Guest Post: My Life Unchained. Sparkle’s Story

My Life Unchained.

Sparkle’s Story.

I can’t tell you exactly where and how my life began.  I know that my person bought me and my brother from what humans call a “backyard breeder” when I was a baby.  We lived in little houses outside her house.  She had children who would come outside and play with us and we loved them and our person fed us.  It was our life and we were as happy as we knew how to be.

Then our person and her family had to move, evicted, she called it.  And so did we.  Our people moved to an apartment and we moved to other little houses outside another house.  My brother didn’t like his new little house much and he made the roof come off of it a lot.  So they took his house away and chained him to the tree since he turned his house into a convertible.  He didn’t like that too much either, so he slipped out of his collar and went adventuring.  When he came back, they padlocked his collar so it wasn’t loose anymore.  I didn’t much like my little house so I took the top off of that one, too, but I didn’t want to be padlocked, so I never went adventuring.

I wish I could see more people and have some more fun, but I’m a girl and a homebody so I stayed in the other person’s yard on my chain.  Since I was in that yard all the time the neighbor boys came to visit me but my brother couldn’t protect me and my person wasn’t there to protect me and I couldn’t leave either.  I was confused and I wish I wasn’t chained up.  Those neighbor boys, the Boxer and the Pit Bull, they said I was their girlfriend.  I guess it was true, because at 15 months old, I found myself in a “family way.”

What happens next?  I’m starting to feel bigger, and my belly is growing but my ribs are starting to stick out, too.  And it is getting colder.  The tree that my brother is chained to is dropping those fluttery things down on us and I’m shaking a little at night.  I’m cold, I’m hungry sometimes and I’m confused.

I see lights in the window and people move around, it looks warm inside and sometimes my person comes, sometimes she brings her little people but sometimes no one comes and I am sad.

Now the fluttery things are all gone from my brother’s tree.  There is another tiny tree the people called it a bush.  It has some fluttery things under it.  I’m in pain.  I cry a little but no one comes to help.  I lay on the fluttery things under the bush and my tummy hurts.  It hurts a lot.  I push and my babies start coming out.  Slowly, very slowly.  We are cold and the ground is hard, even with the fluttery things under us.  My person comes and puts me in the bottom part of my old house with a little blanket.  She puts four of my babies in there with me and the babies burrow under me for warmth.  She puts three more in a bag.  I know they are dead and I am sad.  I am still confused.

Then another lady came.  She got out of her truck and walked straight up to my brother and put her hands around his big head and petted him.  I could tell he liked her right away.  I called her Nice Lady. She came over to me and said we should go in her truck where it was nice and warm, but then yet another lady came and she took one look at us and put my smallest and coldest baby right down her shirt.  She was to become my Foster Mama.  The babies and I went in her truck and once my person found the key, my brother went in the truck with Nice Lady.

When we got to Foster Mama’s house, my brother went to his own room and got some food and water and a nice pillow to sleep on.  I went into the house!  That’s right, I went into the house!  I was still feeling funny, so I lay across Nice Lady’s lap for a while as Foster Mama tried to get the babies to nurse off me.  I wasn’t really ready for that yet, though.  Nice Lady said I was acting hungry, and Foster Mama said dogs don’t usually eat while we are having babies but she got me a bowl of food and I ate the whole thing right from where I was laying.  Oh it was so tasty!

I felt better with food in my belly, but then a lot of green and black goo started coming out and with it, another little puppy.  This one was black and white just like me, but his entire back end was green like the goo.  After him came my only little girl.  I was seventeen months old, I had five little babies with me and three were left behind in a bag with my person.  My former person.

When everybody was finally settled, I fed my babies, just like I knew I was supposed to.  I heard Foster Mama and Nice Lady talking about how cold it was, they said it was thirty two degrees outside. They said it was the first day of December.  I don’t really know what that means, but I think it means very cold.  I felt very cold before, but not anymore.

I stayed with Foster Mama, who said she would help all of us find “forever homes.”  She said that was her job because she rescues those of us who need help.  Nice Lady became my defender and promoter.  Foster Mama called her my mama bear.  Whenever I saw her, I felt happy inside and wiggly outside.

Sparkles, how is your life different now?

“I live in the same house that my parents live in.  I am always warm and I always have lots of food and toys.  My Real Mama says I am not really supposed to be on the sofa, but since My Real Daddy lets me, it is ok.”

Where is your brother and your babies?

“My brother lives in Wisconsin with his Real Mama.  He was the first one of us to find his “forever home.”  One of my little black babies, the one who was coldest, he only lived for two more weeks but everyone else has their own home.  Foster Mama says they are all spoiled too.  The one that looks like me lives with Nice Lady.”

What can you tell us about living outside?

”I love people and want to be with them all the time.  I was sad when the neighbor dogs came over and I was still a baby when I had babies.  I did my best at being a mama, but that wasn’t really the life I liked.  I didn’t really want to be their mama anymore, so when they were little, they ate other food.  Foster Mama made sure I would never have to have babies again.”

Any other thoughts you’d like to share?

“Some people said Nice Lady was crazy to just walk up to me and my brother, because we are Pit Bulls and we might be mean to her, especially me.  They said you don’t walk up to a new mama, but I was so grateful for the help and that Nice Lady and Foster Mama gave us a chance.  They saw in our hearts that we are nice and they offered help.  They said they don’t judge us based on looks or stereotypes.  I wish everyone was more like that.”


Author’s Note:
This guest blog was done by the wonderful Miss Debra. Please check out her blog at http://www.peaceabull.blogspot.com/. Thank you so very much for being interested in doing a guest post. Please note this is original work by Miss Debra Lockhart, please contact her directly for permission to use. 
 
This article is a part of the Pittie Love Theme & A Guest Post, please click on either badge for more articles
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Special Event : Barktoberfest in New Port Richey, FL

The official ad for Barktoberfest

What started out as a windy, chilly day in New Port Richey turned out to be a perfect day for the Barktoberfest.

1st picture of the day at the event

It was held at the Harley Davidson store off SR 54. There were sheriff’s holding signs for even parking as the event itself took up the Harley Davidson’s store parking.

2nd picture of the event

I parked on the other side of Bank of America and walked.

The event started at 11am, I arrived fashionably later at 1145am but was in time to take some pictures of the vendors, walk around, have a hot dog, get enticed by some homemade pumpkin bread, drink some pink lemonade and watch the steady stream of dogs and people come through.

I thought these bobble heads were cute..

I spoke with one of the ladies who had been to last year’s Barktoberfest and she stated that there were maybe 12-15 dogs who had entered into the costume contest. This year it was 60.

There were so many fun, cute, creative costumes I was glad not to be the one judging.

My favorite was the group of dogs that were being pushed around in a creatively decorated stroller. The owners of the dogs were two sisters who were dressed matching their dogs. They won the best overall costume contest.

This one was my favorite.. it was so creative

The other one that was a surprise to me was seeing a wolf hybrid there dressed up as granny and the owner (alpha) was dressed as little red riding hood. I got a chance to pet Timber and ask the owner about him. He is a hybrid and he eats dog food and gets a meal in raw meat once a week. She has a pit bill and another wolf hybrid at home.

Timber (the wolf hybrid) & Red Riding Hood
Timber the wolf hybrid

SPCA Suncoast was there as the entire event benefitted them and they had some adorable puppies to show off, some chow mixes, boxer mixes and lab mixes. I hope they get good homes!

One of the puppies up for adoption from the SPCA Suncoast

There was also a silent auction which I caught about 20 minutes beforehand and ending up winning a bid for two tickets to the Tampa Aquarium for $17.

I snapped a bunch of pictures that I wanted to share with of the dogs and owners.

It was a pretty good turnout and the clouds parted and it warmed up ever so slightly to about 71. Making it a good day to bring out the dogs, and kids.

For more pictures please check out the official  facebook page at :

https://www.facebook.com/events/413006718742468/

or the blog that will be posted by Miss Sharon Miner – http://authorevents.blogspot.com/

Many many thanks to sponsors who made this possible. I got a chance to meet with a few of them in person.

Like Miss Pamela Kenna who had makes dog bling, hoodies and pet beds (she’s working on some pillow & blanket combos as well as some cat bling) here are some of the pictures a took of her booth.

