to assist us with repairing and waterproofing the cat shelters. I cannot tell you what a difference this will make in terms of improving the cats’ quality of life and how much it facilitates our job of caring for them.

I felt so utterly despondent (as you saw from my previous email) because I thought no one was coming, but was so incredibly surprised  by the number of generous, compassionate and socially responsible individuals who made this day the success that it was.

Jenny gave up a birthday celebration to attend, for which I am eternally grateful as you and Magda knew exactly what to do and I can  honestly say things would not have proceeded as smoothly as they did without the two of you!

I am so aware that there are hundreds of good causes out there, many of which are more high profile and arguably more relevant and even deserving, so am extremely touched by the contribution that each and every one of you who came on Saturday made to furthering TUFCAT’s goals and directly assisting 168 cats and a dog. In fact some of you are already involved with causes and have masses of your own animals to care for, but still took the time to help TUFCAT. Thank you Wendy for bringing your family and fixing a shelter we thought was headed for the trash heap. Thank you Jane for always helping out (since forever) and bringing materials and Henry. Carol & Margaret, you two are the most reliable and helpful people I know and you have helped us so much in the past. Judy you are the best friend ever! Sorry you had to drive aimlessly around campus for hours followed by the bakkie delivering the shelters you had made and paid for at very short notice. Thanks also to Saul for loaning his tools and Luke for coming to help.

Thank you to Ladonna and friends (who worked tirelessly), Marlique and friends (who arrived with masses of stuff en route to another function and still managed to varnish two shelters) and Rosie and friend (who still came and worked in the hot sun after been stuck in traffic and getting hopelessly lost thanks to my bad directions).

Janine and Lusa worked behind the scenes collecting shelters from residences and feeding spots all over campus (and even off campus) and brought them to the central spot for repairs. Thank you Janine for all you do for the cats and for helping to take all the shelters back again. Oom Frankie (who helps throughout the week cleaning the inside of shelters and filling up the cat’s water bowls) came to work on a Saturday and cleaned the exterior of the shelters and the entire working area afterwards.

Thanks to your collective effort, a total of 15 existing shelters were repaired and waterproofed and 7 new structures were assembled using the travel crates donated to us by TEARS, (who help us so much and who we could never thank enough). One structure that leaked very badly was swaddled in thick, waterproof plastic so that it will remain completely dry this winter. Thanks to Madge et al for this. The remainder of this plastic was used later on to waterproof some of the travel crates. Madge from the outset you have been the one who offered reassurance and once I knew you were coming I felt instantly better and knew that things would go ahead. Thank you for being so good to animals in general and supporting TUFCAT so consistently.

Almost all the cat colonies now have a box for food and 10 of them have additional sleeping boxes. The remaining places will soon receive sleeping boxes as our wonderful neighbours, the Radleys have offered to modify the remaining wooden travel crates for us. One spot had no shelter at all and now boasts one of the three ready made shelters that Judy had made for us and which were delivered to campus on Saturday. If it wasn’t for Steve, none of the crates would have been converted as they were safely locked behind gates with an electric fence and the person I made arrangements with to drop the key let me down. Steve totally saved the day by somehow managing to ‘liberate’ the travel crates from their enclosure and closing the gate again with no sign of anything having taken place….don’t know how….but am so grateful!

Thank you Minette for making sure at least one UWC person (other than Lusa who can always be relied upon) came and for buying cooldrinks for all the helpers – they really were much appreciated!

Without the financial contributions of Jeanne, Lemay, Ruth and Debra  (whose generosity knows no bounds) we would not have been able to buy enough materials or give the cats the huge feed they received, so thank you so much to all of you for this. We are also very grateful to those of you that brought all sorts of stuff with you on Saturday such as catfood, feeding bowls, blankets, books and magazines. Steve – the Hill’s was a huge surprise and will be used for the ‘special cases’ who need extra nutrition – thanks for this!

Thank You to Pennypinchers who donated materials and even tools for our cause on Saturday, and also to a.b.e Construction Chemicals Limited for the donation of Malthoid that we used for the roofs of the structures. An excellent product that will ensure the cats stay dry in the wettest of Cape Town winters.

Thanks also to those of who sent my appeal far and wide and even put it up on your websites and Facebook pages, ensuring that everyone came.

Last but not least I want to thank Lorraine. Not only did I make you wait months before I collected a donation from you, I got you horribly lost on Saturday. Thank you for bringing catfood and a million thank yous for sticking it out right to the very end…I cannot describe how much this meant to us. Although the shelter building ended around 4pm, the newly repaired, varnished and mostly wet structures had to be returned one by one to the cat colonies scattered all over campus (and one off campus residence) and all the animals had to be fed. Moving all these shelters back after a long day was no joke and Lorraine you helped so much I really couldn’t believe it. While we were busy taking the shelters back, we found a cat that had just been dumped. Our timing was excellent as she literally walked across the road in front of us. We immediately saw she was not from there and was tame. She is an extremely friendly and beautiful fluffy ginger and white cat and seems to be pregnant. We are going to have her spayed and desperately need to find her a home as we have quite a few cats needing to be adopted at present and have nowhere to keep this one.

We finally left campus around 11pm (utterly exhausted, covered in varnish and with a cat in tow)…

Thanks to all!