Monday, March 7, 2011

The Little Gray Cat

by Cassondra Murray

Early in the summer of 2008, a lonely gray cat, skinny, in trouble, and so small she looked about six months old, wandered into a subdivision and arrived at the back door of a girl named Amy. Amy is a friend of ours, and works with my husband, Steve.

Maybe it was luck, coincidence, or an angel guiding Little Gray Cat, but let's just say that if you were a cat in trouble, Amy's door would have been the one you'd want to find. Because as luck, or the Divine, would have it, Amy had a soft spot for cats.

Amy cleared out an entire spare bedroom for the forlorn little cat, laid out old blankets, moved in a cat tree, litter box, and a scratching post. After a trip to the vet, Little Gray Cat took up residence, and in August, 2008, five little ones arrived. And no group of kittens had ever come into the world to more love.

They had everything they needed, and Little Gray Cat settled in to motherhood without a hitch.

A few months before that, we'd lost our beloved Max at age 17. He'd been lost in a field when his mom and siblings were taken by owls, and come to us when he was three weeks and weighed 3/4 lbs. Max was our companion for all those years, and we were devastated when we lost him. This is Max, engaging in his favorite spectator sport.

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Our younger cat, Amon (pronounced Aaaahh-muhnn) was bereft. She sat around, staring out the windows, and although she made an effort to pick up and move on, no doubt she was lonely all day in the house when we were out at work. No more night stampedes through the house. Nobody to lie in wait for from the top of the armoire. It was time to find her some company. I'd always wanted a black cat, but we always seemed to end up with grays.

That's Max. on the right, with Amon, on the left. Amon came home with us after we coaxed her and her sister out from under a car in the parking lot of a Captain D's. She weighed a whopping one pound at the time. One of the employees took the sister, and Amon has been with us since.

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As fate would have it, of the five new arrivals at Amy's house, three were gray, and two were black.

We went for a visit. We got to know the kittens in their first five weeks. And eventually we settled on a little black furball with big green eyes and a white snip under his chin. We brought him home and named him Umbra.

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Umbra was the first kitten we'd ever brought home who had not been abandoned, and was not in trouble. He'd never known anything but love, and perhaps as a result, he loves everyone who comes to our home. Umbra knows no stranger. He's truly a laid-back cat. At sixteen pounds, he's now a hoss of solid, purring muscle.

Here's Umbra in the new kitchen sink during a construction phase just before Christmas.

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Flash foward to the summer of 2010, and Amy found herself, as Little Gray Cat had once been, in the family way. Things were a little different for Amy, though. She had a fellow who loved her, and would love their baby. Amy already had her own house, so everything was set. There was just one problem.

Amy's husband wasn't fond of cats, and as time passed, turned out to be allergic to them. With a baby on the way, there was nothing to do but find a new home for Little Gray Cat.

We'd always told Amy that if Little Gray Cat couldn't stay with her, we'd bring her to our house, but Amy didn't want us to feel pressured, and we already had two cats. So we got the email three weeks ago. With the baby due in 8 days, and her husband sick from the dander, Amy was feeling the pressure. She'd taken Little Gray Cat, Umbra's mom, to the shelter.

We needed another cat like we needed a hole in the head. But sometimes that just doesn't matter.

It was 11:00 in the morning on a Saturday when we opened that email.

By the time we found Little Gray Cat on the shelter website and figured out what we had to do, it was ten minutes before noon. We needed a reference, and our vet closes at noon on Saturdays. We called anyway.

Joy, the sweetheart who works the front desk on weekends (and who loves cats, and has a few more than she needs as well) stopped everything to phone the shelter with a reference for us. We called a friend who volunteers there, hoping these efforts might help us jump more easily through the Nazi-like hoops of the shelter's watchdogs and allow us to spring Little Gray Cat from the slammer. Our friends rallied around the effort, and we drove too fast on the way there.

I have to tell you, I admire people who volunteer at the shelter. I can't do it. I cry from the time I walk in the door until I drive away. I cried a bunch, as usual, and apologized to the people at the shelter for doing so. Nothing makes me lose it like too many faces looking back at me through the bars. We sponsored another cat because we couldn't bring all of them with us.

And we brought Little Gray Cat home.

Her name is Holly (Amy had named her that when she first arrived), and it's clear that Umbra got his huge, pale-green eyes and laid-back ways from his mother.

She's obviously no longer a scrawny little cat, and is being put through laser-pointer chase drills for weight loss.

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After some hissing, spitting and a bit of flying fur, the cat chain of command has been established and there seems to be a truce in the house, and Holly is taking her share of shifts on mouse watch.

She's fitting right in.



What about you, Bandits and Buddies?

Have you ever taken in a stray animal?

Have you adopted from a shelter? If so, how do you leave there without bringing them all with you?

Have you ever had too many already, but brought in one more?

How many do you have? If you don't have them now, did you have animals in your home when you were a kid?

Tell me how your furry friends came to be with you.

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107 comments:

jennifertanner said...

Hi Cassondra!

My dad took in a stray cat a few years ago. He took it to the vet for shots, bought a bed, food, cat toys. Two weeks later, a neighbor came by and said his cat had run away. Dad had the neighbor's cat.

I grew up with a dog, five cats, lab rats, hamsters and a rabbit. Some of the cats were strays I took home. The rabbit was a stray too.

One of my cats is a shelter cat. He was found abandoned in a park. My husband found our other cat in a dumpster. They're both wonderful pets.

Last year, my husband found a gray cat at his warehouse. I took it to the vet and they scanned him. He had a microchip. I called the owner, and she said she'd pick up the cat and take him to the shelter. I couldn't keep the cat so he went back to work with my husband. Another gray cat showed up there and was friends with the first cat. I figured out this woman dumped both cats! Now, Earl and Spackle live at the warehouse.

If you have a cat, get it microchipped!

Cheers!
Pink P.

Donna MacMeans said...

Oh Cassondra, you make me want to run out to the shelter and bring home some love.

Hey Jennifer - looks like you get to add a Golden Rooster to your pack!

I grew up with dogs and cats - not sure how they came to the family, but once there, they rarely left. My dh is decidedly a dog man. He's not fond of cats, so we'd had dogs as pets. The last came from the shelter and she was the best pet ever. I plan to go back once the weather gets a bit warmer (and I don't have to deal with taxes) as it's time for a new animal to love.

My son has inherited my love of animals and has both a dog rescued from the streets and a kitten from a litter of too many.

A lovely post Cassondra, thank you.

Cassondra said...

Woohooo Jennifer! Congrats on the rooster!

Does he get along with your cats?

Cassondra said...

Jennifer (Pink Peony) said:

One of my cats is a shelter cat. He was found abandoned in a park. My husband found our other cat in a dumpster. They're both wonderful pets.

I'm so glad you found them both! Holly is the first cat we've taken in who wasn't a kitten. We do have two more who've been hanging out around our house though. We can't touch them yet, but we're working on it. Our three are indoor cats, so I'm not sure how we'll work things out with these two who are hanging around outside. We've made a cat shelter and we feed them. They're warming up to us gradually.

...Now, Earl and Spackle live at the warehouse.

If you have a cat, get it microchipped!


Amen! Amy had Holly microchipped as soon as the kittens were born, when she took Holly to be spayed. YAY that your husband was able to keep Earl and Spackle in the warehouse! Bet that warehouse doesn't have have a mouse problem!

Cassondra said...

Donna said:

Oh Cassondra, you make me want to run out to the shelter and bring home some love.

Do it. DOOOOO ITTTTTT! *grin*

I plan to go back once the weather gets a bit warmer (and I don't have to deal with taxes) as it's time for a new animal to love.

Yeah, spring is a good time. It's kitten season. They're out of room at our shelter, and you know what that means. :0(

Cassondra said...

I'm up too late y'all, so I'll see you in the morning.

Keep the fire burning in the front room, will ya? It's gotten cold outside again.

June M. said...

I currently have 2 cats and 2 dogs. One of my cats was a stray and the other I actually picked out when he was a baby. One of my dogs I got from a former neighbor who would not take care of her or another little dog he had. I adopted both, took them to the vet multiple times but unfortunately, the other could not be saved. My other dog I got from a friend who had inherited her from someone else, but she did not need another dog so I ended up bring her home with me.

