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Remember Forever


Maggie has lost her battle.

She fought so hard to stay with us but just couldn't make it.

She was between 15 and 16 years old, she had a pretty tough life outside for many years. A group of START Members and me fed her outside up until about 7-8 years ago. We got her inside and at first she was her feisty self not wanting to deal with the other cats but over time she accepted them even though she always preferred humans. At that time she was diagnosis with kidney failure and the vet thought she was not going to make it. More testing found a thyroid issue, we needed to try ourselves to bring her back to her health. The medicine worked, Wasn't ready to give up). Recently she had lots of problems with her ears and the vet gave her shots and meds to help but over the last 6 months or so it was getting worst and the vet recommended we take her to a specialist. She had a growth in her inner ear. They removed it and found that she had a BB pellet in bedded in it. She must have had it most her life, don't know what happened and what horrible person did this to her. Vet also found out that the growth was cancer, vet thought she got it all. Maggie came back to the office and was happy to be back. Walking around and acting very normal, sitting in her couch up on top of the dresser in office.  After a couple of weeks she was back to scratching at that same ear, crying when she scratched it. We took her back after discussing what else could be done to help our Maggie. The vet recommended her ear canal be removed. She had a good chance to make it through, she would be a little wobbly but besides that fine. The trooper made it through. Maggie recovered at our volunteers’ house for 2 weeks because she needed to have the cone on. She came back to the office after a check- up and seemed to be ok. Not steady on her feet but we were expecting that. She seemed to get worst so we took her back to vets again. They gave her more meds. Came back and again was ok for a week maybe. When I got to the office on Tuesday I called her name and she wobbled to me. Her tail up and followed me all over even though she had a hard time walking. That day as the hours passed she seemed more and more like she was having problems. I stayed at the office as usual over night. Neither Maggie or I slept. She couldn't get comfortable. We walked around all night. She finally laid in her bed next to me about 1 AM and by 2 AM she tried to get out of the bed and fell. Couldn't walk more than 2 steps and she sat down. Tried to make it to her food but after many tries she got there but licked for a second and sat down again. By 3:30 AM I text a few of the ladies telling them how poor she was. (didn't realize the time when I sent text) After hours and hours a vet came to see her and said she thought we could try one more thing before we had her put down. In my heart I knew it wouldn't help her but I couldn't be the one to make the decision when the vet said that. She went to the hospital and after several hours the vet called me. She had eaten but I asked her to please see if she could walk. Called me back after another hour or so and said we could take her back to office but she was still not able to walk more than a few steps. Pain killers were given until we could make the final decision.  In the end, Kym and a few of Maggie’s friends went to vets office and stayed with her as she left us. ( very,very hard. So unfair)


R.I.P. beautiful Maggie.   

Annette Lamberti

Miss P

Its is with Great Sadness we say “Good Bye Miss P.”


You think you would eventually get used to it.  Or at least it wouldn’t hurt as much.  But actually, it’s just the opposite with me.  With each loss, it just gets more difficult.  That is why it has taken me so long to write this “good-bye” to our sweet Miss P.


Her full name was Miss Preakness!  She was named after the street she was found on in Paterson over 13 years ago.  She was a little weary when she first came into our care.  But who could blame her.  Living on the streets on her own and fending for herself must have been difficult.  Especially because she was such a small cat!  But after a few years in our care, she became the official S.T.A.R.T. lap cat!!!  Everyone loved our little Miss P!  Anyone who came into our office would get “that look”!  She would stare at you until you finally got the hint and sat down so she could jump on your lap!  It was her most favorite thing in the world!  If you would stay for an hour she would sit on her lap for an hour in all her glory!  She hated when you would have to leave!


Although Miss P. was barely seven pounds, she still ruled the roost!  Her best buds, Duke,


Jackson and Honey put up with her bossy personality and loved her very much!  In her younger days, she would run back and forth like a crazy kitty and jump up on the highest scratching post like a tiny cheetah!  Duke and the gang would just watch her and wonder what the heck she was doing!  Boy, she made us laugh!  The three of them and Miss P. would practically sit on top of each other trying to enjoy the sun together!  They were quite the crew!  Sadly, over the years, Honey, Jackson and Duke passed away.  Miss P. made friends with the other cats that came into her life but it was never the same as it was with her best buds.