Snickerpoodles the creation of Miss Pamela Weebly
Various sized dog bling by Miss Pamela Weebly
Handmade pet beds by Miss Pamela Weebly

She is able to do custom orders and will ship, take a look at the website and share.

Hays Towne Veterinary Hospital, they just celebrated their 1st year in business if you are in the Hudson, Spring Hill, Port Richey area. Please give their website a visit and call to check their prices. They do mirco-chipping and it is done by Home Again who will keep the information on file for the rest of your pet’s life.

Also last but not least Paw Wash Plus, they did some nail clipping for a donation today and had a huge presence.

The event was held to help out SPCA Suncoast .. if you are looking to adopt a furry four legged family member and are in the West Pasco County Area (Hudson, Port Richey, New Port Richey, Holiday) please take a look at their website as they have lots of dogs up for adoption. They need volunteers too and would love to have donations.

They have a really simple list of daily items needed:

(taken from: http://spcasuncoast.org/donate/wish-list/)

  • Liquid Laundry Detergent Bleach
  • Antibacterial Dish Soap Simple Green Cleaner
  • Garbage Bags (large and kitchen)
  • Paper Towels
  • Towels- New or used Sanitizing Wipes
  • Toilet Paper Cat Litter (any kind)
  • Dog and Cat Food (canned or dried, any kind)

If you are going to the store and are able to pick up some extra things, please do so. If you would like to do a monetary donation, those are always welcome.

Below is the address to send donations or drop them off.

SPCA Suncoast
7734 Congress St.
New Port Richey, FL 34653
Phone (727) 849-1048
Hours: Wed-Sun 12pm-6pm

Can’t wait to do this again next year. =^.^=

Here’s a complete slideshow of all the pictures I caught

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Meet Smoky

Meet Smoky

Miss Smoky vacationing in style

Who is Smoky?

Smoky is a beautiful black cat.

How did Smoky come into your life?

SMOKY: My family abandoned me in a “nice neighborhood”. My new family fell in love with me and took me in.

MEOWMY: We were new to the neighborhood, only living in our home for about five months. We did not realize Smoky was an abandoned kitty. She had a collar on, but no tag. We found out later through one of our neighbors who witnessed an SUV drive to the end of our street (we live in a cul-de-sac), door opened, kitty pushed out, door closed and SUV drove off, that Smoky needed a furrever home. We estimate that Smoky lived on her own for at least a week.

Is this your first black cat?

SMOKY: I don’t understand the question…Meowmy!

MEOWMY: Yes, first black cat. Honestly, I never in my life thought I would have a cat. I am a huge animal lover, but deathly allergic to cats. Thankfully, I have had minimal reaction to Smoky. She’s hypoallergenic!

How old is Smoky?

SMOKY: Is that in human year or cat years? Hey, it is not polite to ask a lady her age! Let’s just say I am in my PRIME.

MEOWMY: It’s OK Smoky. We estimate that Smoky was “about” a year old when we adopted her. We first saw her on Thanksgiving night 2007. We celebrate her birthday every year on Thanksgiving, even though the date changes from year to year. This year there will be six candles on her birthday cake.

Smoky going to the vet (she even travels in style!)

Does Smoky have any brofurs or sisfurs?

SMOKY: Are you kidding? It’s all about ME!

MEOWMY: We would love to adopt another cat, but honestly, it really is all about Smoky. Maybe when she gets a little older.

What are Smoky’s favorite places to sleep/toys to play with, etc.?

SMOKY: In the spring and summer, I sleep outside of my parent’s bedroom. Sometimes I sleep in a kitty bed…sometimes I sleep on a blanket I got from my dear furr friend DASH. When it starts to get cold, I sleep in my parent’s bedroom. Sometimes I sleep with them on the bed…sometimes I just sleep somewhere in the room.

MEOWMY: Smoky LOVES catnip toys. Her favorites are: YEOWW! Catnip cigar, Kitty Collage pillow, Sushi Shrimp and a catnip filled mouse.

Did you start the Black Cat Appreciation Page, I see you promoting it often?

SMOKY: I did not start the page, but like to promote it and anything that will help black cats.

Black cats have a hard time getting adopted and there are many reported cases of animal abuse and cruelty with black cats in particular. In fact, there was a case just this week in South Carolina of a black cat that was shot and killed with an arrow.

The statistics on black cats are hard to come by because records are not kept based on color. Anecdotally, black cats are the last to be adopted and in many cases, the first to be euthanized.

When did you get involved with animals or have you always been involved with animals?

SMOKY: I got involved when I started my Facebook page and got connected with the kitty community on Facebook.

I have learned so much in the last year.

Everypawty can help.

If you cannot Adopt…Foster

If you cannot Foster…Sponsor (Cash Donation)

If you cannot Sponsor…Volunteer

If you cannot Volunteer…Donate (Food, Litter, Toys, Wish List Items)

If you cannot Donate…Network/Educate/Cross-Post

EVERYPAWTY can do SOMETHING…large or small…to help save a LIFE.

What are some things that you would like people to know about black cats?

SMOKY: There are still a lot of people in the US that believe in myths and superstitions about black cats. Black cats are GOOD LUCK. I am living proof. Black cats don’t steal your soul, they steal your HEART! If you are considering adding a cat to your family, consider the black cat. They are the last to be adopted and in many cases the first to be euthanized. Black cats need your help. Black Cats RULE!

Black Cats In History

(Taken from http://www.bigsiteofamazingfacts.com/why-do-people-fear-black-cats)

The ancient Egyptians believed that cats were sacred, so they worshipped them. An Egyptian goddess called Pasht was said to have had the body of a woman and the head of a cat. Since the Egyptians believed that Bast/Pasht had nine lives, they also believed that all cats did.

The Egyptians were so respectful of black cats that when one died, it was preserved as a mummy, just as Egyptians rulers were. Cemeteries have been found with mummified bodies of thousands of black cats, plus mummified mice to accompany them into the next world!

Later, in the Middle Ages, black cats were linked to witches and Satan. People believed that witches were able to transform themselves into black cats, and even if the witches were killed, each one could come back to life and take on the body of a black cat nine times. Witches were also said to use the brains of black cats in cooking up their mysterious brews.

Some people today still believe that black cats are evil signs. Perhaps someone has told you that if a black cat crosses your path, you should go home immediately or bad luck will befall you that day! Did it?

In many fishing villages of England today, black cats are considered good luck. Wives keep them in their homes to insure the safety of their husbands at sea!

Myths about Black Cats:

(Taken from http://www.cat-lovers-only.com/black-cats.html)

  • It is believed by many in different parts of the world that every black cat has at least one white hair. If you can manage to locate and pull out that one white hair without getting scratched, a happy marriage is in store for you.
  • In the theater, black cats are considered good luck. In fact, over the years so many stories of great performances being delivered after seeing one have prompted some actors to actually bring one of their own to the show.
  • In Japan and Britain, a black cat crossing your path is a harbinger of good luck, not bad.
  • Winston Churchill was a famous cat lover. He became the Prime Minister of Great Britain in 1940, when his black cat Nelson was given a chair in the Cabinet, right next to Churchill.
  • Scottish cat lore says that a black kitten on the porch indicates future happiness.
  • The Germans say that a black cat crossing your path is bad luck — or good, depending upon the direction. A left to right crossing is good fortune, but a right to left movement is cause for concern. What if the cat walks backwards?
  • Latvian farmers believe that a black cat in the silo means that Rungis, the god of harvests, has smiled upon you.
  • It is said to be worse luck for you if you cross the path of a black cat, rather than the other way around.
  • If you’re with two other people, do you get only one-third as much bad luck? And, what if there are two or three cats?
  • Petting a black cat is said to bring health and prosperity. So, as long as you don’t cross paths with each other, it’s fine. Or, if you do, then make sure you pet the little furry thing before you part company. But how could you resist?!
  • The Chinese believe that black cats are predictors of poverty and famine.
  • The Italians say that if a black cat curls up on the bed of a sick person, death will soon follow. What if that’s the only pet you have?
  • Chasing away black cats is said to bring bad luck your way. So, if you chase one away and it crosses your path, you’re in real trouble.
  • Many cultures believe that black cats can heal. One belief is that passing the tail or a single hair from a black cat over an ailing eye can cure everything from a sty to blindness.
  • In the US, there’s a “Halloween ban” and many shelters won’t allow adoption of black cats during the month of October. The association with witches and magic remains to this day, and these felines are sometimes abused during this time of year

Keeping your black cats (and other pets) safe this Halloween:

Taken from : http://www.care2.com/greenliving/protect-pets-on-halloween.html#

NOISES and STRANGE STRANGERS:
Trick or treaters can cause loud and excessive noise and frighten your pet, so try to keep your pets inside in a quiet room where they are insulated from the Halloween rukus. : )

Pets, especially dogs, that are easily excitable or threatened by strangers should be kept from the front door so they cannot bite anyone or run into the street. With many people visiting the home in strange attire, even normally calm pets might overreact.