I often end up with strays who find their way to me. I try to find out where they belong and return them if possible. If not, I either find them a good home myself, or often end up keeping them.

Kim in Hawaii said...

Aloha, Cassondra! Hubby and I each had a cat when we married. Ten years later, we moved to Fort Meade (Baltimore) with those two cats. In the course of four years, we inherited my father's cat (3), adopted an outdoor cat
4), lost my cat (3), and adopted a mother and son abandoned in our neighborhood (5). I should mention that military housing is limited to two pets ... a rule that was not enforced.

It was not feasible to bring five cats to Hawaii. So we tried to give the outdoor cat away (4), but he was miserable and returned to us(5). We we gave the last two away (3). My father's cat passed away from diabetes complications before we moved (2).

Hubby's original cat died before New Year's, leaving us with the outdoor cat (1). We just adopted a second cat from the Ten Lives Rescue ... so we are back to two cats.

We think every book store, museum, and castle should have its own gaggle of cats to keep the mice away and the patrons entertained!

Anna Sugden said...

*sniff* Lovely post, Cassondra. So glad you were able to give Little Gray Cat a home - of course, I was never in any doubt as I know you too well!

Like you, I'm a sucker for rescues and all our cats have been rescues, except the first one. And technically, Rattie was a rescue as she ran away from where she'd been living and sheltered with us.

You and others know of my thing for black cats - so whenever I see a black cat in need, I'm so tempted to help out. Luckily, lovely hubby is as big a sucker for them as I am *g*.

The only time we nearly had an extra was when a friend was in a similar position as Amy and was going to have to get rid of her little black cat, Mouse. She asked us to take Mouse, as we were the only people she'd trust, and we said we would. In the end, though, she kept Mouse and the hubby just had to put with her by taking meds *g*.

Big yes on getting your animals micro-chipped. We had a sad reason for saying this as a little black cat in our neighbourhood was hit by a car and killed. The lady in the car thought it was one of ours - thankfully, it wasn't, but we looked after the cat's body, taking it to the vet. We were told that most people just dump the bodies or put them in the trash so their poor owners never know what happened to them! Seriously! Again, thankfully this cat had been microchipped and her owners could be told the sad news. Far better than wondering.

Right now, my two rescue cats are in my office. CC is lying asleep on my open thesaurus, in the sunshine. Jersey Girl is at the window watching the neighbourhood and making sure no-one invades her territory.

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Speaking of strays....there is a beautiful little cat that seems to have adopted us. I already have two but considering taking the new one to the vet and making him officially ours. The other two are not so thrilled. They will get over it. The only thing holding me back is this cat doesn't look like he has had a rough life. He has a little tummy and is so loving (especially for a cat) I am thinking there has been a child involved in his raising because he will roll over on his back in your arms and offer his tummy. Definitely not normal cat behaviour. I am trying to keep my distance until I can decide if someone has put him out or he just got away. (Non-neutered male could have upset a momma for spraying, just don't know.)

When my mother passed and we moved to our own house I went to the shelter to get my son a cat (Pounce), he was a black and white and longed to be an outside cat. He finally won that battle but was hit by a car and died. In the meantime we had been brought a cat (another lover) that couldn't move with his family, that would be Peanut. A rather severe cat fight took him from us, we had by that time got Angel, another unwanted. Frankly she is my cat but she is a true B*****, it is more a case of I am the only one she will tolerate. Then a lady at work had feral cats in her back yard. I got a solid gray named Slate. He was yet another loving cat. He got out once and just never came home, I don't like to think about it. He was beautiful so I tell myself he found another home. Same lady, another feral we call Shadow, another gray. He is nervous and doesn't lay on a lap for anyone but he is my son's so I figure they match quite well. Now we have the stripe coming round and I am thinking a trip to the vet might be in order.

MJFredrick said...

:::wipes tears:::

All but one of my cats are rescues, and that one is the last of the litter of a cat who was a rescue. I found YaYa by my truck at school after the Christmas program. A storm was on the way so I scooped her up, put her in the truck and brought her home.

Napoleon was found by the neighbor kids in the Walmart parking lot. He was maybe a month old, covered with fleas, and we had to bottle feed him and bathe him every night.

Skippy was in a tree at the park by school, crying pitifully. It was early morning, so I had a parent babysit him for me during the day until I could take him home.

Mama Kitty was supposed to find a new home after I rescued her (also from school) and had her fixed. But she's still here, living the good life :)

PJ said...

Really, Cassondra, you need to put a tissue alert on posts like these! ::Sniff! Sniff!::

My first dog came to live with us when I was nine. She was payment for some legal work my dad had done for a local family (in small farming communities, payment comes in a variety of creative ways). She was my best friend and lived to be 16.

Fast forward 25 years..I had finally talked the dh into getting a dog. He'd never had a pet and was a hard sell. On New Year's Day there was an ad in the paper about a litter of puppies being given away so I went to check it out. Hubby had only one criteria. "Make sure it's small." I came home with an adorable little puppy...with paws the size of dinner plates! Good thing it was love at first sight for dh and the pooch! Bandit grew up to be 95 pounds of goofy, lovable dog and was with us for 14 years.

All of my dogs since then have been from the shelter or other rescue groups and, like Bandit, they've been Lab mixes and big boys and girls. Smokey was next to join the family and was my devoted companion for 13 years.

When Smokey was a puppy, I started volunteering at the local shelter. It was so hard to not be able to bring them all home with me!

Velvet was next to join the family as a result of the dh wanting to "go to the shelter and pet the puppies." Never go to the shelter just to "pet the puppies" unless you're ready to bring at least one of those puppies home with you! lol! Sadly, I only had Velvet for six years. Cancer took her too soon.

Cassy was one of those "I never saw it coming" additions to the family. I was in another state with friends when we stumbled upon a rescue group's adoption fair and stopped just to "pet the puppies." Oops! She's been with me four years now.

After Smokey died a couple years ago, Cassy was a lost soul. I knew she needed a playmate. Enter Rachel. She's from a local rescue group, is of indeterminate age and breed and is the sweetest, most loving dog I've ever met.

I can't imagine my life without a dog in it, especially when the shelters are packed with animals waiting for forever families to love!

Anna Campbell said...

Cassondra, I really enjoyed your post - and the photos are gorgeous. Love the ones of Umbra as a kitten!

Hey, Jen (aka Pink Peony in case anyone is confused!), you got the chook! That's a stray animal you took in!

Suzanne Ferrell said...

Hey Cassondra!

Love how you've gotten all your kittens. When I was about 9 we found a kitten shivering in the snow near our front door. My parents let us bring it in and feed it and keep it warm, but unfortunately I am HIGHLY allergic to cats, so our very good friend, AKA Aunt Carol, took him in and kept him for years.

Now, how Rocky-the-wonder-dog came to live with us...

His mama was a stray, taken in by a co worker. She was also a bit of a hussey, because she soon gave birth to a litter of 11 fathered by the registered Boxer from around the corner!

My friend didn't want to give the pups to any of her neighbors as she lives in a rural area where dog fighting rings opperate. So when she offered free pups to anyone who wanted one at work, my son and I hurried right over!

The pups had just eaten and 10 were cuddled sound asleep on the back porch. But one was frolicking in the yard chasing butterflies. I've always had male dogs and since this one was male, too, he was a pefect fit for us.

So now after 11 years, he is my constant companion. He huffs at me when he thinks I should be in bed, keeps me company while I write, sits at my feet, or on them when I'm watching TV and swims laps with me when the weather is warm enough to climb into the pool!

EilisFlynn said...

We had a little gray cat who followed my husband home, many years ago. With two older, crankier cats in residence, we figured we couldn't keep him, that he was lost and tucked him into the garage and knocked on doors looking for his owner. Couldn't find anyone, so eventually, he joined the household. (Fast friends with Fido, but Rover had to be persuaded.) Until then, though, we just called him The Little Gray Cat Who Isn't Really Ours But Lives In The Garage. Which is what we called him when we took him to the vet, who for some reason thought this was hysterical.

He died seven years later of multiple, aggressive cancers. All three are gone now, but I remember the way he was introduced to us -- following my husband home and up the steps to the front door.

TerriOsburn said...

