Who Is Mistral Dawn?

Mistral Dawn is a thirty-something gal who has lived on both coasts of the US but somehow never in the middle. She currently resides in the Southeast US with her kitty cats (please spay or neuter! :-)) where she works as a hospital drudge and attends graduate school. Taken By The Huntsman is her first effort at writing fiction and if it is well received she has ideas for several more novels and short-stories in this series. Please feel free to visit her on FaceBook or drop her a line at mistralkdawn@gmail.com

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Another #Essential #Resource: A #Network

Hey Everyone!!

Today I'll be talking about another essential resource for animal rescuers: a network.  Longstreet, the silly kitty above, and his family would have been much better off if I'd had a network when he came into my life.  At the time, I had only been living on my own as an adult for a couple of months.  What's more, I'd also moved to a new state and didn't know many people yet.  I had lived with cats for most of my life, but I'd never been solely responsible for them and I'd never had to deal directly with feral cats before.
Longstreet's mom was a young, feral kitty and he was part of what was probably her first litter.  Like most new mommies, she was quite nervous for and possessive of her babies.  Since she didn't trust people, she wouldn't come close to me and she would get upset if her kittens came close to me.  While I could catch Longstreet and his brothers because they would let me touch them, I had no way to catch the mommy kitty and I was afraid to have too much contact with the kittens out of fear she might reject them.  They were still young and needed their mom.
I wished there was someone I could ask for advice, but I didn't know who to ask who would provide reliable information.  Someone suggested using a humane trap, but I didn't have one and they aren't cheap to buy.  If I'd had a network, there might have been someone I could have borrowed one from, but, as I said, I didn't know many people at the time.  My ignorance and lack of preparation ended up costing these kitties dearly.

Resources; A Network:
A network is a group of people who also do animal rescue and who can give you help and advice. They may include “formal” shelter groups and/or independent rescuers, people like you. This resource is just as vital as the other resources. If you try to go it alone you will not last long. I really mean this, I’ve seen it time and again, you need to have a network if you expect to survive in rescue. These are the people you can call if you “just can’t take one more” and you need to find someone who can take in a stray you found, if you need some advice on how to handle a certain situation, if you are sick or injured and need someone to help care for your rescues for a little while, etc. These are great people to ask about finding a good vet, where to find certain supplies, the least expensive source for medicine, etc. You need these people, and they need you. If one of these people calls on you for help and you are at all able to give it, do so. Because I guarantee you will be calling them too one day.

You may find some of your best friends in these people. There is, however, something you need to realize about these people. These are animal people. They like animals. They are very good at dealing with and caring for animals. They have all the patience in the world...for animals. The same does not always hold true for human beings. Sometimes these people need to work on their people skills. Sometimes they just don’t care if people like them. The thing you have to realize is: IT DOESN’T MATTER. If one of these people insults you or hurts your feelings, realize that it isn’t personal. They may have been trying to give you vital information and just didn’t deliver it in a very sensitive manner. They may behave in ways that you find irritating or immature. They may say things that you believe to be cruel. It doesn’t matter. You don’t have to marry these people or live with them. Just realize that they care very deeply about the animals that you are rescuing and they will be there for you if you need them.  Maybe not because of you, maybe just for the sake of the animals, but the result is the same. They don’t have to like you, and you don’t have to like them, in order for you to work together to help animals. That knowledge can gloss over a multitude of sins. Just try to remember that they have a good heart. You also may find among these people what is probably the most important resource you need to cultivate…

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