Keep pets on a shorter-than-normal leash if you plan on walking outside on Halloween. Again, scary and weird looking trick-or-treaters could provoke aggression in even the nicest pet.

KISS OF DEATH
Candy, especially chocolate, is toxic for animals and can cause vomiting, restlessness, heart disturbances, and even death. Ask kids not to share candy with pets.

CANDLES
Be careful with lit pumpkins and candles because pets can knock them over and start a fire. Therefore ensure that all burning objects are out of pet’s reach. Remember that cats can jump high, and birds can fly, so try to confine a pet if it demonstrates an “unhealthy” interest in flames (e.g. it puts its paws in lit pumpkins or tries to play with candles).

PETS IN DISGUISE
Avoid costumes held in place by rubber bands, which can be uncomfortable and, more important, rubber bands mistakenly left on a pet can quickly burrow into the animal’s skin and cause injury. Additionally, rubber bands in the wrong place can choke a bird.

If a pet wears a costume, make sure it is not constricting, causing your pet to trip, or blocking its vision. Do not force a pet to wear a costume if it demonstrates discomfort. All of the above can cause undue stress and possibly cause aggression in even the nicest dog, goldfish, or iguana.

EVIL IN THE NIGHT
Don’t leave pets outside on Halloween. Many animals disappear as pranksters and those with darker intentions tease, abduct, torture, or even kill pets.

Be especially watchful of black cats, who which are frequent targets of cruel activities on Halloween. Try to keep black cats inside for the week of Halloween. Many animal shelters make black cats unavailable for adoption the week before Halloween because of black cat abuse.

For further reading on Black Cats:

http://www.thecatsite.com/a/the-mystique-behind-black-cats – The Cat site did a neat blog about the mystique behind black cats

http://blogs.discovery.com/cat-scratchings/2011/08/in-celebration-of-black-cats.html – Discovery even did an article on black cats

Black Cat Names:

Have a black cat and don’t know what to name him/her?

http://www.petplace.com/cats/names-for-black-haired-cats/page1.aspx

Links for Black Cats & Their Guardians:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Black-Cats-are-Good-Luck/422891581101204

https://www.facebook.com/pages/For-the-Love-of-Black-Cats-Black-Cat-Appreciation-Page/186841014709029?ref=ts

http://blackcatrescue.wordpress.com/ – A blog about the Black Cat Rescue in Boston, MA and their mission to save black cats

https://www.facebook.com/blackcatrescue – The facebook page for Black Cat Rescue in Boston, Ma

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Black-Cat-Lovers/140544169357167 – Black Cat Lovers page on facebook (just started)

https://www.facebook.com/pages/I-love-Black-Cats/94786207892 – Facebook page for those who love black cats

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Black-Cat-Lovers-Rescuers-of-Florida/230305493656532 – Facebook page by a black cat lover in clay county florida, to celebrate adopted/rescued black cats/kittens

https://www.facebook.com/withyourblackcat – Facebook page about black cats and those who love them

https://www.facebook.com/Smoky.BlackCatsRULE – Smoky’s Facebook Page please stop by and say hello.

http://shras789.wordpress.com/2012/10/28/black-cats-why-are-people-afraid-of-them/ – Another article on black cats and why people are afraid of them.

Author’s Note: Many thanks to Smoky and her meowmy for educating me on black cats along with answering the questions. Pictures of Smoky were used with permission, the black cat clip art were pulled from various places off the web, if they are yours please let me know and I will credit you. =^.^=

This article is a part of the Black Cat Appreciation theme, for more interviews please click the badge below.

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Meet Jerry (aka Big Brother Jerry)

Meet Jerry (aka Big Brother Jerry)

Jerry

How old  are you?

I turned 13 years old on August 11th.

How did you pick your mom?

Mom came into the Wisconsin Humane Society on a Friday night, two weeks after I turned 7 (August 2006). She had just lost a boy kitty named Max. Max had been buddies with a girl kitty Mom had named Mitzi. After Max died, Mitzi tried to be buddies with my big sister Minnie Pearl. Minnie Pearl was not happy about it, so Mom was looking for another big brother for Mitzi. Mom says I was the only cat who was awake that evening. MOL! There are holes toward the bottom of the doors to the enclosures at the Humane Society and mom stuck her fingers through the holes and I rubbed my face on her fingers. She didn’t even look at any other cats that night. They let me out of the enclosure and I walked around and I wasn’t scared of anything and Mom liked that about me too. She held me on her lap for a while, and I went home with her that night. I felt at home right away.

Jerry when he had two eyes, notice the right eye has brown spots..

According to your facebook page you had Iris Melanosis, what is it ?

My left eye had some brown spots on the iris. When Mom took me to a vet a few days later for a free exam, she asked the vet about the spots and the vet told her not to worry about them. Just over a year later, Mom took all of us to our regular vet for our yearly checkups and she was concerned about the spots. She told Mom to monitor them so they don’t get worse. Mom looked at photos of me when we got home and she could see they were getting worse. Mom took me to an animal ophthalmologist who tested my vision to make sure I could see out of both eyes. He recommended that my eye be removed in case it would become cancer. It would be similar to skin cancer in humans, but in my eye. My eye was then sent to a specialist at the vet college in Madison Wisconsin who did pathology on it and he said it had not become cancerous yet.

How long did the surgery take to remove your eye?

Mom took me to the vet on a Wednesday night for blood tests, and she left me there. I had the surgery the next day (Thursday). Mom was supposed to pick me up on Friday afternoon, but then we had a snowstorm that day and when Mom called the vet they told her she could come right away to pick me up. I was in the hospital only two nights, including the night before the surgery.

Jerry and his stuffed rat he got from his furend Screeh

How long did it take to adjust to life with just one eye?

I was kind of sick from the anesthesia for a few days after the surgery and my mom never saw evidence that I even noticed my vision was different.

Was your mom scared and worried about the surgery?

Yes, she was scared. It was major surgery. But it all turned out fine.

How did your big sister and little sister react when you were well enough to see them after your surgery?

Mom kept me in the front bedroom for a few days after I came home and she slept on the futon in that room with me. I didn’t see Minnie Pearl for a while, but mom let Mitzi come in the room because she was my buddy. They didn’t seem to react to me any differently than they did before my surgery.

Jerry and Minnie Pearl

Has anyone figured out why your whiskers break?

No! It started happening after my surgery. Mom asked the vet and she said that I am probably running into things now but mom has never seen me do that. It’s a mystery. I don’t always have broken whiskers, but it happens on occasion and when it does I have two or three broken whiskers.

Do you have any words of advice for other pet guardians whose pets may have to face the same type of surgery?

It was a major surgery, and there is always worry with that. But the main thing I want people to know is that I get along just fine with one eye. No adjustments had to be made for me. I still like to look at birdies and squirrels through the window.

Jerry and Zoe (when she was little)

Do you accept any fanmail?

Yes, you can stop by and say hi on my facebook page.

Do you support a shelter/rescue or case, if so may I have the link?

We support the Wisconsin Humane Society because that is where I and my little sister Zoe are from. We donate money and things from their wish list to them. (http://www.wihumane.org/).

We also support the Milwaukee Animal Rescue Center  (http://www.milwaukeearc.org/)a bit. Mom has given them money and supplies a couple times. They had a kitty earlier this year with a neck injury, and my mom sewed a fabric collar to help her neck heal because the kitty was scratching her injury.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

I would like to tell people that even though I have only one eye, I do not feel disabled. My life is the same as any other cat.