I LOVE this blog. My Caelen looks exactly like your Max. And I'd never thought of it before, my now I know why one of my cats never meets a stranger, while the other trusts no one.

We got Bumblebee (orange tabby - uber friendly and affectionate) off Craig's List at 8 wks old. He attached to me immediately and though he makes me crazy, he's the love of my life.

But at about the 18 month mark, it was clear he was bored, so we rescured Caelen from a shelter. She was also 18 months old and had never lived outside the shelter. Thankfully, it was a place that didn't use cages or crates, all the cats ran free and cohabitated.

It took a month before she'd come out of hiding. Two months before she began playing with Bumbles. Just last week, she started letting me pet her every night, but I still can't make any sudden moves. I'm hoping in a few years, she'll be as relaxed as Bumbles, but even if she isn't, she has a home from here on out.

Jenn3128 said...

I've got 2 barn cats, Sixxie & Seven that my husband brought home as a surprise. We've never rescued a pet, but do help out the strays around our neighborhood.

Our cat, Sixxie is the nosiest cat I've ever had. Anyone else have a cat that is constantly "talking" to you?

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Goooood morrrrning! I can say that because on the east coast, I still have 20 minutes of morning left, and it's a good thing. Hahah.

Jennifer, congrats on adding the Golden Rooster to your brood for the day. Grins,.

Donna, I'm with Cassondra...goooo, pick out the lovely dogggie...gooooo... But yes, AFTER tax season! :>

Great post, Cassondra!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Kim in Hawaii said: We think every book store, museum, and castle should have its own gaggle of cats to keep the mice away and the patrons entertained!

Ohhh, yes. Absolutely! :>

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Oh, I love everyone's stories of how they came to have their pets. *sniffle*

And heaven bless ANYONE who can actually go into a shelter. I cannot. When the time comes for a shelter pet, I will have to send the boys to get a dog or cat otherwise I will come out with all of them, like the Pied Piper.

I've had purebred Dalmatians for a long time, but within that breed, I've adopted a rescue or two, that then either moved on with another show home once I got them trained, or left me to cross the Rainbow Bridge. *more sniffling* My last two Dals both lived to be 15 and my girlie, Talia, was one of those "heart companions". She crossed over 4 years ago and I'm still not over it.

I've loved and had cats most of my life too, starting with a gorgeous black puss named Dubh (As in S'kean dubh, the black-handled knife a Scots lass wears for protection) Grins. "Doobie" as my brothers called her, presented us with 7 kittens at one point, though my father thought she was male. (Hey, he grew up on a farm, but was NOT a farm-kinda-guy, if you know what I mean) She stayed with me all through college and lived to be aroun 16 I think.

Enter the Siameses. I inherited a Siamese from a friend, who had to move. LOVED that cat, got her a kitten whom she doted on. Both lived for a long time as well. Saja was 18 when she died, although I'd only had her 8 years, and Mocha was about that as well. Talk about chatty, those cats were constantly talking. Drove the dogs nuts. But Mocha-cat and Talia-Dalia had a special bond and would do quite funny things to tease each other.

Now, I'm down to two dogs and no cats. One silly Irish Water Spaniel rescue (5 years old) and a mixed breed, very scary looking sweetheart named Sweet Pea who's yellow lab, husky and rottweiler mixed up so she looks like a yellow rottie with a husky tail. Grins. I adopted SP when a friend had to move in the middle of last year's blizzards to help out family, and here she will stay if I have anything to say about it. Grins.

LindaC said...

What a great story! We have two cats and a dog. Second cat, Missy(my dh really resisted this, but she is his girl now), came to us about two weeks before she gave birth to five kittens. Financially we weren't able to keep any of the kittens, so we took them to a really good shelter about 30 miles away that advocates spay/neuter before adoption. Our dog, Daisy(a yellow lab mix), I found through PetFinder.com. This is a really good website if you are trying to find a specific type of dog or cat-breed, sex, size, etc. Our first, cat, Justin, I bought from a breeder and though I love him, I wouldn't do that again. I am a advocate of foundlings or shelter babies.
AnnaS-I've read in many places that black animals are the hardest to get adopted though people say they aren't superstitious or biased.

Anna Sugden said...

Terri - our Jersey Girl was abandoned and abused. It took a few days to get her out from under the bed and into her own bathroom. We sat with her - didn't speak to her or anything, just sat in the room, reading a book and talking to each other. After a week, she finally began to come to us.

Another week and she ventured out and into our bedroom. Another week and she came downstairs. After several months she became less nervous and approached us for affection.

Now, three years later, and a pane-ride home from the US, she sits on my lap and is a very affectionate cat. She won't let you pick her up for more than about 10s.

She's an indoor-outdoor cat and is ferocious to anyone who invades her territory, though still jumps at the slightest noise or sudden movement. I'm sure Caelen will come round more and more as time goes on and Bumble will help her as much as CC helped Jersey.

Anna Sugden said...

Jenn - yes, CC is a very talkative cat. We think she's part-Burmese because of her amber eyes, her love of climbing and her talking!

For a little cat, she has a lot to say!

Anna Sugden said...

Not only are they hard to adopt, Linda, but they're also often the most abused. Very few shelters and rescue places will now allow a black cat to be adopted in the month up to Halloween, with good reason.

The superstition thing is a funny one - over here it's good luck if a black cat crosses your path, not bad! But people still black cats are witches cats *sigh*

TerriOsburn said...

Anna - That's what I keep telling myself, that in a few years, she'll relax and let us pet her at will. I started a nightly ritual of treats on my bed right before I turn off the light. Now, everytime I walk in my room, she hops on the bed and meows at me until I get the treats.

That's the only time I can pet her. On the bed right before or maybe after treats. It's funny when she leans in and starts purring, then realizes she's getting too friendly and backs off.

Cassondra said...

June M said:

I often end up with strays who find their way to me. I try to find out where they belong and return them if possible. If not, I either find them a good home myself, or often end up keeping them.

Aha! Another stray-bringer-inner. Hmmm....there's probably a better term for us, but I can't think of it.

Good for you, for saving fur friends!

And what a gift you give, taking in adult animals from others who can't keep them. You and Nancy have that in common Vets are not cheap, so taking in a neglected animal is no small commitment these days!

Cassondra said...

Kim in Hawaii said:

We think every book store, museum, and castle should have its own gaggle of cats to keep the mice away and the patrons entertained!

Yes! There is the problem of allergies, of course, and if I ran a retail business, I'd have to think twice about having a cat in there. I know some people who do it successfully though, and there's always something cool about walking into a business, hearing the bell jangle, and seeing a cat on the counter or lounging in the sun in the front window.

Cassondra said...

Anna Sugden said:

Right now, my two rescue cats are in my office. CC is lying asleep on my open thesaurus, in the sunshine. Jersey Girl is at the window watching the neighbourhood and making sure no-one invades her territory.

Oh, Anna, I hoped you'd be around the lair today. I knew you'd enjoy seeing our furry family. I'm sitting at the kitchen table right now. Umbra is on the chair to my right, snoozing away, and his mom, Holly, is on the chair across from him. One empty chair, but Amon is far too queenly to come and join them. She's on the loveseat in the foyer. An afternoon surrounded by sleeping cats--there are far worse things.

Anna Sugden said...

Aww Terri - she's definitely getting there!

I don't think they ever lose that nervousness fully. Jersey will head under the bed if there's something that upsets or scares her - like my husband's bicycle jacket or a plastic bag!

uxb said...

Don't forget the two cats living under our house. "Yellow Cat" and "Leopard Kitty".

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Cassondra said: An afternoon surrounded by sleeping cats--there are far worse things.

Ahhh. Sounds lovely. :> And your cats are gorgeous. I love the picture of Umbra in the sink. And Holly is gorgeous! Amon is just an elegant little lady as well, and I can just "see" that Cat Disdain, in the "join the hoi peloi in the kitchen? I think NOT!"

Grins

Cassondra said...

aka Dianna said:

I am thinking there has been a child involved in his raising because he will roll over on his back in your arms and offer his tummy. Definitely not normal cat behaviour. I am trying to keep my distance until I can decide if someone has put him out or he just got away. (Non-neutered male could have upset a momma for spraying, just don't know.)

Absolutely not normal cat behavior. Wow, that cat hasn't been a stray for long, I'm thinking.