About two years ago Miss P. was diagnosed with pancreatitis.  She slowed down a lot and we all did everything in our power to keep her going.  She went to the veterinarian every couple of weeks for medicine to help keep her comfortable and stimulate her appetite.  Unfortunately, there is no cure for this disease and it is extremely difficult to control in a multiple cat environment.  After about a year she had nearly no appetite and we had to start giving her fluids to keep her from getting dehydrated.  The fluids started out every few days then went to every day.  Why would we do this you might ask?  Well, this little girl wanted so badly to live.  Miss P. had a fight in her that is impossible to explain.  So many times we thought "this is the end” and that she wouldn’t make it through the day.  But she would get a surge of energy and then she would seem almost back to normal for a while.


A few weeks before she left us, she took a turn for the worse.  Miss P. couldn’t keep any food in her.  She wanted so badly to live but she just kept losing weight.  Then the day finally came.  On March 13, 2015, her little body couldn’t go on anymore.  We thought about having her euthanized but the vet assured us she wasn’t in any pain.  So we let her do what she loved the most.  She sat on one of her best friend’s lap for hours!  Jacqueline and I stayed with Miss P. all night.  Many of the S.T.A.R.T. volunteers stopped by during that time to say their good-byes.  Then sadly, a little after midnight, with Jacqueline and I at her side, Miss P. passed away.    She crossed over the Rainbow Bridge where Duke, Jackson and Honey were all there to greet her.

Good-bye our beloved Miss P.  We will forever miss our funny, adorable sweet girl every time we walk in the office door.


It has been a sad beginning to our New Year, another devastating lost for our office. On January 14, 2013 Meg our door monitor and food inspector passed over the rainbow bridge. We had taken Meg to the vet 10 days before she left us and it was just for her monthly visit. The vet did a checkup on her and noticed she had 2 chipped teeth. It did not seem to bother her but he thought a simple tooth extraction would improve her "quality of life"?? Well our poor Meg never recuperated, she lost her strength and capability to use her back legs. We took her back hoping we could save her but she went downhill from there. Never did we expect to lose her this soon. Yes, she was older possibly 12 to 14 and had some old age issues but she seemed fine. For me it's hard to accept it because I don't think it was her time!! I should have never but her though a minor procedure at her age. The moral of the story is - PLEASE with any of your older animals be absolutely sure that it is something necessary before you put them through something they might not need.



It was almost 5 years ago, Meg a senior tabby girl was surrendered by an elderly Russian gentleman. We have always said Meg came to us from "Russia with love"! Meg's Mom had passed away and Dad had to give up his beloved Meg because he was going into a nursing home, he could no longer care for her. Meg kept him company as long as she could, she loved the attention and companionship. Meg was used to being the only cat, pampered and fed. Meg had a few challenges when she came to live with us, she had other cats to deal with and she had to learn English, there were times when she looked at us as if to say "What are you talking about!" As big as our girl Meg was she was very agile, she could jump on the couch, cat post and chairs when she wanted a pet or a rub on the chin. She monitored her door daily with her friend Sheila, an odd couple but they became friends and Sheila felt safe with Meg. Shelia misses Meg very much and Sheila always sleeps in Meg's spot. I miss her too Sheila, we all miss her a lot. Now when we walk in the office Meg isn't there to greet us, or walk up to us to ask "do you have any chicken for me".

Meg, we know in our hearts you are with your first Mom & Dad, they probably are so happy to see you!! Goodbye our big Russian Girl, we miss you so much and we will never forget you.

R.I.P. Meg, you are always in our hearts.


Annette Lamberti


October 27th 2012, was a very sad day. Our office has changed forever and the end of an Era has come for me. Our MAIN MAN, our mascot "Duke" is gone! Duke was the Heart and Soul of our office. He had eyes that could just pierce your heart, his eyes just spoke to you. Duke had been sick for quite awhile and on meds for nearly two years and he hated it! We tried everything to keep him going and he fought so hard to stay alive. He knew we weren't ready to lose him.


To think Duke was a feral cat 10 years ago is just unbelievable. He was the one in charge of the 30 + cats in this colony. Matter of fact the first time I met Duke he was sitting on a roof looking down at everyone including me! Duke's partner Jackson, was always by his side making sure he didn't get himself into trouble. Duke and Jackson were inseparable, Duke ruling the roost and Jackson watching over him.