Author’s Note: Many thanks to Jerry and his mom for answering the questions. After finding out that Zoe Blue is his sister I had to ask her for an interview as well,  her article will be published on November 17th.

Meet Jerry (aka Big Brother Jerry)

Meet Jerry (aka Big Brother Jerry)

Jerry

How old  are you?

I turned 13 years old on August 11th.

How did you pick your mom?

Mom came into the Wisconsin Humane Society on a Friday night, two weeks after I turned 7 (August 2006). She had just lost a boy kitty named Max. Max had been buddies with a girl kitty Mom had named Mitzi. After Max died, Mitzi tried to be buddies with my big sister Minnie Pearl. Minnie Pearl was not happy about it, so Mom was looking for another big brother for Mitzi. Mom says I was the only cat who was awake that evening. MOL! There are holes toward the bottom of the doors to the enclosures at the Humane Society and mom stuck her fingers through the holes and I rubbed my face on her fingers. She didn’t even look at any other cats that night. They let me out of the enclosure and I walked around and I wasn’t scared of anything and Mom liked that about me too. She held me on her lap for a while, and I went home with her that night. I felt at home right away.

Jerry when he had two eyes, notice the right eye has brown spots..

According to your facebook page you had Iris Melanosis, what is it ?

My left eye had some brown spots on the iris. When Mom took me to a vet a few days later for a free exam, she asked the vet about the spots and the vet told her not to worry about them. Just over a year later, Mom took all of us to our regular vet for our yearly checkups and she was concerned about the spots. She told Mom to monitor them so they don’t get worse. Mom looked at photos of me when we got home and she could see they were getting worse. Mom took me to an animal ophthalmologist who tested my vision to make sure I could see out of both eyes. He recommended that my eye be removed in case it would become cancer. It would be similar to skin cancer in humans, but in my eye. My eye was then sent to a specialist at the vet college in Madison Wisconsin who did pathology on it and he said it had not become cancerous yet.

How long did the surgery take to remove your eye?

Mom took me to the vet on a Wednesday night for blood tests, and she left me there. I had the surgery the next day (Thursday). Mom was supposed to pick me up on Friday afternoon, but then we had a snowstorm that day and when Mom called the vet they told her she could come right away to pick me up. I was in the hospital only two nights, including the night before the surgery.

Jerry and his stuffed rat he got from his furend Screeh

How long did it take to adjust to life with just one eye?

I was kind of sick from the anesthesia for a few days after the surgery and my mom never saw evidence that I even noticed my vision was different.

Was your mom scared and worried about the surgery?

Yes, she was scared. It was major surgery. But it all turned out fine.

How did your big sister and little sister react when you were well enough to see them after your surgery?

Mom kept me in the front bedroom for a few days after I came home and she slept on the futon in that room with me. I didn’t see Minnie Pearl for a while, but mom let Mitzi come in the room because she was my buddy. They didn’t seem to react to me any differently than they did before my surgery.

Jerry and Minnie Pearl

Has anyone figured out why your whiskers break?

No! It started happening after my surgery. Mom asked the vet and she said that I am probably running into things now but mom has never seen me do that. It’s a mystery. I don’t always have broken whiskers, but it happens on occasion and when it does I have two or three broken whiskers.

Do you have any words of advice for other pet guardians whose pets may have to face the same type of surgery?

It was a major surgery, and there is always worry with that. But the main thing I want people to know is that I get along just fine with one eye. No adjustments had to be made for me. I still like to look at birdies and squirrels through the window.

Jerry and Zoe (when she was little)

Do you accept any fanmail?

Yes, you can stop by and say hi on my facebook page.

Do you support a shelter/rescue or case, if so may I have the link?

We support the Wisconsin Humane Society because that is where I and my little sister Zoe are from. We donate money and things from their wish list to them. (http://www.wihumane.org/).

We also support the Milwaukee Animal Rescue Center  (http://www.milwaukeearc.org/)a bit. Mom has given them money and supplies a couple times. They had a kitty earlier this year with a neck injury, and my mom sewed a fabric collar to help her neck heal because the kitty was scratching her injury.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

I would like to tell people that even though I have only one eye, I do not feel disabled. My life is the same as any other cat.

Author’s Note: Many thanks to Jerry and his mom for answering the questions. After finding out that Zoe Blue is his sister I had to ask her for an interview as well,  her article will be published on November 17th.

Meet Ziggy the wonder Ragdoll Kitty

Meet Ziggy the wonder Ragdoll Kitty

Special Note: Sir Ziggy is all the way from England! 

Meet Ziggy!

How did Ziggy come into your life?

Ziggy came into our lives in a bittersweet way after we lost our house cat Ozzie a sweet gental beautiful White chinchilla kitty who was only 5 years old when he died very suddenly on the 1st September 2011.

Where did the name Ziggy come from?

Ziggy was after David Bowies Ziggy stardust. He nearly became ” Lemmy” from Moterhead, but quickly squashed that one, lol

Does Ziggy get to go outside and explore or is he strictly indoors?

When Ziggy comes out in the garden with us he truly loves it and we are so happy that he doesn’t go off exploring in the neighbours gardens and feel he wants to be with us all the time. Trying to get Ozzie in could be a nightmare but zigs comes in and out no problem especially when Joe shouts “BOUD FOOD,” then he comes running, lol

What is a typical day like for Ziggy?

Ziggy likes to spread his love around by spending 50% of the day with Joe giving him “Foot cuddles” as Joe puts it, under his desk whilst working and the rest of the time with me on the bed. I am somewhat disabled and unfortunately spend most of my time on or in the bed. Ziggy cheers me up & keeps me company.

How did Ziggy’s facebook page start?

Having a lot of spare time I created a FB page called ” Ziggy the Ragdoll Wonder Kitty” and have been amazed how popular he has became & has 776 friends so far.
We have both make some lovely friends and Ziggy even has a girlfriend called Lucy Belle Von Kirbykins in the USA, lol!
Mindy Lucy’s human and myself decided to donate £10/$10 for every 50 likes we receive starting at 500. I have donated £30 pounds to Cats protection League , £10 to a Ragdoll rescue and £20 to ” The Scratching Post” a local cat charity.
I am thinking of donating to the smaller charities as some times the big ones can eat into your donation to support admin etc through no fault of their own and by supporting the local ones you can actually see where the donation is going to.

How has having Ziggy in your life changed your lives?

Having Ziggy in our lives has convinced us not to get any other breed of cat again as they are truly remarkable and do every thing they say & do on the Tin & more!
So if you want a puppy cat then a Raggi is for you. They follow you everywhere, even to the bathroom. Zigs lays up against the shower door when I am in there.
They are not  known to be very vocal but ziggy is and have found that a lot of other raggis are when I posted a question on Floppycats.com
He loves a belly rub and being groomed & often dribbles he loves it so much, lol!
He is not a loud purrer  but he does when being groomed.
One of the first thing I noticed with him was when you hold him in a position that he would rather not be in, he doesn’t struggle much  ( ie for cuddle you want to have!) and will stay there until you have finished, walking away calmly not running like most cats do!
I am a little jealous of his relationship with Joe as Ziggy goes to Joe in the morning for a cuddle under the Duvet and I am so desperate for him to do the same with me , but no chance, lol!

Have you always had cats in your life?

We have had many cats in our lives as children & since we were married and Joe always names to boys & me the girls! We had Barney a big ball of Black Fur & his sister a Grey/blue fluff bucket. Barney went missing when i was in hospital & never saw him again. Then we adopted “Murdoch” who he named after the character from the A Team. All three were rescue kittys from SAD CATS in Ware in hertforshire.Then came Tilly again from SAD CATS another  black fluffy kitten. Bella & Boudi were our babies killed in the road. Bless them.
I always wanted a lap cat and so Ozzie came to us in 2006 who Joe name after Ozzy Osbourn!
Although we had Boudica who goes out, the house felt empty without a house Cat.
Joe never liked the idea of litter trays etc but came to understand that it was very comforting know he was safe & always there to greet you. We unfortunately lost to cats in the road, Bella in 1995 & Tilly in 2004 and couldn’t bare the thought of that happening again,
Both were in the early morning around 6am and although Boudica does go out it is never in the night/early morning. Joe always says to her when he let’s her out ” stay away from the Road Boudi, be careful!” ideally we want her to stay in but she is nearly 8 years old and knows nothing else.