I never understand why people will keep a male cat in the house and expect them to not mark their territory. Get that kitten neutered! It's the only way I've found to prevent it, and the earlier the better. Once they start, I've never been able to get them to stop because there's no way to completely eliminate that smell. And I hate that smell. I can live with the cat hair dust bunnies and the occasional barefooted step in something slimy and discusting (hairball anyone?) But I can't live with my house stinking like cat pee.

Cassondra said...

MJ Fredrick said:

Mama Kitty was supposed to find a new home after I rescued her (also from school) and had her fixed. But she's still here, living the good life :)

*sigh* I see you have your own fur family. And clearly you are like us. Immediately after reading the email about Holly being at the shelter, we said, "we'll go spring her, then we'll find a good home for her."

Silly, silly words. That never happens, and we know it.

It just took a few moment of adjustment, after the sudden shock of knowing she was there, to consider our small, cluttered house with three permanent cats instead of two. But honestly it's been the easiest transition I've ever had bringing in a new cat. I think it's that two of them are so laid back. Amon, on the other hand--not laid back. Not.

Cassondra said...

PJ said:

Hubby had only one criteria. "Make sure it's small." I came home with an adorable little puppy...with paws the size of dinner plates! Good thing it was love at first sight for dh and the pooch! Bandit grew up to be 95 pounds of goofy, lovable dog and was with us for 14 years.

Well, Bandit WAS small when you brought him home! *grin* I'm a big dog girl too, though I've had a longtime jones for a dachshund.


...When Smokey was a puppy, I started volunteering at the local shelter. It was so hard to not be able to bring them all home with me!

I Sooooooo admire this. I fall apart when I walk in. Something happens to me. The combined energy of all those lost souls just overwhelms me. I'd be no good to the animals if I tried to volunteer there. They'd be comforting me the whole time and all their coats would be sopping messes from my crying.

I can't imagine my life without a dog in it, especially when the shelters are packed with animals waiting for forever families to love!

Amen, Amen! *Waves snot-soaked hanky*

Cassondra said...

Anna Cambell said:

Cassondra, I really enjoyed your post - and the photos are gorgeous. Love the ones of Umbra as a kitten!



Thanks Anna! I be the shelters down there are full of lost animals after the year you guys have had--disasters right and left!

Cassondra said...

Suz said:


So now after 11 years, he is my constant companion. He huffs at me when he thinks I should be in bed, keeps me company while I write, sits at my feet, or on them when I'm watching TV and swims laps with me when the weather is warm enough to climb into the pool!


Aw, I love your story about Rocky's arrival! And yes, hussies and slut puppies are all too common, aren't they? All those dogs running around in trouble gives credence to that old "he won't buy the cow if the milk is free" thing, doesn't it?

Thank goodness for folks who take them in.

Cassondra said...

Eilis Flynn said:

Until then, though, we just called him The Little Gray Cat Who Isn't Really Ours But Lives In The Garage. Which is what we called him when we took him to the vet, who for some reason thought this was hysterical.

Okay I can see the vet laughing at that. "They're bringing him to the vet to get him fixed and he's living in their garage but he's 'not theirs'....yeah. Right."

Snork.

He died seven years later of multiple, aggressive cancers. All three are gone now, but I remember the way he was introduced to us -- following my husband home and up the steps to the front door.

Aw, I'm sorry you didn't have him longer. Isn't it interesting how they find us? You have to wonder how many places he tried before he found somebody who saw his value.

Cassondra said...

TerriOsburn said:

We got Bumblebee (orange tabby - uber friendly and affectionate) off Craig's List at 8 wks old. He attached to me immediately and though he makes me crazy, he's the love of my life.

Amon is like that for me. I swear we were together in a past life or something....We just bonded from day 1.

... we rescured Caelen from a shelter. She was also 18 months old and had never lived outside the shelter. Thankfully, it was a place that didn't use cages or crates, all the cats ran free and cohabitated.

I've never been in a shelter like that. I don't know how they manage it. There has to be some kind of introduction to make sure nobody will be overly aggressive maybe? What an interesting concept! I might even be able to volunteer at a place like that.

It took a month before she'd come out of hiding. Two months before she began playing with Bumbles. Just last week, she started letting me pet her every night, but I still can't make any sudden moves. I'm hoping in a few years, she'll be as relaxed as Bumbles, but even if she isn't, she has a home from here on out.

*sniffle* Okay you're making me tear up. *sniff* That's unconditional love. That's awesome.

Cassondra said...

Jenn3128 said:

Our cat, Sixxie is the nosiest cat I've ever had. Anyone else have a cat that is constantly "talking" to you?

Yep. We've had cats like that. Want their face in everything you're doing. Amon isn't pushy like that usually (except when I'm at the computer)but when she speaks to me, she expects to be acknowledged, and if I say, "Amon?" she looks up, from wherever she is, and says, "Meow?" which I translate as "What?"

*grin*

Cassondra said...

Jeanne said:

Donna, I'm with Cassondra...goooo, pick out the lovely dogggie...gooooo... But yes, AFTER tax season! :>

We're in agreement. Donna needs a new friend. :0)

TerriOsburn said...

Cassondra - This particular rescue is small so they built these large, glass-walled rooms that can fit many cats and they can close them if need be, but mostly keep them open. The kittens are all kept from the adults, but still with their mothers, if necessary.

The really cool thing is that they've built these amazing shelves and tunnels up and along all the walls. The tunnels are close to the ceiling and the cats sleep everywhere. I looked up and saw a kitty sleeping on a cloud. More in the tunnels. It's the coolest thing.

Cassondra said...

Jeanne said:

And heaven bless ANYONE who can actually go into a shelter. I cannot. When the time comes for a shelter pet, I will have to send the boys to get a dog or cat otherwise I will come out with all of them, like the Pied Piper.

Oh, good. I'm so glad I'm not the only one. I didn't even go back into the dog area this time when we went to get Holly. I can't look at those faces. It's almost worse than the cats.

I would have sent Steve this time, to get Holly, but I was afraid he wouldn't think ahead enough to lie when they ask their string of questions...

Them: "You know you have to return Holly to us if you ever decide you can't keep her, right?"

Me: "Absolutely." Yeah. Right. I'm really gonna bring an animal I love back HERE, where she has an 80 percent chance of being put down simply for being in the way, rather than find someone I know and trust to care for her.

Jeanne also said:

... *more sniffling* My last two Dals both lived to be 15 and my girlie, Talia, was one of those "heart companions". She crossed over 4 years ago and I'm still not over it.

I'm still missing my last German Shepherd, Majik, exactly that way. I don't know what I'll do when it's Amon's time.

I think I'm turning into one of those "cat ladies." I truly am a little worried about that. Don't want to be one of those.

Cassondra said...

Jeanne said:

Now, I'm down to two dogs and no cats. One silly Irish Water Spaniel rescue (5 years old) and a mixed breed, very scary looking sweetheart named Sweet Pea who's yellow lab, husky and rottweiler mixed up so she looks like a yellow rottie with a husky tail. Grins. I adopted SP when a friend had to move in the middle of last year's blizzards to help out family, and here she will stay if I have anything to say about it. Grins.

I love Sweet Pea! *grin*

And you need a cat. Seriously.

Cassondra said...

LindaC said:

Missy(my dh really resisted this, but she is his girl now), came to us about two weeks before she gave birth to five kittens.

That's always a tough one right there. And there's always that moment of, "I don't have time or energy for this," and honestly, you usually don't, do you? I know we're often strapped for time and energy, whether the money is flowing or not. The poor knocked-up kitty or dog is hard sell any day. Good for y'all for taking her in.

Our first, cat, Justin, I bought from a breeder and though I love him, I wouldn't do that again. I am a advocate of foundlings or shelter babies.

Me too. I've been a breeder in the past (kind of reluctantly, but we had a wonderful pair and even the vet said, "you should breed these two because that combination of breed, conformation, and temperament is rare.") So we did for a couple of litters, and that was enough of that. Glad for the experience, but won't go back.

Cassondra said...

Anna Sugden said:

Not only are they hard to adopt, Linda, but they're also often the most abused. Very few shelters and rescue places will now allow a black cat to be adopted in the month up to Halloween, with good reason.

