Cat Close Up

Fur-get-Me-Nots are works of art created for the sole purpose of supporting Animal Rescue Groups and Sanctuaries. We want our creations to bring a smile to the faces of those that purchase them. Not only because of the pieces themselves but also because they have supported the rescue and care of animals. We donate 100% of our sales to rescue organizations.

In 2021, your donations by purchase supported:

  • Ferals & Kittens & Cats, Oh My$2,673.50
  • Mr. Grey’s Strays$2,322.50                      

Rescue Spotlight

Ferals & Kittens & Cats, Oh My!

It all started in 2016 when a friend of mine asked me to help trap a mom and three kittens at a restaurant supply warehouse. It was then that I realized there were several feral cats living outside that needed help. This became my first feral colony.
I then began trapping in three different counties for a local rescue group whose main purpose was TNVR. This stands for (trap-neuter-vaccinate-release).I am now on my own and TNVR throughout the City of Rochester at my own managed feral colonies and where the need arises.
With the help of a trapper friend I rescue abandoned cats and kittens. I try to place them at the shelter or with local rescues, if there is room. If not, I will take them into my home and foster them, get them fully vetted and adopt them out.
I also make shelters for the city cat colonies and outdoor cats that are owned but live outside without adequate shelter.  I am an advocate for the city cats and refer city residents to resources to spay/neuter their pets.  We are also colony caregivers
They are the faces of abandoned and homeless cats. At one time some were pets in loving homes. Others are a product of neglect, not of their own fault, but due to human’s lack of spay and neuter.
There are female cats that have been on the streets for years having litter after litter. Some have even populated an entire block! During mating season many unspayed females are attacked by multiple males.
These cats live in abandoned houses, under porches, in bushes or wherever they can find to get away from the city dangers, both humans and animals alike.  They spend their days roaming for food and often times fighting off others for it. They eat out of dumpsters, garbage cans anywhere they can find food. They also have to fight off raccoons, rats and the like for food. Many are emaciated because they cannot find food or are too weak to look.
There are cats that have been shot at, covered in cement and glue, had rocks thrown at them, choked, put in garbage bags and other more horrific stories that I do not want to mention.
There are pregnant cats giving birth in drainage ditches, behind dumpsters and in old tires. Many of these kittens are born with infections, eye problems and other diseases. Mom often times has problems getting food so many kittens do not make it. The ones that do make it often go on to live a horrible existence.
THIS CYCLE NEEDS TO STOP! The answer is spay/neuter, TNVR and colony caretakers.
We need to be an advocate for these cats, without it they do not have a voice.
BUT IF YOU LOOK INTO THEIR EYES YOU CAN SEE PAIN AND SUFFERING!!!!!

Mr. Grey’s Strays

Mr. Grey’s Strays came into being completely by chance. One cold winter day in 2013 I saw an elderly lady with a walker trying to navigate an icy hill in the village of Brockport. I pulled over to offer her a ride. She said no, but because I was worried she might fall, she allowed me to walk with her. 
And that’s where our story started. The woman was on her way to the place where she fed her beloved outside cats. Of course, I knew nothing about outside cats or why she was feeding them out behind the bank. Why would anyone bother, I wondered.  I got the answer to my question as I fed those cats for her all winter. I became so attached to them––they seemed to know the sound of my car and waited for me to come near. And they were the ones who decided how close I could come, not me. Later on, a bad winter storm hit and there were no cats waiting for me. I looked for them for days. I couldn’t believe how much I loved something that I couldn’t even touch.
From that day on, I have been entirely focused on learning everything I can about helping these animals that tugged so hard at my heart.  
My vocabulary grew—terms like “feral cats,” “free roaming,” “TNVR,” and “vacuum effect” cropped up in nearly every conversation I had. I made huts for winter and donated them to fellow colony caretakers. I met with many veterinarians and other cat activists and rescues. As I learned the ins and outs of TNVR protocol, my knowledge expanded rapidly.
My name started to spread as the woman who could trap the un-trappable. Then Mr. Grey, a very feral cat, came into my life. He had been living outside for years with terrible eye infections and was in extremely poor health. He was a cat that most people would have euthanized, but with the help of the veterinarians at Cats Exclusively I was able to medicate him and coax him back to health. I’m not sure who was luckier, Mr. Grey or me because of all the love I felt for him.  After many surgeries, he recovered. He became quite famous and popular as everyone enjoyed following his progress as he regained his strength and learned to trust people. Articles about him were published in the Democrat & Chronicle and online.
Mr. Grey’s fame helped bring about new legislation in the Village of Brockport that ensures free-roaming cats will be safe. Many cats have been kept out of shelters where they surely would have been euthanized. 
After years on my own, I am proud and honored to have many supporters and volunteers who help me in this important work. And now that Mr. Grey’s Strays is a New York not-for-profit corporation with 501(c)(3) status, we are able to do so much more for these animals that, through no fault of their own, find themselves in life-threatening situations. 
I am so proud of all that we have accomplished, and I’m looking forward to continuing our work as advocates for feral cats and educating the public about TNVR.
 Who would ever have thought that a certified dog trainer would become the crazy cat lady?
                                                          Joane Traber, Founder