Do you have any advice to someone thinking about getting a Ragdoll Cat?

My advice to anyone thinking of getting a Ragdoll then I would say go ahead but you must be willing to be the centre of the kitty’s life and if are at work for most of the day then maybe the usual laid back moggie who sleeps for most of day would be a better option unless you get two Raggi’s together. They can get very depressed and lonely if left for long periods.
We are totally smitten and in love with Ragdolls and of course our wonderful sweet gentle boy Ziggy!   Ragdolls ROCK yay!

Facts about Ragdoll Cats:

The Ragdoll cat has emerged in North America as mixed cat breeding has become more popular. The ragdoll cat is usually part Burmese, Birman, Javanese, Siamese and Persian cat or any of these combinations.

The ragdoll breed is a medium haired cat. Perfect for those looking for a fluffy but low maintenance feline family member. The care and grooming of a ragdoll is much easier than that of a Persian, but grooming is still required.

Ragdolls are best known for going limp in a person’s arms, a sign of being laid back. This was the reasoning behind the name Ragdoll for they certainly do not resemble any ragdolls I have ever seen.

Ragdolls are known to be gentle and affectionate. They are laid back, remember, not aggressive and territorial. Ragdoll cats should not be considered outside cats, as it is not in their nature to hunt or to defend themselves. They like to play and cuddle.

Ragdolls have color points akin to a Siamese. Ragdolls have blue eyes and a gorgeous blue at that.

Ann Baker first bred Ragdolls in the 1960’s. She was a Persian breeder in California. By crossbreeding a Persian/ Angora female with a Birman or Burmese type males, litters were born with the medium thick fur, and Siamese color points.

Personality was actually bred in this cat. By breeding with those most affectionate, and most willing to go limp with an easygoing temperament, the standard Ragdoll type was born.

Ragdolls are considered dog like among cats because they have a tendency to follow their person around like a dog as well as welcoming them at the door. Out of all our rescued cats, only my ragdoll greets me at the door every day and follows me around.

Ragdolls are trainable!!!! People can tell you all the time about how their cats play fetch. Look at the cat closely- there is a high probability there is some ragdoll in their lineage somewhere. Duncan will come to me when called- yes, a cat. Very dog -like indeed!

Ragdolls are big cats. They are big- boned with an approximate weight of twelve to twenty pounds. They are loveable oafs.

You adopt a six-month-old ragdoll kitten, already almost twice the size of your Siamese kitten. Six months go by and suddenly your kitten is huge. Guess again, Ragdolls do not reach full maturity until between three and four years of age. Another growth spurt is bound to occur.

Ragdoll Colors:

(taken from: http://www.ragsgalore.com/facts.htm)

->Seal Point
Body color may vary from fawn to warm brown. Paw pads on the colorpoint is seal. The paw pads on the Seal mitted and seal bicolor are pink with or without a mix of the point color.

->Blue Point
Body color is ivory and the points are deep blue at maturity Nose leather and paw pads are dark blue-gray.

->Chocolate Point
Body color is ivory. Point color is slightly lighter than the color of a milk chocolate bar.

->Lilac Point
Body body white. Points: frosty grey with pinkish tinge. Nose leather has a lilac hue and paw pads are coral pink.

->Lynx Point
Overlays any one of the above patterns. Ticking or striping appears on all the pointed area except the back or saddle Lynx pattern comes in all colors and patterns.

->Tortie Point
Overlays any of the above patterns. Tortoiseshell pattern appears on all the pointed areas. Colors generally are Red or Cream mixed with one of the other colors

->Flame Point
This is also called a red point. The Ragdoll body should be a warm, even, creamy white. The points will be a deep orange “hot” red. The paw pads and nose leather to be pink.

->Cream Point
The body clear white with any shading in the same tone as points. Points: pale buff cream to light pinkish cream, with lack of barring desirable The paw pads and nose leather pink.

Ragdoll Patterns:

(taken from : http://mispurnblues.com/pages/ragdoll-facts.php)
->The Colorpoint 

this pattern has the darker points on the face, ears, legs and tail and has absolutely no white.

->The Mitted

this pattern is basically a colorpoint – with a white chin, white mittens on the front feet and white boots on the rear legs. The white on the chin must extend from the chin down to the stomach. The cat can have a white blaze on its face.

->The Bi-color 

this unique pattern is probably the most recognized as when you look up Ragdoll on the internet this is the pattern most often seen. It is basically a colorpoint cat with white over most of its body – the white completely covers its front and back legs, chest and underbody. There will be an inverted white blaze on the cats face .
Lynx – while the lynx is referred to as a pattern it really an overlay as it adds tabby strips to the darker body points on the cat. It does not change color or pattern just adds the tabby striping.

Dedication:

This article is dedicated to the loving memory of Bella, Barney, Murdoch Ozzie & Tilly.

Your memories will forever be in our hearts.
 
Author’s Note: Special thanks go to Ziggy and his mum for sharing information about this wonderful little guy as well as letting me use pictures.

The Rainbows Bridge Poem

Meet Kai Kobayashi

Meet Kai Kobayashi

Hi!

How old are you Kai?

I’ll be 4 Sept 15th!! That’s not my real birthday – but we celebrate it that day since it’s the day I came to live with mom and dad. When they adopted me 3 years ago, I was about a year old…so we made that date my official birthday.

How did you come into your mom’s life?

One day, mom saw an adoption van parked on our block. She had been thinking about adopting a kitty for a while, and had also been interested in volunteering with a rescue. She went into the van to talk to the people there about volunteering with their group, and they invited her to come visit the shelter. A week later she went to the shelter….and what can I say…it was love at first sight. She brought me home, and have been a volunteer with that rescue, For Animals Inc., ever since.
At the time mom adopted me, I had been at the shelter for less than a year. I was rescued from a house of horrors….the family kept LOTS of cats on their property and the rescue had been trying to get the family to allow them to come in and spay/neuter and give medical care to their cats for a long time with no luck. All they could do was drive by the property and leave food for us under the fence, as we were all skinny and dirty. Then one night in the middle of winter they got a call from the family to please come pick up a litter of kittens that had been born in their backyard a few days earlier. It was sub zero temperatures outside, so they rushed over….sadly it was too late for the kittens. They were frozen stiff 🙁 The family let them remove the dead kittens and the mom cat…and after a lot of negotiation they let go of a few more cats…me being one of them. I looked a mess….skinny, dirty and scared. The people at the shelter were very nice to me….got me cleaned up, fed and neutered. I was still a little skittish after I came to live with mom and dad, but over time I’ve learned to trust and relax and be the goofball that I am today. I also had a bad marking problem for the first few months…I used to pee in mom and dad’s bed several times pr week. Mom says that was NOT fun. We got through it though…with some patience, vet care and TLC I now only do my business in the litterbox. There is ALWAYS a way to fix behavioral problems in cats….sadly a lot of pets lose their homes due to issues like this.

What kind of cat are you?

We have no idea exactly what breed I am. I am somewhat of a fancy mutt! My vet suspects I’m part Turkish Angora, but we don’t know for sure. Mom and dad says it doesn’t matter to them anyway.

Are you deaf?

(I ask because it looks like you have blue eyes and a lot of white cats with blue eyes are deaf) 
Funny that you ask….mom thought the same thing for the same exact reasons. Turns out there is nothing wrong with my hearing at all (the vet tested my hearing)….I just have what mom calls ‘selective hearing’. I can hear a treat pouch being opened from 2 rooms away…. I just have problems hearing the word ‘no’.

Where did the name Kai Kobayashi come from (and does it have a special meaning)?

At first my name was just Kai. Mom and Dad named me that because it’s the Hawaiian word for ocean – they thought it went well with my blue eyes. However…during my first 6 months of living with them they noticed I was obsessed with food. It was most likely due to me having had to fend for myself most of my life up to that point….but it resulted in lots of food theft going on in our house. I would open cabinets and drag food out, I would dumpster dive INSIDE our apartment, steal food off of my dad’s dinner plate and when food was placed in my bowl I’d INHALE it in 2 seconds flat….then try to steal my sister’s food from under her nose. That’s when mom added my middle name ‘Kobayashi’. I’m named after a Japanese competitive eater called Takeru Kobayashi.
It took about 6-7 months before this behavior got any better. Now I know food comes at regular intervals every single day and that there is no rush!