The superstition thing is a funny one - over here it's good luck if a black cat crosses your path, not bad! But people still black cats are witches cats *sigh*


You know, I'd heard you talk about that in the past and I've always found that so interesting--and sad.

Out of curiosity, I asked about that when we were picking up Holly at our shelter, because there were two little black kittens at the shelter up for adoption. The shelter manager said that they still do adopt out black cats up through Halloween, but they're extra careful at looking into background and references. Beyond that, they put out word to everyone to keep their animals--especially the black cats--inside during the weeks leading up to Halloween.

But apparently black cats, around here, are not discriminated against. They say they get adopted as readily as any others in our area. I'm sure there are people who are superstitious about it, but clearly not as many as in some places. This surprised me.

p226 said...

Hmmm... might have been a year ago. One of the forums I frequent has a member that's in animal control down in Clayton County GA. It's an international forum, so he figured, "hey, maybe I can get some of these animals rescued," and starts posting pictures of animals that came into the shelter.

Well, one pops up, and I'm like, heh, Mrs. P226 would probably think this dog's cute, so I show her the picture.

"Awwwwwwwwwww, I want her!"

*blink*

"You realize she's in Georgia, right?"

"But but but, look at her blue eyes, I want her!"

"You um, want me to drive to Atlanta. It's 600mi one way."

She smiles at me and blinks a few times.

Great.

Off I go to Georgia. Drove round-trip, something like 1200 miles in one day. All of West Virginia's interstates were snow covered. Virginia was mostly just wet. North Carolina was solid ice for 200 miles. I made it to the kill shelter in my rear-wheel drive sports-car with 15 minutes to spare before they closed for the weekend.

So, I pick up the pup. She's roughly 1-3 years of age, fairly docile, and just absolutely LOVES being in a car. Loved the ride home. The very very long ride home.

But yeah, we rescued her from a kill shelter where they generally only last about three to five days because of the volume down there. And now we have a super-spazzy ultra-hyper cinnamon colored siberian husky that looks (and acts) more like a wolf than a domestic dog.

Helen said...

Jen the GR is all yours for the day have fun with him

Cassondra

I do love all the photos of your family so beautiful and as a kid I used to bring home every stray dog and cat I found LOL my Mum used to just roll her yes at me and sigh but they always found a loving home with us.


We have gotton most of our pets from shelters and I agree it is so hard to walk away with just 2 instead of all of them and that is one place I could never work because I think I would just be heart broken all the time.

We have one dog at the moment and Brandy came from a shelter nearly 13 years ago we lost 2 dogs last year and it broke our hearts

Have Fun
Helen

Kate Carlisle said...

I agree with PJ -- you must post a tissue alert, Cassondra! *sniffle*

What a fabulous post, and so many great pictures! You're so lucky to have such wonderful creatures in your life.

I've never rescued an animal because we've always had allergy issues and both of us worked. But now that I'm home ... well ... things may be changing. We'll see.

But one thing's for sure. I know I wouldn't be able to walk inside a rescue shelter without crying like you did, Cassondra. Maybe that's why I've been putting it off. How do you walk away with just one? :-)

p226 said...

OOOO

This also reminds me of one of our rescue cats. (We have two, but this one's different.)

Anyway, this cat was brought to us near death. I mean, on death's doorstep. Mrs. P226 made it her mission in life to rescue this cat. She spent two weeks with it on the couch, hand feeding it and nursing it back to health. Now, when I say two weeks on the couch with him, I mean it literally. She did not leave the couch except to eat and use the bathroom.

She had to administer medicine to it that caused the cat to seize and flip out, but it was the only shot at saving the cat.

Two weeks.

After two weeks of this, I point out, "this is too much. You cannot kill yourself to save that cat. It'll be fine, c'mon, let's get you some fresh air, and out doing something."

Reluctantly, she piles up a "nest" made out of blankets and removes the cat from it's home for the past two weeks (her chest) and gently nuzzles the cat into the blanket cocoon. She quickly showers, gets dressed, and we head out the door. I go out, with her right behind me. The screen door on it's powerful spring slams closed. Sort-of.

RAWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW *flop flop flop spazz flop* RAWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW

Now, I know I'm going to hell. I know it. And, I'm not heartless. I felt terrible for the poor animal. But as I'm standing there on the porch, staring at this flailing cat that's clearly dying, I think "Man. She just spent two weeks on the couch nursing that thing back to health from the very brink of death, and then what does she do? She kills it."

I'm so sorry. I know I'm going to hell. But, at least my life can serve as a warning to others. Because, so help me, I start laughing at the irony of it.

Mrs. P226 is stands there for a second, jaw agape, before reaching into the blur of flailing, razor-sharp kitten claws and teeth and grabbing the cat. She discovers that the kitten's shoulder is dislocated.

*pop*

She pushes it back into place. The kitten scowls at her for a second, then climbs back onto her chest and begins to purr.

By this time, I'm just HOWLING with laughter. Mostly at the look on Mrs. P226's face.

Oh, yeah, as soon as gentle as she was in re-depositing the kitten into the blanket cocoon, she was brutal with me exacting her revenge for my laughter.

Jane Sevier said...

I grew up with both dogs and cats (and horses, cows, goats, geese, ducks, chickens, peacocks--just about every varmint there is except pigs, which my father hated), but I'd always thought of myself as a dog person.
Several years ago, I was cruising the local Humane Society website for dogs. Out of curiosity, I clicked on the link for Cat of the Month. A gorgeous black cat named Cornelia looked out at me from the screen and said, "I'm your cat, and you need to come get me."
So, we went to the shelter to see Cornelia and came home with her and a striking older gray female we named Fang because she had so few teeth. Then we acquired Fergus, an orange tabby, who was only 5 weeks old when my husband rescued him from the parking lot at the children's school.
Then a skeletal orange and white cat showed up in the yard, and my husband suggested we feed him. I said OK, but that cat was not coming in the house. Within a month, he was not only our fourth house cat, but he slept at the foot of the bed every night. We named him Spot, and he was the best cat ever.
When Spot died suddenly a couple of years ago, I mourned and mourned (and still mourn). We hadn't intended to get another cat, but I saw a handsome gray male on the local shelter's site. We brought him home and named him Orson because at the time, he was a hefty boy. Orson is a grouch, but we love him.
Fang died right before Christmas, so we're down to 3 house cats now. Last week, a cream-colored cat with Burmese markings took up residence under the house. I've been feeding it, but it is absolutely positively not coming inside.

Pat Cochran said...

Hi, Cassondra,

Love your kitty story! I've told
our story before, hope no one is
tired of it !

In 1984, a litter of kittens was
born in a box of pom poms in the
U. of Houston Band Hall. Our two
rascally band students brought
home a cute little orange tabby.
They named him Gerald after a
goofy (their word) band friend.
They settled on the name after
seeing him try to nurse on his
mother's paw! His sibs were all
nursing at the appropriate site!
After nine years with us, he was
found to be seriously ill. When
we decided to ease his painful
days, my four children gathered
here with our KittyBoy. They held
him, talked to him and sang the
songs they had shared with him
during his life. It was a perfect
way to end his stay in our lives!

Pat Cochran

Cassondra said...

TerriOsburn said:

That's the only time I can pet her. On the bed right before or maybe after treats. It's funny when she leans in and starts purring, then realizes she's getting too friendly and backs off.

Awww. Poor little damaged heart.

Cassondra said...

Steve said:

Don't forget the two cats living under our house. "Yellow Cat" and "Leopard Kitty".

Yes, those are two who've come to our house. We can't touch either one yet, but Steve has been spending time outside, just sitting on the porch with them. Yesterday Leopard Kitty came and rubbed against him just for a second. She wants to be petted SO badly, you can tell, but doesn't trust yet.

Cassondra said...

Jeanne said:

Amon is just an elegant little lady as well, and I can just "see" that Cat Disdain, in the "join the hoi peloi in the kitchen? I think NOT!"

Yup. You nailed it.

You should see the glare when she throws it. Talk about icy daggers...whooooweeeeee.

Cassondra said...

TerriOsburn said:

This particular rescue is small so they built these large, glass-walled rooms that can fit many cats and they can close them if need be, but mostly keep them open. The kittens are all kept from the adults, but still with their mothers, if necessary.