In 1999 Hurricane Floyd hit New Jersey, causing severe flooding in our area and a state of emergency. Unfortunately, the majority of the 30 cats in my colony were lost in local flooding, only eight of my babies survived. When I was finally able to re-trap the cats that were left after Hurricane Floyd, Duke and Jackson were the most difficult. I think Jackson just did not want to leave his buddy Duke behind so he waited until he was ready. I tried for months and months to trap them. I remember one Sunday I put two traps side by side under a big tractor trailer truck that was on the property. I put a blanket over the two traps and God only knows how this happened but when I went back to check the trap they WERE BOTH in traps side by side as always!


As the eight surviving cats were trapped and brought to the office most settled in comfortably within a week or two, EXCEPT DUKE! I cried every time I saw how miserable he was and I was seriously thinking about putting him back out. Duke growled, hissed and swat if anyone came within 3' of him. Somehow things changed. Jackson never left Duke's side and must have reassured him that they were all safe. After a few months, Duke and Jackson became the office "greeters" to all that visited our small office. Duke became so sweet and with each passing day he was sweeter and sweeter. With time, he loved the attention, he loved to lay on a chest and purr and make pizza!! Duke learned to give and loved to receive love.


Just like Duke's Bed, my heart is empty each time I walk into the office. Duke touched so many lives, for those that cared for him we all feel an incredible loss. Our hearts tell us Duke has joined his best friend and soul mate Jackson who passed, May 27th, 2011. The boys are together again!

R.I.P. Duke, I will love you always.


Annette Lamberti


On May 5th, our beloved E-Scoop Mascot Jackson (the tabby in our header picture), passed over the Rainbow Bridge. He passed over peacefully in my arms, in the comfort of his home, surrounded by his human and furry friends. Jackson spent his final hours with his best friend Duke, our other mascot, the handsome grey and white tux boy.  Jackson's story is below. A story of a feral cat who turned into our loving, friendly mascot.


Jackson will always be part of S.T.A.R.T. His story is one that tells of feral cats that became the love of our lives!  Jackson was a feral cat in a colony of 30. He was special right from the start!! All of the cats were terrified except for Jackson. He was curious - always looking at me from a distance, each night he would come closer and eventually he came close enough for me to touch his head.  After he checked me out and gave me the seal of approval, he brought his best friend, "Duke" to meet me. They were like Siamese Twins rubbing heads and walking in step with each other. They were inseparable.  After a few years, I could touch both of them.  It got to where they wanted some lovin' first ...then dinner please!

In 1999 Hurricane Floyd stalled over New Jersey, causing severe flooding in our area and a state of emergency.  Unfortunately, the majority of the 30 cats in my colony were lost in local flooding, only eight of my babies survived. Within the next few months S.T.A.R.T., was finally ready to get its own office where we would be able to house a few cats.  After four years of caring for this outside feral colony, it was time to bring my eight surviving babies inside!! When the office was ready with cat posts, a feeding station, beds and window perches, we brought them in. At first they all hid and were scared in their new environment.  Duke was the worst. He charged, hissed and spit at anyone that came near him.  He stayed on top of the refrigerator and cat post (always in a high position to be able to watch us all), we were ready to put him back out, he was so unhappy.  But we knew we could not separate Duke from Jackson. Jackson stuck by Duke through thick and thin whatever his buddy wanted, he stayed near him through all the weeks and months until he calmed down. It's like he kept telling him, "Check out these digs. It will be okay!",  Jackson never gave up on him. Duke eventually settled in to his new environment, taking on some of Jackson's loving personality!! Jackson was always comforting to all the newcomers that came through our doors. Even the volunteers, Jackson made everyone love him - he would say "Come in, sit and rub my belly it will be alright". Both Duke and Jackson greeted all the caregivers at the door, as soon as a key went in the lock they got up to see who was coming to visit! 

In my heart, I know we could have adopted Jackson out years ago, he was such a gentle soul.  But his best friend and buddy, Duke, took some time to adjust. We could not separate them and didn't want to part with him! Duke would have been lost without him. Jackson was family, our S.T.A.R.T.  Ambassador, and Duke, for the record, is still the Boss!!

At the end of his life Jackson was in great pain but he still would roll over with the little energy he had to have his stomach rubbed and he purred and purred.  It was so difficult to say good-bye. All who knew him loved him and will treasure his memory.  Duke is still looking for his buddy and occasionally I too look for my precious Jackson.  Jackson never failed to bring a smile to all. Jackson will truly be missed but, he will always be in our hearts and memories.

Rest in Peace Jackson.

By Annette Lamberti

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