Since you and Fuzzer were rescued by the same group, did you know Fuzzer before she went to her furever home?

No, I never got to meet Fuzzer, sadly. I had already gone to live with my mom and dad by the time Fuzzer was rescued. We are friends on Facebook though…

May I mention the name of the rescue group and link their website?

Yes, I would love that! The name if the TNR and rescue group is For Animals Inc.
http://www.foranimalsinc.com/

Where can people go to see more about you?

I’d love it if they came and visited me on my facebook page! I accept any and all fan mail on that page!

What is a typical day like for you?

Mom gets up early…at 5 am for work….so I make sure I wake her up even earlier so that we have time to stay in bed and snuggle for a while. I think this is very considerate of me. Wouldn’t want mom to run off to work without Kai snuggles!!! After we eat breakfast it is time to run and play with my step sister, Bedbug. We like to play a lot – the noisier the better. Then, if that alone didn’t wake dad up…I head back to bed to wake him up and give him some snuggles too.
I’m usually a really good boy…but sometimes I do get in trouble. I’ve been known to do things like knock pictures off of walls and push plants off of shelves if mom and dad even DARE be late with a meal or if I want them to get up and play with me. I do love to play, but in spite of having tons of cat toys, my favorite toy in the world is a crumpled up magazine page. Paperball football is the BEST. I also love to snuggle with Bedbug. She is very nice and likes to give me baths. I give her baths too and like to style the fur on her head into little punk style hairdo’s. She is usually not impressed by this…..go figure.

Do you have any four-legged family members you share your house with?

Yes. My big ‘sister’ Bedbug. She belongs to mom and dad’s roommate. She lived here for over 4 years before I came along. She was adopted from ACC.

Has your mom always been involved with animals?

Well, she’s always had pets…but she didn’t get involved in rescue until she adopted me. I like to take credit for that!!
Mom had a few cats growing up. Mom and dad also had a dog, a rescue Great Dane, but he went to the bridge before they adopted me.

Do you support any shelters/rescue groups and/or causes?

Yes…For Animals Inc.

 

what’s in here?

Links –

For Animals, Inc. – https://www.facebook.com/foranimalsinc

Kai’s Facebook Page – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kai-Kobayashi/170214443051080 –


Author’s Note: I wanted to thank Kai’s guardians for taking the time to do the interview and being patient with me. =^..^=
All photos were used with permission.  This article is a part of the Happy Tails theme. Please click on the below badge for more happy tails.
 
happytails

Meet Tova

Author’s Note: This is a special article as it was a reader request. 

Meet Tova

Where did her name come from?

Her name is the hebrew word for good or pleasing. She came from such a hard life, we thought she needed an extra positive name.

How did she come into your life?

We had a puppy before Tova that had special needs and it made us realize that the extra work comes with extra appreciation and love…so we got an email about her from a friend who knew we had lost him recently. She was a cruelty case in our county, so only had 3 legs…so she was going to need an understanding family, which I knew we could provide her. I was a little worried that because I was only a quarter away from graduating that we couldn’t afford another dog at that moment, but it was right before Christmas, so my father offered to get her for me as a Christmas gift. We put a big old red bow on her head the first night she was home and it has been the best Christmas present I’ve ever gotten.

How did she lose her leg?

Sadly, the people who had her before us didn’t understand her. Instead of feeding her well and loving her for being a smart and loving dog, they left her chained in their yard with little food and water. She became trapped in the chain and decided that since no one cared about her, she needed to free herself by chewing her own leg off. When our county rescued her from the yard, she had been hopping around the yard on her partially chewed off leg and it had started to heal on its own with ragged edges and bone sticking out. The non-profit group associated with our shelter, Friends of the Shelter, took her on and ended up amputating the rest of her leg.

Were there charges pressed against those who did that to her?

Sadly, I think the people were offered the option of surrendering her to avoid penalty. I am honestly not sure though, but I do know that Ohio has some extremely lax laws on animal neglect and abuse, which we are hoping get changed soon.

How long did it take for her to adjust to her new life?

It took her about a month to realize we weren’t going to leave her in the yard and that we just wanted to love her. She would get stressed out and leave the room to be by herself and calm down. Now she just wants to be a giant lap dog. Being a puppy helped her not be so “worried” about people, thankfully. I would have expected her to be aggressive at least a little….and this dog couldn’t hurt anything if she tried. She loves everyone and everything.

How is she with her furry siblings?

She has one dog sister, Quorra who is also a shepherd and they are the best of friends. She always looks up to Quorra to see what she is doing and how she should react to new situations. She also LOVES her kitty siblings. One kitty in particular likes to rub all over the dogs’ faces and then curl up right next to them. Tova also has been known to pick up mice out of the yard without killing them and then bring them into the house. Its scary for both me and the mouse! haha

How did you get involved with animals?

I grew up with pets, as did my husband. I also have a bachelor’s degree in zoology and put myself through undergrad while working for a veterinarian. When I went back to graduate school, I didn’t have time to work, but we realized we had some time to start volunteering. Now we are foster parents for a local humane society and we have fostered well over 50 kittens this year alone.

Is there a rescue/shelter/cause you support?

We like the non-profit where we adopted both of our dogs through, Friends of the Shelter for Franklin County, Ohio. Their link is: http://www.friendsoftheshelter.info/ We are fosters for Delaware County Humane Society and their link is: http://www.hsdcohio.org/

Every year around Christmas (for about the past 4 years or so…my husband and I are young) we like to collect supplies and money from our friends and family for the shelters and drop it off all at once. Its nice to know we are helping out the furry creatures who can’t speak for themselves.

Does she have her own page?

She has her own Facebook page that we are working on updating more…trying to get people to help adopt more dogs instead of going to breeders, etc. Her page is: www.facebook.com/toviemonster

Anything else you want to add about her?

One cute little thing that she does that cracks everyone up who meets her…since she only has 3 legs (she is missing her back right leg), she likes to garner attention however possible. This usually means she sits down, balances between her little stump and her other back leg, and then does the “puppy punch” where she forcefully puts her front paw onto your arm/leg and makes you pay attention to her. If you put her paw down, she’ll repeatedly puppy punch you until you give her the “appropriate” amount of attention.

We love her and think it’s silly that no one else would have wanted her just because she has 3 legs. She uses the stairs fine, jumps on my bed at night, plays with other dogs/cats and genuinely enjoys life. Sometimes we can catch her just looking around the house and you can almost see her thinking “Wow…I can’t believe this is my life now.” We’re just so happy that we are lucky enough to be her parents, and parents to all our other pets. They fulfill our lives as much as we fulfill theirs.

Author’s Note: Thank you to Miss Lyndsay for the email, answering questions and sending me pictures. 

Meet Hank &Sophie Moo and the Moo Clan

Author’s Note: My deepest and most sincere apologizes, this article was published on 10/10 but due to some issues was pulled and Sir Reggies article was posted. I am so terribly sorry to those who saw the article without the pictures. Here is the wonderful article on Hank & Sophie Moo and the Moo Clan. =^.^= 

Meet Hank & Sophie and the Moo Clan

Author’s Note: I started out with an interview about Hank & Sophie Moo but then after hearing about the rest of the Moo clan, I couldn’t just leave out the rest of the Moos. So here is my very first group article. I hope you enjoy it. =^.^= Thanks to their guardian for  answering the questions. Photos as always were used with permission.