The really cool thing is that they've built these amazing shelves and tunnels up and along all the walls. The tunnels are close to the ceiling and the cats sleep everywhere. I looked up and saw a kitty sleeping on a cloud. More in the tunnels. It's the coolest thing.


Oh, that sound wonderful! I'd love to see that. I bet it doesn't have that "animal jail" feel that ours has.

Cassondra said...

P226 said:

But yeah, we rescued her from a kill shelter where they generally only last about three to five days because of the volume down there. And now we have a super-spazzy ultra-hyper cinnamon colored siberian husky that looks (and acts) more like a wolf than a domestic dog.

Awwwwww! You should have called, yaknow? I'm in Atlanta all the time. I could have picked her up, then you could have met me in Lexington after the roads cleared.

Good to see you, btw.

Cassondra said...

Helen said:

We have gotton most of our pets from shelters and I agree it is so hard to walk away with just 2 instead of all of them and that is one place I could never work because I think I would just be heart broken all the time.

That's me. I'd be suicidally depressed, I think, if I worked there. Some people can handle that kind of work, and take solace in the help they're giving while the animal is there. I'm not put together that way. :0(

We have one dog at the moment and Brandy came from a shelter nearly 13 years ago we lost 2 dogs last year and it broke our hearts

It's so hard to lose them. I've got friends who say they don't want any more because of the pain when they cross the rainbow bridge, but yaknow...that's part of life I think. And if you miss the pain, you also miss that love. That's how I look at it.

Cassondra said...

Kate said:

I've never rescued an animal because we've always had allergy issues and both of us worked. But now that I'm home ... well ... things may be changing. We'll see.

Steve had allergies to cats when we met. But then we rescued a stray or three, and he got scratched a few times playing with them, and after about a year, the allergies went away. He's allergic to a bunch of other stuff, but not cats any more. I hope you can find an animal who works with your life and home! So much love there! Especially for us, since we don't have kids. You don't either, right?

But one thing's for sure. I know I wouldn't be able to walk inside a rescue shelter without crying like you did, Cassondra. Maybe that's why I've been putting it off. How do you walk away with just one? I had to just not go into the cat room, and just refused to look in the window. I was mostly okay until Steve said, "You've gotta come and look at this cool cat." Well, I went in there, reluctantly, and that was it. I came out and blubbered the whole rest of the time. I wanted to sponsor all of them, but even then there's no guarantee. They were putting kittens down they were so crowded.

Joan said...

*sniff*

You had me at "The Little Gray Cat"

My heart has alternately filled and clenched and broken as I've read everyone's experience. So mine.

Last spring I decided that maybe a pet would help me get over some stuff I'd been dealing with. Yanno, chronic caregiver would have someone to take care of.


The Kentucky Humane Society brings kittens, cats, puppies and dogs to a local pet store chain. Girding my loins because I'd ALWAYS said "Not in my house...no place for litter box" my brother and I went to just "look"

There were 3 2 mo. old kittens. A calico, a brown/tan tabby and a gray tabby. Initially my eyes went to the calico...I've always liked that pattern but then the little gray one climbed up the side of the cage and said "Look at me!"

Thus Cricket Marie came into my world and covered it with love and warmth and yes, cat hair. My brother laughed and said "The meow heard round the world".

Brought her home and started getting the feel for each other until one night, when I came home from a 12 hour shift, I found her sitting in the chair literally in a stupor. She wouldn't react, she wouldn't play with any of her toys including the "mousie on a stick". Ok, you're in BIG trouble if "mousie on a stick" won't work.

Frantic I called my brother who pointed out the vet was still open. Called them and they recommended honey or corn syrup. She had become hypoglycemic because she only weighed a pound!. Two doses of that and bam..she was my little playful baby cat again.

Everyone had told me to adopt a second. I was still trying to figure out ONE but after I had to leave her for Orlando I decided she needed a playmate to keep her company.

I went...to the shelter. Gah, it was horrible! SO many sweet kitties all looking longingly and hopefully at you. I took my BFF for moral support but she is even worse! Walked into the kitten room determined to get another female, another tabby.

Two little brothers named Pepper (black) and Grayson (dark Gray) were cavorting together.

No! No male cats. Grayson turned big green eyes at me.

Welcome home Grayson the Monkey Cat. He was the runt of the litter and according to his foster family was "slow to climb steps etc". He's made up for it. I swear, sometimes I think he FLIES up onto the desk!

He and Cricket bonded within 2 days and have been buddies ever since. My favorite time is when they cuddle together, and big sister Cricket encircles him with her front paws.

Cassondra said...

P226 said:

She pushes it back into place. The kitten scowls at her for a second, then climbs back onto her chest and begins to purr.

By this time, I'm just HOWLING with laughter. Mostly at the look on Mrs. P226's face.

Oh, yeah, as soon as gentle as she was in re-depositing the kitten into the blanket cocoon, she was brutal with me exacting her revenge for my laughter.


Ha! You deserved it.

Actually that's great of y'all, to take care of a kitten that sick. Most people would have just put that kitten down and called it a lost cause.

Cassondra said...

Jane Sevier said:

A gorgeous black cat named Cornelia looked out at me from the screen and said, "I'm your cat, and you need to come get me."

Uh-huh. That's the way it is. We think we find them, but actually they find us.

So, we went to the shelter to see Cornelia and came home with her and a striking older gray female we named Fang because she had so few teeth. Then we acquired Fergus, an orange tabby, who was only 5 weeks old when my husband rescued him from the parking lot at the children's school.
Then a skeletal orange and white cat showed up in the yard, and my husband suggested we feed him. I said OK, but that cat was not coming in the house. Within a month, he was not only our fourth house cat, but he slept at the foot of the bed every night. We named him Spot, and he was the best cat ever.


See? Once you open the door, here they come. It's like all of a sudden they get the telepathic call. "Safe House Here! Safe House Here!"

When Spot died suddenly a couple of years ago, I mourned and mourned (and still mourn). We hadn't intended to get another cat, but I saw a handsome gray male on the local shelter's site. We brought him home and named him Orson because at the time, he was a hefty boy. Orson is a grouch, but we love him.
Fang died right before Christmas, so we're down to 3 house cats now.


Aw, what an awful string of losses! :0(

Last week, a cream-colored cat with Burmese markings took up residence under the house. I've been feeding it, but it is absolutely positively not coming inside.

Yeah. Right. ;0)

Let us know how he does on the bed--which area he stakes out.

Cassondra said...

Pat Cochran said:

n 1984, a litter of kittens was
born in a box of pom poms in the
U. of Houston Band Hall. Our two
rascally band students brought
home a cute little orange tabby.
They named him Gerald after a
goofy (their word) band friend.
They settled on the name after
seeing him try to nurse on his
mother's paw! His sibs were all
nursing at the appropriate site!
After nine years with us, he was
found to be seriously ill. When
we decided to ease his painful
days, my four children gathered
here with our KittyBoy. They held
him, talked to him and sang the
songs they had shared with him
during his life. It was a perfect
way to end his stay in our lives!


Oh, Pat! I'm crying now. You say you've told that story, but I must have missed it.

Okay, I need tissues....

Cassondra said...

Joanie said:

Last spring I decided that maybe a pet would help me get over some stuff I'd been dealing with. Yanno, chronic caregiver would have someone to take care of.

Oh, Joanie, I knew the story of Cricket and Grayson in bits and pieces, but I'd never heard it all put together like this. What a great story!

I'm so glad you took the plunge. Now don't you wonder how you lived without them? A house without cats is a lonely place.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

*snork*
*gasp*
*chortle*
*awwww*
*WHA..?!?!*

(Jeanne's reaction to P226's post about the dying kitten)

I'm guessin the cat lived, but you were hurtin' for a bit. Grins.

Hey dude, great story about going to Georgia. Now THAT is love, people. (And Mrs. P226 obviously knows which eyelashes to bat, when)

Glad cinnamondog found you two. What'd ya name him/her?

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Jane S. said of the "new" cat: Last week, a cream-colored cat with Burmese markings took up residence under the house. I've been feeding it, but it is absolutely positively not coming inside.

Jane, dear, may I refer you to the part of your post about the skeletal orange-and-white cat named Spot? Grins. Yeah SURRRRREE the cat's stayin' outside. SURRRRRE it is.