Hank, Wally and Sophie Moo

Meet the Moo Clan;

Hanky Moo, he is my little man. He loves people. He loves to cuddle and will lay on me as I hold him tight. He loves Sophie dearly, always playing, cleaning and giving her cuddles. He is assertive. I believe being male he had a natural instinct to dominate.   Often he just wants to be close to Mini. Mostly trying to cuddle but they are weary as he often tries ( many time successful) to push them off whatever perch they are on. He loves food! His whole day is centered around when he will eat and how he can eat everyone’s  food.
Sophie Moo, she is gentle, sweet and smartly cautious. She can also be tough and puts Hanky and anyone in their place if needed. Even though she is more cautious than Hank, for example she will take longer to explore something new, she shows more bravery than Hank. Where Hank will always climb down back legs first as most blind cats do, Sophie will take a moment from where she is and leaps!! It can be from the tallest  perch on her tower over 6ft high. What’s impressive is when she does it for the first time, having no idea the outcome but she just goes for it. Leap of faith! She loves to play fetch and loves her Hanky Moo.
Spencer Moo is small but has attitude! Although he’s not “Top Dog” any longer he doesn’t take any crap from the cats. If someone swipes him, he has no problem throwing his weight around, all 6 pounds of it. He loves to have his belly rubbed and he’s a fan of food.
Morty Moo is the sweetest dog. He has always been a bit nervous and very dependent on me. If he’s not right next to me, his eyes are following me around the house. Morty always had a lot of energy, he runs in crazy figure 8’s in the backyard. I’m so glad he and Wally are best buds cause now he has someone to run around with!
Mini Moo has  many names to fit her many characters. She can be sweet but that’s not the first
 that comes to mind…she can be moody. Mini Moody Moo. She does’t give her love easily, I had to work for it. When I finally had her approval, there was no mistaking the love and trust she showed me. Her love has and will always feel like an honor.
Maile Moo, she is the most beautiful  kitty. She is part American Boxtail with white  socks and glistening color changing eyes. She loves outside. We’re lucky to have a big backyard with 10 ft  high ivy walls. They all  can be free to explore and be safe.  Sorry to say, she’s quite the hunter. Lizards are her specialty and I’m lucky she brings the in the house alive and kicking..  We had an incident with a bird that fell out of its nest. We saved it, just as Maile had it cornered.  It stayed with us for 5 days. We called her, Mochi.  Mochi Moo…ha!

Walter Moo, our newest family member. He was found on the street and was brought into Baldwin Park Shelter with his right eye bulging and severely infected. They removed his eye immediately. He was severely depressed and scared. The first week at Mootopia he did nothing but eat and hide in a corner. He would allow me to hold him and he would purr away. But did all that change!   Having only one eye doesn’t stop this one! He is crazy. He runs around the house galloping like a horse. He wrestles everyone and plays with 100% kitten power. He is super sweet purring machine and most of all happy, full and safe.

How did Hank and Sophie Moo come into your life?

They were dropped off together at Baldwin Park Shelter in April 2012. They both had open seeping holes where their eyes should have been. They were malnorised and sick. They stayed at BPS for 2 weeks in separate  cages and were transported to Montrose Pet Hospital where they stayed for 3 weeks. They received all their treatments and were spayed/neutered. The reason they were in the hospital for so long was that Hank had a URI and their surgery kept getting delayed. They came home with me the day after their surgery. They love life and seem to live it to the fullest. It’s seems as though they remember the bad days and everyday is full of love, gratitude and happiness!  Hank and Sophie give me so much love and joy every day!

Where did their names come from?

 We picked the name Hank, actually his full name is Henry Vincent Moo but we call him Hank for short. It just suited him, strong and kind. Sophie Moo, we picked because we felt it was a sweet pretty name for a sweet pretty girl.

Where did the name “Moo Clan” come from?

“Moo” originated with my boyfriend’s beautiful black kitty Mini Moo. She has tons of nicknames, one of which and the most used, Mini Moo. Mini is the original Moo and is the one responsible for the 4 additional feline Moo Clan members! Mini is my first cat and she moved in with me Dec 2010. I quickly fell in love with her and was the start of my “Crazy Cat Lady” badge. We adopted Maile Moo February 2011. My two dogs, Spencer (Yorkie) and Morty ( Maltese) that have been with me for 8 years, also became Moos. With the arrival of Hank and Sophie in April 2012, making a total of 6 furry friends, we were for sure a Clan. The Moo Clan. The most recent addition and making 7 in the Clan is Walter Moo. He arrived Sept 3rd 2012, as a foster but as fate would have it, he will stay in Mootopia with his Moo brothers and sisters.
Mootopia is a play on Utopia. Mootopia, is where we live and it’s a place where kitties and doggies will always be safe, loved, never hungry and healthy. They can explore outside in the large enclosed backyard and come inside whenever they chose. At Mootopia have a Moo Mom aka Cat Servant, who will give the daily brushings, kisses and hugs. They will never be short on toys or cat nip. At Mootopia, they will be cherished.

Who is the leader of the household now that Spencer was the former boss?

Mini easily dominated over the dogs. When Maile Moo arrived she moved straight to the top of the totem pole.  It wasn’t until 8 months later when we came back from a trip, we walked in and saw Mini Moo sitting in the middle of the room, looking strong and proud like King Kong. She retook her roll as Queen.  But that was short lived as Hank arrived 5 months later and became “King of the Hill”! He challenged Mini every chance he got. And even more surprising, little 5 month old Wally seems to be challenging Hank and it seems the rolls have changed but it’s too early to tell as he’s young and the others could be tolerating him because they understand that he’s a kitten.

How did the others react to the new additions to the household?

Every time, with a new addition it’s a challenge. We kept Hank and Sophie  in their own room for a week and allowed the others to get used to their scent. The dogs were fine with Hank and Sophie but it took a few months for Mini and Maile to get used to them. They are often misunderstood as they don’t follow a lot of cat visual signals, so this was unsettling for the others. Now everyone gets along in Mootopia. There are occasional spats, as siblings do but nothing serious.

How did Hank & Sophie react to their new environment?

They loved being free! I remember the first night, they were already playing a lot! When they first stepped out of their crate, I could see they were not used to walking being in the cages for over a month. They quickly mind mapped the room, remembering where the litter, food, water, etc. was located. When I opened the door to the rest of the house, there was no stopping them. I was going to open room by room but they were determined to explore.  They mind mapped the rest of the house quickly as well. They loved the space, safety and mostly delicious food that kept coming!

Did you have to do any special preparations to the house before they came home to live with you?

I  bought some  extra supplies but the preparation was mostly focused on integrating them smoothly with the other Moos. We kept them for a week in one room and introduced each of the Moo members sent to them. It worked really well!

Is there an address people can send fan mail to the Moo Clan?

Not at this time but I may get one if enough people request it!

And if I may ask, why a Cat Servant? Why not cat helper?

“Cat Servant” is just finding humor in the personality of cats. Mini Moo is a great example, her attitude is like, ” I give you the honor to serve me, feed me, brush me, love me… That is all.  You are dismissed.” Also, I love how they can be demanding. Hank walks on my body, “Time for you to show me your love!”

How have Hank & Sophie changed your life and made you want to make people aware of how special needs/differently abled animals?

Having Hank and Sophie has changed my life for sure. I love being home so I can just be around them and the rest of the Clan. I feel more compassionate and I am more active in supporting adoptions, fosters and donating when I can.  Also, I started a Facebook page, www.facebook.com/2blindcats, that promotes adoptions, animal awareness and shows how awesome special needs animals are. I didn’t expect how wonderful and heartwarming it would be to be connected so many compassionate animal loving people throughout the world. I love the page because not only can I share the Moo Clans shenanigans but reading others stories of their  fur babies. The page allows me to show how completely  “normal” blind cats are. Most time blind cats are put down quickly, because no one has stepped up to foster or adopt because they aren’t aware of how capable they are.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about adopting a blind cat?

At first, put them in a room so they can acclimate to their new space. 

Keep the furniture is the same place. But really, blind cats adjust so well. I’ve moved furniture and it hasn’t been a problem. They know when the location of a new object by their scent ad mostly their whiskers hit the object before teir heads do!
Which reminds me, never cut a cats whiskers! Especially blind cats! It super important as it’s essential for their navigation.
As they are getting used to their new home and may bump into things, remove sharp corners, objects that they injure themselves if they bump into.
Avoid picking them up and putting them down in a different room as it would disorient them. If you do, make sure the surface is a texture they can recognize. For example, Shaggy Carpet = Living room.
I always make little sound if I’m coming towards them or to pick them up as not to startle them.
Keep food, water and litter box in the same place.
Get them toys that makes sounds!
Give them tons of love and care and you will get back the most sweetest unconditional  love. .

What would  you like to tell people who are apprehensive about having a blind animal?