(Who wants to lay odds on how long it takes for the cat to become a house cat?)

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Cassondra said: I love Sweet Pea! *grin*

And you need a cat. Seriously.


I love Sweet Pea too. In fact, I just got her a new dog tag today. For some reason, your post reminded me that she was still wearing our late Dalmatian's tag on her collar. Ya'see, I figured when SP's owner moved back, she'd want her dog back, and would buy the appropriate new tag.

She moved back, but could only get into an apartment. SP stays with me. Can you tell that I'm SO NOT disappointed? Love that dog, I do. But I'd forgotten she was wearing a "borrowed" tag.

Not anymore. It's a cute tag too. Red heart for a red collared girlie-girl.

Joan said...

There is a marked difference between them due to their kitten experiences.

Cricket was weaned too soon from her Mama (or something might have happened to her) As a result, she started "suckling" my shirt. And as per experts prediction, she still does. Usually in front of me at the computer desk with a little baby t shirt I brought to lay across my front.

As a kitten she was tentative but always a cuddle bug.

Grayson was weaned with his litter and fostered in a foster home. He was all gung ho from day 1, even at 1.8 oz. He didn't cuddle much at first but now he is my nap/lap/hey Mom watcha doin' baby cat.

Both of my kitties are all about people. They rush to the door, they greet whoever is there, they roll over for lots of tummy rubbing. But Cricket GROWLS when she hears something/someone outside that she does not know! I have a watch cat!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

And yes, I need a cat. Seriously. Not sure how SP would take to a cat, however. I've not seen her in "WOW, Cat! Snack!!" mode on walks, though.

Hmmmm.

p226 said...

Glad cinnamondog found you two. What'd ya name him/her?

We named her Koritsa. It's Russian for "Cinnamon." (Her being Siberian and all.)

Nancy said...

Jennifer, congrats on the Golden Rooster!

Do you wonder why this woman had her cat microchipped if she was just going to dump it? Weird.

Our dog is microchipped, mainly because she came that way from the rescue group, but we're glad about that.

I grew up with dogs. The one cat we had gave everyone but my grandfather ringworm, so that was the end of cats. Now I'm allergic anyway. But I think growing up with pets in the house was wonderful.

Nancy said...

Cassondra, we've never adopted from a shelter because we knew coming home with only one would be impossible. Our first dog came from an ad in the paper, and all the others have come from rescue groups.

The current Queen of the House is the youngest we've had, at five. The lab and the other goldens were all 6 or 7 years old. Apparently a lot of people don't want dogs of that age--too old.

Yeah. Too old to chew everything in sight. Too old to piddle or poop just wherever they happen to be at the moment. NOT too old to be wonderful, loving pets.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

PJ said: I was in another state with friends when we stumbled upon a rescue group's adoption fair and stopped just to "pet the puppies." Oops! She's been with me four years now.

PJ, I'm SO this way. I cannot just "pet the puppies" or "cuddle the kitties" either.

And Joan, I could have told you Cricket and Grayson would find you if you just went "to look" at the cats. Ohhhh, yeah.

I know better. My sons both want Pups in the Spring. Sweet Pea is a bit elderly (probably 12-13) and Diver (the IWS) is stuck to me like glue. They want their own dogs. I made the mistake (not really) of saying "The more the merrier" about the prospect of 4 dogs in the house.

Good thing the yard is fenced and the hearts are big. Grins.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

P226 said: We named her Koritsa. It's Russian for "Cinnamon." (Her being Siberian and all.)

Oh, how COOL! :> Do you actually call her that, or does she have a nickname?

Sweet pea, for instance, frequently gets called Wooly Mammoth, instead of her name. Grins.

Nancy said...

Actually, we got the lab through friends--forgot about that for a minute.

p226 said...

No, we actually call her that. Took her all of an hour to learn her name.

Gannon Carr said...

What pretty kitties, Cassondra!

I'm a huge fan of rescue organizations! I volunteer occasionally with a local group where I live. Both of my dogs came from there and our cat is a SPCA kitty.

Every time I see the ASPCA commercials on TV I tear up. So many loving animals that need homes. I wish I could take them all.

TerriOsburn said...

Here's a link to the shelter, Cassondra. The top pics show the shelves and the play rooms. Just be careful and don't scroll down too far or you'll be headed to Va Beach to bring some fur friends home. LOL!

http://www.hopeforliferescue.com/home/adopt.php

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Ohhh, Terri, that is a dangerous site! What a FAB way to house cats and dogs waiting for adoption.

And Cassondra, don't look. Seriously. There's a dachshund and his companion which looks like a doxie mix. Dont. Loook.

I want the one called Madonna. Gorgeous cat. :>

TerriOsburn said...

Jeanne - I just saw those pooches today and it took a crazy amount of willpower not to stop in there on my way home. LOL! The only thing that saved me is the fact I don't have a back yard.

catslady said...

I could go on forever but will try to make it short. I had a cat as a child and after 6 years had him taken away (by evil grandparents - a long story). I guess it never left me. After having two dogs my husband brought home my first stray kitten. 4 years later a mama cat and 3 little ones showed up on my doorstep and it's been ferals and strays ever since. I've had 7 at one time. I've found homes, fed, fixed and cared for many cats in the last 15 years. I raised one that was covered in motor oil with a baby doll bottle. He was 13 and passed last year after a horrible illness and I miss him terribly - he was the alpha cat. I saved one kitten from pneumonia but lost another one two years ago. I have so many stories, some sad and a lot happy. I could never live without them!

Sheree said...

The family dog was from my father's coworker who developed asthma. The poor dog was in the animal shelter for one night before his people sprung him and then left him with us.

My sister and her hubby adopted two kittens years ago. Unfortunately, my brother-in-law, too, developed allergies to the cat and they were relocated to relatives' homes, much to my young niece's ire as they were "her" cats.

Joan said...

Oh Jeanne I agree. I am now booking a flight to Virginia!

Could you believe it?! They had a kitty named CRICKET!!!!

And Dixie Doodle....I've asked Grayson the Monkey Cat if he minded if I changed his name to Dixie Doodle..he's um, getting back to me on that :D

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Yep, Joanie T, I totally agree. And wait till Anna S gets a load of the tuxedo cats. Grins.

I'd take that all black one home in a minute too.

Cassondra said...

Jeanne said:

SP stays with me. Can you tell that I'm SO NOT disappointed? Love that dog, I do. But I'd forgotten she was wearing a "borrowed" tag.

Not anymore. It's a cute tag too. Red heart for a red collared girlie-girl.


Monster-size dogs are so cute with little heart-shaped dog tags. *grin*

Cassondra said...

Joanie said:

Both of my kitties are all about people. They rush to the door, they greet whoever is there, they roll over for lots of tummy rubbing. But Cricket GROWLS when she hears something/someone outside that she does not know! I have a watch cat!

Amon does that too Joanie! She growls when a car drives into the driveway. She hears it WAY before I do.

Cassondra said...

p226 said:

We named her Koritsa. It's Russian for "Cinnamon." (Her being Siberian and all.)

That's a GREAT name for a husky!

Cassondra said...

Nancy said:

I grew up with dogs. The one cat we had gave everyone but my grandfather ringworm, so that was the end of cats. Now I'm allergic anyway. But I think growing up with pets in the house was wonderful.

Ewww. I hate ringworm. I've never had it, thank God, and don't want it.

Cassondra said...

Nancy said:

..we've never adopted from a shelter because we knew coming home with only one would be impossible. Our first dog came from an ad in the paper, and all the others have come from rescue groups.

It. Was. Agonizing.

I was waiting for you to get here because I already know you're the rescue queen when it comes to animals. I'm so glad the new dog has worked out.

Cassondra said...

Jeanne said:
My sons both want Pups in the Spring. Sweet Pea is a bit elderly (probably 12-13) and Diver (the IWS) is stuck to me like glue. They want their own dogs. I made the mistake (not really) of saying "The more the merrier" about the prospect of 4 dogs in the house.

Good thing the yard is fenced and the hearts are big. Grins.


Oh, my Lord. three boys (counting the husband) and four dogs in one house. Oh. My Lord.

Cassondra said...

Jeanne said:

Sweet pea, for instance, frequently gets called Wooly Mammoth, instead of her name. Grins.

Oh, our dogs have all kinds of nicknames depending on the mood I'm in.

Kaligirl
Kalimonster
Kalimongler
Fuzzface
Fuzzbutt
Fuzzbrain (This one gets used when I'm a little annoyed)


Amon is Amonpie most of the time, or just "pie."

Cassondra said...

Gannon Carr said:

Every time I see the ASPCA commercials on TV I tear up. So many loving animals that need homes. I wish I could take them all.

Yup. I don't see tv at home, but when I'm at the gym, I just have to look somewhere else or I'll run straight to the shelter and start filling out paperwork. :0/

Cassondra said...

Terri said:

http://www.hopeforliferescue.com/home/adopt.php

OMG. Steve and I are about ready to drive to Va Beach and adopt patch and all the rest of them. OMG. I'm crying now.

Cassondra said...

catslady said:

I could go on forever but will try to make it short. I had a cat as a child and after 6 years had him taken away (by evil grandparents - a long story). I guess it never left me. After having two dogs my husband brought home my first stray kitten. 4 years later a mama cat and 3 little ones showed up on my doorstep and it's been ferals and strays ever since. I've had 7 at one time. I've found homes, fed, fixed and cared for many cats in the last 15 years. I raised one that was covered in motor oil with a baby doll bottle. He was 13 and passed last year after a horrible illness and I miss him terribly - he was the alpha cat. I saved one kitten from pneumonia but lost another one two years ago. I have so many stories, some sad and a lot happy. I could never live without them!

Oh, I was waiting for you to arrive. I know you have more stories than could be told. And I'm so glad you're an angel to hurting kitties. I always say that someday, a long time from now, when someone who has done what you have done eventually is finished here and crosses the Rainbow Bridge, there will be a big crowd waiting, and more love forever than you could ever imagine.

Okay, crying again. Shoot. I picked the wrong thing to blog about today. Dangit.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Cassondra said:
Oh, my Lord. three boys (counting the husband) and four dogs in one house. Oh. My Lord.


Grins.

Well, it'll never be boring!

Cassondra said...

Sheree said:

The family dog was from my father's coworker who developed asthma. The poor dog was in the animal shelter for one night before his people sprung him and then left him with us.

My sister and her hubby adopted two kittens years ago. Unfortunately, my brother-in-law, too, developed allergies to the cat and they were relocated to relatives' homes, much to my young niece's ire as they were "her" cats.


It's so hard when you love them and something happens. Maybe one day there will be a way to deal with dander allergies. It's awful to have to give up family members because of illnesses.

As to the shelter, the one Terri posted looks so fantastic. But ours? They do their best, but I don't want to leave any animal there for any amount of time. It's a hard place to visit. I can't imagine being caged up there.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Cassondra said: OMG. Steve and I are about ready to drive to Va Beach and adopt patch and all the rest of them. OMG. I'm crying now.

Me too. Loved Patch. What a strong spirit! :>

Cassondra said...

Joanie said:

And Dixie Doodle....I've asked Grayson the Monkey Cat if he minded if I changed his name to Dixie Doodle..he's um, getting back to me on that :D

I want August and Patch cuz I'm afraid they'll be last to be adopted. And that Feral who's been there for three years!

Jeanne, you were right. I should not have looked.

Joan said...

Actually, that place looked so FUN, I can't imagine how boring my little tan cat perches would be to a little bitty kitty.

I WANT that purple one for my cats...my birthday is coming up...just sayin'

Joanie, off to dream of kittens

Joan said...

Was August the one with one eye??? Poor baby.....

LilMissMolly said...

No furry friends here. Wish I did though!

Louisa Cornell said...

Jennifer you definitely have caught the most frequently adopted rooster on the planet! Good luck!

Cassondra, this is an amazing post. You (and your dh) are definitely one of the better angels on this earth.

I have had pets all my life. And everyone here knows of my penchant for abandoned and/or abused animals. They all show up at my door. There must be a neon sign in a language only animals can see that reads "SUCKER FOR ANIMALS LIVES HERE. FREE ROOM AND BOARD FOREVER!"

All of my current pets (and there is quite a pack of them) are rescued animals.

I support our local shelter and several national organizations, but I don't go to the shelter ever. I managed a humane shelter for one year, the first year it opened in a rural county. I was the person who decided who lived and who died. In that year I held in my arms and comforted 1113 animals - dogs, cats, puppies and kittens as they were given a lethal injection because they weren't wanted, because somebody failed them. And the day after I led an old abandoned fighting dog, a Rottweiler nobody else could touch,into the back room to be put down I turned in my resignation and walked away. He looked into my eyes through the entire procedure. He didn't offer to fight or bite the vet because I held him and told him everything was okay and nobody wanted to hurt him. He trusted me and I lied to him. He went peacefully, but he was still dead. To anyone who thinks a healthy animal is better off dead, I ask, "Have you ever been dead? Then how can you recommend it for another creature?" This animal could not be adopted out. He was a fighting dog and went for anyone other than me. He trusted me and I betrayed him. I won't ever go into a shelter again. And now when I hold an animal to be put down it is because that animal is old and his or her body is preventing a good quality of life. So I have a house full of rescued animals, probably too many, and each one has a scarred Rottweiler guardian angel looking over them just as he looks over me. And Noble, when I see you on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge, I hope the lives I've saved will help you to forgive me.

TerriOsburn said...

Geez, I managed not to cry all day until Louisa's comment. At least it's late so I can cry myself to sleep.

Louisa - You have a good heart and I'm positive Noble knew it. And still does.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Bless you, Louisa.

Terri, I'm with you. I'd made it without having to do more than tear up and sniffle until Louisa's post.

Sigh.

Had to go hug my dogs.

Alexis said...

LilMissMolly said:

No furry friends here. Wish I did though!

GO FOR IT! You won't regret it. Do it!

Cassondra said...

Louisa said:

And the day after I led an old abandoned fighting dog, a Rottweiler nobody else could touch,into the back room to be put down I turned in my resignation and walked away. He looked into my eyes through the entire procedure. He didn't offer to fight or bite the vet because I held him and told him everything was okay and nobody wanted to hurt him. He trusted me and I lied to him. He went peacefully, but he was still dead. To anyone who thinks a healthy animal is better off dead, I ask, "Have you ever been dead? Then how can you recommend it for another creature?" This animal could not be adopted out. He was a fighting dog and went for anyone other than me. He trusted me and I betrayed him. I won't ever go into a shelter again. And now when I hold an animal to be put down it is because that animal is old and his or her body is preventing a good quality of life. So I have a house full of rescued animals, probably too many, and each one has a scarred Rottweiler guardian angel looking over them just as he looks over me. And Noble, when I see you on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge, I hope the lives I've saved will help you to forgive me.

Oh, Louisa, I'm bawling.

Noble has forgiven you, because inside, he lives up to his name, even if some rotten stinking a-holes abused him with that fighting life.

When you cross, he will be there, and you will see that all is well. I know it.

How you did that job I'll never know. One of my best friends had that job for 9 months and it nearly killed her. It changed her. She's never been the same.

And you know, you think you lied to Noble, but honestly, you didn't. I believe he went to a place where nobody would hurt him, and it was, indeed, all right. Here, it never would have been. There was no way.

And I think his spirit doesn't just watch over the animals. He watches over you, too.

What makes me mad is that the shelter here will put a dog down before they'll adopt him out for hunting-- a life the dog loves but the shelter people don't believe in. It's so wrong-minded I can't even wrap my mind around it.

Louisa Cornell said...

Thank you all. I don't talk about Noble often. (That is the name I gave him. The idiots in animal control who hauled him on three catch poles called him The Monster.) He really did change my life. And yes, Cassondra, anyone who has to do that job and isn't changed by it is a far tougher person than I. And Noble's body did not go the normal route of the other animals put down at the shelter. A couple of my former students helped me to smuggle him out under cover of darkness. He is buried under a dogwood tree on my property. It was the least I could do.

I can't believe they won't adopt hunting dogs out to do what they were born to do rather than kill them. Ridiculous! So long as their treatment was carefully monitored and their care after they retired from hunting was guaranteed I don't see the problem. So much for people being smarter than animals.

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