I would encourage anyone to adopt a blind cat. In my experience t has been no different from caring for my other animals. Cats are so intelligent and what they don’t have in sight they make up for it with their sense of smell and hearing. It’s even more acute than my other cats. I see Hank and Sophie hearing a fly in the other room, where my other cats don’t notice. They are are endless amounts of amusement and awe for me. They play, jump and cause just as much happy havoc as any other cat

And how did you get involved with animals?

I have always had dogs. In Hawaii, I had 3 Golden Retrievers! The past 9 years it’s has been Spencer and Morty. Having Mini as my first cat, I quickly fell in love with her personality. I started reading  cat behavior books and became more in love with the uniqueness of cats! As I became more aware of the  millions of cats in shelters, either found in the street, abandoned,  abused and sick, I decided to do what I can. Hence adopting 4 cats in less than 2 years! I will not adopt anymore but will foster. Milo’s Sanctuary was a huge influence. They save and give life long care for  many special needs animals. Michele Hoffman, who founded Milos and has dedicated her life to saving Animals, inspires me to do more. Please visit and support Milo’s! www.milossanctuary.org or visit their Facebook page”Milo’s Sanctuary, Inc”.

I see that you want to promote spay/neuter and adoption from shelters; what would you like to mention about spay/neuter and adoption from shelters?

First spaying/neutering your animals is a crucial necessity. Especially cats who can have multiple litters a year. Not only do we not need more animals to keep safe and find forever homes for but it’s very taxing on the female cat. With the millions of animals in shelters and most of which are put to death, it’s important not to breed animals or support people who breed by buying their kittens or puppies. With so many animals needing a home it seems immoral
to buy a “special breed” especially since most of the shelters have every breed of cat/dog you can think of, cats especially. Recently I was at Baldwin Park Shelter and I was amazed by the number of perfect beautiful kittens and cats in cages. I saw Siamese, Persians, Boxtails and every variety of short, medium, long hair. Adopt. Rescue. Save a life and their love will end up saving you many times over.
Those of you in SoCal, if you’re thinking about rescuing, please go to Baldwin Park Shelter! They are overloaded with beautiful kitties! Find them on FB ” Baldwin Park Shelter Cats for Adoption” Lisa Avery is a kitty Saint who devotes her life to saving these sweet souls.

Links:

Author’s Note:
Thank you ever so much to the “Cat Servant” aka Moo Mom for the wonderful pictures and providing the answers to the article. It was a pleasure. 

Meet Reggie the Pittie

Meet Reggie the Pittie

How old is Reggie?

We think he is about 3. We are not 100% – the rescue thought he was about 1-1 1/2 when they found him in the shelter and we have had him for a year and 5 months.

How did Reggie come into your life?

This is kind of funny actually. We were looking for a dog to sponsor through a rescue. We didn’t think we were ready for dog #3, but we wanted to help out. We were looking at the web site for Game Dog Guardian in Lawrence KS where we used to live and saw this photo of Reggie curled up in a tiny ball in a chair. My husband’s father’s name is Reggie and he is deaf, so we thought we would definitely sponsor him until he was adopted. About a week later, I said, I really love that Reggie, maybe we could put in an application for him…my husband said “I did that already!”. It sounds silly, but there was just something about his photo that made us know he was meant to be with us.

Was Reggie born deaf if not how did he become that way?

We are pretty sure he was born deaf. It doesn’t appear that there has been any trauma that would have caused him to become deaf. It was speculated that he may have been dumped *because* of his deafness. Many people see it as a disability or flaw in the dog and abandon them.

How is life different having a deaf animal? Or is it different?

We talk to Reggie just like he can hear us. Some days I actually joke that he is faking because he seems to be able to hear a bag of Doritos open! The only real adjustment was working on our communication skills – making sure he sees us when we are “talking” to him. Overall, it really is NO different than any other animal. There are also a few bonuses, he doesn’t bark at the doorbell, sirens, or fireworks!
The main thing that is important, which is important with all animals, but really with deaf ones is to be consistent with your communication with them. We had to make sure we were both using the same sign, the same way, when working with him – at first we were using the “sit” sign differently and he didn’t know what we were asking him to do. But these were changes in *our* behavior that were necessary, not his.

What preparations did you need to make before bringing Reggie home?

We overly puppy proofed the house and yard. We wanted to be sure that there was no way he could sneak out accidently. We had a really secure yard, but we laid pavers down around the edge of the fence in case he was a digger. We also worked with our girls – Abbie a pit bull and Molly a boxer – to get ready for a new family member. We set up his kennel about a week before he got here so they would get used to it and then did a lot of crate and rotate and walks together when he got here.

Have you always been involved with animals?

My parents worked with Newfoundland rescue when I was growing up, so I have always been around rescue at some level and have always had dogs in my life. We did a lot of fostering and adopted rescues the entire time I lived at home. However, Reggie really sparked OUR rescue life. When he got home, we just didn’t understand how such a loving and amazing dog could just be abandoned and we wanted to try and help other pit bulls get circulated and adopted. It was honestly just a fluke that we found Reggie – even though he was on a web site – had we not been looking at that site, we never would have found him. Reggie made us what to help other dogs get homes in general, but especially deaf dogs because they are so often overlooked for being “flawed”.

Is this your first pit bull?

No, we actually became accidental pit bull owners when we picked a stray, beat up pittie off the road where we previously lived. We had a rescue lab at the time (Jake who went to visit my parents and decided their pond was better than anything we have at home!) and didn’t really know anything about pit bulls. I had grown up with Newfoundlands and that is all I really knew. What we did know is that our stray was a happy happy man and although he obviously had not had a good life, he was always smiling and happy to please. Unfortunately, he got really sick, the vet speculates from the abuse, and he had to be PTS after only being with us for a year and a half. A few months later, my husband took Abbie – our female and princess of the world! – from a breeder giving her away because she was the runt and wouldn’t make him any money. We weren’t quite ready for another at that point, but she was so tiny and helpless, he couldn’t not take her. Then we found Reggie about 1 1/2 years later and got more involved with education and rescue…and now we also have Crumbs (a puppy born at a rescue in TX after his mom was confiscated from a dog fighting ring) and Twinkle Pittie who was dumped in a dog park during a streak of 110+ days in TX with mange and sun burns. Crumbs and Twinkle are both foster failures! We have also fostered four other dogs in the past year: Poobah (a pit bull / bull dog mix), Big Hank (a pit bull we found running down the highway), Oscar (an American Bulldog whose family was moving and didn’t want to “deal” with him) and Paschal (a pit bull puppy dumped by his owner because he had kennel cough). Then right now we have the six puppies from the raid. I believe we are indeed a pit bull family now! 
 

Anything else you would like to share about Reggie?

Reggie isn’t a deaf dog, or a pit bull to us, he’s just a member of our family. Deaf dogs and pit bulls make just as good of pets for the right families as any other breed. We didn’t know before he came into our life, but he changed us so very much. Our belief in the awesomeness of the breed, our understanding of deaf animals, he is the furry light of our life. He is so very happy, loves to meet people, loves to just be a part of our family. He has made us advocates for the pit bull breed and we love when people meet him and are like “oh, HE is a pit bull?” He has met all the neighborhood kids and they love him (he loves them especially when they have cookies!) We want to let Reggie help people understand that pit bulls are not dangerous, they are not bad dogs, they are loving and amazing if they are allowed to be. We are working with him on his Canine Good Citizen certification (hopefully we will get it this fall) and then will start working to have him therapy certified.

What tips do you suggest for someone who wants to adopt a deaf animal?

Just do it! They are great pets and I really believe Reggie can “hear” me in his own way. They don’t really take any more work to train than a hearing dog, it is just about consistent communication. There is a great web site : Deaf Dogs Rock that has all breeds of deaf dogs looking for great homes all over the country. There are also great resources on that page to help people educate themselves about training deaf dogs. http://deafdogsrock.com/

Reggie the Pitte Related Links:

 

BSL/Pittie Related Links:

http://www.dogster.com/dog-breeds/pitbulls

 
Thank you’s
The author would like to send a hug thank you to Reggie’s guardians for all the information on deaf/blind dogs and pitties and every other question I could manage to help make this article great. Photos were used with permission.